News for Doolin. Ferry services to the Aran Islands to get a boost.
Is there some movement on Doolin Pier development at last?
Gordon Deegan reports in the Irish Times from Clare Co. Councils monthly meeting.
Councillors back Doolin pier plan regardless of concerns from surfers.
You will recall that last year the surfers, backed by Failte Ireland held up the development of the pier. Ferry operators in Doolin really need a new pier and have been trying for years to get some movement. At the moment ferry services from Doolin to the Aran Islands are restricted by tides. This makes it difficult for tour operators to include Doolin because they can’t plan ahead.
Maybe now there will be some progress. The new pier will allow larger boats to operate from the County Clare village. Larger boats and improved facilities will mean a more reliable service which will be less subject to cancellations due to weather.
Here is Gordon Deegan’s report from the Irish Times.
CONTENTIOUS PLANS to construct a €6 million pier at Doolin yesterday received the unanimous approval of Clare’s councillors in spite of concerns expressed by surfers.
At the council’s March meeting yesterday, councillors gave the plan their endorsement after Cllr Richard Nagle (FF) said: “The new pier is imperative for the economic life of north Clare, and it should proceed without delay.”
County manager Tom Coughlan recommended that conditional permission be granted for the proposal, which acts at the Clare gateway to the Aran Islands.
However, the Irish Surfing Association told the council that the proposal would destroy the Crab Island and Doolin Point waves “which have been surfed for decades and are world renowned”.
Fáilte Ireland supported the concerns of surfers, requesting the council to re-examine the existing proposal to ensure that the plan could proceed without compromising the area for surfers.
The stance of Fáilte Ireland placed it at odds with local tourism interests who lodged a submission with 200 signatures in support of the pier plan.
The Doolin-based supporters of the pier took up most of the available seating in the public gallery at yesterday’s meeting, with some holding up signs saying “Support Doolin Pier”.
Cllr Martin Conway (FG) said the new pier would be “a major cog in Clare tourism”.
The council official charged with leading the project, Tom Tiernan, said construction work could begin within four to six months.
There is no recourse to An Bord Pleanála for third parties.