Partnerships: MFG, Dublin
Pearse Doherty (SF, Donegal SW) raised with the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, the possible merger of partnerships (Tallaght – Clondalkin and Tolka Valley – Ballymun) (Dail Eireann, Debates, 26th June 2012, 232-3, 237). The minister told him that a range of proposals was being considered by the steering group on the alignment of local government and local development, whose key findings and recommendations he was considering. His department had begun a process of engagement with stakeholders to develop a plan for greater efficiencies with a view to establishing a single structure for the two areas in question (Tallaght-Clondalkin) which should operate within the South Dublin County Council boundary. Deliberations were at a very early stage. The Dublin City Local Development Company configuration [for Tolka Valley - Ballymun] will be reviewed commensurate with the recommendations of the alignment report.
In the Seanad, Brian O’Domhnaill (FF, agricultural) raised the issue of local development in those Gaeltacht areas previously serviced by Meitheal Forbatha na Gaeltachta (MFG), which had been wound up last year (Seanad Eireann, Debates, 28th June 2012, 446-8). As a result of its closure, many projects were unable to draw down money, while others had taken out overdrafts on the strength of funding commitments given. Gaeltacht areas had lost out on millions of euros. Responding for the government, the Minister of State at the Department of Education & Skills, Ciaran Cannon, told the Senate that the liquidation process was still under way and he acknowledged that there had been delays. A long-term solution had now been agreed for the Gaeltacht areas of Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Meath, while some further work was required to resolve issues in Mayo. The minister, Phil Hogan, believed that a final solution through the local development companies can be reached. Brian O Domhnaill described this answer as giving little that was new and that progress was extremely slow.