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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

East Pier Battery Open to Public

28th August 2009
East Pier Battery Open to Public
Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company will open the East Pier Battery at the end of the East Pier to the public on a part-time basis from Saturday 29 August. The plan is to provide access to the public from Thursdays to Sundays until the middle of October and it will re-open next Easter.

This is the first time that the military Battery will be opened up since it was built in 1859. Extensive signage has been put in place to explain the history of the lighthouse, artillery bell and housing within the complex. The long-term plan is to fully restore the East Pier Battery as a public amenity.

With the appropriate restoration works, the East Pier Battery could have the potential to accommodate exhibition space and modest catering facilities. This initiative was announced today Friday 28 August by Sean Costello, Chairman of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.

Mr. Costello referred to the ritual of regular walkers of the pier to touch the gate, to signify that they are half way on their journey, before commencing the walk back. He welcomed the fact that the few who have been behind the walls will have to share, and will do so gladly, the spectacular views of Dublin Bay from the East Pier Battery.The East Pier Battery is a protected structure, and represents an important example of a defensive marine structure of the nineteenth century. It is a significant and interesting part of the harbour structure and remains largely intact, but does require additional repair, upgrade and maintenance. In 2008, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company commissioned a conservation report on the East Pier Battery from Shaffrey Associates Architects, and this will be the reference point for any work to be undertaken.

The granite lighthouse, which stands in the centre of the East Pier Battery, was constructed to the design of George Halpin, Chief Engineer of the Ballast Board of Dublin and was commissioned in 1847. The military Battery was built around this lighthouse between 1859 and 1860. At one time, it housed large calibre guns, a powder magazine and one officer and 24 men. After the nineteenth century, it was largely unoccupied and never saw military action. The East Pier Battery lighthouse still continues to function and is maintained by the Commissioners for Irish Lights. The guns are now only used by the Naval Service for ceremonial gun salutes.

In his concluding remarks, Sean Costello said that moving forward into the next decade, the focus of the Dun Laoghaire harbour Company will be firmly fixed on the opening of further facilities in the harbour. “We do this to further the marine, leisure and tourism potential for Dun Laoghaire in a manner which reflects and supports the objectives of all stakeholders. We do this in a manner which reflects and supports the objectives of the draft County Development Plan”.

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.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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