BALBRIGGAN Harbour is being turned into a 'rubbish tip' by the presence of an old minesweeper which is now three years docked at the harbour and shows no sign of leaving.
Town councillor, Cllr. Frank Snowe (NP) has once again raised the controversial tenure of the Portisham mine sweeper at Balbriggan Harbour and told his colleagues on Balbriggan Town Council that debris from the vessel is now spilling out across the harbour making the facility look ' like a rubbish tip'. 'We are not looking after the harbour.
This is the third anniversary of the arrival of the Portisham and more rubbish is coming in there day by day and the place is deteriorating at an awful rate,' Cllr. Snowe said. Allied to the already unwelcome presence of the Portisham, Cllr. Snowe complained there is now a new boat in the harbour being completely rebuilt which he described as a ' reject from Skerries'.
The state of the harbour points to a pattern of neglect around Balbriggan, according to the councillor who took his camera out to tour the town and snapped 12 foot weeds, neglected grass verges, overflowing wheelie bins and perhaps most shockingly of all, an 84-year-old woman taking the situation into her own hands and clearing clumps of grass from the kerbside with a spade. Cathaoirleach of Balbriggan Town Council, Cllr. Larry Dunne (FG) was shocked by Cllr.
Snowe's presentation and said it was 'really shocking that an elderly resident had more civic pride than the (county) council'. Cllr. Monica Harford (Lab) agreed and said: 'I don't understand why Fingal County Council can let our harbour become a dumping ground for every crock that is put out of every other harbour in the county.' Cllr. Sean Brown (NP) expressed health and hygiene concerns about the state of the Portisham vessel and said he had seen a number of water rats around the boat. In April, Cllr. Snowe was told that the harbour is stuck with the Portisham for the time being while Fingal County Council takes legal advice on the issue.
The council has said that it is not appropriate to move the vessel until legal proceedings take their course. The Portisham will remain berthed in Balbriggan Harbour until a legal way of moving the vessel, which has been declared unseaworthy, can be found by the local authority.