The fishing village of Howth has seen many changes but recent improvements to the harbour have helped improve the lot of the fishermen.
A fishing village since the Middle Ages, Howth remained a backwater until 1812, when the harbour piers were completed. It became the first mail station for Dublin, but problems with silting up of the harbour saw the mail service moved to Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire) in 1834.
Fisherman Nick Quigley has been fishing in Howth for nearly forty years. Born and bred in Howth, he is also a founder member of the Howth Fishermen’s Association. While a good income can be earned from fishing, conditions at sea can be difficult,
When you’re spending so much time at sea, conditions are fairly cramped always like ...and you get the bit of bad weather to go with it, it is really hardship like, you know.
The government decided to develop Howth as the major fishing port on the east coast and provide it with deep water berthing and onshore services. Controversially, it also provided a five acre yachting marina for Howth Yacht Club.
Despite all the discussion and debate about the harbour development in recent years, Nick says it has brought improvements for the fishermen,
You can go home at night now and leave the boats and forget about them, no matter how hard it blows, no damage or whatever will come to them. That is one great boost to the harbour.
This report was broadcast as part of ‘Evening Extra’ on 9 December 1987. The reporter is Vincent Wall.