Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Harbour Authorities

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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20. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the plans he has or is aware of in terms of maintaining Dun Laoghaire Harbour, County Dublin, as a functioning transport harbour considering the Stena Line has once again been puled out of Dun Laoghaire for the winter months; if he will report on the arrangements for the transition period between now and when the harbour is brought under the control of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46343/14]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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Stena Line, as an independent commercial company, has taken a decision to introduce greater efficiencies and reduce their overall operating overheads in order to continue to provide services at Dun Laoghaire.   The HSS Stena Explorer, operating on the Dun Laoghaire Holyhead route, generates most of its turnover during the period May to September. High fuel and operating costs leaves the remaining months unsustainable. Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company issued a press release on 20th November 2014 stating that it had been informed by Stena Line that it will not operate its Holyhead Dun Laoghaire service over the 2014 Christmas period.  Passengers and freight customers, however, can still avail of the company's route between Dublin Port and Holyhead. This route has 4 sailings a day in each direction between these ports and  the company operates a year round schedule.

The port is actively engaged in discussions with Stena Line in respect of a seasonal service from 2015. 

The port company is also focused on building the volume of cruise calls for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, and beyond.

As the Deputy is aware, the proposed transfer of the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company to Local Authority control requires primary legislation. In September this year the Joint Oireachtas Committee considered the draft General Scheme in relation to the Bill and I have since responded to the Committee on its recommendations. The Bill is now with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for legal drafting. I expect a Bill will be ready for publication in Q1 2015.

As with all other relevant port companies, I requested Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company establish a Steering Group comprised of Company and Council representatives to consider and oversee the transition to the new governance structures. Such a group has now been established. An important first step will be a full due diligence process for which my Department has made some funding available. I understand terms of reference for such a process are currently being finalised.

My officials will continue to liaise with the Company and the Council throughout the process.


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