Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (367)

Joe Higgins


367. Deputy Joe Higgins asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will support the proposal from Waterways Ireland to increase the cost of the annual mooring permit, houseboat permits, and the introduction of fixed penalty notices and District Court fines for those unable to pay; his views on the matter with particular reference to the impact on tourism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4902/14]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

Waterways Ireland undertook a public consultation process on the proposed bye-laws which closed at 3pm on 3 February. Waterways Ireland will now consider all written submissions before finalising the approach they intend to take in relation to the new bye-laws. A final outcome may be either to refrain from making the bye-laws or with my consent make the bye laws with or without modification. I will make my views known when I receive and have considered the final detailed proposals from Waterways Ireland.

Our waterways make a vital contribution to tourism, attracting visitors from around Ireland and from abroad. There are over 14,000 registered boat owners on the seven waterways managed by Waterways Ireland. The proposed bye-laws are intended to support the investment already made by Waterways Ireland in new infrastructure and facilities along the Royal and Grand Canals and on the Barrow system. The objective is to enhance Waterways Ireland’s ability to manage, care for and maintain these waterways. This will help to develop them as a vibrant recreational and tourist amenity for all waterway users.