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The Pumphouse (above centre) at Dublin Port

By Lar Joye | Heritage Officer, Dublin Port  

Ireland is an island nation where nearly everything that we consume or own was at one stage on a ship that has travelled to us at the edge of Western Europe.  Today we suffer from sea blindness where we have lost the connection to the sea as we leave the island on aeroplanes and don’t realise how tied we are to Maritime shipping supply chains with Europe, 60% of imports into Ireland come into Dublin Port, with the rest arriving in Rosslare, Cork or Foynes.   Part of the reason for this is that the British Empire with its powerful navy from the 1730s controlled the seas around Ireland and after the Act of Union in 1801  the harbours and ports of Ireland became an appendage to the larger and better connected ports in England, in particular Liverpool port.  

During the War of Independence a small and committed group working for Dublin Port and Docks Board and the IRA helped overcome the RIC, Royal Navy and the Coastguard to smuggle weapons into Ireland and break this dominance…