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Humphreys, Heather

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Business of Dáil (Continued)

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Confidence in Taoiseach and Government: Motion (Continued)

The single greatest challenge facing the Government when we took office in March 2011 was to bring the economy back from the brink. Members should cast their minds back to how bad things were. Th...More Button

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Water Services Bill 2014: Second Stage (Resumed) (Continued)

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

National Cultural Institutions

Was asked: if it is still Government policy that all members of boards of national cultural institutions would serve on a pro bono basis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising this matter. In the context of the Government's public service reform plan published in November 2011, the Department conducted a critical examination of the structu...More Button

The Department is in the process of updating legislation on the cultural institutions, which will include a provision that members of the boards will operate on a pro bono basis.More Button

Was asked: her views on the current funding situation of the National Museum of Ireland; the way she will address the funding difficulties of this institution; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. In the recent budget I was pleased to be able to maintain funding for 2015 for the national cultural institutions, including the National Museum, at the ...More Button

The additional funding secured will be used to deal with several across the cultural institutions. I believe that it gives more certainty to the institutions and will allow them to continue to d...More Button

Our national cultural institutions are an essential component of our cultural fabric. Through their collections and exhibitions, they make a huge contribution to our society. I can assure the D...More Button

I am very much of the opinion that they should continue to be open to the public free of charge. In England whenever they introduce charging into cultural institutions, the number of visitors drop...More Button

I agree with the Deputy. The museum has received almost 1 million visitors this year, which is a tremendous achievement. Things have been difficult for all of the cultural institutions, because t...More Button

Was asked: if she has conducted a needs assessment regarding future funding of the national cultural institutions, in particular the National Archives, National Museum and National Library; if she is cognisan...More Button

In the recent Budget, I was pleased to be able to maintain funding for 2015 for the national cultural institutions, including the National Museum, at the same level as 2014. This brought to an end ...More Button

I was, of course, aware of particular funding issues that continued to exist and I have been engaged in ongoing discussions with Chairs and senior management at a number of our cultural instituti...More Button

The additional funding secured will be used to deal with a number of issues across the cultural institutions. I believe that it gives more certainty to the institutions and will allow them to con...More Button

Our national cultural institutions are an essential component of our cultural fabric. Through their collections and exhibitions, they make a huge contribution to our society. I can assure the Dep...More Button

Was asked: if she will expand the funding for the National Archives, the National Library, the National Gallery, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the National Museum; and if she will make a statement on the...More Button

In the recent Budget, I was pleased to be able to maintain funding for 2015 for the national cultural institutions, including the National Museum, at the same level as 2014. This brought to an end ...More Button

I was, of course, aware of particular funding issues that continued to exist and I have been engaged in ongoing discussions with Chairs and senior management at a number of our cultural instituti...More Button

The additional funding secured will be used to deal with a number of issues across the cultural institutions. I believe that it gives more certainty to the institutions and will allow them to con...More Button

Our national cultural institutions are an essential component of our cultural fabric. Through their collections and exhibitions, they make a huge contribution to our society. I can assure the Dep...More Button

National Cultural Institutions (Continued)

In the meantime the cultural institutions are implementing this on an administrative basis. My predecessor sought to move the Arts Council to a pro bono model on a voluntary basis and ...More Button

Full details of the remuneration and expenses paid to the Arts Council in 2011 and 2012 are set out in the report. Details of the 2013 payments will be included in the 2013 annual report which wil...More Button

However, that is the way it is. As I said, my predecessor and the chair of the Arts Council subsequently agreed that while all members would be asked to waive their fees, it would be a matter for ...More Button

The National Library had also mentioned the difficulties it was facing. The breakdown has not been published yet. It will be published shortly. I have had discussions with the directors and chai...More Button

National Monuments

Was asked: if, following Dublin City Council's rejection of the proposed Moore Street land swap with a private developer, she plans to initiate a full and independent battlefield site survey of the Moore Stre...More Button

A comprehensive assessment has already been carried out as part of the application for consent under the National Monuments Acts for the proposed restoration of the buildings and the provision of a...More Button

I am disappointed that Dublin City Council decided not to support the proposal that recently went before it, whereby the council would exchange two modern 1990s buildings at Nos. 24 and 25 Moore ...More Button

Following the decision to reject the proposal, it is now a matter for the City Council and the monument owners to consider the implications for the national monument buildings, for the NAMA fundi...More Button

Responsibility for planning and development of the area outside the bounds of the national monument at Nos. 14 to 17 Moore Street rests with the planning authority, Dublin City Council.More Button

I wish to correct the record. I never used the words "heated exchange" because I did not have a heated exchange with anybody. My door has been open and I have met a number of the relatives - I wi...More Button

I have indicated that a detailed assessment has already been carried out and I am entirely satisfied with the quality and findings of the research done. In January 2012, my Department asked the ...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 22 of 22 October 2014 if she will provide Dáil Éireann with an update on whether contact has been made between her Department and Fingal County Council and the...More Button

The promontory fort at Drumanagh, Lusk, Co. Dublin, is privately owned and there are no proposals to take it into State ownership. More Button

The site is, however, subject to a Preservation Order under section 8 of the National Monuments Act 1930, as amended. The effect of the Preservation Order is that any works affecting the site re...More Button

The offer to provide advice or guidance to the landowners or to Fingal County Council on any matter relating to the protection of the national monument, as referred to by the Deputy, was made in ...More Button

I am generally supportive of all initiatives that may help to facilitate greater public access to our archaeological heritage. My Department’s National Monuments Service continues to be availabl...More Button

National Monuments (Continued)

I want to be clear that I am not abandoning the Moore Street project. As I said, I was disappointed when the decision was arrived at by the city council. I have met with both groups of relatives,...More Button

I have also met with Dublin City Council's Moore Street advisory committee and am meeting them again tomorrow morning to discuss the matter further in light of the vote on the land swap. The lan...More Button

I have also visited the national monument myself and have been through the entire site. During the visit, I spoke to a number of traders on the street who are supportive of the plans for the mon...More Button

Commemorative Events

Was asked: if she will report on funding for 1916 commemorations; the percentage of her Department's budget that was devoted to this; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Capital provision of €22 million will be allocated in 2015 to a number of flagship projects, including the development of a permanent exhibition space and interpretative centre at the GPO; the rest...More Button

A widespread public consultation process is now underway in order to encourage and facilitate the involvement of ground-up initiatives in the wider commemorative programme. I look forward to wor...More Button

Just to clarify, I think the Deputy is referring to the Arts Council budget, which has remained the same as last year. The €4 million allocated for commemorations is additional funding. I want to...More Button

The arts budget, which is separate, has gone to the Arts Council and was maintained at last year's figure. We did get additional funding of €4 million for the commemorations.More Button

As the economy improves, it is my job to get additional funding for the arts and I will certainly be doing so. The Deputy mentioned the end of austerity and I will be seeking additional funding fo...More Button

Was asked: her views about the discontent of some relatives of those who partook in the 1916 Rising with regard to the centenary commemoration plans; if she has requested a meeting with these relatives; and i...More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising this matter. Along with my Government colleagues, I am committed to ensuring the commemorations to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising will be inclusive, ap...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the Government's plans to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have secured an amount of €4 million in the Budget for 2015 to allow for the roll out of an integrated plan focused on commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. It is my intention t...More Button

Was asked: the commitment in the programme for Government relating to the cultural plan for future commemorative events such as the centenary of the Easter 1916 Rising; and if she will make a statement on the...More Button

I have secured an amount of €4 million in the Budget for 2015 to allow for the roll out of an integrated plan focused on commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. It is my intention t...More Button

Was asked: the involvement of officials in her Department on the proposals for the development of Moore Street for the commemoration of 1916; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department’s involvement in this case arises from the Preservation Order placed on Nos. 14 to 17 Moore Street under the National Monuments Acts in 2007 in order to protect No. 16 as the site of ...More Button

As a consequence of the Preservation Order, any works affecting the monument buildings require the consent of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. After extensive deliberations, a ...More Button

The development plans for the wider Moore Street area have been approved in decisions made by Dublin City Council and An Bord Pleanála under the Planning Acts and are entirely outside my remit un...More Button

Job Initiatives

Was asked: the percentage of staff at cultural organisations in receipt of Arts Council or other such State funding who are on the JobBridge scheme or any other unpaid internship; and if she will make a state...More Button

Whereas the arts strand of JobBridge was designed and brokered by the Arts Council, it is run by the JobBridge section of the Department of Social Protection with local authorities across the count...More Button

I understand that when an extension of the JobBridge national internship scheme to provide for new internships in the arts sector was announced in April 2013, it was estimated that the initiative...More Button

On the wider issue, there is a long history of internships, formal and informal, paid and unpaid, in the arts, as well as a culture of volunteerism, especially for seasonal programmes. For examp...More Button

Job Initiatives (Continued)

I do not accept that free labour is being used to replace staff. My experience of JobBridge is that it has been very successful. I know many people who have been on this scheme and who have moved...More Button

I have spoken to business people who have found it invaluable in terms of training up somebody because when one goes into a workplace first, one does not have the skills set needed to do the job ...More Button

It is important that the arts world avails of this type of programme so that young people, who come out of college and need a bit of experience on the job, are able to get it. I would not agree ...More Button

The eligibility criteria for JobBridge is based on the overall objective of labour market policy in ensuring a pathway to appropriate employment, training and education opportunities for those on t...More Button

Air Strips

Was asked: her plans for the airstrips at Cleggan and Inishbofin, County Galway; if discussions have taken place or are planned with the Irish Coast Guard regarding the use of the facilities in its work; and ...More Button

Commemorative Events (Continued)

I look forward to working with the Oireachtas all-party consultation group on commemorations, the expert advisory group and a wide range of stakeholders over the coming 18 months to make the events...More Button

The Gathering.More Button

Yes. I want to consult as widely as possible. In that regard, we will work closely with the embassies. I recently attended the Famine commemoration in New Orleans where I met many people of Iris...More Button

It is my intention to allocate the budget of €4 million in a manner that will facilitate the roll-out of an integrated plan focused on commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Rising. I intend to u...More Button

Arts Plan

Was asked: if her Department continues to encourage economic development through the medium of the arts; the degree to which specific targets continue to be identified and met in this regard; and if she will ...More Button

As set out in the programme for Government, the Government's policy on the arts is to promote and strengthen the arts in all forms, to increase access to and participation in the arts and to make t...More Button

Genealogical Services

Was asked: if, in the pursuit of a vital all-island approach to genealogical heritage, a conflict arises in the different legal regimes surrounding access to digitised records online versus digitised indexes;...More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising this matter. I assume that her question relates to the indexes of births, deaths and marriages. As part of the Government's policy to enhance public access to our -...More Button

-----online access to the indexes to births, deaths and marriages is in the process of being finalised through my Department's website www.irishgenealogy.ie. The provision of such access is...More Button

The relevant provision of the 2014 Act allows for public access, via www.irishgenealogy.ie, to the register entries. That legislation was signed b...More Button

They will be able to access the register entries, which I presume is the actual record. I am aware of the facility that is available on the GRONI website. I will double-check to ensure the same f...More Button

  Written Answers follow Adjournment.More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the funding mechanisms she is considering to support and maintain built heritage in 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department is currently considering the funding available for the protection and conservation of the built heritage in 2015 in the context of its overall allocation and final decisions will be m...More Button

Easter Rising Commemorations

Was asked: the extent to which her Department continues to prepare for the commemorative events of 1916 in a way which marks the events, locations and prominent personalities involved and recognises the ongoi...More Button

The commemorations to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising will be a major event in a programme that has been developing since 2012 to commemorate the key events leading to the proclamation of t...More Button

Was asked: the involvement the military of other European States may have in the commemorative events related to the anniversary of the 1916 Rising.More Button

The Ireland 2016 initiative, which was recently launched and which I am leading, aims to develop, coordinate and deliver a programme to appropriately honour and remember those wh...More Button

National Museum

Was asked: if she will provide an update on the situation regarding the funding of the National Museum of Ireland; if a decision has been made on whether all four museums will remain open from January; and if...More Button

In the recent Budget, I was pleased to be able to maintain funding for 2015 for the national cultural institutions, including the National Museum, at the same level as 2014. This brought to an end ...More Button

I was, of course, aware of particular funding issues that continued to exist and I have been engaged in ongoing discussions with Chairs and senior management at a number of our cultural institutio...More Button

The additional funding secured will be used to deal with a number of issues across the cultural institutions. I believe that it gives more certainty to the institutions and will allow them to con...More Button

Our national cultural institutions are an essential component of our cultural fabric. Through their collections and exhibitions, they make a huge contribution to our society. I can assure the Dep...More Button

With regard to the issue of the National Museum remaining open from January next, I am aware that the Museum has issued a statement to the effect that its four sites are, and will remain, open to...More Button

Ministerial Travel

Was asked: if she will provide in tabular form her travel schedule overseas since taking office; the expense associated with this travel including total staff travel and accommodation costs; and if she will m...More Button

I have travelled abroad on official business on four occasions since taking office, as set out in tabular form below. The total cost to date, including staff travel and accommodation costs, is €9,7...More Button

Appointments to State Boards

Was asked: in view of the controversy surrounding appointments to State boards if she will publish the responses received from the national cultural institutions regarding her request for them to draw up a re...More Button

The Government recently agreed on a Revised Model for Ministerial Appointments to State Boards, which complements the existing system with a more structured approach to ensure that vacancies on Sta...More Button

Departmental Bodies Board Remuneration

Was asked: if she will provide in tabular form any remuneration or expenses that have been paid to each member of the Arts Council board in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; and if she will make a statement on the m...More Button

Full details of remuneration and expenses paid to members of the Arts Council in 2011 and 2012 is set out in the Annual Reports and Accounts of that body in each of the years in question and is ava...More Button

Grazing Rights

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 29 of 22 October 2014 if she has had or will have discussions with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine regarding the farmers still suffering the...More Button

The 5-year grazing restriction in the Twelve Bens/Garraun Complex and Maumturk Mountains Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) ran from the 1 November 2008 until the 31 October 2013. This grazing r...More Button

My Department has made detailed submissions to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with respect to the GLAS scheme generally and in relation to upland management of commonages in p...More Button

I understand that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has clarified the maintenance grazing requirement for marginal lands, including commonage under Pillar 1 - the Basic Payment S...More Button

Animal Welfare

Was asked: her plans to improve the monitoring of coursing meetings by National Parks and Wildlife Service officers, in view of the fall in the numbers of such inspections and the lack of sufficient scrutiny ...More Button

Licences were issued by my Department in August 2014 under the Wildlife Acts to the Irish Coursing Club on behalf of their affiliated clubs to facilitate the tagging and capturing of hares for the ...More Button

Regional management staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department, who have a wide range of functions in protecting and conserving wildlife under both Irish and EU legislation...More Button

I should also point out that veterinary staff from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine carry out some monitoring inspections during the coursing season to verify compliance with th...More Button

Wildlife Protection

Was asked: if she will close off the loophole in existing legislation that is being exploited by the Ward Union Stag Union, to enable them to in effect hunt stags; and if she will make a statement on the matt...More Button

The Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2010 makes it an offence to hunt deer with two or more dogs. It is understood that since the enactment of the legislation the Ward Union Hunt have operated a “drag hunt...More Button

Census of Population Publication

Was asked: when she will have legislation enacted to digitalise the 1926 census; the length of time it will take for the census to be released following enactment; and if she will make a statement on the matt...More Button

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to enabling the publication of the 1926 Census records in due course.

  The digitisation of the 1901 and 1911 Censu...More Button

GLAS Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: if she has had correspondence with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine regarding devising a protocol to facilitate long term leasing of national park lands for a period longer than t...More Button

I am advised that, while my Department has received no correspondence on the GLAS scheme, it has had some informal contacts with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on the matter. My...More Button

An Fhoireann Rannach

Bunaíodh mo Roinn ar an 2 Meitheamh, 2011 agus, dá bhrí sin, ní féidir comparáidí a dhéanamh idir an bhliain seo agus na blianta 2004, 1994, 1984 agus 1974.More Button

As foireann iomlán de 572 duine, tá sé de chumas ar 65 bhall foirne (11 %) seirbhísí a chur ar fáil don phobal trí Ghaeilge ar bhonn rialta. Anuas air sin, tá leibhéil éagsúla inniúlachta sa Ghae...More Button

Faoina Scéim Ghaeilge, tá mo Roinnse tiomanta d’oiliúint agus forbairt chuí a chur ar fáil don fhoireann uile, sa dá theanga oifigiúil, chun freastal ar riachtanais ár gcustaiméirí agus acmhainne...More Button