The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D., will launch a report today (14/10/21), which recognises the suitability of Ros an Mhíl in the Galway Gaeltacht as a prime location for the development of a strategic hub to support the floating offshore wind sector and with the potential of creating up to 900 jobs in the industry.
The report, commissioned by Údarás na Gaeltachta, was carried out by Dublin Offshore Consultants and identifies a major opportunity for the Galway Gaeltacht and the wider economy that could revitalise the West Coast of Ireland from Loop Head to Béal an Mhuirthead.
The main findings of the report outline four possible scenarios and indicates that
A key component of Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025 is the Green Gaeltacht. The organisation is committed to playing its part in reducing its own carbon footprint and those of clients and the wider Gaeltacht community. The development of Ros an Mhíl as a strategic support hub for the offshore wind industry will go a long way in supporting this initiative and has been long identified by Údarás na Gaeltachta as a strategic resource, where there are feasible opportunities for the harbour to be a strategic national centre with regards to marine renewable energy.
Údarás na Gaeltachta is working hand in hand with the community and the harbour development committee to ensure that the Harbour will have the opportunity to attain every possible benefit from this sector in future and that the appropriate basic infrastructure is available in the area to that end.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., welcomed the publication of the report and commented
”I thank Údarás na Gaeltachta for their foresight in having this report available to contribute to the deliberations on the future direction of investment at Ros an Mhíl. There is a broad context here of cross-cutting Government policies and I understand that Údarás will take this report forward with their Minister so that there can be a rounded consideration of the policy issues and investment needs raised.”
Anna Ní Ghallachair, Chairperson of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta stated:
“We welcome the findings of this study regarding the development of a strategic hub to develop and support the offshore wind industry on the West Coast of Ireland. This is a strategic sector for Údarás na Gaeltachta. If we are to address climate change, we must avail of all opportunities there are to generate clean energy. A strategic development hub like this could create significant investment in the area, enhance life in the community, create employment and reduce the impact of climate change.”
Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Chief Executive Officer added:
“We are very pleased to publish this report which reveals the many possibilities that the offshore wind industry can achieve and how it will benefit the Gaeltacht community on the west coast and for companies interested in the green economy. Údarás na Gaeltachta is committed to ensuring Gaeltacht areas will benefit from any boost in the renewable energy sector in the years ahead and it forms a significant role in our Strategy for 2021-2025. Ros an Mhíl is a key harbour in Ireland’s maritime history, and we look forward to ensuring the future of this area for many generations to come.”
Peter Coyle, Chairperson of Marine Renewables Industry Association (MRIA) spoke at the launch of the report:
“The enormous wind and wave energy resource off the West Coast should drive major new income and job creation in the area over the next twenty years. Key to exploiting this opportunity is port facilities. The MRIA has long held the view that new port capacity will be required in the West – over and above the well-regarded ambitions of Galway and Shannon Foynes – and Ros an Mhíl is the obvious candidate with its deep water, land availability, geographical advantage and the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta. We warmly welcome the Dublin Offshore Report which advances the case for the development of Ros an Mhíl.”
Referring to the report Brian Fitzgerald, Director of Stakeholder Liaison and External Affairs, Simply Blue Group said:
“As developers of the Western Star floating offshore wind project of the Clare coast, Simply Blue Group are passionate about the opportunities this brings for the West Coast of Ireland. Key to unlocking this potential is the need to have strategically located ports, to support the development of local supply chains. Simply Blue Group welcome the report to explore the potential of Ros a Mhil as a strategic hub for floating wind.”
The report entitled “Assessment of the Technical, Environmental and Socio-Economic opportunities and constraints for Ros an Mhíl port considering the proposed development of Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) on the west coast of Ireland” was commissioned by Údarás na Gaeltachta, compiled by Dublin OffShore Consultants and is available at https://udaras.ie/assets/uploads/2021/10/Ros-a-Mhil-A-Strategic-Hub-Executive-Summary.pdf