THERE’S a week’s worth of cleaning at Union Hall pier, which has been without a harbour master since last July. However, the council has blamed the fishermen for the rubbish being left there and said they don’t clean up after themselves.
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF), speaking at a West Cork Municipal District meeting, said: ‘There hasn’t been a harbour master in Union Hall since last July and you can tell – the place has deteriorated.’
The councillor said he got a call from a lady ‘who – if she was standing next to me – would have taken a bite out of me, she was so cross.’
He said when he went down to the pier: ‘what I saw shocked me. The state of the place! A gate should be put across it and no one should be allowed to enter in there.’
The councillor said he couldn’t understand why a harbour master hasn’t been appointed yet. He said: ‘there’s a whole week’s worth of work in cleaning up the place. It’s appalling.’
Cllr Carroll said he was making a formal call on the Council officials to ‘get someone down there now to clean this place up. It’s just not good enough. I want action.
‘The situation has been left to get out of control. Anyone who saw it now would never go there again.’
In the absence of a harbour master, Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) said ‘the place has been abused.’ She said it was unfortunate that it now appeared as if the Council would have to go to the expense of cleaning up the pier.
‘A lot of small businesses in Union Hall depend on tourism – why hasn’t the harbour master been replaced?’ she asked.
Area engineer Kevin Lynch pointed out that ‘the rubbish is generated by the fishermen: they don’t clean up after themselves.’
He said the Council is doing its bit in that it has an employee to service the toilets. But, as for supervising the pier and the proper disposal of rubbish, he said, ‘that is the job a harbour master would do.’
Cllr Carroll joined the debate again and was quite irate when he said: ‘there are bags of rubbish burst open on the pier – it is drawing rats. It is a disgrace. I wouldn’t expect people to come and stay there. I am asking the Council to deal with it immediately.’
Mac Dara Ó h-Icí, a senior executive officer with Cork County Council, said: ‘The job has been advertised, but there have been no interviews yet for the position.’ He added: ‘the users of the pier are responsible for keeping their work area clean.’