Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - East Donegal Land Project Office.

Wednesday, 21 April 1971

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 253 No. 2

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17.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries why the staff of the Land Project Office serving East Donegal has been reduced with the result that farmers have to wait months to have their applications attended to; if it is intended to fill the vacancies up to the full establishment again; and why Donegal is inadequately served by the Land Project and other schemes under his Department.

[219]Mr. J. Gibbons: Information on James M. Gibbons  Zoom on James M. Gibbons  The staff in the Land Project offices serving particular districts is not static but is kept in close relationship to the number of applications falling to be dealt with in the different districts. Because of a downward trend in applications the Land Project staff serving East Donegal was reduced in 1968 and 1969 but this did not result in any lengthening in the time for dealing with applications. The position in County Donegal is under review at present following recent indications of an increasing trend in applications and because of the absence on sick leave of a member of the local staff.

I do not accept that Donegal is inadequately served under the Land Project and other schemes of my Department.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Is the Minister now telling me that he intends to increase the staff of the Land Project Office?

Mr. J. Gibbons: Information on James M. Gibbons  Zoom on James M. Gibbons  The intention of the Department is to maintain an adequate staff in Donegal and elsewhere.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Would not the Minister accept that the staff at the moment is inadequate?

Mr. J. Gibbons: Information on James M. Gibbons  Zoom on James M. Gibbons  As I have said in my reply, I do not accept that Donegal is inadequately staffed.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Therefore, the Minister has no intention of increasing the staff?

Mr. J. Gibbons: Information on James M. Gibbons  Zoom on James M. Gibbons  The staff in Donegal will be adequate.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Is the Minister telling me, then, that it is not inadequately staffed at the moment and that, therefore, he will not increase the number of the staff?

Mr. J. Gibbons: Information on James M. Gibbons  Zoom on James M. Gibbons  If it becomes evident that an increase in staff is necessary, such increase will be effected.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Can I get a personal assurance from the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries that this has nothing whatever to do with his relationship [220] with Deputy Blaney, his predecessor?

Mr. Lalor: Information on Patrick J. Lalor  Zoom on Patrick J. Lalor  Sit down.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  According to rumour in Donegal, it is the relationship between the Minister and his predecessor that is the problem.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  Will the Deputy please resume his seat?

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  This is a serious matter which involves many farmers——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  Will the Deputy please allow Questions to continue?

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  I want a personal assurance from the Minister that this situation has nothing to do with his relationship with Deputy Blaney.


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