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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 51-69
 Header Item Waterways Ireland Funding
 Header Item Departmental Policy Reviews
 Header Item Heritage Sites
 Header Item Arts Funding
 Header Item Special Amenity Areas
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Capital Expenditure Programme
 Header Item Wildlife Conservation
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge
 Header Item Abbey Theatre
 Header Item Údarás na Gaeltachta
 Header Item Cultural Policy
 Header Item Ulster Canal Restoration Project
 Header Item Arts Council
 Header Item Commemorative Events
 Header Item Pleanáil Teanga

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 988 No. 7

First Page Previous Page Page of 67 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 51-69

Waterways Ireland Funding

 51. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the capital funding allocated to Waterways Ireland for 2019; the projected expenditure at year end; the proposed allocation for 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45437/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan Waterways Ireland is responsible for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of 1,000 km of the inland navigable waterway system throughout the island, principally for recreational purposes, including the Lower Bann Navigation, the Erne System, the Shannon-Erne Waterway, the Shannon Navigation, the Grand Canal, the Royal Canal and the Barrow Navigation.

Waterways Ireland is co-funded by my Department and the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland. The current expenditure of the body is funded 85% by my Department and 15% by the Department for Infrastructure which reflects the distribution of the navigable waterways in each jurisdiction. Capital expenditure is funded 100% in the jurisdiction in which the capital works are carried out. In addition to this, development work has been sustained through attracting third part investment from a wide range of sources

Waterways Ireland's work programmes are critical to providing a safe and high quality recreational environment for the public, whilst also preserving the industrial and environmental heritage of the waterways for future generations, balanced with the objective of increasing recreational activity across all our waterways.

The amount of capital funding allocated to Waterways Ireland from my Department's Vote for 2019 is €4,380,000 - an increase of €800,000 on the 2018 allocation.

Waterways Ireland anticipates spending the full allocation by year end.

The Estimates for 2020 provide for an allocation of €25,663,000 for Waterways Ireland, made up of €21,283,000 in Current funding and €4,380,000 in Capital funding. This is an overall increase of €546,000 on the 2019 allocation.

  Question No. 52 answered with Question No. 44.

Departmental Policy Reviews

 53. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the status of the draft national policy for architecture and the built environment. [44974/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan My Department is currently preparing a discussion document for consultation on a new National Policy on Architecture and I intend to launch the public consultation phase in the coming weeks. This open consultation process will allow plenty of opportunity for all communities, stakeholders and citizens to have their say. We will invite online and written submissions, and social media engagement, alongside a series of workshops and meetings to allow the public to become involved in the drafting of the new policy. It will also include engagement with key bodies and organisations representing those working in the area to ensure their views are heard.

The discussion document for the consultation phase was prepared by my officials of my Department in close consultation with a committee representing the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Department of Education and Skills, the Office of Public Works, the Health Service Executive, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, the schools of architecture and the Irish Architecture Foundation. It will illustrate, and seek comments on, the main ways in which architecture and our built environment affect society, our health and wellbeing and our ability to prosper. These include climate adaptation and mitigation and sustainable development, the benefits for everyone of obtaining high quality in the built environment, the protection and reuse of our built heritage, ways we can demonstrate built environment leadership and the need to foster education about our built environment.

The Policy will be informed by the feedback we receive from the consultation phase as well as by a review of the previous policy, which placed an emphasis on sustainable development of the environment and urban design, incorporating architectural heritage in a holistic integrated manner, and supporting high quality modern architecture. The final report will be prepared in 2020.

It is my intention that a new National Policy on Architecture will play an integral part in implementing the Project Ireland 2040 vision, providing policy actions that will encourage best quality in researching, understanding, managing, enhancing and reusing our existing built environment assets as well as delivering sustainable new places and spaces.

Heritage Sites

 54. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the degree to which she can maximise the use of national heritage sites for educational and tourism purposes while ensuring the protection of sites involved and their integrity in line with national and international trends; if this will include castles or heritage houses currently endangered; if European heritage grant schemes can be availed of in this context; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45450/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I thank the Deputy for his ongoing interest in my Department's efforts to conserve, present and promote the unique range of cultural and heritage assets, both natural and built, that Ireland is fortunate enough to possess and that do so much to provide enjoyment and amenities for our people, to sustain and create identities for our communities and to generate tourism interest in our country throughout the world.

My replies to the Deputy's previous Question No. 65 on 16 January 2019, Questions Nos. 216, 217 and 220 on 10 April 2019 and Question No. 31 on 19 September 2019 provide a good insight into the work being done by my Department in this area and especially in relation to National Monuments.

My reply to Question No. 33 on 19 September 2019 highlighted the work being done in relation to our National Parks, including investment in Wild Nephin-Ballcroy National Park and Connemara National Park. It also referred to over 30 ongoing projects funded under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF).

My Department frequently liaises with other relevant bodies and agencies on an ongoing basis to determine what potential projects could benefit from available funding schemes such as the RRDF, and Fáilte Ireland programmes. EU programmes are also considered as potential contributors to the enhancement, use and protection of Ireland’s heritage, taking into account the suitability and relevance of the recommended projects and timelines for such programmes.

My Department’s Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) assists the repair and conservation of protected structures - in public and private ownership - on the local authority Record of Protected Structures. It is designed to leverage private capital for investment in small-scale conservation projects and to support the employment of skilled conservation professionals and tradespeople. I allocated funding of €2.5m for the BHIS in 2019. The Historic Structures Fund (formerly the Structures at Risk Fund) is for larger conservation works to such protected structures. I allocated €1.824m for the HSF in 2019. Both the BHIS and the HSF are administered through the local authorities. Details of the 2020 schemes will be announced in the coming days. The Heritage Council, which my Department funds, also provides grants for the protection and preservation of the built heritage. The types of structures referred to in the Deputy’s question would have the potential to be covered under such schemes.

As the representative for the World Heritage Convention on behalf of Ireland, my Department is responsible for the submission of nomination documentation to UNESCO for inclusion of properties on the World Heritage (WH) List. Opening the 2020 Tentative List for WH earlier this year, the National Monuments Service has been working closely with Local Authorities and Stakeholders to guide the application process and subsequent preparation for eventual WH nomination, which includes the long term conservation and protection of such sites and the promotion of their national and international interest. Inclusion on the Tentative List is an opportunity for statutory, voluntary and community organisations to take stock of the naturally and culturally significant heritage resources in their locality.

Arts Funding

 55. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the funding allocated to the Arts Council in each of the years 2017 to 2019; the projected funding for 2020; if her attention has been drawn to comments from the arts community (details supplied) that the provision of funding is disappointingly low and will negatively impact on artists; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45451/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan The table below shows the funding allocated to the Arts Council in each of the four years 2017 to 2020.

Year Arts Council Allocation
2017 €65m
2018 €68m
2019 €75m
2020 €80m


  The 2020 allocation to the Arts Council represents an increase of 6.7% for the Council. I am satisfied that this is a significant increase given that Budget 2020 has been framed in the context of the economic uncertainty relating to Brexit. Additional funding for our arts and culture, at a time of prudent budgetary management reflects the Government’s continued commitment to supporting Irish arts and artists. The Per Cent for Arts Scheme and the extension of the Social Welfare Scheme for Self Employed Artists in conjunction with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection announced earlier is further proof of our commitment.

Special Amenity Areas

 56. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan if she will report on conservation measures in the special amenity wilderness areas of the Howth peninsula; and if further consideration is being given to designating this unique landscape and topography as a national park. [45359/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan With regard to my Department's function and remit, there is no such designation as a Special Amenity Wilderness Area. However, I understand that in 1999 the local authority, as part of the Planning and Development Act, designated Howth peninsula a “special amenity area”. Accordingly, the Deputy would need to refer this part of his question to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

Nevertheless, the area the Deputy refers to is designated as both a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area (Howth Head SAC and Howth Head Coast SPA) and as such is afforded statutory protections in respect of developments within the designated areas in line with all such conservation areas nationally.

As previously outlined to the Deputy in my response to his parliamentary question no 8549/19 earlier this year, my Department has no plans to create a national park in the wilderness area of Howth. As I already indicated, all Irish National Parks are fully state owned and meet category II of the IUCN standard for national parks. There is a minimum size associated with such designations and it is unlikely that this area would qualify.

Departmental Funding

 57. Deputy Pat Deering Information on Patrick Deering Zoom on Patrick Deering asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the funding that has been provided to arts and culture centres in counties Carlow and Kilkenny; the capital investment that will be available in the coming years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45365/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan The table below shows the funding provided by my Department to arts and culture centres in counties Carlow and Kilkenny since 2016.

Organisation County Grant allocated Year
Carlow Arts Centre Ltd Carlow 20,000 2017
Eigse Carlow Arts Festival Carlow 13,228 2017
Carlow Arts Centre (VISUAL) Carlow €10,000 2015
The Watergate Theatre Kilkenny 81,858 2016
Rothe House Trust Kilkenny 5,806 2017
Blackstack Studios Kilkenny €3,277 2015
The Butler Gallery Kilkenny €10,000 2015
Watergate Theatre Kilkenny €6,354 2015
Kilkenny County Council (re Butler Gallery) Kilkenny €2,000,000 2008


  I am also pleased to state that I have just announced a new €4.7m capital investment funding scheme for arts and culture centres across the country. Applications are now open for the Cultural Capital Scheme which will run from 2019-2022 and focus on enhancing the existing stock of arts and culture centres throughout the country. It will also prioritise carbon footprint reduction in line with the Government’s action on climate change. Projects that provide additional capacity for artists and artistic production particularly in arts centres will also be favoured. The Scheme builds on the success of the former Arts and Culture Capital Scheme 2016-2018 which saw 134 organisations in 26 counties receive funding to refurbish and enhance their arts and culture facilities. The funding is part of my Department’s commitment to a €40m capital investment in local arts and culture infrastructure nationwide contained in Project Ireland 2040 “Investing in our Culture, Language & Heritage 2018-2027.

  Applications are being invited under three separate Streams as set out below.

* Stream A   will offer grants up to €50,000 for small enhancement/expansion/ refurbishment projects which may involve construction works to arts and culture facilities and/or upgrading of equipment.   

* Stream B   will offer grants from €50,000 up to €300,000 for larger enhancement /expansion/ refurbishment projects involving construction works to arts and culture facilities.

* Stream C   will be a separate scheme aimed at the upgrading of visual artists’ workspaces. Applications for this Stream will be invited separately.

  Further information on the Streams A & B of the Cultural Capital Scheme 2019 – 2022 are available on my Department’s website at https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/creative-arts/grants-and-funding/.   

Capital Expenditure Programme

 58. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the details of each State infrastructure project that is in development or is due for completion in 2019 in which it is in excess of the budget assigned to the project for its current stage to date. [39522/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan My Department has been allocated nearly €1.2 billion in capital expenditure over the course of the National Development Plan, 2018-2027, as part of Project Ireland 2040. To direct this investment, my Department has developed a detailed sectoral investment plan, Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage, which sets the high-level, strategic capital priorities for the Department from 2018 to 2027. This plan involves three types of investment activity; capital investment and infrastructure programmes, capital grant schemes and major capital projects.

  The plan provides for an allocation of:

  - €725 million towards enhancing our cultural infrastructure, incorporating,

  - A €460 million investment in our National Cultural Institutions and,

  - €265 million for a national Culture and Creativity Investment Programme;

  - €285 million towards a heritage investment programme; and,

  - €178 million towards investment in our language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands.

  Major capital projects under the National Cultural Institutions programme of the plan are appraised, planned, implemented and evaluated in line with the Public Spending Code and best practice guidance outlined in the Capital Works Management Framework published by the Office of Government Procurement.

  While the majority of these capital projects are moving through the appraisal stage, we are currently providing support for two major capital projects: a four-year redevelopment of the National Library of Ireland involving the upgrading of the East and West Wings of the Library, and the provision of secure environmentally-controlled archival repository at the National Archives. The projects are being carried out by the Office of Public Works in partnership with the National Library of Ireland and the National Archives.

  The first phase of the National Library of Ireland redevelopment project, comprising the development of a new book repository in the East Wing of the Library comprising 4,700 linear metres of storage and the movement of 350,000 volumes, was completed in June. The final outturn for phase 1 of the National Library of Ireland project is currently being prepared.

  Enabling works to prepare for the construction work at the National Archives were completed in June. It is intended to undertake the tender for the National Archives Repository Redevelopment in the coming months.

  My Department is also progressing a range of other initiatives under the other two strands of investment activity (grant schemes and investment programmes) which are delivering improved cultural, heritage and linguistic infrastructure and investment to communities across Ireland. These other initiatives currently underway include the investment in new trails and way paths across our network of National Parks and Nature Reserves, delivery of local arts and cultural facility enhancements under the Arts and Culture Capital Scheme, and the upgrading of community and childcare facilities in Gaeltacht areas. Partnership and collaboration are core principles underpinning these and other initiatives under the programme, and the Department is currently working with the Heritage Council, Waterways Ireland, Screen Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Fáilte Ireland and local authorities to deliver on its investment programme.‘

  Question No. 59 answered with Question No. 30.

Wildlife Conservation

 60. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the steps she has taken on foot of the recommendations from the Curlew task force; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45507/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I refer the Deputy to my reply to her earlier Priority Question No. 19.

Departmental Funding

 61. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin Information on Fiona O'Loughlin Zoom on Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the status of the refurbishment of a centre (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45337/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan The centre to which the Deputy refers was awarded a significant capital grant for the enhancement and refurbishment of this cultural venue in 2017. This grant was awarded under the Arts and Culture Capital scheme 2016-2018.

Officials in my Department are in active correspondence with the project developers in relation to the progress on the project, which is currently at planning and tendering stage. As with all capital grants from my Department, the allocation is managed under a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the project promoter. The SLA sets out a number of conditions around the management of the project including the period of time for drawdown of grant.

Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge

 62. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan cén teagmháil a bhí aici leis an Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna nó leis an Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna i dtaobh na n-athruithe ar an díolúine ón nGaelainn sna scoileanna; cén éifeacht a bheadh ag an gcéanna ar an Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [45418/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Seán Kyne): Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne Is faoin Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna amháin atá sé na critéir a leagan síos maidir le díolúine ó staidéar na Gaeilge.

  Is straitéis thras-Rialtais í an Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010-2030 a bhfuil an fhreagracht ar an Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta i ndáil lena feidhmiú a chomhordú i gcomhar le páirtithe leasamhara. Níl aon ról, dá réir, agamsa mar Aire Stáit don Ghaeilge, don Ghaeltacht agus do na hOileáin maidir leis an ábhar.

  Chuaigh an Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna i gcomhairle le mo Roinn sa ghnáth bhealach i dtaca leis an gceist seo, mar a rinneadh leis na ranna Rialtais go léir, tríd Mheamran don Rialtas i mí na Samhna 2018.

Abbey Theatre

 63. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan her plans and the proposed timeline for the renovation of the Abbey Theatre; the funding allocated to the theatre arising from budget 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45456/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan In April last year, I launched my Department's sectoral Plan - Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 – 2027 in which the Abbey Theatre's redevelopment project is included. The plan sets out significant investment on a phased basis over the next 10 years prioritised across 3 areas - €785m for Culture; €295m for Heritage and €178m for our Language. The scale of the investment in our cultural infrastructure is unprecedented and will deepen our cultural and heritage foundations. It will also allow us to create world-class cultural institutions.

This capital investment is especially important in relation to the Abbey Theatre, as the building in which the National Theatre is housed is over 50 years old and is widely recognised as deficient in the facilities it provides for artists, audiences and staff and in terms of its energy efficiency. The redevelopment will also honour the theatre’s history and legacy, whilst matching the national theatres of other European capital cities while the Abbey Theatre’s additional aim is to accelerate regeneration of the Theatre’s neighbourhood to transition into an even more attractive destination for leisure, eating, drinking and shopping.

Last week, I was delighted to announce the progression of the Abbey Theatre Redevelopment Project to detailed appraisal stage. The €80m indicative investment in the project will facilitate a fitting redevelopment, contributing to Ireland’s reputation as a centre for theatre as well as revitalising a key area in Dublin city centre. The planning and construction of a facility as large as this has a significant lead-in time.

The project is still at an early stage but the Abbey Theatre will now engage experts to prepare the detailed appraisal documentation required under the Public Spending Code, which will include economic and financial reviews as well as risk assessments. On completion of a positive Business Case, the project will move to design and a future vision for the theatre. It is expected that the Business Case will be completed in mid-2020.

Having a world-class cultural and heritage infrastructure will strengthen our international reputation and I look forward to seeing the Abbey Theatre Redevelopment Project progress over the coming months and years.

Údarás na Gaeltachta

 64. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan cén fáth ar tugadh neamhaird ar iarratas Údarás na Gaeltachta ar mhaoiniú cuí chun gnáthobair an Údaráis a chomhlíonadh mar aon le tograí fiontraíochta a chur i gcrích a chothóidh poist úra sa Ghaeltacht. [45460/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Seán Kyne): Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne Fógraíodh i mBuiséad 2020 go mbeidh ardú €1m á chur ar fáil do chiste caipitil Údarás na Gaeltachta in 2020. Fágfaidh sé seo go mbeidh ciste €10m ar fáil don eagraíocht agus is ionann sin agus méadú de bhreis agus 11% le hais an tsoláthair atá ann sa bhliain reatha.

Chomh maith leis sin, cuirfear €200,000 breise in airgead reatha ar fáil d'Údarás na Gaeltachta don bhliain seo chugainn le dáileadh ar na heagraíochtaí pobalbhunaithe agus comharchumainn Ghaeltachta. Is ionann seo agus ardú 25% le 3 bliana anuas ar an gciste seo. Fágann sé sin go mbeidh soláthar iomlán de €4.05m ar fáil don Údarás in 2020 le dáileadh ar na heagraíochtaí pobalbhunaithe agus comharchumainn Ghaeltachta.

Ina theannta sin, beidh teacht ag Údarás na Gaeltachta ar chiste faoi leith sa chás go dtarlóidh Breatimeacht gan ord gan eagar.

Is fiú dom a mheabhrú don Teachta chomh maith go mbeidh soláthar €9.602m.san iomlán ar fáil don eagraíocht in 2020 le haghaidh cúrsaí riaracháin.

Ag cur gach rud san áireamh mar sin, táim sásta nár tugadh neamhaird ar éileamh an Údaráis ar mhaoiniú breise agus go mbeidh sé ar chumas na heagraíochta clár oibre a chur i bhfeidhm go rathúil i 2020 ar leas na Gaeltachta agus na Gaeilge.

Cultural Policy

 65. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the way in which she will prioritise redevelopment and renovation projects in each of the national cultural institutions under Project Ireland 2040; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45508/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan Under Project Ireland 2040 - the National Development Plan, €1,188 million in capital expenditure has been allocated to my Department for 2018-2027. The detailed breakout of this investment programme is set out in my Department’s sectoral capital plan, Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage. Under this plan, €460 million is being provided to support an ambitious programme of redevelopment and renovation projects across all of our National Cultural Institutions (the ‘NCIs’).

Capital projects undertaken by bodies under the aegis of my Department are appraised, planned, designed, implemented and evaluated in line with the Public Spending Code and best practice guidance outlined in the Capital Works Management Framework published by the Office of Government Procurement.

My Department is working with the NCIs to progress individual capital projects through the project life-cycle of the Public Spending Code. Decisions with regard to sequencing of investment in the NCIs are subject to the progress of each project through the project life-cycle of the Public Spending Code and are managed in the context of the multi-annual capital allocations available to my Department.

Ulster Canal Restoration Project

 66. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the capital funding allocated for the restoration of the Ulster Canal in 2019; the expenditure to date; the works undertaken; the expected expenditure by year end; the funding proposed for further development in 2020; the restoration works that will be undertaken; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45438/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan In July 2007, the North South Ministerial Council agreed to a proposal to restore a 13km section of the Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne to Clones. This project is important for the border region with potential to stimulate economic activity, giving a much needed boost to job creation and with the growth in water based tourism helping to attract significant numbers of visitors to the area.

Government approval for Phase 1 of this project, to restore a 2.5 km stretch of the Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne in County Fermanagh to the International Scout Centre at Castle Saunderson near Belturbet in Co. Cavan, was secured in February 2015.

Work on Phase 1 is nearing completion and includes dredging works to the River Finn, construction of a new navigation arch at Derrykerrib Bridge and installation of a new mooring facility at Castlesaunderson.

Waterways Ireland anticipates expenditure in 2019 of €53,500 to complete payment for works at Derrykerrib and €100,000 for construction works for Castlesaunderson public moorings.

The expenditure to date, including commitments amounts to €3,960,000 which is fully funded by my Department.

Waterways Ireland has worked with Cavan County Council in relation to recreational amenities at the Council site at Castlesaunderson, including a public jetty. A contract for the construction of this new floating jetty was substantially completed in October 2019. The jetty will be operational for the 2020 boating season. This capital investment in navigational infrastructure will create a welcome new destination for waterway users of both the Erne System and the Shannon – Erne Waterway. It is expected to bring a new awareness, interest and additional visitors to the river and to the border area around Castlesaunderson.

In relation to the Ulster Canal Phase 2 - Restoration of Ulster Canal Lough Erne to Clones – The Clones Terminus Project is under development with anticipated cost of €433,000 of which 75% is funded from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, with 25% funded by my Department. Currently Waterways Ireland is in preparation for planning, if required, with a tender process completed for a feasibility study relating to a sustainable water supply. In addition Waterways Ireland, supported by Monaghan County Council, is preparing a tender for identification of optimum methods of delivering recreational and broader benefits from the proposed investment in the canal in Clones. It is currently planned to spend this funding during 2019 and 2020.

Waterways Ireland is also continuing work with the partners Monaghan County Council, Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, East Border Region Ltd. and Mid Ulster District Council to develop 22km of greenway along the Ulster Canal towpath from Smithborough, Co. Monaghan and Middletown, Co. Armagh, funded through the successful application to the Interreg VA sustainable transport measure (circa €5.0m). An Integrated Consultant Team was appointed in June 2019 and work is progressing on preparation for planning.

Public consultation events were held in three locations in August and September 2019. Waterways Ireland and partners have also produced an Ulster Canal Greenway strategy which sets out how this greenway could become the spine of a robust network of off-road greenways across this rural border region.

Arts Council

 67. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the additional responsibilities given to the Arts Council following budget 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45504/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I refer the Deputy to my reply given to her earlier Priority Question No. 21.

Commemorative Events

 68. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan when she will publish an indicative programme of State and State-sponsored commemorative events under the decade of centenaries, 1913-1923, programme. [45462/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan Plans are well underway to mark the significant forthcoming centenaries over the remainder of the Decade of Centenaries, which include the Struggle for Independence, the Civil War, the Foundation of the State and Partition.

My particular focus at this time is to ensure that the significant historical events that occurred during 1920 and related themes, are remembered with a rich diversity of commemorative initiatives that are historically authentic, measured, respectful, and appropriate. While plans are still evolving, I expect to be in a position to publish a substantive commemorative programme for 2020 in January and indicative plans for subsequent years. I have allocated current funding of €2 million to support the Decade of Centenaries programme in 2020, which is a funding increase of €900,000 above the 2019 allocation.

My Department has built significant partnerships with key stakeholders, including local authorities, the national cultural institutions, institutions of learning and custodians of records, the trade union movement and creative communities. All of these will have an important role in supporting the national conversation about the events of this period and encouraging respectful public discourse and debate.

The approaching centenaries present particularly sensitive and complex challenges. I firmly believe that the cultural heritage and stories of all traditions on the island of Ireland must be preserved and told. My primary objective in developing plans for the remainder of the Decade of Centenaries, is to ensure that we promote peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland by encouraging a deeper understanding of the significance of this period, which accepts that the shared historical experiences of those years gave rise to very different narratives and memories.

My plans for the forthcoming period will continue to be informed by the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations and developed in consultation with the All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations.

Pleanáil Teanga

 69. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan cad é stádas Phlean Teanga Chathair na Gaillimhe mar Bhaile Seirbhíse Gaeltachta; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [45410/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Seán Kyne): Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne Is féidir liom a dheimhniú don Teachta gur chuir Foras na Gaeilge plean teanga do Chathair na Gaillimhe faoi bhráid mo Roinne ar 24 Deireadh Fómhair 2019 i gcomhréir le forálacha ábhartha Achta na Gaeltachta 2012.

  Tá an plean sin á bhreithniú ag oifigigh mo Roinne faoi láthair.


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