#greystones – Greystones Harbour Marina in County Wicklow is to open next April with 100 berths.
The newest addition to boating on Ireland's east coast will be operated by BJ Marinas Ltd, a company owned by senior marine industry figure Bernard Gallagher.
The firm will operate the marina and boatyard on the purpose built site under contract from developers Sispar and Wicklow County Council.
"We're delighted to be appointed as harbour and marina operators for Greystones. It's a unique and stunning site and we're looking forward to opening this new marine leisure facility next April in time for the 2013 boating season" Gallagher told Afloat.
Gallagher's sister company BJ Marine Ltd is one of the most successful boat sales and service firms in Ireland established over 35 years. The firm represents some of the biggest names in global boating brands including French yacht manufacturing giant Beneteau for over 20 years. The firm also represents American power boat firm Sea Ray and British luxury motorboat manufacturer Fairline. In 2012 BJ Marine imported the first production hybrid diesel electric boat, the Slovenian built Greenline 33, into Ireland.
Although the substantial structure of the new Greystones breakwaters and harbour has been completed with two new slipways and part opened to the public for over a year the marina element had stalled during the financial crisis with only limited access to the new harbour for visiting boats.
Last March a meeting of local boat owners in the Wicklow town heard of 'huge interest' in the new facility and it is understood over 70 applications for berths were received.
BJ Marinas Ltd will be responsible for the installation of the marina. The marina furniture and piling will be 100% Irish built and supplied according to Gallagher.
Berths will eventually reach 230, a major bonus for the east coast boating scene.
Gallagher also operates Bangor Marina boatyard on Belfast lough. The company also has offices at Malahide marina in North Dublin and has operated an international base in Malta since 1989.
His interest in a marina at the harbour at Greystones goes back 16 years when entrepreneur Albert Gubay launched a plan for a 300-berth marina in 1996 that was never built.
The latest Greystones Harbour Project originally envisaged a primary care medical centre, some five new clubhouses for existing harbour users, a Coast Guard house, as well as commercial, leisure and office facilities, a new beach and some 375 new homes.
The project is a major Public Private Partnership involving Wicklow County Council and Sispar and expected to cost in excess of € 300 million. The land side of the development had stalled with the financial crisis.
Sisk builders announced in July that it had agreed with its partners Park Developments and their bankers NAMA that Sisk will take ownership and control of the project.
BJ Marinas Ltd have issued the following contact details for berth enquiries: [email protected] Telephone +353 (0)86 2718161