Dáil Éireann - Volume 609 - 02 November, 2005
Written Answers. - Inland Waterways.
Mr. Crawford Mr. Crawford
421. Mr. Crawford asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the progress which is being made towards opening up the waterways between Belturbet and Killykeen; if this waterway is affected in the same way as the Ulster Canal by the failure to set up the Assembly in Belfast and the cross-Border links; if it is not so affected, would it not be a project where the spare funds that have been sent back by his Department could be utilised in a constructive and progressive way to improve tourism in  the Belturbet area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31477/05]
Éamon Ó Cuív Éamon Ó Cuív
Éamon Ó Cuív: Waterways Ireland is one of the six North-South implementation bodies established in 1999 under the British-Irish Agreement Act. It has responsibility for the management, maintenance and development of inland waterways, principally for recreational purposes.
The extension of the Erne navigation to Killykeen is not included in the National Development Plan 2000-2006 and Waterways Ireland advises me that it has no plans to extend this stretch of canal at present. Clearly, in the context of the current suspension of the institutions in Northern Ireland, Waterways Ireland is continuing to work at present on a care and maintenance basis. However, I have been informed by the body that it proposes to begin to collate all existing studies relating to the Killykeen proposal before the end of the year. This should provide a useful set of background information to allow further studies to be undertaken on the feasibility and desirability of the proposal.
With regard to the underspend to which the Deputy refers, this arose primarily due to the suspension of the institutions in Northern Ireland and the subsequent and related deferral of the building of the Waterways Ireland headquarters in Enniskillen, which is now due to commence in 2006. In the event of an underspend under any heading, the money is either re-allocated to other projects within the Vote or surrendered to the Exchequer. In the case of deferral, a further provision is re-entered in the Vote the following year.
Dáil Éireann 609 Written Answers. Inland Waterways.