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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 647-662
 Header Item Local Authority Housing Eligibility
 Header Item Regeneration Projects Funding
 Header Item Water Supply
 Header Item Boat Permits
 Header Item Greenways Development
 Header Item Commemorative Events
 Header Item Archaeological Sites
 Header Item Arts Council Grants
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Data
 Header Item EU Funding
 Header Item National Monuments
 Header Item Departmental Funding

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 980 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 82 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 647-662

Local Authority Housing Eligibility

 647. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the reason local authorities are not provided with discretion on eligibility for those marginally above the income threshold when applying for social housing or applying for HAP; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9589/19]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy For the purpose of assessing households under the income eligibility criteria and to ensure consistency in approach, the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 prescribe maximum net income limits for each local authority, in different bands according to the area concerned, with income being defined and assessed according to a standard Household Means Policy. The 2011 Regulations do not provide local authorities with any discretion to exceed the limits that apply to their administrative areas.

The income bands and the authority area assigned to each band were based on an assessment of the income needed to provide for a household's basic needs, plus a comparative analysis of the local rental cost of housing accommodation across the country. It is important to note that the limits introduced at that time also reflected a blanket increase of €5,000 introduced prior to the new system coming into operation, in order to broaden the base from which social housing tenants are drawn, both promoting sustainable communities and also providing a degree of future-proofing.

As part of the broader social housing reform agenda, a review of income eligibility for social housing supports in each local authority area is underway. The Housing Agency is carrying out the detailed statistical work, which will underpin this review, on behalf of my Department.

The review will also have regard to current initiatives being brought forward in terms of affordability and cost rental and will be completed when the impacts of these parallel initiatives have been considered.

Regeneration Projects Funding

 648. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if applications which have been successful under the urban regeneration fund can be carried over to the following calendar year. [9677/19]

 649. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if there will be flexibility with applications which have been successful under the urban regeneration fund and which relate to purchase of property with the successful applicant due to the delay in the transfer of property. [9678/19]

 650. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if funding under the urban regeneration fund can be used as part of a purchase of property by compulsory purchase order. [9679/19]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy I propose to take Questions Nos. 648 to 650, inclusive, together.

The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) was launched as part of Project Ireland 2040 to support the compact growth and sustainable development of Ireland’s five cities, regional drivers and other large urban centres. It is a rolling, multi-annual fund, with €2 billion available to 2027.

I announced 88 successful proposals in November 2018, details of which are published on my Department's website at the following link: www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/urdf_-_2019_funding_allocations_0.pdf

Funding of €100 million has been allocated in respect of the 88 successful proposals, combining both category A and B projects, of which a significant amount of expenditure will be incurred in 2019 with some arising in 2020. My Department has been actively engaging with successful applicants on the detailed progression of their proposals in 2019. This process will be finalised shortly, following which project conditions and formal grant agreements will be concluded. I am satisfied at this point that the 2019 allocation of €58 million will be spent in full this year.

The progression of successful proposals under the Fund is a matter, in the first instance, for the relevant applicant. A key feature of this Fund is continued collaboration, whether between Government Agencies, local authorities, communities and other stakeholders, and I am satisfied that there will be sufficient flexibility within this process to facilitate efficient and effective delivery of projects over the course of this programme, subject to the relevant statutory processes as regards any necessary property acquisitions.

It is expected that a second call for proposals for 2020 funding will be launched later in Q1 2019 and a workshop for applicants will be organised in advance. It is envisaged that this application period will run until summer 2019.

Water Supply

 651. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if he has requested the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities to carry out a review of the water supply project eastern and midlands region; if so, the outcome of the review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9711/19]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy The Eastern and Midlands Water Supply Project has been in development since the mid -1990s, originally under Dublin City Council and under Irish Water since January 2014. It is the first comprehensive upgrade of Ireland’s water infrastructure in over 60 years.

  An additional 330 million litres of treated water a day is estimated to be needed in the Greater Dublin and Eastern and Midlands Region by 2050. In 2015, Irish Water embarked on an extensive public consultation process to identify a new source of water supply for the region. Overall, ten options were assessed on technical environmental and economic grounds. The abstraction of raw water from the Parteen Basin and the Lower River Shannon was ultimately identified as the preferred option.

  The Water Services Act 2013 requires the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, in conjunction with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, to provide consent for all commitments for capital expenditure above a certain threshold. Given the scale and importance of the Eastern and Midlands Water Supply Project, and recognising the statutory role of the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) as independent economic regulator of Irish Water, including its role of reviewing Irish Water’s capital investment plans, I have requested the CRU to undertake the review to support my decision as Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, in relation to the capital consent that will be required in the event that planning approval is obtained for the project. The request to the CRU is consistent with the CRU’s role under Section 40 of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 to advise the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government on the development and delivery of water services. The review is currently ongoing.

  The Terms of Reference for the review are available on the CRU website at the following link:

https://www.cru.ie/document_group/water-supply-project-eastern-and-midlands-region/.

Boat Permits

 652. 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 if permission will be provided to a person (details supplied) to allow them to stop their boat at a pier; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9007/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan Commercial licences and permits to operate boats at the location in question are advertised by way of tender. The last such tender was advertised in May 2018 and will last for a period of 2 years. It is envisaged that my Department will go out to tender again in 2020, at which point an application can be made. I am advised by my Department that it considers that current operations already provides services for those with disabilities.

Greenways Development

 653. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the steps being taken to address safety concerns regarding the greenway walk in the area of Cloncurry Bridge near Enfield, County Meath (details supplied). [9528/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan Waterways Ireland has informed my Department that Kildare County Council is currently constructing the Greenway cycle path from Cloncurry Bridge eastwards along the north bank of Royal Canal for a distance of 2.0 km.

  The towpath in this area was originally a gravel trackway accessing dwellings for the majority of its length (2 km).

  Meath County Council and Kildare County Council together were granted planning approval for an upgrade of this trackway to incorporate the National Greenway on this bank in June 2018. This entailed the strengthening of the existing surface and overlaying with macadam surface.

  I understand that this resulted in the existing roadway being raised and creating a drop off towards the canals edge. The local authority is carrying out extensive profiling of the affected edge banks and the works in this area are nearing completion.

  In regard to the pull in bays, I am informed that the local authority is installing ten pull in bays along the 2.0 km section where previously there was none.

  The development is a matter for Kildare and Meath County Councils.

Commemorative Events

 654. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the location for National Famine Commemoration Day that has been agreed for the third Sunday in May 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9042/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question Number 46 of 21 February 2019.

  An announcement in relation to the designation of the location for this year's National Famine Commemoration will be made shortly.

  Proposals are currently being developed by officials of my Department and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in relation to the 2019 International Famine Commemoration and these will be submitted to the Committee for consideration shortly.

Archaeological Sites

 655. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan if a review of the National Monuments Acts will be considered with a view to amendments in order to ensure that persons that find archaeological objects in circumstances (details supplied) will not be liable to prosecution; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9051/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan The statutory provisions relating the use or possession of detection devices for archaeological purposes, and in relation to discoveries of archaeological objects generally, are set out in the National Monuments Acts.

Detailed advice and guidance is provided for the public on the legal position with regard to use of metal detection devices, and on the obligations of any person who finds an archaeological object, in an information leaflet produced jointly by my Department and the National Museum of Ireland. The information leaflet is available in hard copy and also on the website of my Department’s National Monuments Service,  www.archaeology.ie.

  I consider the present legislative framework, and the manner in which it implemented, to be reasonable, proportionate and necessary in order to prevent irreparable loss and damage to our national heritage. I have no proposals to make any changes to it.

Arts Council Grants

 656. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the bursaries paid out to date following her recent announcement of the Markievicz bursaries of €100,000; the persons or bodies to which they issued; the field of each; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9058/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan The Arts Council is administering the Markievicz bursaries scheme on my Department's behalf and I understand that the scheme will open to on-line applications shortly.

  Awards will be made to up to five recipients under the scheme each year to a value of €20,000 per individual or group. Once awarded, the names and arts practices of the recipients will be published on my Department's website.

Departmental Staff Data

 657. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the number of conferences staff of her Department have attended in each of the years 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the number of staff that attended each conference; the cost of same in each year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9165/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I have been advised by my Department that employees of this Department attended 34 conferences in 2017; 26 conferences in 2018; and 7 conferences to date in 2019. This information, including the number of employees who attended each conference and the cost of attending conferences in each year, is set out below in tabular form.

Year Number of Conferences Number of Attendees Total Cost
2017 34 129 € 19,259.05
2018 26 123 € 14,894.67
2019 (To Date) 7 30 €3,304.38
Totals 67 282 € 37,458.10


2017 Conferences Number of Attendees Total Cost
Conference No. 1 12 € 325
Conference No. 2 3 € 1,457.55
Conference No. 3 1 € 88
Conference No. 4 15 € 700
Conference No. 5 1 € 295.20
Conference No. 6 2 € 42.00
Conference No. 7 2 € 701.01
Conference No. 8 3 € 337.56
Conference No. 9 2 € 479.70
Conference No. 10 1 € 180
Conference No. 11 1 € 624.38
Conference No. 12 1 €112.14
Conference No. 13 20 € 1,600
Conference No. 14 1 € 230.62
Conference No. 15 1 € 375
Conference No. 16 9 € 640
Conference No. 17 1 680.00
Conference No. 18 1 80.00
Conference No. 19 5 650.00
Conference No. 20 9 450.00
Conference No. 21 1 415.00
Conference No. 22 1 30.00
Conference No. 23 1 290.42
Conference No. 24 4 250.00
Conference No. 25 4 900.00
Conference No. 26 2 398.00
Conference No. 27 2 501.50
Conference No. 28 2 50.00
Conference No. 29 1 200
Conference No. 30 4 € 2,945.34
Conference No. 31 1 € 250
Conference No. 32 1 € 299.88
Conference No. 33 1 € 223.25
Conference No. 34 1 € 187.50
Conference No. 35 10 € 2,000.00
Conference No. 36 1 € 220.00
Conference No. 37 1 € 50.00
Totals 129 € 19,259.05


2018 Conferences Number of Attendees Total Cost
Conference No. 1 19 € 2,520.00
Conference No. 2 27 € 675
Conference No. 3 2 € 616.84
Conference No. 4 1 € 30
Conference No. 5 2 € 50
Conference No. 6 2 € 810
Conference No. 7 1 € 180.96
Conference No. 8 2 € 319.34
Conference No. 9 29 € 3,012
Conference No. 10 1 € 19.71
Conference No. 11 5 €380.00
Conference No. 12 2 € 660
Conference No. 13 1 €276.25
Conference No. 14 2 € 1,297.00
Conference No. 15 1 €115
Conference No. 16 2 € 139.18
Conference No. 17 2 € 210
Conference No. 18 5 € 500
Conference No. 19 1 €150
Conference No. 20 1 € 115
Conference No. 21 1 € 100
Conference No. 22 1 € 130
Conference No. 23 2 € 971.70
Conference No. 24 1 € 485.85
Conference No. 25 1 € 194.24
Conference No. 26 1 € 60
Conference No. 27 5 € 360.00
  1 € 212.00
  2 € 304.60
Totals 123 € 14,894.67


2019 Conferences Number of Attendees Total Cost
Conference No. 1 2 €140.88
Conference No. 2 20 €500.00
Conference No. 3 3 € 1,003.00
Conference No. 4 1 €203.81
Conference No. 5 1 € 300
Conference No. 6 1 € 145
Conference No. 7 1 € 962
Conference No. 8 1 € 50
TOTALS 30 €3,304.38

Departmental Expenditure

 658. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the amount spent in advertising and-or sponsorship in respect of conferences external and internal, respectively in each of the years 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, by conference; the aggregate amount for each year; the amount available in the remainder of 2019 to fund same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9182/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I am advised that my department does not maintain a specific annual budgetary allocation for activities of this kind. The only expenditure incurred by my Department in relation to the activities specified by the deputy during the periods in question is set out in table below. There are currently no specific proposals on hand for such activities in the current year.

Date of Conference (2017 - 2019) Title of Conference Advertising Costs Sponsorship Costs
Date of Conference (2017 - 2019) Title of Conference Advertising Costs Sponsorship Costs
28/01/2017 Irish Raptor SG Annual Conference 2017 Nil €1,000.00
27/01/2018 Irish Raptor SG Annual Conference 2018 Nil €1,000.00
30/04/2018-01/05/2018 Woodlands of Ireland Annual Conference Nil €5,298.48
15/09/2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage Archaeological Conference"Pathways to the Cosmos"(Externally managed in partnership with the OPW) €5207.25 Nil

Departmental Data

 659. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the number of staff in her Department that attended a summit (details supplied) in Dublin in 2017 and 2018, respectively; the cost to her Department or agency under the remit of her Department; if her Department or an agency associated with her Department undertook advertising or sponsorship in respect of the summit; the cost in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9199/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I have been advised by my Department that no employees in this Department attended the Pendulum Summit in Dublin in 2017 or in 2018, and that in respect of the agencies under the remit of my Department, no employees attended the Pendulum Summit. As such, no costs were incurred by this Department, nor was any advertising or sponsorship paid for in respect of the summit.

EU Funding

 660. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the breakdown of funds received by her Department or channelled through her Department from EU funds in 2017; and the programmes these funds supported. [9567/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan The breakdown of funds received by my Department or channelled through my Department from EU funds in 2017; and the programmes these funds supported was as follows:

  Aran LIFE Project   €776,557.20

  LIFE Technical Assistance Project €70,000

National Monuments

 661. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan the applications received for funding from Louth County Council or other public bodies including Fáilte Ireland in relation maintenance or other works to structures (details supplied) and the maintenance of Drogheda town walls and so on; the funds applied for; the status of such applications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9595/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan My role, as Minister, with regard to the protection and management of our built heritage is set out in the provisions of relevant legislation, including the National Monuments Acts and the Planning and Development Acts, as are the role of local authorities and the responsibilities of owners as regards heritage assets.

  As Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, I am the owner or guardian of almost 1,000 national monuments right across the country, ranging from prehistoric burial monuments to medieval fortifications and religious sites, including one of the monuments referred to by the Deputy. The Office of Public Works is responsible for the conservation and maintenance of these monuments on a day-to-day basis in co-operation and consultation with my Department.

  As in previous years, alongside its Office of Public Works and local authority partners, my Department’s National Monuments Service will make available such funding as may be required over the course of 2019 in relation to the discharge of my functions under the National Monuments Acts to support rescue excavations and post excavation research at archaeological sites where there is an urgent risk to such being irreparably lost or damaged.

  My Department also provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through grant schemes which are generally administered by the local authorities. In November 2018, I announced a total of €4.3 million in funding for the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and Historic Structures Fund  for 2019.

  The Built Heritage Investment Scheme is a scheme for the repair and conservation of structures on the local authority Record of Protected Structures. It is designed to leverage private capital for investment in small scale conservation projects across the country and to support the employment of skilled conservation professionals, trades persons and craftsmen and women. The Historic Structures Fund is for conservation and enhancement to heritage structures, in both private and public ownership, for the benefit of communities and the public.

  Both schemes were open for applications to local authorities until 31 January 2019; full details are available on my Department’s website and on each local authority website. While it would be premature to provide information on applications received at this point, I will be announcing the successful projects under these schemes in the coming weeks.

  The Heritage Council, which my Department funds, also provides grants for the protection and preservation of the built heritage. It is primarily a matter for the Heritage Council to decide how its funding should be allocated across the range of research, education and conservation programmes it supports. Grant schemes are advertised by the Heritage Council on its website www.heritagecouncil.ie. Among the initiatives supported by the Heritage Council is The Irish Walled Towns Network, of which Drogheda is a member. I understand that some of the structures referred to by the Deputy have been in receipt of Heritage Council assistance, including financial, in the past.

Departmental Funding

 662. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan if an application has been made by Louth County Council or another body, organisation or person regarding funding for a proposed maritime museum in Drogheda; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9655/19]

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan I am informed that my Department has no record of receiving any such request.


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