Wednesday, 23 February 1972
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Spring: asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that the road leading to the Maherees, Castle-gregory, County Kerry is being undermined from time to time by sea erosion and that the high tide completely gutted the road and smashed the water main leaving the residents of the disstrict without water for some time recently; and, if so, if he will consider providing a grant to the county council to enable them to carry out a substantial improvement scheme to avoid a recurrence and hardship being caused to people of the locality.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance (Mr. Lemass): I am aware that there is a coast protection problem in the Fahamore-Mahera-beg-Scraggane area of the Maharees. The Commissioners of Public Works have received a proposal from the Kerry County Council under the Coast Protection Act, 1963, for works in that area and they will make an examination of the problem shortly.
The Commissioners are not empowered to make a grant to the county council for coast protection works; the only way in which they could assist in the matter is by the execution of a scheme in accordance with the Act of 1963.
Mr. Spring: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that Kerry County Council submitted this scheme with many others in 1965? This road is the only road into the Maharees. It has been undermined on several occasions in the past few years by tidal waters. Quite recently the people could not move into or out of the Maharees. Will the Parliamentary Secretary agree that this is a very urgent matter in view of the fact that this scheme was submitted in 1965? He should give this matter his immediate attention so that the people can live in happiness without having to fear that the road will be undermined again by tidal waters. He should give some allocation to Kerry County Council to carry out this job as quickly as possible.
Mr. Lemass: I can assure the Deputy that I would be very happy to have more money, and more technical staff, so that we could proceed more quickly in dealing with the problem of coast erosion. The scheme which the Deputy mentioned is second on a list of 18 we got from the Kerry County Council. Waterville was the first one. I met a deputation about it. We have written to the county council to say that we expect to start inspections about the spring of this year. It may be in May. We will be moving into this scheme pretty soon.
Mr. Spring: These schemes were submitted in 1965 but we cannot get them off the ground. If Kerry County Council got the money we could start work on this scheme next week. There is no question of sending down engineers from the Office of Public Works. If we ask a question next week we will be told that the engineers are not available. All we want is the  money. We have the men and the material.
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