MALIN MOVE

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One of the leading personalities in the Inishowen fishing industry, Seamus Bovaird, has confirmed there will be a major initiative launched on Friday night next to finally blast out of the water the attempt to close Malin Head Coastguard station.

Speaking yesterday Mr. Bovaird said there would be a meeting between a group of local activists and local members of the Oireachtas and members of Donegal Co. Council prior to the main public meeting at 8 p.m. in Malin Head Community Centre.

He told the ‘Journal’“We have been doing a lot of background work on the consultant’s report and our main finding would be that the recommendations on which the closure of Malin Head are based is, in our opinion, seriously flawed.

“For starters it would seem that most of the main players in the Irish fishing industry have never been contacted so that they could express their views. That seems a fatal flaw..

“Secondly, a lot of the claims about Malin relate to the ‘value for money’ concept that the government seem so beloved of pursuing. We have looked at the alternatives and again in our opinion closing Malin, which has recently been totally upgraded at a cost of somewhere in the region of a million euro, makes no sense when to upgrade two Dublin centres, as has been proposed in the consultant’s report, would create substantial additional expense.”

Mr Bovaird said they would be seeking the Oireachtas members to take the consultant’s report to the Dail’s Transport sub-committee where it could be examined in detail.

He commented: “If what we believe to be correct is so, I think this report will be blasted out of the water.”

Last month SDLP Assembly man, John Dallat, strongly attacked the decision to recommend closure describing it as ‘madness’.

He told the Journal then: “In the last few weeks the coastguards at Malin Head were involved in saving 16 lives on both sides of the border and the installation of the new equipment, which makes the station one of the most modern in the world, should be a cause of celebration. Sadly, yet again a consultant’s report, recommending its closure, is hanging over the future of this station.

“The campaign to save the station deserves the support of everyone and when the final decision is announced in October it would be unthinkable if our worst fears were realised. It would simply be madness.”