Answered on June 18, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the legal position regarding public access and fishing rights as they apply to naturally occurring lakes here.
Reply from Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Fergus O’Dowd (pictured): Ownership of fishery rights, as distinct from ownership of the bed and soil of a river or lake, is a property right set out in relevant title or other relevant documents. In consequence, as the Deputy will appreciate, the complexity of the ownership of fishing rights means that the position varies from lake to lake. The owners of fishing rights and their agents have a right to reasonable access. The allocation of the right to fish is a matter for those who own fishing rights on particular lakes or rivers. In some instances ownership of fishing rights, going back significantly in time, is fragmented and can be ambiguous, with some lakes being in State ownership and some in private ownership. My Department has no role in the allocation of privately owned fishing rights, or in investigating fishery right title.
Some fishing rights are clearly identified property rights and are ‘rated fisheries’ whereby the fishery owner pays an annual rate (similar to a commercial rate) to the State via Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) – in these instances the fishery would normally be identified on their property title. There are other lakes where the fishing rights are owned by the riparian property owners.
IFI is working with my Department on a major project to modernise, consolidate and simplify the law pertaining to inland fisheries. The review of legislation is currently at the public consultation stage and my Department will be examining proposals improving access to waters as part of this process as well as seeking to clarify, in as far as possible, the issue of ownership of fishing rights.
A key objective of this process is to put in place the legislative basis to allow IFI to develop the potential of the sector, mainly by increasing the number of anglers utilising the resource, empowering stakeholders to take an active role in the development of the resource and to maximise the returns from the inland fisheries resource to local communities and the State.
Answered on June 11, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding Waterford Airport Company has received from his Department under the capital expenditure grant scheme in each of the past eight years, 2013 inclusive.
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding Waterford Airport Company has received from his Department under the regional airports operational expenditure subvention scheme in each of the past eight years, 2013 inclusive.
Reply by Minister Leo Varadkar: (I propose to take Questions Nos 1093 and 1094 together.) Exchequer funding provided to Waterford Airport under the capital expenditure grant (Capex) scheme and under the operational expenditure subvention (Opex) scheme from 2006 to date is set out in the following table:
Answered on June 11, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the total amount of grant aid his Department has historically allocated for works, including construction and land acquisition costs, specifically relating to the Waterford Airport Road, which is designated as a strategic non-national route.
Reply from by Minister Leo Varadkar: The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993. Works on such roads are a matter, for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.
Waterford County Council was provided with a total of €11,085,091 towards the R708 Airport Road between 2003 and 2009.
Answered on May 28, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport funding his Department has granted for tourism initiatives in Tramore, County Waterford, and to which local organisations or bodies, in each of the past five years.
Reply from Minister Leo Varadkar: The matter raised is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland. I have referred the Deputy's question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply. Please contact my private office if a reply is not received within ten working days.
Answered on May 28, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the intended transfer in trust of Mount Congreve Gardens in County Waterford to the State will take place; the reason for the non completion in discussions between the Office of Public Works and the Congreve Foundation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Reply from Minister of State Brian Hayes: The house and gardens at Mount Congreve are currently under the care of the Mount Congreve Trust. The Mount Congreve Trust consists of three Trustees including the Commissioners of Public Works. The remaining two Trustees represent the Congreve Foundation and were appointed by Mr. Congreve. The Trust period for the gardens commenced upon the death of Mr Congreve in May 2011 and will expire in May 2032. The Mansion House will remain in the hands of the Trust until 2059. Only upon the expiration of these Trust periods will the properties revert to the ownership of the State. The Commissioners of Public Works, in their role as Trustee, have been in discussions with the other Trustees as to the future management of the Trust properties. While these discussions are ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further.
Tuesday, 23rd April, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide a breakdown of those groups in County Waterford that have been granted Exchequer funding specifically set aside for The Gathering to date; and the amount that has been approved in each instance.
Minister Leo Varadkar passed PQ to Fáilte Ireland for answer (a listing of all ‘Gatherings’ in Waterford City and County that have been approved for funding - total €60,000 - provided as follows):
Tuesday, 5 March, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide funding for urgent improvements to the harbour slipway at Dunmore East, County Waterford, in view of the importance of this work being carried out before the summer.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney: The harbour at Dunmore East is one of the six designated Fishery Harbour Centres which are owned, managed and maintained by my Department. Funding is made available on an annual basis by my Department to the Fishery Harbour Centres, including Dunmore East, via the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Capital Development Programme. The allocation of funding for projects within the 2013 Programme is currently under consideration for each of the Fishery Harbour Centres.
::: Minister Leo Varadkar
Tuesday, 19 February, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the tourism-specific funding programmes that are likely to be available under the new EU Multiannual Financial Framework, 2014-2020.
Reply from Minister Leo Varadkar: As the Deputy will be aware, responsibility in relation to the European Union's overall Multi-Annual Financial Framework for the period 2014 to 2020 is a matter for my colleague the Minister for Finance in the first instance.
On the 7/8th February, political agreement was reached on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2014 to 2020. This is the first step in terms of overall agreement which will now require the consent of the European Parliament. The political agreement on the budget includes overall expenditure ceilings for various overarching subheads. The agreed Framework does not give a detailed breakdown of financial allocations for smaller programmes and sector specific allocations for areas such as tourism will depend on the more detailed negotiations under the various legislative acts covered by the MFF package.
In terms of our position in these discussions, obviously it is our view that tourism as a highly important sector at national and EU level should be appropriately recognised in the specific sectoral programmes. Our priority will continue to be that any future tourism measures at EU level should be clearly additional to national efforts and should have a clear impact on the tourism industry here.
It is likely that tourism can benefit from a range of different EU programmes, with rural development (which is a matter for my colleague the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine) likely to be of particular benefit to tourism in Ireland.
Other possible areas which may support tourism include regional and employment measures and also a proposed programme for the competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (the so called COSME proposal), which may include some tourism-specific measures and for which my colleague the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is primarily responsible. Our position is that we will look at all tourism measures under the MFF in the round and ensure that all appropriate opportunities to benefit the Irish tourism industry are availed of.
Tuesday, 5 February, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide an update on her plans to introduce in 2013 a community employment-type scheme to assist councils in the upkeep of the country’s rural roads network; and if she intends to expedite such a scheme in view of the numbers of tourists expected to travel on Irish roads during The Gathering.
Written reply from Minister Joan Burton: The Government, as part of the Budget package for 2013 announced a number of initiatives focused on providing work opportunities for those currently unemployed. The key elements of this package are to add an additional 2,500 places to JobBridge; 2,000 places on community employment; 2,500 to Tús – the community work placement initiative – and the development of a new initiative with local authorities to provide 3,000 opportunities in 2013. This is in line with the commitments set out in the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work.
The design of the local authority initiative and the nature of work to be undertaken will be determined by local authorities with the input of a range of stakeholders, including those bodies responsible for the delivery of other schemes funded by the Department of Social Protection. Development work on this new initiative has commenced with the local authorities and I hope to be a position to agree a number of pilot projects to inform the design of this important initiative in the coming weeks.
Dáil Éireann allocates a certain amount of time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during which Deputies may ask questions of Members of the Government relating to Public Affairs connected with their Departments, or on matters of administration for whch they are officially responsible. The Taoiseach answers questions on his own Department on Tuesdays/Wednesdays.