Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has said that the decision to install gates at the northern breakwater in Greystones Harbour sets a dangerous precedent for access to public amenities.
Deputy Brady said “Since the gates were installed at the northern breakwater in Greystones Harbour on November 30th, I have had a large number of people in contact with me expressing serious concerns about them. People are concerned that the erection of gates such as this, at a public amenity sets a dangerous precedent for accesses to public amenities across the County.
“I have been in contact with the council and outlined my concerns and asked for the rationale as to why the gates were installed. The council have cited the issue of overtopping at Greystones Harbour during weather events as being one of the reasons for their installation. Does this mean that similar gates are to be installed in the Harbours Arklow, Wicklow Town and Bray?”
“Since the construction of the new Greystones Harbour, Sispar, are responsible for the delivery, management and operation of it. This has created some difficulties, particularly for local fishermen, these gates can’t be yet another barrier for them. If Sispar are unable to manage the harbour and protect public access to it, then I believe a conversation needs to be had about the local authority taking it back in charge. The harbour should be accessible for all, if there are issues relating to antisocial behavior, they need to be addressed by those who are tasked with it, not by punishing the entire public.”
“Now that the gates are installed Wicklow County Council are stating that they will be setting out clear criteria under which the gates can be closed. These are conversations that should have taken place before now and been part of the decision-making process. Public space must be accessible to all and the local authority who are supposed to be the guardians and custodians of it must do everything in their power to protect and enhance it and not restrict it from the public.”