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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 420-434
 Header Item International Relations
 Header Item International Relations
 Header Item Syrian Conflict
 Header Item Irish Prisoners Abroad
 Header Item Northern Ireland
 Header Item North-South Ministerial Council
 Header Item Brexit Issues
 Header Item Middle East Peace Process
 Header Item Undocumented Irish in the USA
 Header Item Northern Ireland
 Header Item White Papers Publication
 Header Item Garda Station Closures
 Header Item National Monuments
 Header Item Flood Prevention Measures
 Header Item Garda Stations

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 946 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 420-434

International Relations

 420. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if he has discussed the general strike and mass demonstrations in French Guiana with the French authorities which have been organised against poor public services, the cost of living, mass unemployment and lack of investment in infrastructure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18318/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I am aware of the situation to which the deputy refers. French Guiana is an overseas Department and region of France. The matters referred to are therefore internal issues for the French authorities and I do not propose to comment on them.

International Relations

 421. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan his views of the attempts by the President of Paraguay to extend his term and the movement of opposition to this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18319/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I am concerned at recent events in Paraguay, including violence in the capital Asuncion and attempts to burn down the Parliament Buildings.

The immediate cause of this violence was an attempt to introduce a referendum on an amendment to the Paraguayan constitution to permit President Horacio Cartes, and any previous President, including former President Fernando Lugo, to seek re-election for a second five year term.

While it is generally considered to be within democratic norms for a President to stand for a second term, the situation in Paraguay is unique due to historical sensitivities following the extended dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner (35 years) and the subsequent presidency of his son-in-law, General Rodriguez.

I am particularly concerned by reports of the police raid on the headquarters of the Liberal Party which resulted in the death of a young party member. I hope that this tragic incident will be urgently investigated.

I urge all sides in Paraguay to remain calm, desist from violence and seek a peaceful solution to this situation. I also urge the Government of Paraguay, the members of the Paraguayan Congress and Senate and the Supreme Court to ensure that any amendment to the national constitution is carried out in manner consistent with the rules and procedures set down to that end and that due attention be paid to the concerns of civil society and the public at large.

Paraguay has over the last ten years undertaken important reforms which have created the basis for economic growth. I hope that current political tensions will de-escalate and attention will focus once again on the future development of the State and the economy for the benefit of all its people.

While Ireland does not have a resident Embassy in Asuncion, the situation in Paraguay is being followed closely by the accredited Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Syrian Conflict

 422. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the communication he has had with other foreign Ministers or Governments about the savage chemical attack in Syria in recent days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18323/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I was horrified to learn of the apparent chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun last week which killed scores of civilians and seriously injured many more. The attack was simply barbaric, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families. I condemn unreservedly the attack and those responsible.

My EU colleagues and I have denounced the attack, both individually and as a group.

My Department and I have remained in constant contact with our EU counterparts over the past week. We have also had engagement with many other governments at official level through our network of missions abroad.

Just before this attack occurred, I had the opportunity to discuss the overall situation in Syria in person with EU Foreign Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday of last week. In our conclusions we condemned the continued widespread abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law by all parties, especially the Syrian regime. We also agreed the new EU Strategy for Syria, and reiterated our position that there can be no support for reconstruction until a comprehensive, genuine and inclusive political transition, owned by the Syrian people, is firmly under way.

Following the apparent chemical attacks in Khan Sheikoun on Tuesday, we also issued joint statement condemning the attack in the strongest terms.

Minister of State McHugh attended the Conference on supporting the future of Syria and the Region in Brussels last Wednesday at which he had the opportunity to discuss the situation in Syria in general and the attack in Khan Sheikoun in particular with several of his counterparts from around the world.

At this conference Ireland pledged an additional €25million in humanitarian assistance for Syria and the neighbouring refugee hosting countries in 2017. Ireland has already contributed €76.5 million to the humanitarian effort in Syria. This is Irish Aid’s largest response to a single crisis in recent years, which is indicative of the level of priority we attach to this issue.

In parallel, Ireland continues to call for full accountability for full legal accountability for all war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria. In December, Ireland worked with a group of like-minded countries to successfully press for the adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly to establish an International Impartial and Independent Mechanism to investigate and prosecute these most serious crimes in Syria. We also continue to support Security Council referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

Ireland fully supports the UN-led Geneva peace process and the work of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and remains in constant contact with our UN partners to support the search for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Irish Prisoners Abroad

 423. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if he will provide a further progress report on his most recent actions and communications regarding a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18332/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan This consular case continues to be a top priority for the Government and substantial resources and time are being devoted to it, by the Taoiseach and the Government and by my Department.

In light of our serious concern for this young man’s welfare, the Government took the unprecedented step last month of making arrangements for an Irish doctor, nominated by the Chief Medical Officer, to visit him in prison and to make an assessment of his health.

I have consistently underlined my concerns about this case in all contacts with Egyptian interlocutors and made clear that the Government expect them to fulfil their responsibilities in relation to this man’s welfare and well-being.

Ireland’s Embassy in Cairo is continuing to follow up on these matters.

The Taoiseach has in recent days renewed the Government’s appeal to the Egyptian President to release this Irish citizen and return him to Ireland without delay. This is the Government’s objective, and we are working day-in and day-out to seek to secure that outcome. I repeated this position when I met my Egyptian counterpart, Foreign Minister Shoukry, again face-to-face last month. In recent days I have also spoken again with EU High Representative Mogherini about the case and I also availed of the opportunity of my meeting with the Secretary General of the Arab League, who is also a former Egyptian Foreign Minister, to enlist his assistance in trying to persuade the Egyptian authorities to release this man.

The court case in which this person is accused is now moving forward at a more accelerated pace. At the most recent hearing in the case, on 5 April, eleven more witnesses were called and cross-examined. Also at that hearing, lawyers representing our Irish citizen made a request for his release on health grounds and the presiding Judge undertook to examine the matter. The same judge has previously ordered on a number of occasions that there should be medical evaluations of this man’s health. The next hearing in the case is scheduled to take place on 26 April. Officials from the Irish Embassy will again be in court to observe proceedings, as they have been at every hearing in the case to date.

For my part, I will be continuing to work urgently at the political level to maintain pressure on the Egyptian Government to release our citizen and allow him to return to his home and his family.

Northern Ireland

 424. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if he will report on the ongoing outstanding requests with the British Government regarding inquiries into the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, the Kingsmill massacre and the murder of a person (details supplied), in view of the recent refusal to hold a public inquiry into same. [9996/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Dealing with long-outstanding issues relating to the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland are of the utmost importance to me as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and for the Government. This Programme for a Partnership Government highlights this priority, with specific references to establishment of the comprehensive framework on the past provided for under the Stormont House Agreement, implementation of the All-Party Dáil motions relating to the Dublin Monaghan bombings, and pursuing a public inquiry into the murder of the late Pat Finucane.

  In relation to the Dublin Monaghan bombings, the All-Party motion on the 1974 Dublin Monaghan bombings adopted in this House on 25 May last year has, like those adopted in 2008 and 2011, been conveyed to the British Government. These motions call on the British Government to allow access by an independent, international judicial figure to all original documents relating to the bombings.

  The Government is committed to actively pursuing the implementation of these all-Party Dáil motions, and has consistently raised the issue with the British Government. The Taoiseach has raised the issue with Prime Minister May, including at their meeting in Dublin on 30 January, emphasising the Government’s continued support for the Dáil motions. I have also raised the matter on a number of occasions with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire.

  In our discussions, I have advised Secretary of State Brokenshire that the Dáil motions represent the consensus political view in Ireland that an independent, international judicial review of all the relevant documents is required to establish the full facts of the Dublin Monaghan atrocities. I have also underlined to the Secretary of State that the absence of a response from the British Government is of deep concern to the Government and indeed this House, and emphasised the urgent need for a response from the British Government. Secretary of State Brokenshire has acknowledged the importance that the Government and Dáil Éireann attach to this case, but indicated that the British Government is still considering how it could respond in a way which would adequately address the motions and be consistent with its obligations.

  The Government is continuing to pursue this matter with the British Government, urging them to provide a satisfactory response to the motions that have been adopted by this House. The Taoiseach and I will also continue our engagement with party leaders in the Oireachtas on the issue.

  In relation to the Kingsmill massacre, I understand that the inquest hearings into the deaths will shortly resume, following the decision of the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland in February not to proceed with a prosecution. That there will not be a prosecution is a further disappointment to the families of the victims who died in this atrocity, and the sole survivor, who have waited so long for justice.

  The Government has committed to full co-operation within the law with the Kingsmill inquest. Further to this commitment, the Garda Authorities have worked with the Northern Ireland Coroner, and transfers of the relevant material, in accordance with the law, have taken place to the Coroner in support of the inquest. The Irish Authorities remain in direct contact with the Northern Ireland Coroner, as part of an ongoing legal process of cooperation, to identify ways in which any further support or assistance can be given to the Inquest, in accordance with the law.

  Regarding the case of the late Pat Finucane, I was glad to accept an invitation to deliver the annual Pat Finucane Memorial Lecture in Belfast on 23 February last. In doing so, I reaffirmed the firm view and position of the Government that a satisfactory outcome will best be achieved through a full public inquiry into the appalling murder of Mr. Finucane, honouring the commitment made by both Governments at Weston Park in 2001. We have made this position clear to the British Government on a number of occasions, including in recent discussions between the Taoiseach and the Prime Minister, and will continue to do so.

  Also, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers decided in December 2015, at Ireland’s request, to consider a re-opening of measures in the case of Pat Finucane, when the domestic proceedings in Belfast have concluded. This decision of the Committee of Minister was reaffirmed in December 2016 and the matter will next be considered by the Committee of Ministers in June as part of the review of the McKerr  group of cases. I am informed that the recent decision of the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal in this case may be the subject of a further appeal.

  There are many families across all communities on these islands, and beyond, who continue to deal with the awful pain of losing a loved one, as well as with the struggle for answers decades after these traumatic events. The Government is therefore committed to the establishment of a new comprehensive framework for dealing with the past, as provided for under the Stormont House Agreement.

  In this regard, I am continuing to engage in the ongoing discussions in Belfast with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the political parties to seek a way forward for the early establishment of the Stormont House framework. In these discussions, I have been very clear on the urgent need to achieve progress, so that the institutions can be established and start working to meet the needs of victims and survivors and to support broader societal healing and reconciliation. I have also emphasised in discussions with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the political parties, the need to ensure that legacy inquests are properly resourced, and urged all with responsibilities in relation to the legacy inquests to move forward as quickly as possible to implement the helpful proposals of the Lord Chief Justice.

  The Government will continue its intensive engagement with all parties to move forward with the Stormont House legacy framework, and I hope that this can be achieved in the very near future.

North-South Ministerial Council

 425. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if he will report on the North-South Ministerial Council and ensure that the treaties and agreements between Ireland and the UK will be fully implemented. [10421/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan At the most recent Plenary meeting of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) on 18 November 2016 in Armagh the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive agreed on a number of important common principles for dealing with the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union on an all-island basis. This built on earlier commitments to work together to optimise North South planning in the phases preceding and following Brexit.

It was agreed that this work would be taken forward through continuing bilateral discussions within the NSMC at sectorial level, as well as through a high-level working group comprising senior officials from the Government and from the Northern Ireland Executive Office.

The Government hopes that as a result of the ongoing talks in Stormont, in which I am participating, a new Northern Ireland Executive will be in place shortly and that dates for the next round of NSMC meetings will be agreed as soon as possible thereafter.

The Executive is responsible for politically representing Northern Ireland’s interests, including in relation to the upcoming EU-UK negotiations. With those negotiations due to begin shortly, it is essential that Ministerial engagement through the NSMC recommences at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Government is also working to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement and the overall balance of the settlement is not in any way disturbed by the UK’s exit from the European Union. The legal and political obligations of both the Irish and British Governments under the Good Friday Agreement remain unchanged, regardless of the status of the UK within the EU, and the future EU-UK relationship. The Taoiseach and Prime Minister May have confirmed that the Agreement remains the basis for the two Governments’ approach to Northern Ireland.

The Government’s firm position is that the Good Friday Agreement and the subsequent Agreements must be implemented in full, and this is reflected in the Programme for a Partnership Government. T he Agreements, and the principles and values underpinning them, are at the core of the Government’s approach to peace, reconciliation and prosperity on this island.

As co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, both Governments have a role to play in supporting the effective operation of the devolved institutions, and in upholding both the letter and the spirit of the Agreement as a whole, in the interests of all in Northern Ireland. In this context, I am representing the Government in the ongoing talks at Stormont Castle. The discussions are focused on addressing outstanding issues, including the implementation of past agreements and addressing the legacy of the past, as well as on the formation of a new power-sharing Executive. Dealing with outstanding issues from previous agreements is necessary to sustain confidence at this critical moment for devolution in Northern Ireland and, in accordance with previous agreements, this element of the discussions is being facilitated by the two Governments.

The Government views as a solemn responsibility our role and mandate as co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement. We have been unstinting in our efforts to uphold the principles of the Agreement and to advance the full implementation of all its provisions. The Government will continue to work with the British Government and the political parties to fulfil the full promise of the Good Friday Agreement and to advance political stability, reconciliation and economic prosperity in Northern Ireland.

Brexit Issues

 426. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if he has met the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU. [10425/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Along with the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. and the Minister of State for European Affairs Dara Murphy T.D., I met the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis MP, and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Robin Walker MP, at Iveagh House on 8 September last.

  A further formal meeting is currently being scheduled. In the meantime, our senior officials remain in contact on appropriate issues, and our Ambassador in London has met him on a number of occasions.

Middle East Peace Process

 427. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if officials in his Department are reviewing the two-state solution in Israel and Palestine as they support international policy, as outlined in his Department's strategy. [12055/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Ireland has supported a two state solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict since 1980, and for many years now this has been the overwhelming consensus of the international community. I believe that the two state solution, however difficult it may be to achieve, is the best way to achieve a peaceful future between Israelis and Palestinians in the space they share.

I believe the two-state solution can be achieved, if there is the political will to bring it about.

Undocumented Irish in the USA

 428. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan his views on comments made by the Boston mayor during St Patrick's Day festivities in the USA on the undocumented Irish. [15141/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan While I am aware of the comments made by the Mayor of Boston calling for comprehensive legislation to provide clarity to all immigrants in the US, it remains the responsibility of the Government to seek to advance the case of the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish.

In this context the Government and our Ambassador and diplomatic representatives in the US will continue to seek opportunities to make the US Administration and members of Congress aware of the importance of this issue for Ireland.

Northern Ireland

 429. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if he and his departmental officials are preparing legislative scenarios required for working towards a united Ireland in the context of the Good Friday Agreement. [16717/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements is a priority for my Department and indeed the Government as a whole. In this context, we are of course also guided by the aspiration contained in Article 3 of the Constitution as amended by the people in 1998.

The principle of consent and the possibility of a change in constitutional status in Northern Ireland is a fundamental part of the Good Friday Agreement, which was endorsed by the people of this island North and South. The trigger for a referendum in this jurisdiction is connected with the calling of a border poll, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, in Northern Ireland. This occurs when the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland considers it likely that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland. At present, the Government does not believe it likely that such a border poll in Northern Ireland in the near future would result in constitutional change. In these circumstances such a poll might only increase uncertainty and division at an already difficult and sensitive time.

In the absence of any prospect of a referendum in the near future, my Department is not preparing specific legislative scenarios for a united Ireland. My immediate priority is to secure the future of the devolved power-sharing institutions, which are at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement. I am currently engaged in discussions with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland political parties to support the formation of a new Executive, as well as to address outstanding issues and commitments from previous Agreements. The formation of a new Executive is all the more pressing and urgent now, so that Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances and concerns can be effectively represented in the challenging context of Brexit, as the EU-UK negotiations get underway.

As a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, the Government will continue its work to protect the peace process and ensure that all provisions of the Good Friday Agreement are respected in the forthcoming EU-UK negotiations. As a co-guarantor of the Agreement, the Government is also determined to uphold its principles and protect its institutions. To this end I will continue my engagement in the ongoing discussions with the British Government and the political parties in Northern Ireland, to see the see devolved institutions restored and working effectively in the interests of all of the people of Northern Ireland.

In the event of a future referendum within the consent provisions of the Good Friday Agreement, the Government would make all necessary preparations in accordance with the terms of the Constitution and the principles and procedures of the Agreement. The Deputy will appreciate that the prospect of any such referendum in the future would be a most significant step for the Government and for the country and the necessary scoping work could only proceed on the basis of extensive preparation and appropriate consultation.

There are of course aspects of this constitutional issue which relate to my Department’s ongoing work. In the context of Brexit, the Government has made clear its determination to ensure respect for all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement, including those relating to a possible change in constitutional status for Northern Ireland, regardless of the UK’s status within the EU.

White Papers Publication

 430. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan his views on the publication of the European Commission's White Paper on the Future of Europe published on 1 March 2017. [12043/17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I welcome the publication of the Commission's White Paper on the Future of Europe. It is essentially a discussion paper which contains much valuable food for thought both about the international context as it is now and may develop over the coming decade, as well as setting out a number of scenarios for how the EU might evolve and develop in the period ahead. It takes an open and non-prescriptive approach and is presented as an initial contribution to a Europe-wide discussion and debate. This approach is welcome and is in keeping with the need to renew the EU's contract with its citizens. The promised publication later this year of more detailed papers on a range of specific issues will also contribute to the Europe-wide discussions that this White Paper seeks to initiate.

It is important that all member States, national parliaments and citizens across Europe are involved in this discussion in the period ahead. In the first instance, I would suggest that it might be appropriate for the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs to take up consideration of the White Paper.

The White Paper should also be seen in the light of the Declaration of twenty-seven Heads of State or Government, which issued in Rome to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the signature of the Treaty of Rome. The Declaration acknowledges the issues facing the Union, while also stressing its achievements and strengths. Looking to the future, it places the short-to-medium term focus very much on the concrete delivery of commitments already made across a range of areas of real concern to citizens.

Garda Station Closures

 431. Deputy Tony McLoughlin Information on Tony McLoughlin Zoom on Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the position regarding the sale of a Garda station (details supplied) which is now closed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17511/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Seán Canney): Information on Seán Canney Zoom on Seán Canney The OPW's Disposal Policy with regard to non-operational (vacant) State property including the former Garda station at Keshcarrigan, Co. Leitrim is to:

  1. Identify if the property is required/suitable for alternative State use by either Government Departments or the wider public sector.

  2. If there is no other State use identified for a property, the OPW will then consider disposing of the property on the open market if and when conditions prevail, in order to generate revenue for the Exchequer.

  3. If no State requirement is identified or if a decision is taken not to dispose of a particular property the OPW may consider community involvement (subject to detailed written submission which would indicate that the community/voluntary group has the means to insure, maintain and manage the property and that there are no ongoing costs for the Exchequer).

  As part of the Programme for a Partnership Government, the Policing Authority will oversee a review of closed Garda stations.   An Garda Síochána are currently carrying out this review and it is anticipated that this review will be concluded in May 2017.

  The outcome of this review may influence any decision that the Commissioners of Public Works reach with regard to the future use of this property and the Commissioners advise me that they will assess the options for the property at Keshcarrigan following the conclusion of the review.

National Monuments

 432. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 285 to 289, inclusive, of 28 March 2017, the reason the Office of Public Works is not in a position to state conclusively the name of the person who was responsible for the damage to the Donaghmore souterrain in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18041/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Seán Canney): Information on Seán Canney Zoom on Seán Canney The Office of Public Works is not in a position to state conclusively how the damage to the Donaghmore structure was caused as it was not present at the time and did not directly witness any act so affecting the Monument.   In these circumstances, the response to Question 15167/17 stands.

Flood Prevention Measures

 433. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if his Department is considering an application made by Donegal County Council for a seawall at Machaire Rabhartaigh, County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17477/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Seán Canney): Information on Seán Canney Zoom on Seán Canney I am advised by the Commissioners of Public Works that no application under the Office of Public Works' (OPW) Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme has been received from Donegal County Council for a project relating to the sea wall at Machaire Rabhartaigh (Magheroarty), Co Donegal.

An application is under consideration for this area under the Minor Works and Coastal Protection Scheme but this relates to an application for a Coastal erosion risk management study.

Garda Stations

 434. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the status of the new Bailieborough Garda station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17559/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Seán Canney): Information on Seán Canney Zoom on Seán Canney The OPW continues to progress the legal matters relating to the acquisition of the site for the new station as a matter of high priority. This phase of the project is nearing completion.


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