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 Header Item Written Answers Nos 171-190
 Header Item Mental Health Services Provision
 Header Item Commonage Framework Plans
 Header Item Aquaculture Regulation
 Header Item Young Farmers Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Young Farmers Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Basic Payment Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Environmental Policy
 Header Item Compulsory Purchase Orders
 Header Item Departmental Bodies Establishment
 Header Item Integrated Ticketing
 Header Item Parking Provision
 Header Item HSE Data
 Header Item Public Transport Fares
 Header Item Youth Work Projects Funding
 Header Item Youth Work Projects Administration

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 969 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos 171-190

Mental Health Services Provision

 171. Deputy Tom Neville Information on Tom Neville Zoom on Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the mental health services initiatives specifically tailored towards men and women, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21719/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Commonage Framework Plans

 172. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice Information on Michael Fitzmaurice Zoom on Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the number of fully completed commonage management plans received by his Department; the number outstanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21528/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The requirement to prepare a Commonage Management Plan (CMP) is and has always been an essential component of the GLAS scheme. A complete CMP is required for each commonage over 10 hectares. The facility to submit CMP's has been available since October of last year and completed CMPs continue to be submitted on an ongoing basis. As of May 14 827 CMP's have been submitted leaving 3,374 remaining.

The Department has regularly highlighted the fact that GLAS participants must ensure compliance with the Scheme requirements. The requirement is to submit a complete CMP. Failure to submit will prevent further payments, including balancing payments. The Department will continue to bring this requirement to the attention of GLAS participants.

Aquaculture Regulation

 173. Deputy Martin Kenny Information on Martin Kenny Zoom on Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the efforts he has made to resolve the issue of the proliferation of unregulated and unlicensed oyster farms along the Inishowen shore of Lough Foyle, County Donegal; when the Loughs Agency will be given the authority to regulate and licence these operations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21585/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed As the Deputy is aware, the management of aquaculture and associated foreshore licensing functions in Lough Foyle gives rise to legal and jurisdictional complexities.

Applications for Aquaculture licences are considered by my Department under the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act, the 1933 Foreshore Act, and applicable EU Legislation. However, in the case of Lough Foyle, Section 2 of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act disapplies the Act to the Moville Area, as it is defined in the Foyle Fisheries Act, 1952.

The Good Friday Agreement provided for the establishment of the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission (FCILC). This body is one of the six North South Implementation Bodies created under the Agreement. The Loughs Agency, as part of the FCILC, has been given responsibility for fisheries related matters in respect of both Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough and the legislation envisages that the Agency will enter into a management agreement with the relevant authorities in both jurisdictions with a view to assuming responsibility for aquaculture licensing within the loughs. Discussions in respect of the management agreement are ongoing.

Negotiations regarding the jurisdiction of the Lough Foyle area are, in the first instance, a matter for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

My Department organises and participates in an inter-departmental working group which is pursuing a way forward in terms of the future management of aquaculture and associated foreshore activities on Lough Foyle, in parallel with a workable resolution of the complex jurisdictional issues involved.

In view of the multi dimensional and cross jurisdictional nature of the issues involved it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time.

Young Farmers Scheme Eligibility

 174. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the classification of land (details supplied); if it is considered clean land; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21653/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed Successful applicants under the National Reserve priority categories of ‘young farmer’ and ‘new entrant to farming’ are eligible for an allocation of entitlements on eligible land for which they hold no entitlements and/or a top-up to the value of existing entitlements held by them where such entitlements have a value below the National Reserve National Average. The removal of existing entitlements from land for the purpose of creating ‘clean land’ upon which a National Reserve allocation can be made is not permitted.

Land declared in support of an application for an allocation of payment entitlements under the National Reserve is subject to administrative and on-farm checks as required to determine eligibility.

Young Farmers Scheme Eligibility

 175. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if clean land (details supplied) is eligible to receive top-up entitlements for the young farmers allocation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21654/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed Successful applicants under the National Reserve priority categories of ‘young farmer’ and ‘new entrant to farming’ are eligible for an allocation of entitlements on eligible land for which they hold no entitlements and/or a top-up to the value of existing entitlements held by them where such entitlements have a value below the National Reserve National Average. The removal of existing entitlements from land for the purpose of creating ‘clean land’ upon which a National Reserve allocation can be made is not permitted.

Land declared in support of an application for an allocation of payment entitlements under the National Reserve is subject to administrative and on-farm checks as required to determine eligibility.

Basic Payment Scheme Eligibility

 176. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if there is a derogation for fencing for land (details supplied) as in respect of cross-compliance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21655/18]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The Terms and Conditions of the Basic Payments Scheme outline the requirements regarding the fencing of land. The Terms and Conditions state that there must be a defined external boundary, and that the boundary must be sufficient to control the farmers' and neighbouring animals.

The only exemption to the requirement for stock-proof fencing is outlined in the Departments publication “A Guide to Land Eligibility Direct Payment Schemes 2015”, this publication was sent to all farmers in 2015. On the matter of fencing it states “An exemption to this rule is that the need for stock proof fencing is not required for exclusively owned hill lands, provided the lands continue to be farmed in the traditional manner by hill farmers in compliance with the requirements of the EU regulations”. The land must be actively farmed and farmed in the traditional manner, this traditional farming refers to farmers having the hill land and the appurtenant low land, so typically the farmer would graze the hills in summer and have the appurtenant low land for the winter period.

In cases where the land has been redistributed and therefore is no longer farmed in the traditional manner there may be issues regarding fencing requirements. The farmer can apply to the Local Authority to fence the lands, this decision is made in conjunction with the NPWS, where required.

Environmental Policy

 177. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten his plans to introduce a national ban on plastic straws on environmental grounds. [21664/18]

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten In January, the European Commission published the European Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy. The strategy focuses on plastic production and use. It sets a goal of ensuring all plastic packaging will be recyclable by 2030.

Recently, I wrote to the European Commissioner with responsibility for the environment to welcome the plastics strategy. I assured him Ireland fully embraced the ambitions of the new strategy. I asked the Commission to focus, in particular, on the most difficult non-recyclable plastics such as soft wrapping, film and single use items such as plastic straws. I am determined to make sure these products, if they come onto the market here or elsewhere in Europe, will be recyclable or compostable and that they will not go into landfill sites.

The EU Commission will be proposing EU-wide action to tackle such items this month.  I believe that working proactively with our European colleagues will achieve a greater environmental benefit.  If the actions proposed at EU level require national legislation, I will act thereon as soon as possible.

Compulsory Purchase Orders

 178. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the compulsory purchase order methodology which will be applied to house and apartment owners of those that will be impacted by the MetroLink project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21543/18]

 179. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if comparable alternative accommodation will be offered to homeowners and tenants of those that receive compulsory purchase orders due to the MetroLink project. [21544/18]

 180. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if compensation in addition to market value will be offered to those that receive compulsory purchase orders due to the MetroLink project. [21545/18]

 181. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the engagement, advice and support provided and offered to those whose homes fall under compulsory purchase orders due to the MetroLink project. [21546/18]

 182. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the criteria for issuing compulsory purchase orders relevant to infrastructure or transport projects. [21547/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross I propose to take Questions Nos. 178 to 182, inclusive, together.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) including the development of a metro scheme (MetroLink), and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) is the agency tasked with delivery of the MetroLink project.

The recently published Project Ireland 2040 proposes to take forward a MetroLink scheme to run from Swords, via Dublin Airport to Dublin’s south city centre (operating in tunnel under the city centre) and onwards to Sandyford using the existing Luas Green Line to ensure that growth along this corridor can be accommodated.

The details of the MetroLink scheme (Swords to Sandyford) were the subject of a non-statutory public consultation process over the last month. It is planned to commence construction of the scheme in 2021 with a view to its completion by 2027.

A Railway Order is required to construct and operate the scheme and for the necessary compulsory purchase order arrangements. Accordingly, an application for a Railway Order will be submitted in 2019 when a detailed Business Case for the scheme has been approved that seeks power to construct and operate the scheme and also to ensure that the necessary compulsory purchase order arrangements are given effect to secure the scheme.

In relation to the detail of the specific queries and given the role of both the NTA and TII, I have forwarded the Deputy's questions to both organisations for direct reply. Please inform my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

The referred replies were forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Departmental Bodies Establishment

 183. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the status of the proposal to establish a working group arising from recommendations in the national policy statement on airport charges regulation; if the working group has been established; if so, the membership of the group; the number of meetings held to date; the activities of the working group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21565/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As outlined in my Department's National Policy Statement on Airport Charges, my Department committed to establish a working group of key stakeholders to examine and report on options to allow the regulated entity and its airline customers to reach price agreements amongst themselves, subject to regulatory oversight.

In December, my Department issued a discussion paper to key stakeholders seeking their views on this matter. The responses to that paper have been received. Arrangements are currently being made to follow this consultation phase with formal engagement with the relevant parties in the coming few weeks.

Integrated Ticketing

 184. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if the use of the Leap card in County Donegal will be rolled out (details supplied); his views on whether it is fair that as a result of the reliance on Bus Éireann expressway routes that service users in the county do not have access to the same discount options as those that use the Leap card in cities and are therefore forced to pay full price for each trip; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21586/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the development and implementation of public transport including ticketing technology.

Therefore, I have forwarded your query to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Parking Provision

 185. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin Information on Fiona O'Loughlin Zoom on Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if a parking infrastructure increase is planned for Portarlington train station to match the increase in service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21589/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross I wish to advise the Deputy that the National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure and services in the Greater Dublin Area and undertakes a support role for the relevant local authorities, on a non statutory basis, in the Regional cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

Issues relating to the provision of car parking spaces at train stations on the heavy rail network outside of these cities, such as Portarlington, are an operational matter for Iarnród Éireann which receives Exchequer funding for such works via the NTA.

Noting the role of Iarnród Eireann and NTA in the matter of park and ride facilities, I have referred your question to both bodies to provide information on the issue raised. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

The referred replies were forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

HSE Data

 186. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the number of taxi contracts awarded by the HSE that include accessibility in their selection criteria in the tender process (details supplied); if in the tender process the HSE places extra weighting to taxi operators with accessible vehicles when awarding contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21636/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross Details in relation to taxi contracts awarded by the HSE are a matter for that body which operates under the aegis of my colleague, the Minister for Health.

The Sectoral Plan, to which the Deputy refers, was published in 2013, and the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) commenced operations the following year. The OGP, together with four key sectors (Health, Defence, Education and Local Government), assumed responsibility for sourcing all goods and services on behalf of the Public Service. In addition, the OGP also has responsibility for procurement policy and procedures. My Department has no role in the tendering process for transport services.

As the Deputy may be aware, the Programme for Government contains a commitment to introduce a provision whereby taxi companies who wish to bid for State procurement contracts must ensure that a minimum of 10% of their fleet is wheelchair accessible. The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) is the lead agency in respect of this commitment.

Public Transport Fares

 187. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross his plans to review Bus Éireann fare costs in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21698/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Youth Work Projects Funding

 188. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the allocation of capital expenditure for youth work services in each of the years 2014 to 2018 in tabular form. [21548/18]

 189. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the funds disbursed to and spent by youth work services under capital expenditure funding schemes in each of the years 2014 to 2017, and to date 2018, in tabular form. [21549/18]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone I propose to take Questions Nos. 188 and 189 together.

  In recent years, capital funding has been made available to my Department to support youth projects in local communities. The funding provided for the purchase of equipment and supported small scale projects, including refurbishments, health and safety fit-outs and accessibility improvements in local voluntary youth services. The capital allocations to my Department between 2014 and 2018 were as follows:

Year Capital allocation
2014 €500.000
2015 €500,000
2016 €2,600,000
2017 €2,600,000
2018 €2,600,000


  In 2014 a capital allocation of €500,000 was made available to fund small equipment and capital projects in the youth services. Fifty youth projects received grants under the scheme.

  In 2015 a capital allocation of €500,000 was made available to fund small capital projects in youth services. Sixteen youth projects across the country received grants under the scheme.

  An amount of €2.6m in 2016 was allocated to the Department for a capital funding scheme for youth projects and services that are funded by the Department under the youth funding schemes. Under the Youth Capital Funding Scheme 2016/2017, eighty six youth projects across the country were provided capital funding.

  During 2017, I was in a position to approve the overall allocation of €6.35m under the Local Youth Club Equipment Scheme in 2017. This allocation was comprised of the €2.6m youth capital allocation in 2017, unspent and returned monies under the Youth Capital Funding Scheme 2016 / 2017 and other funding which became available to my Department during 2017.

  The primary focus of this scheme was to assist volunteer led clubs and groups that work with young people in communities throughout the country. The scheme allowed for the purchase of equipment for sport, arts, adventure and other much needed items.

  Earlier this month, I was pleased to launch the Youth Capital Funding Scheme 2018. Under this scheme, €2m is being made available for targeted staff-led youth projects and services across the country to fund small capital projects. The Scheme is to support purchase of equipment and to fund small scale projects including the upgrade of bathrooms and kitchens in youth services.

  In addition, over 2017 and 2018 capital funding has been made available to new youth projects and services, established in line with the recommendations of the Value for Money and Policy Review of Youth Funding Schemes.

Youth Work Projects Administration

 190. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the way in which the policy and priorities for capital expenditure for youth work services each year is determined; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21550/18]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone My Department has in place a Youth Capital Working Group. The Group comprises youth officers representing the sixteen Education and Training Boards and officials from my Department. This Group was responsible for the design of the Local Youth Club Equipment Scheme in 2017 and the Youth Capital Funding Scheme 2018, which was formally launched earlier this month. It is my intention that the Group will make recommendations on future capital schemes, should monies be made available.


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