Trader may deny access to Youghal quayside
A shipping trader says he may again deny public access to Youghal’s quayside unless the area’s deteriorating infrastructure is addressed.
Youghal Shipping and Storage agent Iain Welsh says a damaged 60m stretch of tarmacadam road on the quayside is unsafe, while a small section of the quayside has collapsed into the river.
The agent says he recently reopened the route after a year-long closure sparked complaints, because dry weather had alleviated the road’s condition.
Youghal Shipping and Storage Ltd has traded on Green’s Quay since 1989 under a 30year lease with Cork County Council. The company primarily imports timber and steel for onward road transportation and also handles some export produce. It employs a handful of people.
The quay is gated at three points, one of which leads to a riverside walk known as the Slob Bank, which Cork Coun- ty Council tourism.
Mr Welsh says public access is forbidden on safety grounds 12 hours before and after ships berth, while cargo is stockpiled, and during subsequent clean-ups, all of which can take “up to five days”. The area is popular for fishing and walking, with panoramic views of the Blackwater and the west Waterford hinterland.
All parties agree that the road, with its 200ml ruts, is unsuitable for trucks is enhancing for carrying 40-tonne loads.
Mr Welsh says the lease only covers the solid, concrete part of the quayside, with the road being the council’s responsibility.
The estimated cost of repairing the section is €60,000. The agent says the council declined an offer to share the cost equally and instead twice paid a contractor to conduct temporary repairs.
The council has already failed in two applications for funding. A third application, filed under costal management, is expected to fail because the quay is a working port.
Mr Welsh claims he lost a contract for exporting wood chips after the client feared loose material might contaminate the shipment.
He now also states that sea erosion has claimed a chunk of the quayside corner.
“Fishermen like to stand at that spot and if it deteriorates further I will consider closing the area again,” he warns.
Cork County Council did not respond to inquiries.