County Development plan for 2022-28

Now available on line – the consultation for the new Development Plan for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. A Development Plan is all about land use and “spatial planning” – that is, it provides the policy infrastructure for planning applications (as well as green space and other non-construction related uses). It’s long, so start reading now. We’ll be publishing more on this topic in coming weeks.

Bullock harbour and what’s in store for 2021

Here’s a summary of where we are as 2021 gets under way. 

Most visitors to this site know only too well that in 2019 Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association lodged an application for a High Court Judicial Review of the An Bord Pleanala decision to grant planning permission for the former Western Marine site.  In applying for the JR, our legal team set out a lengthy statement of grounds, detailing multiple deficiencies in the ABP decision.

In July 2020 following routine adjournments and after delays owing to the Covid pandemic, ABP through their solicitors conceded our case without the Judicial Review ever having taken place. This concession quashed ABP’s planning permission.  We subsequently learnt that ABP’s concession related to “Ground 3” which relates to deficiencies in the planning application relating to the Habitats directive and sections of the Planning and Development Act.   An Bord Pleanala did not concede other very important aspects of our case, for example the evidence of the vulnerability of the site to flooding and wave-overtopping.  The concession by ABP means that the High Court now requires ABP to reconsider their decision.  

ABP has therefore re-opened the case with a new reference and the planning process is now, once again, live.  This was, in essence, signalled by the flurry of correspondence in November 2020 to all those who had made observations to ABP in 2018 – as explained in the previous post.  A number of scenarios could now ensue and speculation is, at this stage, pointless.  What is now clear is that the matter is far from settled.  Keep watching this site for more news.  Thank you all for your continuing support.  

Update on Bullock Harbour Planning application, decision by An Bord Pleanala and Judicial Review

Below we have set out (1) a reminder of the events leading to Bullock Harbour Preservation Association’s application for a Judicial Review of the An Bord Pleanala decision to grant planning permission.  (2) We then explain what happened with the Judicial Review sought by Bullock Harbour Preservation Association (BHPA) . (3) We conclude with suggestions on how to respond to recent correspondence from An Bord Pleanala (ABP).

  • December 2017:  Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd apply to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for planning permission to develop the former Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour.  This is their second planning application for the site.
  • Some hundreds of “observations” are lodged with the county council objecting to the developer’s plans.
  • February 2018: Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council refuses planning permission
  • March 2018:   Bartra appeals the DLR decision to An Bord Pleanala
  • April 2018:  67 observations are made to An Bord Pleanala – including many by local residents and harbour users
  • An Bord Pleanala appoint an inspector to report on the appeal.
  • Around  June 2019, An Bord Pleanala’s inspector recommends upholding DLR’s refusal to grant planning permission
  • June 2019, the board of An Bord Pleanala, against the recommendation of their inspector, grants planning permission to Bartra.
  • August 2019, Bullock Harbour Preservation Association applies to the High Court for a judicial review of the ABP decision.  In this application our legal team, Fred Logue solicitor and John Kenny BL provide a “statement of grounds” which sets out the multiple reasons or grounds for requesting the judicial review.
  • October 2019, the High Court gives BHPA leave to pursue the judicial review
  • In July 2020 after various routine adjournments and after delays owing to the Covid pandemic, ABP through their solicitors stated that they would not defend the case in court and therefore the High Court quashed APB’s decision to grant planning permission.

We subsequently learnt that An Bord Pleanala’s conceded only on “Ground 3” which relates to deficiencies in the planning application relating to the Habitats directive and sections of the Planning and Development Act.  Please note this concession means that the Judicial Review did not actually proceed.  And also note that An Bord Pleanala did not concede other very important aspects of our case, for example the evidence of the vulnerability of the site to flooding and wave-overtopping.  The concession by ABP means that the High Court now requires ABP to reconsider their decision.  ABP has therefore re-opened the case with a new reference: ABP-308243-20.  As due process they have written to those who made an observation to ABP in April 2018. 

We set out below guidance on responding to An Bord Pleanala. The ABP website with inspector’s report and other salient documents is here. Various different scenarios could now ensue as a result of An Bord Pleanala being required to re-consider their decision and it would be unwise to speculate on a likely outcome.

An Bord Pleanala has written to those who lodged observations with them in April 2018 on the Bartra appeal.  If (and only if) you made such an observation and have received a letter from An Bord Pleanala inviting comment (and by 17 December) you could usefully include the following in your reply:

  1. The new reference number: ABP-308243-20.
  2. Request the board to require the developer Bartra to provide updated information in regard to the Environmental and Habitats Directives to enable the Board to make a new assessment.
  3. Ask the Board to reconsider the other grounds of the judicial review.
  4. Ask to be allowed to see and comment on any further information that the developer sends to the Board.

Please let us know if you write in to An Bord Pleanala – you can drop us a line at

High Court decision and correspondence from An Bord Pleanala

In today’s post… Yes I know it’s a Saturday but still today in our letterbox was a registered letter from An Bord Pleanala relating to the development of the Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour. Parts of this letter and the attachment are masterly in their obfuscation of the English language. So no comment or view is possible until we actually understand (a) what the letter means and (b) what action needs to be taken now.

Bullock Harbour Preservation Association are in contact our legal advisers and we will be in touch again soon with news and guidance. You will have received this letter if (and only if) you submitted an observation to An Bord Pleanala in Spring 2018 relating to Bartra Property’s appeal to ABP against the DLRCoCo refusal to grant planning permission. Thanks as ever for all the good wishes and support.

An Bord Pleanala concedes Bullock Harbour case in Judicial Review.  Planning permission quashed.

Bullock Harbour Preservation Association has tonight issued the following press release. 

In a letter to Bullock Harbour Preservation Association’s solicitors  An Bord Pleanala has conceded the Judicial Review brought by the association regarding a planning application for a contentious development on a site abutting Bullock Harbour. This effectively quashes the planning permission awarded by the board in 2019.  The association awaits further correspondence regarding the detail of ABP’s decision.

The planning application by developers Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd, made in 2017, proposed building luxury houses and apartments on a site immediately adjacent to the harbour and currently occupied by commercial buildings.  There have been multiple objections to the proposed development including the history of major flooding on the site from wave overtopping, the failure by the applicant to make proper environmental assessments and the overwhelmingly and incongruously large nature of the development in a sensitive site of maritime and natural heritage.

“This is great news for the community of users and residents of Bullock Harbour” said Dr Susan McDonnell, chair of Bullock Harbour Preservation Association.  “The proposed development was entirely unsuitable for this site in multiple regards.  We are so grateful to our supporters from Dalkey and beyond who have made this outcome possible.  And we await with interest the further correspondence from An Bord Pleanala”.

The planning application was refused permission in 2018 by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and appealed by Bartra Property to An Bord Pleanala that same year.  In 2019 ABP’s inspector recommended upholding the county council’s refusal but planning permission was none the less awarded by the board.  The Bullock Harbour Preservation Association accordingly applied for Judicial Review of the board’s decision in August 2019.

Dr McDonnell thanked FP Logue solicitors and barrister John Kenny who represented the Association throughout the proceedings.



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

mmoc bhpa.png
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.


dl golf club
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.