06/06/2008

Without Funding Dublin Port Cannot 'Survive', Warns Exporters

The survival of Dublin port is dependent on much-needed state funding and investment, according to the Irish Exporters Association.

Two government task forces recently recommended the closure of the port, but the Exporters Association has made a plea for increased development, which it believes, could recover some of the declining manufacturing sector in Ireland.

The Association called on the Irish government to restore commercial confidence in the area through investment.

The port is seen as a key inter-connector with world trade lanes.

"The realities of our needs as a trading nation necessitates the further development of the ports facilities," warned the Association.

Dublin port has received no funding from the Government's Ports Policy Strategy, according to IEA Chief Executive John Whelan.

Mr Whelan said: "Then came Dublin City Council's Report on the future of Dublin Port which reviewed all the environmental aspects, then in March the Department of Transport announced a study of Dublin Port under the National Development Plan and now the Department of Environment has commissioned a Dublin Bay Task Force Study."

"One has to ask has the new Government taken any notice of the OECD's recent report on the need for efficiency in the Public Sector?" said the Chief Executive.

Mr Whelan said he was "shocked and amazed" that the government's task force had failed to consult key stakeholder groups in the area.

"Neither the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment nor Dublin Port are included, while Dublin City Council, who have already published their own views on the matter, are included," he added.

(PR/JM)

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