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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 252-270
 Header Item National Parks and Wildlife Service
 Header Item National Parks and Wildlife Service
 Header Item EU Directives
 Header Item EU Directives
 Header Item National Parks and Wildlife Service
 Header Item Official Languages Act
 Header Item Planning Guidelines
 Header Item Planning Guidelines
 Header Item Planning Issues
 Header Item Local Authority Staff Recruitment

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 4

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Written Answers Nos. 252-270

National Parks and Wildlife Service

 252. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if the NPWS issued a licence authorising a scientific study of species (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43535/17]

 253. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the person or organisation that applied for the licence for a scientific study of species (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43536/17]

 254. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if the NPWS received a copy of the report of a study of species (details supplied) from the team that conducted it; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43538/17]

 255. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the action in line with her Department’s role and function, the NPWS has taken or plans to take in relation to a study of species (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43540/17]

 262. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if the NPWS issued a licence authorising a scientific study of species (details supplied) to investigate the presence of antimicrobial resistance in the species, as certain types of which, if present, would have potentially serious implications for public health; the organisation that applied for the licence; the action the NPWS has taken or plans to take in relation to the study; and the timeframe for such action.  [43554/17]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I propose to take Questions Nos. 252 to 255, inclusive, and 262 together.

  My Department has issued no such licence. 

  The Minister for Health has addressed the matter of the study in response to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 271 and 272 today.

National Parks and Wildlife Service

 256. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if the NPWS issued a licence authorising a scientific study (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43541/17]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys My Department issued no such licence.

EU Directives

 257. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the status of her Department’s decision to exclude public health from the reasons provided in the derogation schedule 2 for 2017/18 (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43543/17]

 258. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the status of her Department’s decision to restrict and zone the derogation schedule 2 to apply only in Balbriggan and its districts (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43544/17]

 264. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the reason for her Department’s decision to exclude public health from the reasons given in the derogation schedule 2 for 2017/2018. [43556/17]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I propose to take Questions Nos. 257, 258 and 264 together.

  The EU Birds Directive allows Member States to make derogations from its protective measures in respect of certain wild bird species in certain circumstances – for example, where they are causing damage to crops, livestock and fauna or represent a threat to public health or safety or to air safety.  The Declarations to implement these derogations are renewed annually and an annual review of the Declarations is undertaken prior to their expiry.

   This year’s review took into account the issue of seagulls in the North Dublin area especially in Balbriggan which has been the subject of correspondence to my Department from some community groups and other residents which proposed the inclusion of seagull species in the Declaration.    

  Following consideration of the matter, the recent  Declaration, which is effective from 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2018, includes methods to control seagull species in the Balbriggan area for public safety reasons.  There is no requirement to specify further reasons.  The control method can involve the removal of eggs and nests only; the culling of seagulls is not permitted.      

  These changes are being introduced on a one year pilot basis and will be subject to review as part of a wider comprehensive review of the operation of the derogations next year.  This comprehensive review will take account of all relevant factors, including perceived threats, distribution and population data available in respect of all the bird species in the declaration.

EU Directives

 259. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if her or the NPWS's attention have been drawn to the scientific study by a person (details supplied) dealing with AMR in wildlife and the policy implications both for public health and for wildlife management functions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43545/17]

 260. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if her or the NPWS's attention have been drawn to the scientific study published by the national veterinary authorities of Serbia dealing with AMR specifically in gulls and the serious public health implications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43546/17]

 261. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys her views on whether scientific studies (details supplied) have implications for the NPWS's determinations in respect of the public health criterion in the derogation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43547/17]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I propose to take Questions Nos. 259 to 261, inclusive, together.

  The studies referred to in the Questions have been brought to the attention of my Department and will  also be brought to the attention of the experts to be appointed to carry out a review of the derogation referred to.

  Question No. 262 answered with Question No. 252.

National Parks and Wildlife Service

 263. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if the NPWS issued a licence authorising a scientific study in Galway of the Brent geese species to investigate the presence of antimicrobial resistance as certain types, if present, would have potentially serious implications for public health; the organisation that applied for a licence; the action the NPWS has taken or plans to take in relation to the study; and the timeframe for such action.  [43555/17]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys My Department issued no such licence.

  Question No. 264 answered with Question No. 257.

  Question No. 265 answered with Question No. 249.

Official Languages Act

 266. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if there are methods whereby a community can change the name of their areas on maps; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43849/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh It is the role of the Chief Placenames Officer to advise me, as Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht regarding the Irish language version of placenames countrywide.  Section 32 of the Official Languages Act 2003 provides that the Minister issue Placenames Orders placing these Irish language placenames on a statutory footing.

My Department has no role in relation to the amendment of maps produced by Ordnance Survey Ireland or any other body.

Planning Guidelines

 267. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys her views on statements made by Kerry County Council in the planning zoning document, Landscape Character Assessment of Kerry, that the majority of landscapes in north County Kerry are not important for scenery, tourism or recreation (details supplied). [43987/17]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Local Authorities are responsible for their own local Landscape Character Assessments. Landscape Character Assessment is a tool for identifying the features that give a locality its particular ‘sense of place’ and is used to categorise the landscape into areas of similar character. It is not a value assessment on any particular landscape.

Arising from Ireland’s ratification of the European Landscape Convention I launched the National Landscape Strategy for Ireland 2015-2025 in May 2015. Copies are available on my Department’s website.  

The Strategy is to be implemented in two phases. The key action in Phase one, as set out in the Implementation Programme, will be the preparation of a National Landscape Character Assessment (NLCA). My Department is currently preparing tender documentation for the NLCA. The NLCA will be an important tool to provide data and objective information required to evaluate the current state of the landscape and to underpin effective spatial planning and landscape-centred decision making.

The primary role of planning authorities and the consultative roles of other bodies and persons in decision-making relating to landscape issues will continue to be governed by the provisions of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended). One of the objectives of the National Landscape Strategy will be to assist in the achievement of greater consistency in decision making when dealing with issues of landscape via the landscape character assessment process, within City and County Development Plans, at local government level.

Planning Guidelines

 268. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys her plans to call an inquiry into the landscape character assessment of Kerry and the related renewable energy strategy for County Kerry and planning zoning (details supplied). [43988/17]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I do not have a role in relation to the establishment of any such enquiry. Local authorities are responsible for their own local Landscape Character Assessments. The primary role of planning authorities and the consultative roles of other bodies and persons in decision-making relating to landscape issues will continue to be governed by the provisions of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended). In considering individual planning applications, local authorities also have a role in relation to the assessment on sites designated as Special Areas of Protection under the EU Birds Directive. I am also a statutory consultee in relation to specific planning applications.

Planning Issues

 269. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of unbuilt wind turbines that have live planning permission or permission granted but not yet used throughout the country by county. [43989/17]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I have no function in this matter.

Local Authority Staff Recruitment

 270. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if funding will be provided to create a Wexford County Council heritage officer position; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44015/17]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The County Heritage Officers Programme is a partnership between the Heritage Council, which is funded by my Department, and Local Government. 

  County Heritage Officers are employed directly by local authorities with financial, technical and professional support from the Heritage Council.   The decision as to whether to appoint a Heritage Officer is a matter for each local authority. The Heritage Council is available to work with any local authority to advise and support them in this regard.


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