Local response to Port Plan Review

Pictured: Action from the Ringsend Regatta.

NewsFour spoke to representatives from some of the clubs in the area to get their reaction to Dublin Port Company’s Masterplan Review which was presented to the public at a series of information days in February this year. Here’s what they had to say.

Roger Smith – Commodore Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club (PYBC)
“We’ve been involved with the Port for a long time on the plan. The important thing to note is that it’s a consultation period for a review of the plan. It’s not a statutory requirement for them to speak to us. This is just an early part of engaging with the community. The Port have taken that seriously. We’ve been taken over to the Port a few times, been shown what the plans are, been asked our opinions, and we’ve provided information on what our thoughts are.

“There is an impact to our club, of course. One of our prize assets is the view at the front of the club and that’s going to be taken away with a steel wall, which on the outset looks pretty daunting. But perhaps it’s necessary for safety reasons, for the port and for the marina. But it’s all at a very early stage at the moment and that’s where we are now.”

Liam Bannable – Chairman, Stella Maris Rowing Club
“I think it will have an effect on the club, obviously. It depends where they have to relocate the club to. Ideally, we want the club here because it’s safe for the kids.

They can cross the road at the lights and come over. I’ve heard talk about moving the clubs further down the quay wall – our club and the Poolbeg (Yacht Club) – which means our kids will have to walk further down to access our club. So that’s the worry for us. Here, at least all the clubs are together so you have plenty of people around to keep an eye on any of the kids who are here.

“My priority is the kids and the future of the club and the future of rowing. If we’re too far away from where everyone is living, they won’t walk down that long road to get to the club, their parents won’t allow them to. We understand that it’s something that has to happen for the economy, but I suppose for us the priority is the kids and the youth and the future of the club.”

Eddie Byrne – Ringsend Registered Fishermen and Private Boat Owners Association
“I think it’s going to be very good for Dublin. The economy of Dublin will increase because the people coming in have spending power. It will create more jobs, whether that be for locals or not, but it will create jobs.

“I don’t think it’s going to have any effect on the clubs, really. We may lose out with the widening of the roads, not with the tourists coming in. We are convinced that the clubs – Stella Maris, Patricks, the PYBC and the Local Boat Owners Association – will be compensated with the yard next door to us, which is leased out by Dublin Port to MTL at the moment.

“Failing that, the other alternative would be that Dublin Port Company look at the Pigeon House Harbour. It would have to be dredged, of course, but with all the work going on that wouldn’t be a big job for DCC to do; between them and the Port, who would own it. If we had to move out of here to facilitate them – by doing that work they could facilitate us.”

Pictured: Rowing at the Ringsend Regatta.

Richie Saunders – Chairman St Patricks Rowing Club
“The Port has to expand and they have to think 60 years ahead of everyone else for that to happen. Otherwise, the trade will move to somewhere else, such as Cork or Belfast. Goods will be shipped somewhere else and then be brought along the motorways if they don’t expand properly.

“We are slightly worried about the liners on the North Wall, for only two days of the year, the St Patrick’s regatta and the Stella’s regatta. But I’m sure we can come to some agreement about that. Here at St Patricks we are moving and progressing with the Port. The economy of the whole country relies on Dublin Port. Employment is the most important thing and if the Port moves the jobs go with it.”

By Jennifer Reddin