This report is from a Belfast newspaper, and across the border in Northern Ireland, an area which had a financial interest in seeing this port reopened.
Notice that Eire Customs are in charge and moving into an office at Greenore, which they abandoned "about 12 years ago". That was when the cargo service was terminated at the Port of Greenore, but the passenger ferry service had been terminated long before that.
The last train left Greenore at the close of 1951 and gradually everything at Greenore, including its hotel had been abandoned. Into this void stepped Weatherwell Ltd of Clondalkin near Dublin.
This company received government-backed loans to buy various properties with a view to creating a new manufacturing plant at Greenore, after demolishing the existing structures. That did not happen.
Then Bernard Rafferty (who we have highlighted in earlier editions of this Blog), stepped in and began beating a drum and drawing attention to the economic plight of Dundalk and Greenore. It was Bernard Rafferty who got the ball rolling by highlighting the poor state of roads that linked the Republic of Ireland with Northern Ireland. He also noted the diminished railway system and the closed port at Greenore.
After the Dáil had debated (as far back as April 23, 1958), the question of whether the loans taken out by Weatherwell Ltd could be used for another purpose (see this Blog for 9/18/2020), and then given the okay, a way was clear to use that money to establish new dockside fixtures at Greenore. Then the port could be reopened to commercial traffic, rather than being restricted to Weatherwell Ltd.
To accomplish this, Weatherwell Ltd had to allow the Irish Customs to return and use property now owned by Weatherwell Ltd., and also get the backing of Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ). As previously noted, this entity originally gained power under the Transport Act of 1932. Then CIÉ was able to compulsorily acquire the road haulage business that competed with that part of the Great Northern Railway which operated within the Republic, but it was not until 1958 that CIÉ gained control of that part of the Great Northern Railway as well. That was the same year that the Dáil approved the use of loans given to Weatherwell Ltd., to be used for purposes other than those originally stated. Within approximately two years from that date a new Master Plan was conceived and put into play with very little new money.
To add any additional value to its property purchases at Greenore, Weatherwell Ltd needed a contract with CIÉ and the services of Irish Customs. Bringing all of that together was Bernard Rafferty who became an increasingly important man in the life of Aodogán O'Rahilly who was the managing director of Weatherwell Ltd.
Following years of disappointing commercial downturns and investments in properties at Greenore that had little commercial value at the time, this new venture had the hallmarks of turning around the fortunes of Weatherwell Ltd., and Aodogán O'Rahilly personally.
Other writers have not attempted to untangle this complicated series of events, but they have carelessly thrown around terms which make it appear that Aodogán O'Rahilly had thought out his future and the future of Greenore from the word "go". Such was not the case, and in mid-1960 the beginning of the end of disappointments was now dawning for the O'Rahilly family.
While CIÉ and Irish Customs put their seal of approval on the reopening of the Port of Greenore, and the re-appropriation of funds allowed Weatherwell Ltd to install new infrastructure on the site of the old railway station, the business necessary to make it all work came from across the border in Northern Ireland.
We will explain that link tomorrow, because it relates to the future creation of Radio Caroline, four years later.