East Pier terminal

The first drive-on / drive-off car ferry service between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire came in 1965 and to facilitate theHolyhead Ferry 1 extensive engineering works were carried out on both sides of the Irish Sea.  At Holyhead the Mail Pier berth was modified and provided with a linkspan but at Dun Laoghaire things were not so straightforward and a temporary berth on the East Pier had to be constructed while plans for a more permanent solution were discussed. 

 

The announcement of the new service by Mr HC Johnson, Chairman of the London Midland Region of British Rail, on 9th July 1963 caused an outcry at Dun Laoghaire where the new terminal would force the National Yacht Club to move from its premises near the East Pier. After five months of arguing the Irish Government finally announced that the terminal should be constructed other than at the East Pier. However, until the final site for the new terminal could be agreed a temporary terminal was built at the East Pier site.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 205 - 24 October, 1963

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Car Ferry Service at Dún Laoghaire.

Mr. Cosgrave

8. Mr. Cosgrave asked the Minister for Transport and Power, what is the present position about the proposed car-ferry service at Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Transport and Power (Mr. Childers) Erskine Hamilton Childers 

Minister for Transport and Power (Mr. Childers): British Railways have announced their intention of operating a car-ferry service between Holyhead and Dún Laoghaire, commencing in May, 1965. I have undertaken that the necessary terminal facilities will be provided in good time at Dún Laoghaire harbour. The question of the siting of the terminal has been under careful examination. The most readily available satisfactory site for such a terminal would be at the East Pier. The possibility of using other sites is also under examination. The matter has been the subject of discussion with representatives of the Dún Laoghaire Corporation, but no final decision in the matter has yet been taken.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 205 - 13 November, 1963

Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Dún Laoghaire Car Ferry Terminal.

Dr. Browne

24. Dr. Browne asked the Minister for Transport and Power what is the present position regarding the proposal to build a terminal for a car ferry service at Dún Laoghaire; whether the amenities at present enjoyed by the public on the seawall will be interfered with; and what proposals are to be made for the rehousing of the National Yacht Club should the terminal make the present premises and moorings no longer available.

Mr. Childers

Mr. Childers: I would refer the Deputy to the reply given by me to a previous similar question on 24th October last. The matter is still under examination and I am not yet in a position to indicate the final decision. I hope to be able to do so shortly.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 206 - 10 December, 1963

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dún Laoghaire Car Ferry Terminal.

Mr. O'Keeffe

35. Mr. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Transport and Power whether he is yet in a position to indicate the final decision regarding the building of a terminal for a car ferry service at Dún Laoghaire; and, if so, if he will indicate its nature.

Dr. Browne

36. Dr. Browne asked the Minister for Transport and Power if he will make a further statement with regard to the provision of a car ferry terminal at Dún Laoghaire.

Mr. Booth

37. Mr. Booth asked the Minister for Transport and Power whether a final decision has yet been reached as to the siting of the terminal for the proposed car-ferry service at Dún Laoghaire; and whether full account has been taken of the injustice of forcing the National Yacht Club to vacate their present premises and moorings, and of the need to provide an adequate road system to cater for the additional traffic.

Minister for Transport and Power (Mr. Childers) Erskine Hamilton Childers 

Minister for Transport and Power (Mr. Childers): I propose, with your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, to take Questions Nos. 35, 36 and 37 together.

The Government have decided that the permanent Irish terminal for the proposed British Railways car ferry from Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire should be constructed at a site other [793] than the East Pier. Investigations will be carried out by the Office of Public Works to determine the suitability of St. Michael's Wharf for the purpose and also the possibility of some other alternative suitable sites being available in the harbour.

The ferry service is scheduled to commence in May, 1965. It would not be possible to have a permanent terminal sufficiently advanced before that date at any site other than the East Pier. Temporary facilities not involving reclamation of the seabed or interference with yachting facilities will have to be provided in the interim period at the East Pier.

Dr. Browne

Dr. Browne: What does the Minister mean by the interim period? Has he any idea how long that may be?

Mr. Childers

Mr. Childers: Until the Commissioners for Public Works have made a final decision on the site, it would be impossible for me to say, but I should think it will be about two or three years.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 208 - 12 March, 1964

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dún Laoghaire Car Ferry Service.

Mr. Cosgrave 

27. Mr. Cosgrave asked the Minister for Finance when work will commence on the proposed car ferry service at Dún Laoghaire.

Mr. O'Malley 

Mr. O'Malley: The work necessary for the temporary car ferry terminal at the East Pier consists of dredging, the construction of a wharf and dolphins with a mechanically operated ramp, the buildings to accommodate passengers etc. The dredging work is in progress and tenders for the wharf and dolphins received this week are being considered. That work will start soon and be followed by the provision of [929] the ramp and buildings. The aim is to have these temporary facilities ready for the commencement of the ferry service in May, 1965.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 209 - 28 April, 1964

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dún Laoghaire Car Ferry Service.

Mr. Booth

20. Mr. Booth asked the Minister for Transport and Power whether he accepts that the proposed car-ferry service from Dún Laoghaire to Holyhead will be of national importance so far as tourist promotion is concerned; and whether he will now reconsider the request for some considerable financial contribution from Dún Laoghaire Corporation towards the cost of the terminal installation.

Mr. J. Lynch

Mr. J. Lynch: The proposed car ferry service will be of national importance to the tourist industry, but it will have special significance for Dún Laoghaire only if the terminal is located there.

The most readily available and satisfactory site in Dún Laoghaire harbour from the navigational, economic and operational points of view for the permanent car ferry terminal would be at the East Pier. In response, however, to the strong representations of Dún Laoghaire Corporation and other local interests that the selection of that site would seriously interfere with local amenities, the Government decided not to locate the permanent terminal there. In view of the fact that it was estimated that the choice of a site other than the East Pier would increase the cost of the terminal by about £130,000, the Government also decided that Dún Laoghaire Corporation should be asked to meet the extra cost. The Corporation agreed to review the matter when the position in regard to the permanent terminal had been finally determined and in the circumstances I see no [470] reason to reconsider the request made to them.

Further examination has indicated that a full investigation of other possible sites in Dún Laoghaire Harbour would involve a delay of nearly two years. This would mean that a permanent terminal could not be provided earlier than 1968 and that the East Pier would have to be used as a temporary terminal until then. On the other hand it has been confirmed that the St. Michael's Wharf site offers adequate facilities to meet the traffic in the foreseeable future. In the circumstances, it has been decided to proceed with the construction of the permanent terminal at St. Michael's Wharf. It is hoped that the permanent terminal will be usable by 1966. The East Pier will then be fully restored as quickly as possible to its original condition and use.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 209 - 05 May, 1964

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dún Laoghaire Car-Ferry Service.

Mr. Cosgrave

26. Mr. Cosgrave asked the Minister for Transport and Power if he is aware that, while the proposal to establish the car-ferry service in Dún Laoghaire is welcomed, there is considerable concern at the effect this proposal will have on the amenities at Dún Laoghaire harbour; if he will ensure that permanent or temporary ferry service facilities will not interfere with the amenities; and if he will also arrange that any development work will be carried out in consultation with the Dún Laoghaire Corporation.

Mr. Childers

Mr. Childers: The provision of an interim car ferry terminal at the East Pier will interfere temporarily with the [933] amenities of portion of the lower deck of the pier and with yacht mooring facilities. This interference is inevitable because the East Pier is the only site in Dún Laoghaire Harbour where the temporary facilities can be got ready in time for the commencement of the car-ferry service in May, 1965. As I have indicated on a number of occasions, the pier will be restored to its original condition and use when the permanent terminal is ready.

I announced in reply to a Dáil Question on 28th April last that the permanent terminal will be located at St. Michael's Wharf and it is hoped to have it usable by 1966. This site was chosen to obviate interference with local amenities.

The completion of the works at both sites will still permit the provision of yacht moorings in the harbour to the same extent as a present.

Dún Laoghaire Corporation are being consulted at every stage of the planning of the temporary and permanent car-ferry terminals.

Mr. Cosgrave 

Mr. Cosgrave: Is the Minister in a position to say what the cost of the temporary terminal will be? Is it a fact that it is suggested by his Department that the cost should be borne by the Dún Laoghaire ratepayers?

Mr. Childers 

Mr. Childers: The Government decided that Dún Laoghaire Corporation should be asked to make a contribution towards the construction of the pier and the provision of temporary facilities owing to the fact that it should increase very largely the number of persons staying in Dún Laoghaire. Certainly, having regard to the fact that when the ferry is running at full stretch, the first vessel will leave at 6.15 a.m. and the last at 11.45 p.m., it should offer an ideal opportunity to the Dún Laoghaire Tourist Association to encourage people to stay there to see Dublin, to take advantage of the amenities there or spend some time there on their way through to other parts of the country. The extra cost of the temporary facilities will be roughly £100,000, of which £25,000 will be recoverable.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 221 - 22 March, 1966

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dún Laoghaire Car Ferry.

Dr. O'Connell

9. Dr. O'Connell asked the Minister for Transport and Power the total cost of the car ferry terminal at Dún Laoghaire and the total contribution to it from Exchequer funds.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Dr. Hillery) (for the Minister for Transport and Power) Patrick J. Hillery 

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Dr. Hillery) (for the Minister for Transport and Power): The estimated cost of the temporary terminal at the East Pier is £143,500 but equipment and material to the value of £25,000 can be salvaged for use in the permanent terminal, which is now under construction at St. Michael's Wharf. The total cost of the terminals, estimated at £925,000, will be borne by the Exchequer.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 241 - 08 July, 1969

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dún Laoghaire Car Ferry Structure.

Mr. Desmond

52. Mr. Desmond asked the Minister for Transport and Power his Department's intentions concerning the future use of the original car ferry structure at Dún Laoghaire harbour.

Mr. B. Lenihan

Mr. B. Lenihan: When announcing the selection of St. Michael's Wharf Dún Laoghaire as the site for the permanent car ferry terminal my predecessor indicated that the East Pier [185] would be restored to its original condition as quickly as possible after the service was transferred to the new terminal. This is still the intention but it is proposed to defer action until the new terminal has been satisfactorily tested in operation. I expect to be able to come to a final decision on the matter about the end of the year.

It is possible that some of the works at the East Pier such as the ramp access to the Marine Parade may be regarded as a useful amenity and retained.

Dr. FitzGerald

Dr. FitzGerald: That means that the Minister does not propose to restore it to its original condition, contrary to his predecessor's assurance.

Mr. B. Lenihan

Mr. B. Lenihan: To restore it to a condition at least as good as its previous condition. Let us not quibble.
 

Dáil Éireann - Volume 248 - 14 July, 1970

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dún Laoghaire Car Ferry.

Mr. Moore

24. Mr. Moore asked the Minister for Finance when the temporary car ferry terminal will be dismantled to return the pier at Dún Laoghaire to its [968] original form; and what is it intended to do with the dismantled materials.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance (Mr. Lemass) Noel T. Lemass 

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance (Mr. Lemass): The contract for the dismantling of the temporary car ferry terminal building is almost completed. The materials of the main fabric become the property of the contractor but the internal fittings are being retained by the Office of Public Works for other use.

Mr. Moore

Mr. Moore: Could the Parliamentary Secretary be more explicit on the date of commencement of the work?

Mr. Lemass

Mr. Lemass: The contract for the removal of the temporary car ferry building was placed on 13th May, 1970. The work will be finished in about one week's time. The clearing of the surface of the site will take a further week. The future of the bailey bridge and of the lift is subject to consultation with the Department of Transport and Power. It is my intention to honour the pledge made by the previous Minister for Transport and Power in this regard.

Dr. FitzGerald

Dr. FitzGerald: Why was the work held up until the middle of the tourist season and not completed a month ago?

Mr. Lemass

Mr. Lemass: When surplus State property becomes available it is a regulation that each Government Department must be consulted in order to know whether they have use for it. Having gone through this procedure and having had a meeting with the Department of Transport and Power, Bord Fáilte and other interested bodies, we advertised for the sale of the building material in the structure.