The flotilla formed a line tracing the position of where the proposed 390m long jetty would sit inside the harbour, almost occupying the centre of the south Dublin Bay port. The cruise-berth would be able to accomodate some of the largest cruiseships in the world.
The boat rally was held in advance of the first official oral hearings to be held by An Bord Pleanala next week. The hearing will examine submissions lodged to An Bord Pleanala on the controversial issue of an application by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) for planning permission to construct the facility. In total 150 submissions were lodged following a public consultation process when the harbour company unveiled its cruise-berth plans during Easter.
Critics of the cruise liner project say the new pier structure would split the harbour in two, bringing an end to sailing across the broad expanse of the artificial built harbour which has been a tradition for many generations.
Also yesterday was held the People's Rally, where local T.D., Richard Boyd Barrett cited despite the fact that another public-owned harbour, Dubin Port with its own cruise-berth terminal would be competing in effect and that Dun Laoghaire would lose out.
Also it was claimed that the proposed cruise-berth would be a prelude to preparing the harbour for 'privatisation'.
Protestors claim from fears over the impacts of dredging and damage caused during construction and continued maintenance costs. Also how such a facility would pose on the unique heritage values of the harbour and public amenities was also raised.
The DLHC is to be transferred to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, however the direction of the how the local authority would manage the port was also questioned against the backdrop of the Harbours (Amendment) Bill due before the Dail.
On completion of the rally held in the centre of the harbour, the yachts were joined by dinghy craft to form a larger flotilla in support of the People’s Rally held at the East Pier bandstand.
The first day of the oral hearing is to begin next Wednesday, 14 October.