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Dublin Port A Snapshot: Sailing, Cruising and Railing Along the Liffey

20th May 2014
Kittiwake Alexandra Basin
Busy scene at Dublin's Alexandra Basin, noting the lantern of the former lightship Kittiwake. Photo Jehan Ashmore
Dublin Port A Snapshot: Sailing, Cruising and Railing Along the Liffey

#DublinSnapShot - Making a fleeting visit to Dublin Port yesterday was Morgenster, at almost a century old the Dutch built twin masted sailing vessel berthed close to the East-Link Bridge, while today cruiseship Island Sky, transited the bridge to berth before the Samuel Beckett bridge, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Morgenster's North Wall Quay berth was opposite the O2 Arena (formerly The Point) and lest it not be forgotten the site of a large railway depot. In the surrounding compounds behind the entertainment venue remains laid-up Irish Rail InterCity rolling stock. These older generation rolling stock if you recall were liveried in striking orange, however days of further service are long gone as they are been dismantled.

The role of railways however are not completely redundant in Dublin Port, no were not talking of the lightrail LUAS link 'straight to the Point', but the established 'working' train traffic that been to Alexandra Basin (East). Here trains from Bolidan Tara Mines Co. Meath, are laden with deposits from Europe's largest zinc mines and containers by rail arrive and depart from Ballina, Co. Mayo.

As both rail-freight services terminate in the basin, the mined deposits are loaded onto bulkers, notably those frequent callers of the Arklow Shipping fleet, where today there were up to a trio of the distinctly green coloured hulled ships docked in port.

Firstly, Arklow Falcon which departed this afternoon having berthed along the bulk north quay and adjacent to where railway transported containers are hoisted on and off container vessels with destinations among them the Eastern Mediterranean and the African continent.

As for the remaining 'Arklow' pair, Arklow Manor is undergoing work in Dublin Dry Docks single dry-dock facility, next to the disused and in-filled older dry-dock. The historic dry-dock is to be excavated for heritage and tourism purposes as part of the €200m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project in which Afloat.ie will have more 'revealing' details to uncover.

In addition Dublin Port are to find a new purpose for the former lightship 'Kittiwake' that local property developer Harry Crosbie had intended to use as a feature of the O2 Theatre Arena. Planning permission was refused by Dublin City Council.

The Kittiwake which is understood awaiting a survey, was subsequently purchased by the Dublin Port Company, who will decide her fate. What is certain her future role remains in the port and is intended to serve in an amenity role thus benefitting the public.

While the final member of the Arklow trio, the Arklow Brook is berthed outside the basin, alongside the Deepwater Berth, also known as the 'Coal' berth which is on the south bank of the channel.

It was at this quayside last Friday, that Irish Ferries, Epsilon, shifted opposite berths from the busy ferryport terminal having experienced 'technical' problems, which led to cancellation of all her sailings to Holyhead and last weekend's Dublin-Cherbourg round trip.

Epsilon's technical difficulties have been resolved as this afternnon she sailed to Holyhead.

She is seen pictured on our Cruise Liners coverage of Celebrity Infinity's arrival in the wake of Mein Schiff 1, which berthed earlier in Alexandra Basin. Celebrity Infinity was attended by tugs and Epsilon berthed in the backround while work to repair her gets underway.

As part of the ABR project there are plans for a dedicated cruise terminal which would cater for even larger cruiseships as those mentioned above.

The custom built terminal would be closer to the city-centre at a site near where our port snapshot had begun at the East-Link Bridge. Let the bridge lift be open again!... and to who knows what?

Published in Dublin Port
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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