Cape Clear helipad set for upgrade after safety concerns

“It had gotten to the point where emergency workers were fearful over the helicopter’s ability to safely land at night."
Cape Clear helipad set for upgrade after safety concerns

“The islanders rely on the excellent service provided by the Coast Guard and so the maintenance and upkeep of the helicopter pad is an immediate necessity.” File photo

The helipad on the southernmost inhabited part of Ireland is set for a much-needed safety upgrade.

A grant of just over €14,000 will help fund the installation of a new lighting system on the pad on Cape Clear, off Cork, where some night-time medical evacuations have been winched aboard the aircraft amid concerns about the safety of night-time landings.

The allocation, made under the government’s Our Rural Future strategy, a programme designed to support rural areas recover post-pandemic, and to support such areas over the next five years, also includes some €90,000 in funding to other islands off Cork.

The funding also includes:

  • €14,400 for the upgrade of public toilets on Bere Island;
  • some €18,000 to fund a feasibility study on the restoration of its middle battery installation;
  • almost €11,000 for the installation of a pontoon at Heir Island’s East Pier;
  • and two separate allocations for Sherkin, including €19,800 for the resurfacing of the L4201 road, and €13,500 for rock amour to build up washed away footing for the existing stone wall at Cow Strand.

Cork West Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan welcomed the allocations, but especially the funding for the Cape Clear helipad.

“The lights on the helicopter pad in Cape Clear are no longer fit for purpose and are in dire need of replacing,” he said.

“It had gotten to the point where emergency workers were fearful over the helicopter’s ability to safely land at night, forcing it to employ a winch for evacuations.

“The islanders rely on the excellent service provided by the Coast Guard and so the maintenance and upkeep of the helicopter pad is an immediate necessity.” 

He congratulated the islanders who successfully campaigned for the funding for the work.

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