Eamon O Cuav T.D. at the turning of the sod for Cill Ronain Port, Inis Mor, Arainn

Highest Ever Spend on Island Infrastructure in the History of the State

Almost €39m Sanctioned by Ó Cuív for Árainn Port.

Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, today announced that he has sanctioned a grant of €38.9 million for Galway County Council to develop Cill Rónáin Port, Inis Mór, Árainn.

This funding will enable the County Council to undertake this work without delay. This is the largest project ever funded by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and it is being planned in conjunction with Galway County Council for the past number of years. The project involves substantial works, which include:

- a 550m breakwater
- the widening and upgrading of the pier to provide safe access for passengers
- dredging works to create a deep anchor bed
- specific cargo facilities
- a new lifeboat station
- and a covered walkway and parking facilities.

“I am delighted with the recognition given to this development as a strategic project in the National Development Plan 2007-2013,” said the Minister. “The scale of these works demonstrates the importance of our islands in a national context.”

Árainn is the largest populated island, with 824 inhabitants according to the 2006 Census. As well as that, thousands of tourists visit the island each year due to its international reputation as a centre of heritage and culture.

“I am very happy to see this development going ahead. The people of Árainn have waited many years for safe and adequate facilities, and through this development satisfactory facilities will now be available for passengers, cargo and fishing use,” said the Minister. “I have no doubt that the new port will greatly improve the island’s economy in the years to come and that the islander’s quality of life will be greatly enhanced as a result.”

Cathy Ní Ghoill, Manager of Comharchumann Forbartha Árann Teo said, "Comharchumann Forbartha Árann and the Port Committee welcomes this great news. This is the largest project and the greatest expenditure ever to take place on the island and this is a development that will change life on the island and, indeed, the lives of the islanders.”

Minister Ó Cuív thanked all parties who were involved in the planning and development of this project, especially the people of Árainn themselves, Galway County Council, the consultants Michael Punch and Partners and the RNLI. In conclusion, the Minister said that he was confident that the islanders and the general public would be patient and understanding while the building works were being carried out.