Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Ceisteanna (497)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

497. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of progress made by the steering group to recommend ways to improve the fish passage at Parteen and Ardnacrusha on the River Shannon; the consultation process it is engaging in; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40571/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The formation of a Steering Group in relation to the fish passage at Parteen was a key commitment in the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021. The Group, which was formally launched in October 2018, was tasked to advise on opportunities to improve fish migration in the lower Shannon.

To assist the Steering Group in developing a number of viable options for consideration, external expertise was procured from consultants CDM Smith who were appointed in April 2019.

The Steering Group has identified consultation and engagement with stakeholders as a key issue and it has put in place a process for public dialogue. In this regard, a public information session, including roundtable discussions, took place in the Castletroy Park Hotel, in Limerick on 25 June 2019. The outcomes from this meeting, together with the engagement of the wider consultative group, membership of which is set out in the table below, are currently being considered as the project progresses to examining potential options.

A further public information session will be held to assist in refining potential options proposed once these are identified. I expect that further consultation will take place shortly.

The Steering Group is expected to present its recommendations by April 2020.

Parteen Fish Passage Steering Group Members

Core Group:

Consultative Group:

Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government

Environmental Protection Agency

Electricity Supply Board

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Inland Fisheries Ireland

Office of Public Works

Irish Water

Shannon Fisheries Partnership

Waterways Ireland

Questions Nos. 498 to 500, inclusive, answered with Question No. 496.