Dáil Éireann - Volume 457 - 26 October, 1995
Written Answers. - Burren National Park.
Mr. Killeen Mr. Killeen
20. Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht the current position regarding the Burren National Park, County Clare. [15719/95]
Ms O'Donnell Ms O'Donnell
36. Ms O'Donnell asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht the current position in relation to the proposed interpretative centre at Mullaghmore, County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15700/95]
Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins) Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins)
Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins): Tógfaidh mé Ceisteanna Uimh. 20 agus 36 le chéile.
I am pleased to have this opportunity to provide the Deputies with details of the progress which has taken place in relation to the Burren National Park since the Government decided to withdraw the planning application in relation to the proposed development at Mullaghmore. As I pointed out to Dáil Éireann previously the planning application which had been submitted to Clare County Council was withdrawn in accordance with the Government decision. The two other elements of the Government decision i.e., site safety works and the commissioning of a management plan for the Burren National Park have been addressed also.
In relation to the site works, the  Office of Public Works, having examined the matter in detail, prepared a schedule of the work that needed to be done. Court approval was then sought for the work and subsequently, the High Court, on 17 July last ordered that the fencing on the site at Mullaghmore should be repaired and that other measures be taken to ensure that the site was made safe and secure including: (i) the dismantling of steel cages; (ii) the bending over of steel bars but no more; and (iii) the removal of builders huts upon the completion of the immediate minor works. The court ordered that these works be completed by 15 September and that deadline was met.
The present position in relation to the management plan for the Burren National Park is that a firm of consultants, Brady Shipman Martin, have been appointed to draft a plan in the context of a nature conservation strategy for the north Clare area, and to carry out the consultations which are an integral part of the process established by me. The work of the consultants is being overseen by a steering committee. The consultants have been given five months to prepare a draft plan and a further three months will then be allocated to the consultation process. I would expect that the consultants will have completed the draft by January next.
The study being carried out by the consultants consists of three elements: the preparation of a strategy for the overall development of the north Clare area which will take account of the requirements of nature conservation as well as of the social and economic needs of the community of the area; the drafting of a management plan for the Burren National Park; and the drafting of a nature conservation strategy for the proposed natural heritage areas in the study area.
I am sure that Deputies will agree that it is essential that any plans or proposals in relation to the Burren National Park must be formulated in the context of what is best for the north Clare area and that a wide range of factors must be  taken into account in this process. The consultants have a daunting task ahead of them and I wish them well in their efforts.
Dáil Éireann 457 Written Answers. Burren National Park.