Written Answers. - Inland Waterways.

Ceist:

411 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if she will give an assessment of her Department's regeneration project with Dublin Corporation to renovate the Grand and Royal Canals; if she proposes to extend this project for another three years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27610/01]

The issue raised by the Deputy, in relation to the renovation of the Grand and Royal Canals is the day to day responsibility of Waterways Ireland, a North/South Implementation Body for inland waterways, set up under the British-Irish Agreement signed in March 1999.

I am advised by Waterways Ireland that the city canals joint project team, which consists of personnel from Waterways Ireland and Dublin Corporation, has commenced work on two pilot project areas on the Royal Canal and Grand Canal.

The Royal Canal pilot project extends from Newcomen Bridge, North Strand to Clarke Bridge, Summerhill and is due to be completed by the end of the year.

The Grand Canal pilot project extends from La Touche Bridge, Portobello, to Robert Emmet Bridge, Harold's Cross. The restoration of the lock area and environs has commenced and is due for completion by the end of the year. It is hoped to commence work at Portobello Road and Grove Road in 2002.

At the moment, Waterways Ireland does not propose to extend these projects until the current pilot projects are completed.

Marian McGennis

Ceist:

412 Ms M. McGennis asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if she will prioritise funding for the improvement of the Grand Canal from Suir Bridge, Kilmainham to Blackhorse Bridge, Inchicore. [27626/01]

The issue raised by the Deputy, in relation to the development of the Grand Canal from Suir Bridge to Blackhorse Bridge, Inchicore is the day to day responsibility of Waterways Ireland, a North-South Implementation Body for inland waterways, set up under the British-Irish Agreement signed in March 1999.

I am advised by Waterways Ireland that a city canals joint project team, consisting of personnel from Waterways Ireland and Dublin Corporation has been established. They have received many proposals including the Grand Canal action area plan for the Inchicore-Kilmainham area, prepared by the planning department of Dublin Corporation.

The team has commenced work on two pilot areas, on the Royal Canal from Newcomen Bridge, North Strand to Clarke Bridge, Sum merhill and on the Grand Canal from La Touche Bridge, Portobello to Robert Emmet Bridge, Harold's Cross. The many requests from voluntary groups regarding other areas, including the area from Suir Bridge to Blackhorse Bridge, will be carefully considered with a view to determining whether they ought to be included in the next tranche of schemes.
However, at the moment, Waterways Ireland does not propose to fund other areas of the canal until the pilot projects are completed.