Inshore Fishermen's Lives At Risk
Donegal Post|15 March 2017
Inshore Fishermen's Lives At Risk

Call for funding for ‘shovel-ready’ pier upgrade project.

Siobhan McNamara

Users of a busy Donegal fishing pier say their lives and livelihoods are threatened by the lack of action on the much-needed upgrade. 

The fishing industry is the economic lifeblood of the Inver community, with Port Pier at its heart. 

Preliminary work on the crucial upgrade project has already been done. There is a detailed feasibility report, plans have been drawn up and the project is ready to go. All it needs now is for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to fund the project. 

But much to the frustration of those who depend on the pier for their livelihoods, there is no specific fund to which they can apply. Gary Kennedy whose family fished from Inver for generations took time to talk to the Donegal Post about the challenges he faces daily. 

“Safety is the really big issue,” he said. “The weather can change very quickly and if you get caught out on the sea with a storm coming, you’re in bother. You can’t get in near the pier when the tide is out and you can’t use it when the tide is in either because it comes right up over the pier. You are at the mercy of the elements. 

“There are only a few hours each day when you could safely land a boat. The result is that people end up taking risks because they have no choice.”  

Not only can fishermen who find themselves in danger not reach the pier, but others including the lifeboat cannot launch to go to their aid. 

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15 March 2017