Wexford TD Mick Wallace is unable to attend the 6 pm protest at Rosslare Europort this evening due to Dail business today, but claims he has “been banging the drum about the neglect of Rosslare Europort long before it became a popular issue.”
He claims that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport continuously point to how they are “considering” or “examining” the complex ownership structure of the port, because that is a barrier to doing anything with it. However, as you know “complex ownership structures” can always be overcome and the Department have been “considering” this for years without doing one constructive thing to overcome it.”
He continued; “It’s deeply concerning Irish Ferries are set to withdraw their winter service at Rosslare Europort. Sadly, events such as this have been on the cards for some time now. There have been so many retrograde actions taken at Rosslare Europort over the recent years you’d be forgiven for thinking someone was trying to sabotage what should in all essence be a thriving port.”
Deputy Wallace said the relocation of the train station away from the terminal, the closing of the rail service to Waterford and the changing of the rail timetable have all had detrimental impacts on a port that is, ironically, operated by Irish Rail.
“Rosslare Europort should be booming and the rail lines that serve the port should be transferring passengers and freight both North and West. It actually doesn’t make sense, given its geographical location, that it is so under utilised.”
Deputy Wallace told WexfordToday.com that he has lost count of the number of times he has raised the issue of the underperforming Rosslare Europort with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and he also has lost count the number of the times he’s suggested the barrier to developing it down to the complex ownership structure.
“We’ve been hearing that excuse, certainly since I was first elected in 2011, and maybe even before that. I’ve been told time and time again that the Department are actively examining the situation and I can hand on heart say the only thing the Department, Irish Rail and Minister Ross are doing is actively sitting on their backsides twiddling their thumbs.
“It’s over two years since Britain voted for Brexit but the fact that the Minister for Transport only arrived at the realisation that Rosslare is closer to mainland Europe than any other port in the country, following his visit in April, is very worrying given that new routes to Europe have opened in Dublin and Cork.
“In the coming weeks the Irish Maritime Development Office are due to publish a study into the use of the UK land bridge by Irish importers and exporters and the various alternative options that may be viable. It will be interesting to see what their views on are on the future of Rosslare Europort, but I would always be cautious about expecting this Government to use their common sense or do the practical thing.” said Deputy Wallace, who concluded; “It’s soul destroying watching what’s happening there.”