County council to review safety measure at Inis Oírr pier

The Galway County Council says it will review and address a number of issues around safety on Inis Oírr pier.

Council CEO Kevin Kelly said resources had been secured and that particular emphasis will be put onto the pier in order for it to adhere with safety measures and cope with large amounts of footfall.

Mr Kelly said; "The levels of activity at Inis Oírr are significantly greater than what it has been in past. There is an engineer that has been assigned to work on Inis Oírr and has been working on the project and meeting with department. There are issues that need to be addressed and we will be reviewing in forthcoming period."

The announcement comes after the publishing of a 52 page report last week by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB ) into an incident that took place at the pier in June 2016.

The report said the Galway County Council should implement enhanced safety measures on the pier, after a gangway came loose from a passenger ferry, causing two people to fall into the water.

The MCIB said the incident was caused by the vessel drifting off berth, causing the gangway to dip towards the water.

A lack of management in terms of crowd control at the pier, as well as cargo and vehicles causing congestion, was identified in the report

The passengers who fell did not sustain serious injuries.

Councillors were in agreement that safety measures must be tightened in order to prevent further incidents from happening again.

Cllr Seán Ó Tuairisg said the situation in relation to visitor numbers to the pier and its ability to cope needed to managed and addressed urgently.

"There are 200,000 visitors to the island every year. This report has been issued on an instance where people fell off the pier and they were very lucky that they were rescued. This report says Galway County Council should implement a safety policy. This badly needs to be managed and addressed."

Independent councillor Thomas Welby said; "You are taking your life in your hands every time you are going out there. Safety is paramount in going forward on this. It is only with the Grace of God that someone was not killed."

Cllr Peter Feeney said; "As a matter of urgency we should make an effort to ensure the safety of hundreds of passengers getting off and on everyday at the pier."

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