THE 40-STRONG FLEET of Tall Ships sailed out of Dublin yesterday following their brief stopover at the capital.
The ships were led out of Dublin Port by the Irish Naval Service’s LE Emer and their departure was marked by a 21-gun salute from the Defence Forces at the mouth of the Liffey.
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the city centre and in Dun Laoghaire and Howth to catch a glimpse of the ships before they left Irish waters.
According to the organisers of the four-day Tall Ships Festival, a total of 1.15 million people visited the Dublin event. So many people turned out for the final day of celebrations on Sunday that organisers said certain events would have to be curtailed due to the unexpected demand.
Festival director Mary Weir said the event had been a “resounding success for Dublin city”. She thanked Dublin City Council, Dublin Port, the event’s sponsors and all of the workers, volunteers and suppliers who helped to bring the festival to the Dublin quays.
“We were delighted to see the docklands full of visitors both young and old enjoying themselves and visiting the magnificent Tall Ships who have been on an incredible journey,” she added. “We wish them well on their next voyage and hope to see them return to our capital city in the near future.”
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said that the festival was a “huge achievement and success”.
“The festival has been great for the city and tourism,” he said.
In pictures: Defence Forces’ 21-gun salute to the Tall Ships >