The Government must not be allowed "row back on delivery of the pier development" for InisOírr as promised under the Capital Investment Plan 2016-2020.
This is the view of Sinn Féin Galway West TD, Mairéad Farrell, who said she was "very concerned" by the response that the acting Minister for Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan made to her, following her request for an update on delivery of the pier development.
Dep Farrell said she was told that "the advancement of the project to tendering stage" will be considered "in the context of the funding available" to the Department for capital projects, and "the various demands on that funding".
The TD however, said she "As we exit the lockdown restrictions," she said, "island communities such as Inis Oírr will be reliant on increased tourism as well as safe travel to the mainland for students, workers and families."
'It's now over four years since the plan was published and yet I am told that there have been weeks when not one single light was working on Inis Oírr pier'
The pier development for Inis Oírr was contained in the Government's 2015 capital investment plan, Building on Recovery, Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016–2021. The Galway County Council's 2020 budget also noted that a consultant had been appointed to progress the scheme; various required surveys have been completed; and contract, as well as CPO documents, have been advanced so project re-appraisal could be submitted to the Department.
The works involved in this development will include breakwater and pier extension, the carrying out of dredging and provision of additional berthage.
"It's now over four years since the plan was published and yet I am told that there have been weeks when not one single light was working on Inis Oírr pier, as well as concerns surrounding the crack running through the pier," said Dep Farrell. "I am aware of one incident in particular at the start of March when the ferry came in but could not allow passengers to disembark at the pier due to the dangers of the sea coming over the wall and no lights on the pier."