The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan gave the following response to Fine Gael T.D. Andrew Doyle to a question he raised in the Dail yesterday. Like his cabinet colleague Simon Coveney the Minister is not giving much away but it would appear that his Department remains committed to having some input into the commonage review process.
Andrew Doyle (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
737. To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht his views on the July 2013 report entitled "Review of Commonage Lands and Framework Management Plans", produced by the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine; his views on the ten recommendations contained in this report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37247/13]
Jimmy Deenihan (Minister, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; Kerry North-West Limerick, Fine Gael).
I welcome the Joint Committee report and I believe that it reflects the many complex issues that were discussed over numerous sittings, and that its recommendations are useful. I should, however, clarify that while my Department has had a substantial advisory role in relation to commonages, it is not responsible for the implementation or regulation of the commonage review process, which is a matter for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
I believe that further engagement between the relevant parties is necessary so that commonage land is managed appropriately and sustainably. I have, therefore, ensured that my officials will continue to engage with farmers, staff of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and other interests in terms of the future implementation of the commonage review process, insofar as it relates to the functions of my Department