#dlhc – Royal St. George Yacht Club Commodore Justin McKenna has resigned as a board member of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) with immediate effect.
McKenna told members of his decision at a meeting of the country's biggest sailing club last Friday. The meeting was held to discuss controversial DLHC proposals on the new cruise liner berthing arrangements inside the harbour that has drawn the ire of many Dun Laoghaire sailors.
The Minister of Sport appointed McKenna to the Harbour Company Board in March 2014, as Afloat.ie reported at the time.
As the Irish Times reported last Friday there is growing dissatisfaction among 5,000 sailing and boating fans over proposals that, say objectors, will curtail sailing inside the harbour walls.
Royal St. George members have been urged to let their views be known on the 435–metre long quay to be built next to their clubhouse. The club also wants individual sailing classes to make submissions.
It follows an online petition set up by sailors that has attracted 1500 signatures to save 'Dun Laoghaire dinghy sailing'
Friday's meeting was followed by an open session for Royal St. George members. An 'abbreviated version' of the points raised has appeared on club facebook page as follows:
• The councillors should be advised that the city of Venice is considering banning all big cruise liners because they are causing untold damage to the fabric of the city. The income from these liners is valued at 10c per passenger
• Cruise ships are good for Dun Laoghaire, anchored in the bay and we welcome SMALL ships in the harbour.
• Each sailing class should make a submission and encourage submissions
• The economic benefit to Dun Laoghaire is not good from the passenger perspective. There will be initial public interest. However, this will fall off over time as people become bored with them
• The only beneficiaries will be the coach tour operators
• Some basic calculations would indicate that it will take + 100 yrs. to recover the construction cost
• The Dublin Port proposal is in direct competition yet it is only a few miles away.
• The consultation period closes next Monday and it is important that the club advises members to object to the planning board a.s.a.p.
• Dun Laoghaire is the major centre for youth training on the island of Ireland. This proposal will have a detrimental if not fatal effect on this activity
• The scale of the ships is difficult to comprehend and is out of character with a Victorian harbour.
• International Sailing events will not come to Dun Laoghaire. Tourism Ireland will not be happy.
• The Water wag class commenced sailing in the harbour in 1887 and is one of the oldest racing classes in the world.
• Irish Lights have conducted many studies of the harbour bed and a considerable area is covered in granite. Dredging cost numbers will be almost double the cost estimated and Dublin Port will be gaining from the anchoring dues.
DLHC says the plan is to facilitate some of the world's biggest cruise liners berthing inside the harbour. The aim is to regenerate the harbour and town following the loss of the HSS Stena car ferry between Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead in February.
A total of 22 cruise ships are expected to berth this summer, bringing up to 100,000 passengers and crew to the port bringing up to €7m in revenues, 30% of whicdh will be spent locally in Dun Laoghaire, according to DLHC.
A public consultation is underway following DLHC presentations with over 20 separate stakeholders groups.
Observations or comments can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by post to Jean Finnegan, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, Harbour Lodge, Crofton Rd, Dun Laoghaire, anytime up to 5pm on Monday, 13th April 2015.
A copy of the DLHC presentation is HERE.