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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 246-263
 Header Item Early Childhood Care and Education
 Header Item Seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge
 Header Item Foireann Roinne
 Header Item Seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge
 Header Item Early Childhood Care and Education
 Header Item Departmental Budgets
 Header Item Seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge
 Header Item Apprenticeship Programmes
 Header Item Student Universal Support Ireland
 Header Item Departmental Budgets
 Header Item Third Level Institutions
 Header Item Third Level Institutions
 Header Item Third Level Institutions
 Header Item Remembrance Commission
 Header Item Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal
 Header Item Anti-Social Behaviour

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1002 No. 6

First Page Previous Page Page of 110 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 246-263

Early Childhood Care and Education

 246. Deputy Emer Higgins Information on Emer Higgins Zoom on Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman if he will consider a person (details supplied) eligible for the ECCE scheme starting September 2021 on the basis of isolated expressive speech delay and in the context that starting the ECCE, for which they are ineligible on the basis of five days in 2021, will help prevent long-term developmental issues. [43726/20]

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (Deputy Roderic O'Gorman): Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is a universal free two-year pre-school programme available to all children within the eligible age range.

  A child must have reached 2 years and 8 months of age on or prior to 31 August of the relevant programme year to be eligible for the September start date and a child cannot turn 5 years and 6 months of age during the course of the ECCE programme year. The child referred to by the Deputy will not have reached the required the required age of 2 years 8 months by 31 August 2021, so will not be eligible.

  The parents of the child referred to by the Deputy will be able to avail of financial supports for early learning and care through the National Childcare Scheme , which provides universal and income related subsidies for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years. Further details on the NCS are available on the NCS website https://ncs.gov.ie/ or from the parent's local County Childcare Committee, details of which can be found on www.myccc.ie.

Seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge

 247. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Leanaí, Comhionannais, Míchumais, Lánpháirtíochta agus Óige Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman cad iad na pleananna atá ag a Roinn chun seirbhísí faoina riar a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge, chun cur le líon na seirbhísí atá ar fáil trí Ghaeilge faoina riar, agus chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn, le linn 2021. [43879/20]

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (Deputy Roderic O'Gorman): Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman Tá mo Roinn ag cur an eolais a d’iarr tú le chéile faoi láthair agus eiseofar freagra go díreach don Teachta chomh luath agus is féidir.

Foireann Roinne

 248. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Leanaí, Comhionannais, Míchumais, Lánpháirtíochta agus Óige Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman sonrú a dhéanamh ar gach post atá sainaitheanta mar phost a bhfuil riachtanas Gaeilge leis ina Roinn faoi láthair, líon na bhfostaithe ina Roinn a bhfuil cumas sa Ghaeilge acu, agus líon iomlán na bhfostaithe ina Roinn. [43880/20]

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (Deputy Roderic O'Gorman): Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman “I ginearállta, ní sholáthraíonn mo Roinn seirbhísí go díreach go dtí an pobal. Tá mo Roinn tiomanta maidir le cur i bhfeidhm a dualgais faoin Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla agus maidir le cur i bhfeidhm socruithe chun an gá a shroicheadh seirbhís trí mheán na Gaeilge a sholáthar do dhaoine atá á lorg. Tá mo Roinn faoi láthair i mbun baill foirne a earcú ón tsraith Ghaeilge na gcomórtas atá á reáchtáil ag an seirbhís um cheapachain phoiblí chun post sainaitheanta a líonadh atá á éileamh don tseirbhís seo. Tá triúr bhaill foirne a shainaithin iad féin mar chainteoirí Gaeilge agus atá toilteanach cúnamh a sholáthar do chomhghleacaithe. Ar Mhí na Nollag 2020, tá 378 fostaí sa Roinn. Cuireann an plean traenála bliantúil ag mo Roinn san áireamh tacaíocht áirithe chun cúnamh a thabhairt dóibh siúd gur mhaith leo feabhas a chur ar a gcumas sa Ghaeilge trí fhreastail ar chúrsa. Leanfaidh mo Roinn ar aghaidh measúnú a dhéanamh ar a riachtanais maidir le seo.”

Seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge

 249. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Leanaí, Comhionannais, Míchumais, Lánpháirtíochta agus Óige Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman cad iad na fadhbanna is práinní i leith seirbhísí faoi riar a Roinne a sholáthar trí Ghaeilge sna ceantair Ghaeltachta, agus cad atá beartaithe aige chun iad a réiteach. [43881/20]

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (Deputy Roderic O'Gorman): Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman Tá mo Roinn ag cur an eolais a d’iarr tú le chéile faoi láthair agus eiseofar freagra go díreach don Teachta chomh luath agus is féidir.

Early Childhood Care and Education

 250. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman the estimated cost to increase the standard and higher capitation rate for the ECCE scheme by increments of €2.50 up to €27.50 for the standard capitation rate. [43902/20]

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (Deputy Roderic O'Gorman): Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman €289.3m euro has been allocated to the Early Childhood Care and Education programme in 2021.

  The Early Childhood Care and Education programme runs for 38 weeks each programme year. The standard capitation rate paid to providers is €69 per child, per week, and the higher capitation rate paid is €80.25 per child, per week. The programme currently provides 15 hours of free early learning and care per week.

  The table below shows the financial impact of increasing the ECCE standard and higher capitation rates as per the question.

  Cost of Increasing ECCE Capitation Rates

Capitation Increase Standard Capitation Rate Higher Capitation Rate Full Year Cost (€m) Increase (€m)
€0.0 €69.0 €80.3 €289.3 n/a
€2.5 €71.5 €82.8 €298.6 €9.3
€5.0 €74.0 €85.3 €308.0 €18.7
€7.5 €76.5 €87.8 €317.4 €28.1
€10.0 €79.0 €90.3 €326.7 €37.4
€12.5 €81.5 €92.8 €336.1 €46.8
€15.0 €84.0 €95.3 €345.4 €56.1
€17.5 €86.5 €97.8 €354.8 €65.5
€20.0 €89.0 €100.3 €364.2 €74.9
€22.5 €91.5 €102.8 €373.5 €84.2
€25.0 €94.0 €105.3 €382.9 €93.6
€27.5 €96.5 €107.8 €392.3 €103.0


   As AIM funding is intrinsically linked to ECCE capitations any increase in rates or durations for the ECCE programme has an impact on associated AIM costs.

  While AIM Levels 7 is awarded on a weekly basis (210 euros per week), the underlying basis for this figure is the cost of ECCE capitation for 3 children. If a €2.50 increase in ECCE capitation was required, there may be a case for a corresponding 3.6 % increase in AIM Level 7 costs.

  Initial estimates indicate that the programme will cost circa €29m in 2021 based on current AIM level 7 projected applications.

  The table below captures the impact that the outlined increases would have on the estimated allocation for AIM Level 7 in 2021, on a pro rata and percentage increase basis:

  Associated Costs of Increasing ECCE Capitation Rates
Capitation Increase AIM level 7 Full Year Cost (€) Increase (€m)
€0.0 €29.5  
€2.5 €30.6 €1.1
€5.0 €31.6 €2.1
€7.5 €32.7 €3.2
€10.0 €33.7 €4.2
€12.5 €34.8 €5.3
€15.0 €35.8 €6.3
€17.5 €36.9 €7.4
€20.0 €37.9 €8.4
€22.5 €39.0 €9.5
€25.0 €40.0 €10.5
€27.5 €41.1 €11.6

Departmental Budgets

 251. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Sean Sherlock Zoom on Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman the current budgets in his Department for social media advertising for 2021; and the campaigns behind each budget line in tabular form. [44016/20]

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (Deputy Roderic O'Gorman): Information on Roderic O'Gorman Zoom on Roderic O'Gorman Social Media Advertising budgets for my Department in 2021, including the associated campaigns, are as follows:

Campaign Budget
Supporting Children €14,400
Live Out Loud €200
National Childcare Scheme €48,100

Seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge

 252. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agusEolaíochta Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris cad iad na pleananna atá ag a Roinn chun seirbhísí faoina riar a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge, chun cur le líon na seirbhísí atá ar fáil trí Ghaeilge faoina riar, agus chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn, le linn 2021. [43899/20]

 253. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agusEolaíochta Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris sonrú a dhéanamh ar gach post atá sainaitheanta mar phost a bhfuil riachtanas Gaeilge leis ina Roinn faoi láthair, líon na bhfostaithe ina Roinn a bhfuil cumas sa Ghaeilge acu, agus líon iomlán na bhfostaithe ina Roinn. [43900/20]

 254. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agusEolaíochta Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris sainiú a dhéanamh ar na fadhbanna is práinní i leith seirbhísí faoi riar a Roinne a sholáthar trí Ghaeilge sna ceantair Ghaeltachta, agus cad atá beartaithe aige chun iad a réiteach. [43901/20]

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Tógfaidh mé ceist uimhir a 252, uimhir a 253 agus uimhir a 254 le chéile.

Cé gur bunaíodh an Roinn Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta an samhradh seo caite, ní bheidh feidhmeanna agus soláthar foirne na Roinne nua aistrithe go hiomlán ón Roinn Fiontar, Trádála agus Fostaíochta go dtí an chéad lá d'Eanáir 2021.

Réiteoidh mo Roinn Scéim nua Teanga ina dhiaidh sin de réir Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla 2003 agus  Rialacháin Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla 2003 (Roinn 9), 2008.  Cuirfidh an an Scéim achoimre ar fáil de na Seirbhísí Gaeilge a bheidh an Roinn ag soláthar, ag cur san áireamh cumas teanga agus aon athrú a bheidh ag teastáil, chomh maith leis na socruithe chun monatóireacht agus athbhreithniú a dhéanamh ar an Scéim.

Den chuid is mó, is institiúidí oideachais neamhspleácha atá freagrach as seirbhísí faoi choimirce na Roinne a chur ar fáil  sna hearnálacha éagsúla.  Chomh fada is a thuigim, níl aon fhadhb phráinneach sna hearnálacha faoi choimirce mo Roinne maidir le seirbhísí sna ceantair Ghaeltachta.  Tuigim go bhfuil obair shuntasach ar bun i go leor dár gcuid institiúidí le heolas agus tuiscint ar theanga agus ar chultúr na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn.

Oibreoidh mo Roinn go dlúth lenár gcompháirtithe agus lenár n-institiúidí le cur le gach a bhfuil ar bun le Gaeilge a chur chun cinn le linn 2021 agus sa todhchaí.

Apprenticeship Programmes

 255. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the estimated full-year cost if the budget for apprenticeship training increased by 8%. [43904/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (Deputy Niall Collins): Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins Apprenticeship training is funded from the National Training Fund (NTF).

  The total allocation from the NTF for the provision of Apprenticeship for 2020 amounted to €184.4m.   The estimated cost of an 8% increase would amount to €14.8m.

  The provisional NTF allocation for apprenticeship in Budget 2021 is €198.4 million.

Student Universal Support Ireland

 256. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when students who do not avail of the SUSI grant will receive the €250 Covid-19 payment; when arrangements for payment to students who do not avail of SUSI will be finalised; and if this cohort of students will receive it before Christmas. [44006/20]

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris In recognition of the challenges facing full time third level students the Government has approved once off funding of €50m to provide additional financial assistance in this academic year. 

  The funding was provided in Budget 2021, in recognition of the exceptional situation they have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Financial assistance will be provided to all EU full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students attending publicly funded Higher Education Institutions.

  The scheme will ensure students;

  - Who avail of the SUSI grant, including students abroad, will receive €250 top-up in their grant;

  - Students who do not avail of the grant but attend publicly funded Higher Education Institutions in the state can reduce by €250 any outstanding student contribution fee payments or receive a €250 credit note for their institution;

  - In a small number of cases, alternative arrangements will be made for the payment of the monies to students at the discretion of institutions.

  The latter two options, as outlined above, are designed to ensure students who are not in receipt of SUSI benefit from the measure. It is also the intention that these address circumstances where students are in final year, have paid their contribution fee and may not be on campus.

  A key administrative feature of the fund is that it is being implemented with the assistance of publicly funded institutions in the State under the remit of my Department.  SUSI and higher education institutions are in the process of communicating with students on the specific arrangements and timeframe for disbursement of funds/credits in the coming weeks.

  Additionally Budget 2021 provides further funding to enhance SUSI grant supports for post-grads and increase support for the PATH access initiative.

  This builds on the additional supports announced in July including a doubling of the Student Assistance Fund, and a €15 million technology fund for devices for students in further and higher education.

Departmental Budgets

 257. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Sean Sherlock Zoom on Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the current budgets in his Department for social media advertising for 2021; and the campaigns behind each budget line in tabular form. [44023/20]

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris My Department engages in social media, where appropriate, in order to draw attention to important issues in the Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science sector. The use of social media allows the Department to reach audiences that might not be as likely to see or hear traditional forms of media such as newspapers, television and radio, for example. 

  This allows valuable public attention to be drawn to important issues of concern to those accessing further and higher education. 

  There has been, as yet, no provision specifically set aside for social media in the Department's budget for 2021. 

  The Department's social media is currently being operated by its Communications Team.

Third Level Institutions

 258. Deputy Gary Gannon Information on Gary Gannon Zoom on Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 483 of 8 December 2020, the way in which participation of students from low socio-economic backgrounds is facilitated for graduate medical programmes (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44073/20]

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Entry to medicine in Irish HEIs is provided through both undergraduate and graduate entry routes. HEI are autonomous bodies and admissions to graduate medical programmes courses a matter for the institutions concerned.

  Although students are liable to pay a tuition fee for a place on graduate entry medicine programmes, the State via the HEA provides a grant per student to HEIs (€11,200 in the 2019/20 academic year) towards the cost of the graduate entry medicine programme.

  HEIs may also offer financial support for students on such courses e.g. an Atlantic Philanthropies-funded scholarship in UL for students who entered their undergraduate degree through an access route but this, along with overall admissions processes, is a matter for each HEI.

  Students on graduate entry medicine courses may be eligible to apply to the Student Assistance Fund for financial support. The SAF guidelines provide that students with a previous higher education qualification at the same NFQ level, or who, in the past, attended higher education without ultimately obtaining a qualification, may be considered for support on a case-by-case basis and subject to available funding.

Third Level Institutions

 259. Deputy Gary Gannon Information on Gary Gannon Zoom on Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a commitment will be given to creating a targeted strategy for medicine due to the high level of inequality within the courses following from data released recently from the HEA which showed that in 2018 and 2019 only 4% of enrolments of students in medicine were from disadvantaged areas versus 35% of students from affluent areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44074/20]

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The statistics the Deputy refers to comes from data recently published by the HEA on the socio-economic profile of higher education institutions. This is the second year that we have this data and builds on a report the HEA published last year. The data is of significant benefit for higher education institutions in terms of supporting them to implement a more targeted approach in their access and outreach strategies.

In addition, in 2021 work will commence on the development of the next National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education including new participation targets. The data in the HEA report will have a key role to play here and to both policymakers in terms of setting targets for the next National Access Plan and will be vital in showing progress achieved to date and setting ambitions for the future.

In relation to targeted strategies, the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) operated by HEIs supports students who have a socio-economic disadvantage to enter higher education, including medicine courses, on reduced points. The Irish Universities Association (IUA) is currently carrying out a review of the HEAR scheme.

Third Level Institutions

 260. Deputy Gary Gannon Information on Gary Gannon Zoom on Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris his views on whether the lack of payment for student nurses and midwives will result in nursing and midwifery studies becoming less desirable; his further views on whether healthcare courses should be made more attractive to study following from a global pandemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44075/20]

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The payment of student nurses and midwives is a matter for the Department of Health.

  As you know, student nurses and midwives were paid as healthcare assistants in the earlier part of the pandemic while clinical placements were suspended.

  An initial assessment of student placements for nurses and midwives has been conducted. The Minister for Health has also stated that a short, time-limited examination will now be completed before the end of December in relation to the current allowances to 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students and the situation for 4th year students. He has said the review will be independently verified and will include engagement with representative organisations.

Following the initial assessment, there is now a specific exemption for student nurses and midwives, for which the Minister for Health secured Government approval, which entitles them to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) for the duration of their placements since they have not been able to work part time as they would have previously. These payments will be backdated to the start of their placements from September 2020.

  I am not aware of any lack of desirability to undertake the educational processes necessary to graduate from nursing or midwifery degree courses, or wider healthcare courses.

  A large number of students apply for places in healthcare courses each year through the CAO. Health and welfare is the most popular category of courses, with 15,300 CAO applicants placing a Health and Welfare course as their first preference choice on the CAO. However only 5,800 of these were successful in gaining a place in a health and welfare course, as entry to these courses is highly competitive and there is consistently high demand.

   Table 1: CAO First preferences and acceptances by subject area, 2019

Subject Area First Preferences Acceptances
Health and Welfare 15287 5815
Business, administration and law 12450 7278
Arts and Humanities 11673 9006
Engineering, manufacturing and construction 6678 3767
Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics 5920 4362
Social sciences, journalism and information 5445 2835
Education 5285 2452
Information and Communication Technologies 3967 2390
Services 2360 1070
Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary 1837 706
All Courses 70902 39681


  This is particularly true in the case of nursing and midwifery. As can be seen in the table below there are consistently many more applicants than places which would indicate that these professions are seen as highly desirable options for those entering higher education.

  Table 2: First preference applications and net acceptances in CAO nursing and midwifery courses, 2015 - 2019   
Year First Preferences Acceptances
2019 5415 1949
2018 5694 1929
2017 5579 1898
2016 5930 1753
2015 5439 1701


  My Department is committed to the provision of graduates for the health service through undergraduate and postgraduate provision, with the key competencies and skills to be effective in the health workforce and allow for growth and upskilling in the future.

  My Department is represented on the Cross-Departmental group on Workforce Planning and will engage with the group and the Department of Health as necessary to ensure the effective delivery of skilled personnel into the future.

Remembrance Commission

 261. Deputy Patrick Costello Information on Patrick Costello Zoom on Patrick Costello asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee further to Parliamentary Question No. 91 of 9 December 2020, the formal funding mechanisms available from the State, not at EU level, for victims of the Troubles here since the ending of the Remembrance Commission in 2008. [43622/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee As the deputy is aware, this Government is deeply conscious of the enduring suffering and hardship that survivors of Troubles-related attacks bear. The Government has always sought to acknowledge and address the legitimate needs and expectations of victims’ families and survivors of Troubles-related attacks in this jurisdiction.

  A substantive measure in this regard was the establishment of the Remembrance Commission in 2003, to administer a Scheme of acknowledgment, assistance and remembrance for victims of the Northern Ireland conflict, and their families, in this jurisdiction. The Commission continued in this work until 2008 and administered Acknowledgement payments, Economic Hardship payments, Displacement payments and Medical payments for victims’ families and those who were seriously injured in Troubles-related incidents in this jurisdiction. The Remembrance Commission also funded memorials such as the one in Belturbet.

  On the conclusion of the Commission's term of appointment, special arrangements were put in place to ensure that victims resident in the jurisdiction who require ongoing medical treatment for injuries sustained in bombings and other incidents arising from the Troubles may have these costs reimbursed through the Victims of Crime Office of my Department. This scheme continues to this day.

  The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal makes awards to people who have suffered an injury sustained within the State on or after 1st October, 1972. The tribunal considers applications from people who suffer a personal injury or death as a result of a crime of violence. Ex gratia compensation may be awarded on the basis of any vouched out of pocket expenses, including loss of earnings experienced by the victim or, if the victim has died as a result of the incident, by the dependents of the victim.

  The Reconciliation Fund, operated by the Department of Foreign Affairs, was established in 1982 to support civil society organisations in creating a better understanding between people and traditions on the island of Ireland, and also between Ireland and Britain. One of the key thematic pillars under which funding is awarded is the repairing of those issues which lead to division, conflict, and barriers to a deeply reconciled and peaceful society.  In that context, the Reconciliation Fund provides grant support to organisations working with victims and survivors of the Troubles, where it is considered that proposed projects have the potential to promote reconciliation in line with the particular eligibility criteria of the Fund.

  Irish Departments have also provided co-funding for projects under the PEACE III programme (2007-2013), and, currently, under the PEACE IV programme (2014-2020). The North South PEACE IV Programme is co-funded by the EU and Government Departments in Ireland and Northern Ireland and it aims to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland. Funding of €17.6m under PEACE IV is provided for the Victims and Survivors Service project which aims to improve the health and well-being of victims and survivors and to support marginalised individuals and communities that that have suffered as a result of the Troubles. This action is delivered by the Victims and Survivors Services in Northern Ireland which provides funding supports to organisations to employ Health and Wellbeing Case Managers, Health and Wellbeing Caseworkers, Advocacy Case Managers, Advocacy Caseworkers for victims and survivors irrespective of their place of residence.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal

 262. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee when payment will issue in the case of a person (details supplied). [43629/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee I can advise the Deputy that the payment direction in relation to this application was sent by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal secretariat to the Department’s Financial Shared Services Unit on 11 December 2020.

It will be processed by the Department’s Financial Shared Services Unit in line with the standard procedures in place for payments of this nature and the payment is expected to issue to the payee within the next seven days.

Anti-Social Behaviour

 263. Deputy Cormac Devlin Information on Cormac Devlin Zoom on Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee if she will consider publishing media advertisements in the run-up to Christmas regarding the dangers of illegal scrambler use; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43614/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee I can assure the Deputy that I view the illegal use of scramblers, as well as mopeds and quad bikes, as a very serious matter, especially over the Christmas period. Indeed, this matter was discussed among other issues at a recent meeting which I attended with the Taoiseach, Ministers of State James Browne and Hildegarde Naughton, and Deputy Paul McAuliffe.

The Deputy may already be aware of an ongoing collaboration between An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority. This collaboration has resulted in an awareness campaign being rolled out in the lead up to Christmas, with the campaign ads asking parents not to buy scramblers or quad-bikes as presents for their children and highlighting the dangers involved with these vehicles.

An Garda Síochána has advised my Department that Gardaí respond to all reports of anti-social behaviour and conduct operations on an ongoing basis to target the anti-social activities of persons using scramblers, mopeds and quads in parks and greens, and have also highlighted the dangers associated with the use of these vehicles through various media and social media platforms.

An Garda Síochána tackles this behaviour from a number of fronts, with targeted enforcement in areas with high activity, working with petrol stations to prohibit the sale of fuel to persons who are using these vehicles, as well as community outreach. An Garda Síochána are committed to carrying out enforcement with increased visibility in areas which are most affected by the issue, and this will continue.

For example, in the Finglas area last year on Christmas morning, a major Garda operation was put in place, involving members attached to Regular Policing Units, District Detective Units, Specialist Units and Divisional and Regional Traffic. The outcome of this operation resulted in 11 motorbikes and two stolen cars being seized. Five people were arrested for offences relating to the Road Traffic Act, Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act and the Criminal Justice (Theft & Fraud Offences) Act. A similar operation is planned for Christmas morning 2020.


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