Fine Gael Cork South West Deputy, Noel Harrington, has welcomed the announcement of â‚¬2,632,000 in funding which is being made available for the maintenance and upgrade of a number of Cork harbours, as part of the agreement which sees the ownership of such transferred to local authorities. Â¨The funding is part of a broader package of â‚¬7.4 million which is being made available for safety and remedial harbour works nationally.Â¨
"The transfer of our regional harbours from the Department of Transport to local authorities is something that has been ongoing for a number of years. As part of this process, there was a number of safety concerns that needed to be addressed which the Department agreed to fund. This funding is now being released to bring these harbours up to standard. "As part of the package, Baltimore, Skibbereen, Kinsale and Bantry Bay are in line to receive funds. Baltimore and Skibbereen are set to receive â‚¬1,165,000 which will be used to provide safer access to the ferry pier along the Western Approach Road and Inner harbour Pontoon, as well as for works to harbour buildings to facilitate harbour users. Â¨
"Kinsale will receive â‚¬1,467,500 which will be used to pay down monies on existing contracts, foreshore fees and improvements to Fisherman's Pontoon and an extension to the pier, which will cost â‚¬1.1 million, which will allow for safer berthing of commercial vessels. "Bantry Bay Harbour is currently the only remaining harbour operating under the Harbours Act, 1946, and it is hoped that agreement will be reached soon enough on the future of the harbour. In the meantime, â‚¬100,000 is being provided for remedial works.
Ensuring the proper maintenance of our harbours allows all those who use them to carry out their work safely and efficiently, enabling them to continue to contribute to the economy. The transfer of our harbours to relevant local authorities allows them to be governed locally by the people who are best placed to manage them. This funding will be extremely welcome and I thank the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar TD, for making it available, despite the challenge financial conditions in which we find ourselves.Â¨