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Varadkar, Leo

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Road Network

Was asked: if he will provide an annual breakdown, in tabular form, of the amount of money invested by the Government in roads infrastructure in County Donegal yearly since 2008.More Button

Details of the regional and local road grant payments to Donegal County Council are outlined in the regional and local road grant payment booklets which are available in the Dáil Library.  Details ...More Button

Was asked: the total amount allocated to be spent on regional and local roads in the Galway City Council area in each year from 2010 to 2013; the total amount allocated for 2014; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

Details of the regional and local road grant payments to councils including Galway City Council are outlined in the regional and local road grant payment booklets which are available in the Dáil Li...More Button

Was asked: if his Department has considered releasing additional funds to the local authority involved to complete the Narrow Water Bridge project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the proposed Narrow Water Bridge project; the efforts his Department has been making to assist in the completion of the project with the Northern Irish authorities; ...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the proposed Narrow Water Bridge project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1224, 1225 and 1281 together.More Button

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works ...More Button

The Irish Government supported the original decision by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) to approve the allocation of EU funding to the Narrow Water bridge project and committed an upfront ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, as part of the recovery programme that this Government has had to pursue to put the country back on its feet, unfortunately, there is a further reduction in regional ...More Button

The progression and importance of this project has been discussed at the North South Ministerial Council on a number of occasions most recently on 8 November last year. In the Plenary Joint Comm...More Button

It is important to note that there are time constraints with regard to the SEUPB funding, which has to be spent by 2015. SEUPB decided to withdraw the letter of offer for the Narrow Water project...More Button

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Was asked: if he will provide permission to Kilrush Town Council to proceed with Kilrush sports and development astro turf facility which is currently awaiting departmental permission; and if he will make a s...More Button

Was asked: if he will list the sports clubs that have applied for sports capital funding in County Wexford for the 2014 allocation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a list of organisations in County Laois that applied for the sports capital programme grant scheme for 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will grant funding to a club (details supplied) in County Longford which applied under the sports capital grants programme. More Button

Driver Licence Applications

Was asked: if he will address an issue raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied) in County Cork regarding the national driver licence service in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

The operation of the National Driver Licensing Service is the Statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority.  I have therefore referred the question to the Authority for direct reply.  I wo...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a car and trailer licence in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry. More Button

The operation of the National Driver Licensing Service is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority (RSA), and I have no power to intervene in individual cases. The general point a...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding eye tests for driving licences for older persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Requirements to be met in order to be considered medically fit to drive, including the eyesight requirements, are set at EU rather than national level.  Because of the inevitable risk of deteriorat...More Button

Was asked: if he will consider a mechanism to allow citizens to apply for their driving licences at their local post offices rather than obliging them to contend with the geographical and economic difficultie...More Button

The operation of the National Driver Licensing Service is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority.  I have therefore referred the question to the Authority for direct reply. I wo...More Button

Was asked: the reasons for the excessive delay in processing a learner's permit licence application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Offaly; his views on whether such a delay is justified; ...More Button

The operation of the National Driver Licensing Service is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority, and I have no role in relation to individual cases.  I have therefore referred t...More Button

Taxi Regulations

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding overpayment.More Button

Was asked: the number of complaints that have been made through the Irish Taxi Driver Check app to the National Transport Authority since its establishment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the way the complaints made through the Irish Taxi Driver Check app are processed and investigated by the National Transport Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if complaints made by taxi drivers about other taxi drivers through the Irish Taxi Driver Check app operated by the National Transport Authority are processed and investigated in the same way as th...More Button

Was asked: the powers the National Transport Authority has to investigate complaints made through the Irish Taxi Driver Check app; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the powers the National Transport Authority has to prosecute or punish those who are found to be guilty following a complaint made through the Irish Taxi Driver Check app; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to issues relating to the Irish Taxi Driver Check app which allow the system to be manipulated; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Rail Network

Was asked: his views on the reopening of Dunleer railway station; if he has received many representations calling for the station to be reopened; the amount it would cost to reopen Dunleer train station; and ...More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and the overall funding of public transport. Matters relating to the re-opening of railway stations, such as at Dunleer...More Button

Consideration of a new government capital investment plan beyond 2016 will begin shortly and consideration can be given to this project within that  overall process.  However, prioritisation  wil...More Button

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) in County Limerick regarding a train station. More Button

The issue raised is a matter for Iarnród Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within te...More Button

Parking Provision

Was asked: if the National Roads Authority will remove parking places at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry to improve sight lines; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

Public Transport

Was asked: if it is the practice of Bus Éireann to donate services to charities; and the amount it is costing annually. More Button

The issue raised is a matter for Bus Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten wo...More Button

Road Safety

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding a vehicle safety audit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006), the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has responsibility for the delivery of the National Car Test. I...More Button

The effects of wear and tear on a vehicle become more evident as it ages and prior to the introduction of annual testing road traffic collision statistics showed that a significant proportion of ...More Button

Was asked: if he will request the National Roads Authority to provide funding as a matter of priority for a section of Ireland's premier tourist route, the Ring of Kerry road, from the dangerous S-shaped brid...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

Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter in the first instance for the NRA in accordance with Section 19 of the Roads Act.More Button

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Regional Airports

Was asked: the position regarding the framework for approval by the EU Commission for State support for regional airports that his Department was to develop with respect to the proposed €35 million investment...More Button

Under the Regional Airports Programme, Exchequer support is provided to Donegal, Waterford, Kerry and IWA Knock airports through the Capital Expenditure Grants (CAPEX) Scheme, the Operational Expen...More Button

I should emphasise that there is no question of all the capital funding requirements of any regional airport being provided by the Exchequer. Where Exchequer funding is provided there will also ...More Button

Driver Licences

Was asked: the number of students who successfully passed the transport management CPC examination in each examination centre for each of the examination sittings in 2012, 2013 and January 2014.More Button

The details requested by the Deputy are shown in the following table.

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Was asked: in view of the long delays in receiving appointments with the national driver licence service and the imperative of obtaining a replacement licence at short notice when a licence is damaged, if the...More Button

The operation of the National Driver Licensing Service is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority.  I have therefore referred the question to the Authority for direct reply.  I wo...More Button

Was asked: if he has any intention of changing the criteria from the national driving licence service in order that a British citizen (details supplied) who holds a British-accredited bus driving licence coul...More Button

Irish driver licensing law operates within the framework of EU driver licensing law.  One of the consequences is that the vehicle categories for driving licences are standard across the EU.
More Button

Was asked: the reason for substantial delays in the issuing of driver licences to persons who have passed their test; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many people are having to persuade insura...More Button

The operation of the National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS) is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority (RSA).  The front offices of the NDLS operate under contract to the RSA, a...More Button

I understand from the RSA that, overall, applications which are non-problematic - that is, where the application is fully in order and there is no need to contact the applicant again for clarific...More Button

National Driver Licensing Service

Was asked: the position regarding the national driver licence service and its operation to date, particularly in the context of the waiting time relating to the processing of applications. More Button

The operation of the National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS) is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority (RSA). As I have previously indicated to the House, there were some initi...More Button

I understand that the NDLS is now processing applications within eight to thirteen days, in cases where there are no problems in the application, that is to say, in cases where the NDLS does not ...More Button

Was asked: the way the current operators of the national driver licence service will hold responsibility for the service; when the contract relating to the service will next be up for renewal; and if he will ...More Button

The operation of the National Driver Licensing Service, including the contracting process for outsourced providers, is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority.  I have therefore r...More Button

Public Transport Provision

Was asked: his plans for further bus rapid transit routes in the greater Dublin area beyond the three draft routes; and if a particular route from the city centre along Ballymun Road through Ballymun to the a...More Button

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  Following the establishment of the National Transport Authority (...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: the number of external or internal policy reports currently that have been handed to him but not yet published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when he will publish reports currently in his possession that have not been published to date; if he will outline in tabular form the reports involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1240 and 1241 together.

  I do not publish every report which is available within my Department. Many are purely of interest for internal planni...More Button

Land Acquisition

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 283 of 28 February 2014, if he will provide further clarification which identifies the party with whom CIE held the relevant land sale negotiations between 199...More Button

As I indicated in my reply to the Deputy's previous Parliamentary Question on this matter of 27th February 2014, this issue is a matter for CIÉ.  I understand CIÉ responded to the Deputy on 28th Fe...More Button

Pension Provisions

Was asked: the position regarding pension loss in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are over 5,000 deferred members of the IASS and I am very aware of their concerns in relation to the funding of the scheme. However, as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have no fu...More Button

The trustees of the IASS announced in February that they had decided in principle on a number of changes to address the funding difficulties of the scheme. The trustees, who are central to any s...More Button

EU Funding

Was asked: in view of reports that funding from the European Investment Bank is likely to be secured for the extension of the M18 from Gort to Tuam, if he will consider making an application from his Departme...More Button

Under the "Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2012-16: Medium Term Exchequer Framework", the next phase of the Western Rail Corridor, from Tuam to Athenry, has been deferre...More Button

Was asked: if there are any identified light or heavy rail projects for which funding may be sought from the European Investment Bank by his Department this year or in 2015.More Button

A loan of €150m was recently approved by the EIB in respect of the Luas Cross City line. This is the only light or heavy rail project that is being progressed under the "Infrastructure and...More Button

Ferry Services

Was asked: his views on proposals to cut the pay and conditions of maritime workers in the services of a company (details supplied) in the Irish Sea; and if any proposal to introduce a payscale for mariners b...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a number of ferry companies on the Irish Sea on passenger and freight routes (details supplied) are currently providing rates of pay to seafarers we...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1249 and 1251 together.

  None of the vessels of the ferry companies concerned are registered on the Irish flag. The level of payment of wages o...More Button

State Bodies

Was asked: the number of times his Department received requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times his Department met with Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if ...More Button

Neither my Department nor I have received any requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 or 2013. To be helpful to the Deputy, I did meet with the Chairman of the Forum on Philanthropy...More Button

  Question No. 1251 answered with Question No. 1249.More Button

Traffic Calming Measures

Was asked: if there will be traffic calming measures put in place where the Barrack Road, Collooney, meets the N4; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

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

Taxi Ranks

Was asked: if he will address concerns by taxi drivers about the removal of a taxi rank on O’Connell Street, Dublin 1; and if he will make provision for another location on that street to be used; and if he w...More Button

Road Projects

Was asked: if there is a policy that prevents local authorities from placing mini-roundabouts on national primary and national secondary roadways; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Bus Éireann Services

Was asked: if he will ask Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority to place a bus route on the real-time bus information signs at a location (details supplied) to include the final destination; and if...More Button

Was asked: the ten most expensive Bus Éireann journeys in the State per kilometre; and the ten least expensive journeys in the State per kilometre. More Button

Was asked: the percentage of the Bus Éireann fleet that is currently fully wheelchair accessible; when he expects the whole fleet to be 100% accessible; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1263, 1275 and 1279 together.

  The issues raised are matters for the National Transport Authority (NTA), in conjunction with Bus Éireann, and I ...More Button

  Question No. 1264 answered with Question No. 1246.More Button

Was asked: his plans to assess the bus service to and from Ashbourne in County Meath; his views on the fact that the service now provided is more expensive than those to similar towns equidistant from Dublin;...More Button

The issue raised is a matter for National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a ...More Button

Haulage Industry

Was asked: the outcome of discussions with British Transport Ministers and at the North-South Ministerial Council in relation to the serious difficulties facing the Irish haulage industry, particularly in the...More Button

I am very aware of the concerns of the Irish haulage industry regarding the introduction of a HGV road user levy by the UK parliament effective from 1 April 2014.  I have expressed the Irish Govern...More Button

I met Stephen Hammond M.P., Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport last month and again pressed this issue at that meeting.  Clause 3 of the UK HGV Road User Levy Act 2013 allows th...More Button

Sports Injuries

Was asked: if there is a code of conduct or guidelines in place in Ireland for when a player sustains a head injury during a soccer, GAA or rugby match or in other contact sports; his views on whether this is...More Button

I fully recognise the seriousness of concussion and head injuries in sport and the importance of ensuring the safety of players. Having attended the first ever Brain Injury and Sport European Confe...More Button

I am pleased to say that the FAI, GAA and IRFU all have concussion and head injury guidelines in place for their sports which stress the importance of ensuring the health and well-being of the pl...More Button

I have asked the Irish Sports Council to reply directly to the Deputy with further information on the guidelines in place by the sporting bodies. The Irish Sports Council is the statutory body wi...More Button

Ministerial Staff

Was asked: the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on his behalf; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties.More Button

There is currently 1 civil servant engaged on constituency work in my office, on the clerical officer salary scale of €23,177-€37,341 per annum.More Button

The costs associated with the provision of office accommodation for the constituency office is not borne by my Department. The expenses associated, such as utilities (oil, gas and electricity) a...More Button

Driving Test Waiting Lists

Was asked: the position regarding resitting a driving test in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Driver testing is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority, and I have no role in relation to individual cases.  I have therefore forwarded the question to the Authority for direct...More Button

Road Signage

Was asked: the allocation in 2014 for signposting on the national route N59; the benefits this signposting will bring; the budget from which this is being funded; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NRA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.More Button

Vehicle Registration

Was asked: the reason the log book for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal has not been processed for tax purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A change of ownership notification for the vehicle in question was received in the Donegal Motor Tax Office on 5 March 2014 and a Vehicle Registration Certificate (log book) issued to the address p...More Button

Rural Transport Programme

Was asked: if he will provide details on the terms of reference for the newly formed transport co-ordination units; when they will be in place; the stakeholders who will be involved in the TCUs; and if he wil...More Button

National Car Test

Was asked: the current waiting times in place to book a national car test across Tipperary; his views on whether these waiting times are acceptable, in view of the fact that it is an offence not to have a val...More Button

Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006) the Road Safety Authority has responsibility for delivering the National Car Test.

 ...More Button

  Question No. 1275 answered with Question No. 1263.More Button

Ministerial Meetings

Was asked: if he will report on the meeting of 13 March last of the criminal justice working group established to oversee and facilitate the implementation of the report of the An Garda Síochána Inspectorate ...More Button

The Criminal Justice Working Group, jointly chaired by the Department of Justice and Equality and my Department, met for the first time on 13th March 2014. At this first meeting, the background to ...More Button

In respect of each of the recommendations contained in the Report, the Group will identify the body with principal responsibility for implementation and will determine a timescale and arrangement...More Button

The Group will also consider and make recommendations with on other related issues it considers would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the fixed charge processing system, taking into a...More Button

The Group will report formally to the Minister for Justice and Equality and me on a regular basis providing an update on progress, having particular regard to timeframes set down in the Action Pl...More Button

The next meeting of the Group will take place on 25th March 2014 and I expect it will meet on a regular basis thereafter over the coming months to advance the substantial body of work which it ha...More Button

Taxi Licences Renewals

Was asked: the reason the Taxi Regulator has imposed a limit of nine years, after the initial registration for holding a taxi vehicle licence, where a car may no longer be licensed as a taxi in view of the fa...More Button

Aviation Issues

Was asked: the records that are kept of private aircraft landings at airports here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has responsibility regarding records of this nature.  I have referred the Deputy's question to them for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do n...More Button

  Question No. 1281 answered with Question No. 1224.More Button

Air Services Provision

Was asked: his future plans for the currently subsidised Kerry to Dublin flights; if he will continue to provide a subsidy in view of the importance of the route to the economy of the south west; and if he wi...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, the current PSO air services Scheme, which includes the Kerry/Dublin route, ends in November this year. The policy on regional airports post-2014 is currently being deve...More Button

Programme for Government Implementation

Was asked: if he will provide an update in tabular form of the commitments in the programme for Government that relate to his Department; and the progress that has been made in the implementation of each.More Button

I refer the Deputy to the recently published Programme for Government Annual Report which sets out the progress over the last 12 months on an extensive number of commitments which includes a number...More Button

Industrial Disputes

Was asked: if he was notified of the proposal by Aer Lingus to sue the SIPTU trade union and some named employees of that union; if so, the actions he took; and if he sought to persuade the company not to pro...More Button

Was asked: his views on the decision by Aer Lingus to sue the SIPTU trade union and some named employees of that union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1284 and 1285 together.

  Shareholders are only required to be notified of a limited number of issues under company law. The legal action taken b...More Button

Dublin Bus Services

Was asked: the additional funding that is proposed to be provided to Dublin Bus to operate the new Swiftway proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

 The issue raised is a matter for National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a...More Button

Tourism Industry

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the progress of the Connemara Greenway project; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have no direct role in relation to individual tourism projects as this is a matter for Fáilte Ireland. Accordingly I have referred the question to the agency for direct reply.  Please contact my...More Button

Mountain Rescue Service

Was asked: if he will report on the progress of his Department at designing a capital grant scheme to assist mountain rescue teams in securing new equipment vital to the tasks they carry out; and if he will m...More Button

As I outlined in response to a previous question on a related issue, I have asked my officials to consider the introduction of  a modest capital grant scheme for mountain rescue activities. However...More Button