€6m dredge harbour project

A €6m dredging project has been announced for Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre in Co Waterford.

€6m dredge harbour project

The contract to complete the works was awarded to L&M Keating Ltd, following a tendering process. It is anticipated the long-sought works will be substantially completed by the end of September.

Marine Minister Simon Coveney, who announced the project, said the Fishery Harbour Centre is an important piece of infrastructure which is the bedrock of the local community. It is integral to the Government’s policy to further develop the fishing industry, the wider seafood sector and other ancillary and marine leisure industries, he said.

Years of siltation in the harbour has restricted vessel traffic and made manoeuvrability and fish landings problematic for fishermen.

The dredging operation will cover the harbour area itself and the entrance channel to the harbour basin. The volume and value of fish landings into Dunmore East have grown significantly in recent years, and the size of fishing vessels using the harbour has also increased.

“This is the single largest capital investment in our Fishery Harbour Centres this year, and when complete, the Dunmore East Harbour will be well equipped to attract larger Irish and foreign fishing vessels, while also benefiting other commercial and leisure harbour users,” the minister said.

“It will complement the works carried out in 2013 and 2014 to create a new and enlarged slipway for marine leisure and fisheries users and also the newly opened harbour user’s facilities in the ground floor of the harbour management building.

“Those works and the dredging will improve the utilisation of the infrastructure in Dunmore East and will help to stimulate further economic development in the area with a spinoff for local job creation,” he said.

Mr Coveney said the completed work will make the harbour be more accessible to larger vessels, while landing times and vessel management will be much improved. And so will the availability of a syncrolift, required to raise vessels to facilitate their maintenance.

Meanwhile, Minister of State Tom Hayes has launched the Irish National Sheepdog Trials, to be held on the farm of Ken Whiteford in Johnstown, Co Kilkenny from August 13-15. With exports of over €220m, the sheep sector is an important economic activity on farms across the country and in the western counties in particular, the minister said.

He said his department has provided substantial support to the sheep sector through funding of Sheep Ireland, Bord Bia, Teagasc and a number of schemes that have let sheep farmers make critical investments in their farms and flocks.

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