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Barge Full of Rock Armour Arrives to Protect Roger Casement and Dun Laoghaire Baths

25th September 2021
Roger Casement looks on from his plinth at Dun Laoghaire Baths as extra protection arrives by barge in advance of Winter Gales on Dublin Bay
Roger Casement looks on from his plinth at Dun Laoghaire Baths as extra protection arrives by barge in advance of Winter Gales on Dublin Bay Credit: Afloat

Six hundred tones of Cornish granite was deposited at the Dun Laoghaire Baths on Saturday (September 25th 2021) as part of additional rock armour protection measures for the Dublin Bay site heavily exposed to easterly gales.

The load was deposited in ideal conditions during one high tide at lunchtime using a multi-purpose flat top pontoon barge. 

The barge, named Mormaen 15, arrived from Falmouth in the UK and skilfully placed the massive rocks using a large long-reach onboard excavator between the new quay wall and the town's East Pier.

The rock will protect the new works, including the recently installed Roger Casement statue, a centrepiece of the much anticipated €13.5m project.

The multi-role marine platform is positioned into place at Dun Laoghaire Baths by tugs Sarah Grey and AMS Retriever(Above and below) The multi-role marine platform is positioned into place at Dun Laoghaire Baths by tugs Sarah Grey and AMS Retriever

Mormaen 15

Manoeuvring the 60-metre x 22-metre barge into position at Scotsman's Bay involved using the UK flagged towing tug Sara Grey assisted by AMS Retriever.

The Dublin Port Pilot boat Camac was also in attendance as the pictures above show.

The refurbishment has so far taken over three years to date and been hit by a number of setbacks, not least the COVID-19 pandemic. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council had estimated a December 2021 completion date but this has recently been updated to "late Spring 2022".

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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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