Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1415)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

1415. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 358 of 13 March 2019, if he will address the specific question asked as to the specific plan to save the weir; and the specific timeframe for works to begin. [13662/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Cork County Council owns Fermoy Weir and has responsibility for carrying out and funding any necessary works to the weir. My Department does not have responsibility, or a funding stream, for repairing river weirs.

As set out in my previous reply to the Deputy my Department does have responsibility for preparing Ireland's River Basin Management Plans under the Water Framework Directive. These plans set out programmes of measures to be implemented by a wide range of public and private stakeholders to safeguard our aquatic environment. In this regard, my Department is providing some funding to Inland Fisheries Ireland to carry out an inventory of barriers to fish movements at a national level. This research will inform a prioritised programme to address barriers to fish movement in the next river basin management planning cycle which runs from 2022-2027. The funding of such a programme will need to be considered by all relevant parties in the context of that next plan.

In relation to the Fermoy weir, my Department understands that technical discussions have taken place between Cork County Council, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, and Inland Fisheries Ireland regarding the design of Cork County Council's proposed works and how any proposed works can be consistent with fisheries and environmental obligations. Question No 505 of 30 January 2018 and a Topical Interest Debate regarding inland fishery maintenance of 4 July 2018 both refer.