The future of Rosslare Europort and its strategic importance was top of the agenda yesterday (Monday) when Minister for Transport Shane Ross visited Wexford.
Minister Ross and Minister Paul Kehoe both met with Tom Enright, CEO of Wexford County Council where Rosslare Europort and further investment in the county's road network were discussed. At Rosslare Europort Ministers Ross and Kehoe were briefed by general manager Glenn Carr and chairman Frank Allen on the regional benefits and the challenges and opportunities posed by Brexit.
They also met local business people who have a business relationship with the port.
Speaking after the visit, Minister Kehoe said he intends to follow up with Minister Ross in relation to the development of the port.
He said it is vital that all measures are taken to ensure the port is Brexit-proofed.
'Particularly in light of Brexit, Rosslare Europort is a vital facility for both Wexford and the wider country. The meeting involving Minister Ross was focused on how we can work with all the relevant stakeholders to develop the port effectively.
'It was important for both port management and local business people to meet with the minister. Brexit has thrown up new challenges that will require joined up thinking from all parties involved.'
Minister Kehoe said Rosslare Europort will now undergo a strategic review, adding that it plays a crucial role in maintaining links with EU markets.
It was noted that Project Ireland 2040 promises to improve connectivity to Rosslare Europort and to complete the development of the N11 from Oylegate to Rosslare.
Planning for the development of the N11 will take place in 2018 before moving on to the construction phase. Other transport issues were also brought up, including the potential to develop Waterford Airport.
The need for investment in the road network around the county was also highlighted during Minister Ross' visit.
Minister Kehoe felt it was particularly important for Minister Ross to hear first hand the impact Storm Emma had on communities.
He said Wexford was worst hit by the storm and that there was a deterioration in roads as a result.
'The discussion also surrounded local roads and the negative impact the recent Storm Emma has had on our infrastructure. It was extremely useful for Minister Ross to visit the constituency so that he could hear first hand our desire to bring more investment to Wexford.'
Minister Ross also visited Our Lady's Island where he met with public representatives and community groups to see the works being carried out at the local community centre.