Storms may scupper fishing competition
A VILLAGE set to host the world fishing championships fears the event is under threat because storms have sent hundreds of tonnes of sand into its harbour.
Mullaghmore in Co Sligo will attract competitors from around the globe for the World Boat Fishing Championships in September. The event will pump millions of euro into an area ravaged by emigration.
But a renovation of the harbour a decade ago has led to sand rising by three metres as increasingly violent winter storms hit the area.
Organisers say they may have to restrict fishing times and extend a pontoon to host the international championships.
"Sand building up on the harbour and the pontoon is now at critical levels," said Declan Kilgallen from the Mullaghmore Harbour Users Association.
"We are hoping to get the world club championships next year which is an even bigger event but we are very worried about the state of the harbour now.
"It had functioned perfectly well for 150 years but in the last decade the sand is being thrown up all the time."
Sligo County Council was forced to dredge the harbour four years ago in an effort to stem the sand build-up.
"We need to do something before September otherwise there will be a problem," he warned.
The council says it has applied for funding to fix the problem.