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

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.


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

Buttimer calls for Development Council to use its expertise to develop a long term plan for Cork Airport

Wednesday, 25th June 2014

  • Cork Airport Development Council should be given the remit to contribute to a long term plan for Cork Airport.
  • Speaking in the Dáil on the State Airports (Shannon Group) Bill, 2014.


The establishment of a new high level stakeholder body, the Cork Airport Development Council, is a positive move for Cork Airport.  But the expertise on this group should be harnessed to develop a comprehensive long term plan for the development and growth of the airport.

The Development Council provides a forum for senior stakeholders from a range of sectoral and geographic backgrounds who have an interest in the development of Cork Airport to engage with management at the airport and to help contribute to traffic and route growth.  That this group has representatives from organisations such as Fáilte Ireland, the Cork Chamber of Commerce and EMC among others will ensure that local views will contribute to the future development of the airport so that it meets the tourism and business needs of the region.  If this impact of this input is to be maximised then it must feed into a formalised long term plan.

The first item that this group should focus on is expanding the air connectivity available from Cork.  In looking at this a priority must be developing air links with key international hubs with flights at times that suit businesses.  We must protect and develop key routes such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich and Rome, but perhaps more importantly an air link to Dublin.

Having this range of flight options ensures that passengers using Cork Airport, for both business and tourism, can get direct flights to key international hubs which enable them to link to destinations across the globe.  Focussing on these routes will enable Cork businesses to grow and expand internationally.  This will benefit the language schools in Cork, third level colleges including UCC and CIT, the many leading international businesses that operate from Cork and all of those involved in the tourism sector.  These groups and businesses would be able to market Cork to a wider audience as a destination for business and tourism.

Regrettably the challenges facing Cork airport are compounded by the high level of debt that the airport carries.  All parties involved in Cork Airport must continue to explore ways to reduce the debt levels it is carrying.  Reducing this burden will allow the airport to reduce prices and attract airlines.  Unless the debt is reduced the ability of the Airport to reach its full potential will not be delivered.

I hope that that the Development Council will be the catalyst the will enable Cork Airport to grow so that it can reach its full potential.  And I hope that the input of people from outside of the DAA group will facilitate a detailed consideration of how to restructure the debt at Cork Airport so that it does not continue to be a heavy weight preventing the airport attaining its obvious potential.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Dáil Speeches, Development, Economic, National Work, Tourism, Transport