Donegal County Council is expecting to soon receive a funding letter of offer regarding phase two of works at Malin Head, although it had yet to be obtained yesterday.
At last week’s Inishowen Municipal District meeting in Carndonagh, it was stated the letter for funding of almost 400,000 euro was expected to be received by the end of last week. Yesterday, the Council told the ‘Journal’ it was still awaiting it.
The funding, announced in December, will finance works that will include road widening to accommodate passing bays and associated drainage improvements and surfacing; the extension of existing car park facilities to incorporate twenty one additional car and bus parking spaces, as well as the development of a new toilet block.
Paul Christie, area manager, planning and economic development, said the council is also currently developing a proposal for the ‘masterplan’ that is phase three of works at Malin Head and are undertaking a “detailed plan and costings of a signature discovery point.”
Councillor Martin McDermott said it was “very important” the funding continued to be pursued. He said he hoped there would not be “another six to eight months to-ing and fro-ing” between Failte Ireland and the council.
He said: “The council can’t do much about it but it’s the same thing over and over again and we don’t want to be kicking it down the road. We’re sitting in April and it will take at least a couple of weeks before it goes to tender. The tender process will then take at least a month and then we’re in mid-June. You’d have to ask yourself would that be the right time of year to go in with diggers to do work? Failte Ireland need to submit the letter of offer and get the diggers there as soon as possible.”
Colr McDermott pointed out how “a lot is happening at Malin Head” at the moment and said it was important phase three is “looked at right away.”
He added: “We as a council need to be doing everything we can to get this phase done.”
Councillor Bernard McGuinness agreed and called for a meeting to “fast forward” the process.
He said: “We definitely need to have something in place there. There are many local committees and groups interested in this development and everyone is totally frustrated at the lack of progress.”
Colr McGuinness continued: “I understand there’s procurement and everything that goes around that, but we need people to sit around the table with local representatives so that we’re kept informed about what’s happening.”
Colr McGuinness said that there has been “talk, talk, talk” and “now it’s time for action.”
“I appreciate we have to make sure that what is done there is right but there are issues that can be left aside to get on with what needs to be done,” he stated.
Colr McGuinness pointed out that Inishowen was entering into the “high season” of the year in relation to tourism and “we need to spend less time planning things and more time actually getting on with it.”
Colr McGuinness said that the public representatives were being asked “what is happening” at Malin Head and “it’s not good enough” that they can’t answer.
He asked if there was “any way of fast forwarding” the process. The 396,000 euro funding is part of Failte Ireland’s plan to develop the Wild Atlantic Way.