Dublin, Ireland 24rd February 2023
A report commissioned by Údarás na Gaeltachta and led by AtkinsRéalis (a member of the SMC Lavalin Group) with support from Dublin Offshore Consultants, Biggar Economics and VHA Architects has found that Ros an Mhíl harbour in the Conamara Gaeltacht could play a pivotal role is the development of wind energy off the Irish coast, fast-tracking the delivery of the 5GW of power which will be needed in the short to medium term, and resulting in the creation of up to 900 jobs. The west coast of Ireland will be a major location for the development of offshore windfarms, and port capacity will be key to delivering the Government’s vision for Ireland to become energy independent; the AtkinsRéalis report maintains that Ros an Mhíl is strategically located at the centre of the west coast and has capacity to become one of the key ports required to support this industry.
Tomás Ó Síocháin, Údarás na Gaeltachta CEO stated “There is widespread acknowledgement of the urgent need for port capacity, if Ireland is to meet its targets for offshore wind generation and move towards energy independence. This report demonstrates that Ros an Mhíl can play a key role in providing that capacity. It is important however, that action is taken without delay, as the rapid rate of offshore wind demand coupled with a long lead time of Port upgrades means there is a risk of undersupply of suitable regional port capacity. The strategic development of Ros an Mhíl as a hub for wind energy support services is actively supported by fishing community representatives locally and by the local Ros an Mhíl Harbour support group. The Masterplan for Ros an Mhíl proposed in this report envisages a future strategic enterprise zone in which the fishing industry and the renewable energy sector work in parallel. We in Údarás na Gaeltachta would support such a development which, in the context of balanced, sustainable development, would bring benefits locally, nationally, and internationally and strengthen the Gaeltacht community.”
Brian McKavanagh, Business Development Director at AtkinsRéalis said, “This is an extremely important project for both the Connemara Gaeltacht and for Ireland’s transition to net zero carbon and it’s energy security. The Masterplan presents a very tangible and timely proposal to put in place port infrastructure that is vital to achieving the 30GW of off-shore wind capacity that the Government has committed to.”