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Preparations for the RMS Queen Mary II


Huge preparations underway as Dún Laoghaire gears up for mini-cruise fest to celebrate arrival of world’s largest ocean liner – the RMS Queen Mary II

  • Magnificent QM2 arrives at 7am approx
  • FREE Vintage bus from Dún Laoghaire to Glasthule from 10am
  • Boat trips out to circle QM2 with Dublin Bay Cruises (see www.dublinbaycruises.com)
  • Face painting at St. Michael’s Church from 2pm
  • Street music and dancing at St. Michael’s Church from 2pm
  • Special offers throughout the town
  • First of 14 cruise arrivals to Dún Laoghaire this year

Major preparations are underway in Dún Laoghaire as the town gears up for a mini-cruise festival to celebrate this Thursday’s gala arrival of the largest ocean liner in the world – the RMS Queen Mary II.

The spectacular cruise ship carrying 3,000 passengers and 1,200 crew will berth in Dún Laoghaire for the first time ever at 7am this Thursday (16th May 2013).

A five star welcome will see passengers greeted by a piper and Irish dancers as they embark at the old coal harbour from 7am.

The Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholders’ Group has also installed an advanced wireless facility in Dún Laoghaire so passengers, residents and visitors to the town can enjoy extensive free internet access throughout Dún Laoghaire extending as far as the cruise ship itself during their stay.

A ‘mini cruise-festival’ for both cruise and domestic visitors on the day will include family entertainment, boat trips circling the Queen Mary, face painting, a complimentary vintage bus and live music and dancing and special offers throughout the town.

A new IPhone app for visitors to Dún Laoghaire will launch this Thursday morning (16th May 2013) in time the arrival of over 4,000 cruise passengers at 7am.  The ‘CityShopper’ app will offer discounts on tourist attractions, special offers in bars and restaurants and retail deals to visitors to Dún Laoghaire from this week.

Don McManus, Chairman of the Dún Laoghaire Business Association says excitement is rife among the Dún Laoghaire Business community:

“The arrival of the Queen Mary II on Thursday marks the beginning of a new era for Dún Laoghaire.  The business community has been hugely supportive in funding the cruise welcome and associated publicity.  We have big plans to continue with the rapid development of the lucrative cruise market in the coming years. Last year saw the arrival of just two cruise ships carrying 300 crew and passengers.  Following the establishment of a Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group and an aggressive international marketing strategy, this year we will welcome fourteen cruise ships with over 30,000 passengers and crew!”

The initiative is supported by Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Council and the Dún Laoghaire Business Association.


Dún Laoghaire Welcomes Six Cruise Ships from May – July 2013


Up to six cruise vessels are expected to use the facilities at Dún Laoghaire from May – July this year, bringing potentially up to 15,000 passengers and crew ashore. The highlight of the season is likely to be the visit on Thursday, 16th May of the Queen Mary II – the flagship vessel of the famous Cunard Line – with 3,000 passengers and several hundred crew members aboard.

In addition to the Queen Mary II, Dún Laoghaire will be welcoming five more cruise ships from May – July 2013 on:

  • Wednesday, 22nd May
  • Tuesday, 7th July
  • Wednesday, 17th July
  • Thursday, 18th July
  • Friday, 26th July

One of the objectives of the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Master Plan, published in 2011, was to enhance Dún Laoghaire’s attractiveness as a gateway for tourists to Ireland by offering state-of- the-art berthing and terminal facilities to ferry and cruise operators.

For more information, please visit http://dlharbour.ie/visit-us/cruise/


Give it Some Welly at the RNLI Welly Walk on Sunday, 5th May 2013

Welly Walk Dun Laoghaire Pier - Meet the Lifeboat Crew

MAYDAY is Ireland’s national fundraising event for the RNLI, supported by John West. RNLI volunteers rescue an average of 20 people a week around the wild coasts of Ireland. This MAYDAY, the RNLI are asking you to give it some welly and raise funds to save lives at sea.

This Sunday, meet the crew of the RNLI lifeboats at the Inshore Lifeboat Station and enjoy some family fun on the East Pier in Dún Laoghaire. Events include facepainting, balloon modelling and ‘pitch & toss’.

Further information is available here.


14 Cruise Vessels Expected at
Dún Laoghaire Harbour in 2013


Marketing Push in US Heralds Most Successful Ever Cruise Vessel Season for Dún Laoghaire.

Following a trip to the United States over the St. Patrick’s Day period by representatives of the Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group to promote Dún Laoghaire as a destination for visits by cruise ships, it is expected that the harbour will – this year – experience its most successful season.

Up to 14 cruise vessels are expected to use the facilities at Dún Laoghaire, bringing potentially up to 30,000 passengers and crew ashore. The highlight of the season is likely to be the visit on 16th May of the Queen Mary II – the flagship vessel of the famous Cunard Line – with 3,000 passengers and several hundred crew members aboard.

The cruise line business is a growing market sector in the tourism industry.  Ireland has recently begun to capitalise on this market and, over the last few years, has succeeded in attracting a growing number of visits by cruise liners.  However, the number of trips to Ireland represents a very small share of this potential market and the opportunity exists to grow this business to the Irish economy quite significantly.

The Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group has engaged in a vigorous marketing campaign, particularly in the United States, to enable Dún Laoghaire to tap into this lucrative market.

To ensure that the harbour is also capable of catering for the new generation of larger cruise vessels, the Stakeholder Group has initiated a pre-application consultation with An Bord Pleanála (under Section 37 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000) in regard to proposals for the construction of a new quay in Dún Laoghaire Harbour to cater for vessels of up to c.340m long.

In general, cruise liners are getting bigger, but currently Cobh is the only harbour in Ireland that can accommodate next generation of ships.  The absence of a harbour in Dublin Bay with the capacity to handle the next generation cruise liners has been identified as a serious inhibitor to growing Ireland’s market share in this sector.

Spokesperson for the Cruise Stakeholder Group, Patrick Delaney, said: “We are delighted with the results of our latest marketing efforts in the United States and the growing recognition by cruise operators and passengers alike of the unique attractions offered by Dún Laoghaire Harbour.”

“The proposal for the construction of the new quay is a hugely exciting development that has the potential to deliver significant economic benefit to Dún Laoghaire, the greater Dublin area and the country in general,” he said.

One of the objectives of the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Master Plan, published in 2011, was to enhance Dún Laoghaire’s attractiveness as a gateway for tourists to Ireland by offering state-of- the-art berthing and terminal facilities to ferry and cruise operators. According to Mr Delaney: “The proposed new quay can make this a reality and greatly enhance Dún Laoghaire’s attractiveness as a cruise destination.

“A report commissioned from in 2011 from DKM Economic Consultants, STS Sustainable Transport Solutions International, and Arup found that a new cruise facility at Dún Laoghaire Harbour would bring significant additional benefits to the town and surrounding area.  The report said that 168 jobs would be provided during the construction phase of the facility. There would be 48 jobs created at the start of operations, with the potential for a substantial increase as the cruise business developed.”

“I am sure that everyone in Dún Laoghaire will work to ensure that the cruise passengers who visit our harbour and our town this year will have a truly memorable experience,” added Patrick Delaney.


Further Information

About the Stakeholder Group

The Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group is made up of the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company; Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council; Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Chamber of Commerce; and the Dún Laoghaire Business Association.


Pre-Application Consultation

What is being initiated by the Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group is what is known as a Pre-Application Consultation with An Bord Pleanála under Section 37 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000. Under the Act an applicant who considers that a proposed development meets the criteria set out in the Act to qualify as A Strategic Development Infrastructure is required, before making the planning application, to enter into discussions with An Bord Pleanála in relation to the proposed development.


The purpose of the Consultation is to determine whether An Bord Pleanála agree with the Stakeholder Group that the project in question amounts to Strategic Infrastructure under the Planning & Development Acts, such that an application for the new quay and berth facility can be progressed through an application directly to An Bord Pleanála under Section 37 of the Planning & Development Act 2000 – 2010.


Dún Laoghaire Harbour Music Festival


Dún Laoghaire Harbour will come alive on the 27th April with the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Music Festival. The Festival is supported by Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company.

The Festival will run from 2pm to 5pm on the 27th April on the Harbour Plaza in Dún Laoghaire. It is an alcohol free event with entry free to the public with all funds to cover the show generated by the support of local businesses. Speaking about the event, Lloyd Barber, festival promoter said: “We have had tremendous support from Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, The Dún Laoghaire Small Business Association and a variety of local businesses who see this as a great platform to draw new people to Dún Laoghaire from all over Dublin which in turn will generate business for the town and its retailers whilst supporting the live music scene.”

The Festival will kick off at 2pm on the Harbour Plaza and has local star in the making, 12 year old Stina O’Neill opening the show. Speaking about the local star, Mr. Barber, said: “I first came across Stina on a wet and wild afternoon playing her heart out to a few frozen seagulls and her mum as an audience on the East Pier. She was absolutely amazing, so we exchanged numbers and here we are now. We are delighted she can open the show and can’t wait to hear her voice through a professional production.”

The next act is up is local band CRASH who will include a variety of their original material with a selection of well-known covers thrown in. CRASH have toured Ireland and the UK for the past two years with major shows lined up for 2013 finishing the year with a tour of Australia. The band is due to release its third single “FEEL” in March.

To close the show is one of Dublin’s favourite bands, The Dirty Epics who always deliver a combination of infectious songs and electric performances. Having supported One Republic, Brandon Flowers, LadyHawke and The Hoosiers the band is on a roll having toured all around Ireland, The UK, Germany, NY and LA, appeared twice at the world famous SXSW musical festival, Austin Texas. Dirty Epics 2nd studio album, ONE WAY MIRROR is due out 22/03/2013.

Any queries about the show can be directed to Lloyd Barber on 085 833 7199 or through the Facebook page.


Free Electrical Recycling Day

Recycle Day Dún Laoghaire

WEEE Ireland in partnership with Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council are holding a Free Electrical Recycling Day.

The events takes place on Dún Laoghaire Old Pier, West Harbour from 10am – 4pm on Saturday, 9th March 2013.

All household items with a plug or battery will be accepted including:

  • TVs & Aerials
  • Microwaves
  • IT Equipment
  • Dishwashers
  • Fridges & Freezers
  • Power Tools
  • Battery Operated Toys

For more information, click here or visit www.recyclefree.ie


Good News on the Treble for Dún Laoghaire Harbour

News Image

There was good news for Dún Laoghaire Harbour this week with the announcement that Stena Line has resumed its ferry service to Holyhead, a month earlier than planned; the arrival into the harbour of a vessel carrying massive fermentation tanks for the new Guinness facility in Dublin; and indications that the port will have its best ever season in terms of visits from cruise liners, with the highlight being the call by the Queen Mary on May 16th.

The early resumption of the daily Stena ferry service this week is particularly significant as it will bring thousands of additional visitors to Dún Laoghaire.  The news will also be welcomed by the tourism industry as the ferry service, which takes just two hours and fifteen minutes to cross the Irish sea, is popular with tourists from Britain, especially those who want to avoid traffic in Dublin city.

The arrival into Dún Laoghaire harbour at the weekend of the 6,120 tonne Dutch vessel, the Myrtle, caught the attention of those walking on the East and West Piers, with many people wondering what were the massive, cylindrical containers that could be seen on board (pic attached).  These are, in fact, fermentation tanks, for the new Guinness facility in Dublin.

Two further consignments of the tanks are due in the harbour on February 28th and March 19th, demonstrating that Dún Laoghaire Harbour is well capable of dealing with commercial shipping traffic of this nature.

It has also emerged that Dún Laoghaire is likely to have calls from up to ten cruise ships this year.  The highlight will be the visit on May 16th of the Queen Mary 2, flagship vessel of the famous Cunard Line, with 3,000 passengers and several hundred crew aboard.  In all, the total visitor numbers to Dún Laoghaire from this year’s cruise programme is likely be around 5,000.

There is great excitement building within the town.  The Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group (which includes the Harbour Company, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and local business groups) is actively planning a series of “céad míle fáilte” activities ranging from a display of Irish dancing to a guided walking tour of Dún Laoghaire and its hinterland to ensure that all passengers enjoy a memorable visit.

Commenting today, local Dáil Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “It’s great to see such a level of activity in Dún Laoghaire Harbour.  I am greatly encouraged by the early resumption of the Stena service which will not only provide additional business for the town, but will also be a shot in the arm for our tourism sector.”

“The details of the cruise programme is also fantastic news.  Like everyone else in Dún Laoghaire I am really looking forward to the visit of the Queen Mary 2 on May 22nd.  Cruise ships are an increasingly important sector of the international tourism business and Dún Laoghaire, with its excellent harbour facilities, historic and interesting town and good transport links, is ideally placed to cater for this business,” she added.


Rave At Close Of Day

Long-form immersive improvisation for saxophones and live electronics by Seán Mac Erlaine marking Winter Solstice 2012. Hosted by Jennie Moran at The Band Stand, East Pier, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland. Visit www.jenniemoran.com | www.seanmacerlaine.com



Old “Shell Site” Acquired

The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company has issued a tender for a design team to draft a vision for the proposed ‘Marina Village Project’ in the port town. The Marina Village development is on the site of the former Shell Chemicals facility at the West Pier next to theDun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, at an area known as the ‘Gut’.

It is also part of the Masterplan launched in mid-2011 intended to “position Dun Laoghaire Harbour as a marine, leisure and tourism destination of international calibre”.
As per the Masterplan, the development is intended for residential and water-sports use, and the aim of this tender us to “identify the optimum development proposition for the site”.
The tender document suggests that proposed water-sports facilities at the site “could potentially be occupied by users such as the Sea Scouts”. In their joint response to the launch of the Masterplan in June 2011, Dun Laoghaire’s yacht clubs identified a “significant amount of shore space” ripe for development in the area earmarked for the Marina Village scheme.

The request for proposals is available to download as a PDF below.



The Shackleton Endurance Exhibition

Relive the true life story of Irish-born explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914-1917 at the Shackleton Endurance Exhibition in Dún Laoghaire.

On display are over 150 photographs taken by the Expedition photographer Frank Hurley, a full size exact replica of the James Caird; the lifeboat that proved so critical to the rescue, and much more. The exhibition is open daily from 11am – 5pm and is based in The Ferry Terminal Building until November 2014.
For more information, please visit http://www.shackletonexhibition.com/.

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