Written Answers. - Inland Waterways.

Gerry Reynolds

Ceist:

116 Mr. G. Reynolds asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands the extent to which Dúchas now has responsibility for canals and waterways development and maintenance; the functions devolved to Waterways Ireland in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17592/01]

Waterways Ireland was set up as one of the six implementation bodies under the British-Irish Agreement Act, 1999. Under the Agreement, Waterways Ireland has been charged with responsibility for the management, maintenance and development, principally for recreational purposes, of the Shannon-Erne waterway, the Erne system, the Grand Canal, including the Barrow navigation, the Lower Bann navigation, the Royal Canal and the Shannon navigation. In addition, it is responsible for taking forward appropriate studies and appraisals in relation to the possible restoration of the Ulster Canal. Since the setting up of the body in December 1999, Dúchas, the Heritage Service of my Department, no longer has any responsibility for canals and waterways development and maintenance.