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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 572 - 587
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Social Welfare Benefits Data
 Header Item Social Welfare Eligibility
 Header Item Semi-State Bodies Remuneration
 Header Item Inland Waterways Development
 Header Item Architectural Heritage
 Header Item Wildlife Protection
 Header Item National Parks Projects
 Header Item Special Protection Areas Designation
 Header Item Waterways Ireland Feasibility Study
 Header Item Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Architectural Heritage
 Header Item Arts Funding
 Header Item Departmental Meetings

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 572 - 587

Carer's Allowance Appeals

 572. Deputy John O'Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision on an appeal for carer's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14199/14]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered on 6 February 2014. In accordance with the statutory requirements, the Appeals Office contacted the person concerned and asked him to set out the complete and up to date grounds of his appeal. This information was submitted on the 26 February 2014 and in accordance with the statutory procedures, the Department was then asked to provide the documentation in the case and the Deciding Officer’s comments on the grounds of the appeal.

When these have been received from the Department the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing. The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

Social Welfare Benefits Data

 573. Deputy Colm Keaveney Information on Colm Keaveney Zoom on Colm Keaveney asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the total number of recipients of working age on income supports and the total number of recipients of working age on employment supports, resident in the town of Loughrea, County Galway, for January of each year from 2012 to 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14217/14]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton Information relating to a claimant’s address is not currently coded to the geographical location of the address. As such it is not possible to accurately report persons in receipt of social welfare payments living in a particular town at present. The following is a tabular statement detailing the number of recipients of working age on income supports and the number of recipients of working age on employment supports registered in the Loughrea Social Welfare Local office for January of each year from 2012 to 2014.

Recipients of working age on income and employment supports in Loughrea Social Welfare Local Office

-
Jan 2012
Jan 2013
Jan 2014
Back to Education
129
127
137
Farm Assist
109
103
110
Jobseeker’s Allowance
1,380
1,445
1,557
Jobseeker’s Benefit Credits
161
177
201
Jobseeker’s Benefit
658
546
414
JobBridge
18
24
40
One-Parent Family Payment
231
272
313
Pre-Retirement Allowance
12
9
5
Part-time Job Incentive
N/a
N/a
2

Social Welfare Eligibility

 574. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if a person who is separated, has two children aged nine and seven and is in receipt of €200 maintenance, working 19 hours per week and receiving €190, is entitled to a one-parent family payment based upon these figures; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [14219/14]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton One parent family payment (OFP) is a social assistance payment for people who are parenting alone. The amount payable depends on an assessment of the parent’s weekly means. In assessing means, account is taken of all cash income which the person is receiving, including maintenance payments. Currently, earnings from employment or income from self-employment up to €90 per week are disregarded in the assessment of means, with the balance assessed at 50%. This means that people earning up to €90 per week are entitled to the full rate of payment. Other disregards which are offset from the gross earnings are PRSA/AVC contributions, superannuation, pension levy, PRSI and trade union subscriptions. No payment is due where weekly earnings exceed €425, regardless of family size.

In the assessment of maintenance, housing costs up to €95.23 per week are disregarded, with the balance assessed at 50%. As a result of this approach, a recipient will always retain at least half of any maintenance paid. On the basis of the information supplied by the Deputy, there may be entitlement to a reduced rate of one-parent family payment. Where a person is working a minimum of 19 hours each week, there may also be an entitlement to family income supplement (FIS), which is based on net weekly income (including any social welfare payment) and the number of children in the family. The current weekly income threshold for a two child family, above which no FIS is payable, is €602. If the Deputy wishes to forward me further details of the case, the Department will be in a position to provide a more detailed reply. Alternatively, the person can make enquires at his or her local Intreo Centre.

Semi-State Bodies Remuneration

 575. Deputy Derek Nolan Information on Derek Nolan Zoom on Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the salaries, including pensions and any other bonus-related additions, including company cars, of chief executive officers of commercial State bodies under the remit of her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14483/14]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton There are no commercial State bodies operating under the remit of the Department of Social Protection.

Inland Waterways Development

 576. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding issues canal users have with the recent changes in mooring and passage fees. [12859/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The Deputy will appreciate I am constrained by parliamentary procedure from addressing in detail the issues set out in the correspondence that accompanied this Parliamentary Question as "details supplied". The Deputy will be aware that a public consultation was undertaken by Waterways Ireland on the proposed bye-laws governing Grand Canal, the Royal Canal and the Barrow system and this concluded on 3 February 2014. The proposed new bye-laws provide for the management of house boats, extended moorings and residential moorings. They will also modernise the charging regime which has remained unchanged for almost a quarter of a century.

I am advised that Waterways Ireland received over 2,000 submissions in the course of the by-law consultation process. Waterways Ireland is now giving full and careful consideration to all of these submissions and I am advised by Waterways Ireland that some of the submissions touch on the issues outlined in the correspondence that accompanied the Deputy's Question. In particular, all proposed fees and charges are currently being examined by Waterways Ireland in the context of the submissions arising from the recent public consultation process.

Waterways Ireland will then prepare a report setting out its proposed approach, including any revisions it may wish to make to its original proposals, having regard to all of the submissions received including those relating to the proposed fees. The report will be submitted to my Department and will then be referred to me, with recommendations for consideration and final decision. As previously indicated, I will afford interested Deputies and Senators an opportunity to discuss the proposals with me prior to making the final decision.

Architectural Heritage

 577. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will set a date for his meeting with the concerned relatives of the signatories to the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic as agreed at the 1916 Rising Commemoration 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13247/14]

 588. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if his attention has been drawn to the fact that information in the Chartered Land consent application on the status of 18 Moore Street is incorrect and cannot be relied upon by him; if he will sanction a full independent survey of No. 18 and all structures within the boundary of the national monument and carry out his obligations under the preservation order of 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13552/14]

 589. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if the developers of the environmental impact study in relation to Moore Street and the submission itself were drawn up in full consultation with officials from his Department; if he will provide a record of the meetings and decisions taken between officials in his Department and the developers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13553/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I propose to take Questions Nos. 577, 588 and 589 together.

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 206 on 4 March 2014, in which I advised that I would consider the issue of any further meeting with the 1916 relatives once I had received and considered the completed designs submitted by the consent applicant for verification of compliance with the decision I made on the consent application in July 2013. These final designs have now been submitted to my Department and I will, therefore, be happy to meet with the relatives in the coming period. I understand that a date for the proposed inspection of the national monument on behalf of the 1916 relatives has been agreed by the owners.

The requirement for the submission of an Environmental Impact Statement as part of the consent application arose in this case as a consequence of new statutory requirements I introduced on 9 July 2012 in accordance with EU Directive 2011/92/EU. The consent applicant was asked to submit the required Environmental Impact Statement on 10 July 2012. My Department provides an advisory service in relation to compliance with the statutory requirements under codes of legislation relating to monuments and archaeology, the built heritage, and nature and wildlife protection. In this regard, five informal meetings took place between my Department and the applicants and their representatives between July 2012 and the submission of the Environmental Impact Statement in January 2013.

In relation to No. 18 Moore Street, the Deputy will appreciate that my functions, as Minister, relate to ensuring that any works to that building do not adversely impact on the adjacent national monument. The Preservation Order was made on the grounds that the protection of No. 16 is of national importance by reason of its historical significance as the site of the final council of war and final headquarters of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. To achieve that objective, the Order also covers Nos. 14 to 17 Moore Street and includes the yards to the rear of Nos. 15 and 16 Moore Street, extending to Nos. 8 and 9 Moore Lane. The position regarding the area outside of the monument is set out in the planning permissions granted by Dublin City Council and An Bord Pleanála.

Wildlife Protection

 578. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will ensure that breaches to the legislation banning stag hunting are dealt with appropriately; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13272/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Officials of my Department monitor compliance with the Wildlife Acts across the country on an ongoing basis, and carry out patrols and site visits to enforce the various provisions of these Acts, as required. They also investigate reports of breaches of the Acts. Members of An Garda Síochána are also empowered under the Acts to investigate alleged offences and to prosecute if they see fit. In this regard, my Department will follow up appropriately on any breaches of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2010 which makes it an offence to hunt a deer with two or more dogs.

National Parks Projects

 579. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding fallen trees in Killarney National Park, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13792/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The recent exceptional storms caused extensive damage to trees in many properties, including some in Killarney National Park and in the other National Parks and Nature Reserves. In dealing with this matter, the first concern of my Department is Health and Safety at its properties. Accordingly, the works being carried out in the aftermath of the storms continue to focus on making safe any fallen or damaged trees that might pose a danger to the public, other licensed users of these properties, or staff of my Department. Considering the exceptional and widespread nature of the storm damage, my Department is carrying out an assessment of the extent to which trees at its many properties may have been affected, with a view to establishing the best course of action for dealing with damaged trees, including consideration of the safe and appropriate use, removal and disposal of fallen and felled trees.

Special Protection Areas Designation

 580. Deputy Joe Higgins Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan his views on the potential impact on the European designated special protection area following the sale of five acres on the Merrion Road beside the Booterstown Nature Reserve in Dublin, known as the Ashe Castle site previously owned by the National Asset Management Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14124/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The land in question lies outside, but is adjacent to, the South Dublin Bay and River Tolka Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA), of which Booterstown Nature Reserve is a part, and the South Dublin Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC). These areas are protected under EU and Irish law. Any proposed development of the site is likely to require planning permission. Under Part XAB of the Planning and Development Acts, any proposed development will be subject to the requirements of Article 6(3) and (4) of the Habitats Directive. These provide for the protection of SPAs and SACs, which are referred to as European Sites in the transposing legislation. They are designed to determine, on the basis of a scientific assessment and objective criteria, whether a project, alone and in combination with other plans or projects, is likely to have an adverse impact on the integrity of a European site. A competent authority, such as a planning authority, can agree to a plan or project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of any European Site that might be affected by it, unless the plan or project can be allowed to proceed for imperative reasons of overriding public interest.

Waterways Ireland Feasibility Study

 581. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the date on which the Waterways Ireland feasibility study between Longford and the main Royal Canal will be published. [12862/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I am informed by Waterways Ireland that it is anticipated that the feasibility study will be completed and a report available in August 2014. Waterways Ireland also advises me that it will forward the Report to the Deputy as soon as it is available.

Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme

 582. Deputy Brian Walsh Information on Brian Walsh Zoom on Brian Walsh asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan further to Parliamentary Question No. 311 of 22 October 2013, and correspondence issued to him, when payment under the turf cutting compensation scheme will be made in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12853/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan An application for compensation under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme has been received by my Department from the individual referred to in the Deputy’s Question. I am advised that a payment of €1,500 in respect of year 1 of 15 (2011) and a payment of €1,500 in respect of year 2 of 15 (2012) have been made to this applicant. The qualifying criteria for the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme are that:

  - The claimant must have a legal interest in one of the 53 raised bog special areas of conservation – ownership or turbary right;

  - The claimant must have been the owner or entitled to exercise turbary rights on the land in question on 25 May 2010;

  - The turbary on the site must not be exhausted;

  - The claimant must have been cutting turf on the land in question during the relevant five year period; and

  - No turf cutting or associated activity is ongoing on the property.

  As part of my Department's verification procedures, the applicant has been requested to forward information demonstrating his legal interest in the plot to which his application relates. Once this information is supplied, my Department will be in a position to process his application further. However, this information has not yet been supplied to the Department.

Departmental Reports

 583. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the number of external or internal policy reports currently that have been handed to him but not yet published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13025/14]

 584. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan when he will publish reports currently in his possession that have not been published to date; if he will outline in tabular form the reports involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13042/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I propose to take Questions Nos. 583 and 584 together.

  There are two completed reports which have been presented to me but not published. Details are set out in the following tabular statement.

ReportStatus
Capital Incentives to Promote Investment in Studio InfrastructureIt is intended to publish this report in the near future.
Cost Benefit Analysis of the National Archives Warehouse DevelopmentThis analysis has been prepared as part of the ongoing internal deliberative process and is not intended to be published at present.

Architectural Heritage

 585. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide an update on proposed additional funding to purchase the motte in Granard and bring it into public ownership; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [13101/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Although in private ownership, Granard motte and bailey is a national monument in the guardianship of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, under the National Monuments Acts 1930-2004. As such, it enjoys the full range of protections afforded by those Acts, including a requirement that any works at, or in proximity to it, are subject to my prior written consent. While the scope for acquiring ownership of such monuments is extremely limited in the prevailing budgetary circumstances, discussions are taking place between my Department, Longford County Council and Granard Town Council regarding the options for this monument.

Arts Funding

 586. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the position regarding funding in respect of an organisation (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13262/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Capital grants for arts infrastructural projects are paid from the Cultural Infrastructure and Development subhead of my Department's Vote. The majority of the budget in this subhead is already committed to existing projects that were allocated funding some time ago, with projects that are under construction having priority in this regard. The current budgetary situation does not allow for any new major capital projects to commence at this time. When availability of funds allows, smaller capital grants (limited to €10,000) may be available. Details of the application process for this type of funding, along with the requirements and criteria for the drawdown of these grants, are published on my Department's website at www.ahg.gov.ie.

Departmental Meetings

 587. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the number of times his Department received requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times his Department met with Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13382/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan According to my Department's records, there were no meetings between Ministers or officials with Philanthropy Ireland in 2011, 2012 or 2013. A single request for a meeting was received in November 2011.


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