Blue Crises in the Irish Sea: Coastal Communities in Ireland and Wales

  • Jonathan Evershed (Speaker)
  • Jones, R. (Speaker)
  • Merriman, P. (Speaker)
  • Rita Singer (Speaker)
  • Aoife Dowling (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The interconnected blue crises of the Irish sea are fierce and manifold: Brexit, COVID-19, climate change, social inequalities, shifts in the economic life of ports and changing identities all clustered and combined. This panel takes an experimental multi-perspective and multi-disciplinary approach to exploring the theme of blue crisis through the lens of Ports, Past and Present, a European Regional Development project funded through the Ireland Wales Cooperative Programme.

Crisis in the Irish Sea co-exists with continuity. There has been a movement of people between Ireland and Britain for thousands of years, journeys motivated by war, trade, religion and family, often experienced as a routine part of life on neighbouring islands. The ports on both sides of the Irish sea know this history. The water has played a historic role in shaping and mediating conflicted relationships within and between the archipelago, and its basin has long had its own stories to tell about conflict and trauma; colonisation and decolonisation; travel and migration; and environmental change. These complexities continue to the present, ever-changing.

Ports, Past and Present considers five ports and their communities on either side of the sea: Dublin, Rosslare, Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke Dock. Each port is unique in its history, identity, and environs and yet belongs to an Irish Sea region with a shared story. The narratives of the region are both created from and supersede these boundaries, spanning the water and stretching into the wider stories of Wales and the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and a dense confluence of European and global connections.

The crises facing these ports can only be told through a prism consisting of multiple voices, and the plural activities and approaches taken by the project will be captured through a series of linked narratives from academics, professionals, community stakeholders and creative artists.
Period30 Jun 2021
Event titleMARE2021: People & the Sea Conference
Event typeConference
LocationNetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Wales
  • Ireland
  • Irish Sea
  • Blue Crisis
  • Tourism
  • Migration
  • Heritage
  • Coastal heritage
  • Brexit
  • Infrastructure
  • Mobility