Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Waterways Ireland Funding
60. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if additional capital funding will be provided to Waterways Ireland in 2019 apart from the provision in the 2019 Estimates at present; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1764/19]
Waterways Ireland is responsible for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of 1,000 km of the inland navigable waterway system throughout the island, principally for recreational purposes, including the Lower Bann Navigation, the Erne System, the Shannon-Erne Waterway, the Shannon Navigation, the Grand Canal, the Royal Canal and the Barrow Navigation.
Waterways Ireland's work programmes are critical to providing a safe and high quality recreational environment for the public, whilst also preserving the industrial and environmental heritage of the waterways for future generations. These challenges must be balanced with its objective of increasing recreational activity across all our waterways.
Despite the many challenges of reduced resources which have been felt right across all publicly funded bodies, Waterways Ireland has continued to ensure the inland waterways have been developed and maintained.
The Estimates for 2019 provide for an allocation of €25,117,000for Waterways Ireland, made up of €20,737,000 in Current funding and €4,380,000 in Capital funding. This is an overall increase of €1,000,000 on the original 2018 allocation.
Capital funding has been increased by €800,000 from €3,580,000 in 2018 to €4,380,000in 2019.
The funding of Waterways Ireland for 2019 is for investment in the management, maintenance and development of the inland waterways under its control.
Any requests for additional funding from Waterways Ireland in 2019 can only be considered on their merits, taking into account the Organisation's strategic business objectives for the waterways network and the Estimates and annual budgetary processes.