SISK’s Outstanding Work on Howth Middle Pier Upgrade

Sisk is an innovative, international construction and engineering company delivering high-quality projects across Ireland, the UK and Europe. We work collaboratively with clients and supply chain partners across a range of sectors and industries and are currently working on a number of very significant transport infrastructure projects in Ireland. These include the Dunkettle Interchange in Cork, the Foynes Limerick Rail line upgrade and recently the showpiece project restoring the roof of Pearse Station in Dublin. 

We deliver real social value to the communities in which we build, as we pursue our purpose of Creating Places for Future Generations, inspired by our founder John Sisk and his visionary commitment to the communities in which he worked. That commitment is as strong as ever and gives us a strong sense of pride in what we do and our work in transport infrastructure is a core part of delivering on that purpose.


At Sisk we work as trusted partners with our clients and supply chain as we collectively embrace the challenges and opportunities associated with our Net Zero ambitions. We continue to invest in both our Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and Digital Technology capabilities, recognising the critical enabling role they play in achieving more sustainable outcomes.

In 2022, Sisk completed a significant upgrade to Howth Middle Pier for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the purpose of which was to allow for additional primary trawler mooring facilities. 

Health & Safety played a major role on this project. Specialist commercial diving teams placed approximately 61 wall panels on the lower part of the wall, with a total of 140 precast concrete panels placed under water during the construction. An estimated 4,000 cubic metres of concrete backfill was transferred to the landside wall. At low tide, the concrete was poured up to 300ml from the top of the first precast wall. 

An upgrade was essential as originally, Howth Pier was more of a breakwater than a pier. Our brief was to widen the existing middle pier and create a vertical space 134m long on the western side, which would create mooring for trawlers. On the eastern side, a new line of revetment was also outlined in the brief. A huge amount of dredging along the western side of the Middle Pier was required in order to facilitate the construction of the new vertical wall. That dredging increased the overall footprint of the middle pier from 6,000m2 to 14,000m2. 

During the dredging process, approximately 6,500m3 of material was dredged, processed, treated and used as structural fill material within the land reclamation area on the eastern side of the middle pier. A dredge pocket extending 20m beyond the face of the new quay wall was required to upgrade Howth Middle Pier. Dredging works were carried out using a combination of land-based, long reach excavators and floating plant (hopper barges, spud barges, long reach excavators). The dredge material was stabilised by applying a wet mix allu stabilisation method.

The upgrade of Howth Middle Pier provided was a challenging environment and this was evident with respect to the placement of ready-mix concrete and precast concrete elements used during the construction phase.

From project inception right through to delivery, this was an extremely well thought out project. DAFM procured the project with the perfect blend of client and contractor design and in collaboration with Malachy Walsh and Partners, Sisk was able to develop innovative solutions for construction of the sea wall and reuse of the dredged material.

Howth Middle Pier subsequently won an Irish Construction Excellence (ICE) Award 2023 for Civil Engineering – Up to €10m category.

© Civil & Construction 2023