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25/04/2023 - Greencastle Breakwater Project Progress

Photomontage of Completed Breakwater at Greencastle Harbour


Significant progress has been confirmed on the Greencastle Breakwater project with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD approving the foreshore lease for the project and Donegal County Council confirming the appointment of Foyle & Marine Dredging as contractor for the project.


Next steps for the project include the contractor preparing for site entrance in April and May 2023, followed by in-water works commencing in May 2023 with expected completion in Q4 2023.


The community of Greencastle is dependent on the fishing industry and the marine industry in general with almost 200 people directly or indirectly employed. Greencastle is the 2nd largest white fish port in Ireland and is also home to a large inshore fleet mainly engaged in shellfish and crab, making it a key town in Ireland’s seafood sector. Greencastle has significant fishing support services including fish processing, marine engineering, boat building and net making.


In 2022, Donegal County Council submitted an application for funding to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine  under the Brexit Adjustment Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme 2022-2023 for completion of the project and Minister McConalogue announced in 2022 that the application was successful.  Donegal County Council will match fund 5% of the construction cost and all non-construction related costs.  The current funding provision for this project for all associated costs is nearly €17M. The new breakwater will be a curving rock armour to the south-west of the harbour entrance.


Commenting on the project, Minister McConalogue said “It is great news that this important infrastructure project has reached construction stage and I am looking forward to the first sod being turned on the project. The new breakwater will be a game-changer for Greencastle and Inishowen and will significantly add to the marine infrastructure in the area. My thanks to all involved in making this happen, including Donegal County Council, my Department officials, Doran Consulting for the detailed design, the Contractor Foyle & Marine Dredging and to Foyle Fisherman’s Co-Op and all who use the infrastructure at Greencastle. I am delighted that the BALAMI scheme under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve Fund has been used to complete this project.”


Inishowen Municipal District Chairman Councillor Paul Canning confirmed the Council’s commitment to deliver this project since work ceased and stated that “the identification of adequate funding to complete the project has been a real challenge for the Council.  The allocation of funding from Minister McConalogue from the Brexit Adjustment Fund will now enable the works to be completed and change the landscape and operation of Greencastle Harbour for all its users and for the local community.”


Commenting, Seamus Bovaird, secretary of the Greencastle Harbour Users’ Group, which represents the vast majority of those using the harbour, welcomed the resumption of works on completion of Phase 1 of the Greencastle Harbour project.


“To see workmen and machinery moving around the Queensport is something that we have been looking forward to for many years.”, he said.


“There have been many changes in the fishing industry since 2008, when work on the breakwater ceased, not many of them good, but the harbour is still at the heart of the community. Further development of the harbour will create job opportunities to replace those lost in the fishing industry.”


The project will be administered on behalf of the Council by Doran Consulting who are “excited to be involved in such a milestone marine project in Donegal”.