Access is an urgent issue with Brexit on horizon, says CIF
Upgrades to Dunkettle and the N28 to Ringaskiddy have become Ireland’s ‘ most important’ infrastructural projects, says the Construction Industry Federation.
Officials from the CIF said that retaining access to Europe via the Port of Cork is more important than ever in the wake of Brexit and have called on the Government to fasttrack the upgrades to the Dunkettle Interchange and the delivery of the N28 motorway.
Speaking at CIF Cork’s annual construction dinner, chairman of the CIF Cork branch, Cormac Smith, said that the works are critical in ensuring Irish exports can remain competitive.
He said: “Many of our exports, especially those from the agri- food and pharma sector, are currently being exported to continental Europe via the UK. However, with Brexit, this option will no longer be available to us.”
Instead, Irish operations will become more EU- focused, Mr Smith said, with the Port of Cork becoming an even more important access point.
He said: “We are in the lucky position here in Cork that the Port of Cork is the closest national tier one port to continental Europe. We now need to provide the infrastructure to allow the capacity of the Port of Cork to grow, to ensure that our exports can reach their markets in the most competitive manner possible.”
The planned works at Dunkettle and the N28 have become ‘ Ireland’s most important strategic infrastructural projects’, according to Mr Smith.
“These two projects can no longer be talked about in terms of possible delivery dates,” he said. “These projects must now be delivered in a much shorter timeframe than originally planned for.”
Ensuring access to the continent will safeguard against many of the potential negative impacts of Brexit, he added, addressing many of the CIF’s 300 members in Cork.