Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: RMS Leinster

There was a poignant commemoration this morning at Dún Laoghaire Harbour to remember over 564 people who lost their lives when the RMS Leinster ship sank off the Kish Bank on 10th October 1918.

The Leinster Commemoration Committee organised the ceremony for the 103rd anniversary of the torpedo of Dun Laoghaire's vital link to the rest of the World during World War I.

This morning's wreath-laying event was held at the RMS Leinster's recovered anchor site on Queens Road at Dun Laoghaire as a harbour reminder of the massive loss of life.

This morning's commemoration was held in bright Autumn sunshine and attended by local politicians, relatives and local people.

In an ongoing campaign, the Leinster Commemoration Committee says it wants a site allocated for a Memorial to name all who were on-board RMS Leinster that fateful day, as Afloat reported here.

As one Dun Laoghaire Harbour commemoration is completed at the refurbished baths, another town memorial to name all those who were on-board the torpedoed RMS Leinster on Dublin Bay remains long overdue, says campaigner Joe Ryan 

This will be the 103rd anniversary of the sinking of this vital link to the rest of the World during WW1. Since 2016 I have been trying to have a site allocated for a Memorial to name all who were on-board RMS Leinster that fateful day, just a month before the armistice on 11/11/1918. Others, including Des Branigan, who owned the wreck until its 100th anniversary, when it became State property, have endeavoured to commemorate all the names on a Memorial.

There has been a Memorial to RMS Titanic in Belfast since 1923, but for the 100th anniversary in 2012, it was added to with a wall containing all the names of those on board.

Similarly, there are Memorials to RMS Lusitania, but in 2015 a Garden and Memorial naming all those on-board was opened at the Old Head of Kinsale 100 years after it was sunk.

The RMS Leinster departed from the Carlisle Pier on its final voyage on the 10th October 1918 The RMS Leinster departed from the Carlisle Pier on its final voyage on the 10th October 1918 

All we request is that Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) allocates a site to our committee, and we will do the fundraising. There are many organisations and companies associated with RMS Leinster, still in existence, which we can approach for donations. We can't start this work until we have a site.

The Titanic Memorial Garden Belfast City Hall, Belfast, Northern IrelandThe Titanic Memorial Garden Belfast City Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland

In 2019, I was joined by two RMS Leinster 100th Anniversary Committee members, Richard Cruise, Chairman and David Cotter, Treasurer, to form our Memorial Committee. Ours is a small, focused committee with just one aim, to have the Memorial built.

RMS Leinster Wreath laying in 2020. The RMS Leinster Memorial Committee Richard Cruise laying the wreath in 2020 in a social distanced small gathering that included local TDs and Councillors. The RMS Leinster Memorial Committee hopefully more people can attend this year if pandemic rules allow it.(Above and below) RMS Leinster Wreath laying in 2020. The RMS Leinster Memorial Committee member Richard Cruise was laying the wreath in 2020 in a social distanced small gathering that included local TDs and Councillors. The RMS Leinster Memorial Committee say hopefully more people can attend this year if pandemic rules allow it.

We have huge backing from relatives of those who were lost or survived the tragedy, from politicians, businessmen, organisations and people who have no association with the tragedy but feel it should be properly commemorated.

We have made submissions to the Harbour Plan, the County Plan and the Heritage Plan and await their deliberations. A local Councillor has a motion requesting DLRCC to allocate a site that is taking time to be heard.

DLRCC has owned the site we are requesting since 03/10/18 but have steadfastly refused to engage with us even at the behest of many local Ministers, TDs and Councillors.

We remain hopeful that the Council will engage with us. Even though we can't start fundraising, we have had generous pledges from several people and organisations.

European funding was available, but the Council did not seek it. We have said that we will not commence building until all the funds plus contingency is in the Bank. Apart from allocating the site, we are not asking DLRCC to contribute any further, but we have made submissions to Heritage and Arts Departments of DLRCC for local initiative funds of €5,000 to run a competition to design the Memorial which should be organised by DLRCC, being the owner of the site. If that funding is not forthcoming, we will fundraise for it too but still feel that DLRCC should organise the competition.

• RMS Leinster Memorial Committee will lay a wreath at the anchor donated by Des Branigan at 10:00 on 10/10/2021.

#Ports&Shipping - In just over a week of the RMS Leinster centenary ceremony held to commemorate the Irish Sea steamer, another former Royal Mail Ship RMS St. Helena reports the Dorset Echo returned to UK waters after an absence of seven years.

Afloat adds the ship was sold earlier this year to become MNG Tahiti, returned to Portland, Dorset from where the passengership also used to carry goods to the remote island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. The ship was spotted arriving into Portland Port by Paul Dallaway this afternoon (last Thursday).

The 6,767-tonne cargo and passenger vessel was once the sole source of supply of all goods for the small island found 1,500 miles north west of Cape Town, South Africa.

It was also one of the last working Royal Mail ships in the world and as Afloat previously reported the 'RMS' as the ship was affectionately called was withdrawn from service earlier this year.

For more on the newspaper's coverage click here 

Afloat also adds the RMS St. Helena made a first and only call to Irish ports in 1995 during a charter cruise to Dublin and Cork (Cobh).

On the unique call to the Irish capital, the ship berthed on Sir John Rogersons Quay, along the south quays. Further upriver and on the north banks of the Liffey on Eden Quay, is where the RMS Leinster's operator, the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company's head office was located, see story.  

More than two decades later in 2016 the London registered ship finally made a first and farewell call to the UK capital. This was in advance of the ship's withdrawal from service that year of the pivotal island lifeline service, as otherwise this was the only way to reach the island. When introduced in 1990, RMS St. Helena first operated from the UK (Cardiff) to St. Helena, but this changed to the Dorset port. 

Delays due to safety concerns of the first airport to be built on St. Helena led to the RMS to continue carrying out south Atlantic voyages. The airport eventually opened to commercial flights and so the final sailing took place in February, marking the end of an era, however a cargo-only ship maintains services. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#rmsLeinster - In advance of last week's RMS Leinster centenary ceremony, Afloat visited Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (dlr) LexIcon Library, to discover in addition to the 'lego' model of RMS there was another model recently acquired, writes Jehan Ashmore.

On arrival to the LexIcon's foyer where the large 'Lego' model of RMS Leinster was on display, it was soon revealed upon queries to a staff member in the flagship iconic library, that another albeit traditional timber build model was in the building. This led to a sneek preview, of the smaller and older model which was then also available to the public, but not officially announced.

The contemporary model of RMS Leinster was acquired through a bookseller in recent weeks by the Local Studies team at the dlr LexIcon. On the day of the state held RMS ceremony that took place in Moran Park, adjacent to the library, to mark the appalling tragic sinking of the Royal Mail Steamer (RMS) Leinster off the Kish Bank following a German U-boat attack, the model was officially put on display. For further images of the model click the dlr tweet issued on the day of the RMS centenary commemorating the loss of more than 560 lives.

Upon closer inspection, the lifeboats seemed somewhat crude in construction, perhaps suggesting this is the work of an amateur, however overall the modelling of the RMS is more refined. Should any work be done, it would be the rigging given the condition. A display case also made of timber surrounds the model which can be seen in the Local Studies Room on Level 5 as referred above. While two floors below on Level 3 is the 'Lego' Leinster model on display.

Interestingly, this model depicts RMS Leinster in dual colours, the original pre-war black hull and red funnelled livery (portside) and the 'dazzle-camouflage' (starboard) used during the Great War. The use of the latter livery was used as a counter measure to the threat posed by the German U-Boats.

The dazzle's geometic paint did not strive to make the ship invisible, but the design was used rather to confuse the enemy, by making it more difficult to sink as it was harder to gauge the ship's distance, direction and speed.

The Lego model was based on plan drawings supplied by the National Maritime Museum of Ireland (NMMI) located beside the dlr LexIcon. The model was constructed by James Shields.

If you had missed or want to see more about the RMS Leinster centenary, click the following link noting an RMS Exhibition in the dlr Library continues until the end of this month. In addition to the NMMI (website) which has permanent display of RMS Leinster related exhibits which too are well worth a visit.

Published in Historic Boats

#rmsLeinster - The First Minister of Wales along with Irish dignitaries, ambassadors among them from the UK and Germany attended in Dun Laoghaire yesterday a state commemoration ceremony on the centenary of the sinking of RMS Leinster, writes Jehan Ashmore.

First Minister, Carwyn Jones marked the historic occason with DLRCoCo Cathaoirleach Ossian Smyth and Irish Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan beside the Lexicon Library. The public ceremony involved invited guests and hundreds of relatives of RMS Leinster including those from overseas at close to the harbour's Carlisle Pier from where the steamer made its final departure on that fateful day, 100 years ago on October, 10th 1918.

During the ceremony, a minute of silence took place while offshore the Naval Service L.E. Orla anchored in Scotmens Bay having completed earlier in the morning a memorial trip as part of floltilla out to the site of the wreck. Relatives were on board excursion vessel St. Bridget while local lifeboat, RNLB Anna Livia also took part in the laying of wreaths in rememberance to the victims of the disaster. Also yesterday morning, a ferry from Holyhead, Stena Superfast X paid tribute at the wreck site while making a routine crossing bound for Dublin Port.

The RMS Leinster was operated by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company which had the prestigious contract to carry mail for the British post office service, hence the Royal Mail Steamer prefix of RMS was given to the name of the passenger ship built by Laird Brothers, Birkenhead in 1896. 

At the time 100 year ago, the City of Dublin Steam Packet Co. operated steamer was serving the Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire)-Holyhead service, though because of World War One, RMS Leinster was painted in 'Dazzle Camouflage ' in an attempt to avoid detection by enemy attack.

RMS Leinster however became a casualty of war, having departed Kingstown on a routine sailing, the passenger and mail-boat steamer would never complete the crossing to the north Wales port town on Anglesea. It was off the Kish Bank skirting Dublin Bay, when RMS Leinster was struck by torpedoes from German submarine U-Boat 123 resulting in more than 560 victims (mostly military personnel) which remains the greatest single tragedy on the Irish Sea.

Asides the crew, the postal sorters working on board and civilian passengers, the majority losing their lives were militiary personnel who were either leaving or returning from leave. The military included sailors, soldiers, airmen and military nurses from Ireland, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. 

The disaster occured only one month and a day to the signing on Armistice Day, 11th November, making the end of World War One.

The ceremony also commemorated the loss of the crew from the U-Boat when a week after the attack on RMS Leinster, a mine struck the submarine in the North Sea.

On the other side of the Irish Sea yesterday, a centenary event held in Holyhead, is where the Daily Post reports of hundreds of people lining the street of the town as a procession walked in silence from St Cybi’s Church to the Cenotaph where flags were lowered and wreaths were laid.

A minute’s silence followed the sounding of the Last Post by a lone trumpeter. Children from primary schools in the town were among those paying their own poignant tribute. Earlier, at the service in the church, a roll of honour was read. For more click here.

Published in Dublin Bay

#rmsLeinster - Today, relatives of those who were on RMS Leinster when it was sunk by a German submarine 100 years ago (during WWI) have visited the site of the sinking.

The mail boat writes The Irish Times was torpedoed by a German submarine, the UB-123, off the Kish Lighthouse on October 10th, 1918. More than 550 people were killed making it the worst maritime disaster on the Irish Sea.

It also had international implications. Following the sinking, the US President Woodrow Wilson refused to give a hearing to the German Government which was looking for an armistice. He cited the sinking of passenger ships as a reason for his refusal.

Relatives of those on board threw carnations and wreaths at the exact spot where the sinking took place near the Kish lighthouse which is 12 kilometres out to sea.

The boat (St.Bridget) bringing the relatives was escorted by the naval ship, the LE Orla and as Afloat adds the local lifeboat RNLB Anna Livia but no coastguard vessel. 

For more on the centenary anniversary of the sinking click here including the Stena Line ferry as reported yesterday. Originally in the planning of the centenary day, the ferry Stena Superfast X was to make a special diversion sail-past off Dun Laoghaire Harbour to coincide with the State ceremony ashore. 

The Stena Superfast X, however, today during a routine crossing from Holyhead this morning paid a salute to the victims near the wreck site when entering Dublin Bay. 

Published in Dublin Bay

#rmsLeinster - Originally a Stena Line ferry sailing from Holyhead, Wales was to make a diversion in Dublin Bay involving a sail-past off Dun Laoghaire Harbour to mark tomorrow's centenary anniversary of the sinking of RMS Leinster, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As part of numerous events in the run up and for tomorrow's anniversary, the Mail-Boat Leinster Centenary Committee had planned to have a Stena ferry off Dun Laoghaire blast it's horn five times in memory of the more than 500 victims of RMS Leinster. The steamer having departed Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) was lost to enemy action by a German U-Boat in the closing weeks of World War One. Church bells will ring out in Dun Laoghaire to mark the time of when RMS Leinster was struck by torpedo. On the Welsh side of the Irish Sea, events to mark the historic tragic event will too take place in Holyhead, Anglesey

Afloat first noted of the planned ferry related event with intrigue, having consulted the Comittee's Centenary Events yellow brochure. According to the Committee, Stena were unable to divert the ferry off Dun Laoghaire Harbour but instead will pass the Kish Bank to pay a salute close to the wreck site. The wreck site based on research from INFOMAR has the location of the RMS Leinster as 19km ESE of Howth Peninsula.

The ferry related event is to take place later tomorrow morning, following the main official state centenary commemorative ceremony when a flotilla departs Dun Laoghaire Harbour at 07.00. Appropriately, families to those related on board will lead the flotilla on board St.Bridget. The excursion vessel is to be escorted by the local RNLI lifeboat and finally the Irish Naval Service LE Orla. The wreath-laying event is to take place at the wreck site at 07.45hrs.

As previously reported was the role of the Irish Coastguard helicopter which can now be confirmed in attending the ceremony at sea. The helicopter is due to depart its base in Dublin Airport and meet the flolilla at 07:45. Upon conclusion of proceedings the flotilla are to return to Dun Laoghaire Harbour at around 09.00.

Based from these times, this would be too early for the Stena ferry to take part having identified the sailing departing Holyhead at 08.55. Afloat has also identified the ferry as the Stena Superfast X which is to arrive in Dublin Port at 12.10.

Among the flotilla is the Dublin Bay excursion vessel St.Bridget, chartered out by the Committee (see story) to bring families related to those lost from the City of Dublin Steam Packet steamer RMS Leinster. The Royal Mail Steamer (RMS) given its prefix to the ship's name was due to the steam packet company having a contract from the Royal Mail to carry mails and parcels across the Irish Sea which involved mail-trains in Holyhead and notably connecting Dublin and London.

Likewise of RMS Leinster, the Stena ferry takes a route between Ireland and Wales that routinely involves the Kish Bank which 100 years ago had a lightship. In 1965 a revolutionary fixed lighthouse structure replaced the bygone era of the stationed floating light ship.

Published in Dublin Bay

#rmsLeinster - A request from the Mail-Boat Leinster Centenary Committee for use of the Naval Service largest patrol vessel to carry out a wreath-laying ceremony at the wreck site off the Kish Bank tomorrow has been declined, writes Jehan Ashmore.

A Naval Press Office spokesperson commented to that the LÉ Eithne is scheduled for a self-maintenance period during that time and is therefore not available. The self-maintenance is of a routine nature and would have been scheduled last year.

Instead LÉ Orla, a coastal patrol vessel (CPV) has been assigned to carry out duties off the Kish Bank tommorrow morning though on behalf of the navy. Despite the efforts of the Committee they were unable to secure use of the CPV too as the Naval Service did not permit bringing family relatives out to the wreck site of the RMS Leinster. The wreck lies on the seabed in a depth of 28m.

Instead the Committee has chartered Dublin Bay Cruises St.Bridget to bring the relatives. The excursion vessel is to depart tomorrow morning at 07.00 from the jetty at the East Pier, Dun Laoghaire. In attendance will be the Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat though at time of writing confirmation awaited from the Irish Coastguard to send out a helicopter too. 

The 100th anniversary tomorrow morning is to mark the tragedy when more than 500 lives were lost from RMS Leinster which having departed Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) bound for Holyhead, Wales was struck by a German U-Boat torpedo in WW1. This was the single-largest loss of life on the Irish Sea and all the more poignant, given the disaster took place within weeks before the Great War ceased in the following month. For a related story on the City of Dublin Steam Packet operated Royal Mail Steamer (RMS) Leinster click here. 

On completion of the offshore centenary commemorative ceremony the flotilla will return to Dun Loaghaire Harbour around 09.00hrs. This will include the LÉ Orla though the CPV will not be made open to the public.

On shore events are planned throughout the day. An Ecumenical Service at 09.30 is to be held in St. Michael's Church on Marine Road. An Official State Commemoration to mark the tragedy of the sinking of RMS Leinster takes place at 11.00 at Moran Park adjacent the dlr Lexicon Library.

For futher information click here and also this link.

The reason why the Mail-Boat committee requested the LÉ Eithne was because the largest vessel in the 8-strong fleet could easily accommodate the relatives out to the wreck site north of the Kish Bank Lighthouse. 

Afloat adds that LÉ Eithne has a spacious aft-deck space and a helicopter hanger. In addition the patrol vessel is aptly twinned with the town of Dun Laoghaire.

A second trip by St. Bridget out to the wreck site is to be held tomorrow afternoon at 15:30. This is to facilitate a further 100 families related to the tragedy, most of them living overseas will have their opportunity to visit the site off Dublin Bay, from where RMS Leinster departed Kingston (Dun Laoghaire) a century ago tommorrow on 10th October 1918.

#rmsLeinster - As part of RMS Leinster commemorative events, the UK's Royal Mail Group appropriately is the main sponsor of a special centenary concert tomorrow, Sunday 7th October (7.30pm) at Christ Church, Park Road, Dún Laoghaire in Co. Dublin.  

Performances at the venue (near the Peoples Park), will be from Rónán Murray, Niamh Murray, Simon Morgan, The Brook Singers and The CWU Band. Tickets at the door cost €10 and can also be booked by emailing: [email protected]

The disaster that struck the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Leinster took place almost 100 years ago 10th October, 1918 and notably occured within the closing weeks of World War One (WW1). The 'mail-boat' was sailing from Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) to Holyhead, north Wales, when struck by torpedo from German U-Boat 123, while off the Kish Bank lightship, which led to the sinking and a major loss of life.

On board RMS Leinster was an estimated 77 crew, 22 postal sorters (250 sacks of mail), approximately 180 civilians and in the region of 500 soldiers. Of the 779, the loss of life totalled 569 and was made all the more tragic particularly for the Post Office as all but one of the staff survived. They worked in the ship’s sorting office and were attached to the Dublin Postal District.

The concert tomorrow evening will be poignant, given that a concert was held 100 years ago to raise funds for the dependents of those who perished on the mail-boat in 1918. The incident on the horizon of Dublin Bay also brought WWI very close to Irish shores. To this day, the tragedy remains the single worst loss of life to have taken place on the Irish Sea.

RMS Leinster was operated by the City of Dublin Steam Packet as one of a quartet of Irish province named passenger 'mail-boats'. They served the postal contract from the Royal Mail to convey post and parcels between Dublin and London.

An Post will too commemorate the tragedy by holding a significant display in Dún Laoghaire Post Office and the G.P.O in central Dublin. In addition to issuing a special edition stamp to mark the centenary next week on Wednesday, 10th October.

Afloat focused on the former steam-packet's head office where an ornate crest (pictured above) remains on the preserved facade of 15 Eden Quay, along the inner city quays.  The crest may also be familar as it appears superimposed on an image of RMS Leinster in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, supplied to dlrtimes (click here) see page 3 and information on events.  

In addition to events organised by The Mail Boat Leinster Centenary Committee click here including the anniversary of the disaster on Wednesday. 

Published in Dublin Bay

#RMSLeinster - Centenary events to mark the tragic sinking of RMS Leinster in the Irish Sea during WW1, continue into next month in Dun Laoghaire, notably on 10 October, the day the 'mail-boat' 100 years ago was struck by a German U-Boat torpedo leading to a major loss of life.

On that infamous date in 1918 of Irish maritime history – the RMS Leinster operated by the City of Dublin Steam Packet had set off from Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) bound for Holyhead, Wales. On board there were 77 crew among them postal-workers and 694 passengers.

The tragedy which struck the 'mail-boat' took place to the east of the Kish Bank lightship when submarine UB-123 torpedoed the ship, leading to the loss of more than 500 lives. To this day the incident remains as the single greatest loss of life in the Irish Sea.

RMS Leinster was one of a quartet named after the provinces of Ireland and the steam packet company was contracted the Royal Mail Service, hence the 'RMS' prefix designated to the ship's name. At the time of the disaster, the twin-propelled ship was camouflaged through paint effects and armed with one 12 pounder and two signal guns.

RMS Leinster Centenary Events

Events to commermorate the RMS Leinster will be held throughout Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and is organised by the The Mail Boat Leinster Centenary Committee. To consult the centenary events click here from the 'yellow' brochure. For further news updates, click this link.

Among the various event venues, they include the National Maritime Mussuem of Ireland which is hosting a RMS Leinster exhibition. The museum has a detailed listing of events and activities including links providing further detailed information.

Also available is a calendar of events click here for the 'blue' brochure with front cover depicting RMS Leinster.

The museum located next to the dlrLexicon Library (also holding events) aptly overlooks the Carlisle Pier, from where the RMS Leinster departed on its fateful final crossing. 

Published in Dublin Bay
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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.

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

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