Coun­cil should join de­bate on dredg­ing

The Argus - - NEWS -

LOUTH County Coun­cil have been urged to get in­volved in the de­bate on plans by War­ren­point Port to dump dredged ma­te­rial in Carlingford Louth.

Cllr. Mark Dearey made the ap­peal at the Septem­ber meet­ing of the Dun­dalk Mu­nic­i­pal District Com­mit­tee, which was held in Carlingford’s Her­itage Cen­tre last week.

War­ren­point Port, which is di­rectly op­po­site the Louth coast­line has re­cently an­nounced pro­posed changes to how dredged ma­te­rial from the har­bour is dealt with.

In a state­ment is­sued last week, the Port author­ity con­firmed it cur­rently car­ries out ‘a ma­jor dredg­ing pro­gramme ev­ery two to five years with ma­te­rial dis­posed of in the Ir­ish Sea.’

How­ever, new plans have been put for­ward to carry out dredg­ing on a more reg­u­lar but smaller scale, with ma­te­rial placed at a site in the mouth of Carlingford Lough be­tween Cran­field Point and Green­cas­tle.

Clare Guin­ness, CEO, War­ren­point Port said: ‘In or­der for the Port to con­tinue to sup­port mar­itime trade suc­cess­fully, it must en­sure a suf­fi­cient wa­ter depth is main­tained to al­low for the safe berthing of ves­sels, which it does through dredg­ing.

In an­tic­i­pa­tion of a rise in trade over the com­ing years, and to en­sure the Port con­tin­ues to thrive as an eco­nomic driver to the lo­cal re­gion, a new site for the dis­posal of dredged ma­te­rial is be­ing pro­posed within the mouth of Carlingford Lough.’

She added: ‘ This is also in line with cur­rent think­ing that dredged ma­te­rial should be de­posited as close as pos­si­ble to source.’

‘In our role as a cus­to­dian of the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment, we want to hear the views of all stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic, be­fore any plans are put into action.’

Cllr. Dearey told last week’s Mu­nic­i­pal meet­ing that Louth County Coun­cil should ‘in­volve them­selves in this process in a fairly ro­bust way, as the pro­posal here is to dump dredged ma­te­rial di­rectly into Carlingford Lough.’

He said the im­pact of this move on oys­ter farms, and lo­cal wildlife and birds had to be con­sid­ered. He urged the lo­cal author­ity to get in­volved in the con­sul­ta­tion process.

A pub­lic drop-in con­sul­ta­tion event will take place at War­ren­point Town Hall on Wed­nes­day 19th Septem­ber from 4pm to 7pm where there will be an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss the pro­posed dis­posal site and the en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment process.

Clare Guin­ness, CEO, War­ren­point Port.

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