Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ceisteanna (285)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

285. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when the next meeting of the co-ordinating committees in relation to the ferry services to Inishbofin Island, the Aran Islands and all other islands around the coast will take place; the number of meetings that have taken place in the past three years of the co-ordinating committee in relation to each island; the dates of these meetings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12075/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Arts)

I assume that the Deputy is referring to the operation of monitoring committees for various ferry services supported by my Department. I can confirm that the ferry service contracts that my Department holds with different operators allow for the setting up of monitoring committees to oversee the operation of these contracts. The monitoring committees tend to meet on a regular basis when particular challenges or difficulties need to be addressed. In other instances, meetings tend to take place as the need arises. In regard to the Aran Islands, for example, I can inform the Deputy that meetings of the monitoring committee have taken place on the following dates since March 2011: 19 May 2011, 3 February 2012, 7 September 2012 and 25 January 2013. A date has not been set for the next meeting.

I am satisfied that my Department has a robust system in place whereby officials are in regular contact with individuals, island co-operatives and development companies where complaints/observations/opinions in relation to the services are received and followed up, as required. The Deputy will also appreciate that my Department has limited resources available to it and that it is necessary to prioritise the work accordingly.