Dáil Éireann - Volume 387 - 23 February, 1989

Written Answers. - Galway Meteorological Services.

19. Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for Tourism and Transport if he will make a statement on the future of the meteorological training centre in Galway; and if [1492] it is proposed to develop a degree course in meteorology in association with University College, Galway.

26. Mrs. Hussey asked the Minister for Tourism and Transport if he will make a statement on the present position of the meteorological office at Renmore, County Galway following the widespread reports of its proposed closure.

30. Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Tourism and Transport if he will give an assurance that the meteorological service in Galway city will continue to exist and will be developed in such a way as to enable it to contribute to the needs of the region.

Minister for Tourism and Transport (Mr. Wilson): I propose to take Question Nos. 19, 26 and 30 together.

As part of the rationalisation of the Meteorological Service described in my reply to Questions Nos. 5, 6 and 25 it is proposed to close the weather observation station at Renmore, Galway and to transfer the training function from Galway to the headquarters of the Meteorological Service in Dublin. As in the case of Roches Point, the Galway station has no formal role in the dissemination of meteorological information. Furthermore, it is planned to install an automatic observing system in the Galway area and accordingly routine climatological information will continue to be available to those who require it.

I am satisfied that there will be no diminution in the quality of the forecasts as a result of the new arrangements.

The training school in Galway has been seriously under-utilised in recent years and I am assured that the training function can more effectively be carried out in conjunction with the Meteorological Service's research activity at its headquarters in Glasnevin. The idea of developing a degree course in conjunction with University College, Galway, never came to fruition because of financial constraints on the university. As recruitment to the Meteorological Service is likely to be at a low level for [1493] the foreseeable future, the concept of developing a degree course is no longer viable.