By Sean Moriarty
Dredging works at Ross Castle have been delayed because the National Parks and Wildlife Service have yet to determine where it can legally dispose of removed silt.
Last month the Killarney Advertiser revealed that the NPWS would start dredging at the canal area near the mooring point at Ross Castle. The build-up of the silt was causing problems for the hundreds of boat operators who use the facility as they were finding it impossible to access the lake network due to the height of the lake bed.
At the time Michael Healy-Rae TD intervened and he was assured that the work would be done.
However, nearly one month on, boat owners have contacted the Killarney Advertiser complaining that they cannot access the lakes as the silt is so high boats are getting stuck in the canal. Each boat operator pays an annual fee of €53 to access the lakes.
“I have seen several boat men just turn around and come back to shore – they can’t just pick up their boats and lift them into the lakes,” boatman Tom Murphy told the Killarney Advertiser.
It is understood that the NPWS is willing to do the work but is waiting on the results of an environmental impact study before doing so.
“It is actually a very simple job, but the question remains, where do they dump the material once it is dug out? It can’t be just dumped anywhere and we have plenty of suitable and licenced sites in Kerry. It is now just a case of getting the paperwork sorted. I am working very hard on this,” Deputy Healy-Rae told the Killarney Advertiser.