Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Harbours and Piers
755. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount invested into the breakwater project adjoined to Greencastle Harbour, County Donegal; the reason this incomplete project was stalled; and when the large investment to date will be justified by the completion of the breakwater. [11192/20]
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, in conjunction with Donegal County Council and the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, co-funded phase one of a larger Greencastle Harbour development programme up to 2011, which involved the construction of a rock breakwater.
Funding of €8.35m was provided by my Department for this project between the years 2006 – 2010. As a result of prevailing economic conditions at the time, funding for capital projects was, of necessity, significantly reduced, limiting the monies available to the co-funding agencies for the project. Funding of €453,000 was provided in my Department’s 2011 capital programme to enable the project to be suspended in a safe and acceptable manner. In February 2012, my Department formally handed back responsibility for the Greencastle Harbour Project to Donegal County Council, following the completion of works to safeguard the partially constructed breakwater.
When Donegal County Council decide on the exact programme of works they wish to carry out, and the costing and timescale for those works, the matter can be considered further in the context of Government priorities and programmes.
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, with €335,155 of this funding having been allocated towards works at Greencastle Harbour.
I have approved funding of €3.1m for the Local Authority element of my Department’s 2020 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme. Donegal County Council has secured funding of €433,500 under this programme, to undertake work on seven Harbour Development and four Marine Leisure projects. Of this funding, €90,000 has been allocated to repair works at Greencastle Harbour.