23 March 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers TD, is today visiting Port of Cork, and Cork Airport as part of his ministerial responsibility for aviation, maritime and offshore renewable energy.
Earlier today, Minister Chambers visited the Port of Cork for the first time as Minister of State at the Department of Transport, where he toured the site and met members of staff at the port. The Port of Cork are revising their Masterplan and launched a consultation in September 2022 to share the emerging concepts of their ‘Masterplan 2050’. The Port sees significant opportunities for supporting renewable energy activities and there is potential for the Port of Cork to serve the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sector.
Speaking at the Port of Cork, Minister Chambers said: “It’s great to be here at the Port of Cork to get a first-hand look at the progression of this vital port, including the Cork Container Terminal which was officially opened last year. It is the second largest port in the State in terms of turnover, handling all six cargo types including lift-on lift-off, bulk liquid, bulk solid, break bulk, roll-on roll-off and cruise. The opportunity of supporting our ORE ambitions would be a fantastic addition to the function of the Port of Cork.”
I also understand that the Port of Cork welcomes the return, this week, of the seasonal service between Cork and Roscoff, operated by long standing partner Brittany Ferries. This connectivity, including the new services commenced by Independent Container Line and most recently MSC Group highlights the importance of the Port of Cork as a shipping hub for Ireland following on from Brexit, and I’m optimistic that this expansion will continue over the coming years.”
Minister Chambers will also undertake his first visit to Cork Airport since his appointment to the brief of aviation. As part of this engagement, the Minister will tour the Airport before meeting key members of staff at the airport. Cork Airport plays a crucial economic role across the South of Ireland, generating €904 million annually to the economy and indirectly supporting 12,180 jobs.
Speaking at Cork Airport, Minister Chambers commented: “I’m delighted to be in Cork Airport today to meet the hard-working staff and management team who work around-the-clock for their passengers. Welcoming over 2.2 million passengers last year, this is Ireland’s second busiest airport and last year’s figure represents an 86% recovery on 2019 passenger traffic. It is fantastic to see such strong post-Covid figures, and I am confident that Cork airport is well on track for another strong year in 2023.”
Minister Chambers will be undertaking further engagements in Cork which will see him visit the National Maritime College of Ireland, an Irish Cost Guard station in Guileen and the site of the Dunkettle to Carrigtohill Cycleway, one of the Government’s Pathfinder Active Travel Projects which will be delivered by 2025.