Dáil Éireann - Volume 341 - 28 April, 1983

Ceisteanna—Questions . Oral Answers . - Telephone Service .

21. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs the exchanges in County Donegal which are due to obtain direct dial lines prior to conversion to the automatic system.

Mr. Nealon: It is expected that direct dial lines will be provided at Bunbeg and Greencastle exchanges in the near future. Having regard to the necessity to concentrate staff effort on the primary objective [2336] of converting manual exchanges to automatic working there are no plans at present to extend the direct dialling facility to any further manual exchanges in County Donegal.

Mr. P. Gallagher: Would the Minister investigate the possibility of making direct dialling available to other exchanges that are not on stream for automation in the next 12 months?

Mr. Nealon: I do not have details of what is planned so far as the automatic exchanges are concerned but I will bear the Deputy's point in mind. However, it is my opinion that we should not divert in any major way the efforts being made in the area of direct dialling. There may be temporary difficulties but at the end of the day what we should aim for is direct dialling especially in areas like Donegal and Sligo.

Mr. P. Gallagher: It would not be in our best interest to diversify in any major way but there are a number of exchanges such as Dungloe, Burtonport and Killybegs at which the service is not available. I do not think that Killybegs which is the largest fishing port in the country is on stream for direct dialling in the coming 12 to 18 months. The Minister might consider that factor and he might consider also the provision of additional lines for Ballybofey where there are only six lines which are out of order fairly frequently.

An Ceann Comhairle: A question, Deputy, please.

Mr. P. Gallagher: Would it not be more important to forge ahead with the direct dial system in Donegal, a system which the rest of the country is used to, rather than to consider parts of Donegal for digital service?

Mr. Nealon: I will keep in mind what the Deputy says but after the coming by-election Ballybofey may have its own Deputy who will be pressing ahead for the service.

[2337] Mr. P. Gallagher: That is wishful thinking on the part of the Minister.

22. Mr. Briscoe asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs when a telephone service will be provided for a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 as she lives alone.

Mr. Nealon: Service will be provided for the person named as soon as possible but it is unlikely that the necessary engineering work will be completed before the latter part of this year.