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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 42-62
 Header Item Arts Funding
 Header Item National Cultural Institutions
 Header Item An Curaclam Scoile
 Header Item The Gathering Initiatives
 Header Item Wildlife Protection
 Header Item National Cultural Institutions
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Commemorative Events
 Header Item Job Creation Numbers
 Header Item Comhlachtaí Poiblí
 Header Item City of Culture
 Header Item Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla
 Header Item Millenium Development Goals
 Header Item Passport Applications

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 813 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 144 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 42-62

Question No. 42 answered with Question No. 19.

Arts Funding

 43. 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 views of the impact of cutbacks to the National Irish Visual Arts Library; and his further plans to ensure that there is an independent policy or advisory committee established for this library. [38504/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I refer the Deputy to my previous responses in relation to this matter. The position remains as outlined then. NIVAL receives annual funding from the National College of Art and Design and the Arts Council. Under the Arts Act 2003, the Arts Council is statutorily independent in its day-to-day operations and neither I nor my Department has a role to play in its executive or funding decisions. Nor do I have a statutory role in relation to the funding of the National College of Art and Design.

National Cultural Institutions

 44. 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 steps he is taking to maximise the use of State exhibits and exhibitions currently held in storage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38414/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The national cultural institutions under the aegis of my Department are, in the main, responsible for State exhibits and exhibitions. Whilst my Department provides funding to those institutions, the board of each institution is responsible for all operational matters, including the determination of exhibits and exhibitions, and I do not have a statutory function in relation to such matters.

The holdings of the National Cultural Institutions, in common with institutions internationally, is such that at any point in time only some of its collections can be on public display. In that context, I am pleased to note, in attention to the quality of the exhibition programme that many institutions visitor numbers grew in the current year.

  Question No. 45 answered with Question No. 37.

An Curaclam Scoile

 46. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan an raibh aon phlé aige leis an Roinn Oideachas agus Scileanna maidir le hathbhreithniú ar an gcuraclam do scoileanna Gaeltachta; an mbeidh aon ionchur aige ar na téarmaí tagartha d’aon athbhreithniú den chinéal sin; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [38491/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Information on Dinny McGinley Zoom on Dinny McGinley Glacaim leis go bhfuil an Teachta ag tagairt don athbhreithniú atá beartaithe ag an Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna a dhéanamh ar an oideachas a chuirtear ar fáil sa Ghaeltacht chun soiléiriú a dhéanamh ar a polasaí i leith oideachais trí mheán na Gaeilge i scoileanna Gaeltachta. Is féidir liom a rá go raibh oifigigh na Roinne Oideachais agus Scileanna i ndáil chomhairle le hoifigigh mo Roinnse maidir le téarmaí tagartha an athbhreithnithe seo.

The Gathering Initiatives

 47. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the extent to which The Gathering has been utilised through the promotion of the arts as a means of projecting a positive national image; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38439/13]

 726. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the extent to which he and his Department has facilitated and encouraged music and cultural productions to link into The Gathering with a view to maximisation of the projection of this country’s image as a centre for the promotion of the Arts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [36952/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 726 together.

As the Deputy will be aware, The Gathering initiative, undertaken by my colleague, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, has the strong support of my Department and the agencies under my Department's remit. A range of the actions that have been taken to support The Gathering were outlined in my replies to Questions No. 16 of 28 November 2012, No. 13 of 30 January 2013, No. 120 of 13 March 2013 and Questions 16 and 163 (taken together) of 30 May 2013.

Throughout 2013, my Department has worked to encourage linkages between the cultural area and The Gathering initiative. As outlined previously, Culture Ireland, as the section of my Department responsible for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide, has included as a grant condition for 2013 events that grantees, when presenting their work, should promote The Gathering and encourage their audiences to embrace the initiative.

In addition, national cultural institutions under the auspices of my Department have identified special exhibitions to link in with The Gathering. I also understand that a great number of arts organisations funded by the Arts Council, particularly those involved in festivals, are participating in The Gathering.

The Deputy is also aware that Údarás na Gaeltachta developed a dedicated scheme to support events and festival in the Gaeltacht as part of The Gathering initiative.

I consider that my Department and its agencies have made a substantial contribution towards ensuring a strong linkage between the cultural area and The Gathering and that this will promote and enhance the artistic image of the country.

Wildlife Protection

 48. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will outline his response to the first national report on bird of prey persecution and poisoning which showed that there were 33 confirmed incidents here in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38469/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The first National Report on Bird of Prey Persecution and Poisoning was published by my Department in July of this year. It provided records from 2011, building on collaboration between my own Department (National Parks & Wildlife Service), the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine (Regional Veterinary Labs) and the Department of Finance (State Laboratory).

Birds of prey, such as eagles and harriers, are an indicator of the state of Ireland’s ecological health. They are also a key part of our heritage and of great benefit to tourism. I am, therefore, committed to pursuing the perpetrators of any deliberate poisoning and persecution incidents.

However, the report also showed a substantial number of unintentional incidents, mostly through secondary poisoning where the birds appear to have eaten rats that had themselves been poisoned. Therefore, I welcome the setting up of an Irish Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use, which will be launched at the National Ploughing Championships next week. Officials of my Department and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will sit on the advisory board of the Campaign. I am hopeful that alerting people to the need for great care in the use of rodenticides will reduce the number of secondary poisoning incidents.

The second annual report, detailing relevant incidents for 2012, is due to be published soon.

National Cultural Institutions

 49. 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 his plans to publish legislation relating to the future governance of the National Library and the National Museum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38477/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The draft Heads of Bill in relation to the matters referred to by the Deputy are currently the subject of consultation with other Departments and I hope to be in a position to bring them to Government shortly.

Departmental Expenditure

 50. 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 total expenditure by his Department to carry out surveillance on protected bogs under EU law; the services that were obtained as part of this expenditure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38486/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan My Department has incurred expenditure in the sum of €34,422.39 in 2012 and some €46,243.15 this year, for the hire of private aircraft, for the purpose of aerial monitoring of activity on raised bog Special Areas of Conservation where the requirement to cease turf cutting applies. Private aircraft are only used when the Air Corps is not in a position to undertake these flights. It should be remembered that Ireland is at risk of action before the European Court of Justice if these Special Areas of Conservation, which are protected under Irish and European law, are not preserved. Ireland also risks daily fines of up to €25, 000 for failure to uphold its obligations under European law.

Question No. 51 answered with Question No. 31.

Commemorative Events

 52. Deputy Michael Moynihan Information on Michael Moynihan Zoom on Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will outline his activities and engagements carried out at the Great Irish Famine international commemoration in Australia; if he will state and itemise the expenditure on this trip; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38476/13]

 742. Deputy Andrew Doyle Information on Andrew Doyle Zoom on Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide the list of all engagements that he had in the course of his August 2013 visit to Australia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37543/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I propose to take Questions Nos. 52 and 742 together.

As the Deputy will be aware, the focal point for my recent visit to Sydney, Australia, was attendance at a series of events to mark the fifth International Irish Famine Commemoration. As Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, I represented the Irish Government at the 2013 International Famine Commemoration ceremony at Hyde Park, Sydney, on Sunday 25th August 2013 where over 450 people were in attendance.

In addition to representing the Government at famine-related events, I attended a number of meetings to engage business/trade contacts and meet Enterprise Ireland clients. I also attended a Tourism Ireland networking event to promote Ireland's rich tourism product and engaged with a range of media, political, sports, cultural and Irish community contacts in Australia. I visited the Penrith Gaels Club and the Irish Australian Welfare Board, where I met with Irish emigrants and members of the local community.

During my visit, I held a number of meetings and made contacts at Governmental level. These included meetings with Prof. Marie Bashir, Governor of NSW, Mr. Greg Smith, MP, NSW Attorney General/Minister for Justice, Mr. George Souris, MP, NSW Minister for the Arts, and Ms. Robyn Parker, MP, NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage. We discussed issues of common interest between the two countries, including the creation of jobs, emigration and the Irish economy.

I also had engagement with a range of practitioners in the culture, heritage and language sectors, including a visit to the University of Sydney's Department of Celtic Studies and a visit to the Royal National Park.

Throughout this official visit, I was very pleased to see the political goodwill to Ireland and the keen interest in Irish culture which exists in Australia and I believe that my visit will yield a number of important benefits over the period ahead. In this regard, I have asked officials in my Department to progress opportunities to deepen the artistic and cultural exchange between Ireland and Australia, with a view to also enhancing commercial and trade opportunities between both countries.

In relation to the costs arising for the trip, these are itemised below. The delegation was small, consisting of myself, my private secretary and one accompanying official. The total cost for the trip was of the order of €17,000 as follows:

-Flights - €13,032

-Accommodation & subsistence - €3,247

-Transport/car hire - €635

-Incidental - €165.

Job Creation Numbers

 53. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the extent to which full time and part time jobs have been created through the medium of the arts in the course of each of the past two years to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38440/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I refer the Deputy to my previous responses in relation to this matter.

Government policy on the arts is set out in the Programme for Government. The Government's policy on the arts is to promote and strengthen the arts in all its forms, to increase access to and participation in the arts, and to make the arts an integral and valued part of our national life.

The Government appreciates the importance of the arts, culture and the creative industries to both our society and to our economy. The arts sector continue to offer vital opportunities for the provision of important cultural, social and employment benefits to communities throughout the country.

As the Deputy will be aware, primary responsibility for the promotion of the arts at all levels, throughout the country is devolved to the Arts Council. The Council is funded by my Department and is statutorily independent in its day-to-day operations, including funding decisions. In 2013, the Arts Council will receive an allocation of over €60.6 million in current, capital and EU Presidency funding. Details of all funding provided by the Arts Council to arts practitioners, arts groups and venues, including arts centres, are available on the Council's website at
www.artscouncil.ie. In a wider context, the Arts Council support of a range of arts forms is set out in its strategic overview document entitled Developing the Arts in Ireland: Arts Council Strategic Overview 2011-2013 . In this strategy document, which is available on the Council's website, its work and key strategic principles that inform its funding decisions are laid out.

The nature of employment within the arts sector encompasses a very wide range of activities. It can include those engaged in the arts practice within specific artistic genres and can also encompass areas which flow from such artistic pursuits. It may also embody the whole industrial creative sectors, including the audiovisual production sector.

The Government appreciates and values the contribution the arts sector makes to the internationally renowned artistic reputation of this country. Within the current economic constraints, investment in the arts, culture and creative sectors is more important than ever, having regard to the employment intensity of the sector. In October 2012, the Arts Council published its latest update of the Assessment of the Economic Impact of the Arts in Ireland and it is available on the Council's website.

As the Deputy will be aware, in the Government's Action Plan for Jobs  , there are 11 specific actions in the areas of arts, culture and creative enterprise which are to be undertaken by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the agencies under its remit. The relevant actions are set out in section 7 of the Plan and I look forward to continuing progress in relation to these actions in the period ahead.

Comhlachtaí Poiblí

 54. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan an raibh aon phlé aige leis an Roinn Cumarsáide maidir lena chinntiú gur i nGaeilge amháin a bheidh an t-ainm ar an gcomhlacht nua atá molta ag an Rialtas a bhunú trí chónascadh a dhéanamh idir Coillte agus Bord na Móna faoin ainm 'Bioenergy Ireland'; an aontaíonn sé go mbeadh sé go dona dá ndéanfaí ainm i mBéarla a thabhairt ar dhá chomhlacht a bhfuil ainmneacha aitheanta Gaeilge atá éasca le tuiscint orthu; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [38496/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Information on Dinny McGinley Zoom on Dinny McGinley Comhairlítear dom go mbaineann an cheist seo le cúraimí ranna éagsúla, eadhon, an Roinn Cumarsáide, Fuinnimh agus Acmhainní Nádúrtha, an Roinn Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara agus an Roinn Caiteachais Phoiblí agus Athchóirithe, chomh maith leis an ngníomhaireacht NewERA.

Níl aon ról reachtúil ag mo Roinn maidir le hainmneacha a roghnú do chomhlachtaí poiblí aonair.

Ar ndóigh, i gcomhthéacs chur chun cinn úsáid na Gaeilge go ginearálta agus i gcomhthéacs na scéimeanna teanga a aontaítear le comhlachtaí poiblí faoi Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla 2003, is féidir liom a dhearbhú go bhfuil sé mar pholasaí ginearálta ag mo Roinnse comhlachtaí poiblí a spreagadh chun úsáid a bhaint, a mhéid is féidir, as an leagan Gaeilge dá n-ainmneacha.

Question No. 55 answered with Question No. 19.

Question No. 56 answered with Question No. 37.

City of Culture

 57. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the position regarding Limerick’s designation as City of Culture for 2014; the supports he intends to give to local arts and tourism bodies and the local authority in order to ensure that the City of Culture year is successful; and his plans to promote Limerick domestically and internationally for 2014. [38502/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I refer the Deputy to to-days reply to Priority Question No 5.

Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla

 58. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan cathain atá sé ar intinn ag an Aire cinn Bhille na dTeangacha Oifigiúla a fhoilsiú; agus cad iad na haighneachtaí a fuair a Roinn i dtaobh an Bhille seo. [38494/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Information on Dinny McGinley Zoom on Dinny McGinley Is mian liom aird an Teachta a dhíriú ar an bhfreagra a thug mé ar Cheist Dála Uimhir 376 ar 18 Iúil 2013 ar an ábhar seo. Mar atá ráite i gClár Reachtaíochta an Rialtais, táthar ag súil Bille a fhoilsiú i mbliana ina ndéanfar foráil do na leasuithe ar Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla 2003. Tá na céimeanna cuí idir lámha ag mo Roinn faoi láthair chun Cinn an Bhille seo a dhréachtú agus táthar ag súil na dréacht-Chinn a chur faoi bhráid an Rialtais a luaithe agus is féidir.

Déanfaidh an Bille foráil do na leasuithe ar an Acht Teanga ag eascairt as an athbhreithniú ar an Acht, mar a bhí sonraithe i gClár an Rialtais. Ina theannta sin, déanfaidh an Bille foráil do na leasuithe ar an Acht Teanga ag eascairt as an gcinneadh Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga a chomhcheangal le hOifig an Ombudsman, mar a bhí sonraithe i bPlean an Rialtais um Athchóiriú na Seirbhíse Poiblí.

Tá sé i gceist agam torthaí an phróisis chomhairliúcháin phoiblí a reáchtáladh mar chuid den athbhreithniú ar an Acht a fhoilsiú in am trátha i dteannta le Cinn an Bhille. Mar atá curtha in iúl agam cheana, fuarthas tuairim is 1400 freagra ar an suirbhé agus 262 aighneacht mar chuid den phróiseas comhairliúcháin phoiblí.

Question No. 59 answered with Question No. 37.

Question No. 60 answered with Question No. 19.

Millenium Development Goals

 61. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if the Irish Government will honour its commitment to support developing countries by meeting the millennium development goals and ensure that Ireland keeps its promise in budget 2014 to reach the international target of 0.7% GNI by 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38022/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): Information on Joe Costello Zoom on Joe Costello The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were agreed by world leaders at the United Nations in 2000 as the framework for international development policy up to 2015. They provide a clearly measurable way to track progress in the fight against global poverty. The Goals are central to Ireland’s development programme, and to our renewed policy on International Development, “One World, One Future”, which reaffirms our commitment to the fight against poverty and hunger as an integral part of our foreign policy. Next week, with the Tánaiste, I will participate in a special international meeting at the UN General Assembly in New York which will review progress on the MDGs as 2015 target date approaches, and discuss ways to accelerate progress over the next two years.

It is clear that while there have been very significant achievements under the MDGs since the turn of the century, progress on the Goals has been mixed. As a result of the scaling up of development assistance, and the partnership which we and other donors have built with Governments and communities in the developing world, the targets set in some vital areas will be met by 2015. For instance, the overall extreme poverty rate will be halved, as will the proportion of people without access to clean drinking water. Considerable progress has been made in education, especially enrolment at primary level, and in addressing the HIV/ AIDS pandemic. However, less positively, some targets remain significantly off-track, notably in the areas of maternal health and maternal mortality, access to sanitation and the fight against extreme hunger, which is a central priority of Ireland’s aid programme. We believe it is essential that the entire international community strengthens and accelerates its efforts to achieve the remaining targets by 2015.

The Government is firmly committed to Ireland’s overseas aid programme. Our new Policy clearly restates our commitment to achieving the UN target of providing 0.7% of Gross National Product (GNP) for Official Development Assistance (ODA) when economic circumstances permit.

Over the past two years, the Government has broadly stabilised the budget for development assistance. This is a very significant achievement in the context of the very difficult conditions facing the country.

Passport Applications

 62. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the position regarding a passport application in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3. [36798/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore A passport was issued by the Passport Service to the person in question on 17 July, 2013.


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