I have been asking about this issue for the past four or five years. I am very glad that we are moving the harbour company back under council control. It is something we have been calling for in Dún Laoghaire for a long time but the issue left hanging by the former Minister, Deputy Varadkar, was whether it would be a corporate subsidiary or directly under the council. The former Minister, Deputy Varadkar, said he favoured it being a corporate subsidiary. I want clarity, and a commitment, that it will not be a corporate subsidiary because in terms of the jobs for the boys, the management structure, administration, excessive fees, excessive salaries and massive amounts of money wasted on master plans that never came to fruition, there was waste at every level while the harbour itself has been run into the ground and the front-line staff reduced to negligible numbers. It has been a failure.
To give the Minister some idea, this harbour company has 20 employees left and the CEO gets €136,000 a year, €12,000 on top of that in fees for going to nine meetings a year and €10,000 extra in expenses for reasons unknown - he used to get €20,000 until we kicked up about it. In answer to a question about another €20,000 he paid himself, he stated he paid that in lieu of holidays, which one is not allowed to do. The Minister's predecessor, Deputy Varadkar, stated that was unacceptable. We still have not received an explanation of it.
There are millions of euro wasted on master plans that have never come to fruition. It is a honey pot that is being exploited by these executives through directors' fees etc. while the harbour has been run into the ground. Can the Minister bring the harbour back fully under local authority control and get rid of this structure?