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Loss of Dublin’s Graving Dock ‘Lamentable’ Says Maritime Institute of Ireland

16th October 2016
Afloat paid a visit on the historic occasion of the last ever ship, Arklow Fame to use Dublin Graving Docks. The decision to close the largest dry-dock facility in the state has been described as 'lamentable' by the Maritime Institute of Ireland Afloat paid a visit on the historic occasion of the last ever ship, Arklow Fame to use Dublin Graving Docks. The decision to close the largest dry-dock facility in the state has been described as 'lamentable' by the Maritime Institute of Ireland Credit: JEHAN ASHMORE

#Lamentable – The decision to close the largest graving dock in the state in Dublin Port has been described as ‘lamentable’ by the Maritime Institute of Ireland, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to the M.I.I.’s latest biannual newsletter, the Institute expresses concern that the closure could result in work being lost to Ireland “with the lamentable decision to close and in-fill the big Dublin Graving Dock No.2 which was in constant use by Arklow Shipping”.

It is almost exactly six months ago that Afloat.ie reported the closure of the country’s largest drydock, at 220m long. The ship-repairer and conversion firm, Dublin Graving Docks ceased operations officially on 29 April with the loss of a skilled labourforce of 26 marine engineering personnel. The business had been operated by DGD under license from the Dublin Port Company.

The Institute added “this valuable overhaul and survey work would be lost to the State. It is the biggest such facility in the Republic and was opened in 1957 in style by the then President Sean T.O’Kelly as befitted such an iconic State-funded enterprise”.

Furthermore, in the Autumn newsletter article, the Institute said hopefully, wise counsel will prevail and this valuable maritime facility will be retained on the east coast in the country’s major port.

The last ship, however to use the facility, was aptly an Irish flagged cargoship, Arklow Fame (pictured above) that occupied the graving dock before floated-out on 27 April.

Dublin Port Company are to incorporate the graving dock by infilling to make additional quay frontage and cargo space for the €227m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment.

The ABR project is to enable considerably larger deep drafted cargoships to enter the port. In addition to accommodate giant cruiseships by berthing much closer to the city-centre.

The newsletter also commented that Arklow Shipping has since seemed to be trying out Cork Dockyard. It the next largest such facility in this state which received former business of DGD through the Arklow Rose, which Afloat first highlighted in July.

This former Dutch flagged member of the ASL fleet however upon completion of drydocking emerged as Celtic Venture having been sold to UK based owners. 

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

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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