Written Answers. - Lough Derg.

Michael O'Kennedy

Ceist:

112 Mr. O'Kennedy asked the Minister for Finance if he will introduce a scheme for the enhancement of Lough Derg on the Lower Shannon as a national waterway resource; if he is prepared to make funds available to protect the quality of the lake water and to keep the lake and shoreline pollution free; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Louth Derg forms part of the Shannon Navigation and as such falls to be administered by the Commissioners of Public Works under various statutes. The Commissioners have been engaged for many years in the development of the system and in the provision of mooring facilities etc. Substantial improvements have been made over the years and others will be implemented as the availability of funds permits. Currently a new pier is under construction at Terryglass County Tipperary on Lough Derg which will be operational from July next.

The question of water quality is, primarily, one for the Department of the Environment and the local authorities but the Commissioners have made certain provisions in the by-Laws recently introduced pursuant to the Shannon Navigation Act, 1990, in relation to the discharge or deposition of substances into the navigation and on other matters relative to the navigation and the construction of vessels using it. These regulations should reduce pollution due to boats and vessels using the Navigation.
It is the intention of the Commissioners to enforce these by-laws to the fullest possible extent. A by-laws requiring vessels to be fitted with holding tanks for sewerage will be made as soon as adequate pump-out facilities are provided by the local authorities.
It is understood that the Department of the Environment have approved the provision of pump-out facilities at various locations on the Shannon and the local authorities are in the process of providing these.