Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire
#CruiseLiners - A boutique yacht-like cruiseship just shy of 10,000 tonnes docked in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning as the first of just three callers this season, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The inaugural caller, Star Pride operated by US based Windstar Cruises with 208 guests had sailed from La Pallice, neighbouring La Rochelle on the French coast lining the Bay of Biscay.
On arrival to the south Dublin Bay harbour in the early hours, the former Seabourn Cruise Line vessel berthed at Carlisle Pier. This is where the considerably larger freight ro-ro Stena Carrier as previously reported had initially called first for survey work before again anchoring offshore. Surprisingly, the ship returned to port to enable crew rest until departing earlier this month.
Guests of the high-end luxury Star Pride are pampered in facilities among them lounges, a club, casino, screening room, computer room and library. As far as leisure facilities are concerned, there is a spa, two whirlpools, a swimming pool and a fitness centre. Accommodation comprises of 106 suites, all outside with ocean views.
Star Pride given its small size of 134m long, 19m (beam) wide and 5m draft, has the advantage of calling to destinations involving smaller harbours and secluded coves.
The next caller will be a fleetmate, Star Breeze also a sister which is scheduled but not until September with two calls. As both ships are small, there will be no anchorage callers in Dublin Bay to where considerably larger vessels did so of recent years, though last year the season attracted almost thrice the number of callers with 8 ships and all entering the harbour. Of those only one ship was not operated by Windstar, the expedition cruiseship Serenissima of Noble Caledonia, carrying a mere 85 passengers.
The third and final Windstar sister that visited Dun Laoghaire last year was Star Legend. The Seattle based operator also has a trio of sail-assisted ships, sisters Wind Star and Wind Spirit with four masts each. In addition the larger and impressive Wind Surf featuring five-masts that during calls to Dun Laoghaire has drawn much admiring attention in recent years.
The 310 guest capacity Wind Surf has became the most frequent to since the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company made a concerted effort to attract the sector back in 2011, three years before the Stena HSS fastferry service to Holyhead closed.
#Flugtag - The long-awaited return of the Red Bull Flugtag to Dun Laoghaire Harbour is just two days away.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the event this Sunday 20 May will see over 50 teams attempt to push the limits of human flight as they launch their handcrafted flying machines in front of over 40,000 spectators.
The National Yacht Club invites its members to enjoy the spectacle “from your club’s best vantage point” with a barbecue as well as live music and entertainment from 1pm to 5pm.
Members should also be aware that there will be an exclusion zone in the Carlisle Basin with two patrol RIBs from the club to help channel the traffic.
It is also advised not bring your boat alongside the pontoons, as masts or high cabins would impede the view of the show.
The NYC’s launch service is not affected by the Flugtag, but there will be no renting of club boats this weekend.
For further details on the event, including road closures, parking and public transport, see the official Red Bull Flugtag event guide.
#Coastguard - Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard was alerted at 10am yesterday morning (Wednesday 16 May) to respond to a woman and her dog who were cut off by the tide on Merrion Strand, near the seaward side of the Dublin incinerator area.
Dublin Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) activated a procedure with consent to ping the location of the casualty’s phone to give co-ordinates to the responding emergency services.
The casualty and her dog were airlifted from the sand bank to awaiting coastguard personal on the beach. After checks by Dublin Fire Brigade paramedics, they were taken back from the beach to land.
The volunteer crew of Dun Laoghaire launched to assist one boat that had been fouled by pots.
Once safely ashore, the crew’s pagers sounded again with a call to assist a yacht that had also become fouled on pots, and towed it into harbour.
The recent vote by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLR) effectively recommends that the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport dissolve the Harbour Company and transfer its assets to the County Council. The right to do this is given to the Minister under Article 28 of the Harbours Act 2015, and, importantly, this action is strongly supported by the Nationals Ports Policy.
The debate in the Council Chambers showed that there is an appetite to bring the harbour under the auspices of the County Council, not only amongst the Councillors but also at senior management level. In recommending this course of action, Philomena Poole, DLR’s CEO, addressing the council, stated that this was an “opportunity to use government policy for the betterment of the county and to ensure the integration at a policy and development level of the harbour”.
However, there is the small question of who pays for the works that would put the harbour into a “taking in charge” condition, essentially that state where no capital works are required to prevent further deterioration of the infrastructure. Consultants employed by the County Council estimate this to be €33m, of which approximately €7m covers the outer piers and €8m is for repairing berth no 1 on the East Pier. Councillors were unanimous that the €33m was not something that the county council could or should underwrite and this hot potato was very firmly hurled towards national government. Ironically, recent damage to East Pier during Storm Emma highlighted how DLHC is unsustainable an entity.
There were strong opinions expressed during the debate about the role of the Harbour Company, none of them positive, not only concerning the Harbour Company’s recent progress or lack of it, but also about the non–cooperation with the consultants as they endeavoured to calculate the liabilities. Several referred to the “dysfunctionality” of the Harbour Company while Councillor John Bailey was particularly scathing of the Harbour’s approach noting that the Harbour Company “is dead, not even on life support.” He was to the forefront amongst Councillors concerned that the ‘snapshot’ provided by the consultants through the risk report fell short of the information that would be available in a due diligence report.
A number of motions were withdrawn before the final vote in the interest of getting the principal motion passed. One of these suggested that the Minister effectively impose a “cease and desist” order on the Harbour Company to restrict, inter alia, any transfer of assets and new leases or rental agreements. At present the Harbour Company are actively seeking expressions of interest in the Carlisle Pier regeneration, conducting a “market consultation” on the provision of a national watersport centre and entering a procurement process for the provision of floating homes in the Coal Harbour.
Another motion that was withdrawn was a proposal to create a Harbour Stakeholder’s Committee.
The activity in the Council Chamber begs the question where next? Those who were seeking to engage with the Harbour Company on current projects must be concerned about the longer term viability. With the future governance of the harbour in doubt, where do the current planning applications for developments on harbour lands fit in?
While the County Council vote is indicative of the intent of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, it is perhaps only the beginning of the end and maybe even back to the drawing board for a new master plan for the harbour.
The council meeting heard that the decision to transfer is wholly reserved to the Minister for Transport.
Is it a bright new future or same old same old for the 200–year–old harbour?
Clearly the ball is now firmly in the Minister’s court.
#Property - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company has now launched the procurement process for its plans to develop ‘floating homes’ on the waterfront, as promised in January.
The tender published to the State’s eTenders website is “seeking proposals for the development and operation of affordable floating homes within the harbour” by Thursday 12 April.
The concession notice for the estimated €15 million development stipulates that some 60% of the Coal Harbour area has been earmarked for the plan, which is expected to comprise around “50 single-storey affordable floating homes for rental by the candidate.”
The harbour company adds: “It is important that any development is high quality and sensitive to the site’s high profile waterside location.”
The one-off event is being staged at Dun Laoghaire’s Pavilion Theatre on Sunday 4 March, where PJ will be joined by friends Deirdre O’Kane, Eric Lalor, Joanne McNally and more.
Funds raised on the night will go to help the charity with their work in saving lives at sea and prevention.
PJ became aware of the work of the RNLI in Dun Laoghaire when he was passing the station and lifeboat mechanic Kieran ‘Colley’ O’Connell invited him in to look around.
The pair struck up a friendship, and PJ has been a regular visitor at the station since then. When he heard about he work of the RNLI he made up his mind to do an event to raise funds.
Speaking about his decision to hold the comedy night and to ask some of his famous friends to support it, PJ said: “I live near the lifeboat station and was aware of the work of the RNLI but it was only when I met Colley that I really learned what it was all about. These men and women are volunteers and they leave their jobs and lives to come and help those in trouble at sea.
“We have a big beautiful lifeboat on view in Dun Laoghaire Harbour but when it’s gone, sometimes in the middle of the night, that’s when they are doing their amazing work. I asked some friends if they’d help with a fundraiser and they jumped at the chance. In fairness, you never know when this lot might need rescuing.”
Kieran added: “We are really thrilled that PJ and his friends are holding this night for us. We get a lot of visitors into the station and they are always delighted to hear about the work we do and you hope it stays with them but PJ has stayed in contact and become a firm friend of the station.
“I just hope he knows what he is letting himself in for as most of the crew will be attending and if their pagers go off there could be a lot of people running for the doors suddenly. I hope they won’t take it personally.”
The gig is selling fast, with only a small number of tickets remaining. Tickets are priced at €24 and are available from the box office directly at www.paviliontheatre.ie or 01 231 2929.
Night at the Oskars
Elsewhere, members of Clogherhead RNLI have been overwhelmed with the local support for ‘The Night at the Oskars’, a special night being staged to raise funds for the station’s new Shannon class lifeboat due in 2019.
Taking place on Saturday 3 March at the TLT in Drogheda, the evening will see local people star in seven short films recreating some of the most well-known and successful blockbusters over the last few years.
The red-carpet event is formal or black-tie dress and tickets are priced at €30.
Last June Clogherhead RNLI launched a €150,000 fundraising appeal at the Drogheada Maritime Festival towards the cost of the new Shannon Lifeboat, which is expected to total some €2.5 million.
The majority of the funding will be provided through an Irish legacy, and Clogherhead RNLI and affiliated branches in Meath and Monahan are making a commitment to raise €150,000 towards the cost of the project through a community appeal.
Tickets can be obtained at the Clogherhead Lifeboat Station each Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm until 3 March or through phoning Tomas on 086 809 4690.
#UrbanBeach - A funding dispute over the proposed ‘urban beach’ development for Dun Laoghaire is going to the High Court.
According to Fora, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) is taking legal action against the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to annul the contract between the two parties, alleging lack of progress on a project that was put on hold ‘pending organisational restructure’ in late 2016.
Modelled along the lines of Berlin’s Badeschiff, the development comprising an artificial beach and floating swimming pool barge along the East Pier has been stalled a number of times since first mooted as part of a series of regeneration plans for the harbour.
Up to €1.5 million of the €3 million costs of the project were expected to be funded by DLRCoCo, which has already reportedly paid thousands in arbitration fees over the dispute.
Ownership of the harbour company is supposed to transfer to the local authority, but a year ago county councillors expressed concern over the potential financial liabilities involved, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
A risk assessment due later this month is expected to shed more light on the situation. Fora has more on the story HERE.
#Property - Plans to develop “floating homes” in Dun Laoghaire Harbour — and refocus the area on accommodation as well as leisure — have moved a step forward as a formal procurement process is set to begin.
Last September, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company sought expressions of interest for plans comprising “a cluster of floating affordable homes” moored in the harbour.
“About two years ago we looked at the notion of a floating hotel,” Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company chief Gerry Dunne told the Sunday Independent. “This concept is the same — to utilise the water space for residential purposes, rather than just leaving it for leisure pursuits.”
The precise specification of the final homes has get to be determined, though a retail price of up to €350,000 is to be expected.
Dunne also expects that if the procurement process is completed in the first quarter of this year, “we could have the floating homes project up and running in 2019.”
The Sunday Independent has more on the story HERE.
A bicentenary review of the Construction of Dun Laoghaire Harbour by author and historic building consultant Rob Goodbody will be held on the 1st February at the DMYC club house on the West Pier in Dun Laoghaire.
'Even though it is treated as an engineering subject, it will be of genuine interest to the lay person, as much for the reasoning and motivation for the harbour’s construction, according to lecture convenor and DMYC sailor Cormac Bradley.
The first stone for the large harbour at Dunlaoghaire was laid in May 1817 and in 2017 a number of events to commemorate this bicentenary took place, including a visit by the President, Michael D Higgins.
This presentation introduces the background to the building of the harbour before examining how the harbour was constructed and how works progressed to the completion of the piers more than a quarter of a century later.
Rob Goodbody is a historic building consultant. He has researched the history of Dun Laoghaire harbour over many years and this summer past was conducting guided walks to commemorate the bicentenary of the harbour.
He has written several books including The Metals - from Dalkey to Dunlaoghaire and has co-authored a number of others, most recently Dublin Bay - Nature and History, which has been published by The Collins Press.