Funding of €7.4 million for urgent remedial works at six regional harbours has been announced by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar.
The funding will pay for repairs and safety works on essential harbour infrastructure, and is likely to benefit the local economy, promote leisure activities and support the fishing industry.
“This funding will allow essential works at these regional harbours on piers, walls and harbour structures. This work is necessary as part of their transfer from central Government to local authority control,” Minister Varadkar said.
“Harbours play an important role in their communities in terms of fishing, cargo and leisure and play an increasingly important role in tourism and watersports. The large-scale safety or construction projects planned for Kinsale, and for Baltimore & Skibbereen Harbour this year will be able to go ahead thanks to this funding. Smaller scale projects at other harbours can also proceed, including essential works at Arklow Harbour.”
The funding has been allocated to the following harbours:
Baltimore & Skibbereen €1,165,000
Bantry Bay €100,000
Tralee & Fenit €750,000
The funding has been concentrated on remedial works to ensure that the harbours are in a fit condition during their transfer to local authority control. Twelve of the 13 regional harbours have transferred to date, with 11 being taken over by local authorities, and one designated a fisheries harbour.
Regional harbours previously operated under the 1946 Harbours Act, but since 2006 a process of transfer to a more suitable governance model has been underway. In 2011 Tralee Fenit was transferred, and on 1st January 2012, Arklow, Kinsale, and Baltimore & Skibbereen were transferred to their relevant local authorities. Bantry Bay Harbour is now the only remaining harbour operating under the Harbours Act, 1946, and discussions are ongoing with regard to its future governance.