Irish Tánaiste (Deputy PM) and Islands Minister Kyne kick start public consultation process for new national policy on Irish offshore islands

Press release from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on the consultation process to help in the first formation of an Islands action plan in 23 years

At a special event 23rd November, on Sherkin Island, An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney T.D., in conjunction with the Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne T.D. will launch a consultation process aimed at formulating a new national policy for the future development of the islands.

 23 November  2019 An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney T.D., with the Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne launching a consultation process aimed at formulating a new national policy for the future development of the islands on a visit to Sherkin island. Pictures Gerard McCarthy 087 8537228 

This will be the first cross-Government policy developed for the islands in 23 years and will set a roadmap for the long-term sustainability and development of our offshore communities. The voices and views of islanders will be central to the process. Consultation workshops will be held with island communities over the next three months, allowing local groups and individuals to have a direct input as the policy is developed.

The Government believes that our coastal islands are an integral part of our cultural heritage. Sustainable, vibrant communities are the bedrock of our islands, and the new policy will seek to improve the quality of life of these communities, taking into account the unique context of each island. As part of the policy, a system of reporting and review will be developed to promote accountability.

Launching the consultation process An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney TD, said:

“We have seen significant capital investment on the islands in recent years but we need this consultation to ensure communities are supported in a sustainable way into the future. Our islands are a unique asset and there are many different stories of new industry and tourism that have been successfully developed on some islands. We now need to hear from our island communities on what enterprise, education and unique supports they need.”

An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney T.D., with the Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne arrive on Sherkin Island. Pictures Gerard McCarthy

Minister of State Seán Kyne TD, when addressing the event, added:

“I am delighted to launch this important consultation process today. The launch marks the first part of a process which will encompass consultation with both island communities and other stakeholders, input from which will feed into a cross-Government national policy for the sustainable development of the islands.

“Over the past 20 years, over €100 million has been invested by the state in capital infrastructure on the islands aimed at implementing the recommendations contained in the last Inter-Departmental Islands Committee.  This new process presents both Government and island communities with an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved and to develop plans for a sustainable future over the years ahead.”

4 comments

  1. Great to see this interesting policy development in Ireland. It follows a similar process in Scotland that has led to the adoption of the first ever National Islands Plan. As part of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (based in Glasgow) I had the pleasure to collaborate with Scottish Government in the Plan’s consultation process. You can hear me talk about it at https://www.sruc.ac.uk/info/120736/island_webinar_series/2119/proposed_national_islands_plan_-_erica_clarkson_and_francesco_sindico Feel free to reach out to me directly if you want to have further information and publications about the Plan and its consultation. we are also starting to develop plans for a COP26 event on islands and climate change that could be of interest to ESIN members.

  2. We have developed a unique technology for the Blue Economy sector. Today it is no secret to anyone that the gradual rise in sea level in the future poses a real threat to entire states. But the problem turned out to be much more acute – sea and ocean waves start to destroy more and more new territories. And the real danger is that people are able to unite and mobilize their efforts in the event of a real threat to their life or property, but are not always ready to actively deal with future problems. But we found a way to make protecting the coast from being destroyed by waves a cost-effective business. Our energy-absorbing breakwaters take a significant part of the wave energy and turn it into essential commodities – electricity and fresh water.
    In fact, our technology, in addition to consumer and technical problems, also solves environmental and climate challenges. And thanks to the creation of additional jobs, the demographic problems of island territories are also.
    In other words, our technology can give a new impetus to the development of society, increase the well-being of coastal communities and make vast territories suitable for people to live.

  3. Great news! Can I kindly ask you if you could share with me any information about the legal/political process that led to this consultation. In Scotland there has been a similar consultation in 2019, which I was involved in as Co-Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance – https://www.strath.ac.uk/research/strathclydecentreenvironmentallawgovernance/ourwork/research/labsincubators/eilean/islandsscotlandact/ – The consultation was a legal requirement stemming from the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 as a means to inform the National Islands Plan, which has been now officially published. Is the consultation taking place in Ireland linked to any specific law/policy that required such consultation to take place? Thanks in advance!

    Francesco Sindico
    francesco.sindico@strath.ac.uk

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