Dublin Castle · 15th & 16th November 2022

Commissioners of Irish Lights 


About Irish Lights 

Irish Lights is a maritime organisation delivering essential 24/7 safety and navigation services around the coast of Ireland, north and south. Our mission is Safe Navigation at Sea and we are responsible for Maritime Aids to Navigation under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. This remit includes the provision and maintenance of over 340 general aids to navigation, the superintendence of approx. 3,200 local aids to navigation, and marking or removing dangerous wrecks outside harbour areas around Ireland. 

Irish Lights also provides a range of navigation and contract commercial services including ship charter, buoy maintenance and maritime data. We provide value-added services to support the development of the broader maritime economy, including Met and Coastal Data Services. The Irish Lights tourism and heritage initiative Great Lighthouses of Ireland was developed in partnership with local communities and offers visitors from home and abroad the chance to visit or stay in a working lighthouse.

W: www.irishlights.ie 
T: @irishlights
FB: https://www.facebook.com/commissionersofirishlights/

L: Commissioners of Irish Lights

Emergency Response: For aids to navigation, contact our 24-hour emergency response number on 01-2801996

Our Vision: Next Generation Maritime Services

The protection of lives, property, trade and the environment by delivering next-generation maritime services at the interface of navigation technology, engineering and data management.

Our Mission: Safe Navigation at Sea

To be a leading and innovative provider of reliable, efficient and cost-effective navigation, safety and maritime services for the safety of all.


Our Strategy and Six High Level Objectives 

Aids to Navigation (AtoN) are a Critical National Infrastructure for the maritime sectorThis is due to their direct impact on the safety of navigation, which facilitates commerce (with over 90% of goods transported by sea), and protects lives, property, our seas and coastlines. Irish Lights provides a reliable, technologically advanced, fixed and floating infrastructure supporting associated data and monitoring services, which is essential for all those who operate around the island of Ireland. 

Irish Lights is excited to chart the next stage of its evolution. Our current strategy sets out six ambitious outcomes to deliver over the period 2018 – 2023. These outcomes reflect the modern role of Irish Lights, delivering navigation, safety and allied maritime services and supporting the growth of the maritime economy.

(1)   For the Safety of All 

Irish Lights will continue to focus on the delivery of reliable and value-for-money navigation and safety services. We are committed to listening to stakeholders and being proactive and innovative in our approach to the development of these services for the safety and benefit of all. We are proud to operate an extensive network of aids to navigation services around the island of Ireland and to provide a depth and breadth of expertise at the interface of navigation, engineering, technology and data management. Our long-standing relationship with Trinity House and the Northern Lighthouse Board in the UK ensures that we harness knowledge, share resources and achieve economies of scale to deliver to maximum efficiency. As a modern organisation, we are committed to working with partners in the public and private sectors to develop our role as a key member of the value chain of maritime safety services on the island of Ireland.

(2)   International Maritime Leadership  

The nature of Aids to Navigation Services is that they must be internationally standardised to serve a global industry. Technology development and convergence requires that, over the period of this strategy, Irish Lights exercises a far broader international influence than was the case in the past. We will do this by proactively engaging with international bodies such as the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to achieve early influence on developments related to policy, regulation and standards that impact on navigation safety, and through sharing information, expertise and resources to the benefit of all parties.

(3)   Technological Innovation 

Across the maritime sector there is recognition of the increasing pace of technological development and the role technology and innovation can play to improve safety and performance. In delivering on our strategy, Irish Lights will continue to lead on the adoption of new technology that delivers safety and economic benefits for the maritime sector. We will contribute to the work of our colleagues in GRAD (the GLA research and development unit) working with them to ensure outcomes which deliver value in terms of improved services, efficiencies or revenue. We will actively engage with companies that innovate in our areas of interest, for the trial and implementation of advanced engineering, communications and data technologies.

We will continue to engage in ongoing consultations with regulators, providers and users as appropriate. In particular, we will ensure user input into the selection and development of emerging technology solutions.

(4)   Collaboration and Partnership

Irish Lights works closely with a matrix of local, national and international partners, government departments and agencies who collaborate with us to enable us to deliver a diverse suite of services. Essential to our success is our relationships with key maritime agencies and local authorities around the coasts of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Over the period of this strategy we will strengthen our existing partnerships to support the delivery of key services and where necessary, and form new partnerships for added value and commercial service delivery.

(5)   Contributing to the Wider Maritime Economy 

Ireland and the United Kingdom are maritime nations that rely heavily on seaborne trade, a high-quality marine environment and a diverse range of maritime economic activities to underpin development in coastal areas. There is significant commitment to the maritime sector across both islands with investment, trade and employment growth projected. Irish Lights seeks to strengthen the contribution that it makes to the wider maritime economy by targeting our expertise, asset base and proven technological capabilities to deliver maximum value and public good services in the interests of our stakeholders, coastal communities and the wider economy.


(6)   Safeguarding the Past for the Future

While the focus of our strategy is very much on the future, we know that in facing this future we are building on the ingenuity and resilience of the people who worked in Irish Lights over the generations. Moreover, we have in our stewardship a tangible legacy of the past in the unique set of heritage assets which we own, and these have significant value and potential in the development of tourism, education, research and community-based initiatives. Over the period of this strategy, we will continue to build on the international success of our ‘all-island’ tourism initiative, Great Lighthouses of Ireland, and we will work with third parties to protect, develop and promote our unique archive and heritage assets for the benefit of the Irish public.

Board of Irish Lights 

The Board of Irish Lights consists of 10 elected members, three ex officio members of Dublin City Council and the Lord Mayor of Dublin. The Board meets eight times a year and is responsible for strategy and governance along with ensuring the effective and efficient operation of the organisation. Board members are appointed for a five-year term and, with vacant positions advertised in the national press in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Such appointments are subject to negative resolution by An Taoiseach. Board members do not receive any remuneration for their services.

Conference Programme
Navigating to 2050
A Safe and Sustainable Maritime Future.

Tuesday 15th November 2022

Session one - Navigating Safely and Sustainably to 2050

8:00 am

Registration and Refreshments

9:00 am
Welcome and Introduction
Yvonne Shields O’Connor, 
CEO, Irish Lights.
9:15 am
Conference Opening
Minister Hildegarde Naughton, 
Minister of State, Department of Transport.
9:25 am
Session 1. Navigating Safely and Sustainably to 2050
Opening remarks from Session Chairperson
Dr. Paul Little, 
CEO, City of Glasgow College and Chair of UK Shipping Skills Taskforce.
9:30 am
Conference Keynote Address:  
Transitioning to a Sustainable and Profitable Decarbonised Shipping Future
Anthony Gurnee, 
Founder and CEO of Ardmore Shipping, Ireland.
9:55 am
Safety and Sustainability:  
Ensuring the Resilience of Future Shipping
Maja Markovčić Kostelac, 
Executive Director, European Maritime Safety Agency, Portugal.
10:15 am
Reality 2050:  
Meeting IMO targets, an industry perspective.
Chris Waddington, 
Technical Director, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
10:35 am

Coffee break

11:15 am
Implications of Fit for 55 on the Irish Maritime Sector and Wider Economy
Prof. Alan Ahearne, 
University of Galway, Ireland.
11:35 am
Climate Challenges for the Maritime Sector:  
National and International Targets
Caoimhín Ó Ciaruáin, 
Assistant Secretary, Department of Transport, Ireland.
11:55 am
What Will It Take to Decarbonise the Maritime Sector?
Dr. Kirsi Tikka, 
Independent Director and International Maritime Advisor, UK.
12:15 pm
Unlocking the Opportunities From Tackling Climate Change in the Maritime Sector
Aoife O’Leary, 
CEO, Opportunity Green, UK.

12:30 pm

Panel discussion including all speakers above

1:15 pm


Session two - Will technology change the future of Navigation and what are the implications for safety and sustainability?