independent

Friday 22 August 2014

Urgent repairwork needed for slipway

Published 09/04/2014 | 05:36

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The storm-damaged slipway on the Great Blasket.

BLASKET boatmen, landowners and others with a stake in the island need to work together to get the island slipway repaired in advance of the tourism season, according the Ionad an Bhlascaoid Director Micheál De Mórdha.

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BLASKET boatmen, landowners and others with a stake in the island need to work together to get the island slipway repaired in advance of the tourism season, according the Ionad an Bhlascaoid Director Micheál De Mórdha.

The sole landing place on the island is challenging at the best of times but damage caused by the recent storms has made access to the island even more difficult. Repairs are urgently needed but not enough is being done to make this happen.

"There has been some procrastination recently about 'who should do what', but this is not a case for inaction. It is up to us to work out what's best for ensuring the absolute safety of passengers to this famed island," Mr De Mórdha said. "The sooner everyone gets down to business the better."

He is now calling all Blasket Island stakeholders to meet in order to discuss and finance essential repairs and is offering to act as a facilitator for such a meeting.

"With the ferry season to the island about to commence in a few week's time - weather permitting - it is absolutely imperative that all stakeholders in the island should come together in order to discuss and finance the essential repair works," he said.

Those stakeholders include the OPW, which now controls most of the island, a small number of private landowners, ferry operators, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Kerry County Council, the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources, Fáilte Ireland, and Fondúireacht An Bhlascaoid.

"Visiting the Great Blasket is one of the top three tourist experiences for all those who visit the Dingle Peninsula - and it is also a source of income to many," he added.

Kerryman

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