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John (Johnny) Robinson RIP

1st April 2024
John (Johnny) Robinson RIP
The late John (Johnny) Robinson

It is with deep sadness that we heard of Johnny Robinson's passing on Thursday at the age of 87. He had been involved with Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club for over 70 years and was its longest-serving member.

Johnny was known as John to his family and in business but Johnny in his sporting activities.

He was born into a Clontarf family who lived on Clontarf Road at Castle Avenue. Not surprisingly, John and his siblings were attracted by the proximity of the sea, and all were to be involved in CY&BC.

The first recorded mention of him in the Club is as the winner of a cup as a 15-year-old in a Cadet Class dinghy “Jimin” in 1952. “Jimin” had been built for Johnny by his elder brother Aidan – who owned a Mermaid “Cliona”. He was attracted to the IDRA 14s, and after crewing for two years, he heard of one for sale in Wicklow and went to see it. He found it in a shed – full of hay and being used as a trough to feed cattle. She was 14/65 “Ainleog”- which he renamed “Cheetah”. He was to sail her until he switched to the Mermaid Class in the mid-1960s. He won the Mermaid Championship in Howth in 1967 in “Cliona Two”.

John went to boarding school at Clongowes Wood College, where he loved sport and showed his talent as an all-rounder, playing Rugby, Cricket, tennis, and Table Tennis.

With no winter sailing in those days, he joined Suttonians RFC, where he was a very enthusiastic rugby player. He was appointed Team Secretary and tried to field two or three teams every weekend—no mean feat in Suttonians, given the small numbers playing in the Club at that time.

After leaving school, he joined the London Assurance Company, which was based in Dublin. He was to be smitten by a young lady secretary in the office called Veronica Sharkey from Dolphins Barn. They were later married and set up home in Clontarf where their first three children – Stephen, Cliona and Susan were born.

By now the London Assurance had been amalgamated with Sun Alliance. Johnny was posted to Cork where he promptly joined the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven. He was quickly inducted into the Cork sailing scene and crewed with many of Ireland’s top sailors at the time.

The National 18s were then the premier sailing Class in Cork, and Johnny purchased one—which he enjoyed until it was wrecked after breaking her moorings in a storm. Johnny told the story that he was subsequently contacted and informed the boat had been found. When he excitedly visited the site, he was devastated at what he found—just bits of the lovely clinker-built boat spread all along a rocky shore. Luckily, it was insured….

Their youngest two children – Aoife and John were born while they lived in Cork.

Arriving back in Dublin, John and Veronica purchased their beautiful Victorian house on Seafield Road. John recommenced sailing in CY&BC, this time in the Mermaids.
He continued to sail in Mermaids until the Class folded in Clontarf some years ago.

Ashore, he was an active member of the Club – a great organizer and diligent Committee member. He served on both the sailing and general committees for many years and was Vice President in 1994/1995. His organizational skills were put to good use – particularly in large sailing events such as the Mermaid Championship weeks. His easygoing and affable character was appreciated by the Committee, and he was, for many years, the person delegated to greet all guests arriving at the Annual Sailing Supper and other functions.

He was the perfect person to fill the vacancy as Santa Claus for the Christmas children’s party. He so charmed the children that as a result he was to be the Club Santa for decades - until the interruption of Covid – This will be a very hard act for anyone to follow.

In addition to the sailing, he was a leading member of Howth Golf Club. For many years he organized the “Monday Nighters” – a large group who played competitions every Monday. It became a most successful event and Howth Golf Club gave him a special award for his work.

His work colleagues tell me he himself was no mean golfer and lost no opportunity to show his prowess whilst playing in tournaments or entertaining clients. He also found time for Rugby coaching in St Paul’s School.

His wonderful ability to captivate an audience made him a very popular after-dinner speaker –both in his work environment and his leisure activities.

In retirement John and Veronica loved their holidays abroad - both ashore in the heat of the sun and on the many cruises they enjoyed afloat. And of course, they took great interest in their. children and grandchildren and in all their many activities…

He visited New Zealand in 2000 with an IDRA 14 group and sailed 12ft Dinghies in a team racing series against Taikata Sailing Club in Auckland. In 2002 and 2003 he travelled as Shore Manager to Cape Town in South Africa with a group from CY&BC competing in a 24-hour endurance sailing race.

On those visits, Johnny was a big hit with the locals, and they are very saddened to hear that he has passed on.

His friends everywhere always stress “what an absolute gentleman he was” and so this is how he will be remembered…

Our sincere condolences to Veronica and all the extended family.

Bon Voyage Johnny, CY&BC will miss you…


Funeral details are here Team

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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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