Revamped slipway a big help

THE Louth Environmental Group (LEG) have taken the lead regarding the ongoing issue of emergency water access in the town, revamping a disused and forgotten slipway for immediate use.

There have been calls from a number of interests group who want to have a emergency low tide slipway for the Castletown River, and the LEG believe that a disused slipway at Maxwells Row could be a good temporary solution to the issue.

Speaking to the Democrat, LEG Secretary Mark Fitzsimons says the Maxwell’s Row slipway is a handy temporary solution, but he wants help from Dundalk Town Council to make it more user friendly.

“This slipway was originally built in the 1983 by the Combined Tenants and Residents Association of Dundalk (CTARA). Over the last few years due to dumping, the slip way and the river edge in front of it has been filled with shopping trolleys and other debris. Yet this slipway would be a good short term measure to assist emergency access to the river.”

On Thursday the LEG got a digger in to remove the years of soil and rubbish that had built up at the spot, and it is now ready for use.

The LEG now want DTC to provide them with a skip to remove the left over rubbish, with damaged a Sub Aqua Club boat over the Christmas period when they were recovering a body in the river.

LEG have, however, been told that if they wanted to improve the slipway with a concrete foundation it would need planning permission.

Alan Bogan, PRO of the Sub Aqua Club, has welcomed the slipway. “It will now provide access for boats for 70 per cent of call outs, which is a great help.”

Unfortunately the slipway is not adequate for low tide launches, but can be used for high and medium tide launches.

“I understand that it would need planning permission to get a concrete, hard floor to the slipway, which would be ideal. But every little helps and this now it has been cleared it is a welcome addition.”

The LEG have written to DTC, offering the slipway as a short term solution to the problem, and have requested that a skip be provided. Speaking to the Democrat, John Lawrence of DTC told the paper: “Skips are generally only provided when the council are involved with a joint initiative.

“We were not in a position to commit to a joint initiative with the LEG on this project. Many considerattions have to be taken into account with an initiative like this. With regards to concreting the slipway, more information and the relevant applications in this process would have to be furnished to the council before any planning issues would be looked at.”