Dáil Éireann - Volume 609 - 02 November, 2005

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

[326]   348. Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if a grant will be made available for a business (details supplied) in County Tipperary; if the business is not eligible, if it is in breach of competition laws in view of the fact that another company, a direct competitor, was financed from Europe and the Exchequer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31896/05]

  Mr. O’Donoghue: I am not aware of the company in question having sought funding from my Department. As my Department does not directly disburse tourism grants to individual enterprises, [327] neither the company in question nor any other tourism enterprise would be able to obtain funding from my Department. Tourism Ireland, likewise, does not operate a grants support scheme. As a public agency, it works with trade and industry, on a co-operative basis, in promotional efforts overseas. Fáilte Ireland offers some advice and support to individual tourism enterprises under a variety of initiatives, and it is up to the company concerned to contact Fáilte Ireland in that regard.

The Deputy should be aware that Tourism Ireland is not a commercial enterprise. Tourism Ireland is the North-South agency, established within the framework of the Good Friday peace agreement, to perform the public-good function of marketing the island of Ireland as a tourism destination and, thereby, contribute to the overall peace, harmony and development of the island and its people. It is funded by the Exchequers, North and South. It does not receive or disburse EU funds.