Sandymount residents urge review of Dublin port

Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association to embark on campaign to stop container facility development

Sandymount residents are calling on Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to order an independent review of the future of Dublin port, including the port company’s plan to build a large-scale container storage facility overlooking Sandymount beach.

Samra, the Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association, will next week begin a campaign to stop the development of the 15-acre container terminal which it says would be a “blight on the UNESCO protected bay area” and result in additional pollution.

The campaign comes as a report commissioned by the State’s Irish Maritime Development Office found the port risks running out of capacity for key operations within 15 years.

The port company wants to locate the new container facility between the former glass bottle site, which has been designated for more than 3,500 apartments and the Irishtown nature reserve.


This location, Samra said, will result in additional visual, noise and light pollution as well as diesel emissions from large lorries delivering containers to the new site on a 24/7 basis.

“It will rely on heavy goods vehicles to transport huge volumes of containers to and from the terminal overlooking Sandymount Beach. This is contrary to the Government’s climate action plan,” Samra said.

“This could cause significant adverse health impacts from diesel pollution and loss of sleep from the noise. It is also inevitable that this is going to affect the birds on the adjacent nature reserve and the UNESCO biosphere with adverse environmental impact.”

Samra said the port company should consider other lands to expand its industrial activity. “There is land at the port that is not being adequately utilised such as land being used for non-core port-related activities (10 per cent) and what would seem like an inefficient use of land, i.e.10 acres being used as a car park when a multi-storey car park would free up land.”

Dublin Port Company said the container facility is part of Dublin Port’s Masterplan 2040 and the lands identified for the facility have not changed since 2018.

However, it said “significant adaptations " and adjustments had been made to its plans as a result of “extensive consultation” over the last two years with stakeholders “including local communities”.

Among these changes the company had halved the size of the proposed “container stack” from six to three which means “the containers will not be visible from Sandymount strand” it said.

There were “no other suitable lands available for future container operations that would enable [the company] to deliver on its mandate to facilitate growth in international trade” and “all land within [the company’s] control is being used appropriately for specific port purposes. Even now capacity pinch points are evident,” it said.

“Dublin Port believes that it has considered the views of all communities in the area, made significant adaptations and investment in accommodating all views and produced a plan which not only delivers on the needs of the national economy but also produces a range of impressive public amenities to cater for the needs of an expanding and diverse community.”

Samra is calling for Mr Ryan to commission an independent review by international experts to determine “the most up-to-date options for the development of Dublin Port”.

A spokeswoman for the minister said he had recently opened public consultation on a review of national ports policy. “My understanding is that Minister Ryan has spoken to SAMRA about this National Ports Policy Review, and that his opinion is that there is no need for an international review in addition to this comprehensive and ongoing National Ports Review.”

In a letter to Dublin Port earlier this year Mr Ryan said he had “significant concerns” in relation to the masterplan and some of the land earmarked for port expansion should be used for housing and to expand the nature reserve.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times