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 Header Item Health Service Executive (Financial Matters) Bill 2013: Second Stage (Continued)
 Header Item Topical Issue Matters
 Header Item Topical Issue Debate
 Header Item Heritage Projects

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 830 No. 3

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin] If that is the case, it is disgraceful. It is the elected representatives of the people in this House, not journalistic recipients of leaks, who should receive that information in the first instance.

This is essentially a technical Bill, which may well be a piece in a jigsaw. If so, it remains a puzzle to me as I cannot yet see a picture. If the Minister has such a picture, it is long past time that he made it known to the Opposition spokespersons on health.

Debate adjourned.

Topical Issue Matters

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt I wish to advise the House of the following matters in respect of which notice has been given under Standing Order 27A and the name of the Member in each case: (1) Deputy Timmy Dooley - the need to provide funding for the upgrade of Kilrush Marina in County Clare;

(2) Deputy Dan Neville - the increasing risk of Lyme Disease here;

(3) Deputy Derek Nolan - the impact of a further increase of carbon tax;

(4) Deputies Kevin Humphreys, Joan Collins, Seán Kyne and Éamon Ó Cuív - the need to prevent the destruction of heritage vessel, Naomh Eanna;

(5) Deputy Paul J. Connaughton - the lack of consultation period in relation to the closure Barnaderg Post Office, Tuam, County Galway;

(6) Deputy Gerald Nash - the need to enhance the number of courses available in Solas, Drogheda;

(7) Deputy Patrick O'Donovan - the need to review practices which currently prevent landowners and local authorities from removing debris and solid material from rivers, streams and drains;

(8) Deputy Martin Ferris - the use of the Local Government Fund to subvent Irish Water;

(9) Deputy Clare Daly - the need to address the issue of Margaretta D'Arcy's imprisonment;

(10) Deputy Mick Wallace - the need to address the issue of Margaretta D'Arcy's imprisonment;

(11) Deputy Billy Kelleher - the measures that will be taken to assist those impacted by recent storms;

(12) Deputy Robert Troy - changes to the housing adaption grant for the elderly;

(13) Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl - changes to the housing adaption grant for the elderly;

and (14) Deputy Dessie Ellis - the effects of the loss of the training allowance on the Traveller community.

  The matters raised by Deputies Kevin Humphreys, Joan Collins, Seán Kyne and Éamon Ó Cuív; Patrick O'Donovan; and Paul J. Connaughton have been selected for discussion.

Topical Issue Debate

Heritage Projects

Deputy Kevin Humphreys: Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys The Minister of State, Deputy Fergus O'Dowd, will be aware of media reports this week on a proposal by Waterways Ireland to dismantle the Naomh Éanna. I have been contacted on this issue by a number of people in my constituency. The Naomh Éanna was built in the Liffey shipyards in Dublin in 1956 and operated by CIE as the ferry to the Aran Islands from 1958 until 1988. Throughout that period, the vessel failed to sail on only eight occasions.

  The Minister of State may be aware of a similar ship, the MV Cill Airne, which has been beautifully restored and operates as a restaurant and bar on the River Liffey adjacent to the convention centre. The Naomh Éanna has lain in disrepair in the Grand Canal Basin for several years. As one of the last ships built in this country using rivets, it is part of our maritime and industrial heritage and it would be a terrible shame if we lost it. I ask for a six month grace period to be provided to allow the Naomh Éanna Trust to produce a business plan for restoring the vessel. It could then be left in the Grand Canal Basin or moved to the River Liffey or Galway Harbour as it has historical links with all three locations. If done successfully, the project would provide a great model for the restoration of other vessels. I call for a six month stay on the proposal by Waterways Ireland.

Deputy Joan Collins: Information on Joan Collins Zoom on Joan Collins Having heard about this case in media reports, I subsequently received an e-mail on the issue from Sam Field-Corbett. I, too, call for a six month reprieve to allow some time for interested parties to produce a plan for the restoration of the Naomh Éanna. Mr. Field-Corbett, with whom I spoke briefly, notes in his e-mail to me that the Naomh Éanna is an iconic vessel and one of the last riveted ships built in the world. She retains many of her original fittings and machinery and, according to Mr. Field-Corbett, her ingénue will never again be seen as she represents an era of the nation's industrial heritage which people have long forgotten. Ownership issues have meant she has remained unattainable since 1986. Waterways Ireland could dismantle and put her in dry dock very quickly as local councillors and members of the community have unsuccessfully sought a reprieve for the vessel.

  If restored, the Naomh Éanna could be an asset to the local community in the inner city and could also be used for tourism purposes. I understand the National Asset Management Agency and the Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication Company have expressed an interest in stepping in with an investment plan to restore her to her former beauty. It would be a great loss to Dublin and the nation if the vessel were dismantled.

Deputy Seán Kyne: Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne Ba mhaith liom cuidiú leis an méid atá ráite ag mo chomhghleacaithe maidir leis an Naomh Éanna. Tá seans againn fós an bád stairiúil seo a shábháil ar son na nglúnta atá le teacht. Tá an Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication Company ag iarraidh stop a chur leis an mbriseadh suas. Tá sé i gceist ag an ngrúpa seo plean gnó a chur le chéile.

  I concur with the remarks of previous speakers on the proposal to dismantle the Naomh Éanna. I ask the Minister of State to ensure the vessel is granted a reprieve from the breaker's yard. The boat is not in good condition and I am not sure if it is safe. It should be brought to dry dock and a reprieve granted to allow various parties sufficient time to put together a business plan to save it. The Naomh Éanna is one of the last riveted ships built anywhere in the world. I would love to see it docked in Galway Harbour, Inis Mór or elsewhere. It would be great for tourism and locals. I join my colleagues in calling for a reprieve.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív Bá mhaith liom cur leis an méid atá ráite ag na Teachtaí eile. Ba cheart an bád seo a shábháil. Níl a fhios agam an bhfuil éinne eile sa Teach i láthair na huaire a sheol ar an mbád.

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Fergus O'Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd Sheol mé uirthi blianta fada ó shin.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív Sheol mé uirthi roinnt mhaith uaireanta. Níl a fhios agam ar éirigh leis an Aire Stáit ariamh dul síos go dtí an áit ina raibh an t-inneall agus síos go dtí an áit ina mbíodh an captaen. Seanbhád den seandéanamh ar fad a bhí ann, ní hamháin ón dthaobh conas mar a tógadh í ón taobh amuigh, ach freisin ó thaobh conas mar a stiúrtaí í ar an taobh istigh. Bhí sí ar an seandéanamh. Buíochas le Dia go bhfuil bád i bhfad níos fearr ag dul go hÁrainn anois. Caithfinn é sin a rá. Is údar sásamh é gur tháinig na céanna ar fad a thógamar ar na hoileáin, Inis Bó Finne ina measc, slán as na stoirmeacha go dtí seo.

Is cuid de stair na n-oileán é an bád seo. Is cuid de stair Bhaile Átha Cliath é, ar ndóigh, ós rud é gur tógadh an bád sa chathair. Bíodh muid ag argóint cá bhfágfar an bád nuair a bheidh sé sábháilte. Ní thiocfaidh mé isteach in aon argóint i láthair na huaire idir Baile Átha Cliath agus Gaillimh. Creidim gur scéal do lá éigin eile é sin. Cén fáth nach féidir an bád a chur isteach ar thalamh tirim agus fanacht ar feadh dhá mhí le féachaint an bhfuil dream éigin sásta caoi a chur uirthi agus moltaí foirfe a chur ar aghaidh gan aon chostas don Stát? Tá mé ag súil le freagra stuama a fháil ar an gceist sin. Ní fheicim ciall ná réasún leis an rud atá á rá - go gcaithfear an bád a bhriseadh láithreach. Tuigim go gcaithfear é a chur ar thalamh tirim réasúnta luath. Tá sé ina luí ansin ar feadh na mblianta fada. Tarlaíonn an rud céanna i gcás go leor rudaí sa tír seo. Is féidir rud a fhágáil ar feadh i bhfad, ach go tobann deirtear go gcaithfear rud éigin a dhéanamh faoi amárach. Tá an bád sin ann ó tháinig na báid nua go hÁrainn. Caithfidh gur féidir é a fhágáil ar thalamh tirim ar feadh dhá mhí eile. Feicimid céard a tharlóidh ina dhiaidh sin.

Deputy Fergus O'Dowd: Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil leis na Teachtaí a chur an díospóireacht seo faoi bhráid na Dála. Tuigim na fadhbanna atá luaite acu. Glacaim leis go bhfuil cúis an-mhaith ann go bhfuil díospóireacht anseo ar an ábhar seo. Tá mé ag caint anseo thar ceann an Aire. Níl sé anseo. Ní féidir liom níos mó a dhéanamh ag an bpointe seo ach an freagra a léamh. B'fhéidir go mbeimid in ann cruinniú a eagrú idir an Roinn, na Teachtaí agus oifigigh eile ina dhiaidh sin chun níos mó plé a dhéanamh ar an gceist.

  I thank the Deputies for raising this matter, which I am taking on behalf of the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Phil Hogan, who is unavoidably absent. I acknowledge the geographical diversity of the areas the Deputies represent and the sincerity of the views they expressed. Following this discussion, it may be useful for all of us to meet to discuss what solution, if any, can be found for this problem.

  The Naomh Éanna was built by the Liffey Dockyard and launched in the late 1950s. Until 1988, it served as the Galway to Aran Island ferry. I travelled on it a long time ago on my first trip to the Aran Islands agus bhí sé suas agus síos. The vessel was purchased by the Irish Nautical Trust and moored at Grand Canal Dock in 1989 when it could no longer meet the health and safety requirements to operate as a passenger carrying vessel.


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