Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Harbours and Piers Development
928. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason the breakwater at Greencastle Harbour, County Donegal, has been allowed to lie half-completed for several years; and if his Department funded and oversaw these works during the earlier construction phase. [2840/20]
Greencastle Harbour is owned by Donegal County Council and responsibility for its maintenance and development rests with that Local Authority in the first instance and its parent Department, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government thereafter.
My Department owns, operates and maintains six designated State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres, located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth, Killybegs and Ros An Mhíl under statute. In addition, my Department also has responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of North Harbour at Cape Clear, as well as the maintenance of a small number of specific piers, lights and beacons throughout Ireland, in accordance with the Marine Works (Ireland) Act 1902, and piers, lights and beacons constructed under the auspices of the Congested Districts Board.
As indicated, my legislative remit does not extend to Greencastle Harbour, and given that the ownership of, and overall responsibility for Greencastle Harbour rests with the County Council, it is the Council who will decide if it wishes to carry out any further development, repair or maintenance of Greencastle Harbour.
My Department co funded and project managed works on a larger Greencastle Harbour development programme up to 2011. In February 2012, my Department formally handed back the Greencastle Harbour Project to Donegal County Council, following completion of works to safeguard the breakwater development.
When Donegal County Council decide on the exact programme of works they wish to carry out, and the costing and timescale for those works, and notify their full intentions in this respect, the matter can be considered further in the context of future Government priorities.
My Department does provide limited funding to assist the 14 coastal Local Authorities in carrying out small scale projects for the development and repair of Local Authority owned piers, harbours and slipways under the annual Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, subject to available Exchequer funding and overall national priorities. Since 2010, Donegal County Council has received funding of €3.1m under this programme.
I have approved funding of €2.5m for the Local Authority element of my Department’s 2020 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme. A call for projects was issued to coastal local authorities on 20 February 2020, with the deadline for receipt of applications being 6 March 2020. Should any application be submitted by Donegal County Council in relation to Greencastle under this programme, it will be given due consideration, taking into account the terms and conditions of the scheme, the priority attached by the Council and available funds.