Courtown's harbour will be shut for entire summer
The harbour at Courtown is to be sealed off and drained for the entire summer as emergency repair works on the piers and walls are carried out, and the harbour basin is deepened.
The timeframe for the €2 million project was announced by Council engineers on Thursday afternoon, and a meeting is to be held with local business owners and fishermen this coming Thursday to discuss the impact on summer trade.
'We are trying to look at taking the impact off businesses,' said Cllr Robert Ireton. 'It will impact the fishermen and the charter boats, but we are trying to find alternative ways to help them in any shape or form.'
'It will be impossible to keep the harbour open,' he added. 'Money has been allocated for this work, and there have been two extensions already. It has to be spent by the end of November.' A meeting will be hosted in The Taravie by Cllr Ireton and Courtown Community Council on Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m. for the local business community and fishermen.
Sections of Courtown beach will also be cordoned off at various stages in the coming months to allow for rock armour reinstatement. Vehicular access to the Burrow car park will be restricted while work is ongoing.
Declan Dunbar, Chairman of Courtown Community Council said the work has to be done in the summer. 'It's not something you could do in the winter,' he said. 'It has to be done and paid for by the end of November.'
'I don't think it will have a big impact,' he said. 'It's amazing how work being done tends to attract people to have a look. The pier head will have to be wrapped in concrete. Both piers are ready to collapse.'
'The basin is filled up with silt,' he added. 'There were times when there wasn't two feet of water in it.'
Courtown Sailing Club will go ahead and lift in its boats this Saturday. Some owners will then move their boats to Arklow before the harbour closes, while others will lift back out.
'We have no problem relocating for the summer because this work desperately needs to be done,' said Club Commodore Mark Chambers. 'Anything will be a big improvement. The fishermen will be in a different situation as it's their livelihood, and we very much sympathise with them, but to get the harbour done is imperative. It will be for the good of everybody once it's done.'
He said that the club's summer sailing school will go ahead off the south beach as normal. 'The sailing season will be severely disrupted but it's something we are prepared to accept. It's imperative that the harbour is done,' he stated.
Courtown Harbour's basin will be sealed off and drained for the summer to allow for emergency repair works to the walls and piers, and for dredging to take place in the channel and basin, which have both become almost unusable due to silting.