Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Dublin Port Company Progresses Landmark Tolka-Estuary Greenway

28th August 2023
The new Greenway for the capital will offer Pedestrians and cyclists novel access to Dublin Port

Dublin Port Dublin Port announced today (28 August) that work has commenced on the Tolka-Estuary Greenway, a dedicated 3.2km cycle and pedestrian route along the Northern perimeter of the Port overlooking the Tolka Estuary. The Tolka-Estuary Greenway is a celebration of an area of the Port that has never been accessed by the public before, and it is a key element of Dublin Port’s ambitious Tolka-Estuary Project first announced in November 2020.

The Tolka-Estuary project also includes the development of a 6.3km distributed museum within the Port, and the Liffey Tolka Greenway, a proposed additional tree-lined pedestrian and cycle route between the Liffey and the Tolka Estuary along the East Wall Road.

"The Tolka-Estuary Greenway is a celebration of an area of the Port that has never been accessed by the public before"

Lar Joye, Port Heritage Director, Dublin Port, said, “We are very excited seeing construction of this element of the Tolka-Estuary Project commence. By next summer Dubliners will be able to safely enjoy the River Liffey and Tolka Estuary on foot or by bike through the Port. The Tolka-Estuary Greenway will allow Dubliners enjoy novel perspectives of the city, the Estuary, its flora and fauna, the Port and eventually the Distributed Museum we are creating here, which includes the Pumphouse and the Flour Mill. We have always said that our ambition is to open up the Port as an amenity for the city and the Greenway will be transformative in this regard.”

The first section of the Tolka-Estuary Greenway stretches 1.9km from the Port’s boundary with Eastpoint Business Park to the Irish Ferries and Stena Line check-in booths on Terminal Road. The route required extensive coastal protection and heavy civil engineering works prior to construction but is now expected to open to the public by summer 2024. The second 1.3km section of the Greenway will bring the Greenway route to the most Eastern point of Dublin Port overlooking Dublin Bay and a brand new 800-metre linear park.

On completion Dublin Port’s Greenway will link Dublin with the proposed National Galway to Dublin Cycleway, a 270km dedicated traffic-free cycling route which follows the Royal Canal Greenway and the Old Rail Trail Greenway from Dublin via Maynooth and Athlone to Galway City. It will also link Ireland with EuroVelo 2, The Capitals Route, a 5,500km (3,400 mi) long cycling east-west European route which passes through Ireland, The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, German, Poland and Belarus. Tourists arriving in Ireland with their bikes from Holyhead in Wales and Cherbourg in France will now be able to leave the Dublin Port on this purpose-built greenway.

Dr. Úna May, CEO of Sport Ireland, said, “As National EuroVelo Coordinator, Sport Ireland also welcomes this proposed new infrastructure which will facilitate cyclists travelling the section of the EuroVelo 2 cycle route in Ireland, also known as the Galway – Dublin Cycleway. The proposed new greenways will bring cyclists arriving at the port on a route that will ultimately connect the port to the Royal Canal Greenway and onwards to the west of Ireland. Cycling is a fantastic way to stay active and improve overall fitness, and I am delighted to see work progressing on the development of dedicated cycling infrastructure in the Dublin Port area. As well as providing an opportunity for people who work in the port to cycle more safely to work, this infrastructure will provide traffic-free recreational cycling opportunities for the local community.”

The Distributed Museum within the Port includes The Pumphouse, which formerly housed the steam engine that powered the gates of Graving Docks 1 & 2 but has been repurposed by Dublin Port into an artistic and cultural venue and The Flour Mill, the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road which will be transformed into a National Maritime Archive, two 300-seat performance venues, as well as studio and exhibition spaces for artists. The Flour Mill will be developed in stages as part of Masterplan 2040 alongside major port infrastructure projects.

Barry O’Connell, CEO, Dublin Port Company, said, “The Tolka-Estuary Greenway is another important milestone in delivering on our Port-City commitments as part of Masterplan 2040. The new cycling and pedestrian route linking the River Liffey with the Tolka-Estuary will no doubt prove to be an incredibly popular amenity and provide people with novel access to the Port and the opportunity to see the maritime and industrial landmarks along the route.” Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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.