CORK County Council chief executive Tim Lucey is hopeful that the €1.9m ringfenced to buy the dockyard in Passage West will remain on the table at least until the end of the year.
Mr Lucey said the money, which was granted to the council under the Government’s Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF), should continue to be on offer to the council.
The money was granted to buy the old dockyard from the Doyle Shipping Group to convert it into a modern, waterfront development in the heart of Passage West.
However, the Doyle Shipping Group has taken the site off the market because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the potential need for more docking space in the months and years ahead.
“It is certainly our intention to try and secure that funding and keep it on the table in case there is any change in circumstances there,” Mr Lucey said.
Passage West Councillor Micheal ‘Frick’ Murphy said the decision to take the site off the market was a big blow to the area while Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath described it as a bombshell announcement.
“There was no indication that it was coming our way. There was great hope in Passage West when the announcement came that the URDF allocated €1.9m for the purchase of the dockyard,” said Mr McGrath.
They described the dockyard revamp as critical for the future development of the town and said that he was hoping the decision by Doyle Shipping to not sell the site at present was a temporary one.
“I urge everyone to not take this item off the agenda. The purchase of the site may still be possible and it is critical that it happens. It is vital to the future of Passage West and its people.
“This hopefully is a temporary position by Doyle Shipping to do with Brexit and plans by the Port of Cork. They have obviously taken a commercial decision, but we at Cork County Council need to pursue our objective of purchasing the dockyard and that is critical.”