Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - National Monuments Legislation.

Ruairí Quinn

Ceist:

4 Mr. Quinn asked the Taoiseach if he has any plans to amend the legislation concerning heritage matters in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

In so far as my Department are concerned, work is at an advanced stage on the preparation of legislation to amend the National Monuments Acts. These changes arise from the Supreme Court judgment in the Derrynaflan case. In addition, I am considering proposals for the establishment of the National Heritage Council on a statutory basis. The council, whose responsibilities relate to the physical heritage — archaeology, architecture, flora, fauna, heritage gardens and certain inland waterways — have been operating on a non-statutory basis since 1988. Work has also begun on legislation to provide for State indemnity for cultural exhibitions, thereby formalising the present situation.

When does the Taoiseach expect that the draft text of such legislation might be circulated?

I mentioned two items of legislation. One will be concerned with changes to the National Monuments Act to cope with the Derrynaflan judgment, and that is well advanced. Work on the Bill to put the National Heritage Council on a statutory basis is not so well advanced. The council have been doing very well without the statutory basis.

The Minister for Education is frowning at the Taoiseach.

Smart aleck.

I know, and I have another pedant beside me who does not like that sort of thing.

A Deputy

Ozymandias.