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EASTER RISING COACH TOUR

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ATTENTION COACH and TOUR OPERATORS

ATTENTION COACH and TOUR OPERATORS
Our friendly and excellent guides are available as Step On Guides for any visiting tour or coach operators who may like a unique, entertaining and educational tour of Irish History and the events of Easter Week 1916.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sandymount International Airport

On a warm summer afternoon a glance skywards as you lay on Sandymount beach a passenger jet blazes a trail across the sky but in the 1930’s plans were developed for a new International airport for Dublin to be located in Sandymount on the land now occupied by Sean Moore Park and the Irish Glass Bottle site. In the early days of the Free State, international flights left from Kildonan Aerodrome in Finglas but when Aer Lingus was launched in 1936, its first flights departed from Baldonnel. The decision was eventually made that a former RAF airfield at Collinstown would be developed into what is today Dublin Airport.

In 1935 following a Dublin Ports and Docks Board visit to Sydenham Airport (now George Best Airport) in Belfast which was built on reclaimed land, the plan was proposed to build a walled enclosure to reclaim land from the sea from Newgrove Avenue to the Pigeon House and into Irishtown. The report stated that the 15,000 feet wall would enclose 1,400 acres and with reclamation would cost £1.5 million with another £1m needed to build a runway and infrastructure. Its proximity to the tram line into the city centre and the nearby railway station at Sandymount Avenue were cited as important criteria.

In 1936, Mr. J Johnson Mullan of Sandymount Castle in a letter to the Irish Press advocated the plan as an excellent idea and marvelled at the possibility of seeing the lights of an international airport on the foreshore. He recommended that the Dublin Corporation and the DPDB immediately begin work its implementation. The first flight into the completed alternative Dublin Airport was in January 1940 after a three year building project

An aerodrome of sorts in Sandymount was operational during the visit of the aircraft carrier USS John F Kennedy in 1996. With the massive vessel anchored in Dublin Bay, Ciaran Haughey’s Celtic Helicopters operated a sightseeing service for the duration of the visit from what is today the park area nearest the beach on Strand Road. Two helicopters were deployed and hundreds availed of the opportunity to have a helicopter jaunt out over Dublin Bay spotting both the massive ship and most probably their own home from the air. 

At one stage proposals were placed before Dublin County Council for the creation of a heliport on the Poolbeg Extension but were quickly shelved.

In 1998 the then Councillor and later An Tainiste John Gormley complained at a Dublin Corporation meeting that a deal had been struck between the Corporation and Celtic Helicopters to allow Sean Moore Park as a base for commercial flights. The Corporation did admit there was an agreement but that it was only for occasional flights and they did not reveal the financial arrangements that had been made.




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