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In the Running As Seven Projects Register to Revive Dun Laoghaire Ferry Terminal

15th May 2019
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The former operator of the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route, Stena Line whose fastcraft HSS Stena Explorer above in Dun Laoghaire Harbour AFLOAT adds carried out a final crossing in 2014. The following year the operator confirmed it would not return to operations on the historic Ireland-Wales link dating to 1835. The former operator of the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route, Stena Line whose fastcraft HSS Stena Explorer above in Dun Laoghaire Harbour AFLOAT adds carried out a final crossing in 2014. The following year the operator confirmed it would not return to operations on the historic Ireland-Wales link dating to 1835. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

#dublinbay - Potential developers numbering seven in total have registered their interest in the disused ferry terminal in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The building at St Michael's Pier, reports Herald.ie, has been empty since 2014, and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council invited applications (see related story) to lease it in March.

Now the council says it is examining the submissions received.

"Planning permission exists on the building and immediate surrounds which would allow for a variety of uses," the council said.

The newspaper has more here.

The number of interested parties in the terminal Afloat.ie highlights is the same level of interest as expressed to the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company in 2015 following an invitation to potential operators to resume a seasonal-only service to Holyhead, Wales

Earlier that year Stena Line announced to confirm that it would not reopen the historic route dating to 1835.

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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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