BY JACKIE KEOGH AND KIERAN O’MAHONY
A PROPER extension to the pier at Union Hall is a must for the fishing industry, especially after a ‘bruising Brexit deal.’
Cllr Joe Carroll said there are 25 boats fishing out of Union Hall and they deserve to have proper facilities, particularly in the aftermath of Brexit.
Speaking at a meeting of the Western Committee, he said the extension to the pier is urgently needed because boats have to be turned around and sent to Dunmore East.
The problem with that, he added, is that transport has to be provided to bring the fish back to West Cork.
At a separate full council meeting this week he said there is a ‘crisis’ in Union Hall at the moment, with over 50 boats trying to use the pier.
He pointed out that the pier has a number of other users including the RNLI, sailing and rowing clubs and said they are ‘choked’ on top of each other.
‘I want the Council to put together a plan to double the size of Union Hall pier up towards the village and put this plan forward to the Minister.’
Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) agreed and said: ‘It’s an issue for the department of marine and it’s a national issue. Fishermen deserve to have docks as close to their base as possible so they can go back out again as quickly as possible.’
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said they have to remind the department of marine that West Cork has 1,094km of coastline and is entitled to additional funding.
At the full council meeting he said: ‘The funding that is coming is only peanuts to what should be coming and last year alone we got €394,000 and we need at least double this.’
At this week’s County Council meeting Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind) said need to look at other piers as well including Courtmacsherry and Garnish.
Divisional county manager, Clodagh Henehan said the Council is acutely aware that Union Hall is a working pier, and the it is looking at a ‘dive survey under the pier and how to add to the pier’ but that funding is ‘a significant issue. She said the Council will be seeking funding under the €1 billion EU Brexit Fund for the pier at Union Hall and other piers as well.Council chief executive Tim Lucey said he supported their motion and suggested they could look into securing European funding for piers.