17th December

Mismanagement behind marina development setback

A controversy has erupted over an EU Interreg harbour project in Donegal after marine consultant and pilot-book editor Norman Kean asked some pointed questions at a conference in September.

It made front-page headlines in the local press. “Donegal County Council, as the lead partner in the €7m Sail West/ Malin Waters programme, was allocated €1.6m – the biggest single share of the capital budget – for construction of a ‘marina’ at Bunagee in Inishowen.Bunagee pier

Bunagee pier. Was a €1.6m marina at this rocky and exposed place ever feasible or justifiable? Photo Geraldine Hennigan

“The other eight capital projects under the programme, in Northern Ireland and Scotland, including marinas, facilities buildings and a world-championship-standard slipway, were completed on time and on budget; however the Bunagee project has not started and it is very likely that the money will be forfeited,” he told Inshore Ireland.

“This is now, unfortunately, water under the bridge. But we need to make sure that future decisions are made in a well-informed, objective and transparent manner, and that this mismanagement is not repeated,” he said.

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