asked the Minister for Finance what progress, if any, has been made on the problem of coast erosion in Ballycotton, County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Cork Coast Erosion.
As I informed the Deputy in my answer of 12th February, 1970, I cannot say when the proposal for a coast protection scheme in the Ballycrenane-Garryvoe area on Ballycotton Bay can be reached having regard to other commitments.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that erosion has worsened very considerably in the Ballycotton area and that before the end of this winter the main road and, indeed, the only road into Ballycotton will collapse?
In addition to the area which I understood the Deputy to be referring to, the county council, I understand, are interested in a coast protection scheme at Ballycotton village itself but to date we have received no proposals from the county council in this regard.
Question No. 14.
I am calling Question No. 14. May I point out to the House that there are 153 questions on the Order Paper? Many Deputies have been waiting for weeks for an answer and if we proceed along these lines we will never get to these questions.
This is a very serious matter. Ballycotton will be wiped out.
There is a problem in the Ballycotton area but has it crossed the Parliamentary Secretary's mind that coast erosion is a national problem and are the Office of Public Works thinking about it or planning anything to combat it?
The Department of Finance recognised this problem some time ago and they have been making certain moneys available. There are increased amounts of money promised for the coming years to deal with coast erosion but even the amounts of money that are promised, to my mind, will be inadequate to deal with the problem which is a serious one. I expect to have my Estimate tomorrow and I hope in my reply to deal with this in some way. Of the 52 proposals that are before the Office of Public Works for consideration under the Coast Protection Act, 1963, eight are from the Cork County Council area involving a total expenditure in excess of £203,000. It is a very big problem.
May I ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether any inspector from his Department has, in fact, examined the position at Ballycotton?
As we get schemes from the county councils they are being examined but we have 50 odd to examine and I could not say whether Ballycotton has been examined yet. Yes, it must have been. I got an estimate of the approximate cost of the scheme.