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#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.

Published in Dublin Port

#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. 

Published in Cruise Liners

#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.

Published in Dublin Port

Hello and welcome aboard this week’s edition of your maritime programme Seascapes, we feature part one of Starboard Home a commission by Dublin Port Company drawing inspiration from the River Liffey and the port which was held in The National Concert Hall this Summer featuring a galaxy of contemporary musicians including Duke Special; James Vincent McMorrow; John Sheehan; Cathy Davey; Colm Mac an Iomaire; Richard Egan and Declan O ‘Rourke, so this week we hear from Gary Sheehan, Head of Programme Planning at the NCH how the whole project came to pass and the subsequent recording, we also talk to Paul Noonan of Bell XI and hear his composition Steel Ballet, Paul was producer of the album; “Kingfisher Blue “ from Paul Cleary, music and conversation with exciting new talent Lisa O’ Neill and “Rock the Machine”, lets hear first this composition by Gemma Hayes and “Caught in the Rapids” 

Gemma Hayes and “Caught in the Rapids” taken from Starboard Home next Gary Sheehan who is Head of Programme Planning at the National Concert Hall , Gary explained how the project developed ......

Well from Gary Sheehan to composer and member of BELL XI and producer of Starboard Home – Paul Noonan , Paul talked to Seascapes about his role in the project backstage at the National Concert Hall and his composition “Steel Ballet “....

Paul Noonan , we’ll hear next from rising new talent Lisa O’ Neill from Ballyhaise in Cavan .....and her song “Rock the Machine “

Our final offering for this week taken from the Starboard Home album celebrating Dublin Port is from Paul Cleary and this remarkable song .....

Paul Cleary and Kingfisher Blue from Starboard Home....

On the sound desk this week Bryan Fitzpatrick ...., every good wish  from all on Seascapes ......Next week here on your maritime programme, we’ll have music and conversation from “Starboard Home” with Richie Egan ; Colm Mac an Iomaire ; John Sheehan ; Duke Special ; and James Vincent McMorrow , that’s Seascapes with Starboard Home – Part 2 next Friday night , until then tight lines and fair sailing.”

Published in Seascapes

#PortEstate -Chief executive of Dublin Port Eamonn O’Reilly has described as “mad”, “daft” and an “attempt at a landgrab” plans for a Hollywood-style film studio on the Poolbeg Peninsula.

As The Irish Times writes the port company will next month review its master plan which will govern the development of port lands up to 2040.

Mr O’Reilly said no provision would be made for the studio project.

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.

About half of the land in the development zone is taken up by the former Irish Glass bottle company and adjoining Fabrizia lands.

Dublin City 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, and Mr O’Reilly said they were needed in their entirety for future expansion of the port.

For further reading on this development, click here

Published in Dublin Port

#TankerDublinBay - Lorna Siggins of the Irish Times writes that seafarers are used to spending Christmas at sea, but one ship’s complement in Irish waters will have a more unusual experience than most.

Some 13 crew on board the 129-metre tanker Iver Ability as previously reported on Afloat, will be neither out of sight nor out of mind in Dublin Bay due to “issues” with unloading the ship’s cargo.

The red- and white-hulled vessel has already spent more than four months on the anchorage, apart from several brief forays into Dublin Port for supplies.

Illuminated at night, it has become a talking point for coastal walkers.

Managers of the Gibraltar-registered ship have confirmed that it was transferred on to the anchorage in August after it “experienced a reaction to its cargo of bitumen during cargo operations in the port”.

It is understood that a seal on its hatch ruptured while on berth in Dublin Port, and posed a potential safety hazard.

The ship’s owners say that the situation has “stabilised”, with “no further pressure release of the cargo occurring”, and that they have been conducting a “full investigation”.

For more click here noting that further in the report, it was mentioned Iver Ability was in Dublin Port this week to take on supplies and also during Storm Barbara to await subsiding winds.

Afloat.ie can confirm as of this morning the tanker has departed from the Deepwater Quay with assistance of tug Beaufort, before heading under way for yet another anchorage and notably to be spent over Christmas. 

Published in Dublin Bay

#SaveHistoricDocks - A Dublin docklands business group and waterways enthusiasts have called on Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys to save a key piece of the Grand Canal basin’s Georgian architecture.

As The Irish Times writes The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) and the Docklands Business Forum (see related story) have initiated a petition this week which asks Ms Humphreys to ensure the basin’s lock gates and graving docks for ships are “restored, preserved and reused” for community gain.

The two groups believes Waterways Ireland wants to sell the graving docks site for further high rise development on the Liffey mouth.

The cross-Border agency is primarily responsible for the Grand Canal Basin and for the surrounding area where the three graving docks were constructed for vessel repair, while Nama also has a lease interest.

The graving docks and lock gates are as important to the heritage of the area as Battery Park is to New York, according to Docklands Business Forum’s chief executive Alan Robinson.

For more on this development click here.

Jehan Ashmore of Afloat adds that recently in an 'Aran Islands Snapshot' was featured the former ferry, Naomh Eanna which has been berthed in Grand Canal Dock for more than a quarter century.

The basin itself is considerably older having opened in 1796 for use of ships entering three docks to and from the River Liffey.

Only in recent years due to the threat of scrapping by Waterways Ireland that the historic Irish built ship was saved by campaigners. Among the reasons cited was due to possible sinking of the veteran vessel which led to the ship shifted from Charlotte Quay to a nearby disused graving dock dating to 1850's. 

There have been plans by maritime heritge enthusiasts to restore the 1958 Liffey Dockyard built Naomh Eanna that ran for CIE between Galway City and Aran Islands. The project involved relocating to her former homeport in the mid-west city as a floating museum amongst other functions. The proposed visitor attraction was welcomed by Galway Port with a dedicated berth.  

Grand Canal Basin was last used by commercial shipping until the 1960's. The three graving docks (the largest infilled) were used for repairs of small ships and canal barges.

Published in Dublin Port

#HMSillustrious - The Royal Navy’s former and final ‘Invincible’ aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious which made a rare call to Dublin in recent years departed UK waters for the last time yesterday bound for a Turkish shipbreakers yard, writes Jehan Ashmore.

HMS Illustrious was launched in 1978 but commissioning of the aircraft carrier notably took place after the Falklands War or 'conflict' with Argentina as it was also known. The carrier became  synonymous given the vital role of the RAF Harrier Jump-Jet aircraft. In more recent years the aircraft-carrier was scaled down to that of only carrying helicopters.

The third of the ‘Invincible’ class carrier sailed from the UK premier naval base of Portsmouth bound for Falklands in the South Atlantic. Likewise a departure from the Hampshire port was repeated for the final time yesterday albeit under tow on a delivery voyage set for the Mediterranean Sea. A Turkish shipbreaker will dismantle the ship for recycling. 

The veteran vessel of 22,000 gross tonnage had over a 32 year career taken part in global conflicts and humanitarian rescue missions. In doing so the ‘Lusty’ as she is referred by crew has clocked up 900,000 thousand miles until retired following decommissioning in 2014.

A pair of ‘Queen Elizabeth’ aircraft carriers are been built in Scotland with other yards in the UK contributing modular sections. Among them Babcock Marine & Technology, the north Devon shipbuilders of the Irish Naval Service OPV90 ‘Beckett’ /Playwright sisters. So far they total three ships with the commissioning naming ceremony of LE William Butler Yeats in Galway held in October.

HMS Illustrious follows the leadship class namesake and HMS Ark Royal which together were sold for scrap overseas. Despite an open competition held over a two year timeframe that sought to save the ship or retain part of the aircraft carrier for heritage purposes in the UK, such attempts to keep the ship in home waters failed.

The Ministry of Defence deemed proposals by some to convert the ship as a museum or hotel as too expensive.

Published in News Update

#SoftPort - A major project by Dublin Port to 'soften' its boundaries between the port's centre headquarters and the capital city to enable a greater public realm is underway.

The work is the largest physical intervention by Dublin Port in 35 years began in September and is expected to be completed in 2017. The development forms a committment of the port’s 'Masterplan' which incorporates phase one the Alexandra Basin Redvelopment (ABR) project. 

The public realm project will significantly soften and enliven the Port’s boundaries with the City through high quality architectural and landscaping design. County Mayo based Wills Bros Civil Engineering are carrying out the project which won the contract in a competitive tendering process.

New pedestrian entrances off Alexandra Road and the East Wall Road will open out into a new public plaza north of Port Centre building near the 3Arena venue complex. At the entrance to the 1981 built building, a refurbished podium will feature a new sculptural sphere inspired by the spherical-shaped time ball that dropped daily on the top of the Ballast Office at O’Connell Bridge to signal Greenwich Mean Time to passing ships. From the podium, visitors will also be able to observe the Port’s operations from a safe distance, as intended by the original architects.

As previously reported on Afloat a new landmark featuring an historic ten-ton Stother & Pitt crane will form this future port-city public realm interface near the recently named Tom Clarke (former East-Link) toll-bridge. Crane 292 as it was known dates from 1968 and was in use at the port up until the late 1990s.The crane will be reassembled and illuminated and stand 35 metres high which is taller than the Port Centre.

James Kelleher, the Project Manager for Dublin Port Company, said: “This exciting new project has been designed with the purpose of opening up Port Centre to the City, using new public realm and maritime-inspired sculptural and architectural design to soften the boundaries between the Port and the City. Port-city integration is a major strategic objective for Dublin Port and at the heart of our growing programme of arts, industrial heritage, sports, community and educational initiatives.

The project builds on recent cultural, arts and industrial heritage initiatives by Dublin Port on the theme of port-city integration, including the reimagining of the Diving Bell on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, the commissioning of new Irish music for Starboard Home and the launch of a visual arts programme Port Perspectives.

Published in Dublin Port

#HomePort - Celebrity Eclipse has been revealed as the first cruiseship by a major operator to 'home port' in Dublin Port by offering cruises that begin in early summer 2018.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie Celebrity Cruises begins the ships home port on a mini season of five sailings in late April, throughout May and until the end of June 2018. The 'Solstice' class Celebrity Eclipse with a 2,800 passenger capacity will operate cruises departing Dublin Port to destinations throughout northern Europe. Full details on the destinations on offer will be announced later this year.

It is estimated that more than 14,000 people are to start their cruise holiday from Dublin on the Celebrity Eclipse. The deployment of the German built 122,000 gross tonnage vessel to the Irish capital is worth an estimated €6 million and to the surrounding region in knock-on economic benefits.

Celebrity Cruises already features Dublin and other ports throughout Ireland in its European deployment, however this is the most significant increase in its investment into Ireland in the history of the global business.

 

 

Published in Cruise Liners
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