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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

At noon this Christmas Eve at the end of the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew will gather to lay wreaths at sea and remember 15 of their lifeboat colleagues who were lost while on service in gale force conditions to the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock, back in 1895.

The annual ceremony, which has become a Christmas Eve tradition for the station, also remembers all those who have drowned around our coasts, in rivers, inland waters and abroad.

The ceremony will see lifeboat crew joined by members of the Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard and Civil Defence, who will form an honour guard. Both Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboat will launch, and the crew will lay wreaths off the east pier in view of the public. This year broadcaster, PJ Gallagher, will read an account of the disaster, published at the time of the tragedy.

Joe O’Donnell of ‘Wedding Pipers’ will play a lament from the Lighthouse Battery and musician, William Byrne, will perform the ‘Ballad of the Palme.’

On 24 December 1895, the 'Civil Service No. 1' Dun Laoghaire lifeboat was wrecked while proceeding to the assistance of the SS Palme of Finland. The entire crew, 15 in total, were drowned. The lifeboat capsized 600 yards from the distressed vessel and, although every effort was made to send help to the lifeboat and to the Palme, nothing could be done.

The second Dun Laoghaire lifeboat 'Hannah Pickard' also launched but it too capsized under sail, fortunately, all crew returned safely. The Captain, his wife, child and 17 crew were eventually rescued on the 26th of December by the SS Tearaght.

The short ceremony takes place under the lighthouse at the end of the East Pier. It includes an ecumenical blessing, a reading from a news article published at the time and music.

Commenting on the event, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ed Totterdell said, ‘The loss of fifteen lifeboat volunteers devastated the local community at the time but the RNLI here kept going. Volunteer lifeboat crew came forward then, as they still do, to help those in trouble at sea and on inland waters. We hold this ceremony to honour their memory but also to remember all those we have lost to drowning.’

‘Our lifeboat crew is on call this Christmas as they are every day of the year, and we hope everyone has a safe and peaceful time. We are also delighted to welcome back PJ Gallagher, who was a valued member of our crew when he lived in Dun Laoghaire and who remains a great friend of the lifeboat service in Ireland. People are very welcome to come and join us at the end of the East Pier, it’s our Christmas tradition and one that is very special to us.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Warm tributes were paid to Dun Laoghaire Harbourmaster Captain Simon Coate at his retirement party held at the National Yacht Club on Thursday evening (December 15th).

Dun Laoghaire County Council Chief executive Frank Curran joined colleagues Aidan Blighe, Director of Municipal Services and Operations Manager Tim Ryan in recognising Simon for over 30 years of service to the town as Harbour Master and Port Operations Manager.

The special gathering, which included the Coate family, had representatives from the harbour community; coastguard members, yacht clubs, watersports members and waterfront businesses. 

The Coates (from left Linda, Rachel, Simon, Céline and Jonny) at Simon's retirement party held at the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire HarbourThe Coates (from left Linda, Rachel, Simon, Céline and Jonny) at Simon's retirement party held at the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Captain Coate is handing over a bustling scene both afloat and ashore to incoming Harbourmaster Harry Duggan.

Changing of the watch - Simon Coate hands over to new Dun Laoghaire Harbourmaster Harry DugganChanging of the watch - Simon Coate hands over to new Dun Laoghaire Harbourmaster Harry Duggan (left)

As Afloat reported previously, significant changes have arrived at Dun Laoghaire Harbour this summer as the country's biggest marine leisure centre - and Ireland's largest man-made harbour -  gears up for a brighter maritime future under the new ownership of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

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Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is offering an exciting opportunity for watersports providers to occupy premises in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The move is part of an effort by the local authority, which took control of the harbour in 2018, to grow public engagement with watersports in what’s widely renowned as a centre for sailing in Ireland.

“The ambition for this project is to provide a base/facility for public-facing watersports providers in this historical setting,” it says.

“Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is committed to encouraging and supporting the growth in sports participation generally, and specifically in watersports along the coastline and within the harbour.

“The proposal should help activate and enliven the space, bringing life and amenity to this part of the harbour,” it adds, referring to the Coal Harbour where the three self-contained off-grid container-based commercial units will be found.

Applications are due by 5pm on Friday 13 January 2023 via the eTenders website.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI hosted their first annual "Jingle Mingle" in their RNLI shop on Saturday, 26 November and brought in €2,500 for the charity. 

While raising vital funds, this event brought together and celebrated all the volunteers at Dun Laoghaire RNLI who dedicate their time to saving lives at sea.

Held in Dun Laoghaire’s Lifeboat Station and RNLI shop on the East Pier of Dun Laoghaire’s famous 200+-year-old Victorian port, the crew of volunteers invited all locals and visitors to ‘Jingle Mingle’ with them. The station was decorated with Christmas lights, and live music from the Steadfast Brass Band made sure the event was heard loud and clear!

After Christmas shopping in Dun Laoghaire’s RNLI shop, customers were invited down to the waterfront to have a hot chocolate and gingerbread person courtesy of Dun Laoghaire RNLI to say thank you for supporting the charity that saves lives at sea this Christmas. Not one to miss out on the Christmas goodies, Santa traded his sleigh for the Anna Livia, Dun Laoghaire’s all-weather Trent-class lifeboat, and greeted everyone into the station.

After Christmas shopping in Dun Laoghaire’s RNLI shop, customers were invited down to the waterfront to have a hot chocolate and gingerbread person courtesy of Dun Laoghaire RNLIAfter Christmas shopping in Dun Laoghaire’s RNLI shop, customers were invited down to the waterfront to have a hot chocolate and gingerbread person courtesy of Dun Laoghaire RNLI

The shop made four special Christmas hampers and anyone who bought something from the shop was entered into the lucky draw. The retail hamper is particularly special to the Dun Laoghaire RNLI because it harks back to a tradition between the volunteer lifeboat crew and the Kish lighthouse keepers from over 30 years ago.

Eamon O’Leary, Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s Deputy Launching Authority, remembers:

‘Before Kish Lighthouse went automatic in 1992, we decided that we would deliver the lighthouse keepers a hamper to share some of our Christmas cheer. The last time we set off into Dublin Bay, with Santa on crew, was in December 1991 on our former Waveney-class lifeboat the Lady of Lancashire. We’re delighted to see the festive spirit continue 30 years on through our shop!'

The RNLI’s shops are one way to support the charity this Christmas. Pauline McGann, RNLI Community Manager for Leinster, says:

‘The RNLI shop in Dun Laoghaire is a vital part of the coastal community because it gives us a space to raise funds for the lifeboat in an area where the RNLI has a deep and significant history in the local culture.

Just like the volunteers who have been going out to sea on the Dun Laoghaire lifeboat for 180 years, our shop volunteers are committed to saving lives at sea. They provide exemplar customer service with their extensive knowledge of the RNLI and the products we provide. From our popular charity Christmas cards to hats and clothing to jigsaws and games – we have a huge selection for the family!’

Barbara Taylor, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Shop Manager, thanks everyone who came down to support the event:

‘We are so thankful for everyone who came down to visit this weekend; in the shop we pride ourselves on our engaging interactions with our customers - we get so much from working with the public, and it means a lot to do something that we know is so meaningful for our amazing lifeboat crew.

Christmas is a special time for us here in Dun Laoghaire, and we were pleased to invite the community to come down to the Lifeboat Station to ‘Jingle Mingle’ with our volunteers! This is an event that we look forward to doing again next year.’

Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s shop is in the station on 2 Queens Road next to the East Pier. The shop opening times are: 

  • Monday 1 pm – 5 pm 
  • Tuesday 10 am – 5 pm  
  • Wednesday 10 am – 5 pm 
  • Thursday 10 am – 5 pm 
  • Friday 10 am – 5 pm  
  • Saturday 1 pm – 5 pm 
  • Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm 
Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Being a competitive sailor, I love to compete and especially love a win here and there! And so when I heard that our town had won the best town award from the Academy of Urbanism, I was delighted. We all know the amount of work that has been going on in the town, along the waterfront and everywhere in between to make Dún Laoghaire a great place to live, work and play. (See below for details on the award and judges' report)

As the current chairman of the Dún Laoghaire Business Association (DLBA) I am immensely proud of our town and of the award. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my fellow retailers who collectively bring a wonderful retail mix to the town and to everyone who lives, works and shops in Dún Laoghaire. Without you all, we would have no town, no waterfront, and little impetus to make our town thrive.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour - The Coastal Mobility Cycle Route and Village Public Realm project, connecting urban villages, bathing places, walks and parks along the coast, played a big part in the selection process Photo: Peter Barrow/Simon CoateDun Laoghaire Harbour - The Coastal Mobility Cycle Route and Village Public Realm project, connecting urban villages, bathing places, walks and parks along the coast, played a big part in the selection process Photo: Peter Barrow/Simon Coate

The Christmas lights are on and give a great festive feel to the town. Can I encourage you all to shop local and, when shopping online, to look for the .ie sites, so shopping local and reducing those air miles? 
And the government this year have increased the amount that companies can annually gift their staff up to €1000 in Gift Vouchers. Good news for everyone. No better way to gift your team members/employees than a gift voucher from their favourite shop. And if that just so happens to be Viking Marine get your Voucher right here.

Dún Laoghaire DLRCC Cathaoirleach Mary Hanafin receives the winning town awardDún Laoghaire DLRCC Cathaoirleach Mary Hanafin receives the winning town award

The Coastal Mobility Cycle Route and Village Public Realm project, connecting urban villages, bathing places, walks and parks along the coast, played a big part in the selection process

The judges were particularly impressed with the energy in the town, the joint leadership from all key stakeholders, the inclusive nature of voluntary and business groups and the willingness to incorporate active travel, landmark buildings like the Lexicon and our natural environment into a vibrant town. The Coastal Mobility Cycle Route and Village public realm project, connecting urban villages, bathing places, walks and parks along the coast, played a big part in the selection process and in our town winning the award.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council also received a framed copy of a ‘great place’ poem that captures the essence of Dún Laoghaire, written and read by the Academy’s Poet-in-Residence Ian McMillanDun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council also received a framed copy of a ‘great place’ poem that captures the essence of Dún Laoghaire, written and read by the Academy’s Poet-in-Residence Ian McMillan

The Judges Report detailing why Dún Laoghaire won the Urbanism award makes for interesting reading.

Dun Laoghaire at night as seen from the town's East Pier lighthouseDun Laoghaire at night as seen from the town's East Pier lighthouse

Published in Viking Marine

The RNLI volunteer crew at Dun Laoghaire Harbour will feature in the new series of popular BBC Two programme Saving Lives at Sea this Thursday, October 27.

Featuring footage captured on helmet cameras, the primetime documentary series lets viewers witness rescues through the eyes of the RNLI lifesavers while meeting the people behind the pagers.

The popular 10-part documentary is now in its seventh series and includes the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews from around Ireland and the UK.

Including interviews with lifeboat crews, the series will also hear from the rescuees and their families who are here to tell the tale, thanks to the RNLI.

This forthcoming episode on BBC2 at 7pm* on Thursday, 27 October, includes Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s rescue in May 2018 when the volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat on back-to-back call outs, the second of which was to assist a hen party on a motor boat that became fouled on pots.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI crew member Gary Hayes who will feature in the upcoming episode, says: ‘We are delighted to see this rescue featuring on this year’s series of Saving Lives at Sea. Our lifesaving work would not be possible without donations from the public and we are delighted to be able to share a frontline view of the rescues they support with their kind generosity.’

In 2021, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 1,078 times, coming to the aid of 1,485 people, 21 of whom were lives saved. Dun Laoghaire RNLI launched their all-weather and inshore lifeboat 78 times, bringing 78 people to safety.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The winter lift-out of sailing cruisers was completed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Saturday, October 15th

Approximately sixty yachts and cruisers were hauled out of the water in perfect weather conditions as the 2022 summer season ended at Ireland's biggest boating centre.

The National Yacht Club and neighbouring Royal St. George YC lifted out approximately 30 cruisers apiece using a mobile crane on their decks.

The boats will overwinter on the hardstanding at the waterfront clubhouses, where space is at a premium.

It's not the end of all sailing by any means, however. The winter DBSC Turkey Shoot Series, which attracts up to 70 boats, mainly from the town marina, is scheduled to start on Nov 6th, and the DMYC Dinghy Frostbite Series will run in harbour racing until March already has 75 entries for its November 6th first race.

The removal of Dublin Bay Sailing Club's (DBSC) West Pier Starting Hut, in place for summer yacht racing, had to be aborted early this morning due to exceptionally high and gusting winds on the Dun Laoghaire Pier site.

The club will try the operation again next week, although high winds are forecasted as well.

The hut is wintered each year on Traders Wharf in the Coal Harbour area, with the kind permission of MGM Boats.

DBSC, under the supervision of Chris Moore, makes arrangements to paint and attend to necessary repairs during the winter lay-up.

The next event for the country's biggest yacht racing organisation is its popular winter AIB sponsored Turkey Shoot Series that will be hosted this year by the Royal Irish Yacht Club from November 6th. More on the 22nd here.

Published in DBSC

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has wasted no time in getting on with its work to improve Dun Laoghaire Harbour with the demolition of the old Ice Plant on the Coal Quay.

In April, the Council was one of 13 coastal local authorities to be approved for funding under a Government Brexit scheme.

One of the grants awarded was €125,000 for the Ice Plant demolition, and six months later, this work commenced. 

The 'Ice House', as it is known locally, was built in 1972 to provide ice for the fishing fleet but has not been operational in the past 30 years.

More recently, the redundant building had been used for fish sales but has not operated as such for the past five years. 

Coming down - the 'Ice House' at the Coal Quay is being removed at Dun Laoghaire HarbourComing down - the 'Ice House' at the Coal Quay is being removed at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Afloat

In February, as part of a master plan to improve connections between Dun Laoghaire town centre and its harbour, the wall that long blocked the sea view from Marine Road was demolished

Removal of the sea wall at St. Michael’s plaza (previously Victoria Wharf) to the right of the Royal St. George Yacht Club has opened up a bright new vista for the town.

It is one of several efforts by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County council to improve the physical connection between the town centre and its waterfront.

€1,348M of the Brexit funding obtained will be used for Berth Fenders and related matters, and €1,744M will be for East Pier Revetment repairs.

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Afloat.ie recently highlighted some of the significant changes at Dun Laoghaire Harbour under the stewardship of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

One of those that’s been arguably less heralded is the introduction last year of a new safety patrol boat service in the harbour, which has contributed to it becoming a safer place for the pandemic-era influx of kayakers and paddleboarders alongside the regular boaters.

The safety service was recently the focus of a segment on RTÉ Radio 1’s Today with Claire Byrne, with correspondent Evelyn O’Rourke visiting the harbour to learn more about the vital service, the crucial importance of water safety and how it fits into the harbour’s overall ambitions.

Operations manager Tim Ryan tells O’Rourke that the harbour wants to actively invite leisure users to feel welcome and safe there, and that the team is encouraging people to use its waters.

The full segment can be heard on the RTÉ Radio 1 website HERE.

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