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Relief map depicting St George's Channel and the Irish Sea
Edmond Halley's solar eclipse 1715 map showing St. George's Channel

St George's Channel (Welsh: Sianel San Siôr, Irish: Muir Bhreatan[1]) is a sea channel connecting the Irish Sea to the north and the Celtic Sea to the southwest.[2]

Historically, the name "St George's Channel" was used interchangeably with "Irish Sea" or "Irish Channel" to encompass all the waters between Ireland to the west and Great Britain to the east.[3][4] Later[when?] it was restricted to the portion separating Wales from Leinster,[3][4] sometimes extending south to the waters between the West Country of England and East Munster;[4] the latter have since the 1970s come to be called the Celtic Sea. In Ireland "St George's Channel" is now usually taken to refer only to the narrowest part of the channel, between Carnsore Point in Wexford and St David's Head in Pembrokeshire. However, it remains common in Ireland to talk about a cross-channel trip, cross-channel soccer, etc., where "cross-channel" means "to/from Great Britain".[5]

The current (third, 1953) edition of the International Hydrographic Organization's publication Limits of Oceans and Seas defines the southern limit of "Irish Sea and St. George's Channel" as "A line joining St. David's Head (51°54′N 5°19′W / 51.900°N 5.317°W / 51.900; -5.317) to Carnsore Point (52°10′N 6°22′W / 52.167°N 6.367°W / 52.167; -6.367)"; it does not define the two waterbodies separately.[6] The 2002 draft fourth edition omits the "and St. George's Channel" part of the label.[7]

A 2004 letter from the St.George's Channel Shipping Company to Seascapes, an RTÉ Radio programme, said that St George's Channel bordered the Irish coast between Howth Head and Kilmore Quay, and criticised contributors to the programme who had used "Irish Sea" for these waters.[8]

The name "St George's Channel" is recorded in 1578[9] in Martin Frobisher's record of his second voyage. It is said to derive from a legend that Saint George had voyaged to Roman Britain from the Byzantine Empire, approaching Britain via the channel that bears his name.[10] The name was popularised by English settlers in Ireland after the Plantations.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Muir Bhreatan". logainm.ie. Placenames Branch (Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs). Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  2. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Irish Sea. eds P.Saundry & C.Cleveland. encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
  3. ^ a b c Andrews, John Harwood (January 1997). Shapes of Ireland: maps and their makers 1564–1839. Geography Publications. pp. 87–€“8, 155. ISBN 978-0-906602-95-9. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Thomas Curtis, ed. (1839). "George's Channel (St.)". The London encyclopaedia 10. p. 133. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Heslinga, Marcus Willem (1979). The Irish border as a cultural divide: a contribution to the study of regionalism in the British Isles. Van Gorcum. p. 8. ISBN 978-90-232-0864-8. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 18 September 2010.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  7. ^ Choo, Sungjae (2007). "The Cases of International Standardization of Sea Names and Their Implications for Justifying the Name East Sea" (PDF). Journal of the Korean Geographical Society 42 (5): 751; Table 3, footnote. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Seascapes News Summary". RTÉ.ie. 30 September 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  9. ^ Taylor, Isaac (1896). "St. George's Channel". Names and their histories, alphabetically arranged as a handbook of historical geography and topographical nomenclature. Rivington, Percival. p. 243. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  10. ^ Room, Adrian (2006). "St George's Channel". Placenames of the world: origins and meanings of the names for 6,600 countries, cities, territories, natural features, and historic sites. McFarland. p. 326. ISBN 978-0-7864-2248-7. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 

Coordinates: 52°5′N 5°45′W / 52.083°N 5.750°W / 52.083; -5.750

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_George's_Channel — Please support Wikipedia.
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85 news items

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Sat, 31 Oct 2015 19:36:20 -0700

To Ardmore with the sun shining and the wind fair at my back. I have four days off in the place I love best. As children we always played a game on our way to the village from the city: who would be first to spot the Round Tower, the eternal symbol of ...

The Conversation UK

The Conversation UK
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 02:08:09 -0700

The name of St George's Channel, which lies between the coasts of south-west Wales and south-east Ireland, is one of only a handful of watery connections that St George still has in England, though there is also an invocation of the saint travelling by ...


Mon, 28 Sep 2015 08:32:36 -0700

A Virgin Atlantic flight was forced to do a U-turn back to Heathrow Airport earlier today - due to a broken windscreen. Flight VS21 to Washington made it as far as St George's Channel off the west coast of Wales before it made a dramatic swoop back to ...
Sky News
Fri, 04 Sep 2015 09:41:15 -0700

A submarine glider has also been deployed in the Celtic Sea - an area of the Atlantic to the south of Ireland, bordered in the northeast by St George's Channel and in the east by the Bristol Channel and English Channel - to help Thomas monitor activity.


Tue, 27 Oct 2015 05:01:55 -0700

In his words, the long hours spent criss-crossing the St George's Channel on the Post Office packets were “favourable to the study of the game”. By today's standards, Evans was a ludicrously late starter. The great 20th-century player Bobby Fischer, ...
Perth Now
Mon, 28 Sep 2015 05:41:40 -0700

Flightradar24reports Flight VS21 was flying over St George's Channel when it did a U-turn and headed back to London on Monday. The Airbus A340-642 landed at Heathrow Airport at 12.24pm UTC (9.24pm Monday AEST), according to AirLive.net.

ITV News

ITV News
Sat, 06 Jun 2015 03:56:26 -0700

Sail training ship 'Lord Nelson' set sail from St Helier, Jersey on Wednesday after being stuck in the Channel Islands in gusts over 50 knots. Departing Cardiff later today, the 178ft ship will sail west through the Bristol Channel then head north ...

The West Australian

The West Australian
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 15:52:30 -0700

We're in an open runabout zipping across St George's Channel between Rabaul and the Duke of York Islands in Papua New Guinea's East New Britain Province. For several days we've explored these coral islands, waving and swapping greetings with ...

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