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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

When we ran the brief report yesterday about the proposed 13-storey "strategic development" apartment block plumb in the middle of a reasonably harmonious medium-rise part of Dun Laoghaire's harbour-front, there were those who thought April 1st had come early, and twice over too, for good measure.

It is so out of keeping with the buildings immediately around it that it has to be a joke.

And on top of that, nobody knowingly builds a 13-storey structure, such that in some more southern countries a certain reasonable superstition ensures that if a building is so high as to accommodate a thirteenth floor, it doesn't actually exist – you go up straight from the 12th to the 14th.

Then too, we must remember that as the normally pragmatic men and women of the motor trade saw the 13 car registration looming on the horizon as 2013 approached, they saw to it that the government was apprised of the marketing benefits of dividing the year in two for registration purposes, and so our new cars went straight for being 12 to being 131, thus there's no such thing as an unlucky 13-registered car on Irish roads.

On top of that, this is Dun Laoghaire, the global home of One Design Racing. Yet although there have been hundreds of numbered One Designs sailing out of Dun Laoghaire since Ben Middleton and his friends in the Water Wags started the whole business in 1887, not one – repeat, NOT ONE – of the many classes has sent out a boat carrying the sail number 13.

Water Wag ODs racing in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Not one of the hundreds of Dublin Bay One Designs has ever carried the sail number 13.  Photo: Con MurphyWater Wag ODs racing in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Not one of the hundreds of Dublin Bay One Designs has ever carried the sail number 13. Photo: Con Murphy

So when somebody proposes building a 13 storey apartment block, we can only assume it's all for the birds, they're flying a kite, and they'll blindside the negotiations (which are already made murky by referring the "strategic planning" trope) by graciously bringing it down to the 12 storeys they originally intended.

That said, occasionally a 13th floor will slip in by accident when too much building is happening at once. We are irresistibly reminded of the story of a Parisian housewife entertaining her lover in her apartment, and the concierge phoned up to warn her that her husband had unexpectedly returned.

"Pierre" says she to the boyfriend, "Pierre, you must get out of the window immediately, and hide on the ledge outside"

"But Nicole" says he, "We are on the thirteenth floor."

"Pierre" she hisses, "this is no time for superstition….."

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Former Optimist dinghy champion Peter Fagan is coaching the 'Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group' (DOGs) for May's Irish trials hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club and here Fagan outlines how he aims to prepare the sailors for the demands of competing at the Dublin Bay Trials

The Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group is a training collaboration between the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire providing a high-performance programme for sailors with the annual Optimist Trials being the core goal. The programme has five experienced coaches, Clare Gorman, Nicola Ferguson, Sarah Fogarty, Tom Higgins and myself. We currently have 27 sailors in the programme split into four groups ranging from 10-15 years old. Unfortunately, due to the increase in Covid-19 restrictions, the programme has been put on hold until further ease in restrictions.

Having been given the opportunity to be the head coach for the 'DOGs', I was eager to pass on the knowledge that I gained from competitive sailing both in the Optimist and Laser class to the next generation of sailors. Now that the Royal St George Yacht Club, my home club and where I previously won the Optimist Trials back in 2014, has been announced as the host for the 2021 Trials, I am definitely very excited! I have no doubt that the Royal St. George will put on a fantastic event for the sailors. Dun Laoghaire always offers a true test of a sailor's skills, with conditions ranging from shifty westerly winds with choppy waves or an easterly with consistent breeze and swell.

Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group in training Photo: Peter FaganDun Laoghaire Optimist Group in training before lockdown Photo: Peter Fagan

The Optimist Trials is the most unique event of the calendar due to two main factors.

Firstly, the event traditionally has 13 scheduled races over the course of 5 days with only two discards in the series. This setup rewards the sailor who sails consistently and has a 'never give up' attitude. This year, however, there is a change to the event's usual setup where the number of days racing has been reduced to three, running over the course of the May bank-holiday weekend.

Secondly, sailors aren't just competing for silverware but a chance to qualify for a team to represent Ireland on an international stage such as the Optimist World and European Championships. This gives the event that added bit of pressure and a sailor that can stay composed over the event will have a great advantage to the rest of the fleet.

The Dun Laoghaire Optimist programme aims to prepare the sailor for the demands of competing at Trials. The programme is broken into multiple training blocks ranging from boat handling skills to practising racing situations. We recently had a talk from Finn Lynch who shared his experience with the sailors of what constitutes a successful mindset during a competition. Most importantly, having fun is fundamental to the programme where we've had paddle races and Christmas celebrations.

Operating under Covid-19 restrictions was challenging and forced us to adapt the programme by switching a lot of learning to online. We began to use Google Classroom for posting recaps and videos from training sessions, Google Forms to survey the sailor's performance at each session and lastly, Zoom calls for debriefs online at the end of each days sailing.

The programme wouldn't have been able to run successfully without the help of the programme organisers, parent volunteers, coach Pieter Van Den Bossche and the guidance of Ronan Adams, sailing manager at the Royal St George Yacht Club. I am certainly looking forward to coaching over the season ahead where fingers crossed competition will be re-introduced after a year of its near absence.

Optimist trainingUnfortunately, due to the increase in Covid-19 restrictions, the DOGs programme has been put on hold until further ease in restrictions. Photo: Paddy Madigan

Published in RStGYC

Dun Laoghaire Harbour's RNLI lifeboat crew came to the rescue of a dog that slipped off the Dun Laoghaire Marina Pier and onto the rocks below this morning.

The volunteer crew of three launched swiftly at 11:35am and made their way to the scene arriving in minutes.

The crew quickly assessed the situation finding Archie the dog on rocks near the water’s edge. The lifeboat crew made their way towards him and on to the rocks and helped lift him back up onto the pier above. Archie was in good health and happy to see his owners after his ordeal as our picture shows below.

Weather conditions at the time were described as calm with good visibility.

Dog rescued by Dun Laoghaire RNLI

Speaking following the call out, Liam Mullan Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat press officer said: ‘Our crew today were very happy to reunite Archie with his owners and that he wasn’t injured from his fall. Archies owners did the right thing by calling the Irish Coast Guard and asking for help. It was much safer for our crew to approach rocks on a day like today by sea when compared to the risks associated with slips and falls from a person trying to make their way down to the water’s edge to help’.

Dog rescued by Dun Laoghaire RNLI

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour will host the IODAI Optimist dinghy Trials on the May Bank Holiday  Weekend, 1st – 3rd May 2021.

The trials event is a great opportunity for younger sailors to compete on home waters and against their peers representing the best Optimist sailors in Ireland. 

The Royal St. George Yacht Club has a thriving optimist fleet comprising both beginners and those involved in competitive racing. 

The event is subject to COVID restrictions and a back-up date of 5th – 7th June 2021 has been earmarked in the event that the proposed May date is not run.

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will host the IODAI Optimist trialsThe Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will host the IODAI Optimist trials

Commenting on the announcement, the RStGYC Optimist Class Captains, Sarah & Brendan Foley said that: 'We are delighted to host this important and much-anticipated regatta in the Optimist calendar. We will be working very closely with both Irish Sailing and IODAI over the coming months to ensure that the proposed event provides high-quality racing in a safe environment for all participants and supporters.

We are looking forward to getting back out on the water as soon as permitted and to build on the progress made by our sailors in the DOGs (Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group) training programme.

Published in RStGYC

If you think that life is tough under the current pandemic, then the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association has just the thing to put current national and personal problems into perspective, with a comprehensively illustrated Zoom talk by noted maritime historian Cormac Lowth on the tragic Palme Shipwreck and the Dublin Bay Lifeboat Disaster of Christmas 1895.

On Christmas Eve 1895, the sailing ship 'Palme' was wrecked in Dublin Bay. A lifeboat from the Dun Laoghaire Harbour station set to try to rescue the crew of the wrecked ship.

The lifeboat overturned and all fifteen of the crew were lost, with Christmas Eve 2020 being the one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the tragedy. It is essential that we remember the sacrifice of these heroic men in their attempt to save the lives of their fellow seamen, and to appreciate the efforts of lifeboat-men everywhere, who go out - whenever the call arises - to help those who are in peril on the sea.

Cormac F. Lowth with be giving a profusely illustrated and detailed account of the shipwreck and the tragic events that followed on Thursday, January 14th 2021 at 8.0pm – please check-in at 7.30 pm, clicking on this link to join the meeting.

Lifeboat donations can also be made here

Published in Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

MGM Boats lifted Rosslare's Severn and Arklow's Trent Class RNLI Lifeboats for maintenance purposes late in December, just part of the busy lift-in/out schedule kept by its boatyard services at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The firm operates the only dedicated boat hoist on Dublin Bay, with the ability to lift craft up to 50–Tons; an essential service at the country's biggest boating centre.

East coast RNLI lifeboats, including those at Howth and Dun Laoghaire, are not the only large vessels to make use of the facility with Dublin Port's new pilot boat, Tolka also hauled out by MGM for maintenance last April.

Rosslare RNLI Lifeboat in the boat hoist slings at the MGM Boatyard in Dun Laoghaire HarbourRosslare RNLI's Severn Class Lifeboat, the largest type in the RNLI's fleet, in the boat hoist slings at the MGM Boatyard in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Photo: MGM Boats/Facebook

The lifting and servicing of boats, including fishing trawlers, needs to continue year-round despite COVID-19

MGM Boats offer a wide range of boatyard services including pressure wash, block off and cradle, relaunch as well as boat storage.

Published in MGM Boats

Gardaí are investigating all the circumstances following the discovery of a body of a male in the water at Dun Laoghaire's Coal Harbour pier on Thursday 24th December.

Gardai say the man, aged in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene, his body has since been taken to Loughlinstown mortuary where a post-mortem is due to take place at a later date.

Local sources say the matter is being treated as a tragic incident.

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Six Dun Laoghaire mariners never came home for Christmas 80 years ago, when their lightship was attacked and sunk by a German bomber aircraft off the Wexford coast.

Now, the grand-daughter of one of those lost has appealed to other relatives of the Isolda fatalities to make contact for research she is undertaking into their lives.

“They may not have been famous, but I’m sure that each of them was remarkable and their loss left a deep grief in their families,” says Elleesa Rushby, whose grandfather William Rushby died in the bombing at the age of 43.

Coxswain Patrick Dunne (47), James Hayden (38), Patrick Shortt (44), William Holland (58) and Patrick Farrell (24) also died with her grandfather after a German aircraft released its bombs on the ship, having circled the Isolda three times.

The lightship Isolda which was sunk by a German bomber on December 19th, 1940 with the loss of six livesThe lightship Isolda which was sunk by a German bomber on December 19th, 1940 with the loss of six lives

The six Dun Laoghaire men were among 28 crew on board when the ship sailed from Rosslare, Co Wexford, with a relief crew for the Barrels and Coningbeg lightships stationed off the Saltee islands.

The 22 survivors, including the ship’s master, Capt Albert Bestic, took to lifeboats and landed into Kilmore Quay. 

Captain of the Isolda, Capt Albert BesticCaptain of the Isolda, Capt Albert Bestic

Seven of the survivors had been wounded, and all were in shock.

Ms Rushby says her father was 12 years old and out buying new shoes with his mother, Elizabeth Rushby, in Dun Laoghaire when a woman came into the shop and told her the ship had sunk. 

Isolda crewmember William Rushby with his wife Elizabeth. He was one of six Dun Laoghaire men who died when the lightship was bombed in December 1940Isolda crewmember William Rushby with his wife Elizabeth. He was one of six Dun Laoghaire men who died when the lightship was bombed in December 1940

“My grandmother and the wives of all the crew were told that if their husbands were not on the evening train from Wexford to Dun Laoghaire, they had not survived,” she says.

“Imagine how heartbreaking it must have been for six women standing on the station platform that night, a week before Christmas...” she says.

During both world wars, lightship crews were very vulnerable to attack as their vessels were a form of floating lighthouse, anchored with no propulsion.

The last manned lightship in the Irish lighthouse fleet was converted to an automatic light float in the mid-1980s. 

Royal Irish Academy historian Dr Michael Kennedy says buoys on the deck of the Isolda may have been mistaken for mines.

However, the ship was clearly marked “Lighthouse Service” in large white lettering on its hull, he says.

Ireland had a three-mile nautical limit, but essentially it “meant little to British and German military forces who were well aware the island was undefended”, he says.

The Commissioners of Irish Lights ship Granuaile remembered the six men with a wreath-laying ceremony at sea, and a video has also been released to honour the Isolda crew for their “loyal and dedicated service”.

Irish Lights chief executive Yvonne Shields O’Connor said that “in normal times we would have come together” for the commemoration. 

“This was a deeply sad day in the history of Irish Lights,” she said.

“The incident highlights the dangers encountered by Irish Lights, and its personnel in the course of its long history. Our thoughts are with our former colleagues who lost their lives and with their families.” 

Ms Shields O’Connor said that any relatives who may wish to contact Ms Rushby can do so by contacting the Commissioner of Irish Lights at Harbour Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin on 01 2715400 or by email at [email protected]

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A DMYC Committee meeting held this weekend has decided to abandon plans for its inaugural Christmas Dinghy Challenge at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

As Afloat previously reported, the event was scheduled in anticipation of the lifting of Level 3 restrictions this weekend but the club's Neil Colin told Afloat, "A change in direction of the tide (Pandemic Numbers, coupled with the NPHET commentary, and anticipated relaxation that has not occurred) have led us to abandon the Christmas Challenge"

The DMYC is celebrating 50 years of winter sailing organisation this year.

The club has removed its online registration system and any entry fees will be refunded, according to Colin.

"These are sad times but we look forward to fair winds in 2021, and want to ensure everyone remains as safe as possible", he added

Published in DMYC

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI Christmas Eve public ceremony to honour the memory of 15 lifeboat volunteers that died on service 125 years ago has been cancelled this year and will be shown online.

On 24 December 1895, the number two lifeboat was wrecked while proceeding to the assistance of the SS Palme of Finland. The lifeboat capsized in gale force winds while attempting to rescue those on board the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock in County Dublin. The whole crew, 15 in all, drowned.

The volunteer crew of Dun Laoghaire RNLI usually hold the annual ceremony at the East Pier lighthouse as part of a long-standing local tradition to acknowledge the sacrifice of their colleagues in carrying out their duty. The ceremony also remembers all those who have lost their lives around the coast and on inland waters in 2020.

Instead, two wreaths will be placed by the lifeboat crew at sea, despite the covid-19 pandemic the station will continue to pay tribute to their lost colleagues featuring the service online through Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Facebook page later on Christmas Eve.

The tribute will feature musician William Byrne performing 'The Ballad of the Palme' and Fergal Keane of RTE, reading a newspaper account of the disaster. An ecumenical blessing will be given by Reverends Ása Björk Ólafsdóttir and Fr. Paul Tyrell before a lament is played by piper Paul McNally.

A joint guard of honour provided by Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard Unit and Civil Defence will not take place.

Stephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'We know a lot of people like to traditionally join us on Christmas Eve to commemorate this anniversary which allows us to pay tribute to those that sadly died on that day in 1895, and to remember all who have died at sea or on inland waters this year. However, it is not an ordinary year and we want everyone to be safe. We hope that people will visit our Facebook page shortly after the lifeboat crew lay the wreaths at sea as a beautiful tribute has been prepared.'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 10 of 38

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