A decision on the future governance of Dún Laoghaire harbour needs to be made by government without delay, according to Senator Victor Boyhan a former director of Dún Laoghaire harbour company.
The Independent Senator has called on Minister for Transport Shane Ross, who has overall government responsibly for national ports policy to make a decision on the future governance of Dun Laoghaire harbour.
The national ports policy advanced the idea that Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company would transfer to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, despite protracted talks over the last two years no transfer has taken place.
The lack of agreement is impacting on the financial and long term strategic planning for the harbour and its real estate according to Senator Victor Boyhan.
Boyhan said officials from Minister Ross’s department had met both sides on a number of occasions to facilitate talks for a transfer, despite these intense talks no agreement has been reached.
“Dun Laoghaire Harbour is facing challenging financial and operating difficulties, and has no ferry service currently operating out of the port. Stena Line’s decision to end its ferry service from the harbour has added to the financial challenges facing harbour revenue.”
“The financial impact on the port is significant and it is very clear that the company faces a very difficult operating environment,’’ he said.
According to Senator Boyhan; “the proposed giant cruise terminal plan is ‘dead in the water’, after local planning and legal objections, the Badeschiff Open Sea Baths for the harbour failed to get sufficient commercial backing to materialise.”
Boyhan said; “there is huge uncertainty about the harbour’s future, its direction, long-term plans and governance. New sources of income need to be identified to maintain the heritage elements of the harbour which are designated Protected Structures.”
“I am calling on the Minister Ross to meet with the executive and councillors of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council early in the new year, to advance a final decision about the future governance and management of the harbour – a decision needs to be made in the interest of protecting the future of the harbours assets, its employees, real estate, marine leisure and marine-related tourism,” said Boyhan