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The Dublin Branch of IWAI has made submissions in respect of ...
Copies are available to members - please
contact the branch committee.
The Dublin Branch of IWAI endorses and supports the ambitions of
Docksports. The vision outlined at
is to provide young people with an outlet in the city for water-based
recreation. They point out that ...
... the waters of the Docklands [are] the largest area of public
space in the city. Despite being the largest areas of public space
they are amongst the most vacant and underutilised spaces we have. For
most of us the waters of the Docklands are pleasant places to walk or
sit beside but very few of us ever get the opportunity to step off the
quay wall. Docklands Water Sports would provide young people
with an exceptional new outlet for outdoor adventure recreation and
adults with a fantastic new way of relaxing and socializing in the
city. By putting boats on the water we will provide thousands of
people who live and work in the area with the chance to take up sports
like sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and rowing.
formal proposal can be found on their website.
Recent Talks organised by Dublin Branch of IWAI - 2008
The ARC experience - speaker Dave McCabe
On May 20th, Dave McCabe gave a fantastic presentation on his trans
Atlantic sail across the ocean with the ARC 2007. His presentation
included photos, diagrams and video from the trip across the Atlantic.
It was highly entertaining as well as informative. Very interesting to
hear some of the important details and practicalities of preparing for
and then undertaking an Atlantic crossing. A most enjoyable evening was
had by all. The presentation was hosted by the IWAI Dublin Branch in
Architectural Walk & Talk - speaker Paul Quilligan
On May 13th, 25 or so people participated in a very interesting
architectural walk traversing the Liffey Bridges from Heuston Station and
ending up at the Ocean Bar @ Grand Canal Basin. Our thanks to Paul, who led
the walk and informed us of the fascinating history behind many of the
buildings and bridges we pass every day without a second glance. You
can find and download a podcast of this talk
"Lough Derg Branch of IWAI's cruise from Killaloe, Lough Derg to Dingle/An
Daingean/Daingean Uí Chúis (and back)" - speaker Noel Griffin
On March 10th, Noel Griffin entertained a large group gathered at
Poolbeg Yacht &
with a fascinating and beautifully illustrated talk on the trip.
The Dingle cruise is documented
While naturally Noel focused on the wonderful time that people had and
covered the planning and organising of the trip, the audience were
enthralled and horrified in equal measure at the speed of the fire on
Regina IV. The talk was much appreciated. Noel also covered this somewhat serendipitous trip from Killaloe
to Dún Laoghaire and back - this trip is documented here.
The Bridges of the River Liffey - speaker Michael Phillips
Michael Phillips is Dublin City Engineer and
Director of Traffic. He has a special interest in bridge design and
construction and were privileged to hear the story of Dublin's Liffey
bridges from him.
was much appreciated by the 20 or so members in
attendance on October 20th and a lively Q&A session followed the very
well illustrated presentation. For further reading see
history of Dublin’s River Liffey bridges
, a paper by Michael Phillips
and A. Hamilton from the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil
Engineers, Bridge Engineering 156, December 2003.
The Green Fuel Enhancer
Also on October 20th, Tom Byrne
presented the "Green Fuel Enhancer" (GFE), a gadget that improves fuel
The GFE reduces emissions by improving fuel
combustion. The unit, developed by E.
Fox (Engineers) Ltd. is passive and un-powered and has a lifetime in
excess of 20 years. It is inserted into the fuel line between the fuel
filter and fuel injector pump/carburettor. Dublin Branch committee
member Mick Kinahan reported very positive results form his own trial of the
device on his 4WD.
Overall, this year's rally was
a great success - we had 19 large boats in all. There was a nice
mix of events both on and off the water. We had the usual
plethora of mishaps on the way into and out of Dublin, but only of a
mechanical nature. The divers were needed a few times to clear
rubbish off props.
On May 17th we had
an early start to the morning. First lock down from the Grand Canal
Dock into the Liffey was scheduled for 07:00 followed by 2 more to
cater for the 12 out of 19 Rally members. A colourful flotilla
comprising cruisers, barges both broad and narrow, displaying
Budweiser bunting headed up the Liffey to the oasis of peace and
tranquillity that is Islandbridge weir. The main Rally was
accompanied by members of the Small Boat Rally comprising 6 boats
which launched in the Basin and the Poolbeg Yacht Club slip.
The BBQ was held at Poolbeg
Yacht Club with steaks prepared, cooked and presented as to your
desired taste by Gersha & Mick despite the cold easterly. The
Budweiser reps were in attendance and promoting their products FOC to
the Rally members. A very good end to a very successful day.
Our first small boat on the
Liffey above Islandbridge weir was also a success with ~7 boats
participating - see the photos on our
Both talks were a great success - our thanks to Paul Quilligan and Dave
McCabe - a brief synopsis of the talks is below.
Finally, the branch Endeavour trophy was awarded to Jim Gorman and the crew
of "Jomani" from Carrick-on-Shannon.
is pleased to learn of WI’s intention to open the Royal canal in 2009.
However, it should be noted that the official launch/re-opening of the Canal
is scheduled to be held in Richmond Harbour, mid summer, and access/transit
to the venue via Spencer Dock is subject to ongoing works. We would like to
be able to welcome boats from both canals to our 2009 Rally but we’ll see
how the difficulties at the Dublin end are resolved - we understand that
access may not be permitted or possible at the Dublin end until 2010.
The new sea locks at Spencer Dock are shown in situ
16/08/08 - more information
above - work in progress ...
the new bridge and tower
MacMahon Bridge replacement
On 19/04/05, Dublin City
Council issued a tender notice to "Removal
of an existing
steel single leaf bascule of the scherzer type lifting bridge
and replacement with a fixed bridge at Grand Canal Dock, Pearse
Street/Ringsend Road, Dublin 2."
Although nominally a lifting bridge, it has been welded shut for quite a
while. It is believed that one of the drivers for a fixed bridge
are the (new) residents complaints about noise of the old lifting
Update: the new bridge was
completed in September 2007 at a cost of €4m. The 2007
MacMahon Bridge consists of a cantilevered structure over existing Quay
Walls, for the full 90-metre length of causeway in order to provide
adequate width for two traffic lanes and two bus lanes.
Headroom has been improved for boats.
The bridge was formally
opened on May 30th, 2008.
"The 2007 MacMahon bridge is the 5th bridge to be constructed over
the Grand Canal Dock at this site. Early records indicate that a wooden
bascule bridge, the Brunswick Bascule, was constructed at the site in
1791 and was replaced in 1857 by the Victoria Bridge. A new one with
the same name in the early 1900s then replaced this bridge. The 4th
bridge opened in 1963 was named MacMahon Bridge after General Seán
MacMahon who fought with Eamon deValera at Bolands Mills in 1916 and
later became Chief of Staff of the Irish Army. President Eamon deValera
unveiled the original plaque on the bridge in 1963. This plaque has been
refurbished and reinstalled on the bridge.
Wrecks removed from Grand Canal Dock (March '08)
Marine Notice # 9 of
2008 from Waterways Ireland advised that "a salvage diving contractor
will be operating in Grand Canal Dock, Ringsend for a period of 2 weeks
from March 18th in order to remove a number of wrecks from the dock."
We've a few photos
of the procedings.
Dublin Branch AGM, Talk and Boat Launch (08 Dec '07)
(more information on L.E. Dubhlinn here)
On a day that usually heralds the arrival of our rural cousins to the "Big
Smoke", the faithful gathered at
Poolbeg Yacht &
Boat Club for a combined end-of-year event. The day
started with a fascinating, informative and exceptionally well illustrated
talk by Waterways Ireland Eastern Regional Manager, John McKeown on the
restoration of the Royal Canal. More details below
The Annual General Meeting of the Dublin Branch of IWAI followed. The
agenda was as published.
The report of the year can be summarised as per the "Dublin Dribbles" that
appeared in the Winter edition of IWN. A
new committee was elected, all
unopposed. We ended the AGM on a sad and happy note. We remembered
past members, particularly 2007 committee member Brian Dwyer whose death
occurred in the week preceding the AGM and we looked forward to realising
some of his enthusiasm through the launch of the latest Branch Boat.
early morning news on the 8th December 2007 highlighted gale-force winds and
extensive flooding throughout the country - not an ideal day on which to
launch a boat! Safety concerns and common sense dictated that she be
"launched" where she sat on her trailer. Following a quick bowl of hot
soup (with thanks to Peter Johnson), the esteemed Ruth Delany ably assisted
by branch chair, Gerry O'Hara performed the launching ceremony and our shiny
blue boat became the L.E. Dubhlinn and a little bit less shiny!.
The boat was then blessed by Fr. Derek Harris who reminded us that
familiarity and complacency is the enemy of all sailors whether on the ocean
or the calmer waters of the Grand Canal.
(more information on L.E. Dubhlinn here)
Work starts at Spencer Dock (Nov 2007)
In November 2007, work has finally begun on
the flood defences for Spencer Dock, with work due to start on the
restoring the actual sea lock shortly. Work has also begun
on re-excavating Spencer Dock to its original dimensions.
The picture at right (taken 10/02/08) shows
where a section of the channel just north of the Scherzer bridges
on the quay has been cut away to allow for placement of the swing
locks. The beautifully curved stonework of the channel is also
apparent from the photo
Background can be found
here - more photos here
Samuel Beckett Bridge (formerly
Macken St. Bridge)
work has started on what will become the Samuel Beckett bridge - the photo
at right was taken November 2007. The bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava
Valla, who also designed the James Joyce bridge opened in 2003.
It is being
constructed by Graham Hollandia Joint Venture with costs estimated at
€47 million, which also includes
a major upgrade of the approach roads. The bridge will have four traffic
lanes with cycle tracks and footpaths on either side of the bridge, while
being capable of
open to accommodate maritime traffic.
bridge is expected to be completed by 2009.
The picture below shows the pivot in situ, March 2009.
of the bridge being built in Holland at on
Dublin Port Marine Notice with Map
This bridge is generally referred to as the Macken St. bridge.
However, it no longer
connects to Macken St./Cardiff Lane. Compare the original proposal
below with what's being constructed (below that again).
( Original proposal, from
Docklands North Lotts Area Planning Scheme, Transportation Part 2)
Current plan (from
here) is shown below which does not link Macken St. to Guild St.
Another bridge for pedestrians and cyclists further downstream is also
proposed (Forbes St. Bridge), And a public transport bridge is proposed to
cross the mouth of the Dodder river/entrance to the Grand Canal Docks.
The Cill Airne granted 7-day license (22nd Nov. 2007)
The Cill Airne, moored on the North Wall in front of the Irish Rail
offices (the former
London & North Western Hotel), was granted a
seven-day license on 21/11/07 to trade as a pub & restaurant according to a
report in the Irish Times. According to the DDDA website, the
ship houses two new restaurants, Quay 16 and Blue River Bistro.
The Blue River Bistro offers casual dining with a capacity of 120. In
the New Year, Quay 16, which is located below deck, will offer fine dining
for up to 60 guests. The ship was the second last ship to be built at the Liffey Dockyards in
1962. She one of the very last riveted ships to be built in Europe and
is 150ft long, 40ft beam. The ship was bought back in September 2005
for €40,000 from the Cork Institute of Technology where
she had been used as a training vessel. Prior to that, she had spent time as
a tender vessel fro the White Star Line, bringing passengers out to waiting
liners such as the QE2 until 1970 An estimated €4m has been spent on
refurbishment of the vessel. She arrived on the North Wall in May 2007
following refurbishment at Hegarty's Boatyard Oldcourt in 2006, and the DDDA
granted the vessel a 10-year berth license in June '07. She currently
is engineless. More reading
Sad Farewell to Leisureways (Nov '07)
sad to see the closure of Leisureways. Leisureways started hiring boats at
Thomastown Harbour in 1997 when their first barge "Kingfisher" was launched
with a navigation of 80 kms long from Dublin to Mullingar. By 2001 they had
grown to a fleet of 6 barges and the navigation had grown to over 110 kms.
Its sad to see the largest rental company on the Royal close just as the
completion of the restoration is finally in sight. Derek
Whelan's barges were a familiar sight on the Royal and of course on the
Dublin Rallies until the closure of the canal at Spencer Dock in 2004.
We wish Derek well and look forward to his continued involvement with the
Dublin Branch of IWAI.
Ferry (Oct '07)
And its back to the future on Dublin's waterways - 20 years after
the last cross-river ferry ceased operating, October saw the launch of
the Liffey Ferry which takes passengers across the Liffey from Sir
John Rogerson’s Quay to North Wall Quay fro the not unreasonable
charge of €2. (see
attached photo is by Tom Nolan.
Recent Talks organised by Dublin IWAI
All events were held at at
Poolbeg Yacht &
Boat Club and we thank them most sincerely for their hospitality.
Restoration of the Royal Canal" - speaker John McKeown, Waterways Ireland
Eastern Regional Manager.
The 6th and final talk of 2007 was held just prior to the 2007 AGM on
December 8th. This was a fascinating, informative and
exceptionally well illustrated talk on the
restoration of the Royal Canal. John covered work done in the '80s and
'90s and of course the work currently in progress at both eastern and
western ends. Naturally the question on everyone's minds and lips was
"when will the Royal be fully open for navigation?" Between the jigs
and the reels, a date of 2nd quarter 2009 was postulated. John also
had some interesting observations vis-à-vis live-aboards. We thank
John for making the time and effort to prepare and present the information
to us in a very enthusiastic and engaging manner.
"The Trams of Dublin" - speaker
This 5th talk of the year was held on Thursday
October 18th. Mr. Corcoran is a well known and
respected historian. He is a founder member of the Howth Transport Museum and
the foremost expert on the Dublin Trams and systems. See
for more information.
May 17th saw ~45 members hear a very informative illustrated talk by Dave McCabe
on the hidden joys to be found on Lough Ree.
Dave is the man who, in a
moment of madness in early 2004, decided to undertake a private electronic
charting project of the Shannon - these charts is now available on
Dave presented some of the history of the lake and highlighted some islands with
particularly interesting histories and structures of archaeological interest.
This talk was aimed squarely at boaters and Dave presented a number of hidden
treasures and quiet corners to be found on the lake, pointing out the best
approaches, suitability for anchoring and hidden dangers. The talk was
very well received by an appreciative audience.
Dave's presentation can be downloaded at
"History of Dublin's water and drainage and the canals and basins" - speaker Michael Corcoran
This 3rd and most recent talk of the year was held on Thursday April 26th.
Michael gave us a truely wonderful insight into the ins and outs of Dublin's
water system. Michael covered the mains supplies, the drainage system and
sewage systems. The use of the canals for supplying water to the city was
also covered. Michael was still there an hour after he'd finished the
formal talk, answering questions from a small but very attentive audience.
Copies of his book "Our
Good Health - a history and drainage" sold out on the night.
March 22nd saw our 2nd talk, given by Paddy Barry who outlined the
incredible experience of the Northabout Expedition. This group
travelled from Clew Bay to Greenland, taking the Northwest passage to
Alaska, then over another two years, completing the journey via Siberia,
Norway and home. Paddy's presentation was both entertaining and very
informative and illustrated by some fantastic photography. The evening
concluded with a presentation by the Poolbeg Commodore, Tom McCann, to
Paddy of a beautiful ship's decanter and an Honorary life Membership of
the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club in recognition of his achievements. This
was a truly superb talk and enjoyed by all. We also learned that
Northabout was the first boat to circumnavigate the earth from East to
West following this route. Full information on the Northwest passage is
while the Northeast phase is covered
here. One of our
members expressed our feelings on the night very well by email when he
wrote: "The venue is terrific and the presentation was one of the best
and most enjoyable I have attended for many a year. A truly great
adventure and I could have listened to Paddy Barry all night. And to quote
that great adventurer may we always be fortunate to have the company of
those of 'robust conviviality'".
February 22nd saw a very informative, passionate and very well
illustrated talk presented by Tommy McLoughlin and Derek Whelan.
Topics covered included the history of the Boyne Navigation, earlier
attempts to restore the navigation, recent initiatives. progress and
plans. You can read more on the Boyne
Navigation Branch Website.
Liffey Book (Oct '07)
Members of Dublin Branch of IWAI were invited to a Book Launch & Exhibition
of Paintings to celebrate the launch of Dick Warner and Rosemary Burns's new
book "The Liffey - portrait of a river" and to view
Rosemary's original paintings from the book at: The Long Room, Custom House,
Custom House Quay, Dublin 1
Clonburris scheme - closing date for submissions 15/10/07
Dublin County Council has prepared a Plan for the development of
the lands at Clonburris near Clondalkin. The proposed Plan comprises both a
Strategic Development Zone Planning Scheme and a Local Area Plan.
There is a dedicated
Website. What is particularly encouraging is the emphasis on the
Grand Canal as an important amenity. For example, one of the
submissions in the Pre-Plan Consultation Report is
that a new canal quarter is created between the
canal and the railway line by forming a new canal ‘loop’ between the 11th
locks. Others seek to address the
lack of boat activity between the 9th and 12th locks. The master plan
The parks will be complemented by the creation of a
new canal basin in the south-eastern area of the plan area which will
establish as a focus for canal boating activity,
of the proposed Grand Canal Park include "To
enhance the existing character and ecological value of the canal through
selective management and appropriate new landscape interventions. To
strengthen the amenity and function of the Grand Canal as a strategic
east-west link . It is proposed that Southern edge to canal to
be laid out as formal linear path as part of the Green Routes project;
Northern side of canal to retain a more ecological character, to enhance the
quality of the proposed natural Heritage Area; Omer’s Lock house will be
refurbished as a cultural asset set within an appropriate landscape context;
and The Outer Ring Road bridge over the canal provides an opportunity for
innovative public art and lighting, and innovative landscape to the banks of
Grand Canal Basin should "... form a district scale mixed use
public space surrounding a navigable canal basin with associated canal based
activities. To provide the setting for the establishment of a major leisure
or cultural landmark building, and establish this part of Clonburris as a
cultural quarter. To form a key element of the image and legibility of the
urban structure of the Clonburris District. The Canal basin will be
located adjacent to the Grand Canal Park and will connect to a new
neighbourhood public square to the north west to form a key sequence of
urban spaces; The canal basin shall be lined with a mix of speciality
retail, leisure and canal workshop facilities, with adequate space for cafes
and bars to spill out onto the street; The edges of the canal basin
shall be hard landscaped, with wide pavements provided to capture the sunny
southern aspect. A clear reservation of at least 3m shall be provided around
the perimeter of the basin. .... The basin access is between 10th
and 11th locks.
The Clonburris website
also features a promotional video - for details on the basin area download
this 20MB document
The Vikings are back! (Aug '07)
14th August 2007 saw the arrival of the Viking longship Sea
Stallion from Glendalough (Havhingsten fra Glendalough) to
Dublin. Lots of people lined the quaysides and official boats led by
the Irish Naval Service and Dublin Port tugs led the flotilla of welcome.
The Bells of Christ Church Cathedral and other churches rang in welcome and
the ships horns of visiting ships in the Port joined the fanfare.
The Sea Stallion is on display at the National
Museum, Collins Barracks until the end of May 2008.
More information here and
2007 Dublin Rally, 12th-20th May
River Liffey Small Boat Rally - Sat. 19th May 2007
This year's rally has passed with a disappointing
number of boats turning up - we had just three from the Grand Canal (the
Royal being closed at Spencer Dock). We had 8 boats on the small boat
rally on Saturday 19th. Our thanks to Waterways Ireland who shepherded
our small flotilla into the city.
See photos from the Rally or
The 2007 Rally timetable is
Reports from many previous rallies are
New Luas Bridge Design unveiled for the Royal - (2 April '07)
Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) and the Dublin Docklands Development
Authority appointed London based architects, Future Systems and Arup
Engineers to design the bridge. The resulting structure is almost as
wide as it is long to accommodate the Luas tram lines and traffic
lanes. It broadens and dips down in the middle with curved walkways
and cycle paths on either side to take pedestrians and cyclists close
to the water. Specially designed lighting will emphasise its unusual,
floating structural quality. Architect Amanda Levete describes
the Luas Bridge as “incredibly slender, soft and languid. It curves up
at the edges like a manta ray. We wanted it appear as a piece of land
art that relates to the park”. Headroom should be 3m with the
Basin operating at 1.6m
OD Malin although final level is stated to be 1.99m giving a
headroom of 2.7m.
Press release is here.
Introduction to Canal Locks
Dublin Branch held our very popular workshop on how to operate canal locks. This workshop
took place on Sunday 23rd April, 2006 at the Twelfth Lock on the Royal Canal at Blanchardstown, with two sessions, one at 11 a.m. and one at 2.30 p.m.
Derek Whelan of Leisureways kindly lent us a barge for demonstrations.
The minutes of the AGM that took place in the Poolbeg Yacht Boat Club & Marina on 8th December 2005 are available
Royal Canal to get new marina
A large development on the Royal Canal,
Royal Canal Park,
includes a "narrowboat marina". We welcome this.
The entire Royal Canal Park scheme will eventually
have >1,200 residential units. Royal Canal Park is four miles
north of the city centre and is bordered by the Tolka river and the
Royal Canal. Click
here to see a google map
Royal Canal Linear Park - winning design selected 22 Nov. 2005
In March 2005, The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI)
organised a landscape design competition (promoted by the Dublin Docklands
Development Authority) for a one kilometre linear public park on the banks
of the Royal Canal in Dublin’s Docklands. The park should "be suitable for
active and passive recreation, incorporating cycle and pedestrian routes
along the Royal Canal." Candidates entering the competition were
asked to assume a construction budget in the region of €15 million
The competition objectives included the provision of public amenity
green space and facilities for youth recreation, both of which are
currently in short supply in the area. It is also envisaged that the
linear park will provide an appropriate environment for boating activities
and develop a strategic route through the north Docklands along the canal.
For more information, see here.
Liffey Voyage Tour launched, September 2005
Liffey Voyage tour service was launched on Monday, 26th September 2005.
The tour departs from a landing station at Bachelor's Walk, passing
under O'Connell Bridge downstream past the Custom House in Dublin's
Docklands. It reaches the East Link Toll Bridge and the Grand Canal
Basin before travelling back past the IFSC and returning to Bachelor's
Walk. The Spirit of Docklands was built in Sweden. It
is a 50-passenger low profile boat, 23 metres long and capable of
travelling at 9.5 knots. More information from
reports of previous Dublin Rallies has moved
If you have views on Dublin Waterways you are welcome to express them to Dublin Branch, IWAI.
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