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Mulranny Pier damage

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The damage caused to the pier at Mulranny, following recent storms
GAPING HOLE The damage caused to the pier at Mulranny, following recent storms.

Mulranny Pier damage

ANTON MCNULTY

VIOLENT storm force gales and high seas over the New Year weekend caused extensive damage to the pier at Mulranny, resulting in the pier being closed off to the public.
Gusts of up to 50 knots crashed against the Mayo coast which resulted in structural damage to the pier causing a hole measuring five by ten metres. The sea washed away a number of rocks from the structure making it impossible for people to reach the end of the pier.
Because of safety concerns, Mayo County Council have erected barriers to close off public access but officials have cautioned that the pier will not be repaired until the bad weather has passed.
The pier at Mulranny is currently categorised as category three, which is a low priority, and receives considerably less funding for improvement and repair than other higher category piers. Mulranny-based TD, Dr Jerry Cowley said he has been calling for extra funding to be given for the development of piers and the damage caused was a result of the lack of funding for repairs.
“The extent of the storm damage is staggering. Seeing is believing – and even a JCB would be lost down the massive hole which has suddenly opened up on Mulranny pier in the last two days. I have been calling for the upgrade of this pier for some time so that serious improvements can be carried out. It needs urgent attention and I am asking both Minister Ó Cúiv [Minister for the Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs] and Mayo County Council to ensure that the storm damage is rectified immediately. Many of these piers are too often allowed to fall into chronic disrepair so that they are at the mercy of the sea,” he said.
Dr Cowley called for both Mulranny Pier and the Valley Pier on Achill to be upgraded from category three status so they can fulfil their potential as ideal locations for fishing and tourism.
“Were the Valley Pier restored to its previous state, with a 30 to 40-metre pier extension restored, then it would be usable at all times. This would be a major boost to the north Achill area by allowing fish to be landed and it would be a safe harbour for the pleasure craft which locals have invested in to boost local tourism.
“Mulranny Pier like the Valley pier requires a multimillion euro investment by Government. Sticking plaster solutions such as filling the hole in Mulranny Pier with a couple of tons of Readymix has been done before and is not at all acceptable to us,” he concluded.
His views were echoed by Cllr Micheál McNamara who, after reporting the matter to Mayo County Council, was assured by senior  engineers that repair work will be carried out on the pier as soon as weather and tide conditions become suitable for such work.