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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 348 - 362
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Applications
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Scéim na hÍocaíochta Aonair
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Applications
 Header Item New Entrants to Dairying Scheme
 Header Item Fish Quotas
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Applications
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Felling Licences Applications

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 817 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 348 - 362

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 348. Deputy Noel Grealish Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reasons payments under the disadvantaged areas scheme are slow to process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43356/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Payments under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme began, on schedule, on 25 September and, to date, payments worth €143.3 million, have issued to 67,538 applicants.

  I can confirm that payment runs are continuing on a twice-weekly basis, with individual cases being paid after they are confirmed as having satisfied the Scheme requirements.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Appeals

 349. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a decision on an agri-environment options scheme 3 appeal will issue to persons (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43379/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application under the Agri-Environment Options Scheme from the person named was received in my Department on 29 November 2012. Acceptance into the scheme, as laid down in the Terms & Conditions, was established using the selection criteria set out below:    

Selection Criteria:

  1. farmers in the Boora region of Co. Offaly who chose Wild Bird Cover Option B (Grey Partridge) as one of their selected options,

  2. farmers with a minimum of 0.5 hectares of designated land,

  3. farm partnerships,

  4. farmers who previously participated in REPS commencing with smallest farms, and

  5. others based on farm size (again favouring smaller holdings).

All eligible applicants in category 1, 2 and 3 were accepted into the Scheme. Based on the funding available farmers in category 4 with 22.06 hectares of utilisable agricultural area and below were successful. As the farm size of the person named, who was previously in REPS, is 25.18 hectares the application was unsuccessful and he was advised accordingly by letter dated 27 May, 2013.

An appeal was received and a reply issued on 10 October 2013 advising the applicant that it had been disallowed and notifying him of his right of appeal this decision to the Agriculture Appeals Office.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Applications

 350. 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 if a disadvantaged areas scheme 2013 payment will be expedited in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo in view of the circumstances in this case and the undue hardship being caused by the delay. [43415/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on 11 May 2013. Full payment totalling €3,016.90 issued directly to the nominated bank account of the person named on 10 October 2013.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 351. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if a decision has been made on the review of further medical evidence sent in support of an application for derogation of the stocking rate on a 2012 disadvantage areas scheme application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43427/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application was received from the person named under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. During processing it was found that the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements had not been satisfied.

The person named was notified of this on 1 March 2013 and given the opportunity to appeal the decision. The person named has appealed this decision and my department is currently awaiting the submission of additional evidence supporting this appeal. The application of the person named will be further reviewed on receipt of this information and the person named will be notified of the outcome directly.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 352. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney further to Parliamentary Question No. 500 of 8 October 2013, if this years payments will be made as a matter of urgency as the criteria is in order for this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [43445/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named is one of a number of 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme applicants, whose cases were impacted by the requirement to have achieved a minimum stocking density of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare in 2011. The person named applied for but was refused derogation in this regard. The person named subsequently appealed unsuccessfully to the independently chaired DAS Appeals Committee.

The person named subsequently availed of their right to pursue the matter with the Office of the Ombudsman and the case is currently under consideration by that Office.

Scéim na hÍocaíochta Aonair

 353. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney cén fáth nach bhfuil íocaíocht faoin Scéim Íocaíochta Aonair 2011, 2012 nó 2013 déanta le feirmeoir i gContae na Gaillimhe (sonraí tugtha) cé go bhfuil iarratais déanta aige do na blianta atá i gceist; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [43448/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Fuarthas iarratas an 22ú Bealtaine 2012 ón duine ainmnithe ag iarraidh go n-aistreofaí teidlíochtaí na hÍocaíochta Aonair Feirme 15.73 óna dheartháir nach maireann isteach ina ainm féin.

De bharr gur trí oidhreacht a ndéanfaí an t-aistriú a iarradh, b'éigean an gnáth doiciméadacht tiomnach a iarraidh chun tacú leis an aistriú. Chomh maith leis sin, ní fhéadfaí an uimhir thréada a aistriú chuig an duine ainmnithe óna dheartháir nach maireann go dtí gur deonaíodh Probháid i mí Bealtaine 2013.

De bharr gur aistríodh an uimhir thréada chuig an duine ainmnithe i ndiaidh an iarratais ar an Scéim Íocaíochta Aonair 2011 a bheith curtha isteach, is gá freisin iarraidh ar Sheiceadóirí Uachta an té nach maireann comhaontú go nglacfaidh siad orthu gach freagracht a bhaineann leis an Scéim Íocaíochta Aonair. Bhí oifigeach as mo Roinnse i dteagmháil leis an duine ainmnithe ag iarraidh go gcuirfí comhaontú den sórt sin i gcrích. Chomh luath agus a bheidh an doiciméad deiridh seo faighte, eiseofar an íocaíocht do na blianta ábhartha gan mhoill.

Single Payment Scheme Applications

 354. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when headage and single farm payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43468/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named has submitted two applications to buy single payment entitlements in the 2013 scheme year. One of these applications has been accepted and letters have issued to the relevant parties.

  The other application involves a deceased herdowner. Testamentary documents have been requested from the legal representative who is acting as transferor and the application will be processed when the documents are received.

  Processing of the 2013 Single Farm Payment Scheme application has now been finalised and payment for both the Single Farm Payment and Disadvantaged Area will issue shortly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

New Entrants to Dairying Scheme

 355. Deputy Joe McHugh Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will provide an appraisal of the five year new entrants scheme programme; the number of places that have been allocated to date; the number of places that have been taken up to date; if the scheme is meeting the targets that were envisaged at its outset; if unsuccessful applicants may be allocated slots that are not taken up; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43471/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The decision taken to set aside one quarter of the 1% quota increase in order to encourage new entrants in to dairying has, I believe, met its original objective of encouraging enthusiastic and determined young farmers into the industry. Over the five years of the New Entrants Scheme, milk quota has been allocated to 410 successful applicants, This includes 15 quotas which have been reallocated in subsequent years because the original successful applicant was unable to commence his operation.

To date 289 of those applicants have commenced dairying and it is expected that the remaining 121 applicants to whom milk quota was allocated will have either commenced operations, or will have the cows in place ready to commence, by the required date of 1 January 2015. Any quota not taken up at that time will be withdrawn and put into the National Reserve for use on the final day of the Milk Quota regime on 31 March 2015

This New Entrants to Dairying Scheme, has succeeded in bringing enthusiastic and well motivated farmers into to the dairy sector from a diverse range of farming enterprises, and is acting as a significant primer for the industry as it embarks on the road to reach the ambitious target it set for itself in the Food Harvest 2020 Report of increasing milk production by 50% by 2020.

Fish Quotas

 356. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding the negotiations between the EU and Iceland on the ongoing dispute in relation to mackerel quotas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43487/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Negotiations between the Coastal States (EU, Norway, Iceland and the Faeroes) on sharing arrangements for the North East Atlantic Mackerel stock are due to commence next week in London (23-25 October). As the Deputy will be aware there is currently no agreement on sharing and for the past number of years both Iceland and the Faeroes have been engaged in irresponsible and unsustainable unilateral fishing of the mackerel stock.

I have consistently argued that any possible deal must be balanced and fair and that Iceland and the Faeroes must not be rewarded for their irresponsible behaviour. Mackerel is Ireland’s most important fishery and jobs in our peripheral coastal communities in the North West and the South West are strongly dependent on this fishery.

For this reason I have placed this issue on the agenda of the Council of Fisheries Ministers meeting due to be held this coming Thursday, in advance of the Coastal States negotiations next week. At that meeting, I will be seeking information from the Commission (who negotiate on behalf of the EU at the Coastal States meetings) on the current state of play in the negotiations, details on the Commissions’ discussion with Norway, a key partner for the EU on this issue, and confirmation that the Commission are prepared to consider an approach to the negotiations that would protect Ireland’s interests and at the same time go some way to meeting the legitimate expectations of Iceland and the Faeroes.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 357. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a disadvantaged areas scheme payment will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43491/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application of the person named has recently been finalised, payment will shortly issue, directly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 358. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kerry has not received their payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [43496/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application of the person named has recently been finalised, payment will shortly issue, directly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Eligibility

 359. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason area aid has been cut in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43497/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The reduction mentioned arose following the identification of an over-claim in the eligible area of three of the land parcels declared by the person named. Correspondence has been exchanged with the person named regarding this matter, as a result of which a review is currently underway. When this review is finalised, the person named will be notified of the outcome and, in the event that they are dissatisfied, the person named can then appeal to the independently chaired LPIS Appeals Committee.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Applications

 360. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason area aid has been cut in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. 

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An official of my Department has recently again been in direct contact with the person named regarding the outstanding matter, which it is expected will be resolved shortly. Following that the application of the person named will be further processed with a view to payment issuing at an early date thereafter.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 361. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason a person (details supplied) has not received their area aid payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43499/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application of the person named has recently been finalised, payment will shortly issue, directly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Felling Licences Applications

 362. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney further to Parliamentary Question No. 418 of 8 October 2013, if he will direct that the trees causing the reception blockage be removed as quickly as possible (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43500/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The felling of trees and the issuing of licences for tree felling are governed by the Forestry Act, 1946. Under this Act, my Department has no power to direct that trees be felled. Section 37, subsection 4 (h) of the Act specifies that there is no need for a felling licence application to be lodged where “the tree is uprooted or cut down by direction of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs on the ground that it is a danger or obstruction to telegraph or telephone wires.” (This ‘exemption’ would now apply to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.) However, this provision applies only to the “obstruction to telegraph or telephone wires” and not any other telecommunications equipment.

While Section 58, subsection (1) of the Communications Act, 2002 allows a network operator (as defined in that Act) to lop or cut any tree (not to fell the tree) which obstructs or interferes with any physical infrastructure of the network operator, subsection (7) specifies that “Subsection (1)   does not apply to any obstruction of or interference with signals transmitted by means of the radio frequency spectrum.”

  On the basis of the above my Department does not have the power to direct that trees, which may be obstructing or interfering with mobile phone mast reception or transmission, be lopped or felled. Therefore, as a felling licence can only be granted to the owner of the land where the trees are located, the owner of this land would have to apply for a felling licence to fell the trees in question.


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