Cruising Lifts the Liffey Bridges

Cruising Lifts the Liffey Bridges


John Leahy, Honorary Secretary Cruising Association of Ireland, reported on this years "Three Bridges Liffey" 

The "Three Bridges Liffey" Cruising Association of Ireland cruise is an annual end of season mini social cruise which attracts a large number of east coast sailors to mark the end of another summer afloat.

Typically hosting thirty plus yachts from 28 feet up to 50 feet cruising up the Liffey with dress flags flapping as they skillfully motored under all three bridges and all followed by an end of season dinner and craic.

The name “Three Bridges”comes from the fact that only once per annum all three Liffey Bridges open simultaneously to permit the fleet to sail nearly up to the old limit point of Butt Bridge. A new pedestrian bridge is the last barrier these days, but they are within a couple of hundred metres of the centre of the city.

To get the three bridges open at once is a massive operation and thanks has to go to Dublin Port and Dublin City Council for permitting this to happen. Traffic management all over central Dublin has to be put in place, since during the cruise the only way over the eastern Liffey is the East Link and Butt Bridge.

This year the fleet were blessed with autumn sunshine on the Saturday and 33 boats left the Poolbeg Sailing Club at 1230 hours to be there for the bridge opening at 1330. East Link opened first, followed by Samuel Beckett Bridge and then swinging pedestrian bridge upstream. They completed two circuits of the Liffey anticlockwise before berthing at the Liffey Port Pontoon beside the Point Arena - it was really quite a spectacle (see gallery below).

Many coastal cruises end with a stroll in a local village or social chats on deck, so this cruise organised a guided walking tour of Dublin led by Joe Varley for those looking for a stretch, which the rest of the gang enjoyed being rafted up in the warm sunshine and swapped stories of their summer cruises.

Cruising in company brings together the joy of sailing and exploring with the fun of socialising with like minded sailors. CAI welcome new members at the very low rate of €30 per annum and not only provide a social and cruising calendar but great support and advise.

It takes an army to make an event like this happen smoothly and CAI would like to thank .. 

  • Dublin Port and Harbour Master Tristan Murphy and his team
  • Dublin City Council with thanks to Seamus Storan and Derek Graydon
  • Clayton Hotel
  • Marine parts direct
  • Malahide marina
  • Howth marina
  • DL marina
  • Greystones Harbour marina
  • Irish Sailing

Photographs by Aidan Coughlan

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