Funding announced for piers and harbours at Blackrock and Passage West – Buttimer

Tuesday, 8th July 2014 

  • €2.99 million allocated nationally under the under the 2014 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Capital Programme
  • €187,500 is to be allocated to redevelop Blackrock harbour
  • €75,000 for the purchase of a pontoon at Passage West.

Blackrock harbour is set to receive €187,500 that will enhance the redevelopment of the village making it an even more attractive location for business, leisure and recreation. This is really great news for the local community and ensures that the redevelopment of the area can proceed and deliver long awaited improvements.  The money will be used to install tiered steps from the harbour square into the harbour, along with harbour deepening, paving, steps, railings and mooring points.

Passage West will also benefit from the funding package announced.  €75,000 is being awarded towards the purchase of a pontoon.  This will enhance leisure marine facilities which are so integral to our local tourism industry.

The total funding announced for Cork comes to more than €600,000.  Today’s funding announcement comes on top of a grant in February for the repair of Cork piers and harbours that were badly damaged during the storms last winter.

This funding comes from the 2014 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Capital Programme of the Department of Agriculture and the Marine. Local Authorities will also contribute to the cost of the projects.

We are committed to supporting coastal and harbour communities in Cork and delivering improvements to facilities that are vital for both business and recreational activities.

Posted under Agriculture, Cork, Cork City, Development, Infastructure, South East, Tourism, Transport

Brooks debacle proves it’s time to review the licencing laws for concerts – Buttimer

Friday, July 4th 2014

  • Debacle surrounding the Garth Brooks concerts is proof that we need to review the licencing system for concerts and outdoor events
  • Must ensure tickets cannot be sold until a licence is granted

The fallout from Dublin City Council’s decision to refuse to grant licences for two out of the five Garth Brooks gigs has resulted in a meaningless blame game which is getting us nowhere. Trying to apportion blame to the promoters, or the City Manager, or the operators of Croke Park is pointless at this stage.

The reality is everyone involved was playing by the rules as they currently stand. Under our planning laws, events for more than 5,000 people require a licence. And there is nothing to stop promoters selling tickets before the licence is granted. In fact, doing so is probably the norm. The difference is, they got caught out this time round, and consumers are suffering as a result.

According to the current legislation, the application for a licence must be lodged with the local authority 16 weeks before an event, and the authority must allow five weeks to pass before making the decision on whether to grant the licence or not.

An amendment could be made to the current legislation stipulating that tickets cannot be sold until the licence is granted. An onus should be placed on local authorities to ensure the decision is made within a fixed timeframe. It would be acceptable for event organisers to promote the concert in advance, but tickets shouldn’t be sold until the licence is in place.

I do not see how this would cause any major problems. It is unusual for licences not to be granted. But only by changing the system will we ensure that we will avoid a situation in the future where hundreds of thousands of ticket holders are left out of pocket and deeply disappointed.

Clearly, an immediate solution needs to be found for the 400,000 ticket holders who still don’t know for definite whether any or all of the concerts will go ahead in just a few weeks’ time. But we also need to prevent this sort of debacle from happening again in the future.

ENDS

Posted under Cork City, Dáil Speeches, Environment, National Work, Tourism, Uncategorized

Parliamentary Question: Aviation Policy

Parliamentary Question for the Minister For Transport (Leo Varadkar TD)

For WRITTEN ANSWER on 26th of June 2014

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the national aviation policy will be published; if the policy will contain measures to redress the decline in passenger numbers at Cork Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Answer:

Following on from the public consultation process over the last year a draft National Aviation Policy for Ireland was published on 21 May 2014 and is available on my Department’s website. The consultation process covered all elements of aviation policy and the draft National Aviation Policy takes account of the submissions received. Stakeholders now have an opportunity to provide further input before the policy is formally adopted and published. The closing date for submissions is 31 July. The new policy will be designed to ensure that the right conditions exist for a flourishing aviation industry into the future. It will facilitate the expansion of the industry, help make it more competitive, tackle barriers to growth and facilitate the development of new air transport links. I expect to publish the National Aviation Policy later in the year.

Cork airport is an important part of Ireland’s civil aviation infrastructure and this was highlighted during the consultation process. It is Ireland’s second busiest airport after Dublin. The Government has already decided that the future of Cork airport is best safeguarded by it remaining for the present as part of the DAA. I am conscious of the importance of Cork Airport in the development of the economy of the region as a whole and, in particular, for tourism. DAA has established a Development Council for Cork airport which will provide for strong engagement with, and alignment among, key stakeholders in the Cork region. It will serve to foster a common understanding, particularly at local level, of issues of concern, potential opportunities for growth and the operating performance of the airport. I hope the Council will be successful in its work, as a vibrant Cork Airport will ultimately benefit both Cork and the wider region.

Posted under Parliamentary Questions, Tourism, Transport