The decision, taken at a meeting of its board on Monday, followed the intervention of Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe. Meanwhile, he made it known, in a letter to the board, that the Government was not impressed by the prospect of one state-owned port using taxpayer’s money to mount a potentially expensive legal challenge against an independent state body’s decision in relation to another state-owned port.
The Port of Waterford declined to comment yesterday. However, the Port of Cork’s deputy chief executive Denis Healy, welcomed the move and said it will enable the company to deliver the project within the original timeframe. It is hoped that work could start by the middle of next year.
Marine Minister Simon Coveney said the Port of Waterford’s decision to drop the legal challenge was a good decision for both ports: “Both can be successful and both can grow with a successful and growing economy.
“There is room for both ports on the south coast, and they should concentrate on building business rather than trying to undermine each other. The focus now should be on building capacity in both ports.”
An Bórd Pleanála gave the green light in May. The port subsequently secured €12.7m in EU funding. But it emerged in August a judicial review was on the cards.
The Port of Cork has invested over €72m in infrastructure since 2000. It said any delay in the project would place the port at an operational and competitive disadvantage due to the current physical constraints at Tivoli container terminal.