Harbour row set for talks

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All parties involved in Greystones Harbour are set for talks in an effort to resolve the standoff over fishing rights in the area.

Speaking to the Wicklow Voice, Tom Fortune, Cathaoirleach of Greystones Municipal District Committee, he has organised discussions between Wicklow County Council, local councillors, Bord Uisce Mhara, developers Glenveagh, builders Sisk, BJ Marine and the fishersmen themselves. That meeting was due to be held on June 27 after this edition of the Wicklow Voice had gone to print.

must be the only harbour in the country that doesn’t allow local fishermen to land their catch

“When I was elected Cathaoirleach of Greystones Municipal District Committee, one of my first objectives to resolve this situation. This must be the only harbour in the country that doesn’t allow local fishermen to land their catch.”

However not everyone supports the fisherman’s cause with one local, who did not wish to be named, telling the Wicklow Voice that some people did not think the harbour was not suitable for commercial fishing. Recently, a planned blockade of the harbour amid the row over access for local fishermen was “toned down” at the last minute after all sides agreed to a meeting.

While a flotilla of trawlers pulled back from the mouth of the harbour to allow sailing clubs and other seafarers in and out, several hundred people turned out to support the fishermen at the centre of the dispute.

One of those fishermen, Ivan Toole, skipper of the Golden Venture, who is the fifth generation of his family to fish the waters off his native Greystones, said they “toned down” the blockade after an assurance of a meeting next week to resolve the dispute.

“It wasn’t a full blockade. We anchored in the harbour and allowed room for others to pass, because Cllr Tom Fortune managed to get everyone to agree to come to a meeting,” he said.

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