A €1.8bn ‘blue economy’ centred on shipping, commercial fishing, offshore energy extraction, and tourism, contributes approximately 1% toward Ireland’s GDP. A suite of EU-level Directives, legislation, and national-level policies and strategies have been enacted to further expand upon this productivity while simultaneously reducing the risk of environmental damages. This paper examines the development and implementation of marine spatial planning in Ireland, and considers its functionality in the face of climate change impacts. Climate change will cause significant changes in the availability and reliable delivery of marine ecosystem services, particularly supporting and regulating services. It is important for policy makers and stakeholders to recognise the limits of planning when faced with the uncertain, complex nature of climate change. As such, marine spatial planning tools must be responsive, adaptive, and support larger responses that address the sources of climate change – greenhouse gas emissions – rather than responding to its impacts.