Port project may create 900 jobs for Galway Gaeltacht


Charlie McConalogue. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Ciara O’Loughlin

The Gaeltacht is in line for a major employment boost as an investment in a Co Galway port could create 900 jobs.

The €17.4m investment in floating offshore wind farms off Ros a Mhíl would also kick-start plans to power 2.25 million homes by wind farms by 2050.

This is according to an independent report due to be published later today in Ros a Mhíl by Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue.

The investment will support floating offshore wind farms as part of the green energy proposals that were produced by independent experts Dublin Offshore on behalf of Údarás na Gaeltachta.

The report details a plan to service six 500MW (3GW) offshore floating wind farms from the deepwater port and adjoining lands that are owned by the Department of Agriculture. The wind farms would be anchored between Belmullet in Co Mayo and Loop Head in Co Clare.

“Ros a Mhíl has the potential to play an important role supporting the significant pipeline of floating offshore wind on the west coast of Ireland,” the experts state.

“The port’s combined attributes of proximity to offshore project locations and consented 12-metre-deep berth provide the opportunity for cost-effective and timely entry into the offshore energy market for the port.

“The significant economic activity associated with offshore construction and wind farm operations may be realised through long-term employment opportunities local to the port and within the region.

“By servicing 3GW, which is only 10pc of the Programme For Government targets, the port of Ros a Mhíl would create 900 permanent jobs within the Galway Gaeltacht.

“This development has the potential to support retention of the local population and return of regional emigrants within the area.”

The report says an initial investment of €17.4m will be needed for the Ros a Mhíl project, with further investment as the industry expands.