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Ghost ship ownership probe to delay its removal

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The MV Alta was driven onto rocks near Ballycotton by Storm Dennis on February 15. Photo: CATHAL NOONAN/AFP via Getty Images

The MV Alta was driven onto rocks near Ballycotton by Storm Dennis on February 15. Photo: CATHAL NOONAN/AFP via Getty Images

The MV Alta was driven onto rocks near Ballycotton by Storm Dennis on February 15. Photo: CATHAL NOONAN/AFP via Getty Images

A 'ghost ship' wrecked on the Co Cork coast could be left marooned on rocks for a year until the ownership of the vessel is legally clarified.

The 80-metre freighter MV Alta, which was driven onto rocks near Ballycotton at the height of Storm Dennis on February 15, is no longer considered to pose a pollution risk to the east Co Cork coast and a special conservation area.

A special helicopter airlift operation on February 26 successfully removed almost 80 barrels of oil and potential pollutants from the 44-year-old ship.