Written Answers. - Offshore Islands.

Joe Walsh

Question:

52 Mr. J. Walsh asked the Taoiseach when funding will be provided from the Inter-departmental co-ordinating committee on island development access fund for the construction of the pier on Whiddy Island. [3912/97]

In 1996 the Government made available an additional £1 million specifically for the development of access services to offshore islands.

In line with the mechanisms which have been established, whereby access and infrastructural projects for islands are selected and prioritised at local level, Cork County Council submitted a list of projects to the inter-departmental co-ordinating committee for consideration for funding from the £1 million. Following consultation with their islands committee, the council identified the development of the Lough Beal (Pontoon) pier at Castletownbere as the priority access project for the Cork islands. On the recommendation of the interdepartmental co-ordinating committee, I allocated a grant of £328,000 towards the cost of the project.
The extension of the pier at Whiddy Island was one of a number of other access proposals which were included in the list of projects which Cork County Council submitted last year. The council have been asked to supply technical details of these proposals for assessment by the inter-departmental co-ordinating committee, with the expert assistance of the Department of Marine. The allocation of funds for further island access proposals, over and above funds which have been allocated for priority projects, will be made on the basis of the recommendations of the inter-departmental co-ordinating committee and the availability of funding.