I have tried once again yesterday to get the Dáil to reject the proposal of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, to down-grade Galway Port from a Nati…onal Port, when the Report Stage of the Harbours Bill 2015 was discussed in the Dáil on yesterday.
It is proposed in this Bill to reduce the status of Galway Port from a National Port to a Port of regional significance, which will not be in the in the interest of the development of the Port.
However I put down an amendment to the bill to delete this section but it was defeated- The Minister has been adamant that he is going to proceed with this section of the Bill. However the Minister in response to Deputy John O’Mahony did state that he would not commence this section for 18 months. I welcome this very much as it will give the people of Galway a chance to voice their opinion on this proposal in the forthcoming election and to reject outright the denial of national port status to Galway.
Galway Port Company has major plans for the development of the port, but it would be absolutely vital for the success of these plans, that the status of the Port would be retained as a National Port.
“If the Minister’s proposals goes through and if the status of Galway Port is changed, there will be no National Port from south of Limerick around the very long western coast to Derry. This would leave all of the national ports in the country between Dublin and Foynes, with the west coast left bereft of a national port. Once again Connaught is being treated as the Cinderella province.
The potential for Galway Port is immense with the opportunities to both export materials through Galway Port and import necessary raw materials through the port as well as an enormous possibility of developing the cruise trade to Galway.
The plan for the port was to relocate it outwards into the harbour, freeing up the inner-harbour area for redevelopment, for commercial, residential, recreation and cultural use, which is centrepiece of the inner-harbour being used for marine leisure.