Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Like Deputy Calleary, I am struggling to follow the reply. It seems to tell us that the port is very busy and getting busier. We already know that. That is the whole point of this debate. Why can we not use this to put more freight onto the railways? Why are we discontinuing a vital service at the very time it is needed most and when the port is in expansionary mode? I have gone through the reply a couple of times to see if I missed something. The Minister of State is agreeing with us but not proposing any solutions. I do not blame him, he has just been dragged in to take this debate, but it really beggars belief. I see the evidence of this with my own eyes. We have enough trucks on the road already. I represent Kildare North, which effectively serves as an outer M50. Trucks come off the M4 in the north and run to the M7 in the south, without bothering to go through the M50 in Dublin. They criss-cross Clane, Sallins, Naas, Straffan and all of the little villages and rat runs along the way. It is bad for north Kildare, for Ireland and for the environment. At a time when we should be expanding rail freight, this makes absolutely no sense. If Dublin Port cannot handle it, perhaps Drogheda, Arklow or a new deepwater port need a go. If Dublin Port is not up to it, somewhere else should take over.