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  • Southside

Call for new ferry service for Dún Laoghaire

Tuesday, 6th November, 2018 8:00am
Call for new ferry service for Dún Laoghaire

There have been calls for the former ferry terminal in Dún Laoghaire Harbour to once again host ferry services.

Call for new ferry service for Dún Laoghaire

There have been calls for the former ferry terminal in Dún Laoghaire Harbour to once again host ferry services.

THERE have been calls for a ferry service to be reinstated at the terminal in Dún Laoghaire following the collapse last week of plans to transform it into one of Europe’s largest technology campuses.

The developer behind the plan said he was pulling out of the project after discovering that the owner of the building had failed to secure the necessary foreshore licence to lease the building.

Philip Gannon had secured planning permission two months ago to bring the ferry terminal building back to life as a 7,000sqm Harbour Innovation Campus where leading global companies and State enterprise agencies could develop and apply advances in technology.

It was hoped that the project would support up to 1,000 jobs and 50 companies and bring in an estimated €6million a year to the town.

However, Mr Gannon has terminated his lease on the ferry terminal building after it emerged that the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, which earlier this month moved under the control of Dún  Laoghaire County Council, had failed to secure a foreshore licence to lease the building despite advertising it for lease two years ago.

“It is very disappointing to be told that seven weeks after receiving planning  permission, the landlord does not actually have any legal right to lease the building,” Mr Gannon said in a statement. “I have decided to cut my losses and pull the plug on Dún Laoghaire. I am now looking at other buildings in and around Dublin.”

Now, local Senator, Victor Boyhan, has said the terminal should be used for what it was designed and built for.

“The Stena Lines closure of its ferry service in 2014 devastated the harbour financially and brought to an end the historic route first started in 1835,” Senator Boyhan said. “The harbour and town has never recovered from the loss of capital and people since.

“Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who are now the custodians of the harbour should consider inviting expressions of interest from ferry operators to provide a seasonal ferry service to and from the port.

“I would also appeal to Minister Shane Ross, who has overall responsibility for the country’s national ports policy, tourism and sport,  to establish a working group in cooperation with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Failte Ireland and local business groups to explore all possible avenues to re-establish a ferry service in and out of Dún Laoghaire port.

“The best way to preserve the harbour is to establish a working harbour for people to travel, sail and engage in associated water sports, leisure and recreation.”

In a statement Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said it was “taken aback” at the press release from the developer with regards to the Harbour Innovation centre.

“Clearly this is a very disappointing development,” the council stated. “We are at the early stages of management of the harbour and will be preparing a fully integrated plan that benefits the future development of the harbour and the town and surrounds to ensure that both assets support each other.”

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