Breakthrough for Greencastle breakwater?

An ‘inter-agency’ meeting is to take place in Dublin this afternoon to discuss possible funding options which could lead to the resumption of work on the Greencastle breakwater.

Minister of State for Rural Affairs, Ann Phelan, is hosting a meeting between government agencies, Donegal County Council and Greencastle Harbour users to discuss the funding options for the re-opening of the Greencastle Harbour Project.

Work on the breakwater was stopped four years ago as a result of the poor financial state of the country.

It is understood that the costings for the completion of the unfinished project were recalculated in line with current figures.The new cost forcompletion is E10.54 million, of which Donegal County Council would fund 25 per cent.

The meeting, to be held in the Customs House, Dublin, will be attended by civil servants and ministers from several government departments as well as staff from agencies such as BIM and Bord Failte.

The Greencastle delegation will consist of senior staff members from Donegal County Council, Foyle Port, the Loughs Agency and members of the committee of the Greencastle Harbour Users’ Group, GHUG, which represents all users of the harbour. They will be accompanied by councillors from the Inishowen Municipal Area.

The GHUG met Minister Phelan in Ardara in July to lobby for work to resume on the breakwater. She volunteered to host a meeting of interested parties to look at funding options and co-ordination of resources.

The GHUG has also met with Minister Coveney who gave assurances that he considered the stoppage to be temporary and would welcome a new funding application from the council in view of the improving financial climate . He also stressed the government’s desire to see “shovel ready” projects coming forward.The Greencastle breakwater phase is “shovel ready” and has all planning requirements in place.

The harbour users will be presenting updated plans for the harbour and village which refresh the existing plan and introduce new options identified by the harbour users at a series of recent meetings. They will also be identifying possible sources of new funding which might be attracted to a renewed harbour project.