The Government is splashing out €13m on improving vital links to Inis Meain, it was revealed today.
A harbour on the tiny island off the Galway coast will be redeveloped and extended with the construction of a breakwater, a new road and turning area.
Eamon O Cuiv, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, announced the sanction of the grant for Caladh Mor Pier.
“It was a long campaign but we have finally reached the end,” said Bridin Ni Chonceanainn, manager at Comharchumann Inis Meain.
“These developments will greatly enhance the future of the island with regard to sustainability and progress.
“A pier is to an island what a road is to the mainland.”
Inis Meain is the middle of the three Aran Island’s, between Inis Mor and Inis Oirr.
It is approximately 5km long and 2.5km wide and is home to around 200 islanders.
The total cost of the works will be €13.195m, with €190,000 being funded by Galway County Council.
The minister said he was pleased that this important step is being taken towards providing high quality, safe pier facilities on Inis Meain, with SIAC Construction Ltd contracted to carry out the works.
“For a long time, the people of Inis Meain have been demanding a safe pier that can be accessed in all kinds of weather and that boats can safely be tied to,” added Mr O Cuiv.
“The lack of an adequate pier hampered development on the island throughout the years. I understood that and I believed that something had to be done.
“I am pleased now that work will be carried out on the pier and I am looking forward to the day it is finished.”