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Coast guard station due in next two years

A LEGAL bottleneck, which has delayed the official sanction of the long-awaited €2 million Doolin coastguard station, looks set to be resolved in the near future.

However, it looks likes the 25-strong volunteer team in Doolin may have to wait until 2013 or 2014 for the completion of their new station, after a new Coast Guard Volunteer and Pollution Response Centre is first built in Killybegs.


Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure, Brian Hayes previously stated the Chief State Solicitor’s office had informed the Commissioners of Public Works that the case involved a number of complex conveyancing issues.
In response to a Dáil question tabled by Clare’s Deputy Michael McNamara last October, Deputy Hayes said there were difficulties concerning the easement required for the provision of drainage from the proposed coastguard station, which extends through several different properties.
This week, Deputy McNamara has learned from both parties, the minister and landowner, that the conveyance is now being progressed as a matter of urgency.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed earlier this week he has given the OPW the go-ahead to tender for a new Coast Guard Centre in Killybegs, Donegal and reconfirmed his commitment to proceed with a similar station in Doolin within the life of the capital expenditure programme.
Deputy Pat Breen said Minister Varadkar’s statement gives certainty to the provision of the Doolin Unit, while Senator Martin Conway pledged to continue lobbying the minister to ensure Fine Gael lives up to its pre-election promise to build the station.
“The minister is aware of the importance of the station. Based on personal assurance from the minister, I would hope that it will be built by 2014 at the latest,” he said.
Doolin Coast Guard Unit officer Mattie Shannon said a new station would provide a proper building to house all their equipment, which is currently stored in different houses and an appropriate place to lay out the deceased following recovery missions.
Acknowledging the new station may not be built until 2013 or 2014, he said the sooner it is approved the better for all their volunteers.
Asked why Doolin, which is one of the busiest units in the country, is waiting so long for official sanction for a new station, the Department of Transport stated Doolin is not yet ready to go to tender, as the OPW is still working on the transfer of ownership of land and other issues.
“Killybegs is an equally important station, which also houses the National Tier 3 stockpile of counter pollution equipment. Doolin will go to tender next,” explained a department spokesman.


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