Doubt cast on €1.5 million sea survival training centre

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Doubt has been cast on the proposed development of a new €1.5 million sea survival training centre at the National Fisheries College at Greencastle

Buncrana-based Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said there were fears the Bord Iascaigh Mhara-led project may not now go ahead as a planned.

Raising the matter in the Seanad Senator MacLochainn said: “As a Donegal man, I have heard of far too many of our fishermen losing their lives.

“We were delighted in 2016 when it was announced by Bord Iascaigh Mhara that it would fund a €1.5 million sea safety and survival training centre at the National Fisheries College at Greencastle.

“The centre would have a deep 15 m pool where weather conditions found at sea could be simulated. The only other pool of this kind on the island is in Cork, so there would be one at the top of the island in Greencastle on the Inishowen Peninsula and one at the bottom in Cork.

“Fishermen and others involved in life-saving would be trained, including Coast Guard and Royal National Lifeboat Institution personnel. It could train people from Mayo up the coast to the top of Donegal, as well as people from the Six Counties, I am sure.”

Senator MacLochlainn asked the government to respond to reports that the project had stalled.

“I have spoken to people in the college and the community, as well as fishermen, and people are very angry about this. There is a real sense of betrayal,” he said.