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Easter Sunday Marks Rebirth of Mariners Maritime Museum

8th April 2012
Easter Sunday Marks Rebirth of Mariners Maritime Museum

#MARTIME MUSEUM AT EASTER - Earlier this week Dun Laoghaire's maritime museum re-opened its doors to the public after a €4m renovation project was carried out on the apt venue of the former Mariners Church, which incidentally closed on this Easter Day forty years ago, writes Jehan Ashmore.

With a new lease of life the extensively renovated and upgraded museum can look forward to a future. Visitors enter the museum at a new entrance, where in the reception foyer there is a souvenir shop, beyond that in the main body or nave are exhibits displayed, each telling a story and for children there is a Knott Station. To view the initial exhibits on display, click HERE.

In addition there is new facility in the form of a café, which was much needed and where two new stained -glass windows by Peadar Lamb feature, they were sponsored by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company. As for the original stained-class windows they were restored to their full glory.

The renovation began in 2006 and was funded by the Government which led to a three-phrased project that involved work carried out from the re-roofing right down to the floorboards. Walls were re-plastered, electric systems modernised and wheel chair-lift and ramps installed.

Work also took place to clean the exterior of the stone-cut granite building hewn from Dalkey Quarry and which led to the consecration of the Kingstown Episcopalian Mariners Church in 1843.

After many generations of mariners and their families, parish numbers dwindled and its use as place worship ended on Easter Sunday 1972. The Maritime Institute of Ireland which runs the museum relocated two years later having had a smaller museum sited along the town's harbour waterfront.

For the next three decades the museum which has attracted locals and visitors from home and overseas, eventually had to close due to deteriorating conditions of an aging building.

Now that the museum is up and running, the M.I.I. which is staffed by volunteers has in recent years also had the support of a FAS scheme of workers, which according to the institute have been invaluable.

The museum is open 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday and every Bank Holiday, for further information visit: www.mariner.ie


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.