Liffey Cruise 2018

Three Bridges 2021 – Come see the show!

Dublin’s city centre will witness a rare spectacle this Saturday afternoon.

Three of the bridges that span the Liffey will open to allow a fleet of boats to sail up the river as far as the IFSC.

Parade of Sail

On the afternoon of Saturday 11 September the Samuel Beckett and Seán O’Casey bridges will stay open for a couple of hours. Road traffic will be diverted to other crossings.

At about 15:00 the busy East Link bridge will open for a few minutes while a fleet of about 35 boats passes through, then close again. The fleet will move slowly along the north side of the river carrying sails and showing colourful flags. At the Talbot bridge the boats will turn and go back along the south side of the river to the East Link. This majestic parade of sail will continue for two or three circuits before the bridges close again.


The fleet consists of ordinary leisure sailing boats and motor boats of various types and sizes. They are owned and sailed by people who enjoy spending time afloat around Ireland’s coasts. The Cruising Association of Ireland organises events like this for its members.


The Tom Clarke Bridge, built in 1984 and known as the East Link, has one section that rotates vertically like a castle’s drawbridge. It opens routinely for river traffic including the St Bridget tour boat.

The Samuel Beckett Bridge, built in 2009, opens by rotating horizontally ninety degrees until it rests parallel to the bank.

The Seán O’Casey Bridge, built in 2005, is a pedestrian swing-bridge with two sections that rotate horizontally.

While these bridges are open the first obstruction the boats will encounter is the Talbot Memorial Bridge at the IFSC beside the Custom House. It was built in 1978 and was never designed to open.

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It has been a couple of years since the Samuel Beckett and Seán O’Casey bridges have opened, so for the last few nights Dublin Corporation has been checking and testing the complex machinery.

The river Liffey is a public amenity that Dubliners have always loved. By supporting this event the Corporation and Dublin Port show a welcome commitment to preserving public access from the sea to the heart of the city.