About the Programme

Introduction & History

The Irish Nautical Trust was formed in 1986 and is located in Ringsend, Grand Canal Basin.

The Trust has a dual mandate of preserving our national nautical heritage and the creation and support of employment and enterprise in the Dublin South Inner City. Many jobs have been created during past recessionary times through incubation type support for local businesses based on location resources and the preservation of traditions and skills which were identified as a vehicle of socio-economic benefit to the area.

Ringsend’s history speaks for itself; maritime occupations have been part of the community for centuries with sons following their fathers into maritime pursuits and whose families still live here today. In the past skills were taught and passed on by the family members already working in the Port environment and the shipping industry as a whole.

The revitalised Grand Canal Basin is now a hive of activity with businesses such as Surf Dock, Sea Shore & Safety, and Viking Splash thriving from initial development support from the Irish Nautical Trust. Viking splash employs 35 people from April to early December. Surf Dock employs 12 people from February to November. Sea and Shore safety employs 5/6 people 8 months of the year depending on the course dates.

The Trust through the DDDA community liaison group commissioned a feasibility study carried out in June 2000 by Michael Punch from Trinity College geological department under the direction of Professor PJ Druidy. This was presented to the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and Waterways Ireland. The result of this was its inclusion within the Dublin Docklands Development Master Plan to develop a purpose-built Enterprise and Training facility for the local indigenous businesses located in the Basin under the auspices of the Irish Nautical Trust.

To facilitate this master plan, the Irish Nautical Trust and its start-up companies were to be temporarily located on Charlotte Quay. Unfortunately, the decline in the economy and the demise of the DDDA has postponed the implementation of this long-term plan making our then ‘temporary’ location, our current home.

Despite the fact that there seems to be somewhat of a recovery, a large section of our local youth are unemployed with little or no hope of getting into further education or employment. The Trust through previous recessionary periods has a proven track record and experience of facilitating young people. We have achieved this by supporting and creating successful businesses such as Surf dock and Viking Splash in the tourism industry.

We have also implemented training for the locally unemployed in the past through various Community Youth Training Programmes in boat building projects and related ancillary service businesses.

Without this type of support these young people are at serious risk of becoming marginalized and having their self-esteem and confidence affected the longer they are unemployed. This group then become more at risk of becoming involved in crime, anti-social behaviour and substance abuse and are easy prey for those who might seek to take advantage of their situation.

We want to address these social issues by partnering and collaborating with established businesses including those in the marine sector, creating social value and economic value simultaneously.

The mission of the Irish Nautical Trust is to provide a full and comprehensive certified training program for the locally unemployed and disadvantaged people, to build a fully equipped maritime training centre which will include workshops and classrooms, to create opportunities leading to sustainable employment within the maritime sector.

Some members on the board of the Trust have worked for Dublin Port in the past, directly and indirectly and have extensive knowledge of the infrastructure of the Port.  This knowledge will be used to form part of the design training modules along with the many more existing proven training modules already in place

The Expert Group on Future Skill Needs Study April 2015 – 2020

There is a growing demand and opportunity for skilled labour in the marine industry based on the recent study carried out by the Department of jobs Enterprises and Innovation in April 2015 which include growth in the many marine sectors up to the year 2020.

Job Opportunities

We have identified possible future local employment opportunities for young people with the right qualifications within the environs of the Liffey and the Grand Canal Basin.

Marine Sector:

  • Dublin Port Company
  • Marine Construction Companies
  • Boat Tourist Companies
  • Survey Companies
  • Diving Contractors
  • Cargo ships of the Merchant Navy and Ferries
  • Pilot Boats Operatives
  • Tug Boats Operatives
  • Marine Operatives
  • Radio Communication/ traffic controllers
  • Offshore Wind Farms


Marine Service Sector:

In the environs of the river Liffey and Dublin Bay there are very few boat repair and maintenance yards carrying out maintenance on fiberglass and timber boats yet there are thousands of vessels between the marinas on the Liffey and along the north and east coast of Dublin. This is a growth industry where there is a huge shortage in the required skill base.

Marine Service Sector Examples:

  • Sail repairs
  • General boat maintenance
  • Marine engines and mechanical repairs 
  • Boat electronics
  • Boat cleaning and painting
  • Boats storage and yard experience including craning and lifting of boats

Marine administration knowledge