Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Native Fuels.

Thursday, 4 December 1980

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 325 No. 3

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21.

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  asked the Minister for Energy if he will ensure that the turf banks at Ballysaggart, Lismore, County Waterford, are retained as a source of fuel.

Mr. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George Colley  I understand that the lands in question are in private ownership. I do not have powers to prescribe that lands held privately should be used for any particular purpose.

I have been informed by Bord na Móna that, because of the location and altitude of these lands and the relatively shallow turf deposits, poor drainage and steep gradients, large scale mechanised turf production from them by the board would not be economic.

[513]22.

Mr. J. Leonard: Information on James Leonard  Zoom on James Leonard  asked the Minister for Energy if a directive has been issued to the various health boards and local authorities requiring them to make the fullest possible use of native fuels; and, if not, if he now proposes to issue such a directive.

Mr. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George Colley  While my Department do not have a direct function in regard to the health boards and local authorities I am concerned that all energy consumers in this country, and particularly in the public sector, make the fullest possible use of native fuels.

A Government decision made as far back as 1960 to the effect that the public sector, health authorities and local authorities were to use native fuels, to the utmost practicable extent still applies. I understand from the Minister for Health that the native fuel policy of his Department is embodied in the guidelines which health boards must follow in the planning of hospitals and, over the years, the policy has been the subject of directives issued to health boards. I understand that it is also the policy of the Minister for the Environment to encourage the use of native fuels by local authorities. I intend consulting with my colleagues to see whether further review of the situation is called for and what further appropriate action can be taken.


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