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Coveney, Simon

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions

I am still not quite sure whether the Deputy welcomes the new approach to orthodontic care.More Button

It is certainly a very positive new policy, with eight new packages of care for children up to the age of 16, and an attempt by the Government to be proactive. For what it is worth, there was exte...More Button

On the second issue raised by the Deputy, in 2015, the HSE received a review report it had commissioned following receipt of a statement of concern from two consultant orthodontists relating to a...More Button

Since receipt of the 2015 report, the HSE has initiated a comprehensive audit of more than 7,500 patient files available from that period. Dedicated funding and personnel have been allocated by ...More Button

It is important to remember that these files go back to the period from 1999 to 2002 so they relate to quite a long time ago and there are many patients are involved - 7,500. My understanding is t...More Button

I do not have a direct answer to that question but I presume the patients will not be contacted until the audit has been confirmed and we understand what we are dealing with and they can be informe...More Button

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (Continued)

I will deal with the specific issues relating to Limerick in a minute, but it is important to give a broader picture nationally of what is happening with regard to trolley figures. The trolley num...More Button

The Deputy specifically mentioned ward 1A. The HSE has informed me that the closure of a 17-bed medical short-stay unit, ward 1A, at University Hospital Limerick will facilitate the completion o...More Button

The Government is addressing this but it is taking time. Let us look at Cork University Hospital. This morning, according to the HSE count, the number of patients waiting on trolleys in Cork was ...More Button

The hospital has got on top of what was an unacceptable situation at the start of the week. Let us look at what the Government is doing in the medium term in order to increase capacity. What is r...More Button

-----to which I referred earlier involves upgrading of the Limerick facilities in order that we will have more efficiency in the not-too-distant future, when we get through the pressures we face to...More Button

The Deputy had many questions. I will deal with the Lariam issue first. It is important to emphasise that malaria is a serious disease that has killed hundreds of thousands people. We need to pr...More Button

The choice of medication for deployment overseas for both officers and enlisted personnel, including the use of Lariam and other drugs, is a medical decision made by medical officers in the Defen...More Button

A further case has been listed for hearing in the High Court on 7 May. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on individual cases given litigation is pending. This has, however, been an on...More Button

We are introducing a patient safety Bill that will require open disclosure.More Button

It is being brought through the system. The Government has committed to that Bill and we will fully follow through on it. Deputy Clare Daly and I have spoken before about the broader issue of the...More Button

The core issue is whether Lariam is suitable for use. Different countries take different approaches. It is not true to state that all countries are moving away from the use of Lariam. Some cou...More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. It is no secret to this House that, while an extraordinary amount of detailed work on how Ireland and the EU collectively would respond in a no-deal scen...More Button

The British Government has produced a paper in which it says that it will not implement checks or apply tariffs in respect of goods travelling from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland in ...More Button

We are working closely with the European Commission on this issue. I suspect that some of the conversation with Chancellor Merkel today will focus on this issue. I assure the Deputy that EU lea...More Button

An internal discussion is taking place, but it is important that the options are weighed up and that we agree on something before we start informing the public. Otherwise, anything we say will be ...More Button

Having said that, the Deputy is right. We need to be ready for Brexit day plus one, as the Deputy has called it, in a no-deal scenario. We need clarity both with the European Commission and wit...More Button

Protecting an all-island economy now and into the future can only be done by taking a regulatory alignment approach to the problem. Anything else would be disruptive to trade. We must ensure that...More Button

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation

It is not true to say that we have been dilly-dallying on this issue. There are three Bills dealing with insurance and we have had some success in respect of motor insurance in particular on the b...More Button

I can understand the frustration of very many families, but it is important that we deal with the facts. The circumstances are not the same as what happened in October. In this instance, the UN i...More Button

To be clear, there was a paperwork problem in October where there was fault on our side. That is my understanding. That is not the case this time, however.More Button

This was an issue between UN officials and their counterparts in Beirut.More Button

The Deputy knows, or at least he should, that that is not how these UN rotations work.More Button

We will get them home as quickly as we can.More Button

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (Continued)

I have read about and noticed both the issues the Deputy has raised. He might have noticed that this Government, especially under the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Creed, h...More Button

The Deputy has raised two issues. With regard to bringing home the contingent from the Golan Heights there was an issue between the UN and the Lebanese authorities that resulted in their plane hav...More Button

On the second issue, we are considering how we can improve the remuneration of Defence Forces personnel. We have asked the Public Sector Pay Commission to look specifically at the Defence Forces...More Button

I will come back to the Deputy on that.More Button

My understanding is that three Departments are to meet the Central Bank tomorrow on this issue such that we have a basis for making a decision. People can still apply for the home loan scheme.More Button

The Government is anxious to quickly provide clarity on the funding of the scheme. As stated, an important meeting on this issue will take place tomorrow between three Departments, including the D...More Button

State Bodies Data

Was asked: the number and percentage of women on each State board under the remit of his Department on 8 March 2016 and 8 March 2019, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are no State Boards under the remit of my Department.More Button

Brexit Issues

Was asked: if the existing freedom of movement and residence rights for EU citizen spouses of Irish citizens moving from Ireland to Northern Ireland will be assured following the withdrawal of the UK from the...More Button

It is important to note in the first instance that both the Irish and British Governments have confirmed that neither Irish citizens in the UK nor British citizens in Ireland are required to take a...More Button

The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a long-standing arrangement between Ireland and the UK which means Irish citizens can move freely to live, work, and study in the UK on the same basis as UK citize...More Button

For the specific case of an EU citizen moving, as the spouse of Irish citizen, after the UK exits the European Union, from Ireland to Northern Ireland, or to anywhere else in the UK, the draft Wi...More Button

The Political Declaration setting out the framework for the Future EU-UK Relationship, which has been endorsed by the European Council, sets out the ambition of the EU and UK to have a deep and c...More Button

Ireland wants the closest possible relationship between the EU and the UK, including on trade, in order to minimise the impact on our trade and economy and our people.More Button

The Withdrawal Agreement represents the best way to ensure an orderly UK withdrawal which protects the Good Friday Agreement, and will enable both sides to move on to negotiating a deep and compr...More Button

Was asked: his views on the Alberto Costa amendment in the UK (details supplied).More Button

The proposal by Alberto Costa MP was that the UK Government should seek a joint UK-EU commitment to adopt the section of the Withdrawal Agreement on Citizens’ Rights even if the British Parliament ...More Button

While I very much understand and indeed sympathise with Mr Costa's motivation and objectives, I do not believe this particular proposal would be workable. More Button

It is the EU's view, shared by the Government, that it would not be possible to treat certain aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement, in isolation. This would amount to a reopening of the Withdrawal...More Button

The Withdrawal Agreement is a carefully balanced and inter-connected legal text. The citizens’ rights provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement rely on the general rules providing for the governance...More Button

Equally, the Agreement contains other provisions, outside of ‘Part 2,’ that are relevant to the protection of other rights of citizens – for example, on personal data protection, the orderly comp...More Button

However, the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, remain a priority for the EU, as they have throughout the negotiations. In the event of a no deal scenario, the rights of...More Button

With regard to Ireland, the rights of UK nationals in Ireland, and Irish nationals in the UK, are dealt with under the Common Travel Area. The Common Travel Area is a long-standing arrangement be...More Button

Passport Services

Was asked: if his office and the Passport Office will no longer deal with inquiries about passports from Deputies.More Button

In order to ensure resources are used effectively many of my Department's functions, including communication channels, are centralised. Accordingly, my office is the dedicated point of contact for...More Button

Passport Applications

Was asked: the reason it takes applicants more than ten working days to receive their passports through the passport express service in view of the fact that the Passport Office has taken on more staff to dea...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Passport Express Service provides an option for citizens to submit their passport application through the network of more than one thousand post offices across the ...More Button

A range of measures have been undertaken to ensure that we are in this position despite the unprecedented volume of passport applications received so far this year. These include the recruitment...More Button

Was asked: if a holder of a British passport (details supplied) will qualify for an Irish passport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

All passport applications are subject to the provisions of the Passports Act 2008. The Act provides, among other things, that a person must be an Irish citizen before a passport can be issued to hi...More Button

Foreign Conflicts

Was asked: if he has made representations to his Nigerian counterparts concerning the killing of approximately 120 Christians in the Middle Belt region of the country in March 2019; and if he will make a stat...More Button

Irish Aid

Was asked: if funding will be provided through Irish Aid or other organisations under the aegis of his Department to facilitate or support access to the termination of pregnancy overseas; and if he will make ...More Button

Brexit Preparations

Was asked: the number of times in the past two months his officials have participated in discussions with the European Commission on no-deal scenarios for trade within the island of Ireland; the personnel inv...More Button

There is ongoing and regular contact between the Government and the European Commission, at all levels, in relation to our preparedness and contingency measures for Brexit, including a no deal scen...More Button

We are working closely with the Commission on how to mitigate against the negative impact on our trade and economy, and to ensure connectivity with the rest of the EU's Single Market, including v...More Button

More recently, discussions have had an additional focus on how to protect the Good Friday Agreement and avoid a hard border in the case of no deal, while also protecting the integrity of the Sing...More Button

The latest meeting with the Commission at official level took place in Brussels on Friday, 29 March, and was attended by officials from the Departments of the Taoiseach, Foreign Affairs and Trade...More Button

If the UK decides to leave without the Withdrawal Agreement, initial, temporary arrangements will be required. Such arrangements will be suboptimal compared to the backstop, and, while we are abs...More Button

For any sustainable long term solution, discussions between the EU, Ireland and the UK will be required, not least given the UK's obligations under the Good Friday Agreement as a co-guarantor of ...More Button

This is also why the Withdrawal Agreement is of such importance. It represents the only way to ensure an orderly UK withdrawal, and we continue to work as a priority to support its ratification.More Button