Tall Ships festival under way
The Tall Ships festival continues in Dublin’s Docklands with a crew parade and a floating cinema among today’s highlights.
The parade from 3pm will see thousands of crew members from all corners of the globe marching along the North Quay and finishing at the Custom House for a prize giving ceremony.
The flotilla of 40 tall ships and at least a dozen accompanying vessels line both sides of the river Liffey east of the Sean O’Casey Bridge. The city is the final port of call for races that began on July 5th and travelled through ports in France, Spain and Portugal.
Free tours of most of the ships, food stalls, street theatre, concerts and other events are taking in the docklands as part of the event organised by Sail Training International, a charity aimed at educating young people, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.
Live music, featuring The Minutes, Lost Brothers, Ryan Sheridan and Ash kicks off from about 4pm at the Grand Canal Dock and will continue late into the night.
It is the first time Dublin has hosted the Tall Ships festival since 1998, although the fleet has visited Belfast and Waterford since.
Gàrdaí are asking the up to one million people expected to visit the four-day festival to take public transport due to parking and traffic restrictions over the weekend.
Motorists can expect long delays in the city, especially on the northside, AA Roadwatch has warned.
More than 20 streets around the north and south docklands have been closed to traffic until Sunday night, including Custom House Quay, North Wall Quay, City Quay and Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.
The Samuel Beckett Bridge will also be closed during the day for the duration of the festival but will open between midnight and 8am.
South city traffic wishing to cross the city at the Beckett bridge will be diverted via Pearse Street and Butt Bridge.
North city traffic wishing to cross the bridge will be diverted via Amiens Street and Talbot Memorial Bridge.
Motorists using the East Link toll bridge during the festival will pay a special reduced rate of €1 but there will be bridge lifts in operation on Sunday as the ships depart.
Gardaí have warned there will be no parking within the festival cordon on both sides of the Liffey. However, there will be parking in the usual city centre car parks, the Garda said.