Wednesday, 27 February 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I wish to highlight the issue of Dublin Port and call for a debate on its future post Brexit. The House has had many debates on the unfolding situation, but it would be good to have a specific debate on the future of Dublin Port. The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Ross, needs to outline the plans for the port post Brexit, be it at the end of March or a short time thereafter. Dublin Port is the State's single busiest outpost in terms of customs checks and Border inspections and whenever the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union happens, it will become much busier. Its CEO has called it the pinch point post Brexit. As the Minister has also used that language, it is already known that there will be issues at the port. The CEO has stated technology is in place and that extra booths have been built. They will represent the first Border checks since the early 1990s. The work that will be done at the port will be intensive and time consuming. Therefore, we must ensure its infrastructure and the surrounding road network, including the Dublin Port tunnel, will be able to facilitate that work in order that we will not see lengthy delays in goods leaving the port for deliver in the rest of the country. The M1 and the Dublin Port tunnel are elements of the infrastructure people from north County Dublin use on a daily basis. North County Dublin is the fastest growing part of the country and increasingly providing housing for people living in Dublin city, yet it has inadequate transport infrastructure, with train services operating beyond capacity, a bus service that was designed many years ago and which is not fit for purpose and many people being forced into their cars, onto the M1 and into the Dublin Port tunnel. The situation is bad at the best of times, but the impending disaster of Brexit, regardless of whether it will happen at the end of March, the end of June or some other date, will have knock-on effects on the people living in north County Dublin and the northern half of the country who rely on the M1 and the Dublin Port tunnel to access the city.