Dáil Éireann - Volume 496 - 10 November, 1998

Written Answers. - Offshore Islands.

356. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands when the grant aid for island ferry subsides will be paid for Clare Island, Inishturk and Inishboffin to bring these islands in line with Gaeltacht islands, particularly as the subsidised service was due to commence on 1 October 1998. [22420/98]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): As the Deputy is aware, a subsidised passenger ferry service was introduced by my Department earlier this year on a pilot basis for the islands of Inishturk, Inishboffin and Clare Island. Subsequently in August last tenders were sought by my Department for the provision of suitable passenger ferry services between these three islands and the mainland for the period 1 October 1998 to 30 June 1999. I have already approved a subsidy for the Inishturk service which I understand is now in operation.

With regard to Clare Island and Inishboffin, discussions are currently taking place with relevant parties in this regard. I am, therefore, not in a postion to sanction the payment of subsidies for these islands at this time. However, I hope to be in a position to make an announcement on this matter in the near future.