Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, to approve a Foreshore Licence for maintenance dredging works at Annagassan Harbour, at Castlebellingham.
The Minister has agreed that the licence should be issued to Louth County Council as a priority.
Adams said: “Growing levels of sand and silt in Annagassan Harbour has left fishermen unable to berth their boats normally. Some have been unable to get down to their boats from the pier. They have also expressed concern at the growth of a silt bank at the entrance to the harbour.
“My colleague Councillor Pearse McGeough and I have been raising this issue for some time. We were told previously that there was no money form the Dept. of the Marine to carry out this work.
“Because of this problem fishermen using the Harbour have been refusing to pay their Harbour dues and this has led to a legal confrontation with Louth County Council sending solicitors letters out.
“I received a response to a Parliamentary Question I had submitted to the Minister. In his reply the Minister confirms that a ‘Foreshore Licence under Section 3 of the 1933 Foreshore Act has been approved by me in respect of periodic maintenance dredging works at Annagassan Harbour, Castlebellingham, Co Louth. The Licence in question will issue to Louth County Council as a priority.’
“This is a welcome decision but it leaves unresolved the issue of compensation and harbour dues. We will continue to pursue this with Louth County Council.”
Press Release, June 27, 2014