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Offshore Islands

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 5 April 2022

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Ceisteanna (114, 128)

Claire Kerrane

Ceist:

114. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if she will report on the forthcoming island development strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17894/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Holly Cairns

Ceist:

128. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if she will report on the islands action plan. [18054/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 114 and 128 together.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government is committed to publishing a 10 year policy on island development with associated three year action plans. Work on the policy is underway and my Department has now completed the bilateral meetings with all relevant Government Departments. These bilateral meetings have provided an opportunity for detailed discussion of the issues raised by island communities and for Departments to assess how they might help address the various issues raised.

A number of islands have requested that a consultation meeting be held in person on the island in order for the community to have an opportunity to have an input into the policy. Due to Covid-19 it was not possible for officials to visit islands and these islands did not wish to engage with on-line meetings. The Department has now agreed to these meetings and I understand that they will be held after Easter.

At the most recent meeting of the Interdepartmental Committee for the Islands, participating Departments reviewed progress on the policy development and agreed the next steps to be taken. It was agreed that the various Departments would submit a list of action points that they could undertake to further enhance the future development and sustainability of communities on our offshore islands.

Work has begun on an initial draft of the policy document and I understand that, based on the development work to date, a draft is expected to be ready for my consideration by the middle of this year.

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