My Department sought clarification from the Deputy’s office regarding the meeting referred to in the Question and the response received stated it referred to a meeting on 19 November between a representative from my Department and Clare County Council officials. Neither I nor my Department are aware of this meeting.
I can confirm however that officials from my Department did meet with officials from Clare County Council on 9 November. At this meeting the clarifications required by my Department in relation to the submission from Clare County Council were outlined. Clare County Council undertook to review their submission in light of the discussion which took place and address the gaps in the evidential data which my officials have identified.
My Department is eager to progress this matter and, to that end, issued a correspondence to Clare County Council on 6 December 2021 outlining in writing the full details of the clarifications sought.
On receipt by my Department of the necessary clarifications I am confident that progress can be made on the requested extension of the scheme to County Clare.