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Dun Laoghaire will get a new 'boat engine showroom' if planning permission is granted at a West Pier site in the Harbour.

According to a planning application received by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, applicant Pod Marine Ltd is seeking planning permission and retention permission for the development of a site at West Pier Road, Dun Laoghaire at an area known locally as 'The Gut'.

The application seeks permission for the proposed construction of a single story building (c 345sqm) for a boat engine showroom, storage and workshop at ground level and office space at mezzanine level.

According to its website, POD Marine was "established in response to the growing demand for a specialised and professional boat engine maintenance service in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland’s largest marina. POD Marine has Volvo Penta’s seal of approval as Dublin’s only authorised Volvo Penta Service Dealer for Marine Leisure & Commercial Products".

More on the planning application on this link here

Published in Marine Trade

Speculation that a ferry service could return to Dun Laoghaire has reached fever pitch with the news that a British company has put in a bid to operate from the St Michael’s Pier terminal.

According to The Times, the Liverpool & North Wales Steamship Company, which was restarted two years ago, envisages running regular passenger cruises in the Irish Sea and will be “ready to sail” from next summer.

The ferry company’s chief executive Steve Payne plans to present his pitch to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council — the authority that now controls the harbour — by the end of this year, laying out plans for services that could employ 240 people.

Payne revealed to Afloat.ie that as well as the cruise bid involving its 650-passenger vessel, it also wants to operate a regular ferry service serving its home base of Liverpool and also Llandudno in North Wales.

The company’s flagship heritage pleasure steamer TSMV Endeavour is presently in refit in Liverpool.

However, one of the investors involved in the recently scrapped Harbour Innovation Campus proposal says he intends to push on with a tech hub scheme for the former ferry terminal.

Ian Lucey currently faces a High Court action from Harbour Innovation Campus developer Philip Gannon in a case that’s understood to be separate from Gannon’s decision to pull out of the Dun Laoghaire venture last month.

Note: This piece has been corrected to remove a previous statement that Philip Gannon and Ian Lucey were business partners. The shareholder agreement clearly states that no partnership was created. We are happy to make this clarification.

Published in Dublin Bay

#CruiseLiners - Among the cruise callers Dun Laoghaire Harbour in season 2019 is to welcome will be Norwegian Pearl and not as previously stated a sister, writes Jehan Ashmore

The sister Norwegian Jewel is the leadship of the 'Jewel' class quartet from where Norwegian Pearl became the third when completed in 2006 by Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany. The near 100,000 gross tonnes cruiseship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line is scheduled to call twice next year to Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

On the occasion of Norwegian Pearl's maiden call in June, this is to take place with an anchorage call offshore. The debut of the 2,300 capacity cruiseship (virtual tour) which will be the biggest caller during next season will also be a boost to the local economy.

A second opportunity for the business community and tourist interests alike is to arise as the 294m (965ft) cruiseship is to make a reappearance the following month.

To see a list including the remaining scheduled cruise calls in 2019 click here.

Published in Cruise Liners

#DLharbour - People in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown are getting “a gift and a jewel” in the transfer of the Dún Laoghaire Harbour company to the county council, Minister for Transport Shane Ross has insisted.

As The Irish Times reports, the Minister confirmed that he had on Wednesday formally signed the transfer of the harbour company’s functions to the county council.

Mr Ross rejected claims that the company had €33 million in liabilities and insisted it was closer to €10 million which would extend over a long period of time for repairs and maintenance.

He stressed that it will not affect local property tax or local projects and the transfer included a “seven-digit cash reserve”.

The Minister was speaking during a heated Seanad debate on the company’s transfer.

“It’s a gift and a jewel being given to the people of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown,” he said. “This is a great deal for the citizens and residents.”

For more the newspaper reports here in addition Afloat this week revealed a cruiseship from Norwegian Cruise Line is to call during the 2019 season totalling six calls.

Published in Dublin Bay

#DLHarbour - Councillors in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown have expressed anger and frustration over the transfer of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company’s multi-million liabilities to the local authority.

Transport Minister Shane Ross was in the Seanad this afternoon for statements on the transfer of functions of the harbour company to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo), which was made formal today (Wednesday 3 October) after he signed off on the move last week.

DLRCoCo later held a Special Meeting to debate the transfer, at which Councillor Cormac Devlin said the debt “will have a significant impact on future council budgets and may lead to reduced services and increases in commercial rates and the Local Property Tax.

“The chief executive of the council confirmed to members that the figure of €33m may actually be at the lower end of the scale of liabilities. This directly contradicts Minister Shane Ross’ claim to the Seanad that the debt is only €10m.”

Cllr Devlin called on the Government to “find a way to indemnify the council to ensure residents and business owners do not suffer for their policies.”

Councillor Dónal Smith was even more vociferous, branding Minister Ross’ lack of a promise of indemnity as “a kick in the teeth for the people who elected him. He has hung a financial albatross around the necks of his constituents. He will not be thanked.”

Cllr Smith said suggestions that the council sell public lands earmarked for housing to pay down the harbour’s debts amount to “a scandal”.

“If Fine Gael gives a toss about the residents and ratepayers of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, their Government will indemnify the council,” he added.

Update on Thursday 4 October:  The full Special Meeting can be streamed in full from DLRCoCo's webcast player HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

#CruiseLiners - Afloat can reveal Dun Laoghaire Harbour's cruiseship caller list in season 2019 is scheduled to be as twice as busy compared to this year's total of just three calls, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In what will also make next season different, asides doubling cruise calls to six, is the return of an anchorage caller offshore of the port, in this case the giant Norwegian Jewel. This is due to the cruiseship's deep draft that cannot be accommodated inside the south Dublin Bay harbour.

The cruiseship will be a boost to the local economy as the 2,300 passenger capacity vessel is to make a debut in June and a second call the following month. The season's other four cruise calls however accounts overall for less than the total of 8 calls achieved in 2017. 

At almost 100,000 gross tonnage, the Norwegian Cruise Line operated vessel is the leadship of the cruiseship's namesake 'Jewel' class completed in 2005. A refurbishment took place four years ago.  

The call of the NCL ship is new in the context of the concerted effort by Dun Loaghaire Harbour Company in recent years to bring back cruiseships that began in 2011. However, NCL did deploy Norway, the distinctive twin funnelled (former classic liner, France) which was recalled with much personal interest when two offshore calls took place during the 1990's. The anchorage visit was also noted given the use of the cruiseship's pair of particulary large tender craft that were lowered by cranes from the fo'c'sle i.e. in front of the bridge above the bow.

As for the Norwegian Jewel's tenders they will too have to shuttle back and forth from the near 300m long ship in stark contrast to this season when a pair of much smaller sized ships arrived within the harbour. Star Pride and slightly larger capacity sister, Star Breeze, just shy of 10,000 tonnes and 133m in length docked at Carlisle Pier with around 200 passengers.

The Windstar Cruises operated pair of mega-yacht luxury boutique style cruiseships will return to Dun Laoghaire Harbour in 2019. Star Pride with a crew of around 150, launches the season again with a call in June and is to be repeated following the debut call of Norwegian Jewel. Whereas, Star Breeze is to make an appearance likewise of this year, with two successive visits in the month of September.

Published in Cruise Liners

#DLHarbour - Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown county councillors have suggested a potential increase in Local Property Tax to help offset Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company’s multi-million-euro liabilities, now that the harbour has been officially transferred to local authority control.

Cllr Barry Ward tweeted late last night (Wednesday 26 September) that Transport Minister Shane Ross had signed over responsibility for Dun Laoghaire Harbour “with no financial provision for the estimated €33.5 million debt now imposed on his own constituents, despite repeated calls for fairness from councillors.

“[Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown] cannot sustain this level of financial liability,” he added.

A slew of projects and developments in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area — from Stillorgan Library to Glenalbyn Swimming Pool to the Marlay Park Masterplan — are now “all in jeopardy”, according to local councillor Barry Saul.

Cllr Lynsey McGovern added that “we can kiss goodbye to keeping commercial rates and property tax down now,” while Cllr Jim Gildea said even a 30% increase in LPT “would only give us €15m. I for one couldn’t vote to hoist that burden on our householders”.

Minister Ross confirmed back in April this year that “all assets and liabilities” of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company would transfer to the local authority upon the former’s dissolution — and made clear that National Ports Policy does not provide for Exchequer funding “for any port company”.

The transfer of liabilities was branded as “unacceptable” at the time by local Green Party councillor Ossian Smyth.

Independent Senator Victor Boyhan was set to raise the issue of the harbour transfer and its financial implications for DLRCoCo in the Seanad this morning, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Update Friday 28 September: Cllr Barry Ward tweeted confirmation that Dun Laoghaire Harbour will come under control of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council next Wednesday 3 October.

Fine Gael councillors have called for a special meeting on the issue on the same day at 5pm. An invitation will be extended to Transport Minister Shane Ross.

Published in Dublin Bay

The transfer of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council will be raised by Independent Senator Victor Boyhan in the Seanad today at 11am.

Boyhan who previously expressed doubts about the corporate governance of the Harbour Company is expected to claim this morning that there are serious financial implications for DLR County Council and its revenue and capital funding streams that need to be resolved in advance of the Government completing a formal transfer.

Listen live here

Published in Dublin Bay

#DLHarbour - Dun Laoghaire County Council is currently involved in final negotiations over the takeover of Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

In his response to a Dáil question on the timeline for transfer of the port to the local authority, Transport Minister Shane Ross confirmed that the order of transfer was sent to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in mid July.

This followed issues relating to risk assessment that were “clarified at meetings that took place between the relevant officials” in the council and harbour company executive since March.

Local residents in Dun Laoghaire also met over the summer to establish any “common concerns” that may be presented to the harbour’s new overseers.

Afloat.ie understands that the final negotiations are centring on the harbour company's liabilities, which local Green Party councillor Ossian Smyth branded as “unacceptable” in April this year.

Published in Dublin Bay

#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
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