§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the annual cost for the last five years for which figures are available of maintaining lighthouses and navigational and seismographic services around the coasts of the Republic of Ireland and in Republic of Ireland territorial waters.
§ Mr. Nicholas Ridley
The Commissioners of Irish Lights are responsible for lighthouses and other navigational aids around the coast of the whole of Ireland. They are financed from the General Lighthouse Fund for which I am responsible. The commissioners' expenditure (in sterling, at the rate of exchange current at the time) for each of the last five years for which published accounts are available was:
£ 1979–80 5,921,000 1980–81 6,701,000 1981–82 8,227,000 1982–83 7,888,000 1983–84 8,779,000
The commissioners' expenditure relating to the coast around the Republic is not identified separately in their accounts, but the figure of 70 per cent. was adopted for the purposes of the coast-sharing agreement that was negotiated with the Irish Government last year.
The provision of seismographic services around the coasts of the Republic is not a matter for the commissioners or for me.