Mid-Louth Sinn Fein councillor Pearse McGeough has criticised Louth County Council for sending letters to fishermen using Annagassan harbour for harbour dues that have not been paid to the council.
Cllr McGeough has said that the sand that has been carried in by the tide and lodged at Annagassan pier, has left it impossible for the fishermen to berth their boats in their usual places near the vertical wall ladders.
The very narrow channel that is available to the boats at low tide because of the build-up of silt in centre of river, is making it almost impossible to use the harbour.
An application for a licence has been made by Louth county Council to the Department of the Marine to remove the silt which has built up in the mouth of the harbour.
The council has also applied for funding from the department.
Annagassan fishermen have expressed their fears for the future of fishing at the harbour because the county council cannot clear a silt bank at the mouth of the harbour.
“We can’t get down to our boats from the pier,” one fisherman said, “because the sandbank is preventing the boats from being properly moored.
“The only way to get on board is to use a rope and that’s just too dangerous.
“A dredger could clear this in three hours, but the council say there is no money which is ridiculous.
“When the the cockle season gets underway in the summer there are double the number of fishermen operating out of the harbour.”
The problem was raised on several occasions at a meeting of Louth County Council by Cllr McGeough.
Cllr McGeough was previously told there was no money from the Department of the Marine to carry out any work at Annagassan harbour.
Cllr McGeough has said people are trying to earn a living but up until now have been faced with ridiculous bureaucracy.
“It would not take much or cost much to get it all cleared,” he said.
“It could be done in a matter of hours.
“When the cockle season starts there will be boats coming in to Annagassan from as far away as Wexford. But they will not be able to berth unless this job is done.
“It’s not difficult.”