Garda commissioner ready for a grill at Galway County meeting – Connacht Tribune – Galway City Tribune:

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An MEP from the west of Ireland has suggested that a modernized Galway harbor could potentially be used as a naval base.

North West Midlands MEP Colm Markey, who sits on the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, was speaking in the light of the recent report from the Defense Forces Committee.

The MEP, who has done extensive work to secure Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) status for the port of Galway, said the proposal made “perfect sense”.

“Along with huge potentials in offshore wind, hydrogen production and tourism expansion, the Port of Galway serving as a naval base is another layer of potential for a modernized port,” he said. declared.

“The Defense Force Commission report recognized the need for increased naval activity.

“There could be a need for a naval port along the west coast, and given the proximity to Renmore Barracks, the port of Galway makes perfect sense,” he added.

But he acknowledged that this would only make sense “following significant investment in the port and alongside the provision of other key service capabilities for the port”.

“Whether it’s offshore wind, hydrogen, tourism or a naval base, it’s clear there are buckets of potential for Galway and the West of Ireland flowing from the port,” he said. he declared.

“I will continue to push for investment at EU level, through the EP Transport Committee and otherwise, as well as at national level with government colleagues.”

His comments come after the Port of Galway unveiled its efforts to change the way ports are classified in the European Union – so it can apply for funding for its planned redevelopment and help it facilitate wind power offshore.

Galway Harbor Company CEO Conor O’Dowd led a recent delegation to Brussels – led by Colm Markey – to meet influential MEPs in a bid to drive home the message that wind speeds on the north coast -west are the highest in Europe. .

He told her that in the West there is no first tier port – or “TEN-T” – which attracts the highest level of EU funding due to the fact that they are classified according to tonnage and number of passengers.

“The Ten-T port metric is an outdated mode of port measurement. If you look at modern ports, especially when it comes to renewable energy such as wind turbines, they weigh very little compared to oil, but the revenues are high because they require a lot of labour, cranes, logistics and storage,” he explained.

“The development of wind energy is extremely important to wean ourselves off carbon, so anything that encourages offshore wind farms is a good thing. The metric also does not take into account land bank usage at ports or rents earned.

The technology associated with floating wind turbines presents an exciting opportunity for a network of ports along the west coast. This would give ports like Galway the ability to pivot in order to service offshore wind farms.

Meetings organized by the Fine Gael MEP over two days did not generate any engagement. But European politicians seemed impressed with the northwest coast’s future renewable energy capabilities.

“Offshore wind could meet all of Ireland’s electricity needs and provide clean energy exports to other European markets. It is crucial that the Port of Galway is supported as the EU aims to meet its climate targets and rapidly move away from importing energy from Russia,” said the Midlands-North-West MEP.

The Port of Galway is still awaiting word on its billion euro port redevelopment, which has been with An Bord Pleanála since 2014.

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