Monday, January 12, 2009

Belated New Year greetings!

I have finally got around to a posting on the Old Blog Cabin after a period of inactivity due to other things happening which took up my time. I hope I haven't lost permanently any of the regular visitors to the site during that time.

I will add a few more posts over the next few days because a lot has been happening since I last posted a story on December 3rd. The saga of the Irish sail training vessel Asgard II rumbles on and one wonders whether the government's pledge to raise the Asgard if at all possible has fallen by the wayside as Ireland Inc. teeters from one economic crisis to another. The amount involved in raising Asgard pales into insignificance when you consider the important work she did for Ireland over her 28 years of service. It is a shame to have such an important vessel lying at the bottom of the Bay of Biscay deteriorating while officialdom prevaricates about what to do about her.

The decline in the Irish economy can be seen at the Cork City quays presently where the huge car carrier mv Autostar has been laid up for the last three weeks due to a lack of business. The car sales figures for the first fortnight of 2009 have plummetted. This is normally the busiest time of the year for car sales as people seek to get the new '09 car registrations. It is clear that demand has dropped significantly as the recession bites. Autostar will finally sail on Wednesday, 14th December. There are currently only four ships berthed in Cork port with just 10 more due over the next 3-4 days (source Port of Cork website It is not that long ago since that many and more passed through the port every day.

There is still no definite word on the possible return of a car ferry service between Cork and Swansea although the Cork Independent last week carried a story that a major announcement is imminent. We shall wait and see. Hopefully it will not be another false dawn because the loss of the service is still biting in both countries. The effect on tourism in the south-west of Ireland has been catastrophic.

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