Rosslare claims to be the busiest port in the country but has failed to get the development investment it requires and has long fought for.
Rosslare claims to have come up with the idea of a free port as part of a major plan for the development of the area. However, the Rosslare Harbour Development Board are now "seething with rage" that the government has taken its plan and applied it to Cork.
For years, Rosslare had campaigned for development funds and for its designation as a free port and put the plan to the government in 1981. However, nothing happened. According to Liam Griffin, Chairman of the Local Development Board, they received a letter just four weeks ago from the Minister for Finance Ray MacSharry stating he was not convinced of the value of free ports. Minister for Communications Jim Mitchell told them that before anything could be done a national ports policy would have to be devised. The people of Rosslare are now shocked that their plans have been thrown aside. In what they see as a sinister political move, Cork has been given the free port status.
The free port, they say, was Rosslare's idea and the government ignored it. Then the British implemented it in seven ports and now the Irish government has given it to Cork because they have a political problem there.
For Rosslare, the biggest ports policy to be made in the country since the foundation of the state has been blown because it had to be given away as a political plumb.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 May 1984. The reporter is Michael Ryan.