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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 9 December, 2019

Cruise ships like this may be docking in Dún Laoghaire after massive harbour plan gets go-ahead

The company wanted a bigger harbour than what An Bord Pleanála allowed.

The 233m  MS Magellan on a visit to Belfast. Plans for the new birth would mean the ship could dock in Dún Laoghaire.
The 233m MS Magellan on a visit to Belfast. Plans for the new birth would mean the ship could dock in Dún Laoghaire.
Image: Twitter/MSMagellan

AN BORD PLEANÁLA has granted permission for a scaled down plan to build a new harbour and bring cruise liners to Dún Laoghaire in Dublin.

The Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) wanted to build a new berth that would accommodate ships of up to 340m in length but An Board Pleanála have capped this at 250m.

The decision was made public today after a process that saw 140 objections made to the eight-year project.

Concerns over the project related to increased traffic problems, the visual impact of the newly docked cruise liners and the dredging process that could take up to four months.

Plans for the beefed-up harbour would see dredging take place 24 hours-a-day for 14-17 weeks. The applicants say that the noise output from the dredging would be close to 60dB.

This is roughly equivalent to the sound of talking in an office.

DLHC says the plans would mean that about 80% of the cruise ships that currently visit Dublin Bay would be able to dock in Dún Laoghaire.

The company estimates that this could mean two cruise ship visits a week during peak season with 2,000 cruise visitors spending up to €10 million.

Eithne Scott Lennon, chairperson of DLHC says the development of cruise tourism in Dún Laoghaire will also benefit Irish people who use the harbour:

In addition to the positive economic impact for the area, the commercial revenue accruing to the Harbour Company will be significant, particularly in the context of the need for us as a company to continually invest in the maintenance and upgrading of the massive infrastructure of the 200-year-old man-made harbour.

As well objections by members of the public, An Taisce is among those who objected to the plan with the group saying that,

the size of these cruise ships berthing in Dún Laoghaire will undoubtedly have an impact on the built heritage and skyline of Dún Laoghaire.

Other campaigners say they remain committed to opposing the plans with Senator Victor Boyhan saying he plans to raise the matter in the Oireachtas in the coming weeks.

“It is the inspector’s opinion that the sensitivity of the harbour having regard to its architectural heritage, social importance, recreational value and its proximity to designated sites of European importance were not taken into sufficient consideration by the applicant,” he says.

Read: The Disney Magic cruise ship just docked in Dublin and it’s Donald Duck-ing huge > 

Read: These five mega cruise ships are set to visit Ireland >

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Rónán Duffy

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