Written Answers. - Erne Navigation Extension.

Brendan Smith

Question:

140 Mr. B. Smith asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht when work will commence on the environmental impact assessment of the proposed extension of the Erne navigation southwards from Belturbet to Killykeen and Killeshandra, County Cavan; when the detailed design of the scheme will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2022/96]

A considerable amount of the preliminary design work for a scheme to extend navigation southwards from Belturbet to Killykeen and Killeshandra, County Cavan, has already been completed. Tenders for the necessary environmental impact assessment, EIA, of the scheme were invited in 1994 but, because of non-availability of funds, the assessment did not proceed. I have, however, provided funds for the EIA in the current year and I expect tenders will be reinvited within the next four to six weeks. It is impossible to say at this stage when detailed design of the scheme will commence as that will depend both on the outcome of the EIA and on the availability of funds to enable design consultants to be engaged.