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As an island nation, Ireland is dependent on ports and shipping services to transport goods, and 90% of our trade is moved though Irish ports.

Shipping and maritime transport services make a significant contribution to Ireland’s ocean economy, with the sector generating €2.3 billion in turnover and employing over 5,000 people in 2018.

The importance of Ireland’s ports and shipping services is the focus of this week’s Oceans of Learning series, with resources from the Marine Institute and Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).

Ireland’s maritime industry continues to grow and progress each year with Irish ports and shipping companies making significant investments.

The ports sector in Ireland is currently undergoing a number of expansions and developments — with Dublin Port’s Alexandra Basin development, the development of Ringaskiddy in Cork by Port of Cork and the development of Shannon Foynes Port.

Along with these major investments, shipping companies are also investing heavily in new tonnage, with Irish Ferries, CLdN and Stena leading new build programmes.

IMDO director Liam Lacey said: “The Irish maritime industry can look to the future with confidence. It has shown itself to be resilient and agile in responding to challenges.

“Over the past decade, it has had to respond to the challenges of the financial crisis of 2008, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and recent challenges. Ireland’s maritime sector has continued to underpin our economy by maintaining vital shipping links for both trade and tourism.”

Oceans of Learning offers downloadable resource such as fact sheets, a quiz and posters on Ireland's shipping sector. To access the resources for this week’s series, visit Port of the Future.

For more information on Oceans of Learning, visit www.marine.ie and follow the Marine Institute on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Dublin Port Company today delivered the first of 500 care packs to international seafarers as a thank you for their frontline service during the coronavirus crisis. Due to the pandemic, many members of ships’ crews have had lengthy enforced extensions to their time on board cargo vessels. Crews can typically spend up to 6 months at sea at a time, away from family and home.

Some 300 of the care packs will be distributed amongst the crews of 27 individual vessels which are scheduled to arrive into Dublin Port in the next two weeks. The packs contain essential toiletries, including disposable razors, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand cream, hand soap, lip balm and a nail brush.

Today, the first care packs were given to the crew members of the Victorine, which docked in Dublin Port this morning having completed a voyage between Rotterdam and Dublin as part of a service operated by CLdN.

The remaining 200 care packs will be held by the Dublin Port Seafarers’ Centre and given to the sailors who avail of its services in the weeks and months ahead. The Seafarers’ Centre was opened in 2016 following a €500,000 investment from Dublin Port Company as a vital resource for ships’ crews. It provides amenities such as access to free Wi-Fi, a vital commodity so that seafarers can easily contact family and loved ones while ashore. The Centre supports over 7,500 visiting seafarers a year arriving from all over the world, typically from countries such as India, China, Ukraine, Russia and the Philippines.

Harbour Master Michael McKenna said; “We are delighted to get our Seafarer Care Pack initiative underway today. We at Dublin Port felt like these crew members needed to be acknowledged. They have gone above and beyond in recent months, working during this public health emergency and being confined to their vessels and these packs are a token of our appreciation for the essential service they provide. It’s because of them that we have food on our table, and other essentials at this time.”

Reverend William Black, Port Chaplin from the Mission to Seafarers said; “Looking after seafarers and their basic needs is a huge part of what we do at the centre and we are blessed to be given the opportunity to assist them. They are the essential worker that we all rely on, but not everyone gets the opportunity to see. Today, we wish them well on their homeward journeys and thank them for their service after what has been a difficult time for so many.”

Rose Kearney, manager of the Seafarers’ Centre said; “It is our pleasure to look after these crew members in any way we can. It is a tough world for seafarers, and they have now been away from their families and loved ones for even longer than expected because of the coronavirus. Anything we can do to make their lives a little easier is no problem at all, we are very grateful to them. We hope the packs can give them a bit of comfort before they make their way home.”

Published in Dublin Port
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The ferryport of Rosslare Europort will undergo a €30m transformation over the next five years and is the ideal port to alleviate traffic congestion and lessen pollution in Dublin, according to manager Glenn Carr.

As the New Ross Standard reports, Mr Carr said there are 100 acres of land waiting to be developed within a five kilometre radius of the port, an unrivalled landbank in the country, adding that it makes perfect sense for Dublin Port ships and shipping activity to be moved to Rosslare. Planning permission to develop a new access road and entrance has been submitted, with works due to commence this winter - and combined with major plans by the OPW to develop a customs unit at the port - Rosslare Europort is able to take over 20 per cent of activity from Dublin in the coming years.

Mr Carr said: 'Both outside Dublin Port on the M50 and inside, there is congestion. The current situation is not the norm. The norm prior to Covid saw lorries delayed outside the port and even in the port tunnel. With Brexit approaching we do believe that Rosslare has a very strong role to play as geographically it is the closest port to mainland Europe. Companies can save seven hours, (three and a half hours each way) on the Irish Sea on direct services going to Europe.'

He said the Enniscorthy Bypass has saved hauliers 25 minutes on their journey, adding that the opening of the New Ross Bypass has also strengthened the case for the port. For hauliers travelling to distribution centres along the outer M50 in Dublin, Rosslare is now a lot easier to get to. 'The time you would lose on the ship, you'd gain on the road. The New Ross Bypass provides improved connectivity to Cork, Waterford and Limerick, which are main arteries that a lot of product is moved to. We have seen that with the new Brittany Ferries [Bilbao] service, which moved here from Cork. The biggest factor [behind the move] was that the industry wanted the route in Rosslare because it was easier and quicker to get to so there is already evidence that Rosslare is a real alternative to Dublin.

Presently around 84 per cent of roll-on, roll-off shipping activity occurs in Dublin Port, the remaining 16 per cent falling to Rosslare.

For Carr, there is no other port in Ireland better suited to roll-on, roll-off. because of the better access in and out of the port.

For much more on this ferry development click here.

Afloat adds Brittany Ferries were to have launched a second new route out of Rosslare to Roscoff, but due to Covid-19 the start date has been rescheduled to this month. The inaugural sailing is in a fortnight's time, Monday 15th June.

In the meantime Kerry maintains the year-round Spanish service albeit in a freight-only mode until sailings open to passengers return on Wednesday 17th June.

Published in Ferry

Dublin Port Company has today reported its first-quarter trading figures for 2020. The latest figures show a decline in overall port tonnage of -4.8% compared to the first quarter of 2019.

The first three months of 2019 were dominated by the original Brexit departure date of 31st March 2019 and volumes through Dublin were very high due to stockpiling. (Q1 2019 imports were 8.0% ahead of imports in Q1 2018).

Against this base, significant growth in Q1 2020 was always unlikely but the impact of the coronavirus, particularly in March, combined with significant shipping disruptions due to bad weather in February caused volumes to decline by 470,000 tonnes or -4.8% in the first quarter of 2020.

Unitised trade (trailers and containers combined) fell by -4.4% to 360,000 units with Ro-Ro declining by -5.3% to 256,000 units and Lo-Lo by -2.2% to 187,000 TEU.

Imports of new trade vehicles

Imports of new trade vehicles through Dublin Port decreased by -10.3% to 30,000 in the first quarter and a significant continuing decline seems inevitable for the rest of the year.

Bulk liquid volumes, primarily petroleum products, grew by +4.4% to 1.1m tonnes. Aviation fuel accounts for more than one-fifth of all petroleum imports in Dublin Port and the impact of the coronavirus on air travel will lead to a large decline in imports of aviation fuel and in overall petroleum imports into Dublin Port in the months ahead.

Dublin Port Cargo decline

Bulk solid commodities declined by -13.2% to 468,000 tonnes.

Ferry Passengers

Ferry passenger volumes decreased by -17.8% to 224,000. Similarly, the number of tourist vehicles fell by -18.0% to 67,000. One cruise ship called to Dublin Port in Q1 2020 and the outlook for this sector everywhere for the remainder of the cruise season to end-September is bleak.

Commenting on the results, Dublin Port’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, said:

“Against the background of an exceptionally buoyant first quarter in 2019 because of Brexit, we did not expect to see continued strong growth in Q1 2020. However, the combination of exceptionally bad weather in February and the rapid impact of the coronavirus during March has caused port throughput to decline by 470,000 tonnes or 4.8% in the first three months of the year. Although our throughput was behind that of 2019, volumes in Q1 2020 were still ahead of Q1 2018 by 1.9%.

“The not too disappointing figures for Q1 2020 are irrelevant, however, as we look ahead to the second quarter during which we will see a very significant decline in volumes across all cargo modes and in passenger traffic.

“While work on long-term Masterplan development projects will continue once work restrictions are lifted, we will focus determinedly over the next three months on keeping day to day port operations going in order to maintain critical trade flows particularly of foodstuffs, essential consumer goods and medicines. It is at times like this that we see the importance of the supply chains we can normally take for granted in our daily lives.

Keeping Dublin Port open

“Keeping Dublin Port open depends on a small number of critical marine operations, maintenance, security and fire warden staff working 24 / 7. We have adapted normal working arrangements to protect staff and their families to ensure that key functions remain manned at all times and ships can enter and leave Dublin Port safely. We are also delighted to welcome back two recently retired pilots to service to provide additional manpower resilience for this essential function.

“Outside of our own operations, all of the cargo terminals in Dublin Port continue to operate normally and hauliers are maintaining the flow of goods in and out of these terminals. The contribution of port workers, of hauliers and of the anonymous ships' crews who maintain our supply chains is immense.

Dublin Port voluntary redundancy scheme

“In advance of finalising debt facilities of €300m in December 2019, we had been reducing the company’s cost base in recent years notably by way of a voluntary redundancy scheme which is reducing employee numbers by 11% and we are in a good position now to absorb the shock of reduced volumes as a result of the coronavirus in anticipation of economic recovery whenever that might happen. In particular, we are well placed to continue the long lead time challenge of providing additional port capacity for long-term growth”.

Published in Dublin Port
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Operators of Dublin and Cork ports have said imports of food and other essential items have increased since the Covid-19 outbreak here over a month ago.

According to RTE News, the ports said contingencies are in place to ensure ports stay open and supply chains remain intact.

Their trading figures indicate the Covid-19 outbreak has seen increased demand for food and other essential items.

This is backed up by evidence of panic buying and empty supermarket shelves.

The Port of Cork insists that trade is up and supply chains have been unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak.

At Cork's deep water terminal in Ringaskiddy, unloading of a Portuguese cargo ship, AS Petronia, began at 5am.

The ship left Costa Rica in Central America a fortnight ago, and tied up in Ringaskiddy in the early hours of this morning.

Ireland is its first port of call. The ship is carrying more than 2,000 shipping containers which are destined for ports all over Europe.

There were around 100 shipping containers for Ireland on board, carrying mangos, melons and pineapples, along with four million bananas - a mere week's supply to keep this country going.

More on this story by clicking here.

Published in Irish Ports

In recent months the concept of a fixed link between Ireland and Britain has been rapidly developing as various politicians have proposed bridges between Northern Ireland and Scotland across the narrow, storm-tossed and tide-riven waters of the North Channel.

But while the distance between Fair Head on the northeast corner of Antrim and the Mull of Kintyre in West Scotland is barely 13 miles, as one critic has pointed out, this would be a link “from the back of beyond to the middle of nowhere”. For even when Scotland has been reached at Kintyre, any traffic would have hundreds of miles of driving before getting anywhere near the main road system, let alone the primary motorway routes.

As for a connection across the established ferry route between Larne in Northern Ireland and Stranraer in southwest Scotland, that would also bring traffic from Ireland into a relatively remote part of Scotland, with a long slow drive to the nearest part of the motorway system towards Carlisle in northwest England. That in turn then involves a long haul through the notoriously congested M6 in order to connect with other main routes into the prosperous southeast of England and on into mainland Europe. 

map IRL UKThe challenges of providing a fixed link between Ireland and Britain are abundantly clear in this image, with the 160 metres depth of the explosives-filled Beaufort Dyke in the southern North Channel clearly in evidence. In terms of providing a relatively level seabed for the proposed Brunel Link from the greater Dublin area to North Wales, it looks as though a straight line between Skerries and Holyhead would offer the best option

But in any case, it has been pointed out that a Larne-Stranraer link would be considerably longer than the shorter County Antrim link between Black Head in Northern Ireland and Corsewall Point in Scotland. Yet both of these would involve difficult shoreside access, whereas a link slightly further south from Donaghadee in County Down through the nearby Copeland Island and across to Portpatrick in Scotland is only about 20 miles, although putting a motorway through the choice residential districts of North Down and across Copeland Island might meet with some local resistance.

In any case, in this area, the North Channel includes the 160 metres deep fissure which is the Beaufort Dyke, a hidden depth which has the added hazard of use as a dumping group for explosives – millions of them – after World War II ended in 1945. Even after 75 years, there is no reason to assume that they still are anything other than extremely dangerous.

Yet in theory, a viable bridge could be built at this point, for civil engineers reckon anything is possible if they’re only given enough resources to do it. Nevertheless, even though it might be less expensive than a tunnel, it boggles the mind to think of the expenditure which would be required to create a bridge structure which could withstand the really extreme conditions of the North Channel, and thus another idea which has been around for some time has been put forward as a possible solution.

brunel link3The basic structure of the Brunel Link is very simple. In the completed full-size project, a motorway standard dual carriageway with three lanes either side will be in place across the middle, while a two-line railway will run along the floor.

This is the Bridge/Tunnel, the “Brunnel”, which is somewhere between a bridge and a tunnel. It is in effect a giant tube which is laid along the sea-bed in such a way that it flexibly follows the contours when they are reasonably even, but by its nature, the structure can be reinforced to become a rigid tube-bridge when it is necessary to cross an undersea valley.

As the portmanteau name of Brunnel is so near to the surname of Brunel to remind us of the great Victorian engineer-builder Isambard Kingdom Brunel (who would be just the man for a massive and visionary project of this nature), the concept is becoming known as the Brunel Link. And its potential for being extruded in virtually infinite lengths by a giant (and we really mean giant) tube-making machine from a reinforced mixture of concrete and advance epoxies has been taken into consideration by a mysterious Dublin-based organisation known as the Committee for the Re-Alignment of Ports.

image of brunel4The greatest engineer? Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) has been deservedly honoured in the name of the Brunel Link.
Basically, this Committee is primarily concerned with connecting Ireland as directly as possible with the most prosperous and industrious part of middle and southeast England, which in turn gives connections into the commercial, financial and industrial heartlands of Europe. In order to achieve this, they have concluded that the key arterial route to be followed would be based around the Dublin to Holyhead route.

UK IRLThe logic of the Dublin-Holyhead link as the most efficient inter-connector from the island of Ireland to Britain’s industrial and commercial heartlands and on into mainland Europe is evident from this map of the main routes
Thus the Committee’s plan is for a Brunel cross-channel tube connection from somewhere on the coast of the Greater Dublin region to Holyhead, the structure to be of sufficient diameter to accommodate a dual carriageway motorway with three lanes either side, plus vitally important hard shoulders, at its widest horizontal diameter, and below this would be a twin-track railway system running along the Brunel Link floor which will somehow accommodate the differing railway gauges to be found on either side of the Irish Sea.

As the impetus for this huge project is essentially coming from the Irish side, the group behind it plan to invest heavily in Holyhead harbourside property. In fact, one development of this idea is that Ireland should buy Holy Island, the offlyer beside Anglesey on which Holyhead is located, and make it in effect an extension of the Irish Republic. Ideally, in fact, the promoters would like to take over the entire island of Anglesey to provide Dublin with the potential for an easterly extension and its useful hinterland.

holyhead aerial6With the Brunel Link in place, the port of Holyhead could have a brighter future as an extension of Dublin Port.

 Isle of Anglesey UK location mapThe promoters of the Brunel Link are thinking in terms of initially taking over Holy Island on which Holyhead is located, and ideally, they hope to buy all of Anglesey in due course to provide Dublin with a viable eastern hinterland.
At the moment that is only the stuff of dreams, but with the Brunel cross-channel connection, the entire geography of the northern area of St George’s Channel would be changed. With Anglesey less than an hour’s drive away from Dublin regardless of the weather, Holyhead could be transformed from an economic blackspot into becoming part of one of Europe’s most successful technical and financial hubs.

This ready access to Holyhead would, in turn, add another option to the regularly-issued demand by high-flown economic commentators and urban planners that Dublin Port be moved entirely out of the city in order to facilitate the “proper 21st Century potential” of the Capital. Those of us who think that the regular and much-observed ship movements in and out of the Port and Dublin Bay are integral to the character of the city may disagree with this, but nevertheless it’s interesting to see how the Holyhead option may affect the overall thinking.

For the “Move the Port out of the City” movement assumes that somewhere else can be conveniently found to place the large and complex infrastructure of Dublin port. Yet no remotely comparable natural harbour exists any nearer than Carlingford Lough to the north, and Wexford Harbour to the south, while the proposals for a new port at Bremor close north of Balbriggan seem to take no account of the need there would be for the construction of massive new breakwaters to create an artificial harbour which would have to be many times the size of Dun Laoghaire.

Yet with Holyhead brought into the equation through the Brunel Link, valuable land on the East Coast of Ireland could be retained for residential and recreational use, while an under-utilised industrial area and harbour on the Welsh coast could be brought to life as an extension of Dublin port.

dublin port sunset8Sunset for Dublin Port? With ferry operations removed by the opening of the Brunel Link to Holyhead, and with Holyhead thereby enabled to take over the freight services of Dublin, the way would be clear for the Dublin port area to be re-developed for residential, office and recreational use.
Behind all this re-alignment of ports, the new arterial connection from the heart of Ireland through Britain to the heart of Europe would be made even more viable in several obvious ways. With the rapidly increased use of electrically-powered vehicles in the near future, the convenience and environmental compatibility of the Brunel Link, and the inescapable logic of its location, arguably make the visionary proposals from the Committee for the Re-Alignment of Ports a real no-brainer.

Published in News Update
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Dublin's sea trade which is around 17% could be affected by the coronavirus pandemic according to the Dublin Port Company.

It a statement the company says it "fully expects" a fall-off when the next quarterly results are published.

It says that 17% of trade in the port is with deep sea destinations such as China, which are "exposed" to the impact of the virus.

"We know that we will see a reduction in volumes affecting this portion of our trade, but we cannot comment meaningfully on the impact until after the end of the first quarter".

More on the story RTE reports here.

Published in Dublin Port

Dublin Port Company has today officially christened its new Pilot Boat, DPC Tolka, in a short ceremony held at Poolbeg Yacht Club. The state-of-the-art vessel arrived in Dublin Port in December.

Father Ivan Tonge of Ringsend Parish and Reverend William Black, Port Chaplin from the Mission to Seafarers, blessed the 17.1-metre vessel before the boat’s godmother, Eileen Murray, carried out the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle on its bow. Eileen, a local of Ringsend, is the Vice Commodore of Poolbeg Yacht Club and her father was one of its founding members.

Dublin Port Pilot Boat TolkaEamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company Dublin at the Tolka Christening ceremony

As Afloat reported previously, DPC Tolka is the newest addition to the port’s fleet of working vessels, which includes tug boats Shackleton and Beaufort, multi-purpose workboat the Rosbeg, and pilot boats Liffey and Camac. She replaces the Port’s oldest pilot boat Dodder, which was retired from service after 23 years.

Dublin Port Pilot Boat TolkaFather Ivan Tonge of Ringsend Parish and Reverend William Black, Port Chaplin from the Mission to Seafarers, blessed the 17.1-metre vessel

DPC Tolka represents a vital upgrade in the provision of pilotage services at the Port and will allow Dublin Port’s team of highly skilled marine pilots to reach and board large ships in all weather conditions from a greater distance out into Dublin Bay. Pilots have been training on the new vessel since her arrival.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “The christening of a new vessel is a longstanding tradition and I cannot think of a more suitable godmother to the Tolka than Vice Commodore Murray, whose family are steeped in Poolbeg Yacht Club’s history. I thank Eileen and the Club for hosting this event today and Dublin Port looks forward to continuing to work closely with both the local community and sailing organisations in the future.”

DPCTolka16(From left) Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O’Reilly, Eileen Murray and Dublin Port Harbour master Captain Michael McKenna

Published in Dublin Port
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Good news from the Dublin Dock Workers' Preservation Society in their attempts to save their 6,000 historical photographs collection. The problem was reported earlier this week on Afloat.

Declan Byrne of the Society says: "We have been overwhelmed by the offers of help and support to preserve our archive. We are meeting up with Lar Joye Port Heritage Director of Dublin Port Company"

Hopefully, there will be a positive outcome and the important collection will be saved.

Published in Dublin Port
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There has been 'terrible news' reported for Dublin Dock Workers' preservation society who need urgent help to preserve records stored on the internet.

The Dublin Dock Workers’ Preservation Society was set up nine years ago, in early 2011.

It is composed of ex-dock workers and people interested in preserving the history of Dublin Port. It has successfully held a number of exhibitions and raised awareness of the culture, history and tradition of Dublin Docks and Dock Workers.

It started by collecting historic photographs and has amassed a collection of 6,000 but is now in danger of losing them all and is seeking urgent help to preserve them.

Today came what one of its leaders, Declan Byrne, described as: “Terrible News.”

He said: “We have been notified that we are losing the internet site where we store our 6,000 donated photographs. We used this bluemelon site because people could download the photographs for free. We have now been told: "Your Bluemelon subscription is set to expire on 07-Feb-2020. Unfortunately, due to recent changes in the industry, we are no longer able to offer you an extension for your subscription. Your account will expire on 2020-02-08 and your files will be deleted. Thank you for the time you have spent with Bluemelon."

Declan told me: “We do not have the resources or personnel to download the photos and save them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.”

So, is there someone with the knowledge, resource, ability, to help preserve this valuable collection for the Society.

Email offers of help to Declan Byrne: [email protected]

Published in Dublin Port
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Dun Laoghaire Harbour Information

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is the second port for Dublin and is located on the south shore of Dublin Bay. Marine uses for this 200-year-old man-made harbour have changed over its lifetime. Originally built as a port of refuge for sailing ships entering the narrow channel at Dublin Port, the harbour has had a continuous ferry link with Wales and this was the principal activity of the harbour until the service stopped in 2015. In all this time, however, one thing has remained constant and that is the popularity for sailing and boating from the port, making it Ireland's marine leisure capital with a harbour fleet of over 1,200-1.600 pleasure craft.

Where is Dun Laoghaire Harbour located?

Dun Laoghaire is a Dublin suburb situated on the south side of Dublin Bay, approximately, 15km from Dublin city centre. 

What length are Dun Laoghaire's Piers?

The east and west piers of the harbour are each of 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) long 

What are is enclosed by Dun Laoghaire's Piers?

The enclosed area is 250 acres or one square kilometre

What width is Dun Laoghaire Harbour Entrance?

The harbour entrance is 232 metres (761 ft) across from East to West Pier

What are the GPS Co-ordinates for Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

53.3024° N, 6.1264° W

What public facilities are on offer at Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

  • Public Boatyard
  • Public slipway
  • Public Marina

What organisations are based at Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

23 clubs, 14 activity providers and eight state-related organisations operate from Dun Laoghaire Harbour that facilitates a full range of sports - Sailing, Rowing, Diving, Windsurfing, Angling, Canoeing, Swimming, Triathlon, Powerboating, Kayaking and Paddleboarding. Participants include members of the public, club members, tourists, disabled, disadvantaged, event competitors, schools, youth groups and college students.

  • Commissioners of Irish Lights
  • Dun Laoghaire Marina
  • MGM Boats & Boatyard
  • Coastguard
  • Naval Service Reserve
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution 
  • Marine Activity Centre
  • Rowing clubs
  • Yachting and Sailing Clubs 
  • Sailing Schools 
  • Irish Olympic Sailing Team
  • Chandlery & Boat Supply Stores

What size is Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

The east and west granite-built piers of Dun Laoghaire harbour are each of one kilometre (0.62 mi) long and enclose an area of 250 acres (1.0 km2) with the harbour entrance being 232 metres (761 ft) in width. 

Who owns Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

In 2018, the ownership of the great granite was transferred in its entirety to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who now operate and manage the harbour. Prior to that, the harbour was operated by The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, a state company, dissolved in 2018 under the Ports Act. 

What is the history of Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

  • 1817 - Construction of the East Pier to a design by John Rennie began in 1817 with Earl Whitworth Lord Lieutenant of Ireland laying the first stone.
  • 1820 - Rennie had concerns a single pier would be subject to silting, and by 1820 gained support for the construction of the West pier to begin shortly afterwards. When King George IV left Ireland from the harbour in 1820, Dunleary was renamed Kingstown, a name that was to remain in use for nearly 100 years. The harbour was named the Royal Harbour of George the Fourth which seems not to have remained for so long.
  • 1824 - saw over 3,000 boats shelter in the partially completed harbour, but it also saw the beginning of operations off the North Wall which alleviated many of the issues ships were having accessing Dublin Port.
  • 1826 - Kingstown harbour gained the important mail packet service which at the time was under the stewardship of the Admiralty with a wharf completed on the East Pier in the following year. The service was transferred from Howth whose harbour had suffered from silting and the need for frequent dredging.
  • 1831 - Royal Irish Yacht Club founded
  • 1837 - saw the creation of Victoria Wharf, since renamed St. Michael's Wharf with the D&KR extended and a new terminus created convenient to the wharf.[8] The extended line had cut a chord across the old harbour with the landward pool so created later filled in.
  • 1838 - Royal St George Yacht Club founded
  • 1842 - By this time the largest man-made harbour in Western Europe had been completed with the construction of the East Pier lighthouse.
  • 1855 - The harbour was further enhanced by the completion of Traders Wharf in 1855 and Carlisle Pier in 1856. The mid-1850s also saw the completion of the West Pier lighthouse. The railway was connected to Bray in 1856
  • 1871 - National Yacht Club founded
  • 1884 - Dublin Bay Sailing Club founded
  • 1918 - The Mailboat, “The RMS Leinster” sailed out of Dún Laoghaire with 685 people on board. 22 were post office workers sorting the mail; 70 were crew and the vast majority of the passengers were soldiers returning to the battlefields of World War I. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat near the Kish lighthouse killing many of those onboard.
  • 1920 - Kingstown reverted to the name Dún Laoghaire in 1920 and in 1924 the harbour was officially renamed "Dun Laoghaire Harbour"
  • 1944 - a diaphone fog signal was installed at the East Pier
  • 1965 - Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club founded
  • 1968 - The East Pier lighthouse station switched from vapourised paraffin to electricity, and became unmanned. The new candle-power was 226,000
  • 1977 - A flying boat landed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, one of the most unusual visitors
  • 1978 - Irish National Sailing School founded
  • 1934 - saw the Dublin and Kingstown Railway begin operations from their terminus at Westland Row to a terminus at the West Pier which began at the old harbour
  • 2001 - Dun Laoghaire Marina opens with 500 berths
  • 2015 - Ferry services cease bringing to an end a 200-year continuous link with Wales.
  • 2017- Bicentenary celebrations and time capsule laid.
  • 2018 - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company dissolved, the harbour is transferred into the hands of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council 

Is there a Dun Laoghaire Harbour Live webcam?

A live stream Dublin Bay webcam showing Dun Laoghaire Harbour entrance and East Pier is here

Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs

From East pier to West Pier the waterfront clubs are: 

  • National Yacht Club. Read latest NYC news here
  • Royal St. Geroge Yacht Club. Read latest RSTGYC news here
  • Royal Irish Yacht Club. Read latest RIYC news here
  • Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. Read latest DMYC news here

The umbrella organisation that organises weekly racing in summer and winter on Dublin Bay for all the yacht clubs is Dublin Bay Sailing Club. It has no clubhouse of its own but operates through the clubs with two x Committee vessels and a starters hut on the West Pier. Read the latest DBSC news here

The sailing community is a key stakeholder in Dún Laoghaire. The clubs attract many visitors from home and abroad and attract major international sailing events to the harbour.

What are the main sailing events at Dun Laoghaire?

Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Dun Laoghaire's biennial town regatta was started in 2005 as a joint cooperation by the town's major yacht clubs. It was an immediate success and is now in its eighth edition and has become Ireland's biggest sailing event. The combined club's regatta is held in the first week of July.

  • Attracts 500 boats and more from overseas and around the country
  • Four-day championship involving 2,500 sailors with supporting family and friends
  • Economic study carried out by the Irish Marine Federation estimated the economic value of the 2009 Regatta at €2.5 million

The dates for the 2021 edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event on Dublin Bay is: 8-11 July 2021. More details here

Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Offshore Race

The biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race is a 320-miles race down the East coast of Ireland, across the south coast and into Dingle harbour in County Kerry. The latest news on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race can be found by clicking on the link here. The race is organised by the National Yacht Club.

The 2021 Race will start from the National Yacht Club on Wednesday 9th, June 2021. 

Round Ireland Yacht Race 

This is a Wicklow Sailing Club race but in 2013 the Garden County Club made an arrangement that sees see entries berthed at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for scrutineering prior to the biennial 704–mile race start off Wicklow harbour. Larger boats have been unable to berth in the confines of Wicklow harbour, a factor WSC believes has restricted the growth of the Round Ireland fleet. 'It means we can now encourage larger boats that have shown an interest in competing but we have been unable to cater for in Wicklow' harbour, WSC Commodore Peter Shearer told Afloat.ie hereThe race also holds a pre-ace launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club. 

What recent International Sailing Fixtures have been Held in Dun Laoghaire?

Laser Masters World Championship 2018

• 301 boats from 25 nations

Laser Radial World Championship 2016

• 436 competitors from 48 nations

ISAF Youth Worlds 2012

• The Youth Olympics of Sailing run on behalf of World Sailing in 2012
• Two-week event attracting 61 nations, 255 boats, 450 volunteers.
• Generated 9,000 bed nights and valued at €9 million to the local economy.

What is the role of Dun Laoghaire's Harbour Police?

The Harbour Police are authorised by the company to police the harbour and to enforce and implement bye-laws within the harbour, and all regulations made by the company in relation to the harbour. 

How many ship berths does Dun Laoghaire Harbour have?

There are four ship/ferry berths in Dun Laoghaire: 

  • No 1 berth (East Pier)
  • No 2 berth (east side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 3 berth (west side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 4 berth  (St, Michaels Wharf)

Berthing facilities for smaller craft exist in the town's 800-berth marina and on swinging moorings

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bye-Laws

Download the bye-laws on this link here

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