Analysis: Argument for relocating Dublin Port holds no water

Some say it’s been done with Amsterdam and Barcelona, but moving Dublin Port to somewhere like north of Balbriggan or Arklow is simply not the same thing, says Trinity professor Philip Lawton

Dublin Port. From an ecological perspective, creating new land for a port the scale of Dublin’s would be an extraordinary step, and fly against our need to think sustainably. Picture: Shutterstock

The pet notion of moving Dublin port from its current location to free up space for a ‘new city by the sea’ has recently been back in the headlines again, being pushed by Harry Crosbie and David McWilliams. Commonly, this is premised on a notion that cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Bremen, and Oslo have moved their ports for the purposes of redevelopment. This is, plainly, misleading.

Comparing the proposal to relocate Dublin Port to a new location in Bremore, north of Balbriggan, or south, to Arklow to the evolutions of the various European ports is not an apples-to-apples comparison. This, along with ever-changing ecological challenges, has serious implications for any suggestion to move such a large piece of infrastructure as Dublin Port.