Louth County Council have received further information in relation to a planning application that would see the construction of a new car ferry terminal at Greenore.
The application has come from Frazer Ferries, a Limerick based company, who plan to build ferry terminal facilities adjacent to Greenore Port and adjacent to Greencastle Pier Road, Greencastle ,Co Down to allow operation of a vehicular ferry accross the mouth of Carlingford Lough.
There had been a similar plan by a Clare based company, Carlingford Lough Car Ferry Ltd, to have a ferry between the two points.
However there has been significant opposition to that plan from Greencastle Area Residents Group (GARG) who oppose plans for any ferry service between the two points.
At a meeting of the GARG in October of 2011, a sounding was taken from those present regarding their views on the proposed ferry. The views expressed were resoundingly opposed to the ferry – with 90 per cent opposed the introduction of the ferry.
GARG oppose the ferry mainly on environmental and wildlife reason, as well as the disruption to the local area.
Local resident Sean Cunningham who has lived in Greencastle all his life and worked as the Carlingford Lough Pilot for over 40 years and is the current attendant at the landmark Haulbowline Lighthouse has questioned the impact such a development will have on the wider Greencastle Area and on its unspoilt coastline.
Mr Cunningham told the Democrat “It is important that the undeveloped coastal environment is protected - in particular from increasing urbanisation, industry, pollution and recreational demand. The coastline along Greencastle on the northern side of Carlingford Louth is relatively unspoilt, with a wide variety of landscapes, which are of high scenic quality.
“It is of immense importance in terms of its scientific interest, nature conservation value and its wildlife habitats. The relationship between tourism and the environment must be managed so that tourism continues to support local communities and remains viable in the long term. In appropriate developments such as building of Ferry Terminals will damage and destroy the assets within the wider Greencastle Area”.
Mr Cunningham also questioned about the safety of such a ferry service on Carlingford Lough
“The proposed route across the lough from Greencastle to Greenore is one of the most treacherous on the lough, especially during Spring Tides, and during strong winds. There is always a high risk factor involved in crossing a channel which has shipping traffic to Greenore and Warrenpoint Ports, with vessels moving at all stages of the tide. Greenore is by far the most hazardous part of Carlingford Lough, with sandbanks, rocks, reefs, and strong tidal currents which are unique to the Greenore region, leaving this part of the lough the most hazardous for all shipping going to and from Greenore and Warrenpoint. As a result tugs have to be used to manoeuvre large vessels into docking position in Greenore”.
The development would include construction of a reinforced concrete slipway that will be 60m long with 7 vertical tubular berthing and fender piles on the southern side to facilitate ferry berthing.