Sunday 25 February 2018

Harbour to be dredged

Anne Campbell

FISHERMEN not paying dues because of problems.

THERE has been a broad welcome for the announcement that a foreshore licence has been granted to the council so maintenance dredging can start at Annagassan harbour.

The news was revealed in a parliamentary question tabled to the Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney by Sinn Fein TD Gerry Adams after concerns were raised 'about the growing levels of sand and silt in the harbour which has left fishermen unable to normally berth their boats and there is a silt bank at the harbour entrance'.

Mr Adams said: 'My colleague Cllr. Pearse McGeough and I have been raising this issue for some time. We were told previously that there was no money from the Department of Marine to carry out this work.

'Because of this problem fishermen using the harbour have been refusing to pay their harbour dues and this has led to a legal confrontation with Louth County Council sending solicitors letters out.

'I received a response to a parliamentary question I had submitted to the minister. In his reply it is confirmed that a foreshore licence has been approved for periodic maintenance dredging works at Annagassan harbour. The licence in question will issue to Louth County Council as a priority.'

Mr Adams said he welcomed the decision but said he would continue to pursue with Louth County Council the issue of compensation and harbour dues.

The council told the Argus the foreshore licence had been applied for in January last year and they were told the licence had been approved in May 2014. The licence, which lasts for ten years, and 'will enable the council, subject to availability of funding to carry out periodic dredging of the harbour during the currency of the licence.

The council said: 'The council applied to the Marine Department for funding to carry out dredging works at Annagassan harbour in 2014.

'The council is currently awaiting a decision on same. If the funding application is successful the council will be required to contribute a fixed percentage of the cost of the works.

'In this regard harbour dues are an important source of income for the council to offset against costs incurred by it in maintaining its harbours'.

The Argus

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