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Dublin Port to Give Bull Island Lands to Dublin City Council with additional €1.2m Towards New Facilities

18th September 2013
Dublin Port to Give Bull Island Lands to Dublin City Council with additional €1.2m Towards New Facilities

#bullisland – Dublin Port Company today announced a proposal to transfer its ownership of a significant and strategic portion of Bull Island to Dublin City Council to hold in perpetuity for the people of Dublin and future generations.

Dublin Port Company will also partner with Dublin City Council and Fáilte Ireland in a feasibility study for a new interpretative centre and international visitor experience at the UNESCO designated Bull Island biosphere, and will contribute towards the development of a master plan for Bull Island following the conclusion of the study. In addition, Dublin Port Company will allocate up to €1.2 million towards the cost of the study, master plan and new services or facilities identified for Bull Island.

Dublin Port Company owns a portion of Bull Island closest to the port and adjacent to the Royal Dublin Golf Club measuring approximately 10.5 hectares, and located at the western side of the island beside the North Bull Wall. At present, the lands owned by Dublin Port Company are used for recreation, including gaining access to Dollymount Strand, thus providing an important link to the rest of Bull Island.

Bull Island was originally created following port engineering works in the 1800s; the construction of the Great South Wall and North Bull Wall resulted in the creation of Bull Island as it is known today.

The proposal will provide a legacy that enriches Bull Island as a precious natural resource for Dubliners and visitors to the City and has been welcomed by the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar and Dublin City Council. The proposal will be included as a community gain element to Dublin Port Company's planning application to provide new and deeper berths in the Alexandra Basin and on the river towards the east of Dublin Port. This is the first significant project for development under the company's Masterplan, which provides the framework for the future development of Dublin Port to 2040.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar said: "I commend Dublin Port for this initiative and for its ongoing contribution to the city both as an economic force and as the custodian of our river and bay. Dublin Port's gift to the people of Dublin will be welcomed by all and remembered for generations."

Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company said: "Dublin Port Company has a long tradition of developing and supporting projects which benefit local communities, the City of Dublin, its citizens and visitors. The Bull Island community gain initiative is an important element of our first major Masterplan project. This project will deliver more than three kilometres of new deeper berths for passenger, freight and cruise ships, all within the Port's existing footprint. Dublin is Ireland's cruise capital with more than 100 cruise ships calling this year. The project will allow the largest cruise ships to berth right up at East Link Bridge. An important part of the project is the community gain proposal to transfer ownership of Dublin Port Company's land holding in Bull Island to Dublin City Council and for Dublin Port Company to contribute funding towards new facilities that will attract local and foreign visitors to Bull Island. We are commencing a consultation exercise on this proposal and we look forward to hearing everyone's views."
Welcoming the proposal, Owen P Keegan, Dublin City Manager, Dublin City Council, said: "The City Council welcomes this valuable contribution from Dublin Port Company to the conservation and enhancement of the Bull Island. The Island is designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere reserve and it is a unique resource for the City. A feasibility study is being carried out to consider the potential for redeveloping the Visitor Centre on the island as a flagship project for natural heritage interpretation. This project and the on-going conservation of wildlife on the island will be much strengthened by this new partnership with Dublin Port Company."

Under its Masterplan, Dublin Port Company committed to maximise the utilisation of the port's existing berths and lands. The reconfiguration of Alexandra Basin will deliver on this commitment and will provide deeper berths to service larger freight, passenger and cruise ships in the years ahead.

Dublin Port Company is encouraging the local and wider Dublin communities to share their views on the 'community gain' proposal for Bull Island by Friday, 18th October 2013. Specific questions to guide submissions can be found at: www.dublinportabr.ie Interested parties are invited to make their submissions to [email protected] or Charlie Murphy, Dublin Port Company, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1.

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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