Marina Update

Development and regeneration at Skerries harbour is nothing new. Since the earliest recorded development of the harbour in 1496, the communities living in Skerries and its surroundings have been keenly interested in enhancing the natural protected harbour with which they were blessed. Through parliamentary petitions, lobbying & voluntary repairs, the pier was eventually finished in the mid 18th century at which stage the entire cycle recommenced as the development had not been “future-proofed” & was viewed as too small to protect commercial ventures. The 20th century saw further extensive lobbying which culminated in an extension being finished in 1970 and was immediately pronounced ‘inadequate’ for present needs and future expansion of the fishing fleet.

In later times, several reports and studies have been commissioned by The Marine Institute, Fingal County Council and Skerries Sailing Club and their broadly converging views may be summarized as follows;

1989 Kirk McClure Morton
Development of Skerries harbour to include berths for 80 fishing vessels, fish processing plant & 200 berth marina using the current topography and pier as the basis for extensive further protective works.

1999 Development Strategy for Marine Leisure Infrastructure
Recognised that Skerries has the potential for a large scale (>75 berths) marina. Whilst not making any recommendations based on economic grounds, the study established the credentials of Skerries in providing an asset which would provide for not only local access but also for marine tourism

2000 David Prior Associates Kirk McClure Morton
Proposed a 300 berth marina to include a new clubhouse and, ancillary buildings using capital raised from disposal of current clubhouse & boat-park. The scale of infrastructure required to protect marina made it unfeasible & contentious amongst local residents.

2008 Royal Haskoning on behalf of Fingal County Council
Investigated current utilization of harbour & made some basic attempts to examine marina feasibility. Whilst it was the 1st study to identify the broader benefits a marina development would bring to the community, it did not carry out sufficiently in-depth analysis to come to any conclusions about commercial viability of adapting the harbour to increase yields from the asset apart from recognizing the importance of balancing scale with acceptable impact on the environment.

Over The past 2 years, the Club has held extensive exploratory discussions with most of the major marine consultancies on a pro-bono basis in order to fully understand both the optimal development potential and to establish a sound basis for proceeding with a development which would; (a) ensure SSC was at the core of any development (b) would be sympathetic to the environment and local population and (c) would maintain the strong ethos of inclusivity within the Club viz dinghy & youth sailing

Ownership of the harbour, having been transferred to Fingal County Council is now in the hands of an organisation that is progressive in its views of both how the harbour area should be protected but also, of how the asset that is Skerries Harbour can be best utilized. In fact, the Development Plan 2011-2017, to which SSC made its submission regarding a marina development, acknowledges that such development within the harbour is perhaps the best way of meeting its key objectives for the harbour. .

As part of its submission to The Council, SSC’s Marina Sub-Committee has prepared an in-depth analysis of the potential in-harbour development and a copy of this report, click below.

Click to view:
Marina Project Document (7.7MB Document)

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