New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that six of the seven main Irish ports handled 12.1 million tonnes of goods in the first quarter of this year - a decrease of 5.2% compared with the same time last year.

Goods forwarded from these ports amounted to 4 million tonnes, while a total of 8.1 million tonnes of goods were received. 

The ports covered in today's figures include Dublin, Bantry, Cork, Drogheda, Shannon and Waterford. Rosslare is not included in the figures. 

The CSO said the total number of vessels arriving in the six Irish ports included in today's figures decreased by 147 (5.7%) in the first three months of the year, while the gross tonnage of all vessels arring fell by 3.1% to 50,992 tonnes. 

Dublin Port accounted for 73.6% of all vessel arrivals in Irish ports and 53% of the total tonnage of goods handled in the first quarter of the year.

The UK and Northern Ireland accounted for 38% of the total tonnage of goods handled in the main ports by region of trade, while other EU countries accounted for 35.1%. 

Irish ports also handled 226,000 passengers in the first quarter of 2020, with the vast majority of these passengers having travelled to or from the UK.