THE go-ahead has been given for a €20m extension to the pier at Dinish Island in Castletownbere, which will deliver many more jobs to the area.
Local Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) and fishing industry chief, John Nolan, said the project, which will double the size of the pier, will bring prosperity to the region.
‘An investment of this magnitude, as well as the €1m development at the quayside in Castletownbere, will create between 30 and 40 new jobs in the short-term,’ according to Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy.
The first phase of the project to extend the pier at the region’s fishing base at Dinish Island was officially opened in April 2012, and it transformed the working life of the pier.
But with businesses, such as Celtic Minerals, growing at a rapid rate, John Nolan, the managing director of Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-operative, said: ‘The pier had become over-crowded and more space was needed for future development.’
The €20m project – which will include the extension, dredging and breakwaters – has been on the cards for years, but it was only in early 2017 that the design – to double the size of the pier to 400m – was submitted for planning.
The decision to grant planning permission was made on Tuesday, March 27th and, assuming no objections will be made to An Bord Pleanala, John Nolan said he believes the project will start in the next few months.
He estimated that the project would take between 18 months and two years to complete, and that, when finished, it would result in a natural growth spurt for the fishing industry and the commercial life of the pier.
Mr Nolan said: ‘Any development we get from government is to be welcomed, but the decision to knock the old auction hall at the quayside in Castletownbere and put new offices for the Department of Marine and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, as well as car parking spaces, in its place, has the potential to open up the town centre as an amenity,’ he said, adding that it might also give Cork County Council a solution to the town’s ongoing traffic congestion problem.
However, issues with the local road infrastructure were raised at this week’s Council meeting where Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) criticised the fact that there was no mention of the Crookstown road that leads to Castletownbere in the Road Grant Allocations for 2018.
‘Castletownbere is the biggest fishing port in Europe and the roads in West Cork are no longer fit to take the transport,’ said Cllr Carroll.