Fear that any further delay in the extension and repair of Schull pier will have a negative impact on employment in the area.
There are up to fishing 30 boats based at Schull in County Cork, but due to bad weather they often moor off the pier or make the sea journey around Mizen Head from Schull to Castletownbere. This can be quite risky in bad weather and also adds to the costs for fishermen. The fishermen claim,
They have built up Castletownbere and the bad pier has killed their own port.
According to Dan Griffin of the Schull Fishermen's Association the pier needs urgent work,
'Tis in a shocking state.
Noel O'Sullivan is managing director of Bolhea Fisheries, the local lobster and shellfish processing plant established in the 1970s. The company is put to considerable expense in transporting quantities of shellfish landed at Castletownbere. There are fears for the factory’s viability if the pier is not extended,
If we don’t have fish coming in at this pier, there won’t be jobs at the factory, which there are at present, but only just.
Noel O'Sullivan took on the factory four years ago on the clear understanding that the pier would be extended,
We don’t know how we’re going to keep that factory open unless it is.
Promises to improve the pier were made as far back as the 1930s. The latest promise has been made by the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry Brendan Daly. Dan Griffin is confident the minister’s assurances are genuine and work on the pier will begin promptly. Otherwise,
It will be the end of fishing here in Schull.
Greg Coughlan is a member of the delegation that met with the minister. He also believes the pier improvements will go ahead within the year. If they do not, he fears employment in the region will be in a precarious position.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 21 June 1982. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.