Friday 20 September 2019

In Pictures: 'Ireland's youngest town' to get new harbour in €20m facelift

Balbriggan harbour rail bridge. Photos: Caroline Quinn
Balbriggan harbour rail bridge. Photos: Caroline Quinn
Larry Finnegan and his daughters Alisha (10) and Mia (4). Photos: Caroline Quinn
Artist impressions of a market space and the waterfront. Photos: Caroline Quinn
General view of Balbriggan harbour rail bridge. Balbriggan, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
An exciting new harbour experience will create a lively waterfront, linking numerous tourism and leisure opportunities.
Larry Finnegan and his daughters Alisha, 10, and Mia, 4. Balbriggan, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

A new harbour is set to be part of an ambitious €20m investment to rejuvenate a Dublin town.

Plans are afoot for a major rejuvenation project in Balbriggan to give it an economic and social facelift.

Balbriggan is the youngest town in Ireland, according to the 2016 Census, and has seen population growth of 94pc in the past 25 years.

The project - which is led by Fingal County Council (FCC) and the Balbriggan Leadership Group - intends to future-proof the area for further growth in the coming years, according to FCC chief Paul Reid. Mr Reid said the experience for tourists needs to be improved as a means of attracting them to Balbriggan as opposed to other seaside towns such as Skerries.

Artist impressions of a market space and the waterfront. Photos: Caroline Quinn
Artist impressions of a market space and the waterfront. Photos: Caroline Quinn

Balbriggan residents were going to be to the fore of the project, he said.

"In addition to the €10m allocated for the implementation of the Balbriggan Strategy, an additional capital sum, in excess of €10m, has also been allocated for the completion of the Balbriggan to Skerries Greenway, development of Bremore Castle into a premier visitor destination, development of Bremore Regional Amenity Park, and upgrades to cycleways and connectivity in the town.

General view of Balbriggan harbour rail bridge. Balbriggan, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of Balbriggan harbour rail bridge. Balbriggan, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

"But the plan goes much deeper than public spaces and amenities. It will involve every area of local lives - employment, education, skills, local economy and enterprise and community affairs and integration," he added.

Mr Reid acknowledged the area has had anti-social problems in recent years and said this needed to be addressed.

An exciting new harbour experience will create a lively waterfront, linking numerous tourism and leisure opportunities.
An exciting new harbour experience will create a lively waterfront, linking numerous tourism and leisure opportunities.

He said they were anxious to include gardaí, the HSE, social protection and business communities to get a rounded approach.

Larry Finnegan, a father-of-two who has lived in Balbriggan for 14 years, wants to see more amenities for children. "I know there's playgrounds around the place, but something a bit better, somewhere you could have a picnic."

Larry Finnegan and his daughters Alisha, 10, and Mia, 4. Balbriggan, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Larry Finnegan and his daughters Alisha, 10, and Mia, 4. Balbriggan, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Another local, Amanda Dunne, said it was a "fantastic opportunity for the town". She pointed out that some business premises were lying idle and had become an "eyesore".

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News