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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I propose an amendment to the Order of Business to bring the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Ross, to the House to discuss a matter of grave urgency. I understand that last night the Minister of State, Deputy Phelan, signed an order consenting to the necessary statutory instrument to transfer Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Significant due diligence has been done by the county council liaising with the harbour company on the costs involved. It is estimated that up to €33 million in liabilities will be transferred across by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to the local authority with no reference to date to compensation being provided.
As of 7.30 a.m., I understand the matter still rests with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and I do not know whether the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport has signed the order at this stage. Senator Boyhan raised the matter this morning on the Commencement and in his contribution on the Order of Business. It is not acceptable for a local authority to be asked to take on such debt. It is extremely urgent that we examine the matter and that a local authority would not be expected to take on an existing harbour company with very significant liabilities that arise out of pension liabilities, contributions and other ongoing maintenance issues.