3 November 2017

Senator David Norris launches “Dublin Bay – Nature and History”

New book brings fresh perspectives to familiar seascape of Dublin Bay


Joycean scholar and Senator David Norris has launched Dublin Bay – Nature and History (The Collins Press, price €24.99), a comprehensive guide to the coastal ecosystem that surrounds Dublin, one that is directly accessible to over one million people on our shores. The book delves into Dublin Bay’s rich historical and natural life as one of the most celebrated shorelines in the literary world, thanks in part to Joyce’s work, while highlighting the threats and vulnerabilities it faces in the modern world, including coastal flooding that could see insurance claims alone cost upwards of €340 million for city dwellers.


Co-author Richard Nairn explains: “Rising sea levels, increasingly severe storms and poor flood defences will combine to cause frequent flooding of property in the coastal areas of Sandymount and Clontarf. There needs to be a high level of cooperation between all state and local authorities to ensure that the capital city is protected from the worst effects of climate change.”


Weaving the kindred strands of history and nature, the book’s three authors Richard Nairn, Rob Goodbody and David Jeffrey tell the fascinating story of Dublin Bay with the development of Dublin as a port city being mirrored by major changes in the coastal environment.


Senator Norris’ love of Joycean Dublin is well documented, and speaking at the event he said: “This wonderfully rich book is a repository of facts, references, photographs and immensely interesting detail about Dublin Bay and our capital city. Dublin Bay’s literary history is as rich and vibrant as its environment. There are few shorelines in the world that are better celebrated in literature than Dublin Bay. James Joyce set much of the action of his famous novel Ulysses in Dublin Bay – it would be fair to call the bay one of its characters.


Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, said: “Dublin Port Company is delighted to support such a fascinating account of Dublin Bay, past and present. The challenge to simultaneously manage, develop and conserve Dublin Bay is formidable and requires an appreciation of both the bay’s natural environment and its built environment.”


Author, geographer and planner Rob Goodbody spoke on the links between Dublin Bay, the Port and the city, saying: “The human and natural components of the bay have learned to co-exist and, in some cases, even to depend on each other. We wanted to show people things like how the creation of Dublin Port caused the formation of Bull Island, or how the cockles and mussels immortalised in ‘Molly Malone’ caused typhoid fever throughout the city.”


Co-author David Jeffrey concluded by saying: “The bay is a life support system, an economic asset and an invaluable recreational resource. This new look at a familiar seascape authoritatively explains its importance to the past, present and future of our city and country.”


Published by The Collins Press, Dublin Bay – Nature and History is available nationwide from all good book stores for €24.99.


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