Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Questions (358)

Róisín Shortall


358. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to save the Fermoy Weir and fish pass; the timeframe for works to begin in view of the ecological and historical importance of the weir and the many clubs that depend on its survival; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12445/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department has policy responsibility for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Ireland. The Directive is a framework for the ecological protection of waters, and is implemented via River Basin Management Plans.

Measures have been identified in the River Basin Management Plan 2018-2021 to improve the assessment of river barriers that may be impacting on a range of migratory fish species. My Department has funded Inland Fisheries Ireland to develop an inventory of barriers on rivers nationally. These will then be ranked according to the risk they pose to fish migration and the achievement of WFD and Habitats Directive objectives.

The inventory will form the basis of a cross-departmental, prioritised restoration programme to be implemented during the third River Basin Management Planning cycle (from 2022 to 2027).

Cork County Council is the owner of Fermoy Weir, and is the authority responsible for the carrying out and funding of works, having regard to local needs and available resources.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment and Inland Fisheries Ireland are responsible for the protection, management and conservation of Ireland's inland fisheries and sea angling resources. I understand that there has been ongoing discussions between these parties in respect of ameliorative works at Fermoy Weir.