Sinn Féin Councillor John Sheamais Ó Fearraigh is urging Minister for the Marine Michael Creed to listen to the views of the local community in Falcarragh as opposition to plans to establish an oyster farm at Ballyness Bay continues to grow.
He was commenting following Sunday’s public meeting at which hundreds of local residents, business owners and community groups attended to air their views on the proposals to cultivate oysters at one of Donegal’s most scenic coastal locations.
Cllr Ó Fearraigh said he was happy to be in a position to attend the public meeting in Falcarragh and to provide support on behalf of my party to the local community and all those who were present.
He said “At last night’s meeting it was very clear that many in the area are totally against these proposals and I think it’s vital that the Minister does not ignore the many strong views which people have in relation to this oyster farm project.
“Many local people feel angry as they believe that they haven’t been properly consulted with about these plans, nor do they believe that the Department gave sufficient notice about how to communicate their thoughts on the project prior to the statutory consultation period having closed.”
He said his colleague Deputy Pearse Doherty has already highlighted this with the Minister in the Dáil prior to the summer recess and stressed the need for the Department to consider the possible implications which such marine based activities pose to the tourism potential of scenic locations when making determinations on such applications.
And he added “The Minister however simply replied to state that the public and statutory phase of the licensing process is now closed, while he also stated that observations received following the closure of the public and statutory phase cannot be considered.
“Clearly however the Minister cannot ignore the local community and simply brush their opinions aside, therefore I pledge to continue to support and assist them in their campaign in whatever way I can going forward.”