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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 822-825
 Header Item Ministerial Advisers Data
 Header Item National Parks and Wildlife Service
 Header Item Archaeological Sites
 Header Item Arts Council Funding

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 972 No. 1

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Written Answers Nos. 822-825

Ministerial Advisers Data

 822. Deputy Alan Kelly Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the political advisers being used by senior and junior Ministers in her Department since the commencement of this Government; the commencement dates of the employment of each; and the cessation dates of same employment in cases in which that applies. [36706/18]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan Following my appointment as Minister on 30th November 2017, I appointed a Media Adviser on 8 January 2018 and a Policy Adviser on 15 March 2018, both of whom continue to serve in my Department.

My immediate predecessor, Minister Heather Humphreys T.D., appointed Media and Policy Advisers on 14 June 2017. The Media Adviser ceased employment on 31 July 2017 and a replacement was appointed on 18 September 2017. Both Advisers ceased employment when the Minister left the Department in November 2017.

All of the above appointments are provided for by the Public Service Management Act 1997 and were made in accordance with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Instructions to Personnel Officers – Ministerial Appointments for the 32nd Dáil (June 2016).

National Parks and Wildlife Service

 823. Deputy Pat Casey Information on Pat Casey Zoom on Pat Casey asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the efforts that have been made to secure the lands that are for sale at a location (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36994/18]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan My Department's National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), manages a property portfolio in respect of national parks and reserves of approximately 87,000 hectares. These important biodiversity areas are located all around the country. The current focus of capital investment within the National Parks and Nature Reserves, is on managing existing Parks and Reserves' lands, as well as upgrading visitor and trails facility as part of Experiencing the Wild Heart of Ireland a Tourism Interpretative Master Plan for the National Parks and Reserves. As the Deputy is already aware, my Department has no direct role in the sale process of the estate in question as it is a commercial matter between the owners of the property and any parties interested in the purchase. While the estate in question would be a significant addition to my Department’s stock of publicly owned heritage lands, I could only consider acquiring this property if the price fell to within a certain range, or in the context of a donation or bequest. This is known to the vendors. In this context, In 2016, my Department negotiated the extension of Wicklow Mountains National Park by purchasing almost 4,900 acres of Dublin Uplands at Glenasmole at a cost of just €800,000.

  Wicklow Mountains National Park and Glendalough are amongst our most beloved and popular heritage jewels. The Estate referred to in the details supplied has allowed a permissive access to a hugely popular walking route for many decades and I would hope that this would continue under any new ownership arrangements. My Department has conveyed this directly to the vendors and their agent. Furthermore, the estate has been an excellent neighbour to the National Park, working closely with it on habitat management and the promotion of our stunning Wicklow Mountains for tourism, film-making and amenity. It would like for this close co-operation to continue in future.

Archaeological Sites

 824. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan if an application for funding by a group (details supplied) will be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37419/18]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan While I am advised that it does not seem to have any funding application from this particular group, my Department has been in ongoing contact with the local authority and other relevant agencies for some time in relation to the possible acquisition by the State of an archaeological monument in which the group appears to have a special interest. The local authority, which was willing to part fund the acquisition, was recently advised that there was no basis to proceed with the proposal at present since no agreement had been reached with the vendor on a sale price that would represent reasonable value for public monies. The proposal can be reviewed in the event of any future indication that the owner was open to further negotiation on cost.

Arts Council Funding

 825. Deputy Seán Haughey Information on Seán Haughey Zoom on Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the estimated amount it would cost in a full year if the budget for the Arts Council increased by 7.5%; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37829/18]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan My Department's allocation to the Arts Council in 2018 is €68.213 million including capital and current allocations. 7.5% of this figure is €5,115.975.


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