Pier committee sees a 'new era of co-operation'

February 19th, 2024 4:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

The large crowd which gathered at the weekend on the pier at Keelbeg to discuss its future. (Photo: Andrew Harris)

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MEMBERS of the Union Hall and Glandore Harbour Users Committee say they are looking forward to ‘a new era of conciliation and co-operation with the new management of Cork County Council.’

Chairman Aodh O’Donnell made the comment following a meeting at Keelbeg Pier on Saturday morning, which was convened to plan a new way forward for the beleaguered pier.

The committee and the Council had, on several occasions, locked horns over a number of issues such as restriction of access to the industrial fishing pier, followed by an attempt to barricade a large portion of the old pier, which is also at Keelbeg, due to safety concerns.

Aodh welcomed the fact that their concerns have been heard and that so many local TDs and councillors attended Saturday’s meeting. He confirmed that Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan is in the process of arranging a meeting with Minister Charlie McConalogue, management members of Cork County Council, as well as some representatives of the Union Hall and Glandore Harbour Users Committee.

The purpose of the meeting, according to Deputy O’Sullivan, is to discuss a funding mechanism to repair and extend the old pier at Keelbeg. The TD praised the activism and vigilance of the community who have, so far, prevented access to the pier being cut off.

‘It is high time that we had a clear plan for the repair and extension of the old pier at Union Hall because it is such an important facility for locals, the rowing club, marine leisure, whale watching boats, as well as some small local fishing boats,’ he said.

Although a funding stream has yet to be identified for the €1.5m repair work, the TD said its significance is noted in the government’s National Development Plan.

‘There is a long process ahead in terms of planning permissions, foreshore licences and design, but we need to start somewhere,’ he added.

Meanwhile, Social Democrat candidate Isobel Towse, made the point that amenities, like the old pier at Keelbeg ‘are vital for our way of life … and need funding to bring it to full functionality and safety.’

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