Campaign Launched by SAMRA to stop Giant Container Terminal Overlooking Sandymount Beach

Residents call for independent review of land use on Poolbeg Peninsula

The Sandymount and Merrion Residents’ Association (SAMRA) has launched a campaign to stop Dublin Port building a 15-acre container terminal on the Poolbeg Peninsula in Dublin City beside the Irishtown Nature Park, Sandymount Beach, and future homes for 10,000 residents. 

It has also called Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Transport, to commission an independent review of land use on the Poolbeg Peninsula to investigate how the land on the Peninsula (approximately 290 acres) is used and to determine if the site selected for the container terminal is the only possible option. 

While the Minister believes that there is no need for an independent review because of the recently launched review of National Ports Policy, Chairman of SAMRA David Turner said it was not relevant to the Port’s current expansion plan. 

“This National Ports Policy Review is looking at the policy framework for the development of Ireland’s port network. It will not investigate land use on Poolbeg Peninsula which is what we want an independent review to do,” he said.

Mr Turner said SAMRA was not objecting to the expansion of Dublin Port. It was objecting to the use of this unique location for heavy industry. He said it should be used for community amenities such as housing, community enterprise and the expansion of the Irishtown Nature Park.

Speaking at the launch of the ‘Save the Bay – No Containers’ campaign on Monday 13th November 2023, Mr Turner said: “Before the Government signs off on this 500m expansion it must assure the community that using this unique land, beside a UNESCO protected biosphere, a nature reserve and homes for 10,000 people, for heavy industrial expansion is the best and only option.”

SAMRA said there is other land on Dublin port that could be used to store containers. Approximately 10% of land on the Port’s 600-acre facility is not being used for core port activities (Ref: DPC Franchise Policy 2014) and the Dublin Port Company could use its CPO powers (Compulsory Purchase Order) to repurpose additional land that is currently not used for core port activities.

Despite repeated requests, the Dublin Port Company (wholly owned by the State) has not provided SAMRA with any details on whether alternative expansion plans were considered.

Mr Turner said the terminal will add visual, noise, light, and diesel exhaust pollution. 

Mr Turner said that according to the Dublin Port Company the port will have reached its capacity by 2040 – five years after the planned expansion is due to be finished.

If built it will…

  • be the largest in Ireland.
  • overlook Sandymount Beach and will take up approximately 15 acres. This is the size of Sean Moore Park on the Beach Road in Sandymount.
  • stretch approximately 250 metres across the front of Sandymount Beach.
  • hold 3,000 containers which will be continuously moved in and out of the facility on a 24/7 basis by heavy goods vehicles.
  • overshadow and be larger than the Irishtown Nature Park beside it which means that this reserve can never be expanded.
  • be 150m from the Glass Bottle development which will be home to 10,000 residents.
  • impact negatively on what is one of the best bird watching sites in Dublin and home to many protected species.
  • have containers and gantry crane that will be as high as a four-storey building