This is Public Consultation Week for the First Review of Dublin Port’s Development Masterplan 2012-2040, and with a 28-year timespan involved, some of the more remote yet very possible proposals will still seem at the very least far-fetched - and at worst outrageous - to residents and harbour users most directly affected writes W M Nixon.
You’ll need to get your skates on if you’re going to see how the port is presenting its proposals in the neighbourhoods most directly involved, as the Clontarf session today (Monday 13th February) in Scoil Ui Chonaill GAA was due to conclude at 8.0pm. Tomorrow being St Valentine’s Day, everyone will be otherwise occupied as Dublin is a a city of incurable romantics, but the show resumes on Wednesday 15th February from 2.0pm to 8.0pm at the Sean O’Casey Community Centre, St Mary’s Road, East Wall Road, Dublin 3.
However, it’s the concluding show on Thursday 16th February, again from 2.0pm to 8.0pm, which is likely to attract most sparks, as it’s in Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA Club, Sean Moore Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4, and it’s the Dublin communities of Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount – all in Dublin 4 - which would see some of the more far-fetched proposals having greatest impact.
From a visit to the Clontarf presentation today (Monday) it seems that while the harbour’s development seawards is now being handled in a way which has assuaged the worst fears of Clontarf residents, it is Dublin Port’s determination to maintain a strong and growing presence south of the river which could permanently change life for people in Ringsend and Sandymount.
With the two parts of the port connected only by the East Link Lifting Bridge, this is an almost permanent traffic bottleneck, so it’s not surprising that a proposal expecting early implementation is a new bridge immediately east of the East Link.
At the moment this parallel bridge seems to be proposed as a link exclusively for port traffic. But if that is the case then new road capacity has to be provided from the new bridge eastward to Poolbeg Roundabout, so an alternative scenario is that the new bridge be paired with the existing East Link to provide a dual carriageway, which in turn will be continued to the Poolbeg Roundabout.
Providing such a dual carriageway will inevitably take a chunk out of the space at present used by Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club both on the land and in their marina too. So instead of a compact marina clustered at the club, one variation of the plan shows an elongated marina running virtually the whole way to the new bridge immediately seaward of the northern lane of a the new dual carriageway.
However, while this may lessen the East Link bottleneck, most of the traffic using the East Link is not port-related anyway. They’re just people deluded by the notion that they’re taking the quickest way from the North City – and particularly the airport – to the vast affluent swathes of the south county. They arrive smoothly at the East Link via the Port Tunnel, and now if the East Link to Poolbeg Roundabout section become effectively a mini-motorway, they’ll be further deluded until they find themselves back in old-fashioned traffic jams as they try to make their way towards Sandymount Strand.
So the old monster which just won’t go away, the Eastern Bypass, raises its head again in the proposals relating to the more distant future, though “distant” is only relative – 28 years is no time at all. Be that as it may, the cheapest option for an Eastern By-pass is a motorway-standard dual carriageway along Sandymount Strand, upon the completion of which, the next discussion will be where it re-joins the city’s road system.
But that’s an argument for another day which may not be necessary if another line of thought is taken, to which we’ll come in a minute. But right now, whatever happens, there’s no doubting that the cosy setup at Poolbeg, with a friendly club with a strong sense of community, and it all handy to the city, is under threat.
In fact, sometimes when you see ships manoeuvring within feet of the delicate marina structure in a real breeze of wind, you can’t help but think that you are watching a YouTube “Best Ship Disasters” vid in the making, and that Poolbeg Marina’s continued existence is a little miracle.
So the Poolbeg contingent are planning to be there in strength on Thursday to see for themselves just what the future might hold, and among other things they’ll see confirmation that a bus-lane-and-pedestrian bridge is highly likely across the mouth of the Dodder, thereby cutting off access to the Grand Canal Basin for vessels with masts or even just exceptional top hamper – the only reassurance I could get was that “canal boats” will have sufficient clearance.
As for the Eastern Bypass, if the cheapo version along the beach is built, then Sandymount will indeed have lost its strand. At the moment, the little coastal road is something you can walk across at any point, and the seashore seems very accessible. But as soon as you get eastward of Merrion Gates, the railway is defining most of the shoreline, and the sense of the sea being accessible is no longer so apparent – who ever talks of Booterstown Beach?
A motorway along the beach is every bit as much of a barrier as a railway, so it would be the end of Sandymount Strand as thousands know and love it. But anyway, if such a road were built, it would only deliver people further along the line into another jam. To make sense, it would have to go all the way to the nearest part of the M50/M11 linkup, which is somewhere about Leopardstown. Yet there’s just no way a raw new motorway is going to be built across this unrivalled area of prime real estate. However, north of the river the Port Tunnel is merrily working away, doing its work so well we almost forget it exists. Yet it seemed impossibly grandiose at the time it was first proposed.
A Ringsend to Leopardstown Tunnel would be about three times as long, and it would need at least two interchanges built into it to make logistical sense. But it is certainly well within the scope of fairly basic tunneling technology. And up in Arranmore in Donegal, there’s inherited tunneling expertise from the time of building the Channel Tunnel between England and France. The Arranmore economy would find the Ringsend-Leopardstown Tunnel a very nice little earner, thank you. And with some clever planning, it could leave the communities of Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount largely intact.
The works of the acclaimed Belgian artist Eugeen Van Mieghem will go on display to Irish audiences for the first time this week, when a major new exhibition opens at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane on Thursday, 9th February 2017. Supported by Dublin Port Company as part of its Port Perspectives arts commissioning series, the exhibition “Eugeen Van Mieghem: Port Life” provides a fascinating visual account of the pulsating life of the Port of Antwerp at the turn of the 20th century.
Featuring more than 70 paintings, drawings and prints, this unique body of work provides a social history, depicting the life of the artist and exploring themes of migration, globalisation, and the working port community – themes that resonate with Dublin as a port city in Europe today.
In this series of works, Van Mieghem illustrates the harsh labour conditions of dockers, porters and sack-sewers at the time of mechanisation, empathises with the plight of refugees under German occupation, observes the colourful characters that frequented his parents’ quayside café/tavern, and documents the social life of the city including the elegant cafés of Belle Époque society and promenades along the Scheldt. The artist’s personal life is also revealed through drawings and paintings documenting his first wife, who became ill with tuberculosis and died at the age of just 24.
In keeping with Dublin Port’s commitment to port-city integration, the exhibition includes a special programme of events designed by The Hugh Lane to bring Van Mieghem to a wider audience. A series of public lectures and ‘coffee conversations’ will take place at the gallery during the exhibition, which runs until 11th June 2017. The first is a Public Lecture on the life of the artist by Erwin Joos, Director, Eugeen Van Mieghem Museum, Antwerp (5.30pm, Thursday 9th February – Free).
There will also be artist-led workshops, Sunday sketching sessions and guided tours for younger audiences. The first is a mid-term workshop for 6-10 year olds with artist Liliane Puthod to include a guided tour of the exhibition and print workshop that considers port life in Dublin City (11am – 1pm on Friday, 24th February - €10).
For further information, bookings and enquiries: www.hughlane.ie / 01 222 5550.
Michael Dempsey, Head of Exhibitions, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, said: “Van Mieghem aligned himself with the Impressionists, who painted subjects which had previously been considered unworthy of representation.”
Director of the Gallery, Barbara Dawson, said: “Van Mieghem’s affinity with his subjects makes his work direct and sincere and is unique in the genre of social realism.”
Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “Dublin Port is delighted to be the main sponsor for this exhibition and see the works of Van Mieghem in Ireland for the first time. His is one of the few visual histories of port life in 20th century Europe, illuminating and recording the strong ties that existed between Antwerp’s port, city and people. The historical and cultural links between ports and cities have been lost over time, and Dublin Port is now focused on developing these bonds again. I hope that people will take this opportunity to see the works of Van Mieghem at The Hugh Lane, connect with his works and with Dublin as a vibrant port city.”
Met Eireann say South to southwest winds will continue to occasionally reach gale force 8 for a time this morning on Irish Coastal waters from Erris Head to Bloody Foreland to Fair Head.
The outlook for a further 24 hours until 0600, Sunday is for moderate to fresh west or southwest winds becoming southwesterly everywhere on Saturday afternoon. Winds veering west to northwest on south and west coasts late Saturday and early Sunday.
Dublin Port’s Masterplan 2012-2040, a framework to guide the future development and operation of Dublin Port, makes provision for periodic reviews. This ensures that the Masterplan reflects changing circumstances such as developments in policies governing planning, national transport, the environment and the economy.
Among the areas to be examined during the consultation are:
- The proposed development of a Unified Ferry Terminal for the Port’s main ferry operators incorporating all facilities required for the State including immigration, customs, security and other border inspection functions.
- The proposed removal of non-core activities from the Port and the redevelopment of up to 22 hectares of lands.
- The proposed reduction over time of the 30 hectares of Port lands occupied by petroleum importation facilities.
- The proposed development and redevelopment of up to 43 hectares of Port lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula including 17 hectares within the Poolbeg West SDZ.
- The proposed development of the 44 hectare Dublin Inland Port adjacent to Dublin Airport to provide facilities for non-core but port-related activities.
Since it was first published in 2012, there have been a number of significant developments which have prompted a review of the Masterplan now. These include:
- Sustained high levels of growth
- Commencement of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project and other major port infrastructure projects
- Policy developments at a national, regional and local level
- International developments including Brexit and the possible introduction of customs and other security controls in Dublin Port.
Public Consultation: A Consultation Paper has been prepared to help inform the public consultation, which runs until Tuesday 7th March 2017. Dublin Port is inviting submissions from all those with an interest in the future development of the Port. Public Information Days will take place from 2-8pm in local community venues, where members of the public can meet with representatives from Dublin Port Company in person, learn more about the review and make their views known:
- 13th February: Scoil Uí Chonaill GAA Club, 95 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3
- 15th February: Seán O’Casey Community Centre, St. Mary’s Road, East Wall, Dublin 3
- 16th February: Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA Club, Sean Moore Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4
The Masterplan Review 2017 will be published in the summer to ensure that the Masterplan will continue to form the basis of future developments at Dublin Port, as trade volumes grow.
Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, said:
“Dublin Port’s volumes are now 13% or 4.0m gross tonnes higher than they were at the peak of the boom in 2007. When we originally launched our Masterplan five years ago, we assumed an average annual growth rate of 2.5% over the 30 years to 2040. We now believe we need to increase this growth assumption to 3.3%. Under this revised assumption, the Port’s volumes would increase by 265% to 77m gross tonnes over the 30 years to 2040.
“It is prudent that we respond to changing circumstances as they impact on the Port’s operations and capacity to grow. That is why we are reviewing our Masterplan and, as part of this review, I would encourage people to take the opportunity to participate in the consultation over the coming weeks.
“The focus of the review will be on how best we can use our lands to increase the throughput capacity of the Port. DPC believes that the Port can be developed to cater for anticipated volumes through to 2040 within the Port’s existing footprint and without significant major infill works. This will require the maximum utilisation of our brownfield sites and adjacent river berthage.
“The implementation of the next phase of the Masterplan will continue to focus on achieving proper planning and sustainable development through the continued redevelopment of the brownfield sites within Dublin Port’s existing footprint.”
2016 Trade Figures & Growth: Dublin Port’s volumes have increased by 25% in just four years, underpinning the need for the Company’s major capital investment programme to provide essential capacity for future growth. The growth is shown as follows:
|2013 to 2016||+24.7%|
The 6.3% increase in overall volumes in 2016 was relatively evenly spread between imports (which were up +6.1%) and exports (+6.7%).
There was strong growth in the unitised freight modes with Ro-Ro ahead by +7.6% to 944,531 units in the year. Lo-Lo grew even more strongly at +8.1% to 663,732 TEU.
New trade vehicles through Dublin Port increased by +2.0% to 104,185 in the year.
Finally, on the passenger side of Dublin Port’s business, ferry passenger numbers grew by
+0.9% to 1.8m.
Iver Ability, the red hulled ship, anchored in Dublin Bay since August, left its six–month mooring yesterday, bound for the Dutch Port of Delfzijl.
The ship cut a lonely sight over Christmas 2016, as 'discussions with charterers' for a port of discharge for the vessel’s cargo continued.
While at anchorage in Dublin, the ship was fully operational with all seafarers performing normal duties and standard crew changes taking place, according to the ship's managers.
Hello there and welcome aboard this week’s edition of Seascapes the maritime programme, this week we hear about the future plans of Meitheal Mara; we have music from Gordon Lightfoot and the epic tale of “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and a talk in the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club in the coming week titled “A Voyage for Madmen – the Golden Globe Race- 1968 to 2018 “ with Gregor McGuckin who has entered next years edition of the race, writer and broadcaster Norman Freeman takes us on a visit to Bray Head in County Wicklow , we have the winner in our Seascapes competition for that book on the “ Rivers Dodder and Poddle”....first this week on your maritime programme we hear about the future strategic plans for Meitheal Mara based in the heart of Cork city , the plan was launched in the splendid boardroom of The Port of Cork by Minister Simon Coveney TD ,Meitheal Mara was founded in 1993, the event was attended by over one hundred partners , supporters and sponsors of the organisation, in a moment we’ll hear from John Mullins CEO of The Port of Cork and from Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett....Meitheal Mara is a maritime heritage community for young people and adults, we talked first to one of the founders , seafarer boatman and boat builder and maritime advocate Padraig O Duineen .....
Well from Padraig O Duineen of Meitheal Mara to John Mullins , CEO of the Port of Cork .....
The voice of John Mullins, Chairman of the Port of Cork Company, next to the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces – Vice Admiral Mark Mellett
Vice Admiral Mark Mellett at that launch of Meitheal Mara’s Strategic Plan for the coming years which was launched last Friday afternoon , you can read more about the organisation here.
Next here on Seascapes to the East coast and writer and broadcaster Norman Freeman on Bray Head.....
Writer and broadcaster Norman Freeman whose latest book “The Lure of Far Away Places “ is published by The Liffey Press and in all discerning bookstores.
We recommend you see Eugeen Van Mieghem – An exhibition of his paintings in ” Port Life “ at The Hugh Lane Gallery described as a fascinating visual account of the pulsating life of a working port at the beginning of the 20th century.
Van Mieghem’s work represents a social history, exploring themes of migration, globalisation, port society, the working community, and, the life of the artist .
Organised with the support of Dublin Port Company, the exhibition is part of Port Perspectives, Dublin Port’s arts commissioning programme to help re-establish links between the Port and the City.
The exhibition can be viewed Tuesday to Thursday 9:45 am – 6 pm, Friday 9:45 am – 5 pm, Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 11 am – 5 pm. Admission is free of charge (voluntary contributions to the Gallery are appreciated).
Next to an epic song on a maritime disaster from the pen of songwriter supreme Gordon Lightfoot and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”
The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” written and performed by Gordon Lightfoot.....
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has launched its new Seafarers web resource for all seafarers, fishers, recreational craft users and others looking to obtain certification or qualification in the sector.
The new website they state is “ intended as a national and international resource for information relating to seafarers, which includes those involved in commercial shipping, the fishing industry and the recreational craft sector.”
The site provides full details of the career structures available and how to obtain the necessary qualifications for work in the industry, as well as for recreational craft users.
The website hosts all appropriate application forms and also provides for the verification of qualifications, listing details of approved training course providers in Ireland.
The Department of Transport , Tourism and Sport says the Seafarers website forms part of a wider updating of seafarer education and training in Ireland, and is supported by a new Seafarers Information System, which provides for the registration of all seafarers and for life-long training and career development.
The department encourages seafarers who already hold Certificates of Competency or radio certificates issued in Ireland to register now on the new information system.
"A Voyage For Madmen"- The Golden Globe Race 1968-2018. An illustrated lecture by Gregor McGuckin, who has entered for the 2018 race, will take place on Thursday 2nd February at 20:00hrs at the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club, Ringsend,. There will be an entry fee of €5 in aid of the RNLI.
World Wetlands Day is coming up on February 2nd , and this year’s theme is ‘Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction’.
Wetlands play a vital role in mitigating the impact of extreme weather events.......that’s next Thursday “World Wetlands Day.....”
Finally to our Seascapes competition and the copy of “The Rivers Dodder and Poddle - Mills , Storms and Droughts and the Public Water Supply” by Don McEntee and Michael Corcoran and published by Dublin City Council and Four Courts Press - the first correct answer out of the Seascapes fedora was from Tessie McGettigan , Lifford , Co Donegal , Congratulations that book is on its way to you......many thanks for all your entries....
“ On the sound desk on Seascapes this week Bryan Fitzpatrick , next week here on your maritime programme we bring you a full report from the Volvo –Irish Sailing Association Annual Awards at the Royal Dublin Society Concert Hall in Ballsbridge , where they will present the ISA Training Centre of the Year ; Youth Sailor of the Year ; Afloat.ie Sailor of the Year and the ISA President's Awards; all that and much more .......so until next Friday night, tight lines and fair sailing.”
This Saturday (28th January), Sail training Ireland will hold their fifth Annual Prize giving and season launch event at the Mansion house in Dublin, courtesy of Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr. Cllr. Ruairi McGinley will be attending on behalf of the Mayor. Sail Training Ireland has announced “The Voyage”, a Tall Ship initiative being run between the Cities of Dublin, Belfast and Liverpool which includes Sail Training voyages between the three cities and incorporates The Dublin Port River Fest, Belfast Maritime Festival and Liverpool’s International Mersey River Festival. The programme of events is planned to celebrate the historical, cultural and maritime links. Delegates from the three city councils will be present at the event.
Master of ceremonies is the well-known RTÉ Radio 1 Seascapes presenter and Sail Training Ireland Goodwill Ambassador Marcus Connaughton.
Sail Training Ireland funds young people, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds and with disabilities to sail on Tall Ship voyages at sea where they have a real experience of life under sail.
Their work has resulted in over twelve hundred young people going to sea since 2011. In 2016 the numbers of funded trainees reached almost 300 going to sea on ships from Ireland and across Europe. We aim to fund a similar number of trainees in 2017. (See Notes for Images of 2017 Ships). These numbers have not been seen since the loss of Ireland’s National Tall Ship Asgard II in 2008. The 2016 trainees included young people from residential care homes, Garda Diversion Projects, Sea Scouts, Youth and Community groups and Schools, former prisoners and asylum seekers and immigrants and young people with visual, hearing and physical impairments from across Ireland and Northern Ireland. The purpose: A change in direction/perspective, attitude and behaviour – self-confidence, motivation and adventure.
Daragh Sheridan, the CEO of Sail Training Ireland will announce a voyage programme for 2017 and a number of very exciting funded programmes that are supported by the development of regional bursary schemes. The bursary schemes in Drogheda, Cork and Waterford are into their 5th and 4th and 2nd years respectively while the Belfast, Dublin, Wexford, Derry, Galway and Limerick are at various stages of development. The Dublin City Council/Dublin Port Company Legacy project continues to build on the legacy of Tall Ships 2012.
Funded voyage schemes in 2017 include:
• EU Commission "Youth Exchange" projects, under the Erasmus + programme, in partnership with Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust - Liverpool. These take place during June on Tall Ship Pelican of London.
• EU Commission “Youth Exchange” projects, under the Erasmus+ programme, in partnership with Tall Ship Maybe - UK. There are 3 voyages during the Summer months.
• Voyages with Spirit of Oysterhaven, a stunning 70ft Schooner based in Cork catering for a range of projects.
• The Garda Youth Diversion voyages will take place on Spirit of Oysterhaven in 2017.
• Voyages on board the Brian Ború, the newest edition to the Sail Training family! A traditional gaff rigged ketch specifically adapted for voyages of discovery, heritage and wildlife on the Waterford estuary.
#PortStudio - Chief executive of Dublin Port Company Eamonn O’Reilly has told Dublin City Council he “would have an open mind” on the development of a Hollywood-style film studio on the Poolbeg peninsula.
As The Irish Times writes in recent weeks Mr O’Reilly had described the plans to develop an €80 million film studio on port lands as “daft” and “a good old-fashioned attempted land-grab”.
In a letter to the newspaper last month he said port lands on the peninsula would be developed “exclusively for port uses”.
Windmill Lane Studios founder James Morris and film producer Alan Moloney want to develop an €80 million studio complex at the new Poolbeg strategic development zone (SDZ), a 34 hectare site in the city’s east end.
U2 singer Bono has advocated for the project and lobbied former minister for the environment Alan Kelly to support the studio. Actors Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy have also spoken in support of the project.
About half of the land in the new development zone is taken up by the former Irish Glass bottle company and adjoining Fabrizia lands. The council has designated 80 per cent of these lands for apartments, with the remaining 20 per cent of this site earmarked for an office and retail “buffer zone” separating the housing from industrial land banks.
Almost all the remaining lands in the zone are port company-owned. Despite having previously ruled out the studio, Mr O’Reilly on Monday raised hopes that Hollywood could possibly still come to the city’s east end.
To read more the newspaper reports here.
#CruiseFirst - A pair of Fred Olsen Lines sisters marked both the last cruise call to Dublin Port in 2016 and as the first of the New Year, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The conservative yet handsome profile of Boudicca sailed into Dublin at dawn. The 880 passenger cruiseship had sailed from the opposite side of the Irish Sea having cast off mooring ropes from Liverpool’s famous waterfront. The ship had berthed at the cruise terminal located near the landmark buildings known as the ‘Three Graces’.
On boards are cruise-goers taking in the early New Year sights and visiting tourist attractions of Dublin's 'Fair City' before Boudicca sets sail this evening at 18.00hrs. The next port of call been Southampton. Likewise of the Irish capital, the Hampshire port is the UK’s busiest for cruiseships along with trading in general cargo, notably through giant ocean-going containerships.
Within the last fortnight sister, Black Watch had too disembarked tourists to visit Dublin which in 2016 the port welcomed 112 cruiseships.
The veteran vessels of 28,000 gross tonnage each and dating to the 1970’s belong to an increasing rare breed of first generation cruiseships. With the passing of more than four decades they have become by default yet even more pleasing to the aesthestic eye.
In comparison to some of the behemoths of modern day cruiseships and newbuilds that will descend into the Dublin Port of the future using a new cruise €30m terminal granted planning permission.
The facility a first for the port is part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project. This is phase one of the Masterplan for the port up to 2040.
Currently the vast majority of cruiseships dock in Alexandra Basin (west and east). It is in the east basin, the larger of the two where Boudicca of 206m in length is berthed alongside Ocean Pier. This is also where larger cruiseships of 300m in length dock while considerably smaller ships can head downriver close to the city quays.
Port access issues such as restrictions on overall cruiseship dimensions will be resolved by an extensive dredging programme within the port but also the approach channels off Poolbeg Lighthouse.
This will enable the largest cruiseships in the world to dock following realignment of quays within Alexandra Basin. Such works will permit these massive cruiseships up to 340m in length to swing around the increased turning circle inside the basin.
#FuelTerminal - Applegreen, a forecourt retailer has agreed to pay €15.7m to buy a 50pc stake in a fuel terminal at Dublin Port.
The Joint Fuel Terminal writes The Irish Independent is currently equally owned by Valero Energy (Ireland) and Esso Ireland. It is one of three fuel importing facilities at the port.
Applegreen is acquiring Esso's stake in the terminal.
Esso Ireland was acquired by Topaz in October 2015 for €75m. At the time, Topaz was owned by businessman Denis O'Brien. Shortly after, he sold Topaz to Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard for €450m.
But as part of the deal to acquire the Esso operation, Topaz was told by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to sell the Esso stake in the Joint Fuel Terminal. The stake had been for sale since early in 2016.
Further details of the deal can be read here.