As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the National Ports Plan launched this week brings about a move away from a 'one size fits all' policy in the ports sector to a three-tier stricture that recognises the different roles that Ireland's ports play in the economy at both a national and regional level.
Galway Port is one of 14 ports, five of them in State hands, that account for some 8% of national trade, and which will be placed within a local authority-led governance and shareholding structure.
Galway Bay FM quotes city manager Joe O'Neill as saying that it's as yet to early to speculate on plans to transfer control of the port to the local authority before the necessary legislation is put in place.
It is also unclear whether it will be the city, county or a combination of both that would be responsible for the port in the coming years.
Meanwhile, the Galway Harbour Company is expected to seek planning permission for the first phase of its expansion plans shortly.
The new first phase, at a cost of €50 million, will see the port extended by some 57 acres to accommodate a greater number of commercial ships and the new generation of cruise liners.
And as Galway Bay FM confirms, the plans will be lodged with An Bord Pleanala under IROPI (Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest) legislation.