Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 14 December 2016
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
Ferry Services to Inis Mór: Discussion
I wish to ask Mr. Finn about the cost. This point has been raised sporadically. Can Mr. Finn confirm that this harbour is built on an island in the Atlantic? Can he confirm that in fact a significant amount of the cost had nothing to do with the pier but everything to do with the tonnchosc or breakwater built in a big arc around it? In fact, when it was being built we brought the plans over to London. Models were developed to show us what would happen in the case of a one-in-100-year storm and a one-in-1,000-year storm. The fishermen came with us and it was proven to their satisfaction that it would withstand a one-in-1,000-year storm. It was proven that the boats in the harbour would be safe. In fact, we have had some tremendous storms since the harbour was finished. If a paper boat had been in the harbour during those times it would have stayed afloat without destruction. The major cost was in fact creating a barrier to the Atlantic in order that boats in the harbour would be safe in all weather. It allowed people to get in there easily and shelter in all weathers. Unlike other harbours along the coast, there is no fear that at night owners have to move the boat out of the harbour if a bad storm is forecast.
The issues raised by an Seanadóir Ó Clochartaigh are desirable. We had plans to develop the old store but legal issues remain to be overcome in order to provide the ancillary facilities, but they are running into hundreds of thousands of euro. However, millions went into the actual pier and, more important, into designing a breakwater to ensure the Atlantic would never hit the harbour at force. Can the deputation confirm that? There is a misunderstanding about the Atlantic. It is not a question of the investment being proportionate to the population on the island. The amount of money to be spent is proportionate to the waves in the Atlantic.