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Displaying items by tag: LE George Bernard Shaw

LÉ George Bernard Shaw, the sole operational ship of the Naval Service, was unavailable to take part in a large drug search off the Cork coast this weekend as it formed part of St. Patrick’s Day festivities held in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Last week, when Gardaí investigating a suspected attempt to land a large consignment of cocaine near Skibbereen in west Cork, made a formal request to the Naval Service for the use of the P60 class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) to assist in the search.

The request took place while the LÉ George Bernard Shaw was bound to Dún Laoghaire Harbour to take part in the St. Patrick’s festival. This involved the 90m vessel berth at the port town’s Carlisle Pier, featuring new fendering that is also to cater for commercial ships.

The Navy’s newest patrol ship, built in 2016, remained in the south Dublin Bay town over the weekend, where the public was offered tours. On St. Patrick’s Day, 25 of the ship’s 44 crew members took part in the town’s parade along the coast road.

With the patrol vessel and crew in port, this meant there was no naval ship available to assist in searching the thousands of square kilometres off the Cork coastline where the drugs may be located.

Much more The Irish Times has to report on the crew crisis challenging the navy, which has among its duties drug interdiction.

Published in Navy

The Navy's LE George Bernard Shaw was one of the first arrivals of the season to use the new ship fender installation at Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Carlisle Pier. 

As regular Afloat readers recall, the installation in August 2023 of nine new fenders supported on tubular piles is to increase the capacity and flexibility of the quay for berthing a range of vessels which moor at the Harbour.

LE George Bernard Shaw arrived for the St. Patrick's Day festivities, and her crew took part in the town's first St. Patrick's Day parade for decades.

Visitors to 'berth number three' include Navy ships, cruise liners, wind farm service and research vessels, beam trawlers and visiting superyachts. 

Some of the new ship fenders visible to the left of the bow of the the Navy's LE George Bernard Shaw Photo: AfloatSome of the new ship fenders visible to the left of the bow of the the Navy's LE George Bernard Shaw Photo: Afloat

The project required the demolition and removal of three existing concrete buttresses and steel fender collars. 

It has been a busy time for upgrading the 200-year-old harbour as the fender installation occurred, as separate €2m works were completed to the revetement at the back of town's East Pier.

The works follow extensive repairs since March 2018, when Storm Emma caused serious damage to the East Pier.

Dún Laoghaire Harbour this Friday is to welcome the Naval Service OPV LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64) ahead of the St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations.

The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) is named after the renowned playwright George Bernard Shaw, who had a significant influence on Western theatre, culture, and politics, the naval ship will be open to the public for guided tours on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th March. The crew will also be taking part in the St Patrick’s Day Parade, Dún Laoghaire on Sunday at 11am.

The 90m (OPV) will be berthed at Carlisle Pier, Dún Laoghaire Harbour, with tours by the crew available from 12-3pm on Saturday and 1.30-4pm on Sunday. This is a unique opportunity for visitors to explore the ship, learn about its capabilities, and gain insight into its role in defending Ireland's interests at sea. Tours are free of charge, no booking required and last approximately 20 minutes.

"Dún Laoghaire harbour has a well-established connection with the Irish Naval Service for over 100 years and we continue to build that relationship through our shared maritime heritage. We are honoured to welcome the captain and crew of the LÉ George Bernard Shaw to Dún Laoghaire Harbour this weekend. This is an opportunity for a new generation to visit and see this incredible Offshore Patrol Vessel, which has the endurance and capability to defend Ireland's interests at and from any sea in the world” said Councillor Denis O’Callaghan, Cathaoirleach, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

Dún Laoghaire Harbour has a strong connection with the Irish Naval Service, highlighted by the yearly visits and the naming of the Irish ship L.É. James Joyce (P62) during an official ceremony at the harbour. In 2017, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council bestowed the Freedom of Entry to the County on the Irish Naval Service in recognition of its humanitarian service on behalf of the people of Ireland, recognising the shared maritime connection between the Irish Naval Service and Dún Laoghaire Harbour. The Dublin built gun boat HMS Helga frequently stationed in Kingstown and shelled Dublin city during the Easter Rising, was later bought, and renamed Muirchú, the first fishery protection principal vessel of the Irish Coastal & Marine Service in 1923 which subsequently became the Irish Naval Service in 1946. HMS Helga was also responsible for rescuing 90 passengers after the RMS Leinster was torpedoed off Dublin Bay in 1918.

Frank Curran, Chief Executive, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said: “Dún Laoghaire Harbour is embarking on an exciting transformation that will pave the way for a vibrant and inclusive future. The Harbour Master Plan and the establishment of a National Watersports Campus will revolutionise the harbour, turning it from a traditionally industrial port into a people-focused space that benefits the entire community and the Irish Naval Service visits to Dún Laoghaire will be an important consideration within that plan. This transformation aligns with the town’s vision of becoming a premier maritime, tourism, and economic destination”.

If you are interested in finding out more about Dún Laoghaire’s maritime heritage, why not visit the National Maritime Museum located beside the dlr LexIcon that is housed in a 180 year old Mariner’s church and is only one a of few custom built places of worship for seafarers that remains intact in the world today or discover the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Trail which brings to life the stories of how the pier was built and why it is so historically important.

A Naval Service patrol vessel visited Scotland, the first to do so in over 10 years which arrived this week.

The LÉ George Bernard Shaw arrived in Glasgow with the Royal Navy in Scotland sharing images of the Offshore Patrol Vessel on Twitter.

The Samuel Beckett-class offshore patrol vessel was designed by Vard Marine and built by Babcock Marine in Appledore, and is named after the writer George Bernard Shaw.

Designed to patrol and protect the Irish Sea, the ships are also used out on the Atlantic.

The ship was accepted into service in October 2018, and, following a military fit-out, has commenced Maritime Defence and Security Operations at sea. Additionally, the ship recently conducted night operations & fishery protection duties.

More reports Daily Record, on the ship that docked in the King George V Dock.

Afloat adds the dock is located downriver of the nearby 19th century Govan Docks where a scheme is to reopen the facility to enable ship-repairs.  

Published in Navy

In the UK the Government has been accused of ‘dither and delay’ following claims a viable buyer has been lined up for Appledore shipyard for four months.

The GMB Union, according to NorthDevon Gazette, (yesterday, 31 January) criticised the Government for ongoing delays in the potential re-opening of the yard as Afloat previously reported.

GMB said it and its sister trade unions have been involved in ongoing negotiations, led by the South West Business Council, to re-open the yard and secure a viable future.

Matt Roberts, GMB organiser, said: "A buyer with a viable proposition has been lined up for over four months now, but there seems to be dither and delay from the Government, causing more uncertainty for our members.

More on this story click here 

For previous Afloat coverage on the shipyard's final vessel LÉ George Bernard Shaw which last year joined the Irish Naval Service. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

In the UK, a Torridge MP is ‘cautiously optimistic’ Appledore Shipyard will reopen in the near future after a crucial meeting at Downing Street.

As the North Devon Gazette reports, it follows a high level meeting convened by Geoffrey Cox at 10 Downing Street (yesterday) with the UK Government's taskforce dedicated to reopening the shipyard.

The taskforce, led by SW Business Council chairman Tim Jones has been working with the MP since the withdrawal of operator Babcock and the closure of the yard in March this year to secure new owners and to provide the Yard with a stable future.

Mr Cox, who has met potential owners and new customers to secure their support for the Yard over recent months has said that he is now 'cautiously optimistic' about its future, particularly as the Government has announced its intention to revive British shipbuilding.

The meeting heard from the Mr Cox of the shipbuilding heritage on the Torridge and its importance to the local economy.

For on this story can be read here. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

Waterford welcomes the Naval Service’s newest offshore patrol vessel LÉ George Bernard Shaw for its official naming and commissioning ceremonies today, Tuesday 30 April.

Public viewing of the ceremonies will be from the William Vincent Wallace Plaza in the city centre.

LÉ George Bernard Shaw was delivered from the Babcock Marine Appledore shipyard in Devon to Cork Harbour last October.

It is the fourth and final ship of the P60 class commissioned over recent years, after LÉ William B Yeats, LÉ James Joyce and LÉ Samuel Beckett.

Published in Navy

#ports&shipping- In the UK, Babcock International has closed its Appledore shipyard yesterday, bringing down the shutters on the site in north Devon after almost two centuries.

As The Times reports, workers described the day as “heartbreaking” as they walked around the shipyard, where nearly 200 vessels have been built since 1855.

In November Babcock had confirmed that it would end its lease in Appledore after 11 years. Afloat adds the final ship to be built at the facility is the Irish Naval Service newest OPV90 / P60 class LÉ George Bernard Shaw which was floated-out just over a year ago. 

The FTSE 250 defence company said that it had taken the “difficult decision” because it did not have enough work to sustain the facility. Babcock’s 199 staff at Appledore have been offered the chance to move almost two hours’ drive away, to Devonport, in Plymouth, on the opposite side of the county.

Afloat also adds the €67m OPV which was designated pennant No. (P54) is berthed in Cork City along Albert Quay where the public had free guided tours today and they will continue tomorrow on St. Patrick's Day. The guided tours will be made available by the ship’s crew between 14.00 and 17.00 hours.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#navy - A first-ever visit to Dun Laoghaire Harbour of the Naval Service newest OPV P60 class took place last weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The fourth of the Offshore Patrol Vessel class sisters to enter service, LÉ George Bernard Shaw which cost €67m docked at the Carlisle Pier on Saturday.

Originally, the 90m vessel arrived into Irish waters from UK shipbuilders last year in the month of October.

This inaugural call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour follows sisters among them LÉ James Joyce which was christened and commissioned into service in 2015.

All of the quartet were built by Babcock International at one of their English facilities, the north Devon shipyard in Appledore, which however closed down last year. This places the 2,250 tonnes vessel as the final ship to be launched from the facility near Bideford.

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#NavalService - LÉ George Bernard Shaw, the latest ship to join the ranks of the Irish Navy, will be open for the public to look around next week in Galway Docks.

As the Galway Daily writes, LÉ George Bernard Shaw was brought into Naval Service this year and will have a formal naming ceremony in 2019.

The Offshore Patrol Vessel is the latest of four modern ships delivered to update the Irish Naval Service since 2014.

Free guided tours of the ship will be offered to the public by her crew on Monday, December 31 and Tuesday, January 1 from 2pm to 5pm.

The four ships built for the navy since 2014 are often referred to as the ‘Playwright’ sisters, for more read here.

Published in Navy
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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 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


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 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