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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire

#RNLI - Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was called out twice in quick succession this afternoon (Wednesday 9 May) to two separate vessels fouled on fishing pots.

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.

Read also: Without a Harbour Czar, Dun Laoghaire’s All at Sea

#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.”

Full details on the tender are available HERE.

#RNLI - Comedian, radio host and TV personality PJ Gallagher is to hold a night of fun and laughter with some of Ireland’s top comedians to raise funds for the RNLI.

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.

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#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.

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#DLHarbour - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company has issued its first notices to mariners for 2018, superseding all previous marine notices.

Regarding fairway priorities, the harbour fairways and approaches are generally to be kept clear and free. It is prohibited to anchor or lay moorings in these areas as marked on navigational publications and charts.

No race marks, buoys, floats, etc are to be laid in the fairways or the near approaches to Dun Laoghaire Harbour – and no racing shall take place other than by specific written permission from the Harbour Master.

Any lobster/crab pots that are laid shall remain clear of all harbour navigational waters, and slipways.

Large power-driven vessels (cruise liners, ferries, lighthouse and Naval Service vessels) and smaller power-driven vessels with restricted manoeuvrability (such as cruise ship tenders and small passenger ferries) have priority over all other craft, including the area of the harbour limits that extend 600 metres seaward of the harbour mouth.

Large power-driven vessels are to sound a prolonged blast when approaching the harbour mouth from either direction, or the appropriate signal when manoeuvring off, departing or preparing to depart from their berths.

A vessel may also sound a preliminary, prolonged blast, just prior to departure, so as to alert other harbour users of its imminent departure.

Irrespective as to whether or not any such signal is sounded, the obligation remains for small craft togive priority to the large power-driven vessels.

Regarding VHF reporting, all vessels, excluding pleasure craft, are required to call ‘Harbour Office Dun Laoghaire’ on VHF Channel 14 as follows:

  1. ETA at harbour entrance at least two hours in advance, and for any scheduled ferries call at least half an hour in advance.
  2. ETD at least one hour in advance, followed by confirmation five minutes prior to departure.

Unscheduled arrivals should call ‘Harbour Office Dun Laoghaire’ on mobile +353 83 144 3412 (24hr) at least two hours before arrival.

#DunLaoghaire - Planning permission is being sought to park as many as 20 buses overnight for up to seven years at the former Stena HSS vehicle compound in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Details of the application on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s planning website indicate that a change of use is also sought to employ the existing freight ticket office as staff facilities for Go-Ahead Transport Services, with no alterations proposed.

Observations can be made on this application up until Monday 5 February.

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#RNLI - The volunteer crew at Dun Laoghaire RNLI will hold their traditional Christmas Eve ceremony to remember the 15 volunteers that died on service in 1895 at noon this Sunday.

The crew will remember all those who lost their lives around the coast and inland, and this year will be paying a special tribute to their Irish Coast Guard colleagues, the crew of Rescue 116, who died tragically last March.

Taking place at the lighthouse end of Dun Laoghaire’s East Pier, the short ceremony will include music, an ecumenical blessing, a contemporary newspaper account of the 1895 tragedy and a piped lament.

Both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats stationed at Dun Laoghaire will launch and the crew will lay wreaths at sea close to the pier.

The ceremony is a long-standing Christmas Eve tradition that remembers the lives of the 15 volunteer crew that died when their lifeboat capsized in gale force winds while attempting to rescue those on board the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock, Co Dublin.

All lives lost around the Irish coast and on inland waterways in 2017 will be remembered during the ceremony.

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