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Creed Announces EU Coastal Grants Five Days Before Elections

20th May 2019
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Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Michael Creed Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Michael Creed

Over 270 coastal projects have been awarded grants totalling four million euro in EU and State funds just five days before the European Parliament elections.

The grants to 274 projects across seven coastal regions were announced yesterday by Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Michael Creed, who said the initiative supported total investment of €6.4 million.

Almost 400 applications were made for this year’s scheme, co-financed by the EU’s Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and the Government.

The EMFF has a budget of 12 million euro over six years for projects which would encourage fishing communities hit by quota restrictions and other challenges to diversify.

Applications are assessed by seven regional fisheries local action group boards (FLAGs) and forwarded to Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

Many of the projects had been signed off by FLAG boards from mid-March, but a spokesman for Mr Creed denied earlier this month that the final announcement was being delayed to time in with the European election campaign.

Members of several FLAGS had said that there was considerable frustration over a “long wait”, and a belief that this was influenced by the European election date of May 24th.

A total of 3,977, 723 euro has been awarded to 47 FLAG-approved projects in the north region, 42 in the north-west, 36 in the north-east, 62 in the west region, 41 in the south-east, 29 in the south, and 17 in the south-west.

“Ireland’s seven FLAGs are providing a wonderful source of investment for local seafood and marine projects in our coastal communities,” Mr Creed said yesterday in a statement.

“Over 800 projects in seven coastal regions have benefitted from EMFF funding since the present FLAG scheme was launched in 2017,” he said, adding that the “high number of successful projects funded this year reflects both the quality ... and the hard work of the local communities through the seven FLAG Boards.”

Published in Coastal Notes
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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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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