Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick Niall Collins has called on the government to ensure that protections put in place to ensure that cruise ships can continue to dock at Foynes Port in a no deal Brexit scenario.

His call comes following the announcement from Dublin Port that more space has to be created for customs checks post Brexit, at the expense of tourist cruise ships.

Deputy Collins said, “Over the past number of years, we have seen a major boost in tourism with three cruise ships docking in Foynes last year.  We should be aiming to build on that success, particularly as Dublin Port is coming under pressure for space as a result of additional customs checks.

“Last year hundreds of tourists came to Limerick through Foynes, and spent time not only in the city but also across the wider Mid-West area – places like Adare, the Cliffs of Moher and north Kerry.  This had a significant economic impact on the region.

“Any curtailment of these ships will have a devastating knock-on effect on tourism and the wider economy.  These visitors do not spend very long in the country but they do want to visit nearby tourist attractions in the limited time that they have and the importance of the economic boost that they bring to this region should not be negated.

“Dublin Port says it’s taking fewer cruise ship bookings because it needs to increase capacity for its freight customers. While this is understandable, I would prefer to see additional infrastructure established in Foynes so that freight and tourism can be accommodated together.

“We are still very much in the dark when it comes to the government’s preparedness for Brexit, however, we cannot overlook the huge economic benefits that these cruise ships are bringing to the Mid-West region.  The government needs to examine the situation in Foynes, and indeed other Ports around the country, and ensure that arrangements can be put in place to facilitate any additional checks that may be needed post Brexit, while recognising the importance of cruise ships and maintaining the space needed to cater for them”, concluded Deputy Collins.