Councillors on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council have unanimously agreed to send a highly critical letter to Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, taking him to task over his attitude to the transfer of Dún Laoghaire harbour to the Council.
Download the letter below
Legislation from 2015 envisages that the historic harbour will soon come under the control of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, but in March, councillors were stunned to learn that independent risk assessors estimate the cost of repairs to the harbour could be €33.5 million.
Councillors are now faced with a huge financial burden that they say will massively compromise the Council’s ability to deliver services locally, and in the Minister’s own constituency, and could cause significant increases in local property tax and/or commercial rates.
"The letter says that the Minister's decision to transfer the harbour, without any funding “would constitute an act of vandalism”.
Proposed by the Fine Gael Group Leader, Councillor Barry Ward, the letter to Minister Ross says that “such a move will mean your own constituents will see reductions in the Council’s provision of public facilities such as parks, libraries, sports pitches, road, footpaths, lighting, and a range of other things that we currently provide for the businesses and resident of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.”
In a stark statement of the Council’s concerns, the letter says that the Minister's decision to transfer the harbour, without any funding “would constitute an act of vandalism”.
They remind the Minister that his proposal “will hurt the very people you represent, your own constituents”.
The elected members of the Council have asked for the Minister to behave in “a fair and consistent manner” and have now called on him to indemnify the Council against the cost of taking over the harbour, for a period of seven years.