Dáil Éireann - Volume 454 - 13 June, 1995

Written Answers. - Grand Canal Restoration.

110. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht the amounts of funding made available for restoration work on the Grand Canal in particular for the section between the third and tenth locks: to whom the funding was allocated: the person who will [601] undertake the work; the extent of the work involved; when work is expected to commence; and the person whose responsibility it will be to maintain the canal on completion of the works. [10768/95]

Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins): The Grand Canal Corridor Study report which I published last July, recommended a strategy and proposals for the development of the Grand Canal from Ringsend to Lucan Road Bridge. In relation to the canal stretch between Tyrconnell Road and the 10th Lock the report recommended a programme of environmental and amenity improvements to be carried out by the Waterways Service in conjunction with local communities.

The Waterways Service recently invited representatives of local communities in the area between the 3rd Lock at Tyrconnell Road and the 10th Lock, to work with them in preparing such a scheme. It is intended that when a scheme is agreed it will be submitted to FÁS for assistance under the Community Employment Scheme, the Community Youth Training Programme or other appropriate measure. It is envisaged that the scheme will be undertaken by community groups with the assistance of and in close co-operation with the Waterways Service. The Grand Canal Corridor Task Force, which I established to co-ordinate and monitor the activities of the various agencies responsible for the development of the corridor, and to provide the necessary impetus for the implementation of the strategy and proposals, is taking an active interest in the proposed scheme and will continue to do so.

With regard to funding it is intended that labour will be funded under the FÁS schemes and the necessary materials etc., will be provided by the Waterways Service from the overall allocation for environmental improvements on the canals.

While it is too early at this stage to say what the extent of the work to be undertaken will be, I am anxious, [602] however, that the project will have a significant impact in improving the environment and amenity of the area. The discussions with the community groups are still at an early stage and it is not possible to say how soon work will commence. I am anxious, however, that this should happen at the earliest possible date.

The responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of the canal will remain with the Waterways Service.