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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 431-449
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Departmental Legal Cases
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Sport Ireland
 Header Item Tourism Industry
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Departmental Projects
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Arts Policy
 Header Item Irish Language
 Header Item Scéimeanna Tacaíochta
 Header Item Seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge
 Header Item Island Communities
 Header Item Departmental Communications
 Header Item Commencement of Legislation

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1005 No. 5
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 136 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 431-449

Covid-19 Pandemic

 431. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the actions taken to actively deter short-term holiday lets during level 5 restrictions that have been the subject of social gatherings and parties in direct conflict with level 5 restrictions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16429/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin In line with the plan set out in COVID-19 Resilience & Recovery 2021: The Path Ahead, after taking full account of the current status of COVID-19 in the community and the public health advice, the Government yesterday announced a limited phased easing of some Level 5 restrictions for the month of April, to commence on 12th April. Notwithstanding this position, for the moment and until further notice, the provision of non-essential holiday accommodation (including short-term holiday lettings) is not permitted. The message will continue to be regularly reinforced by Government communications and advertising. Furthermore, my Department and its agencies will continue to support and amplify this message, including Fáilte Ireland, who also work with industry partners. In this context, the industry group is fully aware, including through communications from Fáilte Ireland, that the provision of non-essential tourism accommodation is not permitted.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 432. Deputy Sorca Clarke Information on Sorca Clarke Zoom on Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if she will extend the period for which applications will be accepted for funding under the 2021 live performance support scheme until 23 April 2021. [16514/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin I was pleased to recently announce a new €50 million suite of support measures for the live entertainment sector. As part of this suite of supports, an allocation of €25 million is being made available under the Live Performance Support Scheme 2021. This scheme builds on the successful outcomes of the pilot Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS) in 2020, which provided thousands of days of employment to hundreds of musicians, actors, crew and technicians and the valuable insights gained. This new scheme is aimed at commercial venues, producers and promoters in the culture sector and will support employment and wellbeing opportunities across all genres and continued high quality artistic output for the general public.

The scheme has been developed following extensive consultation with the sector. The scheme allows for applications to be submitted over a four-week period to my Department, closing on 14th April 2021. A further period for the evaluation of applications is then necessary before offers of funding can be made. Feedback from the sector indicates a overwhelming preference for early confirmation of application outcomes, to allow for lead in times for successful events and programmes.

Departmental Legal Cases

 433. Deputy Mairéad Farrell Information on Mairéad  Farrell Zoom on Mairéad  Farrell asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if her attention has been drawn to instances of litigation or the threat of litigation arising from the inclusion of social clauses in public procurement contracts in each of the years 2017 to 2020. [16602/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin I am advised that no instances of litigation, or threats of litigation, arising from the inclusion of social clauses in public procurement contracts relevant to my Department have been brought to the attention of my Department during the period specified by the Deputy.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 434. Deputy Verona Murphy Information on Verona Murphy Zoom on Verona Murphy asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the specific financial supports her Department is making available for charter fleet businesses (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16730/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin The July Stimulus and Budget 2021 provided a significant package of tax and fiscal measures to build the resilience of the economy and to help vulnerable but viable businesses across all sectors including the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) as well as the ReStart grants and tax warehousing provisions. With specific regard to supports in the tourism sector and for those working in marine tourism, Fáilte Ireland's Covid-19 Adaptation Fund, which was open from August to December 2020, was open to cruise hire companies and to boat tour operators.

Most recently, Fáilte Ireland launched the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme which will provide support to providers of certain tourism services. This includes cruise hire companies and tourism boat tour operators, who have been unable to qualify for assistance under the CRSS. It is designed to help these tourism businesses offset their fixed costs incurred last year and support them to continue operating through 2021. This phase of the scheme closed for applications on 8th March.

Sport Ireland

 435. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the arrangements between Sport Ireland and a person (details supplied) in respect of the governance audit of an organisation; if the role to assist the organisation was advertised by Sport Ireland and or the organisation; the contract that exists between Sport Ireland and the person; if his attention has been drawn to the engagement of a consultant to assist with the review; and if he is satisfied that all tendering for the hiring of a person and engagement of a company is fully compliant with public procurement procedures. [16775/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Jack Chambers): Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers Sport Ireland has no involvement in the governance review of the organisation mentioned by the Deputy nor in the arrangements between the organisation and the person engaged in respect of the review. Such arrangements are a matter for the organisation itself.

I understand that in 2020 the organisation identified that it required assistance in assessing supports and structures necessary to deliver on its sponsorship, commercial and revenue generating goals and it approached the person mentioned by the Deputy with a view to that person assisting in the capacity of a commercial/business consultant. Sport Ireland had no role in the engagement of that person by the organisation.

Subsequently, the person recommended to the organisation that a wider governance review be conducted. While Sport Ireland is not aware of any particular governance concerns within the organisation, it agrees that a governance review be undertaken as a broader best practice exercise. Sport Ireland is not directly involved in this matter and has not been updated on its progress. Any subsequent work and appointments relating to the governance review are entirely a matter for the organisation itself.

Sport Ireland has indicated that it will support these initiatives by the organisation as part of its normal business and engagement with the organisation in 2021.

Tourism Industry

 436. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if advice regarding funding will be provided relating to a matter raised by a person (details supplied). [16870/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin The July Stimulus and Budget 2021 provided a significant package of tax and fiscal measures to build the resilience of the economy and to help vulnerable but viable businesses across all sectors. In this context, the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme was launched on 11th February by Fáilte Ireland to help strategic tourism business survive the pandemic and drive recovery. The Scheme will contribute to the fixed costs of identified tourism businesses that are not eligible for CRSS to support their survival. It will provide an equitable level of payment to the CRSS for qualifying businesses and the first phase will cover businesses such as tourism attractions, activity providers, and caravan and camping sites. Fáilte are currently working on further phases of funding.

I have referred the Deputy's question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply to the Deputy regarding any supports that may be available in respect of the situation outlined by the Deputy. Please contact my private office if you have not received a reply within ten working days.

Departmental Funding

 437. Deputy Holly Cairns Information on Holly Cairns Zoom on Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the funding provided by her Department or agencies under her remit annually to family resource centres; the primary funding streams in each of the years 2015 to 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16986/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin Details of funding provided to Family Resource Centres by my Department under the Sports Capital Programme and Creative Ireland Programme (established in 2017) during the period specified by the Deputy is set out in the tables below.

  Sports Capital Programme

Table

Note:   The Sports Capital and Equipment Programme is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country. Applications are accepted from, inter alia, voluntary, not-for-profit sports clubs, community groups and local authorities. Full details of all allocations made under the programme are published on the Department’s website.

  Creative Ireland Programme

Table

Note:   Funding under the Creative Communities initiative is used by Education and Training Boards to support specific projects in Family Resource Centres while funding under the Creative Youth initiative is routed through local authorities.

  Foras na Gaeilge

Table

Departmental Projects

 438. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Sean Sherlock Zoom on Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin when she expects the night-time economy task force to report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17016/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin I have been advised that the work of the Night Time Economy Taskforce is nearing completion and that they expect to conclude their report in the coming weeks.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 439. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin her views on a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17022/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin All tourism funding schemes are designed and operated by Fáilte Ireland as the National Tourism Development Authority. With specific regard to outdoor dining, Fáilte Ireland has today announced an Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme for developing outdoor dining capacity nationwide.

As the development and delivery of this Scheme is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland, I have referred the Deputy's question to the agency to supply further information. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 440. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if eligibility for the live performance support scheme will be limited to ticketed or pay-in events only; if it will be available to fund events that will be free for the public; and if promoters, producers and venues that ordinarily organise or host non-ticketed live events and gigs will be eligible to apply. [17088/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin As part of the recently announce €50 million suite of supports for the live entertainment sector, an allocation of €25 million is being made available under the Live Performance Support Scheme 2021. This scheme builds on the successful outcomes of the pilot Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS) in 2020, which provided thousands of days of employment to hundreds of musicians, actors, crew and technicians and the valuable insights gained. This new scheme is aimed at commercial venues, producers and promoters in the culture sector and will support employment and wellbeing opportunities across all genres and continued high quality artistic output for the general public.

Applications may be made for events that are both ticketed and non-ticketed and events that are free to attend or view. Applicants with a track record of organising non-ticketed live performance events are eligible to apply for this scheme. The Live Performance Support Scheme 2021 is now open for applications and will close on 14th April 2021 at 1pm. Further information in relation to this scheme can be found on my Department's website.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 441. Deputy Neale Richmond Information on Neale Richmond Zoom on Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the steps she is taking to ensure the entertainment and events industry is supported through level 5 restrictions and beyond; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17108/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin I am acutely aware of the challenges facing those who rely on live performance to sustain their livelihoods on foot of necessary public health restrictions. The Government's response to the impact of the pandemic on the sector and the economy generally is comprised of a broad range of supports delivered across a range of Departments. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and the COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme form the principle elements of the Government's response. The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment recently announced the Small Business Assistance Scheme for Covid (SBASC) as a further horizontal support across all sectors of the economy. SMEs and businesses in the non-funded live events sector are eligible to apply under this scheme.   

  I was pleased to recently announce a new €50 million suite of additional measures to further support those in the Live Entertainment Sector. As part of this suite, an allocation of €25 million is being made available under the Live Performance Support Scheme 2021. This scheme builds on the successful outcomes of the pilot Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS) in 2020, which provided thousands of days of employment to hundreds of musicians, actors, crew and technicians in tandem with a pipeline of high quality on-line much needed entertainment for Irish audiences.

  The 2021 scheme is aimed at supporting employment and wellbeing opportunities across all genres and the continued production of high quality artistic output for the public. This scheme has been developed following consultation with the sector and is being managed directly by my Department.

  An allocation of €5 million will be made available to local authorities for live performances in summer 2021 to animate town centres, should public health considerations permit. This will allow for the procurement by local authorities of performances by local performers. Performances can be recorded or streamed if health restrictions prevent live events. Local authorities will be encouraged to engage events companies to develop and deliver a programme of performances.

  As a further support measure for those in the live entertainment industry, an allocation of €14m will be made available for a new scheme to make a contribution to the overheads of businesses, specifically musicians and related crew, that have been significantly negatively affected by COVID-19 and that do not qualify for other business supports. The main features of this new Music Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) will see support offered by way of two levels of flat payments:

  - €2,500 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of €20,000 - €100,000;

  - €5,000 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover in excess of €100,000.

  Under the scheme, musicians, singers, lighting and sound crew and audio equipment suppliers - whether sole traders, partnerships or incorporated entities - operating exclusively within the commercial live entertainment sector will be eligible to apply. The scheme will open when the necessary administrative and IT systems are in place.

  €5 million will also be made available for a scheme of capital supports for the commercial live entertainment sector. This will be applied to supporting the installation of high quality recording and streaming facilities in venues through a competitive grant application process.

Further information on the business and financial supports my colleague the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment has in place to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis can be viewed at the following link

https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/  

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 442. Deputy Michael Ring Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin her plans to provide restart grants for bed and breakfasts in 2021 in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17286/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin In 2020, an €8 million Restart Grant Plus for B&Bs was funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and administered by Fáilte Ireland on their behalf. Applications for the two phases of the scheme closed in October and November 2020. A further round of that scheme is a matter for my colleague, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. More broadly in regard to future supports, the Government has committed to publishing a National Economic Recovery Plan which will consider more targeted measures to help re-boot those sectors, such as tourism, who will face particular challenges during the recovery phase when the economy reopens.

I have also received the first Report from the Recovery Oversight Group (ROG) on 15th February. The Group, which has been tasked with overseeing the implementation of the recommendations of the Tourism Recovery Plan, has identified a number of areas that require particular attention in the context of the survival and recovery of the tourism sector in Ireland. The recommendations from the first Report include proposals, many of which will benefit the B&B sector, relating to maintenance of the CRSS and EWSS; clear criteria around reopening; extension of the Local Authority Rates Waiver; extending the period for the 9% VAT rate; progressing insurance reform; and revising the Stay and Spend Scheme. A number of these supports, namely the CRSS, EWSS, and Rates waiver, have since been extended to end June 2021).

I have written to Ministers Varadkar, Donohoe and O’Brien and asked them to consider the Report and also brought the Report to Cabinet for information. I will keep the ROG report under consideration in the context of National Economic Recovery Plan and the development of additional supports.

Arts Policy

 443. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if she will clarify the position on providing a universal basic income to the arts community; the progress on the work of the arts and culture recovery task force; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17296/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin The Programme for Government contained a commitment to request the Low Pay Commission to examine Universal Basic Income, informed by a review of previous international pilots, and resulting in a universal basic income pilot in the lifetime of the Government.

The Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce report titled Life Worth Living, was published in November 2020 and made ten recommendations for the sector. The recommendations included a proposal to pilot a universal basic income scheme for a three-year period in the arts, culture, audiovisual and live performance and events sectors. The Taskforce was of the view that a pilot UBI would keep the sector intact, minimising the loss of skills and contributing to its gradual regrowth, with ongoing benefits: social and economic, local and national.

  I believe the arts sector represents an appropriate area for a pilot basic income scheme for many reasons. It is characterised by low, precarious and often seasonal income. Artistic and creative work is intrinsically valuable to society; it includes a broad mix of employment types and it has been chosen for similar pilots in other jurisdictions.

  Any action on a pilot basic income scheme will not come solely from my Department. Like many financial supports before and during the pandemic, a wider cohort in government must assess the strengths and weaknesses of any such scheme and decision on how it is funded.

  I understand that the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment has requested the Low Pay Commission to examine the commitment in the Programme for Government and the Commission has agreed that this request will form part of its workplan for 2021. The terms of reference for the study on Universal Basic Income are currently being finalised by the Commission and research is due to begin shortly.

Irish Language

 444. Deputy Joe McHugh Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the supports she plans putting in place to support the Irish language in view of the limited interaction, communication and engagement between persons in the past year and the absence of conversation between persons as Gaeilge; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17330/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Jack Chambers): Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers As the Deputy is aware, the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 and the accompanying Action Plan for the Irish Language (Plean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022) represents state policy for the Irish language and Gaeltacht regions. The Strategy and supporting action plan have cross-departmental ownership and, accordingly, responsibility for implementation falls on a number of Government Departments, bodies and Irish language and Gaeltacht organisations. The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media is responsible for coordinating its implementation.

  The Action Plan and the inaugural annual progress report published in October 2020 present a clear overview of the 180 or so actions being advanced by c. 60 stakeholders in support of the language and Gaeltacht regions.

  Undoubtedly, functioning in the shadow of the pandemic over the last year has proved challenging and this is no less the case in terms of delivery of supports in the domains of Irish language and Gaeltacht affairs.

  Nonetheless, significant progress is being made and the forthcoming publication of the second progress report - covering the period from July 2019 to December 2020 - following Government approval, will set out in detail the advances that have been made over the period, notwithstanding the current challenges arising from the pandemic.

  I might also point out that an additional exchequer allocation of €14.8m was included in Budget 2021 for the Irish language and Gaeltacht sectors, further enabling support for the language and Gaeltacht regions - particulartly in the context of the ongoing implementation of the language planning process and the the Policy on Gaeltacht Education being spearheaded by the Department of Education.

  This additional allocation ultimately means that total funding in excess of €78m is being deployed in support of the Irish language via my Department alone this year.

  In 2021, a budget allocation of €5m has been made by my Department to support the Language Planning Process. This will enable my Department to fund both Údarás na Gaeltachta and Foras na Gaeilge who are tasked under the Gaeltacht Act, 2012 with supporting the language planning process. It will also enable my Department to support, at a central level, organisations which operate in the Early Years and Childhood, Family and Traditional Arts sectors as an additional support to the language planning process.

  To date, my Department has approved 20 Language Plans in respect of Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas, 3 Irish Language Networks and 2 Gaeltacht Service Towns. There are currently 22 Language Planning Officers (including 4 assistant officers) employed in 18 Language Planning Areas across the Gaeltacht. Since the onset of Covid-19 restrictions, these Language Planning Officers (LPOs) have been working to provide new and innovative opportunities for their communities to connect and use Irish together.

  The roll-out of these new initiatives began as early as April of last year, with a series of free online ‘Zúmlanna’ or workshops covering a range of different interests from a six-week creative writing course to online ‘oícheanta airneáin’ (traditional social evenings with music, song and dance) to a series of fashion and style workshops. At the same time, the LPOs were also launching #SeoÍAnGhaeltacht, a social media campaign aimed at creating a virtual space for different Gaeltacht communities to connect with each other and share what the Gaeltacht means to them. This campaign is ongoing and was nominated for a communications and media award at Oireachtas na Samhna.

  Since the roll-out of these early initiatives, LPOs in all 18 Gaeltacht areas have been working on providing their communities with opportunities to use and/or improve their Irish with projects such as:

  - An Caifé Cultúir – a monthly online ‘Culture Café’ hosted by LPOs from the Galway Gaeltacht;

  - Online Irish Language Classes and Ciorcail Chomhrá;

- Comórtas Reatha na Gaeltachta – a virtual fitness challenge where walking/running groups in different Gaeltacht areas measured their collective mileage over a month to compete for the title of the ‘Fittest Gaeltacht Area’. During this event, which took place for the first time in spring 2020 and will be running again from 5th   April 2020, participants were able to connect via a WhatsApp group for their ‘team’ (all of which was through Irish). This initiative also encouraged connections between different Gaeltacht areas;

  - Maratón na bPáistí – an initiative run in conjunction with MarathonKids where pupils in participant primary schools ran a marathon (42.2km) over a number of weeks. Thanks to the LPOs, participant schools in the Gaeltacht received Irish language teaching materials on the physical and mental benefits of running and students were presented with bespoke t-shirts and medals;

  - An Mhí faoi Bhláth and An Ghaeltacht faoi Bhláth – the ‘An Mhí Faoi Bhláth’ project was run in the Ráth Chairn and Baile Ghib Gaeltacht in early spring 2021: individuals and families in the Meath Gaeltacht were provided with packets of seeds and information through Irish on the names of different flowers and how and where to plant them. This project inspired An Ghaeltacht faoi Bhláth, a series of online seminars on gardening, nature and ecology with different guest speakers from various Gaeltacht areas. The seminars are free to the public and encourage open discussion and participation.

  Due to the ongoing COVID situation, many of the organisations and activities funded under my Department’s Irish Language Support Schemes have had to move online. My Department has ensured that they have received support, in financial terms and otherwise, in adapting their workplans, as needed, to ensure that they continue to serve the Irish language community.

  Amongst the various initiatives my Department has supported are:

- Gaillimh le Gaeilge ‘Líonra ar líne’   – Irish language online networking events for the business community in Galway City

- Clár Techspace – Training and activities provided online for students and teachers in STEAM subjects   as Gaeilge

- TechFéile   – This years TechFéile was run as a programme of events online rather than a one-day event. The programme of events, which ran over eight weeks, culminated last week in a live virtual awards ceremony celebrating all projects. Over the course of the eight weeks, there were weekly online sessions with the TechSpace team, to make sure that each group had all of the support they need to learn and grow in their chosen area.

- An Cumann Scoildrámaíochta   – My Department is supporting An Cumann Scoildrámaíochta and schools around the country to record entries for this year’s Féile Scoildrámaíochta

- Gluaiseacht (Conradh na Gaeilge)   – The roadshow supported by my Department moved all of their activities online last year, ensuring schoolchildren and third level students still had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities and workshops as Gaeilge and to connect with Irish speakers across the country

- Teaching of Irish overseas   – My Department has continued to support the teaching of Irish overseas with online classes being delivered via our partners such as the Fulbright Commission and the Ireland Canada University Foundation

  Foras na Gaeilge, its Lead Organisations and organisations/groups throughout the country have also worked to support the Irish language community.

  While there were few opportunities to physically meet over the past year, there has been a huge upswing in the opportunities available online and on social media. Foras na Gaeilge through its Lead Organisations supported several online events, for example:

  - Book and music launches

  - Seminars on educational issues and many other topics

  - Family events: bingo, quizzes

  - Workshops: youth events, reading, singing

  - Competitions: music, writing

  - Concerts, dramas (online)

  - Public meetings (with increased attendance)

  Many people have grasped this opportunity to attend online events and classes that they would not have been able to attend with physical events. Many more resources have been produced online also, including educational and family resources.

  In relation to the broad issue of communication and engagement, I can assure the Deputy that my Department fully recognises the challenges presented by the pandemic and the importance of seeking to overcome the ongoing challenges.

  My Department is in regular communication with organisations and stakeholders via virtual meetings in order to mitigate all of the challenges insofar as possible and to disseminate information as appropriate regarding the wide range of mitigating financial supports being provided centrally in respect of COVID-19.

Scéimeanna Tacaíochta

 445. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin maidir leis an gCiste Cobhsaíochta a cuireadh ar fáil chun cúnamh a thabhairt do choláistí samhraidh agus teaghlaigh ósta nach raibh daltaí in ann freastal orthu anuraidh de thairbhe Covid-19, an gcuirfear ar fáil é arís i mbliana, cé mhéad airgid a bheidh i gceist leis, agus cén spriocam atá i gceist le haghaidh iarratais a dhéanamh agus maoiniú a fháil. [17349/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Jack Chambers): Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers Aithníonn mo Roinn go bhfuil sé thar a bheith dúshlánach do na coláistí Gaeltachta agus iad ag iarraidh a bheith ag pleanáil chun cinn don bhliain seo amach romhainn, go háirithe agus cúrsaí COVID-19 ag athrú go síoraí.

Tá comhairleoirí sláinte agus sábhailteachta fostaithe ag mo Roinn chun cuidiú leis na hearnálacha a thagann faoina scáth ina gcuid ullmhúcháin chun feidhmiú le linn na paindéime. Mar chuid den obair sin, tá ullmhú treoirlínte d'earnáil na gcoláistí samhraidh idir lámha (lena n-áirítear teaghlaigh a choinníonn lucht freastail na gcoláistí ar iostas).

Tá sé seo á dhéanamh ag mo Roinn ar mhaithe le cabhrú leis an earnáil dul i ngleic leis na dúshláin a bhaineann le bheith ag reáchtáil cúrsaí samhraidh sna tosca reatha agus lena chinntiú go mbeadh an cur chuige ag teacht le pleananna foriomlána an Rialtais – Teacht Aniar agus Téarnamh COVID-19 2021 - An Bóthar Amach Romhainn.

Tá sé idir dhá cheann na meá an mbeifear in ann dul ar aghaidh le cúrsaí go sábháilte an samhradh seo. Idir an dá linn, tá molta do na coláistí tairbhe a bhaint as na scéimeanna agus tacaíochtaí éagsúla de chuid an Rialtais atá curtha ar fáil chun cabhrú le gnólachtaí tríd an tréimhse seo de bharr shrianta COVID-19. Tuigtear go bhfuil roinnt mhaith de na coláistí á dhéanamh seo.

Ní gá a rá go leanfaidh mé féin agus mo Roinn ag coinneáil rudaí faoi bhreithniú i rith an ama agus ag obair i gcomhar leis na páirtithe leasmhara, lena n-áirítear an Roinn Oideachais, na húdaráis sláinte agus scáthghrúpa na gcoláistí samhraidh, CONCOS, ach go háirithe, chun teacht ar chur chuige slán sábháilte agus tacaíocht chuí a bheidh ar leas foriomlán an phobail, idir phobal na Gaeltachta agus pobal na gColáistí.

Seirbhísí trí Ghaeilge

 446. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly den Aire Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin cén fáth nach bhfuil an suíomh gréasáin gaillimh2020.ie ar fáil trí Ghaeilge; cén t-achar nach bhfuil an suíomh ar fáil trí Ghaeilge; cén dáta a mbeidh sé ar fáil trí Ghaeilge; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17354/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin Bhí tionchar ollmhór ag COVID-19 ar Ghaillimh 2020, laghdú acmhainní daonna san áireamh. Ina thaobh seo, tugadh tosaíocht do thacú le soláthar chlár cultúrtha athbhreithnithe ag teacht leis na srianta atá i bhfeidhm. Tuigim gur úsáid Gaillimh 2020 an Ghaeilge a oiread agus ab fhéidir leo i soláthar cláir chultúrtha agus cumarsáid a bhain leo faoin gclár athbhreithnithe.

  Tá 7 gcinn de na 28 tionscadal atá sa chlár athbhreithnithe go hiomlán dátheangach nó léirítear iad go hiomlán trí mheán na Gaeilge. Tá na tionsadail go léir luaite sa liosta thíos, agus tá codanna ar líne de na tionscadail seo ar fáil ag naisc ar shuíomh gréasáin galway.2020.ie.

- Báisteach go Deo: ar siúl faoi láthair

- Foclóir Farraige: ar siúl faoi láthair

- An tOileán Thiar: ar siúl faoi láthair

- Séadchomhortha : ar siúl faoi láthair

- Óró: curtha i gcrích

- Aistriú: ar siúl i mí Aibreáin 2021

- Sruth Na Teanga: curtha i gcrích.

Island Communities

 447. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if she will address a matter (details supplied) regarding a cable car; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17400/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin I understand that the operation of the cable car to the location referred to by the Deputy is a matter for Cork County Council and I have no role in the matter.

Departmental Communications

 448. Deputy Holly Cairns Information on Holly Cairns Zoom on Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the way in which her Department and agencies under her remit are meeting obligations under the Irish Sign Language Act 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17436/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin I am advised that both my Department and those agencies under its remit are in compliance with the requirement under Section 6 of the Irish Sign Language Act 2017. This requires public bodies to provide interpretation into Irish Sign Language, free of any charge, for a person who cannot hear or understand English or Irish when accessing services provided by that body. Interpretation services are made available on request by cultural institutions such as IMMA and the Department has also taken steps to ensure that ISL interpretation is available at public events such as the annual National Famine Commemoration.

Commencement of Legislation

 449. Deputy Holly Cairns Information on Holly Cairns Zoom on Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the details of the Acts falling under her Department which have been signed into law but have not been commenced; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17454/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin The information sought by the Deputy in respect of those Acts for which I have lead responsibility is set out in the table below.

Act
Section
Signed into Law
National Cultural Institutions Act 1997 Section 4(1) insofar as it relates to sections 16 or 65 of the Act, or section 25 of National Monuments Act 1930. Elements of Section 49 and Part V have not yet been commenced. Signed into law by the President on 2 April 1997.
National Cultural Institutions Act 1997 Sections 65 and 66 relate to the depositing of published material in the National Library of Ireland and related copyright matters. These issues were subsequently incorporated into section 198 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000.


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