Members of the Clare Island community this week have submitted a formal observation which the local development company states aims to ‘fully and fairly reflect the views of all islanders’ in relation to a proposed transatlantic fibreoptic cable in Clew Bay.
Irish communications specialist Aqua Comm is seeking a foreshore license from the Irish Government to allow the cable linking the US and Europe to come ashore at Old Head, near Louisburgh.
The ClareIsland observation to the foreshore licence comes on foot of Cliara Development Company, the representative organisation of the island community, hosting a public information meeting on February 23 and then allowing a consultation period for islanders to make their opinions known.
“There is a diversity of views on the island in relation to the proposed cable, and the role of the development company as the legally mandated representative of the island community is to present those views fully, fairly and in a balanced way,” the board of Cliara Development Company said in a statement to The Mayo News.
“The purpose of our public meeting was to provide members of the island community with as much information as possible about the proposed cable. This meeting and subsequent submissions by islanders allowed the board of Cliara Development Company to gather a full picture of island views, which we have now submitted as an observation to the foreshore licence application.
“It is clear from our detailed public consultation that many islanders are in favour of the proposed cable, provided it delivers genuine infrastructural improvement for the region. We will be seeking assurances that there is a detailed plan in place for this new cable to deliver improved connectivity for West Mayo, including ClareIsland.
“Other islanders, including those in the fishermen’s group, have concerns about the cable, and we are asking Subcomm and Aqua Comm (the owners of the cable) to continue to engage with the fishermen to establish that they will not be held liable for genuine unintended damage caused to the cable. We request that Subcomm and Aqua Comm provide a legally binding commitment once an agreement is reached. We look forward to working with all relevant authorities and organisations in a constructive way,” they concluded.