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Bulk Carrier Cargo Ship Raided by Elite Army Ranger Wing and Gardaí Berths in Cork Harbour after Shots Fired at Sea

27th September 2023
The bulk carrier cargo ship MV Matthew, which was heading into international waters, did not stop when ordered by Naval Service officers on board the LÉ William Butler Yeats, which led to the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) firing warning shots. The 189m long Matthew was escorted into Cork Harbour and is berthed at the former IFI plant at Marino Point, upriver from Cobh
The bulk carrier cargo ship MV Matthew, which was heading into international waters, did not stop when ordered by Naval Service officers on board the LÉ William Butler Yeats, which led to the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) firing warning shots. The 189m long Matthew was escorted into Cork Harbour and is berthed at the former IFI plant at Marino Point, upriver from Cobh

A bulk carrier cargo ship which sailed from the Caribbean was boarded by members of the Army Ranger Wing and gardaí, as the Panamanian flagged vessel was suspected of containing a large quantity of illegal drugs, berthed at the Port of Cork yesterday evening.

The 2.2 tons of cocaine recovered from the ship is being described as the biggest haul in the history of the state.

The 50,913 deadweight tonnes (dwt), MV Matthew had been boarded in the early hours of yesterday off the Cork and Waterford coast. The boarding operation, which took place in the Celtic Sea, was co-ordinated by a joint taskforce comprising members of the Naval Service, Revenue Customs Service and An Garda Síochána.

The bulk carrier, at almost 190m in length, was heading into international waters and did not stop when ordered by Naval Service officers on board the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63), as the naval vessel then fired warning shots.

The 28,647 gross registered tonnage (grt) MV Matthew was then boarded by armed Army Ranger personnel. They are understood to have abseiled onto the deck of the bulk carrier from an overhead Air Corps helicopter in what has been described as challenging weather conditions.

LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) fired warning shotsLÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) fired warning shots

Once the 2001 built cargo ship was secured, members of the Naval Service, the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB), and Revenue’s Customs Service were transferred to the ship. The cargo ship was then escorted to Marino Point located upriver from the port's main terminal at Ringaskiddy, where bulk-carriers routinely berth. 

A statement from the garda press office said a significant quantity of suspected controlled drugs had been located onboard the MV Matthew.

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Published in Cork Harbour, Navy Team

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Cork Harbour Information

It’s one of the largest natural harbours in the world – and those living near Cork Harbour insist that it’s also one of the most interesting.

This was the last port of call for the most famous liner in history, the Titanic, but it has been transformed into a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

The harbour has been a working port and a strategic defensive hub for centuries, and it has been one of Ireland's major employment hubs since the early 1900s. Traditional heavy industries have waned since the late 20th century, with the likes of the closure of Irish Steel in Haulbowline and shipbuilding at Verolme. It still has major and strategic significance in energy generation, shipping and refining.

Giraffe wander along its shores, from which tens of thousands of men and women left Ireland, most of them never to return. The harbour is home to the oldest yacht club in the world, and to the Irish Navy. 

This deep waterway has also become a vital cog in the Irish economy.

‘'s Cork Harbour page’ is not a history page, nor is it a news focus. It’s simply an exploration of this famous waterway, its colour and its characters.

Cork Harbour Festival

Ocean to City – An Rás Mór and Cork Harbour Open Day formerly existed as two popular one-day events located at different points on Cork’s annual maritime calendar. Both event committees recognised the synergy between the two events and began to work together and share resources. In 2015, Cork Harbour Festival was launched. The festival was shaped on the open day principle, with Ocean to City – An Ras Mór as the flagship event.

Now in its sixth year, the festival has grown from strength to strength. Although the physical 2020 festival was cancelled due to Covid-19, the event normally features nine festival days starting on the first week of June. It is packed full of events; all made possible through collaboration with over 50 different event partners in Cork City, as well as 15 towns and villages along Cork Harbour. The programme grows year by year and highlights Ireland’s rich maritime heritage and culture as well as water and shore-based activities, with Ocean to City – An Rás Mór at the heart of the festival.

Taking place at the centre of Ireland’s maritime paradise, and at the gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, Cork is perfectly positioned to deliver the largest and most engaging harbour festival in Ireland.

The Cork Harbour Festival Committee includes representatives from Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork, UCC MaREI, RCYC, Cobh & Harbour Chamber and Meitheal Mara.

Marinas in Cork Harbour

There are six marinas in Cork Harbour. Three in Crosshaven, one in East Ferry, one in Monkstown Bay and a new facility is opening in 2020 at Cobh. Details below

Port of Cork City Marina

Location – Cork City
Contact – Harbour Masters Dept., Port of Cork Tel: +353 (0)21 4273125 or +353 (0)21 4530466 (out of office hours)

Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0) 21 4831023

Crosshaven Boatyard Marina

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)21 4831161

Salve Marina Ltd

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0) 21 4831145

Cork Harbour Marina

Location: Monkstown, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)87 3669009

East Ferry Marina

Location: East Ferry, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)21 4813390

New Cove Sailing Club Marina

(to be opened in 2020)

Location: Cobh, Co. Cork
Contact: 087 1178363

Cork Harbour pontoons, slipways and ramps

Cork City Boardwalk Existing pontoon

Port of Cork 100m. pontoon

Cork city – End of Cornmarket St. steps and slip;

Cork city - Proby’s Qy. Existing limited access slip

Quays Bar & Restaurant, Private pontoon and ramp for patrons, suitable for yachts, small craft town and amenities

Cobh harbour [camber] Slip and steps inside quay wall pontoon

Fota (zoo, house, gardens) Derelict pontoon and steps

Haulbowline naval basin; restricted space Naval base; restricted access;

Spike Island pier, steps; slip, pontoon and ramp

Monkstown wooden pier and steps;

Crosshaven town pier, with pontoon & steps

East Ferry Marlogue marina, Slip (Great Island side) visitors’ berths

East Ferry Existing pier and slip; restricted space East Ferry Inn (pub)
(Mainland side)

Blackrock pier and slips

Ballinacurra Quay walls (private)

Aghada pier and slip, pontoon & steps public transport links

Whitegate Slip

Passage West Pontoon

Glenbrook Cross-river ferry

Ringaskiddy Parking with slip and pontoon Ferry terminal; village 1km.

Carrigaloe pier and slip; restricted space; Cross-river ferry;

Fountainstown Slip

White’s Bay beach

Ringabella beach

Glanmire Bridge and tide restrictions

Old Glanmire - Quay