Talk:Irish Sea

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Former good article nominee Irish Sea was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
August 9, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
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WikiProject icon Irish Sea is included in the Wikipedia CD Selection, see Irish Sea at Schools Wikipedia. Please maintain high quality standards; if you are an established editor your last version in the article history may be used so please don't leave the article with unresolved issues, and make an extra effort to include free images, because non-free images cannot be used on the DVDs.

Rough Work - Stats on Shipping[edit]

ROI Stats: 3.6m travelers cross the Irish sea each year, amounting to 92% of all sea travel to and from the Republic. CSO This has been steadly dropping for a number of years (20% since 1999), probably as a result of low cost airlines.

Dublin Airport: 50% of traffic is to/from Britian @ 8.3 million per annum, up 5%. 26% is for London @ 4.5 million.

Sea-Cargo trade with UK: 19m Tonnes of cargo handled by Irish ports, 40% of all sea trade by weight. Main ports are *Dublin (11,573kT 64%) *Rosslare (1,839kT 85%) *Dun Laoghaire (160kT 100%) *Drogheda (181kT 14%) Waterford (672kT 28%) *Wicklow (2kT 1%) *New Ross (401kT 40%) Galway (611kT 60%) Shannon-Foynes port (1,345kT 10%) (Source: Table 10 of this CSO pdf 2004 figures). 2004 figures are up by 3.4% by weight while number of ships is down 5%. 73% is import and 27% export. *Ports are Irish Sea ports.

UK Ports on Irish Sea:

Belfast: [1] total tonnage through Northern Ireland ports in 2002 was 21,363kT. 70% inward. 60% at Belfast. 20% at Larne, Warrenpoint 8.5%, Derry 5% + others. 46% of inward freight is from Britian, 78% of outward freight is for britian. 570,000 cars travel through NI ports, 30%/70% Larne/Belfast. All are for Britian.

Liverpool (32mT cargo, 734k passangers, up 2% [2])

Car Ferries of the Irish Sea 1954-2004 by Justin Merrigan

Ports on Irish Sea[edit]

Republic of Ireland: New Ross, Waterford, Rosslare, Arklow, Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Drogheda, Dundalk, Greenore. Northern Ireland: Bangor? Belfast, Larne, Portrush? Scotland: Cairmryan Stranraer Isle of Man: fishing ports of Port St Mary and Port Erin, Douglas. North England: Liverpool, Fleetwood, Blackpool?, Preston? SouthPort, Birkenhead, Ellesmere Port. Wales: Holyhead, Pembroke Dock.

Seabhcán 21:57, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

As for the English ports - Yes, except for Preston; Blackpool's not really a port either. Heysham, Barrow-in-Furness and Whitehaven could all be included too Robdurbar 09:57, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Workington and Silloth in Cumbria are both working freight ports too —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

The principal Irish Sea working cargo ports in Northern Ireland are at Larne (Co Antrim), Belfast and Warrenpoint (Co Down). Bangor (Co Down) is now mainly a leisure port (marina) as is Carrickfergus (Co Antrim). Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel, all Co Down, are the main fishing ports.

Portrush (Co Antrim) is on Northern Ireland's Atlantic coast so shouldn't be included.

In (North West) England, Southport (Merseyside) hasn't been a port for quite a while. It's a seaside resort. Preston (Lancashire)ceased to be a working port in the 1980s and is now a leisure port (marina).

In Wales, Mostyn (Flintshire?) might be added as a small working port and Fishguard as a ferry port. Ellesmere Port is in Wales rather then in England.

In Scotland, there are working ports on the Firth of Clyde (e.g. Ardrossan), if that's included in the Irish Sea for the purposes of this article?

Aughnadarragh 09:06, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry - temorary insanity. Ellesmere Port IS in England - I can't tell my Connah's Quay from my elbow! Aughnadarragh 09:21, 2 August 2007 (UTC)


I removed the map from the page because it is wrong; it was replaced, the argument being 'its accurate, if not precise enough for you then improve it'.

First of all, it is not accurate. Heysham and Fleetwood are both 50-100 miles too far north on the map, on the wrong side of Morecambe Bay. Including this makes Wikipedia look amateuristic [almsot as much as my spelling :)].

Secondly, I have searched for a more accurate and appropriate map on the internet and could not find one available. However, I would argue that we should not be including inaccurate material just because there is nothing better available. Robdurbar 09:42, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

It was excessive to remove the whole map because two ports were not in the right place. You should have fixed the map. Why not delete the article if you find another error? I have now removed the two ports from the map. If you find the time, please re-add them in the correct positions. Seabhcán 11:00, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Ah... you know its never actually occured to me to edit an image Ive found on Wikipedia. Thats actually a very good idea. But thanks for your rudness Robdurbar 17:58, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Fixed link across?[edit]

Can anyone add more info on the possible plans of contructing a tunnel and/or bridge across to the other side? Either from Northern Ireland to Scotland or from the Republic of Ireland over to Wales. I am also quite curious as to whether any steps have been taken to decide to build infrastructure links across the:

Anyone with inside knowledge on any of these? I've posted similar requests elsewhere. Gruesome Twosome! 8v] //Big Adamsky 20:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Info on the Irish Sea link is very scarce. The current situation is that it is just a vague plan discussed in the media every five to ten years. The technology exists and there is probably an economic case, but the cost is too high at the moment, and governments have more pressing national needs at the moment. This article and links contain all the info I could find. Seabhcán 22:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
You may also be interested in the projects to build links across the Strait of Gibraltar, Tsushima strait and the Taiwan Strait, across the Gulf of Bothnia from Stockholm to Aland Islands to Finland, and from Helsinki to Tallin. Seabhcán 13:15, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
The biggest difficulty if it's to be a rail link is that Ireland and Great Britain use different gauges. You'd either have to dual gauge some routes in one or both countries or have people switch trains at one end of the link... CarlisleBorderer 10:30, 18 February 2009

The most radioactive sea in the world?[edit]

I have been googling around and get conflicting answers but I have not come across a reputable citable source. Can you help? --Publunch 23:51, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

I am not convinced that any of the quoted information about nuclear/chemical waste has any truth behind it. Sounds a touch anti-British --Jimio 20:18, 23 Jan 2005

The map[edit]

I think the map could be improved, to show such features as The Solway Firth and Cardigan Bay. --Publunch 23:48, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

"Irish Channel"[edit]

I've just started a disambiguation page at the formerly blank Irish Channel article, mostly for the neighborhood in my home town of New Orleans, Irish Channel, New Orleans. I fear I'm not sure what the other usage of the term "Irish Channel" in some articles refers to; if it is the Irish Sea in general, the North Channel, St. George's Channel, or what. I took a guess from context that it's the first, but correction/expansion or confirmation would be very welcome. Thank you, -- Infrogmation 17:06, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm not aware of Irish Channel ever being used for the Irish Sea. --Robdurbar 07:16, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks -- but what DOES it refer to, then? Look at "what links here" from Irish Channel. Wondering simply, -- Infrogmation 11:11 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I just went through the "Irish Channel" links and changed the ones I was sure were wrong to Irish Sea. The two I wasn't 100% sure about refered to the North Channel (British Isles) between Northern Ireland and Scotland. It is possible that the phrase "Irish Channel" is sometimes used to refer to this channel, which is part of the Irish Sea, but I have never heard of it. I suggest that we change these links to direct to the North Channel, and then redirect your Irish Channel disamb to Irish Channel, New Orleans. Seabhcán 11:27, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Tunnel Section[edit]

This Irish Sea article is being used to promote a tunnel agenda. (any criticism of said tunnel is ironed out very quickly, and I don't see how Danish bridge projects across much shorter stretches can be compared to a long tunnel) Perhaps the whole tunnel thing should be moved to seperate article.

A "tunnel agenda"??
An anon user added the following:
"However, critics point out that the Channel Tunnel, which links Paris and London, the two largest cities in Europe, has made massive financial losses. It is therefore difficult to see how a much longer tunnel built to link to Ireland, a much smaller economic market, would be profitable."
I think its good to raise the question of financial success, but there are a number of problems with the above paragraph. First, the channel tunnel is a very special case and should not be the sole example given of a tunnel project. It was a privately financed project, which is very unusual. Virtually all major infrastructure projects throughout the world are publically financed. One of the reasons for this is that the benifits of infrastructure are long term and largely political. The debt taken on to pay for the construction needed to be payed back in decades. And while the company who built the channel tunnel will probably go out of business shortly, the tunnel itself will still exist and be used in 500 years. And now that the private financing of tunnel projects has been discredited by the channel tunnel, it is highly unlikely that any Irish sea tunnel would be privately financed.
Also, while the Ireland is a smaller country, the Irish Sea is one of the busiest in the world, and more people fly from Dublin to London than nearly anywhere else (Busiest route in the EU, second in the world). This is largely because other busy inter-island routes (mainly in Japan) have already been bridged. This information is already in the article.
Unless you have a source or reference for your "critics", you could be accused of using weasel words.
Finally, London (~6m) and Paris(~3m) are not "the two largest cities in Europe". Moscow (11m) and Istambul(10m) are. (Thirty most populous cities in the world).
So I changed the paragraph to:
"However, critics point out that the varying success of tunnel projects. The privately financed Channel Tunnel, which links Paris and London, two of the largest cities in Europe, has made massive financial losses. While, government funded projects in Japan and Denmark have been deemed successful."
Seabhcán 09:16, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

"Also, while the Ireland is a smaller country, the Irish Sea is one of the busiest in the world, and more people fly from Dublin to London than nearly anywhere else (Busiest route in the EU, second in the world)."

The English Channel is busier than any Irish Sea crossing, and Paris - London used to be the busiest air route in the EU before the tunnel was built. Despite this, the Channel Tunnel has still made massive losses.

"Finally, London (~6m) and Paris(~3m) are not "the two largest cities in Europe". Moscow (11m) and Istambul(10m) are."

The largest cities in the EU then. It still doesn't take away from the fact that despite the combined populations of France, Belgium and the UK (some 110 million) the Channel Tunnel has not been successful. How anybody could argue that a much longer tunnel linking Ireland and the UK would therefore be successful, is frankly beyond me. Wether it is privately or publically funded is a moot point, experience with the Channel Tunnel shows that the passenger numbers just aren't high enough to justify the investment.

You can't really compare the Danish Oresund link, because it is a much smaller project, and is actually mostly a bridge. And if you are going to say that things have been "deemed a success" then I think you should quote a source.

I really don't think that an article about the Irish Sea should be used as a platform to promote somebody's tunnel pipe dream.

Most of this article is infact about oil exploration, yet no oil is currently pumped from the sea. Is that a pipe dream, should that be in the article? The information on the tunnel simply lists the discussions on the proposal. I am not personally proposing it. The Oresund link is of note here because the company that constructed it, Symonds, approached the Irish Government with a proposal to build a Dublin Holyhead tunnel using the same technology.
You are personally deciding that the sole measure of success is financial. That is your POV. Most infrastructure is not measured in these terms. Are the motorways being build in Ireland measured by financial success? Is the Luas? The Luas cost the taxpayer 700m euro. Someone worked out that if it had to turn a profit ticket prices would have to be about 20 euro. Yet, is it 'successful'? Seabhcán 11:55, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm not saying finance is the only thing that matters. The Luas is definitely successfull in terms of passenger numbers, the Channel Tunnel is not. More people still cross the channel by boat than by tunnel.

The part of this article about oil reservoirs is based on factual Geology about stuff that is actually in the ground.

The tunnel section is also based on factual reports of discussion about the potential for a tunnel. I have not seen published discussion which compares this potential tunnel to the channel tunnel.Seabhcán 13:14, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I haven't seen any reports comparing it to the Oresund Bridge link in Denmark either.
Then you haven't read the linked articles. The Irish Times article of Mon, Dec 29, 97 begins "The cost-cutting technique used to construct the Oresund link has been suggested for the proposed Irish sea tunnel". Seabhcán 14:23, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Hehe, the Oresund Tunnel is two miles long, and it's 50 miles from Rosslare to Fishguard. Then of course we have the need for a horrendously expensive 230 mile high speed rail link from Fishguard to London as well as a 90 mile high speed link from Rosslare to Dublin. Total distance: 370 miles, or 592 kilometres. With a non-stop TGV travelling at an average of 275 km/hr through the entire trip (very optimistic), including through the tunnel (very optimistic), we're still looking at 2 hours and 10 minutes from Dublin to London, which aircraft can beat hands down and for a lower fare. Indeed, the idea of a tunnel has been rubbished by various government ministers, both British and Irish, due to it being an economical and practical white elephant. The Feb. 2004 Irish Times link you provides confirms this. Government investigations concluded that there was no economic case at all, let alone a "strong economic case" as you put it. 17:02, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
You obviously have a very strong objection to this proposal. I suggest you write a letter of complaint to the people making the proposal. Wikipedia is not the place to air your objections. Seabhcán 17:17, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
No, you state that there is a "strong economic case." I disagree, and numerous government studies do too. "The technical assistance committee concluded that an Irish Sea tunnel was unlikely to generate adequate revenues to remunerate costs in the foreseeable future and that financial assistance should not be provided for the proposed feasibility study. This information was conveyed to the company concerned in June 1998." - Taken from the Daill Eireann link you provided (1999).
Ok. fair enough. Go ahead and change it. Seabhcán 20:24, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I've put in that it's not economically feasible "as yet", because I too would love to see it built, some day. :)
Good edit. Thanks. Seabhcán 08:30, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Offensive Political Term[edit]

I've just come from Islands of the North Atlantic. Is this still an appropriate name in that context? If not, what should it be: British/Welsh/Scottish/Manx Sea all seem unexceptable, and the mind boggles as to variations on the "Sea in the North Atlantic Islands". --User:Jimfbleak, June 2003

I believe many Welsh people find this term "Irish Sea" offensive, and it is not used in the Welsh Assembly. The article should reflect this. What we have here is a naked example of republican politicization of a purely geographical feature. I'll have you know that many of the fish swimming in this so-called "Irish" sea are in fact protestant.--feline1 09:57, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
The fish being protestant doesn't preclude them from being Irish. What a sectarian rationale!--Damac 11:07, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Since Ireland has a load of water round the back end of it, why can't the Irish make that their sea? Wales is entirely surrounded by this "Irish" sea and I heard Plaid Cymru are gonna appeal to the European Court of Human Rights about it. Also have we no sensitivity for the people of the Isle of Man at all? This neo-imperialist Irish crypto-überism is really a disgrace.--feline1 11:13, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree, down with political offensiveness. It should be called the English Sea. It is clearly a sea designed to keep the English out of Ireland. Seabhcán 18:51, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Didn't work so well now, did it? :) zoney talk 22:32, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
True. How about the "Unfortunately narrow sea" Seabhcán 11:20, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Could we have a reference for this rather than "I believe etc." --sony-youthpléigh 23:29, 18 May 2007 (UTC)


Smiled when I saw this...

"Despite the pollution, there is still plenty of interesting flora and fauna to be seen."

Am I the only one who'd love to add "such as the lovely radioactive lobsters and oysters".

Yes, yes, it's exaggerating things a bit. I still wouldn't want to eat such things from the Irish Sea, the pollution levels on the West coast (Atlantic) just being that much lower.

zoney talk 22:31, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Failed "good article" nomination[edit]

This article failed good article nomination. This is how the article, as of January 20, 2018, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: The headings should follow a more thematic or chronological order. Origin first, then history (like shipping), notable incidents... It's current order is a bit random. Also, subheadings should be more than one paragraph long. If there is not sufficient information for more than one paragraph, it should be merged into a relevant heading. And does "U-Boat" need it's own sub-heading? It could probably be developed into a history section.
2. Factually accurate?: The article is well-referenced overall, although there are a paragraph or statistic here and there that are unsourced.
3. Broad in coverage?: Some expansion needed in the aforementioned areas.
4. Neutral point of view?: Looks pretty good in this area. Great job.
5. Article stability? Not bad here.
6. Images?: One nice picture. A couple more wouldn't hurt, and as for the existing pic, the image's tag is obsolete.

When these issues are addressed, the article can be resubmitted for consideration. Thanks for your work so far. --Esprit15d 20:37, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Territorial waters[edit]

Anyone have any idea how the territorial waters work out in the Irish Sea? Obviously, everyone gets their 12 nm around their own coast, but does the UK claim any sort of archipelagic extension based on the Isle of Man?

-- Tom Anderson 2007-05-02 19:46 +0100 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:46, 2 May 2007 (UTC).

The Isle of Man Government is a self-governing UK Dependency and has its own 12-mile territorial waters, which I understand it pays the UK's Royal Navy to patrol. The UK 12-mile limit from Northern Ireland overlaps with that of the UK 12-mile limit from Scotland to cover the whole of the North Channel. The 200-mile exclusive economic zone of the UK overlaps in the Irish Sea with that of the Republic of Ireland to produce an agreed marine border along the median line of the Irish Sea.

Remember that the Isle of Man is nearer to the coast of Co Down in Northern Ireland than that of Co Louth in the Republic of Ireland. Aughnadarragh 14:11, 1 August 2007 (UTC)


I have edited the Environment section in an attempt to provide a more comprehensive description of the impact of discharges from Sellafield on the environment. I am aware that the environment of this area is not solely informed by radioactive discharges from Sellafield, but it does appear to be the highest profile of influences so I think more detail on this specific subject is warranted.

I have removed some subjects that the previous revision only touched upon, on the basis that they seemed to consist only of “may be” and “possibly” which doesn’t seem particularly encyclopaedic to me.

I also think that there was an element of listing nuclear related installations located on the west coast of Great Britain without stating their relevance to the environment so I have removed these. On the same principle of limited relative impact I have removed mention of Chernobyl and Irish sources of contamination. All of these inevitably have some contribution but my research indicates that compared to Sellafield they are comparatively negligible. I will endeavour to cite sources here if anyone feels there is sufficient cause to challenge this.

The use of scare quotes in the previous version to imply reservations about the statement that radioactive levels were safe seems inappropriate to me given that evidence seems to prove quite conclusively that they are indeed safe (certainly as far as the Irish population is concerned and certainly for everyone in terms of limits on exposure set by the EU). I am aware that the final paragraph might read like a defence of the nuclear industry. It is not meant to be. I include it as an attempt to put the issue into some perspective. The information is almost entirely sourced from the reports published by each body charged by their respective governments with monitoring radioactivity in this environment. The only exception is the UK figure for average annual dose, sourced from a different report in order to match the information provided by the Irish.

Finally, I am new to Wikipedia so if I have perpetrated any errors of style, formatting, etiquette etc please forgive me and please help me to get it right. --FactotEm 12:01, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Would "Environment" be the appropriate heading for content on the biodiversity of the Irish Sea and its conservation? Or might that be better under a 'Biodiversity' sub-heading with the current content of 'Environment' under "Pollution" with a sub-heading of "Radioactive Effluent? Aughnadarragh 13:53, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

How about making what I am assuming will be new content on biodiversity the main 'Environment' content and creating an Environment sub-heading of 'Radioactive Contamination' for the existing content? --FactotEm 14:36, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposed biodiversity text (lacking references as yet); derived from a summary of existing text I contributed to the website of The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside.

The most accessible and possibly the greatest wildlife resource of the Irish Sea lies in its estuaries: particularly the Dee Estuary, the Mersey Estuary, the Ribble Estuary, Morecambe Bay, the Solway Firth, Loch Ryan, the Firth of Clyde, Belfast Lough, Strangford Lough, Carlingford Lough, Dundalk Bay, Dublin Bay and the Wexford Slobs. However, lots of wildlife also depends on the cliffs, saltmarshes and sand dunes of the adjoining shores, the seabed and the open sea itself.

The information on the invertebrates of the seabed of the Irish Sea is rather patchy because it's difficult to survey such a large area, where underwater visibility is often poor and information often depends on looking at material brought up from the seabed in mechanical grabs. However, as one might expect, the groupings of animals present depend to a large extent on whether the seabed is composed of rock, boulders, gravel, sand, mud or even peat. In the soft sediments seven types of community have been provisionally identified, variously dominated by brittle-stars, sea urchins, worms, mussels, tellins, furrow-shells, and tower-shells.

Parts of the bed of the Irish Sea are very rich in wildlife. The seabed southwest of the Isle of Man is particularly noted for its rarities and diversity, as are the horse mussel beds of Strangford Lough, Co Down. Scallops and queen scallops are found in more gravely areas. In the estuaries, where the bed is more sandy or muddy, the number of species is smaller but the size of their populations is larger. Brown shrimps, cockles and edible mussels support local fisheries in Morecambe Bay and the Dee Estuary and the estuaries are also important as nurseries for flatfish, herring and sea bass. Muddy seabeds in deeper waters are home to populations of the Dublin Bay prawn, also known as "scampi".

The open sea is a complex habitat in its own right, though one that is entirely alien to us and consequently hard to understand. It exists in three spatial dimensions and also varies over time and tide. For example, where freshwater flows into the Irish Sea in river estuaries its influence can extend far offshore as the freshwater is lighter and "floats" on top of the much larger body of saltwater until wind and temperature changes mix it in. Similarly, warmer water is less dense and seawater warmed in the inter-tidal zone may "float" on the colder offshore water. The amount of light penetrating the seawater also varies with depth and turbidity. This leads to differing populations of plankton in different parts of the sea and varying communities of animals that feed on these populations. However, increasing seasonal storminess leads to greater mixing of water and tends to break down these divisions, which are more apparent when the weather is calm for long periods.

Plankton includes viruses, bacteria, plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) that drift in the sea. Most are microscopic, but some - such as the various species of jellyfish and sea-gooseberry - can be much bigger.

Diatoms and dinoflagellates dominate the phytoplankton. Although they are microscopic plants, diatoms have hard shells and dinoflagellates have little tails that propel them through the water. Phytoplankton populations in the Irish Sea have a spring "bloom" every April and May, when the seawater is generally at its greenest.

Crustaceans, especially copepods, dominate the zooplankton. However, many animals of the seabed, the open sea and the seashore spend their juvenile stages as part of the zooplankton. The whole plankton "soup" is vitally important, directly or indirectly, as a food source for most species in the Irish Sea, even the largest. The enormous Basking Shark, for example, lives entirely on plankton and the Leatherback Turtle's main food is jellyfish.

A colossal diversity of invertebrate species lives in the Irish Sea and its surrounding coastline, ranging from flower-like fan-worms to predatory swimming-crabs to large chameleon-like cuttlefish. Some of the most significant for other wildlife are the reef-building species like the inshore Horse Mussel of Strangford Lough, Co. Down and the inter-tidal Honeycomb Worm of Morecambe Bay, Cumbria and Lancashire. These build up large structures over many years and, in turn, provide surfaces, nooks and crannies where other marine animals and plants may become established and live out some or all of their lives.

There are quite regular records of live and stranded Leatherback Turtle in and around the Irish Sea. This species travels north to the waters off the British Isles every year following the swarms of jellyfish that form its prey. Loggerhead Turtle, Ridley's Turtle and Green Turtle are found very occasionally in the Irish Sea but are generally unwell or dead when discovered. They have strayed or been swept out of their natural range further south into our colder waters.

The estuaries of the Irish Sea are of international importance for birds. They are vital feeding grounds on migration flyways for shorebirds travelling between the Arctic and Africa. Others depend on their milder climate as a refuge when continental Europe is in the grip of winter.

Twenty-one species of seabird are reported as regularly nesting on beaches or cliffs around the Irish Sea.

Huge populations of the sea duck, Common Scoter, spend winters feeding in shallow waters off eastern Ireland, Lancashire and North Wales.

Whales, dolphins and porpoises all frequent the Irish Sea, but our knowledge of how many there may be and where they go is somewhat sketchy. About a dozen species have been recorded since 1980, but only three are seen fairly often. These are the Harbour Porpoise, Bottlenose Dolphin and Common Dolphin. The more rarely seen species are Minke Whale, Fin Whale, Sei Whale, Sperm Whale, Northern Bottlenose Whale, Long-finned Pilot Whale, Killer Whale or Orca, White-beaked Dolphin, Striped Dolphin and Risso's Dolphin.

The Common or Harbour Seal and the Grey Seal are both resident in the Irish Sea. Common seals breed in Strangford Lough, Co Down, grey seals in south west Wales and, in small numbers, on the Isle of Man. Grey Seals haul out, but do not breed, off the islands of Hilbre, Wirral, Merseyside and Walney, Barrow-in-Furness Borough, Cumbria.

Aughnadarragh 15:55, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Looks great to me. I encourage you to add it in to the article. --FactotEm 16:12, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Cities and Towns[edit]

The populations given in this table are pretty meaningless. Dublin has not got 500,000 people it has 1,500,000 or something (see Dublin). The borders of the county pretty well define the City of Dublin as it is commonly spoken of and understood - I live in Sandyford which is part of "Dun Laoghaire" according to this table (or maybe not - where does that figure come from?) but anybody asked "where is Sandyford (or Blackrock)" would say "Dublin". Maybe delete the table if it can't be made more meaning full. And Liverpool 400,000 people? I thought it had 3 million or something? (Sarah777 10:46, 16 November 2007 (UTC))

Liverpool is a smaller city than Dublin in city, metro and urban measures but you are correct. Measuring by city limits is silly because different cities have different city council boundaries for political reasons and they are by no means a measure of the population of the city as a whole. Dublin's urban area is 1.1 million and its metro area is 1.8 million, according to its wikipedia page. It would probably be most sensible to choose the 1.1 million figure because the "urban" measure is the most common practice on wikipedia and encyclopaedias in general. It's kind of indicative of the Irish inferiority complex to assume Liverpool is a larger city by default. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:12, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Irish Sea Tunnel[edit]

I made a new Irish Sea Tunnel so the stuff in here that isn't really relvant I removed. Anyone apart from Tangerine have a problem with that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alien from brixton (talkcontribs) 20:25, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

I have no problem at all with your adding content and a new article to wikipedia. However, you have competely removed a whole sourced section from this article without explaining why you have done so, until finally you left a message in here. Initially you provided no edit summary and then after I mentioned this on your talk page you left an edit summary just stating "removed section" but not why again. Without knowing why you were removing content it was/is difficult to know why you were doing so. Providing edit summaries helps other users to understand edits. I have though explained that if you wish to edit the section and remove anything that is not relevant that would be fine. However, just because you have created the Irish Sea Tunnel] article that is not a valid reason to simply remove the content from here. I will not be reverting your last edit, but I would ask you one last time to restore the section. Thank you.♦Tangerines♦·Talk 20:32, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
all the stuff that was in the section is now in the article if it is any good, some of it i moved but not the sources -- rtf article. btw, you can't sepll Irish Sea Tunnel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alien from brixton (talkcontribs) 20:34, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Creating an article is fine. However, what you have done is remove virtually all mention of the discussion about the tunnel from this article and replaced it with a very short unsourced sentence. Despite your thinking it was "crap", the content was sourced and is relevant to this article. As I have already explained to you, the way to deal with this was to edit the section, to remove and parts that were not relevant to the Irish Sea and put a link to the Irish Sea Tunnel article, but not to simply remove a whole sourced section simply because you believe it to be (in your own words) crap. I will be adding the tunnel section back into this article with a "main page" link to the article you created. I would ask you not to remove it again.♦Tangerines♦·Talk 20:43, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
You will not. It is not relevant to I trimmed it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alien from brixton (talkcontribs) 20:46, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
As I have already said the section is relevant to this srticle and should not simply be removed and replaced with a short sentence that does not even link to the Irish Sea Tunnel article which is a good addition, however there still needs to be discussion of the tunnel within this article. There is a big difference between trimming the section and simply removinf it, which is what you did. And I added the "main article" link.♦Tangerines♦·Talk 20:51, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Not really I did some research on Irish Sea Tunnel and it's not really relevant beacuse it's speculative and furutistic —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alien from brixton (talkcontribs) 20:55, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

The section seems relevant and sourced to me so I've put it back. --NeilN talkcontribs 06:09, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Alien from brixton, before you revert again please take note of the three revert rule. Thanks. --NeilN talkcontribs 06:13, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

It's not relevant it just needs a sentence, and anyway it's wrong. It goes on about there being an economic case for a link when really there is none it's just a lot of hot air. Alien from brixton (talk) 18:33, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Discussion of any proposed tunnel is pertinent to this article and a summary section should be contained in this article and linked to the main article using {{main}}. --sony-youthpléigh 19:13, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Please provide sources stating that "it's wrong" and that it's "just a lot of hot air". If you cannot and revert again, I will report you to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/3RR. --NeilN talkcontribs 20:02, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

I say it's wrong and I know more than you. It says that there is an economic case by just flinging around without figures about current commuinications without considering how to build it properly and how to finance it. It just an editor with a pipe dream. Alien from brixton (talk) 20:58, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

What about cutting this piece?

There could be an economic case for such a link. The Irish sea is one of the busiest shipping regions in the world and has the world's largest car ferry—Irish Ferries Ulysses.[31] In addition, half of the air traffic at Dublin Airport is to Britain, with 8,300,000 passengers per annum. The Dublin-London air route is the busiest in the European Union and the second busiest in the world, with about 50 daily flights and 4.5 million passengers per annum. The success of the 15 km Oresund Bridge, inaugurated in 2000 and linking Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark, which has led to important economic integration between the two cities, suggests that the Dublin–Holyhead route may be the most promising.[32] With the addition of High-speed rail, such a tunnel could cut journey times from the northern English cities of Liverpool and Manchester to Dublin to under an hour. The combined population of the three metropolitan areas is over 5 million. The line would probably be built to standard gauge, which is narrower than the Irish broad gauge, meaning that onward trains would have to use variable gauge axles, or some Irish lines would have to be regauged to standard gauge or dual gauge to overcome the resultant break of gauge.

--NeilN talkcontribs 21:12, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

"It just an editor with a pipe dream." - agree. There is a serious issue with neutral point of view and verifiability in the section as it is currently written. This is a case for a serious re-write backed up by sources (not it's complete removal). --sony-youthpléigh 10:28, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Which is what I have been saying all along. This article should still retain some discussion of a tunnel as it is 100% relevant. I've no idea who wrote the tunnel section but editing it is what should be done and not the whole section removed.♦Tangerines♦·Talk 14:06, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I've cut the speculative text out but feel free to revert/change what I did. --NeilN talkcontribs 14:20, 5 February 2008 (UTC)


Just wanted to point out Republic of Ireland is the flag of the Republic of Ireland; not the island of Ireland. Trust me folks, there's a big difference. GoodDay (talk) 16:50, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Concur. For the sake of consistency either we change the link to Republic of Ireland or we pipe Ireland to that page. I have no preference, but considering the the previous protests that Ireland is the name of the state, I would suppose the latter is preferable. Rockpocket 17:00, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Agree.Traditional unionist (talk) 17:01, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
The state is called Ireland. RoI is a dab/description. Period. Thus consistency requires the use of Ireland. QED. Sarah777 (talk) 17:05, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
That argument belongs at Talk:Ireland. If and when that article describes the country rather than the island, then we should link to it. Until then, we link to the article that describes the country whatever it may be named on Wikipedia, either piped or not. Rockpocket 17:10, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

We can not use Republic of Ireland for Ireland (the whole island), until & if the island is re-united. GoodDay (talk) 17:12, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Indeed we cannot. That flag represents the state, not the Island. Using it to represent the island cannot meet verification.Traditional unionist (talk) 17:22, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
It represents the whole island, because Ireland as in RoI owns all the seas and territorial waters around the coast of the island. So, it is the correct flag. (talk) 17:30, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Nope, not the correct flag. GoodDay (talk) 17:33, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Ignore the IP. Its just GH trolling again. The flag discussion is a red herring. Irrespective of whether it should or should not represent the Island. We should not be representing the Island in the link, it should link to the country as we have with the other countries bordering the seas. Rockpocket 17:36, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Personally, I believe England, Wales & Northern Ireland should be using this flag United Kingdom, to show equality with the Republic of Ireland. -- GoodDay (talk) 18:03, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Seems to me like people are confusing the name of the state - which is "Ireland" - and the name of the article - which is "Republic of Ireland". The article is only named "Republic of Ireland" to avoid confusion - not as an indication that it a valid or correct term. It is perfectly correct to use Republic of Ireland for Ireland - in fact, that's exactly the only perfectly correct use in the English language. --Bardcom (talk) 19:10, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Btw, I'm not implying that the flag is used to represent the whole of Ireland. Different argument. I'm just correcting the terminology being used in the argument. Although if anon IP is correct about Ireland (state) owning all the seas, etc, the I wouldn't see the problem with using the flag... --Bardcom (talk) 19:12, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
The pipelink to the Republic of Ireland articles, is best. GoodDay (talk) 19:15, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, an elegant solution. See what can be achieved when reasonable folk like my humble self get involved? Sarah777 (talk) 20:04, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

I removed the flags altogether. The use of Image:NIShape.gif as a flag stand-in is especially in violation of Wikipedia:Manual of Style (flags) (section 2.7), and really, per section 2.5, there really isn't any big need to use any of them in this small table. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:17, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Great move User:Andrwsc. You have my 100% support; surely, for the good of the project, when flags are both troublesome and totally unnecessary we should leave them out. Sarah777 (talk) 19:09, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
(User:Andy is someone else.) — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 19:11, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
My apologies. Sarah777 (talk) 21:51, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
No worries. Serves me right for picking an obscure combination of letters for my username a couple of years ago, and 50,000 edits later, it's too late to change. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs)

Objections to the name[edit]

I often wondered. Do the British object to the name Irish Sea (as the Irish are claimed to object to British Isles)? Does anybody have any citations for it? If so, should it be added to this article? GoodDay (talk) 16:57, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Living in Blackpool on the Irish Sea coast, I must say that I have never seen nor heard of any such objection. It has always been the Irish Sea to me and I've never thought to object and nor would I. There may well be someone, somewhere who objects but I doubt it would be anything significiant enough to be mentioned, I wouldn't have thought. Thanks. ♦Tangerines♦·Talk 17:17, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree. I too am not a million miles away from it and have never heard of any objections to the name. Bear in mind that Ireland has not always been independent which may have some bearing on the issue. CrispMuncher (talk) 17:33, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Living in Dublin I feel ashamed that we appear the be claiming ownership of the Isle of Man. I have some very happy memories of that place, the crack was ninety there. But I think the sea was christened back when we were all British so there may not be any Imperial implications. But if you folk want to rename it the Blackpool Sea I'd have no problem with that. After all, "Dublin" is Vikingish for "black pool". Sarah777 (talk) 22:15, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Unless I'm very much mistaken, "Irish Sea" means the sea you sail to get to Ireland, in the same way that Dublin Road, anywhere in Ireland, is the road to Dublin. It does not imply ownership. That's also why, in Irish, it's called the Man Sea (Muir Meann). So it's a red herring, I'm afraid, GoodDay. Scolaire (talk) 23:09, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, I wonder if women living on the Isle of Man are offended by that Isle's name? giggle. Anyways, I'll leave the content here (and at British Isles) to others, to argue over. GoodDay (talk) 23:12, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

They don't, because that's what it's bloody called. No political agenda there at all. Irish republicans take note. Jonchapple (talk) 12:30, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Largest island[edit]

The lead section claims that the Isle of Man is the biggest island in the Irish Sea, but I would have thought that was Anglesey. Am I missing something? -- Avenue (talk) 09:25, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Taken care of. Well spotted.MusicInTheHouse (talk) 09:51, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Is Anglesea in the Irish Sea, or just surrounded by it on three sides? I suppoe it depends on whether the Menai Strait is considered part of the Irish Sea. Wardog (talk) 09:51, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
The Menai Strait is not a river - it's an arm of the sea. Bazonka (talk) 16:48, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Cumbric name?[edit]

I propose removing the Cumbric language name for the Irish Sea. Cumbric is an extinct language not spoken since the 12th century. There is very little written evidence of Cumbric, so the name as stated in the article would, I assume, be someone's attempt at "re-creating" a Cumbric variant for the term. There is also no reference for the source of the term, indicating Original Research in my opinion. Thoughts anyone? --MacTire02 (talk) 12:47, 15 May 2009 (UTC)


Should some mention be made of Chester in this article? - either as one of the "surrounding towns", or elsewhere. Historically (especially before the growth of Liverpool) Chester was a major port for trade and invasions from England across the Irish Sea - see History of Chester#Middle Ages - although subsequently the Dee estuary silted up. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:19, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

"Manx Sea"[edit]

The original claim made in this edit was that "its name in Manx and Irish translates as "Mann Sea" or "Manx Sea"." That's true, but that is not the same by any means as saying that the Irish Sea is also known as the Mann Sea or Manx Sea in the English language. I don't see any evidence that the Irish Sea as a whole is known by those terms in the English language, although it may be true of the waters around the Isle of Man specifically. Can anyone provide any sources that show that the Irish Sea as a whole is also known in the English language as the Mann Sea or Manx Sea? Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:45, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Yes, and I've just inserted one. Perhaps it is a matter of undue weight - maybe the name should be moved elsewhere, but certainly not removed. Mac Tíre Cowag 18:17, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Interesting that that source claims that another alternative name is the "Celtic Sea" - which is certainly not true as the Celtic Sea is a quite different area. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:21, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Doesn't seem reliable to me, due to that monumental error. Bazonka (talk) 18:23, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Many's the time I have read materials from such reputable organisations such as the Times, the Irish Times, Encyclopaedia Brittanica (e.g. here) which have been questionable or dubious. Do we therefore scrap these organisations' material as reliable sources? Yes, the term Celtic Sea as a synonym for the Irish Sea is questionable, but that does not mean the other two (Mann Sea, Manx Sea) are questionable. The organisation in question is no dubious organisation - it is indeed a reputable organisation with financial support having been obtained from various departments and organisations such as Defra. While I personally have no other sources for "Mann Sea", "Manx Sea" is also attested as a name for the Irish Sea in The Birds of the British Isles: Volume 12 (1963) by David Armitage Bannerman (pp. 84) and in The Caledonian: Volume 4 (1903) (pp. 25). Mac Tíre Cowag 20:46, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I have reinserted "Manx Sea" as an alternative name for the "Irish Sea" and provided 3 references for such. If there are any problems with this please let me know and I can revert. Mac Tíre Cowag 13:54, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I still feel that using the wording "also known as the Manx Sea" may give a slightly misleading impression to people with less knowledge of the area. I'm still not convinced that it is ever used to cover an area wider than that immediately around the IoM (one or two of your sources aren't really clear on that) - and, even if it is, it is only used occasionally and rarely. I'd be more comfortable with changing "also known as..." to "also referred to, rarely, as..." - or similar. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:11, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Well certainly it is not a common name used to refer to the Irish Sea. I'm not entirely sure how it should be worded so as do avoid undue weight. If you can think of a better way to phrase it, or a better place to locate it, then by all means fire ahead. I'm not a proponent of any sort of renaming - however I also don't believe in deleting information either. Regarding the Caledonian reference, the quote used is given in a historical context and therefore does not specify whether it is the entire Irish Sea in question or not: however, it can certainly be inferred from the context. The sentence reads: "...whether north of the Highland line or west of the Manx Sea...", i.e. referring to the Gaels of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. The Atlas reference refers to the "...presence [of the great auk] in the Manx Sea..." referring to its presence throughout that maritime area. There is a further reference to the "Manx Sea" in Fossil Shells from Wexford and Manxland (1919) by Alfred Bell in The Irish Naturalist Vol. 28, No. 10 where he refers to "the Wexford-Manx Sea" - that is hardly in Manx waters, though I do not have a copy of that at hand to read the context. Mac Tíre Cowag 15:00, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Ok - my only thought it should be flagged up in some way as a term used only rarely, to avoid confusing readers from other parts of the world. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:03, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. I inserted it in as it was similar to how it had been used in the previous version (which included Mann Sea). However, I'm not sure how to reword it in such a way as to show that it is only rarely used, and even at that references to it are mostly from historical documents. Perhaps without the bold type and inside the brackets, separated by a semi-colon from the "native" languages section? Mac Tíre Cowag 15:07, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
In my view it needs to be taken out of the lede entirely because that gives it far too much prominence there - it can go elsewhere if you can find where it fits elegantly. Is this one of the four or five facts the reader needs to know immediately in order to put the whole article into context? No... as noted above the case is not overwhelming that it is an English name in the first place, so how many readers are going to come to the article expecting a discussion by an alternate name?
There are times and places for being inclusive but the lede here is not one of them: throwig an alternative name in straight away serves to distract rather than inform the reader for the benefit of a fringe term used by approximately nobody. Crispmuncher (talk) 15:20, 8 July 2011 (UTC).
Your logic would also therefore include removing the names of the sea in the other languages. Regarding readers coming here expecting a discussion of the name...well the reason they would come here is to learn about the topic at hand. I agree that the positioning is not great, but I fail to see how, considering there is no other alternative section, creating an entire section for a single sentence is good enough either. Although, perhaps a case could be made here for doing just that and moving the names for the sea in other languages into that section, thereby preventing the lede free from "[distracting] rather than [informing] the reader". Thoughts? Mac Tíre Cowag 15:38, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I've tweaked the text so that the refs are still there, but less upfront. Better? I think setting up a new section specifically for alternative names would give them even more undue weight. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:45, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes that does look a bit better all right. As for the new section, you're probably right about that. Let's leave it at that for the moment and see how it holds up. Mac Tíre Cowag 15:54, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm happy with the words and their placement, but the bold text seems to give it undue weight. Bazonka (talk) 16:53, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
See MOS:BOLDTITLE: "If the subject of the page has ... more than one name ... each additional name should be in boldface on its first appearance." Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:49, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Who named the Irish Sea, and when?[edit]

I visited the article to find out who named the sea, and when. My previously unquestioned assumption was that it was named by seafarers (Britons or Continentals) to designate the body of water that conveyed them to Ireland, but it would be interesting to find confirmation of the actual source of the name, if this information is reliably recorded. — O'Dea (talk) 21:20, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Geology and depths?[edit]

I was seeking depths of the Irish Sea after learning that Ireland separated from Great Britain 2,500 years before Great Britain separated from the Continent. There is not mention of the sea's structure or its depths anywhere in this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Westcider (talkcontribs) 13:11, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Towns on the coast of the Irish Sea[edit]

The following towns are not on the coast of the Irish Sea:

  • Belfast - in Belfast Lough, which flows into the North Channel
  • Bangor - in Belfast Lough, which flows into the North Channel
  • Carrickfergus - in Belfast Lough, which flows into the North Channel
  • Larne - on the coast of the North Channel, which flows into the Irish Sea
  • Wexford - on the coast of the St George's channel

I haven't looked at the islands listed in the table below it.

-- (talk) 02:56, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

In relation to Belfast, Bangor, Carrickfergus and Larne, I think you are correct in so far as they are located beyond the northern limit of the Irish Sea as defined by the IHO. Wexford is north of Carnsore Point, so is within the definition; but Ramsey Island is south of St David's Head so is outside the definition. However, Belfast, for example, is commonly regarded as an Irish Sea port (for example here). I think the solution for those ports is to add a note in the table to explain that they are located outside the IHO definition, but are commonly regarded as being on the Irish Sea more loosely defined. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:35, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

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