Irish ports ‘need EU funding’ to avoid isolation following Brexit

Irish ports ‘need EU funding’ to avoid isolation following Brexit
Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber, guest speaker Brendan Keating, Port of Cork; Orla Flynn, honorary secretary, Cork Chamber, and Aidan Forde, Irish Examiner, at the Cork Chamber March Business Breakfast, in association with the Irish Examiner, at Cork International Hotel yesterday. Pic: Larry Cummins

By Pádraig Hoare

Ireland is at significant risk of isolation following Brexit and will need EU funding to shore up the lack of connectivity to major European routes says the Port of Cork chief executive.

Brendan Keating says there was a case to be made for grant aid from EU institutions following the UK leaving the bloc.

“We will be significantly more isolated because of Brexit. I’m concerned about maritime transport connectivity. State aid rules as currently constituted don’t allow EU support of the purchase of ships or that kind of mobile asset, I believe.

“However, I do believe some kind of subvention can be issued to operators of such ships for such services.

“We have similar arrangements in terms of the servicing of regional airports of this country, to the public service obligations-type instruments.

From our perspective, the fact we have highlighted it, the matter is on the agenda now for consideration, and the European finance commissioner in Dublin highlighted the fact that there will have to be something in the EU budget line to address this kind of challenge. It means the Government is talking about it, and the EU is listening.

“Grant aid is the most appropriate instrument. So-called blending products that relate to low-interest loans primarily made available by the European Investment Bank may not be appropriate.

“All in all, we are at risk of a very significant degree of additional isolation and we need to beat that drum very strongly,” he said.

Mr Keating said the Port of Cork had seen a surge in imports, exports, oil traffic, and cruise liners, in 2017.

He said the development of Tivoli on Cork’s northside from 2025 would be one of the most significant ever in the city, with the capacity for 5,000 homes, when the Port of Cork vacated the land.

The city’s docklands would be an ideal location for an international shipping services centre, alongside the major private development currently happening.

The €80m redevelopment of Ringaskiddy port was essential for the future of the Port of Cork, he said.

He was speaking at a business breakfast meeting of Cork Chamber.

The aim was to have the container terminal completed by mid-2020, he said.

More on this topic

Major rescue as man hurt in cliff dive in CorkMajor rescue as man hurt in cliff dive in Cork

Man seriously injured after hitting submerged rock while jumping into sea in CorkMan seriously injured after hitting submerged rock while jumping into sea in Cork

Water safety warning issued after teens rescued from River LeeWater safety warning issued after teens rescued from River Lee

Person hospitalised after crash outside Cork cityPerson hospitalised after crash outside Cork city


More in this Section

UK lines up insurance firms for Covid compensation test caseUK lines up insurance firms for Covid compensation test case

Hotel enquiries jump after July 20 set for reopening in Northern IrelandHotel enquiries jump after July 20 set for reopening in Northern Ireland

Lufthansa bailout hopes in hands of investors as board finally clears €9bn dealLufthansa bailout hopes in hands of investors as board finally clears €9bn deal

Shoe retailer Aldo collapses as coronavirus continues to hammer UK high streetShoe retailer Aldo collapses as coronavirus continues to hammer UK high street


Lifestyle

We need a little magic now more than ever, writes Kya deLongchampsFirst rule of fairy gardens? There are no rules

If you feel powerless with what’s happening in the world, there are things you can do to help.6 Black-owned beauty brands to support

Scavange through the family recycling bin or rummage around your bedroom for old jewellery or knickknacks – anything from discarded items in the wardrobe and remnants in the shed you know your parents will never fix, to empty egg boxes or used-up tea bags.Parenting: Time to Recycle, reuse, and redesign

Q. I've lost my libido. I read somewhere that masturbating can help to build it up again. Is that true? Or will it just make me even less interested in sex with my husband?Sex File: My sex drive seems to have disappeared

More From The Irish Examiner