Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Clare Landing Facilities.

11.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he will sanction a grant for the provision of landing facilities at Doonbeg, County Clare.

The cost involved in providing suitable landing facilities at Doonbeg would not be warranted in the light of the limited fishing activity in the area.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the Doonbeg fishermen have taken the initiative in regard to making provision for safe landing there, that the Land Commission have made land available to provide the facilities there and that the Clare county development team regard this as a very high priority? In fact, I think it is their No. 1 priority. This is probably one of the safest harbours in west Clare. Would the Parliamentary Secretary not consider that it is time his Department came in and did something?

Several representations have been received relative to improvements at Doonbeg and it has got special attention from me as a result of those representations. However, the position is that the value of fish landings, mainly lobsters, in the last five years was limited. In 1970 it was £5,000 odd. In 1971 it was £1,500 and in 1972, £2,113. In 1973 it was £5,679 and in 1974, £6,534. The cost of the works involved would be high in proportion to the value of the landings. Again we took into account that at Seafield, which is nine miles away, a harbour improvement scheme was carried out recently costing £71,000. The Minister has said that Doonbeg would be examined as sympathetically as possible. I can repeat that but Deputy Daly will appreciate that the fishing potential there is not too high at present.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary not consider that one of the major reasons why fish landings there are limited is because there are no proper facilities for landing? If the Parliamentary Secretary would provide some money, even a very small amount, it would help the local people who are going to provide facilities there anyway.

My policy is to try to provide the available funds for harbour improvements around the coast as much as possible, from Donegal right around to County Louth. We did provide £71,000 for Seafield. I am not ruling out the possibility of Doonbeg.

Question No. 12.

In view of the information I have given the Parliamentary Secretary, would he have another look at this?

Yes, this was the subject matter of representations from several sources.