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Dredger In Dun Laoghaire Takes Festive Season Break Due to Depart Early in the New Year

31st December 2018
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Dredger Freeway seen in Dublin Port, on the first day after arrival in October. Recently due to berth space restrictions, the hopper-dredger had sought permission to dock in Dun Laoghaire Harbour over the festive period. Dredger Freeway seen in Dublin Port, on the first day after arrival in October. Recently due to berth space restrictions, the hopper-dredger had sought permission to dock in Dun Laoghaire Harbour over the festive period. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#DublinBay - A dredger docked in Dun Laoghaire Harbour just days before Christmas Day, remains in port due to space restrictions in neighbouring Dublin Port, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The hopper dredger Freeway which Afloat tracked upon arrival to Dublin Port in October, had carried out dredging works until ceasing operations for the festive season.

Freeway departed the capital and across Dublin Bay to arrive in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on 22 December, following permission sought from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to lay-up for the holiday period.

It is common prectice, Afloat adds for dredgers based in Dublin Port, to dock at the North Wall Quay Extension (next to the East-Link bridge) during dredging campaigns. The inaugural call of Irish Ferries giant newbuild cruiseferry W.B. Yeats however at 194m long has taken up a commanding presence along the North Wall. 

The lack of quay space on the North Wall for the 92m Freeway is also attributed in part to the long-term berthed Shingle. The 32m vessel has lain idle since detained more than four years ago.

By coincidence, both the dredger and cruiseferry are Cypriot flagged. On related note to ferries, the North Wall is where operator P&O Ferries use berths at Terminal 3. The linkspan coupled by the frequent ferries occupy the remaining length of the North Wall.

Since the W.B. Yeats has shifted berths to the North Wall, the cruiseferry had returned to Terminal 1 to undergo further berthing including trials at a nearby linkspan. The 1,800 passenger/1,200 vehicle cruiseferry is currently back at the North Wall, though further research reveals the new ship is to shift berths on New Year's Day.

The cruiseferry is to enter service next month, initially to Holyhead and from mid-March, connecting the capital to Cherbourg, France. 

As for the Freeway, it is scheduled to depart Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Wednesday. This will see the dredger return to Dublin Port to resume work. 

Published in Dublin Bay
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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