Super ferry named in ceremony at port
It was ship ahoy at Dublin Port as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was guest of honour for the christening of a new super ferry.
Invited guests saw the traditional bottle of champagne broken against the hull of the MV Celine, which is the world's largest short-sea "Ro-Ro" (roll-on roll-off) ship.
The 253m-long ship was constructed in South Korea's Hyundai Mipo shipyard, before being deployed to her homeports of Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.
Guests yesterday included those representing the ship's Luxembourg-based owner CLdN and the wider European shipping community.
Mr Varadkar said that the MV Celine was the largest vessel in her class, and therefore will "strengthen Ireland's trade links with Europe by providing direct services from Dublin to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge, something which will be particularly beneficial in the context of Brexit, should we face delays at Dover".
But even if there was no Brexit at all, direct maritime and navigation links from Ireland to other parts of the world are of real value to our economy, the Taoiseach pointed out.
It comes as figures released yesterday showed that cargo volumes at Dublin Port grew by 3.4pc in the first quarter of 2018, to exceed nine million gross tonnes for the quarter.
Imports for the first three months of the year rose by 4.3pc while exports increased by 2.1pc. Most of the port's cargo is comprised of freight trailers and containers and both sectors showed continued strong growth.
Meanwhile, Eamonn O'Reilly, the chief executive of the Dublin Port Company, said: "Based on our masterplan, Dublin Port is investing €132m this year alone to ensure the timely delivery of new infrastructure and additional capacity to further facilitate Ireland's trading needs. Capital investment of €1bn is planned over the next decade."