Written Answers. - Tourism Industry.

Joe Higgins

Question:

294 Mr. Higgins (Dublin West) asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the European Commission indicated in February 1999 that the proposed Shannon development tourism project at Doonbeg, County Clare, allocated for funding under the National Programme for Tourism 1994-1999 through the European Regional Development Fund was an infringement of the habitats directive and would not qualify for funding, confirmed this information in November 1999 and formally suspended funding in December 1999. [5211/00]

I am advised that the European Commission suspended funding of a European Regional Development Fund grant towards the development of a project at Doonbeg, County Clare, in December 1999 pending the final outcome of its consideration of an alleged infringement of the European habitats directive, implementation of which is a matter for the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands.

In the interim, however, third party judicial proceedings have been initiated in relation to the development. Accordingly, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time.