Ten fisheries-related projects are set to deliver €162,000 investment under the FLAGs (Fisheries Local Action Group) South-West strategy to stimulate job creation, positive social impact and wellbeing of coastal communities in Co Kerry.

FLAG South West

South West FLAG launch: Denis Teahan,  Brian Carey, Jack’s Coastguard Restaurant; Fionan Murphy, FM Marine Services Valentia; Caitriona Ni Churráin – Comharchumann Forbartha an Leith Triúigh; Michael Moriarty, Fenit Coastal Rowing Club; Kevin Flannery, Chairman, FLAG Southwest; Deputy John Brassil; Vera O’Donovan, BIM and foreground: Minister Brendan Griffin

Speaking at the launch in Cromane, Brendan Griffin TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, said the ten projects would enhance and develop Kerry’s rich marine heritage while creating new jobs in the sector:

The projects will also “boost enterprise, innovation and social engagement” and create strategic opportunities within the marine tourism sector in Kerry on the Wild Atlantic Way, he said.

BIM chief executive Jim O’Toole said the agency “worked closely” with the South West FLAG, providing assistance and training.

“Kerry is a well-established and resourceful fishing and aquaculture community where marine tourism is also important. The board of the South West FLAG led by their chair Keven Flannery, must be complimented for their unwavering dedication and commitment to deliver this important programme for Kerry.”

Kevin Flannery said that at the core was the ethos of the “bottom-up approach” whereby communities work together, small enterprises mobilise into bigger market places, and cooperative initiatives showcase diversification.

“Such initiatives are setting the foundations for coastal communities; fishing groups; producers; business and tourism sectors to join forces and generate opportunities that ultimately create jobs, enterprise, business and more vibrant communities,” he said.

The South West FLAG is one of seven coastal FLAG regions of Ireland to benefit from €3.6m investment in 2017, under the scheme administered by BIM and co-funded by the Exchequer and Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme 2014-2020.

The overall FLAG object is to rejuvenate coastal communities; foster enterprise, innovation, creativity, and social inclusion as part of ongoing development of the fisheries, seafood and marine sectors.

Over the duration of the EMFF programme, the national FLAG scheme will deliver €12m in funding to Ireland’s coastal communities.

Southwest FLAG projects:

Applicant Project Title Private Grant Aid Total Cost
Maharees Heritage Promotion of the craft and Naomhóg racing in Maharees 1,960 7,840 9,800
Dingle Peninsula Tourism Alliance Development of a Blueways strategy & Action Plan to support coastal villages of the Dingle Peninsula Phase 5,935 23,740 29,675
Comharchuma Forbartha an Leith Triíigh Sustaining the Fishing Heritage of Cloghane & Brandon 1,930 7,720 9,650
Tralee Oyster Fisheries Society Socio-economic review of Tralee Bay 2,200 3,300 5,500
Cromane Community Council Socio-economic plan development 1,600 6,400 8,000
Murphy Marine Service Expansion of business service 62,832 62,832 125,664
Derrynane Inshore Rescue CRBI D Class Rescue small craft 3,750 15,000 18,750
Fenit Coastal Rowing Club Increase in training & competing thru purchasing o new coastal rowing boat 4,500 4,500 9,000
Ocean Quest Ltd Skelligs Go To 7,250 7,250 14,500
Valentia Island Ferries Ltd Design of New Car Ferry 23,500 23,500 47,000