Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour
A leading maritime figure at Ireland's biggest boating centre on Dublin Bay has called on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to plan for the appropriate development of the harbour as a maritime leisure centre.
Expert advice on strategic advice and an economic plan for Dun Laoghaire harbour on Dublin Bay is being sought by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown as the search for a guaranteed revenue source for the harbour comes over four years after Stena Line withdrew its ferry service to and from Holyhead in Wales – ending a sea link dating back to 1835.
"The assumption of control of Dun Laoghaire harbour by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLR) is a golden opportunity to develop a maritime leisure facility that could be the best in the world," says master mariner Paddy Boyd who previously held Chief Executive roles in both Irish Sailing and Canada Sailing.
"Not only is this an opportunity to address some of the deficiencies that currently exist such as the lack of an all-tide accessible slipway but also to commence the process of developing the support facilities that are appropriate to a harbour of this nature."
Boyd's call is supported by the recently formed Dun Laoghaire Harbour Representative Group, which has called on DLR to:
- Preserve and protect the unique architectural and historical heritage of Dún Laoghaire Harbour for all of the people.
- Avoid piecemeal developments
- Focus on the best interests of the community and the town.
- Ensure that community access will be to the forefront of all future developments. This should
include public slipways for boats, access for walkers and other public leisure activities.
- Ensure that the piers and the protected structures are maintained to the highest standards.
- Ensure that the Harbour, and all structures, are maintained to the highest standards.
Boyd added, "This is a time for all stakeholders to develop a vision for the future that is not constrained by the piecemeal development that has taken place to date. The vision should look at the re-purposing of structures and facilities currently in existence. For example, why couldn't the coal harbour accommodate a heritage harbour, or the ferry terminal provide office and workshop space to the more than 50 organisations who currently provide access or supports to the maritime community."
In common with many stakeholders, Boyd does not believe that the future for Dun Laoghaire will encompass a return of a ferry service. "If you will pardon the pun" he said, "that ship has sailed. The construction of the port tunnel, the advances in docking systems and the lack of enthusiasm for heavy vehicles in the area make the return of a ferry service very unlikely."
Next Steps for Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Even before the completion of the piers in Dun Laoghaire in the 1840s, recreational marine activities were well established in Dublin Bay and have played an important role. The maritime historian Hal Sisk has declared that Dublin Bay is the cradle of yacht racing, recognising its role in the development of competitive sailing with particular emphasis on the evolution of one-design yacht racing.
As mailboats, car ferries and high-speed catamarans and passenger liners have come and gone maritime leisure has been a constant in the harbour, which provided initially, sheltered mooring space during the season, and latterly year-round access enabling the season to be extended accordingly.
Now that the ownership has transferred to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLR), and thus effectively into the hands of the citizens of the county, a great opportunity has arisen to further develop this public amenity as a leisure facility for the benefit of the county's populace.
The largest watersports centre in Ireland does not have:
- a publicly accessible slipway that can be safely utilised at all states of the tide
- a base for allied marine services
- a public boat-hire service
- DLR needs to show more commitment to the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure fund application for stage one funding for a National Watersports Campus
DLR should clearly signal their commitment to these principals by offering long-term rental space at a reasonable cost to the more than 40 organisations engaged in maritime leisure in the Harbour. These groups organise activities that engage in more than 2,000,000 hours of maritime leisure accessed from the harbour.
The potential to develop Dun Laoghaire Harbour based on maritime leisure is clearly there, perhaps no other single site offers this potential which now needs to be exploited in a consistent manner.
Boyd says Dun Laoghaire has the capacity to become:
- A major maritime heritage harbour based around its role in the development of Yacht Racing (example Lorient, France)
- An employment centre, based on the maritime services necessary to support a thriving watersports industry (example Hamble, UK)
- A public water-access facility with safe all-tide access (example Weymouth, UK)
- A visitor destination with seafront food and beverage services (Howth)
- The jewel in the crown of one of Ireland's most progressive counties
Read more from Afloat on Dun Laoghaire Harbour:
According to East Coast FM, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown county councillors were told at a 2020 budget meeting on Wednesday 6 November that a single payment of €670,000 in redundancy was made in line with Department of Public Expenditure guidelines, with no sign-off required.
Dunne had been CEO of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company from 2009 until it was dissolved last year upon the harbour’s transfer to local authority hands.
The works include repairing damage to the revetments, and replacing rock armour removed by Storm Emma in March 2018. The council expects these works to be completed by Christmas.
Members of the public are requested to obey safety signage and stay clear of the works areas on both piers.
Afloat.ie understand that a budget shortfall resulting from a lower than expected insurance payout over damage sustained during Storm Emma means that some works, unclosing the rebuilding of the East Pier’s sun shelter, cannot be completed at this time.
A new local representative group for Dun Laoghaire Harbour says its hopes are high as it outlines a number of potential avenues for development upon the end of the harbour’s first year in local authority hands.
In its latest newsletter, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Representative Group — which was formed in February this year — says it priorities the development of a National Watersports Centre in the harbour (proposals for which first went online four years ago) while opposing any attempts to nationalise the harbour it describes as a “national asset”.
Heritage figures large in its proposals, with a conservation-based approach that combines restoration of the harbour’s piers “following years of neglect” with stronger links to the town’s National Maritime Museum, making more of ‘tourism trail’ potential such as in the area’s legacy of emigration and prison ships.
Efforts to attract cruise liners are eschewed in favour of encouraging the return of a smaller ferry operator of the like “which served the port well over so many years”, while the benefits to the adjacent town centre of new hotel builds are emphasised.
All in all, the group calls on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to capitalise on the “unique” nature of its harbour asset as it seeks expert advice on a strategic plan, with a holistic approach meeting both economic and community needs that goes further than “piece meal developments”.
“Dun Laoghaire Harbour is a unique asset,” it says. “When it was constructed just over 200 years ago it was the largest man made harbour in the world. It is steeped in history and tradition with families from all over Ireland, and now all over the world.”
It adds that “serving the needs of the local communities must be the top priority of our publicly owned national asset”.
DublinLive profiles Big Style, which developed over the last six years out of kitesurfing lessons offered in Ringsend by Monkstown man Kris Goodbody and now comprises a surf lodge in Co Mayo as well as a base in Tanzania.
The firm also runs stand-up paddleboarding lessons in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, where Goodbody and his partners are considering establishing a more permanent base.
"I'd love for Dun Laoghaire’s potential to be realised,” he says, adding: “If Dun Laoghaire council let it happen and are open to some new, exciting ideas, and we put the time in, we could rejuvenate how people use the harbour. There's so much to be done there.”
DublinLive has much more on the story HERE.
The chief executive of Dun Laoghaire’s local authority has said she was “stunned” the transfer of the town’s harbour to its control did not come with any State funding to offset its debts.
The Irish Times reports on a special meeting of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council yesterday evening (Monday 30 September) on the eve of the first anniversary of its taking over responsibility for the harbour.
That move also saw the authority assume €38 million in “infrastructural debt costs”, with Transport Minister Shane Ross confirming months beforehand that the transfer would include “all assets and liabilities”, with no additional State funding made available.
“National Ports Policy recognised that the future of Dun Laoghaire port lies in marine leisure, marine tourism, cultural amenity and urban redevelopment,” the minister stated at the time. “In addition, it clearly states that there is no Exchequer finding for any port company.”
Local councillors expressed their frustration upon the formal changeover a year ago, and the same issues were reiterated yesterday — with the council’s director of services Therese Langan telling the meeting that €10 million in “immediate works” was required.
This includes remedial works as a result of “substantial damage” to the East Pier during Storm Emma early last year.
“No funding was provided in spite of the case being forcefully put as to the financial burden being placed on a single local authority,” Langan told the council.
Chief executive Philomena Poole said she would have welcomed a commitment for State funding “but I didn’t get one”.
With the additional debts and council funding shortfall, a number of plans for the harbour including a €5 million urban beach and a €30 million cruise berth have been pulled. Proposals for an 'innovation campus' at the former ferry terminal also fell apart.
The council more recently opened a tender for expert strategic advice on an economic plan for the harbour and adjacent town centre. The former has struggled since losing the Stena Line ferry service to Holyhead almost five years ago.
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
Winter marked its arrival in harsh fashion today in Dun Laoghaire Harbour as northerly gales and high tides lashed the country's biggest boating centre on Dublin Bay.
In one of the most awkward wind directions for the north-facing harbour, there was a lot of movement among the 100 or more boats still on swinging moorings prior to the winter lift-out later this month.
The sea state in the harbour was described as 'confused' with two-metre waves breaking over the east harbour wall but thankfully the bulk of the moored craft appeared to escape the worst of the scend.
The scenes were depicted on a webcam with views overlooking the town's East Pier as Afloat reported earlier.
More severe weather is expected again this week with the arrival of Hurricane Lorenzo that now looks set to be reduced to a tropical storm category before it reaches these shores.
The Harbour Police closed both levels of the East Pier at lunchtime when the tides were highest.
Not all boats were lucky in the high winds though and some smaller craft broke moorings and were found adrift in the harbour.
The biggest waves appeared to be behind the East Pier and concentrated in Scotsman's Bay where work continues on a new boating jetty and swimming pier at the site of the Old Dun Laoghaire Baths. Waves swept over the nearly completed pier and halted any construction work.
As another weather system ahead of Hurricane Lorenzo starts to makes its presence felt on the Irish East coast today, below is the current scene at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay viewed northwards from Sandycove on this Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Sandycove webcam.
Met Eireann has said there is still some uncertainty over the future path of Hurricane Lorenzo, but it expects to have more precise details tomorrow. The forecaster has been working with the US National Hurricane Center and others to try and predict the storm's route. Met Eireann's Jean Byrne said: "The closer we get to the event, obviously, the better idea we should have. Luckily the models are coming in a little bit more into line, so I think we are fairly confident at this stage it will track close to Ireland, at least, if not over it.
High Water at Dun Laoghaire is 2pm
“If Dun Laoghaire can’t thrive in a period of economic recovery, the feeling seems to be, what hope is there for everywhere else?
“What chance have towns less blessed with abundant natural amenities, an affluent population, proximity to the capital, a large harbour and the sea?”
That’s the question posed in Jennifer O’Connell’s exploration for The Irish Times today (Saturday 31 August) of Dun Laoghaire and its issues with reviving a town centre in decline, and generating revenue from a port where maintenance costs will only rise.
With the harbour’s new custodians, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, seeking strategic advice for a new economic plan, local politicians and business interests have differing views as to what it could achieve.
That’s based on the lack of progress in many other proposals in recent years, from visions of an urban beach to a floating hotel and a new digital hub — while a major cruise liner berth was the latest idea to be abandoned.
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
Expert advice on strategic advice and an economic plan for Dun Laoghaire harbour on Dublin Bay is being sought by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown county council writes Lorna Siggins
The search for a guaranteed revenue source for the harbour comes over four years after Stena Line withdrew its ferry service to and from Holyhead in Wales – ending a sea link dating back to 1835.
Independent senator Victor Boyhan, who has welcomed the move to inform a new masterplan, says he believes an international diaspora centre as suggested by the former Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company could be a “catalyst”.
The loss of the ferry link has been a major blow to Dun Laoghaire, where the former harbour company was unsuccessful in initial efforts to provide an alternative sea link provider.
The harbour company focused efforts on developing a cruise ship berth, and a 20 million euro digital hub at the former ferry terminal.
Developer Philip Gannon secured planning permission for the hub, but then withdrew from the scheme when it emerged that the harbour company had not been able to secure a foreshore license.
Last year, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown council took over the running of the harbour, after the harbour company was dissolved, and several other plans including a €5 million urban beach and a €51 million diaspora centre were put on the back burner due to funding shortfalls.
Three months ago, the council withdrew the planning application for a 30 million euro cruise berth facility.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown council management confirmed that it had secured Government funding under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund to draw up a “spatial and economic action study”.
It said this would make recommendations in relation to “potential economic opportunities for the town of Dún Laoghaire, including the harbour”.
As Afloat reported earlier, a tender seeking consultancy advice has been advertised with a closing date of mid-September.
The tender states that Dún Laoghaire is a” suburban coastal town.... about 12 km south of Dublin city centre and is the county town of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown”.
“The town has a mix of residential, retail and office space and enjoys valuable seafront access at Dún Laoghaire harbour,” it says, stating that the council is now also “seeking expert advice on the development of the harbour for the benefit of its citizens”.
The move has been welcomed by independent senator Victor Boyhan a former Dun Laoghaire Rathdown county councillor and former director of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.
He said that a draft harbour masterplan, prepared during his time as director of the harbour company, had identified strengthening the links between the town and the harbour; improving public access to the water; and positioning the harbour as a marine, leisure and tourism centre, he said.
The draft masterplan also sought to re-imagine Carlisle pier as a centre for the international diaspora, and Senator Boyhan said he believed this could serve as” a catalyst” for the “integration of the diaspora in the economic, cultural and tourism development of town and county”.
“Any new plan for the harbour needs to be developed in conjunction with a statutory local area plan for Dun Laoghaire town, and ultimately fully incorporated into the county development plan, Senator Boyhan said.
Development company Bartra Capital has recently secured planning permission for the largest co-living apartment complex in the State on Dun Laoghaire’s Eblana Avenue.
People Before Profit TD for Dún Laoghaire Richard Boyd Barrett has compared the development to a “modern tenement” and said the move was “shocking and disgraceful”.