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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 144-166
 Header Item Consular Services Representations
 Header Item Consular Services Remit
 Header Item Air Accident Investigations
 Header Item International Relations
 Header Item Departmental Bodies
 Header Item Job Creation
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Ministerial Adviser Appointments
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Issues
 Header Item Passport Applications
 Header Item Ministerial Staff
 Header Item Ministerial Advisers

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 774 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 162 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 144-166

Consular Services Representations

 144. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the action he will take to ensure justice for the family of Michaela McAreavey; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [36941/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I am very conscious of the terrible ordeal that this family has suffered in the aftermath of Michaela’s murder, through the long period of waiting for the trial, and then the trial itself which had been expected to last 2 weeks but in fact went on for nearly 8 weeks. Throughout this dreadful period both the McAreavey and Harte families have borne their terrible grief with great dignity. Throughout their ordeal the family received every consular assistance required, both from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and from our Embassy in South Africa which is also accredited to Mauritius.

I know the verdict in the case further deepened the dismay of the family that no one had been made accountable for the murder of Michaela and that justice has not been served in this case. The subsequent publication of photographs of Michaela in a Mauritian newspaper caused real and justified outrage throughout Ireland. Our Ambassador to South Africa and Mauritius, Brendan McMahon travelled to Mauritius to convey to the Government of Mauritius the deep sense of shock and outrage in Ireland at what had happened in this case.

The Ambassador subsequently met with Prime Minister, Ramgoolam and with Foreign Minister Boolell. The Ambassador received the assurance that the Mauritian authorities are fully conscious of their responsibilities in the case. A dreadful murder has taken place and it is the responsibility of the Government of Mauritius to do all it can to arrest those guilty of the murder, to place them on trial and to secure a conviction. With this in mind, the case is now being reinvestigated by a specially appointed new team of detectives. This is being done in the context of the Mauritian Government’s request to their Director of Public Prosecutions to consider establishing a special judicial review to look into this case.

In sum therefore, they have provided us with the assurance that the case is not closed and that they are taking a fresh look at every aspect of the case. I will of course ensure that our Embassy in South Africa continues to liaise with the relevant authorities in Mauritius and closely monitors the progress of this new investigation. I and my officials will of course keep the family briefed on any and all developments.

Consular Services Remit

 145. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore his views on a matter (details supplied).  [37915/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I am aware of the situation concerning the person referred to by the Deputy. As the person referred to is not an Irish citizen, it is not possible for my Department to offer him consular assistance. The Greek authorities are under no legal obligation to assist our Embassy with any requests made in connection with this investigation, as we have no locus standi in the matter. Embassies have certain rights of communication and contact with their citizens to facilitate the exercise of our consular functions under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963). Embassies have no such rights for other persons, even if they are related to those citizens.

  As previously advised, this Department and the Embassy in Athens stand ready to authenticate any documents which would assist the case of the person in question if they are in a form suitable for authentication.   I am aware that the case is under appeal before the courts in Greece at present. In regard to other documents or records, including passport stamps and airline records, the person’s lawyers are best placed to advise on how such documents or records might be entered into evidence at any appeal. If such documents or records are held by Irish authorities or other entities, there are legal procedures which may assist in their retrieval but this Department has no role in that regard.

Air Accident Investigations

 146. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if, in view of new evidence, he will ensure that the current partial reopening of the investigation into the downing of the Air France Caravelle F-BOHB aeroplane on 11 September 1968, while en route from Corsica to Nice with Irishman Arthur O'Connor on board, is fully re-opened and any tribunal investigating the affair is independent; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37039/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to the O’Connor family on the loss of their father, Mr. Arthur O’Connor, in the tragic crash of the Air France Caravelle F-BOHB plane on 11 September 1968. At the time, the causes of this crash were examined by the appropriate authorities. Reports on the case were made public, including the final report of the Commission of Investigation which was issued on the 14th December 1972. Recently, a police enquiry into certain aspects of the investigation of this crash has been initiated by the Prosecutor’s office in Nice. The Embassy in Paris has been in contact with the Prosecutor’s Office and has asked the authorities to keep it abreast of developments.

International Relations

 147. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Gerardo Hernandez, a Cuban national and one of the Miami Five imprisoned in the United States, has been prevented from meeting with his legal adviser and his consular advisers in the lead up to his final appeal; and if he will take immediate action to hold the USA to account for the violation of the few legal rights remaining to him.  [37040/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I am aware of the case to which the Deputy refers. As I have made clear in previous replies, the Government has no standing in this matter, which is a bilateral consular question between the US and the Cuban authorities and, consequently, I do not intend to pursue this matter with the US administration.

Departmental Bodies

 148. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the number of agencies, authorities, boards, committees, working groups, tribunals, council services, task forces, agencies or other quangos set up by his Department since February 2011; the number abolished since then; the extra cost of quangos which were established; the savings from the abolition of quangos; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37246/12]

 149. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the estimated cost of each quango in his Department; the amount expected to be saved from the mergers of quangos in his Department; the basis for this figure; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37262/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 and 149 together.

  Since February 2011, my Department has established no entity in the categories described by the Deputy. There are no quangos attached to my Department.

Job Creation

 150. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the number of new jobs created by his Department as a result of the jobs initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37278/12]

 151. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the number of new jobs created by his Department as a result of the action plan on jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37294/12]

 152. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the number of new jobs created by his Department as a result of budget 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37310/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I propose to take Questions Nos. 150 to 152, inclusive, together.

  My Department is committed to supporting trade, tourism and investment as fundamental elements of ensuring future export led growth and contributing to job creation in Ireland. A core high level goal of the current strategy of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to 2014 is to promote Ireland’s economic interests in Europe and internationally. My Department works closely with all the other relevant Departments and State Agencies with an interest in promoting Ireland overseas to achieve this goal.

  The Programme for Government set protecting and creating jobs as a key objective and, to that end, the Government established a dedicated Department, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, to take this work forward. It is, of course, a task shared across Government, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. As envisaged in the Action Plan for Jobs and the Strategy for Trade, Tourism and Investment, I have made clear that it is a priority task for every part of our Embassy network to work closely with the State Agencies in identifying new opportunities and supporting trade and investment promotion in their countries of accreditation, as well as in establishing coordinated market plans of activity under the Government’s trade strategy.

  Local Market Teams chaired by the relevant Ambassador and comprising representatives of the locally based State Agencies have been established in all of the priority markets identified under the Trade Strategy. These teams execute detailed market plans which aim to optimise the overall resources of Embassies and Agencies to deliver ambitious targets. Progress on implementing our Trade Strategy by these Local Market Teams is monitored by the Export Trade Council, which I established and which I chair and which will have its third meeting on 20 September.

  Since becoming Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, I have also been active in promoting opportunities for Irish companies overseas, both through targeted trade missions organised by Enterprise Ireland and in the course of broader working visits abroad. The Action Plan for Jobs set a target of 12 trade missions each year. I am pleased to say that, in addition to the Saint Patrick’s Day ministerial programme which in many cases included trade focussed events, so far this year 10 Enterprise Ireland-led trade missions have taken place, supported in each case by our Embassy network, and a further 8 are scheduled to take place between now and the end of the year.

  As outlined in the Action Plan for Jobs, the Government has repeatedly stated its belief that our Diaspora can make a meaningful contribution to Ireland’s economic recovery. The Global Irish Network, which is managed by my Department, is a central element of the Government’s engagement with the Diaspora in support of our economic goals. Following the Global Irish Economic Forum in October 2011, Network members and the wider Diaspora have been working with my Department, our Embassy network and our State Agencies on a number of initiatives in support of our job creation goals, including: the development by Enterprise Ireland and my Department of the Global Irish Contacts Programme, several events aimed at highlighting Ireland as a premier FDI location – for example, the Invest in Ireland Roundtable in New York with President Clinton   in February 2012 and the “Invest in Ireland Forum” with Coca Cola to coincide with the Notre Dame v Navy football game in late August - as well as significant support for The Gathering, and the Succeed in Ireland initiative.

  The Government has also formalised the involvement of Global Irish Network members in trade missions and the Export Trade Council has requested Embassies and Local Market Teams to consider, where appropriate, the involvement of GIN members when planning and organising activities in their respective regions. In addition to the formal projects undertaken by the Global Irish Networks, our overseas communities, business organisations and Chambers of Commerce continue to work with our Embassy network and State Agencies to promote Ireland and to assist Irish companies seeking to break into new markets.

Departmental Expenditure

 153. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the total amount spent on taxis by his Department since February 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37326/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore My Department is responsible for two Votes: Vote 28 Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Vote 27 International Cooperation. The amount expended by my Department on official taxi fares under both Votes since 1 February 2011 to date is set out below in the following table.

Period Vote 28 (€000) Vote 27 (€000)
Feb 2011 – 31st Dec 2011 179 40
2012 to date 116 21
  

These figures include official taxi travel costs incurred at both Headquarters and Missions overseas.

  My Department’s taxi policy, in line with guidelines on official travel prescribed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, follows the principle that taxi use by officers on official business should take place only when absolutely necessary and when public transport is not available or it is not feasible to use it. Given the particular nature of the Department’s work, officers at Headquarters and Missions abroad are frequently required to travel and work outside of normal office hours in order to perform their duties effectively. This will often involve early morning and late night travel at times when public transport is not available or feasible. In addition, some officials posted abroad operate in environments where other forms of public transport are unsuitable, unavailable or unsafe.

  My Department makes every effort to minimise expenditure, including by strict enforcement of usage policy and the use of competitive procurement for ongoing headquarters requirements. Taxi costs in my Department have shown a consistent pattern of reduction from €453,000 in 2008 to €233,000 in 2011, a reduction of 48%.

Departmental Staff Data

 154. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the number of press officers in his Department; the number of press officers in each agency under his auspices; the total cost of press officers in his Department and in agencies under his auspices; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37342/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore There are two designated Press Officers in my Department, one generally responsible for matters relating to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the other for matters relating to Irish Aid. The details requested by the Deputy are set out in the accompanying table:

Number/Grade Applicable salary scale Vote
1 First Secretary €67,913 - €84,296 28 (Foreign Affairs and Trade)
1 Assistant Principal €71,359 - €88,598 27 (Irish Aid)


  The Departmental Press Officer is assisted by a unit consisting of two Third Secretaries and a Clerical Officer. Officers assigned to press duties routinely work outside of normal office hours as and when required. In that regard, the First Secretary is in receipt of an annual taxable allowance of €2,412. The Third Secretaries and Clerical Officer are paid overtime in respect of necessary extra attendance in line with normal civil service regulations. Officers serving in missions abroad are engaged in press work in addition to other duties. There are no State agencies under the aegis of my Department.

Appointments to State Boards

 155. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the total number of board appointments he has made since he came to office; the names, salaries and expenses of each appointee; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37358/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore There are no boards under the aegis of my Department.

Departmental Expenditure

 156. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will detail, in tabular form, the total photography costs for his Department since coming to office inclusive of costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the occasions for which photographers were booked; the photographers used; the breakdown of costs associated with each occasion that a photographer was used; if there is a policy regarding the booking of photographers within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37374/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The total spend by my Department on photography since March 2011 is €77,411.73. The following table outlines the costs associated with each occasion.

Event Cost
State Visit of Queen Elizabeth II €22,662.70
Diplomatic Credentials Ceremonies €12,952.30
Official Visits by Chinese Vice President €7,321.58
Expenditure of missions abroad* €7,418.12
State Visit of Prince Albert of Monaco €6,213.35
Official Visit to Mozambique, Malawi & Tanzania €2,388.30
Official Visit by the King & Queen of Lesotho €2,208.34
Diplomatic Corps New Years Greetings €2,015.97
Global Irish Economic Forum €1,923.90
Inauguration of President Higgins €1,817.30
OSCE Conf.- Lessons learned from NI Peace Process €1,479.35
Launch of Our World Awards, Dublin & Limerick €1,268.05
Africa Ireland Economic Forum €1,220.59
Science for Development Award at BT Young Scientist €711.71
Launch of Commemoration Lecture Series €658.82
Official visit to Kenya €606.40
Official Visit by Indian Minister €599.75
Launch of the 2010 Irish Aid annual report €569.00
Launch of EU Presidency Logo €560.84
Launch of Africa Day 2011 - Dublin €526.35
Official Farewell for the British Ambassador €524.84
OSCE 5+2 Conference €417.76
Official Visit by US Congressional Delegation €388.62
Launch of Certificate of Irish Heritage €296.23
Irish Aid Trade and Development Conf. €282.41
Irish Aid Int'l Conf. on Agriculture €164.60
Irish Aid Fellowship Annual Meeting €119.55
Official Visit to Korea/ Japan €95.00
TOTAL €77,411.73
   *It was not possible in the time available to provide a detailed breakdown.

  My Department only utilises the services of official photographic agencies where it is warranted, in particular, for major events and State occasions. This is a service which my Department provides so that the media can easily and freely avail of photography for important events where their own staff photographers cannot be fully accommodated. As the table indicates there were a significant number of such events in 2011. In September 2011, my Department led a collaborative advertised tender process for the procurement of a multi-supplier competitive framework of photographic service providers. This is now available for use by all Government Departments. Details of the new framework arrangements are posted on the National Procurement Service website: www.procurement.ie/suppliers/contracts/1298 . The purpose of this framework is to ensure Departments’ compliance with EU procurement rules and to ensure value for money by having a competitive process for photographic assignments.

Departmental Expenditure

 157. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will detail, in tabular form, the total cost of providing entertainment for his Department since coming to office inclusive of costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the occasions for which entertainment was provided; the entertainers used; the breakdown of costs associated with each occasion; if there is a policy regarding the booking of entertainers within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37446/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Since February 2011, a total of €29,179 has been spent by my Department in providing entertainment at a small number of events. Details are contained in the table below.   The performance of Riverdance during the visit to Ireland by China’s Vice-Premier was part of a cultural programme requested by the Chinese Embassy. The Riverdance show has toured widely in China and has strong cultural resonance.

  Entertainment was provided at a number of events relating to Ireland’s Chairmanship-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for 2012. The OSCE is an intergovernmental regional security organisation comprising 56 States from Europe, Central Asia and North America. Ireland assumed the Chairmanship for the first time on 1 January 2012 for one calendar year.

  As Chair, Ireland is required to host and contribute to a number of conferences and events throughout the year. As well as providing valuable opportunities to promote tourism and trade, these events offer a chance to showcase Irish music, arts and culture. In this regard, four Irish musicians were invited to perform at a cultural event marking the opening of Ireland’s OSCE Chairmanship, at a total cost of €4,270.00. The ‘Damhsa’ Irish dancing troupe was contracted to perform at an OSCE Charity Ball in March 2011 at a total cost of €4,059.00. Two harpists were invited to perform for participants in two smaller OSCE events hosted in Dublin in February and April of this year at a total cost of €350.00.

Event Name of Entertainer Cost Date
Founders Dinner, hosted by the Tánaiste, Dublin Castle Ann Jones

(harpist)
€250 October 2011
Global Irish Economic Forum, Dublin Castle Ann Jones

(harpist)
€250 October 2011
Cultural event, official opening of Ireland’s OSCE Chairmanship Sharon Carty, Denis O’Sullivan, Aifric Boylan, Ciaran O’Grady €4,270 January 2012
‘5+2’ talks on the Transdniestrian settlement process Emer Kenny €175 February 2012
OSCE Charity Ball Damhsa Limited

€4,059
March 2012
OSCE Chairmanship Conference, ‘Shared Future: Building and Sustaining Peace, the Northern Ireland Case Study’ Teresa O’Donnell €175 April 2012
Visit of China’s Vice-President Xi Jinping Riverdance (Abhann Productions Ltd) €20,000 February 2012

Departmental Expenditure

 158. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the amount spent on food and drink by his Department; if he will provide a breakdown of what this involved; the occasions on which food and drink was provided; those present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37462/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The Deputy will be aware that my Department, and its network of diplomatic missions abroad, carries out many functions on behalf of the State that require a budget for hospitality. In the time provided, it is not possible to provide a breakdown of every occasion. In 2011, my Department spent €501,120 on State and official entertainment. This covers the costs associated with State and Official Visits to Ireland by Heads of State or Government or other high-level visiting dignitaries, costs associated with Official or State Visits abroad by the President, certain costs associated with Official Visits abroad by the Taoiseach and miscellaneous expenditure associated with visits and events such as printing of invitations and the purchase of flags.

There is also budget provision for official entertaining carried out by Divisions of my Department in pursuit of their business objectives including entertainment costs incurred in relation to the Irish Aid programme. Spending in 2011 amounted to €103,880.

Officers serving at Diplomatic Missions abroad are required to carry out certain representational duties in line with the Department’s strategies and the Mission’s business plan. Official representation is an important avenue towards achievement of Mission and Departmental objectives, including the promotion of Ireland’s political, economic and cultural interests in the European Union and in the wider world. The quality and outreach nature of representational activity also present a positive image of Ireland on the international stage.

Representation expenditure is incurred within clearly defined Departmental guidelines and also guidelines issued by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Over the past four years expenditure on representation has been brought back to 2003/2004 levels, including a cut to Mission representation budgets of nearly 30% in 2010. Spending on representational duties in 2011 amounted to €1.98m.

Departmental Expenditure

 159. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the amount spent on hair and make-up by his Department since he came to office; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37478/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore My Department has not incurred any expenditure on hair and make-up during the period in question.

Ministerial Adviser Appointments

 160. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the number and names of all special advisers, special press advisers, or any other type of ministerial adviser in his Department; the name of the Minister or Minister of State to whom he or she reports; the salary of each adviser now; the salary of each adviser at the time he or she was appointed; if any salary increase was asked for; if it was granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37494/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The information requested by the Deputy is provided in the following table. The salary in each case is commensurate with the responsibilities of the post holder. No pay increases have been sought or awarded since the original appointments, with the exception of Ms Jean O’Mahony who received a salary increment on 10 March 2012 in line with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidelines relating to Special Advisers.

Name Position held Annual Salary
Mark Garrett Chief Adviser - Office of the Tánaiste €168,000
Colm O’Reardon Economic Adviser - Office of the Tánaiste €155,000
Jean O’Mahony Special Adviser - Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade €83,337
Stephen O’Shea Special Adviser - Minister of State for European Affairs €61,966

Consultancy Contracts Issues

 161. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will provide detail, in tabular form, of the names of all external public relations and consultancy persons and organisations used by his Department for the years 2011 and 2010; the amount paid to each; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37510/12]

 164. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will detail, in tabular form, the amount paid on external public relations and communications consultants since February 2011; the reason for the payment; the name of each organisation used; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37543/12]

 165. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will detail, in tabular form, the amount paid to consultants since February 2011; the name of each organisation used; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37559/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I propose to take Questions Nos. 161, 164 and 165 together.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for two Votes – Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs) and Vote 27 (International Cooperation).I am very conscious of the need to achieve value for money on all consultant expenditure and commissioning of such work is in full compliance with national and EU procurement regulations.

My Department did not incur expenditure on external public relations and communications services during the period from 2010 – to date. From time to time, consultants or companies with a public relations and communications background are commissioned to provide other professional services such as project management, logistics and event management.

In the period in question, my Department has commissioned a small number of consultancies to provide specialist ICT and accounting support.

In addition, my Department, through Irish Aid (Ireland’s official development assistance programme), occasionally commissions outside expertise where the effective management, evaluation and review of the programme necessitates the use of such skills. Elements of the aid programme are highly technical such as the areas of HIV/AIDS, communicable diseases, nutrition, agriculture and others. It is essential if the aid programme is to remain at the cutting edge of development science that it utilises outside expertise from time to time for quality assurance and to provide access to the latest knowledge. Utilising external expertise on a temporary basis can also provide excellent value for money as the skills involved are only utilised on a needs rather than full-time basis.

  Consultants are engaged only where specialised knowledge and skills are not available within the Department and where independent appraisal, audit, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects are required.Decisions on the need to commission outside expertise are subject to the establishment of appropriate business cases and an approvals process carried out by the Irish Aid Senior Management Group. National and international regulations are fully complied with in subsequent tendering processes.The level of expenditure on consultancy services is constantly monitored to ensure that it does not exceed the level required for the proper management, oversight, monitoring, evaluation and audit of the aid programme.

  A table detailing expenditure on consultancy services under both Votes since February 2011 is provided here.

Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs)

Consultants February 2011 – Sept 2012 Amount Paid
ISAS €4,898.08
RITS €18,630.52
TONY TAAFFE €3,850.00


Vote 27 (International Cooperation)

CONSULTANTS FEBRUARY 2011 – SEPTEMBER 2012 Amount Paid
80:20CONSULTANTS €9,870
ACTRAADVISERS LIMITED €21,811
ADRIENNE BOYLE €5,000
AISLING SWAINE CONSULTANCY LTD €8,702
AODH O CONNOR €3,797
BERNARD MCLOUGHLIN €9,787
BERNARD WOOD + ASSOCIATES LTD €9,873
BERNIE CRAWFORD €3,572
CAROLINE BURKE €3,000
CATHERINE SARAH JONES €29,820
CATHY DORAN €8,586
CATHY GAYNOR €31,265
CATHY ROCHE €9,300
CHANNEL RESEARCH €27,103
CHARLES LATHROP €9,629
MARY Mc KEOWN €5,900
CR2 SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT LTD €2,495
DEIRDRE FARRELL €9,200
DR MARGARET FITZGERALD €8,032
EAMONN O'REILLY €7,500
ECONOMIC + SOCIAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE €54,007
EILIS MURRAY €7,968
EMMA WARWICK €5,400
EVERYWHERE HUMANITARIAN & LOGISTICS SERVICE LTD €40,583
FITZPATRICK ASSOCIATES €95,109
FRED TOTTENHAM €10,256
GERAGHTY CONSULTING €6,793
GERALD CAWLEY €4,015
GRACE KELLY HARTNETT €16,710
HUMANITARIAN POLICY LTD €33,930
HUNTER MCGILL €11,840
INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION DEVELOPMENT €420,572
INTRAC CONSULTANTS €12,962
ISOS PARTNERSHIP (UK) LLP €42,247
ITAD LTD €93,871
JAMES BURKE €1,278
JAMES SAUNDERSON €5,400
JIM CANNON €9,773
JIM KIELY €7,950
JIM KINSELLA €8,565
JOHN O'REGAN €37,271
KEVIN FARRELL €24,331
KEVIN MOORE €17,862
LIZZIE DOWNES €3,174
LUIS ENRIQUE BRAN REYES €6,573
MALAQUAIS LOPEZ CERVANTES €32,920
MARCEL GROGAN €70,650
MARIE SMITH €9,146
MARIE T FANNING €18,696
MARK JEROME €8,750
MARTIN GREENE €69,546
MARY BRADY €38,480
MARY BUCKLEY €3,020
MARY CORBETT €51,649
MARY JENNINGS €2,748
MATTHIAS FIEDLER €5,387
MAZARS €15,753
MELLA CUSACK €4,121
MIKE WILLIAMS €39,378
MOKORO LTD €218,515
MORINA O'NEILL €1,720
NIALL ROCHE €2,250
NOGUGUMAFU €8,800
PAT MCMULLIN €15,382
PATRICA HUNT €5,109
PATRICK D. MURPHY €9,064
PAUL ISENMAN €5,294
PAUL SHEANE €9,965
PETER MCEVOY €15,084
PHILIP REGAN €5,208
PROF HELEN O'NEILL €6,457
RACHEL KAVANAGH €2,800
RODNEY RICE €18,756
RONAN TIERNEY €27,817
RUTH O' DOHERTY €13,176
SAMIA SAAD €9,198
STEFANIE MEREDITH €10,000
THE POLICY PRACTICE LTD €32,189
TONY TAAFFE €10,400
VALID INTERNATIONAL LTD. €52,260

Passport Applications

 162. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will support a matter (details supplied) in Dublin 9.  [37518/12]

 170. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the position regarding a passport refusal in respect of a person (details supplied) ion Dublin 9.  [37731/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I propose to take Questions Nos. 162 and 170 together.

The Passports Act 2008 (the Act) requires that before issuing a passport to a child each person who is a guardian of the child consents to the issue of a passport to the child. The Passport Service has been in discussion with the mother of this child regarding issues associated with the consent of the father. These discussions have focussed on evidence as to whether the named father on the child’s birth certificate is a guardian under Irish law. If the father is, in fact, a legal guardian then the Act requires that his consent be obtained. If his consent is not forthcoming, the mother has the option to seek a court order disposing of his consent for the issue of a passport.

It should be noted that in the interests of the applicant the Passport Service issued a temporary passport of seven months validity to allow the child to travel for a pressing pre-arranged trip overseas. This will ensure that the child can travel while his mother resolves the outstanding guardianship question, which needs to be clarified under Irish law, before his application can be finalised.

Ministerial Staff

 163. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the gross annual salary costs for his private and constituency offices at present; the same figures for this time last year; the same figures for any Ministers of State in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37527/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Details of the annualised salary costs of my private and constituency offices and those of the Ministers of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in September 2011 and September 2012 are set out in the following tables. The variations arose due to the payment of salary scale increments or because of approved minor adjustments in staffing levels.



Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Eamon Gilmore TD
Offices Gross Annual Salary Costs September 2011 Gross Annual Salary Costs September 2012
Office of the Tánaiste €379,060 €379,060
Private Office – Foreign Affairs and Trade €348,698 €357,782
Constituency Office €132,963 €134,791
Minister of State for Trade and Development
Offices Ms Jan O’Sullivan TD Mr Joe Costello TD
  Gross Annual Salary Costs September 2011 Gross Annual Salary Costs September 2012
Private Office €221,339 €186,455
Constituency Office €131,914 €118,236
Minister of State for European Affairs, Ms Lucinda Creighton, TD
Offices Gross Annual Salary Costs September 2011 Gross Annual Salary Costs September 2012
Private Office €145,909 €181,951
Constituency Office €103,255 €106,756

Questions Nos. 164 and 165 answered with Question No. 161.

Ministerial Advisers

 166. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the political activities of each special adviser, special press advisers, or any other type of ministerial adviser in his Department; if any of them were members of a political party; if so, the parties to which they belonged; if any of them are or have been elected local authority members; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37575/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Special Advisers are appointed under the terms of Section 11 of the Public Service Management Act, 1997 and are required to perform any duties that may be assigned to them from time-to-time by the relevant Minister as appropriate to the position held. Those duties include providing advice as well as monitoring, facilitating and assisting in the delivery of Government objectives relevant to the Minister’s Department. The Ethics in Public Office Act 1995, the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 and the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour apply to the post-holders. The restrictions under the terms of the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour on civil servants engaging in political activity do not apply to Special Advisers and they may engage in political activity or join political parties if they wish. These are not matters for which Special Advisers are accountable to Ministers under their contracts of employment.


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