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Community Projects ‘In Jeopardy’ As Local Authority Takes On Dun Laoghaire Harbour Debts

27th September 2018
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Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay in South Co Dublin Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay in South Co Dublin Photo: Peter Barrow

#DLHarbour - Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown county councillors have suggested a potential increase in Local Property Tax to help offset Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company’s multi-million-euro liabilities, now that the harbour has been officially transferred to local authority control.

Cllr Barry Ward tweeted late last night (Wednesday 26 September) that Transport Minister Shane Ross had signed over responsibility for Dun Laoghaire Harbour “with no financial provision for the estimated €33.5 million debt now imposed on his own constituents, despite repeated calls for fairness from councillors.

“[Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown] cannot sustain this level of financial liability,” he added.

A slew of projects and developments in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area — from Stillorgan Library to Glenalbyn Swimming Pool to the Marlay Park Masterplan — are now “all in jeopardy”, according to local councillor Barry Saul.

Cllr Lynsey McGovern added that “we can kiss goodbye to keeping commercial rates and property tax down now,” while Cllr Jim Gildea said even a 30% increase in LPT “would only give us €15m. I for one couldn’t vote to hoist that burden on our householders”.

Minister Ross confirmed back in April this year that “all assets and liabilities” of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company would transfer to the local authority upon the former’s dissolution — and made clear that National Ports Policy does not provide for Exchequer funding “for any port company”.

The transfer of liabilities was branded as “unacceptable” at the time by local Green Party councillor Ossian Smyth.

Independent Senator Victor Boyhan was set to raise the issue of the harbour transfer and its financial implications for DLRCoCo in the Seanad this morning, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Update Friday 28 September: Cllr Barry Ward tweeted confirmation that Dun Laoghaire Harbour will come under control of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council next Wednesday 3 October.

Fine Gael councillors have called for a special meeting on the issue on the same day at 5pm. An invitation will be extended to Transport Minister Shane Ross.

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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