Saturday 7 December 2019

Two harbour buildings to get attention

Fingal County Council has confirmed its Economic Enterprise and Tourism Development Department is considering two unused buildings in the Balbriggan Harbour area to open for public use.

A motion put forward by independent councillor Tony Murphy at a recent meeting of Balbriggan/Rush-Lusk/Swords Area Committee, asked for the local authority to discuss the progress to date in Balbriggan Harbour in the context of the 'Our Balbriggan Strategy.'

Drawing attention to the two unused buildings in the harbour vicinity, Cllr Murphy suggested that one of these buildings could be opened as a public amenity such as the Seamus Ennis centre in Naul, which he said had been 'very successful'.

Cllr Murphy said what Balbriggan did not have was a community public space for demonstrations, a dramatic society or artists' space, and that such a centre could provide for these.

He said that given the cultural diversity in the town of Balbriggan, there was also a need for a centre amenable to the whole community.

Cllr Grainne Maguire (NP), noted that while vessel wrecks had been removed from the harbour by the council, these were only to be replaced by additional wrecks at a later date.

There was a need, she said, for staff deployment in the area to look after the workings of the harbour.

There were 'a lot of different users', making it a difficult place to manage, she said.

Cllr Maguire said there was also a need 'to look at wrecks, equipment and rubbish' on the harbour, to make it 'a safe and clean space.'

Responding to Cllr Murphy, a council official confirmed that the council was looking at a number of buildings 'in and around Balbriggan' and in particular the two buildings at the harbour, with a view to 'developing them and making them more attractive.'

The council's Architects Department was currently preparing plans to carry out structural improvements to the RNLI boat house for the purposes of possibly opening the building for public use.Responding to Cllr Maguire, the official agreed there was a need for 'a presence' at Balbriggan Harbour, and noted a key recommendation by a consultant was for staff deployment in the vicinity.

A council report on the issue stated that a Programme of Works in relation to Balbriggan Harbour would be devised based on the recommendations of a consultant's report.

Once that programme of works has been completed, the council will present it to members of the area committee.

Fingal Independent