Dublin Port Centre maritime garden opens

Above: An Taoiseach Mr. Leo Varadkar TD, (left) with Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha, Lucy McCaffrey, Chairperson of Dublin Port Company and Eamonn O’Reilly, CEO, pictured after unveiling the new art installation sphere.

On Thursday, October 12, one objective set out in the Dublin Port Masterplan Review reached an important milestone when Dublin Port Company Chairperson,

Lucy McCaffrey, and Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, invited Guests of Honour Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath and Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port Mícheál Mac Donncha, and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, as well as representatives from communities surrounding the Port and DPC staff, to celebrate the official opening of the new Dublin Port Centre and maritime garden.
Speaking at the event, Eamonn O’Reilly reiterated the company’s promise to make the Port once again part of Dublin life and to “soften its boundaries to the city,” with greater public access, including extensive waterside cycle paths and walkways.
Mr O’Reilly said, “Dublin Port is delighted to begin this new chapter of port-city integration. In recent years, the connection has waned somewhat, but this a new era for the Port. Rebuilding the connection between the Port and the city, which was so stronga century ago, is something which will be at the core of everything we do going forward.”
An Taoiseach, Mr. Leo Varadkar TD, who launched the first Masterplan Consultation Document in 2011, welcomed the opening of the Port. He recalled one of his favourite engagements as Minister for Transport was a 5.30am tour of the Port when “it’s at its busiest.” He does love his early mornings!
Praising DPC management and workers for their commitment to the capital and for their ongoing engagement with the community An Taoiseach said, “This new project will enhance port-city integration to the benefit of city dwellers and visitors. Dublin Port is at the heart of what is emerging as one of the most exciting neighbourhoods in the city, and the opening of this Port centre will add to the buzz and energy of this area, as well as providing locals with a host of new amenities to enjoy.”

Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha unveiled a stunning new sculptural sphere, inspired by the spherical-shaped time ball that dropped daily on the top of the Ballast Office at O’Connell Bridge to signal Greenwich Mean Time to passing ships. The sphere reflects the surroundings of the Port Centre and provides a focal point at the plaza.
After the speeches, it was time to party. And what a party! DPC treated guests to a magical night, with a mouth-watering menu (which was catered by The Q Café Company Limited) a generous bar and top-class musical entertainment with Damien Dempsey, John Sheahan of The Dubliners, The Blades, Lisa O’Neill, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Catherine Fitzgerald, many of whom were featured in Dublin Port’s 2016 album Starboard Home.
The garden is bound to become a special place with Dubliners and visitors to the city. Located behind remarkable, Cor-Ten steel pedestrian entrances (you can’t miss them) at Alexandra Road and East Wall Road, it combines contemporary and historical themes, with beds of sea grasses surrounded by brightly coloured seating for reflection and relaxation, a perfect place to escape the bustle of town.
Crane 292, a restored Stothert and Pitt crane from the 1960s, towers over the plaza, reminding visitors of the port’s rich industrial past.

Also featured is a new sculpture by up-and-coming Irish artist Eimear Murphy titled The Drop.
The Port Centre and new maritime garden are easily accessed from the city centre. Take the Luas to the 3Arena on the Red Line. Walk straight ahead as far as Alexandra Road. Turn left and walk two to three minutes. It’s across the road.

by Jennifer Reddin