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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 552 - 577
 Header Item Regulatory Impact Assessment Numbers
 Header Item Departmental Bodies Reports
 Header Item National Monuments
 Header Item Famine Artefacts
 Header Item Commemorative Events
 Header Item Commemorative Events
 Header Item Turbary Rights
 Header Item Irish Language Issues
 Header Item Public Procurement Contracts Expenditure
 Header Item Turbary Rights
 Header Item Air Services Provision
 Header Item Seirbhísí Oileán
 Header Item Seirbhísí Oileán
 Header Item Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge
 Header Item Arts Council Funding
 Header Item Action Plan for Jobs
 Header Item Tax Reliefs Abolition
 Header Item Special Areas of Conservation Designation
 Header Item National Parks Opening Hours
 Header Item Arts Funding
 Header Item State Papers Issues
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Exploration Industry Data

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 788 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 124 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 552 - 577

Regulatory Impact Assessment Numbers

 552. 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 regulatory impact assessments that have been carried out by his Department in the past 12 months and the list of regulatory impact assessments carried out within his Department in the past 12 months.  [57754/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I can advise the Deputy that no regulatory impact assessments have been carried out by my Department in the past twelve months.

Departmental Bodies Reports

 553. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide in tabular form the number of agencies, bodies, boards, quangos or other entities, which are financed from, answerable to or established by his Department that have been abolished, merged or re-organised since this Government took office; the savings that have been realised since the changes were made; the level of staff reduction that has been achieved; if he will provide details of further agency reductions that he intends to pursue in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57872/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The Public Service Reform Plan published by the Government on 17th   November 2011 outlined a series of rationalisation measures, including some related to bodies funded from my Department's Vote Group. Savings of €20 million in enhanced service efficiencies and value-for-money were targeted in the Public Service Reform Plan. I expect that savings of approximately €1m will be made initially across the institutions involved in the reform programme which are funded from my Department's Vote Group, with further savings to be identified as the various cost saving measures are implemented.

  To advance this, my Department has conducted a critical examination of the structure and operation of the institutions included in the Public Service Reform Plan. Summary documents which outline the main outcomes of this examination in relation to these bodies and institutions have been published on my Department's web-site and can be accessed through the following link:

http://www.ahg.gov.ie/en/PublicServicereform/  .

  With regard to the abolition of organisations or agencies funded from my Department's Vote Group, it may be noted that the work of Culture Ireland has now been fully integrated into my Department and its board has been replaced by an expert committee, operating pro bono. In addition, the term of office of the Placenames Commission has expired and it will be replaced shortly by an expert committee, operating pro bono.

National Monuments

 554. Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan his plans to designate Famine workhouses as national monuments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [57923/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan A number of workhouses are included in the Record of Monuments and Places and the Sites and Monuments Record managed by my Department under the National Monuments Acts. Ongoing consideration is given to the designation of new monuments in the context of the maintenance of those records and the development of monument protection policy, in line with the availability of resources and to support the preparation of a comprehensive new Monuments Bill. Additional workhouses may, therefore, be designated as part of that process as time goes on. The new bill, which is currently being drafted by Parliamentary Counsel, will consolidate, modernise and improve the legislative code for the protection and regulation of our archaeological heritage.

Apart from the National Monuments Acts, workhouses may also be included in the Record of Protected Structures maintained by the local authorities and subject to the protections provided under the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2012.

Famine Artefacts

 555. Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan his plans to establish an official record-database of the Famine in the National Museum of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [57924/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I am advised by the National Museum of Ireland that it collects material of national and regional importance where a connection with the Famine is verifiable. I understand that the Museum is in possession of a number of objects relating to the Famine that are categorized broadly into collections. The Museum is currently working on completing a central electronic database for all its collections, including those that relate to the Famine.

Commemorative Events

 556. Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the date and location of National Famine Memorial Day 2013. [57968/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The National Famine Commemoration Committee agreed that the annual national commemoration should revolve between the four provinces of Ireland and, accordingly, this year's National Famine Commemoration will take place in Munster. As the Deputy may be aware, last year, a new process was introduced to determine the location of the 2013 National Famine Commemoration and future commemorations. The purpose of the new selection process is threefold:

-   To generate public awareness and interest in the annual National Famine Commemoration;

-   To increase the number of potential sites available to choose from each year; and

-   To ensure that the selection process is as transparent and open as possible.

  The selection process has now concluded and the National Famine Commemoration Committee has agreed that this year's National Famine Commemoration will take place in Kilrush, County Clare. I, together with the members of the National Famine Commemoration Committee and the organising team in my Department, am very much looking forward to working with Clare County Council, Kilrush Town Council and the local community over the coming months.

  My Department is currently engaging with all of the relevant stakeholders and I can advise the Deputy that I expect to announce the date of this year's National Famine Commemoration very shortly.

Commemorative Events

 557. Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the budget he has put aside in 2013 for the Centenary of Commemorations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57973/12]

 559. 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 the funding he envisages for his Department for Commemoration events 2013-2016; his plans for making funding available for local commemorative initiatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1038/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I propose to take Questions Nos. 557 and 559 together.

Commemorative initiatives are being managed within the existing resources of Departments and State services. Incremental funding for such initiatives will be considered by Government in due course in the context of Departmental allocations and specific programme proposals.

Within the allocation for current spending in my Department in 2013, I will make appropriate provision for publications, events and initiatives relating to the Decade of Centenaries, including the possibility of some support for local initiatives. This funding will complement and support the activities of our national cultural institutions and other relevant organisations.

Turbary Rights

 558. Deputy Noel Grealish Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan further to Parliamentary Question No. 135 of 22 November 2012, all other factors being equal the commercial value placed on an acre of raised bog not under an SAC designation by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58156/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan In the context of the relocation of turf cutters to non-designated bogs, under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme, my Department is prepared to consider the purchase or long-term lease of suitable sites for turf extraction. As outlined in my reply to Question No 135 of 22 November last, it is not possible to place a set figure on the amount my Department would pay, as a variety of factors would need to be taken into consideration. Nor is my Department in a position to place a value on the commercial value of a bog, which in turn is subject to a variety of matters, including for example, whether a bog has planning permission and all necessary licences required for commercial exploitation. My Department is focused on relocating turf cutters for domestic cutting.

  Question No. 559 answered with Question No. 557.

Irish Language Issues

 560. Deputy Peter Mathews Information on Peter Mathews Zoom on Peter Mathews asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide details of the grants provided to Irish language organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1085/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to the financial assistance provided by Foras na Gaeilge, a constituent agency of the North South Language Body, to 19 core-funded Irish language organisations, North and South. I am advised that the funding provided by Foras na Gaeilge to these organisations in 2012 was as set out in the table:

  TABLE: Funding provided by Foras na Gaeilge to core-funded Irish language organisations in 2012

NORTH
£ (Sterling)
Altram
560,143
An tÁisaonad
306,036
Comhaltas Uladh
71,559
Forbairt Feirste
107,850
Iontaobhas Ultach
191,193
Raidió Fáilte
98,828
Pobal
169,819
Total (£ Sterling)
£1,505,428
   
SOUTH
€ (Euro)
An Comhlachas Náisiúnta Drámaíochta
199,545
Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge
595,670
Conradh na Gaeilge
514,120
Comhar na Múinteoirí Gaeilge
186,221
Comhluadar
214,308
Cumann na bhFiann
450,954
Forbairt Naíonraí Teoranta
972,521
Gael-Linn
635,197
Gaelscoileanna
440,880
Glór na nGael
482,170
Oireachtas na Gaeilge
454,171
Raidió na Life
209,614
Total (€ Euro)
€5,117,427


For the sake of completeness, I should say that, in addition to the core-funding set out above, Foras na Gaeilge, Údarás na Gaeltachta and my own Department provide certain financial assistance to numerous community organisations, both inside and outside the Gaeltacht, for the purpose of promoting the Irish language. This assistance is provided through a range of schemes and initiatives, details of which can be obtained on the relevant websites at www.forasnagaeilge.ie, www.udaras.ie and www.ahg.gov.ie.

Public Procurement Contracts Expenditure

 561. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the date on which consultants were appointed to complete the design and tendering process for the construction of terminals at the airstrips on Inishbofin and Cleggan; the amount paid to them to date; the work done to date; when their work is due to be completed; when tenders will be sought for these projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1114/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan My Department appointed consultants to complete the design and tender process for the construction of terminals at the airstrips on Inishbofin and Cleggan in February 2011. An amount of €15,495.91 has been paid to the consultants to date. The consultants have obtained planning permission for the construction of the terminals and have conducted site investigations. They are currently preparing tender documents for the construction phase of the project. My Department is not in a position to state when their work will be completed or when tenders will be sought for the project.

Turbary Rights

 562. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the position regarding claims by bog owners located at the All Saints bog; if claims lodged have been processed, approved and paid; if legal and or consultants' fees have been approved and paid; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [1121/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan As the Deputy will be aware, a group of turf cutters from All Saints Bog and Esker special area of conservation had applied to sell their interest in the land and negotiations in relation to this issue have been ongoing for a number of years. In an attempt to resolve the matter last year, a number of options were made available to the individuals within the group, including the sale of their interest in the land or entry to the cessation of turf-cutting compensation scheme (comprising a payment of €1,500 per year, index linked, for 15 years or, where feasible, relocation to a non-designated bog).

A number of the individuals from the group of turf cutters have yet to formally accept the offers made to them. Three individuals have accepted the offers and their legal representatives are in correspondence with my officials. However, my Department is still awaiting contracts for sale from the relevant solicitors.

For individuals who have decided to sell their interest in land, a contribution to legal fees is made where the purchase price is under €31,743. This is usually payable on the closing of the sale.

In an effort to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion, my Department also agreed to pay the reasonable fees of an individual who had represented the group of turf cutters throughout this time. I understand that this payment will be made in the coming weeks.

Air Services Provision

 563. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan cén uair a dhéanfar tairiscintí le haghaidh na seirbhíse aeir go dtí na hOileáin Árann a logáil ó tharla go dtagann deireadh leis an gconradh reatha ag deireadh mhí Lúnasa [1196/13]

 564. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan an bhfuil sé i gceist síneadh a chur leis an gconradh seirbhíse aeir go dtí na hOileáin Árann [1197/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Tógfaidh mé ceisteanna 563 agus 564 le chéile.

Mar is eol don Teachta, tá mo Roinn ag scrúdú na ceiste a bhaineann le hathnuachan an chonartha don tseirbhís aeir do na hOileáin Árann. Tá an scrúdú sin á dhéanamh i gcomhthéacs na gconarthaí uile atá ag mo Roinn do sheirbhísí iompair do na hoileáin agus i gcomhthéacs an tsoláthair airgid atá ag mo Roinn do na seirbhísí sin. Déanfar cinneadh maidir leis an tseirbhís aeir go luath.

Seirbhísí Oileán

 565. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan an bhfuil sé i gceist freagracht maidir le bunstruchtúr agus fóirdheontais farantóireachta oileán a aistriú chuig na húdaráis áitiúla mar atá luaite i leathanach 39 den fhoilseachán Putting People First; cén plé a bhí ag a Roinn leis an Roinn Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil faoin gceist go dáta [1198/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Níl aon phlean ag mo Roinn faoi láthair chun an fhreagracht maidir le bunstruchtúr agus fóirdheontais farantóireachta oileán a aistriú chuig na húdaráis áitiúla. Cé go raibh teagmháil idir mo Roinn agus an Roinn Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil ar an ábhar seo, níl aon mhion-phlé déanta ag na Ranna faoin gceist, rud a bheadh riachtanach sula ndéanfaí aon chinneadh sa chás.

Seirbhísí Oileán

 566. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan céard é an líon is mó daltaí in aon teach amháin a n-íocfar deontais ina leith faoi scéim na bhfoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge sa bhliain 2013 [1199/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Íocadh deontas faoi Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge i leith uasmhéid de 14 foghlaimeoirí a bhí ar iostas le teaghlaigh sa Ghaeltacht i 2012.

  Moladh i dtuarascáil mo Roinne, dar teideal Athbhreithniú ar chóras na gColáistí Samhraidh   a foilsíodh i 2000, gur 14 foghlaimeoirí a bheadh mar uaslíon ceadaithe i ngach teach atá aitheanta faoin scéim agus go gcuirfí an moladh sin i bhfeidhm thar thréimhse 5 bliana. Tá sé i gceist ag mo Roinn leanúint i mbliana ag íoc deontas i leith uasmhéid de 14 foghlaimeoirí i ngach teach atá aitheanta faoin scéim.

Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge

 567. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan cén uair a fhógrófar athruithe i scéim na bhfoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge do 2013 [1200/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Ar an gcéad dul síos, tá áthas orm a rá go leanfar ag íoc deontas i mbliana le teaghlaigh aitheanta Gaeltachta a choinníonn foghlaimeoirí ar iostas agus iad ag freastal ar choláistí Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht faoi Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge. Tá soláthar reatha de tuairim is €6.723m ar fáil i mbliana do mo Roinn faoi na Scéimeanna Tacaíochta Gaeltachta, lena n-áirítear Scéim na bhFoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge. Is figiúr táscach é seo, faoi réir na Meastachán a bheith foilsithe agus faofa i mí Feabhra 2013. Maidir le haon athrú a bheadh le déanamh ar an scéim, ní miste a rá go mbíonn cumarsáid rialta ag mo Roinn le Comhchoiste Náisiúnta na gColáistí Samhraidh (CONCOS).

Arts Council Funding

 568. 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 the reason an organisation (details supplied) in County Kerry does not receive funding from the Arts Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1272/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Government policy on the arts is set out in the Programme for Government. As Minister responsible for the arts and culture sectors, I am committed to securing the best possible funding provision for them during my term of office.

  Government policy is to promote and strengthen the arts in all its forms, increase access to and participation in the arts, to make the arts an integral and valued part of our national life, and to maximise the potential for cultural tourism.

  Primary responsibility for the promotion of the arts at all levels throughout the country is devolved to the Arts Council, which, under the Arts Acts, is independent in its funding decisions. Under statute I may not intervene in its funding decisions. In 2013, the Arts Council will receive an allocation of some €60.7 million in current, capital and EU Presidency funding.

  I am very well aware of the important role played by the organisation referred to by the Deputy in promoting a varied arts and culture programme to those living locally, further afield and visitors to the area. However, the provision of funding to it is a matter in the remit solely of the Council.

  The Government appreciates the importance of the arts, culture and the creative industries to both our society and to our economy. I am fully aware of the challenges for those involved in the arts and culture sectors and of the tremendous work they are doing. I am committed to supporting the essential elements of the arts and culture sectors, within the available financial resources and in the light of the evolving budgetary and Estimates processes.

Action Plan for Jobs

 569. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the 2012 targets set for his Department for implementation of the jobs action plan; if he will report on the attainment or otherwise of these targets; the reason targets were not met; the steps he is taking within his Department to create new jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [1276/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The Government's Action Plan for Jobs, published in February 2012, sets out 10 specific actions to be undertaken by my Department and the agencies under its remit in the areas of arts, culture, creative enterprise, heritage and cultural tourism, and the Gaeltacht and Irish language sectors.

Throughout 2012, we worked to meet both the explicit and implicit objectives set for these areas. The focus of my Department, at all times, was on promoting economic growth and sustaining employment having regard to the significant contribution of the arts and heritage sectors to cultural tourism and the role of Údarás in supporting job creation in the Gaeltacht areas.   The relevant actions (under section 7 of the Plan) are set out below.

  7.14 Arts, Culture and Creative Enterprise

7.14.1 Take actions as set out in the Creative Capital Report prepared by the Audiovisual Strategic Review Steering Group to double the value of the film and audiovisual sector by 2016 to over €1 billion, double employment to over 10,000 and increase cultural exports of Irish audiovisual production
Steps Necessary for Delivery
Timeline
Responsible body
Work with the audiovisual industry to grow exports Ongoing 2012 Irish Film Board
Undertaking a range of skills initiatives to address medium to long-term challenges for the sector Ongoing 2012 Irish Film Board
Leveraging investment in data centers and cloud computing to create distribution and fulfillment opportunities for the digital content industries. Ongoing 2012 Irish Film Board
7.14.2 Through Culture Ireland, maximise the business opportunities abroad for cultural and artistic businesses and enterprises by promoting Irish artists world‐wide and showcasing our strengths in culture and creativity. Ongoing 2012 DAHG/IDA
7.14.3 Through Culture Ireland, undertake joint marketing activities with the enterprise development agencies to build ‘brand Ireland’ in this sector. Ongoing 2012 DAHG/Enterprise agencies
7.14.4 Leverage the potential for language and roots tourism, working with Tourism Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, Foras na Gaeilge and relevant partners. Ongoing 2012 DAHG/ Tourism Ireland, National Archives of Ireland / Foras na Gaeilge and relevant partners
7.14.5 Roll‐out further cultural digitization initiatives, in partnership with the private sector, in order the leverage our unique cultural offerings and bring them to a wider international audience. Ongoing 2012 DAHG
7.14.6 Through the Arts Council, support over 50 venues, approximately 200 festivals and 400 arts organisations in 2012, supporting employment in communities across the country, both directly through funding artists and organisations and indirectly in the tourism sector and the wider economy. Ongoing 2012 DAHG
7.14.7 Ensure continuity in the provision of heritage services nationally through an allocation of €48m for 2012. Ongoing 2012 DAHG
7.14.8 Invest in quality customer offerings through the National Cultural Institutions and regional cultural bodies and enterprises to enhance our overall tourism offering and to make Ireland a destination of cultural distinction for the cultural tourists globally. Ongoing 2012 DAHG

Tax Reliefs Abolition

 570. Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan his views on the recent criticisms of the artist’s exemption scheme by the Arts Council; when he expects new draft guidelines to be finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [1324/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Subsection 12 of section 195 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for the drawing up of guidelines for the exemption from tax of certain earnings of writers, composers and artists. According to this legislation, the Arts Council and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht are responsible for drawing up the guidelines, with the consent of the Minister for Finance. I am currently involved in a deliberative process regarding the review of the existing guidelines and there has been correspondence on the matter between me and Minister Noonan. To date, new guidelines have not been finalised.

Given the deliberative process that is under way, the Deputy will appreciate that further comment would not be appropriate at this time.

Special Areas of Conservation Designation

 571. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the position regarding a special protection area appeal in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Donegal when a decision will issue on the appeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1401/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The landowners in question have exercised their right to appeal the inclusion of land within the Special Protection Area (SPA) in question to the independent Designated Areas Appeals Advisory Board. It will undertake a formal assessment based on a full scientific report. The Board has written to the landowners in question, outlining its requirements and requesting a scientific report in support of the appeal.

Following receipt of this report from the appellants, and a similar focused report from my Department, the Board will arrange a formal appeal hearing. As soon as possible thereafter, the Board will make a recommendation to me, as Minister, on whether the land, or parts thereof, should remain within the site, based the scientific merits of the case.

National Parks Opening Hours

 572. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the way it is planned to honour and acknowledge the contribution of John McShane at the renovated Killarney House; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1613/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan In 2011, I announced an extensive refurbishment programme for Killarney House and its gardens. These works are in progress and, when the House is fully refurbished, it will act as an interpretative centre for the whole of Killarney National Park.

Given that the State acquired the vast majority of the Killarney National Park lands and buildings through civic benevolence, it is intended that the interpretive plan for Killarney House will include the historical background to the Park’s development, including reference to the historical owners of the lands that now make up Killarney National Park, as well as an appropriate acknowledgement of those, including John McShain, who made generous donations of property.

Arts Funding

 573. 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 additional funding for the arts in County Longford, to bridge the gap between the Arts Council funding and local authority funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1644/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Government policy is to promote and strengthen the arts in all its forms, increase access to and participation in the arts, to make the arts an integral and valued part of our national life, and maximise the potential for cultural tourism.

Primary responsibility for the promotion of the arts at all levels throughout the country is devolved to the Arts Council, which, under the Arts Acts, is independent in its funding decisions. Under statute I may not intervene in its funding decisions. In 2013, the Arts Council will receive an allocation of some €60.7 million in current, capital and EU Presidency funding.

The Government appreciates the importance of the arts, culture and the creative industries to both our society and to our economy. I am fully aware of the challenges for those involved in the arts and culture sectors and of the tremendous work they are doing. I am committed to supporting the essential elements of the arts and culture sectors, within the available financial resources and in the light of the evolving budgetary and Estimates processes. My Department does not have any funding available to it to provide additional current funding in Co. Longford. However, I am pleased that my Department was able to provide funding for capital expenditure to the Backstage Theatre under the Access II scheme.

State Papers Issues

 574. Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the number of State papers, older than 30 years, that have not been released as a result of exceptions to the 30 year rule in his Department and any agency under his remit; if he will provide a breakdown by year for his Department and any agency under his remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1693/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan As the Deputy will be aware, my Department was established in June 2011. I am advised that no records held by my Department that became 30 years old on 31 December 2011 or 31 December 2012 have been withheld from public inspection.

With regard to bodies/agencies under the auspices of my Department, four such bodies are specifically named in the schedule to the National Archives Act 1986 - the National Archives, the National Archives Advisory Council, the National Library of Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland. However, there is no requirement at present for such bodies to transfer records to the National Archives and make them available for public inspection. Accordingly, the issue of records being withheld by these bodies does not arise.

Departmental Expenditure

 575. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide a list of the bodies, other than statutory bodies, that were fully funded by his Department in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1899/13]

 576. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide a list of the bodies, other than statutory bodies, that were partially funded by his Department in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2030/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I propose to take Questions Nos. 575 and 576 together.

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department was established on 2 June 2011. It oversees and has policy responsibility for the conservation, preservation, protection, development and presentation of Ireland’s heritage and culture. My Department also seeks to promote the Irish language, to support the Gaeltacht and to assist the sustainable development of island communities. Information in relation to the wide-ranging functions of my Department, as well as the programmes and schemes operated by it, can be found on my Department's website at www.ahg.gov.ie. Details of State bodies and agencies with responsibilities relating to various aspects of my Department’s remit can also be accessed through that website.

With regard to the specific information sought by the Deputy, I am assuming that the scope of his Questions is not intended to encompass non-statutory bodies and other organisations which receive grants from my Department for specific projects. Accordingly, the table contains details of non-statutory bodies and organisations that   received operational funding from my Department's Vote in respect of 2012. It should be noted that some of these bodies may receive funding from other sources.

TABLE:  

Body/Organisation Funding provided in 2012
Irish Heritage Trust €373,000
Irish Architectural Archive €315,000
ICOMOS Ireland (International Council on Monuments and Sites) €10,000
Irish Architectural Foundation €60,000
James Joyce Centre €152,000
National Print Museum €122,500
Irish Manuscripts Commission €245,000
Hunt Museum €425,000
Archbishop Marsh's Library €345,000
Foynes Flying Boat Museum €110,000
Science Gallery €330,000
Cork Butter Museum €30,000
Irish Museum Association €35,000
Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe €323,920
Gaillimh le Gaeilge €132,000
Gnó Mhaigh Eo €120,000
Gael-Taca €74,520
Raidió Rí-Rá €58,725
An Cumann Scoildrámaíochta €40,000
Glór na nGael €40,000
Spleodar €33,120
Comhchoiste na gColáistí Samhraidh (CONCOS) €64,500
Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne €496,681
Muintearas Teo €585,260
CLG - Comhairle Chonnacht €70,000
CLG - Comhairle na Mumhan €34,892
Cumann Rugbaí Chorca Dhuibhne €2,000
Óige na Gaeltachta €4,986
An Gaelacadamh €119,400
An Chrannóg €2,960
Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta €61,076
Oideas Gael €70,000
Coláiste UISCE €50,000
Gael Uladh €24,464
Áras Uí Ghramhnaigh €3,240
Scoil na nÓg Ghleann Maighir €23,161
Scoil na Leanaí Coláiste na Rinne €19,038
Ionad Cultúrtha Bhaile Mhúirne €31,000
Coiste Céim Aniar €7,000
Crann Taca - Ionad Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh €87,000
Fibín €15,000
Comhdháil Oileán na hÉireann €1,404
Comhlacht Traenach na Gaeltachta Láir €39,000

Exploration Industry Data

 577. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte in view of the potential for oil and gas industries to exploit the natural resources which lie underneath our sea bed, if he has proposals to support such undersea exploitation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57840/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Fergus O'Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd Government policy is to maximise the benefits to Ireland from exploration for and production of our indigenous oil and gas resources, while ensuring that activities are conducted safely and with due regard to their impact on the environment and other land/sea users

In recent years there has been some upturn in the level of interest in exploration off our coast, however, the potential of the Irish offshore as a petroleum producing region is largely unproven and this is likely to remain the case unless there is a significant increase in the level of exploration activity, in particular exploration drilling.

To this end, my Department encourages exploration investment through an active and targeted promotion campaign, regular licensing rounds and by supporting petroleum research projects that deepen knowledge of the petroleum potential of the Irish offshore. Last November, I announced that my Department had designed a major state-of-the-art seismic acquisition programme to provide a regional grid of high quality seismic data over our Atlantic frontier basins. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the procurement process for the survey is nearing completion with data acquisition planned for later this year. When complete, the survey will add to the understanding of the petroleum potential of our frontier basins and should provide a boost to our efforts to attract international mobile exploration investment to Ireland.


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