Plans for new Dun Laoghaire berth spark opposition

Move to facilitate arrival of some of the world’s biggest liners draws sailors’ ire

Royal Cork’s Anthony O’Leary and the crew of Antix, winners of IRC One of last weekend’s Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Easter Challenge regatta on the Solent. Photo: Paul Wyeth

Royal Cork’s Anthony O’Leary and the crew of Antix, winners of IRC One of last weekend’s Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Easter Challenge regatta on the Solent. Photo: Paul Wyeth

 
Dun Laoghaire

individual sailors have raised objections to the new quay which they say will ‘destroy sheltered waters where generations have learned to sail’.

The company has unveiled the €18m proposal on the cusp of the summer season, drawing the ire of a 5,000-strong sailing and boating community.

The plan is to facilitate some of the world’s biggest cruise liners berthing inside the harbour directly in front of the yacht clubs at Ireland’s biggest sailing centre. The aim is to regenerate the harbour and town following the loss of the HSS Stena car ferry between Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead in February.

A public consultation is underway following DLHC presentations with over 20 separate stakeholders groups and a company study that says this year’s cruise visits could generate €7 million.

Over 1,500 sailors have now signed an online petition ‘Save Dun Laoghaire Dinghy Sailing’ set up by Laser sailor Peter Doherty, who claims the plan would cut the harbour in half for sailing purposes. The petition is available here: www.change.org/p/dun-laoghaire-harbour-company-save-dun-laoghaire-dinghy-sailing

Second Captains

A total of 22 cruise ships are expected to berth this summer, bringing up to 100,000 passengers and crew to the port.

The Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) summer programme that starts at the end of this month provides racing three times a week for a combined racing fleet of over 200 boats and some 1,200 sailors. While most of this racing occurs out in the bay, sailing inside the harbour walls, by sailing schools and yacht clubs, is an important resource for tuition including weekly racing by a vintage fleet of up to 30 Water Wag dinghies.

The company – a state owned commercial entity – says the development of the new cruise berth facility is essential to bring new business.

The plan will involve the construction of a new quay wall and dredging of the harbour to facilitate ships up to 300 metres in length, (twice the length of the former HSS ferry) which cannot be currently accommodated anywhere else in Ireland other than Cobh in Cork.

Commercial benefit

Roger BannonDublin Port

But company chief executive Gerry Dunne says a study expects a €7 million spend from the 22 visits this year, 30 per cent of which is to be spent in the Dun Laoghaire area. An audit of each cruise visit this summer will be conducted.

Royal Cork’s Anthony O’Leary’s defended his RORC Easter Challenge crown on the Solent last weekend but this year the sole Irish crew faced a new challenge having exchanged their Ker 39 – which has twice taken them to Commodores’ Cup victory – for Marc Glimcher’s red-hulled Catapult, the ‘big boat’ in their winning team last year. O’Leary made short work of UK opposition in IRC one division. The assymetric boat returns to home waters for June’s Dun Laoghaire to Dingle offshore race.

A reported 620 recreational sailors were rescued by Irish lifeboat crews in the last five years and now the RNLI is service seeking sailors’ help in a safety survey. The RNLI is asking people to log on to www.rnliyachtingIreland.substance.coop and complete the 15-minute survey.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.