*Calls for the installation of a crane in Carrigaholt were made at the recent meeting of the West Clare MD. 

INSTALLING A CRANE at the outside pier in Carrigaholt could be the difference in keeping people in the fishing industry, a county councillor has argued.

Calls to install a crane at Carrigaholt’s outside pier “to enable the local fishermen to safely load and offload their boats” were voiced by Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) at a sitting of the West Clare Municipal District.

Cranes have recently been installed at Seafield Pier and Liscannor Pier recently, senior executive engineer in the West Clare MD, Alan Kennelly noted. He confirmed, “The West Clare MD will apply for funding from the Department of the Marine when the next round of piers and harbours funding is announced”.

Cllr Murphy, himself a former fisherman explained, “This was a fairly simple ask, I acknowledge and appreciate the answer from Alan. I recently had a meeting at the pier with a couple of the local lads, it’s a small thing but is a hugely meaningful thing because it is the difference between guys staying in the industry and not staying in the industry, coming in from a day’s work and having to horse boxes of fish up the height of the pier in Carrigaholt by hand at the end of a long day, I did it for long enough myself and I know it is one of the things that just wears you down”.

Adding the infrastructure in Carrigaholt would be really beneficial, he stressed. “If we want to see places like Carrigaholt have a fishing industry then we need to support it with some of the technology that is out there, it is there in Seafield and I know it was put in Liscannor, I really appreciate a little bit of focus on Carrigaholt, this would be a gamechanger for the two or three lads in Carrigaholt. The conversation evolved around these are guys the same age as me in their fifties and they are looking down at their kids or their cohorts and saying these guys will walk from the industry if they don’t end up with some, they are not luxury items but they are really critical to make sure we keep the next round of people coming through into our fishing industry”.

Overnight parking is also proving to be an obstacle for fishermen in the locality, the Kilkee representative highlighted. “I think it is really important that the outside pier in Carrigaholt is a working pier, the village has two piers, the inside pier is where boats rest and it’s much more of an aesthetic one and not as functional as the outside pier, the outside pier is a real working pier with a lot of angling and fishing going on, we need to take a harder look, I’ve been asked to think about something like an access control on the pier to prevent it being used for overnight parking, guys are coming in late at night with their boats and fish to get off the pier but their cars are blocked in because someone’s car has been parked overnight, it is something we might follow through on when we’re going down the road on this, this is a thing with fishing piers all over the country”.

Potential impact of the crane in Carrigaholt is “massive”, Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) remarked. He stated, “It seems like something small but the impact it has is massive, when you’re talking about such a small industry and people staying or going it is more of an encouragement to do it but it might even be smaller again but going up and down every day, we’ve parked there and walked to the castle and back unbeknownst to the huge impact it could have”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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