National Ports Policy, published in March 2013, recommended that the five designated Ports of Regional Significance (Drogheda, Dún Laoghaire, Galway, New Ross and Wicklow) are transferred to more appropriate local authority led governance structures.
The Harbours Act 2015, enacted in December 2015, provides the legislative basis to facilitate the transfer of the five ports of Regional Significance to Local Authority control.
Wicklow Port transferred to Wicklow County Council on 30th August 2016. Drogheda Port transferred to Louth County Council on 2nd October 2017 with Dún Laoghaire Port transferring to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on 3rd October 2018. Further progress was made in 2019 when New Ross Port Company transferred to Wexford County Council on August 1st 2019.
The transfer of the remaining port of regional significance, Galway Harbour Company, is well advanced and the due diligence is completed. The Department continues to liaise with the local authority and the port with regard to the transfer process.