Thursday, 8 February 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
41. Mr. Bell asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the recorded fish tonnage landed at Clogherhead, County Louth does not include tonnage landed at other ports such as Howth; his views on whether this has and will continue to militate against this port regarding grant aid for the development and extension to the existing pier; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1504/01]
Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Fahey): The pier at Clogherhead is owned by Louth County Council and responsibility for its maintenance and development lies with the local authority. Accordingly, it is a matter for the county council, in the first instance, to bring forward proposals for capital investment. Funding of £125,000 was provided last year to the county council to support essential safety and maintenance works.
In 1999, 1,303.8 tonnes, live weight, were landed at Clogherhead and 5,548.2 tonnes, live  weight, were landed at Howth. The annual value of the landings at Clogherhead is of the order of £1.8 million whereas the value of landings at Howth is £8.4 million.
In 1998 Louth County Council commissioned consulting engineers to undertake a technical assessment of the development needs of the harbour. Their report, which examined a range of options, recommended extending the pier, the construction of a breakwater and dredging works. The cost of these capital works was estimated at that time to be in excess of £3 million.
Any major capital investment proposed would require, in the first instance, a comprehensive cost benefit analysis having regard to all relevant economic and socio-economic factors, trends in volume and value of landings, the extent to which displacement is a factor, as suggested by the Deputy, fleet trends and regional and local considerations. It is also the case that existing funding for major fishery harbour development work is oversubscribed. Development options in relation to Clogherhead will be kept under review in that context and my Department will be consulting further with Louth County Council on the way forward.
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