Galway city manager Joe O’ Neil is welcoming the recognition by Government of  Galway harbour’s potential to contribute to the local and regional economy.

The port will be placed within a local authority led-governance structure, but it’s yet to be established if this will be the city or county council or a combination of both.

The new national ports policy sets out a new direction for Galway harbour company, recognising its potential in areas such as off-shore energy and tourism.

In a statement, City Manager Joe O’ Neil says its too early to speculate on plans to transfer the Government’s shareholding in the harbour company as the necessary legislation is unlikely to be published before 2016.

The commercial mandate of the port will remain and will be expected to turn a profit, pay a dividend and will not receive Exchequer grants.