Displaying items by tag: Transport Minister
County mayor, Christopher O’Sullivan said: ‘West Cork’s extensive coastline and the fantastic facilities in our harbours make it a very appealing destination for sophisticated cruise clients.’
Fantastic indeed! Because just when Kinsale is about to lick its chops in expectation of the high-spending tourists (the ‘sophisticated cruise clients’), downsizing of the liner trade in Ireland is set to become a reality.
The number of liners berthing in Dublin is to be reduced to 80 – a cutback of 50% . Pulling no punches, the Dublin Port authorities explained the reason. It was all about ‘commercial pragmatism’ and the need to find space for the freight and container traffic in the wake of Brexit.
Indeed, Tánaiste Simon Coveney already has warned of the knock-on effect on tourism for Cork, Waterford, Belfast and other ports of call when Dublin limits access to cruise liners. The liners won’t be there to go to Belfast or Cork. As simple as that!
Not that our esteemed Transport Minister, Shane Ross, is worried. Much like Alfred E Neuman of Mad magazine, he described the crisis as ‘a temporary blip.’ The All-Ireland Cruise Ship Action Group, had a much more dramatic message: ‘Dublin’s catastrophic decision could devastate Irish tourism.’
To read more from the regional newspaper click here.
#StenaDunLaoghaire - Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company are to meet Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe following confirmation by Stena Line to end its ferry service at the south Co Dublin port, writes The Irish Times.
The move marks the end of almost two centuries of ferry traffic from Dún Laoghaire to Holyhead and 20 years of the Stena Line-run service after its contract runs out on April 14th.
Mr Donohoe told Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell-O'Connor he was aware the news would be a major disappointment to the community in Dún Laoghaire. He said he shared her disappointment at the end of an era. "I worked in Stena Line in Dún Laoghaire for two summers and have an understanding of how important the service is not only to Dún Laoghaire harbour but also to the broader community."
Ms Mitchell-O'Connor called for a taskforce to be established on the harbour's future. "We need to find solutions and stop dithering," the Dún Laoghaire Deputy said. She urged the Minister to consider the harbour as a location for an international diaspora centre.
For more on this story, click HERE.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie the DLHC are seeking other providers to operate a seasonal ferry service on the route.
Cabinet approval has been granted for Transport Minister Leo Varadkar's reorganisation plans, which will see the creation of a new body - the Irish Maritime Administration - that would be responsible for both services.
The changes come a year after the publication of the 'value for money' report commissioned by the Department of Transport to identify where efficiencies could be achieved in Ireland's maritime services.
Among a series of changes intended to shore up the State's maritime safety strategy, the merger will also reportedly see coastguard radio staff reduced from three-man to two-man watches - although Minister Varadkar has denied there will be any staff shortages.
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
The minister commented after a meeting last week with the widow of the stricken boat's skipper Michael Hayes in Union Hall in West Cork.
Hayes and four of his five-man crew lost their lives when the trawler went down after striking rocks at the mouth of Glandore Harbour. The only survivor was Egyptian fisherman Abdelbaky Mohamed, who was able to swim to shore.
The recent inquest into the incident criticised the handling of 999 emergency calls from the fishing boat prior to its sinking, as it emerged that neither the Irish Coast Guard nor the Marine Casualty Investigation Board were aware that not one but two calls were made by crewman Kevin Kershaw.
It emerged during the inquest that the coastguard was only notified of the event on the second call, three minutes after the first.
Barrister Elizabeth O'Connel, who represented Hayes' widow Caitlín Uí Aodha at the inquest, described the dearth of details taken by the operator on the first call as "extraordinary".
Ireland's emergency call service, operated by BT Ireland from three locations, is currently under review by the Department of Communications.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.