Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney has inspect the 7,000-tonne cargo ship, which ran aground at Rossaveal Harbour in Connemara this morning.

He was given an update on the situation by Harbour Master John Donnelly.

A tugboat is due to arrive in Rossaveal around midnight and the towing operation is expected to begin at high tide tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, members of the Coastguard have been laying booms around the ship to prevent pollution in the event of an oil leak.

The 120-metre long ship, the ‘Pantanal’, ran aground on rocks near the Rossaveal shoreline at around 5am. There are 14 crew on board.

The ship, which is German-owned, arrived yesterday to pick up two small passenger ferries, which have been sold to a buyer in Mauritius.

The boats were owned by local businessman Jimmy Clancy whose company went into receivership.