Supporting Local News

Ros a’ Mhíl Harbour gets extension of time for development

The long-awaited extensive development of Ros a’ Mhíl Harbour – a game-changing project which would allow cruise shipsto dock there – has been granted an extension of planning to 2028.

That contrasts to Galway County Council’s original decision last year to refuse permission for the extension of the planning permission  which was granted in 2017 on the basis that no works had been carried out on the project by the Department of the Marine.

However, this decision has now been reversed with the planning authority now satisfied that, following a site inspection, that it was now evident that significant works have indeed been carried out on site.

The Department has also supplied a series of photographs of the site from early January to the middle of May which clearly show that substantial works have taken place at the harbour.

The decision has been welcomed by Cllr Padraig Mac An Iomaire (FG) who said that the news represented a major investment in South Connemara and has huge potential from an economic perspective.

But he warned that if improvements are not carried out to the main coast road (the R336), then it could become “a white elephant”.

“In order for the new harbour to realise its full potential, the local roads infrastructure has to improve.

Otherwise no tourist in their right mind would get off at Ros a’ Mhíl to head into Galway city as they would be no sooner there when they would have to return to the boat.

“The absence of any commitment to developing or improving this road is also preventing new business start-ups from happening.

“So while the development of the harbour is welcome, it needs the corresponding improvement of the coast road in order to make this work,” added Cllr Mac An Iomaire.

Meanwhile, planning permission has been granted for the development of Ros a’ Mhíl Fishery Harbour Centre which will consist of the provision of a deepwater quay.

This development will provide 200 metres of berthing frontage.

The project will also include the construction of low concrete sea walls, rock armour revetment, an improved access road along with lighting and drainage infrastructure.

The proposed development, for which an environmental impact statement was also submitted, has now been granted an extension of its planning and this will not cease to have effect on July, 2028.

Back in 2017, there was considerable excitement when planning for the deepwater quay was granted.

That led to a real expectancy that it would facilitate some of bigger cruise liners and yachts – similar to Killybegs in Donegal and Dingle in Kerry.

But no works were carried out on the €80 million project subsequent to that planning permission being granted.

That was given as the reason that permission for the extension of the duration of planning was refused last year.

Since then, the planning authority have expressed satisfaction that works have been carried out.

And they have decided  that this merits the extension of the planning period to 2028.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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