Dáil Éireann - Volume 339 - 27 January, 1983

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cross-Border Bridges.

[605] 41. Mr. Coughlan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if it is the Government's intention either through his Department or the Department of the Environment to repair cross-Border bridges which have been demolished by the British army.

Mr. P. Barry: The question of the repair of cross-Border bridges destroyed by the British army is a matter for the Minister for the Environment.

However, my Department are concerned with the closure of cross-Border roads and bridges and have frequently raised with the British authorities the anxiety felt by the Government over such closures which cause hardship and inconvenience to local residents in the Border areas.

Any decision to reopen cross-Border bridges can only be taken with the agreement of the British authorities who closed them in the first instance for security considerations. The question of closures of cross-Border roads is kept under constant review and the need to have these reopened as soon as possible has been frequently impressed upon the British authorities.

Mr. Coughlan: Was there prior consultation with the Northern authorities in respect of the closure of these roads and the blowing up of some of the bridges?

Mr. P. Barry: I do not know. If the Deputy puts down a question I will try to get that information for him. I am not in a position to answer it now.

Dr. O'Hanlon: Is there any arrangement with the British Government about repairing damage caused by blowing up bridges, for example, where flooding was caused in certain areas?

Mr. P. Barry: I do not have that information but if the Deputy puts down a question to that effect I will try to get the information for him.