Cowen calls for vital funding for Galway Port extension

Port of Galway CEO, Connor O’Dowd; Barry Cowen TD, Fianna Fáil European Election Candidate for the Midlands North West and Anne Rabbitte; Minister of State for Disability in the Dept of Health & Dept of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

Port of Galway CEO, Connor O’Dowd; Barry Cowen TD, Fianna Fáil European Election Candidate for the Midlands North West and Anne Rabbitte; Minister of State for Disability in the Dept of Health & Dept of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

Barry Cowen TD, and Fianna Fáil European Election Candidate in the Midlands North West, is calling for funding support for the Galway Port extension.

Deputy Cowen met with Port of Galway CEO Connor O’Dowd on Friday morning and underwent a tour of the docks, and the project is progressing through initial planning procedures with ongoing funding supports.

He insists there will be numerous benefits to the project for Galway in relation to the local economy, infrastructure and housing, in addition to the greater Midlands North West region in regards to trade and renewable energy.

“The Port is putting significant funds forward to progress the extension plans, and has identified further potential funding avenues, but the State needs to help bridge the gap so they can receive support through TEN-T, ERDF or other EU Funding, as well as targeted tax incentives and long term, low interest debt.

“I also welcome commitment of the Land Development Agency to the project.

Dup Cowen said that European funding and funding of ports in general helps with connectivity and offers substantial business and renewable energy opportunities. The repositioning of the port would also create employment in construction and leave 17 acres that can be redeveloped for the community and used for housing.

“The Port is already a healthy, well-run business - generating €6 million in revenue last year - but is forced to turn away business opportunities due to its size, when - with planning approval and appropriate funding - it should play a key role in boosting the local economy and securing our future in the energy sector.

“The extension of the Port would attract more business to Galway, create jobs and facilitate economic growth in the region. But we all need to work together at local, national and European levels to resolve practical issues in order to make it happen.

“If I am elected to Europe I will be pushing for Ireland to play a leading role in a Pan-European energy grid, it would involve a planning board to deliver expertise in offshore wind planning and accelerate the construction of projects in the West of Ireland and indeed across Europe.

“If Ireland is to achieve Energy Security, and realise its vast potential in relation to offshore wind, these are exactly the kind of the projects that must be championed.”

 

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