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Cruise Berth Plans 'Another Manifestation of Dun Laoghaire's Dying Main Street'

23rd October 2015

#CruiseBerth - Would a next-generation cruise berth in Dun Laoghaire actually do more harm than good?

That's the position of former Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club vice commodore Dermot Reidy as the oral hearings on the controversial cruise berth proposal come to a close.

Writing in The Irish Times yesterday (Thursday 21 October), Reidy describes the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company's ambitious cruise liner terminal plans as a "white elephant" and equates it with the retail over-expansion that has all but killed off the town's beleaguered Main Street.

"Dún Laoghaire needs cruise ships, certainly. But it needs ones that will dock in the harbour and contribute to the town and its economy," he writes. "It does not need 'Cities of the Seas' or five-star, floating Bulgarian apartment block-style vessels, each on the order of 17 storeys high and weighing 150,000 tons."

That's a notion supported by engineer Liam Shanahan, who told An Bord Pleanála's hearing on Wednesday (21 October) that the term 'cruise ship' in the context of the harbour company's planning application is a misnomer when such vessels are typically more than 11 storeys high and are comparable to "a mountain on a hull, with a power plant inside" – generating mass amount of air pollution when berthed.

Reidy, who supports an alternative future for Dun Laoghaire as a centre of sporting excellence, goes a step further by comparing the town's harbour to Phoenix Park as an amenity for both public and private use, and suggesting that the harbour's management be reorganised "into the existing structures that are available and willing to run them: the people via their elected councillors."

The oral hearings on the Dun Laoghaire cruise berth plans conclude today (Friday 23 October), with a final decision due by 8 January 2016.

Published in Cruise Liners
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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