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Calls have been made by local residents to open Dun Laoghaire Port up to more medium-sized cruise ships.

With the announcement that Dublin Port will be reducing the amount of cruise liners allowed to dock, some Dun Laoghaire residents are calling on the local council to up the amount of permitted cruise ships to berth at the harbour.

Due to a need to accommodate cargo ships once the UK formally leaves the EU, Dublin Port has announced they will curtail cruise ship bookings from 2021.

Simon Maher, a resident of the area and 8Radio founder says that: “I reckon there is revenue to be made here with the small and medium sized cruise ships.

“Quite a few 100m – 180m boutique cruise ships on the circuit – not as many as there are big ones but quite a few nonetheless.

“Even if everybody just got off and bypassed Dun Laoghaire totally (…) then the berthing and provisioning fees alone would provide a very welcome boost to what is now a publicly owned harbour,” he says.

According to a Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council spokesperson, the amount of cruise liners “varies from year to year; in 2019 there will be seven cruise ships however in 2020 there will be 21 visits. In addition to this, bookings by cruise operators are already being made for 2021.”

Peter Fry, another local resident says that some incentive has to be given for the cruise-goers to stay in Dun Laoghaire once they disembark.

“We could have a plaza with designer shops like Kildare Village and unique Irish products – we have great cottage industry shops here.

“We are giving a reason for them to get off the boat, see something of interest locally and an option to be in the city centre within 30 minutes,” he says.

According to the county council they are “facilitating an increase in cruise ship visits as evidenced by the 2020 figures.

“We will continue to look at facilitating and welcoming additional cruise vessels.”