#JeanieJohnston - Jeanie Johnston which is undergoing maintenance at Dublin Graving Docks Ltd was joined this week by Dutch flagged Arklow Rambler at the ship-repair facility that faces closure by Dublin Port Company over plans to redevelop Alexandra Basin, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As previously reported, Dublin Graving Docks which employs around 26 people at a site within the port estate area of Alexandra Basin is where DPC propose a €200m project to accommodate much bigger cruise ships at a dedicated terminal as outlined at a recent planning hearing by An Bord Pleanála.
Dublin Graving Docks which operates the port-owned 200m long graving dock is the only ship-repairer and conversion business left remaining in the country's largest port.
However the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) project (see website) for cruise berths would also involve a reconfiguration of other berths throughout the basin. In addition the plans are to enable larger deep-drafted cargoships and more quayside space to include the site of the dry dock.
Currently trade throughput is around 29 million tonnes though the port's strategy is to plan ahead so to handle 40 million tonnes by 2040. This is where the ABR forms phase one of the Dublin Port Company's Masterplan (2012-2040) which sets out the future of the port over the next four decades.
Jeanie Johnston is a replica 19th century barque based on the original built in Quebec Canada in 1847 that transported 2,500 people to North America. Since her acquisition by Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) in 2005, she has been dry-docked twice at the nearby facility.
The DDDA brought the Tralee registered tallship as part of a river regeneration project and appointed Aiseanna Mara Teoranta on their behalf to operate the vessel as a tourist attraction.
Jeanie Johnston, the replica 19th century barque is undergoing her most extensive maintenance dry-docking since DDDA's purchase in 2002. She is seen as a fresh layer of primer paint is applied to her timber hull. Photo Jehan Ashmore
Last year she welcomed 20,000 visitors and this year there has been a rise in Canadian tourists due to more flights to Ireland, in which they have heard the story on board of how Irish emigrants fled the famine and sought a better life in the New World.
As she lays in Graving Dock No.2, this is a far removed environment to her role at her berth close to the Convention Centre.
Her maintenance programme requires intensive cleaning of her hull, removal of debris notably along the waterline and any replacement of timber plus applying layers of paint. On completion of the work she is to return shipshape and resume her museum role on 1 November.