(Salute to those who “Get up early in the Morning”)
From its starting point with the Vikings at today’s Parliament Street, Dublin Port moved downstream to accommodate ever-bigger ships to where the site now lies on some five hundred plus acres (more than the Phoenix Park). Its presence and knowledge of the major role it played in the city and country’s life faded over the centuries and for most, all that was left is the smell of the Liffey at low tide.
This became a major problem for the Port as various traffic plans for the growing city of Dublin omitted any mention of the facility and there was an almost adversarial relationship between the Port and the citizens of Dublin. The proposed further reclamation of lands in the Bay became a focal point for the ire of many whose ancestors had loved the Port.
The Official Opening of the Dublin Port Centre to the public is the culmination of a drive by management to reconnect the Port to the city. The unveiling of ‘The Ball’ by Dublin’s Lord Mayor in the presence of the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance surely crowns that relationship. Taoiseach Varadkar in his remarks referred to his time as Minister for Transport and how he had visited the Port in the early hours of the morning to find us all at work and of how much respect he had for those: “Who Got Up Early in the Morning”.
Transport is vital to an island country, it is something we all love but to our chagrin, the body politic is quite happy to ignore our needs and pander to vociferous minority interests. The Port’s management is to be congratulated by all in the transport industry who “Get up Early in the Morning” for we all benefit from their work of bringing the Port closer to the citizens of Dublin, it’s up to the rest of us to not drop ‘The Ball’.