Written Answers. - County Kerry Coastal Erosion.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

58 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for the Marine if he will make the necessary allocation to Kerry County Council to carry out erosion prevention works at Beale, Ballybunion, County Kerry.

I have recently approved the Department of the Marine's programme of coast protection works to be undertaken in 1994. Unfortunately Beale is not one of the locations at which works will be undertaken.

The Department, in order to draw up a national coastal protection plan, invited all maritime local authorities to submit proposals for addressing serious erosion problems in their areas. Kerry County Council has included Beale and Ballybunion among its proposals. The council has proposed a £3 million rock armouring scheme at Beale and a £1.3 million rock armouring scheme at Ballybunion.

As I am sure the Deputy will appreciate, the proposals submitted by the various maritime local authorities far exceed the moneys which will be available for the plan's implementation — £5.5 million over the six year period. As a result grant-aid will only be available to local authorities in respect of the most urgent coastal erosion problems proposed, having regard to economic, environmental and ecological impacts. Further consultation with local authorities will be required before the plan is finalised. In addition an operational programme to enable EU, Structural Funds be drawn down in respect of the plan remains to be agreed with the Commission of European Communities. Until then I am not in a position to say what works, if any, can be undertaken at Beale, Ballybunion, County Kerry.