Irish Shipping Ltd

Irish Shipping Ltd., was set up in1941 to ensure Ireland could import and export essential goods during the 2nd World War. Britain had decided that it could no longer put its ships and men at risk by supplying a country that had decided to remain neutral.

So after a meeting held in Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin on the 21st March 1941 national Shipping Company was founded called Irish Shipping Ltd. The first ship purchased was the Greek ship Vassilios Destoums from P.E. Pasias for £142,000-00. After a few problems with the Spanish Authorities (where it had been abandoned after grounding during heavy weather) Capt. M. Moran with an Irish crew took command and after loading a full cargo of grain set sail for Dublin on the 1st October 1941. On hr arrival in Dublin she was re-named The Irish Popular’.


Two ships were lost during the War on the North Atlantic run. The Irish Pine sank by a U-boat in the North Atlantic on 15th November 1943. All 38 crew members were lost.


The Irish Oak sank on the North Atlantic run on 15th May, the crew were rescued.


                               Our War Time Life Line.


During the period March 1941 to June 1946 ships of the Irish Shipping Ltd. Fleet brought to this country 712,000 tons of wheat, 178,00 tons of coal, 68,000 tons of phosphate, 24,000 tons of tobacco, 18,000 of newsprint and 10,000 of timber. Other cargo which comprised more than 500 different varieties of goods amounted to a total of 105,000 tons.

  Although Ireland produced the bulk of her wheat requirements during the war years, the quantity imported represented two days consumption of this vital commodity per week during those critical years.  The money earned by men who kept our life line going during the Second World War may seem paltry in present day terms, but of course, these were pre-inflation times. An Able Bodied seaman received £168-00 per year while at sea. £10-00 per month war risk; £10-00 per year holiday pay and 3 shillings per hour over time at sea. Rates for a senior Master were £151 -00 per year basic salary; £10-00 per month war risk; £35-00 per year holiday pay and 5 shillings per day in home ports and 7 shillings and 6 pence per day in foreign ports.

    These rates were fixed by the National Maritime Board.