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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 17 February, 2019
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'Cross the Liffey in a jiffy': River ferry in Dublin's docklands returns after 35 years

The No.11 Liffey Ferry was decommissioned after the construction of the East Link Bridge.

Passengers on board Liffey Ferry Source: Robbie Cox/DCC

DUBLIN’S DOCKLANDS WILL see the return of the historic No.11 Liffey Ferry today, the ‘dockers taxi’ that used to link people between the north and south side of the city for more than 300 years.

Following restoration efforts by Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council, the ferry service returns and will taxi passengers between three points – the 3Arena to Sir John Rogerson’s Quay to MV Cill Airne at North Wall Quay and back.

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Dublin Port Company chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly encouraged those living nearby to use the service, which may be familiar to many.

“There are those in nearby Ringsend, Irishtown, East Wall and further afield who will remember catching the ferry to work, and I have no doubt her return will bring back fond memories for many,” he said.

It will begin on Monday 11 February, running Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm.

The ferry service provided a link between docklands communities north and south of the Liffey but was decommissioned in 1984, following the completion of the East Link Bridge.

Six pence to cross the Liffey. Donated by Ger Walsh Source: Ger Walsh

Prior to that, Butt Bridge by the Custom House was the nearest river crossing.

The service dates back to 1665, when it was given a Royal Charter by King Charles II. 

The boat – an essential service to bring dockers to work – was bought by the Dublin port Company in 2016.

Liffey Ferry Number 4

The new service can carry 18 people at a time, and those making the trip will pay €2 for each journey. All proceeds from passengers’ fares will help the funding of a new maritime training programme, which is set to resume this February. 

A ceremony will be held today to mark the No.11′s return to service, with Richie Saunders from Ringsend onboard. He served as a coxswain on the ferry, and was instrumental in preserving the boat in recent years.

Dock workers on the Liffey Ferry

Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring will also be aboard this morning.

He said: “The Liffey Ferry is part of Dublin’s story and to see the No.11 back on the River after all this time is fantastic, and testament to those who had the foresight to preserve this important piece of history.

The ferry will be returning to a very different Dublin than the one she left, but I have no doubt that a new generation of Dubliners will enjoy this very welcome addition to the city just the same.

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Sean Murray

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