Written Answers. - Safety at Sports Grounds.

Jim O'Keeffe

Ceist:

45 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the steps, if any, taken to monitor the effectiveness of the Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds; and the changes, if any, proposed. [15154/98]

As I indicated to the Deputy in my reply to his previous Dáil questions on 13 May 1998, safety at sports grounds is the responsibility, in the first instance, of those who organise events and those who own or administer the grounds or venues in which sports fixtures are held.

Issues related to crowd safety are governed by legislative provisions operating under the aegis of my colleagues the Ministers for the Environment and Local Government, Health and Children and Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

The voluntary Code of Practice for Safety at Sports Grounds, published by the Department of Education in 1996, was prepared by a working party, chaired by a senior local authority official, which also included a senior garda, a chief fire officer, a local authority building surveyor and a local authority senior structural engineer. It is primarily for the guidance of organisers and ground administrators and has been widely distributed to sports organisations, the Garda, health boards, local authorities, event promoters etc.
Local authorities, the gardaí and health boards, of course, play a central and ongoing role, in assisting ground management to meet their responsibilities and may, in certain circumstances, have to insist on specific measures being taken in order to achieve reasonable standards of safety.