In June 2015 Government approved the text of the Harbours Bill 2015. The purpose of the Bill is to provide the necessary legal basis to allow for the later transfer by Ministerial order of the control of the five Ports of Regional Significance – Drogheda, Dún Laoghaire, Galway, New Ross and Wicklow – to local authority led governance structures. In addition the Bill will further enhance the corporate governance structures of all port companies including the five proposed transferee ports and those relevant Ports of National Significance – Cork, Dublin, Shannon Foynes and Waterford.
The Bill will now commence its passage through the Oireachtas.
The draft General Scheme of the Bill was considered by the Oireachtas Committee on Transport in September 2014 and the Committee submitted a report for the Minister's consideration in October (copy of report here). The Minister has responded to the Committee (copy of response available here).
During 2013 and early 2014 the Department conducted two significant consultation phases – the first commenced in August 2013 and the second in December 2013. The draft Regulatory Impact Analyses accompanying these consultation phases together with relevant submissions can be found using the following links: August 2013 RIA for consultation, December 2013 RIA for consultation