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Waterways Ireland On Site To Develop Portumna's Castle Harbour

5th November 2015

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland has gone on site at Castle Harbour in Portumna, Co Galway with a programme of works to expand the recreational and tourism capacity of the harbour area.

The programme involves improvements to the harbour, service block and car park and is funded by Fáilte Ireland under the Lough Derg Stimulus Fund.

The project is a partnership between Galway County Council and Waterways Ireland who each own different parts of the site.

The service block, car park and boat pump-out are currently leased and maintained by Galway County Council, while the harbour area and existing moorings are owned and maintained by Waterways Ireland.

Castle Harbour is in the grounds of the Portumna Demesne on the shore of Lough Derg and is immediately surrounded by the castle and formal gardens, community gardens, medieval abbey, forest park and nature reserve.

Improving the capacity of both the harbour and the amenity area will have an immediate impact on the level of access and usage of the surrounding facilities.

In the harbour, the finger jetties are to be widened, lengthened and clad in hardwood timber, connecting them with the end concrete pillar. The finger moorings will also receive low level safety lighting and water & electricity connections. This will enhance the practical use and visual characteristics of the main harbour.

The work will bring the mooring facilities up to the standard that Waterways Ireland currently provides on new installations along the navigations.

The existing boat pump-out facility will be updated and the existing public lighting around the harbour will be replaced with low intensity directional lighting. Improving accessibility for boat users with a disability through the installation of a boat hoist is a key provision of the programme. New paving and the cladding of the existing wall around the harbour is also planned.

The existing service block is to be modernised and the general amenity area is to have seating areas & picnic tables and low intensity directional lighting. The planting of some native species of trees and shrubs will add to the visual amenity of the general area.

The existing car park is currently used for visitor parking and by recreational vehicles (RVs) who use the site as a stopover. The plan is to resurface the area and formalise the parking areas and facilities for these users, including the regulation and provision of services such as water and electricity to enhance the visitor experience to the site.

Waterways Ireland says it recognises the environmental designations of the area and has scoped, planned and is carrying out the works in compliance with best practice.

The work is expected to be completed early in 2016.​

Published in Inland Waterways
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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