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Huge costs sink Crosbie's cruise terminal

DOCKLANDS developer Harry Crosbie's hopes of relocating the city's cruise ship terminal closer to the city centre appear to be sunk.

The entrepreneur was promoting the idea of allowing cruise liners to dock downstream from the East Link bridge rather than the current location at Alexander Basin.

However, the plan appears to be a non-runner due to the financial implications and the likelihood that it would involve significant reconfiguration of the Liffey.

Around 75 ships full of tourists land in Dublin every year but most are forced to berth in a working port surrounded by industrial activity.

Mr Crosbie had proposed that they should be allowed further up the river in order to get closer to the heart of the city -- but his hopes have been dashed by the Dublin Port Company (DPC).

A spokeswoman for the DPC told the Herald that while they would love to see more ships coming into public view, it is simply not feasible in most cases.

"A lot of the ships are too big to come up the Liffey," she said.

"If they fitted we'd be delighted to put them up the river. It would leave the berth free further down for cargo ships."

According to figures from the Port Company, 120,000 passengers and crew arrive in the capital on cruise liners each year, boosting the local economy by more than €35m.

Dublin is growing in popularity as a destination for liners and the Department of Tourism has recognised it as a key area for development.

However, the spokeswoman explained that a lot of technical factors would have to be considered before ships could routinely move up the Liffey.

"It's not small money to do this. We're talking millions," she said, adding that other issues would arise including the need to dredge the river and widen the quayside.