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Boyd Barrett’s rush to acquire Dun Laoghaire Harbour could put vital council social services and capital projects at risk – O’Brien

5 March, 2018 - by Shane O'Brien

Sinn Féin County Councillor Shane O’Brien, speaking ahead of a Special Meeting to be held on Tuesday 6th to deal with the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councils risk assessment in relation to the transfer of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company which has recently been completed as part on the ongoing transfer saga, has said:

“I have received a high volume of lobbying emails over the past number of days calling on councillors to support transfer option B (dissolution of Company and transfer to DLRCC) as called for by Deputy Boyd Barrett last week in an article published in the Irish Times. However, the question is not simply one of the method of transfer and any Councillor or TD who suggests that the matter is straightforward and only requires the endorsement of the Councillors to proceed hasn't read the documents provided or perhaps does not understand the relevant legislation. Such a position would be utterly irresponsible and grossly negligent for any Public Representative. The public need to know what social and community services Deputy Boyd Barrett would cut in order to acquire the Harbour?

Councillor O’Brien added:

“The Risk Assessor's Report has a ‘Projected Net Financial Risk (2018-2022)’ of €33,500,000.00 to the Council, Local Property Taxpayers, Commercial Ratepayers and the communities of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County.  As matters stand, the Act provides for the transfer, in respect of all assets, liabilities and staff, in accordance with Sections 30 and 32 of the Harbours Act, 2015. Therefore, simply opting for ‘Option B’ is not the question to be considered by the Councillors, it is the potential impact on the Council's budget and whether the transfer would result in the cutting of vital services to our communities and vulnerable groups in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown.

“Sinn Fein will not put any communities at risk to simply acquire the Harbour. 

“Although we support the dissolution of a company which is forecasted to operate at a loss of over €400k in the short term, assurances and financial commitments and supports are needed before any next step is taken. Sinn Fein will not advocate for socialising of semi-state private debt and will demand that Transports Minister Shane Ross provides the necessary funding to proceed.”

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