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Sun, Sea and Sailing in Dun Laoghaire this July

Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland;  12th July 2013: Part of the 15-boat entry in the Shipman 28 class during racing in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta yesterday. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Howth 17-footers off James Joyce's Tower, Sandycove on the second day of racing at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta where a fleet of 450-boats has gathered for four days of competition that ends on Sunday with the homecoming of Ireland's Green Dragon team from the round the world race.  Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport...
 Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport…

The Sixth Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta to take place from 9th-12th July with family entertainment across the waterfront


The countdown is on to Ireland’s biggest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, which takes place from Thursday 9th to 12th July 2015. Set to be an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay there will be a fantastic festival atmosphere across the waterfront and Dun Laoghaire town as four sailing clubs, 400 boats and 2,500 competitors come together for the biennial event; Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club.


The Bay and surrounding area will be a hive of activity for the sixth staging of this event and there will be plenty of action out on the water across 29 different classes racing on eight different race course areas in Dublin Bay and Howth.


The quality of sailing will be extremely high with some of the country’s top class sailors taking part including Olympian, Annalise Murphy and Dave Cullen who will skipper CheckMate XV in the IRC II class, which was the overall winner in the 2013 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta . There are boats travelling from all over the country as well as a large number from overseas and they will be fighting it out for top position in their classes across the four days.


There will also be lots of entertainment for those on land including live music from the Hit Machine Drummers, St. Maur’s Pipe Band and one of Ireland’s best family entertainers, the Great Gazpacho. The entertainment will be spread out along the waterfront to ensure you’re kept amused at all times!


Dun Laoghaire will be the perfect location for a family day out with the delicious People’s Park Market offering some of the best market food available in Dublin and the addition of the popular FunFair Euroshow on Harbour Road, an amusement park that will be sure to entertain the children.


Speaking about the upcoming event, Tim Goodbody, 2015 Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta Chairman said; “We are really looking forward to kicking off our festivities on 9th July and welcoming all our 2,500 participants, both Irish and international. We have been working towards this event ever since the last one finished in 2013 and we have no doubt that this year will be just as successful. We are also confident that the Regatta will bring in a significant amount to the local economy. Using the standard tourism formula, the four day event is expected to bring in €150,000 per day and €600,000 overall.”


Adrian Yeates, Managing Director, Volvo Car Ireland, commented; “We are once again delighted to be involved in the Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta. This is the fifth event we have sponsored with Spirit Motor Group and it continues our long standing association with sailing globally. It is wonderful to see Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Bay light up over an exciting four days of racing and we wish all participants the very best of luck.”


Deadline for entries is Tuesday 30th June and to enter go to


The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta takes place from Thursday 9th July until Sunday 12th July 2015. For more information see or find Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Facebook and Twitter.


Port Summer Carnival Dun Laoghaire Fri 26th June – 12th July 2015

The Port Summer Carnival is back in Dun Laogahire Harbour this summer and its bigger than ever.

Opening on Friday 26th June there is fun for all the family with the Big Wheel, Take Off, Frizbee, Dogems and Carousel.

Opening Times:

The FunFair will run from Fri 26th June to Sunday 12th July

Mon – Fri – Open from 2pm each day

Sat / Sun – Open from 12 noon

We hope it will be as much of a success as the 2014 funfair. This years event will take place beside the Ferry Terminal. Just keep an eye out for the Big Wheel !

For more details follow

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The 85th Annual Dun Laoghaire Harbour Swim – Sun 23rd August 2015


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Leinster Open Sea will run the 85th Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race on Sunday 23 August

  • Men’s race at 4.30pm
  • Ladies’ race 5.30pm.


The Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race was first run in 1931 and it has run ever year since, making it the second oldest continuous race in Ireland. There were however swimming races run in Dún Laoghaire Harbour before 1931. See

YouTube clip of a swimming race in Dún Laoghaire Harbour in 1926.


Dún Laoghaire has a long association with sea swimming as Dún Laoghaire Harbour is beside the Forty Foot which is the home of all year round sea swimming. The Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company are planning to build an urban beach or Badeschiff facility in the Harbour which will further enhance the Harbour as a swimming location.

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The Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race is part of the Leinster Open Sea Calendar. Each weekend from June to September, Leinster Open Sea and the swimming clubs of Leinster run open sea swimming races along the coast of Leinster. Theses are held at well known swimming locations such as Malahide, Portmarnock, Howth, Clontarf, South Wall, Seapoint, Dun Laoghaire, Sandycove, Killiney and Bray, Wicklow, Lough Dan County Wicklow, Curracloe County Wexford, Lough Leane County Westmeath, Salthill Galway and the river Liffey.   These races form the Leinster Open Sea Calendar.


The Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race along with the Dublin City Liffey Swim are rightly considered the two most prestigious swimming races on the Leinster Open Sea Calendar.   For swimmers winning the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race is akin to winning an All Ireland Final. Sea swimmers aim to win one of the big two races in their swimming career.


The Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race comprises a 2,200 metre race around the circumference of Dún Laoghaire Harbour battling fellow swimmers, reaching marker buoys, avoiding any number of obstacles and taking on the might that is the Irish Sea.

The Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race is different to most sea races as there is considerable interaction between the crowd and the swimmers.

In many sea races swimmers are swimming out to sea around a course marked by marine marker buoys.   Spectators on the shore have difficulty in identifying individual swimmers, and swimmers certainly cannot hear the commotion and the noise of the crowd.

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Race Course

The Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race starts at the RNLI slipway beside the East Pier. There is an opportunity for the crowd looking down from the East pier to clap and cheer on swimmers as they start their journey out around the Harbour. The Swimmers then swim out by the National Yacht Club of Ireland, the RNLI lifeboat and out along the Carlisle Pier. They then swim across from the Carlisle Pier to the mouth of the Harbour and the East Pier Lighthouse.   This is roughly the half way point. Friends, family and spectators then can walk or run along the East Pier and follow the swimmers as they battle the last 1,000 metres home, past the anemometer, the Boyd Memorial, the Band Stand and finally the last gruelling two hundred metres from Berth No 1 back to the finish line at the RNLI slipway. The swimmers in the water can see and they certainly can hear the crowds on the return journey along the East Pier. The louder the crowd cheer the closer a swimmer is to the front of the race.


Friends and family can identify individual swimmers as they swim past from the East Pier. The only other swim which has the same interaction between swimmers and spectators is of course the Dublin City Liffey Swim.

The Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race caters for swimmers as young as 14 years of age up to senior citizens.   There are also two children’s races of 100 metres and 200 metres for children 13 years of age and younger which are held before the men’s race.

In 2014 the men’s race was won by Gabriel Byrne of Templeogue SC and the ladies’ race was won by Lily O’Brien of Corrib WSC (Galway).


2014 Winner Gabriel Byrne writes

“The day was bright and sunny.   Way off we could see clouds over the Aviva stadium.   Pat O’Driscoll and I  walked the wall before the race, and we agreed the water looked a bit choppy and we agreed that might suit us as we like waves.

There was the usual banter before the race who has a chance, who hasn’t a chance and who were the bandits.   The same names kept on coming up.   The same names that always come up, the strong swimmers, the back markers, the people who like rough water.   Anyway soon it was time to be going we wandered down the slipway, stood in waist deep calm water and waited to hear our time.   I was off on 6.30 number 130 with one other swimmer Colm Walsh from Guinness.   We were beside each other all the way to the end of the Carlisle pier and then the waves started and we got separated

I didn’t know where I was in the race I could see the boats way on far, I could hear people shouting my name, I was unaware I was leading. I was beyond the bandstand now and getting tired when I saw a swimmer beside me.   It was Gerry Dunne and I remember thinking oh no it’s Gerry Dunne.   We were beside each other all the way in stroke for stroke I think my line happened to be closer to Frank so I got there but it was close.   My memory of it now is just it was a great day. Real special”

Noteable Winners

Irish Olympians Donnacha O’Dea, Kevin Williamson and David Cummins have won the men’s race. English Channel Swimmers Anne McAdam and Lisa Howley have won the ladies’ race.

 Handicapped Race

As the Dún Laoghaire Harbour race is a handicapped race every swimmer has a chance of winning so you do not have to be a former Olympian to either compete or win.


Based on a swimmers performance in the qualifying Leinster Open Sea Races the Hon. Handicapper gives the swimmer a handicap.   The Hon. Handicapper will determine when a swimmer will start the race.   The slower swimmers will start swimming one to two minutes before “GO” where as the faster swimmers will often have a high handicap and have to wait four or five minutes after “GO”.   The winner is the first swimmer to pass the finish line.   The handicap gives each swimmer an equal opportunity to win the race and allows a 70 year old swimmer to compete against a young athlete who is competing for Ireland at an international level.


Overseas Swimmers Qualification

Overseas swimmers must demonstrate that they are capable of completing the arduous

course from the information they supply in their application form.


Qualifying Races – Confined Competition for the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Cups Leinster Swimmers

Swimmers from Leinster must complete six races from the Leinster Open Sea Calendar in order to qualify to compete in the confined competition for the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Cups. (Cork Masters’ Lee Swim, Limerick Masters’ Thomond Swim and the ILDSA Lough Erne count as qualifying races).


Qualifying Race – Visitors’ Race – Swimmers from Ulster, Connacht or Munster

Leinster Open Sea appreciates that it can be difficult for swimmers from Ulster, Connacht or Munster to complete qualifying races from the Leinster Open Sea Calendar before the closing date.  Leinster Open Sea are aware that many swimmers from Ulster, Connacht or Munster would like the opportunity to swim in the  Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race as it is one of most prestigious Open Sea Races in Ireland.  Swimmers from Ulster, Connacht or Munster must complete four Open Sea Races anywhere in Ireland of at least a mile, before they will be allowed to compete in the Visitors’ Race.


Qualifying Races – Confined Competition for the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Cups Swimmers from Ulster, Connacht or Munster

Swimmer from Ulster, Connacht or Munster who have completed four Open Sea Races from the Leinster Open Sea Calendar are entitled to compete in the confined competition for the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Cups. (Cork Masters’ Lee Swim, Limerick Masters’ Thomond Swim and the ILDSA Lough Erne count as qualifying races).


Closing Date

The closing date for entries is Sunday 16th of August. Leinster Open Sea’s “ Wendy Herbst Wicklow 3k” is scheduled for Sunday 16th of August on North Beach Wicklow. Swimmers can enter the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race via


Further Information

In order to find out more about the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Race and the Leinster Open Sea Races please email or visit or or follow us on twitter @Leinsteropensea. The full Leinster Open Sea Calendar of thirty five races is published online at





Proformances from the Irish Youth Dance Festival 2015 at Harbour Plaza

Irish Youth Dance Festival 2015

2015 sees the Irish Youth Dance Festival celebrate its 15th year – making it Ireland’s longest running dance festival.  This unique and hugely popular event will offer audiences both new to and familiar with contemporary dance the opportunity to see the most exciting up-and-coming young dance talent Ireland has to offer – along with performances from dancers from the US and UK.

IYDF Poster 15

TWO BOYS copyThere will be a wide range of performances and workshops on offer beginning Saturday June 27th with free dance workshops at dlr Lexicon Studio in Dun Laoghaire from 10.30am – 12.30am. Free outdoor performances will follow at the Harbour Plaza at 1pm and 4pm with a free studio performance at dlr Lexicon Studio at 5pm.

On Sunday June 28th at 8pm, the festival will showcase national and international youth dance at Dun Laoghaire’s Pavilion Theatre.

Tickets are available from the Pavilion box office on 01 – 231 29 29 or free booking online @ Tickets $14.

Friday July 3th sees the festival will move to The Axis Arts Centre in Ballymun with free Dance Workshops at Axis Dance Studio from 4 – 5 pm in Creative Dance for ages 6 – 12 yrs with American guest choreographer Ms.Toni Bravo and from 5 – 6 pm Urban Fusion Dance for ages 12 – 22+ yrs with Karla Holden from DYDC. Limited places – Booking Axis Reception 01 883 21 00



On Saturday July 4th at 8pm, Local, National and International companies from the festival will go on stage at The Axis Arts Centre to perform for audiences in Ballymun.

The IYDF programme for 2015 will feature dancers aged from 12 to 25, and offer a real variety of performances showcasing dancers, choreographers and companies from across Ireland. Dublin Youth Dance Company (DYDC), who present the festival together with company AD Mariam Ribón, is Ireland’s premiere contemporary youth dance group, and are known for their beautiful, passionate and imaginative work.

The festival will also be presenting work be international artists, including new work by Mexican American choreographer Toni Bravo, whose career has included experience with London’s Royal Ballet and with contemporary dance legend Pina Bausch.  Some of her work with dancers here and from the US will be presented during IYDF. Ajos Dance from England, fronted by JJ. Formento who was DYDC’s first director, will also be performing during the festival.


The festival will also include a dance residency by Toni Bravo in collaboration with Dance Ireland, and a photographic exhibition by Irish artist Sharon Murphy.


Mariam Ribón says, “I am delighted to present the 15th Irish Youth Dance Festival, a very vibrant cultural activity with young people and attractive for all ages. It has been the most exciting year working with Dublin Youth Dance Company and the fabulous cast of 16 dancers of 8 young male and 8 female dancers. I can’t wait to see them all in action with all the rest of companies and performers at the IYDF 2015.”

The IYDF is funded through DYDC by the Arts Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and supported by DTI’s Centre for Dance and Dance Ireland.


July / August Events Schedule 2015

July Aug 2015 Event List Collage

Dun Laoghaire Harbour has an exciting July and August schedule of events coming up.


  • FunFair  – Opens (Beside the Ferry Terminal) Friday 26th June – Sun 12th July
  • Marine Art Exhibition – 4th & 5th July – East Pier
  • RNLI Annual Open Day – 5th July. 13:00 – 17:00. The Irish Coast Gaurd Rescue 116 SAR helicopter will be making an appearence on the Carlisle Pier during the event.
  • Volvo Dun Laogahire Regatta – 9th – 12th July
  • Star Legend – Cruise Call – 12th July
  • Irish Guide Gogs for the Blind – Music on the East Pier from The Steadfast Brass Band & Charity Collection along with some of the IGDB fury friends on 12th July
  • Kiddies Amusements at the Harbour Plaza from 25th July




Summer is coming to Dun Laoghaire Harbour


Friday, 5th June 2015


Dun Laoghaire will be a hive of activity this June, as the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company commences its June Activity Programme. The June activity programme will comprise a number of cruise calls, family-fun activities, the starting point for the Sonia O’Sullivan 5K Run and the two hugely popular Rainbow Runs, Ireland’s longest running 5k fun run.

21 April 2015; Former World Champion and Olympic silver medallist, Sonia O'Sullivan, launches the Sonia 5K, in association with Euromedic Ireland, which takes place in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday, June 13th, to mark the 20th Anniversary of her historic victory in the 5000 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Gothenburg in 1995. Pictured are Sonia O'Sullivan with athletes from left, Olwyn Dunne, Ann Grennan, Marie Therese McCoy, Niall Campbell and Orna Dilmorth. Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Key dates in the June programme will include:


  • HB IceCream Bus: From Friday, 5th June to Sunday, 7th June, the HB Goodbye Seri-Bus will be bringing people on a fun-filled, ice-cream beach trip from Nassau Street to Dun Laoghaire.

seri bus

  • Showcasing: An Exhibition of Marine Artists will be held on Saturday and Sunday, 6th and 7thJune, and the Irish Youth Dance Festival will have a small outdoor showcase on Saturday, 27thJune as part of their annual event.

art exhibition east pier

  •  Races: Three 5K runs will be held in June. The Sonia O’Sullivan 5K Run, will place Saturday, 13th June with a reception held in the Harbour Plaza. Fun runners are invited to take part one of the two very popular Rainbow Runs on Saturday, 20th June 10am & 3pm.

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  • FunFair The fun fair will open beside the Ferry Terminal on Friday 26th June running until Sunday 12th July – the perfect opportunity for a family day out!

funfair on the green

The Celebrity Silhouette cruise ship will arrive in Dun Laoghaire on her maiden voyage to Ireland Sunday, 14th June, and the beautiful Wind Surf will visit again on 29th June. The cruise welcome programme, specially devised by the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group will be taking place during these visits to ensure the visitors take maximum advantage of what the town has to offer.



July will also be a busy month for Dun Laoghaire, with highlights for the July programme including:

  •  VOLVO Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2015: The 6th edition of the sailing event runs from Thursday, 9th July to Sunday, 12th July, and will attract more than 2,500 sailors from the UK and Ireland


  • Kiddies FunFair – Children under the age of 10 can enjoy an array of bounce amusements on the east pier from Friday, 17th



 CONTACT: Emily Brennan, DHR Communications @ 01-4200580 / 086-1658629.


Watersports through Irish Language

We welcome Momoontourontour Irish Language Activities for their first course starting on the 1st of June 2015!

Moontour offers fun and exciting 2 week Irish courses during the summer.
Learn Irish through exciting activities like water-sports, photography, computer games and yoga.
Make new friends and return with a grá for Gaeilge! All of these fun, educational activities take place in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for 2015.


Moontour’s Philosophy:

”We believe in the power of experiential learning. Studies have proved that we remember 90% of what we do, compared to 10% of what we read. This is even more true with language!

Our courses promote the speaking and enjoyment of the Irish language, and it works too! Through activity based learning, we saw an improvement in the verbal ability of our students of 70 – 80% over a forty minute activity, and all without opening a text book!”

Find out more here


Beautiful boat restoration in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Mr Simone Mancini is Head of the Conservation Department in the National Gallery of Ireland and a couple of years ago turned his hand to restoring a boat!

As you can see he has done a splendid job and the boat is now in Dun Laoghaire Marina and he is restoring topsides. Images are of hull before, during and after restoration.


Joshua Slocum, in his book Sailing Alone Around the World, first published in 1900, describes the restoration of his sloop ‘the Spray’ and writes: ‘The Spray changed his being so gradually that it was hard to say at what point the old died or the new took birth’.
Conserving a vintage boat meant, first of all, a full immersion on readings about sailing accounts as much as restoration projects; in these kinds of boats, technique, stile and quality of working are truly and deeply integrated. They are the product of nowadays rare craftsmanship; it cannot be very different from conserving works of art. A specific approach is required: the need to make the boat seaworthy should mean not just re-building but rather conserving.



The theoretical approach of modern conservation while directed into the physical care of the object, is comprehensive of evidence of its history and deterioration processes; often competing aspects of the same project.
Conserving is always aimed on retaining the ‘originality’ and ‘integrity’ and at the same time trying to accomplish principles of ‘minimum intervention’. The less is the most.

It has been a long enduring and rewarding process which required specific knowledge (here in big trouble),as much as passion (I was fine with it). Talking to people who know a lot about this matter, necessarily becomes part of the process. Always told: it is a true labour of love; isn’t it?

Chats, suggestions, contrasting opinions and sometimes perplexed looks of neighbour boat owners; from the Harbour Master, Capt. Coate, who has been very supportive from ‘day one’: he says:

‘…this is what a boatyard should look like…’ ,


to fellow sailor friends, Frank – Paul – Hugh – Kevin – Colombo – Sean, just to mention few of many.

It is said: vintage boats are ‘kept’, not ‘owned’; it must be true. Kara Third, work still in progress.

Simone Mancini
Head of Conservation Department
National Gallery of Ireland