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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 276-291
 Header Item Cycling Facilities Funding
 Header Item Sports Funding
 Header Item Departmental Advertising Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Advertising Expenditure
 Header Item Adoption Data
 Header Item Adoption Records Provision
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Childcare Services Data
 Header Item Children in Care
 Header Item Departmental Advertising Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Advertising Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Advertising Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Advertising Expenditure
 Header Item Community Employment Schemes Supervisors
 Header Item Illness Benefit Applications
 Header Item Free Travel Scheme Eligibility

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 991 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 276-291

Cycling Facilities Funding

 276. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross when the sponsorship deal for the public bike scheme in counties Cork, Limerick and Galway is due to expire; and when talks will commence on the renewal of same. [52074/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to active travel and public transport infrastructure. The management of public bike schemes is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA).

Noting the NTA's responsibilities in the matter, I have referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed 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

Sports Funding

 277. Deputy Brendan Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross further to Parliamentary Question No. 165 of 26 September 2019, when the projects that will be grant aided under the large-scale sport infrastructure fund will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52106/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin The Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund opened for applications on 19th November 2018 and the closing date for receipt of applications was 17th April 2019.

Details of all applications received have been published on the Department's website. The detailed evaluation process has also been published on the Department's website. As set out in this evaluation process, applicants were given an opportunity to provide corrected and amended documentation, where necessary, in support of applications. This part of the process is now complete and detailed assessment work of the applications is continuing. I expect this work will be complete in the coming weeks with an announcement of allocations to follow shortly thereafter.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

 278. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the implementation of ongoing communications strategy initiatives that highlight schemes and programmes operated under the auspices of his Department including advertising and promotion on television, radio, newspapers and online in tabular form; and the level of expenditure for each such initiative. [52126/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross A list of all external expenditure which includes any expenditure on advertising and promotion on television, radio, newspapers and online can be found on my departments website at the following link

  External Expenditure [ https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/30ae9c-expenditure-on-external-services/ ]. Details of expenditure on external services by the Department for the period January-September 2019 will be published on our website in the coming weeks. Details of all expenditure on external services for 2019 will be available in 2020.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

 279. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the commissioning, development, production, promotion and online sharing of a video that highlighted schemes and programmes operated by his Department in tabular form; if such videos have been commissioned for 2020; and if so, the estimated costs of each such video..  [52143/19]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross I wish to advise the Deputy that the officials in my Department are currently collating this information and will forward it to him within 10 working days.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

I refer to the Parliamentary Question No. 52143/19, "To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the commissioning, development, production, promotion and online sharing of a video which highlighted  schemes and programmes operated by his  Department in  tabular form; if such videos have been commissioned for 2020; and if so, the estimated costs of each such video."

   No  expenses  were  incurred  by  my  Department  in  2019  for  the  commissioning,  development, production, promotion and online sharing of any video which highlighted schemes and programmes operated by my Department and no such videos have been commissioned for 2020.

Adoption Data

 280. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if her attention was drawn to the number of adoptees here; the percentage of those who also had a sibling who was placed for adoption; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52173/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone Based on figures provided by the Adoption Authority of Ireland, there has been over 44,000 adoptions in Ireland since the commencement of the Adoption Act 1952. 72 adoption orders were granted in 2018. The Authority advise that there is no data on the number of individuals that also had a sibling placed for adoption.

The Adoption Authority of Ireland operates the National Adoption Contact Preference Register (NACPR). The NACPR was set up in 2005 as a way for people affected by adoption to make their wishes known about having contact with their birth family members. Where a match is made on the register between two people seeking contact (including siblings) the individuals will be put in contact with each other.

Adoption Records Provision

 281. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the policy in place allowing the automatic disclosure to an adoptee that he or she has a sibling who was also placed for adoption; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52174/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone In relation to adoption records, there is no automatic release of birth or other information. However, individuals can apply to the agency that holds their records for their own information. There is no automatic access to personal information relating to other individuals, which would include a sibling placed for adoption, as data protection provisions apply.

The Adoption Authority of Ireland operates the National Adoption Contact Preference Register (NACPR). The NACPR was set up in 2005 as a way for people affected by adoption to make their wishes known about having contact with their birth family members. Where a match is made on the register between two people seeking contact (including siblings) the individuals will be put in contact with each other.

Health Services Provision

 282. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the screening in place for adoptees in view of the fact adoptees have no access to their medical backgrounds or genetic information; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52175/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone There are no specific screening programmes for adoptees. Adoptees are entitled to avail of all existing medical screening programmes on the same basis as any other citizen.

In terms of access to medical or other information, adoptees may apply to the agency which holds their records (which may include medical or genetic information, where this exists) for their own information. Where the original adoption agency is closed, Tusla or the Adoption Authority of Ireland will be able to assist the individual.

Childcare Services Data

 283. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the number of unregistered crèches in operation in each county in tabular form; the length of time they have been in operation; if they are in the registration process; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51898/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone As the matters to which the Deputy refers are an operational matter for Tusla, I have requested Tusla to respond to the Deputy directly within 10 working days.

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

Children in Care

 284. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the cost of a service (details supplied). [51912/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone I wish to thank the Deputy for his question, and can confirm that I have referred the matter to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, for their direct reply.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

 285. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the expenses incurred by her Department to date in 2019 for the implementation of ongoing communications strategy initiatives that highlight schemes and programmes operated under the auspices of her Department including advertising and promotion on television, radio, newspapers and online in tabular form; and the level of expenditure for each such initiative. [52112/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The information requested is being collated by officials in my Department and I will revert to the Deputy in due course.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

 286. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the expenses incurred by her Department to date in 2019 for the commissioning, development, production, promotion and online sharing of a video that highlighted schemes and programmes operated by her Department in tabular form; if such videos have been commissioned for 2020; and if so, the estimated costs of each such video. [52129/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The information requested is being collated by officials in my Department and I will revert to the Deputy in due course.

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

 287. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the implementation of ongoing communications strategy initiatives that highlight schemes and programmes operated under the auspices of his Department including advertising and promotion on television, radio, newspapers and online in tabular form; and the level of expenditure for each such initiative. [52124/19]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring As part of my Department's Statement of Strategy, we have committed to improving our communications with all our stakeholders, most notably with communities across the country. In particular, we have prioritised raising awareness of the range of supports that are available to assist communities and those in rural Ireland.

  In that respect, we have implemented a number of successful communications initiatives which have sought to deliver on these objectives. Amongst these was the Rural Opportunity roadshow and campaign run from March to May this year. Rural Opportunity was a cross-Government initiative designed to highlight the opportunities available for rural communities to access funding for projects in their areas, through the range of funding programmes provided across Government. In addition, the Department also partnered with Pobal to deliver a complementary series of workshops, entitled Helping Hands, which were undertaken at a number of regional venues over April and May. These workshops were aimed at organisations and community groups who have had difficulty unlocking funding from the various programmes and provided guidance on how to make suitable applications.

  As part of my Department's overall communications strategy, and in support of initiatives such as those outlined above, the Department incurred expenditure in relation to video production and online and print advertising. Details of the costs incurred in that regard are out in the table below.

Item Amount spent to date in 2019
TV advertising Nil
Online advertising €7,152
Radio advertising Nil
Print Advertising €12,087
Video Production and design €49,759

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

 288. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the commissioning, development, production, promotion and online sharing of a video that highlighted schemes and programmes operated by his Department in tabular form; if such videos have been commissioned for 2020; and if so, the estimated costs of each such video. [52141/19]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring My Department is promoting rural and community development through a range of funding schemes and initiatives. It has, as outlined in its published Statement of Strategy, prioritised communicating with the general public in relation to the range of supports available to assist communities and those in rural Ireland.

  For example, my Department administers the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, a €1 billion investment by government in rural Ireland over the period 2019 to 2027. We are also delivering schemes such as the LEADER 2014-2020 Programme (€250 million) and Community Development Programmes, to which my Department will allocate €158 million in 2020 alone.

  In order to better inform rural communities about the supports available, my Department led and delivered the Rural Opportunity roadshow and campaign from March to May this year. This was a cross-Government initiative designed to highlight the opportunities available for rural communities to access funding for projects in their areas, through the range of funding programmes provided across Government.

  A complementary series of workshops, entitled Helping Hands, was also undertaken at a number of regional venues over April and May. These workshops were aimed at organisations and community groups who have had difficulty unlocking funding from the various programmes and provided guidance on how to make suitable applications.

  In order to raise awareness among communities of the opportunities which exist and to inspire them to develop a vision for their areas, my Department also created a series of five case study videos which showcased successful projects already delivering in rural Ireland. The videos were shared through my Department's Twitter account over the course of the campaign and the response from stakeholders was encouraging.

  The costs associated with these videos are laid out in the table below

- Cost
Production costs €19,557
Promotion €4,079


  To build on the progress achieved in raising awareness of funding programmes, my Department commissioned a further 10 case study videos which highlighted further examples of successful rural and community-based projects. The costs associated with these videos are laid out in the table below.
- Cost
Production costs €30,202
Promotion €5,000 allocated (€500 per video) for online promotion.


  Some of these videos have already been shared through my Department's Twitter account with the remainder due to be shared over the coming weeks.

  While the business planning process is ongoing in my Department, there are currently no plans to commission further videos of this nature in 2020.

Community Employment Schemes Supervisors

 289. Deputy Mary Butler Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the progress of the community employment supervisors pension claim in respect of the sanctioning of funding for the community employment supervisors pension gratuity claim; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51968/19]

 304. Deputy Michael Harty Information on Michael Harty Zoom on Michael Harty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the measures being put in place for the provision of a pension scheme for community employment supervisors and assistant supervisors under the community employment programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52166/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty I propose to take Questions Nos. 289 and 304 together.

The Community Employment Scheme (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and others with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed term basis.

The programme is delivered through independent Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies. The contract agreement between the Department and the Community Employment Sponsoring Body establishes their role as an independent contractor, responsible for all purposes and all persons recruited by them.

CE Supervisors are not employed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. CE Supervisors have always been employees of Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies which operate in the community and voluntary sector.

I am very aware of the valuable and dedicated service that Community Employment (CE) sponsor organisations provide in running CE Schemes across the country. CE supervisors, as employees of these organisations, are an integral part of that good work.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Department is currently engaging with representatives of CE supervisors to discuss issues arising following that 2008 Labour Court Recommendation and that all parties agreed that the detail of all discussions undertaken by the group should remain confidential until the process had completed. I would ask Deputies to respect these wishes and allow the talks to continue free from speculation.

Illness Benefit Applications

 290. Deputy Seán Barrett Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty when illness benefit payments will issue to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51901/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Department has received a medical certificate from the person concerned, however, an application form for Illness Benefit (IB1) has not yet been received from him.

  An application for Illness Benefit form has been posted to the person concerned for completion and his claim will be processed as soon as it is received by the Department.

  I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Free Travel Scheme Eligibility

 291. Deputy Tom Neville Information on Tom Neville Zoom on Tom Neville asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty further to Parliamentary Question No. 466 of 26 November 2019, if a companion free travel pass application by a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51914/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty The person concerned applied for a Companion Free Travel Pass on 26 August 2019. The application was assessed by the Department’s Medical Advisor on 07 September 2019. Based on the medical evidence provided, the application was disallowed on 14 September 2019.

  The person concerned has provided additional medical evidence to support their claim for a Companion Free Travel Pass. I am advised that the medical evidence has been forwarded to the Medical Advisor and the matter will be re-examined. When a decision is made the person concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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