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Ferryport's Scrapyard! Transformed to Beatyard!

29th July 2016

#Beatyard - The former Stena Line ferryport, Dun Laoghaire, notably this week has been a flurry of activity as St. Michaels Pier has been transformed in readiness for this weekend’s Beatyard, a multi-event attraction, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Heaps of scrap metal from the dismantled terminal was loaded onto trucks equipped with grabbers within the complex compound, where for almost two decades cars, coaches and trucks were marshalled before loading on board or driven off the HSS Stena Explorer. The craft ceased operating Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead crossings in September, 2014, as the operator consolidated services out of neighbouring Dublin Port, however, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company are in the process of seeking to restore the Welsh route, but not until 2017 and using an adjoining berth.

In this compound area at St. Michaels Pier, event crews have assembled the Beatyard’s music performance stage, accompanied by marquees. Several shipping containers, used to advertise the event are next to the vehicle check-in booths  The visitor attraction is not just about music, but offering a host of events.

The weekend’s Beatyard (July 30-31) is described as everything that’s good and great in the world of food, drink, tech, science, music, games, sports, arts, design and discussion.

Adjoining the Beatyard is the disused ferryport terminal building, which too was custom –built in the mid-1990’s for the introduction of the revolutionary Stena HSS, however retail/office space is currently available to let.

Ironically, the highspeed sea-service (HSS) Stena Explorer fastferry which could of gone likewise for scrap, like her North Channel counterpart, remains up for sale. The 1500 passenger/375 vehicle craft, when sold last year to Turkish  interests, was to be converted in a floating office in Istanbul. In more recent months, this plan has been shelved. 

The process of dismantling and removing Stena associated infrastructure is incomplete, as a remnant of the HSS linkspan-berth remains in situ, supported on a barge that was towed from Stranraer, Scotland. Leading off St. Michaels Pier is the jetty and supporting dolphins that too remain in the harbour, where the HSS Stena Explorer berthed using speciliast satellite technology that involved no mooring ropes but large clamps to wedge the craft into place.

In addition, a pair of concrete pillars remain, that once supported the glazed skywalk (east and west passenger gangways) connecting the HSS are also gone. What's left are these pillars than are visible, notably from the terminal entrance which is lined by the passenger check-in booths.

Above these booths are the terminal’s original marquee-like shade / shelter structures. They are seemingly more apt than ever as they compliment the Beatyard’s range of event marquees.

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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