Dáil Éireann - Volume 264 - 30 November, 1972
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Shannon Tourist Industry.
Mr. O.J. Flanagan Mr. O.J. Flanagan
22. Mr. O.J. Flanagan asked the Minister for Transport and Power if he is aware that (a) the closing to navigation of parts of the River Shannon each time the ESB needs water to generate power and (b) the growing effects of pollution, could have a serious effect on the Shannon tourist industry; and if he will indicate the steps he proposes taking in the matter in view of the importance of the Shannon to tourists.
Minister for Transport and Power (Mr. B. Lenihan) Brian (Snr.) Lenihan
Minister for Transport and Power (Mr. B. Lenihan): The Electricity Supply Board do not close parts of the Shannon waterway to navigation every time water is needed for electricity  generation. The board in exercising its statutory powers in relation to the control of levels on the waterway take account of a number of factors, e.g. boating, flooding and the importance of the Shannon for tourism and recreational purposes. I am informed by the ESB that the recent prohibition on navigation on the Shannon North of Athlone from 23rd October to 19th November was only the fifth such occasion in the forty-five years since the generating station at Ardnacrusha was built and was necessitated by the exceptionally dry weather since July. I understand that the extent of inconvenience to boating interests during this period was minimal due to the fact that the boating season was virtually at an end and boat hire operators were given advance notice which enabled those with bookings to transfer such boats as they required south of the prohibited area.
I am very conscious of the implications of pollution for the tourism industry and I am informed by Bord Fáilte that they have raised regularly the question of pollution in the Shannon with the appropriate authorities. The board will continue to keep in close touch with the situation. An inter-departmental working group appointed by the Minister for Local Government and on which my Department was represented recently submitted a report to him on water pollution, including the legislative aspect. After the group's recommendations have been examined, the Minister for Local Government intends to bring forward such proposals for new legislation as may be necessary to deal with the situation.
Dáil Éireann 264 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Shannon Tourist Industry.