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Big Dublin Bay Waves Reveal What Sir Roger Casement Will Confront at Dun Laoghaire Baths

31st January 2021
Big seas at Dun Laoghaire on Saturday, January 30th. Scroll down for more Big seas at Dun Laoghaire on Saturday, January 30th. Scroll down for more

Getting into situations over his head rarely fazed Sir Roger Casement, so a new Dublin Bay seafront home should present no difficulties for the statue of the Sandycove man at the refurbished Dun Laoghaire Baths site.

Saturday's north-easterly gale flooded the town's East pier and also the nearby Dart railway line between Dun Laoghaire and Booterstown as big seas rolled into the bay.

If anyone was in any doubt what the new baths was going to have to withstand, Saturday's wintry waves illustrated the point perfectly.

The plan is for the late Knight of the British Empire, hanged for his role in the 1916 Easter Rising, to be commemorated on a plinth at the end of a short new pier being built as part of the baths refurbishment project.  

The new Roger Casement statue destined for a plinth at the end of the swim jetty at Dun Laoghaire BathsThe new Roger Casement statue destined for a plinth (see below) at the end of the swim jetty at Dun Laoghaire Baths

It appears, as in life, Sir Roger (who was stripped of his title before execution) will have a lot to stand up to as the plinth itself became completely covered by waves on Saturday, January 30 as the photo sequence shows below.

Big waves at Dun Laoghaire Baths on Dublin BayThe new plinth for the Sir Roger Casement statue at Dun Laoghaire and the big Dublin Bay waves (below) crashing over it on Saturday Photos: Afloat

Waves at Dun Laoghaire Baths on Dublin Bay

Waves at Dun Laoghaire Baths on Dublin Bay

Waves at Dun Laoghaire Baths on Dublin Bay

Waves at Dun Laoghaire Baths on Dublin Bay

Waves at Dun Laoghaire Baths on Dublin Bay

Waves at Dun Laoghaire Baths on Dublin Bay

The council say the Casement figure by artist Mark Richards is cast in bronze, which will 'mature and reflect the climatic conditions of the site as the year's pass'.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the statue is to be erected along the pierhead walkway connecting the parkland areas at Newtownsmith with the beach area at Queen’s Road.

The redevelopment of Dún Laoghaire’s baths, which have been closed since 1997, is nearing completion even though construction has stopped during the COVID-19 emergency.

The €2.75 million makeovers will see the derelict pool being replaced by artists’ studios and a gallery café as well as a pier to swim from and a landing jetty for small boats and kayaks.

Casement was born to an Anglo-Irish family in nearby Sandycove in 1864 and served as a British diplomat before helping to form the Irish Volunteers.

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Dun Laoghaire Baths Renovation

Afloat has been reporting on the new plans for the publically owned Dun Laoghaire Baths site located at the back of the East Pier since 2011 when plans for its development first went on display by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. 

Foreshore consent was applied for in 2013.

Last used 30 years ago as the 'Rainbow Rapids' before falling into dereliction – the new site does not include a public pool.

The refurbished Dun Laoghaire Baths include the existing Baths Pavilion for use as artist workspaces, a gallery café and for the provision of public toilet facilities. 

Work finally got underway at Dún Laoghaire on the €9 million redevelopments of the old Dún Laoghaire Baths site in June 2018 under a contract with SIAC-Mantovani.

The works have removed dilapidated structures to the rear of the Pavilion to permit the creation of a new route and landscaping that will connect the walkway at Newtownsmith to both the East Pier and the Peoples Park. 

Original saltwater pools have been filled in and new enhanced facilities for swimming and greater access to the water’s edge by means of a short jetty have also been provided.

The works included the delivery of rock armour to protect the new buildings from storm damage especially during easterly gales. 

It hasn't all been plain sailing during the construction phase with plastic fibres used in construction washing into the sea in November 2018

Work continues on the project in Spring 2020 with the new pier structure clearly visible from the shoreline.

A plinth at the end of the pier will be used to mount a statue of Roger Casement, a former Sandycove resident and Irish nationalist.

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