People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, to challenge Minister in Dail tomorrow over future of Dun Laoghaire harbour and calls for a campaign of people power against an €18 million cruise berth
In a statement today, People Before Profit TD and Chair of Dun Laoghaire’s Save Our Seafront group, Richard Boyd Barrett, has called for “a major campaign of people power against the planned cruise berth and to protect the future of the harbour as a public amenity.”
Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett will be questioning the Minister in the Dail, tomorrow morning on the future governance of the harbour and the democratic control of this important historical and cultural public asset.
The Dun Laoghaire TD announced a major Public Meeting to launch a campaign on Thurs 30th April at 7.30pm in The Kingston Hotel.
The People Before Profit TD outlined 3 major concerns with the plan:
– the cost and financing of the project at €18 million means that the harbour Company will have to borrow using its existing assets, where no proper business case has been produced. This puts the very future of the harbour at risk.
– the entire plan has been hatched by an un-elected board of the harbour Company, Council Executives and local business people who ran a sham of a public consultation over the two weeks of the Easter Holidays.
– the scale of the luxury liners at 300 meters long and 59 meters high will dwarf the harbour and reduce public access and public enjoyment of the most intact Victorian Harbour in Britain & Ireland.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “These plans raise very serious questions about the future of the harbour. The Government is in the process of publishing legislation that will bring the Harbour under the control of the council. If the Harbour Company borrows €18 million for a project which could well fall flat on its face, it will be the people of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown that will be paying the interest into the future.”
“This project has been hatched by a cozy club of officials from the harbour, the council and the business community. The council has been blocking questions from our councillors on the subject and it seems clear that, they wanted to ram this through before the public knew anything about it.
“Save Our Seafront is calling for this plan to be shelved immediately, for the harbour to be brought under the full democratic control of the elected members of the council and for the Harbour Company to be dissolved.”
“The harbour has been run into the ground by the current harbour company and it seems that if the council executive gets its way, they want to keep the board and the directors in place. Dissolving the company would mean immediate savings in terms of the 6 figure salaries of the top executives and the fees to the board members.
“If the harbour came under control of the Council we could immediately stop looking at it as a self financing entity and see it as an asset of the whole county and a unique public amenity. Any investment or development in the harbour has to be based on genuine public participation and must safe guard and enhance public access.