New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the number of vessels arriving in Irish ports last year rose by 7% on 2020 levels.
The gross tonnage of all arriving vessels in 2021 also increased by 7%, the CSO said.
Irish ports handled nearly 54 million tonnes of goods in 2021, an increase of 5% compared with 2020.
The CSO said that goods forwarded from Irish ports amounted to 17.4 million tonnes in 2021, while a total of 36.5 million tonnes of goods were received.
Today's CSO figures also show that over one million passengers passed through Irish ports last year, a jump of 25% compared with 2020.
The CSO noted that Great Britain & Northern Ireland accounted for 31% of the total tonnage of goods handled in Irish ports last year, while other EU countries accounted for 42%.
Dublin port accounted for 61% of all vessel arrivals in Irish ports, while Dublin port also accounted for 47% of the total tonnage of goods handled in the fourth quarter of 2021
On a quarterly basis, the CSO said the total number of vessels arriving at Irish ports in the fourth quarter of 2021 decreased by 2% when compared with the same time in 2020.
Bantry Bay, Drogheda, Dublin and Waterford ports saw a decrease in the total number of vessels arriving during the last three months of 2021. But Rosslare, Shannon Foynes and Cork saw an increase in the total number of vessels arriving.