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Cruise Service Bid Competes With New Tech Hub Plans For Dun Laoghaire Ferry Terminal

22nd November 2018
A view beyond the marina of the formerly operational ferry terminal at Dun Laoghaire Harbour before passenger infrastructure was removed A view beyond the marina of the formerly operational ferry terminal at Dun Laoghaire Harbour before passenger infrastructure was removed Photo: Jehan Ashmore

Speculation that a ferry service could return to Dun Laoghaire has reached fever pitch with the news that a British company has put in a bid to operate from the St Michael’s Pier terminal.

According to The Times, the Liverpool & North Wales Steamship Company, which was restarted two years ago, envisages running regular passenger cruises in the Irish Sea and will be “ready to sail” from next summer.

The ferry company’s chief executive Steve Payne plans to present his pitch to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council — the authority that now controls the harbour — by the end of this year, laying out plans for services that could employ 240 people.

Payne revealed to Afloat.ie that as well as the cruise bid involving its 650-passenger vessel, it also wants to operate a regular ferry service serving its home base of Liverpool and also Llandudno in North Wales.

The company’s flagship heritage pleasure steamer TSMV Endeavour is presently in refit in Liverpool.

However, one of the investors involved in the recently scrapped Harbour Innovation Campus proposal says he intends to push on with a tech hub scheme for the former ferry terminal.

Ian Lucey currently faces a High Court action from Harbour Innovation Campus developer Philip Gannon in a case that’s understood to be separate from Gannon’s decision to pull out of the Dun Laoghaire venture last month.

Note: This piece has been corrected to remove a previous statement that Philip Gannon and Ian Lucey were business partners. The shareholder agreement clearly states that no partnership was created. We are happy to make this clarification.

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.