Dáil Éireann - Volume 526 - 28 November, 2000
Written Answers. - Special Areas of Conservation.
Mr. D. Carey Mr. D. Carey
346. Mr. D. Carey asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands if her attention has been drawn to the fact that Dúchas has not been able to protect the SAC at Ballyalla, Ennis, County Clare where 15 caravans have halted and that there are no modern amenities available; if her attention has further been drawn to the fact that this caused unnecessary dumping; and if she will authorise Dúchas to take an injunction to protect this valuable natural amenity. [27448/00]
Miss de Valera Miss de Valera
Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): I am aware of the issues referred to by the Deputy and I met recently with a deputation of local residents to discuss matters with them. As a local representative, I am, of course, concerned at the many issues that arise in situations such as this and I am anxious to help in any way that I can.
The technical advice available to me from Dúchas, my Department's heritage service, is that the activities presently causing concern to residents do not constitute a threat to the proposed special area of conservation (SAC) at this location. However, I have asked that the matter be investigated further, both by the ecological staff of Dúchas in the context of the SAC, and by its archaeological staff in the context of the archaeological sites in the area.
From a legal perspective, the Deputy should be aware that under the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations, 1997, responsibility for issues such as illegal encampments, with their attendant problems of illegal dumping, remain the responsibility of the local authority, where such encampments impinge on SACs.
Dáil Éireann 526 Written Answers. Special Areas of Conservation.