Dáil debates

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Legislative Measures

11:00 am

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick County, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Waterways Ireland, as I said the last time, is the lead agency on this. That complicates it as well. Waterways Ireland is a cross-Border body. We are delighted that the Northern institutions are established. We analysed the powers that the agencies have. Some of them are derived from agreements that are enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement. It is not simply about creating a HSE for the Shannon and having the water go away. That is overly simplistic. Deputy Nolan knows from living in that area what the farmers, the boat people, the fishermen and the ESB are telling her. The ESB has a role. It conducts measurements of the river every day. Waterways Ireland has a role regarding the minimum level of water that needs to be in the river for navigation purposes. We did not have a problem this year with navigation because it was the wettest July on record and it will probably continue. We need an honest conversation around the very point that the Deputy has raised, which is about the sustainability of how we make our communities interact with that river, given that it moves so slowly and covers such an expanse when it floods.


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