Minister of State Byrne’s Visit to Le Havre
Press release19 November 2021
Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne TD, is visiting the Port of Le Havre on 19 November to mark the launch of the new Brittany Ferries service between Rosslare and Le Havre.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Minister Byrne said:
"I am delighted to visit the Port of Le Havre for the inauguration of the new Brittany Ferries service between Rosslare and Le Havre.
This service is another key strategic link between Ireland and France, and a further gateway for trade between Ireland and the EU, and beyond.
Maritime links between our countries are flourishing. This past year, ferry companies have doubled the capacity available on direct roll-on / roll-off services between Ireland and our EU partners. This capacity is essential for the Irish economy, and for sustaining and developing the business and people-to-people links that tie us together.”
During his visit, Minister Byrne will also meet a range of key political and business figures from Le Havre and the surrounding region, including the Mayor of Le Havre and former French Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe, President of Brittany Ferries, Mr Jean-Marc Roué and CEO of Haropa Port, Mr Stéphane Raison.
Minister Byrne also commented that:
“France is now our nearest EU neighbour, and Ireland and France are cooperating more closely than ever before in a wide range of areas. We are working hard to develop links, and the Port of Le Havre and the Normandy region have particular potential. Our Governments are committed, through our very ambitious Joint Plan of Action, to developing our cooperation across a range of areas, including research, culture, education, infrastructure and business.”
19 November 2021
- Throughout 2020 and 2021, the shipping industry has responded to market demand to put in place significant additional capacity on direct routes between Ireland and other EU countries. New or additional direct ferry links with increased capacity have come on stream and are seeing high demand, including routes to Cherbourg, Dunkirk, Le Havre, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Roscoff and Santander.
- There have been a total of 28 separate interventions by shipping operators since May 2020 to increase the levels of service on direct shipping routes between Ireland and our EU partners. An indicative map of the available services can be consulted on the website of the Irish Maritime Development Office.
- Figures in the Irish Maritime Development Office's Q2 Unitised Traffic Report show that weekly roll-on / roll-off (RoRo) freight capacity to continental EU ports has doubled in the past 18 months and is at unprecedented levels. Similarly, load-on / load-off (LoLo) volumes in the first half of 2021 increased by 10% compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, and are at their highest level since 2007.