County mayor, Christopher O’Sullivan said: ‘West Cork’s extensive coastline and the fantastic facilities in our harbours make it a very appealing destination for sophisticated cruise clients.’
Fantastic indeed! Because just when Kinsale is about to lick its chops in expectation of the high-spending tourists (the ‘sophisticated cruise clients’), downsizing of the liner trade in Ireland is set to become a reality.
The number of liners berthing in Dublin is to be reduced to 80 – a cutback of 50% . Pulling no punches, the Dublin Port authorities explained the reason. It was all about ‘commercial pragmatism’ and the need to find space for the freight and container traffic in the wake of Brexit.
Indeed, Tánaiste Simon Coveney already has warned of the knock-on effect on tourism for Cork, Waterford, Belfast and other ports of call when Dublin limits access to cruise liners. The liners won’t be there to go to Belfast or Cork. As simple as that!
Not that our esteemed Transport Minister, Shane Ross, is worried. Much like Alfred E Neuman of Mad magazine, he described the crisis as ‘a temporary blip.’ The All-Ireland Cruise Ship Action Group, had a much more dramatic message: ‘Dublin’s catastrophic decision could devastate Irish tourism.’
To read more from the regional newspaper click here.