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Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Ulster Canal Project.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 10. Mr. Leonard Information on James Leonard Zoom on James Leonard  asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Information on Michael D. Higgins Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  the funding, if any, he has secured for the restoration of a portion of the Ulster Canal. [7973/96]

Mr. Carey: Information on Donal Carey Zoom on Donal Carey The position is as outlined in the reply to Question No. 39 from the Deputy on 14 February. No funds have yet been allocated for the restoration of the Ulster Canal.

[69] The allocation of funds to meet the Waterways Service share of the feasibility study, which it is proposed will be commissioned jointly by the Waterways Service and their counterparts in Northern Ireland, the Watercourse Management division of the Department of Agriculture, is still being actively pursued. I am hopeful of a satisfactory outcome.

Mr. Leonard: Information on James Leonard Zoom on James Leonard Does the Minister agree that the restoration of part of the Ulster Canal is central to a major cross-Border project and that time is running out in terms of funding? There is substantial funding at present. It is time a decision was made on this matter. A number of studies have been carried out, one of which was carried out two years ago. The Department has adequate information. All we want now is a bit of effort and funding.

Mr. Carey: Information on Donal Carey Zoom on Donal Carey I intend to see that this matter is progressed quickly.

Mr. Leonard: Information on James Leonard Zoom on James Leonard The Minister of State is in charge of the Border areas and will be meeting various groups and bodies. The EU audit service was critical in the past few years of the lack of substantial cross-Border projects other than the Ballinamore-Ballyconnell canal and said it would demand that there be substantial projects in the future and that there should be an uptake. Fifteen per cent of the peace and reconciliation allocation is to go to cross-Border projects, of which we have few. The Minister should pursue that. It is farcical that funding is being provided but none has yet been allocated.

Mr. Carey: Information on Donal Carey Zoom on Donal Carey It is a matter of agreement between two groups, one in Northern Ireland and one in the South. I will pursue the matter and see that it is expedited.

Mr. Leonard: Information on James Leonard Zoom on James Leonard I would like the Minister to give it his early attention because time is not on our side.


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