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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 212-221
 Header Item Leave to Remain
 Header Item Open Disclosures Policy
 Header Item Defence Forces Deployment
 Header Item Coillte Teoranta Staff
 Header Item Poultry Industry
 Header Item Agrifood Sector
 Header Item Agrifood Sector
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Payments
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 830 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 77 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 212-221

Leave to Remain

 212. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the procedure to be followed in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare in order to update their stamp 3 status, the person having arrived in this jurisdiction accompanied by their parents at age four; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7447/14]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The person concerned is a sibling of an Irish born citizen child born in the State prior to 1 January, 2005, whose parents were granted permission to remain in the State in 2002 under the arrangements then in place for the non-EEA parents of Irish born citizen children. The person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) on Stamp 3 conditions in 2011. I am informed that this permission is currently valid until 1 May, 2014.

I would advise the person concerned to make a written application for an extension and upgrade of his permission to remain in the State to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) c/o PO BOX 10003, Dublin 1. He should also enclose his original passport, two passport size photos, signed on the back, his original birth certificate and letters from school/college to prove continuous residency in the State with his application. Upon receipt of the appropriate documentation , his case will be examined by the relevant officials in the INIS and a decision communicated to him in due course.

Queries in relation to general immigration matters may be made directly to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Open Disclosures Policy

 213. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter further to his indication in a speech of 8 February 2014 to the Family Lawyers Association of Ireland that he has commenced work with a view to enshrining the principles of open disclosure in legislation, if a specific Bill from his Department will be published; if such a Bill would be in addition or complementary to the Health Information Bill, which, as was indicated in a response to Parliamentary Question No. 250 of 6 February 2014, will contain provisions to afford some degree of protection for health care personnel in line with the Madden report; if he will confirm when the legislation he referred to in his speech will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7448/14]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Minister for Health and I are working closely together on this issue. I am looking at how we might facilitate the early admission of liability in instances where medical negligence has occurred. As I indicated in the speech to which the Deputy refers, I see potential benefits, in terms of the efficiency of the administration of justice and the delivery of more satisfactory and timely outcomes for litigants and taxpayers. These potential benefits, which are clearly of interest to me in my capacity as Minister for Justice and Equality, arise in areas such as costs, length and focus of litigation (in terms of the level of expense and distress which is caused to families or victims of medical incidents and in terms of where the focus of such legislation should be on the liability issue or the issue of quantum of damages) and in limiting the use of taxpayers' moneys by State agencies to defend actions where there may be no clear basis for such defence.

An examination is currently under way as to how this outcome might best be achieved. My work in this area is complementary to that of the Minister for Health who will include provisions on open disclosure in the Health Information Bill, updated Heads of which are expected to be considered by the Government later this year.

Defence Forces Deployment

 214. Deputy Robert Dowds Information on Robert Dowds Zoom on Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he would be willing to ask the Defence Forces to review new rules removing the possibility of exemption from the age limits for foreign deployment.  [7230/14]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The upper age limits for Defence Forces Personnel serving overseas is governed by Paragraph 108 of Administrative Instruction C.S. 5 (New Series). Officers may be nominated for overseas service up to the retirement age for their rank. The age limits for Privates and Corporals is under 45 years of age on the scheduled date of deployment, for Sergeants it is under 50 years of age on the scheduled date of deployment. Other NCOs may be nominated for overseas service up to their retirement age for their rank.

  There are circumstances in which certain enlisted ranks can be granted an age waiver for a specific appointment, within a specific mission. Such waivers are conditional and can only be approved by the Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) where there is 'no equally suitable candidate under the designated age limit.'  

  Administrative Instruction C.S 5 (New Series) came into force in June 2013 and I have been advised by the Military Authorities that there are currently no plans to review this specific aspect of the instruction.

Coillte Teoranta Staff

 215. 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 if the spouse of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry is entitled to half of their pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7348/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Coillte Teoranta was established as a private commercial company under the Forestry Act 1988 and day-to-day operational matters, such as pension payments from the company, are the responsibility of the company.

The details supplied were accordingly conveyed to the company. Coillte advise that, while the PPS number provided is different from that on their records, on the basis of the other details provided, the position is that the person concerned was not a member of the Coillte Teoranta Widow's and Orphan’s Pension Scheme or the Spouse and Childrens' Pension Scheme and therefore his surviving spouse does not qualify for a spouses' pension.

Poultry Industry

 216. Deputy Seamus Kirk Information on Seamus Kirk Zoom on Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the supports that will be provided for the poultry sector under the new rural development programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7205/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The development of a new Rural Development Programme (RDP) for the period 2014-2020 will be a key support in enhancing the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, achieving more sustainable management of natural resources and ensuring a more balanced development of rural areas. As you are aware I have recently published a consultation document on the new RDP, which sets out a range of proposed measures for inclusion.

  The main areas proposed for support in the new RDP are:

  - a substantial new agri-environment/climate scheme (GLAS), which will build on the progress made under REPS and AEOS. This will provide for a maximum payment of €5,000 for up to 50,000 farmers, and a further payment of up to €2,000 for a limited number of farmers who take on particularly challenging actions,

  - continued strong support for disadvantaged areas (now Areas of Natural Constraint), to the tune of about €195 million per year,

  - incentives for on-farm capital investment,

  - knowledge transfer and innovation measures, aimed at underpinning farm viability, sustainability and growth through the adoption of best practice and innovative solutions,

  - a new beef data and genomics measure worth up to €52 million per year aimed at improving the genetic quality of the beef herd, and

-   other supports aimed at collaborative farming, artisan producers, organic farming etc.

  While the above measures are available to all farmers, it should also be noted that there is provision for support specifically for the poultry sector. The proposed new on farm capital investment measure refers to possible support for pig and poultry investments in energy, water meters and medicines, while the suite of knowledge transfer measures proposed includes support for knowledge transfer groups in the pig and poultry sectors.

  The proposed measure outlines are now available on my Department's website and will form the basis for a public consultation. Written submissions are now being sought by the deadline of 19th February 2014. This consultation process will be a key step in designing a draft RDP for submission to the EU Commission for their approval.

Agrifood Sector

 217. Deputy Dominic Hannigan Information on Dominic Hannigan Zoom on Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the progress made to date on joint agricultural development and agribusiness investments in Ethiopia and Ireland; the other opportunities being explored for agribusiness in Africa; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7257/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I believe that Ireland's agri-food sector has a role to play in assisting Ethiopia and other African countries to reach their full potential in developing sustainable agriculture production. During the 3rd Africa Ireland Economic Forum, held in Dublin in October 2013, I met my counterpart from Ethiopia, Mr. Tefera Derbew, to discuss current developments in the agri-food sectors in Ireland and Ethiopia. At this meeting we signed a joint Statement of Intent which encourages enhanced cooperation between Ireland and Ethiopia in the areas of agriculture, in particular continued cooperation in the areas of Agricultural Research and Training.

In follow up to this at the end of October 2013 Teagasc signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research which provides for further close collaboration between the two bodies.

In addition in 2012 the Tanaiste and I launched the Africa Agri-food Development Fund (AADF). The Fund aims to develop partnerships between the Irish Agri-Food Sector and African countries to support sustainable growth of the local food industry, build markets for local produce and support mutual trade between Ireland and Africa.

One project currently under consideration for support from the Fund is a project in Ethiopia which aims to introduce two new Irish technologies, from start-up companies based in Nova UCD. These technologies are complementary and have the potential to create significant efficiencies in the use of inputs in Ethiopian and African agriculture. The project ultimately aims to develop manufacturing facilities and jobs in both Ireland and Ethiopia with a view to supplying products throughout Africa.

This is a clear example of how Irish technology and innovation can be used to develop sustainable agriculture in Africa and I will continue to encourage the Irish agri-food sector to explore the significant opportunities which exist in Africa.

Agrifood Sector

 218. Deputy Dominic Hannigan Information on Dominic Hannigan Zoom on Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the progress made during the trade visit to Nigeria on agribusiness potential, in view of the fact that some of the fastest growing states in the world are in Africa; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7258/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The trade mission to Nigeria took place from 13 to 15 November last. It was organised by Enterprise Ireland and led by my colleague Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello. The visit was part of a wider programme that also encompassed South Africa. The overall aim of the visit was to develop trade in this important emerging market in Africa. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with over 160 million people, approximately half the population of the United States and has a GDP rate of increase of 7% per annum.

Irish food and drink exports to Africa were €526 million for 2012, representing an increase of 7.3% on the 2011 figure of €490 million. The main components of the trade are Dairy Ingredients (Skimmed Milk Powder and Whole Milk Powder), Pelagic fish and Beverages. Nigeria is by far the largest market accounting for €170 million: dairy exports reached €100 million and seafood €68 million and it is becoming a hub for Irish companies wanting to expand their exports into the ECOWAS economic bloc.

Bord Bia participated in the trade visit with a view to supporting Irish companies already present in this market, identifying new business opportunities, assisting Irish industry regarding certain export constraints and endorsing the Kerry Group during their official opening of a new office in Lagos.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

 219. Deputy Jim Daly Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding single farm payment and disadvantaged area payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7274/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney While an application under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme/Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on 11 April 2013, as the person named does not hold any payment entitlements, there is no payment due to the person named under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme.

Payment under 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme issued directly to the nominated bank account of the person named on 27 January 2013, immediately the holding of the person named was confirmed as having satisfied the minimum stocking density requirements of the 2013 Scheme.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

 220. Deputy Heather Humphreys Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan will receive their rural environment protection scheme payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7285/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named commenced REPS 4 October 2009 and received payments for the first four years of their contract.

  REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue. During an on-farm inspection in 2013 an issue was discovered in relation to Supplementary Measure 3 (Conservation of Rare Breeds) and documentation confirming membership of the Connemara Pony Breeders' Society which is a requirement under the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme was outstanding. The document confirming membership was lodged with my Department on 16th January 2014 and the 75% Year 5 payment has been authorised for payment. It is expected that this payment will issue in the next week. The remaining 25% balancing payment will issue shortly.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

 221. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their REP scheme payment .  [7303/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named commenced REPS 4 in June 2008 and received payments for the first five years of their contract.

REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue. Following the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) Review an area discrepancy was identified which has resulted in the necessity for further clarification. This issue is currently being investigated with the intention of an early resolution and payment in respect of Year 6.


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