AN abandoned fishing trawler that has been left rotting by a quay wall in Kinsale for over 13 years has prompted a local Senator to call for urgent government legislation to be enacted to tackle abandoned vessels in Irish waters.
Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard raised the issue in the Seanad last week – for the second time in two years – highlighting in particular the eyesore of the MFV Cisemáir which is rotting at the old Western Bridge at Tissaxon in Kinsale which was the scene of ‘raves’ several years ago. The boat was built in Norway in 1972.
‘We have an abandoned vessel, MV Alta in East Cork which washed up on the rocks in Ballycotton February 16th, 2020 and it is now in two parts and sitting on the actual seashore there,’ said Senator Lombard.
‘Last Monday I met with residents at the old bridge site in Kinsale where we looked at another vessel, the MFV Cisemáir that’s tied on a key wall for over 13 years and is literally taking the quay wall with it into the sea.’
Senator Lombard said the local authority does not have the powers, finances or structure to deal with these abandoned ships.
‘We’re having a plethora of abandoned vessels literally littering our actual seashore. There’s a real ironic twist in this tale as every Saturday morning we have locals cleaning the beaches but the big hand of the State is doing nothing to ensure that these abandoned vessels littering our seashore are taken away.’
Senator Lombard said primary legislation is required to ratify the Nairobi International Convention of the removal of wrecks from 2007, which provides a legal basis for the State to remove, or have removed, a ship at the owner’s expense, a wreck that has the potential to affect adversely the safety of lives, goods and property at sea as well as the marine environment.
‘We need to make sure that we can empower, finance and put a plan in place to deal with these abandoned vessels on our shores. We have the technology and the ability to do it but we don’t have the actual powers from the State to do it.’
He said he raised the same motion two years ago and got a ‘wishy washy’ response from the Minister with no detail about what is happening
‘Nothing has changed and no progress has been made and I find it extremely frustrating that I’m raising this again. I’m deeply disappointed that the Minister for Transport didn’t turn up in the Seanad for this.’
Minister of State, Peter Burke said that the Government intends to progress this as part of a future bill.
Last week The Southern Star highlighted the case of an abandoned car in Curraghalicky Lake in Drinagh with Senator Lombard saying it’s ‘beyond belief’ that neither Cork County Council or Irish Water will take responsibility for removing it.