Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, to approve a Foreshore Licence for maintenance dredging works at Annagassan Harbour, at Castlebellingham. The Minister has agreed that the licence should be issued to Louth County Council as a priority.
Gerry Adams said:
“Growing levels of sand and silt in Annagassan Harbour has left fishermen unable to berth their boats normally. Some have been unable to get down to their boats from the pier. They have also expressed concern at the growth of a silt bank at the entrance to the harbour.
"My colleague Councillor Pearse McGeough and I have been raising this issue for some time. We were told previously that there was no money form the Dept. of the Marine to carry out this work.
"Because of this problem fishermen using the Harbour have been refusing to pay their Harbour dues and this has led to a legal confrontation with Louth County Council sending solicitors letters out.
"Yesterday I received a response to a Parliamentary Question I had submitted to the Minister. In his reply the Minister confirms that a ‘Foreshore Licence under Section 3 of the 1933 Foreshore Act has been approved by me in respect of periodic maintenance dredging works at Annagassan Harbour, Castlebellingham, Co Louth. The Licence in question will issue to Louth County Council as a priority.’
"This is a welcome decision but it leaves unresolved the issue of compensation and harbour dues. We will continue to pursue this with Louth County Council.”
Note to Editor:
Parliamentary Question No.129 To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 641, when a determination will be made in respect of the foreshore licence application from Louth County Council relating to the proposed maintenance dredging at Annagassan Harbour; if he will consider compensation for the fishermen concerned including the payment of harbour dues that have been paid even though the fishermen have not had use of the harbour; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Gerry Adams.
For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 25th June, 2014.Ref No: 27581/14
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: (Simon Coveney) A Foreshore Licence under Section 3 of the 1933 Foreshore Act has been approved by me in respect of periodic maintenance dredging works at Annagassan Harbour, Castlebellingham, Co Louth. The Licence in question will issue to Louth County Council as a priority.
As Annagassan Harbour functions under the authority of Louth County Council issues such as Harbour dues are a matter for the Council.