With regard to the material contravention, as I am sure the Deputy will appreciate, I never accepted that the plan contravened the 1998 county development plan. This has always been my view, particularly because a previous planning application for a larger development was not considered to be in contravention of the plan. Therefore, I logically believed that this plan could not be considered as a material convention. However, that was my own personal view I put forward to the county council. On numerous occasions I have expressed that view when the matter has arisen in parliamentary questions, and I still hold that view.
Given the basis on which Clare County Council turned down the application, it is incumbent upon me to appeal to An Bord Pleanála, which I have already done. I can assure the House that I have sought legal advice all along the way. Deputy Higgins knows, more than most, the legal difficulties that have arisen with regard to this case over a period of seven to eight years. There have been a number of court cases with regard to this matter. I do not have a legal training, as the Deputy is well aware. It would be presumptuous of me to believe that I understood the law in this respect, so I have sought legal advice on the matter whenever necessary.
Proposals have been put forward with regard to funding the proposed centres in Kilfenora and Corofin They are being considered and there is an ongoing discussion between my Department and both places in this regard. In his report on Mullaghmore, the proposed entry sites and what could be done for the Burren, the county council planning officer wished all three projects to move together. In light of that, we must move forward with regard to Kilfenora and Corofin, which are further back than the entry point proposal for Mullaghmore. Designs for planning permission have to be drawn up. I wish to bring all this on stream so that we can move forward, depending on how things go with regard to the planning appeal. I will not try to second guess An Bord Pleanála's decision. I have to deal with the situation as it is. I am complying with the planning officer's report to the county council which says that all three centres should move together.