Dáil Éireann - Volume 592 - 16 November, 2004
Written Answers. - Semi-State Bodies.
Ms McManus Ms McManus
115. Ms McManus asked the Minister for  Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress made to date with regard to his consideration of the deliberations of the working group established to examine the specific issue regarding Shannon Development; if he has yet met the board of Shannon Development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28339/04]
Ms Shortall Ms Shortall
131. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the position regarding the proposal to transfer lands and property owned by the Shannon free zone to the new Shannon Airport Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26952/04]
Mr. P. Breen Mr. P. Breen
134. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the role he sees for Shannon Development in view of the decision to decentralise Enterprise Ireland to the region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28394/04]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin: I propose to take Questions Nos. 115, 131 and 134 together.
As the House will be aware from similar questions asked previously, there have been a number of developments which will impact on the mid-west region and the roles of the respective State agencies operating there. The most significant of these developments are the proposed relocation as part of the Government’s decentralisation programme of the headquarters of Enterprise Ireland, involving 300 of the agency’s Dublin-based staff to Shannon; the decision to establish an independent Shannon Airport Authority; and the July report of the enterprise strategy group which recommended that Shannon Development should disengage from industrial development functions which should be left to the national agencies Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. Other developments such as the removal of the need for operating licences for companies setting up in the Shannon free zone, the transfer of responsibility for Shannon town from Shannon Development to Clare County Council and the proposed uniting with County Kerry for tourism development purposes will also impact on the future role of Shannon Development.
It is worth repeating that Shannon Development fully supports the decision to establish an independent airport authority which it sees as vital to the economic development of the region. The body further agrees that it should re-focus its activities on the airport with a view to generating business for the airport while its assets should be used to support the airport authority especially in its early, vulnerable years. A working group was established by my predecessor to examine the specific issue of how Shannon Development could best contribute to the development of the new independent airport. It has carried out some detailed work on the various options available but this has not been completed. I am still reviewing the deliberations of the group and, fol lowing consultations with relevant Cabinet colleagues, expect to be in a position to ask it to resume its work with a renewed focus shortly. My schedule has not permitted a meeting with the Shannon Development board to date but I expect that such a meeting will take place shortly.
Question No. 116 answered with Question No. 89.
Dáil Éireann 592 Written Answers. Semi-State Bodies.