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Funding for local piers won’t be enough to save them all

July 8th, 2020 7:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Rosscarbery pier during February’s Storm Dennis - Cork County Council’s allocation of funds to maintain piers has been criticised. (Photo: Andrew Harris)

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‘EXTRA funding is needed if our pier infrastructure in West Cork is to serve the next generation.’

That was the claim made by Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) when he tabled a motion at a meeting of the Western Committee in County Hall.

Although the sum of €394,500 has been earmarked for West Cork, the councillor said: ‘That won’t go far. There is a clear case to be made to secure additional funding for West Cork because it has such an extensive coastline.’

He argued that there is 1,094km of coastline in Co Cork – with piers and inlets dotted all over it – whereas Fingal County Council, which has only 12km of coastline, secured €157,000. He maintained: ‘There is no justice to that at all.’

The Independent councillor requested an update on a report, which was started in 2019, and is designed to give a comprehensive account of the condition of all of the piers in West Cork.

‘Some are in a desperate state,’ he said, ‘and if we don’t make sure they are properly maintained now, they will not be available to future generations.’

Keelbeg Pier in Union Hall was also discussed by the Council members. A firm of consultants was engaged by Cork County Council to review the activities and operations and make recommendations on its future development and use.

The councillors were told that a report, which is aimed at guaranteeing the good management of the pier, was issued by the consultants but that Cork County Council requested additional information.

There has, of late, been controversy surrounding the use of the pier. The rowing club say they have issues with accessing their facilities, while the local RNLI are keen to secure a dedicated site for a purpose-built station – and it is also in continuous use as a commercial fishing pier.

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