Dáil Éireann - Volume 584 - 27 April, 2004
Written Answers. - Local Authority Funding.
Mr. Ring Mr. Ring
800. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his Department has given funding to Mayo County Council for the erection of protective barriers on Dooncarton Mountain in north Mayo to prevent landslides such as those of September 2003. [11554/04]
Mr. Ring Mr. Ring
801. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if, in relation to the erection of protective barriers on Dooncarton Mountain in north Mayo to prevent a recurrence of landslides such as those of September 2003, his Department provided funding for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11555/04]
Mr. Ring Mr. Ring
833. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the list of works that was submitted by MCC following the Dooncarton/Pullathomas landslides of 2003, in relation to Mayo County Council’s submission for funding; the costings for all the works that have been completed by Mayo County Council to date; and the funding that has been provided for each individual part of the works in the project. [12001/04]
Mr. Cullen Mr. Cullen
Mr. Cullen: I propose to take Questions Nos. 800, 801 and 833 together.
On 12 November 2003, Mayo County Council submitted a report to my Department on the landslides in north Mayo on 19 September 2003 and its proposals for restoration and further protection work deemed to be required to return the area to normal living conditions. These proposals comprised: (1) Repairs to Infrastructure, including roads, bridges, culverts and water mains and restoration of the graveyards: the estimated cost of these work, which includes a provision for increasing the capacity of culverts as recommended in the report, is €2,835,500; (2) further protection works required to manage the risk and allow the redesignation of areas currently graded as high to either low or medium risk. Total estimated cost is €2,224,664 which includes €1,539,075 as the estimated cost of constructing specialised kinetic barriers; and, (3) humanitarian aid-assistance for private property damage.
As regards (1) above, the council’s estimated cost of repairing public roads and bridges in north Mayo as a result of the landslide was €2,030,500. A grant of €571,000 was paid by my Department to the council in 2003 for immediate remedial  works and I have allocated a further special grant of €1,459,500 for the improvement, repair and protection of roads and bridges in the area affected by the landslide to the council in 2004. My Department understands from the council that the cost of works carried out to date under these allocations is €811,175. An extract from an inventory of infrastructural rehabilitation works required, which was part of the report on the landslide submitted on 12 November 2003, is set out in the table below.
The report also advised that Mayo County Council had incurred expenditure of €25,000 in carrying out repairs to some water supply schemes. This expenditure was taken into account in my Department’s 2004 rural water programme block grant allocation of €8 million to the council, an increase of more than 63% on the 2003 outturn sum of €4.9 million. I understand that a contribution towards the restoration in the graveyard area will be provided by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
As regards (2) above, the local government fund general purpose grant to Mayo County  Council for 2004 amounted to €29,752,341. This represents an increase of 17.5% over the corresponding grant for 2003 which, having regard to present constraints on public expenditure, reflects a demonstrable concern to address the current special requirements of Mayo County Council, including in particular the landslide in the north Mayo area. I have notified the council that the significantly increased 2004 grant may be used to contribute to the carrying out of such works as it considers necessary to prevent a recurrence of the landslide and it is now a matter for the council to determine the appropriate allocation for such works.
As regards (3) above, a scheme for humanitarian aid administered through the Office of Public Works with aid distributed by the Irish Red Cross Society has been put in place. In addition, my Department, is continuing to recoup Mayo County Council 90% of the cost of providing emergency accommodation to households affected by the 2003 landslide. To date, an amount of €7,713 has been recouped and a further recoupment of €13,076 will be made shortly.
Dáil Éireann 584 Written Answers. Local Authority Funding.