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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 294 - 308
 Header Item Road Safety Data
 Header Item Tourism Funding
 Header Item Wild Atlantic Way Project
 Header Item Motor Insurance
 Header Item Sports Funding
 Header Item Driver Licence Applications
 Header Item Sport and Recreational Development
 Header Item IDA Ireland Data
 Header Item Child and Family Agency
 Header Item Youth Services Funding
 Header Item Child Care Services Funding
 Header Item Child Care Services Provision
 Header Item Defence Forces Operations
 Header Item Defence Forces
 Header Item Defence Forces Medicinal Products

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 911 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 60 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 294 - 308

Road Safety Data

 294. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the number of persons who have been seriously injured in road traffic collisions by category, for example, pedestrian, cyclist, passenger, driver and so on in 2014 to 2016 to date; the measures he is taking to address these numbers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14052/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006) the Road Safety Authority has responsibility for the collection and compilation of statistics on road accidents.

  ​I have referred the Deputy's question to the Road Safety Authority for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.   

  While the number of deaths on our roads this year is of particular concern to me, it is too early in the year to identify any emerging trends. 

  My Department and I are working with the RSA and the other appropriate bodies to ensure that the recommendations in current Road Safety Strategy, which contains a number of measures to ensure greater safety for all road users, are implemented.

Tourism Funding

 295. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the funding that has been allocated in County Louth for tourism under Fáilte Ireland's Ancient East initiative; the consultation that has taken place in County Louth on this initiative; the amounts sought and amounts allocated; if it is possible to apply for further project support; the conditions attached to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14061/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The matters raised by the Deputy are operational matters for the Board and management of Fáilte Ireland.  I have referred the Deputy's questions to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply.  Please contact my private office if a response is not received within ten working days.

Wild Atlantic Way Project

 296. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the status of an additional location (details supplied) to the Wild Atlantic Way; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14077/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The matter raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland.  I have referred the Deputy's question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply. Please contact my private office if a response is not received within ten working days.

Motor Insurance

 297. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross his plans to renegotiate or vary the agreement with the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland following the Setanta ruling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14088/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​A review of the framework for motor insurance compensation in Ireland, after the failure of Setanta insurance, is currently being carried out by a joint working group comprised of officials of the Departments of Finance and of my Department.  A final report of the review is due to be submitted to the Minister for Finance and to myself in the coming weeks.  It should also be noted that further court proceedings are to take place on the matter.  In these circumstances it would be premature for me to comment on any proposals regarding this matter.

Sports Funding

 298. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if he will provide funding to a group (details supplied) in order to secure new premises; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14103/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross The Sports Capital Programme is the primary vehicle for government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country.  It is part funded from the proceeds of the National Lottery.  However, the Programme does not fund the purchase of land or buildings.

It may be possible for the club to raise funds via the 'Tax Relief for Donations to Certain Sports Bodies' scheme (section 847A of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997). This is a Revenue operated scheme which offers tax benefits to individuals or companies who make donations to sports clubs.  Further details on this scheme and how it operates can be found on the Revenue Commissioners' website.

Driver Licence Applications

 299. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the status of persons who are under 18 years of age when applying for driving licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14225/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​The minimum ages for holding driving licences are set at EU level, and depend on the vehicle category in question.  Full details are available in the public domain, in particular, on the Road Safety Authority website.

Sport and Recreational Development

 300. Deputy Martin Heydon Information on Martin Heydon Zoom on Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross to consider giving recognition to the card game bridge as a sport (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14239/16]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross ​Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the promotion, development and co-ordination of sport in Ireland. This includes responsibility for the recognition of sporting bodies as National Governing Bodies of sport. I have no role in the recognition process.

I have referred the Deputy's question to Sport Ireland for direct response. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

IDA Ireland Data

 301. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor the number of Industrial Development Agency Ireland sponsored visits, by county, by month in 2016 to date, in tabular form; the agency's strategy to ensure an equitable distribution of visits among counties. [14055/16]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor): Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor Since 2015 IDA Ireland has been working towards targets set out in their strategy “Winning - Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019”. For the first time, under this strategy, ambitious investment targets have been set on a regional basis whereby the Agency aims to increase the level of investment by between 30% to 40% in each region.   

  The Government’s commitment to countrywide job creation is further illustrated by the Regional Action Plan for Jobs initiative. This initiative saw eight Plans published throughout 2015 and 2016, which identified a range of actions aimed at supporting each region to achieve its economic potential and raise employment levels.

  These new regional initiatives are already showing promise. In 2015, 53% of all jobs created by IDA Ireland clients in were based outside of Dublin, compared to 49% in 2014.

  IDA Ireland maintains statistics of site visits by potential investors on a quarterly basis only. During quarter one of 2016, there were a total of 136 IDA Ireland sponsored site visits by potential investors to various locations throughout the country. The following table sets out, on a county-by-county basis, the number of IDA Ireland sponsored site visits during this period.

  It is important to note that data on site visits is not an accurate measure of the level of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) activity in a region or county. That is because approximately 70% of all FDI investment won by IDA Ireland comes from its existing client base, rather than new companies.

  The true measure of FDI is reflected in IDA Ireland’s record 2015 results. IDA Ireland client companies created just under 19,000 (18,983) jobs on the ground during the year across a range of sectors, with every region of Ireland posting net gains in jobs.   

  While IDA Ireland does attempt to influence the choice of location, the final decision as to where to visit and ultimately locate is taken in all cases by the client company.

  Table shows the number of IDA Ireland sponsored site visits, on a county by county basis during quarter one 2016.

CountyQ1 2016
Carlow0
Cavan 0
Clare3
Cork 11
Donegal 1
Dublin57
Galway 10
Kerry1
Kildare5
Kilkenny4
Laois0
Leitrim 1
Limerick9
Longford1
Louth 5
Mayo 2
Meath 2
Monaghan 0
Offaly1
Roscommon0
Sligo 4
Tipperary4
Waterford4
Westmeath 9
Wexford1
Wicklow1

Child and Family Agency

 302. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the justification for the removal of the line "Resource Tusla  [14026/16]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The Government is strongly committed to supporting Tusla's work for children and families across the full range of its services. Since my appointment I have already been working closely with the Chair and Chief Executive of Tusla, alongside my own Department, to ensure that we deliver the best possible quality of services within the resources available. Tusla received an additional €38m in Budget 2016 to consolidate and further develop its funding base, and I will seek to build on this progress in the discussions on Budget 2017.

I am on record in my determination to ensure the provision of a comprehensive range of services throughout a child's life. Nothing in the final text of the Programme for Government takes away from my commitment, or that of the Government, to supporting Tusla in delivering vital services to children and families.

Youth Services Funding

 303. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the cost of funding the Youngballymun project at current activity for 2016 and projected cost over the next six years. [14038/16]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The ABC programme is a joint prevention and early intervention initiative led by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Atlantic Philanthropies. It is a time-bound, co-funding arrangement in the amount of €29.7m from 2013 to 2017. The aim of the ABC Programme is to test and evaluate prevention and early intervention approaches to improve outcomes for children, and families living in poverty in 13 areas of disadvantage. Regular amendments to the programme design are expected based on ongoing analysis of the impact of services and programmes in each area. The focus of the work under the ABC Programme covers in the main: Child Health & Development; Children’s Learning; Parenting; and Integrated Service Delivery.

The ABC programme was preceded by the Prevention and Early Intervention Programme (PEIP) (2007-2013) in which three sites participated: youngballymun, The Childhood Development Initiative Tallaght and The Preparing for Life Programme, Darndale. Youngballymun received €15m as a participant in the Prevention and Early Intervention programme. The total funding for Youngballymun under the ABC Programme is €5m bringing the total funding received by Youngballymun to €20m.

Youngballymun have calculated that its level of expenditure in 2016 will be €1.6m. Projected running costs for Youngballymun for a further six years would be determined by the design of a programme which prioritises those services and programmes demonstrating compelling evidence of positive impact on children's outcomes. Projected running costs for a further six years based on the budgets since 2007 and the existing programme design and delivery would be an estimated €9.6m assuming that no significant changes to its work were to be made. It should be noted as The Atlantic Philanthropies as co-funder of this programme are winding down operations, the total amount of this funding would need to be met by the State.

I look forward to the continued engagement of Youngballymun with my Department to ensure the implementation of quality prevention and early intervention initiatives in order to achieve our shared goal of improving the lives of children and families in Ballymun and throughout the country. The current contract for Youngballymun, along with the other two former PEIP sites is due to conclude in July 2016. My aim is to bring the Young Ballymun Programme together with that of other two sites to July 2017. To ensure continued provision, my Department and The Atlantic Philanthropies have sanctioned an additional €400k to each of the three former PEIP sites. Efforts will be made to further supplement this bare level of funding to each of the three sites based on the priorisation of the most effective interventions within their service agreements.

Child Care Services Funding

 304. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if she has reviewed funding and support for the early years sector as promised for early 2016.  [14044/16]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone I understand the Deputy is referring to a commitment by my Department to a review of the functions, structures and governance of the City/County Childcare Committees and the National Voluntary Childcare Organisations. 

This review has not been progressed to date due to the requirement to prioritise other important initiatives within the early years care and education area. The review in question continues to feature in my Department's Business Plan, but my Department's main priority in 2016 to date has been to deliver on the increase in funding announced in Budget 2016 and the associated developments. The 30% increase in budget from 2015 now allows delivery of €345m per annum in schemes to subsidise childcare, ensure delivery of early years education, and initiatives to improve the quality of services. 

Recent priorities have included a number of initiatives to  ensure that sufficient capacity is available in the sector to meet the demands of the expanded Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme from September of this year, the introduction of the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) for children with disabilities availing of ECCE from September of this year and the expansion of the Community Childcare Subvention to private childcare providers to ensure that more eligible families can avail of this subsidised childcare, particularly in geographical areas where no community provision exists. 

My Department has also dedicated a resource to developing a Single Affordable Childcare Programme (SACP) in 2017 which will amalgamate the various subvented schemes into one single, user friendly programme. The SACP, when developed, can be used as an infrastructure from which any future investment in early years care and education can be delivered, be it on a universal or a targeted basis.

The funding and support delivered to the Early Years sector by my Department has expanded significantly in the past year, and it is my intention that this will continue.  The Programme for Government contains several commitments relating to the funding of and support for the sector. These include a commitment to conducting and publishing an independent review of the cost of providing quality childcare in private and community settings, consistent with the principle of ongoing professionalisation. The City and County Childcare Committees, the various National Voluntary Childcare Organisations and various other stakeholders continue to play an important role in assisting my Department with its critical role in making high quality, affordable, early years care and education accessible to all.

Child Care Services Provision

 305. Deputy Thomas Byrne Information on Thomas Byrne Zoom on Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if she is aware that a childcare facility (details supplied) in Drumconrath, County Meath is to close; her views on this; and her proposals to ensure there is sufficient provision for childcare in this area. [14134/16]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone I am aware of a childcare facility in Drumconrath and I understand that this service sought permission to expand their premises to cater for an increased number of children, but that this planning application was refused. Meath County Childcare Committee are in regular contact with my Department regarding this and other services in the Meath area and I understand that this service has not indicated that it will close. I am optimistic that the service can maintain its existing level of provision and may submit an appeal to An Bord Pleanála. On foot of consultation with my Department, a circular recently issued to all local authorities seeking to ensure that planning applications in relation to childcare facilities are dealt with expeditiously.

My Department funds 30 City and County Childcare Committees (CCC) around the country. The CCC staff support parents to access appropriate childcare and they also support providers to deliver and develop their service. Pobal also assists my Department and the CCCs to identify any issues with supply and demand.

In Budget 2016, my Department announced a significant expansion to pre-school provision under the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. This expansion will see the number of children benefitting from the Programme rise from around 67,000 to around 127,000 in a given programme year. In response to this expansion of ECCE, and to support the development of capacity in the sector, my Department has initiated a number of actions. The Department made detailed information available to the CCCs at the beginning of this year indicating the number of children, by every electoral division across the country, who would be eligible for an ECCE place in September 2016, January 2017 and April 2017. My Department continues to work closely with the CCCs to match this data against reported capacity in the sector to meet the increase in demand. My Department is working with them on the development of action plans for areas where a shortfall in supply has been identified.

Beyond the ECCE programme, my Department has taken measures to ensure greater access to the Community Childcare Subsidy (CCS) for eligible families. Whilst traditionally this subvention was only available through Community (Not for Profit) Childcare facilities, it has now been extended so that private childcare facilities can access it and pass the subvention onto eligible families.

Defence Forces Operations

 306. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny to report on a proposed hazardous waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour which is close to the naval headquarters and operational base on Haulbowline Island; the impacts such an incinerator would have on Naval and Air Corps operations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14058/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe The Department of Defence, following consultation with the Air Corps and the Naval Service, recently made an oral submission to An Bord Pleanála regarding the proposed development of the waste to energy facility in Ringaskiddy. The submission identified two areas of concern, the proximity of the incinerator stack to Haulbowline and the difficulties in the evacuation of the island if necessitated by an incident at the incinerator facility.

The proximity of the stack of the waste-to-energy facility to the helicopter approach paths of Haulbowline Naval Base and Spike Island is a matter of concern due to the fact that this stack will be emitting significant amounts of exhaust gases and is seen by the Department as a potential hazard as it may in certain conditions render approaches by Air Corps helicopters into and out of Haulbowline Island as unsafe.

The second area of concern is due to the fact that Haulbowline Island is accessed by a bridge which is connected to the Ringaskiddy Road.  The proposed incinerator is to be built adjacent to this road, before Haulbowline.  Therefore, in the event of any accident at the incinerator, road access to and from Haulbowline is threatened.  This could in some instances hinder the operation of the Naval Base or in the event of a major incident necessitating local area evacuation, the evacuation of Haulbowline would be denied.

Defence Forces

 307. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin Information on Fiona O'Loughlin Zoom on Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny the powers the Military Police have on areas of the Curragh, County Kildare, where illegal camping may occur; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14093/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe As you may be aware the management and protection of the Curragh Plains, one of the most open and accessible areas in the Country, is an ongoing process which is the responsibility of my Department.

I am fully aware of the ongoing problems of illegal camping and the misuse of the Curragh Plains. My Officials report all incidents of illegal encampments on the Curragh Plains to An Garda Síochána as soon as they are made aware of them. In the first four months of this year my Department has already spent approximately €99,744 on the maintenance of the Curragh Plains which includes the clean up operations following illegal camping and dumping.

Under Section 19C of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994, as inserted by the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002, it is an offence for a person to enter on and occupy property without the consent of the owner. Under the provisions of the Act An Garda Síochána have the power, without warrant, to arrest a person who fails to leave when requested and seize anything they bring onto the property in question. Penalties for persons found guilty of an offence under this Part of the Act include fines not exceeding €3,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding one month or both.

The use of the Curragh lands is addressed in Bye-Laws dating back to 1964. My department is currently seeking legal advice on the interpretation of the provisions of the Bye-Laws.

I am sure the Deputy will appreciate that while it can prove difficult to fully prevent illegal camping on the Curragh Plains every effort is being taken to address the situation and protect this valuable amenity.

Defence Forces Medicinal Products

 308. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny the number of Irish soldiers taking Lariam as a malaria prophylactic who have contracted malaria since Irish soldiers first started taking it as a malaria prophylactic. [14176/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe Information in relation to illnesses contracted by Defence Forces Personnel including instances of malaria is maintained on each individual’s medical file. While there is no way of providing the exact information sought by the Deputy without examining every medical record of each member who served overseas in sub-Saharan Africa, I am advised by the Medical Corps that the number of incidences of malaria among Defence Forces Personnel is low. The Deputy might also note that since deployment of Defence Forces Personnel to sub-Saharan Africa, not a single member has died from the malaria disease.


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