Written Answers. - Wreck Salvaging.

Michael Bell

Question:

24 Mr. Bell asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the steps he has taken to remove the shipwreck at Clogher Head Harbour in County Louth, which is a danger to shipping in the area; if he is not prepared to act in this matter, if he will indicate the person or body responsible for its removal; if it is the owner's responsibility; if it is the responsibility of Louth County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15547/01]

As stated in previous replies on this matter, most recently on 3 April 2001, I have no direct role in the removal of the derelict tug at Clogherhead Pier, County Louth.

I have previously outlined the provisions in the Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act, 1993, which govern the removal or rendering harmless of wrecked vessels. Under that Act, the appropriate authority is empowered to require the owner to remove or render harmless a wreck in circumstances where the wreck is a danger to navigation or constitutes a threat to the marine environment or related interests. The appropriate authority also has powers to remove or render harmless the offending wreck and to recover the expenses from the registered owner.

The appropriate authority in this case is Louth County Council. I have been advised by Louth County Council that the registered owners of the vessel, Marine Blast Limited, has undertaken to remove the vessel from the harbour as soon as possible. If the Deputy has further concerns about the removal of this derelict tug, I suggest that he take up the matter directly with Louth County Council.