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ISSUE 6- SPECIAL EDITION ACARD Limited - Cahersiveen Community Development
October 2002

The development of a new concept in any area can be difficult, but aligning this to a challenging engineering project makes for quite a challenge. Add to this recipe the involvement of a local, voluntary community organisation determined to improve the viability of a remote rural area, and you have the makings of a truly groundbreaking enterprise. The development of Cahersiveen Marina and Water Activity Centre is a unique partnership of community, local authority and state commitment, all driven forward by a private company specialising in such cross-disciplinary projects.
Marian Flannery, Principal Partner, Development Solutions Consultancy, comments that as a result of interest being shown by a local development group in recent years, an opportunity arose to assemble a unique public-community development partnership to provide a leisure marina in remote Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry. "105 berths have been provided in the first phase of the development, which will have a capability of generating over €2million per annum in the local economy. Phase Two will provide for a purpose built Clubhouse and on-shore facilities."

Following strong recommendation, Niall Fitzsimons and Company were retained as Consulting Structural Engineers for the development. The development was designed as a cost-effective rock-armour marine wall to the marina basin, with a floating breakwater and pontoons.
Revised Design
The development started life as a more traditional sheet-piled basin to be constructed in an area of neglected river frontage, which had previously formed part of the town tip, in days before marine pollution was taken into consideration. However, as a result of post tender discussions with the successful contractor, the design was revised to incorporate rock-armour using locally sourced materials, together with a novel floating breakwater solution. This method of construction significantly reduced the capital cost the project, although did result in the basin size being reduced to accommodated the 45o batter of the rock-armour.


The need to deliver the project on a very tight budget, driven by financial resources made available through the Department of the Marine, matched by local contribution, lead to a close working relationship between Project Managers, Development Solutions Consultancy, the Consulting Structural Engineers, the Main Contractor, John Quirke and Sons, Kerry County Council, and the Department, which continued for the duration of the works. As the formation of the basin effectively comprised the critical path for the entire project, verification of the reduced level was paramount.
Niall Fitzsimons explains, "The construction technique was designed to be simple, involving little expensive equipment. The design team adopted a procedure of excavating in the dry behind bund walls, permitting the use of land-based hydraulic machines. Upon completion of the excavation, the pumps were withdrawn and the bund wall was carefully removed, allowing the basin to fill".

Oliver Ring, Senior Executive Engineer, Kerry County Council notes that "as with most marine works, this project proved exciting and demanding and the result is a credit to all who worked on it."
Martin Nolan, County Manager, Kerry County Council adds, "the main challenge with the project was to assemble a competent technical team to bring the development home in time and on budget. The introduction of Development Solutions Consultancy was pivotal in achieving this objective."

Speaking about the €4million development, John Quirke of John Quirke and Sons congratulated ACARD Limited, the voluntary local development group on the finished development, identifying the partnership between client and company as a critical element in the project's success.
It was an intensive project according to John. "We needed to bring this marine construction in on a very tight budget, and this defined our delivery approach. Whilst of relatively small scale, this project epitomises the quality of work that can be achieved by partnership action."
Capital Investment

For ACARD Limited too, the Cahersiveen Marina and Water Activity Centre is part of a wider picture, says Chairperson Denis O'Sullivan. "Phase One opened in August, to coincide with the important Cahersiveen Celtic Music Festival. Work on Phase Two will be commencing within 12 months, and forms part of our dynamic five-year public-private development plan for the Valentia River frontage," he says.
Funding for Phase One provided a significant challenge to ACARD Limited - voluntary community groups rarely get involved in such capital intensive developments. The need to generate significant levels of local contribution was achieved using the ingenuity of Development Solutions Consultancy, who were given the task of pre-leasing thirty berths to generate matching finance. This target was achieved by the spring of 2002.
Cahersiveen Marina and Water Activity Centre represents a unique marine project taking the meaning of partnership projects to a new level. The project has overcome scepticism and technical problems to deliver a very cost-effective element of local infrastructure through the engagement of the local community, local government, and the state working in harmony.
At the launch of the project, the role of Development Solutions as the major co-ordinating and driving force behind the development was noted by all those involved. Minister John 'O Donoghue, T.D. complemented Project Manager, Marian Flannery of the company, for her enormous energy and drive. Her unique knowledge and background in dealing with local government and state agencies made his political task in delivering funding for the project more achievable. Kerry County Manager, Martin Nolan, commented that Ms. Flannery's attention to detail in producing economically sustainable and realistic proposals were a major contributory factor to the securing of initial funding, while her astute liaison on a political level, both locally and nationally ensured ongoing confidence in the project.
Finally, Mr. George O'Doherty of the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources, said the fact that the Cahersiveen project came in ahead of schedule, as against many similar private projects, was a tribute to all those involved. In particular he pointed to the management skills of Development Solutions, who delivered such a new approach, giving encouragement to any community or private group who want to become involved in such a venture.

Previous Issues:

Issue 5, Issue 4


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