What is the future for the young fishermen living and working out of the Aran Islands?
The Aran Islands has a relatively modern fishing fleet, with nearly 20 boats working out of the Island. However, fishermen returning to Inis Mór’s harbour at Cill Rónáin after a hard week at sea, face the added pressure of dealing with limited pier space, considerable traffic congestion and according to Aran Islander Gregory Conneely
The main problem we’ve got here, we haven't got enough water.
Bryan Casburn, manager of the Galway and Aran Fishermen's Co-op believes the island fishermen need to be confident they can berth their boats when they return home, however in reality
They find it very hard for them to moor their boats in a safe position.
Gregory and Bryan both fear that unless the pier is developed, younger fishermen on the Island may be enticed to move to the mainland.
It's a very hard life they’ve got, and any time they can get ashore to be with their families at weekends or at other odd periods when they get a chance to be ashore, they're spending their whole time minding their vessels an looking after their boats.
According to Bryan, a fishermen living on the mainland has a much better lifestyle than his counterpart living on the island. This has lead to as many as 15 families relocating to the mainland fishing port of Rossaveal Port in Connemara, County Galway. This, in turn, has a wider impact on the remaining island community.
In spite of the hardship, Gregory Conneely Junior and his crew of four do not feel they should have to leave their island home to live on the mainland. But changes are needed quickly is they can continue to remain.
As for the future of the potential for fishing of the island, the key obviously lies with the young people, while on a wider scale, the future of the island itself also depends on them.
A 'Nationwide' report broadcast on 22 April 1998. The reporter is Joe Woods.