As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the idea was recently proposed by the Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs (DLCC) to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council as they made their submission to the oral hearings on plans for a next-generation terminal for cruise liners in the harbour.
Those plans have attracted significant opposition in the locality, as evidenced by the large turnout for the joint boat rally and protest march against the scheme last weekend.
Rather than 'dividing' the harbour, as many opponents fear the cruise terminal would do, the DLCC say development of the HSS terminal as a 'National Watersports Academy' would help protect Dun Laoghaire's waterfront "as an outstanding recreational harbour and sporting amenity of national significance".
Based on the example of similar facilities in Pwllheli, Weymouth and Medemblik, the proposal envisages that Dun Laoghaire could host between 20 and 30 major events at such a centre throughout the year, "generating substantial additional revenue" for the town.
The complete proposal is available as a PDF to read or download HERE.
In 2010, The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) published a case study on the socio-economic significance of the 2009 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The biennial event attracted an entry of 449 entries and is the biggest regatta in Ireland. Over four days, the study (carried out by Irish Sea Marine Leisure Knowledge Network) found the event was worth nearly three million to the local economy.