Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Ringsend

The 36ft yawl Ainmara, designed and built in 1912 by the talented self-taught naval architect John B Kearney in Murphy’s Boatyard beside his family’s home in Ringsend, played a key role in Irish sailing north and south until 2018. She celebrated her Centenary in 2012-2013 with a special cruise to the Outer Hebrides followed by overall victory in the first race for the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association Leinster Plate in Dublin Bay, and then in 2016 she was awarded the “Boat of the Regatta” trophy in the Royal Ulster YC 150th Anniversary Regatta on Belfast Lough.

Her final owner in Ireland, - from 1966 until 2018 - was multi-talented skipper Dickie Gomes of Strangford Lough. But when he put her up for sale after more than fifty years of ownership, he found there was even more interest internationally than there was at home, and she was sold to a Swiss couple, Nicco Macchi and Marie Vuilleumier, who made Ainmara’s new home port in Dunkerque.

Happy live-aboards – Niccho Macchi and Marie Vuilleumier in Ainmara’s decidedly compact saloon. The photo on the bulkhead is of Ainmara racing from Inverness to Bergen fifty years ago in 1972 under Dickie Gomes’ command. Photo: W M NixonHappy live-aboards – Niccho Macchi and Marie Vuilleumier in Ainmara’s decidedly compact saloon. The photo on the bulkhead is of Ainmara racing from Inverness to Bergen fifty years ago in 1972 under Dickie Gomes’ command. Photo: W M Nixon

This provided a handy base to cruise to classic and traditional events in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and southern England while continuing to work in Switzerland. But they enjoyed the cruising so much that after a major refit including a new deck in Ostende in Belgium, they cut their shore ties for the time being, and moved aboard to make Ainmara their floating home.

The new deck is a very neat piece of work. John B Kearney disliked heavily-cambered decks, and Ainmara and other boats to his design - such as the famous Mavis of 1925 - were renowned for decks with the right amount of camber for constructional strength, while providing easy on-deck movement. Photo: W M NixonThe new deck is a very neat piece of work. John B Kearney disliked heavily-cambered decks, and Ainmara and other boats to his design - such as the famous Mavis of 1925 - were renowned for decks with the right amount of camber for constructional strength, while providing easy on-deck movement. Photo: W M Nixon

The plan for 2022 was to sail north into the Baltic and then along the west coast of Norway to Bergen, where Ainmara had been in 1972 at the conclusion of the stormy Clyde Cruising Club’s Inverness-Bergen Race. From Norway it was across to Scotland and through the North Channel to the Down Cruising Club’s converted lightship HQ in Strangford Lough and a reunion with Dickie Gomes, and then it was on to Howth – where she won the Lambay Race in 1921 – before making her call to Ringsend. 

Niccho and Marie with the “non-folding sprayhood”. Long before folding sprayhoods were thought of, a 1950s owner fitted Ainmara with this useful item of comfort. Inevitably during the course of cruises, the handy space under it tended to become the stowage repository for all sorts of essential little items, but with Swiss ownership it’s now a notably neat and tidy area. Photo: W M NixonNiccho and Marie with the “non-folding sprayhood”. Long before folding sprayhoods were thought of, a 1950s owner fitted Ainmara with this useful item of comfort. Inevitably during the course of cruises, the handy space under it tended to become the stowage repository for all sorts of essential little items, but with Swiss ownership it’s now a notably neat and tidy area. Photo: W M Nixon

When people become liveaboards, they usually become subtly different – or sometimes very different - to the rest of us. But even though Nicco and Marie have to go with the tides and the weather independently of land-bound routines, when you meet them you wouldn’t think for a moment that their home is aboard a small and ancient sailing boat. It must be because they’re Swiss, yet that’s something they wear lightly. But whatever the reason, they and Ainmara are as neat and organised as can be.

And while their life is largely freeform, as a result of a successful visit to the Dartmouth Classics in south Devon they were very committed to being there again on July 12th this year – next Tuesday – and a recent position check showed Ainmara was already in Cornish waters, on time with quiet efficiency. She’s an ever-young Irish boat which happens to be 110 years old. And clearly this latest chapter in her remarkable story is as interesting as everything that has gone before.

“Where next?” Ainmara’s proud bowsprit always seemed like an encouraging invitation to go cruising to interesting places, and under Swiss ownership with a home port in Basel, she is regularly heading “for other places beyond the seas”. Photo: W M Nixon“Where next?” Ainmara’s proud bowsprit always seemed like an encouraging invitation to go cruising to interesting places, and under Swiss ownership with a home port in Basel, she is regularly heading “for other places beyond the seas”. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in Historic Boats
Tagged under

The possibility that stellar jockey Rachael Blackmore, the winner of the Grand National in 2021 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup this year, might just be descended from a noted Dublin nautical family has emerged from traditional boat enthusiast and maritime historian Cormac Lowth’s research into the development of the Ringsend fishing community. He reveals these intriguing insights from time to time to several organisations, including fellow members of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association at their gatherings in the hospitable Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club, one of the focal points of modern Ringsend’s friendly interaction with Dublin Port.

Two hundred years and more ago, with the ending of the Napoleonic Wars, the seas of western Europe were becoming safer for fishing fleets to go about their trade. And the port of Brixham in southwest England was the Silicon Valley of fishing development in its day, leading the way in the speedy improvement of boats and equipment to enable a rapid expansion of its fishing areas from 1818 onwards.

Brixham today is mainly for tourists, but 200 years ago it was a developmental powerhouse of the fishing industryBrixham today is mainly for tourists, but 200 years ago it was a developmental powerhouse of the fishing industry

This soon brought the new state-of-the-art Brixham trawlers into the Irish Sea, where they needed a base, and it was Ringsend at the rivermouth of Dublin’s River Liffey that proved most hospitable. So much so, in fact, that many of the Brixham fisherman – the all-powerful skippers and ordinary crewmen alike – married into Ringsend families to add new surnames and fresh vitality to the community. 

INTERACTION BETWEEN DEVON AND DUBLIN

This interaction and regular connection between Ringsend and Brixham lasted for around a hundred years, ended by World War I in 1914 and the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. But by then, those distinctive Devon surnames like Biddulph, Ebbs, Upham and Blackmore were very much thought of as pure Ringsend, even if in the bigger picture - with Ringsend developing its own fishing industry with boat-building attached – the Murphy family had become dominant, with their mighty Ringsend-built fishing cutter St Patrick of the 1887 being possibly the largest vessel of the Brixham type ever built.

The Murphy family’s St Patrick at Ringsend in 1889. Possibly the largest vessel ever built of the Brixham type, she was constructed by the Murphy family and successfully fished by them for many years.The Murphy family’s St Patrick at Ringsend in 1889. Possibly the largest vessel ever built of the Brixham type, she was constructed by the Murphy family and successfully fished by them for many years.

But while Murphy is Ireland’s most frequent surname, Blackmore ranks something like 3,500th, which makes anyone thus named very special indeed. Nevertheless, there seems to have been a small but strong strain of Blackmores in Tipperary for some time, so Rachael Blackmore’s people may have got there by some means other than the Brixham-Ringsend route.

OPEN HOUSE AT POOLBEG

Either way, it is exactly the kind of topic for discussion enjoyed by traditional boat enthusiasts when they get together to talk of this and that, and on the evening of Friday, May 6th it’s going to be open house at Poolbeg Y&BC as the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association and their friends gather for the public presentation to Paul Keogh (an Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” in January) of the international Jolie Brise Trophy for his 25 years of selfless devotion to keeping the community-owned Clondalkin-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan in good order and in full action afloat.

This return to normal life (after a remarkable two years-plus period in which the DBOGA have been Zoom-meeting pathfinders) will continue in the June Bank Holiday Weekend, with the three day DBOGA Regatta (aka The Liffey Regatta) at Poolbeg from June 3rd-5th, a remarkable festival in a working port.

The “City Haven” – Poolbeg YC & BC in Ringsend with its marina contrasting with the modern curves o the Aviva StadiumThe “City Haven” – Poolbeg YC & BC in Ringsend with its marina contrasting with the modern curves o the Aviva Stadium

Published in River Liffey

Wastewater overflows from Ringsend’s over-capacity treatment plant have made algal blooms in Dublin Bay much more likely, says one marine expert.

Speaking to The Green News, Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch Ireland said overflows from Ringsend which have occurred after heavy rainfalls provide the right nutrient-rich environment for algae to prosper.

Afloat.ie readers will remember the ‘orange slick’ seen on south Dublin beaches this past summer — and this past week the Shelly Banks adjacent to the Ringsend plant was blanketed in rotting seaweed many mistook for raw sewage.

But capacity issues at Ringsend are only one facet of the the problem, according to Dubsky.

“It’s not just one big Ringsend discharge as the treatment plant is struggling, it’s all those smaller stormwater overflows mixed with sewage water which are discharging right at high watermark onto the shore,” she said.

The Green News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

Dublin City Council says a blanket of noxious material on a beach in Ringsend is rotting seaweed and not residue from the adjacent wastewater treatment plant.

As The Irish Times reports, the foul-smelling brown slick at Shelly Banks prompted numerous complaints from the public — but the council says it is actually a macro algae called ectocarpus siliculosis, which produces a smell similar to sewage when it decomposes.

Local authority inspection of the are found “no evidence of a sewage discharge” at the beach next to the controversial wastewater plant, which is estimated to be operating at 20% above capacity.

Overflow from the plant after heavy rains discoloured the River Liffey in February this year, though a more recent incident coincided with an algal bloom many mistook for untreated wastewater.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School (INSS) has expressed its frustration over the second discharge this month of wastewater into Dublin Bay, which has seen new bathing bans issued at several popular swimming spots in the capital.

While the latest notice does not apply to the waters inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the INSS says it has still had to activate its ‘unclean water procedure’ as Salthill beach, from where it usually operates, and other locations woke up to an ‘orange slick’ on the shoreline this morning (Tuesday 25 June). This slick has since been confirmed by the local authority as an algal bloom "not directly associated" with the wastewater overflow.

The procedure involves alterations to activities, use of small keelboats instead of dinghies if appropriate, and stringent instructor supervision to ensure people are on rather than in the water.

While afloat, all safety boats must carry hand-sanitising wipes, and children must regularly wash their hands. Shore side, extensive hand-washing, sanitising gels and a focus on good hygiene practises minimises the risk as much as possible.

“On this occasion, we have been relatively lucky to still be able to operate within the harbour,” said Glyn Williams, the school’s communications and marketing manager.

“However, it’s not good enough that we find out about this later in the day,” he added, referring to the initial reports of the latest bathing ban last night. “The treatment plant operator knew they were discharging. Why not tell everyone straight away?”

Chief instructor Kenneth Rumball also noted that the summer sailing season for children is only 12 weeks long, and with the current water notices lasting until at least this Thursday “we now have six days of a short summer lost to this”.

Responding to Irish Water’s claim that the latest overflow ‘happened as it should have happened’, the school said this cuts little ice with the parents of children attending the its courses.

“Parents are equally as exasperated as we are. While all those we spoke with earlier this morning are understanding, they equally feel that Irish Water/the treatment plant operator should get this solved more quickly than they are currently doing.”

Following similar calls by the likes of Green Party Councillor Ossian Smyth, the INSS is urging those with responsibility to immediately progress upgrades for the sewage system at Ringsend Treatment Plant to cope with heavy rainfall — something Irish Water says would require a “huge amount” of investment.

The school also calls for more transparent communication, in real time, if and when discharges are occurring, coupled with pre-emptive warnings and same-day water sampling results.

Commenting on how these water quality issues affect the development of Dun Laoghaire Harbour as a marine leisure destination, Glyn Williams said: “We have to make sure that we get the basics in place before we undertake large scale plans.

“There’s no point in expending time and money when the most basic requirement for water sports is not in place: safe water to operate in.”

Heavy rains in recent days have led to another wastewater overflow at the Ringsend treatment plant, as well as other pumping stations, that has prompted a new swimming ban at several Dublin Bay beaches.

It marks the second time this month that bathing has been prohibited at Dollymount Strand, Seapoint, Sandycove and the Forty Foot at Sandycove.

Both Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown councils say their bans will remain in place pending test for water quality, the first results of which are due on Thursday — in a week where Met Éireann forecasts higher temperatures.

While the bans do not affect Dun Laoghaire Harbour or other beaches in either council area, organisers of water-based sporting events have been advised to take note, as The Irish Times reports.

Notices will be put up on beaches today, Tuesday 25 June, according to RTÉ News.

Update 4.30pm: Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council says tests on an ‘orange slick’ at Sandycove Beach confirm the presence of Noctiluca scintillans, a form of algae, and not raw sewage.

In a statement, the council said the non-toxic species is “a natural summer phenomenon in response to long day length, high nutrients and warm water” and is “not directly associated with the waste water overflows associated with the temporary bathing prohibition”.

 

Published in Dublin Bay

Dublin local authorities have issued bathing ban notices for a number of popular swimming spots after a sewage leak at the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant, as RTÉ News reports.

Swimming is currently prohibited along the coast between Dollymount in North Dublin and White Rock Beach in Killiney on the Southside, just beyond Dublin Bay.

The string of bathing spots includes the enduringly popular Forty Foot in Sandycove.

Moreover, Sandymount and Merrion just south of Ringsend — where the wastewater plant was in the news earlier this year over a discharge in the Liffey — have been landed with a swimming ban for the entire 2019 bathing season due to their overall poor water quality.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming

This past weekend’s discharge of wastewater in the River Liffey from the Irish Water treatment plant in Ringsend is being investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

As RTÉ News reports, failure of a processing tank at the locally controversial site led to the overflow, which Irish Water confirmed was from an outfall 1km from the plant in the Lower Liffey Estuary in Dublin Bay, around 9am on Saturday (23 February).

Irish Water says the discharge of ‘activated sludge’ — which “does not pose the same risk to public health or the environment as a raw sewage discharge would” — lasted for around 20 minutes.

But drone images captured on Saturday evening showed the persistence and extent of the pollution incident beside the Great South Wall.

The Ringsend wastewater treatment plant is reportedly running at 20% above capacity as it treats two-fifths of all wastewater in Ireland.

As such, its standard discharge “does not comply with the Urban Wastewater Treatment requirements”, according to an Irish Water statement which also confirmed that the EPA conducted an audit of the affected site yesterday (Tuesday 26 February).

Published in Dublin Bay

Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club (CYBC) will host Cormac F. Lowth of the Irish Maritime Archaeological Society who will deliver a free illustrated historic boats lecture, ‘The Sailing Trawlers of Ringsend’ this Friday, October 30th at 8pm.

'Cormac’s talk is a fascinating story of the history of boating building in Ringsend which offers an insight into the life and times of the communities, the builders and the boats they constructed', says CYBC commodore Larry Meany.

There was a thriving industry along the Dodder in the early 1800s where many of the boatyards were based and Cormac has an incredible collection of unique and rare illustrations of the vessels as well as extensive lists of the names and crews of the boats.

'Cormac’s knowledge and interest in this era of history, the boats and people who built and sailed them is incredible. He is spent several years at sea on merchant ships and is the author of many historical and travel articles. Anyone interested in boating, building, or the industry and people in Dublin in the early 1800s will find this illustrated lecture interesting, informative and entertaining says Meany.

The illustrated lecture ‘The Sailing Trawlers of Ringsend’ by Cormac F. Lowth will take place in Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club, Belvedere, Clontarf Road on Friday 30th of October.

Published in Historic Boats

#DublinBay - The Supreme Court has ruled that residents of Ringsend in Dublin can continue their legal challenge to the expansion of the area's sewage treatment plant, as RTÉ News reports.

The planned €270 million extension is part of the Dublin Bay Project that will see a 9km tunnel constructed to enable the discharge of treated sewage far into Dublin Bay.

At present the wastewater is discharged at Ringsend, in the southern part of Dublin's Docklands.

The Sandymount and Merrion Residents' Association argues that the new pipeline would discharge effluent into the newly designated marine conservation area between Rockabill and Dalkey Island.

The High Court's approval of residents' challenge to the granting of planning permission for the development was appealed by the State and Dublin City Council, but that appeal was rejected by the Surpreme Court today (10 October).

A similar sewage scheme in North Co Dublin has also faced objections from residents throughout the Fingal area.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
Tagged under
Page 1 of 2

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.

© Afloat 2020