Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (336)

Enda Kenny


422 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will consider Aughinish Isle, Ramelton, County Donegal for island status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6666/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs)

My Department's assessment of applications for the provision of funding for islands is based on the following criteria: the current permanent population; the lack of a connecting bridge to the mainland; being cut off from the mainland by the tide on a daily basis; and, the question of public or private ownership.

No application for funding the development of Aughinish Isle has been received by my Department to date. However, the question of affording recognition for the purposes of grant aid to a number of islands in County Donegal, including Aughinish Isle, has been raised with my Department by Donegal County Council. This matter is under examination in my Department at present and it is expected that a reply will issue to the county council in the near future. The Deputy will appreciate that any new applications for grant aid would require to be examined in the light of the criteria outlined and the funds available to me for island development generally.