HMS Portisham (M2781)

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HMS Portisham (M2781)

The Supreme Court has deferred a final decision on an appeal by a man living on a former minesweeper vessel in a Dublin harbour against a ruling it can be scrapped because of its unsafe condition.
I do not visit Balbriggan on a regular basis but I do like the town and especial the harbour and the beach.

This visit the tide was very low so I had more access the the harbour than I have ever had before which was really exciting from a photographer's point of view but on the other hand I was rather depressed by the state of the facility. Apparently, a lot of money was spent removing old wrecks but as soon as the work was completed another problem presented itself in the form of the Portisham.

The Portisham is a privately owned ex-minesweeper and at present it could be best described as a floating junkyard but I am not convinced that it is unsafe. Worse still there is a lot of junk on the pier beside the boat.

Also the the night club and the burned-out house (and abandoned toilet fittings) do not add to the charm of the harbour area.

HMS Portisham was one of 93 ships of the Ham-class of inshore minesweepers.

Their names were all chosen from villages ending in -ham. The minesweeper was named after [Portesham] in Dorset. The spelling PORTISHAM is probably a legacy from the previous vessel of this name in service during WW2 and is spelt thus in all authoritative reference books.

After her sale in 1989 she was laid up and for sale in a boatyard in Essex. She was procured for conversion to a liveaboard ship by an Irish national in 2007 and is currently the second biggest private vessel under Irish Flag. Her home port is Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

“Under threat from Fingal County Council, who have lied on several counts in order to get a court order, initially, to have her removed and broken up, now to have the owner removed and the boat moved into storage. The owner doesn't believe that the state even has the authority to take possession of a vessel under these circumstances (unauthorised development under the Planning and Development act). That, along with the fact that she is the owner's home, means that he is defying the court order, and the county council, and is prepared to repel boarders by whatever means he feels is necessary.”

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