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New Lease of Life for Reopened Maritime Museum

3rd April 2012
New Lease of Life for Reopened Maritime Museum

#MARITIME MUSEUM REOPENING – It is good to report positive news, particularly the much awaited reopening of the Maritime Institute of Ireland's maritime museum in Dun Laoghaire, which is to take place today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Since 2006, the museum secured vital Government grants to undertake repair, renovation and improvement works of the former Church of Ireland church built in 1837 which could accommodate up to 1,400 people. Due to dwindling parish numbers the church closed on Easter Sunday 1972 and two years later the museum moved in.

Over the next three decades visitors enjoyed the unique and apt setting of the former Mariners Church. However as the years rolled the structure of the building was in need of urgent attention which led to the closure in 2004.

The extensive work has included the replacement of the roof, treatment of dry rot, repointing and cleaning of the stonework, replaced plasterwork, repair of the stained glass windows, installation of new lighting and heating systems and wheelchair accessibility provided.

Initially the museum will only use the ground floor, having said that a new layout is presented with several 'stories' centred around these exhibits, to read more about the exhibits click HERE.

In addition children will be entertained by a Knot Station and there is to be a souvenir shop and coffee dock. Opening hours are 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday, including Bank Holidays, for further information visit: www.mariner.ie

The Maritime Institute of Ireland celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, and was established primarily to highlight the importance of an Irish mercantile fleet, the role of ports and shipping, fishing and to recognise and foster our maritime heritage.

Members can join the Institute with the benefits of accessing the museum (covering admission) runs a lecture programme, issue newsletters, host and support commemorations and conducts research. As a voluntary organisation they also welcome new recruits.

The instiute's patron is President Michael D. Higgins who is to officially reopen the museum in early June.

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.