Written Answers. - Coastal Protection.

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

73 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the reason no funds have been allocated for coastal protection work in County Cork in 2003; and if his attention has been drawn to the serious and continuing problems of coastal erosion in the largest county here. [10760/03]

Primary responsibility for coast protection work rests with the property owner, be that a private individual or a local authority. In 2002 my Department wrote to all coastal local authorities requesting proposals for consideration in the 2003-2006 period. Cork County Council responded by submitting 23 proposals for consideration. Youghal Town Council also submitted a proposal for a coast protection scheme at Youghal. Both local authorities rank the Youghal coast protection scheme as the number one priority in the county. The total cost of the scheme as proposed is estimated at €6 million.

In 2003 the Exchequer provision for coast protection works is €1.072 million. This money has been fully allocated. I would like to inform the Deputy that in January, I approved an Exchequer contribution of €120,000 to Cork County Council to facilitate the provision of beach groynes at the Warren strand, Roscarberry. This project had commenced in 2002.

The question of providing Exchequer funding towards coast protection works in County Cork in the post-2003 period will depend largely on the amount of Exchequer funding available and overall national priorities.