Dáil Éireann - Volume 380 - 04 May, 1988

Written Answers. - Dublin Millennium.

59. Mr. J. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment if the Government has any plans to mark the Dublin Millennium; if he will consider marking the year by appointing a Minister with special responsibility for Dublin with clear directives to bring to an end dereliction, to eliminate health hazards caused by official neglect, to tackle root causes of urban crime and to co-ordinate official approaches to employment, education and training in areas of the city and county with very high unemployment.

Minister for the Environment (Mr. Flynn): The Government have already made significant contributions towards the celebration of the Dublin Millennium in 1988. In the case of my own Department grants of £500,000 have been made available for major improvements to Grafton Street and O'Connell Street. In addition £700,000 has been made available through Dublin Promotions Organisation Ltd., the company co-ordinating the celebration, for the sponsorship of a diverse range of projects. I am aware that the Commissioners of Public Works are making special efforts to maintain high standards throughout the city during the year.

The Government have no plans to appoint a Minister with special responsibility for Dublin. The Government have decided to move towards a programme basis for applications for assistance from the European Community's development and structural funds. To this end it [360] is proposed to carry out a study preparatory to the formulation of a programme for the greater Dublin area which will seek EC funding to help tackle many economic and social problems which exist in the city and county at present.

As regards the problem of dereliction I intend shortly to bring forward new legislative proposals to tackle this problem.