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The Séan O’Casey Community Centre in Dublin’s East Wall officially opened its new garden for seniors to the public this week, featuring a new marquee and planting sponsored by Dublin Port Company. Under current Covid-19 restrictions, the redesigned garden will be able to accommodate up to 15 seniors per day for activities such as bingo, knitting, pool, snooker, draughts, wellness talks and live music and dancing.

The Centre, which first opened in 2009, is an important resource to the people of East Wall and prior to the pandemic, offered a Senior Citizen Daycare service, providing four-course meals for 85 seniors, with mental wellbeing and physical activities for up to 100 seniors, five days a week. Throughout Covid-19 it has continued to provide a Meals on Wheels service for East Wall’s senior citizens, but opportunities for older members of the community to come together and socialise have been severely curtailed. It is hoped the garden will offer a safe space for familiar faces to be reacquainted this summer.

Commenting on the opening of the Garden, the Centre’s Chairperson Willie Dwyer said; “The older people in the community of East Wall are very special and have sacrificed so much in the last year. When Covid happened, we put our heads together to see what we could do for them and we came up with this garden. It is important to give them a safe space to get out of the house a few times a week. We have not seen a lot of our senior community in the last year and we want to encourage as many of them as possible to come back. We want to get the word out to older people in our community that the Centre is open again, and that everyone is welcome.

“It has been a tough year but occasions like this give us optimism for the future. We are all looking forward to getting back to offering a full range of services to the community of East Wall again. None of this would have been possible without our sponsors who have worked tremendously well together to get this garden up and running for our senior citizens, so I would like to thank Dublin Port Company, Collen Construction, the Inner-City Trust Fund and Dublin City Council for making this happen.”

Dublin Port Company has had a long-standing relationship with the Centre and the Port’s Heritage Director, Lar Joye, and Edel Currie, Community Engagement Manager, were in attendance to cut the ribbon as the garden welcomed its first visitors.

Lar Joye said; “Dublin Port Company is delighted to be involved in creating a dedicated garden for older citizens in our community as part of our long-running commitment to the Seán O’Casey Community Centre and the people of East Wall. We hope that this new facility provides an outlet for seniors who have been isolated for the last year to come and socialise with each other again. It’s a hub for conversation, story-telling, activity and entertainment that we hope older people will enjoy for many more years to come.

“Well done to Willie and all the staff at the Séan O’Casey Community Centre who have driven this project from an idea through to completion. We all look forward to seeing it used to its full potential when the circumstances allow.”

Published in Dublin Port
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The Irish Nautical Trust has launched the “Liffey Sweeper”, a new environmental vessel designed to collect large amounts of non-natural debris such as plastic, cans and bottles from the city’s waterways.

The newest addition to Dublin’s nautical fleet is part of the River Liffey Cleaning Project, the brainchild of Irish Nautical Trust Director Jimmy Murray, whose ambition is to remove all floating debris from the Liffey, the Dodder and the Tolka estuary.

“This is an ecological and environmental development research project which has been designed over the last two years to help prevent the accumulation of all non-natural debris such as plastics, cans and disposable coffee cups, and to stop it getting into the sea and the Dublin Bay biosphere, where it affects marine wildlife”, explains Jimmy Murray.

The Liffey Sweeper will initially operate four days a week, sweeping from the upper part of the River Liffey at Butt Bridge to the mouth of the River and Clontarf area, including the basins and all the shipping berths within Dublin Port.

Once lifted from the water, debris is separated and sorted into designated recycling bins and the balance of the assorted materialsOnce lifted from the water, debris is separated and sorted into designated recycling bins and the balance of the assorted materials Photos: Conor McCabe

Fitted with a deep cage, the Liffey Sweeper is able to catch a range of material from the water, including floating plastic and debris just below the surface. Once lifted from the water, debris is separated and sorted into designated recycling bins and the balance of the assorted materials, i.e. that which cannot be recycled, is removed by a licenced contractor for treatment before disposal at the Covanta Waste to Energy Treatment Plant on Poolbeg, while any organic matter collected is returned to the water.

Fitted with a deep cage, the Liffey Sweeper is able to catch a range of material from the waterFitted with a deep cage, the Liffey Sweeper is able to catch a range of material from the water Photo: Conor McCabe

Its launch follows a successful grant of €180,000 from the Dublin Waste to Energy Community Gain Projects Grant Scheme which enabled the Irish Nautical Trust to purchase the former environmental vessel from the UK. The pilot project is further supported involving collaboration between the Irish Nautical Trust, Dublin Port Company, University College Dublin, School of Biology and Environmental Science, Dublin Waste to Energy/Covanta, and Dublin City Council. The Irish Nautical Trust is currently part of Google’s Employment Task Force which works with a wide range of local community groups and has also approached Google as a potential partner for the project.

The launch coincides with Earth Day 2021, which continues its focus on the ongoing climate emergency, with events taking place virtually due to Covid-19 between April 20th-22nd. This year’s theme of “Restore Our Earth” sees Jimmy and the Liffey Sweeper urging people to leave no trace while enjoying the amenities of Dublin Bay.

Operating four days a week, the new vessel will sweep from the upper part of the River Liffey at Butt Bridge to the mouth of the River and Clontarf area, including the basins and all the shipping berths within Dublin Port, preventing debris from reaching the sea and the Dublin Bay Biosphere.Operating four days a week, the new vessel will sweep from the upper part of the River Liffey at Butt Bridge to the mouth of the River and Clontarf area, including the basins and all the shipping berths within Dublin Port, preventing debris from reaching the sea and the Dublin Bay Biosphere Photo: Conor McCabe

“We’ve noticed more disposable coffee cups, plastic bottles and food packaging appearing in the River during lockdown. With bank holiday weekends and the summer months approaching, I would really encourage people to plan ahead and be prepared to bring your rubbish home. Everyone’s contribution adds up and can make a difference”, said Jimmy Murray.

“We call it the river that never sleeps. Every six hours, the tide changes and even while we are asleep, whatever is coming down the Liffey will float down and out to sea or else get caught up around port berths, slipways, steps and other areas where it can get trapped. Our goal is to prevent that from happening by gathering enough data on the debris in the water to put together a programme to prevent any debris entering the Dublin Bay Biosphere.”

“This project is badly needed,” Jimmy concludes. “The Liffey is an extension of the streets; a lot of the waste that is on the city’s streets ends up in the river, whether it is thrown in or blown in by nature and being carried out to sea. This project is a win for the environment, the beaches, the wildlife and the local communities, in terms of cleaning them up and hopefully creating employment with an expanded programme in the near future.”

Published in Dublin Port
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Dublin Port Company has today reported trading figures for the first quarter of 2021.

Following a strong final quarter in 2020 (when volumes grew by +7.8% in the run-up to Brexit), there was a ‑15.2% decline to 7.8 million gross tonnes in Dublin Port’s volumes for the first three months of 2021 compared to same period in 2020.

Imports from January to March fell by ‑14.4% to 4.7 million gross tonnes and exports declined by ‑16.6% to 3.1 million gross tonnes.

Unitised trade (Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo) accounted for 82% of all cargo volumes in the quarter and the number of trailers and containers combined fell by ‑11.7% to 318,000 units. Within this, there was a very large decline of ‑20.1% in Ro‑Ro to 204,000 units. This was partly offset by an increase in Lo‑Lo of 9.0% to 114,000 units (equivalent to 206,000 TEU).

Ro-Ro 

While overall Ro-Ro volumes were down by ‑20.1% to 204,000 units, trends were very different on Irish Sea routes to GB compared to direct routes to Continental Europe:

  • Ro-Ro to and from ports in France, Belgium and the Netherlands increased by +25.5% to 52,000 units.
  • Ro-Ro to and from GB ports fell by ‑29.0% to 152,000 units.

Ro Ro UnitsDublin Port Ro-Ro Units

Dublin Port Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo Units combined

For the 318,000 units of Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo combined, volumes are now split 50 / 50 between ports in GB and ports in Continental Europe and beyond:

  • Unitised trade with GB ports declined by ‑29.2% to 160,000 units
  • Trade with ports in the EU (and elsewhere) increased by +17.9% to 158,000 units.

Elsewhere in Dublin Port’s unitised trade, imports of new trade vehicles declined by ‑12.6% to 27,000 units.

Due to continuing reduced transport demand in the economy, Bulk Liquid imports of petroleum products were back by ‑23.4% to 0.9 million tonnes.

Bulk Solids (including agri‑feed products, ore concentrates and cement products) finished the quarter +9.9% ahead at 0.5m tonnes.

Passenger & tourism volumes

Outside of the cargo side of Dublin Port’s business, the pandemic continued to suppress passenger and tourism volumes. Passenger numbers on ferries (including HGV drivers) declined by ‑63.2% to 83,000 while tourist vehicles declined by ‑74.3% to 17,000.

Commenting on the Q1 2021 figures, Dublin Port’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, said: “The first quarter of 2021 was very weak with overall cargo volumes back by 15.2% compared to the first quarter of 2020. This is mainly because of Brexit. However, it is too early yet to say what the long-term effects of Brexit will be and whether the declines we have seen so far in 2021 will persist at the same level for the rest of the year.

“With two ferry lines (Irish Ferries and P&O) now operating services both from Dublin Port to GB and across the English Channel from Dover to Calais, we are optimistic that the landbridge will re-establish itself as a fast and cost-effective option for the movement of time-sensitive goods to and from Continental Europe in the months ahead.

“The dislocation of a lot of volume to ports in Northern Ireland is, however, worrying. Back in 1990, before the Single European Market was established, more than a third of Ro-Ro trade chose services to and from Northern Irish ports rather than use services in and out of Dublin Port. We won’t get a proper sense until later in the year as to how much of the 29% decline we have seen in GB Ro-Ro trade is due to the new border regimes and whether this dislocation will be a permanent feature for the years ahead or not.

“The only positive thing we are seeing in the figures for the first quarter is the growth of 18% in Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo volumes on direct services with Continental Europe. This confirms that the investment decisions we have been taking in recent years under Masterplan 2040 were correct. It also shows the responsiveness of the shipping market to rapidly provide the capacity needed for the changes in demand patterns which Brexit has caused.

“If we do see a sustained step change downwards in volumes on routes to GB because of Brexit, I expect that the pivoting of trade from GB to Continental Europe will, in time, re-establish the long-term growth trends we have seen in Dublin Port for many decades.”

Published in Dublin Port
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A secretive organisation known as SFA (the Studying Feasibility Alliance) is working behind the scenes to encourage the establishment of a professional body for one of the fastest-growing business sectors in the marine and other spheres in Ireland, the lucrative world of Feasibility Studies.

It's surprising that, so far as is known, there is still no Feasibility Studies Institute in Ireland, north or south. For many decades - and particularly since the Troubles of 1969-1998 began to break out in the late 1960s - if it was felt that if an identifiable socio-economic or infrastructural problem was seen as contributing to the difficulties of the situation – both in the north and cross-border - a budget would be allocated to plan a solution, and a substantial part of that budget would be set aside for the completion of at least one Feasibility Study before going any further.

As it was realised how complex such studies could become, it sometimes became necessary to commission Feasibility Studies into how many different Feasibility Studies would be required in order to validate some major project. And in most cases, the authorities quietly hoped that in due course, the only industry to make a clearcut profit would be in architecture and construction to create appropriate archive storehouses, places where the numerous Feasibility Studies could gather dust in peace.

But despite the fact that many professional partnerships and university departments in several disciplines have made good money out of the public purse and international philanthropic funds in these ultimately intangible researches - with several individuals enjoying a glittering career in feasibility analysis – the sector has remained fragmented.

Thus it's difficult to escape the feeling that these established specialists prefer to do it in this piecemeal way, rather be in some way answerable to a central professional Feasibility Institute which could set standards, hand out internationally-recognised fellowships, and maybe even encourage the establishment of degree courses in Feasibility Studies.

But the Young Turks of the SFA think otherwise. They feel that there is a public perception that officially-commissioned Feasibility Studies are a bit of racket, and that the only way to respond is to go public, shine a spotlight on their activities, and define and clarify what they do in a way which will ultimately enable them to charge even more for their services.

The establishment or otherwise of a Feasibility Studies Institute is of special current interest to Ireland's maritime sector in its broadest sense, as two major infrastructural questions currently being analysed as matters of public interest are the general development and possible relocation of some and possibly all of the shipping functions of Dublin Port, and the other is the creation of a new Scotland to Northern Ireland link via a tunnel or a bridge, or something in between.

Dublin and its port from seaward. Unlike Sydney, Dublin is not a large natural port, but rather it's a harbour created out of a deepened river in which the entire commercial port is now on "new" land created by infill. Thus the special character of the city is in part created by the need for residential and commercial areas to share space with shipping requirements.Dublin and its port from seaward. Unlike Sydney, Dublin is not a large natural port, but rather it's a harbour created out of a deepened river in which the entire commercial port is now on "new" land created by infill. Thus the special character of the city is in part created by the need for residential and commercial areas to share space with shipping requirements.

"Dublin Port is a tricky one for us", says an SFA spokesman. "Its administration and organisation is run in an imaginative and energetic way in which dynamic cultural interactions with the public are being created and strengthened on several fronts. Thus although some high-profile, high-powered developers and economists are arguing that the port should be moved elsewhere like some other arguably comparable ports, Dubliners will often respond that they like having a real living port in the midst of their city, and that Dublin didn't get where it is today by simply copy-catting other major ports.

But then, if we promoters of Feasiblity Studies argue that there should at least be research into possible alternative sites for the heavy work of Dublin harbour, we find that the Dublin Port authorities have got there before us anyway, with their exemplary recently-published research papers, which included carefully analysed proposals for alternative news ports for Arklow in County Wicklow, or Bremor in the far north of Fingal.

Dublin Port score double for their proposals for Bremor, as we can compare it with a nearby plan which has been released for a private-developer-supported port further north. This plan proposes new harbour breakwaters in straight lines with marked corners. When the sea is in destructive mood, it just loves clearcut corners in major breakwaters – it will chew them away in jig time.

The proposed new shipping port on the Meath coast as planned by a public-private partnership. In storm conditions, any breakwater with such clearcut corners would be especially subject to erosionThe proposed new shipping port on the Meath coast as planned by a public-private partnership. In storm conditions, any breakwater with such clearcut corners would be especially subject to erosion

Dublin Port's longterm suggestion for an additional facility at Bremore takes full account of the Irish Sea's conditions in onshore gales.Dublin Port's longterm suggestion for an additional facility at Bremore takes full account of the Irish Sea's conditions in onshore gales.

But the Dublin Port proposal is based on curving breakwaters which are much better at repelling and absorbing the waves. So clearly theirs is a serious proposal, whereas the other has the whiff of kite-flying about it.

Thus our problem with Dublin Port is that they seem to have a very productive in-house Feasibility Studies Institute already in being. So we have to look elsewhere for a flagship project with which to launch our new Institute in style, and the North Channel Link looks to be a God-given gift".

Certainly as any regular readers of Afloat.ie will be aware, suggestions for a Trans North Channel Link from Scotland to Ireland, whether by bridge or tunnel or a combination of both, or by some sort of tube – floating or otherwise - have been coming in thick and fast, ever since British premier Boris Johnson made it a central part of his transport infrastructure upgrade policy.

As it's unlikely that any private partnership capital will become available for such a project, which is at and beyond the extremes of engineering and economic viability, several rigorous Feasibility Studies will be required into many aspects of the project and its support connections.

Fixed connections across the North Channel have to withstand the problems of storms, extremely powerful tides, exceptionally varied water depths, and the remoteness and lack of connectivity of terminals on the Scottish side, making it a very rewarding area for Feasibility Studies.Fixed connections across the North Channel have to withstand the problems of storms, extremely powerful tides, exceptionally varied water depths, and the remoteness and lack of connectivity of terminals on the Scottish side, making it a very rewarding area for Feasibility Studies.

Thus the SFA feels the time was never more appropriate for the establishment of globally-recognised International Feasibility Studies Institute, and they suggest it should be located in a Dublin Docklands Office Complex in acknowledgement of the high standards already set in this area of research and study by Dublin Port.

An SFA spokeswoman explained to Afloat.ie that the only clear boundary in the area of Feasibility Studies is whether the basic funding is public or private.

"You'll probably have heard" said she, "the story of how one of the glamour high tech companies was setting up state-of-the-art "canteen" facilities for their decidedly pampered staff in their European HQ in Dublin. They retained a noted chef full-time to work on commissioning the new facility, and then seeing it through into smooth operation. When he asked what sort of budget he'd be operating within, they said there was no budget - just get it done, and we'll look after whatever it takes."

While there may be times when such flagship projects as the new Children's Hospital in Dublin, the new Airport in Berlin, and the new HS2 High Speed Rail Link in the south of England look as though they've been planned on the "whatever it takes" budgeting principle, we can be quite sure there were Feasibility Studies at different stages of each project, and one of the courses envisaged as being central to the new International Feasibilities Studies Institute is how you style your completed study. 

"We may even have a course in "Know The Psychology of the Client" says the SFA. "If it's clear that it's something of a vanity project, we hope to provide what we in the trade call the Cosmetic Feasibility Study, which looks good and businesslike, but cleverly makes almost indiscernible important provisions and reasons for major cost-over-runs.

If, however, it's a rather boring project in which no-one personally has a special interest, we can offer our attractively priced Standard Comprehensive DG Feasibility Study, which looks good, and smothers the reader in graphs and computer-generated drawings, yet the experienced assessor will immediately know that DG is not "Director General", but on the contrary is "Dust Gatherer"."

The leading members of the SFA are particularly impressed by the proposal for a floating tunnel across the North Channel put forward by Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh. 

The Floating Tunnel for the North Channel proposed by Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh, which might offer the advantage of being towed away for use elsewhere in calmer waters if the North Channel proves to be too roughThe Floating Tunnel for the North Channel proposed by Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh, which might offer the advantage of being towed away for use elsewhere in calmer waters if the North Channel proves to be too rough

"It's a simple and feasible yet massive idea, put forward with style. Showing a car driving through gives it an instant credibility with which modern society can identify. And we note that realistically they propose it starts at Portpatrick on the Scottish side, but instead of going the longer distance to Larne, we would suggest they bring the western end ashore on the much nearer and uninhabited Copeland Island close north of Donaghadee, with the island providing space for the tunnel's administrative centre. Finally, we would suggest that as an additional selling point, they can say that if it doesn't work because of the exceptional roughness of the seas of the North Channel, it can always be towed away and used somewhere else to cross a calmer waterway".

It would never get built nowadays……the eccentric and much-loved Basilica de la Sagrada by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona.It would never get built nowadays……the eccentric and much-loved Basilica de la Sagrada by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona

The need for reasonably credible feasibility studies is growing more urgent all the time, with immediate public scrutiny of proposals through online publication, and aggressive discussion in social media. Thus the members of the SFA readily admit that two of the world's most famous and best-loved buildings, the Sydney Harbour Opera House and the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, would today require extremely creative Feasibility Studies by masters of the art if they were ever going to get built at all.

"But we don't despair" say the SFA. "If we ever get the IFSI up and running, our motto will be: "We are the light at the beginning of your tunnel".

Update (April 1, noon): Thank you for reading our 2021 April Fool's yarn

Published in News Update

Dublin is in the rare position of being the home or birthplace of at least four Nobel Laureates for literature, writers and poets who have drawn inspiration from the ancient port's vibrant maritime communities and the lively city around them.

Dublin Port Fest on Saturday, March 27th is planned as a day of online discussion and creative exploration of Dublin Port's heritage.

You can join in to find out more about how the organisation Ports: Past and Present work in mapping and representing Dublin Port's past, present and future, and learn of the harbour’s connection and interaction with the city, and its links with reciprocal port communities on the other side of the Irish Sea.

There’s also the opportunity to be more involved in discovering, exploring and promoting the port's heritage, and get absorbed into one the creative workshops with openings to explore this rich and dynamic heritage through poetry, visual art and theatre.

Ports, Past and Present presents Dublin Port Fest: a day of online discussion about and creative exploration of Dublin Port's heritage.
About this Event
*Dublin Port Fest will be divided into five sessions. Further information on each of the sessions is available below. You must register separately for each session you would like to attend. You can do so by clicking 'register' and then choosing which session(s) you would like to register for.

NB 'Na Taoide: A familiar Merry Go Round' and 'Port. Poetry. Prose.' are parallel sessions. As spaces for creative workshops are limited, we ask that you register either for one or the other, and not for both.*

Ports, Past and Present is proud to present the first ever Dublin Port Fest: a day of online discussion about and creative exploration of Dublin Port's heritage. Join us to find out more about Ports, Past and Present's work in mapping and representing Dublin Port's past, present and future, its connection with the city and its links with port communities on the other side of the Irish Sea. Find out how you can be more involved in discovering, exploring and promoting the port's heritage. And throw yourself into one of our creative workshops, where you will have the chance to explore this rich and dynamic heritage through poetry, visual art and theatre.

The day will be divided into five sessions, and further information on each of the sessions is available below.

All five sessions are free to attend. Some of the creative sessions have specific requirements, which are listed below.

You must register separately for each session you would like to attend. You can do so by clicking 'register' and then choosing which session(s) you would like to register for.

All sessions will be held on Zoom. The relevant link and sign-in information for each session will be forwarded by email to registered participants by no later than `17:00 on Friday 26 March .

Ports, Past and Present Presents

Members of the Ports, Past and Present project team will introduce the project, and discuss some of their work in investigating and representing Dublin Port's past and present.

10:50 - 11:00

BREAK

11:00 - 12:30

Doing Heritage in Dublin Port

During this roundtable discussion, we will hear from a number of groups, projects and organizations involved in exploring and promoting the natural, built, social and cultural heritage of Dublin Port. Find out more about these groups and their work and hear more about how you might get involved! Speaking on this roundtable will be:

Dean Eaton, Dublin Bay Biosphere
Maryann Harriss, Parks, Biodviersity and Landscape Services, Dublin City Council
Thomas Carolan, Local Authority Waters Programme
Lar Joye, Dublin Port Company
Declan Byrne, Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society
Shannon Wilson and Nathan Mannion, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

13:15 - 14:15

'Vintage Postcards and Textured Prints' with Julie Merriman

This workshop will explore images of Dublin Port in vintage postcards, before participants are invited to explore their immediate environment through the print method of Frottage: a print process that use various objects and surfaces as printing plates. These textured prints will then be cut up to form an image, referring back to vintage postcards and engineering images of Dublin Port.

The workshop will be suitable for all ages, although children will need to have an adult present.

Workshop participants will need:

A soft pencil - Any 'B' grade pencil will be suitable
Wax crayons
A4 copy paper, or any other paper you have to hand (e.g. baking parchment, newspaper, tracing paper, brown paper bags)
Scissors
Pritt Stick or similar paper glue
Textured materials (e.g. Bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, feathers, lace, leaves, twigs, coins, textured wallpaper, string, etc.)
Julie Merriman is a visual artist whose work explores the history of mark-making and makes use of obsolete office copying materials, including carbon paper, typewriter film and wax stencil paper.

14:30 - 15:30
'Na Taoide: A familiar Merry Go Round' with Rua Barron and Hannah Power

The wild and magical Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain and it holds a treasure trove of stories that spans centuries. It acts as a source of inspiration; Irish writers have made reference to the nature of the Irish Sea in a variety of works, both prose and poetry. Join us as we investigate the function of the Irish Sea; exploring trade, radioactivity and the sea's inhabitants through a theatrical presentation and discussion. The workshop will include an open discussion among participants and the theatre-makers as well as the chance to watch a short performance.

The workshop will be suitable for all ages, although children will need to have an adult present.

Rua Barron and Hannah Power are experimental theatre makers from Dublin. They use documentary and verbatim theatre as a way to explore the world around us.

14:30 - 16:00

'Port. Poetry. Prose.' with Jon Gower

In this writing workshop, participants will explore Dublin’s connections with the sea and how these help make the city special. In particular we shall look at the creative use of lists to both organise and present material. Workshop participants will aim to produce a long poem or prose poem by day’s end and share it with festival goers.

This workshop is open to those who are 18 or over. Registered participants will be contacted by Jon in advance of the workshop and asked to undertake a very short creative exercise in preparation.

Work from this session will be presented at the end of the festival. As such, participants might also like to ensure that they register for the session, 'Creative Showcase and Festival Wrap-up'.

Jon Gower is a Welsh writer with over thirty books to his name. He has conducted creative writing workshops around the world. He is currently writing a book about St. George’s Channel and its facing coasts.

16:15 - 17:00

Creative Showcase and Festival Wrap-up

This final session of the day will include a performance of the long form or prose poem produced in the 'Port. Poetry. Prose.' workshop, as well as a review of the day's events.

More here

 

Published in Dublin Port
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Dublin Port Company (DPC) has said that Dublin Port will reach its maximum throughput capacity some time between 2030 and 2040. This means additional port capacity will be needed elsewhere on the east coast of Ireland to cater for the growth which Dublin Port will not be able to accommodate once this point has been reached.

On the basis that building large new infrastructure takes twenty years or more from concept to completion, DPC is now beginning to plan the projects that will be needed if this additional capacity is to be available by 2040.

This was discussed recently on Afloat by Lorna Siggins in her podcast with Dublin Port Harbour Master Michael McKenna here and also by Afloat's WM Nixon here

New 3FM Project

In the meantime, DPC has confirmed it is preparing the third and final strategic infrastructure development project which will deliver the full capacity envisaged in the Dublin Port Masterplan 2040. This project is the 3FM Project and DPC has begun the first stage of public and stakeholder consultation prior to commencing pre-application consultation with An Bord Pleanála later this year. Completion of the 3FM Project is needed to provide the capacity required for growth up to 2040. If the 3FM Project were not to proceed, then Dublin Port would reach its limit closer to 2030.

Challenges & Costs

The final development projects at Dublin Port and projects to deliver new port capacity elsewhere are very challenging and it is important that there is an opportunity for informed debate and discussion on the environmental, planning and financing challenges which these projects create.

These challenges have been documented in a series of seven papers called the Dublin Port Post 2040 Dialogue here

Crucially, the papers present for the first time a considered view on the potential costs and the environmental impacts of building new greenfield port facilities elsewhere on the east coast of Ireland.

Building a new port at a greenfield site to be ready for operation by 2040 (referred to in the Dialogue papers as DP1.5) would cost in the region of €3.9 billion to €4.2 billion (at 2020 prices), assuming, of course, that the enormous challenges of financing and securing the necessary consents to deliver such a megaproject could be achieved.

DPC’s Viewpoint – Six Key Conclusions

From its analysis of the issues covered by the seven Dialogue papers, DPC has reached six key conclusions:

  • 1. Dublin Port Company must complete all of the projects outlined in Masterplan 2040 to deliver infrastructure with an annual throughput capacity of 77 million gross tonnes by 2040.
  • 2. Critically, this will require planning permission to be secured for the third and final Masterplan Project, the 3FM Project.
  • 3. The achievement of a throughput of 77 million gross tonnes per annum by 2040 will require not only the completion of all of the infrastructure projects in Masterplan 2040; it will also require that the efficiency of port operations greatly increases so that port infrastructure is utilised to its maximum. This will require the elimination of systemic inefficiencies in existing supply chain operations.
  • 4. Over the next 20 years, additional capacity at other existing east coast ports will be required so that, as Dublin Port approaches its ultimate capacity, volumes which Dublin cannot handle can be accommodated elsewhere.
  • 5. During these 20 years, DPC will need to work on the DP1.5 project so that it can be brought through the planning process and construction started by about 2033 should that become necessary.
  • 6. The projects to provide additional capacity in other ports and the project to construct DP1.5 can only be realised with State support – none of the projects and none of the port companies (including DPC) are capable of raising the project finance that would be required.

Alternative Viewpoints

DPC recognises that alternative viewpoints exist including a long-held view that Dublin Port should be moved from its current location, something DPC has consistently rejected over the years. In the Dialogue papers, DPC refers to the megaproject to relocate Dublin Port to another location as DP2.0 and has estimated that the cost to do this would be €8.3 billion (at 2020 prices) but that it would be near impossible to get planning permission because of environmental impacts.

The purpose of the Dublin Port Post 2040 Dialogue papers is to facilitate informed discussion and substantive engagement with DPC on several important questions, namely:

  • What level of port capacity will have to be provided to meet future demand on the east coast of Ireland over the next 20 years?
  • Where will this additional capacity be provided?
  • How will the projects needed to deliver this additional capacity be financed?

Opportunity for Dialogue

DPC is now inviting individuals and organisations, who may wish to challenge its thinking and put forward alternative ideas, to respond and share their views in writing by the end of June 2021 to [email protected] Hard copies of the dialogue papers are available on request.

Anyone can be part of this dialogue, including those with an interest in the long-term development of Dublin Port and Dublin City. DPC will publish any alternative ideas or viewpoints for everyone to read alongside its own analysis on the Dialogue website at https://www.dublinportpost2040dialogue.ie/

By requesting and publishing alternative detailed views on how Dublin Port should be developed, DPC will be obliged to take account of these arguments in environmental assessments of any future projects the company brings forward for planning, notably the 3FM Project.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “We need to plan for how, when and where additional port capacity might be provided on the east coast of Ireland by 2040.

“We know from experience that twenty years is a relatively short period in the context of delivering large scale infrastructure projects, let alone a once in 200 years megaproject, which the construction of a new additional greenfield port would be.

“Consideration of any plan of this scale must take account of as wide a spectrum of viewpoints as possible. That is what the Dublin Port Post 2040 Dialogue is designed to facilitate, and I would encourage people and organisations to get involved. This is everyone’s opportunity to help answer important questions in the national interest about the environmental, planning and financial challenges that lie ahead in providing the future port capacity needed for the long-term.

“Our canvassing of views on the long-term provision of port capacity once Dublin Port reaches its limit some time between 2030 and 2040 coincides with DCC’s preparation of the Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028, with NTA’s review of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area to cover the period 2022-2042 and with Government’s review of the National Development Plan as part of Project Ireland 2040. Ensuring there is enough port capacity for the decades and even centuries ahead requires coherence and co-ordination among all these plans and strategies.”

Published in Dublin Port
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Brexit and the pandemic are not the only challenges facing Dublin Port, which handles almost 50 per cent of Ireland’s trade.

Port chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly has predicted it will reach full capacity by 2040, and so it has initiated a debate on the future.

Dublin Port harbourmaster Capt Michael McKenna spoke to Wavelengths about the “post-2040 masterplan” discussion, and about planning for climate change.

He speaks about the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit – including his view that the “landbridge” route for freight through Britain will return - and the port's commitment to integration with the city, to watersports in the river and bay and the port's heritage.

Dublin Port - the intertwining of the city and the seaDublin Port - the intertwining of the city and the sea - the port is encouraging a debate on its future - Listen to Harbourmaster Captain Michael McKenna below

The interview is part of our occasional podcast series on ports, which began on March 11th with Port of Cork harbour master Capt Paul O’Regan.

You can hear Capt Michael McKenna below

And the Dublin Port “post-2040 masterplan” discussion papers are here

Published in Wavelength Podcast

For the past couple of weeks, Dublin Port has been taking its social media followers through the different areas of the capital's Port.

The latest is a bird's eye view of Dublin's South Bank Quay. (see vid below)

As seen in the port vid below, there are two operational berths on South Bank Quay, berths 46 and 47.

These berths are operated for the loading and unloading of a variety of cargo and materials from ships including; cement, ash waste and scrap metal.

Mobile cranes and hoppers are used to load and unload bulk solid material from ships berthed on South Bank Quay.

Published in Dublin Port
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Dublin Port has illuminated its iconic landmarks for the launch of St. Patrick's Festival Ireland 2021

According to organisers, as part of St. Patrick’s Festival 2021, "the national colour will light up Dublin and Ireland as a symbol of our nation’s courage in the face of challenge, remembrance for those we have lost and respect for those who have worked tirelessly on our front line".

Dublin Port Centre goes green for St. Patrick's DayDublin Port Centre goes green for St. Patrick's Day Photo: DPC

The aim is for the spectacular green night-time lighting across Ireland to "draw the nation together as one during a time when we have never been so apart". 

Check out Dublin Port's sites which are lit up green for the six nights of the festival from 12-17 March:

  • Port Centre
  • Crane 292
  • The Diving Bell
  • The Dublin Silo's at The Flour Mill
Published in Dublin Port
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Busy scenes at Dublin Port this week as container ship JSP Rover departs the river Liffey as she heads outwards towards Haven Rotterdam, as Ro-Ro Cargo Vessel Amandine arrives from the Port of Rotterdam!

The Lo-Lo Vessel Elbspirit is also berthed at MTL berth after her arrival from the Port of Antwerp.

Dublin Port is Ireland’s largest and busiest port with approximately 17,000 vessel movements per year.

As well as being the country’s largest port, Dublin Port has the highest rate of growth and, in the seven years to 2019, total cargo volumes grew by 36.1%

Published in Dublin Port
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