Lord Mayor continues tradition and casts spear at Dublin Port!

by Rose Barrett
0 comment

 Dublin Lord Mayor Caroline Conroy last week performed the annual ‘Casting of the Spear’ into Dublin Bay, an historic tradition that dates back to 1488, writes Rose Barrett!

By doing so, Mayor Conroy confirmed her title as Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port, upholding the memory of a 535-year-old tale.

In 1488, Lord Mayor of Dublin Thomas Mayler rode on horseback out to the city’s boundaries, facing bitter rain and fierce winds.  Braving these elements, Lord Mayor Mayler brandished a spear, which he vaulted out into the sea as he went.  Each casting of his spear marked a point on Dublin’s eastward boundary, the distance of which into the Irish Sea was determined by the Lord Mayor’s aim and strength.

More than half a millennium later, Dublin Port carries nearly two-thirds of all port traffic for Ireland and beneath all this activity lie the marks of Thomas Mayler’s original cast out. To commemorate this event, Mayor Conroy cast a spear of her own into Dublin Bay, her first official act as Honorary Admiral of the Port, a title she retains for her period in office. 

The Lord Mayor of Dublin and Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port, Cllr. Caroline Conroy pictured performing the ‘Casting of the Spear’ in Dublin Bay with Dublin Port CEO Barry O’Connell.

“This ritual has fascinated me for several years,” said Mayor Conroy. “A connection to these colourful aspects of our past remains of great cultural value to all Dubliners and Dublin Port remains ever more vital to our commercial and cultural life.”

Dublin Port CEO Barry O’Connell commented: “It’s astounding to think, with all our advancements in engineering today, that the original boundary of the city was set by one person casting a spear into the sea over 500 years ago.

“We’re currently in the process of developing a range of paths for cyclists and pedestrians running 5.5km across the Poolbeg Peninsula and 16km across the north side of the Liffey. These should allow Dubliners to look out over the full scope of this boundary set by a previous Lord Mayor over 500 years ago.”

Pic. Robbie Reynolds

Related Articles