Economically, Ireland depends heavily upon its shipping sector. The objective of this paper is to examine the current spatial configuration and direct and indirect impact of the maritime transportation sector and its potential for cluster formation. To carry out this analysis a disaggregated IO table which includes a maritime transportation sector, location quotients and descriptive statistics were used. The analysis found that given the spatial concentration of the sector in the South East region, particularly Dublin, the strength of the sectors inter-sectoral linkages and the development of the Irish Maritime Resource and Energy Cluster (IMERC) as a research led hub there is a policy rationale for the development of an Irish maritime transportation cluster. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.