Given the dilapidation and siltation of the harbour, access to the sea for maritime clubs in Greystones has become increasingly difficult. The existing situation where coastal rescue facilities are not located at the harbour is less than satisfactory and great credit is due to the volunteers who operate the service in the current conditions.
The PPP project requires bidders to provide facilities for the following:
- Greystones Sailing Club
- Greystones Ridge Anglers Club
- Rowing Club
- Sea Scouts
- Diving Club
- Fishermen’s Facilities
An outline specification of the facilities to be provided has been included in the instructions to bidders. The facilities must be provided in a convenient waterfront location adjacent to the beach for dinghy launching and access to the sea. Secure boat storage facilities with ready access to the sea must also be provided.
Facilities will be provided for the Coastal Sea Rescue through the provision of a prepared site and adjoining shared slip. The core Coastal Sea Rescue facilities will be provided by the Office of Public Works (OPW).
Local support for the project has come from a variety of sources.
Mr Ciaran Hayden, Greystones Rowing Club, said:
"The development would allow the rowing club to provide proper facilities such as changing rooms, easy access to the water, proper storage and security for boats, and most importantly improved safety for all but especially its young members. It will allow the club to increase its membership"
The Greystones Ridge Angling Club feels that the proposed marina development will greatly improve facilities by providing new premises with better boat storage, better access to the water, easier car and trailer parking and a much safer harbour for boats and harbour users. It will also allow the club to grow, especially in its youth section.
A spokesman added:
“We believe that the new development would greatly improve the North Beach and the North Beach road as far as Darcy's field as this area at the present is an eyesore and a disgrace to the town. It would allow for a proper Coast Guard Station to be set up making using the sea so much safer.
“The marina will be a great asset to the whole town. This could be our last chance to save the harbour, our club was found in 1956 and we believe that if this project is not completed we will not have a harbour in the near future and as a result we will not have a club, our future depends on it.”
Mr Frank Turvey, a supporter of the proposed development, said that
"it is now a matter of development or destruction for the harbour. Doing nothing will lead to the destruction of the harbour and further serious erosion of the boulder clay cliffs by the elements in the near future. Development as is planned will save the harbour and provide the community with much needed amenities.",
Greystones Coast Guard Unit welcomes new harbour development
Greystones Coast Guard Unit is one of the key harbour users that has welcomed the new harbour development proposed by Wicklow County Council.
"We welcome this development and look forward to taking our place at the waters edge,"
says coast guard officer, Niall Ferns.
"It is long overdue and I trust that anyone who uses the water appreciates the value of the fastest possible response in an emergency – and our fastest response can only be achieved by being well positioned in the new harbour development."
The Greystones Coast Guard unit is one of the 54 units around the coast that make up the voluntary section of the Coast Guard.
"We are 18 persons who carry pagers to respond at short notice to help others. We are trained in boats, cliff rescue, searching, first aid and provide a valuable service to the public. Our purpose, along with other elements of the Coast Guard, is to reduce the loss of life within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and on rivers, lakes and waterways. We also protect the quality of the marine environment within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone, harbours and Maritime Local Authority areas and preserve property. In addition to providing an effective emergency response service, we promote safety standards, and by doing so, prevent, as far as possible, the loss of life at sea and on inland waters and other areas. We are currently housed in the old outhouse of the Coast Guard station which is now occupied by the Garda Siochana. This is totally inadequate given the equipment we possess i.e. cliff rescue van, 4 x 4 jeep, quad, boat and operations room. Our present location also leads to time delays when launching our boat to incidents in our search area which stretches from Shankill to Newcastle. We look forward to the new harbour development and to our new state-of-the-art Coast Guard Rescue Station down in the harbour and to a slipway to effect an immediate launch of our boat. This will be similar to other Coast Guard stations recently built around the coast. We are a dedicated group of people who always put people in need before ourselves – indeed we have done so in Greystones since 1820. I believe the people who use the waters around Greystones deserve the best rescue facilities and I believe this development will ensure that this happens."