Get off the fence! – Public reps asked to state their position on proposed Bantry Bay fish farm
West Cork Times, 16 April 2013
by Brian Moore
UNLIKE the county and city councillors in Galway who recently voiced their concerns about a major salmon farm development off Inis Oirr, it appears that the campaign to halt a new salmon farm in Bantry Bay cannot count on the same support from the local public representatives in the Cork Southwest constituency.
“It is the job of our local representatives to take our concerns to those in higher positions of power.
“Why this is possible in Galway, but not Cork is unclear. Surely, each citizen of Ireland has the same rights for their voice to be heard,” Kieran O’Shea, Chairman of the Save Bantry Bay (SBB) committee told West Cork Times.
Both Galway county and city councils unanimously carried motions regarding the possible negative impact of the proposed major salmon farm off the west coast, at meetings on March 26th and April 8th.
However, Deputy Noel Harrington TD (FG) feels that a strong aquaculture industry will be a positive addition to the Bantry Bay area.
“I would be positive about the development of the aquaculture industry in this area. We need to get more information from the state bodies responsible for this sector but I do feel that developing this industry will be good for Bantry Bay,” Deputy Harrington said.
Senator Denis O’Donovan (FF) is unsure as to his support for or against the proposed salmon farm. “The whole concept of fish farming for food security into the future is a must.
“I was contacted by the developers of the proposed salmon farm off Shot Head looking for written support, which, I refused to give.
“I have stayed neutral on the issue but I have raised the issue with the Minister Simon Coveney and with BIM. At this stage I will let the process take its course and await the outcome of this,” Sen. O’Donovan said.
Councillor Danny Crowley (FF) who lives in Adrigole not far from the proposed new salmon farm site is also in two minds about the development.
“I will be meeting with members of the SBB committee to discuss the issue. I have an open mind about this proposal and I will be calling on Cork County Council to look very closely at any and all positive or negative issues that could result in the salmon farm going ahead.
“We need more direction from the various state bodies that have responsibility for this new salmon farm in Bantry Bay,” Cllr Crowley told West Cork Times.
Councillors Mary Hegarty (FG) and Patrick Murphy (FF) advised West Cork Times that they felt unable to comment before going to press as they needed more information before they could outline their respective positions concerning any new salmon farm development in the area.
Let the people know
Alec O’Donovan, former Bantry Harbour Commissioner and secretary of the Save Bantry Bay committee is calling all the public representatives in the area to “get off the fence” and let the people know their position in relation to the proposed salmon farm off Shot Head.
“This is typical, our councillors, and indeed all our public representatives who owe their positions to the people of this area need to get off the fence.
“They (the public reps) have a duty to represent our concerns, and take into consideration the environment on which we depend in their deliberations.
“To continue to avoid such responsibilities is failing those who voted for them,” he said.
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