• Council welcomes FLAG North East funding of €600,000 for Fingal coastal projects

    Fingal County Council has welcomed the announcement by the North East Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) of continued investment in a diverse range of projects across Fingal this year.

    Grants totalling €973,221 have been announced in the FLAG North East Area, which covers the counties of Dublin, Meath and Louth.

    The Fingal region has directly benefited from €600,000 in funding over the last three years in conjunction with the FLAG North East programme.

    A total of 36 FLAG projects were approved across coastal communities in Dublin, Meath and Louth in 2019. This grant funding will deliver an overall investment of €1,652,695 for the North East area including Fingal and sees the North East area rise from seventh in June 2017 to first in June 2019 in terms of total investment nationally.

    Fingal County Council projects that will receive funding from FLAG NE include a feasibility study of Red Island Martello Tower in Skerries, the refurbishment of Howth Courthouse into a publically accessible tourist office and community space, and a feasibility study which is being part funded by FLAG NE for the four harbours managed by Fingal County Council.

    A unique event targeting primary schools across Rush, Skerries and Balbriggan Fingal Libraries in conjunction with FLAG North East is also being supported. This will see a steam train travel through Fingal incorporating and holding talks on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), biodiversity, local myths and legends.

    A number of high profile festivals in Howth, Donabate and Portrane, Rush and Skerries in Fingal have also been supported in 2019. Biodiversity talks and walks, training, cycle hire and boat equipment is also funded.

    The Chair of FLAG North East, Garret O’Brien, said: “FLAG North East is delighted to support a wide range of exciting projects, including seafood, equipment, tourism, education, training and heritage ventures including summer maritime festivals and regatta’s in Fingal in 2019. We are particularly proud of the fact that we have come out tops nationally in 2019 for total capital spending of €1.6 million in 2019.”

    Welcoming the funding, the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly said: “The coastal communities are an important component of the fabric of Fingal and are an important part of the local economy. Fingal County Council supports the maritime industry within the county in many practical ways and any additional funding from FLAG NE which will strengthen this important industry and create more jobs is to be greatly welcomed.“

    Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Eoghan O’Brien, said: “The increased funding announced by FLAG North East, which sees the North East area become the number one area for investment, shows the continued commitment and investment in the traditional fisheries industry within Fingal and it is important that the present generation are supported in their efforts to develop and broaden it in line with ever-changing trends.”

    The FLAG North East area comprises the coastal zones of Counties Louth, Meath and Dublin and has a relatively strong urban structure with 77% of electoral divisions falling into the aggregate urban category of over 1,500 inhabitants. In the three counties, the most densely populated zones are located in the coastal regions. It is one of seven regional FLAG groups that operate under the FLAG programme, co-funded by the Exchequer and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and contributes to the Action Plan for Rural Development.

    FLAG, Fisheries Local Area Action Group (2014 – 2020) is a coastal community development strategy with a fund of €12 million for 7 designated Irish coastal communities. The 7 FLAGs are South FLAG (Cork), Southwest (Kerry, Limerick), South East (Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow) West, (Galway, Clare), Northwest (Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim), North (Donegal), and North East (Dublin, Meath and Louth).

    Administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara, BIM, the scheme will provide €12 million in funding to Ireland’s coastal communities over the duration of the programme from 2014 – 2022.