Deputy Broughan recently asked the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine when construction works on the middle pier upgrade at Howth Harbour will commence; the length of time the project will take to complete; the estimated cost of the project; and for a statement on the matter.  In a reply to that Parliamentary Question, received this week, Deputy Broughan was informed that the “Department is proposing to extend the Middle Pier Quay in Howth FHC to improve access, maintenance and berthing facilities. Additional berthing space would, in addition to relieving vessel congestion issues, enable greater segregation between the activities of fishing vessels and the marine tourism and leisure activities which are mainly concentrated on the West Pier. This segregation is desirable both from an operational and a health & safety point of view.  Tenders for the project issued on 27th June 2019 and the final date for receipt of submissions is 4th October 2019. The tender evaluation process period is expected to be completed by the end of November 2019.”

The reply further stated that between the years 2010 to 2018, as part of the “Department’s Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, in excess of €10 million has been invested in maintenance, development and upgrading works at Howth Fishery Harbour Centre (FHC)” and it goes on to say that the “final cost of these extension works will only be determined following the public tender process, and it is envisaged that the works themselves could take up to 18 months to complete.”

Deputy Broughan says “Works at Howth Harbour are long overdue.  I also have been calling for the dredging of Howth Harbour for a number of years now as the build-up of silt is putting the working fishery harbour at risk.  With record numbers of tourists visiting Howth each year, it is time for the government to listen to what the local businesses and fishing community need and to speed up the process for getting work done.  Budget 2020 is an opportunity to do just that and to bring about long-awaited improvements to this wonderful harbour.