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Waterways Ireland and Dublin City Council have launched a new study that considers the outdoor recreation opportunities of the Grand Canal and its towpaths and land resources in Dublin’s south central area.

The jointly commissioned report by Irish Leisure Consultants, titled The Grand Canal Recreation Activation and Animation: Portobello to Kylemore Road, is informed by the views and knowledge of local communities and stakeholders as well as the ambitions of national and local strategies and plans.

The area in question has limited on-water activity at present, even though it has one of the longest stretches of the canal in the city with no navigation locks.

The Grand Canal and its towpaths represent a significant opportunity to unlock the potential of this inland waterway asset for local communities, Dubliners and visitors to the city.

The consultation process identified positive, strong and diverse connections among residents and communities with this section of the Grand Canal, including recreational uses, environmental stewardship, heritage, and active travel. The report emphasises the importance of balancing of opportunities and responsibilities to increase quality of life and provide for a diverse range of needs and interests.

The report also recommends a collaborative approach, with an initial programme of community-based activities and leadership training to enhance a sense of place and develop perceptions and engagement with the canal, followed by the physical development of a series of links, nodes and zones along the canal.

In spring and summer this year, the project partners say they will work with local stakeholders to pilot a number of on-water activities and explore sustainable initiatives to unlock the potential of the city’s Grand Canal.

Published in Inland Waterways

IPUT Real Estate, an Irish property group has secured a significant coup with global logistics operator Maersk by signing for a total of 252,000sq ft of space at its latest logistics scheme in Dublin.

News of Maersk’s decision to locate its operations in unit 3 (178,000sq ft) and unit 4 (74,000sq ft) at Quantum Logistics Park near Dublin Airport follows international retailer Harvey Norman pre-let agreement last December for unit 2 (91,524sq ft) and DHL’s pre-letting of unit 1 (206,000sq ft) earlier this summer.

The completion of the three deals brings all 549,524sq ft at the north Dublin scheme to full occupancy in advance of its ultimate completion in the second quarter of 2023.

Located at Kilshane Cross and within a short drive of Dublin Airport, the Dublin Port Tunnel, Dublin city centre, and the M50 and wider motorway network, Quantum Logistics Park is being developed to the highest sustainability standards in the market with LEED Gold and BREEAM Excellent ratings.

The Irish Times has more on this commercial property development. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

North station was the popular choice with the coin toss winners for the Dublin Colours Boat Race rowing event. Trinity won the men’s and chose it, with UCD winning the women’s.

 Sean Drea was the man in charge for the coin toss at the Dublin Civic Offices at Wood Quay. The races are scheduled for Saturday week, March 14th.

Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#Rowing: Dublin City Council and Waterways Ireland have backed a new Corporate Regatta in Dublin, the first of a planned series.

The Rowing Ireland event will be held on May 10th in the Docklands. Crews from companies will compete, with the aim of encouraging team spirit. A learn-to-row session, lunch and a drinks and awards presentation are part of the deal.

The next stage of the series is set to be held in Cork in October.

Published in Rowing

Waterways Ireland advises all users of sightings on the Royal Canal at Ashtown of a large invasive rodent species that is highly damaging to river, lake and canal banks.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the coypu — also known as the nutria in the United States — is regarded as a destructive invasive species and pest, posing a threat to agriculture, the stability of river banks and even coastal defences.

The coypu is an EU-regulated species of concern with trade, transport and reproduction restrictions in place (No.1143/2014).

The large river rats can also carry a number of serious diseases communicable to humans and domestic animals.

Waterways Ireland says coypu eradication programmes can cost up to several millions of euro and are not always successful.

Most recently there were sightings of the rodents in Cork city two years ago, after a number were trapped by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in a tributary of the River Lee.

But their presence across the country in the capital raises concerns about their further spread throughout Ireland’s inland waterways.

Waterways Ireland has provided a checklist for how to spot a coypu, which are often confused with common otters:

  • Large semi-aquatic rodent up to 1 meter in head to tail length. Features same in juveniles.
  • It can weigh 5-9kg.
  • It has webbed hind feet.
  • Dark fur often with lighter ends and has a white muzzle.
  • Has long cylindrical tail (not fur tail like otter) and small slightly protruding ears.
  • Distinctive features are large bright orange-yellow incisor (front) teeth usually visible.
  • Coypu are generally found near permanent water.

Do not attempt to engage, trap or harm these animals.

Waterways Ireland appeals for the public keep a lookout along the waterways and especially along the Royal Canal at Ashtown, and report sightings (with photos is possible) to any of the following:

For more information visit species.biodiversityireland.ie.

Published in Inland Waterways

#TallShips - Dublin backed out of its bid to host the 2019 Tall Ships Races after Dublin City Council deemed the €3 million costs too high.

As the Irish Independent reports, the council said in defending the decision that the cost "represents a very significant funding implication for DCC", describing it as bigger than its annual budget for festivals and events throughout the year – including the now annual Riverfest.

Business leaders described the move as "disappointing" in light of the expected €30 to €75 million boost to the local economy from an event that attracted over a million visitors when it was last staged in the capital in 2012.

As previously reported, Galway is already stepping into the breach by mounting its own bid to host the tall ships in the same harbour that welcomed the Volvo Ocean Race in 2012 and 2009.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships

#Liffey - An emergency operation in Dublin city centre this afternoon (Monday 5 October) saw a body recovered from the River Liffey, as TheJournal.ie reports.

The body of a man was taken from the water around 2pm less than four hours after he was spotted from a bridge near the IFSC.

Emergency response teams from the Dublin Fire Brigade, the Irish Coast Guard, Dun Laoghaire RNLI and more raced to the scene for the multi-agency operation. The Journal.ie has more HERE.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#COASTAL ROWING: The third annual Dublin Currach Regatta will take place on Saturday, the 4th of July, between the iconic bridges and in the heart of the city on the river Liffey.
 
Sponsored by Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council, this is the third year that the east coast has the privilege of hosting a currach regatta included in the national currach racing league.  This year the annual  Dublin currach regatta will take place for the first time ever on the river Liffey in the heart of Dublin city centre.
 
Following many years of forging contacts between east coast currach rowers and teams on the west coast of Ireland, this is the first year that the western teams will come to Dublin to compete in a championship fixture.
 
Currach racing teams from Donegal, Kerry, West Clare, The Aran Islands, Connemara and  Galway will attend. Both women’s and men’s crews will be competing as well as the traditional mixed crew race, Fear agus Ban.  The races will feature qualifying heats following on to senior men’s and women’s finals as well as mixed crew racing.
 
All races will take place between 11:00 a.m. and 16:30  and the heats and competition can be viewed all along the Liffey quays right up to the Jeanie Johnston for the duration of the regatta.

Published in Coastal Rowing
Tagged under

#ROWING: Trinity won all four Colours races on the Liffey today. In the Gannon Cup for senior men, the men in black and white hoops took a small early advantage, stretched it to three-quarters of a length by Capel Street Bridge and won by one-and-a-half lengths. The two novice races were surprisingly one-sided for the Dublin University crews. The best race of the day was the women’s senior contest, for the Corcoran Cup. UCD took an early advantage and led for most of the race. But Trinity were impressively controlled in their rowing and took the lead through the last two bridges. They stretched their advantage to half a length at the finish.

Colours Races 2015, Liffey, Dublin, Saturday, March 14th.

Senior Men (Gannon Cup): Trinity (A Browne, W Doyle, J Magan, M Corcoran, P Moreau, M Kelly, L Hawkes, D Butler; cox: C Flynn) bt UCD 1½ l

Novice (Dan Quinn Shield): Trinity bt UCD, easily

Senior Women (Corcoran Cup): Trinity (G Crowe, H O’Neill, H McCarthy, S Healy, S O’Brien, A Leahy, L McHugh, R Morris; cox: N Williams) bt UCD ½ l

Novice (Sally Moorhead trophy): Trinity bt UCD easily

Published in Rowing

#ROWING: Trinity’s senior eight, fresh from setting a course record at the Erne Head of the River, continued their winning run at the Dublin Head of the River today. In sunny but testing headwind condtions they covered the course from the Marlborough Street steps to Islandbridge in 14 minutes and seven seconds. The Trinity intermediate eight finished second fastest, while UCD were the top men’s novice crew.

Dublin Head of the River, Marlborough Street Steps to Islandbridge, Saturday

(Selected results)

Overall: 1 Trinity men’s senior eight 14 minutes 7 seconds, 2 Trinity intermediate eight 14:23, 3 UCD inter eight 15:11, 4 Commercial inter eight 15:57, 5 Neptune masters eight 17:03, 6 UCD novice eight 17:04.

Men

Eights – Senior: Trinity 14:07. Inter: Trinity 14:23. Novice: UCD 17:04. Junior 18: Commercial A 17:29. Masters: St Michael’s 17:18 (adjusted).

Women

Eights – Senior: Trinity 17:25 (timing only). Novice: Commercial 19:19. Masters: Tribesmen 20:20. Junior 18: Commercial 19:06.

Published in Rowing
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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!