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Lord Mayor Throws Spear into Dublin Bay, A Tradition Dating Back Over 500 Years

29th April 2014
lord mayor spear
Oisin Quinn, Lord Mayor of Dublin, prepares to throw the spear deep into Dublin Bay
Lord Mayor Throws Spear into Dublin Bay, A Tradition Dating Back Over 500 Years

#dublinport – Lord Mayor of Dublin and Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port, Oisín Quinn, today performed the annual "Casting of the Spear" ceremony, a Dublin Port tradition dating back 526 years.

The "Casting of the Spear" dates back to1488 when the then Lord Mayor, Thomas Mayler, set out on his horse to ride the city's boundaries. Historical records show that he rode out onto the strand as far as a man could and from there he cast a spear into the sea. At that time, casting the spear demonstrated the extent of the city boundaries eastwards.

The ceremony was re-enacted this morning as part of the launch of the "Dublin - Land & Sea ticket" by Dublin Bay Cruises and Dublin Sightseeing. The Lord Mayor of Dublin travelled out into Dublin Bay on board MV St Bridget and launched a spear deep into Dublin Bay, and once again marked the position of the city boundaries eastwards.

This ceremony marks just one of the many famous moments in Dublin Port's long and remarkable history since its establishment as a trading post some 1,200 years ago.
Speaking at the ceremony on board the MV St Bridget, Lucy McCaffrey, Chairperson, Dublin Port Company said: "This year's 'Casting of the Spear' ceremony was particularly memorable, marking a celebration of traditions old and new. While Dublin Port Company brought to life its medieval tradition of the Lord Mayor casting a spear into Dublin Bay, we welcomed a new initiative from Dublin Bay Cruises and Dublin Sightseeing which will further animate the River Liffey and Dublin Bay for Dubliners and visitors alike."

Dublin Port Company Chief Executive Mr. Eamonn O'Reilly, said: "The re-enactment of the Casting of the Spear brings to life an important piece of Dublin Port's rich maritime history, and illustrates the port's long-standing links with the City of Dublin. It's over half a millennium since the then Lord Mayor Thomas Mayler set the city's boundaries by casting a spear into Dublin Bay. Dublin Port Company is committed to safeguarding the memory of this, and a wealth of other maritime stories, for Dubliners today and future generations in the spirit of continuing to integrate Dublin Port with the city."

Published in Dublin Port
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Dublin Port Information

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructure such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

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