Written Answers - Port Development

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 745 No. 1

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  155.  Deputy Gerry Adams  Information on Gerry Adams  Zoom on Gerry Adams   asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport  Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar   the developments that have taken place at Dundalk Port, County Louth, since he announced his intention to amalgamate Dundalk Port with Dublin Port; and his plans for future developments at Dundalk Port. [31620/11]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  All of the functions, assets, staff and liabilities of Dundalk Port Company were transferred to Dublin Port Company on 12 July last. At the time of transfer I stated my hope that commercial activity would continue at the port, but that such decisions were now a matter for Dublin Port Company.

Since the transfer, Dublin Port Company has cut costs at the port, has introduced a redundancy programme and has restructured operations. As part of this re-structuring process and in an effort to ensure continued activity at the port, the Company advertised for expressions of interest to operate the port.

Earlier this month, Dublin Port Company announced that, following a public tender process, a local company, O’Hanlon & Sons Contractors Limited, had been awarded the contract to operate the port.

I welcome this development and hope it will allow continued commercial port activity in Dundalk.

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  156.  Deputy Gerry Adams  Information on Gerry Adams  Zoom on Gerry Adams   asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport  Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar   the position regarding the development of a future ports policy; when he will publish his proposals on this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31621/11]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  My Department has been carrying out a review of ports policy over the past year.

A public consultation was held, with submissions received from various stakeholders, including industry representatives, non-governmental organisations and other bodies.

A number of common themes emerged around the following issues:

There are of course differing opinions under these headings; however, what is common to all stakeholders is recognition of the critically important role the commercial ports play in our economy.

The ports around our coast are very diverse and the policy needs to take account of this in order to ensure that the ownership and governance structures allow the ports to develop in a manner befitting their individual circumstances.

The objective is an overarching policy framework that will underpin the sector’s future growth and ensure that Ireland is served by the first class port infrastructure it requires.

At this stage, I am fairly clear as to what the questions are in relation to future ports policy. However, the answers require further consideration. It is still my intention to publish a revised policy in the next few months.


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