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Ferry Terminal in Dún Laoghaire May Become Tech-Centre

5th June 2017
File photo of the Ferry Terminal in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, where Stena Line had operated a HSS (high-speed sea service) to Holyhead until 2014. File photo of the Ferry Terminal in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, where Stena Line had operated a HSS (high-speed sea service) to Holyhead until 2014. Photo: DLHC

#FerryTerminal - A change of use through a planning application of the former ferry terminal in Dún Laoghaire Harbour, from duty-free shops and passenger services to a 450-job technology cluster, is to be lodged in coming weeks.

The move writes The Irish Times comes as Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company is in advanced negotiations with a preferred bidder for a multimillion euro, 10-year lease on the building.

The plan to redesignate the terminal is an attempt to generate an income from the building, which was opened 22 years ago to facilitate Stena’s Dún Laoghaire-Holyhead ferry service, which was subsequently withdrawn

The Harbour Company is also selling a small parcel of land known as “the gut” at the base of the west pier. Both moves are designed to generate income to meet the harbour company’s core objective of maintaining the harbour itself. Last year the Harbour Company spent €1 million on repairs to the Carlisle Pier and further repairs are needed to the west pier.

Confirming the negotiations on the lease and change of use of the former ferry terminal at St Michael’s Pier, Gerry Dunne, chief executive of the harbour company, said a public tender process had identified a preferred bidder for a 10-year lease on the building.

The newspaper has more on the story, click here.

Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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