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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

#HSSforSale - Stena Line’s former Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead fast ferry, HSS Stena Explorer is up for sale again for around £4.5m - just months after it was sold as previously reported on

The Stena Explorer, once one of the world’s fastest large ferries, was sold in October to Turkish firm Karadeniz Holding who were planning to convert it into a high-tech floating office.

It was taken from Holyhead to Turkey last year and as Afloat adds following the withdraw of the HSS craft from the route that closed in September 2014.

But now the ferry - that originally cost £65m and first came on the Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire route in 1996 - is available to buy again.

Its price has fallen somewhat since its unveiling 20 years ago and is now available for $6.5m, around £4.5m.

For more on the story, the Daily Post has a report here. 

In addition to Afloat's report of a project to dismantle the Stena HSS berth in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. 

Published in Ferry

#HSSberth – The disused Stena HSS berth at Dun Laoghaire Harbour is to be dismantled and removed in a process taking up to 10 weeks to complete, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Planning permission was granted to Stena by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to dismantle berth No. 5 at St. Micheal’s Pier from where the final HSS Stena Explorer sailing to Holyhead took place in September 2014.

The operator having consolidated existing services on the Dublin Port route to the Welsh port that began in 1995.

Work at No. 5 berth is where the specialist docking infrastructure designed only for Stena HSS 1500 class fast-ferries, is to involve the removal of the linkspan, gangway and associated equipment.

A tug, MTS Valour is to begin towage of a barge from Stranraer, Scotland to Dun Laoghaire where the HSS related structures are to be loaded on board.

Coincidentally, Stranraer is also where Stena operated the HSS Stena Voyager in tandem with a pair of ferries on the Belfast route until switching Scottish ferryport to Cairnryan in 2011.

Also as part of the works in Dun Laoghaire (see Notice to Mariners No. 9) will be the removal of the pontoon at No 4 which is the adjacent berth on St. Micheals Pier. This berth-linkspan was last used by the smaller fast-ferry, Stena Lynx III until 2011. awaits a response from Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to finally confirm proposals to restore seasonal-only ferry services to Holyhead, having begun a tendering process in February 2015.

Only in recent months saw the retail letting opportunity of the former ferry terminal and now the project to remove ferry-related infrastructure from the port.

Published in Ferry

#FrenchNavy - A pair of French Navy trainee vessels visited Dun Laoghaire Harbour while all the attention focused on the NATO flotilla to neighbouring Dublin Port last weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

It was a busy scene as hundreds of visitors flocked to the NATO six-strong flotilla on the Liffey beside the East-Link Bridge. In stark contrast across the bay in Dun Laoghaire, French Navy vessels Tigre and Jaguar were berthed without the attention that a NATO call can draw, largely due to media coverage.

Senior French naval ratings were welcomed from the two Leopard class vessels at a reception held in the Harbour Lodge of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.

Each of the 335 tonnes vessels docked at berth No. 3 along St. Micheal’s Pier where the ‘former’ ferry terminal is available to let as previously reported on Afloat.

At this berth is also located the harbour’s only suitable ferry berth linkspan (see photo). The facility is to the left of the naval vessels but cannot be seen in the above photo.

On the adjacent side of St. Michaels Pier, is berth No. 4, where a linkspan (now redundent) was custom-built to handle the specialist berthing requirements of the HSS Stena Explorer. The fast-ferry was withdrawn from the Holyhead route following Stena’s closure of the service in 2014.

Published in Naval Visits

#€1mPierWorks – Works costing in the region of €1 million at Dun Laoghaire Harbour are currently been carried out, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The works involve repairs and maintenance on the public amenity of the East Pier and at the Carlisle Pier, from where only small cruiseships can berth.

A 100m stretch of the lower East Pier due to the spate of storm damage is under repair and works are due to be completed this month part as part of the rolling maintenance programme.

According to Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company these works on the popular pier will have minimum impact and that walkers will be able to stroll instead along the upper level of the East Pier.

Works at Carlisle Pier are to faciliate the continued berthing of the smaller cruiseships and this requires repairs to the outer piles and replacement fenders at berth no.2.

The upgrading of the pier is expected to be completed in June.

This season the harbour is scheduled to welcome eight calls in total. Of these calls, two are larger and deeper draft cruiseships that will anchor offshore while the remaining six callers will berth at Carlisle Pier.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Cruiseliners – An extra cruiseship is to visit Dun Laoghaire Harbour, since Afloat reported the end of the 2015 season marked by the maiden anchorage call of Mein Schiff 4, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The additional cruiseship, Celebrity Silhouette brings to eight in total to call during 2016. The 122,400 tonnes 'Soltice' class ship is to anchor off Dun Laoghaire in July and only because Dublin Port cannot accept the vessel due to unsuitable tides.

The Celebrity Cruises ship however will make three visits to Dublin Port throughout this season, for more click here. The port will be capable of handling much larger cruiseships following permission granted last year for a new cruise terminal.  

As for Dun Laoghaire Harbour, there is insufficient depth for larger cruiseships to dock inside the harbour and this led to plans lodged by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company for a €18m cruise-berth. A decision to grant or deny planning permission by An Bord Pleanala was delayed earlier this month and they announced that a final ruling on the controversial project may take months to reach conclusion. 

Celebrity Silhouette with a 2,886 passenger capacity will be a boost for Dun Laoghaire Harbour to where previously the German build cruiseship also made a maiden offshore call to the port last July.

Of the eight cruiseships for the 2016 season all ships have visited Dun Laoghaire Harbour before.

In the past five years the most frequent caller has been the sail-assisted Wind Surf. The four-mast cruiseship is scheduled to make 2 of the eight calls this season and dock within the harbour alongside Carlisle Pier.

To consult arrival and departures times for the cruiseships calling to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, click here in addition to those also scheduled to the port for the following season of 2017. 

Published in Cruise Liners

As Dun Laoghaire residents await An Bord Pleanála's decision on the controversial cruise liner berth proposed for the town's harbour, local banker Paddy Shanahan took a look at the books of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) – and finds the whole situation wanting. Harbour CEO Gerry Dunne's response is also posted below.

I am a banker with over 30 years' experience working in New York and London. I have recently returned to Ireland. I am married with two small boys and I run a corporate finance and restructuring practice here in Dublin. I live in Sandycove and am part of Dublin Bay Concern, an organisation comprising many residents of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (DLR).

My concern relates to the future status of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC). I am opposed to the planned super cruise berth terminal for the harbour and to the Masterplan submitted by the DLHC. An Bord Pleanála is currently deliberating on DLHC’s application following a month-long oral hearing.

Meanwhile, the Harbours Bill 2015 was recently introduced into the Oireachtas. This bill will decide the future of DLHC. We are presented with two options, one of which will be decided by Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe:

a) DLHC becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the chief executive DLR CoCo.
b) DLHC is dissolved and integrated into DLR CoCo.

On a matter of profound importance to the residents of DLR and to the hundreds of thousands who use the harbour as an amenity every year, there has been little to no communication by the relevant elected representatives back to their constituents on this matter, excepting Richard Boyd Barrett and his party People Before Profit.

Difficult financial situation

On my own volition, I obtained copies of DLHC’s accounts from 2012 to 2014. I have analysed these accounts and found the following:

DLHC’s financial position has been declining in recent years. In 2012 the company’s cash reserves declined by €2.0m and in 2013 by a further €1.3m. The decline in cash was much smaller in 2014 (€37,000) thanks to the receipt of a €406,420 grant, the provenance of which and use for is unidentified in their accounts.

At the end of 2014, DLHC had cash reserves of €3.5m. With no revenue from the Stena HSS in 2015, remaining cash reserves of €3.5m are rapidly dwindling.

DLHC had bank loans of €4.8m at the end of 2014 for which it does not appear to have sufficient cash or the prospect of sufficient cash to repay in future years.

Based on the above facts, it is clear to me that DLHC is in a difficult financial situation and has neither the reserves nor the ability to borrow the funds required to build the proposed cruise berth.

Notwithstanding its precarious financial position and ignoring the implications to the well-being of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, DLHC wishes to roll the dice and stake its future on providing giant cruise berth facilities – this despite the reality of Dublin Port.

Less than 5km from Dun Laoghaire, Dublin Port is a highly profitable world-class shipping port, and it is the preferred cruise ship destination offering quick access to Dublin city centre. It already receives over 80 super-sized cruise ships a year and has recently received planning permission to begin a €200m development which will double its large cruise ship capacity together with a state-of-the-art modern passenger terminal specifically being built for visiting cruise liners.

DLHC proposes a collusive duopoly for the cruise ship business with Dublin Port. Not only is this stupendously naïve, it is also illegal for State-owned bodies to distort the competitive environment, and elegantly demonstrates the flawed business case DLHC proposes – especially in light of the Stena HSS departing for good under DLHC’s watch.

'A likely white elephant'

The Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies issued by the Department of Finance in March 1992 and updated October 2001 states that:

“As the ultimate owners of, and investors, in State bodies, citizens and taxpayers have an important and legitimate interest in the achievement of value for money in the State sector. Whether commissioning public services or providing them directly, State bodies have a duty to strive for economy, efficiency, transparency and effectiveness in their expenditure.”

In 2012 and 2013 DLHC received €250,000 and €200,000 in grants from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) in respect of DLHC’S Large Cruise Liners initiative. The former was for tendering facilities outside the harbour mouth; the latter was toward defraying costs relating to the planning application.

If it transpires that the €400,000 grant unidentified in the accounts for 2014 was from DLRCoCo, then it would appear that nearly €1m of DLR taxpayers' money has been paid over by the council toward the planning costs of building a likely white elephant.

Is it unreasonable to posit a conflict of interest where the executive branch of DLRCoCo making the payments to DLHC houses the same department that approved the planning application currently being decided by An Bord Pleanála? Is this like Hamlet without the prince? Have DLHC fulfilled their obligations under the code regarding transparency and governance? Clearly not. Where is the oversight? There isn’t any.

Allowing true oversight

Addressing the Dáil on the occasion of the Harbours Bill 2015 debate on amendments last Wednesday 2 December, Minister Donohoe specified there is to be an undefined period of due diligence and examination of DLHC prior to its future being decided by himself.

In the interests of democracy let us hope the minister dissolves the DLHC and transfers its unencumbered assets to the local authority, thus allowing true oversight and accountability.

Given the close relationship and history between the non-elected executive branch of DLRCoCo and DLHC, a decision by the minister that makes the DLHC a wholly owned subsidiary of the chief executive will be a step backwards and simply perpetuates the current unsatisfactory status quo.

The future of Dun Laoghaire Harbour should be decided by the elected representatives of DLRCoCo, the harbour’s genuine stakeholders, and its various community groups.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour, dear to the hearts of all residents of DLR, is being held hostage to the ambitions of a dysfunctional organisation that is running out of money and being supported in a clandestine manner against all principles of transparency and governance.

Response from Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company CEO

DLHC has decided that it is not appropriate to make further public comment while An Bord Pleanala is considering our planning application.
Suffice to make the following brief points ;
[a] the European Commission have stated that the grant of €20m towards the Dublin Port development is made on the basis that such support is not given to dedicated infrastructure and facilities for cruise ships. Therefore, Mr Shanahan is fundamentally incorrect in his belief that Dublin Port can provide dedicated cruise infrastructure/facilities
[b] Mr Shanahan might be very interested to know that the four Dun Laoghaire yacht clubs combined make only a very minor financial contribution of c.€70k annually towards the upkeep/maintenance of the infrastructure of the 200 year old man-made harbour. This annual contribution constitutes less than 2% of our annual operating/capital costs.

Gerry Dunne, CEO DLHC

Published in Dublin Bay

An Bord Pleanala is currently in process of hearing submissions - for and against - about the future of a proposed superliner berth in Dun Laoghaire which would change the harbour out of all recognition for recreational purposes, but could provide Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company with a new income stream, though only after massive investment.

Meanwhile, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council agreed on October 22nd in a requirement of their Development Plan that the harbour – which they will control in the future if proposed legislation can be completed and put in place – will be limited to berthing liners of not more than 250 metres in length. W M Nixon returns this morning to the continuing saga of Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s future.

It was only a snippet of news in the stream of maritime information which pours steadily through the website, no more than a Tweet from Cllr Melissa Halpin on October 22nd  confirming the 250 metre length limit’s approval. She was responding to Afloat’s review of ideas in an Opinion piece in The Irish Times by Dermot Reidy of Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs, an active umbrella group which has put forward a detailed submission to An Bord Pleanala. And the DLCC’s proposals, as Councillor Victor Boyhan was delighted to report yesterday, also received the full support of the Council at their weekly meeting, this time on Thursday, October 29th. [see webcast of Special Meeting of the County Council on the Development Plan here – Ed]

The oral hearing will resume for its final public session on Monday 2nd November after taking a week’s break from October 23rd following the hearing of detailed submissions from many sources since October 14th. But it was typical of the way that so many organisations are involved – or would wish to be involved – in the future of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, that even as An Bord Pleanala was still taking evidence, the local council finally responded to the growing pressure from the Save Our Seafront group led by local politicians such as Richard Boyd Barrett TD and Cllrs Melissa Halpin and Victor Boyhan, and considered a motion to restrict the size of cruise liners which will be allowed to use Dun Laoghaire Harbour in the future.

It could be that it’s only a straw in the wind, for as Richard Boyd Barrett so tellingly explained to the hugely-significant protest meeting in the Kingston Hotel on September 7th, while there is a Government aspiration to transfer control of the administration of Dun Laoghaire Harbour to the local council, various legislative sleights-of-hand and some political and business manoeuvrings could still mean that in the end, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company’s commercial imperatives – real or imagined – could be the final controller of the agenda, with Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council only in titular control.

Nevertheless, the DL/RCC’s new Development Plan’s inclusion of the stipulation that cruise liners coming to the harbour should not exceed 250 metres in length is a huge improvement on the unlovely 360 metre floating tenements which are currently envisaged in the Harbour Company’s plan. And when we actually get around to considering the sort of ship this will involve, and how she can be accommodated at a re-configured version of either St Michael’s Wharf or Carlisle Pier without any intrusive new structures in mid-harbour, then we realize we are indeed looking at something hopeful.

cruise liner image in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Photo imaging of a maxi-size 360 metre cruise liner in the proposed berth in mid-harbour in Dun Laoghaire, which would involved building a new 435 metre pier jutting far into what is currently clear water.

There are many 250 metre modern high quality cruise liners afloat today, and they occupy a sweet part of the upper end niche market which would provide the possibility of bringing Dun Laoghaire the kind of discerning cruise line passengers who might do the local economy a bit of real good over and above the basic income paid to the Harbour Company as berthing fees.

But by contrast, in the case of a giant liner of 360 metres, the berthing fees are pretty much the only income that will accrue to the local economy, as tenement cruise liner folk are not big spenders ashore, in fact many of them plan to do their entire cruise without spending one cent extra on the money they laid out to buy their ticket in the first place.

Such giant ships can be comfortably, conveniently and economically accommodated in Dublin Port, where the European Development Bank has just approved a €100 million loan to further develop the giant cruise liner berthing. All of which makes it even more absurd that Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company should be thinking of hunting in the same over-fished pool, when there is a different and well-stocked pool for which their harbour and town’s unique appeal will provide a juicy and successful bait.

And on top of that, for our maritime enthusiasts, setting the length limit at 250 metres is something very special, for it takes us right into consideration of one of the finest ships ever built in Ireland - the wonderful Canberra, the last and possibly the greatest ocean liner ever built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast. She may have been launched as long ago as 1958 – on St Patrick’s Day, no less – yet although she ended her active and very varied career in 1997, she still looks as modern as tomorrow, and her handy overall length of 250 metres – 820ft since you ask – made her ideal for a cruise liner to interesting places after she’d been taken off her original route from London to Australia.

The Canberra

She also served as a troopship in the Falklands War of 1982, where her duties included a visit to South Georgia where she would have been anchored close to Sir Ernest Shackleton’s grave. But eventually, after many years of further popular service as a cruise liner, for all that much of her technology was way ahead of its time, the poor old Canberra just got worn out, for she’d been busy since the day she left Belfast Lough – and in 1997 she was sold to Pakistan to be scrapped on the beach, which she resisted to the end – the word is this unique vessel took an awful lot of breaking up.


The hard life. Canberra in South Georgia while on troopship duties during the Falklands war of 1982

Invitably, modern 250 metre cruise liners do not quite have the timless elegance of the Canberra, as accountants and financial officers rule their concept as much as naval architects. But nevertheless they are of a more comprehensible and manageable size than the excessive 360 metre behemoths which would destroy the character of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and provided the Harbour Master felt it could be done without impairing the basic character of the harbour, I feel we should be at least receptive to the idea of 250 metre vessels coming in, for it’s a huge step for the County Council to have made the decision to set this size limit.


The Lirica is a modern 250 metre cruise liner, and although obviously more voluminous than Canberra, nevertheless it is possible that she could be berthed in Dun Laoghaire without massive waterfront infrastructural change being required.

Meanwhile, the battle goes on to try and create a truly meaningful relationship between Dun Laoghaire township and its harbour, for as we’ve pointed out here before, when they started planning an Asylum Harbour back in the early 1800s, it was moved forward primarily by considerations of facilitating government power and function, and there was no real consideration of the requirements of ordinary mortals.

Thus the most basic initial thinking behind the new harbour was that it could provide refuge when required for troopships and naval vessels. So no thought whatever was given to the notion that personnel on board such vessels should have any contact with the shore, which at that time was virtually empty in any case, as the only local settlement of any kind, the little harbour of Dun Leary, was seen as being outside and irrelevant to the new harbour.


The beginnings. The initial plan for the new Asylum Harbour was a singe pier to provide protection from southeasterlies. It was well to the east of the little local port of Dun Leary, and a new road – ultimately George’s Street - was sketched in through uninhabited countryside to take travellers direct from Dunleary to the next local village of Dalkey while keeping them at some distance from the new harbour


A second plan for the new harbour included a west pier, but it still excluded Dunleary itself.

But as the new harbour took shape, superbly constructed in Dalkey granite to be a sort of “instant historic monument”, inevitably shoreside development took place as well. After the place had been named Kingstown following a Royal Visit in 1821, it got notions of itself as a fashionable resort. But it was a case of every man for himself in the matter of development, and as one scathing critic wrote of in the 1850s, “ no system whatever has been observed in laying out the town so that it has an irregular, republican air of dirt and independence, no man heeding his neighbour’s pleasure, and uncouth structures in absurd situations offending the eye at every  turn”.


Kingstown and its harbour around 1870, with a proposed breakwater (never built) off the entrance to provide added shelter from nor’easterlies. The railway still only reached halfway along the waterfront, and the Carlisle Pier had yet to be built, with the cross-channel packet boats having to make do with a berth on the East Pier.

Could that possibly be our own dear Dun Laoghaire? That reference to a “republican air of dirt and independence” was particularly hurtful to a place which prided itself on being called Kingstown, but that’s the way it was and still is, for the fact of the matter is that while the town and harbour have developed side by side, they have never developed together.

Thus there are enormous blind spots to the interests of others. The new library may look not too bad at all from the landward side, but from the harbour it is hideous. As for the endless struggle to make George’s Street back into a successful retail shopping venue, no matter what they do it still seems to slip further down the decline, and the recent plan to sub-divide it into quarters devoted to different area of shopping interest made no reference at all to the potential of the nearby presence of the harbour, for apparently that had not been in the consultants’ brief.

As for paying for the running of the harbour, we recently got an old friend, an accountant with a maritime outlook and extensive experience in many countries, to take a look at Dun Laoghaire in its totality and how the harbour might be funded, and he concluded that trying to find out how much it actually costs to run the harbour in some sort of relationship with the town would be like being eternally condemned to peeling an onion, as one layer removed would only reveal another, and you’d ultimately be reduced to tears.

That said, he did make us sit up and take notice by suggesting that they’re wasting their time trying to revive George’s Street as a shopping venue – instead, they should think in terms of letting it become residential with some offices in a setup which would thereby encourage a few thriving local shops at strategic intervals, rather than trying to have a whole row of under-utilised shops in terminal decline with the street’s decreasing footfall.


The Carlisle Pier in its glory days, when it was possible to get into a train in Sligo and travel all the way to London without being exposed to the rain at any stage. And of course, there was no question of spending any money in Kingstown……

Today, people talk about the situation of Dun Laoghaire Harbour as if it was always the case that it was a commercial and ferry port, and that the modern administrators of the port are obliged under time-honoured traditions to show a profit. In fact, Dun Laoghaire started life as Royal Harbour serving governmental and imperial needs, and ordinary people trying to do something so vulgar as make a living and even show a modest profit had to do so under the radar.

Thus although “ferry port” is still the link which will most readily spring to public mind in relation to Dun Laoghaire, but the early ferry operators had to get by as best they could with ad hoc facilities, and even a seemingly ancient structure such as the Carlisle Pier, with its two cross-channel ferries directly serviced by the railway, was a later addition – for many years, the best the packet boats could hope for was the berth on the east pier. 

So contemporary letters to the newspapers which assert that Dun Laoghaire must now develop further and pay for itself, because it would not be in being were it not for Victorian entrepreneurial flair, are actually very wide of the mark. There was nothing at all entrepreneurial and commercial about the original thinking behind the building of Dun Laoghaire Harbour. So it would be in keeping with its true character and history were it allowed to be maintained today as a sort of maritime version of the Phoenix Park.

But of course, if 250 metre cruise liners really could be slotted in without requiring drastic changes to the waterfront, then well and good. And as we came in with a discussion about the last and best ocean liner built in Belfast being 250 metres long, how’s about the most famous ocean liner ever built in Belfast? It’s said that some mysterious billionaire is having a replica of the Titanic built in China. As it happens, the original Titanic was 269 metres long. But if the new Titanic expressed an interest in berthing in Dun Laoghaire, surely those extra 19 metres could somehow be accommodated………


Would they allow those extra 19 metres into Dun Laoghaire? It’s rumoured that a replica of the Titanic is being built in China, but at 269 metres they’d have to stretch the regulations a little to let her into Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Published in W M Nixon

#CruiseBerthProtests - A boat rally campaign against the proposed €18m cruise-berth for Dun Laoghaire Harbour saw some 25 yachts yesterday gather at short notice, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The flotilla formed a line tracing the position of where the proposed 390m long jetty would sit inside the harbour, almost occupying the centre of the south Dublin Bay port. The cruise-berth would be able to accomodate some of the largest cruiseships in the world.

Dun Laoghaire harbour protest against cruise berth

The boat rally was held in advance of the first official oral hearings to be held by An Bord Pleanala next week. The hearing will examine submissions lodged to An Bord Pleanala on the controversial issue of an application by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) for planning permission to construct the facility.  In total 150 submissions were lodged following a public consultation process when the harbour company unveiled its cruise-berth plans during Easter.

Critics of the cruise liner project say the new pier structure would split the harbour in two, bringing an end to sailing across the broad expanse of the artificial built harbour which has been a tradition for many generations.

Also yesterday was held the People's Rally, where local T.D., Richard Boyd Barrett cited despite the fact that another public-owned harbour, Dubin Port with its own cruise-berth terminal would be competing in effect and that Dun Laoghaire would lose out.

Also it was claimed that the proposed cruise-berth would be a prelude to preparing the harbour for 'privatisation'.

Protestors claim from fears over the impacts of dredging and damage caused during construction and continued maintenance costs. Also how such a facility would pose on the unique heritage values of the harbour and public amenities was also raised.

Dun Laoghaire harbour protest

The DLHC is to be transferred to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, however the direction of the how the local authority would manage the port was also questioned against the backdrop of the Harbours (Amendment) Bill due before the Dail.

On completion of the rally held in the centre of the harbour, the yachts were joined by dinghy craft to form a larger flotilla in support of the People’s Rally held at the East Pier bandstand.

The first day of the oral hearing is to begin next Wednesday, 14 October.

Published in Cruise Liners

Is Dun Laoghaire Harbour a busier dinghy sailing venue on Autumn Sundays than it is in Summer? Certainly if yesterday's activity at the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George YC, Royal Irish, Irish National Sailing School and DMYC is anything to go by. 

While Anthony O'Leary was winning the All Ireland sailing championships just off the harbour mouth there was no less than six other fleets racing or race training in and around the east coast port. Just as the season is meant to be tapering off Fireflies were team racing from the Royal St. George Yacht Club and Fireballs were giving 'just for fun' demo sails from the DMYC but far and away the main point of interest in the NYC was for the Jelly Bean Junior Regatta (pictured above) that had a variety of fleets racing across the harbour. 

In addition Laser 4.7s were training in Scotsman's Bay and a number of foiling Moths came out to play when the breeze puffed up to 15 knots yesterday afternoon. A perfect breeze to give the INSS novices plenty of fun on the east bight in colourful Laser Pico dinghies.

If there was any disappointment it was that there were few – if any at Ireland's biggest sailing centre – that ventured out to spectate at a thrilling final of the All Ireland Sailing Championships but that's because Dun Laoghaire sailors were all too busy sailing themselves?

Published in Youth Sailing

#GermanCorvetteCancels – A German Navy corvette due to make a four-day visit to Dun Laoghaire Harbour including as previously reported, scheduled public tours this weekend have been cancelled, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to the ships agent, the 1,850 tonne corvette FGS Ludwigshafen am Rhein (F264) had sought the supply of fenders to meet the requirement of the 90m long vessel alongside Carlisle Pier. It is understood that such fenders were due to be installed but will not be ready in time for the naval visitor.

The Carlisle Pier is where in recent years small sized cruiseships have berthed, notably the largest and most frequent caller is the sail-assisted five-mast 310 passenger Wind Surf of 14,745 tonnes.

Instead of calling to Dun Laoghaire, the FGS Ludwigshafen am Rhein, the final member of five ‘Braunschweig’ class corvettes is to divert to Dublin Port with an arrival tomorrow (Friday) morning.

Some four hours later, Dublin Port welcomes a second foreign naval caller, the UK’s HMS Dauntless (D33), one of the most modern high-tech destroyers currently in service for the Royal Navy.

Published in Naval Visits
Page 10 of 23

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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