Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Telephone Service.

275.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he had any prior consultations with the Macroom UDC or any other interested people before the telephone kiosk was erected recently in Macroom town; if he is aware that this portion of the town is already catered for with two kiosks; and if he will take steps to have it immediately removed to a more suitable location where the service is already demanded.

In accordance with the usual practice, Macroom urban district council and other interested parties were consulted before a third kiosk was erected recently in Macroom. No demands or requests were received for provision of an additional kiosk in the town. It was erected on the Department's own initiative to relieve an existing heavily used kiosk in the Square. The other kiosk in Macroom is situated about a quarter of a mile away. The removal of the new kiosk to an alternative site is not considered warranted.

276.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will have a second telephone kiosk erected in Ballincollig, County Cork in view of the increased demand for it arising from the number of new houses in the area.

It is expected that a second kiosk for Ballincollig will be included in the 1972-73 kiosk programme.

277.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will provide an all-night telephone service for Kilkelly, County Mayo.

The introduction of an all-night telephone service at Kilkelly exchange is not considered warranted at present. A number of subscribers have continuous service by means of switching to Claremorris exchange when Kilkelly is closed and several more can be similarly accommodated.

278.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs the number of applications for telephones in Dublin which remain unsatisfied at present.

279.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs the number of applications for telephones awaiting consideration by his Department; and the general reasons for the long delay in providing service.

I propose with your permission, Sir, to take Questions Nos. 278 and 279 together.

There are about 18,000 applications for telephones awaiting attention, including about 8,900 in the Dublin area. About 5,000 of these including 2,000 in the Dublin area are either in course of provision or will be attended to shortly. The reason for the delay in providing service for many applicants is that it has not been practicable with the resources available and procurable to achieve the expansion of the system necessary to keep pace with demand which has exploded in recent years. The telephone service makes heavy demands on capital and as Deputies are aware there has not been sufficient capital available to meet the full demands of many highly desirable services, including telephones.

280.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs when the Clondalkin telephone exchange will be extended to cater for the growing needs of this area.

Extension of Clondalkin exchange will be effected in the first instance by the installation in neighbouring exchanges of equipment which is due to be delivered and ready for service in about 18 months. A major extension at Clondalkin will follow in about three or four years.

281.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will consider the provision of a public telephone kiosk in the village of Moyglass, County Tipperary, as there is no telephone in this village although it is wired for telephone service.

Provision of Kiosks in areas such as Moyglass where there is no post office is not envisaged under the extended kiosk programme for rural areas.

282.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he is aware of the urgent need for the provision of a telephone kiosk at Rahan, near Tullamore, County Offaly; and, if he will take steps to have one provided with the least possible delay.

Provision of a Kiosk at Rahan is not considered warranted at present but one will probably be provided there under the five year programme for extension of Kiosk facilities in rural areas.

283.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he is aware that there is an urgent need for the provision of a telephone kiosk at Bloomhill, Ballinahowan, County Offaly where twenty-one households are anxious to have such a service made available; and, if he will take steps to have a kiosk provided there.

Provision of kiosks in areas such as Bloomhill where there is no post office is not envisaged under the extended kiosk programme for rural areas.

284.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will give immediate consideration to the abolition of the unjust procedure within the telephone section of his Department which allows, in times of normal delay, priority to be given to the caller who is prepared to pay double the normal charge.

The purpose of the urgent call charge referred to by the Deputy is to provide a means whereby, in circumstances when trunk calls cannot be set up without delay, calls which are claimed to be particularly urgent may be given precedence over ordinary calls. The arrangement adopted and the basis of charge are similar to those provided for in the International Telephone Regulations. My Department are not interested in the special rate from the revenue aspect and would gladly drop it if there was any other suitable and effective means of affording priority on a fair basis.

Acting Chairman

Question No. 285 has been covered by a written reply. We will go on to Question No. 286.