Ball in Government’s court on Heilbhic dredging – McGuinness

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Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has said the ball is firmly in the Government’s court when it comes to dredging the pier at Ceann Heilbhic. He made the comments following a meeting of Dungarvan – Lismore district meeting at which he obtained confirmation that an application for funding has been made to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

McGuinness said:

“I welcome the confirmation I received today that the Council has applied for funding to undertake preliminary and survey works, which would be a precursor to dredging.

“There is a dire need for dredging at Cé Heilbhic. Fishermen have experienced great difficulty in entering or leaving the harbour for some time, due to the build up of silt and sand. This situation is impacting the ability for local fishermen to effectively and safely carry out their work.

“Heilbhic is also strategically important due to the presences of the lifeboat station, which covers Dungarvan Bay and adjacent waters.

“The build up of sand and silt at Heilbhic has taken place over several years and is getting worse as time goes on. Not only is it hampering the fishing industry locally, but it has also added more risk and hardship to an already dangerous occupation.

“I have campaigned on this issue for a long time and I have raised it in Council meetings time and time again. No one is under any allusions as to the cost and scale of the works required, but if Heilbhic Pier is to remain a working fishing port the build-up in the harbour needs to be addressed urgently.”