AN invitation by Kinsale Yacht Club brought Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) on a tour of the heavily silted-up harbour.
The councillor raised the matter at a meeting of the Western Division where he informed officials that the harbour is severely silting at the marina and around the pier head.
‘A substantial number of boats are bottoming out,’ warned Cllr Murphy. ‘Boat tours around the harbour can hardly come in at low tide to take on passengers.
‘It’s a serious problem and one that would be very expensive to fix because there is a substantial amount of dredging to be done,’ he added.
Cllr Murphy welcomed the fact that funding has been secured for a number of dredging projects, including Courtmacsherry, but he said the silting in Kinsale should now become a priority.
‘It’s causing mayhem for around 3,500 visiting boats,’ said the councillor who estimated that the marina alone is contributing around €500,000 to the local economy.
‘Leisure, commercial and fishing interests are all being affected,’ said Cllr Murphy, who assured Council officials that the yacht club would be happy to help with the funding of a survey.
The county engineer Kevin Morey said he would engage with the members of the club to see what the issue is, and the scale of the problem.
‘It could be a protracted process,’ he added, ‘but let’s start with an assessment on site.’