SURFERS HAVE claimed a big victory in their opposition to plans for a €6 million pier at Doolin in north Clare.
This follows a Bord Pleanála ruling that Clare County Council must reapply for planning permission for the pier and prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project.
Surfers with support from leading exponents internationally have expressed concern that the pier as proposed would destroy “world-class” waves in the area, some of which are said to match the giant surfing waves off Hawaii.
The ruling supersedes a unanimous decision at the council’s March meeting to give the plan the go-ahead and sets back the project at least a year.
The board ordered that the council prepare an EIS due to the potential impact of the proposed development on wave and tidal patterns in the area, the submissions made to the board and the nature of the proposal, which is likely to be characterised by significant blasting, dredging and construction works within the terrestrial/marine environment.
A spokesman for the West Coast Surf Club said that it and the Irish Surf Association were happy with the board’s ruling.
The spokesman said the surfing groups were open to a redesigned plan that would be agreeable to all. “It will be disappointing for all involved if this delays the development of the pier, including the people of Doolin and Inis Óirr.
“We confirm that it is still the desire of the surfing community – as it always has been – that this pier project should go ahead and confirm our immediate and continuing availability to meet with the council to progress a mutually agreeable design for the pier which will provide an effective new facility for all users while maintaining a world-famous surf environment which can continue to be used by local, national and international surfers.”