Council to foot annual €100k bill for Jeanie Johnston
DUBLIN City Council will soon be responsible for running the Jeanie Johnston at an annual cost of some €100,000.
The replica famine ship is among a list of assets that will be handed over from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) to the council when it eventually winds down.
Currently, the ship costs €240,000-a-year to run but ticket sales do not cover all expenses.
The ship is among some key features in the Docklands which will be transferred to the council.
It is also planned to give a €3m cash sum to the council and extra funds to carry improvements on facilities that are not up to scratch.
However, when asked last night if the Jeanie Johnston's repairs would be included in this budgeted improvement, the DDDA did not respond.
At the moment the ship is moored on dry land due to water damage.
Before handing over the landmark vessel, the DDDA will produce a plan designed to boost its tourism potential in the future.
At the moment the museum welcomes 25,000 visitors every year - less than half of what it needs to break even.
The DDDA plans to devise a strategy to bring some 70,000 visitors to the ship and develop some complimentary on-shore facilities.
A list of assets to be handed over to the council will be given to the council's finance committee this week.
These include an office at Custom House Quay, the George's Dock Event programme, the Luke Kelly Park and the Sean O'Casey pedestrian bridge.
Councillor Ruairi McGinley said the ship would be of benefit to the council.
"I hope that the business plan for Jeanie Johnston is successful in raising visitor numbers. I expect that it will," he told the Herald.
The authority "unfortunately lost its way at the height of the Celtic tiger," he said.