Arklow Harbour was collecting fees without ministerial approval for two decades, a new report has emerged.
According to The Irish Times, the due dilligence report shows Arklow Harbour Commissioners did not apply to the Minister for Transport for harbour rate orders - which are stipulated under the Harbours Act 1946 - between 1987 to 2007.
The report said that instead, the harbour authority "mistakenly believed they could revise the charges themselves". Because of this all increases imposed on all harbour users during the 20-year period had no legal standing.
New rates have been introduced with ministerial approval since 2009.
Paddy Mordaunt, the chairman of Arklow Harbour Commissioners, told The Irish Times he could not comment on the report for legal reasons.
The due dilligence report was produced as part of the process to switch administration of the harbour to Wicklow County Council.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.