Fresh concerns are being raised about the status of Dunmore East Harbour after an incident with a UK fishing vessel.
On Friday March 3rd, a UK-registered boat requested permission from the Irish authorities to enter the local harbour after suffering a mechanical problem.
However, the captain received a reply instructing them to go to Howth instead.
Despite this, the vessel entered Dunmore East, which they were much closer to, and subsequently got into trouble with the Irish authorities for doing so.
"Since Brexit, we've had ports designated in the Republic of Ireland. We've had Castletownbere designated, we've had Howth designated, and we've had Ros an Mhíl designated.
"Dingle and Dunmore East were overlooked.
"This has been causing problems for Dunmore East and for seafarers operating off our coast, especially British seafarers."
Councillor Fitzgerald has raised the issue with his Sinn Féin party leaders, who are now going to table a parliamentary question on the matter to the Minister with responsibility for the marine, Charlie McConalogue.
"Why was the vessel denied access and what happened afterwards?" are among the questions that the local representative says he wants answers to.
"The Irish authorities are using beurocracy to deny access to Dunmore East by British vessels.
"A lot of companies in Dunmore East depended on the British vessels; they landed their fish here up to the time of Brexit, they got their boats repaired, and that's all stopped.
"It's detrimental, basically, to the economy here in the South East."
There have been numerous calls for the harbour to be redesignated over the last few years, and when Minister McConologue visited almost two years ago, he indicated it was something he was seriously looking into.
"I don't know why Dunmore East has been overlooked," Councillor Fitzgerald continued, "because the Minister has had this on his desk since 2020.
"And in 2021, when he visited Dunmore East, he said he was actively considering it then and still nothing has happened."
For all your latest Waterford news and sport, click here.