Update at Christmas 2019

From the Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association Committee

Table Quiz & Auction
A special thanks to all who supported our Table Quiz and Auction in Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel three weeks ago by donating auction lots and prizes and by attending on the night.  Over €6500 was raised for our Judicial Review Campaign.  It was a most entertaining evening and we are grateful to Jim Coffey, our Quizmaster, and Sean Buckley, our auctioneer, for their contribution to the success of the event.

Bulloch Bicentenary Exhibition
The lecture series organised by the Dublin Port Company in association with BHPA has now concluded but the exhibition on Level 5 of the Lexicon, Dun Laoghaire runs until 7th January.  A number of charts and drawings from the Port Archives are on display along with memorabilia and photos of activities at the Harbour, and it is worth a visit over the Christmas/New Year period if you have not seen it.

Bulloch Pier repairs
We are pleased to tell you that the repair works are now complete and the pier has re-opened for public access.  A number of small items still remain to be tackled in the New Year.  We are most grateful to the Dublin Port Company and the Port Engineer, Eamon McElroy, for taking on the major restoration of the inner corner of the pier.  This was done under the supervision of a conservation engineer in order to rebuild the structure in its original form, with the insertion of new concrete foundations below the harbour bottom.  The lack of adequate foundations had led to the undermining and erosion of the silt under the pier wall by strong tidal eddies and this caused the stone courses to dip and move rapidly since the summer of 2018.

John King R.I.P.
It is worth noting that the funeral has taken place in Dalkey of the late John King, a lifelong friend and user of Bulloch Harbour.  John wrote a report on the instability of the stonework on the inner corner of the pier in 2009 but this failed to precipitate corrective measures at the time.  It somehow seems fitting that the pier repairs have concluded on the day of his funeral.  We extend our deepest sympathy to his family.  May he Rest in Peace.

Judicial Review Campaign
Our Judicial Review Hearing was due ‘For Mention’ in the High Court on the 3rd December but An Bord Pleanála requested an adjournment and this will now take place on 14th January 2020.  It should be just a procedural exchange between the Counsel for both parties, and we anticipate that we will then be given a date for our Full Judicial Review Hearing later in 2020.

Seasonal Greetings
May we conclude by thanking all of you for your support for our Campaign and wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Donate to Bulloch Harbour Judicial Review Campaign


Bulloch auction preview 4: some finer things

Continuing our preview of items for auction (final list subject to advice and discretion of auctioneer).  In this post we are illustrating the following items

  • Lunch for two at Leinster House with Minister (and local TD) Mary Mitchell O’Connor
  • Hugh Leonard’s Montblanc pen
  • M Frey earrings
  • A Swiss Army watch
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Lunch for two at Leinster House with Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD
hugh leonard pen
Hugh Leonard’s own Montblanc pen – see auction preview 1 for details.

We are also delighted to have been given for auction a Victorinox Swiss Army wristwatch, with original box and documentation.  And a pair of enamel and gold hooped earrings from jeweller M Frey in Vienna, from the Egyptian collection.



Bulloch auction preview 3: art

Continuing our preview of lots to be auctioned on Saturday 30 November 2019, at our fundraising table quiz happening at 8pm at Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel Killiney.  We are delighted to offer** a selection of fabulous art works including the following:

roundstone bhpa pic
Ervallagh Roundstone – by Tony McCarthy
bhpa jugs pic
Local contemporary artist Denise French
The Americas Cup print of New York v Canada battle – won by Madeleine of NY in 1876
Watercolour of Dun Laoghaire by Heather McKay


bhpa pic cleere
Oils by Waterford artist Phyl Cleere


** the final auction selection will be subject to the advice of the auctioneer Mr Buckley.

Bulloch auction preview 2: sport

This post continues our preview of the fabulous auction lots available at our Table Quiz and Auction night on Saturday 30 November in aid of the Bulloch Harbour judicial review campaign.  We have been most generously donated some tremendous items for sports fans of all colours.

A signed Cuala jersey

The jersey is signed by all the members of the team which won the All Ireland Senior Hurling Club championship in 2017 & 2018.  It is also signed by the Manager, Mattie Kenny, who is now the manager of the Dublin Hurling team.  It doesn’t get any better.

cuala bhpa

six nations bhpaPair of tickets for a Six Nations match – the tickets will be for one of the home matches which this year are with Scotland, Wales and Italy and are for debenture seats in Patrons section of the Aviva.


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A round of golf for four at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club. 
goldenfalls bhpa
Six water skiing lessons from the Golden Falls Waterski Club.   Value €300. 


Bulloch Auction preview 1: local interest

You’ll have seen that on Saturday 30 November we are holding a fundraising table quiz and auction in aid of our Bulloch Harbour Judicial Review campaign – details here.

Over the coming fortnight we will be showcasing the different auction sale items and raffle prizes that have been so generously donated by the people and businesses of Dalkey, Sandycove and beyond.  Our first preview post concerns some auction items with very different Bullock connections.

hugh leonard pen

Hugh Leonard’s pen

The Dalkey playwright spent the last 25 years of his life living here in Bullock.  And we are delighted to be able to offer his Montblanc fountain pen for auction.  It comes with a letter of authentication.  The pen has been donated by his daughter who says “This pen was used by my dad on a daily basis when he was out and about…. for taking notes (this being an essential element of the writer’s craft), doing the crossword and signing lunch bills.  It is a classic Montblanc fountain pen – a fine instrument – but well used, as you’d expect. I’m hoping that it will become a treasured possession of one of his many fans.  He loved living in Bullock and I cannot think of a better way to find a new home for his pen.”

Boat charter 

belugaSkipper Jeff Brownlee has given us a two hour boat charter for ten people on board his charter boat “Beluga” to the value of €650.  He has a long association with Bullock and now runs a company known as Aqua Marine Charter operating from Dun Laoghaire – follow the link to the Aqua Marine website to see just how fabulous this auction item is.

EIRE Flyover at Hawk Cliff framed photograph

In 2019 Dalkey Tidy Towns restored the EIRE WWII sign at Hawk Cliff off the Vico Road.  The photograph shows the flyover during the Coastwatchers event in September.

eire sign bhpa

A punt – that’s a small boat for rowing out to a yacht or other vessel at anchor.  Just the ticket for the yachtsman in your life – here it is to the right in blue.  Recently restored, ideal for Fly Fishing, boat tender, etc – with Outboard Engine stern mounting.
bhpa boat

Our list of fabulous raffle prizes (honestly, some are so good that they could be in the auction) includes a hour’s boat rental out of Bullock, from Monica Smyth, Monica Smythpictured.  This is a super way to spend an afternoon.  Terms and conditions apply, of course.  And no more than the water ski-ing, you’ll need to wait for summer.

We’ll be posting more in coming days about other auction items from the extensive list of offers and pieces so kindly donated by so many people.


Bulloch Harbour Quiz Night – updated

Bullock quiz night poster1

(See below for updated booking details).  Join us on Saturday 30 November 2019 at 8pm Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel in Killiney for a fundraising table quiz and auction.  The winning team will be awarded a valuable cash prize.  Ireland’s premier quizmaster Jim Coffey will be at the helm.  Our own local auctioneer Sean Buckley will be wielding the gavel.

Please come and bring your friends.  A table of four costs €40.  You can turn up and pay on the night but it’s better to book in advance.  You can do this by either dropping a note with your name, email and phone plus €40 to the blue house at Bullock harbour (Castleview – Monica Smyth’s) OR emailing with name and phone no and pay by credit card on Paypal using the Paypal link on our donations page.

If you are able offer an item for auction or a prize for the draw, please contact us at or leave a message for us on 086 827 7043. 

The money raised at this event will help fund the judicial review that Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association is bringing at the High Court to challenge the irrational decision by An Bord Pleanala to grant planning permission for Bartra Property’s proposed development mainly comprising luxury houses and apartments on the former Western Marine site.  Read more about the planning application and our campaign on this website.

Phase 2 of major fundraising appeal

At our public meeting on Wednesday 23rd October 2019 the second fundraising phase of Bulloch Harbour Judicial Review Campaign was launched.

Chair of BHPA Susan McDonnell was able to tell the buzzing room that the first fundraising phase generated a massive €30,000 crowdfunded by Bulloch Harbour supporters.  This has been a great boost to the judicial review campaign and grateful thanks are due to all who have given so generously.

Quiz Night – 30 November

The next phase of the campaign aims to raise another €30,000 by 2020.  A major fundraising event will be a Quiz Night and auction to be held on Saturday 30 November 2019 at Fitzpatrick’s Castle Killiney – more news re this in a separate post.

Further donations

Further donations are most welcome from individuals.  Existing donors are encouraged to spread word of the campaign and encourage further donations from friends and family.  See our donations page for how to give.

Auction donations

We welcome donations for the Quiz Night – substantial items for auction and smaller items for the prize draw.  If you would like to made such a donation or discuss the possibility, please either email us on or leave a message on 086 827 7043.

Bullock 200 talks re-run at Lexicon

From November 19th 2019 the Bullock 200 series of lectures -will be repeated at the Lexicon Library in Dun Laoghaire.

The lectures will be held weekly in the run-up to Christmas.  They are free to attend and no booking is required.  We reproduce the dlr Lexicon publicity.  These are cracking talks – and were packed out when the series was first held in 2018/19.  Attendance is heartily recommended.


bullock 200 lexicon talks

Green Light at the High Court and an illustration of the reasons why


On Monday 14 October 2019 Justice Noonan at the High Court considered our application for a Judicial Review of the An Bord Pleanala decision to grant planning permission for the Bartra development at Bullock, against the advice of their own planning inspectors and our county council.

This was only the application for a JR and, now having been granted “leave”, the actual thing is likely to happen in 2020.   But now given the green light to proceed with the review, we have been rummaging through the Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association photo box to remind ourselves of some of the reasons why we are pursuing this judicial review…

Multiple risks of flooding

The site proposed for development by Bartra Property is the former Western Marine commercial building and boatyard at Bullock Harbour.  This site is located at the sea end of Bullock Harbour and is so subject to extremely localised flooding that residential development has never previously occurred here.  Different types of flooding occur at Bullock and it helps to understand the nature of each.  Below we talk about tidal flooding and wave over-topping.

First there is the sort of tidal flooding that you expect to see along the coast during severe weather events where the waves lash over the harbour walls.

des march 2018 bullock

But the occurrence and character of tidal flooding is not that simple.  Spring tides can push the sea level up at high tide so that the pier is swamped on lovely days.  Furthermore, “fresh” east and north east winds are enough to whip up the seas so that high tide is surprisingly lively.  We have posted below examples of both of these.  Neither occurred during extreme weather events, the lower image being from a few days before storm Lorenzo this year.  Both were bad enough to make access to the  pier dangerous.  The entrances to the apartments and cafe proposed by Bartra Property would be located close to the pier and that end of the quay which is subject to tidal flooding.


bullock 1 oct2019

The second kind of flooding that we experience at Bullock is wave over-topping.  This is a coastal phenomenon that occurs at certain rock formations and in specific weather and tidal conditions.  The big Bullock rocks are just such a formation and the weather conditions involve a sustained east or north easterly wind (the fact of the sustained wind is more important than the wind speed) and high tide, especially compounded by a spring tide and /or full moon.  The result is that disproportionately huge waves descend on a small part of Bullock – that small part being the rocky outcrop and the former Western Marine building, where Bartra plans to build three 4000 sq feet hyper-luxury homes.  These waves are higher by far than any tidal waves and carry debris and projectiles.

Overtopping descends on Western Marine building
bullock overtopping
And the view from the harbour …
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The volume of water from persistent wave overtopping runs through the Western Marine site and flows in torrents into the harbour

Again, the most alarming wave-overtopping occurs during extreme weather but a “fresh” wind on the Beaufort Scale is enough to generate significant overtopping on a lovely sunny day.  The image below is from February 2017 – no storm, no storm warnings.

Screenshot 2019-10-10 at 10.51.29

Thanks to the BHPA supporters who have provided images and videos – these are only a small sample.  Some of these photos are stills from videos are available to view on our gallery and Facebook group “Save Bulloch Harbour”.


Public meeting – 23 October

A public meeting, organised by Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association, will be held on Wednesday 23 October at 8 pm in Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel, Killiney.  All are welcome to attend – no booking required.  The meeting will update local people and supporters on the progress of the Save Bulloch Harbour campaign and the fund-raising appeal for Judicial Review.

On 14 October the High Court will hear our application for judicial review.  The purpose of the judicial review is to challenge the An Bord Pleanala decision (against the recommendation of their own inspector) to grant planning permission for Bartra Property’s proposals for the Western Marine site at Bulloch.   By the 23 October, we will know that the JR is proceeding and be in a position to update the public on what has led to the Judicial Review, why we are pursuing it, and the fabulous support and generous donations received.


Judicial Review proceedings commenced

Members of Bullock Harbour Preservation Association were at the High Court today 21 August 2019 to hear Mr Justice McDonald open our application for Judicial Review of the An Bord Pleanala decision to grant planning permission for Bartra’s proposed “development” at Bullock.  The application had to be lodged within eight weeks of the ABP decision, hence the timing.
Being the summer’s “vacation judge”, Mr Justice McDonald promptly (and as expected) adjourned the proceedings and the full application will be heard on 14 October 2019.  If that hearing gives us leave to pursue the judicial review, there will then follow various actions on the part of both sides’ legal teams and we would expect that in November we will be given a date in 2020 for the actual JR.  It’s a slow old business.
Continuing thanks to all those who have given the moral and financial support that has enabled this legal action.  We will be keeping supporters posted on significant developments.  In principle we would like to hold a public meeting later in October when we will be able to explain more about the Judicial Review process and the case being pursued.