Tuesday, 2 November 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
I presume and hope the Deputy has made a submission to the plan because she has expressed some very good ideas there. The regional plan is meant to reflect all of the local ideas and it is genuinely a bottom-up process. I do not chair this plan but I chair four other ones and the Tánaiste chairs the Dublin one. The Minister of State, Deputy Troy, also chairs four. In all cases - in the plans I, the Minister of State, Deputy Troy, and the Tánaiste chair - we have taken the same approach. We have reached out for public consultation with all the stakeholders, namely, local authorities, chambers of commerce, anybody involved in business, the education system and existing companies which have ideas. This is very much meant to fund local ideas and initiatives.
I completely agree with the Deputy on the opportunity presented by seaweed. To make that happen, there has to be a very straightforward conversation involving the stakeholders who have a long tradition of harvesting the seaweed in a very sustainable way. It is about finding the right home for a seaweed strategy. Much research work has been carried out for the Project Ireland 2040 plan in regard to the marine, which I know the Deputy was involved in. I also attend the meetings on that. That strategy is in place and can lead to an opportunity for seaweed.
On the committee on wool, which is now up and running, it took a little bit of work to get that agreed with the Minister of State, Deputy Heydon, who brought it together. Again, it is trying to find a source, a market and a use for the wool. I am from that background and I know that years ago wool had a great value but now it does not. It is up to us, working regionally and locally, to find initiatives to make that happen. I have no doubt the Deputy made a submission and we can look at all the suggestions made by her.