Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Rural and Community Development
Harbours and Piers
28. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the development of Caladh Mór pier on Inis Meáin; the status of the preparation of a simulation model of the harbour by the National Maritime College of Ireland which was stalled during Covid-19 restrictions; the engagement her Department has had with the National Maritime College of Ireland with regard to the preparation of the model; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43334/20]
As the Deputy will be aware, users of the pier on Inis Meáin, including a number of State subsidised ferry operators, have highlighted issues with capacity within the harbour, as well as with currents around the mouth of the harbour. Finding and developing a solution to these difficulties form part of Phase 3 of this project which is listed in the National Development Plan.
In June 2020, my Department provided funding to Galway County Council to commission the preparation of a simulation model of the harbour by the National Maritime College Ireland (NMCI). This modelling will examine a range of designs to address the problems, and to provide guidance for vessels accessing the harbour.
I understand the NMCI have now completed the digital modelling aspect of the project but are not in a position at present to have the users of the pier view and test the model at their site in Cork due to COVID-19 restrictions.
It is the view of Galway Co. Council and my Department that the development of the project should be guided by the outcome of interaction of stakeholders with the simulated/digital model of An Chaladh Mór, as it is important that the users are satisfied with the proposed development.
I understand that Galway County Council are working with NMCI to find a solution that would enable access to the model, having regard to public health guidelines and travel restrictions.