| 6.6°C Belfast

Protest as Donegal harbour project shut down

The Irish government is being accused of wasting taxpayers’ money and leaving a Co Donegal harbour development in the lurch.

The Republic’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food took the decision to shut down the Greencastle Harbour project after budgetary cutbacks which will also lead to the construction crew being laid off next week.

The harbour site is scheduled to close down on February 25 after the site has been tidied up and handed back to Donegal County Council.

The development was expected to cost approximately €32m and so far over €8m has been spent. Much of this money has been spent on a breakwater which is expected to wash away in the intervening time before the project is due to start up again in 10 years’ time.

A cross party delegation is due to go to Dublin to argue the case for the harbour project.

Inishowen-based Councillor Martin Farren, who tabled the motion for a delegation, said: “The breakwater project was estimated to cost €13m to €14m and so far in the region of €8.2m has been spent on the overall harbour project with around €6m worth of materials having gone into the Foyle.

“The budget has been cut by the Department from €17m to €10m and out of that €10m an allocation of €100,000 was made to tidy the place up and pay off the workers. People here are very angry.”

A spokeswoman for the Department said: “Due to the current budgetary situation, a very limited amount of funding, sufficient to suspend the project in a safe and acceptable manner, has been provided under the 2010 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme.”

Belfast Telegraph