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#QUAYCAPITAL - Businessman Denis O'Brien has spent about €1 million on the purchase of two campshire warehouses, fronting the south quays of the Liffey in Dublin's Docklands quarter.

The campshires are the stretches of land between the quay and road on both the north and south quays in Dublin, which in times past, were thronged with warehouses during the days when cargoships used to sail this far up the Liffey.

Mr O'Brien is expected to spend almost as much again on the upgrading and refurbishment work before renting the buildings as restaurants or for other retail uses.

The detached buildings at Sir John Rogerson's Quay date from the 1880s and were handed over to Nama after the Government decided to dissolve the disgraced Dublin Docklands Development Authority.

Selling agent CBRE said most of the considerable number of inquiries it received about the former BJ Marine warehouses came from the catering industry because of their unique quayside location in an area where a large number of professional workers are employed.

"There is obviously a growing demand for services in what has now become a vibrant business district," says Niamh Sheehan, who handled the sales. For more on this story, the Irish Times has a report.

Published in Waterfront Property

#TALL SHIPS – At the Dublin Tall Ships Races Festival, the docklands-based replica 19th century barque Jeanie Johnston was open to the public, however a former Irish Naval Service vessel, could of been there in her place, had circumstances in the past had taken a different course, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Since 2005, the Jeanie Johnston has been owned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) which as part of its remit was to regenerate water-borne activity along the Liffey. In May this year it was announced the authority is to be wound-down over a period of 18 months.

The Jeanie Johnston currently serves as a static floating emigrant famine museum. This is a stark contrast to when the barque made a historic re-enactment voyage in 2003 of her predecessor which carried Irish emigrants across the Atlantic, between 1845-1855 to Quebec, Baltimore, and New York.

Prior to the acquisition of Jeanie Johnston by the DDDA, the L.E. Deirdre (P20) was decommissioned four years previously when the Naval Service put her up for auction. She is an elder half-sister of the L.E. Emer (P21) which performed 'guardship' duties during last Sunday's Parade of Sail off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Notably the L.E. Deirdre is historically significant in that she was the first custom-built newbuild for the Naval Service and also the first such vessel built in the country, at Verolme Cork Dockyard in 1972, however despite campaigns to keep her as part of our national maritime heritage, this did not materialise, as she was sold at a bargain price of £180,000 to a UK company.

Initially this saw the vessel go to the ship-repair yard of Pomerania, in Szczecin, ironically the Polish city which was the presenting sponsor of the Dublin Tall Ships Races Festival in association with Sail Training International (STI).

However the owner of the former Naval Service vessel, died in 2004, and work on transforming the offshore patrol vessel into a luxury charter yacht, which included installing a helicopter landing pad, came to a standstill. She was sold again and towed to Brazil in 2005 where it is believed the 220ft vessel renamed Santa Rita, painted beige replacing the dull naval grey, was to be completed in 2010.

Yesterday L.E. Emer departed Dublin Port to resume routine patrols and the last large tallship to bid the capital farewell, the A-class, Italian Navy's Amerigo Vespucci, was underway last night. This leaves the Swedish Navy's gaff schooner Falken (class-B) as the last of the tallships still in port.

Published in Tall Ships

#INLAND WATERWAYS - The site of the former graving docks at Grand Canal Dock has been transferred to NAMA in a deal which frees the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) from a €29 million plus bank guarantee.

Plot 8 at Sir John Rogerson's Quay is one of a suite of nine sites that have been transferred to the Government's 'bad bank' in a negotiated loan settlement that extricates the Docklands body from loan guarantees given by banks that financed the "disastrous" Dublin Glass Bottle site deal in 2006.

Sites handed over in the deal include the former 'U2 Tower' and the historic BJ Marine premises on the banks of the Liffey, as well as the aforementioned Dublin Glass Bottle site.

The Dublin branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) had been hoping to embark on a restoration of the graving docks at Plot 8 to their former working order (a detailed history of the docks and restoration plans is available HERE).

This project had been given the blessing of the DDDA and Waterways Ireland, which owns the freehold lease on the site, with a view to its restoration helping to fund the Ulster Canal scheme.

However with the transfer of the DDDA's interest in the site to NAMA, the authority has now withdrawn permission for the IWAI to do any restoration work, leaving the future of the graving docks in limbo.

Published in Inland Waterways
Dublin docklands property developer Harry Crosbie has been refused permission to relocate the former lightship Kittiwake in front of the O2 Theatre, according to a report in today's Irish Times.
Crosbie had intended to convert the 1959 built Kittiwake into a café and bar after raising the vessel from her River Liffey berth and position onto the campshire of North Quay Wall, opposite the music venue.

Dublin City Council told Crosbie that consent for the use of the campshires for the bar had not been agreed to by the board of the Dublin Dockland Development Authority (DDDA), which owns the quays, "and that said permission will not be forthcoming".

Crosbie had received a letter from the then chief executive officer of the DDDA Paul Maloney in December 2008 saying that the authority was willing to let the development go ahead, subject to consent from the authority's executive board.

This permission will not know be forthcoming but the authority does feel that the ship should be used as a bar on the Liffey itself rather than on the campshires.

The Kittiwake has laid idle since 2007 when the vessel was purchased from the Commissioners of Irish Lights. She was the second last lightship to serve in Irish waters. During the 1980's she and several other lightships were converted from manned operation into automatic light-floats or ALF's. To read more about the last Irish lightship ALF Gannet click HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
With sweeping lines the 54m private motor-yacht Fortunate Sun became the largest vessel to transit Dublin's Samuel Beckett swing-bridge, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The motoryacht (click PHOTO) which has luxurious accommodation for 10 guests and 12 crew had sailed from the Scottish western isles and made a lunchtime arrival on Wednesday, where the vessel initially docked at Ocean Pier, Dublin Port.

She remained alongside this berth which is normally used by large commercial ships until the vessel sought a berth much closer to the city-centre. This led to a shift of berths in the evening when the 2003 built vessel headed upriver to the Dublin City Moorings facility at Custom House Quay, but this firstly required transiting through two bridges.

With a beam of 10.6m Fortunate Sun entered through the East-Link toll-lift bridge followed by the Samuel Beckett bridge, the Liffey's newest crossing point which opened in late 2009. The €60m bridge was commissioned by Dublin City Council and designed by the Spanish architect engineer Santiago Calatrava. To read more on the bridge click HERE.

Fortunate Sun is registered in the Caymen Islands and is capable of over 17 knots on a range of 5000 nautical miles. She has a steel hull and an aluminium superstructure and interiors also by Tim Heywood Design. In the early hours of tomorrow morning the vessel built by Oceanfast is to depart through the 5,700 tonnes bridge which was delivered by barge after a five-day voyage from Rotterdam.

There has been previous transits of the bridge notably the annual Dublin Rally organised by the the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI). This year's Dublin Rally took place on 1 May when boats travelling on the Royal Canal descended via Croke Park and entered the Liffey at Spencer Dock. This required the Iarnrod Éireann bridge-lift and the water level in Spencer Dock to be lowered so to allow safe clearance under the Sheriff St. bridge.

From there the IWAI flotilla made the short passage downriver to re-enter another inland waterway system at the Grand Canal Dock, marking where the Liffey connects with the city's southern canal. The 2011 Dublin Rally was the first time since 1955 that boats could enter Dublin from the Shannon via the Royal Canal and the first time since 2004 that boats also joined from the Royal Canal.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The Docklands Summer Festival takes place this weekend in Dublin's 'Docklands' and it is to host the Waterways Ireland Inter-County Sailing Championship, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Other events taking place on the River Liffey and throughout the docklands range from a Dragon Boat display in the Grand Canal Dock (outer basin) and a Boat Show (inner basin) see map. In addition the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre will be open, noting all these activities and venues are to take place between 10am-6pm on Saturday.

On the following Sunday the Waterways Ireland Inter-County Sailing Championship Races are  scheduled between 10am-4pm in the Grand Canal Dock's outer basin. City Canal Cruises will operate each day as well as an International Food Market, held in the Grand Canal Square, opposite the Grand Canal Theatre.

The pristinely kept M.V. Cill Airne, now a floating restaurant and bar will be open at her berth alongside North Wall Quay, close to the striking Samuel Beckett Bridge and The Convention Centre.

The historic veteran vessel built in Dublin at the Liffey Shipyard in the early 1960's was launched as a passenger tender to serve trans-Atlantic liners that called to Cobh. During her tender-duties she brought the rich and famous ashore to include Laurel & Hardy and US President Eisenhower.

The festival is sponsored by Waterways Ireland and the Docklands Business Forum. To see the full festival programme and a map of the docklands click HERE and www.ddda.ie

Published in Maritime Festivals
Aiseanna Mara, which trades as Sail West, beat off competition from other bidders to secure the right to operate and maintain famine replica sailing ship the Jeanie Johnston. The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) said in July that the ship would remain at its berth on Dublin's north quays and will be open for tours. 

The DDDA bought the ship in 2005 for about €2.5m and it has proved a popular static exhibit. A proposal that it be loaned free of charge to the Department of Defence, to replace the Asgard II as a training vessel, was turned down by the department.

Looking for further reading on Tall Ships in Ireland? Click the links below:

Click this link to read all our Tall Ships Stories on one handy page


Previewing Ireland's Tall Ships 2011 Season


Can Ireland Get a New Tall Ship?

Published in Tall Ships

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