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Politicians Aim to Restart Courtown Marina Project with EU Cash

1st August 2010
Politicians Aim to Restart Courtown Marina Project with EU Cash
The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) has thrown its weight behind MEP Nessa Childers' efforts to raise funds in Europe for a stalled marina in Courtown.

Wexford Councillors and County Council officials have come together to seek European assistance to help save the stalled Courtown marina, news of the move was published in the Gorey ECHO.

"This is precisely the kind of question our politicians we need to ask if we're ever to complete the necklace of marinas around our coastline, said the IMF's David O'Brien.

Plans for a 230-berth marina in Courtown were unveiled in November 2008 and included apartments and retail units. The plans also included the construction of a breakwater off the south pier in the village.

Childers visited the north Wexford seaside village to discuss the possibility of restarting the project which has been stalled since 2008 due to the economic recession.

Following her meeting with council officials and county councillors, Ms. Childers submitted a Parliamentary Question regarding the possibilities for getting financial assistance for marina facilities in Ireland.

In the question Childers says: "Is there funding opportunities or other supports available from the European Union in order to assist in providing finance for the development of marina facilities in Ireland to enhance our tourism product?"

Ireland, as an island nation, is working to develop its infrastructure as a destination for sailing holidays.

"The development of marinas in a sustainable fashion at key locations around the coast of Ireland to accommodate sailing and boating activities would benefit from investment from a tourism and economic development point of view." said Childers.

For every euro spent berthing in Courtown marina visiting sailors will spend 10 in the village, according to our research, says O'Brien. Huge Tourism benefits can literally come in on the tide, if only we had the infrastructure", he added.

The IMF is the national body that represents the marine leisure industry including the Irish Marina Operators Association (IMOA).

The County Council carried out a feasibility study which found that the marina had to be self-funding through sale of apartments and other units as there was no government funding for such developments.

Speaking this week, Director of Services with Wexford County Council, Niall McGuigan said: "It is currently not financially feasible but we hope for the best. We would be very eager for it to go ahead."

Mr. McGuigan said that the project was on hold until either funding became available, an investor was found or a combination of both.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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