Minister Charlie McConalogue announced his Department’s spending on infrastructure which inclues a 20% increase for Local Authority funding

Minister McConalogue announced his Department’s spending on infrastructure which includes an increase for Local Authority funding

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, announced his Department’s spending on infrastructure at this week’s Donegal County Council’s Fisheries Committee meeting which he addressed.

He told the attendees that he has provided for an increase of 20% in funding for Local Authority projects in 2021 and has provided €21 million for works being carried out in Killybegs Harbour.

In his speech he said, “In relation to investment in infrastructure, my Department provides limited funding to assist Local Authorities carry out small scale projects for the development and repair of piers, harbours and slipways in their ownership which have a link the fishing industry. I am happy to say that I have also increased funding for Local Authority capital projects nationally in 2021 to €3.6m, which is a 20% increase in 2020 funding.”

On the issue of funding for Killybegs the Minister said “I have provided €21m for the final phase of the 120-metre extension project at Smooth Point in Killybegs Fishery harbour centre, which is expected to be completed this year. This will support Killybegs attracting increased fish landings from both Irish and foreign fishing vessels and in this way continue to ensure that it is the primary centre for pelagic landings in the EU and a major centre for whitefish landings. I thank all the members of the Committee and the stakeholders for their engagement and work on fishing and I look forward to working with them in the time ahead.”

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At the Fisheries Committee, the Minister explained his plans for responding to the challenges arising from Brexit telling the Committee stating, “I have set up the Seafood Sector Taskforce, which meets for the first time today (Wednesday, 10 March 2021) to make recommendations on measures to mitigate the impacts on the Irish Fishing industry, and on the coastal communities that depend on fisheries, of the fish quota share reductions arising from the EU/UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement. The Taskforce is chaired by Aidan Cotter, barrister and former CEO of Bord Bia. Mr Cotter will be assisted by a steering group comprised of Margaret Daly – Deputy CEO of seafood processor Errigal Bay Ltd and Mícheal Ó’Cinnéide, member of the Aquaculture Licensing Appeals Board and former Director of the EPA and Marine Institute. Taskforce members are drawn from the fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing sectors, community development interests and a range of development agencies with an interest in the economic development of our coastal communities.”

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