Renewed commitment to islands sought
A renewed commitment to the State's offshore islands has been called for by the junior Minister responsible for their development, Mr Eamon O Cuiv.
Over the past two years, eight offshore islands have been earmarked for mains electricity supply, and almost £8 million has been sanctioned or spent on pier improvements. Ferry services have also been provided for Inishturk, Inishbofin, Clare, Whiddy, Bere and Sherkin off the Mayo, Galway and Cork coasts.
Some £9.6 million has been approved for infrastructure, and there have also been major changes in education and health provision, he emphasises. The means test for remote area grants has been abolished, there are improved staffing arrangements for both Gaeltacht and island schools, and Tory island off Donegal is to get a secondary school. The Aran island of Inis Oirr has been given Leaving Certificate status, and a new health clinic is to be established on Inishturk.
Mr O Cuiv said he would study a report on current levels of development and recommendations for the future compiled by Comdhail Oilean na hEireann, the island federation, and action would be taken where necessary.