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Displaying items by tag: Holyhead Ferry 1

#Kish50HSSgone - An exhibition in Dun Laoghaire celebrating the Kish Lighthouse 50th anniversary on Dublin Bay is currently on display, however the Stena Line HSS service to Holyhead which was withdrawn only last year has been outlived by the iconic lighthouse, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The venue for the Kish Lighthouse exhibition (until 21 November) is at the National Maritime Museum of Ireland located almost directly opposite of the present day iconic landmark of the LexIcon Library that overlooks the East Pier.

In addition the LexIcon as a new civic building has commanding sweeping views of the harbour, Dublin Bay and to the Baily Lighthouse on Howth Peninsula. Further offshore on the horizon stands the Kish Lighthouse all 31 metres high. The lighthouse replaced a lightship that likewise of the new lighthouse was manned until automated in 1992. The current character of the light exhibited has a range of 22 nautical miles.

Back onshore, Ireland’s most popular pedestrian pier, the East Pier is featured as part of the historic Pathé news footage (see above) as the Kish Lighthouse is ‘floated’ out of Dun Loghaire harbour from where the uniquely constructed structure was built. The design for the Commissioners of Irish Lights was of that of a concentric circular concrete tower based from similar yet smaller models in Sweden, and was towed from the harbour some seven nautical miles offshore to the Kish Bank.

The departing lighthouse structure under tow from the harbour even now looks futuristic and likewise to when I recall witnessing the first arrival of the Swedish owned yet Finnish built HSS Stena Explorer. She made her debut just over three decades later after the lighthouse began service. The fast-ferry was sold this Autumn and is currently under tow while bound for a new career in Turkey, which as previously reported leads to query her future role? given that her owners operate 'floating' generating powerships!

Returning to the Pathé news reel, (some 30 seconds in) on the left side of the screen can be seen white buildings on the East Pier. They belonged to the harbour's first albeit temporary car-ferry terminal (another controversary! of the time). The facility was completed a year before the installation of the Kish Lighthouse in 1965. The terminal's appearance comprised of metal constructed halls more akin to factory warehouses! In fact the terminal building extended almost the entire width of the East Pier!... click for Photo.

It was during that year's summer that the introduction of the first roll-on roll-off 'carferry' on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route begin service with a resounding success. The traditional 'mail-boats' maintained a year-round service based out of the Carlisle Pier. From there cars were crane-hoisted on board for many years, however tourism interests lobbied for a carferry service from the early 1960's.

This led to Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s first ferry terminal with a ro-ro linkspan that protruded from the East Pier Jetty. The facility was inaugurated by the Irish-Walsh route’s first purpose built car-ferry, the unimaginatively named but pioneering Holyhead Ferry 1. The new carferry was delayed entering service from her builders and instread the English Channel based Normannia opened the seasonal 'car' service. 

Normannia originally a passenger-ferry had been converted to carry cars was eventually replaced by Holyhead Ferry 1 that season. The Scottish built stern-only carferry loaded and offloaded vehicles while berthed at the East Pier linkspan, though this structure located off the jetty has long since been demolished.

The berth at this East Pier Jetty until recent years has long been associated with the customary visits of Irish Naval Service patrol ships, however this part of the pier is to undergo a reincarnation. That been as previously reported on Afloat, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company’s ‘Urban Beach’, a €2.5 million heated floating swimming pool inspired by the 'Badeschiff' in Berlin.

The project will involve a converted river barge at the East Pier following last year’s planning permission granted by An Bord Pleanála. The planning authority is to make a decision (see SOS protest) following oral hearings into DLHC’s single €18m cruise-berth in January 2016. DLHC cited should a suitable ferry operator be found it would not be until 2016 and that the Ireland-Wales service like the HSS service would be run on a season-only basis.

Seven operators responded earlier this year following an invite from DLHC for those expressing an interest to operate such a service, however this would not involve the idle Stena HSS berth at the terminal on St. Michaels Wharf. The same site dates back to the original purpose-built terminal dating from 1969 that replaced the facility on the East Pier.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour's only remaining ferry berth (last used several years ago by a smaller Stena 'Lynx' fast -ferry) is also located on the Wharf. This linkspan facility adapted from a conventional carferry berth was also in use by Stena tonnage until the early 1990's.

The future role of the St. Michaels Wharf ferry terminal is now centre stage given DLHC's proposed cruise-berth is to connect to the terminal's former HSS vehicle marshalling bays where cruise passengers would use awaiting coaches and taxi's. At the same time, there are plans at the same site put forward by the Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs for a National Watersports Centre. 

Remnants of another ro-ro linkspan on Carlisle Pier still visible, ceased use in 1996 when Stena Adventurer (ex. Stena Hibernia / St. Columba of Sealink British Rail ) was replaced by the Stena HSS. The revolutionary fast-ferry was also a pioneering venture on the route for almost two decades.

The old ro-ro's concrete berth's structure with operations hut can be seen from the Royal St. George Yacht Club albeit the corresponding linkspan is gone should you peer through the railings that bound the pier's car-park.

This part of the Carlisle Pier is the closest the public can access when small sized cruiseships have berthed since the trade returned to the harbour in recent years. While larger deeper draft cruiseships anchor offshore, notably the last caller of this season was the newbuild Mein Schiff 4.


Published in Dublin Bay

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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