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RIP Padraig O'Cearbhaill Commodore 1972-1973 of Sutton Dinghy Club

30th December 2022
The late Padraig O'Cearbhaill
The late Padraig O'Cearbhaill

It was a sad start to the Christmas break for Sutton Dinghy Club on Dublin Bay to hear former Commodore Padraig O'Cearbhaill passed away a few days ago, aged 96.

Padraig was Commodore in 1972-1973, having served on the Committee and as Vice Commodore under Charlie Sargent. Padraig grew up in Clontarf and, as a young 14-year-old, remembers sailing from CYBC with a number of other boats to Sutton Dinghy Club to mark the set up of the new Club sometime in 1940.

Padraig served in the Army, based in Cork and eventually in the Curragh. He was a founder member of the Army Sailing Association, who sailed in Blessington. Padraig joined Blessington SC and served on Committee and was instrumental in the development of their Clubhouse. In 1967, due to family circumstances, Padraig left the Army and took over the family business. On returning to Dublin, he moved to Sutton and joined Sutton Dinghy Club. Padraic continued to assist Blessington SC as OOD for Open events for a number of years while becoming more involved on Committee in Sutton Dinghy Club.

1978 MIrror Nationals Dinghy Park at Sutton Dinghy Club1978 MIrror Nationals Dinghy Park at Sutton Dinghy Club

He sailed Mirrors initially and became Secretary of Mirror Association of Ireland and was heavily involved in organising Mirror events. In 1972 he was elected Commodore and helped set up the Development Planning Committee, which would eventually lead to a new Clubhouse in the early 80s.

1978 Mirror Nationals Sutton on Dublin Bay1978 Mirror Nationals racing at Sutton on Dublin Bay

The Irish National Mirror Championship trophy was brought back to Sutton during Padraig's tenure as Commodore when David Dickson, with his brother Alan as crew (Pink Panther - 28988) took the title in an event sailed in Lough Derg. Runner up was another Sutton sailor Brian Maguire. At the end of his term as Commodore, Padraic was elected to the Irish Sailing Association Council and remained active on the Club Committee and also became a Trustee of Sutton Dinghy Club. Padraig, a keen photographer, regularly took photos at sailing events in Sutton Dinghy Club in the mid and late 70s, most memorably at the Mirror Nationals held in Sutton in 1978.

1978 Mirror Nationals Scoreboard with Nick Spalding1978 Mirror Nationals Scoreboard with Nick Spalding

Padraig’s children all came through Optimist and Mirrors in Sutton, with Cian (O'Carroll) continuing his interest in sailing and today sails Etchells in the UK. Padraig continued to sail a Laser and a GP14 with Brendan O’Loughlin and Damian Jennings. In 1976 he bought a cruiser ‘Anatole’ from Jimmy Ennis (former Trustee) which was moored in Sutton Creek and was regularly used as Committee boat. Padraig moved ‘Anatole’ to Howth when the marina was built in 1984. Padraig stood down as Trustee, retiring at the end of 2014 and attended the 75th Anniversary Gala Ball in November 2014 where he was presented with a mounted commemorative Club burgee to mark his commitment and contribution to Sutton Dinghy Club.

Ar dheis Dé go Raibh a Anam


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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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