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Faroese-Flagged Caller to Dun Laoghaire Harbour Highlights Capacity Constraints in Dublin Port

14th March 2019
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The Faroese-flagged RSV Franklin which is berthed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour having arrived over a week ago due to space capacity restrictions in neighbouring Dublin Port. The Faroese-flagged RSV Franklin which is berthed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour having arrived over a week ago due to space capacity restrictions in neighbouring Dublin Port.

#dublinbay- A unusual caller to Dun Laoghaire Harbour is a Faroese Islands flagged research survey vessel that is docked in the port due to berth capacity restrictions in neighbouring Dublin Port, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 55m RSV Franklin which is listed on the Faroese International Ship Register, had arrived to the harbour just over a week ago having berthed alongside Carlisle Pier. There are currently 92 vessels owned on the islands which are a self-governing archipelago that form part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

This is not the first time ships in Dublin Port have been forced to use a berth in Dun Laoghaire Harbour as most recently, the Dutch flagged dredger Freeway as Afloat reported made a request late last year to enter the port and avail of a berth. 

It was ironic that the trailing suction dredger which was carrying out works on behalf of Dublin Port had to spend a lay-over period in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. On that occasion during late December and into the New Year, the 92m vessel had also occupied Carlisle Pier due to the limited capacity available in the capital port.

As also previously reported on Afloat, last month Dublin Port announced that due to rising freight volumes and the need to create space due to Brexit, prioritisation of freight over tourism is to take place. The decision by Dublin Port to curtail cruiseships in using its facilities from 2021 has raised concerns among the wider Irish tourism industry.

In addition the proposed cruise-berth for Dun Laoghaire unveiled almost four years ago, is among a trio of multi-million euro projects that have been thrown into question by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council which cited both lack of funds and viability.

The south Dublin Bay harbour was under the control of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company until a transfer took place last year to the local authority.

Since Stena Line withdrew the HSS fastferry service to Holyhead, Wales in 2014, the port has no major anchor tennant. It was 25 years ago that the operator chartered in another Faroese-flagged vessel Smyril Line's ferry Norröna (built 1973) which was a highly unusual move, given historically other ferries would of been pooled from Stena's extensive fleet. 

The only vessels currently calling to the harbour on a year-round basis is the fleet of the Naval Service and ILV Granuaile, the aids to navigation tender belonging to Irish Lights which has its headquarters located on the harbour waterfront. 

As for the 1,178 tonne RSV Franklin which is expected to depart the harbour by the end of this week.

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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