Major development works planned for Howth harbour

Mixed response to plan from locals at information open day

Increasingly bad  weather and rising sea levels have placed more urgency on protecting Howth’s east pier. Photograph: Alan Betson

Increasingly bad weather and rising sea levels have placed more urgency on protecting Howth’s east pier. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Major development works are planned for the 200-year-old Howth harbour that would help it withstand violent weather conditions in a future storm event.

The historic east pier, a favourite with walkers and tourists, suffers from dangerous “over-topping” of waves. Engineers believe improvement works must be carried out before substantial damage is incurred.

The plans would see reinforcement where the sloping upper pier meets the sea, as well as the addition of a walkway, making it safer for pedestrian use.

Should the project get the go-ahead, the entire east pier would likely be closed to public access for at least eight months, although the bottom section would be off-limits for a slightly shorter duration 

Local responses to the plans were mixed at an information open day on Wednesday hosted by the Department of the Marine.

Plans have not been finalised but are likely to progress to planning later this year.

Should the project get the go-ahead, the entire east pier would likely be closed to the public for at least eight months, although the bottom section would be off-limits for a slightly shorter duration.

The first major development project at the harbour since 1982 will also feature works to the middle pier with the provision of an additional 120m of trawler berths.

Still a working fishing port, Howth harbour was completed in 1813 at an estimated cost of about £132,000 and was originally a mail boat port between Ireland and Britain.

However, increasingly adverse weather and rising sea levels have placed more urgency on protecting Howth’s east pier.

As well as building a new 2m-wide path accessed via steps from the upper tier, the project would add two layers of “concrete armour”, a form of block structures, the heavier of which would weigh between nine and 12 tonnes.

These are designed to sap the energy from approaching waves and 2,500 of the larger units would be required.