Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Harbours and Piers
385. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps that have been taken to progress the deepwater quay project at Ros a Mhíl Harbour since the publication on 4 September 2020 of the final quay wall peer review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17782/21]
The Fishery Harbour Centres Act 1968 established the concept of fishery harbours in the State and invested their management in the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine took over responsibility for the Fishery Harbour Centres (FHCs) in October 2007. Ros an Mhíl is one of six Fishery Harbour Centres, the others are located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth and Killybegs.
Funding is made available on an annual basis by my Department to the FHCs, including Ros an Mhíl, via the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme. A phased programme for the infrastructural development of Ros an Mhíl FHC has been progressed over the last number of years, which has seen a significant investment. In total, approx €31.6m has been invested in capital developments at Ros an Mhíl FHC between 2000 and 2020.
The possibility of a deep-water berthing project at Ros an Mhíl FHC has been mooted for some time.
In 2018, the Department commissioned engineering consultants to undertake a review of the design solutions, scoping options and operational aspects of a possible future project. An interim draft of the Quay Wall Peer Review Report was received in April 2019. This report identified the need for additional site investigations to be carried out in Ros an Mhíl FHC. These site investigation works were carried out in August/September 2019 and have now been completed.
The final Quay Wall Peer Review report was received on 27thJuly 2020 and a further update was issued on 4thSeptember 2020. The Department is considering this report in full, including the site investigation results, to inform a future assessment of possible design solutions and scoping options, which will, in themselves, inform any future decisions on progressing this project. Planning permission had been obtained for this project, this permission has been extended to April 2023.
As is the case with all developments in the six Fishery Harbour Centres generally, any future decision with regard to formally initiating this project in Ros an Mhíl FHC, will only be considered on the basis of available exchequer funding and competing national priorities.