Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Ireland’s ports and harbours can benefit greatly from European Union funding.

Speaking from Brussels where she facilitated meetings between port and harbour representatives and EU officials, Ms Anderson said;

“Ireland’s ports and harbours play a key role in the economic life of the island, north and south.

“Every day, tens of thousands of tonnes of materials are shipped through our ports, both into Ireland and to international markets. And the potential for further growth is huge.

“That is why I facilitated meetings between representatives of the various port and harbour authorities, as well as chambers of commerce, across the island with key European officials in Brussels.

“The EU’s ‘Motorways of the Sea’ policy, which aims to improve maritime trade links across Europe, together with the Trans European Transport Network (TEN-T), includes significant funding opportunities for major infrastructural projects at Ireland’s ports.

“Huge possibilities exist to develop the Atlantic Arc which would increase shipping routes from Spain, Portugal, through Irish ports, and on to international markets.

“It is vitally important for representatives of Ireland’s port and harbours to be aware of the opportunities Europe provides to develop the huge potential of our island.”