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MV Madeleine (Ex Leinster/Isle of Inishmore (1981)) – Past and Present

IMO number: 7915228

MV Madeleine

ex Isle of Inishturk, Isle of Inishmore, Leinster

© Yvon Maurice

© Yvon Maurice

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1981 at Verolme Cork Dockyards Ltd, Cork, Ireland (Yard No 979) Passenger and Vehicle/RoRo ferry for the B&I Steam Packet Co, Dublin, Ireland

Technical Data

  • Length: 122.05m (overall), 111.99 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 18.83m (extreme), 18.51m (overall)
  • Depth: 12.55m
  • Draught: 4.995 m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 6,807 – 9,796 gross/3,320 net/ 1310t (deadweight)
  • Engines: Four  Oil 4SA 8 – cylinder MaK 8MU551AK diesels.
  • Power: 13240 kW/18000 bhp
  • Speed: 20 knots
  • Capacity: 1,500 passengers, 326 cars/39 trailers
  • Call Sign: EIQB, VCRG
  • MMSI Number: 316003239
  • IMO number: 7915228
  • Official Number (LR 1992 – 93): 402151
  • Registry: Dublin/Irish Rep 🇮🇪, Ottawa/Canada 🇨🇦
  • Sister-ships: Connacht (955)



One of a pair of ferries built at Verolme Cork Dockyards. Her sister being, at the time, the largest ferry to fly the Irish flag.

November 7th 1980: Launched as LEINSTER.

© Fotoflite © Fotoflite 

© Fotoflite

June 1981: Delivered to B&I Steam Packet Co, Dublin, Ireland.

© John Hendy

© John Hendy (Mersey, July 1981)

July 3rd 1981: Maiden voyage between Dublin – Liverpool.

Chantry Classic Postcard

March 1982: Commenced service between Dublin – Holyhead.

November 7th 1984: Berthing trials in Dun Laoghaire.

1986: Registered to B+I Line PLC, Dublin, Ireland. Livery change.

© Robbie Cox

© Robbie Cox (Dublin, 29/03/1987)

January 6th 1988: Maiden voyage Dublin – Holyhead.

© John Hendy © John Hendy  

© John Hendy (@ Holyhead)

November 22nd 1990: Suffered engine failure when arriving in Dublin.

November 28th 1990: Returned to service.

© Aubrey Dale © Aubrey Dale 

© Aubrey Dale (1990) (Both)

February 1991: Special survey.

© Aubrey Dale © Aubrey Dale 

© Aubrey Dale (1991) (Both)

© Aubrey Dale © Aubrey Dale 

© Aubrey Dale (1992) (Both)

© Mike Griffiths  

© Mike Griffiths

© Mike Griffiths

1993: Registered to B&I Line Ltd, Dublin, Ireland. Major refit and livery change.

March 1993: Renamed ISLE OF INISHMORE.

May 3rd 1993: Services between Rosslare – Pembroke.


© Bernd Crause

February 7th 1994 – March 1st 1994: Services between Dublin – Holyhead.

March 20th 1994 – March 14th 1995: Services between Dublin – Holyhead.

March 15th 1995: Commenced services between Pembroke Dock – Rosslare.

1995: Registered to Irish Ferries Ltd, Dublin, Ireland.

© Robbie Cox © Aubrey Dale  

© Robbie Cox (Dublin, 23/04/1995) (Left) and © Aubrey Dale (Right)

© Aubrey Dale © Ian Collard

© Aubrey Dale (Left) 🆕 © Ian Collard (Right)

March 23rd 1995 – May 23rd 1995: Services between Dublin – Holyhead.

May 24th 1995: Commenced services between Pembroke Dock – Rosslare.

October 24th 1995: In severe weather collided with the quay in Rosslare. Went to Falmouth for repairs.

November 15th 1995: Returned to service.

November 5th 1996: Renamed ISLE OF INISHTURK.

March 22nd 1997: Final day in service between Pembroke Dock – Rosslare.

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler  

© Andreas Wörteler

March 1997: Laid up in Le Havre, France.

June 1997: Sold to Government of Canada, Cap-aux-Meules, Canada,

June 7th 1997: Left Le Havre for Halifax, Canada.

June 1997: Renamed MADELEINE.

1997: Cooperative de Transport Maritime (C.T.M.A.) services between Souris – Cap-aux-Meules.


2006: Rebuilt to comply with the latest safety regulations. This included the addition of large sponsons to the stern

© Christian T

© Christian T

August 29th 2019: Mechanical failure occurred on one of her four engines. Since another engine was already out of service, she continued sailing on two engines, which had an impact on her service speed (went from 17 to 12 knots). She had to be stopped for a few hours while repairs took place.

October 28th 2019: Whilst moored at Cap-Aux-Meules reported a crack/failure in the opening and closing system of her bow visor.

November 4th 2019: Returned to to the port of Cap-Aux-Meules for repairs.

January 30th 2021: Last day of service between Souris – Cap-Aux-Meules.

January 31st 2021: Laid up in Cap-Aux-Meules pending the result of Transport Canada’s call for tenders for demolition. 

February 4th 2021: Sold to Canadian breakers.

March 17th 2021: Left Cap-Aux-Meules for Sydney, Nova Scotia.

March 19th 2021: Arrived Souris.

May 11th 2021: Arrived Sydney to be dismantled by the Canadian company Marine Recycling Corp.

© Don Merritt 

© Don Merritt 

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Ian Collard, Robbie Cox, Bernd Crause, Aubrey Dale, Mike Griffiths, John Hendy, Yvon Maurice, Don Merritt, Christian T and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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