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There will be “no hierarchy” of access to Ireland’s sea areas under its new maritime licensing system, the head of the new Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) has said.

MARA chief executive officer Laura Brien was speaking at the third annual seafarers’ conference hosted by the National Maritime College of Ireland in Limerick.

Brien also said that other European countries would “kill to have the space” that Ireland enjoys around its coastline.

She was responding to concerns about “spatial squeeze” raised at the conference, held in Limerick on the eve of the Skipper Expo.

Brien said that MARA’s remit was not just about offshore renewable energy (ORE), and licensing it has to approve extends from telecom cables to coastal erosion work to port development.

While there were also concerns that Ireland was lagging behind other countries in ORE development, “the upside to Ireland being late to the party is that…we’ve an awful lot of people to learn from”, including Scotland.

Asked to define "what success would look like" for MARA in ten years' time – a theme of the panel discussion she was participating in – Brien said that she hoped the opportunity would be taken early on to monitor the impact of offshore wind.

“We don’t know about a lot of the impacts of ORE..and we have the opportunity to put in place monitoring of the impact, so that when we get to 2034 we have ten years of data which would provide a solid evidence base for consenting," she said.

Capt Robert McCabe, chair of the national seafood/ORE working group, said that there were many challenges but progress was being made, and all involved were “committed to trying to find resolutions”.

Among issues being discussed was the need for a data hub, as in a one-stop shop for information, while evidence of activity by inshore vessels was also very important in making a case for impact of ORE.

Published in Marine Planning
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The Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) is currently in the process of developing its first statement of strategy for the period 2024-2027.

A key priority of this process is to garner the views and input of key stakeholders through consultation. To that end, MARA has launched an online survey to garner views until 5pm next Monday 19 February.

This survey portal is facilitated by Mazars and all contributions will be treated as private and confidential. Individual responses will not be viewed by anyone in MARA, however consolidated data will be shared to inform the strategy development process.

If you have any issues when completing this survey, contact Mazars directly at [email protected].

MARA was established in July 2023 under the National Marine Planning Framework as the State agency which will act as the regulator and thus protector of the maritime area for the benefit of current and future generations of Irish people.

Published in Marine Planning
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Ireland has “significant” data to make informed decisions on marine area consents under new marine planning legislation, the chair of the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA), retired Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett, has said.

Responding to questions at an Oireachtas housing committee hearing on MARA on Tuesday, Mellett also said he agreed with the concept of a centralised marine data repository – although this is not currently a function MARA is responsible for.

Mellett was responding to questions from Oireachtas housing committee members at a session on Tuesday (Nov 7) chaired by Green Party TD Stephen Matthews.

Sinn Féin TD Eoin O Broin asked about implications of marine protected area (MPA) legislation which has still to be enacted, and how much independent data Ireland has to make informed decisions on marine areas consents (MACs) for offshore windfarms and other structures.

O Broin also asked Mellett to comment on fears that there could be trade-offs which could have negative impacts on small inshore fishing communities and on the marine environment.

Mellett said there would be “bilateral communications” while MPA legislation is progressing to ensure there is “a communication and transparency to allow us make informed decisions”.

“In terms of vulnerable marine ecosystems, there is a significant amount of information,” he said, referring to the national seabed surveys which have been underway for some years.

He also said that fishers have an “innate knowledge” of the marine environment, which “is of huge value to us”.

Mellett said that the Government’s offshore renewable energy (ORE )seafood working group “gives us a vehicle to get information” and “help to inform us in some of the huge decisions we have to make”.

Responding to questions from Green Party Dublin South-West Francis Noel Duffy about implications for the fisheries sector, Mellett said that the ORE seafood working group was a means of developing institutional arrangements with fishers.

In relation to the designated marine planning (DMAP) for the south coast, currently out for public consultation, Mellet said that “if there are sensitive habitats, spawning areas, it is unlikely that would be designated in terms of ORE”.

However, he said that the issues in relation to fishers would have to be part of “collective approach”, and he hoped the ORE seafood working group “will reach that truth” where areas are designated that “meet both requirements”.

Asked about resources by both Fine Gael TD Emer Higgins and Senator Victor Boyhan, the MARA chair said that the agency has “absolute support” from the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien on resources, with 7.3 million euro for 2024.

Its chief executive Laura Brien said that MARA has a staff of around 25 on site at the moment, seconded from a range of government departments to help the agency get up and running.

MARA chief executive Laura BrienMARA chief executive Laura Brien Photo: Oireachtas TV

She said she hoped to have around 50-55 staff by end of Q1 2024, and it was recruiting at the moment for a range of skills, including marine science and technology. The aim is to have 74 staff over the next year.

The agency has two MAC applications it is currently dealing with, she said.

Oireachtas committee chair and Green Party TD Stephen Matthews asked about aquaculture licensing and why it is not under MARA’s remit.

Mellett says it is a policy decision that it remains with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.

“The Rolls Royce of a system would be an integrated system…which overcomes the danger of silos and activities or issues falling in between,” he said.

Mellet said in response to Labour senator Rebecca Moynihan that he hoped MARA would have “regular engagements with industry and academic institutions so we are not sitting in a silo”.

“There may be options for public/private collaboration,” he said.

“MARA will not have an ego and will be engaging with other institutions, the marketplace and the environmental community, and if it has to co-create solutions it will do just that,” he said.

MARA would have an enforcement role for projects approved by An Bord Pleanala, Brien confirmed.

Questioned by several committee members about security for offshore wind farms and associated infrastructure, Mellett said that “the issue… is one that will require close collaboration with other parts of State”.

“While this is infrastructure which may be linked to a private developer, it may be critical to the State,” he pointed out.

“I attended the North Seas summit in Belgium with the Taoiseach and Minister Eamon Ryan and security of this type was on the top of every agenda. In most jurisdictions, the defence forces have a role,” he said.

“Even though there is significant private investment, there is an obligation on us as a State to uphold that security,” he said.

Published in Marine Planning
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Independent senator Victor Boyhan is questioning the chair of the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) today on whether the new State agency has enough resources to carry out its work.

The Dun Laoghaire senator says he is seeking clarity on the resources available to the new body to fully function when MARA’s chair Mark Mellett, former Vice-Admiral of the Defence Forces, addresses the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage this afternoon.

Wishing Vice-Admiral Mellett well in his new leadership role, Senator Boyhan says that as a former member of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, he “understands the challenges around maritime planning consent”.

“MARA will have a key role to play in the streamlined consenting system for the maritime area, including: assessing Maritime Area Consent (MAC) applications for the maritime area, which are required by developers before development permission can be granted,” Boyhan said.

Boyhan noted the new agency, based in Wexford, is also responsible for granting marine licencing for specified activities; compliance and enforcement of MACs, licences, and offshore development consents; investigations and prosecutions; administration of the existing foreshore consent portfolio; and fostering and promoting co-operation between regulators of the maritime area.

Senator Boyhan says he is seeking “clarity” on resources for the agency “as envisaged in the primary legislation for MARA as approved by the Oireachtas”.

Dun Laoghaire Independent senator Victor BoyhanDun Laoghaire Independent senator Victor Boyhan

In his opening statement to the Oireachtas committee, before taking questions, Mellett said that one of MARA’s first priorities is to work with the board and the executive in the preparation and adoption of MARA’s Strategic Plan 2024-2027, establishing trust with all relevant stakeholders.

“Trust takes two forms in this context: trust in the probity of the organisation with transparency, good corporate governance, effective communication and trust in MARA’s efficiency in service delivery,” he said.

“The preparation of our first strategy is a great opportunity to identify our shared vision for the MARA implementing world-class marine planning while addressing the challenges associated with the Climate Action Plan and its implications for the various dimensions of the maritime area,” he said.

“Working collaboratively with all its partners, MARA will support the pillars of Ireland’s marine planning system by:

(i) bringing its expertise, knowledge and skills to enhance forward planning in the maritime area;

(ii) developing a well-functioning transparent consenting system, consistent with the principles of proper marine spatial planning, for all maritime users and activities; and

(iii) Implementing a rigorous, but proportionate, compliance and monitoring programme to ensure the sustainable use of our maritime area and challenge unauthorised development and non-compliance with maritime planning permission.

(iv) MARA will achieve this by building expertise in its people, its processes and its technology. As a key custodian of the maritime area, MARA will ensure that through good management and transparent decision making we will optimise our maritime resource on behalf of all citizens.

(v) MARA will be a key enabler in respect of Ireland’s ambitions for the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sector, by facilitating a streamlined consenting process, providing certainty to project promoters and delivering a pathway to realising the necessary investment. MARA, at the centre of the new regulatory regime, will also support delivery of other projects of strategic importance (cabling/telecoms projects, ports development, drainage projects, sewerage schemes etc.), facilitating the State to harness significant benefits from realising a low-carbon economy, ensuring energy security, and presenting new opportunities for economic growth”, he said.

“MARA has a key role working with key stakeholders, in particular, Minister O’Brien, Minister Noonan and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Minister Ryan and the Department of Environment, Climate and

Communications, Minister Coveney and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Local Authorities, An Bórd Pleanala, together with a range of other Government departments and State agencies,” Mellett continued.

Referring to ORE as “the twin challenge and opportunity of our time, in which MARA will pay a central role” to address the climate crisis, Mellett said that Ireland is a “key emerging market in the offshore renewable wind energy space”.

“The scale of our resource is huge - our sea area has the potential to be more than ten times that of our land area,”he said.

“With the richest accessible wind resource on the planet, harnessing our offshore energy resource will make a massive contribution towards achieving regional renewable energy self-sufficiency, putting us on a direct path to zero CO2 emissions while at the same time future-proofing our economy and quality of life. Ireland has extraordinary potential for ORE, initially wind but into the future also wave and tidal,” he said.

“To deliver our climate and offshore wind energy ambitions, the State has moved to a plan-led approach. This will help ensure that development of offshore renewable energy is delivered through a number of overlapping phases in a planned, strategic, economical and sustainable way, which will also guide investment within this sector,” Mellett said.

“This is a challenging time internationally for the market so we need to be sure-footed, with the ambitious vision for the future balanced with a pragmatic eye on enabling the next key steps for Phase1 and 2, while also building towards a future framework,” he said.

“ Working with its partners across Government and in industry while building the required confidence, MARA will be a critical agency to deliver this ambition,” he said.

The Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage has 14 members, nine from the Dáil and five from the Seanad.

The meeting today (Nov 7) from 3 pm in Committee Room 2 of Leinster House, Dublin, can be viewed live on Oireachtas TV.

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

Published in Marine Planning

The Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) has initiated a study with the Marine Institute on whether certain marine environmental surveys require a licence.

The study will focus on marine environmental surveys “for the purposes of scientific discovery and research”, and marine environmental surveys “for the purposes of site investigation or in support of an application for planning for major developments”.

The new State regulatory authority for marine planning, says that “the output of this study, expected Q1 2024, will inform MARA if changes in the licence regime are warranted”.

“If so, MARA will engage with the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to prioritise drafting legislative amendments to exempt some ‘low risk’ activities that are marine licensable,” it says.

The Marine Institute said it “is engaging with internal and external marine experts to help identify and propose activities that may be suitable for exemption”.

“This will be carried out by assessing marine data collection processes, publicly available data and survey techniques used in other mature markets”, it says.

“A comprehensive catalogue of the types of activities will be reviewed. The approaches adopted in other jurisdictions will also inform the process,” it says.

MARA chief executive officer Laura Brien said “the range of activities which require a marine licence is wide ranging from large complex works to smaller, low-risk works”.

“This is an important project which could result in an innovative approach to our licensing regime and ensure applications are treated in a proportionate way,” she said.

“The outcome of this work will be of interest to a number of our stakeholders, including industry, in particular those dealing with Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) and other maritime developments,” she said.

More information is available from Mara’s marine licensing team at email address [email protected]

Published in Marine Planning

Greenore Port, part of the Doyle Shipping Group (DSG) has announced that it is the first Irish Port to apply for a Maritime Area Consent (MAC) under the newly established Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA), writes Jehan Ashmore.

As Afloat reported in July, MARA became the State’s first authority for issuing of maritime planning permissions. The new agency based in Co. Wexford was initiated by government ministers.

Greenore Port which is at the entrance to Carlingford Lough, is where DSG plan to invest €25m in a state-of-the-art operations and maintenance (OMF) base to support offshore wind on the East Coast. The project at the Co. Louth port is due to be completed in early 2026 and will create in excess of 200 jobs.

DSG which has its origins as a stevedore in Cork dating to 1886, is now a nationwide integrated shipping, logistics and maritime services group. In addition to expanding operations with working on wind energy projects of over 20 years.

It’s port operations at Greenore, handles general cargo, project cargo and a variety of commodities including bulk cargoes in animal feed, rock and fertiliser.

Greenore is also the main steel port in Ireland, and is strategically located close to the important Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor, which is connected to the M1 motorway.

The port has completed an extensive dredging project to remove over 7000 tonnes of rock from the port’s harbour bed. This permits the port to accommodate merchant vessels of 60,000 deadweight tonnes (dwt) with a 8.5m draft and with ships of up to 200m length overall (LOA).

Published in Power From the Sea
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“We are in a race for survival…”

The words of Mark Mellett, chair of MARA, the State’s first marine planning regulatory authority, which has just opened for business in Wexford.

If Government targets on renewable energy offshore are met, there will be up to 2,500 wind turbines off the south, west and east coasts, Mellett, former head of the Defence Forces, said in an interview with Wavelengths.

While just five turbines would yield enough power to match Ardnacrusha’s hydroelectric output on the Shannon, more will be needed for creating sustainable aviation fuels and other requirements, Mellett says.

However, this will not be a “developer-led” industry, he said, as the Government is taking a “plan-led approach” to locations, he says, and he pledged commitment to citizen engagement.

He also said he believes there will be “biodiversity net gain” in between offshore wind farm locations.

MARA - Darragh O'Brien T.D. Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Laura Brien Chief Executive of the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) and Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Photograph: Patrick BrowneMARA is launched in Wexford - Darragh O'Brien T.D. Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Laura Brien Chief Executive of the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) and Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Headed by chief executive Laura Brien, MARA’s role will include assessing applications for maritime area consents (MACs), which are required before developers of offshore wind and other projects in the maritime area can make a planning application.

Here is the full interview below

Published in Wavelength Podcast

The first designated maritime area plan (DMAP) for offshore renewable energy (ORE) has been published by Minister for Environment and Climate Eamon Ryan.

The minister announced a consultation on the next phase of offshore wind energy auctions, when he marked the establishment of the new Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) in Wexford today (Thurs July 13) with two Cabinet colleagues.

A summary engagement guide for interactions between the seafood industry and the ORE sector was also published at the event in Wexford.

Mr Ryan said the DMAPS will determine the broad area where ORE projects can be developed, and will act as a management plan for a specific area of our marine waters.

This first ORE DMAP for the south coast outlines an initial “proposed” geographical area within which future offshore renewable energy development may take place, according to the Department of Housing which is responsible for marine planning.

“This area will be refined through a process of public engagement and consultation, expert environmental impact assessments and other expert analysis of the maritime areas, to assess its suitability for offshore renewable energy development,”it says.

“Following a period of public engagement, a draft DMAP - which is anticipated to encompass a significantly smaller footprint than the initially outlined in proposal - will be published,” it says.

Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) Mark Mellett gives his  his launch speech in Wexford at Rosslare EuroportMaritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) Mark Mellett gives his his launch speech in Wexford at Rosslare Europort

“Following this, a further statutory public consultation will take place, before the draft DMAP is presented to the Minister for Housing and both houses of the Oireachtas for approval,” it says.

"Today marks the start of our new plan-led approach to the development of our offshore wind industry, which was supported by both houses of the Oireachtas,” Mr Ryan said.

“It also aligns us with the strategic direction being taken by the world’s leading offshore wind countries like Denmark and Scotland,” he said.

“ The rigorous legislative approach included within the south coast DMAP proposal will offer the best approach to protect local marine environments, fishing communities and boost local community development,”he said.

“It will offer comprehensive opportunities for public engagement, including the engagement of local communities,” he said.

The newly established authority, MARA, will be responsible for regulating development and activity in Ireland’s maritime area.

Its role will include assessing applications for maritime area consents (MACs), which are required before developers of offshore wind and other projects in the maritime area can make a planning application. It will also be responsible for granting licences for certain activities in the maritime area.

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien said that with MARA’s launch, “we now begin the second phase of our all-of-Government approach to the development of offshore renewable energy”.

“Delivery of offshore renewable energy will be crucial as we strive towards our climate goals over the next few years and MARA will provide the regulation and clarity that this emerging industry needs and govern our extensive maritime resource and contribute to our nation’s sustainable future,”he said.

MARA chief executive officer Laura Brien said that Ireland has “one of the highest sea-to-land ratios in Europe and today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in how Ireland will manage that resource”.

“MARA’s remit is wide-ranging reflecting the diverse marine resource that we will steward for this generation and the ones to come,”she said.

“ MARA is confident in our ability to support the governance of our maritime resources. In achieving this, we look forward to working with the wide range of stakeholders in the seafood, tourism, transportation as well as offshore renewable energy sectors to deliver on our role,”she said.

Mr Ryan said that the ORESS 2 consultation would “seek the views of stakeholders on key design principles to help ensure ORESS 2 auctions are attractive to the offshore wind industry, deliver a route to market for significant amounts of clean renewable energy, and ensure value for money for electricity consumers”.

“ORESS 2 auctions will be geographically aligned with available onshore grid capacity,”he said.

“Its first auction, ‘ORESS 2.1’, will see the development of offshore wind within an offshore renewable energy designated area - the south coast DMAP,”he said.

The consultation will run until Friday August 25th,and he said it is expected that ORESS 2.1 will launch before the end of this year or early next year.

A summary engagement guide for interactions between the seafood industry and the ORE sector, which has been published, aims to provide ORE project developers and the fishing/seafood sector with “guidance on how to “engage and co-exist in a constructive manner “throughthe lifecycle of an ORE project.

Seafood/ORE Working Group chairman Capt Robert McCabe said completion of the guide “represents a significant achievement in the managed introduction of ORE into Ireland’s maritime area”.

“I wish to commend the considerable efforts of the working group over the past year in finalising a comprehensive engagement guide within a challenging timeframe,”he said.

A national industrial strategy for offshore wind is also being developed, led by Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney, and is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2024.

It will “complement the suite of upcoming government policies led by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications through the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce”.

"Together with my colleagues across Government, I am committed to creating the environment that will allow a burgeoning offshore wind industry to develop and thrive,”Mr Coveney said.

“The provision of abundant, competitively priced renewable energy can be a key strategic competitive advantage for Ireland’s future reflecting the ambition as set out in my Department’s White Paper on Enterprise,”he said.

“On the path to that goal are a series of important policy, legislative, regulatory and infrastructural steps. Today marks one of those critical steps with the establishment of MARA,”he said.

Published in Marine Planning
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The State’s first authority for issuing maritime planning permissions will be established on July 17th, with Laura Brien as its chief executive.

The Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) “comes about as part of the biggest reform of marine governance in Ireland in almost a century”, Minister for Housing and Local Government Darragh O’Brien said.

He confirmed the July 17th date and Brien’s appointment at the Wind Energy Ireland Offshore Wind 2023 conference in Dublin this week.

Brien is currently the Chief Executive/Registrar of the Health Insurance Authority.

Previously a director at the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) (2014-2020), she held various roles covering energy markets, water, and compliance.

The new agency, based in Wexford, will have responsibility for assessing applications for maritime area consents (MACs), which will be required before developers of offshore wind and other projects in the maritime area can make a planning application.

It will also be responsible for granting licences for certain activities in the maritime area.

“I’m delighted to announce that Laura Brien will be taking on this role,” O’Brien said of the chief executive appointment.

“ She has extensive experience in the area of regulation across a number of industries, and this will be crucial in leading the new agency,” he said.

Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport Eamon Ryan said, "in recent months, we have seen the introduction of a robust policy framework for offshore wind, which has given investors confidence”.

This was “demonstrated by last week’s excellent result of the first offshore renewable energy auction”, Ryan said.

“MARA will play a critical role from its beginnings and I look forward to our offshore renewable targets being met, and to a clean energy transformation for the health and economic prosperity of our citizens,” Ryan said.

Brien said, "MARA will be a key enabler supporting delivery of projects of strategic importance including offshore renewable energy, ports development, cabling and telecoms projects, and many uses of the maritime area”.

“I look forward to working with the chairperson, the board and the broader stakeholder community to achieve MARA’s strategic ambitions in support of sustainable development of our maritime resource,” she said.

Former Defence Forces chief of staff Mark Mellett has already been appointed chair of MARA.

The following people have been appointed to its board: Karen Banks; Dr Ruth Brennan; Dr James Massey; Philip Daly; Niamh Kenny; Patrick Gibbon; Paul O’Neill of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications; Patrick Moran of the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform; Alma Walsh of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage; and Brendan McGrath of the County and City Management Association.

Published in Marine Planning

The State is recruiting for a chief executive designate/chief executive officer for the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA), which will be responsible for regulating marine planning development and activity in Ireland’s maritime area.
 
Reporting to the board of MARA, the CEO will be the key individual in establishing the authority as a world-class maritime governance agency delivering a world-class service on behalf of the people of Ireland.
 
The successful candidate will have:

  • a clear understanding of the role of MARA, the policy context and legislative framework within which it will operate and the broad scope of its functions;

  • a proven track record as a strategic leader and senior manager in a complex environment;

  • a commitment to innovation and changes and willingness to devise and drive change management initiatives to improve performance of the organisation;
  • proven competence in the management of multidisciplinary teams and resources of significant scale; and
  • solid financial, regulatory and governance acumen.

The ideal candidate should have significant experience in some or all of the following:


  • Knowledge of the maritime sector

  • Experience of legal matters including compliance and enforcement

  • Experience of regulatory or licensable activities

  • Experience driving the establishment of new organisations/structures and work flows and/or new organisational strategies and practices
  • 
International experience (eg working abroad or significant engagement with international organisations and process)

Further information on this significant opportunity, including details on how to apply, is available on PublicJobs.ie. The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 3pm on Thursday 20 October.


If you feel you would benefit from a confidential discussion about this role, contact Sarah O’Neil on [email protected]. 


The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and encourage applications under all nine grounds of the Employment Equality Act.

Published in Jobs
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The home club of Laser Radial Olympic Silver medalist Annalise Murphy, the National Yacht Club is a lot more besides. It is also the spiritual home of the offshore sailing body ISORA, the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race and the biggest Flying Fifteen fleet in Ireland. Founded on a loyal membership, the National Yacht Club at the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay enjoys a family ethos and a strong fellowship in a relaxed atmosphere of support and friendship through sailing.

Bathing in the gentle waterfront ambience of Dun Laoghaire on the edge of South County Dublin, the National Yacht Club has graced the waters of the Irish Sea and far beyond for more than a century and in 2020 celebrates its sesquicentennial.  

The club is particularly active in dinghy and keelboat one-design racing and has hosted three World Championships in recent years including the Flying Fifteen Worlds in 2003, 2019 and the SB3 Worlds in 2008. The ISAF Youth Worlds was co-hosted with our neighbouring club the Royal St. George Yacht Club in 2012...

National Yacht Club Facilities

Facilities include a slipway directly accessing Dun Laoghaire Harbour, over eighty club moorings, platform parking, pontoons, fuelling, watering and crane-lifting ensure that the NYC is excellently equipped to cater for all the needs of the contemporary sailor. Berths with diesel, water, power and overnight facilities are available to cruising yachtsmen with shopping facilities being a short walk away. The club is active throughout the year with full dining and bar facilities and winter activities include bridge, snooker, quiz nights, wine tasting and special events.

National Yacht Club History

Although there are references to an active “club” prior to 1870, history records that the present clubhouse was erected in 1870 at a cost of £4,000 to a design by William Sterling and the Kingstown Royal Harbour Boat Club was registered with Lloyds in the same year. By 1872 the name had been changed to the Kingston Harbour Boat Club and this change was registered at Lloyds.

In 1881. the premises were purchased by a Captain Peacocke and others who formed a proprietary club called the Kingstown Harbour Yacht Club again registered at Lloyds. Some six years later in 1877 the building again changed hands being bought by a Mr Charles Barrington. and between 1877 and 1901 the club was very active and operated for a while as the “Absolute Club” although this change of name was never registered.

In 1901, the lease was purchased by three trustees who registered it as the Edward Yacht Club. In 1930 at a time when the Edward Yacht Club was relatively inactive, a committee including The Earl of Granard approached the trustees with a proposition to form the National Yacht Club. The Earl of Granard had been Commodore of the North Shannon Y.C. and was a senator in the W.T.Cosgrave government. An agreement was reached, the National Yacht Club was registered at Lloyds. The club burgee was created, red cross of Saint George with blue and white quarters being sky cloud, sea and surf. The Earl of Granard became the first Commodore.

In July of 1950, a warrant was issued to the National Yacht Club by the Government under the Merchant Shipping Act authorising members to hoist a club ensign in lieu of the National Flag. The new ensign to include a representation of the harp. This privilege is unique and specific to members of the National Yacht Club. Sterling’s design for the exterior of the club was a hybrid French Chateau and eighteenth century Garden Pavilion and today as a Class A restricted building it continues to provide elegant dining and bar facilities.

An early drawing of the building shows viewing balconies on the roof and the waterfront façade. Subsequent additions of platforms and a new slip to the seaward side and most recently the construction of new changing rooms, offices and boathouse provide state of the art facilities, capable of coping with major international and world championship events. The club provides a wide range of sailing facilities, from Junior training to family cruising, dinghy sailing to offshore racing and caters for most major classes of dinghies, one design keelboats, sports boats and cruiser racers. It provides training facilities within the ISA Youth Sailing Scheme and National Power Boat Schemes.

Past Commodores

1931 – 42 Earl of Granard 1942 – 45 T.J. Hamilton 1945 – 47 P.M. Purcell 1947 – 50 J.J. O’Leary 1950 – 55 A.A. Murphy 1955 – 60 J.J. O’Leary 1960 – 64 F. Lemass 1964 – 69 J.C. McConnell 1969 – 72 P.J. Johnston 1972 – 74 L. Boyd 1974 – 76 F.C. Winkelmann 1976 – 79 P.A. Browne 1979 – 83 W.A. Maguire 1983 – 87 F.J. Cooney 1987 – 88 J.J. Byrne 1988 – 91 M.F. Muldoon 1991 – 94 B.D. Barry 1994 – 97 M.P.B. Horgan 1997 – 00 B. MacNeaney 2000 – 02 I.E. Kiernan 2002 – 05 C.N.I. Moore 2005 – 08 C.J. Murphy 2008 – 11 P.D. Ryan 2011 – P. Barrington 2011-2014 Larry Power 2014-2017 Ronan Beirne 2017 – 2019

At A Glance - National Yacht Club 2024 Events

  • 24th February Optimist Sprint
  • 25th February Leinster Schools Team Racing
  • 3rd March Leinster Schools Team Racing
  • 13th April Lift in
  • 20th April Leinster Schools Team Racing
  • 23rd – 24th, 27th – 28th April University Invitational Match Racing Championships
  • 11th – 12th May 29er Easterns and Invitational Match Racing Nationals
  • 25th – 26th May Women at the Helm Regatta
  • 15th June NYC Regatta
  • 22nd – 23rd June Topper Southern Champs
  • 10th July NYC Junior Regatta
  • 5th September NYC End of Season Race
  • 21st – 22nd September F15 East Coast Championships
  • 5th October Start of F15 Frostbite Series
  • 12th October Lift Out
  • 19th – 20th October RS Aero Easterns

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https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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