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Representation in Ireland

Cork school children leave their mark on EU-backed port renovation

Two giant ship-to-shore cranes named Mahain and Binne dominate the skyline of the Port of Cork’s new EU-backed container terminal in Ringaskiddy. The cranes were named by local primary school children who won a competition to "name the cranes".

Two giant ship-to-shore cranes named Mahain and Binne dominate the skyline of Cork’s new Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy. The cranes, named by local primary school children, were installed as part of the EU-financed development of the new container terminal in Ringaskiddy, which opened for operations in 2022.

The Port of Cork is also gigantic in size and is the world’s second largest natural harbour. It is a “Port of National Significance” for Ireland and has played a key role in the ongoing economic development of both Cork and of its neighbouring counties.

However, with the growth of the local economy and the trend towards larger container vessels, it became necessary to redevelop the Port of Cork and, in 2015, plans were approved to relocate container-shipping operations from Cork’s Upper Harbour to the deep-water port of Ringaskiddy with work commencing in 2018.

This is where EU funding came in. In June 2018, the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved €30 million in financing towards the estimated €80 million cost of the development. The redevelopment of the Port of Cork also received EU Ten-T (Trans-European Transport Network) funding. Ten-T is an EU programme that supports the construction and upgrade of important transport infrastructure across the European Union.

Ringaskiddy’s new state-of-the-art container terminal was launched in September 2022. With its 13.5 hectare terminal, a 360 metre-long quay and its 13 metre-depth, it no longer has a problem accommodating larger container ships. It also includes a 13.5 hectare terminal and associated buildings. And of course, Mahain and Binne, the two giant ship to shore gantry cranes named by the children of Crosshaven Boys’ National School who won a competition to “name the cranes” organised by the Port of Cork in 2022. According to local folklore, Mahain and Binne were two giants who lived in the area of Cork Harbour.

Speaking about the new names, Business Development Support Manager at the Port of Cork, David Browne said: “It is important to us to involve the local community and the up and coming generation in this new era for the Cork harbour community and wider region.”

The multi-million euro development of Cork Container Terminal was funded by the Port of Cork through an innovative financing structure comprising Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c, the European Investment Bank, and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), and also by including European Union Connecting Europe Facility funds and self-finance.

More information

EIB press release on its financing for the Port of Cork container terminal development

Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T)