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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 305-315
 Header Item Sports Capital Programme Applications
 Header Item Rail Services
 Header Item Driver Licence Renewals
 Header Item Roads Maintenance Funding
 Header Item Road Traffic Offences
 Header Item Cycling Facilities Funding
 Header Item Road Improvement Schemes
 Header Item Sports Capital Programme Applications
 Header Item Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme Payments
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 866 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 75 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 305-315

Sports Capital Programme Applications

 305. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if he will provide details of funding for school sports programmes (details supplied) in Dublin 17; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5191/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring  The Sports Capital Programme, which is administered by my Department, allocates funding to sporting and community organisations, local authorities and, in certain circumstances, schools and colleges, throughout the country. I expect to be in a position to announce details of the 2015 Sports Capital Programme in the near future. The programme is open to all sporting organisations that fulfil the terms and conditions of the programme. A detailed guide to making an application will be available once the Sports Capital Programme has been announced. More details about the programme are available at http://www.dttas.ie/sport/english/sports-capital-programme.

  I would advise any club or organisation that is interested in applying for funding to register on the Department’s online system OSCAR at https://www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie.

Rail Services

 306. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the findings of the annual rail census that took place in November 2014, making particular reference to the DART; his views that the census findings indicate that current train set configuration on DART services is adequate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5208/15]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The issue raised is a matter for Iarnród Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Driver Licence Renewals

 307. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe his views regarding facilitating persons who are ordinarily resident in the State, but are unable to renew their driving licence due to being outside the State for an extended period, by renewing driving licences with more than three months left to expire and allowing the licence to be renewed by correspondence or any other means. [5223/15]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS) under the Road Safety Authority (RSA), normally requires attendance in person at an NDLS centre on one occasion for image capture when renewing a licence.  This is part of the SAFE 2 (Standard Authentication Framework Environment) identity verification standard.  

However, given the difficulty in cases where people ordinarily resident in Ireland are out of the country for some time, typically for work or study, it was agreed that the requirement to appear in person was an undue burden in these cases.  This issue was addressed by a change in regulations last July under the Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 326 of 2014).  As a result, people who are normally resident in the State but are abroad for an extended period may apply by post. It is expected that an Irish person residing outside the State for a prolonged period, greater than 1 year, will apply for a licence in the country in which they are living. I do not believe that any further change to the regulations is necessary.

Roads Maintenance Funding

 308. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the funding allocations approved for each local authority in 2014 and the amount paid to each of these local authorities in 2014; the funding allocated to these local authorities in 2015; the amounts paid to the local authorities to date in 2015 following the Government decision of the 11 February 2014 to allocate funding for the clean-up, repair and restoration works for public infrastructure that was damaged in the period 13 December 2013 to 6 January 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5245/15]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe Details of the 2014 regional and local road grant allocations and payments to county councils are outlined in the regional and local road grant payment booklets which are available in the Dáil Library.  Details of the 2015 regional and local road grant allocations to each county council are being provided to the Dáil library.

With regard to national roads, details of the allocations in 2014 and 2015 to each local authority are also available in the Dáil library.  However, details of the actual drawdown of funding in 2014 for these roads are a matter for the National Roads Authority. Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don't receive a reply within 10 working days.

The Government approved funding of €16.2 million for the repair of damage caused by severe weather.  €14.1 million was included in my Department's budget in 2014 to cover expenditure related to severe weather.  In addition, works to the value of about €2.1 million from this funding stream are due to be undertaken in 2015.

Road Traffic Offences

 309. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe his plans for the introduction of on-the-spot fines or other such penalties for cycling on footpaths; his plans that such penalties would apply to children; if so, if the views of the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs were sought before making such a proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5276/15]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe In accordance with Action 92 of the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020, it is my intention to extend the fixed charge notice system to road traffic offences by cyclists.  This will offer a significant improvement to the mechanisms available to An Garda Síochána to enforce road traffic law in cases involving cyclists, and I believe it will improve safety for all road users, cyclists included.    

  However, I am very conscious of the use that children, on and off their bicycles, make of our footpaths and all of the safety issues that must be considered. I will consult with stakeholders in relation to this specific matter before deciding policy in this area.    

Cycling Facilities Funding

 310. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if he will grant-aid community groups that wish to construct a spur off the new cycle way from Athlone to Mullingar in County Westmeath to encourage tourists using the track to explore different parts of the county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5337/15]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe All funding available to my Department for the development of cycleways/greenways is fully committed up to the end of 2016.  However it is possible, given the success of the projects already delivered, that funding may become available from other sources over the coming years.   

  Westmeath County Council (WCC) were fortunate in securing substantial funding for two projects from the Government Stimulus Package for infrastructure development, €10m of which was earmarked for the development of greenways.  The fund to WCC was €4m for the Athlone to Mullingar Greenway and €700,000 for a greenway from Coolnahay to the Westmeath County Boundary.  WCC also completed the Mullingar to Meath Co Boundary greenway in 2013 using €629,000 received from my Department under the National Cycle Network Funding Programme 2012-2013.   

  The Community Group may wish to investigate the possibilities which exist under the LEADER programme. This may be a source of funding for progressing the initial stages of this project.   

  Finally, I  always recommend that Community Groups work closely with the relevant local authority to continue to progress plans for suitable projects so that when funding does become available they are in a position to apply for that funding.   

Road Improvement Schemes

 311. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if specific funding will be allocated to Monaghan County Council in 2015 to finalise the specific route in respect of improvement works on the N2 North of Monaghan town to the Border; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5341/15]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects (including the N2) is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.     

  Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don’t receive a reply within 10 working days.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

 312. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if he will support a local community club (details supplied); the position regarding funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5442/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring Under the Sports Capital Programme funding is available for projects that are sporting in nature.  In making an application, any organisation would need to make clear the sporting content of their proposed project.  While some SCP applications from scout troops have been successful in receiving funding, other applications from scout troops have been considered to have little or no sporting content.     

  No decision has been made on the timing of any future rounds of the Sports Capital Programme.  Any future rounds of the Programme will be advertised in the national press.

  Any interested group should register now on www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie as this will be the only way to apply under any future rounds of the Programme.

Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme Payments

 313. Deputy Frank Feighan Information on Frank Feighan Zoom on Frank Feighan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the amount paid out under the turf cutting cessation scheme; the number of persons it has been paid to; the total amounts paid out in the respective counties; the amount that has been ring-fenced by her Department to ensure that the scheme can continue to pay out over a 15-year period; if the scheme is still open; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5203/15]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys To-date 3,057 applications for compensation under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme for raised bog special areas of conservation have been received and acknowledged by my Department. A total of 6,437 payments and 650 deliveries of turf have been made in respect of the applications received. In addition, 1,330 once-off incentive payments of €500 have been made to applicants who have signed and returned legal agreements under the scheme to my Department. Details of the expenditure under the scheme for these sites, grouped by county, are set out in Table 1 SACs below. The total expenditure amounts to over €11.6 million. This expenditure is comprised of amounts paid in respect of annual payments, turf deliveries and once-off incentive payments.

  My Department estimates that in the region of 2,300 individual applicants have received payments under the scheme for raised bog special areas of conservation. The cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme has been extended to land owners and turbary right holders affected by the restrictions on turf cutting in raised bog natural heritage areas. 164 applications have been received and payments have been made to 94 individual applicants at a cost of over €142,000. Details of the expenditure under the scheme for these sites, grouped by county, are set out in Table 2 NHAs.

  The closing date for the receipt of applications generally has passed for raised bog special area of conservation sites. However, my Department will continue to accept late applications under the scheme for the time being.   

  As domestic turf cutting may continue with my consent, as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, until 1 January 2017, no closing date has been set for the receipt of applications for raised bog natural heritage area sites.

  I have ensured that sufficient funds are available in relation to the operation of this scheme for this year. Funding for future years will be made available from the financial allocations to my Department.

Table 1 SACs

Site CodeName of raised bog special area of conservationCountyExpenditure under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme
000006Killyconny Bog (Cloghbally)Cavan/ Meath€9,539
000231Barroughter BogGalway-
000248Cloonmoylan BogGalway-
000285Kilsallagh BogGalway-
000296Lisnageeragh Bog and Ballinstack TurloughGalway 
000301Lough Lurgeen Bog/ Glenamaddy TurloughGalway-
000326Shankill West BogGalway-
001242Carrownagappul BogGalway-
002347Camderry BogGalway-
002350Curraghlehanagh BogGalway-
002352Monivea BogGalway-
002356Ardgraigue BogGalway€2,489,467
000297Lough CorribGalway/Mayo€624,583
000382Sheheree (Ardagh) BogKerry-
002351Moanveanlagh BogKerry€110,842
000391Ballynafagh BogKildare-
002331Mouds BogKildare€777,935
000440Lough ReeRoscommon/ Longford/Westmeath€1,364,343
000497Flughany BogSligo/Mayo€65,896
000566All Saints Bog and EskerOffaly-
000572Clara BogOffaly-
000575Ferbane BogOffaly-
000580Mongan BogOffaly-
000581Moyclare BogOffaly-
000582Raheenmore BogOffaly-
000585Sharavogue BogOffaly€479,957
000592Bellanagare BogRoscommon-
000595Callow BogRoscommon-
000597Carrowbehy/Caher BogRoscommon-
000600Cloonchambers BogRoscommon-
000604Derrinea BogRoscommon-
000614Cloonshanville BogRoscommon-
002338Drumalough BogRoscommon-
002339Ballynamona Bog and Corkip LoughRoscommon-
002349Corbo BogRoscommon-
002354Tullaghanrock BogRoscommon€2,199,557
000641Ballyduff/Clonfinane BogTipperary-
000647Kilcarren-Firville BogTipperary-
002353Redwood BogTipperary€440,829
000679Garriskil BogWestmeath-
002336Carn Park BogWestmeath-
002337Crosswood BogWestmeath€553,666
001818Lough Forbes ComplexRoscommon/ Longford€7,518
002110Corliskea/Trien/Cloonfelliv BogGalway/ Roscommon€437,193
002298River Moy Mayo/ Roscommon/ Sligo€139,896
002332Coolrain BogLaois-
002333Knockacoller BogLaois€386,843
002340Moneybeg and Clareisland BogsMeath/ Westmeath-
002342Mount Hevey BogMeath/ Westmeath€568,474
002341Ardagullion BogLongford-
002346Brown BogLongford-
002348Clooneen BogLongford€215,305
002343Tullaher Lough and BogClare€674,046
 

Table 2 NHAs
Site CodeName of raised bog natural heritage areaCountyExpenditure under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme
000985Lough Kinale and Derragh Lough Cavan, Longford and Westmeath€1,521
000993Ayle Lower Bog Clare€12,168
000229Ballygar Bog Galway-
000281Keeloges Bog Galway-
000307Lough Tee Bog Galway-
000321Raford River Bog Galway-
001227Aughrim Bog Galway-
001254Derrinlough Bog Galway€25,857
000333Anna More Bog Kerry€10,647
001405Cashel Bog Leitrim-
000422Aghnamona BogLeitrim and Longford€10,647
000691Rinn River Leitrim and Longford€3,042
001450Mount Jessop Bog Longford€3,042
000565Clonydonnin Bog Offaly and Westmeath€3,042
001623Carrickynaghtan Bog Roscommon€10,647
000640Arragh More Bog Tipperary-
000937Scohaboy Bog Tipperary€15,210
000674Ballynagrenia and Ballinderry BogWestmeath-
000677Cloncrow Bog (New Forest)Westmeath-
000684Lough Derravaragh Westmeath-
000694Wooddown BogWestmeath-
001812Lough Garr BogWestmeath€30,420
000221Moorfield Bog/ Farm CottageGalway and Roscommon€1,521
001580Girley BogMeath€15,210

Appointments to State Boards

 314. 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 the reason she refuses to publicly release the curricula vitae of successful candidates who have been appointed to State boards under her remit; if she will publicly release the curriculum vitae of each successful candidate in the future under the newly announced regime for State board appointments; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5350/15]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Government has agreed a Revised Model for Ministerial Appointments to State Boards, which provides 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 implement their mandates. My Department is now implementing this revised model in accordance with the Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards issued by my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, last November. The guidelines provide that: "At the time of the appointment of new members of State Boards, information shall be published by the relevant Department, for example in the press release announcing the new member(s), on the specific reasons the person(s) appointed meet the criteria determined by the relevant Minister for the role."

The guidelines do not propose the publication of the Curricula Vitae of the successful candidates.

With regard to the specific issue referred to in the Deputy's Question, I assume that this relates to a decision made by an official of my Department last year under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation. I am advised that the decision, which was made independently by the official in question, took account of all relevant factors, including matters relating to personal information. I am also advised that the requester in that case did not avail of the option to appeal the decision. As Minister, I have no role in determining what information is released in response to FOI requests.

I should also add that board membership details are generally published on the websites of the relevant bodies operating under the aegis of my Department. In many cases, these include biographies of board members and I expect that this practice will continue.

Departmental Staff Data

 315. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of staff from her Department or agency under her remit working out of a Government building at a location (details supplied) in County Laois; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5584/15]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I am advised that no staff of my Department or any agency under its remit are currently working out of the location specified by the Deputy.


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