Plans for new Youghal Marina unveiled

Slob bank yoighal

Plans for a €280,000 marina at the slob bank in Youghal was given the full backing by the East Cork Municipality at their December meeting.
A group representing the newly formed Youghal Sailing club told councillors the marina would make use of both Youghal bay and the Blackwater estuary.
If funding is sourced the new development would feature a public launching area, public slipway with a public walkway retained around it.
Club Secretary Martin Finn told councillors research indicates a high demand for maritime facilities in Youghal. ” Youghal has always been a port with a proud maritime heritage, however the facilities for boating in Youghal have not kept pace with the times. Since the 1970’s there has been a great burst in leisure boating right across Ireland, but not in Youghal. There used to be 5 public access slipways in the town, and now there is actually one which is Nealan’s quay for a dingy sail. Because this is used as a car park now it cannot be used for its original purpose. It would benefit the entire area to have Youghal established as a dingy sail place, and join up the cork area and sail between cork harbour and Youghal” he stated to the councillors present at the meeting.
In their 2009 – 2015 draft development plan Youghal Town Council had made provision for a Marina and a hotel at the Slob Bank.
In 2011 an advert was placed in the national press inviting tenders for the project which included a 200 bed hotel with sea views and with conference, leisure and health spa facilities.
Two developers expressed an interest in the area however despite the recessionary price of land neither party progressed with the project.
If funding can be sourced this time around the development could make Youghal a major tourist hub.
Independent Councillor Mary Linehan-Foley stated “it is very exciting. This is what Youghal needs at this particular time. I grew up in Youghal, what we have left is tourism. We have no factories.”
Fianna Fail councillor Aaron O’Sullivan added “I come from a family that were brought up on the water. This is something Youghal really needs.”
The marina would provide the East Cork Municipality with an opportunity to redevelop what is currently an under-utilised resource. Investment in such a project would deliver multiple socioeconomic benefits to the local authority. It would enhance property values in the area, lead to increased development and increase rates income from new businesses.
Also included in the plan located close to Lidl and Tesco is a landing area for helicopters. Currently there is no official landing spot between Waterford and Cork for Coast Guard Sea Air Rescue missions (SAR).
This area would give direct access to the N25 without having to travel through the town centre.
A spokesperson for the Coast Guard services told the East Cork Journal “the Coast Guard would consider any helicopter landing site approved to IAA standards for S92 landings as a safety enhancement for the area and a pad from which to carry out non-emergency missions. However the absence of a surveyed site does not necessarily limit the Coast Guard helicopters from landing in temporary sites such as pitches to carry out a medical evacuation or SAR mission.”
When contacted the Youghal RNLI stated ” we have our own launch facilities in Youghal Town centre, however we do recognise the benefit of having a helicopter landing site at the slob bank.”