Campaigners launch action against berth

by Gazette Reporter

ABOUT 170 people attended a meeting organised by Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP) in the Kingston Hotel last week, to launch a campaign against the planned €18m cruise liner berth for the town.
The 390m long berth in Dun Laoghaire Harbour is planned to allow passengers to disembark.
Deputy Boyd Barrett told The Gazette: “The meeting was absolutely packed to the rafters. There was an overwhelming vote of opposition against the berth plan.
“People think it is very dangerous to borrow €18m using the public assets of the harbour as collateral for what is a speculative gamble which could go belly-up and threaten the public ownership of the harbour.
“If they don’t get the business required to repay that money, then the assets of the harbour are on the line and the public will end up paying. This would almost certainly lead in the direction of privatisation of the harbour,” he said.
He added that no solid business case for benefits of cruise liner visits to Dun Laoghaire had been put forward.
However, a spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) said a planned Environmental Impact Study would contain a comprehensive report from a firm of independent economists addressing the economic potential of increasing the number of cruise visitors coming to Dun Laoghaire.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said a letter-writing campaign was planned, asking Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe to abandon the berth proposal. Also planned is a petition and demonstration through the streets of Dun Laoghaire on May 24.
Peter Kerrigan, the chairman of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Ratepayers’ Association , organised an earlier meeting against cruise ships on April 27.

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