Foynes port company gets €4m EU grant for development works in West Limerick

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Foynes port: new EU funding is on the way to Limerick as Foynes positions itself as a major European port post-Brexit

Foynes port: new EU funding is on the way to Limerick as Foynes positions itself as a major European port post-Brexit

THIS week has brought another boost for Shannon Foynes Port Company, with the news that funding worth more than €4m is on the way from the European Union.

The company has been cleared for almost €4.5m in EU transport funds, which will be used for further development work at the Foynes facility.

Two years ago, SFPC received over €3m from the same fund. This time, the grant has been allocated to join existing jetties at Foynes, infill an area behind these jetties, and develop 90 acres of land for ancillary port storage and port-related activities.

MEP Deirdre Clune, a member of the EU transport committee, said it was a vote of confidence in Limerick.

“This is not only a vote of confidence in the Shannon Foynes Port Company but also the wider region. The port has ambitious plans in place right up until 2041 and has been extremely successful in bringing together local stakeholders to drive trade to the region,” said Ms Clune.

“This reaffirms the port as a serious player in the European market. Shannon Foynes facilitates €7.6 billion of trade in the South West region, and is only one of three ports in the country designated with EU Ten T status,” said Ms Clune.

The grant announcement was part of an overall European Commission announcement of an investment of €1 billion, in 39 transport projects across Europe.

It’s expected that these grants will unlock a total of €4.5 billion of public and private co-financing.

A week before the funding was allocated, EU officials met with a delegation from Shannon Foynes Port Company in Brussels to receive an update on progress in harnessing the port’s “massive economic potential”.

The meeting, hosted by MEP Sean Kelly, included key EU policy makers and CEO of the port company, Pat Keating, and was updated on the aim to harness Foynes’ potential as a 24-hour deep water facility, a designated core port in the Trans European Transport Network shipping network.

Mr Kelly, who is the Leader of Fine Gael in the EU Parliament, emphasised that the port can turn Brexit to its advantage, due to its deep waters and favourable location.

“The port is a huge asset to Europe and Ireland wants it upgraded to corridor status. For that to happen, a new road connecting the port to Limerick, through the Adare bypass, is required. This has now been given the go-ahead,” he explained to EU lawmakers.

 

Mr Kelly said that he would raise the urgency of the provision of the new road post-Brexit with the Taoiseach.