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The Irish Naval Vessel  LÉ James Joyce was positioned off Sandycove Point on Dublin Bay for over an hour today, close to the Martello Tower made famous by Irish writer James Joyce in his novel Ulysses.

The special Bloomsday tribute was made by the ship that was named after the author in 2015.

LE James Joyce departed Dún Laoghaire Harbour at 1430hrs and made its way across Scotsman's Bay where there were a number of shoreside Joycean gatherings being held.

Bloomsday celebrates Joyce's iconic Ulysses through performances, meals, readings, and dressing-up, especially at Sandycove.

As part of the celebrations, LÉ James Joyce flew "the oldest flag afloat, the flag of the province of Desmond & Thomond, three crowns on a blue field, the three sons of Milesius," as Joyce describes in Ulysses.

The Irish Naval Vessel  LÉ James Joyce (left) was positioned off Sandycove Point on Dublin Bay, close to the Martello Tower (right) on BloomsdayThe Irish Naval Vessel  LÉ James Joyce (left) was positioned off Sandycove Point on Dublin Bay, close to the Martello Tower (right) on Bloomsday.

The Napoleonic tower is where the author spent six nights in 1904. The opening scenes of his 1922 novel Ulysses take place there, and the building is a place of pilgrimage for Joyce enthusiasts, especially on Bloomsday.

Published in Dublin Bay

In Ulysses Mr Deasy, headmaster of a private school, writes to the newspapers complaining that he knows of a cure for foot and mouth disease but nobody in authority will listen to him. Mr Deasy grandly compares his nebulous proposal to a major project from the 1850s which aimed to attract a growing transatlantic passenger traffic to Galway. Deasy calls to mind the “Liverpool ring which jockeyed the Galway harbour scheme” and describes himself as “surrounded by difficulties, by… intrigues, by… backstairs influence”.

The Galway Harbour scheme was no creation in a novelist's mind. Sixty years before Ulysses there was such a project and James Joyce was well informed about it. The project’s driving force was a dynamic priest named Fr. Peter Daly. Fr. Daly undertook various religious and welfare projects in Galway during the famine years and later involved himself in public life. He was a director of the Galway Gas Company and Chair of Galway Town Commissioners. As a board member of Midland & Great Western Railway Fr. Daly was instrumental in ensuring that the railway did not, as intended, end at Rahoon but reached Galway. He went on to ensure and oversee the construction of the then largest hotel in Ireland at Eyre Square.

Fr. Daly was also a member of Galway Harbour Commissioners and he sought to extend the new railway out to a proposed deep-water passenger facility at Furbo. He saw this as the final link in a chain which would allow ship-owners to offer a through-fare from Hamburg and points along the way across England and Ireland to New York. Such operators would have both a speed and a price advantage which would draw transatlantic traffic into Galway.

All his life Joyce was superstitious about dates and 16th June had special significance for him because it was on 16th June 1904 that he and Nora, his future wife, first walked out together in Dublin. That is why he places Ulysses in Dublin on 16th of June 1904 and why Bloomsday is celebrated around the world each year on 16th June. It is also why he was fascinated by the Galway Harbour scheme for which 16th June 1858 would prove portentous.

Later in Ulysses another voice speaks to the same subject when the putative Skin-the-Goat, keeper of the Cabman’s Shelter on Dublin’s Customs House Quay, laments the state of shipping in Ireland:

“ What he wanted to ascertain was why that ship ran bang against the only rock in Galway Bay when the Galway Harbour scheme was mooted…Ask her captain….how much palmoil the British Government gave him for that day’s work. Captain John Lever of the Lever line. -Am I right skipper? he queried of the sailor…”

A 1904 cabman's shelterA 1904 cabman's shelter

This is a reference the ship-owner John Orrell Lever who amassed profits chartering ships for the Crimean war and became interested in Galway for the development of a transatlantic passenger service to rival those of Liverpool and the ports of mainland Europe.

Several hundred Irish investors put up capital for his new company known as The Galway Line. The new service began in 1858 with Indian Empire which was the largest ship up to that time to enter the port of Galway and her arrival was widely anticipated.

On 16th June 1858, as two pilots were guiding her to port, Indian Empire grounded on the Margaretta Rock. Two and a half hours later, on a rising tide, the pilots managed to reverse her off and the steamship proceeded to anchorage with slight damage to her hull. She took on coal, cargo and passengers and on 19th June Indian Empire sailed for New York via Halifax.

However, on the day she had docked Captain Courteney, his crew and pilots were brought before an emergency meeting of Galway Harbour Commissioners. Rumours had begun to circulate about the grounding and a hostile crowd gathered. The pilots had to be protected by the police. Newspapers reported comments that the grounding was likely to turn out to be an attempt to wreck the ship in order to destroy the Galway harbour scheme. There was great discussion in public of plots, sabotage and especially “Liverpool gold at work”. Much was made of the fact that Lever had recruited the pilots in England. Reports were relayed outside Ireland as speculation lingered. Criminal charges were begun against the pilots. The sudden death of one of the pilots brought only more rumours and further press reports. Nowadays the position would be described as a publicity storm amplified by the absence of a media strategy and the credibility of the harbour project was diminished.

We know that Joyce was very taken with this tale and it is especially interesting that in Ulysses he leaves the final word on the subject to a sailor, Able seaman Murphy:

That worthy, picking up the scent of the fagend of the song or words, growled in wouldbe music, but with great vim, some kind of shanty…

- The biscuits was as hard as brass,
And the beef as salt as Lot’s wife’s’ arse.
O Johnny Lever!
Johnny Lever O!

Published in Galway Harbour

With Bloomsday on Thursday, June 16th, the ongoing Centenary of the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses will see even more local links to the great work and its author being highlighted and celebrated in many ways in several places.

Noted maritime historian and archivist Cormac Lowth is mining a rich and varied source in this presentation (open to all) which he will be giving in Ringsend Library on Thursday morning.

Published in Dublin Bay
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On the 16th June each year people come from far and wide dressed in Edwardian attire to walk, talk and perform around Dublin in commemoration of James Joyce's famous modernist novel "Ulysses". You see lots of bowler hats, parasols and long dresses but you never spot an Edwardian Captain or even a haggard sea-dog in the crowd. This is surely a surprising outcome for a book which is the modern reliving of the adventures of a great sailor i.e. Odysseus and his ten-year voyage home from Troy.

It's not as if ships and the sea don't feature in Ulysses. The book is teeming with marine allusions, references and characters which, given Joyce's capacity for inch-perfect description, can be relied upon to hold many satisfying insights. Take the case of the steamship Erin's King.

The Erin's King arrives into the novel as Leopold Bloom reflects on a letter from his daughter Milly who has just celebrated her fifteenth birthday -

"On the Erin's King that day round the Kish. Damned old tub pitching about. Not a bit funky. Her pale blue scarf loose in the wind with her hair."

Later the ship returns to Bloom's thoughts as he crosses O'Connell Bridge -

"Looking down he saw flapping strongly, wheeling between the gaunt quay walls, gulls…They wheeled lower. Looking for grub. Wait. He threw down among them a crumpled paper ball… The ball bobbed unheeded on the wake of swells, floated under by the bridge piers. Not such damn fools. Also the day I threw that stale cake out of the Erin's King picked it up in the wake fifty yards astern. Live by their wits. They wheeled, flapping".

That evening he sits at Sandymount strand near St. Mary's, Star of the Sea, church. Noticing the distant twinkle from the Kish lightship he again recalls the trip with Milly -

"Day we went out for the pleasure cruise in the Erin's King, throwing them the sack of old papers. Bears in the zoo. Filthy trip. Drunkards out to shake up their livers. Puking overboard to feed the herrings. Nausea. And the women, fear of God in their faces. Milly, no sign of funk. Her blue scarf loose, laughing. Don't know what death is at that age."

Was there ever a real ship named Erin's King? An examination of Lloyd's register for 1904 (the year in which Ulysses is set) reveals no such vessel. It requires a wider trawl of thirty-five years of Lloyds to reveal her full story.

For the greater part of her life she was named Heather Bell. Built in 1865 by T. Vernon & Son of Liverpool she was a twin funnel vessel, 159.8ft in length with paddles to stern, a steam engine rated at 80 horsepower and registered tonnage of 205. She was owned by Wallasey Local Board and worked as a Mersey Ferry on the Wallasey to Liverpool route. Heather Bell had a reputation as a good ship.

In 1891 her ownership changed to an individual named Ward who registered her with Lloyds as "Erin's King (ex Heather Bell)". Thereafter she operated as an excursion steamer taking sightseers out around Dublin Bay.

Erin's King berthed at Custom's House Quay and travelled out as far as the Kish lightship to the south and northwards to Ireland's Eye island. The fare was a shilling and she sailed several times a day in the Summer.

In the Lloyd's Register for 1901, her details are overprinted with a stamp "Broken up 00". Erin's King ex Heather Bell was dismantled on the Mersey not far from where she was built.

From the above, we can see that Bloom's trip on Erin's King had to be some years before 1904 and that the fictitious Milly Bloom would have been a young child when they rounded the Kish. The point for the reader is that the ship and the excursions are already in the past and that as Milly moves into adolescence Bloom is making a fatherly recall of her as a child. That Joyce intended this is clear from the words "Don't know what death is at that age".

The final mention of Erin's King is in the Nighttown episode where Bloom's deepest fears, anxieties and guilt rise up in a series of fierce assaults on his mind. It occurs in a single sentence which Joyce has placed in parenthesis and italics in the manner of a stage direction.

"(Far out in the bay between Bailey and Kish lights the Erin's King sails, sending a broadening plume of coalsmoke from her funnel towards the land.)"

It is the last we see of Erin's King as she sails into eternity.

Footnote

Erin's King which features in James Joyce's in Ulysses is pictured at the top of this page. She is shown here in her original manifestation as a Mersey Ferry, Heather Bell. When launched in 1865 she cost £7,500 to construct. She was sold in 1891 for £950 and renamed Erin's King.

The author is researching the Erin's King and would be interested in hearing from anybody who has items, photos, material or information about the ship and/or the St. George Steam Tug Company, Dublin. Contact him below by email.

Works consulted for this article were:

  • Ulysses by James Joyce. The 1934 text, as corrected and reset in 1961, The Modern Library. Quotations are from pages 67,152,379 and 550.
  • Ulysses annotated, Notes for James Joyce's Ulysses. Don Gifford with Robert J. Seidman (Author). University of California Press, Berkeley 94704.
  • Website: History of Wallasey Ferries
  • Lloyds Register of Shipping Online
  • The Coming of the Comet – The Rise and Fall of the Paddle Steamer. (2012) Nick Robins (Author). Seaforth Publishing.
Published in Historic Boats
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Youghal, on the East Cork coastline, was once the biggest Irish port trading with Britain. It has a long and proud maritime history, with many men serving at sea in the naval and merchant marine. The current edition of THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme gives listeners a unique look at life aboard one of the Naval Service’s newest vessels, the LE James Joyce, built at a cost of €54m.
CRY 104FM, where THIS ISLAND NATION is produced, has been given unique access to the ship and a three-part documentary series has been made about three men from Youghal who are serving aboard the vessel. They are Chief Petty Officer Kevin Mulcahy and Petty Officers Mark Ansbro and Brian Crowley. Uniquely, another member of the Naval Service, also from Youghal – Leading Seaman Ron Coveney, in his sixteenth year of service – has been given exclusive access and permission to make a three-part radio documentary about life aboard the vessel, called: LE JAMES JOYCE – THE YOUGHAL CONNECTION. It recounts also what life is like for the families of servicemen and how they cope with life while the menfolk are at sea.

YOUGHAL SAILORS BROADCASTERS

From L-R Commander Cormac Rynne Officer Commanding Shore Operations, Series Producer LS Ron Coveney. LS Alan Cronin, CPO David Hughes, PO James McGrath.

THIS ISLAND NATION broadcasts an extract from the series which begins transmission on CRY 104 FM from Thursday October 22nd at 6.30 p.m., with the second and third parts being broadcast at the same time on October 29 and November 5. The series can also be heard online on www.cry104fm.com produced and presented by Ron Coveney, Leading Seaman in the Naval Service.
The programme also reports the success of Irish lifesavers in winning the top awards in Europe and the huge gift of €8m. which the lifeboat service has received in the form of two historic Ferraris. The reaction of Aran Islanders to winning their battle with the Government over the air service to the islands is also reported.

Published in Island Nation
Tagged under

#EnterDryDockVideo - Afloat.ie has been informed by the Department of Defence that sea-trials of Naval Service latest newbuild OPV90 James Joyce took place between 6-9 March with delivery due shortly, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As originally reported, the trials took place in the Bristol Channel which is accessed from the estuary to where her builder's yard, Babcock Marine & Technology is located in Appledore, Devon. 

After her delivery to the Naval Service, the €54m newbuild is to be commissioned in May. Likewise of her predecessor and delivery of the third and final newbuild in late 2016, the trio will feature drone technology and un-manned mini submarine capability. This will dramatically improve surveillance and incident response times.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the dry-docking of LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61) in Cork Dockyard last month was a pre-scheduled period and the date of entering the facility can now be revealed to have begun on 23 February.

According to the Naval Service the dry-docking was standard practice with new vessels to ensure all is well with hull fittings and the ship's capability.

The above video footage only recently published was taken from L.E. Samuel Beckett's bridge-mounted camera view that overlooks the bow of the leadship OPV90 class.

The scene shown is of the OPV departing off the Naval Base's harbour berth on Haubowline Island in lower Cork Harbour. From there she makes the short passage upriver to Cork Dockyard.

As the OPV90 heads closer to Cork Dockyard, Afloat.ie had previously reported of a blue-hulled Russian research vessel among other crafts berthed along the quayside. This vessel was the Geolog Dmitriy Nalivkin of 1,935 tonnes built in 1995 during the Soviet era at a yard in Turku, Finland.

Next we see the LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61) swing into the dry-dock, or graving dock which is 165.5m (539ft) long by 22.5m (73ft) wide and with an access width of 21.3m (70ft).

The dockyard was originally established by James Wheeler in 1853. Currently, Cork Dockyard, is a member of the Burke Shipping Group which is a subsidiary of the Doyle Group.

Published in Navy
The flagship of the Irish Ferries fleet Ulysses celebrates her 10th anniversary on the Dublin-Holyhead port route, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At 50,938 gross tonnes, the cruiseferry which has space for 1,875 passengers and 1,342 vehicles, remains the largest ferry operating on the Irish Sea. Over the decade she has made approximately 14,000 crossings which equates to 826,000 nautical miles on the route linking the Irish capital and Anglesey, north Wales.

In January 2000 the keel of the worlds largest car ferry was laid at the Aker Finnyards in Rauma, Finland. The following year the €100m cruiseferry giant departed the shipyard on a four-day delivery voyage to Dublin Port. Upon Ulysses's arrival on 4th March she was presented with a traditional welcoming escort of saluting water-firing tugs.

The Ulysses was named at a ceremony in the port on 21st March by the 'golden godmother' Mairead Berry, Ireland's 25-year old Paralympic Games gold medallist. Four days later Ulysses made her commercial maiden voyage to Holyhead on 25th March.

Wih 12 decks the vessel has an extensive range of facilities and they are named with themes derived from James Joyce's famous novel 'Ulysses'. There is seating available for up to 1,938 passengers and there are 117 twin or single-cabins, accommodating up to 228 passengers.

Only two months into service the Ulysses won the prestigious 'Most Significant New Build - Ferry' category award in the Cruise & Ferry magazine 2001 Awards competition. Her Finnish builders are not only builders of large cruise-ferries for Baltic Sea operators and beyond but also are also renowned for the construction of very large cruiseships for international clients.

Ulysses was designed specifically to serve the central corridor route with a schedule of two round trips daily. She directly replaced the 1997 Dutch built 34,031 grt ro-pax Isle of Inishmore, which transferred to Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service.

In 2006 the Ulysses alongside her fleetmates were transferred from the Irish flag to the Cypriot flag in addition to a change of Irish crew with those outsourced from citizens mostly from the Baltic and Eastern European countries.

Due to the sheer size of the Ulysses, which has a length of 209m, a beam of nearly 32m and a 6.4m draught, she has not missed a single crossing due to bad weather conditions. The vessel has a 22 knot / 41kph service -speed on the 60-mile route which translates to a distance of over 182,000 kms a year.

To celebrate Ulysses 10th year in service, Irish Ferries has enhanced the Club Class option to passengers which includes free-Wifi, which enables a constant connection and an array of other benefits during the 3-hour 15 minute crossing.

For a virtual tour of the Ulysses with views taken from the top deck as the cruiseferry departs Holyhead and the mountains of Snowdonia setting as a backdrop plus interior tours of the vessel click here.

Published in Ferry
A second drill-rig platform, the Pauline was positioned in Dublin Bay on Friday, to investigate suitable conditions for an outfall discharge pipe from the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The work is part of a Dublin City Council project to evaluate an extension at the Ringsend plant where treated water will be released into the bay. The council are conducting detailed feasibility studies which will be examined for an Environmental Impact Assessment.

To date the project has involved two other rigs, the Aran 250 and the larger Excalibur which remains in the bay. The barges will be towed to 20 pre-determined bore-hole locations in the bay where the jack-up rig barges operate 'legs' to sit on the seabed which enables a steady working platform. The rigs are operating on a continuous basis in an area covering most of Dublin Bay and close to the Burford Bank on the eastern fringes.

In addition a buoy will be positioned 300-metres of the barge during drill operations, which is expected to take approximately one week for each drill. For information on the location of the bore-holes, they can viewed from the Dublin Port website by clicking HERE The project is expected to be completed in late Spring.

Several support craft are engaged in the project that recently included the Seabed Worker, a 3,923 gross tonnes Norwegian anchor-handling tug supply vessel (AHTS) the tugs Multratug 7, MTS Valiant and Trojan and the RIB-craft sisters, Brian Boru and James Joyce which are on standby duties. Like the Trojan, the 12-seater RIBS are based at the Poolbeg Yacht Club Marina where in the tourist season the craft provide excursions in Dublin Bay for Sea Safari Tours. In October the project also required the services of the yellow-hulled catamaran, Xplorer to carry out a bathymetric survey of Dublin Bay. The larger tugs and rigs are based opposite in Alexandra Basin / Ocean Pier.

The largest drill-rig working to date on the project, the Excalibur arrived under the tow of the Multratug 7 on a misty morning on Christmas Day. Due to the weather conditions the red-hulled craft slipped quietly into the port. Several days later the imposing looking craft re-emerged with its six-towering jack-up 'sea-legs' that jutted skywards into an otherwise horizontal expanse of Dublin Bay.

The sight of the rig has presented many onlookers to mistakenly believe the drilling was for oil!...Not so but the assumption is not surprising given the reports last year of an oil-field discovery named the Dalkey Island Prospect. The name for the oil-field was referred to Dalkey, as the coastal suburb on the southern shores is the nearest landfall to the exploratory well sites at the Kish Bank Basin.

In fact this kind of exploratory activity was again to confuse residents throughout the bay when the drill-ship, Fugro Synergy was offshore at the Kish Bank between December 2009 and early Spring of 2010. Though on this occasion the search was not for oil but coal!

During this period the 5,200 tonnes vessel equipped with a drill-tower, seemed to be a near permanent feature on the horizon. A series of drill-wells up to 3,500-metres were conducted when the 2009 built ship was contracted to Irish based VP Power Ltd, to determine the commercial viability of extracting coal from the sea for generating electricity. The Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) project is a process where coal is heated in underwater rock reservoirs to extract gas, essentially converting gas-from-coal energy. Otherwise this method is commonly referred to as a 'clean' technology.

In addition to last year's search for deposits of large coal seams under the seabed, there was reports of a significant natural resource in the form of oil!... when several exploratory blocks again in the Kish Bank Basin were surveyed. The company behind this venture, Provident Resources, another Irish based exploration company, conducted initial oil surveys using air-born craft and as such no actual drill-based ships or rigs were used. Though should any oil flow, such an operation would be required.

Incidentally the Excalibur is designed also to perform offshore wind turbine installation work and is equipped with a 250-ton crane to hoist the wind-farm components. The vessel is operated by Fugro Seacore, a subsidiary of the Dutch parent company, Fugro, which also managed the drill-ship Fugro Synergy.

Published in Dublin Bay
The jack up barge Aran 250 has been positioned in Dublin bay to carry out Borehole Drilling. The work is part of a Dublin City Council (DCC) project relating to the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant. It will involve the use of either the jack-up barge "Aran 250" or "Excalibur".

These jack-up barges will be used for the drilling of test boreholes at various locations within Dublin Bay and its approaches. Initially, the "Aran 250" will be used and it is expected that under normal conditions it will operate on a 24 hour / 7 day week basis.

At all times when the jack-up barge is on location it will transmit an "AIS" signal. By night the barge will display white lights (operated in unison) flashing Morse code (U) every 15 seconds. These will be located at each corner. The barge itself will be lit by operational deck lights.

When the jack-up barge is operational it will have the standby boat "James Joyce" with two people on board in attendance. They will tie-up to a buoy moored approximately 300 metres away from the barge. The small tug "Trojan" will operate as a supply boat and will be based at the Poolbeg Marina. The Trojan will also be used for towing the barge from one location to the next.

The test borehole drilling positions (WGS 84) are as follows :-

M06 Lat 53˚ 19' 53.46'' N Long 006˚ 09' 39.08'' W M15 Lat 53˚ 19' 11.35'' N Long 006˚ 06' 58.16'' W

M07 Lat 53˚ 19' 11.27'' N Long 006˚ 08' 21.42'' W M16 Lat 53˚ 18' 32.75'' N Long 006˚ 06' 33.07'' W

M08 Lat 53˚ 19' 50.64'' N Long 006˚ 06' 21.73'' W M17 Lat 53˚ 20' 23.37'' N Long 006˚ 05' 16.93'' W

M09 Lat 53˚ 18' 38.17'' N Long 006˚ 05' 45.02'' W M18 Lat 53˚ 19' 32.50'' N Long 006˚ 05' 19.69'' W

M10 Lat 53˚ 17' 44.38'' N Long 006˚ 03' 41.33'' W M19 Lat 53˚ 18' 16.91'' N Long 006˚ 05' 02.71'' W

M11 Lat 53˚ 19' 42.31'' N Long 006˚ 03' 22.31'' W M20 Lat 53˚ 17' 51.94'' N Long 006˚ 04' 43.04'' W

M12 Lat 53˚ 19' 00.03'' N Long 006˚ 00' 25.74'' W M21 Lat 53˚ 18' 56.68'' N Long 006˚ 04' 07.12'' W

M13 Lat 53˚ 19' 51.50'' N Long 006˚ 10' 13.42'' W M22 Lat 53˚ 19' 09.75'' N Long 006˚ 02' 37.54'' W

M14 Lat 53˚ 19' 59.29'' N Long 006˚ 07' 53.39'' W M23 Lat 53˚ 18' 48.98'' N Long 005˚ 59' 07.97'' W

Each location will take approximately 1 week to drill. Drilling will not follow in sequence listed above. VTS will keep all shipping advised with regards to the location at which the barge is operating.

More detail is contained in a marine notice issued by Dublin Port Company's
Harbour Master, Captain David T. Dignam HERE

Published in Dublin Bay

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 of sailing and boating from the port, making it Ireland's marine leisure capital with a harbour fleet of between 1,200 -1,600 pleasure craft based at the country's largest marina (800 berths) and its four waterfront yacht clubs.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bye-Laws

Download the bye-laws on this link here

FAQs

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

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

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

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

  • Public Boatyard
  • Public slipway
  • Public Marina

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

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.

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.

  • 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

From East pier to West Pier the waterfront clubs are:

  • National Yacht Club. Read latest NYC news here
  • Royal St. George 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.

 

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 here. The race also holds a pre-ace launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

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.

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.

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.

© Afloat 2020