BY JACKIE KEOGH
AN entire community is waiting on the County Council to advance a proposal to redevelop the pier at Union Hall.
That’s according to Cllr Joe Carroll (FF), who raised the issue with the Council’s engineering team at a recent meeting of the Western Committee saying: ‘There has been no progress in relation to the old pier and the general development of the main pier.’
He said the local RNLI crew are looking for a place to put their lifeboat and a permanent station and that if a proper development plan was put in place, the Council could then go to the Department of the Marine and source the funding needed to make ‘a proper job of the pier.’
The Council engineer, Kevin Costello, confirmed that a report on how the pier should be developed was completed 10 years ago and that the community came back to the Council with ‘a few recommendations in relation to bringing that pier back to life.’
The engineer said it was suggested that the pier would be piled to make it structurally viable again, but the estimate for that was in the order of €1m.
Mr Costelloe reminded the councillors that what was on the agenda was a €14,344 grant from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for a new power supply on the main pier.
He said the maximum amount that can be granted under that particular programme is €112,000 in any one year and added: ‘That is not going to make a serious dent in terms of fixing the old pier. The Council would have to look for alternative funding.’
Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) said organisations, like the RNLI, the local rowing club, members of the fishing community, and leisure boat users ‘all have an idea of how the pier should be developed and it seems to be at odds with the Council’s point of view.’
The Fianna Fáil councillor then suggested: ‘There needs to be more communication about what is happening down there.’
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said he, too, had met with local groups and suggested they form a single organisation to liaise with the Council.