A €13m contract for the completion of a major quay extension in Castletownbere has been signed off on by the Department of Agriculture.
Taking time out from his visit to Castletownbere and Union Hall, as part of a nationwide tour of fishery harbours, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue presided at the signing of the contract which represents the final phase of a 216m long quay development project and associated works on Dinish Island as part of Action Plan 2021.
While doubling the workable quay space on Dinish Island is a critical aspect of the project, this final phase will also deliver approximately 2.2 acres of highly usable reclaimed quay storage area; two new major breakwaters at the entrance to the harbour; and the dredging of the navigation channel and the area in front of the syncrolift to make the boatyard more accessible for larger vessels.
An inner basin is also being created which will provide an ideal future development area for a small craft harbour to the benefit of small fishing vessels and leisure craft.
The final phase of the development will enable Castletownbere to continue to develop its role as the premier whitefish port in the country and facilitate scope for possible future expansions into other commercial activities compatible with the marine sector.
The pier extension will also allow faster turn-around times for fishing vessels alleviating existing vessel and traffic congestion.
“This is a very significant investment by my department in current and future generations in the South West and will be a big boost to the Beara Peninsula and West Cork in general,” Minister McConalogue added.
“In approving finalisation of this development, I have taken account of the unprecedented success of the previous development in increasing fish landings to Castletownbere.
“That success has resulted in the need for a further major expansion to future proof the harbour and provide a platform for the future success of Castletownbere.
"This project is a demonstration, not only of this Government’s support for the Castletownbere fishing and seafood industries, but also of our commitment to the social and economic development of rural coastal communities such as those on the Beara Peninsula.
“I expect the project to be completed in the Spring of 2022 and that on completion Castletownbere will have facilities to compete with the best in Europe.”
Meanwhile, the project has been proposed for part funding under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme and is co-funded by the Government and EU.