Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central and Candidate for Ireland South Billy Kelleher has raised concerns about the possible impact of a fall-off in cruise ship numbers at Cobh harbour. It comes following an announcement by Dublin Port that it’s to curtail the cruise liners because it needs additional space for freight and customs posts.

Deputy Kelleher said, “Cobh has seen record numbers of cruise liners berthing in its port over the past number of years, with 103 ships due to dock this year.  These liners bring thousands of passengers into Cork city itself, but also to surrounding tourist spots around the county.  This has given a much needed economic boost to the region and should not be put at risk.

“If Dublin can no longer cater for the number of cruise ships wanting to come to Ireland, Cobh should be pitching to pick up the slack.  The Port of Cork is already looking to explore the option of a second cruise berth in Cobh. This should be expedited so that the port is ready to take on any additional cruise or freight business.

“The importance of these tourist visits cannot be underestimated and all efforts must be made to ensure that Cobh is in a position to maximise any
potential opportunities.

“The government’s Brexit preparedness is still very much up in the air, and this is extremely worrying given the fact that a no deal Brexit could be a possibility.  However, we cannot overlook the huge economic benefits that these cruise ships are bringing to Cork and the South West region.

“The government needs to examine the situation in Cobh, 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 Kelleher.