Ceisteanna—Questions Oral Answers. - Fishery Order.

5.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries the reason for the long delay in having a fishery order issued to the Clarinbridge Oyster Co-Operative Society, County Galway.

Legal problems have arisen in connection with the making of the order in question which are under urgent examination at present. I am hopeful that it will be possible for me to sign the order at an early date.

Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary will recall a deputation from Clarinbridge when his promise was similar to that which he has made today. Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware of the big annual oyster festival in Clarinbridge and of the immense tourist potential that this festival offers?

I assure the Deputy that I am disposed favourably to the making of this order. He can rest assured that as soon as the legal problems have been resolved the order will be signed. I might add that the order concerned here differs fundamentally from previous oyster fisheries orders in that it transfers to a private group, the society, the control of an important widely-worked public oyster fishery. It is in the protection of the public interest that the delay has arisen but I expect to be in a position to sign the order in the not too distant future.

When did those legal complications arise? There was no mention of them at the time the deputation was received.

They arose in respect of the drafting of the order. As the Deputy is aware, any such order must be approved by the legal people involved and by the Attorney General. The Deputy will appreciate that I could not sign any order which had not been approved on legal grounds.

My next question is not meant in any way to be a joke. Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware of the virility-producing qualities of oysters as a food?

I have indicated to the Deputy that this matter is receiving attention.

The virility aspect of it?