A meeting has been held to discuss re-starting the multi-million euro breakwater project at Greencastle Harbour.
Minister Joe McHugh met representatives of various organisations in Greencastle yesterday, including the Foyle Fishermen’s Co-Operative and said he is “making a strong case to government” to restart the work on Greencastle Harbour.
The project was axed in 2010 as the economic crisis unfolded and it is estimated that phase one of the project will cost €10m.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister McHugh said: “There is a clear argument, which I support, for work to recommence on the breakwater project and further the development of Greencastle Harbour from a whole range of commercial viewpoints. Fishing, marine tourism and commercial possibilities are there for Greencastle to harness in the years ahead and I wanted to get a first-hand briefing on local views in the area.
“The government has put up an additional €2.6bn in capital funding and for me, we have to reverse the Fianna Fail decision. This government did release funding to maintain the work that had already been carried out to ensure it was preserved.
“However it is clear to everyone that it needs to move forward again,” he added.
Seamus Bovaird, of Foyle Fishermen’s Co-Operative, said there has been confusion around what government department is responsible for Greencastle Harbour, but he said Minister McHugh is worked to clarify this.
“We are going around in circles. We need to lobby at the right door.
“Once this has been clarified, we need the project details refreshed to be put forward to the relevant minister,” he said.
Minister McHugh added there is a strong case for funding, especially with the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.
“After the UK leaves the EU, Greencastle will become even more important for Donegal, for the Republic and the European Union,” claimed Minister McHugh.
“I want to assure the community that I am doing everything I can to deliver on the further development of Greencastle and I am making a case to my government colleagues that this should be done.”
Councillor Bernard McGuinness, who also attended the meeting, supported a recent council motion calling for the development of the harbour.
“I am hoping that Minister Michael Creed will come to Donegal and come to Greencastle and that the money will be allocated as soon as possible,” said Colr McGuinness.
Foyle Fishermen’s Co-Operative will hold a public meeting in April about Greencastle Harbour, with details to be confirmed closer to the time.