Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ports Policy

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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88. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the details of discussions he has held with Drogheda Port in respect of the proposed deep-water port development at a site at Bremore; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56292/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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I wish to advise the Deputy that officials from my Department met with Drogheda Port officials, at their request, earlier this year. At this meeting, the officials from Drogheda Port outlined in broad terms their intentions to develop the port facilities at Bremore which according to the Port authority would entail the full acquisition of my Department's land holding at the Gormanstown facility.

I am advised that this meeting, which was also attended by the military authorities, involved a frank exchange of views, during which it was outlined by my officials that the Gormanstown facility is and will remain a strategic Defence Forces asset and that it was not available for acquisition. In fact, the use of this military facility has grown in importance for training purposes and the increased level of usage can be expected to continue in the coming years. As the only operational training camp on the East coast, Gormanstown Camp continues to be essential to the Defence Forces. While my Department will enter into further discussions on the matter if requested to do so, I want to make it clear that it is not intended to transfer or dispose of any aspect of this important land bank.

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