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Aids to Navigation

The main areas dealt with by this section include:

  • The Commissioners of Irish Lights.
  • Irelands Radio Navigation Policy
  • Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act 1993.
  • National Data Buoy Network.

The Commissioners of Irish Lights

The Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) are responsible for providing and maintaining aids to navigation (i.e. lighthouses, buoys, radio and radar beacons, leading lights etc.) throughout the whole island of Ireland and its adjacent seas and islands. The Aids to Navigation Section deals with corporate governance issues of CIL for the Department of Transport.

CILs current primary powers derive from the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, which vested the superintendence and management of all lighthouses, buoys and beacons in Great Britain and Ireland in three bodies collectively known as the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs). CIL is the GLA for the 32 counties of Ireland, whereas Trinity House serves England and Wales, and the Northern Lighthouse Board is responsible for Scotland and the Isle of Mann. There is extensive co-operation between these bodies as well as between the other lighthouse authorities of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

For further information, please visit the CIL website at

New Light Dues Rate Announced

Merchant Shipping (Light Dues) Order 2009

This Order revokes and replaces the Merchant Shipping (Light Dues) Order, 2006.  It increases the level of light dues levied on merchant shipping collected from vessels calling to ports within the State with effect from 1st August 2009, from 52 cents to 57 cents per ton. It increases the maximum number of voyages for which dues may be levied from 7 to 9 in any one year.

Merchant Shipping (Light Dues) Order 2009 - S.I. 297 of 2009 

Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act, 1993

All incidents relating to salvage and wreck are governed by the Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act of 1993. This act covers vessels in distress situations, salvage, and the removal or rending harmless of wrecks. We deal with the issue of warrants, respond to queries on sections of the Act, and handle feedback from Receivers of Wreck on salvage and wreck cases.

National Data Buoy Network

In conjunction with The Marine Institute, Met Eireann and the UK Met Office, the Department funds and is involved in a project that has positioned 5 weather buoys off the Irish Coast. This network of buoys extends Irelands early warning for major storm events 80 kilometres out to sea. It measures wave height and wind conditions in real time which is critical in providing small craft warnings and gale warnings. All marine users from commercial / fishing to leisure and including emergency services, offshore exploration, wind farms etc. benefit significantly from this system. For more information, please visit the Marine Institute website at