Wexford residents have criticised the Wexford County Council’s decision to the close off access to the historic US Naval slipway at Ferrybank. The slipway, which launched seaplanes during World War One, has long been used as an access point to the River Slaney.
Today, a spokesperson for the Wexford County Council told Wexford Hub that the slipway was walled off because the entrance gap was causing flooding on the nearby R741 regional road:
There were complaints from local residents that the gap was causing flooding on the R741 and at the entrance of the estate opposite.
The spokesperson also pointed out that usage of the slipway was creating a traffic hazard:
The R741 is one of the busiest regional roads in the county. There is no parking or facilities at the old slip and it is a real traffic hazard to have cars and trucks with trailers trying to back in boats at this point. The annual cost for access to the new slip is €100 which also gives you access to the slip in Kilmore Quay.
Locals have accused the council of closing the slipway in order to force people into paying for the new slip way. Local resident Jacqueline Robinson argued that it had been cordoned off ‘because they want people to pay to use the new boat slip.’
Wexford historian Jack O’ Leary was also highly critical of the decision. In a post on Facebook, Mr O’ Leary criticised what he referred to as the ‘dictatorial council employees who appear to be answerable to no one.’
‘It’s another disgrace. The Maritime County yet again destroying more of our maritime history. We need an organisation to defend our county from the depredations of the local authorities who appear to have little interest in preserving any of our heritage.’