There was a special guest at what is to become the Revenue Customs Site in Rosslare Harbour last week as Minister of State of the OPW walked the site to check out how preparations are coming along ahead of an imminent Brexit.
Donning a hard hat and high-vis vest, Minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran was accompanied on a stroll of the 16 acre site by the Chairman of the Rosslare Municipal District, Cllr Ger Carthy.
The site has been a busy one since work got under way back in March and, with the erection of huge steel sheds and customs posts, the latest indications emerging from the site are that customs posts will be ready in the next month while the whole site is expected to be fully operational by January.
The facilities being provided include a public office, two seal check booths, four inspection bays, parking for 38 HGVs, driver facilities and an area for the inspection of live animals. The OPW is currently designing the permanent inspection facilities which will be located within the environs of Rosslare Europort and which are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.
Minister Moran said he was confident that Rosslare will be Brexit-ready and he was extremely happy with the work done so far.
'I am delighted with the significant level of progress made to date,' he said 'The scale of this development is enormous, particularly when you bear in mind the challenging time-scales involved. It's a great credit to all involved and I am satisfied that Rosslare will be fully prepared in the event of a No Deal Brexit.'
Cllr Carthy was also feeling optimistic.
'Things are looking promising there and the Minister was impressed with the quality of the work. After all, work only began at the site in March,' he said.
The Rosslare District Chairman added that assurances were given that the Revenue, the HSE and the Department of Agriculture all have the staff available in Rosslare to deal with Brexit in whatever form it takes.
As part of the visit, Minister Moran met the Revenue's head officer at Rosslare Europort Maureen Dalton who gave him a tour of their new offices in the terminal building. Also on hand to meet him was Fine Gael by-election hopeful and President of the Irish Road Hauliers Association Verona Murphy.
While the Minister was in town, Cllr Carthy and Chief Executive of Wexford County Council Tom Enright also took the opportunity to bend his ear about some other major projects in the pipeline for the Rosslare District.
Cllr Carthy was left satisfied that things are moving in the right direction on the €8 million coastal and flood protection for Rosslare Strand and the €1.5 million Lady's Island Lake drainage project.
'It was a very positive meeting,' Cllr Carthy said.
'We got a commitment that as soon as his department receives the relevant documentation from Wexford County Council, which should be this week, he will progress with both projects. Things are definitely moving in the right direction after many years of lobbying. The Lake Drainage is something that has been sought for over forty years.'