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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 306-309
 Header Item Postal Voting
 Header Item Disability Act Employment Targets
 Header Item Deer Culls
 Header Item Ministerial Briefing

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 965 No. 6

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Written Answers Nos. 306-309

Postal Voting

 306. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if a postal vote facility is available for persons who may be registered in the constituency in which they reside but are attending third level education away from home and may not be able to return to vote in the upcoming referendum in May 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8035/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy John Paul Phelan): Information on John Paul Phelan Zoom on John Paul Phelan In order to be able to vote at elections and referendums, a person's name must be entered in the register of electors for a constituency in the State in which the person ordinarily resides.

  Postal voting is provided for in electoral law in respect of certain categories of persons who are entered in the register of electors. Measures to facilitate the greater participation of students in elections have been provided for in electoral law. Section 63 of the Electoral Act 1997 provides that full-time students attending an educational institution in the State who are unlikely to be able to go in person on polling day to vote can apply for a postal vote. Form PVS2 is the appropriate application form for the supplement to the 2018-2019 register of electors. This form is available on   www.checktheregister.ie.

Disability Act Employment Targets

 307. Deputy Noel Grealish Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the quota in the public service for the employment of persons with disabilities; the percentage of staff with disabilities employed at Galway County Council; his plans to increase the quota, further to comments (details supplied) in 2015 on plans to increase the quota from 3% to 5%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8043/18]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy Under Part 5 of the Disability Act 2005, public bodies are required to achieve a statutory target of 3% of employees with disabilities. Implementation of Part 5 of the Act is monitored on an ongoing basis by the National Disability Authority. The Authority reports each year on progress made on compliance with meeting the statutory target for employment in the public sector.

The Authority's most recently published report shows that at the end of 2015, 3.6% of staff employed in public sector bodies were people with disabilities: the report also shows that 4.6% of Galway County Council's employees are people with disabilities.

Policy responsibility in relation to the employment of people with disabilities in the public service, including the proposed increase in the statutory target from 3% to 6%, on a phased basis by January 2024, is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality.

Deer Culls

 308. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan when a deer cull will be undertaken in County Kerry (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7833/18]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan Each year, as part of the on-going management of deer populations within the the Park in question deer numbers may need reduction. There is a significant challenge in attempting to balance the demands of agriculture, forestry and conservation with the need to ensure that deer populations occupying the same land resources are managed at sustainable levels, and in a responsible and ethical manner. Ultimately, however, where deer species are increasing in range and numbers, depending on the annual count and instances of damage caused by deer to habitats (especially woodland), culls need to be carried out to ensure that deer populations do not reach levels that would have negative ecological consequences. The Deputy will be aware my Department’s regional NPWS staff have conducted several such culls in recent years.

On foot of a comprehensive survey and report in the winter of 2016 on the distribution, population density and population structure of red deer and sika deer in the National Park and a further census of areas of the Park conducted in Spring 2017, my Department commenced a cull of deer there last month. It is hoped to conclude the cull by the end of March. This work will be undertaken by qualified and competent National Parks and Wildlife Service personnel of my Department. The proposed cull is at a similar level to that which was undertaken in previous years.

Ministerial Briefing

 309. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the number of times she has received a briefing from her officials on the issue of the Cork event centre since her appointment. [7859/18]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan Following my appointment on the 30th November last year, I received briefing from my officials on all aspects of the work of my Department including in relation to the Cork Event Centre and I am regularly updated on all issues pertaining to my Department. 


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