CONTENTIOUS PLANS to construct a €6 million pier at Doolin yesterday received the unanimous approval of Clare’s councillors in spite of concerns expressed by surfers.
At the council’s March meeting yesterday, councillors gave the plan their endorsement after Cllr Richard Nagle (FF) said: “The new pier is imperative for the economic life of north Clare, and it should proceed without delay.”
County manager Tom Coughlan recommended that conditional permission be granted for the proposal, which acts at the Clare gateway to the Aran Islands.
However, the Irish Surfing Association told the council that the proposal would destroy the Crab Island and Doolin Point waves “which have been surfed for decades and are world renowned”.
Fáilte Ireland supported the concerns of surfers, requesting the council to re-examine the existing proposal to ensure that the plan could proceed without compromising the area for surfers.
The stance of Fáilte Ireland placed it at odds with local tourism interests who lodged a submission with 200 signatures in support of the pier plan.
The Doolin-based supporters of the pier took up most of the available seating in the public gallery at yesterday’s meeting, with some holding up signs saying “Support Doolin Pier”.
Cllr Martin Conway (FG) said the new pier would be “a major cog in Clare tourism”.
The council official charged with leading the project, Tom Tiernan, said construction work could begin within four to six months.
There is no recourse to An Bord Pleanála for third parties.