THE owners of a holiday home on the island of Garnish West have been cut off from the mainland following Cork County Council’s decision to close Zetland Pier near Glengarriff.
Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) raised the issue at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District in Schull.
She complained that locals – including those with holiday homes in the area west of Glengarriff – were dismayed when Cork County Council put up barriers and notices warning people to keep out for health and safety reasons.
But it was Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) who said there was an even more pressing problem because the owners of the holiday home on Garnish West – who are returning to West Cork on Thursday, April 11th – will not be able to access the island from their local pier.
Jerry Crowley, the caretaker of the island holiday home, confirmed to The Southern Star that the owners may now have to use the pier at Glengarriff or Adrigole.
He said: ‘It is a disgrace. There is no doubt that the pier needs to be repaired, but to block it off completely is way over the top.’
According to Cllr Collins, Zetland Pier is busy both in summer and winter and is, literally, a great jumping off point for divers and snorkelers, too.
He pointed out that the Council was unsuccessful in its application to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, for funding to repair the pier, which has been repeatedly undermined by storm damage over the last few years.
‘What is ludicrous about the department’s announcement last week,’ said Cllr Collins, ‘is that the funding granted for the county amounts to just €218,000, which is a drop in the ocean when you consider what is needed locally.’
He claimed: ‘The derisory figure shows a lack of respect for Cork County Council, especially West Cork, where the coastline is vast and needs serious funding.’
The councillor said issues like coastal erosion need to be tackled head-on because delays only exacerbate the problem in a region that is frequently battered by storms.
Cllr Collins said he has met with community representatives from Glengarriff, Adrigole, Direen, Trafrask and Leahill, all of whom are ‘cross and bewildered’ about the closure of Zetland Pier.
The councillor said he would be raising the issue again at the Council’s Coastal Committee in a bid to secure the necessary funding ‘asap.’
And he said he would also be looking for funding to provide a new slipway at the pier.