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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 76-111
 Header Item Departmental Bodies Data
 Header Item Government Information Service
 Header Item Cabinet Committee Meetings
 Header Item Taoiseach's Meetings and Engagements
 Header Item Seanad Reform
 Header Item Northern Ireland
 Header Item Strategic Communications Unit
 Header Item Brexit Issues
 Header Item Tender Process
 Header Item Brexit Documents
 Header Item Work Permits Applications
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Data
 Header Item Trade Agreements
 Header Item Departmental Bodies Data
 Header Item Health and Safety Regulations
 Header Item Work Permits Data
 Header Item Employment Rights
 Header Item IDA Ireland Data
 Header Item Local Enterprise Offices Data

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 76-111

Departmental Bodies Data

 76. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the State bodies or boards that fall under the remit of his Department; and the number of members of each State body or board who are not qualified within the field in which the board or body has oversight.  [43421/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar There are no professional bodies or boards under the remit of my Department.

Government Information Service

 77. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 4 to 6, inclusive, of 27 September 2017, the status of the commitment in his Department's strategy statement to examine the balance of power and responsibility between the Government and the Civil Service; and if he will elaborate on the operating principles of the strategic communications unit.  [43573/17]

 78. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if the director and-or other members of the strategic communications unit have met political advisers in each Department; if his attention has been drawn to the aim of these meetings; if he has received reports from these meetings; and if the Government's press secretary has also attended.  [43574/17]

 79. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the position regarding the research his Department has undertaken on existing communication activities, including the range of campaigns brands and channels of communication used by different agencies as referred to in a reply to a previous parliamentary question; and if this research will be published. [43575/17]

 80. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if advice from outside agencies or consultancies had been sought by the strategic communications unit before or since it was set up.  [43576/17]

 81. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if the strategic communications unit will provide advice on the way to deal with crisis communications; and if it is responsible for setting a positive news agenda. [43577/17]

 82. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the financial allocation to the strategic communications unit or another communications unit, in addition to the merrionstreet.ie website or the Government Information Service in his Department, that is spent on promoting adverts or clips on a website and social media outlet (details supplied) or other social media outlets; and the monthly amount that has been spent to date in 2017.  [43628/17]

 83. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar his plans to place his speeches on either his Department's website or Merrionstreet.ie.  [43629/17]

 84. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the position regarding his weekly messages on social media. [43630/17]

 95. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if the Merrionstreet.ie website is being revamped or changed; and the cost of same.  [43859/17]

 99. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if his Department receives external advice on a policy or communication issue.  [43863/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 to 84, inclusive, 95 and 99 together.

  The Strategic Communications Unit (SCU) will be integrated within the Civil Service structures in my Department, with the Director of the Unit reporting to the Secretary General of the Department. The Civil Service Management Board (CSMB) has decided to establish a sub group of the CSMB which will act as a high-level working group. It will be chaired by the Secretary General to the Government and the membership will be finalised shortly.

  In addition, responsibility for communications will be assigned to an Assistant Secretary in every Government Department, who will work collectively to ensure cross Government co-operation.

  This initiative will be progressed as part of the Civil Service renewal programme.

  This oversight is in line with my Department's Strategy Statement, its core values being: A deep-rooted public service ethos of independence, integrity, impartiality, equality, fairness and respect and a culture of accountability, efficiency and value for money.

  These core principles will inform how the Unit will conduct its business. Its task will be to simplify Government communications and to increase efficiencies across the public sector when dealing with the Irish public.

  The Director of the Unit accompanied, by staff from the Strategic Communications Unit have been attending a series of meetings with Ministers, Secretary Generals and officials in Departments. The purpose of these meetings is to help improve effectiveness, efficiency and cross-Government collaboration in order to foster and develop a whole of Government approach to communications. As part of this work, a network of communications officials across Government will be developed to share best practice. This network of communications professionals will comprise the communications personnel within the civil and public service and will not include politically appointed personnel.

  The Government Press Secretary has not attended these meetings. The staff of the SCU have been instructed not to attend meetings of political advisors. All meetings must include civil servants.

  The Government wants to make it easier for members of the public to understand its work and the services it provides. Two projects are underway to improve this as part of the work of the Strategic Communications Unit, an audit of current Government communications and a survey to help us learn more about public awareness and understanding of Government services.

  Working with the Office of Government Procurement, a request for the services of a company to complete this survey has been issued. This work will inform the future output of the Unit. The findings of this survey and the audit of Government communications will be published on completion.

  No advice from outside agencies or consultancies has been sought by the Strategic Communications Unit to date. My Department has issued requests for tender for other creative services. These are being procured in accordance with standard procurement rules.

  The Strategic Communications Unit has no role in setting a positive news agenda, its remit is to inform the public of the work of Government in a factual and non partisan manner.

  As outlined in the Budget a total of €5 million was allocated to the Strategic Communications Unit for 2018, which will be funded through the Department of the Taoiseach Vote which actually saw a slight decrease overall in Budget 2018. The Strategic Communications Unit intends to leverage opportunities for building the effectiveness of existing communications capacity across Government, as well as rationalisation. A key part of the modernisation of Government communications will be greater use of digital media. For example, recent initiatives such as the promotion of the whereyourmoneygoes.gov.ie website and promotion of online videos relating to Ireland's Rugby World Cup Bid, information about going back to school and the Budget and Capital Plan cost a total of approximately €19,000.

  There has been no change to the practice of publishing speeches to the Department's websites, which are up to date. There are currently no plans for changes to Merrionstreet.ie.

  The Taoiseach's weekly messages on social media are generally recorded by a member of his political staff.

Cabinet Committee Meetings

 85. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar when Cabinet committee E, health, last met. [43631/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Cabinet Committee E last met on 12 September 2017. It is scheduled to meet again in the coming weeks.

Taoiseach's Meetings and Engagements

 86. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he had a further meeting with church leaders.  [43632/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar On 31 August last I held my first formal meeting with representatives of the Catholic Church under the structured dialogue process.

I intend to hold further meetings with other dialogue partners and I have asked my office to progress this matter and make the necessary arrangements. I hope to be in a position to meet next with representatives of the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland.

Seanad Reform

 87. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he has set up the all-party group on Seanad reform. [43634/17]

 88. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the position regarding the commitment in his Department's statement of strategy on fully implementing the Manning report.  [43635/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 and 88 together.

  In the Programme for a Partnership Government, the Government stated its commitment to pursuing the implementation of the Report of the Working Group on Seanad Reform (the Manning Report).

  That Report was published in 2015 and it is available on my Department's website.   

  One of the recommendations of the Report was the establishment of an Implementation Group to oversee implementation of the reforms contained in the Report.   

  As my predecessor previously said in the House, he agreed with a suggestion made here some time ago by Deputy Martin that this Group should be based in the Oireachtas and should comprise members of the Dáil and Seanad from all parties and groups, with access to independent expert advice as required. He wrote to Party Leaders in September last year seeking their agreement to this approach and their intention to participate. I have reviewed matters in this regard and am keen to progress matters and will contact Leaders shortly with a view to having the Group up and running as soon as possible.

Northern Ireland

 89. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he has spoken to First Minister Arlene Foster recently. [43636/17]

 90. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he has spoken to deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill recently. [43637/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 89 and 90 together.

  The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade is keeping me informed on a regular basis on political developments in Northern Ireland and on his contact with the Northern parties and with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

  The absence of an Executive in Northern Ireland continues to be a major concern for the Government who have been encouraging and supporting the two main parties to reach agreement.   

  There is a real need for the people there to have an Executive working in their interests at this critical time, particularly in the context of Brexit which presents many unique challenges for Northern Ireland and the peace process.

Strategic Communications Unit

 91. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar his plans for the €5 million announced in budget 2018 for the strategic communications unit; and the number of additional staff he plans to recruit in addition to the six who are working there.  [43665/17]

 92. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the element that is current and capital in the €5 million announced for the strategic communications unit in his Department in budget 2018. [43666/17]

 93. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the way in which the strategic communications unit can be cost neutral and save money for his Department as outlined previously and receive €5 million. [43667/17]

 96. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the locations and the way in which he and his officials plan to spend the €5 million allocated in budget 2018 for the strategic communications unit.  [43860/17]

 97. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the location savings will be found within his Department to enable the strategic communications unit to be cost neutral.  [43861/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 91 to 93, inclusive, 96 and 97 together.

  My Department's budget for 2018 has decreased by 2% compared to 2017. My Department does not have any budget for capital expenditure.

  The focus of the new Strategic Communications Unit established in my Department will be to streamline Government communications for citizens, develop and deliver major cross-Government communication campaigns, and improve communications capacity across Government.

  The Unit is staffed by existing civil and public servants. There are currently seven staff members attached to the Unit. Further staff will be recruited, including through the assignment of three media and communications assistants who were already in the process of recruitment to fill existing vacancies through an open competition run by the Public Appointments Service.

  My Department is also seeking to recruit, on secondment, additional serving civil and public servants with the relevant experience and expertise to work in the Unit.

  The Unit’s budget of €5 million is a reallocation of existing resources within my Departments' budget for 2018. The vast bulk of the budget for 2018 is being earmarked for public information campaigns, which will assist in citizens being better aware of Government work and services. As part of the Unit’s streamlining of Government communications, efficiencies in communications spending across Government are expected.

  Exchequer savings will be delivered by the Unit in 2018 through efficiencies generated by:

  - cross-Governmental collaboration on major campaigns;

  - more efficient use of technology platforms;

  - consolidated media buying;

  - efficient third-party contract management;

  - rationalising design projects;

  - streamlining participation in national events; and

  - increased communication capacity within Departments.

  In this way, the Strategic Communications initiative is expected to be cost-neutral in 2018.

Brexit Issues

 94. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he has met or spoken to any EU leader recently regarding Brexit . [43813/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Ongoing political engagement with our EU and international partners is crucial, especially as negotiations on Brexit proceed.

I continue to use every opportunity to ensure that other Member States and the EU institutions fully understand our particular concerns arising from Brexit, to enable the best possible outcome for this country. Of course, other Ministers - particularly Minister Coveney, who has special responsibility for Brexit - are also meeting with their EU counterparts on a regular basis.

I outlined my recent engagements to the House on 4 October. Since then I have spoken by phone with President of the European Council Tusk on 12 October and Prime Minister May on 16 October.

I will of course attend the European Council in Brussels later this week, where I will use the opportunity to speak with my EU counterparts. I will make a post-Council statement to the House on 25 October.

  Question No. 95 answered with Question No. 77.

  Questions Nos. 96 and 97 answered with Question No. 91.

Tender Process

 98. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the number of tenders his Department is undertaking. [43862/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar My Department has seven tenders which are ongoing at present.

  Question No. 99 answered with Question No. 77.

Brexit Documents

 100. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar when his attention was drawn to the Revenue Commissioners report on customs; if this was a rolling report; and if it is finalised. [43864/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar As I said in the House last Wednesday, I had read the Revenue Commissioners desktop analysis report on the customs implications of a hard Brexit in the previous few days.

  The report referred to is a draft internal working paper and preliminary analysis, in September 2016, of potential administrative implications on customs processes following the UK vote in June 2016 to exit the EU. It did not examine any specific ports or other locations.

  It is clear that such working papers are necessary to support the deliberative process.

  However, matters have moved on significantly since September 2016 and in particular since Article 50 was triggered in March 2017. The draft document was not finalised and was overtaken by consequent major developments and policy statements.

Work Permits Applications

 101. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the status of a work permit for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43774/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The General Employment Permit application in respect of the named individual was received in the Employment Permits Section and was placed in the processing queue on the 11/09/2017.

  Applications are processed strictly in date order by Employer Type i.e. Trusted Partner or Standard Employer and the Section is currently processing Standard Employer applications received during the week beginning the 4th September 2017 so we expect a decision to be made in relation to this application in the next two weeks.

  Applicants can keep track of our current processing dates at https://www.dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/Current-Application-Processing-Dates/.

  They can also check the progress of their specific application online at https://www.dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/Employment-Permit-Status-Form/.

Consultancy Contracts Data

 102. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the name, costs, date of commission, date or expected date of publication of the external consultant of all external reports commissioned by her Department since June 2016 regarding Brexit, in tabular form; and if all such reports have been published. [43379/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My department is conducting a number of research projects to build an understanding of the possible implications of Brexit on Ireland for trading relations, enterprise and consumers. These studies will provide an evidence base to inform Ireland’s policy positions as part of the wider negotiation on the UK’s future relationship with the EU and help to inform our broader policy response to Brexit. The details of the Brexit related research currently being commissioned by my Department is as follows:

Name Cost Date of commission Expected date of publication
Sectoral implications arising from Brexit: Most

exposed sectors
€69,950 (excluding VAT) June 26th 2017 N/A*
Strategic Implications arising from EU-UK

Trading Patterns
€174,900 (excluding VAT) June 26th 2017 N/A*
Import Content of Irish Exports and Implications

of Brexit
€40,000 September 2017 March/April 2018
Brexit – The View of Irish SMEs (Survey) €52,250 December 2016 May 2017
Brexit Vote – The impact on Irish SMEs and their Capital Funding (Survey) €25,000 July 2017 TBC **


  * It is not intended to publish this study as it will be part of the deliberative process to inform the development of our policy positions as part of the negotiations on the UK future relationship with the EU.

  ** This work is currently being finalised by the Consultants and its findings will be analysed by my Officials in advance of its publication.

Trade Agreements

 103. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the selection process regarding trade experts who will serve as members of the various CETA committees; if these experts will come from industry, academia or otherwise; if she has a role in the selection of members for these committees; the number of experts who will sit on each committee; the length of time they will spend on the committee; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [43404/17]

 104. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if her Department has carried out an analysis of the potential costs of CETA's investment court system, ICS, for the State; if the costs that arise from defending future cases in the ICS will be paid from the Exchequer; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [43405/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 103 and 104 together.

The EU-Canada Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) entered into force provisionally on the 21st September 2017. This means that Irish companies may now take advantage of the all-important provisions of CETA including the elimination of tariffs on almost all key exports, access to the Canadian procurement market, the easing of regulatory barriers and more transparent rules for market access.

Under the Agreement, the CETA Joint Committee and the specialised committees established under its auspices are bilateral bodies representative of the European Union and Canada. The European Commission will represent the EU, at the appropriate level, in these committees in accordance with the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union. In line with this principle, the selection of experts will be a matter for the European Commission to appoint on behalf of the EU, and Canada in respect of themselves. It would be a matter for individuals with the requisite expertise appropriate in the particular matter (economic, trade, employment law, environment), to express their interest in serving as panellists direct to the Commission. Member States have the right to be present and participate at the specialised committees in cases involving the adoption of decisions falling within the competence of Member States. The powers of the CETA committees are strictly limited to the matters provided for in the Agreement. Any changes to the text of the Agreement or EU regulations can only be made in compliance with the ordinary legislative procedure of the European Union.

The Agreement also provides for the establishment of civil society advisory groups that may submit opinions or make recommendations in relation to labour, the environment and trade sustainable development related concerns. These advisory groups shall promote a balanced representation of relevant interests, including independent representative employers, unions, labour and business organisations, environmental groups, as well as other relevant civil society organisations as appropriate.

It is important to note, that the provisions relating to investment protection and the Investment Court System (ICS) are excluded from provisional application. Member States will not be bound by these provisions until they are ratified by all Member States in accordance with their national procedures. In this regard, I have no immediate plans to ratify the Agreement given the Opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the EU-Singapore case and the recent request by Belgium for an opinion from that Court on the compatibility of the Investment Court System with the European Treaties.

The potential costs for Ireland supporting the administration and operation of the Investment Court System in the Agreement would be very low. It is impossible to anticipate the nature of any alleged discriminatory actions that would provide the basis for a successful case against the State given Ireland’s adherence to the rule of law and the property protections of our Constitution. In light of these considerations, an analysis of the potential costs of the Investment Court System would not be feasible or meaningful.

Departmental Bodies Data

 105. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the State bodies or boards that fall under the remit of her Department; and the number of members of each State body or board who are not qualified within the field in which the board or body has oversight.  [43409/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In the time available, it has not been possible to provide the information requested. I will provide this information to the Deputy once it is available.

Health and Safety Regulations

 106. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the way in which section 22 of the Dangerous Substances Act 1972 is being enforced; the number of enforcement procedures undertaken arising from non-compliance with the Act; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43590/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Section 22 of the Dangerous Substances 1972 deals with the marking of containers of petroleum-spirit (other than the fuel tank of an engine). It states that every container shall be clearly and conspicuously marked with the words "Petroleum- Spirit" and "Highly Inflammable".

I have been informed by the Health and Safety (HSA) that they have not specifically targeted, or taken action, regarding the marking of containers under Section 22 of the Dangerous Substances Act, 1972. This is mainly because the requirements of the Dangerous Substances Act have been superseded by newer legislation. All large containers / drums will have ADR (Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road) marking and may also have CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures) marking. Small 5 litre containers are typically UN approved and are also embossed or labelled with a flammable warning.

Inspections carried out by the HSA have focused on petrol stations rather than private stores or maintenance activities where such small containers might be used. The marking of containers is specifically addressed in an Information Note on “Handling Petrol Safely” available from the HSA.

Any specific queries or concerns can of course be raised directly with the HSA who will be happy to advice on such matters.

Work Permits Data

 107. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of various categories of work permits, such as critical skills permit for non-EU nationals, per industry, that have been granted to companies in the mid-west region over the past two years; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [43894/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Irish State’s general policy is to promote the sourcing of labour and skills needs from within the workforce of Ireland, the European Union and other EEA states. Policy in relation to the application and granting of employment permits remains focused on facilitating the recruitment from outside the EEA of highly skilled personnel, where the requisite skills cannot be met by normal recruitment or by training. Where specific skills prove difficult to source within the EEA, an employment permit may be sought in respect of a non-EEA national who possesses those skills. The system is vacancy driven and if any non-EEA national is successful in securing a job offer from any employer in Ireland which falls within those employments eligible for an employment permit then an appropriate application may be made.

  I set out in the attached document the numbers of employment permits issued for the mid-west region for 2015, 2016 and 2017 to-date broken down by permit type and economic sector. The Department also publishes statistics on it's website which includes numbers of permits issued by company name. These can be found at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/Statistics/.

  Employment Permits issued for the Mid-West 2017 (up to 13/10/2017)

County Economic Sector Total
Clare   51
    13
  C - All Other Manufacturing 1
  J - Information & Communication Activities 3
  K - Financial & insurance Activities 2
  Q - Health & Social Work Activities 6
  S - Other Service activities 1
    4
  I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 1
  Q - Health & Social Work Activities 2
  S - Other Service activities 1
    26
  C - Manufacture of Computers, Electronics & Optical Equipment 1
  F - Construction 1
  H - Transport & Storage 1
  I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 4
  J - Information & Communication Activities 15
  K - Financial & insurance Activities 1
  Q - Health & Social Work Activities 2
  S - Other Service activities 1
    4
  C - All Other Manufacturing 1
  K - Financial & insurance Activities 3
    4
  K - Financial & insurance Activities 1
  S - Other Service activities 3
Limerick   317
    1
  J - Information & Communication Activities 1
    101
  C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 3
  C - Manufacture of Computers, Electronics & Optical Equipment 3
  C - Manufacture of Food, Drink & Tobacco 2
  C - Manufacture of Medical Devices 5
  D - Electricity & Gas & Air Conditioning Supply 2
  J - Information & Communication Activities 30
  M - All other Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities 1
  M - Professional, Scientific&Technical Activities of Head Offices, Management Consultancy Services 1
  N - Administrative & Support Service Activities 1
  P - Education 1
  Q - Health & Social Work Activities 46
  S - Other Service activities 6
    18
  C - All Other Manufacturing 1
  I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 2
  J - Information & Communication Activities 3
  K - Financial & insurance Activities 1
  Q - Health & Social Work Activities 10
  S - Other Service activities 1
    184
  C - All Other Manufacturing 1
  C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 2
  C - Manufacture of Food, Drink & Tobacco 4
  G - Wholesale & Retail Trade 0
  I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 5
  J - Information & Communication Activities 4
  M - All other Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities 1
  P - Education 2
  Q - Health & Social Work Activities 161
  S - Other Service activities 4
    1
  J - Information & Communication Activities 1
    6
  C - All Other Manufacturing 1
  C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 2
  C - Manufacture of Food, Drink & Tobacco 1
  F - Construction 1
  K - Financial & insurance Activities 1
    6
  B - Mining & Quarrying 1
  G - Wholesale & Retail Trade 0
  I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 4
  S - Other Service activities 1
Tipperary   128
    33
  C - All Other Manufacturing 1
  C - Manufacture of Computers, Electronics & Optical Equipment 1
  J - Information & Communication Activities 2
  Q - Health & Social Work Activities 29
    3
  G - Wholesale & Retail Trade 1
  Q - Health & Social Work Activities 2
    85
  A - Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 2
  C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 1
  I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 3
  N - Administrative & Support Service Activities 1
  Q - Health & Social Work Activities 78
    4
  C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 2
  J - Information & Communication Activities 1
  K - Financial & insurance Activities 1
    2
  C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 1
  F - Construction 1
    1
  I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 1


  Employment Permits issued for the Mid-West 2016
County Type of Permit Economic Sector Total
Clare     72
  Critical Skills Employment Permit   28
    C - All Other Manufacturing 2
    C - Manufacture of Computers, Electronics & Optical Equipment 4
    G - Wholesale & Retail Trade 1
    H - Transport & Storage 1
    J - Information & Communication Activities 12
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 3
    M - All other Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities 1
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 1
    S - Other Service activities 3
  Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit   3
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 2
    S - Other Service activities 1
  Exchange Agreement Employment Permit   1
    C - Manufacture of Medical Devices 1
  General Employment Permit   25
    C - All Other Manufacturing 2
    C - Manufacture of Food, Drink & Tobacco 0
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 4
    J - Information & Communication Activities 12
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 6
    R - Arts , Entertainment and Recreation 1
  Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit   15
    C - All Other Manufacturing 4
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 2
    H - Transport & Storage 1
    J - Information & Communication Activities 1
    M - All other Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities 1
    S - Other Service activities 6
Limerick     428
  Contract for Services Employment Permit   4
    J - Information & Communication Activities 4
  Critical Skills Employment Permit   129
    C - All Other Manufacturing 9
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 7
    C - Manufacture of Computers, Electronics & Optical Equipment 8
    C - Manufacture of Medical Devices 3
    D - Electricity & Gas & Air Conditioning Supply 3
    F - Construction 1
    J - Information & Communication Activities 41
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 6
    M - All other Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities 3
    M - Professional, Scientific&Technical Activities of Head Offices, Management Consultancy Services 1
    P - Education 2
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 33
    S - Other Service activities 12
  Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit   21
    C - All Other Manufacturing 2
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 1
    J - Information & Communication Activities 6
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 8
    S - Other Service activities 3
  Exchange Agreement Employment Permit   1
    P - Education 1
  General Employment Permit   236
    A - Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 5
    C - All Other Manufacturing 1
    C - Manufacture of Food, Drink & Tobacco 2
    C - Manufacture of Medical Devices 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 13
    J - Information & Communication Activities 10
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 10
    M - Professional, Scientific&Technical Activities of Head Offices, Management Consultancy Services 1
    N - Administrative & Support Service Activities 1
    P - Education 7
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 180
    S - Other Service activities 5
  Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit   36
    C - All Other Manufacturing 4
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 13
    C - Manufacture of Food, Drink & Tobacco 2
    G - Wholesale & Retail Trade 2
    J - Information & Communication Activities 3
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 8
    M - All other Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities 1
    S - Other Service activities 3
  Sport and Cultural Employment Permit   1
    R - Arts, Entertainment and Recreation 1
Tipperary     152
  Critical Skills Employment Permit   22
    C - All Other Manufacturing 3
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 1
    C - Manufacture of Medical Devices 2
    J - Information & Communication Activities 3
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 1
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 11
    S - Other Service activities 1
  Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit   2
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 1
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 1
  General Employment Permit   110
    A - Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 27
    G - Wholesale & Retail Trade 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 3
    J - Information & Communication Activities 1
    M - Professional, Scientific&Technical Activities of Head Offices, Management Consultancy Services 1
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 76
    S - Other Service activities 1
  Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit   15
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 5
    C - Manufacture of Medical Devices 6
    F - Construction 1
    S - Other Service activities 3
  Intra-Company Transfer (Training) Employment Permit   3
    C - Manufacture of Medical Devices 1
    S - Other Service activities 2

Employment Permits issued for the Mid-West 2015

County Type of Permit Economic Sector Total
Clare 64
Critical Skills Employment Permit 27
    C - All Other Manufacturing 1
    C - Manufacture of Medical Devices 1
    H - Transport & Storage 1
    Information Technology 2
    J - Information & Communication Activities 16
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 1
    M - All other Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities 1
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 3
    S - Other Service activities 1
Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 1
General Employment Permit 28
    C - All Other Manufacturing 2
    H - Transport & Storage 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 4
    J - Information & Communication Activities 16
    Manufacturing 1
    N - Administrative & Support Service Activities 1
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 1
    S - Other Service activities 2
Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit 8
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 2
    D - Electricity & Gas & Air Conditioning Supply 1
    H - Transport & Storage 1
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 3
    S - Other Service activities 1
Limerick 258
Critical Skills Employment Permit 72
    C - All Other Manufacturing 3
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 2
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 1
    Information Technology 1
    J - Information & Communication Activities 40
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 8
    P - Education 2
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 14
    S - Other Service activities 1
Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit 12
    C - All Other Manufacturing 1
    C - Manufacture of Computers, Electronics & Optical Equipment 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 1
    J - Information & Communication Activities 3
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 1
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 3
    S - Other Service activities 2
General Employment Permit 147
    C - All Other Manufacturing 1
    C - Manufacture of Medical Devices 2
    Healthcare 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 2
    J - Information & Communication Activities 5
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 1
    M - Professional, Scientific&Technical Activities of Head Offices, Management Consultancy Services 1
    P - Education 9
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 124
    R - Arts , Entertainment and Recreation 1
Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit 19
    C - All Other Manufacturing 2
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 6
    C - Manufacture of Food, Drink & Tobacco 5
    D - Electricity & Gas & Air Conditioning Supply 1
    J - Information & Communication Activities 3
    K - Financial & insurance Activities 2
Intra-Company Transfer (Training) Employment Permit 3
    B - Mining & Quarrying 2
    C - All Other Manufacturing 1
Reactivation Employment Permit 3
    F - Construction 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 2
Sport and Cultural Employment Permit 2
    R - Arts , Entertainment and Recreation 2
Tipperary 101
Critical Skills Employment Permit 11
    C - Manufacture of Medical Devices 1
    D - Electricity & Gas & Air Conditioning Supply 1
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 9
Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit 4
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 1
    G - Wholesale & Retail Trade 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 1
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 1
General Employment Permit 76
    A - Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 1
    Agriculture and Fisheries 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 4
    J - Information & Communication Activities 1
    Q - Health & Social Work Activities 66
    S - Other Service activities 3
Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit 9
    B - Mining & Quarrying 1
    C - Manufacture of Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 4
    C - Manufacture of Food, Drink & Tobacco 1
    J - Information & Communication Activities 2
    S - Other Service activities 1
Reactivation Employment Permit 1
    I - Accommodation & Food Services activities 1

Employment Rights

 108. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald her plans to introduce a sectoral employment order for workers in the early years preschool sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43902/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Pat Breen): Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act of 2015 provides for a new statutory framework for establishing minimum rates of remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment for a specified type, class or group of workers.

In this context, the new framework sets down a mechanism whereby at the request, separately or jointly from organisations substantially representative of employers and/or of workers, the Labour Court can initiate a review of the pay and pension and sick pay entitlements of workers in a particular sector and, if it deems it appropriate, make a recommendation to the Minister on the matter. If the Minister is satisfied that the process provided for in the 2015 Act has been complied with by the Labour Court, he shall make the Order. Where such an order is made it will be known as a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO), will be binding across the sector to which it relates, and will be enforceable by the Workplace Relations Commission.

To-date five applications for SEOs have been made to the Labour Court under the new legislation. No application has yet been made on behalf of workers or employers in the early years pre-school Sector. Any application for this sector should follow the procedure set down in the 2015 Act for consideration by the Labour Court.

IDA Ireland Data

 109. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the names of all potential investors that have expressed an interest in locating a business or expanding an existing business in Drogheda or that have visited Drogheda or met with the IDA regarding same in the past five years, including those that have expressed an interest in working from the IDA business park. [43947/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The IDA Ireland Business Park in Drogheda is home to one IDA Ireland client - International Fund Services who employ approximately 250 people. There are 19 hectares of serviced, zoned and master planned land currently available in the park. This is marketed as appropriate to any potential investors. The Agency has also identified a 3.5 hectare site within the park that may be suitable for non-traditional investment projects. Information on potential investment leads cannot be made available as it is confidential and commercially sensitive.

  Both counties Meath and Louth have a strong base of foreign direct investment (FDI) related employment. There are 21 IDA client companies in Louth and a further 17 in Meath, employing a combined total of 5,070 people.

  Excellent infrastructure and close proximity to Dublin make Drogheda an attractive location for FDI and IDA Ireland is actively marketing the town to both existing and potential clients.

  The table outlines site visits to counties Meath and Louth from 2013 to Q2 2017:

County
2013
2014
2015
2016
Q2 2017
Meath
1
2
7
8
0
Louth
4
10
20
24
10

Local Enterprise Offices Data

 110. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of LEO business expansion grants awarded to County Wexford businesses in 2016; the sum of each grant; the average sum of each grant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44013/17]

 111. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number and value of LEO grants given to County Wexford businesses in 2016; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44014/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 110 and 111 together.

  In 2016, the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Wexford approved 28 enterprise grants – feasibility, priming and business expansion – in total for the year, to a value of €389,034.

  The approvals included 11 business expansion grants totalling €187,269 for its clients. This equates to an average grant amount of €17,024.

  As the first-stop-shop for the provision of supports to the micro-enterprise and small business sector in the county, in 2016 the LEO Wexford ran training courses for 948 participants, provided mentoring services for 132 participants and supported 23 applications for loan finance to MicroFinance Ireland.

  The LEO Wexford also approved 45 Trading Online Vouchers totalling €90,811 to its clients under the Trading Online Voucher Scheme (TOVS), which is administered by the LEOs on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

  Finally, under the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition, the €50,000 investment fund available to LEO Wexford was awarded to the winners and runners-up in the three categories: best new business idea, best new start-up and best established business. In 2016, a total of 64 young entrepreneurs applied for the IBYE competition in LEO Wexford, bringing the total number of applications in the county since the competition commenced in 2014 to 146.

  I think it is clear therefore the LEO Wexford has been very active across a number of areas in support of its customers.


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