Finian McGrath is acknowledged by friends, colleagues, enemies, and the media alike as being a man of integrity.

Finian McGrath is acknowledged by friends, colleagues, enemies, and the media alike as being a man of integrity.

Dublin Bay - Proposed 52 acre infil

15 June, 2008

Sean 'Dublin Bay' Loftus And Finian McGrath T.D. Sign Joint Statement On Dublin Bay and the proposed 52 acre infill of Dublin Bay.

Statement from Sean 'Dublin Bay' Loftus, B.L. and Finian McGrath T.D. (Ind.) in reply to statement from Enda Connellon, CEO of Dublin Port Company, launching the 2005 annual report of Dublin Port (August 15th 2006)

(Re proposed 52 acre infill of Dublin Bay)

Mr Connellan CEO Dublin Port Company, stated on August 15th that the Port Company intends to proceed with a controversial plan to reclaim 21 hectares (52 acres) of land opposite the sea front at Clontarf as the port needs to urgently address operational capacity issues to serve the Irish economy."

This amounts to environmental blackmail

Dublin Baywatch has proved that if the Port was properly managed, there would be need to reclaim this land.

Mr Connellan's decision rejects two conditions which were laid down by Minister Brendan Daly. He decided that his department would not be considering the 21 hectares application until.

1. There was an integrated plan in relation to the needs of Dublin Port and the protection of the amenity rights of over a million people around Dublin Bay

2. The Port Company has consulted with the residents associations around the Bay.

The Port Company acts like a law unto itself. Its decisions down the years have been grossly irresponsible and costly. For example, in 1972 they promoted the reclamation of 2870 acres of Dublin Bay which they said would provide 8000 new jobs. This was at a period of very high unemployment. It published maps showing that the sea would be gone from Clontarf, Sandymount and Merrion Strands. Professor George Copcutt, an internationally know town planner, described the proposal as "a corruption of the environment".

The Port Company continue to support in principle, the promotion of a Dublin Bay oil refinery, ever though an official report on the locations of oil refineries in Ireland stated that Dublin Bay was unacceptable form an environmental and economic viewpoint because the Bay was too shallow to take super tankers and that the oil would have to be discharged through single buoy moorings at the Bailey off Howth or the Mugglin Island, Dalkey.

S.B.M.'s are notoriously association with spill.

They also promoted huge tanks bigger than Liberty Hall, for the storage of LPG under the inner Dublin Bay. I could go on and on When Sean Dublin Loftus was a Dublin City Council nominee on the Port Company for eleven years he raised environmental issues, Loftus was invariably told "that is a matter for Dublin Corporation, we are running a Port".

In 1989 Sean Dublin Loftus was invited to an international seminar in Amsterdam on "Port Area Redevelopment" and was told that there would be presentations by experts from ports around the world. At a Board meeting of the Port Company Loftus requested that the Board send some members of its management team to the seminar, they refused.

At the seminar we are told that with the ever increasing advances in technology association with the transport industries and the need for meeting competition challenges and problems with the growth of Port cities, particularly traffic, that whole ports, or sections of them have had to be relocated, sometimes across a river or to a new location. New York, Liverpool and London were given as prime examples.

This was around 1989, the Port Company still continues to do its own thing! But there is light at the end of the tunnel!

The Drogheda Port Company has purchased 150 acres at Bremore, which is just north of balbriggan and it has option on a further 250 acres. There is deep water off Bremore. It is adjacent to the MI Motorway and the Dublin Belfast railway line. The Drogheda Port Company is in the process of developing a deep water port at Bremore.

The Government should direct the Dublin Port Company to enter into a joint venture with the Drogheda Port Company in order to facilitate the Bremore development. Independent T.D. for Dublin North Central, Finian McGrath and Senator Tom Morrissey, the P.D. spokesman on Transport, support the Bremore Development. It is hopes that in the light of Mr. Connellan's recent announcement, the P.D. Party will use its power to prevent the granting of a foreshore licence to infill the 21 hectares. T.D.s from other parties, who have stated their support for the protection of the bay, should do likewise.

The 30 million euros it would cost to infill, reclaim and develop the Dublin Port Company's 52 acre proposal should be spent on the Bremore Development.

As we are coming up to a General Election, it is up to the thousands of objectors (those who answered the call of Dublin Baywatch to send written objections to the Department of the Marine) and all others, in whatever party of the City, who are opposed to the destruction of the Bay, to bring pressure to bear on the Government and the opposition. Already candidates are wooing the voters. It should be made clear that support will only be given to those candidates whose parties or groupings, have a stated policy along the lines which I and Dublin Bay Watch are proposing.

After all, Dublin Bay belongs to the people and not the Port Company.