Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 372-386
 Header Item Covid-19 Tests
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Vaccination Programme
 Header Item Health Promotion
 Header Item School Milk Scheme
 Header Item Felling Licences
 Header Item Wildlife Control
 Header Item Regulatory Impact Assessments
 Header Item Harbours and Piers
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1005 No. 6
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 78 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 372-386

Covid-19 Tests

 372. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if urgent consideration will be given to opening a mobile test centre in north County Dublin given the high levels of Covid-19 in the Skerries and Balbriggan local electoral area. [18051/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As part of the HSE’s enhanced COVID-19 testing for local communities, from Thursday March 25th, five new ‘walk-in, no appointment necessary’ testing centres have been opened to actively look for cases of COVID-19. These centres, which are opening in areas where the number of positive cases is particularly high, will allow people who don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 to get a free test without having to contact their GP first. Around 20% of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic.

  The testing centres will be open from Thursday, 25 March to Wednesday, 31 March from 11am to 7pm. Social distancing measures will apply as people turn up for testing.

  Testing people with no symptoms will help to find positive cases earlier, will help in breaking chains of transmission and will help us better understand how and why the virus is spreading quicker in certain areas.

  The initial locations at Blanchardstown, Grangegorman, Irishtown, Tallaght and Tullamore have been decided based on local disease prevalence and public health director’s advice. The locations will change week-on-week. Decisions on future locations of walk-in centres will be made following assessments made by the Directors of Public Health in the HSE based on the prevailing incidence rates.

  Anybody may use this free, walk-in COVID-19 testing provided they

  - Are aged 16 years and over.

  - Do not have symptoms of COVID-19 but would like to be tested.

  - May not have their own GP (doctor)

  - Live within 5k of the walk-in testing centre.

  Persons who want to be tested should bring photo ID and provide a mobile phone number so the HSE can contact them with their results. Working with the National Ambulance Service, the HSE aims to carry out 300-500 COVID-19 tests per day at each walk-in centre. Any detected cases will be referred to contact tracing in the same way as detected cases that were referred through by a GP.

  On an ongoing basis, NPHET considers and reviews, based on public health risk assessments, how best to target testing to detect, and mitigate the impact of, the virus across the population. This includes keeping Ireland’s national testing policy under continuing review.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 373. Deputy Marc Ó Cathasaigh Information on Marc Ó Cathasaigh Zoom on Marc Ó Cathasaigh asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if mandatory hotel quarantine or home quarantine concessions will be available for incoming travellers who have received a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency, EMA, and have had a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18062/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly The Health Act 1947, as amended, provides that all persons arriving in Ireland from a designated state, or having travelled through a designated state in the previous 14 days, are required to undergo mandatory quarantine in a designated facility unless they are an exempted traveller under the Act.

A National Oversight Group for Variants of Concern has been established to monitor and address the challenges posed by variants of COVID-19, including the potential for a difference in the effectiveness of various vaccines against those variants. Quarantine of persons arriving from areas with a high incidence of variants of concern is considered a deterrent against the emergence of such variants in the state and as such all persons arriving from those designated states are required to undergo mandatory quarantine in a designated facility, regardless of vaccination status, unless otherwise exempt.

The designation of states will be subject to ongoing review in line with the provisions of Section 38B of the Health Act 1947, which was inserted by the Health (Amendment) Act 2021.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 374. Deputy Marc Ó Cathasaigh Information on Marc Ó Cathasaigh Zoom on Marc Ó Cathasaigh asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the waiting time for cataract treatment, by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18068/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly It is recognised that waiting times for scheduled appointments and procedures have been impacted in the last year as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  The HSE is currently recommending that only critical time dependent elective procedures are undertaken at this time due to the on-going and significant increased demand for bed capacity related to COVID-19.

  This decision was made arising from the rapid increase in Covid-19 admissions and to ensure patient safety and that all appropriate resources were made available for Covid-19 related activity and time-critical essential work.

  Patient safety remains at the centre of all hospital activity and elective care scheduling. To ensure services are provided in a safe, clinically-aligned and prioritised way, hospitals are following HSE clinical guidelines and protocols. The HSE continues to optimise productivity through alternative work practices such as the use of alternative settings including private hospitals, community facilities and alternative outpatient settings.

  On 23 March the HSE published the “Safe Return to Health Services Plan”. This plan outlines a three phased plan for the proposed restoration of services across Community Services, Acute Hospital Operations, Cancer Services and Screening Services. It sets target times for their safe return and details the conditions and challenges that will have to be met.

  Every phase of the plan has been informed by clinical guidance and putting patient and staff safety first.

  Decisions in relation to the type and volume of activity will be made at site level based on local COVID-19 numbers, available capacity and guidance from national clinical leads.

  The schedule outlined in the plan for resumption of services will be regularly monitored by the HSE and updated as appropriate, dependant on public health advice and healthcare capacity.

  In recent years, my Department has worked with the HSE and the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to improve access for patients waiting for high volume procedures, including cataracts. Ophthalmology services are provided throughout all hospital groups in the country, with cataract removal one of the key procedures carried out as part of this specialty.

  A key development in improving access to Ophthalmology services was the opening of a stand-alone high-volume consultant-led cataract theatre by the University of Limerick Hospital Group in Nenagh Hospital in 2018, with the intention that it would facilitate patients from surrounding geographical areas to avail of their treatment there. The impact of such initiatives can be seen in the reduction in the waiting times to access cataract procedures since 2019. At the end of February 2021 there were 4,317 patients waiting for a cataract procedure compared to 6,276 in February 2019.

  The work of the HSE to improve access to elective care and reduce waiting times for patients is supported by the NTPF. This includes increased use of private hospitals, funding weekend and evening work in public hospitals, funding “see and treat” services where minor procedures are provided at the same time as outpatient consultations, funding hybrid services where public and private hospitals contribute to the treatment of patients, virtual clinics and clinical validation.

  €240 million has been provided in Budget 2021 for an access to care fund, €210m of which has been allocated to the HSE and a further €30m to the National Treatment Purchase Fund. This will be used to fund additional capacity to address the shortfall arising as a result of measures taken in the context of COVID-19, as well as to address waiting lists.

  The data requested by the Deputy regarding the waiting time for cataract treatment by county is outlined at the following link. This data provides the number of patients by time band on the cataract waiting list by county/area of residence.

https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/debates/questions/supportingDocumentation/2021-04-01_pq374-01-04-21_en.xlsx

Health Services Provision

 375. Deputy Marc Ó Cathasaigh Information on Marc Ó Cathasaigh Zoom on Marc Ó Cathasaigh asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly his plans for the nationwide roll-out of the shared care cataract treatment model, which is already in operation in the Sligo region, known as the Sligo scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18069/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 376. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore Information on Jennifer  Whitmore Zoom on Jennifer  Whitmore asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the position regarding the issuing of vaccines to a school (details supplied); the actions being taken to make sure this does not happen again; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18073/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 377. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly his plans for vaccine passports in regard to Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18074/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly On 17 March 2021, the European Commission published its proposal for a Regulation to introduce a ‘Digital Green Certificate’. The aim of the proposal is to facilitate free movement in the EU through a common framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of certificates relating to vaccination, testing and recovery.

Careful consideration is being given to the proposal and its many policy, infrastructural and operational implications across a number of sectors in Ireland and my Department is engaging constructively in the on-going technical discussions at EU level, in collaboration with relevant Departments, to ensure we can achieve alignment in relation to a return to international travel for non-essential purposes, as soon as it is safe to do so.

Vaccination Programme

 378. Deputy Pauline Tully Information on Pauline  Tully Zoom on Pauline  Tully asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if a student who did not avail of the free human papillomavirus, HPV, vaccine in their first year of secondary school can avail of the vaccine at a later date while they are still a student in the school; if not, if this policy will be reviewed in order to encourage as many students as possible to avail of this vaccine before leaving school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18076/21]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly The immunisation programme in Ireland is based on the advice of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC). The committee's recommendations are based on the prevalence of the relevant disease in Ireland and international best practice in relation to immunisation. It makes recommendations on vaccination policy to my Department. The NIAC continues to revise recommendations to allow for the introduction of new vaccines in Ireland and to keep abreast of changes in the patterns of disease. Therefore, the immunisation schedule will continue to be amended over time.

In 2009, the NIAC recommended HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination for all 12 to 13 year old girls to reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer when they are adults. In September 2010, the HPV vaccination programme was introduced for all girls in first year of secondary school.

The NIAC recommended that the HPV vaccine should also be given to boys. On foot of the NIAC’s recommendation, my Department asked the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to undertake a health technology assessment (HTA) to establish the clinical and cost-effectiveness of extending the current immunisation programme to include boys in the first year of secondary school.

The HIQA completed the HTA in December 2018, recommending that the HPV immunisation programme be extended to include boys. A policy decision was made to extend the HPV immunisation programme to include boys, starting in September 2019, with the introduction of a 9-valent HPV vaccine.

The ages at which vaccines are recommended in the immunisation schedule are chosen by the NIAC in order to give each child the best possible protection against vaccine preventable diseases. As the HPV vaccine is preventative it is intended to be administered, if possible, before a person becomes sexually active, that is, before a person is first exposed to HPV infection.

Therefore, the gender-neutral HPV vaccination programme targets all girls and boys in first year of secondary school to provide maximum coverage. All vaccines administered through the School Immunisation Programme are provided free of charge.

My Department will continue to be guided by NIAC's recommendations on any emerging evidence on this issue in the future.

Anyone not in 1st year of secondary school or age equivalent in special schools or home schooled during the 2020/2021 school year who wishes to get the HPV vaccine, must go to their GP or sexual health clinic and pay privately for the vaccine and its administration.

Health Promotion

 379. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue the funding available for Food Dudes and Incredible Edibles; the funding that has been available for these schemes in each year since they started; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [17686/21]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue As the Deputy will be aware, the EU School Fruit and Vegetables scheme, the main objective of which is to promote the consumption of fruit and vegetables amongst school children, is implemented in primary schools under the Food Dudes Healthy Eating Programme. The Programme is an evidence based, incentivised healthy eating programme which is rolled out to children over three years: Year 1 is based on a 16 day intervention programme followed up by maintenance programmes in Years 2 and 3 and is underpinned by strong accompanying educational measures. It is managed by Bord Bia and has the support of a wide range of national stakeholders including the Department of Health, the Department of Education and the Department of Social Protection.

  The Programme is funded annually by the EU Commission with supporting national funding from my Department's budget as available. The total EU budget for the scheme, in the period 2017-2023, is €250 million per school year of which up to €150 million is for fruit and vegetables and up to €100 million for milk. This budget is broken down by country based on the number of children, the level of regional development and, for milk, on how the budget was previously used.

  The Commission adopts a decision to fix the EU budget by country for each school year. The annual EU allocation to Ireland is set by the European Commission at €1.7million, However it is open to Ireland to apply for additional Union aid under EU reallocation rules which may or may not be granted by the EU Commission as this is subject to availability. Within this allocation to a Member State, 75% is available to spend on product and the balance is available for accompanying educational measures, publicity and evaluation.

  The EU Scheme in its current format commenced in 2017 for school year 2017/2018. Ireland’s EU allocation for School Fruit and Vegetables, national funds, and participation rates during this time period is as set out at the following link:

  https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/debates/questions/supportingDocumentation/2021-04-01_pq379a-01-04-21_en.docx

  With regard to the Incredible Edibles initiative, this is not a Department Scheme. The initiative is a brand name of a programme run by Agri-Aware, a private Irish agri-food educational body. It is established as a charitable trust funded by the Irish farming and agri-food industry and is sponsored by a number of number of private and public organisations including my Department and State Bodies under my remit.

School Milk Scheme

 380. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue the number of schools and students participating in the school milk scheme in the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17688/21]

 381. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue the value of products provided here under the EU school milk scheme in each of the past five years in respect of the five heat-treated milk products under category 1 and category 2 of the scheme; the value of products that are provided here under the scheme for each of the past five years in respect of category 1 products that are heat-treated milk with chocolate, fruit juice or flavoured; if the value of products provided under category 1 are broken down in terms of the quantity and value provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17689/21]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue I propose to take Questions Nos. 380 and 381 together.

  As the Deputy may be aware, the EU School Milk Scheme, the main objective of which is to promote and encourage milk consumption amongst school children as part of a healthy balanced diet, is operated in Ireland by the National Dairy Council (NDC) through the Moo Crew Programme. The scheme is open to pre-schools, primary schools and secondary schools, and a portion of fresh drinking milk (189ml approximately) is distributed to each participating child on a daily basis. The Scheme is supported by strong educational accompanying measures to educate children about the health and nutritional benefits of milk. It has the support of a wide range of national stakeholders including the Department of Health and the Department of Education.

  The Scheme is currently implemented under a six year EU School Scheme Strategy 2017-2023 (incorporating both the School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme and the School Milk Scheme). It is funded annually by the EU Commission with supporting national funding from my Department's budget as available.

  The total EU budget for the scheme, in the period 2017-2023, is €250 million per school year of which up to €150 million is for fruit and vegetables and up to €100 million for milk. This budget is broken down by country based on the number of children, the level of regional development and, for milk, on how the budget was previously used. The annual EU allocation to Ireland is set by the European Commission at €900,398. However, it is open to Ireland to apply for additional Union aid under EU reallocation rules which may or may not be granted by the EU Commission as this is subject to availability. Within this allocation to a Member State, 75% is available to spend on product, the balance being made available on accompanying educational measures, publicity and evaluation.

  The EU Commission adopts a decision to fix the EU budget by country for each school year. In Ireland, only fresh drinking milk as a priority, with the possibility of cheese and yogurts, are products authorised to be distributed here under the programme. This is in line with our six year Scheme Strategy 2017-2023 approved by the EU Commission and in line with the Healthy Eating Guidelines of the Department of Health. The distribution of other products in Ireland under the School Milk Scheme does not accordingly arise: no products such as heat-treated milk with chocolate, fruit juice or flavour were distributed.

  The EU Scheme in its current format commenced in 2017 for school year 2017/2018.   Ireland's EU allocation for School Milk, national funds and participation rates during this time period is as set out at the following link.

https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/debates/questions/supportingDocumentation/2021-04-01_pq380-381a-01-04-21_en.docx

  In addition to the EU funding and national Funding outlined above, a parental levy applies in non-DEIS schools.

Felling Licences

 382. Deputy Patricia Ryan Information on Patricia  Ryan Zoom on Patricia  Ryan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue the wait time for felling licence applications; the number of applications outstanding; his plans to address the backlog; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17748/21]

 392. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue the number of timber felling licences granted in the first three months of 2020 and 2021, respectively; the volume of timber involved, in cubic metres, in each case; the number of applications still on hand; the length each application is on hand by the number of months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17889/21]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue I propose to take Questions Nos. 382 and 392 together.

I am aware of the issues facing the forestry sector and the timber industry and considerable efforts have been made to address them. Additional resources have been recruited and training, information and guidance has been provided to both Departmental staff and registered foresters and, as a result, we have seen gains in terms of output.

The introduction of Project Woodland, recently launched by Minister-of-State Pippa Hackett, with responsibility for forestry, is our strategy for resolving the licensing issues. This new structure aims to ensure that the current backlog is addressed. The Project involves a review and refresh of our processes and procedures and includes outside stakeholder participation to bring an independent perspective. It is a task-driven process, with clear deliverable and milestones.

Working Group 1 under Project Woodland is specifically tasked with reducing the backlog and then plotting a trajectory to achieve this target. The recommendation in Ms Jo O'Hara's Implementation Report is that this Group publish a process to achieve these targets, including prioritisation and scheduling and that a monthly dashboard show the outcome of this process against the target trajectory. Meanwhile, Working Group 4 will address Effective Processes, which will include clearer explanations for the statutory basis for forestry regulation and the introduction of more efficient and effective processes. I expect there will be cross-cutting issues between these two groups.

A target to issue 4,500 licences in 2021 has been set which is a 74% increase on 2020.

As regards current output, since the beginning of the year, my Department has issued 518 tree felling licences, for 1.624 million cubic metres of timber. This is an increase of almost 20% in the number of felling licences issued in Q1 2020. There are currently 4,576 tree felling licence applications awaiting decision, which includes a batch application by Coillte of 1,864 licences advertised on 19th March. The average time to decision for tree felling licence applications received is 13 months.

It is worth noting that there are always licences in the system at various stages of processing. These are the initial stages of an application being made, while the registered forester finalises application documents to referral to prescribed bodies. referral to the inspector and/or ecologist/archaeologist, to making final decision. Applications may also be returned to the applicant (and their registered forester, where relevant) for further information.

I remain hopeful and confident that the changes presented under the Project Woodland structure to processes within my Department will bear fruit, particularly to give confidence to all applicants that they can receive a timely decision on their forestry licence application.

Wildlife Control

 383. Deputy Patricia Ryan Information on Patricia  Ryan Zoom on Patricia  Ryan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue when the deer management forum is next due to meet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17749/21]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue In 2015, my Department, together with the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht, published Deer Management in Ireland – A Framework for Action, which recommends a series of actions on deer management and conservation in a number of areas, including addressing the impact of deer in places where they are abundant. The Irish Deer Management Forum was established to implement the various actions listed in the Report. The forum last met in March 2018. The Forum itself comprised representatives from the main stakeholder areas such as landowners, forestry, hunting and conservation organisations, as well as representatives from both Departments.

Both my Department and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, which is the parent Department of the NPWS, are in the process of examining the future direction of the Forum and its aims in the context of representation on the Forum as well as funding mechanisms. A meeting date will be organised when the future direction of the Forum has been agreed between the Departments involved.

Regulatory Impact Assessments

 384. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue further to Parliamentary Question No. 2035 of 24 March 2021, the analysis his Department has carried out into the possibility of retrospectively amending SI 786 of 2007 to enable responsible persons to prescribe anti-parasitic medicines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17781/21]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue Under Article 105(4) of Regulation 2019/6, which is directly applicable in EU Member States from January 2022, professionals other than veterinarians are permitted to prescribe certain veterinary medicines if a Member State facilitated this at the time the Regulation came into force in 2019. Such a system did not exist in Ireland at that time. The applicable legislative framework in Ireland has never extended rights to issue a veterinary prescription to any other professional other than a veterinarian. Therefore, my Department's view is that Ireland is not in a position to retrospectively avail of this derogation. This view has been informed through consideration and analysis by policy officials, consultation with the EU Commission and with internal legal advisors.

However, given the range of views on Article 105(4), my Department committed to seeking further legal advice from the Attorney General’s Office which was submitted in late 2020 and is receiving attention in that office currently.

The concerns specifically focus on the legislation as it impacts on the supply of anti-parasitic veterinary medicines, which here-to-fore were exempt from the need for a prescription and which route of supply was recently changed to requiring a prescription by the Health Product Regulatory Authority. This decision was as a result of evidence of the development of resistance to the medicines.

It is the intention of my Department to make a statement on the matter to all stakeholders when the advice is received.

Harbours and Piers

 385. Deputy Mairéad Farrell Information on Mairéad  Farrell Zoom on Mairéad  Farrell asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue the steps that have been taken to progress the deepwater quay project at Ros a Mhíl Harbour since the publication on 4 September 2020 of the final quay wall peer review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17782/21]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue The Fishery Harbour Centres Act 1968 established the concept of fishery harbours in the State and invested their management in the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine took over responsibility for the Fishery Harbour Centres (FHCs) in October 2007. Ros an Mhíl is one of six Fishery Harbour Centres, the others are located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth and Killybegs.

  Funding is made available on an annual basis by my Department to the FHCs, including Ros an Mhíl, via the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme. A phased programme for the infrastructural development of Ros an Mhíl FHC has been progressed over the last number of years, which has seen a significant investment. In total, approx €31.6m has been invested in capital developments at Ros an Mhíl FHC between 2000 and 2020.

  The possibility of a deep-water berthing project at Ros an Mhíl FHC has been mooted for some time.

  In 2018, the Department commissioned engineering consultants to undertake a review of the design solutions, scoping options and operational aspects of a possible future project. An interim draft of the Quay Wall Peer Review Report was received in April 2019. This report identified the need for additional site investigations to be carried out in Ros an Mhíl FHC. These site investigation works were carried out in August/September 2019 and have now been completed.

The final Quay Wall Peer Review report was received on 27th July 2020 and a further update was issued on 4th September 2020. The Department is considering this report in full, including the site investigation results, to inform a future assessment of possible design solutions and scoping options, which will, in themselves, inform any future decisions on progressing this project. Planning permission had been obtained for this project, this permission has been extended to April 2023.

  As is the case with all developments in the six Fishery Harbour Centres generally, any future decision with regard to formally initiating this project in Ros an Mhíl FHC, will only be considered on the basis of available exchequer funding and competing national priorities.

Agriculture Schemes

 386. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue if a person (details supplied) can have their situation considered as a force majeure case in this instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17823/21]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue Farmers who joined BEAM agreed to reduce the production of bovine livestock manure nitrogen on their holding by 5% for the period 1st July 2020 to 30th June 2021 as compared with the reference period of 1st July 2018 to 30th June 2019.

I am mindful that some BEAM participants may be locked up by TB during the course of the 12-month reduction period. In that context, my Department is currently writing to all BEAM participants who are locked up advising them, that their 5% reduction requirement will be reduced on a pro rata basis relative to the number of days they were locked up.

The person named has a 5% reduction requirement of 257kg of bovine Nitrates. The period of TB restriction commenced on 11th March 2021 so, for the 20 days of restriction to date, the 5% reduction requirement will reduce by 14.1kg and will continue to be reduced by 0.704kg for each day they continue to be restricted.

The figures available online on Agfood.ie will reflect these changes and the revised figures will be available in the monthly update letters sent to all participants.


Last Updated: 19/04/2021 16:08:26 First Page Previous Page Page of 78 Next Page Last Page