Eamon Ryan takes charge of marine planning system

Eamon Ryan takes charge of marine planning system

Eamon Ryan

Responsibility for Ireland’s marine planning system has been formally transferred to the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

The transfer from from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is based on a recommendation made by the former Attorney General Paul Gallagher SC and follows a government decision in December 2023.

The specific functions transferring to DECC are:

  • policy and legislative responsibilities in relation to marine forward planning and enforcement (under the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021);
  • governance and oversight of the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA);
  • regulation of activity on the foreshore (under the Foreshore Acts 1933) as part of the migration to the new system operated by MARA under the MAP Act.

Environment, climate and communications minister Eamon Ryan will soon publish Ireland’s first statutory marine planning policy statement.

Commenting on the transfer of responsibility, Mr Ryan said: “I’m delighted to welcome these critical new functions into my department.

“As a nation, we are increasingly turning ourselves towards our seas as we seek sustainable solutions to the challenges we face.

“I want to ensure that we have a modern marine planning system that delivers for all stakeholders and which supports the sustainable uses of our seas across the broadest remit of activities set out in the National Marine Planning Framework.

“My aim and the aim of my department, building on the work of our colleagues in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and on the commitment and effort of minister Darragh O’Brien, is to create a marine planning system that has the confidence of all stakeholders and that delivers for all marine interests in a fair and impartial way.

“As the government department that has more marine policy areas than any other within our remit, we are uniquely placed to deliver on this.”

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