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Varadkar, Leo

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 Nbr. 3


Written Answers - Museum Projects

Was asked: if he will endorse the Kerry cultural and sporting experience museum project which will be developed on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, County Kerry, by calling on Fáilte Irela...More Button

Was asked: if he will endorse the Kerry cultural and sporting experience museum project which will be developed on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, County Kerry by calling on Fáilte Irelan...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 665 and 668 together.More Button

The approval of grant aid under the Tourism Capital Investment Programme is a matter for Fáilte Ireland. The current position regarding an individual application is an operational matter for...More Button

Written Answers - Driver Licences

Was asked: if he has [978]actively engaged with An Post and the IPU with regards the possibility of the Post Office offering services previously provided by the local authority suc...More Button

Under EU law, Ireland is required to introduce a plastic card format of driving licence in January 2013. I strongly support this. My Department decided that the transition to a plastic card licence...More Button

In May 2011, the Government decided to proceed with the centralisation of the driver licensing system, with the RSA as the body to be responsible for the new system. At the same time, the RSA was a...More Button

Anybody with an interest in providing one or all of these services is entitled to submit a tender for consideration, including An Post.More Button

Written Answers - Sporting Bodies

Was asked: if he will confirm that both Swim Ireland and the Olympic Council of Ireland are in the process of recovering the High Court costs associated with a failed High Court case brought by a former membe...More Button

Swim Ireland and the Olympic Council of Ireland are not governmental bodies. They are autonomous sports organisations and I have no role or responsibility in this matter. However, given the sensiti...More Button

The Deputy may be interested to know that the Olympic Council of Ireland issued astatement on this matter on 2 March 2012. The statement is available on their websitewww.olympicsport.ie.More Button

Question No. 668 answered with Question No. 665.More Button

Written Answers - Road Network

Was asked: if surplus funding will be redirected from a project to other projects in a county (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will permit a local authority the discretion to redistribute funding to projects (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 669 and 670 together. More Button

In July last year, local authorities were invited by the National Roads Authority (NRA) to submit applications for consideration for funding in 2012 under the Specific Improvement Grants Scheme. A...More Button

Should Donegal County Council anticipate that the allocation under any grant category will not be spent in full this year, they should inform the NRA of this at the earliest opportunity and the Cou...More Button

Was asked: the amount that has been allocated by him through the National Roads Authority to Limerick County Council for works at the Ballysimon interchange N7/N24 since the road was opened; the number of dif...More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The planning, design and implementation of individua...More Button

Was asked: if he and the National Roads Authority have considered a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The planning, design and implementation of individua...More Button

Was asked: if the National Roads Association have awarded a road maintenance contract from Dundalk to the border to a private contractor (details supplied); if this was the result of a competitive tendering p...More Button

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme element of Transport 21. The construction, improvement and maintenance o...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff

Was asked: if he will provide a list of staff in his Department that serve as directors of companies arising from their employment; the names of the companies involved; the annual remuneration received, if an...More Button

There are currently three staff in my Department serving as directors on Boards of agencies arising from their employment within the Department. Mr Declan Hayes, who works in the Department’...More Button

I understand from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that the Office of the Attorney General has advised that people working for the State are entitled to be indemnified for such work....More Button

Written Answers - Sports Capital Programme

Was asked: if there is any sports grants or funding available for a group (details supplied) in Dublin 5. More Button

I will be announcing a new round of the Sports Capital Programme in the very near future. It will be open to any organisation, such as the organisation referred to by the Deputy, with a suitable p...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Expenses

Was asked: the amount of expenses claimed on a monthly basis since March 2011 by all Ministers attached to his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The amount of travel expenses claimed on a monthly basis since March, 2011 by the Ministers of State at my Department and myself are in the public domain and available on my Department’s webs...More Button

Written Answers - Driving Licence Applications

Was asked: the reason renewal driving licences are being returned to applicants with less driving categories licensed then they qualified for in the previous licence that was surrendered; the steps they shoul...More Button

Driving licence applications, including applications for renewals, are processed by the Motor Taxation Offices (MTOs) of the local authorities. When an individual is renewing a driving licence the...More Button

Written Answers - Tourism Promotion

Was asked: the value of the extension of the visa waiver scheme to the tourism industry which has been further extended by the Minister for Justice; if he will provide details of the tourist agencies which in...More Button

Initiatives such as the visa waiver scheme are invaluable in looking to the long-term opportunities presented by developing markets such as the BRIC countries, particularly China, India and the Mid...More Button

Tourism Ireland has been working hard to maximise the benefits of the scheme, promoting it to travel trade contacts, industry partners and to consumers through an extensive programme of marketing a...More Button

Furthermore, earlier this year Tourism Ireland announced a new strategy to attract more high-spending visitors from the emerging tourism markets of Brazil, who do not require visas, and Russia (cov...More Button

Was asked: the value of St Patrick’s day internationally as a means for the promotion of tourism in Ireland; the measures [984]taken overseas to take advantage of this; and i...More Button

The Government recognises the key role that tourism can play in Ireland’s economic recovery. I am glad to report that we saw growth in visitor numbers last year for the first time since 2007...More Button

The Deputy will be aware of some of the high profile initiatives undertaken during the St. Patrick’s day period to highlight Ireland as a tourist destination such as the “greening” of famous ...More Button

Written Answers - EU Directives

Was asked: his view on the impact cabotage enforcement is having on Irish hauliers operating in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Provisions in relation to road haulage cabotage are set out in EU Regulations 1072 of 2009, which came into effect on 14 May 2010. Cabotage relates to the carriage for hire or reward within a host ...More Button

The enforcement of the cabotage provisions is a matter for the authorities in each Member State. Naturally, hauliers in each Member State and those operating across Community borders must comply w...More Button

I can appreciate that the EU Regulations, by introducing a change to previous cabotage provisions which were less prescriptive, have changed the opportunities for cabotage. I note however, in its ...More Button

Written Answers - Road Safety

Was asked: if funding will be made available under the road safety remedial measure schemes for local authorities in 2012; the total amount available; the date by which local authorities have to submit applic...More Button

I announced the 2012 regional and local road grant allocations to local authorities on 30th January 2012. This included an allocation of €6 million under the Low Cost Safety Improvement Grants...More Button

Was asked: if he is considering new regulations to make a rear window wiper a mandatory safety feature on all cars; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The introduction of national regulations to make rear window wipers mandatory is not currently under consideration. More Button

All cars entering the Irish fleet must conform to the European Communities Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) standard which includes the requirement to have wipers on the front of the vehicle un...More Button

Was asked: if he is considering making backward-facing child car seats mandatory in view of the international research that indicates that such seats are 80% safer for children; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The Government transposed the EU Directive governing the use of Child Restraint Systems (CRS) into Irish law in September 2006 which requires infants from birth up to 13kgs (29lbs) in weight (Appro...More Button

Written Answers - Sport and Recreational Development

Was asked: the amounts of Exchequer funding provided to Swim Ireland and Olympic Council of Ireland in 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012; if there are conditions attached to this funding; and if he will make a s...More Button

The Irish Sports Council (ISC), which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body for the promotion, development and coordination of sport which includes responsibility for dealing with the r...More Button

I am informed by the Irish Sports Council that the allocation of funding to National Governing Bodies of Sport is based on a detailed application form and is for core funding and programmes such as...More Button

Swim IrelandMore Button

2010 Total €1,321,900 (Core funding €886,900, Women in Sport €100,000, High Performance €335,000).More Button

2011 Total €1,533,829 (Core funding €886,900, Women in Sport €100,000, High Performance €546,929).More Button

2012 (to date) High Performance €416,250. Core funding and Women in Sport funding not yet allocated.More Button

Olympic Council of Ireland — High Performance FundingMore Button

2010, €350,000;More Button

2011, €417,947;More Button

2012, €330,381.More Button

Written Answers - Taxi Licences

Was asked: if he will supply in tabular form the figures for the number of active taxi licences in Dublin City and County for each of the past ten years. More Button

Statistics relating to small public service vehicle (SPSV) licences, are a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA), who regulate the SPSV sector. I have referred the Deputy’s reque...More Button

Written Answers - Rail Network

Was asked: his plans to develop rail links as part of the western arc from Cork to Belfast; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have no plans at this time to develop a so-called “Western Arc” from Cork to Belfast as this would require both the re-opening of the remaining phases of the Western Rail Corridor and also the de...More Button

Due to the overall reduction in funding for transport infrastructure the priority to 2016 is to protect investment made to date and to maintain safety standards. I would draw the Deputy’s at...More Button

In this regard, I would note that the economic and financial evaluations of Phase 1 of the Western Railway Corridor were negative. Furthermore, the AECOM/Goodbody 2030 Rail Network Strategy Review...More Button

Written Answers - National Lottery Funding

Was asked: if he will confirm the amount of National Lottery funds allocated to his Department; if the funds are spent on specific projects; if so, the name of the project; if the National Lottery fund is all...More Button

I understand that the surplus generated by the National Lottery is transferred annually to the Exchequer and is applied to part-fund the Exchequer allocations to a specified range of expenditure su...More Button

Details of the total Exchequer allocations to the relevant Lottery supported subheads are published in Appendix 1 of the 2012 Revised Estimates for Public Services which gives a breakdown ...More Button

It is important to note that these programmes are only part-funded by the Lottery and that the remaining expenditure comes from general Exchequer funding. In addition, the Revised Estimates do not...More Button

Written Answers - Penalty Points System

Was asked: the way he intends to stop persons possessing foreign driving licences from evading justice when given penalty points when they break the rules of the road; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

Under the Road Traffic Act 2002, penalty points are required to be endorsed on the Irish driving licence record held on the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) and a current driving licence is ...More Button

The 2010 Road Traffic Act moved to correct this anomaly and Part 5 of that Act will allow the NVDF:More Button

Part 6 of the 2010 Act, which was commenced on 1st June 2010, expands the definition of a driving licence to include foreign driving licences so as to bring these within the scope of sanctions for ...More Button

Part 5 of the 2010 Act and the associated provisions of Part 3, which deal with changes to the fixed charge system, have not yet been commenced due to administrative and technical issues. However,...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Equipment

Was asked: the number of laptops in use in his Department; the number of tablets in use in his Department; the number of the laptops in use that are due to be upgraded this year; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

The information sought is set out in the following Table: More Button

A number of Field Officers in this Department rely heavily on the use of laptops while working out of the office. It is this Departments policy to replace laptops at end of life. The laptops to b...More Button

Was asked: the number of laptops in use in his Department; the number of tablets in use in his Department; the number of the laptops in use that are due to be upgraded this year; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

The information sought is set out in the following Table: More Button

A number of Field Officers in this Department rely heavily on the use of laptops while working out of the office. It is this Departments policy to replace laptops at end of life. The laptops to b...More Button