Writes Ciaran Dineen
Council officials recently informed local County Councillors that initial location plans for the instalment of a pontoon in Carrigaline must be revised following consultation. The update was provided by MD Officer, Noelle Desmond in May’s second Municipal District meeting in Council Chambers.
Pic: Cllr O’Connor and Carrigaline Tidy Towns organised Kayaking from the Community Park in Carrigaline last year, in conjunction with Funkytown Adventure Centre.
The announcement came in response to a query from Councillor Liam O’Connor (FG), who had raised the original idea of erecting a pontoon on the Owenabue River in January of this year. At the time Cllr O’Connor suggested that a pontoon would help to open up the features of the river and that it would help to promote and facilitate water activities.
He was supported by many colleagues in the chamber, who emphasised the need for Carrigaline and the Harbour Area in general to make use of their coastal surroundings in order to develop public amenities and attract tourism.
It was cited by the Council that “homework” would need to be done on their part to see if the proposed location from Cllr O’Connor, who had consulted local water activity group ‘Funkytown Adventure Centre’, was viable. The area suggested to the Council was situated just behind the community complex. Fast forward four months and it was noted by Noelle Desmond that the council had done some extensive research and consultation and that a full report will be issued for the June meeting of the MD.
However, she was able to indicate that the proposed site was not suitable for the pontoon but went on to clarify that the Council fully supported the ‘principle’ of the idea. She explained that the location would pose problems from a ‘habitat’ point of view and that tidal impacts would mean that a very specific pontoon would need to be used.
Contesting this, Councillor O’Connor pointed out that the exact area was constantly used for launching kayaks and queried the argument made that it would disturb habitats. In defence Desmond said that it was “very different” using the location informally compared to actually “formalising” the area for activities, citing licencing issues.
The advice was that other options for the pontoon should be considered as an alternative, rather than sticking to the same location which would require costly inspections to determine whether it was suitable or not. It was then reiterated that a full report would be brought forward to the Councillors for the June meeting and Cllr O’Connor was pleased with this outcome.