Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Simon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
I am very familiar with this issue. It has been raised with me by multiple sources. We have managed to build a cruise liner tourism product in Ireland that has resulted in significant expansion in recent years. We have invested in smaller harbours, such as Killybegs and Dingle, and have attracted a lot of interest from cruise liner traffic in recent years. As Deputy Martin knows, Cork will probably have more than 100 cruise liners this year. Last year, I believe 167,000 people visited the Cork area from cruise liners and we had all the crew on top of this. The figure last year was approximately 80 ships. It is true to say other ports, whether Belfast, Cork, Killybegs, Dingle or wherever, are reliant on Dublin being a significant draw as a capital city and the cruise liners then move to other cities and ports around the island of Ireland. The indication from Dublin Port that it is looking to limit cruise liner traffic in the years ahead is a big worry in terms of the overall strategy on cruise liner tourism. It is something I will raise with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.