March 06, 2013

Doolin Pier Planning to go Ahead

Councilors back Doolin Pier Plan

Currach's used for Trans-Shipment at Doolin Pier

An exurb from the Irish Times-

CONTENTIOUS PLANS to construct a €6 million pier at Doolin yesterday received the unanimous approval of Clare’s councillors in spite of concerns expressed by surfers.  At the council’s March meeting yesterday, councillors gave the plan their endorsement after Cllr Richard Nagle (FF) said: “The new pier is imperative for the economic life of north Clare, and it should proceed without delay.”

The approval for the construction of a new pier in Doolin is welcomed and long awaited by O'Brien Line & Doolinferry. 

The daily operations of the ferries have been made quite complicated by issues of having an under-developed pier since the companies founding in 1970 by Bill O'Brien.  All ferry scheduling has been at the mercy of the tides requiring the company to adjust sailings daily.  Even though a productive schedule has been established by the company, passengers still need to check on a daily basis to be sure the times haven't been altered due to tide.  Having a fully functioning pier in all tides will be infinitely beneficial to the reliability and timeliness of the ferry operations to/from Doolin. 

In the months of June through August on the days when tide is too low for the ferries to dock at Doolin Pier alternative methods to board the ferries are required.  Trans-shipment is used to ferry passengers from the pier to the awaiting ferries, 12 persons at a time.  This process can be extremely time consuming when there are hundreds of passengers waiting to board in the summer high season leading to frustrations on all parts.  All sailings outside those three months are completely subject to tide as trans-shipment is not permitted at those times. 

The over-all appearance of the existing set-up on Doolin Pier leaves a lot to be desired by tourists, local residents, and ferry employees alike.  Simple facilities such as parking and restrooms which are normally taken for granted in most popular tourist areas are sub-par/non-existent at best at Doolin Pier.  Currently there are no toilets within a 10 minute walk or even a single waste bin to accommodate thousands of tourist in the summer months.  These types of images do not exactly conjure the memories that we have when we think of the Beautiful Aran Islands and The Stunning Cliffs of Moher.  And they are certainly not the memories we want visitors to go home with either.

In the end having a facility at Doolin Pier that can respect and foster the local communities around the Doolin Area will be a very welcomed development. 

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