INCONSIDERATE tourists are parking overnight on the pier in Schull and making it difficult for local fishermen to do their work.
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) complained about the parking situation and the impact it is having – as well as the need for a specially dedicated pontoon for inshore fishermen – at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District, which was held in Schull.
According to Cllr Collins, there could be anything up to 60 RIBs tied to the existing pontoons, which forces the 15, or more, local fishermen to have to clamber over them in order to get access to the pier.
Cllr Collins said fishermen laden with their catch need their own pontoon because some have fallen into the sea, giving rise to serious health and safety concerns.
Cllr Collins called on the Council to extend the pontoon on Schull Pier, or build a new 10m pontoon for the fishermen, because under the present conditions ‘boats are being damaged.’
Holiday makers heading off on their own boats, or heading to one of the offshore islands, are also failing to ignore the parking signs on the pier and are effectively abandoning their vehicles, according to the councillor.
‘It is like an obstacle course for the fishermen who are trying to land their catch for the fish companies, but can’t get parking near the pier.’
Sarah Sinnott, the area engineer, said that in addition to the older pontoons that are in position adjacent to the main pier, a new floating pontoon – measuring 4.8m by 20m – was installed in July 2018.
She said the older pontoons – which measure 3m by 18m – are available for use by the inshore anglers and that there were ‘no further proposals to extend either pontoon.’
Sara Sinnott also pointed out that there are ‘no parking’ and ‘no camping overnight’ signs clearly visible on the pier. However, she did say that the possibility of providing removable bollards during the summer months was discussed with the local fishermen, ferry operators, leisure users and community representatives, but they have not yet found a solution to the problem.