A new pontoon which was opened in West Cork today is set to provide a major boost for marine leisure tourism in the south-west.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy, performed the official opening of the €600,000 Schull Harbour pontoon this afternoon as part of Schull Regatta.
The pontoon project includes a pathway and bridge along with a gangway, to provide enhanced public access to the water.
Schull Harbour is one of the busiest in the country, especially during the summer with a large number of marine leisure craft vying with fishing vessels for very limited pier space.
The pontoon was designed specifically for short-term berthing of small marine leisure craft in a bid to relieve some of that pressure.
The project was funded by Cork County Council with grant aid from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
The project contractors were Inland and Coastal Marina Systems Ltd, from Banagher, Co. Offaly, who manufactured the pontoon and gangway units.
Cronin Millar Consulting Engineers, based in Cobh, Co Cork undertook the design, and the structures were then installed by L&M Keating Ltd, the main civil contractor for the installation contract.
Tim Lucey, the chief executive of Cork County Council, described it as a significant addition to the region’s infrastructure which will benefit all users of the harbour.
Cork is Ireland’s ‘maritime haven’ and our investment in Schull is a further reflection on how importantly we view our marine resources, both commercial and leisure,” he said.
“We are committed to the further enhancement of our facilities from Eyeries to Youghal.
“The new pontoon will be an enormous benefit, not only to the local economy but to the entire Mizen Peninsula and I am confident that Schull pontoon will be a wonderful addition to all users of the harbour.”
Mayor Murphy also highlighted the expected benefits of the new pontoon, in particular its advantage to leisure users.
“We have an incredible coastline here and one that is ideally suited to marine leisure activities,” he said.
“By providing infrastructure such as this new pontoon we are enabling both leisure and commercial users to enjoy this harbour and ultimately see growth in both important sectors.”
During the official opening ceremony, a wreath was laid to commemorate those who have lost their lives at sea.
Boats in the harbour were also blessed.