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Saturday 10 December 2016

Cruise ship berth gets go ahead, but it's not all plain sailing for locals

Dun Laoghaire harbour
Dun Laoghaire harbour

A new cruise ship berth granted planning permission in Dun Laoghaire harbour has been met with mixed reaction from local businesses.

The €18m development will allow ships of 250 metres in length to enter the port, paving the way for luxury cruise liners to dock at Dun Laoghaire.

But locals are concerned that they will see little of the increased tourist trade promised by the development.

"It's going to put more nails in the coffin in Dun Laoghaire," said Andrew Ball, of Dunphy's Bar.

"I personally don't think it's going to give us anything. People get on buses and go to the city - we don't see much of the benefit."

Declan Coates of Cameo Jewellers
Declan Coates of Cameo Jewellers

Neglected

Danielle Kelly, of Hicks butchers, said that anywhere away from the seafront has been "forgotten about".

"It was better when the boats from England were coming over on day trips. Most were originally from Dun Laoghaire or local and would stay here for the day," she said.

"But now because they've stopped them they're all going out to town."

Declan Coates of Cameo Jewellers said that money might be better spent on developing the town.

"It's lovely down on the seafront, but they've neglected up here on the streets," he said.

However, some locals were looking forward to added business from the cruise ships.

Danielle Kelly of Hick's Butcher's,
Danielle Kelly of Hick's Butcher's,

The staff of seafront shop Meadows & Byrne believe it will add to their business.

"The more people, the more money. We get a lot of tourists and it's going to get a lot busier," said Justyna Krawczyk.

Don McManus, of Dun Laoghaire Business Improvement District, said that he is fully behind the development.

"You get people who say thousands of people walking around Dun Laoghaire would be bad for business, but I would struggle to find the rationale behind that," he said.

"If that harbour benefits a community in Bray or Greystones or Glendalough, they have every right to benefit from that.

"The future looks bright."

Councillor Carrie Smyth, leader of Labour Group of Councillors DLRCC, said the decision now "has to be welcomed".

"The new cruise berth will allow cruise ships of 250 metres in length, not 400 metres that Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company applied for in their application," she said.

"I and my Labour colleagues on the council look forward to working with the community, stakeholders and individual users of [the] harbour to ensure their activities will be protected and grow into the future."

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