AN Irish-owned ship based in the Netherlands named after two former Sunderland residents has docked in the city’s harbour.
It was the first time in Sunderland for the MV JoLyn when it arrived at Hendon Dock.
But it was a homecoming for Jo McEvoy, who runs the Corrib Shipping Group in Ireland, along with husband John.
Born and brought up in Roker, Jo moved to Southern Ireland aged 23 to work as a speech and language therapist.
It was there that she met her husband, a financial advisor, who went on to buy the shipping firm.
The JoLyn is named after Jo and her sister Lyn, of Rowland’s Gill near Gateshead, who are the ship’s “godmothers” – a nautical term meaning they launched it.
It was the first time in the company’s 18-year history that one of its four ships has docked at Hendon.
Crew on the JoLyn, whose sub-company is Roker Shipping, unloaded its cargo of wood pulp from Sweden.
Dublin-based Corrib Shipping was set up in 1995. Its ships sail with the Wagenborg fleet, which is based in Delfzijl, North Holland.
Jo, 58, said: “It is the first time since we have been in the shipping business that we have come to Sunderland.”
Along with sisters Lyn and Fran, who lives in Southwick, Jo was brought up in Roker and still has a flat on the seafront.
Her Scottish father ran CW Boyle opticians in John Street and she regularly returns to the city, along with son Donal, 23, who is a loyal Black Cats fan, and daughter Kathy, 18.
“All the docklands have been developed and all the clearing up on the riverside is incredible.
“I’m delighted to see the changes in the city,” she said.
“The Glass Centre is fantastic and we like bringing people over here to see the beach.”
After unloading its cargo the five-tonne vessel returned to work around the Baltics.