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Dublin chimneys give up smoking

21st April 2010
Dublin chimneys give up smoking

The Poolbeg Chimneys, for decades a favourite weather indicator for Dublin sailors, puffed their last plumes of smoke last night. The chimneys kicked the smoking habit as the peak energy demand tapered off last night and the oil-firing Poolbeg station was finally shut down.

As well as being a landmark in Dublin Bay, the chimneys were a handy wind indicator, reaching 680 feet upwards into the atmosphere. They belched out a high-altitude plume, often giving sailors a hint as to whether or not higher-level winds might reach downwards and affect their racing if a morning on Dublin Bay or in Howth started off with light winds at sea level.

Any junior sailor in the bay will remember having the chimneys pointed out as a wind indicator from an early age.

Read the full story of their decommissioning here .

Published in Dublin Bay
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore. 

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.