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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 359-382
 Header Item Naval Service
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Election Monitoring Missions
 Header Item Naval Service
 Header Item Defence Forces Funding
 Header Item Defence Forces Data
 Header Item Defence Forces Data
 Header Item Defence Forces Equipment
 Header Item Protected Disclosures
 Header Item School Transport
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Schools Building Projects
 Header Item School Admissions
 Header Item Schools Establishment
 Header Item Schools Building Projects
 Header Item Schools Establishment
 Header Item Departmental Properties
 Header Item Schools Building Projects
 Header Item Schools Building Projects

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1002 No. 7

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 359-382

Naval Service

 359. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the information his Department holds on the widely reported operations of a vessel (details supplied) and associated submarine activity in Irish waters and use of sonar around 27 July 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44141/20]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Government is aware of the report made in July of this year by an Irish fishing vessel to the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency concerning a UK naval ship conducting an exercise off the North West coast of Donegal.

  The location where the UK naval ship was conducting training exercises was not within Ireland’s territorial sea and did not therefore infringe our sovereignty.

  In general, it is not unusual for naval ships to ask other vessels in the vicinity to move away from an exercise location for safety reasons.

  While advance notice from the UK authorities about the exercise would have been welcome, this was not a requirement and the UK authorities have not done anything out of the ordinary in this instance.

Departmental Funding

 360. Deputy Neale Richmond Information on Neale Richmond Zoom on Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the estimated funding that will be allocated to the United Nations Population Fund in 2021; if funding to same will increase between 2021 and 2030, inclusive, in line with the overall overseas development assistance budget increases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44205/20]

 361. Deputy Neale Richmond Information on Neale Richmond Zoom on Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if funding was provided to the UNFPA Supplies, the United Nations Population Fund's thematic programme dedicated to expanding access to family planning in 2020; if he plans to allocate funding to this programme in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44206/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Deputy Colm Brophy): Information on Colm Brophy Zoom on Colm Brophy I propose to take Questions Nos. 360 and 361 together.

  Ireland is the 14th largest core contributor to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the 24th largest contributor overall, in line with the priority which the Government's policy on international development, A Better World, attaches to gender. The question of additional core contributions to UNFPA is reviewed periodically, in the light of increases in allocations to the official development assistance budget, but also against the backdrop of continued effective performance by UNFPA and the wider basket of international development priorities to which Ireland seeks to respond. A €3.5 million core contribution to UNFPA is envisaged in 2021, in line with contributions in 2020 and 2019 and compared to €2.8 million in 2018.

  In addition to the annual core contribution, Ireland also provides funding to UNFPA through our bilateral programmes managed by our Embassies, which varies from year to year. In 2020, this additional funding to UNFPA amounted to €1.8 million.

  Ireland also contributes to UNFPA through the EU. Collectively the EU and its Member States are the single largest financial contributor to the UN system, providing 25% of contributions to UN agencies. The European Commission is the seventh largest non-core contributor to UNFPA (providing US$43 million in 2019). Ireland does not provide direct funding to UNFPA Supplies Partnership and no decision has been regarding direct funding of this Partnership for 2021.

Election Monitoring Missions

 362. Deputy Holly Cairns Information on Holly Cairns Zoom on Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the arrangements his Department has in place to accommodate persons with a disability in the international election observation scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44560/20]

 363. Deputy Holly Cairns Information on Holly Cairns Zoom on Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if the application process to be considered as an election observer includes questions on disabilities; the impact this has on the selection process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44561/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Deputy Colm Brophy): Information on Colm Brophy Zoom on Colm Brophy I propose to take Questions Nos. 362 and 363 together.

  I refer the Deputy to the response to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 292 and 293 of 15 December 2020. As well as the Information Note on the Overseas Election Observation Roster prepared for the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade (JCFATD) and the Composite Note published on the election observation pages of the Irish Aid website, where these issues have been comprehensively addressed and which are attached to this response.

  The issue of reasonable accommodation for disabilities as it pertains to the application process for and operation of the Election Observer Roster has also been addressed in the responses to Parliamentary Questions: No. 60 of 23 January 2019; No. 153 of 5 February 2019; No. 65 of 6 February 2019; No. 58 of 7 February 2019; No. 124 of 12 February 2019; No. 129 of 19 February 2019; Nos. 100 and 105 of 26 February 2019; Nos. 117 and 119 of 5 March 2019; Nos. 74, 76 and 81 of 6 March 2019; No. 68 of 12 March 2019; No. 157 of 26 March 2019; Nos. 117 and 119 of 16 April 2019; No. 73 of 29 May 2019; No. 119 of 25 June 2019; No. 109 of 10 July 2019; No. 186 of 13 October 2020; No. 113 of 11 November; and No. 256 of 26 November 2020.

  1.https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/debates/questions/supportingDocumentation/2019-07-10_pq108-10-7-19_en.pdf

  2. https://www.irishaid.ie/media/irishaid/getinvolved/electionroster/Composite-Response.pdf

Naval Service

 364. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Defence Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if contact has been made by other naval services with Irish authorities ion the use of sonar in Irish waters in the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44138/20]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney No contact has been made with the Irish Naval Service or the Department of Defence by other naval services with respect to the use of sonar in Irish Waters.

Defence Forces Funding

 365. Deputy Sorca Clarke Information on Sorca Clarke Zoom on Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the estimated cost in 2021 if the capital budget for Defence Forces capability development increased by 15%. [44133/20]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In 2021, the overall Defence Capital funding envelope will increase by €18 million to €131 million. This significant allocation demonstrates the Government’s commitment to Defence and will facilitate an ongoing programme of equipment replacement and infrastructural development, as set out in the Defence Equipment Development Plan and Defence Infrastructure Development Plan, which align with Defence White Paper objectives.

The planned provision for 2021 'Capability Development', as part of the Defence Capital envelope, is €83.15 million. The full year cost of increasing this allocation by 15% would be approximately €12.5 million.

Defence Forces Data

 366. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Defence Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the information his Department or the Defence Forces, including the Air Corps and Naval Service, hold on the incursion into or close to Irish waters and the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone, and territorial waters of vessels, crafts, including submarine vessels belonging to naval services of other nations, during the period 1 April to 31 October 2018; if he will provide such information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44142/20]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Neither my Department nor the Defence Forces have any record of maritime vessels, crafts or submarine vessels belonging to naval services of other nations incurring into Irish Territorial Waters during the period 01 April - 31 October 2018.

With regard to Ireland's EEZ, it is not unusual for naval ships of other States to carry out training exercises within this area. This would normally involve prior notification to Irish Authorities where an exercise was taking place close to our Territorial Waters but this is not a requirement. Other nation's naval ships would be within their rights to carry out a training exercise in our EEZ or to traverse the Irish EEZ.

Defence Forces Data

 367. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Defence Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the information his Department or the Defence Forces hold on the widely reported operations of a vessel (details supplied) in or around 27 July 2020 in Irish waters; if he will provide such information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44143/20]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My Department is aware of a UK naval ship conducting an exercise off the North West coast of Donegal in July. The location where the Royal Navy ship was conducting training exercises was within the Irish EEZ. However the ship did not enter into Irish territorial waters. This is not in any way an infringement of our national territory.

It is not unusual for naval ships of other States, including the UK, to carry out a training exercise within the Irish EEZ. Whether this was a UK, Spanish, French or other naval ship they would be within their rights to carry out a training exercise.

While advance notice from the UK authorities about the exercise would have been welcome, this was not a requirement and the UK authorities have not done anything out of the ordinary in this instance.

Defence Forces Equipment

 368. Deputy Paul Donnelly Information on Paul Donnelly Zoom on Paul Donnelly asked the Minister for Defence Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the amount that the Defence Forces spent on purchasing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence jackets for the Permanent Defence Forces in 2019 and to date in 2020, in tabular form. [44406/20]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Under the Framework for Major Emergency Management the Defence Forces can be tasked in aid of Civil Power to provide operational support in a response to a national chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) incident in order to mark, cordon, monitor, measure, decontaminate, retrieve and dispose of any CBRN devices and matter so found. Additionally, the Defence Forces in the context of overseas deployments may be required to operate in CBRN environments.

To that end a stock of CBRN suits to enable this capability is maintained by the Defence Forces. The existing stock was last acquired in 2006 and is now falling due for replacement. There was no expenditure in 2019 and to date in 2020.

The necessity to replace the stock has been identified as a priority acquisition under the Equipment Development Plan (EDP)process. Planning is underway for a competition to acquire new CBRN suits. Extensive subject matter research has been undertaken by the Ordnance Corps and a rigorous specification has been developed to ensure that the replacement suits provide the best possible protection levels for Defence Force personnel dealing with CBRN events.

A Prior Information Notice (PIN), which is the precursor to the competitive process, is scheduled to be published on the e-Tenders platform in Q1 2021, with a view to a competition being rolled out in Q4 2021 to facilitate a phased purchase program commencing in 2022. I am satisfied that, with this new planned acquisition the Defence Forces will continue to have the necessary modern and effective range of CBRN suits available to them in order to fulfil all roles assigned to them by Government.

Protected Disclosures

 369. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Defence Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of serving and former Air Corps personnel who have made protected disclosures; and the number of serving whistleblowers who have been subjected to procedures for dismissal from the service. [44431/20]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In accordance with the terms of section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 an annual report in relation to the total number of protected disclosures made in the preceding year is prepared and published on the departmental website https://www.defence.ie/what-we-do/protected-disclosures. This report is required to be prepared and published not later than 30 June in each year in relation to the immediately preceding year in a form which does not enable the identification of the persons involved. The report contains:

      (a) the number of protected disclosures made to the public body;

      (b) the action (if any) taken in response to those protected disclosures; and

      (c) such other information relating to those protected disclosures and the action taken as may be requested by the Minister from time to time.
  The following table details the numbers received in the years 2014 to 2019.
Year Number of Disclosures
2014 2
2015 3
2016 2
2017 11
2018 4
2019 4


  These numbers relate to the total number of disclosures made to the Defence Organisation and it is not broken down further into the location of the discloser in keeping with the confidentiality requirements specified in the 2014 Act.

  The making of a disclosure by a member of a formation does not necessarily mean that the disclosure relates to that formation.

School Transport

 370. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley if she will address a matter concerning granting a July travel provision to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44186/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Education (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education. The purpose of my Department's School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school.

In the 2019/20 school year over 120,000 children, including over 14,200 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €219m in 2019.

With regard to transport arrangements for the Summer Programme, my Department committed to providing grant funding to support families with the cost of transport arrangements for those children who were eligible for school transport and who were approved to participate in the school based Summer Programme.

School Transport Section has commenced processing payment of these grants to families who are eligible and payments will continue to be processed in the coming weeks. Payment to the family referred to by the Deputy will be made in the coming weeks.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 371. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley the safety procedures for teachers and students safety in regard to students who refuse to wear masks in the classroom and students who have been given medical permission to attend class without having to wear a visor or face covering; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44187/20]

 382. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley the procedures in place to protect school staff and students, some with underlying medical vulnerabilities, from Covid-19 infection in a situation in which a student refuses to wear a mask and social distancing of two meters is not possible; the specific evidence and documentation of medical need to not wear a mask required in order to be exempted from the requirement to wear one; the procedures in place to protect school staff and students in situations in which a student has a medical exemption to not wear a mask and social distancing of two meters is not possible (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44238/20]

Minister for Education (Deputy Norma Foley): Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley I propose to take Questions Nos. 371 and 382 together.

  My Department received advice from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) on the use of face coverings in educational settings. It is a requirement for face coverings to be worn by teachers, staff in schools and students attending post primary school. However, public health advice also provides that cloth face coverings should not be worn by any of the following groups:

- any person with difficulty breathing;

- any person who is unable to remove the face-covering without assistance; and

- any person who has special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the face covering, for example persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory concerns or tactile sensitivity.

  A medical certificate must be provided to the school where an exemptions is sought on the above grounds. There is no capacity for schools to deviate from either the requirement to wear face coverings or the exemptions that apply. Students in these categories can continue to attend school as normal while observing arrangements in place to protect themselves though regular hand hygiene, maintaining physical distancing and the application of respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

  Staff who have concerns in relation to the control measures in place in a school are advised to consult with the Lead Worker who can represent their concerns to management or staff may wish to engage directly with management to address any concerns they may have.

  Further information for parents and students/pupils on the wearing of face coverings including the proper use, removal and washing of cloth face coverings is available via the link: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a04fc-advice-for-students-and-their-families/. Information is also set out in the Covid-19 response plans for primary, special and post-primary schools available at www.gov.ie/backtoschool.

Schools Building Projects

 372. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley if she will provide details on a new school building (details supplied). [44189/20]

Minister for Education (Deputy Norma Foley): Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley The Deputy will be aware that a building project to provide improved accommodation for the schools in question is included on the school building programme to be delivered as part of the National Development Plan (NDP).

My Department is anxious to advance building projects for both schools and at a recent meeting with school representatives, it was explained that the complexities associated with the existing site need to be resolved. My Department will be in further contact with the school in this regard.

School Admissions

 373. Deputy Gino Kenny Information on Gino Kenny Zoom on Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley if her Department plans to end a policy that is used by some primary schools to no longer allow a sibling first admission policy. [44196/20]

 374. Deputy Gino Kenny Information on Gino Kenny Zoom on Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley if she will direct schools to not end a sibling first admission policy on the basis that parents' working lives, school collection arrangements and the financial burden on parents is not considered if they must send their children to multiple schools (details supplied). [44197/20]

Minister for Education (Deputy Norma Foley): Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley I propose to take Questions Nos. 373 and 374 together.

In relation to school admissions, it is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of all schools to implement an enrolment policy in accordance with the Education Act 1998 and the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018. My Department's main responsibility is to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all pupils seeking school places in that area.

Under the provisions of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018, all schools have drafted new policies, which have been approved by the patron and are now published on the schools website. This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants. Nonetheless, where a school is oversubscribed some pupils may not obtain a place in the school.

The Act requires schools to clearly set out their selection criteria in their admission policies. Schools have discretion regarding their admission criteria and how they are applied. The criteria to be applied by schools and the order of priority are a matter for the schools themselves. My Department does not seek to intervene in the selection criterion that is applied by schools.

Schools Establishment

 375. Deputy Duncan Smith Information on Duncan Smith Zoom on Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley her plans to alleviate the lack of secondary school places in the Malahide and Portmarnock areas of County Dublin; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44209/20]

Minister for Education (Deputy Norma Foley): Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, utilising data from a range of sources including information on planned and current residential development, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. Malahide is situated in the Malahide Nevinstown school planning area and Portmarnock is situated in the Portmarnock school planning area.

As the Deputy may be aware, a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school (Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together Secondary School) established in 2018 as a regional solution for the Malahide_Nevinstown and Portmarnock school planning areas. The building project for the school is being delivered under my Department's Design & Build programme and the project is currently at an advanced stage of Architectural Planning. The school is currently in interim accommodation on its permanent site pending delivery of its new building.

The requirement for additional school places is kept under on-going review and work on an updated exercise to assess needs for the coming years, including those which may arise in the Malahide_Nevinstown and Portmarnock school planning areas, is at an advanced stage.

Furthermore, similar to the process adopted in advance of the current academic year, my Department is engaging with patron bodies, including those in the Malahide_Nevinstown and Portmarnock school planning areas, to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming year(s) which may necessitate action.

In addition to these ongoing exercises, my Department continues to liaise with Fingal County Council in respect of potential longer-term requirements for educational provision in all areas of North Dublin. My Department engages further on such matters with the Council through the review of the County Development Plan, preparation of Local Area Plans and other relevant statutory planning processes.

Schools Building Projects

 376. Deputy Duncan Smith Information on Duncan Smith Zoom on Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley her plans for a new school building (details supplied); if a site been identified; the timeframe for the delivery on the project; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44210/20]

Minister for Education (Deputy Norma Foley): Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley As the Deputy is aware, the building project for the school in question is included in my Department's capital programme.

  The acquisition of the permanent site for Malahide Portmarnock ETNS is at a very advanced stage of conveyancing. Once all contractual matters have been finalised the site will be assessed for Architectural Planning.

  While a site acquisition process is underway, given the commercial sensitivities associated with land acquisitions generally I am not in a position to comment further at this time.

Schools Establishment

 377. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley the medium-term plan for new schools in the Dún Laoghaire area, including primary and secondary schools; the patron bodies that are involved; the catchment areas; the estimated completion date of permanent schools; the interim plans for these schools, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44215/20]

Minister for Education (Deputy Norma Foley): Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley Since 2015, two new schools have been announced to serve the Dún Laoghaire school planning area: a new primary school which was established in 2017; and a new post-primary school to serve Dún Laoghaire and the Booterstown-Blackrock school planning areas as a regional solution, which is to be established in 2021.

Following a patronage process, patronage of the new primary school was awarded to Educate Together and this school opened in interim accommodation in 2017 as Dún Laoghaire ETNS. The patronage process in respect of the new post primary school is currently at an advanced stage.

It is intended to deliver permanent accommodation for Dún Laoghaire ETNS on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council-owned site at Bentley Villas, Dún Laoghaire. The disposal of this site to my Department was approved by the Elected Members of that Council at a recent meeting. Work on the design of this project is nearing completion and the project manager for the Design & Build programme is working towards submission of the planning application as soon as possible. Until such time as planning permission has been secured, it will not be possible to provide a timeline for progression of the project to tender and construction stages.

A Minister-owned site at Newtownpark Avenue is the proposed location for the permanent accommodation for the new post primary school. Again, it is not possible to give an indication of the expected completion date for this new school building at this time. The design of this project is now progressing towards submission of a planning application which will be the next key milestone.

Dún Laoghaire ETNS is currently operating from a temporary location on Eblana Avenue. It will remain there until work on modular accommodation on the campus of the Red Door School at Monkstown Avenue is completed early in the New Year. The school will be accommodated there on an interim basis pending delivery of its new school building.

My Department is currently working to arrange suitable interim accommodation for the new post primary school for the start of the 2021/2022 academic year.

Departmental Properties

 378. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley the properties owned by her Department in the wider Dún Laoghaire area; the plans for these sites; the way they fit into the established need for primary and secondary schools in the area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44216/20]

Minister for Education (Deputy Norma Foley): Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley There are four properties in my ownership in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council area the management of which has not passed to a school patron.

  The configuration of these properties to meet school requirements in the area has not yet been finalised. My Department is working on plans for these existing properties to meet some of the requirements for primary and secondary schools in the area. One of these properties, subject to planning permission, may provide accommodation for two schools while the other properties will provide solutions for individual schools.

  In consultation with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, my Department also continues to seek to acquire further properties in the area in order to meet school requirements.

  Due to commercial sensitivities my Department is not in a position to provide further details of ongoing acquisitions in the area at this time.

Schools Building Projects

 379. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley if she will commit to a date by which a school (details supplied) will have a permanent site for the school; if there are other schools also in the Blackrock Booterstown district that are also seeking a permanent location; if so, if they have a priority ahead of the school; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44217/20]

 380. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley if sites have already been examined by her Department for a permanent building and deemed inappropriate for a school (details supplied); if so, the location of the sites; the details of the issues with them that deemed them inappropriate; the primary, non-Covid related barrier preventing a new school location being confirmed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [44218/20]

Minister for Education (Deputy Norma Foley): Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley I propose to take Questions Nos. 379 and 380 together.

As the Deputy is aware, a number of potential site options have been identified. Officials from my Department, with the assistance of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, continue to appraise same in terms of their availability and suitability. Once a preferred site option has been identified, negotiations with the landowner in respect of the proposed acquisition of this site will commence.

Unfortunately, as the Deputy is aware, I am not in a position to comment further at this time given the commercial sensitivities associated with land acquisitions generally. My Department will advise the patron body of the permanent location as soon as it is possible to announce same.

Schools Building Projects

 381. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley the general location for all sites under consideration for the permanent relocation of a school (details supplied); if the sites are within the community of Blackrock Booterstown in view of the fact that the community of same voted for the patronage of the school; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44219/20]

Minister for Education (Deputy Norma Foley): Information on Norma Foley Zoom on Norma Foley As the Deputy is aware, a number of potential site options have been identified. Officials from my Department, with the assistance of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, continue to appraise same, in terms of their availability and suitability. Once a preferred site option has been identified, negotiations with the landowner in respect of the proposed acquisition of this site will commence.

Unfortunately, as the Deputy is aware, I am not in a position to comment further at this time given the commercial sensitivities associated with land acquisitions generally. My Department will advise the Patron body of the permanent location as soon as it is possible to announce same.

  Question No. 382 answered with Question No. 371.


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