Dáil Éireann - Volume 523 - 10 October, 2000

Written Answers. - Grant Aid.

194. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands if there is any grant aid available to assist a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath to develop an interpretative centre adjacent to an area that is designated as a centre of great cultural, archaeological and historical importance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21329/00]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): My Department is responsible for the maintenance, preservation and presentation of the more than 700 monuments in the care of the State. Most of the recorded monuments in Ireland are not in fact in State ownership. The monument referred to by the Deputy is one of those not in State ownership. Although I do not have a role to play in funding the development of a centre dedicated to its presentation my Department had been in negotiations with the owner to acquire a core archaeological area. The owner rejected my Department's final offer in March 1999 and given the scale of my Department's other commitments throughout the country it is not proposed to pursue the matter further.