Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and Donegal T.D., Charlie McConalogue, today announced the allocation of €35m for capital projects in 2022 in Ireland’s six state-owned Fishery Harbour Centres at Killybegs, Ros an Mhíl, An Daingean, Castletownbere, Dunmore East and Howth through the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme.
Announcing the investment, the Minister commented “The facilities at our Fishery Harbour Centres are critical to the seafood industry and it is important to that we continue to modernise and innovate in the services they provide. This increased investment demonstrates this Government’s serious commitment to supporting the fishing industry and rural coastal communities. The investment underpins the emphasis in Food Vision 2030 on supporting primary producers. This investment of over €9m in Killybegs this year is important investment for the Killybegs community and for County Donegal to maintain its standing as a major marine infrastructure county.
In 2020 just under 90% of all fish landed into Ireland arrived at the Fishery Harbour Centres. In that same year, BIM valued the Irish seafood industry at €1.069bn GDP.
Two flagship projects, namely the Middle Pier berthing face project, Howth (€3m in 2022), the Dinish Quay extension in Castletownbere (€7.5m), are expected to be completed under the 2022 Programme. In addition, the Minister is allocating €5.5m to advance the Smooth Point project in Killybegs. The recently announced Deep Water Quay at Ros an Mhíl will also be come within the Programme and a tender for detailed design for this project has been published. The Programme also supports maintenance at Cape Clear and a small number of piers, lights and beacons around the coast in accordance with the 1902 ex-congested Districts Board Piers, Lights and Beacons Act. A number of projects to improve resource consumption and energy efficiency are also planned in line with the Government’s Climate Action Plan.
The Minister noted the economic importance of supporting the sector: “With almost 3,000 people directly employed in fisheries and a further 13,500 employed either directly or indirectly across the seafood sector, these investments will contribute to maintaining existing jobs and provide the scope to create employment opportunities. Paired with the roll out of the recommendations of the Seafood Sector Task Force, I hope this announcement sends a strong signal that we are committed to supporting and developing the sector to be resilient to the challenge of adjusting to the impact of Brexit.”
The funding provided under this scheme is in addition to the new record €35m Brexit Adjustment Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme 2022/23 which the Minister launched recently to support local authority piers and harbours.