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 Header Item Written Answers Nos 1-114
 Header Item Calafoirt agus Céanna
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Easter Rising Commemorations
 Header Item Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge
 Header Item National Museum
 Header Item Ministerial Travel
 Header Item National Monuments
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards
 Header Item Cruthú Fostaíochta
 Header Item An Maolú i leith na Gaeilge san Aontas Eorpach
 Header Item Departmental Bodies Board Remuneration
 Header Item National Cultural Institutions
 Header Item Grazing Rights
 Header Item Maoiniú do na hIrisí Gaeilge
 Header Item Easter Rising Commemorations
 Header Item Animal Welfare
 Header Item National Cultural Institutions

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 861 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos 1-114

The following are questions tabled by Members for written response and the ministerial replies as received on the day from the Departments [unrevised].

  Questions Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive, answered orally.

  Questions Nos. 7 to 86, inclusive, resubmitted.

  Questions Nos. 87 to 97, inclusive, answered orally.

Calafoirt agus Céanna

 98. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys cén uair atáthar chun dul ar aghaidh le tógáil an tsínidh ar an gcéibh in Inis Oírr; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [46778/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh Tuigtear dom go dtagann cúram na cé seo faoi Chomhairle Contae na Gaillimhe, a chuaigh i mbun réamhoibreacha agus staidéir éagsúla, ar nós múnlóireacht fhisiceach tonnta agus ráiteas tionchar timpeallachta, roinnt blianta ó shin chun cur ar a gcumas cead pleanála a lorg don fhorbairt. Mar thoradh air sin, tá cead pleanála agus ceadúnas forchladaigh faighte ag an Chomhairle d’fhorbairt na cé.

Comhairlítear dom nach bhfuil sé beartaithe ag an Chomhairle Contae dul chun tairisceana i leith forbairt na cé sa ghearrthéarma toisc nach bhfuil na hacmhainní ar fáil faoi láthair. Ós rud é nach bhfuil an leibhéal acmhainní ar fáil do mo Roinn féin anois mar a bhíodh san am a caitheadh, ní féidir léi tabhairt faoi thograí móra mar atá i gceist anseo.

I rith 2013, cheadaigh mo Roinn deontas de €42,000 d'oibreacha cothabhála agus sábháilteachta a chur i gcrích ar an ché seo. I measc na n-oibreacha seo, bhí deisiú ar an ché, solas loingseoireachta, ballaí a thógáil agus trealamh sábháilteachta a sholáthar.

Departmental Expenditure

 99. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the funding mechanisms she is considering to support and maintain built heritage in 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46803/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys My Department is currently considering the funding available for the protection and conservation of the built heritage in 2015 in the context of its overall allocation and final decisions will be made following the publication of the Revised Estimates Volume.   As the Deputy can appreciate, the scope for funding for the conservation of the built heritage is currently constrained by the significant reduction in the public finances. Nonetheless, the competing priorities regarding the preservation and enhancement of the national heritage are kept under ongoing review having regard to the resources available to my Department. Funding for the protection of built heritage will continue to be provided by my Department via a number of measures, which will be either directly administered or delivered through local authorities and agencies.

  In 2014, my Department was provided with an allocation of €5m Capital Stimulus funding for a new Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme to assist with works to safeguard protected structures, in private and civic ownership, protected under the Planning and Development Act 2000-2012.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, my Department operated a Structures at Risk   Fund to assist with works to safeguard structures protected under the Act, where an urgent need for works to such structures had arisen and had been demonstrated. Both of these schemes were administered by local authorities.   

  My Department also provided funding for conservation works to heritage structures in State care in 2014 and previous years.   This funding supported works to structures both under the management of the Office of Public Works and in local authority ownership or management.   

  The Heritage Council, which my Department funds, also provides grants for the protection and preservation of the built heritage.

  Finally, my Department provides support for the Irish Heritage Trust, which has a mandate to acquire for public access important heritage properties where the State does not wish to acquire them directly and where there is imminent risk to their heritage value.

Easter Rising Commemorations

 100. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the extent to which her Department continues to prepare for the commemorative events of 1916 in a way which marks the events, locations and prominent personalities involved and recognises the ongoing future need for an inclusive and united society as envisaged by the 1916 proclamation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46817/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The commemorations to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising will be a major event in a programme that has been developing since 2012 to commemorate the key events leading to the proclamation of the Irish Republic.   Capital provision of €22 million will be allocated in 2015 to a number of flagship projects, including:

  - the development of a permanent exhibition space and interpretative centre at the GPO;

  - the restoration of Kilmainham Courthouse to enhance the visitor experience at Kilmainham Gaol;

  - the provision of a permanent visitor facility at Cathal Brugha Barracks for the Military Service Pensions Archive;

  - the development of visitor facilities at Teach an Phiarsaigh, Ros Muc;

  - refurbishment works at Richmond Barracks;

  - the development of a Tenement Museum in Dublin; and

  - the commencement of refurbishment and development works at the National Archives and the National Concert Hall's Kevin Barry rooms.

  I have also secured an allocation of €4m in current funding, which will complement the capital programme through the development of an integrated national plan focused on the commemoration of the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. This allocation will support a wide range of activities and events by interested groups, including local community groups and the arts. There will also be a special emphasis on education projects, as recommended by the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations.

  A widespread public consultation process is now underway in order to encourage and facilitate the involvement of ground-up initiatives in the wider commemorative programme. I look forward to working with the Oireachtas All-Party Consultation Group on Commemorations, the Expert Advisory Group and a wide range of stakeholders over the coming 18 months to make the events of Easter 2016 a very special and poignant tribute to all those involved.

Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge

 101. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys cé mhéad airgid atá curtha ar fáil don bhliain 2015 le haghaidh chur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise Fiche Bliain don Ghaeilge; cé mhéad den airgead sin a chaithfear ar phleanáil teanga taobh istigh den Ghaeltacht agus cé mhéad a chaithfear ar phleanáil teanga taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [46779/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh Ba mhaith liom a rá ar dtús go mbaineann an chuid is mó den chaiteachas ar fhomhíreanna C agus D de vóta mo Roinnse le cur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge agus an phróisis pleanála teanga, bealach amháin nó bealach eile.

Ar mhaithe le tacú le cur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise agus leis an bpróiseas pleanála teanga mar a leagtar amach é in Acht na Gaeltachta 2012, cuireadh soláthar airgid faoi leith ar fiú €500,000 ar fáil i mbliana i Vóta mo Roinne. Mar léiriú ar thiomantas an Rialtais do chur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise, méadaíodh an soláthar sin go €551,000 do 2015, faoi réir na Meastacháin Athbhreithnithe a bheith faofa.

Mar thoradh ar an méadú seo, fágfaidh sé go mbeidh sé ar chumas mo Roinne leanúint ar aghaidh agus raon leathan bearta faoi leith a thacóidh ar bhealach praiticiúil le cur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise agus an phróisis pleanála teanga araon a mhaoiniú arís in 2015.

Tá bailchríoch á cur faoi láthair ar mhiondealú an tsoláthair seo do 2015. É sin ráite, táthar ag súil go mbeifear in ann an soláthar céanna de €200,000, a tugadh d’Údarás na Gaeltachta i mbliana chun cabhrú leis an bpróiseas pleanála teanga sna Limistéir Pleanála Teanga Ghaeltachta, a chur ar fáil arís don bhliain seo chugainn. Ar ndóigh, beidh gá freastal ar an bpróiseas pleanála teanga sna Bailte Seirbhíse Gaeltachta agus sna Líonraí Gaeilge, de réir mar a thiocfaidh siad sin chun cinn amach anseo.

National Museum

 102. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if she will provide an update on the situation regarding the funding of the National Museum of Ireland; if a decision has been made on whether all four museums will remain open from January; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46862/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys In the recent Budget, I was pleased to be able to maintain funding for 2015 for the national cultural institutions, including the National Museum, at the same level as 2014. This brought to an end the cycle of unavoidable cuts that have taken place at all of our national cultural institutions in recent years, as the Government worked to rebalance the public finances.

I was, of course, aware of particular funding issues that continued to exist and I have been engaged in ongoing discussions with Chairs and senior management at a number of our cultural institutions, including the National Museum, about addressing those challenges. I was delighted, therefore, to be able to announce last week that I have secured an agreement with the Minister for Public and Reform Expenditure, Brendan Howlin TD, to provide an additional €2 million in funding for the National Cultural Institutions as part of the Revised Estimates, to be published later this month.

The additional funding secured will be used to deal with a number of issues across the cultural institutions. I believe that it gives more certainty to the institutions and will allow them to continue to deliver on their core objectives, while attracting large numbers of people through their doors, including overseas and domestic tourists.

Our national cultural institutions are an essential component of our cultural fabric. Through their collections and exhibitions, they make a huge contribution to our society. I can assure the Deputy of the Government's interest in, and continuing support for, our national cultural institutions and I remain hopeful that, notwithstanding the continuing pressure on the State's finances, it will prove possible to ease the resource constraints on the institutions even further in the future.

With regard to the issue of the National Museum remaining open from January next, I am aware that the Museum has issued a statement to the effect that its four sites are, and will remain, open to visitors, and that media reports that the sites face closure are incorrect.

Ministerial Travel

 103. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if she will provide in tabular form her travel schedule overseas since taking office; the expense associated with this travel including total staff travel and accommodation costs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46808/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I have travelled abroad on official business on four occasions since taking office, as set out in tabular form below. The total cost to date, including staff travel and accommodation costs, is €9,784, although a small number of outstanding invoices/claims remain to be paid by my Department. All expenditure was incurred in full conformity with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidance on such matters.

Purpose
Destination
Date
World War 1 Commemoration Events
Glasgow
3 August 2014
Edinburgh International Culture Summit
Edinburgh
11 August 2014
World War 1 Commemoration Events
Brussels
27 October 2014
International Famine Commemoration and associated events
Atlanta/New Orleans
4 November 2014

National Monuments

 104. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys further to Parliamentary Question No. 22 of 22 October 2014 if she will provide Dáil Éireann with an update on whether contact has been made between her Department and Fingal County Council and the landowners of Drumanagh Promontory, with a view to securing this protected monument in public ownership. [46776/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The promontory fort at Drumanagh, Lusk, Co. Dublin, is privately owned and there are no proposals to take it into State ownership.

The site is, however, subject to a Preservation Order under section 8 of the National Monuments Act 1930, as amended. The effect of the Preservation Order is that any works affecting the site require my consent, as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, under section 14 of the Act. In that context, consent was recently given to the landowner for the replacement of the perimeter fence to facilitate agricultural activity and to protect the site from alleged incidences of anti-social behaviour. The monument is regularly inspected by my Department’s National Monuments Service.

The offer to provide advice or guidance to the landowners or to Fingal County Council on any matter relating to the protection of the national monument, as referred to by the Deputy, was made in the context of my Department’s understanding of contacts between the parties with regard to public access to the site. My Department has not received any communication from either party in the meantime.

I am generally supportive of all initiatives that may help to facilitate greater public access to our archaeological heritage. My Department’s National Monuments Service continues to be available to discuss any archaeological protection issues that might arise in that context with regard to this particular monument.

Appointments to State Boards

 105. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys in view of the controversy surrounding appointments to State boards if she will publish the responses received from the national cultural institutions regarding her request for them to draw up a required skillsets for persons that would sit on their boards; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46856/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Government recently agreed on a Revised Model for Ministerial Appointments to State Boards, which complements the existing system with a more structured approach to ensure that vacancies on State Boards are populated in a transparent way by the high-calibre personnel required to successfully perform their mandates. Guidelines in this regard have just been published by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and I am now working to implement this revised model in my Department.   .

  In that context, and in order to ensure that the boards of our national cultural institutions possess a suitable mix of skills to address the numerous challenges that they face, I am working with the Chairs of the institutions and the Public Appointments Service (PAS) to develop appropriate criteria for the filling of vacancies on these boards, as they arise. This process will take account of such issues as

  (i) specialist skills and technical knowledge required;

  (ii) relevant experience/sectoral expertise;

  (iii) educational and other qualifications;

  (iv) particular personal attributes; and

  (v) the range of skills of existing board members

  I have written already to the Chairs of the national cultural institutions asking them to set out the skill sets that they consider relevant for people who might sit on their boards. When I have received their views, I will consider the matter further in conjunction with PAS with a view to developing the criteria for assessing candidates to fill vacancies on the various boards, as they arise. I anticipate that the skill sets will be published in due course by PAS in the context of inviting candidates to apply for particular vacancies.

Cruthú Fostaíochta

 106. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys an deimhin léi go bhfuil a dhóthain airgid ag Údarás na Gaeltachta chun poist a chruthú sa Ghaeltacht. [46861/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh Dírím aird an Teachta ar an bhfreagra a thug mé ar Cheist Dála Uimhir 4 ar 22 Deireadh Fómhair 2014 faoin ábhar seo. Sa fhreagra sin, thug mé le fios go mbeidh soláthar caipitil de €5.687m ar fáil d'Údarás na Gaeltachta ón Státchiste in 2015, faoi réir na Meastacháin Athbhreithnithe a bheith faofa. Ina theannta sin, beidh a chuid foinsí maoinithe féin ag an Údarás ó dhíol sócmhainní agus infheistíochtaí. Idir airgead an Státchiste agus acmhainní an Údaráis féin, tá mé sásta go mbeidh an tÚdarás ag leanúint orthu ag cruthú post nua sa Ghaeltacht agus ag cosaint na bpost atá ann faoi láthair.

É sin ráite, tuigim go maith go bhfuil togra straitéiseach ag Údarás na Gaeltachta lena bhuiséad caipitil a mhéadú thar thréimhse ama ón leibhéal reatha de €5.687m go €12m in aghaidh na bliana. Tuigim fosta go gcuirfeadh méadú mar sin ar chumas an Údaráis 300 post breise a chruthú in aghaidh na bliana. Is mian liom a dheimhniú arís go leanfaidh mé orm ag déanamh cás láidir chun tacú leis an éileamh sin sa tréimhse amach romhainn.

An Maolú i leith na Gaeilge san Aontas Eorpach

 107. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys an bhfuil sí chun an maolú atá i bhfeidhm ar an nGaeilge i bParlaimint na hEorpa a ardú. [46860/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh Mar is eol don Teachta, baineann an maolú faoi Rialacháin an Aontais Eorpaigh 1257/2010 leis an dualgas atá ann dlíthe an AE a dhéantar faoi nós imeachta na comhchinnteoireachta a aistriú go Gaeilge. Beidh cinneadh le tógáil faoi dheireadh na bliana 2015 ar a dhéanaí, maidir le síneadh a chur nó gan a chur ar feadh tréimhse bhreise leis an maolú sin.

Maidir le cúrsaí ateangaireachta i bParlaimint na hEorpa, tuigfidh an Teachta gur ceist í seo don Pharlaimint féin.

Departmental Bodies Board Remuneration

 108. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if she will provide in tabular form any remuneration or expenses that have been paid to each member of the Arts Council board in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46805/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Full details of remuneration and expenses paid to members of the Arts Council in 2011 and 2012 is set out in the Annual Reports and Accounts of that body in each of the years in question and is available to view on the website of the Council at www.artscouncil.ie. Details of the 2013 payments will be included in the 2013 Annual Report and Accounts, which will be published shortly. I am advised that payments for 2014 will be published in due course and as soon as practicable after the year-end.

National Cultural Institutions

 109. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if she has conducted a needs assessment regarding future funding of the national cultural institutions, in particular the National Archives, National Museum and National Library; if she is cognisant of the urgent need to invest in these areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46865/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys In the recent Budget, I was pleased to be able to maintain funding for 2015 for the national cultural institutions, including the National Museum, at the same level as 2014. This brought to an end the cycle of unavoidable cuts that have taken place at all of our national cultural institutions in recent years, as the Government worked to rebalance the public finances.

I was, of course, aware of particular funding issues that continued to exist and I have been engaged in ongoing discussions with Chairs and senior management at a number of our cultural institutions, including the National Museum, about addressing those challenges. I was delighted, therefore, to be able to announce last week that I have secured an agreement with the Minister for Public and Reform Expenditure, Brendan Howlin TD, to provide an additional €2 million in funding for the National Cultural Institutions as part of the Revised Estimates, to be published later this month.

The additional funding secured will be used to deal with a number of issues across the cultural institutions. I believe that it gives more certainty to the institutions and will allow them to continue to deliver on their core objectives, while attracting large numbers of people through their doors, including overseas and domestic tourists.

Our national cultural institutions are an essential component of our cultural fabric. Through their collections and exhibitions, they make a huge contribution to our society. I can assure the Deputy of the Government's interest in, and continuing support for, our national cultural institutions and I remain hopeful that, notwithstanding the continuing pressure on the State's finances, it will prove possible to ease the resource constraints on the institutions even further in the future.

Grazing Rights

 110. Deputy Seán Kyne Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys further to Parliamentary Question No. 29 of 22 October 2014 if she has had or will have discussions with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine regarding the farmers still suffering the effects of destocking with consideration to the difficulties remaining in rebuilding stocks. [46857/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The 5-year grazing restriction in the Twelve Bens/Garraun Complex and Maumturk Mountains Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) ran from the 1 November 2008 until the 31 October 2013. This grazing restriction was lifted on 1 November 2013.

My Department has made detailed submissions to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with respect to the GLAS scheme generally and in relation to upland management of commonages in particular, through the Rural Development Programme until 2020. Dialogue is ongoing between the Departments in relation to the management of farmed Natura 2000 lands and the detail of measures to support the appropriate management of these lands.

I understand that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has clarified the maintenance grazing requirement for marginal lands, including commonage under Pillar 1 - the Basic Payment Scheme. This will be equivalent to one ewe per 1.5 hectares and must be met by all claimants by end-December 2015. A lower stocking level will apply where this can be justified on environmental grounds and it is likely that this will pertain to areas such as the SACs referred to. I expect that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will communicate the requirements for 2015 to farmers in due course.

Maoiniú do na hIrisí Gaeilge

 111. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Michael P. Kitt Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt den Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys an bhfuair sí freagra ó Fhoras na Gaeilge faoi mhaoiniú do na hirisí Gaeilge, an mbeidh airgead ar fáil don iris An tUltach, an mbeidh ábhar léitheoireachta ar fáil saor in aisce ar-líne; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [46787/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh Mar a mhínigh mé don Teach i mo fhreagra ar Cheist Dála Uimhir 7 den 22 Deireadh Fómhair 2014, is ceist oibríochtúil atá ann d'Fhoras na Gaeilge maoiniú a chur ar fáil d’irisí Gaeilge agus níl ról sonrach agam féin mar Aire ina leith.

  Ag eascairt as cinneadh na Comhairle Aireachta Thuaidh Theas, chuir Foras na Gaeilge socruithe nua maoinithe i bhfeidhm do na heagraíochtaí ceannais ón 1 Iúil 2014. Tháinig deireadh dá réir le maoiniú Fhoras na Gaeilge do na hirisí a bhí ceangailte leis na heagraíochtaí bunmhaoinithe, ina measc, An tUltach agus Feasta, a bhíodh á maoiniú ag Conradh na Gaeilge.

 Tuigim ó Fhoras na Gaeilge go bhfuil sé mar aidhm aige pobal léitheoireachta na Gaeilge a spreagadh agus an iriseoireacht Ghaeilge a chothú trí dhíriú ar ábhar léitheoireachta a chur ar fáil saor in aisce ar líne. Mar shampla, tá an nuachtán seachtainiúil ar líne, Tuairisc.ie, á fhoilsiú faoi chonradh ceithre bliana ó Mheán Fómhair 2014. Seolfar suíomh nua dar teideal Nos.ie an mhí seo, ar a mbeidh iris stíl mhaireachtála ar líne ann gach mí faoi chonradh trí bliana. Tuigtear dom fosta go bhfuil an iris Comhar roghnaithe chun foilseachán liteartha/cúrsaí reatha a sholáthar faoi chonradh trí bliana. Cé go ndearna Foras na Gaeilge próiseas tairisceana poiblí a reáchtáil sna cásanna seo go léir, tuigtear dom nár chuir An tUltach   isteach ar aon cheann de na próisis seo.

  Is dóigh liom gur forbairtí nua-aoiseacha agus comhaimseartha iad seo a bheidh mar áis iontach chun spreagadh leanúnach a thabhairt do phobal léitheoireachta na Gaeilge.

Easter Rising Commemorations

 112. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on  Zoom on  asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the involvement the military of other European States may have in the commemorative events related to the anniversary of the 1916 Rising. [46870/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Ireland 2016 initiative, which was recently launched and which I am leading, aims to develop, coordinate and deliver a programme to appropriately honour and remember those who fought and died in the 1916 Easter Rising. It will also reflect on the legacy of that period and look towards our future, based around 5 themes:

  - Remembering the past

  - Reconciling and respecting all traditions

  - Presenting Ireland to the world

  - Imagining our future

  - Celebrating our achievements.

  The initiative involves a wide process of consultation and, in that context, I plan to engage on an all-island basis and work with interested parties from all sides to bring forward authentic commemorations that promote a deeper understanding of differing perspectives on our shared history.

  In relation to the issue of military participation, I am continuing to consult with the Oireachtas All-Party Consultation Group on Commemorations, the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations and other relevant stakeholders in relation to all aspects of the format and programme for these events, so as to ensure that Easter 2016 will be a very special and poignant tribute to all those who participated and died in the Rising.

Animal Welfare

 113. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys her plans to improve the monitoring of coursing meetings by National Parks and Wildlife Service officers, in view of the fall in the numbers of such inspections and the lack of sufficient scrutiny of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46777/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Licences were issued by my Department in August 2014 under the Wildlife Acts to the Irish Coursing Club on behalf of their affiliated clubs to facilitate the tagging and capturing of hares for the purpose of hare coursing for the 2014/15 coursing season.

Regional management staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department, who have a wide range of functions in protecting and conserving wildlife under both Irish and EU legislation, monitor compliance with the conditions of the annual licences issued to the Irish Coursing Club, as resources allow. During the 2013/14 coursing season some 37% of meetings were monitored by officials from my Department. I am not in a position, at this stage, to indicate how many of the coursing meetings will be monitored during the current season, however, such monitoring will continue into 2014/15.

I should also point out that veterinary staff from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine carry out some monitoring inspections during the coursing season to verify compliance with the rules governing animal welfare.

National Cultural Institutions

 114. Deputy Ruth Coppinger Information on  Zoom on  asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if she will expand the funding for the National Archives, the National Library, the National Gallery, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the National Museum; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46871/14]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys In the recent Budget, I was pleased to be able to maintain funding for 2015 for the national cultural institutions, including the National Museum, at the same level as 2014. This brought to an end the cycle of unavoidable cuts that have taken place at all of our national cultural institutions in recent years, as the Government worked to rebalance the public finances.

I was, of course, aware of particular funding issues that continued to exist and I have been engaged in ongoing discussions with Chairs and senior management at a number of our cultural institutions, including the National Museum, about addressing those challenges. I was delighted, therefore, to be able to announce last week that I have secured an agreement with the Minister for Public and Reform Expenditure, Brendan Howlin TD, to provide an additional €2 million in funding for the National Cultural Institutions as part of the Revised Estimates, to be published later this month.

The additional funding secured will be used to deal with a number of issues across the cultural institutions. I believe that it gives more certainty to the institutions and will allow them to continue to deliver on their core objectives, while attracting large numbers of people through their doors, including overseas and domestic tourists.

Our national cultural institutions are an essential component of our cultural fabric. Through their collections and exhibitions, they make a huge contribution to our society. I can assure the Deputy of the Government's interest in, and continuing support for, our national cultural institutions and I remain hopeful that, notwithstanding the continuing pressure on the State's finances, it will prove possible to ease the resource constraints on the institutions even further in the future.


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