Written Answers. - Border Counties Global Compensation Claim.

563.

Mr. Coughlan

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the claims which have been made to the British Government by Donegal County Council and by residents of County Donegal in relation to cratered roads and bridges along the Border; the progress which has been made in relation to these claims; if payment has been agreed and, if so, the figure; when it is anticipated that payment will be forthcoming; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

In 1978 the Government, on behalf of certain Border counties, including County Donegal, lodged a global compensation claim with the British authorities in respect of damage to public property caused by the cratering of roads and bridges along the Border. Certain additions to these claims have been lodged since then. The total amount claimed in respect of County Donegal currently stands at £111,060.

The response of the British authorities was that cratered roads and bridges along the Border would be made good when the security situation permitted. The British position remains unchanged. The position of the Government on closed Border roads, on which I have made repeated representations to the British Government, is that they cause inconvenience and hardship to local residents and should be reopened.

Compensation for damage to private property resulting from the cratering of Border roads and bridges has been paid by county councils along the Border and has been recouped to these councils by the Exchequer. The Donegal County Council has paid £1,245 plus costs in respect of claims made by three residents and this amount has been recouped to the council. A global compensation claim in respect of private property along the Border was agreed and paid to the Exchequer by the British authorities in 1983.