Sailing / Yacht Club
The Kingstown Boat Club, from which the Royal St. George Yacht Club evolved, was founded in 1838 by a small group of boating enthusiasts who had decided that “the (River) Liffey was every year becoming fouler and less agreeable for aquatic pursuits”. They applied to the Commissioner for Public Works, and were granted a piece of ground near Dun Laoghaire Harbour on which to build a clubhouse – the first privately owned building to stand on publicly owned space. Initially, the members’ main interest was in rowing, but membership grew rapidly, and amongst them were many well-known yachtsmen of the day. One of these was the Marquis Conyngham, who used his influence with Queen Victoria to have the privileges of a Royal Yacht Club conferred in 1845. The Club flag was to be “the Red Ensign with a crown in the centre of the Jack” and the Burgee was red with a white cross with a crown at the centre. This, of course, is the St. George’s Cross, and is quite possibly the reason why, in 1847, the Club became The Royal St. George’s Yacht Club, although this has never been established. It subsequently became the Royal St George Yacht Club, it is referred to by all who know it, as simply ‘the George’. The new clubhouse was the first custom-built clubhouse in the ancient seaport of Dun Laoghaire (or Kingstown, as it was known from 1821 to 1920).