A Pier for Rosses Point

Sligo Champion, Letters to the Editor

March 5th 1960

Dear Sir,

Rosses Point Pier in 1998The above heading has been appearing nearly every spring for the past quarter of a century. When will it become a reality?

Does the Sligo tourist industry know that in 1957, Westport held its first fishing festival and business generally gained almost five thousand pounds. In 1959 it was over 14,000 pounds, and this season it is expected that anglers will leave 20,000 pounds behind them.

The trawler which tried out Sligo Bay last summer confirmed what we already knew, namely that the bay was full of tope and game fish.

Unfortunately, to hold a festival it is necessary to have a pier, without a pier large boats cannot operate except when the tide suits.

Last season, some holidaymakers on learning there were tope here, went into Sligo and paid twenty pounds each for heavy rods and tackle. I had the pleasure of bringing them out when we caught tope over six feet in length.

They are bringing their friends this year. How much more plentiful would these visitors be if we were properly equipped and had our own fishing festival?

Finally a pier creates employment - not like a bit of new road. There is many a lad from here who would rather make his living at home than sail the seven seas.

Yours faithfully

William Bruen (Pilot)

March 19th, 1960

Dear Sir,

As a Pilot and a boatman, myself, I would like to add my voice to Mr Bruen's. Only those who live near the sea can understand how necessary one is, not only to save our boats from damage but also to earn money.

Mr Bruen says a Pier is more productive than a bit of new road. He may have had the new northern speedway in mind. Motorists and tourists using this can only feel the need for yet more speed. They will not even take time to spend a penny passing through Sligo - which will remain in their minds as two miles of petrol pumps.Rosses Point Pier in 1998

Good roads are very necessary but the quarter of a million pounds spent on this speedway, over a period, will not keep one person from emigrating.

A fraction of the money spent on using up good land, to shorten the journey to Bundoran by a few minutes - which might in fact leave the motorist where he did not expect to be for another twenty years or so - would build a Pier, and other amenities, which would make Rosses Point, as complimentary to Sligo as Salthill is to Galway.

It is said that Galway thrives because of Salthill, yet its situation or setting does not compare with Rosses Point.

Paying for the speedway, with a falling population is going to be harder each year on the few who remain at home. Let us spend the money on productive workings instead, like that which attracts the overseas visitor to Salthill and Galway.

We hope said improvement will not be made on our road; our best customers for fishing and swimming arrive on bikes - a speedway would put them off the road, and away from these simple pleasures.

Give us the long promised Pier, the CIE and other Hoteliers will arrange the Festivals, and put Sligo on the map at last.

Yours faithfully

Austie Gillen