Tall ships set course for Dublin
Up to a million people are expected in Dublin this weekend for the end of the prestigious Tall Ships Race.
Some of the 40 vessels have already begun to arrive in Dublin Port, where they will line the north and south quays of the River Liffey.
A floating open air cinema showing the movie Jaws is among the highlights of the free four-day celebration, which opens on Thursday.
It also features 55 music acts and more than 100 street performers, from trapeze artists to wake boarding.
Elsewhere, Grand Canal Dock will host a family zone, Hanover Quay will come alive with skateboarding, beatboxing and music, and a photography exhibition and a range of workshops will be held in the CHQ.
Project manager Mary Weir said the nostalgia around Tall Ships will attract young and old to the capital. The race was last in Dublin in 1998 and has since visited Belfast and Waterford.
She said: “It’s unique in that we all can remember seeing paintings of Tall Ships down as far as Capel Street Bridge in Dublin, but now we don’t see them as much any more, so I think that actually draws people. It’s a very family-orientated event.”
On Sunday, Dublin Port will stage a stunning Parade of Sail as the ships depart the capital and an attempt will be made to break the world record for the number of people participating in Rock the Boat in aid of the charity Foroige.
The race is presented by sponsor Szczecin, a port city in Poland, and organised by Sail Training International, a charity which educates young people through sail training regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.
Eight young trainees from Dublin were on board the Guayas, the training ship of the Ecuadorian Navy, when eight sails were damaged en route to Ireland in 70 mph winds and 30 foot waves.
Captain Amillar Villavicencio admitted the weather was terrible for the youngsters, many of who were sick.
“It’s a great experience,” he added.
Gardaí and organisers have appealed for visitors to use public transport into the city and warned drinking alcohol in public areas will be prohibited and will be rigorously enforced throughout the event.
Motorists are advised to use ringroads around the capital.
Superintendent Sean Ward said a comprehensive policing plan aims to create the safest environment possible for visitors and thosetaking part in the event.
“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated,” he added.