Thursday, 12 December 2019

Ceisteanna (42)

Catherine Connolly


42. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the interdepartmental committee on the islands; the consideration given to having island communities directly represented on the committee; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51992/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Interdepartmental Committee for Island Development, in which a number of Government Departments are participating, was set up earlier this year with the aim of drafting a National Islands policy. To date the committee has met twice, and further to their meetings, a consultation paper has been prepared and published.

The consultation paper, which was launched by both An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney T.D., and me on Sherkin Island recently is now available on my Department's website for viewing and for download by the public. This consultation document will form a central part of the consultation process where senior officials from my Department will visit the islands to meet and obtain input from the island communities into the process. A timetable for these visits is currently under discussion with relevant parties.

My officials will also meet other relevant stakeholders and the islands' representative bodies with a view to gaining further insights into relevant issues that they wish to be considered for inclusion. The end result will be a comprehensive cross-Government policy document which will inform the delivery of public services to island communities over the coming years.

I can, therefore, assure the Deputy that the island communities will have a central voice throughout this entire process.