Portmarnock / Port Mearn
What's in a name?
Portmarnock is names after St Marnock, a prominent missionary who founded a church in the area.
The Velvet Strand and Aviation History
It was from the Velvet Strand, on 24th of June 1930, that the famous Australian aircraft Southern Cross
departed on a pioneering Atlantic flight to Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, where it landed safely some 31.5 hours later. The plane was piloted by the legendary Charles Kingsford Smith and navigated by Dubliner Captain J.P. Saul, accompanied by crew members John Stannage and Evert Van Dyk.
The sculpture Eccentric Orbit
, which commemorates the Southern Cross flight and can be seen in the grass area at the north of the strand. This piece, by Remco De Fouw (2002), consists of a limestone sphere showing a map of the world. the bronze needle at the top of the sphere points directly at the North Star, a point that has been used for navigating for thousands of years.
The Sand Dunes
The sand dunes on Portmarnock beach are an important natural feature. Sand dunes are a sensitive habitat and depend on marram grass to stop the wind from blowing the sand away. The root system of the marram grass acts as a protective cover for the dunes. The dunes can be eroded by the action of wind, tides and excessive trampling. You can help to prevent erosion of the dunes by walking and playing on the strand rather than on the dunes.
Part of the dune system is fenced-off at times, which restricts access. This is necessary to protect the dunes by allowing the marram grass to become established without interference. Visitors are asked to be aware of the progress of tides in the vicinity of the fenced off areas.