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Lightship To Lead A Rocky Life?

11th November 2010
Lightship To Lead A Rocky Life?
A former lightship which has remained docked in Dublin Port for several years, could be used as a tourist attraction, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

The Dublin 'Docklands' developer, Harry Crosbie is seeking permission from Dublin City Council to raise the 500-ton lightship, Kittiwake and place on the quayside opposite The 02 Theatre. Currently the lightship is berthed nearby the East-Link road toll bridge and acts as a notable floating feature to countless daily commuters.

In 2007, the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) sold the 1959 built lightship to Crosbie. The 134-foot lightship had served in that role for many years around the Irish coast. In 1981, as part of an extensive modernisation programme, the Kittiwake and other lightships were converted into an automated light-float (ALF). The last station served by the ALF was at South Rock, Co. Down.

If the former lightship is given the green light, the vessel would act as a "welcoming point" for cruise tourists. Subject to planning permission, the lightship would undergo another re-conversion project to create an open-plan café bar for a period of five years.

The veteran vessel would also have its lighthouse light restored and would "beam" across the docklands and entertainment venue. The lightship would maintain its customary 'red' hull with Kittiwake written in neon on the side.

In order to attract this cruise business to the Kittiwake, Crosbie has asked the Dublin Port Company to relocate the main existing cruise-ship location closer to the O2 Theatre. The proposal has the support of Dublin City Council.

In the meantime the majority of cruise-ships dock at Alexandra Basin, in the heart of the port's industrial zone but the distance is quite far from there to the city centre.

On an annual the capital welcomes around 80,000 passengers during each season, generally between May to October. In 2011, the port expects 86 cruise-calls, potentially generating €35m to €55m to the economy.

The proposed for the new terminal is to be submitted to the EU this month, in the hope of financing support. Meanwhile the proposed site envisaged for the cruise terminal, is occupied by tugs based operated by Dublin Port Company.

Published in Dublin Bay
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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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.

 

At A Glance – Dublin Bay

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

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