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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 366-387
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Expenditure
 Header Item Rent Supplement Scheme Payments
 Header Item Social Welfare Appeals Delays
 Header Item Employment Support Services
 Header Item Mortgage Interest Supplement Appeals
 Header Item Commemorative Events
 Header Item National Monuments
 Header Item Forbairt Thionscal na hIascaireachta
 Header Item Deontais do Comharchumainn
 Header Item National Monuments
 Header Item National Archives
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Expenditure
 Header Item Proposed Legislation
 Header Item Architectural Heritage
 Header Item Architectural Heritage
 Header Item National Lottery Funding Disbursement
 Header Item North-South Implementation Bodies
 Header Item National Monuments
 Header Item Prospecting Licences

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 821 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 83 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 366-387

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

 366. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the number of reports her Department has commissioned Indecon to undertake and the cost of same. [49565/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The procurement of services is essential to support the Department in providing high quality service to the public in a cost effective and efficient manner and is governed by a comprehensive regulatory, legal and procedural framework.

The Department engages consultants (individuals or organisations) to provide intellectual or knowledge based services (e.g. expert analysis and advice) including the delivery of reports, studies, assessments, recommendations and proposals that contribute to decision making or policy making.

Since March 2011, Indecon International Economic Consultants have been engaged once at a cost of €59,557 to undertake an independent evaluation of the operation and impact of JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme, and to make recommendations upon improvements to the operation of the Scheme. This engagement followed an open procurement procedure which was completed in April, 2012. The final report of the evaluation was published on 1st May, 2013.

  Question No. 367 withdrawn.

Rent Supplement Scheme Payments

 368. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the reason rent allowance has been withdrawn in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; if it can be reinstated as a matter of urgency; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49571/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The client’s rent allowance, which is currently in payment, was reviewed on 28th August 2013 to bring it within the maximum limit applicable based on family composition and area of residence. A 12-week period is allowed to reduce rent to the appropriate limit or find alternative accommodation. A reminder outlining the need to adhere to the appropriate rent limit issued from the Department on 12th November 2013. The client must forward evidence outlining what steps have been taken to adhere to the rent limit before the end of November to retain a rent allowance.

Social Welfare Appeals Delays

 369. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton her views on the delays in implementing decisions of the Social Welfare Appeals Office; if she will provide figures, including the average time that persons have had to wait to receive their payments, including arrears in October 2011, October 2012 and October 2013, following a successful appeal; if she will confirm if the waiting time differs by scheme; and if so, if she will provide details of same.  [49573/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton My Department aims to process and pay without delay all successful appeals returned by the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO). In general, across schemes, there are no delays in implementing successful appeals.

However, in the disability allowance (DA) area, temporary delays are currently being experienced by some successful appellants. These delays are arising due to the large number of backlogged new claims that have been processed over the last year, resulting in high levels of appeals. There are approximately 1,700 DA cases awaiting payment at present following successful appeals. The majority of these have been received by the scheme area in the past 6 weeks. The Department regrets the inconvenience caused to these customers. Additional staff resources have been assigned to process these appeals and they will be put into payment quickly.

The average processing time for successful appeal cases cannot be provided as such statistics are not specifically captured across the various social welfare schemes. Statistics in relation to earlier years are not available but this situation is a result of the unique circumstance of major backlog clearance.

Employment Support Services

 370. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if time spent on JobBridge goes towards the calculation of a person qualifying for JobsPlus.  [49574/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton JobsPlus is a new employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. This incentive replaced the employer Job PRSI Exemption Scheme and the Revenue Job Assist from the 1 July 2013. Regular cash payments are made to qualifying employers to offset wage costs when they engage eligible jobseekers.

  Eligible employees must have been in receipt of a jobseekers’ payment or signing for jobseekers’ credits for at least 12 months. Time spent on JobBridge counts towards the qualifying period and persons pursuing internships under JobBridge who were in receipt of a qualifying payment prior to their internship may be employed directly from this scheme once the required qualifying period and conditions are satisfied. An employer and employee should apply on online as normal in these circumstances. Once eligibility has been confirmed employment from directly from an internship can be facilitated.

  The incentive provides two levels of payment; a payment of €7,500 over two years to an employer for persons recruited who have been unemployed for between 12 and 24 months and a payment of €10,000 over two years to an employer who recruits a person who has been 2 years or more on the live register. The JobsPlus Incentive is administered by Employment Support Services, Department of Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim. You may contact this section at 071 9672597 or by emailing jobsplusinfo@welfare.ie 

Mortgage Interest Supplement Appeals

 371. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if and when mortgage interest relief will be paid in the case of a person (details aupplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49594/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton Following a review in July 2013, the mortgage interest supplement payment to the person concerned was stopped as her means were calculated to be in excess of the allowable interest on the mortgage.

  The person concerned has appealed the decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office who will be in touch with her in due course.

Commemorative Events

 372. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide details of plans to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48902/13]

 373. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan further to Parliamentary Question No. 144 of 7 November 2013, if he will provide a detailed report on the major events planned for the 1916 centenary celebrations in County Kerry; if plans are at an advanced stage to mark the anniversary of significant events in Irish history such as Roger Casement at Banna Strand and the tragedy at Ballykissane Pier, Killorglin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49131/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I propose to take Questions Nos. 372 and 373 together.

  As I outlined in my reply to Question No 144 of 7 November last, it is my objective in relation to the 1916 centenary programme that it is comprehensive, authentic and inclusive. That reply also outlined the series of items which are being undertaken by my Department over the broad area of commemorations.

  In keeping with the development of an authentic programme, I anticipate that all the principal sites relating to the Rising and ensuing events will feature in the commemorations. Local as well as national events will feature and, in this regard, I would encourage interested parties and community groups to co-ordinate their ideas and proposals so as to ensure the optimal arrangements with regard to the historic events in their areas that should be commemorated. Imaginative ways of undertaking these commemorations should be explored by such interested parties and emphasis placed on local participation.

  I particularly wish to encourage Local Authorities to utilise their arts and heritage offices as they support and co-ordinate commemorative activities in their jurisdiction.

  As I have previously outlined, the commemorative programme is proceeding on the historic centenary timeline. With regard to the centenary of the founding of the Irish Volunteers, I met a number of local historians on 2 September 2013 at the County Library in Tralee to explore the possibility of arranging a lecture to commemorate the founding. It was decided to arrange a lecture to take place on Thursday 28 November at the County Library in Tralee.

  The arrangements in 2014 will include commemorations of gun-running events, the formation of Cumann na mBan as well as the founding of the Irish Citizens' Army. Commemorative arrangements for 2016 will be announced on a continuing basis over the coming months, to include certain capital projects and events. This process requires consideration about the most relevant type, scope and focus of commemoration for events and how they should be undertaken. As I indicated previously, it is my belief that the Rising can best be commemorated by placing it in the broader cultural and historical context. In this regard, we have brought forward projects such as the Century Ireland   initiative, in association with RTÉ and Boston College, which is already charting the lives of the participants in the Rising from their first appearances in public life through to the Rising itself.

  Clearly, the centenary of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic will be a most important anniversary and I anticipate that the special arrangements for the occasion will be of interest internationally too.

  As I mentioned in my earlier reply, I would welcome the Deputies' views on the commemoration of the Rising and would be happy to discuss any relevant proposals submitted.

National Monuments

 374. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Information on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Zoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan when his Department will be in a position to arrange a meeting with his officials regarding a site (details supplied) in County Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49149/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan In 2010, the then Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government recommended that permission be refused by Offaly County Council for the extension proposed in the case referred to by the Deputy. The reason for this recommendation was that the extension would involve groundworks that would impact on a possible early ecclesiastical enclosure within an area of archaeological constraint associated with a recorded monument under the National Monuments Acts.

Representatives of my Department’s National Monuments Service will be pleased to meet the committee in question on request.

Forbairt Thionscal na hIascaireachta

 375. 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 infheistíocht atá ceadaithe ag Údarás na Gaeltachta don fheirmeoireacht éisc i ngach bliain ó 2011 i leith, an méid airgid a infheistíodh go dtí seo i rith na tréimhse sin, cé na comhlachtaí a bhí i gceist; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh.  [49188/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Mar go bhfuil eolas cuimsitheach iarrtha ag an Teachta, tuigtear dom nach féidir le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta an t-eolas seo a chur le chéile laistigh den amscála atá ar fáil don Cheist Dála.

  Tá iarrtha agam, mar sin, ar Phríomhfheidhmeannach Údarás na Gaeltachta an t-eolas ábhartha a chur ar fáil go díreach don Teachta chomh luath agus is féidir.

Deontais do Comharchumainn

 376. 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 Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén deontas reáchtála atá ceadaithe do gach comharchumann agus eagraíocht phobalbhunaithe do 2012 agus 2013 arna mhiondealú de réir eagraíochta; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh.  [49189/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Tá an t-eolas atá iarrtha ag an Teachta agus a cuireadh ar fáil do mo Roinnse ó Údarás na Gaeltachta leagtha amach sa tábla thíos.

Contae Comhlacht Iomlán Íoctha 2012 Iomlán Íoctha 2013
Dún na nGall Comharchumann Oileán Árainn Mhór Teo. €85,500 €85,500
Dún na nGall Comharchumann Thoraí Teo. €85,500 €85,500
Dún na nGall Comharchumann Forbartha Ghaoth Dobhair €58,000 €58,000
Dún na nGall Comharchumann na nOileán Beag Teo. €38,675 €35,000
Dún na nGall Lár Chomhairle Paróiste Ghleann Cholm Cille Teo. €48,000 €48,000
Dún na nGall Céim Aniar Teo. €54,000 €54,000
Dún na nGall Pobal Eascarrach Teo. €33,000 €33,000
Maigh Eo Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla Teo. €71,688 €70,000
Maigh Eo Comhar Dún Chaocháin Teo. €42,750 €41,000
Maigh Eo Comharchumann Ionad Deirbhile Teo. €46,250 €46,250
Maigh Eo Coiste Cultúr Teanga agus Forbartha Thuar Mhic Éadaigh Teo. €30,000 €31,350
Gaillimh Comhar Caomhán Teo. €90,900 €89,550
Gaillimh Comharchumann Forbartha Árann Teo. €94,500 €92,250
Gaillimh Comharchumann Dhúiche Sheoigheach Teo. €58,275 €58,275
Gaillimh Comharchumann Shailearna Teo. €58,275 €58,275
Gaillimh Comhairle Ceantar na nOileán Teo. €56,700 €52,000
Gaillimh Comharchumann Sliogéisc Chonamara Teo. €20,000 €15,000
Gaillimh Forbairt Chonamara Láir Teo. €52,000 €52,000
Gaillimh Comharchumann Mhic Dara Teo. €52,000 €52,000
Gaillimh Comhar Chuigéal Teo. €31,350 €31,350
Gaillimh Forbairt Pobail Mhaigh Cuilinn Teo. €30,000 €31,350
Gaillimh Comhlacht Forbartha an Spidéil Teo. €31,350 €31,350
Gaillimh Coiste Halla Naomh Eoin €15,000 €0
An Mhí Comharchumann Ráth Chairn Teo €58,275 €58,275
Ciarraí Comharchumann Forbartha an Leith Triúigh Teo. €52,725 €52,725
Ciarraí Comharchumann Forbartha Chorca Dhuibhne Teo. €76,500 €72,000
Ciarraí Comhchoiste Ghaeltachtaí Chiarraí Theas Teo. €49,950 €52,000
Ciarraí Forbairt na Dromada Teo. €47,500 €47,500
Corcaigh Comharchumann Chléire Teo. €94,500 €85,500
Corcaigh Comharchumann Mhúscraí Teo. €42,750 €42,750
Port Láirge Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise Teo. €45,000 €50,000
  Iomlán €1,650,913 €1,611,750

National Monuments

 377. Deputy Michael P. Kitt Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he has received a request from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport offering to transfer the Thoor Ballylee Tower House, County Galway to his Department; if he will consider the re-opening of the tower house; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49231/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan Earlier this year, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport indicated that Fáilte Ireland would be willing to transfer ownership of Thoor Ballylee to my Department as a possible route to having it re-opened to the public. The tower house is owned by Fáilte Ireland but was badly damaged by flooding in 2009 and has since been closed to the public.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) manages and provides visitor services at national monuments in my ownership or guardianship. I initiated discussions with the OPW on foot of Fáilte Ireland’s offer to establish the potential for the monument to be added to the portfolio of sites operated by the OPW with visitor facilities. However, having regard to the present condition of the monument and the likely costs of the remedial works needed to allow visitor facilities to be restored; the long-term conservation and maintenance implications; and the much reduced funding currently available to manage the existing portfolio of national monuments my Department and the OPW cannot, in present circumstances, commit the resources needed to allow Fáilte Ireland’s proposal to be taken up. On that basis, I have now informed the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport that I am not in a position to accept Fáilte Ireland’s offer. The monument will therefore remain in the ownership of Fáilte Ireland.

There may be other viable options available to Fáilte Ireland for bringing Thoor Ballylee back into public use. My Department and the OPW would be happy to provide any advice or guidance to the owner of the monument, Fáilte Ireland, that might be of assistance.

National Archives

 378. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the full extent of the backlog of uncatalogued records of all types at the National Archives; the way it is proposed to properly catalogue and itemise these records; when this will occur; the funding required; if he has considered utilising the JobBridge scheme to aid in this project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49302/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan As the Deputy is aware, the National Archives is responsible by law for the acquisition of records of permanent value from Departments of State, the courts and 61 named bodies. The National Archives can also acquire archives from other sources such as business, hospitals, charities and voluntary bodies, where it is considered that the archives are of outstanding quality and value. This can, on occasion, entail the rescue of archives that are in danger of destruction.

  Cataloguing is one of the core professional duties of archivists in the National Archives, requiring specialist knowledge and in-depth understanding of the content and historical and administrative context of the archives. I am advised that the National Archives has utilised the JobBridge scheme, insofar as it can, to aid in the cataloguing of records. However, because cataloguing work is a specialised activity, JobBridge placements can be employed in a limited way only.

  I understand that the National Archives has a historic backlog of approximately 70,000 boxes of archives which need archival and preservation processing to varying degrees. These documents are held in safe and secure conditions but, in light of the pressure on resources, progress on the historic backlog is likely to be slow. As each archival collection will require different levels of work, it is not possible to estimate accurately the funding implications arising.

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

 379. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan further to Parliamentary Question No. 237 of 12 November 2013, if he will provide the data requested for Departments now under his responsibility that existed between 2003 and the establishment of a single Department on 2 June 2011; if he has no responsibility for this data, if he will indicate which Minister or Ministers have responsibility for providing this information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49322/13]

 380. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan further to Parliamentary Question No. 238 of 12 November 2013, if he will provide the data requested for Departments now under his responsibility that existed between 2003 and the establishment of his single Department on 2 June 2011; if he has no responsibility for this data, if he will indicate which Minister or Ministers have responsibility for providing this information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49323/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I propose to take Questions Nos. 379 and 380 together.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht was established on 2 June 2011 on foot of a reorganisation of Government Departments announced by the Taoiseach in March 2011. It brought together functions from the former Departments of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Environment, Heritage and Local Government; and Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.

I am advised that the difficulties in retrieving information of the nature sought by the Deputy for periods prior to establishment date are such that it is not realistically possible to do so. These difficulties include getting access to the relevant records and disaggregating work commissioned in the past to serve wider Departments as then constituted and ascribing it to the specific Divisions subsequently relocated to my Department. It was for these reasons that the relevant information sought by the Deputy was provided from the establishment date of my Department.

Proposed Legislation

 381. Deputy Ann Phelan Information on Ann Phelan Zoom on Ann Phelan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the main provisions of the upcoming monuments Bill, and any proposed changes to existing legislation which the Government has scheduled for publication next year. [49332/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The general scheme of a Monuments Bill to consolidate, update and improve the legislative code governing the protection and regulation of the national archaeological heritage is currently being drafted by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel.

  The key objectives of the Bill are to provide for:

- A consolidated and updated code replacing the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004 and a number of related enactments;

- A single Register of Monuments to replace the existing statutory and non-statutory register and records;

- A single, integrated licence system for archaeological related activities;

- A consistent approach to the regulation of archaeological works in relation to all types of development;

- A statutory mechanism to deal with new discoveries of archaeological monuments; and

- The ratification of certain international archaeological conventions.

  I intend to publish the Bill as quickly as possible when drafting has been completed.

Architectural Heritage

 382. Deputy Alan Farrell Information on Alan Farrell Zoom on Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will consider the re-introduction and enhancement of the conservation grant scheme to assist in the protection of our architectural heritage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49334/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I am currently finalising details for a new Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Fund, which I hope to introduce in 2014 to assist with works to safeguard protected structures, in private and civic ownership, protected under the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2012. An allocation of €5 million was announced in Budget 2014 for this scheme as part of the capital stimulus package.

It is intended that this scheme will leverage private capital for investment in a significant number of labour intensive, small-scale renovation projects. Whilst the details of the scheme are yet to be announced, it is envisaged that the local government system will administer the scheme.

Funding for built heritage in 2014 will be subject to final confirmation in the Revised Estimates Volume.

Architectural Heritage

 383. Deputy Alan Farrell Information on Alan Farrell Zoom on Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will provide, in tabular form for each year since 2007, the total cumulative amount allocated towards architectural heritage from the joint European support for sustainable investment in city areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49335/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan I understand that the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) is a financial instrument which offers the managing authorities of EU Structural Funds programmes the possibility to take advantage of outside expertise and to have greater access to loan capital for the purpose of promoting urban development.

My Department does not have information in relation to any amounts allocated under this financial instrument and has not had an involvement with it.

National Lottery Funding Disbursement

 384. Deputy Alan Farrell Information on Alan Farrell Zoom on Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan if he will consider the establishment of a heritage lottery fund, similar to the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49336/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan The allocation of the proceeds of the National Lottery is a matter for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

An overall allocation is provided from the National Lottery each year for expenditure through the Votes of various Departments. In 2013 my Department’s allocation of funding of €4.446m to the Heritage Council was partially funded by National Lottery funds. In turn, the Heritage Council supports a range of heritage conservation projects.

North-South Implementation Bodies

 385. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the total budget for each of Waterways Ireland, Fóras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency for the years 2010 to date in 2013; and any proposed budget reductions to these bodies currently being considered. [49349/13]

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 funds two of the six North South Implementation Bodies established under the 1999 British-Irish Agreement. These are Waterways Ireland and An Foras Teanga (which comprises two agencies - Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency/Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch). The Bodies are co-funded by my Department (DAHG) and the Department of Arts, Culture and Leisure (DCAL), Northern Ireland. In terms of co-funding, the Ulster-Scots Agency is funded 75% by DCAL and 25% by DAHG; while Foras na Gaeilge is funded 25% by DCAL and 75% by DAHG. As regards Waterways Ireland, current expenditure is funded 85% by DAHG and 15% by DCAL. Capital expenditure by Waterways Ireland is met directly by each jurisdiction .

  The North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) approved budget allocations from Sponsor Departments to the Bodies for the years 2010 to 2012 are set out in table below.

- Waterways Ireland Ulster-Scots Agency Foras na Gaeilge
2010 €38.99m (£34.70m) £3,327,600 (€3,738,876) €20,643,340 (£18,372,573)
2011 €35.18m (£28.85m) £3,028,116 (€3,692,824) €18,785,439 (£15,404,060)
2012 €31.15m (£27.10m) £2,828,460 (€3,251,103) €17,546,839 (£15,265,749)
  

  My Department's REV provision for Waterways Ireland for 2013 is €25.463m, a 6% efficiency saving on 2012. My Department's Estimates provision for 2014 is €24.183m, a 5% efficiency saving on 2013.

  My Department's REV provision for An Foras Teanga in 2013 is €14.613m, a 5.3% efficiency saving on 2012. My Department's Estimates provision for 2014 is €13.578m, a 7% efficiency saving on 2013. It should be noted that my Department's provisions for An Foras Teanga also include funding in respect of Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge and Colmcille.

  The 2013 and 2014 Budget allocations to the Bodies are subject to ongoing discussion by the two Sponsor Departments and will require, of course, formal approval by the NSMC.

National Monuments

 386. Deputy John Deasy Information on John Deasy Zoom on John Deasy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the progress that has been made through mapping and other means by his Department’s underwater archaeology unit to establish the location of the estimated 15,000 shipwrecks lying in Irish territorial waters. [49467/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan My Department’s National Monuments Service, through its Underwater Archaeology Unit, has been researching shipwrecks in Irish territorial waters since 1999 and, from documentary sources and local research and knowledge has, to date, built up a database of 17,000 wrecks, of which some 3,000 have been accurately located. With the co-operation and assistance of the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute, the identity and location of a further 300 wrecks has been identified and verified through high resolution seabed mapping techniques. Further analysis of data already collected and continuing research is expected to increase the number of known shipwreck sites as time goes on.

  Work is currently being finalised on the development of a shipwrecks database for inclusion in the National Monuments Service website, www.archaeology.ie, where it will be available to the general public. My Department has also produced two related publications in recent years: The Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland: Louth to Wicklow and Warships, U-Boats and Liners  , the latter in co-operation with the Marine Institute and the Geological Survey of Ireland.

Prospecting Licences

 387. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte if he will confirm that a prohibition on the process of hydraulic fracturing or fracking exists here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49177/13]

 396. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte in view of his decision not to award onshore petroleum prospecting licences due to the failure by companies (details supplied) to comply with the work programmes as set out by his Department, if he will confirm that the companies being in breach of the specific performance of the licensing terms, 2007, have vacated their position and that the licensing options held by aforementioned companies have now lapsed and are of no further effect, have now been revoked; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49178/13]

 397. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte further to Parliamentary Question No. 465 of 19 February 2013 if he will confirm to which specific work programmes proposed he was referring; if he will also confirm what was so unique about the nature of these work programmes which precluded him from granting petroleum prospecting licences to the onshore licensing option holders and onshore petroleum prospecting licence applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49179/13]

 398. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte in view of the fact that companies (details supplied) have been granted onshore licensing options since 1 March 2011, the reason he has not issued failure notices to the companies to hold a petroleum prospecting licence; the reason his Department has not recovered the appropriate penalties from the companies concerned as required by the licensing terms, 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49180/13]

 400. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte in view of his decision not to award onshore petroleum prospecting licences due to the failure by companies (details supplied) to comply with the work programmes, as set out by his Department, and the companies having vacated their position, if he will confirm that until the licensing options are put out to tender again, in accordance with Directive 94/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, and in the event that a company tenders successfully and is awarded such an option, there are no companies permitted to lawfully operate with a licensing option here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49241/13]

 401. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte further to Parlimentary Questions Nos. 463 to 465, inclusive, of 2 February 2013, in view of the fact that there is a requirement on the part of companies (details supplied) to hold a petroleum prospecting licence during the full period of a licensing option under the licensing terms 2007(13b), if he will explain, following his admission in his answers that the companies concerned do not hold PPLs, the reason he has allowed the companies to continue to hold onshore licensing options when they do not comply with the terms of the onshore licensing terms; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49242/13]

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte I propose to take Questions Nos. 387, 396 to 398, inclusive, 400 and 401 together.

The three companies referred to in the Questions were awarded onshore Licensing Options in February 2011 for a period of two years from 1 March 2011 to 28 February 2013. While applications for Petroleum Prospecting Licences were submitted by the three companies, no such authorisations were granted due to the limited nature of the work programmes to be carried out under the Licensing Options.

The Licensing Option work programmes allowed the companies to evaluate the natural gas potential of the acreage largely based on desktop studies of existing data. Exploration drilling was not permitted under the Licensing Options. The term of all three Licensing Options expired on 28 February 2013.

Tamboran Resources and Enegi Oil plc have submitted applications for a follow-on Exploration Licence. Both companies have complied with their Licensing Option work programme obligations. My Department has written to the two companies, informing them that further assessment of their applications must necessarily await the outcome of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Research Programme into the use of hydraulic fracturing. This research is expected to conclude in 2015.

With regard to the Deputy’s question regarding the further award of petroleum authorisations including Licencing Options, I have confirmed on a number of occasions that I do not propose to consider applications for petroleum authorisations in respect of other onshore areas until the EPA Research Programme has concluded and there has been time to consider its findings.


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