Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (314)

Pearse Doherty


314. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount of funding that will be made available to upgrade the roads infrastructure on County Donegal's populated offshore islands in 2013; the total expenditure by his Department in 2012 on infrastructure programmes on County Donegal's populated offshore islands; the amount allocated in his Department for the development of infrastructure on County Donegal's populated offshore islands in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10941/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

My Department’s expenditure on infrastructure programmes relating to County Donegal’s offshore islands in 2012 was €138,835. The works undertaken included roads, lighting and improvement to a slipway. My Department’s capital allocation for island infrastructure in 2013 is €0.679m, subject to the Revised Estimates being published and approved in due course. Given the significant reduction in capital budgets in recent years, my Department will be severely curtailed in its ability to fund island infrastructure development this year. However, as well as meeting its existing commitments, my Department hopes to be in a position to fund a number of small targeted infrastructure projects on the offshore islands in 2013.

In this regard, I refer to my reply today to the Deputy's Question No 315, in which I confirm that I have approved a grant of €248,500 in principle to enable Donegal County Council to undertake the planning and construction phase of the development of a helipad on Toraigh. I hope that it will be possible for the project to proceed this year, subject to planning permission for the development being approved in sufficient time.