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O'Dowd, Fergus

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Regulatory Bodies

I thank the Deputy for raising this matter in the House which I am taking on behalf of the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy Pat Rabbitte, who is unavoidably absent.More Button

ComReg is statutorily responsible for the regulation of the postal sector and independent in the exercise of its regulatory functions. Furthermore, the EU regulatory framework for the postal sec...More Button

Recognising the importance of universal service, the postal Act was strengthened by the Minister, reflecting commitments given in the programme for Government, to give him a direct role in ensuri...More Button

I watched with interest the proceedings of the Oireachtas committee and was heartened by the interest shown by all Deputies in An Post and the nationwide services it delivered. As many Deputies ...More Button

Turning to the role of the Minister in this area, clearly he has no direct role in legal proceedings between ComReg and An Post, the costs incurred in legal actions or the amount of management ti...More Button

Regulatory Bodies (Continued)

I assure the Deputy that I will bring his comments and views, which have been strongly and clearly expressed, to the attention of the Minister, Deputy Rabbitte. I appreciate what he has said but I...More Button

Hospital Services (Continued)

I thank Deputies Paudie Coffey, Ciara Conway, John Paul Phelan and John Halligan for raising this matter. I note Senator Maurice Cummins is here also. I am taking this matter on behalf of the Min...More Button

A key stepping stone towards the introduction of universal health insurance will be the development of independent not-for-profit hospital trusts in which all hospitals will function as part of i...More Button

The work on hospital groups is not about downgrading hospitals, rather it is about bringing together groups of hospitals into single cohesive entities to allow maximum flexibility in management, ...More Button

Specifically with regard to Waterford, the hospital will retain its current suite of services - oncology, cardiology and emergency department. It will provide invasive cardiology and trauma serv...More Button

To assist the Department in advising the Government on the formation of hospital groups, in June the Minister appointed Professor John Higgins to chair a strategic board on the establishment of h...More Button

A project team was established to make recommendations on the composition of hospital groups, governance arrangements, current management frameworks and linkages with academic institutions for th...More Button

The Minister has also made clear to the project team and the board his determination to ensure that as many services as possible can be provided safely and appropriately in smaller, local hospita...More Button

It should be remembered that the hospital groups are an interim, collaborative measure pending the legislation required to establish hospital trusts. Before these trusts are established, the com...More Button

I thank the Deputies for their comments and acknowledge the presence of Senator Maurice Cummins in the House. All I can say is that I will make sure the Minister is made aware of the concerns rais...More Button

Education and Training Provision

I thank the Deputy for raising this issue.More Button

The Department estimates that expenditure on employment supports will be over €960 million in 2012. This substantial expenditure, which is against a backdrop of significant fiscal consolidation,...More Button

A person wishing to qualify for the BTEA will have to satisfy a number of conditions such as being of a certain age, in receipt of a prescribed social welfare payment for a specified time period,...More Button

The BTEA guidelines are, in the main, in line with the mechanisms in place for student support type schemes administered by the Department of Education and Skills. Progression in education is a ...More Button

Resources allocated and numbers supported through the BTEA have increased steadily in recent years. It is estimated that over €200 million will be spent on the BTEA in 2012 as compared to 2008 w...More Button

The Department is reviewing a wide range of activation supports available to Department of Social Protection customers, including the BTEA and it is intended to canvass the views of stakeholders ...More Button

Education and Training Provision (Continued)

The intention is to canvass the views of stakeholders as part of the implementation process resulting from this review.More Button

I acknowledge the Deputy's point that qualifications at a very high level are no longer sustainable in terms of employment. If one changes one has to take a course at a lower level. The Deputy ar...More Button

Fisheries Protection

The total number of salmon passing the counter (upward) in the months September and October 2102 was 1,142. I have set out as follows for the Deputy’s information figures for the counter available...More Button

Environmental Schemes

I draw the Deputy’s attention to my response to his question in the House on 3 October 2012, which he references. I informed the House that Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) had advised that options...More Button

In addition, following this consultation, any works proposed on the foreshore solution will require a licence from the appropriate Department.More Button

In assessing the appropriate long term solution for Reendonegan, there is an imperative to ensure that it is appropriately engineered and takes into consideration issues such as access for works,...More Button

Hydraulic Fracturing Policy

The terms of reference for the second and more detailed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research are currently being drawn up by a steering group, which includes representatives from the EPA,...More Button

- establish if shale gas exploration and extraction involving the use of the fracking technique can be carried out in a manner that will not cause significant environmental pollution.More Button

- identify all possible environmental risks associated with the fracking technique and to ascertain if these risks are manageable and,More Button

- identify best practice with respect to environmental protection for the use of the hydraulic fracturing technique for the exploration and extraction of shale gas.More Button

It is anticipated that following the engagement of the relevant experts, the study will take in excess of twelve months to complete, leading to a potential publication date in 2014. More Button

In February 2011, onshore petroleum licensing options were awarded to Tamboran Resources PTY Ltd (over parts of counties Cavan, Leitrim and Sligo); Lough Allen Natural Gas Company Ltd (over parts...More Button

For information, Licensing Options are not exploration authorisations and no applications have been made to date proposing the use of hydraulic fracturing in exploration drilling. As I previousl...More Button