Richard Boyd Barrett condemns Sean Barrett for coming out to bat for the privatisation agenda of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company

Barrett’s comments confirm the biased agenda and Fine Gael intentions in regard to Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Dun Laoghaire Harbour should be developed in the interests of the people and the various harbour user groups

People Before Profit TD for Dun Laoghaire, Richard Boyd Barrett, has lashed out at the “biased” and “disgraceful” statements made by Fine Gael Deputy, Sean Barrett, in the Dail chamber today in which he suggested that the best thing for Dun Laoghaire Harbour would be to retain the Harbour Company quango.

In his contribution today, Deputy Sean Barrett, “came out to bat for the privatisation agenda” according to Ricard Boyd Barrett.

Richard Boyd Barrett is a long-time campaigner, with Save Our Seafront and various other harbour user groups, for the sustainable and appropriate development of the harbour in the interests of the people and the many different groups who use the harbour on a daily and weekly basis.

The Dun Laoghaire People Before Profit TD, has consistently called for the dismantling of the Harbour Company and for the Harbour to be brought under the democratic control of the Council and interest groups.

Deputy Boyd Barrett also rubbished the claim made by the Fine Gael TD that the local authorities have not the skills to run a harbour.

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Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “I am disgusted at the biased claims made by Deputy Sean Barrett in which he has essentially called for the privatisation of our harbour. The harbour is a public amenity which is the property of all the people of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and indeed the entire city.

“The Harbour Act that was brought in by FG/Labour last year means that a decision on the future governance of the harbour will be made in the very near future.  Sean Barrett’s comments can only be welcomed in that they end the fence sitting of our Fine Gael TD’s in Dun Laoghaire.  Clearly he supports the retention of the Harbour Company that has wasted thousands of euro in paying top executives 6 figure salaries and expenses that have been questioned on a number of occasions in Dail Eireann and at Dail committees. He seems to want to see floating hotels, supersized cruise ships and private apartments within our harbour.

“Our vision for the harbour is entirely different it is about democratic control, a diaspora centre, a national water sports centre – a harbour for the people not the profiteers and developers.

“Barrett’s plans are entirely in sync with the Fine Gael agenda that wants to put all public services and facilities into private for profit hands. The harbour is a landmark and asset of Dun Laoghaire of huge historical importance. Millions of people emigrated from this country through the harbour, countless families and children have walked the pier and used all the wonderful facilities that the harbour provides. It is for the people of Dublin and indeed the visitors to our city, to whom the harbour belongs, we will continue to oppose this disgraceful push for privatisation.

“The people, residents groups and civil society groups, sailing clubs and many other groups have all come together to oppose the privatisation of the harbour. I as chair of the Save Our Seafront campaign will continue to oppose the neo-liberal push to take the harbour into private ownership in the strongest possible way.”

Ends