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#DunLaoghaire - Preparations are under way in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for a special ‘dining in the sky’ experience this week.

After visits to Portugal, Italy and Germany, the latest stop on the BORA Revolution Tour will see the German cooking systems specialists demonstrate their latest technology in a glass box hoisted 30 metres above Dun Laoghaire by crane from today Thursday 5 till Saturday 7 July.

Those select few lucky enough to partake in the experience will be treated to food prepared by Ballymaloe-trained Ruth Wassel as they enjoy a stunning panorama of the south city and Dublin Bay.

And as our photos show, the event certainly promises new heights in dining!

“AA different angle shows the full extent of the heights diners will reach

BORA Revolution Tour DL 3

Published in Dublin Bay

Harbour Splash is the name of Dublin’s first inflatable aqua park, which will open to the public later this week in Dún Laoghaire Harbour.

An obstacle course over water including trampolines, climbing frames, slides, monkey bars and more will be this summer’s newest attraction at Coal Harbour.

Colin Harris, director of Big Splash Water Parks, the company behind the venture, is expecting people of all ages to come and enjoy an action packed time on the water.

“Children as young as eight can participate and we believe Harbour Splash will be the most fun you can have on the water for birthday parties, hen and stag dos, corporate events and of course it will make a brilliant family day out,” Harris said.

The aqua park’s grand opening will be this Saturday 7 July with the online booking system already live. One-hour sessions are priced at €18 for under 18s and €22 for adults. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company chief executive Gerry Dunne said: “Harbour Splash is a welcome addition to the harbour as it allows families and children public access to the water in a new fun way.”

Published in Dublin Bay

#Seabin - Young coastal litter crusader Flossie Donnelly is celebrating the installation of Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s first Seabin after a successful fundraising campaign.

The 11-year-old was on hand at noon today (Tuesday 22 May) to see the first of two such devices submerged into the harbour’s waters, where they will quietly trap floating debris on the surface that has become the scourge of regular harbour users.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a single Seabin has the potential to collect as many as 83,000 plastic bags or 20,000 plastic bottles every year.

Enterprising Flossie has been campaigning for a cleaner Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Bay since last year, when she began her regular beach cleaning meet-ups in Sandycove.

“When Flossie first approached us, she already knew what she wanted, to install Ireland’s first Seabin and was well underway with her fundraising efforts,” said Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company operations manager Tim Daly. “Her resolve inspired us to whatever we could to help her out.”

Seabin distributor Inland and Coastal Marina Systems also expressed their delight to be a part of the project with Flossie, who will be grand marshall of the first March for the Ocean in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday 9 June.

Published in Dublin Bay

Councillors on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council have unanimously agreed to send a highly critical letter to Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, taking him to task over his attitude to the transfer of Dún Laoghaire harbour to the Council.

Download the letter below

Legislation from 2015 envisages that the historic harbour will soon come under the control of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, but in March, councillors were stunned to learn that independent risk assessors estimate the cost of repairs to the harbour could be €33.5 million.

Councillors are now faced with a huge financial burden that they say will massively compromise the Council’s ability to deliver services locally, and in the Minister’s own constituency, and could cause significant increases in local property tax and/or commercial rates.

"The letter says that the Minister's decision to transfer the harbour, without any funding “would constitute an act of vandalism”.

Proposed by the Fine Gael Group Leader, Councillor Barry Ward, the letter to Minister Ross says that “such a move will mean your own constituents will see reductions in the Council’s provision of public facilities such as parks, libraries, sports pitches, road, footpaths, lighting, and a range of other things that we currently provide for the businesses and resident of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.”

In a stark statement of the Council’s concerns, the letter says that the Minister's decision to transfer the harbour, without any funding “would constitute an act of vandalism”.

They remind the Minister that his proposal “will hurt the very people you represent, your own constituents”.

The elected members of the Council have asked for the Minister to behave in “a fair and consistent manner” and have now called on him to indemnify the Council against the cost of taking over the harbour, for a period of seven years.

Published in Dublin Bay

Local yacht clubs, marine businesses and sailing schools were among the attendees of the first ever meeting of Dun Laoghaire Harbour tenants and stakeholders that took place at Ireland's largest boating centre last week.

A draft agenda, seen by Afloat.ie, was circulated to over a dozen stakeholders before last Friday's meeting and outlines the purpose of the meeting as a means to 'establish any common concerns so they may be presented to the new landlords on a collective basis'.

The meeting comes during a period of intense change in Dun Laoghaire as the 200–year–old harbour is transferred from a state company ownership and into the realm of the local authority.

The well attended meeting discussed items of concern such as mapping out its viable future since the loss of the Car Ferry in 2015. The group agreed to a further update in a month's time when the local authority will have taken over the running of the harbour.

Suggested Further Reading: 

Without a Harbour Czar, Dun Laoghaire’s All at Sea

Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs Must Put On a United Front

Where is Dun Laoghaire Sailing's Strategic Plan?

Published in Dublin Bay

#DLHarbour - Solicitors for Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company called for the retraction of “damaging and disparaging statements” made at a council meeting on the transfer of the port to local authority control, it has emerged.

According to today’s Sunday Times (6 May), the solicitors claimed that remarks by four Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown councillors at the meeting on 6 March “call into question the proper governance and management of the company.”

Mason Hayes & Currin repeated their demand on 16 March to DLRCoCo chair Tom Murphy, who replied that he was not responsible for statements made by other councillors in meetings, which are in general under qualified privilege.

Read more on this story from the The Sunday Times (behind the paywall).

Published in Dublin Bay

#DublinBay - As Afloat previously reported the recent arrival of Stena Carrier to Dun Laoghaire Harbour was a surprise to many an onlooker as the imposing vessel towered above Carlisle Pier, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Stena Carrier is the largest ever ro-ro (freight-ferry) ship to enter Dun Laoghaire Harbour having anchored in Dublin Bay for over a week.

The call to the harbour was to permit carrying out surveys of the 182m long vessel. Furthermore, Afloat can reveal that works also involved the ro-ro's landing gear and the loading of stores at Carlisle Pier (see related story). The ship remains in port apparently awaiting a new charter. 

The 2004 Italian built '4Runner' class Stena Carrier is operated by Stena RoRo, part of the Stena group of shipping interests and not to be confused with their ferry division Stena Line.

At 21,000 gross registered tonnage Stena Carrier surpasses the no-longer in service 19,000grt High-Speed Service (HSS) Stena Explorer. The HSS car-carrying catamaran craft operated the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead fastferry seasonal route until a final crossing from the Irish port took place from St. Micheal's Pier (see related story) in September 2014.

In the following year, Stena officially announced to confirm the service be withdrawn and that the HSS would no longer return that season. This marked the end of the historic Ireland-Wales link dating back for more than 150 years. The move saw Stena consolidate existing services in neighbouring Dublin Port where operations to Holyhead are served by two ferries.

The Stena Carrier's location alongside Carlisle Pier is opposite to the East Pier where the harbour's only passenger carrying operator is Dublin Bay Cruises. They advertise the cruises as the 'Howth Ferry' with a sign placed at the beginning of the East Pier.

From the pier's jetty is where the 96 passenger capacity St. Bridget embarks and disembarks those travelling on trips. The vessel is not strictly a ferry, given it is not used by commuters but is based on excursion work. This involves a network of cruise leg options linking the capital port and both harbours.  

Prior to the arrival of Stena Carrier, the ro-ro vessel in recent weeks was on charter to P&O Ferries on their Dublin-Liverpool service. 

The ships's port of registry is Frederikshavn in Denmark. This is where Stena Line operate a short sea link (3.5hrs) to Gothenburg, Sweden. The west coast Swedish city is where Stena RoRo and the ferry operator's headquarters are based.  

Published in Dublin Bay

The Ro–Ro Cargo Ship 'Stena Carrier' arrived into Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning berthing at the Carlisle Pier.

The Danish flagged vessel has been at anchor in Dublin Bay since April 22nd. 

The 182.77m ship is the first such cargo arrival into the South Dublin Harbour that has been without regular commercial shipping since the cessation of the Stena HSS ferry in 2015.

Stena Carrier. 2The Stena Carrier on Berth Number Two at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Since then, the Harbour has only seen ad hoc cargo arrivals, such as the 2015 unloading of Guiness Fermentation tanks.

Afloat.ie sources confirm that Stena Carrier is alongside at number two berth in Dun Laoghaire for 'survey work' but there will be many in the vacant harbour hoping that this could possibly be the start of a new relationship with the Scandinavian company.

Published in Dublin Bay

#DLHarbour - “There is no immediate health and safety issue with any pier in Dun Laoghaire.”

That was the message from Transport Minister Shane Ross in his reply to a Dáil question from local TD Richard Boyd Barrett earlier this week.

On the question of the risk assessment and due diligence reports conducted on Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, Minister Ross said the process “is a matter for” the chief executive of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, who concluded last month “that the most appropriate model for the [harbour] company is the transfer and dissolution model.” 

The minister confirmed earlier this month that “all assets and liability” of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company would transfer to the local authority.

“I understand that the main issue now outstanding relates to remedial works in the harbour and how those works will be funded,” said Minister Ross in his response to Deputy Barrett, reiterating that National Ports Policy “clearly states that there is no Exchequer funding for any port company.

“My Department has been informed that there is no immediate health and safety issue with any pier in Dun Laoghaire,” he continued.

The statement comes after recent concerns over damage to the West Pier after Storm Emma, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Dublin Bay

#DLHarbour - It’s all change for Dun Laoghaire Harbour ahead of its pending transfer to local authority control — and part of that change might be seen this summer in the form of an inflatable aqua park.

Big Splash Water Parks Ltd has lodged a planning exemption application for an inflatable waterpark and barge to be installed in the Coal Harbour, after winning a tender from the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to provide the recreational amenity.

The inflatable aqua park would comprise an inflatable obstacle course with a barge for changing facilities. No works or change of use would be involved in its installation and therefore it does not constitute a development, the applicant states.

The application is available to view HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
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