Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Speculation That a Ferry Could Return to Dun Laoghaire Harbour

19th November 2018
1237 Views
Dun Laoghaire Harbour - could a new ferry service be in the offing? Dun Laoghaire Harbour - could a new ferry service be in the offing? Photo: Afloat.ie

Is a new ferry route coming to Dun Laoghaire Harbour? After an absence of three years or more there is more than the usual level of a rumour circulating at the south Dublin Port that a regular passenger service could be coming back after the recent break in what – until 2015 – was a continuous 200–year service from Dun Laoghaire.

Insiders say that they are 'very confident' a ferry service can be reintroduced but for now, the new harbour owners, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, are tight-lipped in a statement to Afloat.ie about any plans concerning a ferry or its proposed routing.

As regular Afloat.ie readers will know, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company was dissolved on the 3rd October 2018 and transferred to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council under the Harbour Act, 2015.

An Afloat.ie source told Afloat.ie last week a new ferry deal is 'in discussion' but, unfortunately, no other details are forthcoming.

A shipping industry told Afloat.ie the only viable ferry berth now available in the harbour would be Berth Number Four that has a linkspan to accommodate small ships. This is the berth adjacent to St. Michael's Wharf, at the old ferry terminal, next door to the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The 200-year-old Harbour and its tenants are now in a period of transition and have to address a number of issues not least the state of repair of the harbour and also the financial standing of the Company. Final accounts must be presented to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government and laid before the Oireachtas. This must be completed within six months from the 3rd October 2018.

The Council met last week with harbour tenants and explained to them that it is applying for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The hope is that the Council, the second biggest in the country, can bring some financial muscle to bear to restore the Victorian structure that suffered so badly in storms last March.

In a statement, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council told Afloat.ie that 'All proposed projects, including any potential ferry service, are being reviewed against this background'.

Published in Ferry
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full-time marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

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!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

corkweek sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton
roundireland sidebutton
wave regatta
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating