Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Dublin Port Fest 21 Will Enrich the Interaction With our Maritime Heritage

22nd March 2021
Dublin Port Fest 21

Dublin is in the rare position of being the home or birthplace of at least four Nobel Laureates for literature, writers and poets who have drawn inspiration from the ancient port's vibrant maritime communities and the lively city around them.

Dublin Port Fest on Saturday, March 27th is planned as a day of online discussion and creative exploration of Dublin Port's heritage.

You can join in to find out more about how the organisation Ports: Past and Present work in mapping and representing Dublin Port's past, present and future, and learn of the harbour’s connection and interaction with the city, and its links with reciprocal port communities on the other side of the Irish Sea.

There’s also the opportunity to be more involved in discovering, exploring and promoting the port's heritage, and get absorbed into one the creative workshops with openings to explore this rich and dynamic heritage through poetry, visual art and theatre.

Ports, Past and Present presents Dublin Port Fest: a day of online discussion about and creative exploration of Dublin Port's heritage.
About this Event
*Dublin Port Fest will be divided into five sessions. Further information on each of the sessions is available below. You must register separately for each session you would like to attend. You can do so by clicking 'register' and then choosing which session(s) you would like to register for.

NB 'Na Taoide: A familiar Merry Go Round' and 'Port. Poetry. Prose.' are parallel sessions. As spaces for creative workshops are limited, we ask that you register either for one or the other, and not for both.*

Ports, Past and Present is proud to present the first ever Dublin Port Fest: a day of online discussion about and creative exploration of Dublin Port's heritage. Join us to find out more about Ports, Past and Present's work in mapping and representing Dublin Port's past, present and future, its connection with the city and its links with port communities on the other side of the Irish Sea. Find out how you can be more involved in discovering, exploring and promoting the port's heritage. And throw yourself into one of our creative workshops, where you will have the chance to explore this rich and dynamic heritage through poetry, visual art and theatre.

The day will be divided into five sessions, and further information on each of the sessions is available below.

All five sessions are free to attend. Some of the creative sessions have specific requirements, which are listed below.

You must register separately for each session you would like to attend. You can do so by clicking 'register' and then choosing which session(s) you would like to register for.

All sessions will be held on Zoom. The relevant link and sign-in information for each session will be forwarded by email to registered participants by no later than `17:00 on Friday 26 March .

Ports, Past and Present Presents

Members of the Ports, Past and Present project team will introduce the project, and discuss some of their work in investigating and representing Dublin Port's past and present.

10:50 - 11:00


11:00 - 12:30

Doing Heritage in Dublin Port

During this roundtable discussion, we will hear from a number of groups, projects and organizations involved in exploring and promoting the natural, built, social and cultural heritage of Dublin Port. Find out more about these groups and their work and hear more about how you might get involved! Speaking on this roundtable will be:

Dean Eaton, Dublin Bay Biosphere
Maryann Harriss, Parks, Biodviersity and Landscape Services, Dublin City Council
Thomas Carolan, Local Authority Waters Programme
Lar Joye, Dublin Port Company
Declan Byrne, Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society
Shannon Wilson and Nathan Mannion, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

13:15 - 14:15

'Vintage Postcards and Textured Prints' with Julie Merriman

This workshop will explore images of Dublin Port in vintage postcards, before participants are invited to explore their immediate environment through the print method of Frottage: a print process that use various objects and surfaces as printing plates. These textured prints will then be cut up to form an image, referring back to vintage postcards and engineering images of Dublin Port.

The workshop will be suitable for all ages, although children will need to have an adult present.

Workshop participants will need:

A soft pencil - Any 'B' grade pencil will be suitable
Wax crayons
A4 copy paper, or any other paper you have to hand (e.g. baking parchment, newspaper, tracing paper, brown paper bags)
Pritt Stick or similar paper glue
Textured materials (e.g. Bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, feathers, lace, leaves, twigs, coins, textured wallpaper, string, etc.)
Julie Merriman is a visual artist whose work explores the history of mark-making and makes use of obsolete office copying materials, including carbon paper, typewriter film and wax stencil paper.

14:30 - 15:30
'Na Taoide: A familiar Merry Go Round' with Rua Barron and Hannah Power

The wild and magical Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain and it holds a treasure trove of stories that spans centuries. It acts as a source of inspiration; Irish writers have made reference to the nature of the Irish Sea in a variety of works, both prose and poetry. Join us as we investigate the function of the Irish Sea; exploring trade, radioactivity and the sea's inhabitants through a theatrical presentation and discussion. The workshop will include an open discussion among participants and the theatre-makers as well as the chance to watch a short performance.

The workshop will be suitable for all ages, although children will need to have an adult present.

Rua Barron and Hannah Power are experimental theatre makers from Dublin. They use documentary and verbatim theatre as a way to explore the world around us.

14:30 - 16:00

'Port. Poetry. Prose.' with Jon Gower

In this writing workshop, participants will explore Dublin’s connections with the sea and how these help make the city special. In particular we shall look at the creative use of lists to both organise and present material. Workshop participants will aim to produce a long poem or prose poem by day’s end and share it with festival goers.

This workshop is open to those who are 18 or over. Registered participants will be contacted by Jon in advance of the workshop and asked to undertake a very short creative exercise in preparation.

Work from this session will be presented at the end of the festival. As such, participants might also like to ensure that they register for the session, 'Creative Showcase and Festival Wrap-up'.

Jon Gower is a Welsh writer with over thirty books to his name. He has conducted creative writing workshops around the world. He is currently writing a book about St. George’s Channel and its facing coasts.

16:15 - 17:00

Creative Showcase and Festival Wrap-up

This final session of the day will include a performance of the long form or prose poem produced in the 'Port. Poetry. Prose.' workshop, as well as a review of the day's events.

More here


Published in Dublin Port, Dublin Bay Team

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About Dublin Port 

Dublin Port is Ireland’s largest and busiest port with approximately 17,000 vessel movements per year. As well as being the country’s largest port, Dublin Port has the highest rate of growth and, in the seven years to 2019, total cargo volumes grew by 36.1%.

The vision of Dublin Port Company is to have the required capacity to service the needs of its customers and the wider economy safely, efficiently and sustainably. Dublin Port will integrate with the City by enhancing the natural and built environments. The Port is being developed in line with Masterplan 2040.

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 the capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructures 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.

Dublin Port FAQ

Dublin was little more than a monastic settlement until the Norse invasion in the 8th and 9th centuries when they selected the Liffey Estuary as their point of entry to the country as it provided relatively easy access to the central plains of Ireland. Trading with England and Europe followed which required port facilities, so the development of Dublin Port is inextricably linked to the development of Dublin City, so it is fair to say the origins of the Port go back over one thousand years. As a result, the modern organisation Dublin Port has a long and remarkable history, dating back over 300 years from 1707.

The original Port of Dublin was situated upriver, a few miles from its current location near the modern Civic Offices at Wood Quay and close to Christchurch Cathedral. The Port remained close to that area until the new Custom House opened in the 1790s. In medieval times Dublin shipped cattle hides to Britain and the continent, and the returning ships carried wine, pottery and other goods.

510 acres. The modern Dublin Port is located either side of the River Liffey, out to its mouth. On the north side of the river, the central part (205 hectares or 510 acres) of the Port lies at the end of East Wall and North Wall, from Alexandra Quay.

Dublin Port Company is a State-owned commercial company responsible for operating and developing Dublin Port.

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, and profitable private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland's premier Port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the Port.

Captain William Bligh (of Mutiny of the Bounty fame) was a visitor to Dublin in 1800, and his visit to the capital had a lasting effect on the Port. Bligh's study of the currents in Dublin Bay provided the basis for the construction of the North Wall. This undertaking led to the growth of Bull Island to its present size.

Yes. Dublin Port is the largest freight and passenger port in Ireland. It handles almost 50% of all trade in the Republic of Ireland.

All cargo handling activities being carried out by private sector companies operating in intensely competitive markets within the Port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers.

Eamonn O'Reilly is the Dublin Port Chief Executive.

Capt. Michael McKenna is the Dublin Port Harbour Master

In 2019, 1,949,229 people came through the Port.

In 2019, there were 158 cruise liner visits.

In 2019, 9.4 million gross tonnes of exports were handled by Dublin Port.

In 2019, there were 7,898 ship arrivals.

In 2019, there was a gross tonnage of 38.1 million.

In 2019, there were 559,506 tourist vehicles.

There were 98,897 lorries in 2019

Boats can navigate the River Liffey into Dublin by using the navigational guidelines. Find the guidelines on this page here.

VHF channel 12. Commercial vessels using Dublin Port or Dun Laoghaire Port typically have a qualified pilot or certified master with proven local knowledge on board. They "listen out" on VHF channel 12 when in Dublin Port's jurisdiction.

A Dublin Bay webcam showing the south of the Bay at Dun Laoghaire and a distant view of Dublin Port Shipping is here
Dublin Port is creating a distributed museum on its lands in Dublin City.
 A Liffey Tolka Project cycle and pedestrian way is the key to link the elements of this distributed museum together.  The distributed museum starts at the Diving Bell and, over the course of 6.3km, will give Dubliners a real sense of the City, the Port and the Bay.  For visitors, it will be a unique eye-opening stroll and vista through and alongside one of Europe’s busiest ports:  Diving Bell along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay over the Samuel Beckett Bridge, past the Scherzer Bridge and down the North Wall Quay campshire to Berth 18 - 1.2 km.   Liffey Tolka Project - Tree-lined pedestrian and cycle route between the River Liffey and the Tolka Estuary - 1.4 km with a 300-metre spur along Alexandra Road to The Pumphouse (to be completed by Q1 2021) and another 200 metres to The Flour Mill.   Tolka Estuary Greenway - Construction of Phase 1 (1.9 km) starts in December 2020 and will be completed by Spring 2022.  Phase 2 (1.3 km) will be delivered within the following five years.  The Pumphouse is a heritage zone being created as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project.  The first phase of 1.6 acres will be completed in early 2021 and will include historical port equipment and buildings and a large open space for exhibitions and performances.  It will be expanded in a subsequent phase to incorporate the Victorian Graving Dock No. 1 which will be excavated and revealed. 
 The largest component of the distributed museum will be The Flour Mill.  This involves the redevelopment of the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road based on a masterplan completed by Grafton Architects to provide a mix of port operational uses, a National Maritime Archive, two 300 seat performance venues, working and studio spaces for artists and exhibition spaces.   The Flour Mill will be developed in stages over the remaining twenty years of Masterplan 2040 alongside major port infrastructure projects.

Source: Dublin Port Company ©Afloat 2020.