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Friday 13 December 2019

Delays in forming Rosslare Port committee as Brexit clock ticks

Rosslare Europort
Rosslare Europort

Padraig Byrne at the monthly meeting of Wexford County Council

Concerns were expressed that the pressing issue of Rosslare Europort being Brexit ready was not being given enough weight at the October meeting of Wexford District Council.

At the monthly meeting, nominations were sought for members to sit on the Rosslare Port Committee, which is to be a sub committee of the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee (SPC).

Chairman of the Rosslare Municipal District Cllr Ger Carthy stated that a Rosslare Port committee had previously been a separate entity and expressed major reservations that it was to now come under the remit of the Transportation SPC.

'I don't think Rosslare Port should be rammed into the Transport SPC,' he said.

'This is an important matter for all 34 members. Everyone wants a bit of Rosslare when it's coming up to a local or general election, but when that passes, the very best of good luck to it and it's left off.'

Cllr Carthy also somewhat controversially stated that members of the Rosslare LEA would be better placed to deal with matters concerning the port than for example councillors from Gorey.

Cllr Pip Breen, who is Chairman of the Transport SPC, took great exception to this.

'I resent the accusation that someone from North Wexford wouldn't care as much about Rosslare,' he said.

'I'm a Wexfordian and Rosslare Europort is something of major importance to us all.'

Cllr George Lawlor backed up Cllr Carthy's assertion that Rosslare Europort was too important an issue to be contained in a sub-committee.

'Rosslare is of such strategic importance to the county and the region,' he said.

'We're on the cusp of the biggest crisis faced since World War II in terms of European affairs. Rosslare should have it's own standalone committee and is should be up there and out front in terms of keeping Rosslare on the agenda.'

Cllr Diarmuid Devereux worried that it was something that was being transformed into a 'political football'.

'This is far too important to be transferred into a political football,' he said.

'Whatever way the committee is set up we need to be clear in making the case for Rosslare.'

Cllr Lisa McDonald thought that perhaps the formation of a Rosslare Port committee hadn't been given the urgency needed.

'We are weeks out from Brexit,' she said. 'This is the most urgently required sub committee and it needs immediate formation. In reality this should have been done back in July.'

Cllr McDonald then called on the Chairman to urge those interested in sitting on the Rosslare sub committee to express that interest before the meeting concluded. Pieces of paper were circulated and it was hoped that the committee will be formed shortly.

Meanwhile, Cllr Ger Carthy has stated that if a sub committee operating under the Transport SPC doesn't go far enough on Rosslare Europort, he will continue to deal with the matter directly through the Rosslare District in any case.

Wexford People

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