Killybegs Community Council opposes dumping of dredge meaterial at sea
Killybegs Community Council has added its voice to objections against a proposal by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to dump dredged material in Donegal Bay.
The Department announced last month that it proposes to seek permission from the Environmental Proection Agency (EPA) to carry out dredging in Killybegs Harbour to extend the Fishery Harbour Centre and to dump some of the spoil in Donegal Bay.
Fish farming interests in the area, represented by the Irish Farmers' Association have recently come out strongly against the plan. Now, Killybegs Community Council has expressed "serious concern" about the proposal.
In a letter to the EPA, the Council members say they feel the proposal "has the capacity to threaten the the local environment with devastating effect on the local inshore fisheries, aquaculture and tourist industries."
The letter, signed by Community Council chair, Eimear McGuinness, stated bluntly: "This proposal has the potential to destroy our community and others along the coast."
The letter adds that, while the Council supports the proposed extension of the port facilities, the proposed dump site at sea for the dredged material is totally unsuitable.
"It would be highly irresponsible to dump such volatile material in this proposed location", the letter adds. "This opinion", the Council says, "is based on documented evidence of the long-term damage done during the 2003 dredging of the harbour."
The Community Council told the EPA they would require confirmation that the process will be strictly monitored, independent of the Department, at all times. "It is strongly felt that this did not happen previously(2003) and contributed to the irreparable damage which occurred", the Council's letter states.