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Dun Laoghaire Harbour Transfer Going Ahead, Is Best Move For Its Future Says Minister

24th July 2016
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Dun Laoghaire Harbour Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: John Coxon/Wikimedia

#DunLaoghaire - The Transport Minister maintains that transferring the operation of Dun Laoghaire Harbour to the local authority is the best move for its sustainable development.

Responding to a Dáil question earlier this month from Dun Laoghaire TD Seán Barrett, who asked for clarity on the future of the South Dublin port, Minister Shane Ross confirmed that it is still designated for transfer to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

However, the minister also acknowledged the "dispute about the ownership and future model" for the harbour, which stems from Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company's reaction to changing commercial and economic conditions, such as the withdrawal of the Stena Line ferry service, which saw profits sink in 2015.

"My department is aware that the ongoing challenge for the port will require sustained effort across a number of fronts," he said. "This may even involve the sale of some non-strategic assets."

Other potential projects include the recently tendered 'flotel' concept, which is now seeking expressions of interest.

The minister did not respond to Deputy Barrett's assertions that the local authority has neither the expertise nor management structure to run the port effectively.

More recently, Minister Ross answered a request for statement from Dun Laoghaire TD Richard Boyd Barrett, who again raised the issue of anomalies in executive payments by the harbour company, as well as concerns over alleged pension scheme irregularities ahead of a meeting between company trustees and the Pensions Board next week (Wednesday 27 July).

Noting that there was "obviously a misunderstanding or certainly a conflict of evidence" regarding legal acton to recover expenses paid to a former board member, the minister said that he could not comment on the matter and that his "powers in this particular matter are limited".

However, he welcomed the opportunity for meeting with any stakeholders Deputy Boyd Barrett might arrange.

Published in Dublin Bay
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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