City council defers decision on Galway Port's future

Councillors concerned that they did not have enough information to make a decision

The future of Galway Port Company remains unresolved after the Galway City Council voted to defer a decision on whether to take over the company's shareholdings or to dissolve it entirely and take over its operation.

The vote, which took place at Monday's council meeting at The Galmont Hotel, saw many councillors highlight concerns that they did not have enough information to make a decision, as consultants from Smith and Williamson Limited who were hired to assess the port company's viability, did not attend a workshop the previous week into how the company works.

Independent councillor Colette Connolly said that she was disappointed that the consultants who carried out the due diligence report did not attend the workshop, and said that "a gun was being put to the heads" of councillors to decide on a course of action.

Fine Gael councillor Clodagh Higgins said it was "ludicrous" the consultants did not attend the workshop to answer councillors' queries on the project. She said; "We need independent advice. I think this is a huge decision to take [without all the necessary information]."

Galway city west councillor Peter Keane echoed the councillors' sentiments saying; "Disappointment is an understatement. In essence what we got was a presentation about the Galway Harbour. Absolutely nothing to do with what we asked for. I support the sentiment of Cllr Higgins."

In response to the councillors' comments, chief executive of the Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, told the room, the consultants were not present at the workshop as they had moved onto new employment because the firm had changed owners since the initial assessment was commissioned.

Mr McGrath also advised members it was his belief that the option of transferring the shareholding was the least risky option.


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