The intervention of Minister for Transport, Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, into Dublin Port’s development plan. the 3FM project, has been described in The Irish Times as “unprecedented.” However, the national media does not distinguish itself by fully understanding the maritime sphere or providing extensive coverage and analysis of it. There is more to be about the Minister’s “intervention,” as it has also been described. to be examined. How accurate is his forecast that our island nation’s “reliance” on imports will be much less in the future? Why did he ignore Galway in citing the Government’s commitment to ports other than Dublin? When he takes particular issue against road transport, what does that mean for the future of the new Cork Harbour Ringaskiddy deepwater international port development? A multi-million Euro new road is being built to service it for road haulage. A rail line to Ringaskiddy is not planned in any timescale.
He referred to the Government’s investment in other ports to avoid an East Coast concentration and mentioned Waterford, Cork, Foynes, but made no reference to Galway which has been advancing its case for harbour and port development. Is the West not entitled to consideration is a question whciha rises?
In Cork he referred to Marino, which though also a Dublin location, we can take it that he was referring to Marino Point in Cork Harbour, a location which has been cited for further development by Cork Port and does have a rail connection. But its facilities are more limited than Ringaskiddy which is the Cork Port Company’s main development centre. Marino Point is also constrained by other industry development located close by.
Strongly forecasting that Ireland will have much reduced imports as an island nation in the future may have relevance in regard to fossil energy sources, but
Ministerial predictions have a less-than-perfect accuracy record. e.g., ripping up rail lines because Ireland would not need railways because road transport would be the future — and telling motorists to use diesel as the fuel for the future of cars. That’s just two examples in my lifetime of Ministers being utterly wrong.
There is also concern about the issue of the marine ‘spatial squeeze’ to which the Minister has not referred while concentrating on offshore energy production. There is acceptance of energy development, but marine organisations have expressed concern about the location of structures and their effect on the overall marine sphere which has, thus far, not been getting equal attention.
Locations already indicated are concerning the fishing industry for possible heavy impact on prime fishing areas. Government has not responded. Is this issue
being studiously avoided?