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Dublin: 13°C Friday 30 July 2021

One of these Dublin landmarks is missing this morning...

Famine ship the Jeannie Johnston has been moored at the IFSC since 2005. She’s being taken to dry-dock for an overhaul, as a “first step” in getting her re-certified to take to the open sea.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

IF YOU HAPPEN to pass the IFSC in Dublin on your morning commute, you may well notice something missing from the skyline of the area today.

Famine ship and museum the Jeanie Johnston, which has been moored at Custom House Quay for the last nine years, is being taken for a two-week overhaul a short distance away at Dublin Port.

It’s the first step towards having the vessel re-certified for a passenger licence so she can taken out to the open seas again, Jeanie Johnston manager John O’Neill told TheJournal.ie…

She’s being taken for an out-of-water survey. We’ll be inspecting the hull and carrying out an extensive re-painting.

The ship — a replica of the original Jeanie Johnston, which carried over 2,500 people to North America with no loss of life — was purchased by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority in 2005 as part of its river regeneration strategy.

It’s now run as a tourist attraction on the Authority’s behalf by Aiseanna Mara Teoranta, and played host to 20,000 visitors last year, according to O’Neill.

While there are no immediate plans to sail the vessel again, he said the maintenance programme needed to happen so the ship could remain sea-worthy.

Construction of the vessel, built as a ‘Millenium Project’ to celebrate the links between Ireland and America, was mired in controversy after its budget ran over by a sum of some €10 million.

O’Neill says it’s now being run as a viable tourist attraction, employing eight people.

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“With increased air routes from Canada we’re seeing a large number of Canadian tourists coming over to us at the moment.

It’s of huge interest to people of Irish heritage right across the US and Canada, and in Newfoundland in particular.

The dry-dock maintenance will take “between 10 to 14 days” to complete, and the vessel will be back in-situ in its berth near the Convention Centre later this month.

Read: Against the tide: Liffey-side industries battle on

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Daragh Brophy

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