Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company is seeking submissions from the public on plans for a new cruise berth in the Harbour.
The cruise industry has been identified as one way in which the lost revenue from the Stenaline ferry might be replaced, but it is also seen as an important opportunity for the tourism market in Dún Laoghaire and surrounding areas. Since cruise ships are getting bigger in size, they require deeper water and longer berths to accommodate them. Cobh is currently the only port in Ireland that can accommodate the “super” cruise ships and plans have been drawn up to provide such facilities in Dún Laoghaire.
You can see details of the plans here. This is an excellent presentation that shows exactly what is proposed.
The Harbour Company argues that the expansion and development of the cruise business would offer significant economic benefits to Dún Laoghaire and the surrounding areas, including expenditure by disembarked passenger and crew; payments to excursion operators by cruise companies; harbour fees; and purchases by cruise ships of local supplies while in harbour.
However, in my view, there is a real problem with the size of this proposed development, particularly the impact it will have on sailing in Dún Laoghaire Harbour, which is, at the end of the day, a leisure harbour rather than a strictly commercial one. Regard must be had for the leisure users of the harbour, who have been key stakeholders since the 1830s, and who include thousands of sailors. I am particularly concerned for the hundreds of junior sailors who use the central part of the Harbour (which is much more sheltered than the water outside the Harbour) for learning to sail, practising exercises, racing, and enjoying our coastal amenity.
The proposed new cruise berth will extend well beyond the centre of the Harbour and include a steel “catwalk” between the stanchons against which the cruise ships will be moored (see image below). Even small dinghies will not be able to sail under this “catwalk”, thereby seriously cutting down the open space available for group sailing and exercises.
If you would like to make a submission, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to
Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company,
Submissions must be made by 5pm on Monday the 13th of April 2015.
You can also read a FAQ here.
Finally, although the consultation document suggests that these plans have been “prepared” by the Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group (made up of the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company; Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council; and the Dún Laoghaire BID Company), elected councillors were only briefed on the plans after the fact and had no part in drawing them up.
Full details can be found on the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company web site.