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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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World's largest roll-on/roll-off vessel christened at Dublin Port

Celine is going to carry cargo between Dublin, the Netherlands and Belgium and is seen as major coup for Ireland.

The world’s largest short sea Ro-Ro vessel MV Celine which was christened at Dublin Port this afternoon.
The world’s largest short sea Ro-Ro vessel MV Celine which was christened at Dublin Port this afternoon.
Image: Sam Boal

THERE WAS SUN, FIDDLE music and poetry at the christening ceremony of the world’s largest short sea RoRo vessel, MV Celine at Dublin Port today.

The largest vessel in her class and the biggest roll-on, roll-off ship in the world, Celine, will bring substantial business for Ireland, particularly in light of Brexit.

Celine is going to carry cargo between Dublin, the Netherlands and Belgium and is seen as major coup for the port.

The significance of the event wasn’t lost on the many high-flyers in the ship-building business who attended today’s launch.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

‘Celine – queen of the cargo ships’

There was a wine reception, followed by music and spoken word performances by John Sheahan of The Dubliners, Colm Mac Iomaire from The Frames, and Lisa Hannigan.

Against the backdrop of impressive footage of the ship setting sail, Irish ballads and song specially commissioned for the occasion echoed through the vast ship.

MV Celine represents the next generation of super ferries servicing Dublin Port.

The 235-metre long ship was constructed in South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Shipyard, before being setting sail to the ports of Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.

The new ship would not have been able to call into Dublin Port without development works on three kilometres of berths.

On-hand for the formal naming ceremony today was Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who said Celine will “strengthen trade links to Ireland”.

In light of the Taoiseach’s comments on the UK’s solutions to the border problem, and his push for Prime Minister Theresa May to come up with some sort of workable solution or else face the prospect of no Brexit withdrawal agreement come June, contingency planning appeared to be on Varadkar’s mind.

In the shadow of the ship, Varadkar said that in the event that Brexit “goes wrong”, Ireland will need more trade links with Europe.

He added that large-scale investments in Ireland’s maritime business will “help future-proof” the country against hard Brexit customs posts in Dover port, which he said might cause significant delays.

“The more direct links we have to places like Spain, France, the Netherlands and Belgium are positive.”

ship 406 copy Source: Sam Boal

Christian Cigrang, CEO, CLdN (the ship’s Luxembourg-based owners) said his company opened two routes from Dublin Port when Ireland was in the depths of a recession in 2015.

He said this decision was underpinned “by believe of the capacity of the Irish people to fight themselves out of their hole – a belief that was fully justified”.

SHIP 542 copy Christian Cigrang, CEO, CLdN Source: Sam Boal

Brexit is an external shock of a”totally different nature”.

Turning to the Taoiseach, Cigrang said he understood that Brexit is causing Varadkar “a lot of headaches”.

“Let me take one away from you. In terms of maritime success to and from Ireland, we have got this. With the combined acumen and skill between all the actors and logistics chain, we will rise to the challenge and handle whatever it throws at us. Shipping will provide for us – it always does,” he said.

MVCelineDublinPort-345 (1) Leo Varadkar at the christening ceremony of cargo ship Celine at Dublin Port today. Source: Conor McCabe

With a quick prayer and blessing from the port’s chaplain Dan Joe O’Mahony, the designated Godmother to the new ship, Geraldine O’Reilly (t’s a longstanding naval tradition for new ships to be sponsored by a civilian – typically a woman)launched the ship with the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle against the hull, as streamers rained down on the crowd.

With capital investment of over €1 billion planned for Dublin Port over the next decade, Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company said today’s launch represents a ”marks an important milestone”.

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