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Places are still available for this Sunday’s heritage walking tour of Dublin Port with Anthony Finnegan as part of Dublin Port Company’s events for Heritage Week

Dublin Port’s history dates back to 1707 and while the company has always looked forward, the port has never lost sight of its substantial heritage.

Much of the evolution of communities in the North and East Wall areas is inextricably linked either to the port itself, or the numerous industries which developed around it.

Railways, shipbuilding, car assembly, timber importers, and coal are some of the many businesses that flourished and evolved throughout the port’s history.

The early housing stock built in the vicinity of the port was developed to accommodate the workers and from those communities came significant artists, musicians, writers and poets.

Anthony Finnegan, a registered tour guide, served as a shore engineer at Dublin Port for nearly 30 years. Join him on a 45-minute walking tour this Sunday afternoon 14 August which starts at ‘the Sphere’ in Port Centre on Alexandra Road and concludes in Dublin Port’s new graving dock Heritage Zone.

The tour is free, with starting times at noon and 1pm, but booking is essential via the Eventbrite page.

Dublin Port Company advises the following: Parking is available at Dublin Port Centre. Access both on foot and by car via the gates on Alexandra Road. The tour will include the maritime garden which has a small number of steps. Port Centre will be closed so there is no access to toilet facilities on site.

Published in Dublin Port

The histories, life and culture of five port towns in Ireland and Wales as Afloat previously reported, will feature in a film and exhibition in Dublin during Heritage Week 2022.

These events have been produced by Aberystwyth University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids as part of Ports, Past and Present, an international project led by University College Cork (UCC) which explores the history and cultural heritage of the ports.

Project leader Professor Claire Connolly from University College Cork said: “The Ports, Past and Present project frames voices, images and stories from across the five ports, enabling new forms of engagement with a shared past.”

The film, 'At the Water’s Edge: Stories of the Irish Sea’, showcases stunning views of the landscapes and wildlife of the Irish Sea coast. Through stories told by local people, it explores the interconnected history of the ports of Dublin and Rosslare Harbour in Ireland, and of Fishguard, Holyhead and Pembroke Dock in Wales, as well as the three ferry routes connecting them. Stories include those of dock workers and kayakers, local historians, and wildlife lovers.

Dublin residents Gary Brown, Shane O’Doherty, Audrey Mac Cready, Jenny Kilbride, John Hawkins, Séan Potts, Mick Foran, and Kay Foran are among those who feature in the film, sharing their stories of living and working in the area. Shane O’Doherty describes the links between the landscape and history in Dublin Bay, while Kay Foran shares her memorable stories of signing up as a rare female dockworker.

The film screens at the Port Centre, Dublin Port, at 5 pm on Saturday, August 13. Email Rita Singer to request a free ticket to the screening: [email protected]

With thanks to Dublin Port Company for their support of this event.

Meanwhile, the ‘Creative Connections’ exhibition showcases inspiring works by 12 creative practitioners who have worked with communities across the five ferry ports to present their unique heritage stories through storytelling, community art, photography, film and a radio play. This work is led by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

The exhibition will be launched at a special reception at 6 pm on Tuesday, August 16 in EPIC’s Liffey Corner gallery space, at the CHQ building. Tuesday’s reception will include readings and a short film showing. The exhibition runs from August 13 to August 21, with further events scheduled throughout the week.

To sign up for the Creative Connections exhibition launch reception and related events, visit here

The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Co-operation Programme. The project is led by UCC in partnership with Aberystwyth University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and Wexford County Council.

Published in Dublin Port
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Dublin Port’s chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly is moving on after 12 years at the helm.

He does so at a time when the port reports a return to almost pre-pandemic and pre-Brexit trading levels, with overall volumes growing by 10.1 per cent to 18.6 million gross tonnes and an increase in ship arrivals in the first half of this year.

O’Reilly spoke to Afloat's Wavelengths about the port’s performance and its strategic infrastructure projects – including the Poolbeg peninsula plan, which is at pre-planning stage with An Bord Pleanála.

This will include moving the container terminal eastwards, converting the existing container terminal into a roll-on/roll-off terminal, and a new bridge, taking heavy traffic off the Tom Clarke bridge and linking directly into the port tunnel. This will help the port reaches the targets in its master plan, he says.

It will include “softening” the boundary between the port and the city, he says, with East Wall Road – which he has described as one of the most hostile roads in the country - transforming into a “boulevard” as it loses all those heavy goods vehicles.

The port is currently working with Grafton Architects on the Liffey/Tolka project, and he says it is going to transform the eastern edge of the city.

He also spoke about Ireland’s population increase, why it makes no sense to move the port – but we should be making plans for an additional east coast port, as Dublin Port is due to reach capacity by 2040.

And he spoke about his own future plans as an electrical engineer. He expressed frustration at the amount of time it is taking Ireland to develop the infrastructure we need to decarbonise.

“Worldwide, we’ve known for 30 years what is coming,” he says.

Listen to Eamonn O’Reilly below.

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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Dublin Port and the Embassy of Argentina in Dublin have welcomed one of the world’s largest Tall Ships, the 340-foot-long Libertad, on a two-day visit to Dublin. She is berthed at Berth 18, next to the 3Arena, and will be open to the public, free of charge, on Saturday 30th July, from 2 pm to 6 pm.

The Libertad last visited Dublin in November 2019 and is the first tall ship to be open to the public since before the pandemic.

Libertad lifts her anchor on Dublin Bay and heads into the Port for a two day visitLibertad lifts her anchor on Dublin Bay and heads into the Port for a two day visit Photo: Robbie Reynolds

Having arrived from Baltimore, USA, the Libertad will leave for Saint Malo, France, as part of its 149-day training voyage to 11 ports across nine countries (Brazil, Santa Lucia, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, USA, Ireland, France and Spain). Sailing with the crew are four Irish volunteers from the Atlantic Youth Trust. The volunteers boarded while the Libertad was anchored in Killala Bay and they have travelled with the ship to Dublin.

Libertad on the Liffey - the Libertad on the Liffey - This magnificent 340ft tall ship opens to the public to visit, free of charge on Saturday, 30th July 2022 from 2-6pm Photo: Robbie Reynolds

Led by Commanding Officer Captain Carlos Schavinsky Trinchero, the Libertad is the Argentinian Navy’s sail training ship and travels around the world carrying a message of goodwill. This will be the Libertad’s tenth visit to Irish waters since her maiden call in 1968. She subsequently visited the capital in 2012 as part of the Tall Ships festival and again in 2016 as part of her “bicentennial journey” to mark 200 years of Argentinian independence. This trip will include a trip to Foxford in Co. Mayo, the birthplace of Admiral William Brown, founder of the Argentinian Navy, to mark the 245th anniversary of his birth.

One of the world’s largest and fastest tall ships, the Libertad, arrived in the capital for a visit as part of the Argentinian Navy’s training voyage around the worldOne of the world’s largest and fastest tall ships, the Libertad, arrived in the capital for a visit as part of the Argentinian Navy’s training voyage around the world Photo: Robbie Reynolds

Members of the public visiting the ship on Saturday will be able to get a closer insight into life on board for the 289-strong crew and inspect the fine craftsmanship of the vessel.

Commenting on the tall ship’s visit, The Ambassador of Argentina to Ireland, Moira Wilkinson said; “This is a very poignant visit for everyone in our embassy, following the passing of my predecessor, Laura Bernal who passed away in 2020. For 75 years, Argentina and Ireland have enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations built on a shared sense of history and a mutual desire to strengthen our cultural, academic and trading ties. The arrival of the Libertad reminds us of the deep connection that exists between our two nations and symbolises the hand of friendship from Argentina to Ireland, and it is fantastic to begin another chapter of Argentinian-Irish relations. For most of the cadets on board, it will be their first visit to Ireland, which means it is a special opportunity to visit the birthplace of Admiral Brown and pay tribute to his service to Argentina and the Argentinian navy.”

Encouraging members of the public to visit over the weekend, Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said; “Dublin Port welcomes the Libertad on her first visit to Irish shores since before the pandemic. The Libertad is a magnificent vessel and one of the finest tall ships at sea. I would encourage people in the city to take a trip to Berth 18 and visit the ship over the weekend. Argentina’s naval history has deep roots in Ireland and the Libertad’s visit provides the public with a unique opportunity to learn more about this fascinating piece of history.”

Moored at Berth 18, Dublin 2, just east of the 3Arena and the Tom Clarke Bridge, members of the public can hop on board and inspect this majestic vessel up close with 289 crew on board.  Pic. Robbie ReynoldsMoored at Berth 18, Dublin 2, just east of the 3Arena and the Tom Clarke Bridge, members of the public can hop on board and inspect this majestic vessel up close with 289 crew on board.  Photo: Robbie Reynolds

Built in the Rio Santiago shipyards in Buenos Aires, the Libertad was launched in May 1956. In 1966, she set a record for the fasting crossing of the North Atlantic using only sail propulsion (with a time of eight days and 12 hours) between Cape Race, Canada and the English Channel – a record that still stands today.

Published in Tall Ships
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Dublin Port Company has today, in co-operation with all seven unitised terminal operators at Dublin Port, launched a new port-wide safety initiative called Dublin SafePort.

The seven participating terminal operators are Dublin Ferryport Terminals, Doyle Shipping Group, Irish Ferries, P&O Ferries, Peel Ports Group (MTL), Seatruck Ferries and Stena Line. Together, they account for an estimated 75% of port workers on the estate.

The purpose of the initiative is to support and foster an enhanced safety culture among port workers which will see Dublin Port Company and the seven terminal operators increase their collaboration on standardising safety practices across the 260-hectare estate. 

New Road Safety Campaign in Dublin Port

A key part of Dublin SafePort is the roll out of ongoing safety awareness campaigns to promote a safer working port for all. The first kicks off today to promote road safety in Dublin Port. As part of the campaign, DPC teams will be on the ground to engage with road users on driver behaviour, safety etiquette, speed limits and significant changes to the port’s internal road network following major upgrade works.

A map of the new internal road network showing traffic flows, speed limits and other essential driver information has been launched today as part of the campaign and will be made available to port users including the thousands of HGV drivers who move through the port weekly.

Road Safety Authority Shuttle Bus Visit

Today also sees Dublin Port host the Road Safety Authority (RSA)’s Shuttle Bus, giving port workers a chance to interact with the campaign. On board the Shuttle, port workers can practice their driving and hazard perception skills in state-of-the-art simulators; experience first-hand the dangers of driving and texting and driver fatigue; and try out the brake reaction timer to see how driving environments and speed affect braking distances and learn about tyre safety.

New Internal Road Network – Main Works Complete

The focus on road safety follows completion of the main phase of Dublin Port’s internal roads project to upgrade and reconfigure the port’s internal road network. This includes the creation and upgrade of nearly four kilometres of road within the north port area, as well as major improvements to key junctions to increase capacity and flexibility of use, improving the existing network in advance of predicted increases in cargo traffic. Improved routes for cyclists and pedestrians are also being provided as part of the roads projects with an objective of having active travel needs fully met throughout the north port area by the end of next year.

The latest trade figures show Dublin Port volumes have returned to the record levels achieved in 2019 pre-pandemic and pre-Brexit.

The investment in roads, in active travel and the launch of Dublin SafePort are important steps in the safe development of Dublin Port in line with Masterplan 2040.

New Unified Ferry Terminal & 20km/h Speed Limits

Coinciding with the road safety campaign, a new 20km/h speed limit now applies at Dublin Port’s new Unified Ferry Terminal (UFT) which has recently come into use, replacing the previous system of separate entry and check-in points for vehicles boarding the Irish Ferries and Stena Line ferries. This is in addition to the 20km/h speed limit already applicable in the Common User Areas, some of the busiest and most densely populated parts of the port. DPC teams will be engaging with drivers on the 20km/h speed limits in both areas over the coming months to promote awareness and adherence.

Commenting on the launch of Dublin SafePort, Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, said; “A port-wide safety culture is essential in a port as busy as Dublin"

“Today’s launch of Dublin SafePort is the result of extensive collaboration and alignment with all seven unitised terminal operators to ensure Dublin Port is a safe port for all who work and visit. By working together, we have created a single, unifying safety initiative that enhances port safety culture and practice for the long term.

“Now that the main works on our internal road network are complete, it’s time to kickstart our first campaign with a spotlight on road safety at Dublin Port this summer. We’ll be working with all port users ashore and afloat and supporting HGV drivers to understand the new internal road network.

“We are grateful for the support of key stakeholders, including An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority and the HSA as this campaign gets underway. We look forward to working together as one team under Dublin SafePort.”

Published in Dublin Port
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During its 1,200 and more years of active trading, the Port of Dublin has successfully emerged from many adversities to maintain its role as Ireland's premier trading hub. Despite all the international frustrations to smooth trade and the pandemic problems in everyday commerce in recent years, Chief Executive Eamonn O'Reilly reports this morning that trade volumes have almost recovered to pre-pandemic and pre-Brexit levels

Overall port volumes for the first six months of the year grew by +10.1% to 18.6 million gross tonnes and the number of ship arrivals increased by +150 to 3,694 versus the same period last year. The increase is a result of two strong performing quarters, with volumes up +13.7% in Q1 2022 and +7.0% in Q2 2022.

Four-fifths of Dublin Port’s cargo volumes are in the Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo modes and the number of trailers and containers that passed through Dublin Port in the first half of 2022 increased year-on-year by +7.6% to 742,000.

Compared to the first half of 2019, trailer and container volumes are only 5,700 or -0.8% lower than they were pre-pandemic and pre-Brexit. For context, the following figures have been compared to the first six months of 2019 to provide a clearer picture of the trends emerging post-pandemic and post-Brexit, with 2019 the busiest year on record for trade at Dublin Port.

Bulk commodity volumes increased by +20.0% to 3.5 million tonnes and, within this, petroleum imports increased by +25.6% to 2.3 million tonnes. At this level, petroleum imports are +4.3% higher than they were in the first half of 2019.

Similarly, Bulk Solid volumes (mainly animal feed) grew by +10.7% to 1.1 million tonnes and are +6.5% ahead of 2019 levels.

Trade vehicle imports declined by -3.6% to 47,000 in the first half of 2022 and are -23.7% behind the levels of 2019 due to the impact of the loss of lands given over to State services for border control facilities post Brexit.

Ferry traffic volumes recovered strongly during the first half of 2022 with passenger numbers more than doubling to 671,000 and tourist vehicle numbers more than trebling to 196,000.

However, compared to 2019, passenger numbers are -18.7% behind and tourist vehicle numbers are -15.9% lower than they were three years ago.

Commenting on the H1 2022 figures, Dublin Port’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, said:

“The first half trading results this year are the first opportunity for us to assess trends in Dublin Port’s volumes after two years of disruption caused by the pandemic and Brexit and what we are seeing is a return of the strong volume growth which has characterised Dublin Port for decades. This is driven by population growth as confirmed in the recent census. More people means more trade and more trade means greater volumes through Dublin Port.

“While overall port tonnages are -3.7% behind where they were in 2019, the number of containers and trailers passing through Dublin Port is less than one per cent behind. Additionally, bulk commodity imports such as petroleum and animal feed grew strongly in the first six months of the year and are actually ahead of their 2019 levels by +5.7%.

“The pattern we saw post-Brexit where the average cargo load per container and trailer reduced by -4.2% is now an established reality. It is a permanent inefficiency in logistics supply chains caused by the reintroduction of border controls on imports into Ireland from the UK. This is putting greater pressure on port lands as trade volumes climb back to record levels.

“We were fortunate that the investments we had been making under Masterplan 2040 in recent years gave Dublin Port the capacity it needed to cater for the large switch in volumes from Great Britain to Continental Europe. We have invested €500 million over the last ten years and will invest a further €500 million in the next five years alone to keep pace with the growth we are anticipating now that the long-run growth trends we have seen over many decades have re-established themselves.

“We have multiple planning consents in place already and are preparing to bring the third and final Masterplan project – the 3FM Project – to An Bord Pleanála next year to ensure that Dublin Port can develop the critical national infrastructure that will be needed on the Poolbeg Peninsula if a national port capacity deficit is to be avoided in the next decade. Big infrastructure takes a long time to plan and we have, as a matter of policy, always started early.”

H1 2022 Trade Results

H1 2022 Trade Results

Published in Dublin Port
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Brexit has been a significant driver of change for Dublin Port as an increase in direct trade with the continent has accelerated the need for offsite capacity.

Dublin Port Company’s head of property Cormac Kennedy spoke to about this new direction focused on the development of the Dublin Inland Port at Kilshane Cross, close to Dublin Airport.

As previously reported on, the two-phase project is intended to serve as a container depot that will free up space at the main port for expanded core usage — in particular unaccompanied Lo/Lo traffic bypassing the UK land bridge to European ports.

Kennedy says the first phase as been so busy that Dublin Port Company is ramping up its leasing plans to fill more of its approximately 22-hectare capacity — with 3.2 hectares of yard space expected to become available early next year.

“The port will reach its maximum capacity of 77 million tonnes throughput per annum by 2040,” Kennedy said, “and servicing that will require maximising the capacity of the port.” has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Port

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland, took to the waters of Dublin Bay to take part in the annual ‘Casting of the Spear’ ceremony, the first time the tradition has been observed since before the pandemic.

The ‘Casting of the Spear’ is a tradition dating back 531 years for the incumbent Lord Mayor, who becomes Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port. The title of Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port has been bestowed on the Lord Mayor of Dublin for over 20 years.

Historical records show that the maritime tradition of the Casting the Spear dates back to 1488 when Thomas Mayler, who was then Lord Mayor of Dublin, rode out on horseback and cast a spear as far as he could into the sea – this was to mark the city’s boundaries eastwards. Centuries later, the re-enactment ceremony reminds us of Dublin’s role as a port city in medieval times and highlights Dublin Port’s remarkable history since its establishment as a trading post some 1,200 years ago.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland said: ''I am absolutely thrilled to have had the honour of Casting of the Spear and marking the eastern boundary of our City. I feel privileged being the Honorary Admiral of the Port for the duration of my term of office.

This ancient tradition of marking the City's maritime boundary with a spear has always fascinated me. It also highlights the strategic economic importance of Dublin Port to our City and indeed our country and how it has grown and developed over the centuries.''

Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O’Reilly commented at the ceremony: “I would like to thank Lord Mayor Gilliland for her participation in this year’s annual Casting of the Spear ceremony as we celebrate our heritage as a port city. It is heartening to be able to return to these time-honoured traditions after the disruption of the last few years. Looking back, now more than 530 years, it is extraordinary to think that our city’s boundaries were established by Thomas Mayler’s spear in the waters of medieval Dublin. Today’s re-enactment symbolises Dublin Port’s continued commitment to preserving an understanding of the history that binds the port and the city together.”

Published in River Liffey

Dublin Port Company (DPC) has announced the development of a second empty container depot as part of the 22-hectare first stage development of Dublin Inland Port.

Dublin Inland Port is located 14 kilometres from Dublin Port off the M2, with direct access to the M50 and to Dublin Port via the Dublin Port Tunnel. 

Coming to the market this week is a 3.2-hectare facility, construction of which will be completed by year end.

Caption: Dublin Inland Port is located 14 kilometres from Dublin Port off the M2, with direct access to the M50 and to Dublin Port via the Dublin Port TunnelDublin Inland Port is located 14 kilometres from Dublin Port off the M2, with direct access to the M50 and to Dublin Port via the Dublin Port Tunnel

When fully operational in early 2023, the new facility will have a storage capacity of 4,000 TEU. This will be in addition to the existing 6,000 TEU facility which commenced operations at the start of this year. It brings to €50 million DPC’s total investment to date in Ireland’s first inland port facility.

The further development of Dublin Inland Port continues the delivery by DPC of the commitment in Masterplan 2040 to maximise the use of existing port lands by relocating port-related, but non-core activities – including empty container storage – away from Dublin Port. It comes as unitised volumes - containers and trailers – grow back towards the peak volume levels of 2019.

Empty Container Storage to Reduce Further

One quarter of all containers moving through Dublin Port are empty because of the structural inefficiencies in container supply chains created by trade imbalances.

Given the pressure on land, storage facilities for mountains of slow-moving empty containers awaiting export can no longer be accommodated in Dublin Port.

Ten years ago, there were seven empty container depots in Dublin Port. Today there are four. Over the past ten years, the volume of containers moving through Dublin Port has increased by 60% to 843,000 TEU in 2021.

All four remaining empty container depots will be redeveloped to provide more throughput capacity on Dublin Port’s fixed footprint over the coming years as Dublin Inland Port develops.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, said; “As we develop Dublin Port towards its ultimate throughput by 2040, capacity pinch points are already emerging and we have to make sure that all of the port’s lands are used exclusively for the transit storage of cargo, particularly trailers and containers. The removal of empty container depots to Dublin Inland Port is essential in achieving this objective. We expect to complete the Stage 1 development of Dublin Inland Port by the end of 2023 to provide capacity for all of the remaining port-related but non-core activities currently located in Dublin Port.

“Once this is done, we will develop capacity for the transit storage of laden containers and trailers at Dublin Inland Port. In addition to our efforts, other such facilities will need to be provided by private sector operators along the M1 and M7 corridors if Dublin Port is to continue to be able to handle future growth out to 2040.”

Cormac Kennedy, Head of Property, Dublin Port Company, said; “We have been working to relocate port-related but non-core activities such as empty container depot storage away from Dublin Port since 2014. The announcement today of the second depot facility coming to market is decisive and signals acceptance of the new realities in container supply chain operations.

“We expect to bring further sites to market this year and to complete the development of the first stage of Dublin Inland Port by the end of 2023. This first stage development will see Dublin Port investing €50 million in Dublin and Ireland’s first inland port facility.

“We are at a tipping point on land capacity in Dublin Port as port volumes grow back towards the record levels of 2019 and as demand increases on unitised services with Continental Europe. In addition, the loss of excessive land areas to State services has further constrained the port’s capacity to cater for growth post-Brexit.

“Dublin Inland Port’s role will intensify, with more customers required to move not only empty containers but also laden units out of the port and at off-peak times. The window of opportunity is now, and customers who adapt early will see the benefits in their business immediately. We foresee additional Inland Ports being developed over time by other parties looking to emulate DPC’s approach, with Dublin Inland Port the blueprint for such investment.

“For now, we are focused on getting this second development at Dublin Inland Port tendered, built and operational in the shortest time frame possible.”

Published in Dublin Port
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Dublin Port Company (DPC) has today launched a new water safety awareness campaign, bringing comedy stars Darren Conway and Joe McGucken aboard to help spread the important message. The campaign is being launched ahead of the bank holiday to help promote the safe and responsible use of Dublin Bay for leisure and recreation this busy summer season and encourages anyone planning a trip on the water to “always think water safety”. According to a new survey on water safety commissioned by DPC, half of people say they are not well attuned to water safety.

In the past number of years, DPC has continued to observe an increase in the number of people enjoying water-based sports and activities in the surroundings of Dublin Bay and Dublin Port, often for the first time. Unfortunately, these same surroundings can be potentially very dangerous, including the active, busy shipping lanes, where large ferries and cargo ships operate year-round.

The survey undertaken by DPC indicated that swimming was the most popular water-based activity undertaken by the public, with 50% of participants having engaged in the activity. Only around 20% of swimmers always use a tow float when in the water, which is a simple safety device used to aid visibility. Swimming was followed by Canoeing/Kayaking and Rowing as the next most popular pursuits.

Only 10% indicated they were very familiar with various aspects of these large vessels that frequent Dublin Bay. Awareness surrounding large vessels is strongly influenced by water activity engagement; those who do not participate in any activity are significantly more likely to be unaware of aspects of the large vessels. While two-thirds indicated that they would be aware of basic safety protocol and equipment like lifejackets and first aid kits, only 26% said they were very familiar with VHF Radio, an important safety communications and alert system.

Members of the city’s established boat and water sports clubs will already be very familiar with the dos and don’ts of crossing Dublin Bay, navigating the shipping lanes at Dublin Port or enjoying the River Liffey. Nonetheless, less experienced members of the public can find themselves in dangerous circumstances, requiring assistance from the DPC team on occasion.

As part of the campaign, DPC has created a starter’s guide to basic safety etiquette on the water, including a new map showing a simplified version of the shipping lanes at Dublin Port where permission to cross is mandatory for all leisure craft users. This information, and more, is available at

Dublin Port’s Shipping Lanes Map

Speaking about the campaign, Darren Conway said; “Having worked with Dublin Port on this campaign last year, I was delighted to be asked to come back and reprise my character of Backstroke Conway. Lads my age are the main people who might find themselves getting in trouble out there on the water so I’m more than happy to help spread this message, and have a bit of fun doing it!”

 Comedians Darren Conway and Joe McGucken with the Dublin Port water safety messageComedians Darren Conway and Joe McGucken with the Dublin Port water safety message Photo: Damien Eagers

Dublin Port Harbour Master, Captain Michael McKenna, said; “With almost 50 ship arrivals or departures per day, the shipping lanes of Dublin Bay and the River Liffey are very busy, with multiple vessels often moving at the same time. These large ships must navigate within the deep water of the shipping lanes, so it is vital that smaller vessels keep clear and stay safe.

We love to see the water enjoyed safely. By being aware of the risks, making safe decisions and having the appropriate safety equipment people can enjoy the magnificent environs of the river and bay.”

Note on Jet Skis and Personal Watercraft (PWC)

Jet ski and PWC users are reminded to adhere to the 6 knots speed limit when within 60 m of a pier, jetty, slipway, mooring, shore or another vessel and 120 m of a swimmer or dive flag. Freestyling is not permitted within 200m of swimmers, or the shoreline.

Download Dublin Port’s Water Safety Flyer and Dublin Port’s Shipping Lanes Map below 

Published in Water Safety
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Page 1 of 55

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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