Louth councillor Pearse McGeough has called on Louth County Council to address the build-up of silt at Annagassan Harbour once and for all following an incident on Saturday.
“Saturday was the first decent day that we have had this year weather wise and I was sickened to hear that a young child who was walking along the sand at the Harbour accidently walked onto the silt and got stuck," McGeough said.
"The person who was with the child managed to get them free with much difficulty but not before the child had sunk into the silt almost to their shoulders.”
The Castlebellingham native has been calling on Louth County Council to address the issue of silt build up for a number of years. “The silt was so bad in 2012 that four berths at the end of the Harbour were reduced to three and that remains the case even today.”
"This is a health and safety issue," he continued. "If we are lucky enough to get a decent summer this year, you are going to have children playing or pets being walked. If they go into the water at all there is a chance they could get stuck and not come out of the water.
"Louth County Council needs to take what happened on Saturday as a warning and address the build-up of silt as a matter of urgency.”
Councillor McGeough contacted the local authority this morning and asked for additional signage to be erected immediately. “That won’t stop young children or dogs going into the silt accidently or unknowingly but at least adults will be more aware of the danger until such times as the issue is addressed.”
“Despite remedial work being done at the Harbour since 2012, the silt is back with vengeance and needs to be dredged on an on-going basis, not just when it gets dangerously built up. Although there is no actual policy on harbours, Drogheda Port is dredged regularly to allow ships to get up the Boyne. Surely there should be a certain amount of maintenance work done on other harbours where the public are visiting or people are working. It is basic health and safety.”
"We should not be waiting for a tragedy to happen to act. We have had a warning of what could possibly happen if this silt is not dredged. It is not good enough to say there is no money or no funds," he added.
"The Chief Executive was able to come up with €300,000 to cover an ‘administrative error’ over the Drogheda parking shambles, I’m sure if she tried hard enough she could come up with the funds needed to address this silt build up as it’s an accident waiting to happen.”