Tuesday, 21 July 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Harbours and Piers
501. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will review and reverse the decision of his predecessor not to continue with the almost €9 million of public money invested into the breakwater project adjoined to Greencastle Harbour, County Donegal to ensure that this project, abandoned at an incomplete stage, is now taken to fruition. [16643/20]
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 a result, 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 phase one of a larger Greencastle Harbour development programme up to 2011, which involved the construction of a rock breakwater. Phase one of this project was jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Donegal County Council. The agreed funding breakdown was: 75% to be paid by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 12.5% to be paid by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and 12.5% to be paid by Donegal County Council.
Funding of €8.35m was provided by my Department for this project between the years 2006 – 2010. Funding for capital projects was, of necessity, significantly reduced due to the economic conditions prevalent in 2010. Funding of €453,000 was provided for in my Department’s 2011 capital programme to enable the Department to suspend the project 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 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, and notify their full intentions in this respect, the matter can be considered further in the context of 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.
Funding of €3.1m has been approved 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 7 Harbour Development and 4 Marine Leisure projects. Of this funding, €90,000 has been allocated to repair works at Greencastle Harbour.