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Call for boost to West Clare pier lighting

LIGHTING on piers in West Clare is critical to supporting what remains of the county’s fishing industry, a local councillor has said. At this month’s meeting of the Municipal District committee, Councillor Cillian Murphy described the issue as “close to his heart”. “As someone who was involved in the fishing industry, I know the importance of having proper services on our piers,” he said. “Fishing crews have started to gear back up and I’ve had contact in relation to both of the piers in Carrigaholt. But, equally, I’m making the call on behalf of fishermen using all of the district’s piers, lights must be operational on all of them. For the want of a few bulbs, we could be making these areas a lot safer. There was no light at all on either of the Carrigaholt piers at one stage. We have little enough left of our fishing industry at this stage and this would go some way toward supporting those who still operate in the sector.”

Councillor Murphy’s motion calling for lighting to be operational on all piers in the district was seconded by Councillor Ian Lynch. “As a member of the RNLI, I know the huge importance of this issue,” he said. “There was a situation where the installation of the LED lighting at the pier in Kilrush was actually making navigation more difficult. The municipal district got those changed and it has made a huge difference.”

Councillor Murphy also noted that, in some areas, fishermen use pier lights as their leading lights. “We need to consider this and to think of what kind of lights we’re installing,” he said.

Councillor Gabriel Keating said he also kept an eye on the situation. “I don’t take to the water that easily,” he remarked, “but, I keep a look out around the community and if I see a situation where a light is out, I contact Airtricity who are very helpful.”

In a written response, John O’Malley Senior Executive Officer (SEO) said that public lighting at public piers in the West Clare MD is currently being reviewed. “Where there is a need for works to take place our Public Lighting section in the Transportation Department is contacted,” the reply said. “Members are advised that there is a system on the Clare County Council website under the Roads and Transportation Service for reporting Streetlight Issues. This links to Airtricity’s public lighting issues/faults reports map. Any member of the public can use this to highlight a fault in their area and is a very useful way of ensuring that the fault is captured by Airtricity and dealt with accordingly.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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