Dingle Harbour Centre was allocated a little over €1.3 million in State funding this week to help cover the cost a variety of planned projects, including repairs to the section of marina that was demolished by a runaway French-registered trawler last November.
The insurers of the trawler, Bikian, are expected to pay for the marina repairs. However, this will take some time so, to avoid delaying the work, €700,000 of the funding allocated to Dingle under the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme will be used to rebuild the marina. This money will then be recouped by the Department of the Marine when the insurance claim is processed.
The next biggest chunk of the funding, at €300,000, will be spent on dredging the basin east (Cooleen) of the pier to give it the same 5.4m depth as there is on the west (marina) side of the pier.
Another €200,000 is to be spent on renewable energy upgrades of harbour buildings, which is likely to include insulation, new heat-retaining glazing, and the installation of more solar panels that could also power some of the public lighting, The workshop on the pier is understood to be in particular need of insulation because, having been built originally as a BIM ice house, it is unfortunately living up to its name.
€100,000 has been set aside to pay for the new passenger boat pontoon that was built late last year to replace the former ‘Fungi pontoon’ in the east basin. And €50,000 is to be spent on progressing plans for an extension to the marina. It hasn’t yet been decided to go ahead with plans for this major extension to the existing marina facilities, but the current investment will bring the project closer to ‘shovel ready’ in the event of it getting the green light in the future.
The funding under the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme is said to be designed to “provide strategic investment in harbour infrastructure to attract increased landings into Ireland of sustainably caught fish, and drive the development of the seafood processing sector and the blue economy in coastal communities”.
Announcing the funding this week Education Minister Norma Foley said the funding “will enhance, improve and enrich five key capital projects that are central to the continued development of the fishing and tourism industry in Dingle and the wider marine community”.