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'Línte na Farraige’ To Be Installed at Dublin's Blackrock Martello Tower on Dublin Bay

18th February 2023
The “Línte na Farraige” (Lines of the Sea) project - The art installation at the Martello tower in Blackrock Park on Dublin bay consists of a solar-powered horizontal LED line of light
The “Línte na Farraige” (Lines of the Sea) project - The art installation at the Martello tower in Blackrock Park on Dublin bay consists of a solar-powered horizontal LED line of light

The Martello Tower in Dublin’s Blackrock is to be wrapped with a solar-powered “line of light”, showing possible future sea levels as part of a series around the Irish coast.

The “Línte na Farraige” (Lines of the Sea) project, which was initiated at Galway’s Spanish Arch and in Wexford harbour last year, is designed by Finnish artists, Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho.

The project is financed from the inaugural Creative Climate Action fund, an initiative from the Creative Ireland Programme in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

The fund “supports creative, cultural and artistic projects that build awareness around climate change and empower citizens to make meaningful behavioural transformations”.

The art installation at the Martello tower in Blackrock Park, which will be lit early next week, consists of a solar-powered horizontal LED line of light.

It shows the future risks of rising seas and storm surges, in the year 2100 and under a high-risk scenario, where ice loss from Antarctica is greater than expected.

The installation is based on future predictions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report AR6, and historic storm surge data in Dublin Bay.

Project artists Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho said that “art has the potential to convey scientific data, complex ideas and concepts, in a powerful way that words or graphs fall short of”.

“Visualising something that is incomprehensible for a human, even with the factual studies and data available when talking about causality and climate change, is difficult. We seem to be unable to accept things we have not physically experienced,”they said.

Councillor Mary Hanafin, Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said the Línte na Farraige project “ is a unique, yet stark reminder, that our seas are silently rising, and will continue to do so, undetectable to the naked eye”.

“ The Government’s national Climate Action Plan 2023 speaks to ambition that will only work if we all come together in a strengthened ‘social contract’ for climate action, working towards real solutions that are meaningful, inclusive, fair and accessible,”she said.

“ By working together, we can all help ‘lower the line’. I wish to thank the artists, the National Monuments Service, the Creative Climate Action programme and the wider project team for bringing this installation to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council,”she said.

Frank Curran, Chief Executive of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, said he is “delighted that the council is a local authority partner in the Línte na Farraige project”.

“ I believe that as we all work towards our 2030 and 2050 climate action targets, local authorities can be at the heart of this ambition, given our close links with local communities, our role in emergency response planning and our ongoing partnership with various Government departments and agencies,”he said.

The installation will run for a number of months from Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023. The council is also running an associated outdoor, public exhibition on the Línte na Farraige project at Moran Park, dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire.

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said she hoped that the installation “will generate a much-needed dialogue about rising sea levels”.

“While it should give us all pause for thought, it must be remembered that the future is still in our hands. By making key changes in our personal behaviour we can mitigate against climate change and sea level rise and build a more sustainable and resilient future for us all,” she said.

Línte na Farraige involves a team including creators and artists, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, scientists based at Trinity College Dublin, Maynooth University and University College Cork.

Also involved is the Dublin Climate Action Regional Office, Wexford County Council, Galway City Council, Fingal County Council, and the Marine Institute.

Read also: Dublin and Cork are sinking

Published in Dublin Bay
Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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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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