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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 572-592
 Header Item Departmental Schemes
 Header Item Fodder Crisis
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Expenditure
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Applications
 Header Item TAMS Application Numbers
 Header Item TAMS Application Numbers
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Forestry Grants
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments
 Header Item Irish Land Commission
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Missing Children

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 805 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 91 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 572-592

Departmental Schemes

 572. Deputy John Deasy Information on John Deasy Zoom on John Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of persons from County Waterford who have applied for grants under the new rainwater harvesting scheme since it commenced on 1 March 2011; and the total amount paid out to farmers in each county under this scheme to date. [25603/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney One applicant from Co. Waterford has applied for a grant under the Rainwater Harvesting Scheme since it was introduced in March 2011. One payment of €8,000 has been made under the Scheme, to date, to an applicant from Co. Cork. Due to the low up-take by farmers of grants under this Scheme, I have transferred €4 million of the available funding to the TAMS Dairy Equipment Scheme.

Fodder Crisis

 573. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will provide in tabular form a breakdown by county of the number of calls received to his Department's animal welfare helpline since 23 April 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25604/13]

 574. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of persons who have received emergency fodder support directly from his Department on animal welfare grounds in each week since its commencement; the number who have received a supplementary payment, if any; the plans he has to provide additional supports when required on animal welfare grounds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25625/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I propose to take Questions Nos. 573 and 574 together.

  Since the beginning of emergency fodder support in week commencing 23 April last, almost 960 calls have been received on the animal welfare helpline. Invoices covering the period to which the Deputy refers continue to be received and, for that reason, statistics are unavailable on the total number of farmers who have received emergency aid during that period. Many farmers have been adequately supported through the Transport Subsidy Scheme. However, as of the week ending 26 May, over 330 farmers had received direct aid. Assistance was sanctioned for purchase of emergency feeding stuffs where animal welfare problems or potential animal welfare problems were identified. No supplementary payments were made to farmers.

  For the future, the Department will continue to utilise the resources available under the FAWAC’s Early Warning/Intervention System (EWS) which provides a framework for the IFA, the ISPCA and my Department’s Veterinary Inspectors to work collaboratively in identifying and addressing farm animal welfare issues before they became critical. Farmers who are unaware of the points of contact in their respective counties should contact their local IFA or ISPCA representatives. There is also a dedicated email address in operation (fawac@agriculture.gov.ie) which farmers and or family members can contact for assistance.

  The number of calls on a county by county basis is set out in the Table.

County Calls
Carlow 2
Cavan 56
Clare 40
Cork 41
Donegal 27
Dublin 3
Galway 74
Kerry 63
Kildare 10
Kilkenny 15
Laois 15
Leitrim 127
Limerick 40
Longford 24
Louth 4
Mayo 60
Meath 41
Monaghan 19
Offaly 13
Roscommon 52
Sligo 83
Tipperary 67
Waterford 8
Westmeath 19
Wexford 11
Wicklow 4
No address given 40
Total 958

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

 575. Deputy Regina Doherty Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Meath will be awarded the agri-environment options scheme payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25631/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 December 2010 and full payments totalling €268.05 and €3,550.53 issued in respect of 2010 and 2011 respectively. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. The person named was selected for a ground inspection which took place on 17 September 2012. During this inspection, areas of non-compliance with the terms and condition of the scheme were noted in relation to the Traditional Hay Meadow action which will result in a penalty being imposed. On 21 February 2013, a letter issued to the person named outlining the nature of the penalty and the appeal option. To date, no appeal has been received by officials in my Department. The application is being finalised on the basis of the inspection findings and payment will issue shortly.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Expenditure

 576. Deputy Michael Creed Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if it is possible to seek EU approval for an extension of the REP scheme 4; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25670/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As the Deputy will be aware, despite the challenging budgetary situation facing my Department, I re-opened AEOS to new applicants last year. I provided €20 million annually for new entrants ensuring the approval of 6,000 new applicants to this scheme. I have no plans to extend the current REPS 4 Scheme. Any new agri-environment scheme will be examined in the context of the new Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

Single Payment Scheme Applications

 577. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney further to Parliamentary Question No. 574 of 26 February 2013 regarding a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny, if their correspondence to the Department has been considered and if the review has been completed; if he will expedite a response. [25679/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My Department has now completed the review of the 2006 to 2010 applications of the person named, specifically, with regard to the eligibility under the Single Payment Scheme of two land parcels owned by him. My Department is in the process of advising the applicant of a positive outcome in regard to the two land parcels in question. Monies due on foot of this review will issue as soon as possible.

TAMS Application Numbers

 578. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he intends to extend the time for the completion of projects under tranche 1 of targeted agricultural modernisation schemes in view of the bad weather of the last year and the financial pressure this has put farmers under; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25752/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Applicants for grant-aid under the TAMS Dairy Equipment, Rainwater Harvesting and Sheep Fencing/Handling Schemes, who have not yet completed the investment works within the two-year time-limit for completion of such works, may apply in writing to my Department for an extension of the time-limit. In the case of the TAMS Poultry Welfare and Sow Welfare Schemes, the deadlines for completion of work are linked to the dates of entry into force of the new EU animal welfare rules for those sectors. I do not therefore propose to alter the present arrangements in relation to those Schemes.

TAMS Application Numbers

 579. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of farmers who were approved grants under tranche 1 of targeted agricultural modernisation schemes; the number who have been paid their grant to date under this tranche; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25753/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table.

Scheme Closing Date of

First Tranche
Number of

Approvals Issued
Number of Payments (To Date)
Dairy Equipment 3 May 2011 635 364
Poultry Welfare 9 July 2010 3 3
Rainwater Harvesting 30 April 2011 2 1
Sheep Fencing/

Handling
31 January 2011 611 151
Sow Welfare 31 August 2010 9 3
 

  There is no undue delay in processing payments where projects have been completed and a valid payment claim has been received in my Department.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Eligibility

 580. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the dates of the scheme year that apply to the disadvantaged areas scheme for stocking density purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25754/13]

 581. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if a farmer who only acquired land legally in March 2013 will have to comply with the stocking density rules for the disadvantaged areas scheme 2013 for the whole calendar year of 2013 and to achieve the stocking densities from the date of acquisition to the 31 December 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25755/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I propose to take Questions Nos. 580 and 581 together.

In order to be considered eligible under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, applicants must, in the first instance, have achieved a minimum stocking density on their holdings in 2011 of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare, or, alternatively, have been formally granted derogation from this requirement or qualified as a New Entrant. Thereafter, applicants must also ensure that their holdings meet a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare for a minimum retention period of seven consecutive months, in addition to maintaining an annual average of 0.15 livestock units calculated over entire twelve months of the calendar year.

As provided in the Terms and Conditions governing the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, land declared by an applicant must be used and managed by the applicant. In order to be eligible for payment, the land in question must be available to the applicant for the entire calendar year. However, as in previous years, there is continued recognition of farmers, who do not meet the minimum stocking density due to the impact of Agri-Environment measures; provision is also been made for new entrants to farming, with each case being examined in light of the circumstances particular to the case.

  Question No. 582 answered with Question No. 551.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 583. Deputy John Browne Information on John Browne Zoom on John Browne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when an application for disadvantaged areas payment will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Wexford. [25842/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Under 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, there are two criteria to be satisfied in relation to equines. Firstly, the holding itself must meet the definition of an Equine Breeding Enterprise and secondly, horses, in order to be taken into account for stocking density purposes, must be aged one to five years and, where older, must be a breeding mare for the purposes of the Scheme. The person named was not due any payment under the 2012 Scheme as he did not meet its requirements in this regard. The applicant was informed of the position by letter dated 20 March 2013.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 584. Deputy John Browne Information on John Browne Zoom on John Browne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when an application for disadvantaged areas payments will be made to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford. [25843/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Under 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, there are two criteria to be satisfied in relation to equines. Firstly, the holding itself must meet the definition of an Equine Breeding Enterprise and secondly, horses, in order to be taken into account for stocking density purposes, must be aged one to five years and, where older, must be a breeding mare for the purposes of the Scheme. The person named was not due any payment under the 2012 Scheme as she did not meet its requirements in this regard. The applicant was advised of the position by letter dated 20 March 2013.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 585. Deputy Noel Harrington Information on Noel Harrington Zoom on Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason a deduction was made from a single farm payment in 2012 in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25848/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application under the 2012 Single Payment Scheme was received from the person named on 15 May 2012. Issues arose regarding two of the parcels declared; one because it had also been declared by another applicant and the other, because it had been over-claimed. The applicant accepted that he did not have the right to declare the dual-claimed parcel, and also that he had over-claimed on the second parcel. Consequently, the application was processed, with penalty, as provided for in the Terms and Conditions governing the Scheme.

In addition, in order to comply with EU requirements, the applicant was selected for a Cross Compliance inspection which took place on 31 May 2012. The inspection recorded breaches relating to both nitrates and cattle identification/registration requirements. As a result, a penalty of 5% was also registered against the applicant’s 2012 payments. The decision was notified to the person named on 14 September 2012. He was also advised of his right to seek a review of the decision and of his right to appeal the outcome of any such review, in turn, to the independent Agriculture Appeals Office. To date, no such application has been has been received. However, these options remain open to the applicant.

Forestry Grants

 586. Deputy Noel Harrington Information on Noel Harrington Zoom on Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a forestry grant will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25849/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney A second grant claim form (Form 3) was sent to the applicant in April 2009. To date the Forest Service has no record of receiving the form back from the applicant. A replacement form has been posted to the applicant which should be completed and returned to the Forest Service.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

 587. Deputy Michael Ring Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will receive their agri-environment options scheme payment. [25914/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 November 2010 and full payments totalling €833.33 and €5,000.00 issued in respect of 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. During the checking process in respect of the 2012 scheme year, issues were identified in relation to the claimed areas on the Natura Commonage action which resulted in a 1% overdeclaration penalty. The person named was also selected for a Cross Compliance Inspection which resulted in a 3% cross compliance penalty being imposed. To date, 75% payment totaling €3,750.00 has issued in respect of the 2012 scheme year. The balancing 25% payment (net of penalties) will issue shortly.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

 588. Deputy Michael Ring Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their agri-environment options scheme payment for 2012. [25915/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 November 2010 and full payments totalling €833.33 and €4,999.99 issued in respect of 2010 and 2011 respectively. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. During the checking process in respect of the 2012 scheme year, issues were identified in relation to the claimed areas on the Species Rich Grassland action which resulted in a penalty being imposed. Officials in My Department have finalised the application of the person named and payment (net of penalties) in respect of the 2012 scheme year will issue shortly.

Irish Land Commission

 589. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will provide maps of an area of bog (details supplied) in County Westmeath which was under the auspices of the Irish land Commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25932/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Certified copies of maps of the former Irish Land Commission can be obtained from the Records Branch of my Department located at Unit 11, Clonminam Industrial Estate, Portlaoise and are issued to vendors or purchasers, their successors in title or their respective solicitors under Statutory Instrument No. 341 of 1939 on payment of the prescribed fee.

Single Payment Scheme Eligibility

 590. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will clarify headage payments in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry who was notified by his Department regarding a deduction of over 5 ha in 2013, which also were reduced by 5 ha in 2012, and if he uses more that 50% of entitlement each year in a two year period, will he have the total used; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25960/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Regulations governing the Single Payment Scheme provide that entitlements have to be used at least once in every two-year period. "Used" in this context means that in any of two consecutive years one hectare of eligible land must have been declared in respect of each entitlement held. The Regulations further provide that any entitlements that remained unused over the two-year period must revert to the National Reserve and are thereby lost to the farmer.

The person named has 15.22 entitlements with a total value of €892.65. Under the 2012 scheme year an application was submitted by the person named requesting the transfer of 9.25 entitlements by way of lease. This application was processed and 8.99 of the 9.25 entitlements were used by the transferee and now have an expiry year of 2014. Under the 2013 scheme year the person named has submitted a Transfer of Entitlement application requesting the transfer of 9.25 entitlements by way of lease. This transfer has been fully processed and provided that the transferee meets all the criteria in regards land eligibility for his SPS application, these entitlements will be used and therefore there will be no loss of entitlements to the National Reserve in 2013.

Health Services Provision

 591. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will provide an update regarding the service users under the Health Service Executive (details supplied). [25107/13]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department has sought the information requested by the Deputy from the HSE and I will provide the Deputy with the information as soon as it becomes available.

Missing Children

 592. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if the 116000 number is funded by the Government; if so, if she will confirm the amount granted in each of the past three years; the extent of the marketing campaign to promote the 116000 number and the way that campaign is funded; the number of calls received by the 116000 line since it was established; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25955/13]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The 116000 Missing Children Hotline is operated by the ISPCC in liaison with a cross-sectoral Project Team, chaired by my Department. I am delighted to confirm that the phased implementation of the service, which commenced in December 2012, operating on a reduced hours pilot basis, has now become a full-time 24/7 service since Monday the 22nd of April 2013.

The ISPCC submitted an application for funding to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to cover the establishment and running of the Hotline. This application has been approved for €50,240 for the establishment and operational period from June to December 2012 and €87,631 for 2013. Future applications for running costs will be considered in the context of the annual budget estimates process. The ISPCC has also been successful in securing EU Daphne funding of €141,422 to support the establishment of the line.

The promotion of the Hotline has been ongoing since the service opened in 2012. There have been numerous press releases issued by the DCYA and the ISPCC, the 116 000 Missing Children Hotline has been covered in the print (9 articles) and broadcast (6 radio stations) media since opening in May 2012. There has also been an on- going website and social media presence utilising ISPCC, Facebook and Twitter to highlight the service as well as information on missing children. ISPCC staff and volunteers have worked to disseminate posters in local areas and posters have been distributed nationally by the Gardaí. The Missing Children Hotline will be officially launched on the 7th of June 2013. Following this launch the awareness campaign for the service will be escalated nationally. A dedicated website www.missingchildrenhotline.ie will also be launched by the ISPCC.

In addition I can confirm that memoranda of understanding between the ISPCC and the HSE, my Department and the Gardaí, respectively were finalised in advance of the commencement of the pilot in December 2012. The funding received from both the EU Daphne fund and from my Department includes, in the establishment costs, the national promotion and advertisement of this Hotline service.

The missing children hotline has been operating on a fulltime basis since end April, 2013. Reliable data on calls is not available prior to this point. The ISPCC will submit quarterly activity data to my Department, which will include information on the number of calls received by the service. It is expected that data on calls to the service since its establishment on a fulltime basis will be available in the next quarter, and henceforth on a quarterly basis.


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