Minister McHugh with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed and Dr Cecil Beamish, Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Assistant Secretary General.
The new €14.7million investment to extend the quay at Killybegs Harbour in Donegal is guaranteed to drive business for the fishing sector, cruise liner operators and associated business and tourism.
That's the view of Education Minister Joe McHugh who said the investment is brilliant news for the county.
"Government has confirmed a major pot of money for next phase of works to begin in the coming weeks,” Minister McHugh said.
“Some €14.7million will be invested in Killybegs harbour in the coming year under Project Ireland 2040.
“It will help to fund a 120m quay extension at Smooth Point - a significant development for the north west coast and a big boost for the county.
“The work will improve quay space and ultimately that is good for safety at the peak of the fishing season when congestion can build. But it will also help to grow the industry in the port and the associated marine businesses as well as transport and service sectors and also tourism.
Minister McHugh said investment of this scale is helping to support an important coastal and rural community.
"It is helping to make Killybegs among the best ports in Europe for the fishing industry. It is good for the wider seafood sector. It is good for tourism and it is good for helping businesses to grow and diversify. A bigger port means more opportunities.”
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said the work to extend the quay is expected to start in September. The timeline is for the work to be complete within nine months
This is the second phase of the Smooth Point project after €6.6m investment in recent years to remove sediment.
Minister McHugh said: “Previous work on the pier was hugely successful in supporting the fishing industry, supporting businesses and drawing in other marine traffic and business.
“The next phase of the major quay wall extension will provide long-term berthing for approximately 10 large pelagic fishing trawlers and will facilitate safe stern-on berthing.
“It will also help support Government policy to see Ireland become the hub for all the marine activities that can be generated by the sustainable harvesting of these renewable resources in our marine sphere.”