Port Oriel (Clogher Head)

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Courtesy Flag

Irish Tricolour


53°48.5N 006° 13.5W


AC 0044 Nose of Howth to Ballyquintin Point: AC 1431-1 Approaches to the River Boyne; Imray C62 Irish Sea

Rules & Regulations

None Known



Tidal Data Times & Range

HW is HW Dublin -0020; MHWS 4.8m MHWN 4.3m. There are no figures for LW depths; Two hours after the start of the flood a counter eddy sets up behind Clogherhead and an eastward current of about a knot becomes established across the mouth of the harbour and continues for the rest of the flood and all of the ebb.

7 Day Weather Forecast

Contacts: Port Oriel HM  VHF  #16 (C/S “Kilfinor”)  tel  + 353 86 8518818 (Mobile)

Officially known as Port Oriel this harbour is generally called Clogherhead or just Clogher by the locals. Until a few years ago all that existed here was a breakwater/pier jutting out northwards from the north side of the Clogherhead peninsula protecting the entrance to a small dock which could be boarded up against bad weather in the winter. The dock is still there but the pier was refurbished in 2007 and another leg put on the end in a westerly direction (See aerial photo).  This provides good shelter in all but strong NE/ENE winds which can cause a dangerous swell inside the harbour (probably reflected back into the harbour from the adjacent shore) Winds from the North and West can also make it fairly uncomfortable.

The harbour is mainly for the use of fishing boats based there and the yachtie is very much a “visitor”; you should leave room on the pier wall closest to the entrance for their use even though it appears that the recent remodelling has increased the depth available alongside to about 4m it still decreases towards the mouth of the inner harbour which dries.

The harbour is sort of stuck out on a limb from the rest of the coast; Clogherhead village is a mile or so away and one wonders which came first. It appears that the harbour was developed in the mid nineteenth century to support the fishing industry but why in this little cove, miles away from anywhere, is a mystery. Suffice it to say it is here now, it has a glorious beach sweeping away south from the headland which attracts summer visitors and has a caravan site to accommodate them. 

It’s a nice place to stop for the night; the village is a pleasant walk away (if a little uphill to start off) and has enough amenities to make the walk worthwhile.


The approach is simple enough and is supported by lead in lights on a bearing of 179°T;

....... follow that in until the harbour mouth opens to port and turn in before the starboard hand buoy which indicates the proximity of the shallow water near the shore.

If you have managed to contact the HM he will have told you where to tie up otherwise pick a spot up near the root of the pier (depending on your draft) or raft alongside a fishing boat (best make sure he’s happy with that before you do so) If you’ve come in at HW you may find a berth in the inner harbour but it does dry so you wont be able to get out again at LW to pick up the next flood North. 

Most of the boats round here tie up for the weekend so your chances of getting in then are significantly reduced and you’d be wise to check with the HM before setting off for here.

As has been said, you will have to berth as convenient for the fishing boats and

....... don’t leave your boat unattended where it could cause inconvenience for them, especially early in the morning and again in the evening when they are coming in. The berthing charge here is 25 Euros +VAT.

In settled weather it is perfectly feasible to drop the pick outside the Harbour entrance opposite the slip on the shore to the west; there’s plenty of water and the bottom is sand.

There is a well hidden water tap by the buildings at the inner end of the pier near to the toilets. The only shore power is 3-phase for the fishing boats but diesel can be obtained on the quay. For everything else you will have to walk to the village where there is a supermarket near the caravan site.

Unfortunately, if you require petrol, the nearest filling station is on the road to Drogheda quite a hike away.

There are a couple of pubs, a restaurant, Chinese take-away and, believe it or not, at the time of writing a games arcade (was closed when we visited Aug 2019)  This village has more amenities than would be expected for one of its size but the influx of summer visitors makes some of them seasonal.

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