New € 600,000 “Viking ship” outdoor dining room planned for Howth harbor
A new open-air dining room in the form of a Viking ship is planned for Howth as part of a post-Covid tourism revival initiative.
The facility, which will be located in the port of Howth, is one of 38 projects across the country to receive a share of € 9 million in funding from Fáilte Ireland.
Fingal County Council has secured € 600,000 for the project as part of the Outdoor Dining Improvement Program. The funding was announced by Tourism Minister Catherine Martin during a visit to Howth.
Fingal County Council believes the new facility could be used for outdoor dining and live entertainment events. Detailed plans, which will be the subject of a public consultation process, will now be drawn up prior to an urban planning request.
The design, in the form of a Viking ship, is at the concept stage with the seating area laid out with long benches and parallel tables to represent the rowing positions of the ship.
The bow and stern of the ship will have multi-tiered benches to represent the bow and stern. The raised benches will also serve as relaxed meeting spaces and audience positions for events, with an elevated vantage point over the dining room.
In addition to the bow and stern, stepped sides conforming to the shape of the ship will also be added. These will also serve as additional seats and windbreaks for diners or the public.
The proposed roof will be a tensile structure, designed to imitate a tarpaulin on the ship. This can serve as a support structure for lighting and heating, if needed.
Cllr Seana Ó Ródaigh, Mayor of Fingal, welcomed the council’s request for funding under the program and said the facility would be “a great addition” to Howth.
Councilor Tony Murphy (Ind), chairman of Fingal County Council’s economic enterprise development and tourism strategic policy committee, said alfresco dining had become very popular across Fingal during the pandemic and said that there was a need for permanent facilities.
“I hope there will be further opportunities to seek funding from Fáilte Ireland for similar projects in other parts of the county,” he added.
Emer O’Gorman, director of corporate economic tourism and cultural development at Fingal County Council, said: Events by residents and visitors.
Minister Catherine Martin said the program aims to support jobs in tourism and hospitality, while helping businesses develop new ways of outdoor dining for domestic and international tourists.
“Access to outdoor dining will continue to be a key part of the industry’s recovery as we look forward to 2022 and beyond,” she said. “This program further strengthens the government’s deep commitment to develop tourism and the necessary infrastructure nationwide. “