New pier in the North Clare coastal village of Doolin

Clare County Council welcomed the announcement by An Bord Pleanala yesterday of its decision to give the go ahead for the construction of a new pier in the North Clare coastal village of Doolin, reports the Clare Herald.The Council said it has reviewed the terms of the Bord’s decision and will be meeting the project consultants with a view to commencing the tendering process in the near future.

Reacting to today’s announcement, Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Daly said: “I am delighted that the green light has finally been given for this vitally important piece of infrastructure following years of open debate and discussion on what the best way forward should be. I wish to compliment Clare County Council and its officials for facilitating the process and ensuring that everyone’s voice was heard. The Pier will bring increasing numbers of people to County Clare considering access to the Aran Islands from the County will be greatly enhanced once the project is completed.”

Tom Coughlan, Clare County Manager said An Bord Pleanala’s decision today was “the result of a comprehensive proposal submitted by the Council and extensive consultation with users of the pier as well as the local community.”

He continued: “Clare County Council has invested considerable time and resources into ensuring that the Doolin Pier project is one that benefits all users of the existing pier. Once completed, this project will have significant, positive economic and social consequences for the people of North Clare and the wider region. For example, the construction phase of the project will create jobs as will the increase in business that will arise as a result of the Pier’s completion.”

Tom Tiernan, Senior Engineer and Doolin Pier Project Manager commented: “I wish to pay tribute to the Council Consultants, led by Malachy Walsh and Partners, who have guided the project from its inception through the various stages of planning, including the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which ultimately facilitated An Bord Pleanala’s decision today.”

“He added: “The provision of this new pier will have a hugely positive impact on the operations of Ferry operators, fishermen and the local search and rescue unit, who have been finding it increasingly difficult to launch their boats at low water levels.”

“The next stage of the Pier project is construction. We will shortly be meeting with the project consultants with a view to getting a tender process underway as soon as possible. We anticipate that the project will be completed during early 2015,” concluded Mr. Tiernan.

Clare Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has said that An Bord Pleanala’s decision to grant permission for the construction of the proposed Doolin Pier development “brings to an end an extremely difficult and lengthy process but one that will ultimately lead to the creation of lasting, positive economic benefits for North Clare and the wider region”.

Senator Mulcahy said that the new pier will have a “hugely positive impact” on the livelihoods of at least two-dozen fishermen in the North Clare area and the Aran Islands. He said the development will also ensure that Doolin is accessible in all tidal conditions as there are frequent occasions when the existing pier is inaccessible to boats, including the Doolin Search and Rescue Unit and ferry operators.

“As Mayor of Clare and as a Senator for County Clare, I have been a supporter of this project and am aware of how the local authority and its consultants have worked closely with interested parties in ensuring that the completed pier benefits the entire community. I wish to pay tribute to Clare County Council and the project consultants for the manner in which they incorporated the views of everyone who participated in the process,” added Senator Mulcahy.

Clare hotelier John Burke says the announcement that construction work on the proposed Doolin Pier development will be completed by early 2015 is very positive news for the hospitality and tourism sector in North Clare and across the wider County.Mr. Burke, who owns and operates Armada Hotel in Spanish Point and Hotel Doolin, said that described An Board Pleanala’s announcement of its decision to give the green light for the new pier as “a positive development for the region, which will bring a fresh lease of life to the local tourism sector on a year-round basis.”

He continued: “The pier will be hugely beneficial for ferry operators and local fishermen, it will also provide improved facilities for many other pleasure activities, including divers, sailors and kayakers. It’s a win-win for everyone concerned and I am delighted to see one of the largest and most important infrastructural projects in this part of County Clare finally being given the go ahead.”

“Concerns by local surfers, have been addressed through their engagement with the council and the redesign of the pier from the original proposal, I am sure that the surfing representatives will engage with their community openly and honestly, and endorse this development now.  They contributed to the final design which should work for all users of the ocean, and give great benefits to all,” Mr. Burke concluded. Source: