With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 11 and 12 together.
A final decision to site the permanent terminal facilities for the car ferry service at St. Michael's Wharf was taken in April, 1964, after full consideration of the views of all interests then concerned. This site was chosen to obviate interference with local amenities by the erection of the terminal at the East Pier which was the best site from the navigational and engineering points of view. There was full consultation in the matter with Dún Laoghaire Corporation and the decision was supported by that body.
The facilities at the East Pier are temporary and are necessary to provide for the commencement of the service next July. I have already given an undertaking that the East Pier will be restored to its original condition as quickly as possible.
The siting of the terminal at Trader's Wharf was also considered but as this site is very exposed to swells from the directions North to East protective works would very probably be necessary. The nature and cost of such works would only be determined by prolonged hydraulic investigation probably involving the construction of a model. Deepening of the harbour would also be necessary and the provision of the extensive areas required for a terminal would be difficult and costly. There would also be operating difficulties because of the distance from the existing facilities at Carlisle Pier and Dún Laoghaire Railway Station.
The position, therefore, is that a detailed examination of the possibility of siting the terminal at Trader's Wharf would involve several years delay in the provision of the terminal; the cost could not now be determined but would very probably be substantially higher, even excessive; and there could be no assurance, at this stage, that British Railways would be prepared to use a terminal at this site.
In the meantime the provision of a permanent terminal is a matter of urgency not only to permit the reversion of the East Pier to public use but to ensure the full and rapid development of the important new ferry service.
In all the circumstances, I cannot see my way to alter the decision to build the permanent terminal at St. Michael's Wharf which was taken after the fullest consideration and in consultation with the local authorities and other interests then concerned.