As the Deputy is aware, Galway County Council are the responsible authority for the maintenance and development of infrastructure on the Aran islands. To that end, my Department provides financial support to the local authorities for priority projects.
To address safety issues affecting the pier on Inis Oírr, the Government included development of the harbour among the capital projects identified in the Ireland 2040 National Development Plan. A steering committee consisting of representatives from my Department, Galway County Council and the Consulting Engineers was established and has been meeting regularly to monitor progress.
The Department has approved the business case for the development of the pier and Galway County Council is in the process of resolving a number of pre-construction issues prior to issuing a draft tender for the development. These pre-construction issues include preparing the CPO applications and the application for a foreshore licence for the works on the island.
Subject to the pre-construction issues being finalized, a preliminary timetable has been discussed by the development committee providing for a tendering process of approximately 9 months, after which construction will advance in stages. The finalised plan is likely to take a number of years to complete, taking into account weather and sea conditions.
The cost to date of the Inis Oírr pier development since the commencement of the project in 2004 is €978,713.59. The estimated cost of the project at present, barring any unforeseen circumstances that may arise, is approximately €20m.