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Ferryport's Scrapyard! Transformed to Beatyard!

29th July 2016
Entrance of the former Stena HSS terminal at St.Michaels Pier, Dun Laoghaire Harbour, where the Beatyard event is to take place this weekend. In the distance the concrete pillars that once supported the passenger gangway for the HSS Stena Explorer Entrance of the former Stena HSS terminal at St.Michaels Pier, Dun Laoghaire Harbour, where the Beatyard event is to take place this weekend. In the distance the concrete pillars that once supported the passenger gangway for the HSS Stena Explorer Photo: Jehan Ashmore

#Beatyard - The former Stena Line ferryport, Dun Laoghaire, notably this week has been a flurry of activity as St. Michaels Pier has been transformed in readiness for this weekend’s Beatyard, a multi-event attraction, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Heaps of scrap metal from the dismantled terminal was loaded onto trucks equipped with grabbers within the complex compound, where for almost two decades cars, coaches and trucks were marshalled before loading on board or driven off the HSS Stena Explorer. The craft ceased operating Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead crossings in September, 2014, as the operator consolidated services out of neighbouring Dublin Port, however, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company are in the process of seeking to restore the Welsh route, but not until 2017 and using an adjoining berth.

In this compound area at St. Michaels Pier, event crews have assembled the Beatyard’s music performance stage, accompanied by marquees. Several shipping containers, used to advertise the event are next to the vehicle check-in booths  The visitor attraction is not just about music, but offering a host of events.

The weekend’s Beatyard (July 30-31) is described as everything that’s good and great in the world of food, drink, tech, science, music, games, sports, arts, design and discussion.

Adjoining the Beatyard is the disused ferryport terminal building, which too was custom –built in the mid-1990’s for the introduction of the revolutionary Stena HSS, however retail/office space is currently available to let.

Ironically, the highspeed sea-service (HSS) Stena Explorer fastferry which could of gone likewise for scrap, like her North Channel counterpart, remains up for sale. The 1500 passenger/375 vehicle craft, when sold last year to Turkish  interests, was to be converted in a floating office in Istanbul. In more recent months, this plan has been shelved. 

The process of dismantling and removing Stena associated infrastructure is incomplete, as a remnant of the HSS linkspan-berth remains in situ, supported on a barge that was towed from Stranraer, Scotland. Leading off St. Michaels Pier is the jetty and supporting dolphins that too remain in the harbour, where the HSS Stena Explorer berthed using speciliast satellite technology that involved no mooring ropes but large clamps to wedge the craft into place.

In addition, a pair of concrete pillars remain, that once supported the glazed skywalk (east and west passenger gangways) connecting the HSS are also gone. What's left are these pillars than are visible, notably from the terminal entrance which is lined by the passenger check-in booths.

Above these booths are the terminal’s original marquee-like shade / shelter structures. They are seemingly more apt than ever as they compliment the Beatyard’s range of event marquees.

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