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Written Answers. - Local Authority Meetings.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 413. Mr. M. Higgins Information on Michael D. Higgins Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Martin Cullen Zoom on Martin Cullen  if the principle of public access to meetings of local authorities applies to all such bodies to which local authorities nominate members; if this applies in the specific instance of the Corrib Navigation Trustees to which local authorities in the Corrib catchment area make appointments; if he will clarify such procedures which the latter operate. [24577/02]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): Information on Martin Cullen Zoom on Martin Cullen Section 45 of the Local Government Act, 2001, introduced a new right of public access to meetings of local authorities – city, county and town councils – restricting the right to meet in private. Regulations made under section 54 of that Act also permit public access to meetings of committees and joint committees of local authorities, subject to certain exclusions.

These provisions do not extend to other separate statutory bodies such as the Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees. My Department understands that meetings of the trustees are governed by their own standing orders which do not provide for public access.

My Department is not primarily involved in the administration of the Lough Corrib Navigation Act, 1945, and, consequently, cannot offer clarification on the extent of the area in which the trustees exercise functions or other such matters deriving from this legislation.


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