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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 149-157
 Header Item Disability Services Provision
 Header Item Accident and Emergency Departments
 Header Item Census of Population Data
 Header Item Cabinet Committee Meetings
 Header Item Dublin-Monaghan Bombings
 Header Item European Fund for Strategic Infrastructure
 Header Item Commissions of Investigation
 Header Item Proposed Legislation

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 937 No. 1

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Written Answers Nos. 149-157

Disability Services Provision

 149. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he will assure parents of children with disabilities that their assessments of needs will be completed on time, as per the Disability Act 2005; if the statements of need will be completed on time and implemented by the HSE promptly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4618/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Accident and Emergency Departments

 150. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his plans to improve the country's accident and emergency departments; and if he will consider opening new minor injury units and guarantee all current accident and emergency departments are maintained. [4522/17]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In September 2016, the HSE launched the 'Winter Initiative Plan 2016-2017' which provided €40 million of additional funding for winter preparedness. This Initiative was developed to manage the expected winter surge in demand for hospital care in an integrated way across Primary, Acute and Social Care. On 5 January, in response to significant pressures in our EDs in the New Year, a series of enhanced measures were added to this initiative.

As part of the measures detailed in the Winter Initiative, the Smithfield Clinic which provides minor injury care in the catchment area of the Mater University Hospital was funded to expand its service with the aim of treating up to an additional 100 patients each week. This has been in place since 1st November 2016. A review of the five day week expanded service and determination of inclusion of weekend service will be undertaken shortly.

There are currently 11 Minor Injury Clinics operating nationwide, and as the Deputy will be aware, Minor Injury Units are for the treatment of broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns that are unlikely to need admission to hospital. In cases where an injury is more serious than originally thought, the patient is transferred to the hub ED linked to the Clinic for further assessment and treatment.

The HSE has recently launched an information campaign, including social media, to promote and further inform the public of the services available through these clinics and their locations.

The Programme for Partnership Government commits to a review of Medical Assessment Units, Urgent Care Centres and Minor Injury Clinics. Preliminary scoping work on this review is being carried out.

Census of Population Data

 151. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny the number of households within the boundary marker of an area (details supplied). [4895/17]

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty According to the Census of Population (2011) figures, the population of the townland of Knockvilla was 44, with a total housing stock of 16.

  The 2016 population and housing stock figures for all townlands will be available on the 20th July 2017 and will be contained within the CSO's Small Area Population Statistics.

Cabinet Committee Meetings

 152. Deputy Brendan Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if the Cabinet committee on arts, Irish, the Gaeltacht and the islands has met since October 2016; and when it is planned to meet next.  [4273/17]

 153. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny when the Cabinet committee on arts, Irish, the Gaeltacht and the islands last met.  [4541/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I propose to take Questions Nos. 152 and 153 together.

  The Cabinet Committee on Arts, Irish the Gaeltacht and the Islands met on the 13th October 2016. The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, 27 February 2017.

Dublin-Monaghan Bombings

 154. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he spoke to Prime Minister May regarding the Dublin-Monaghan bombings. [4542/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny During my meeting with Prime Minister May on 30 January, I emphasised the importance of finding a way forward on legacy issues and in particular stressed the urgency of making progress in respect of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings which has been the subject of three all party Motions in this House.

I also discussed the Dublin/Monaghan Bombings and other legacy cases with Prime Minister May when I met her in July and again highlighted to her the importance of dealing with legacy issues and hoped there could be progress on the overall arrangements for dealing with the past.

In our engagement with the British Government, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and I continue to raise and seek substantive progress on the Dáil motions and urge the British Government to allow access by an independent international judicial figure to all original documents in their possession relating to these bombings.

Minister Flanagan has raised the matter in his meetings with Secretary of State Brokenshire on a number of occasions, outlining the importance of this issue for the Dáil and the Government and the expectation of a response. Minister Flanagan will continue to raise Dublin-Monaghan with the British Government and he has instructed his officials to also remain in close contact with their British counterparts on the issue.

The Government will continue to engage with the British Government on the request in relation to the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, and pursue all possible avenues that could achieve progress on this issue, consistent with the request made by the Dáil, and in the hope that this could bring some measure of closure to the families.

European Fund for Strategic Infrastructure

 155. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny the potential investment projects his Department put forward to the Department of Finance task force report for the European Fund for Strategic Investments. [4872/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I welcome the agreement reached by Finance Ministers in December on the legislative proposal to strengthen and extend the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and hope that negotiations with the European Parliament can be concluded quickly. The new EIB (European Investment Bank) office I opened in Dublin in December should also provide further complementary support for project development in Ireland, building from the experience it has gained in tackling investment bottlenecks across Europe.

My Department will continue to support effective Irish engagement with EFSI, including through the work of relevant Cabinet Committees. By increasing EIB risk-taking capacity, we should expect to see EFSI enabling a stronger EIB footprint in areas such as direct lending to mid-size corporates, sharing of credit risk on SME innovation finance, and infrastructure projects that do not benefit from a sovereign guarantee.

However my Department was not directly involved in the work of the EU Task Force on Investment that reported in December 2014 as part of EFSI preparations. The Irish contribution to the Task Force was coordinated by the Department of Finance, working closely with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and other Government Departments having policy responsibility for specific investment projects.

Commissions of Investigation

 156. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny the final costs to the Exchequer of each commission of investigation that has been completed to date in his Department, in addition to the estimated costs to date of ongoing commissions of investigations. [5311/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The information on the costs of Commissions of Investigation for which I am the specified Minister is contained in the following table.

NameCostDate of Conclusion
Commission of Investigation in to the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings (MacEntee)€2.63 millionMarch 2007
Fennelly Commission of Investigation€3.03 million (to end December 2016)The timeframe for completion of the Commission's final report is by the end of March 2017.
Cregan/IBRC Commission of Investigation€1.52 million (to end December 2016). Note: The IBRC Commission indicated in its Interim Report that significant third party costs have been incurred which are likely to arise for payment in due course. The timeframe for completion of the first module of the Commission's work, in relation to the Siteserv transaction, is by the end of December 2017.

  It should be noted that figures provided for 2016 in respect of ongoing Commissions of Investigation are provisional figures and may be subject to end of year revisions, as part of the preparation of my Department's 2016 Appropriation Account.

Proposed Legislation

 157. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald her plans to implement any further amendments and-or legislation in relation to the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4767/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The position is that the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 was enacted with the primary purposes of reforming the law relating to the ownership and management of common areas of multi-unit developments and facilitating the fair, efficient and effective management of owners' management companies (OMCs). These are companies registered under the Companies Act, the members of which are the owners of residential units within the development, which are established for the purposes of ownership and management of such areas. The 2011 Act contains provisions relating to matters such as:

  - the transfer of common areas to the OMCs (sections 4 and 5);

  - voting rights of members of OMCs (sections 14 and 15);

  - the provision of annual reports by OMCs to members (section 17);

  - arrangements for the holding of annual meetings to approve annual service charges (section 18);

  - establishment of a sinking fund to cover refurbishment outlays (section 19);

  - arrangements for the making of House Rules (section 23); and

  - establishment of a court-based dispute resolution process (section 24).

  The Act also contains provisions which encourage the resolution of disputes that may arise between parties by means of mediation rather than recourse to court proceedings.   

  While I have no plans at present to amend the Act, I can assure the Deputy that its operation is being kept under ongoing review by my Department.

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