Ameliorative works to Fermoy weir are entirely the responsibility of Cork County Council as owners of the infrastructure. My Department and its agency Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) have no function in the issue of ameliorative works to Council owned property and have not been engaged in discussion with the Council in this regard.
For clarity I can confirm that my Department and IFI have liaised positively and consistently with the Council in an advisory capacity on the ancillary matter of how works to be undertaken by the Council may comply with the EU Habitats Directive and other environmental requirements, particularly as regards the issue of the free passage of fish. Engineers for the Department and the Council have also agreed the Council’s proposed solution to the secondary fish passage issue to assist in and advance the Council’s consideration of the substantive works.
The Council have consistently been advised that my Department and IFI have a regulatory function in relation only to the ancillary matter of fish passage and that consideration and funding of the required substantive works is entirely a matter for the Council. The Department and IFI are happy to continue liaison with the Council in this regulatory/advisory capacity.
The Council has also been advised that the Department and IFI, from our regulatory position, would support any bid the Council wishes to make for central funding for the substantive works and, in that regard, I have recently written to relevant Ministers.