Written Answers.

The following are questions tabled by Members for written response and the ministerial replies received from the Departments [unrevised].
Questions Nos. 1 to 11, inclusive, answered orally.

Job Creation.

Phil Hogan

Question:

12 Mr. Hogan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps she will take to remove outstanding obstacles to the provision of investment for the creation of much needed employment in the former Comerama factory in Castlecomer, County Kilkenny; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13757/04]

The sale of the Comerama facility in Castlecomer was a private matter and was the sole responsibility of the receiver appointed. There was a tender process but I had no involvement in that.

I understand, however, that a number of bids were received and certain obstacles were then encountered. As far as I am aware, these obstacles have now been resolved and a company will acquire the former Comerama building and create employment in Castlecomer starting in June. I very much welcome this badly needed boost for Castlecomer and the surrounding area.

Community Employment Schemes.

Michael Ring

Question:

13 Mr. Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if the number of projects for the community employment programme will be reduced in 2004; if the policy to reduce the number of participants has been implemented; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13766/04]

The total number of community employment projects is likely to reduce slightly from the 1,368 in operation at year-end 2003. However, there are no reductions planned in the overall level of places available on the community employment programme in 2004. FÁS encourages projects that might otherwise not be renewed due to insufficient numbers of participants to amalgamate with neighbouring projects and thereby form a viable entity that can continue to provide a service to the local community.

In line with the Government decision in 1999, the phased reduction in community employment participation rates has been implemented to a stage where there were 19,848 participants on the programme at the start of the year. No further reduction in participation levels is planned. In fact, there may indeed be scope for a slight increase in the participation rate during the year based on the overall budget allocation of €351 million provided for FÁS employment programmes in the Estimates for 2004.

Professional Services.

John Perry

Question:

14 Mr. Perry asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her Department’s views on the percentage fee structure charged by many professions; if her Department intends to review this issue; her views on whether legislation to restrict this practice in favour of a flat fee structure is worthy of consideration; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13769/04]

The Competition Authority is currently studying the market for professional services. While the authority's study includes an analysis of professional fees and the manner in which they are set, that is only one element of the review. The study also covers barriers to entry into professions, restrictions on who may supply professional services and various other issues.

There are eight separate professions being examined — engineers, architects, veterinarians, dentists, optometrists, medical practitioners, barristers, and solicitors — and the authority intends to complete its study later this year. I will decide whether legislative measures are required when I have considered the authority's findings.

As regards fee structures generally, the important requirement is to ensure that there is genuine price competition between members of professions in the same way as for any other economic undertakings. The auctioneering profession is to be examined separately by a working group being established by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. My Department, the Competition Authority and the Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs will be represented on the working group.

Departmental Investigations.

Phil Hogan

Question:

15 Mr. Hogan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her views on the belief of a person (details supplied) that an alleged fraud perpetrated by an NGO on her Department, of which she was informed, never took place; her further views on the fact that, despite this information being available to her Department, the chief executive of that NGO was dismissed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13756/04]

In June 1996, my Department approved grant assistance of 104,000 ECUs, or approximately £83,000, under the EU-funded small business operational programme for a project proposed by the organisation concerned. In accordance with the normal procedures for the relevant measure, an initial grant of 50% of the total approved was made at that time, while a further grant of 30% was issued in September 1997, following the submission of a progress report on the project by the organisation.

On 29 January 1999, the organisation wrote to the Department advising it that it appeared to the organisation that it had received an overpayment from the Department in respect of expenses amounting to £16,500 on foot of which a grant had been paid at the rate of 75%. At a meeting with the Department on 5 March 1999 to discuss this matter, the organisation advised the Department that it had decided to alert the Garda fraud squad to suspected irregularities in relation to the claims submitted to the Department for funding for the project. The Department was advised that the fraud squad had been alerted to the organisation's concerns about invoices in the amount of £16,500 received from a supplier of services to the organisation which had been used to support the drawdown of funds from the Department. The Department was advised that the organisation's auditors had also been informed about the matter and that the Department would be kept informed about developments. At that stage, the Department suspended any further payments in respect of this project pending the conclusion of the investigations into the matter.

On 23 June 2000, the organisation wrote to the Department and confirmed that an extensive investigation by its auditors had found no evidence of fraud and that, following a fraud squad investigation, a file had been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who had decided that there were no grounds for action. The organisation indicated that it had accepted the results of these investigations and, accordingly, the invoices, which had been the subject of the investigations were paid by the organisation on 23 June 2000.

I would like to stress that I have not, and never had, any role in relation to the individual's employment with the organisation or the termination of his contract by the organisation. These are matters between that individual and the organisation. Furthermore, it should be clear from the foregoing that the Department was only advised about the outcome of the Garda and auditors' investigations in June 2000, that is, more than a year after the organisation took the decision to terminate the individual's contract in May 1999. As I indicated in my reply to Deputy Quinn on Tuesday, 6 April 2004, my Department does not have any issue or concern to pursue with the individual to which the question refers.

FÁS Training Programmes.

Pat Breen

Question:

16 Mr. P. Breen asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of employees in FÁS classified as grade seven or above in respect of December 1997 and December 2003; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13765/04]

FÁS had 289.5 staff at grade 7 and above at the end of 2003 and 170 at the end of 1997. These management grades, 1 to 7, are spread throughout head office and the eight FÁS regions.

The increase in numbers at these levels is as a result of a major programme of change agreed in FÁS in 1996 negotiated under the auspices of the then FÁS mediation panel and agreed in the context of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work; the growth in training centre activity especially due to the growth of the apprenticeship programme; the transfer of staff and functions from the National Rehabilitation Board to FÁS in 2000; and adjustments relating to a strategic review of its operations carried out by FÁS in 2002.

As part of the Government decision to reduce public sector numbers, FÁS is required to reduce overall staff numbers by 150 by the end of 2005.

Carbon Tax.

Paul Nicholas Gogarty

Question:

17 Mr. Gogarty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the analysis her Department has undertaken on the possible implications for industry here of the introduction of a carbon tax; if her attention has been drawn to a World Bank investigation (details supplied) of 103 cases of the introduction of such taxes, which showed that in 73% of cases there was a positive influence on employment, in 24% of cases a negative influence and in 3% no influence; and her views on the matter. [13905/04]

The proposed introduction of carbon tax is in response to our international obligations under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The Minister for Finance signalled the introduction of a general carbon tax from the end of 2004 in his budget speech in December 2002. A consultation paper on proposals for a carbon energy tax in Ireland was published by the Department of Finance in July 2003 and the submissions received as part of this consultation process were published on that Department's website in February 2004.

My Department provided a submission as part of the consultation process and has made it clear that, in developing the tax framework, a crucial consideration must be the minimisation of any negative impacts on the enterprise sector, including possible impacts on competitiveness and employment. The green tax group, a sub-group of the tax strategy group which has representatives from a range of Government Departments, is progressing work on the design of the proposed tax and my Department is fully involved in this process.

Forfás, in conjunction with my Department, had studies undertaken in 2002 to assess how best to achieve the greenhouse gas reduction targets specified for the enterprise sector as cost effectively as possible and in a way that would minimise the effects on competitiveness. Indecon International Economic Consultants and Environmental Resource Management, ERM, were appointed to undertake these studies which focused on taxation, negotiated agreements, emissions trading and investment in international greenhouse gas reduction projects. This work, and other work both at national and international level, has been contributing to the development of policy for emissions reductions in the enterprise sector and is a useful source of information in developing a framework for carbon taxation.

The potential implications for industry of the introduction of a carbon tax in Ireland will depend on factors such as the level of the tax, whether revenue from the tax is recycled and whether there will be provisions to exempt companies from the tax who are engaged in other greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures such as emissions trading and negotiated agreements.

The Deputy refers to a study on the predicted impacts of various types of environmental taxes in different countries. My Department has seen the article in question which is one of many reports on this issue. The study is interesting but does not specifically focus on the subject of carbon tax; moreover, it makes the point that simulation results remain uncertain and should not serve as the only guide to policy making.

Personal Injuries Assessment Board.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

18 Mr. O’Shea asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the position with regard to the operation of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board; the number of staff recruited to date; when she expects that the board will be operational; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13825/04]

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board was established by ministerial order on 13 April 2004. From 1 June 2004, all personal injury claims arising from workplace accidents, where an employee is seeking compensation from his-her employer, must be referred to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board before legal proceedings are issued.

The structure and staffing levels of the PIAB have been agreed. The PIAB, when fully operational, will have a staffing complement of up to 85 in addition to the CEO. The PIAB will also utilise an out-sourced service centre to assist injured parties in completion of their claim submissions and ensure a comprehensive, fair and independent service is provided.

The actual recruitment of staff is an operational matter for which the CEO of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board has responsibility. However, I understand a significant recruitment campaign is under way and a number of key management and assessor positions have been filled.

The establishment of the PIAB is a significant milestone in the Government's insurance reform programme which will lead to reduced insurance premia to the benefit of both consumers and businesses alike. By eliminating the need for litigation costs where legal issues are not in dispute, the PIAB will significantly reduce the cost of delivering compensation. The PIAB will also offer speedier assessments to the benefit of genuine claimants.

Health and Safety Regulations.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

19 Ms O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the position with regard to her consultation with the social partners on proposals to increase penalties for breaches of the health and safety legislation, especially in view of the ongoing level of death and injury being caused to workers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13827/04]

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Bill is at final stages of drafting. I will be bringing it to Government shortly for approval to introduce it in the Oireachtas and to publish it. I have consulted the social partners and I have taken account of their comments in framing the Bill.

In relation to penalties, I am proposing to Government two levels of prosecution for offences under the Bill as follows: summary prosecution in either the District or Circuit Courts for relatively minor offences for which the maximum fine will be €3,000; and prosecution on indictment in the Circuit Court for very serious offences for which the penalty will be a heavy fine or imprisonment or both.

European Council Meetings.

Trevor Sargent

Question:

20 Mr. Sargent asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the persons who attended the recent informal meeting of the EU Council of Competition Ministers in Dromoland Castle; and the agenda for the meeting. [13909/04]

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

34 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will make a statement on the meeting of EU industry and competitiveness Ministers in Dromoland Castle. [13819/04]

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

35 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will expand on her comments made at the recent informal meeting of EU Ministers in Dromoland Castle that the European Union means lighter regulation of business and industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13820/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 20, 34 and 35 together.

The challenges facing European industry including the concerns of many European leaders relating to trends in exports, jobs, lacklustre productivity performance and how Europe can address these problems formed the focus of discussions of an informal meeting of the EU Competitiveness Ministers and industry representatives in Dromoland Castle, County Clare on 25 and 27 April 2004. The meeting examined Europe's productivity performance and suggested how Europe's performance in this regard could be strengthened by becoming more innovative. The object of this debate was to identify practical initiatives for creating a better environment for industry in Europe, and thereby creating more jobs and prosperity for EU citizens.

The agenda for the meeting included two thematic areas. The first session addressed the issues of creating a culture of innovation — staying competitive in a global market. The second session looked at frontiers in innovation — converting knowledge into value and research and industrial development.

In addition to Ministers from the 15 member states and three EU Commissioners, the ten new member states, together with representatives from Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, were also invited. International business leaders and experts in research and innovation also attended and participated in discussions.

The structure of the meeting provided the opportunity for business leaders and Ministers to exchange ideas and explore strategies to improve European competitiveness. The proceedings of the meeting will help to inform and prioritise the work of the EU Competitiveness Council of Ministers and will go forward to the agenda of a formal Competitiveness Council in Brussels next week. A summary of the proceedings in Dromoland is available on the Irish Presidency website at www.eu2004.ie.

EU countries are naturally concerned about the impact of rising competition from developing countries on the competitiveness of Europe and its companies. This has led to concerns in many EU states about the relocation of industrial activities and jobs to more competitive locations, the so-called "de-industrialisation" process. Indeed, these concerns relate not just to low-skilled assembly activities, but also to higher-skilled and knowledge-intensive research and services activities.

The key message from industry leaders to the EU was that investment decisions will be influenced by the business climate that exists in the European Union and particularly in the different member states. According to the business representatives the European Union needs lighter regulation of industry and business, and speedier decision-making for those operating in a global marketplace. Ministers and industry leaders agreed that excessive and burdensome regulation together with gaps in the internal market leads to weak competition in Europe. Better regulation and the delivery of a true European Single Market in goods, services, people and capital is probably the single most important tool available to EU policy makers to support faster EU productivity growth.

The contribution of better regulation at European and national levels to improving competitiveness and productivity was acknowledged by the Heads of State and Government at the spring European Council in March earlier this year. The European Council invited member states to commit to accelerated implementation of national regulatory reform initiatives. The EU Competitiveness Council, which I will chair next Monday, will further examine progress on measures to improve the regulatory environment including strengthening the regulatory impact assessment process, simplification of legislation and examining the cumulative impact of regulation on industry.

Job Protection.

Pádraic McCormack

Question:

21 Mr. McCormack asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will make a statement on the paper prepared by her Department in April 2004 and presented to EU Industry Ministers which warned against a pre-occupation with the threat of jobs moving to low cost locations; and if this represents a policy shift by the Government to seek no longer to protect the jobs of those who do not work in the high skilled sector. [13771/04]

The agenda for Dromoland and the paper prepared by my Department for the meeting were drawn up in the context of concerns within the Union about the issue of de-industrialisation, the extent to which it represents a threat to the EU's competitiveness and how the Union might respond to it. In addition to the Presidency paper entitled Forging Productivity Growth in Europe, the EU Commission introduced a new Communication entitled Fostering Structural Change: An Industrial Policy for an Enlarged Europe. The Commission communication similarly addresses the issue of structural change in European industry.

The Irish Presidency paper prepared for the Dromoland conference was designed as a contribution to the debate now under way within the European Union on how best to meet the challenges that the Union faces in light of increased global competition.

The Irish Presidency paper argued that there is a danger that a pre-occupation with de-industrialisation as a result of competition from lower cost countries could lead to inappropriate policies. "Stopping" industrial relocation is not feasible in an increasingly globalised economy. What is required is a range of policies that will lead to increased productivity and innovation within the European Union, including providing education on an ongoing basis to ensure that European workers have the requisite skills; that the Union is innovative in the creation of new products and services; and that the Union responds to the challenge of changing technology by promoting its ability to facilitate restructuring of industry.

The Commission's view, as set out in its communication, is that there is no evidence, at this stage, that a general process of de-industrialisation has been taking place in the European Union but that this gives no grounds for complacency. The communication also notes the Commission's view that weak productivity growth, insufficient innovation and investment in R&D, in a context of intensifying international competition and de-localisation, are challenging trends which, if sustained, could severely undermine the competitiveness of industry with serious consequences for the EU.

The Commission paper concludes that we have to face up to the challenges posed by international competition and suggests action on three fronts — improving the regulatory environment, optimising synergy between different EU policies and tailoring industrial policy to meet particular sectoral needs. The importance of promoting innovation, R&D, investing in human capital, the application of ICTs and robust competition policy are identified as key policy areas to help underpin the competitiveness of European industry.

This set of prescriptions mirror the view of this Government for some time now that the best way to safeguard sustainable employment growth both now and in the future is to create an environment that encourages entrepreneurship, stimulates company growth and promotes innovation.

FÁS Training Programmes.

Tom Hayes

Question:

22 Mr. Hayes asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if FÁS continues to host courses offering introduction to computers; the number of persons in the scheme; the financial outlay involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13767/04]

FÁS continues to provide many introductory level courses nationally as part of its services to the unemployed. These programmes are variously offered as European computer driving licence, ECDL, introduction to basic computers, and introduction to keyboard and computer skills. Sometimes such courses are discrete courses in their own right or sometimes they are delivered as modules within a return to work training programme.

In 2003, the number of unemployed persons trained under the introduction to computers categories above was 2,176. The cost was €6,359,000.

Dan Neville

Question:

23 Mr. Neville asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the placement rate of FÁS scheme participants from the live register who have participated in non-apprenticeship training courses; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13762/04]

The latest published follow-up survey of FÁS participants was carried out by the ESRI and published in 2003. It was based on asking a sample of FÁS trainees that left their FÁS programme in 2001 about their status in autumn 2002.

The survey estimated that 45% of live registrants that completed FÁS training courses were in employment at the time of the follow-up survey. A further 20% had progressed to another FÁS programme or returned to education. Just over a quarter, 27%, were unemployed. Hence, for every four persons who came off the live register to attend training, only one was unemployed at the time of the follow-up survey.

National Minimum Wage.

Joe Costello

Question:

24 Mr. Costello asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when it is intended to review the level of the national minimum wage; her views on the call from IBEC that there should be no increase in the minimum wage for the second half of the Sustaining Progress deal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13860/04]

The national minimum wage can only be increased following a recommendation contained in a national agreement or, where no national agreement is in place, any organisation which the Labour Court is satisfied is substantially representative of employees or employers can request the Labour Court to examine the national minimum hourly rate of pay, not earlier than 12 months after the Minister last declared a national minimum hourly rate of pay. The Labour Court can then make a recommendation to the Minister.

In the current national agreement, Sustaining Progress, the social partners recommended that the national minimum wage be increased to €7. I accepted this recommendation and signed an order which gave effect to this rate from 1 February 2004.

In the context of discussions with the social partners at national level it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the views of any of the social partners on this issue.

Work Permits.

Gerard Murphy

Question:

25 Mr. Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her Department has plans to undertake a review of the work permit scheme for immigrant workers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13759/04]

Gerard Murphy

Question:

41 Mr. Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her views on the potential for abuse of the current work permit system for immigrant workers by employers who fail to treat their employees fairly; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13758/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 25 and 41 together.

On the question of workers rights, all workers are treated equally under Irish law. The labour inspectorate of my Department is responsible for monitoring certain employment conditions for all categories of workers in Ireland, including immigrant workers. Inspectors pursue allegations of worker mistreatment and when evidence of non-compliance with the relevant employment rights legislation is found, the inspectorate seeks redress for the individual/s concerned and, if appropriate, a prosecution is initiated. The inspectorate operates without any differentiation with regard to worker nationality as statutory employment rights and protections apply to imigrant workers in exactly the same manner as they do to native Irish workers.

In addition, where employers seek work permits to employ non-EEA nationals, my Department requires the statement of the main functions of the job, salary-wages, deductions, other than statutory, other benefits and hours to be worked per week. Both the proposed employer and the proposed employee must sign this statement. Work permits are not granted unless there is compliance with minimum wages legislation. Applications for renewals require confirmation that the stated wages have been paid; P60 and other sources are used. Work permits are not granted for sectors such as domestic employment where it is believed that such employment can be met from the Irish-EEA labour market.

I am satisfied that there are sufficient procedures in place and an appropriate level of inspection activity to ensure, as far as possible, that rights and entitlements under Irish law are being observed for all workers. If there is evidence that particular employers are exploiting imigrant workers I would ask that it be brought to the attention of the Labour Inspectorate for investigation and further action.

Various changes and developments are taking place in regard to the work permit system. From 1 May 2004, nationals of the ten new EU member states have full freedom of access to the Irish labour market. As a result, Ireland expects to be able to meet most of its overseas labour needs and all of its needs for low and unskilled workers from within the enlarged EU. This means that applications for work permits will be considered by reference to the high-level job requirements and explicitly identified high-level skills. The onus will be on the employer to provide job specifications which show the specific job requirements and prospective employee specifications showing that the employees in question have those skills. Where employees with such skills cannot be sourced within the enlarged EU, after a genuine effort and at a realistic wage, work permit applications will be considered. My Department will continue to refer employers to local FÁS offices and will develop, in consultation with relevant agencies, clear guidelines on testing the EU labour market and appropriate ranges of pay. Where training and up-skilling of Irish and EU workers is not an option, for stated reasons the employer will be required to demonstrate that this is so.

Work permit applications will continue to be considered for high skilled occupations such as those covered by the working visa/work authorisation system and other skilled jobs that are in short supply providing the prospective employees are adequately skilled and equality legislation is not breached.

Recently, my Department has undertaken a fundamental review of the current work permit system aimed at developing a more effective and efficient service with additional cross-checks and follow up. A new IT system to deliver this service is in course of being designed. Also, it is proposed to develop an on-line service for users of the system.

My Department is developing closer links with other Departments and agencies with an involvement in the issue of economic immigration and is proposing a review of alternative systems of such immigration with a view to making recommendations.

Job Losses.

Joe Sherlock

Question:

26 Mr. Sherlock asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her Department has been formally notified by a company (details supplied) of its intention to make more than 200 workers redundant; and if she intends to use the powers available to her under the Protection of Employment Act 1977 to require the company to enter into consultations with her on the proposed redundancies. [13817/04]

On 27 April 2004, the company concerned wrote to my Department giving full notification of the proposed collective redundancies under section 12 of the Protection of Employment Act 1977. It also stated that the employee representatives had been consulted — sections 9 and 10 of that Act.

If the employees concerned are in any way unhappy with the consultation and provision of information provided by the company they can make a complaint to a rights commissioner under section 6 of the European Communities (Protection of Employment) Regulations, 2000, S.I. No. 488 of 2000. The rights commissioner will then hear evidence from both parties and make a decision which will do one or more of the following: declare that the complaint was or was not well-founded; require the employer to comply with the provisions of the 1977 Act concerned and for that purpose to take a specific course of action; or order the employer to pay the employee/s concerned compensation of a maximum of four weeks remuneration. There is a time limit of six months for bringing such complaints to a rights commissioner.

To obtain more information about their statutory employment rights, the employees concerned could contact the employment rights information section of my Department. Based at Davitt House, 65A Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, their telephone number is (01) 6313131 and their lo-call number is 1890 201 615. Information is also available from the Department's website, www.entemp.ie. For specific information on the Protection of Employment Act 1977, as amended, please see www.entemp.ie/ publications/employment/ 2001/ protectionofemploymentactguide.pdf. For information on Irish labour law generally, please see www.entemp.ie/ publications/ employment/ 2003/ guidetolabourlaw.pdf.

Employment Rights.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

27 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she has satisfied herself that there are a sufficient number of inspectors to carry an adequate level of workplace inspections; if she has plans to increase the numbers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13836/04]

The labour inspectorate of my Department is part of the employment rights enforcement section. At present, the inspectorate has a complement of 17 inspector posts supported by a further seven administrative posts. The employment rights enforcement section comprises three inter-linked units which, apart from the inspectorate, incorporates the employment rights information unit — ten staff members — and the legal services unit — a further five staff members.

In 2001, as part of a continuing process to strengthen and modernise employment rights enforcement, a major business process re-engineering exercise was undertaken in the employment rights enforcement section. That exercise looked across the support activities to the labour inspectorate in the area of employment rights enforcement, that is, the employment rights information unit, where enhanced customer service standards including lunch time opening were introduced; the prosecution and enforcement units, where procedures and linkages with the Chief State Solicitor's office were improved. In addition, a new fully integrated IT system to support the broad enforcement effort was launched in mid-June 2003.

I am satisfied that this level of investment together with the ongoing implementation of appropriate streamlined procedures is sufficient to provide for adequate inspection and enforcement activity so as to ensure, as far as possible, that employment rights and entitlements of workers working in Ireland are protected. There are no plans, at this stage, to increase the number of inspectors further.

It should be noted also that in many cases employment rights legislation has provisions whereby workers who believe that they have been denied their entitlements, or otherwise unfairly treated, should, and do, take the matter before a commissioner in the rights commissioner service of the Labour Relations Commission.

Sunday Trading.

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

28 Mr. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her attention has been drawn to the call from the trade union MANDATE for action to outlaw trading by major stores on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day, particularly in view of the decision of one chain to open on Easter Sunday in 2004, which had been one of the few days on which all major stores closed; her views on the call made; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13814/04]

The law on trading hours is the Shops (Hours of Trading) Act 1938. This Act was introduced for the purpose of controlling competition in the retail sector through the making of regulations which controlled the closing time for shops in specific areas and for specific sectors. As regards Sunday trading, a statutory instrument made in 1938, S.I. No. 188 of 1938, exempts the whole country from any restrictions on Sunday trading. I have been made aware of some limited opening of shops on public holidays but I have no powers under the Act to close shops completely on specific days. Neither can I regulate trading hours on public holidays under the Act.

There is, however, protection for employees under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. Under this Act employees have rights in respect of nine public holidays during the year. The options open to employees who have to work on public holidays are an additional day's pay, a paid day off within a month of the day or an additional day of paid annual leave.

Community Employment Schemes.

Willie Penrose

Question:

29 Mr. Penrose asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the position with regard to the various reviews or studies of community employment commissioned or undertaken by her Department; the main findings of each; if she intends to publish the reports; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13829/04]

The Law Reform Commission published a consultation paper on corporate killing in October last. The commission recommended that a new offence of corporate killing be established which would be prosecuted on indictment, without exclusion of any entity whether incorporated or not. The offence would apply to acts or omissions of a high managerial agent, which would be treated as those of the undertaking.

The commission also recommended that the legislation should provide for an unlimited fine to reflect the gravity of the offence or, in certain circumstances, an individual high managerial agent should also be subject to imprisonment of up to five years. The commission is currently considering submissions on its consultation paper.

Both my colleague, the Minister of State, Deputy Fahey, and I welcomed the recommendations of the commission indicating that we were taking the opportunity, subject to the final views of the Law Reform Commission when its consultation process is complete and also subject to the advice of the Attorney General, to provide for the creation of the new offence in law in the Bill on safety, health and welfare at work being drafted.

Consideration was given to the inclusion of a specific provision on corporate killing by Parliamentary Counsel and Advisory Counsel in the Attorney General's office. Their conclusion was that it is not appropriate to deal with the general and wider issue of corporate killing in a safety, health and welfare at work Bill.

The Minister of State, Deputy Fahey, will be addressing the matter by proposing to Government a section in the forthcoming Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Bill 2004 on the liability of directors and officers of undertakings to make more explicit an existing provision in the 1989 Act under which directors and managers in companies have in the past been prosecuted for failings in safety and health, which resulted in deaths or serious injuries to workers. He intends that this provision will send a clear message to decision makers at board and management levels who carry a special responsibility for safety and health.

The wider issue of corporate killing will be considered by the Government in due course when the final report on the matter is published.

European Council Meetings.

Trevor Sargent

Question:

30 Mr. Sargent asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the nature of the recent talks she had with the US trade representative, Mr Bob Zoellick; if common agreement was reached on a possible return to negotiations on the stalled Doha trade round; and the position the European Union is taking with regard to the pursuance of the Singapore issues and development issues in the attempts to restart multilateral talks. [13910/04]

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

32 Mr. Cuffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the special issues relating to EU-US co-operation in the field of scientific research which were discussed in her recent meeting with the US Energy Secretary, Mr. Spencer Abraham. [13904/04]

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

44 Mr. Gilmore asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the matters discussed and conclusions reached at her meeting in Washington on 22 April 2004 with senior members of the US administration; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13818/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 30, 32 and 44 together.

The challenges facing European industry, including the concerns of many European leaders relating to trends in exports, jobs, lacklustre productivity performance and how Europe can address these problems, formed the focus of discussions of an informal meeting of the EU Competitiveness Ministers and industry representatives in Dromoland Castle, County Clare on 25 and 27 April 2004. The meeting examined Europe's productivity performance and suggested how Europe's performance in this regard could be strengthened by becoming more innovative. The object of this debate was to identify practical initiatives for creating a better environment for industry in Europe, and thereby creating more jobs and prosperity for EU citizens.

The agenda for the meeting included two thematic areas. The first session addressed the issues of creating a culture of innovation — staying competitive in a global market. The second session looked at frontiers in innovation — converting knowledge into value and research and industrial development.

In addition to Ministers from the 15 member states and three EU Commissioners, the ten new member states, together with representatives from Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, were also invited. International business leaders and experts in research and innovation also attended and participated in discussions.

The structure of the meeting provided the opportunity for business leaders and Ministers to exchange ideas and explore strategies to improve European competitiveness. The proceedings of the meeting will help to inform and prioritise the work of the EU Competitiveness Council of Ministers and will go forward to the agenda of a formal Competitiveness Council in Brussels next week. A summary of the proceedings in Dromoland is available on the Irish Presidency website at www.eu2004.ie.

EU countries are naturally concerned about the impact of rising competition from developing countries on the competitiveness of Europe and its companies. This has led to concerns in many EU states about the relocation of industrial activities and jobs to more competitive locations, the so-called "de-industrialisation" process. Indeed, these concerns relate not just to low-skilled assembly activities, but also to higher-skilled and knowledge-intensive research and services activities.

The key message from industry leaders to the EU was that investment decisions will be influenced by the business climate that exists in the European Union, and particularly in the different member states. According to the business representatives the European Union needs lighter regulation of industry and business, and speedier decision-making for those operating in a global market-place. Ministers and industry leaders agreed that excessive and burdensome regulation together with gaps in the internal market leads to weak competition in Europe. Better regulation and the delivery of a true European Single Market in goods, services, people and capital is probably the single most important tool available to EU policy makers to support faster EU productivity growth.

The contribution of better regulation at European and national levels to improving competitiveness and productivity was acknowledged by the Heads of State and Government at the spring European Council in March earlier this year. The European Council invited member states to commit to accelerated implementation of national regulatory reform initiatives. The EU Competitiveness Council, which I will chair next Monday, will further examine progress on measures to improve the regulatory environment including strengthening the regulatory impact assessment process, simplification of legislation and examining the cumulative impact of regulation on industry.

National Competitiveness Council.

Joan Burton

Question:

31 Ms Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress made by the monitoring process established to consider and track progress in implementing the recommendations of the National Competitiveness Council’s annual report for 2003; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13832/04]

My Department recently chaired an interdepartmental meeting to discuss the implementation of the National Competitiveness Council's, NCC, recommendations with the relevant Departments concerned. My Department is preparing the first report to the Government arising from their decision of 25 November 2003, at which they agreed that Ireland's competitiveness status, including the implementation of the National Competitiveness Council's recommendations, would be considered by them every six months. It is intended that this report will be presented to Government for its consideration in June of this year.

Question No. 32 answered with QuestionNo. 30.

Decentralisation Programme.

Mary Upton

Question:

33 Dr. Upton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her Department has carried out a risk assessment of the decentralisation plans announced on budget day, in so far as they may impact, either directly or indirectly, on her Department or on any agency or body operating under the aegis of her Department; when she expects to receive the risk assessment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13844/04]

As part of the decentralisation programme announced by the Minister for Finance in his Budget 2004 speech, 250 staff of my Department are to decentralise to Carlow. Four agencies operating under the aegis of my Department — FÁS, the National Standards Authority of Ireland, the Health and Safety Authority and Enterprise Ireland — will also be relocating to a number of areas around the country. A decentralisation implementation committee has been established within my Department to develop the decentralisation proposals and to drive the process across the Department and its agencies.

My Department and the relevant agencies are, along with all other decentralising public bodies, engaging with the Department of Finance in a series of seminars developed by them to assist decentralising bodies in the preparation of their implementation plans, as required by the Report of the Decentralisation Implementation Group, or the Flynn group, and due to be completed by the end of this month. Further details on the risk assessment exercises will be contained in these implementation plans.

In parallel, a risk assessment framework, which will assess direct and indirect risks, threats to, and opportunities for the synergies between my Department and its agencies following decentralisation, is in preparation within my Department. This will be used as a framework within which a risk assessment in the areas of the Department which are to be decentralised will be carried out. A separate business process re-engineering exercise will also be undertaken, where appropriate. While it is not yet possible to provide an exact timeframe for the completion of this risk assessment, I am satisfied that a thorough risk assessment will be prepared as soon as possible.

The agencies have indicated that they will undertake separate risk assessments within their own organisations to identify possible issues with regard to their own operations.

Questions Nos. 34 and 35 answered with Question No. 20.

Migrant Workers.

Arthur Morgan

Question:

36 Mr. Morgan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her views on whether the State’s failure to ratify the UN convention on the rights of migrant workers and their families is indicative of the lack of priority which the Government has given to the prevention of exploitation of migrant workers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13854/04]

Ireland has not signed and is not a party to the International Convention on the Protection and of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.

The convention, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1990, entered into force on 1 July last, following its ratification by the requisite number of states, 20. However, although the convention on migrant workers has been open for signature and ratification since December 1990, to date only 22 states have ratified or acceded to the convention. The convention has not acquired universal recognition as a standard for the protection of the rights of migrant workers. No European Union member state has as yet signed or ratified the convention, nor have any indicated an intention to do so.

Ireland's position in regard to the ratification of international instruments generally, including the convention on the rights of migrant workers, is constantly reviewed in light of prevailing circumstances and in the context of the ongoing assessment and prioritisation of Ireland's international commitments.

Where Ireland wishes to ratify or accede to an international instrument, the Government must first ensure that our domestic law is fully in conformity with the agreement in question. The Government must therefore make any necessary legislative changes, or be satisfied that none are required, before ratification takes place. As signature of an instrument is an indication of an intention to ratify it, the Government would consequently also have to have a firm intention to ratify and, be taking steps to do so, before signing an international instrument.

The convention on the rights of migrant workers has been examined by my Department. It would appear that, in order for Ireland to ratify the convention, significant changes would have to be made across a wide range of existing legislation, including legislation addressing authorisation to stay and to work, education-training and integration, family reunification, social security, transfer of income and taxation, housing, health and medical care and electoral law. These changes would also have implications for our relations with our EU partners, none of whom have signed or ratified the convention — or have signalled an intention to do so — and possibly for the operation of the common travel area between Ireland and the UK.

There are no plans at present to introduce the changes in the areas above which would be necessary before Ireland could ratify or consider signing the convention.

It should be noted that the rights of migrant workers and their families are already comprehensively protected under existing legislation. In addition, the human rights of migrant workers and their families are protected under the Constitution and by Ireland's commitments under international human rights instruments to which the State is party.

Where employers seek work permits in order to employ non-EEA nationals, the Department requires the statement of the main functions of the job, salary-wages, deductions, other than statutory, other benefits and hours to be worked per week. Both the proposed employer and the proposed employee must sign this statement. Work permits are not granted unless there is compliance with minimum wages legislation. Applications for renewals require confirmation that the stated wages have been paid; P60 and other sources are used. Work permits are not granted for sectors such as domestic employment where it is believed that such employment can be met from the Irish-EEA labour market and where there is a greater risk of exploitation.

Persons from overseas working in Ireland have the same protection under employment law as do Irish employees. Instances of any breaches of employment or work permit legislation, if brought to the attention of my Department, will be acted upon.

Consumer Affairs.

Damien English

Question:

37 Mr. English asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress made to date on the consumer strategy group; the number of times it has met; the matters it has discussed; the recommendations it has made; and if it has plans to issue an action plan in the near future. [13764/04]

Since I established the consumer strategy group last March, the group has been provided with a secretariat by Forfás. The group has met on two occasions. To date, it has consulted with a number of interested parties including the Director of Consumer Affairs. It would not be appropriate at this stage to detail the matters it has discussed which are the subject of the deliberative processes of the group.

The group is due to produce a final report by the end of 2004 and it may also produce such interim reports to me as it considers appropriate. I see the establishment of this group as a significant initiative designed to improve and promote consumer rights in Ireland. I want to encourage and see develop in Ireland a culture where consumers are confident and insistent in demanding value and quality at all times.

County Enterprise Boards.

Denis Naughten

Question:

38 Mr. Naughten asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the plans she has to review the eligibility criteria for funding from county enterprise boards; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13753/04]

The city and county enterprise boards, CEBs, can assist the establishment and-or development of eligible new and existing enterprises, from individuals-sole traders, companies and community groups, in the traded services, manufacturing and tourism sectors. In order to be eligible for such support projects must be in the commercial sphere, demonstrate a market for the product-service and, most importantly, have a capacity for growth and new job creation.

CEBs give priority to projects in manufacturing or internationally traded services which over time can develop into strong export entities and graduate to the Enterprise Ireland portfolio and tourism projects aimed predominantly at overseas visitors. In addition, they may support locally provided services promoted by the unemployed and those recently made redundant, and women re-entering the workforce, provided the projects supported do not give rise to concerns about dead-weight or displacement.

A recent review of the CEBs, conducted by Fitzpatricks Associates, largely endorsed the role of the boards, including the existing eligibility criteria, though it did recommend, inter alia, a greater focus on the core enterprise and enterprise culture mission. I am currently considering the implications of this report.

Consumer Affairs.

John Gormley

Question:

39 Mr. Gormley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the role of her Department in overseeing the work of the Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs. [13908/04]

Under section 9(5) of the Consumer Information Act 1978, the Director of Consumer Affairs "shall be independent in the performance of his functions". Within this context, both my officials and I meet and liaise regularly with the director and her officers.

In so far as the Deputy is referring to current investigations into foreign exchange charges at Allied Irish Banks, under section 149 of the Consumer Credit Act 1995, credit institutions were obliged to notify the director of all customer charges. I am informed by the director that her office has been in contact with the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, IFSRA, and I look forward to the outcome of IFSRA's investigation. The Deputy will be aware that in May 2003 the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 came into force transferring responsibility for many of the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act from the director's office to IFSRA.

Company Investigations.

Brendan Howlin

Question:

40 Mr. Howlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the latest information available to her regarding when the report of the High Court inspectors into the affairs of companies (details supplied) will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13811/04]

The investigations into the affairs of National Irish Bank Ltd., and National Irish Bank Financial Services Ltd., are being conducted by inspectors appointed by the High Court, on application by me, under section 8 of the Companies Act 1990. I understand from press reports that the final report of the inspectors is expected to be presented to the High Court on or before 31 July 2004. The question of publication of the inspectors' report is a matter for the court to decide.

Question No. 41 answered with QuestionNo. 25.

Personal Injuries Assessment Board.

David Stanton

Question:

42 Mr. Stanton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the reason for the delay in the establishment of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, particularly in view of the fact that the board was due to start hearing cases in January 2004; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13770/04]

Phil Hogan

Question:

92 Mr. Hogan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the additional costs that businesses here have incurred as a consequence of her delay in commencing the operations of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14059/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 92 together.

Following enactment of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board legislation in December 2003, a significant amount of work has been carried out to put in place systems and resources to facilitate the operation of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. A number of these tasks could not be carried out until the legislation was passed.

I am delighted to inform the Deputies that the Personal Injuries Assessment Board was established by ministerial order on 13 April 2004. From 1 June 2004 all personal injury claims arising from workplace accidents, where an employee is seeking compensation from his or her employer, must be referred to Personal Injuries Assessment Board before legal proceedings are issued.

The establishment of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board is a significant milestone in the Government's insurance reform programme which will lead to reduced insurance premia to the benefit of both consumers and business alike. By eliminating the need for litigation costs where legal issues are not in dispute, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board will significantly reduce the cost of delivering compensation. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board will also offer speedier assessments to the benefit of genuine claimants.

Public Holidays.

Seán Ryan

Question:

43 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of public holidays enjoyed by workers here and the way in which this compares with the EU average; if she has any plans to increase the number of public holidays; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13838/04]

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 provides for the entitlement of employees to the following nine public holidays per year. These are 1 January, New Year's Day; St. Patrick's Day; Easter Monday; the first Monday in May; the first Monday in June; the first Monday in August; the last Monday in October; Christmas Day; St. Stephen's Day. The average public holiday entitlement in the EU at present is approximately 11 days annually. I have no plans to increase the number of public holidays in Ireland.

Question No. 44 answered with QuestionNo. 30.

Research Funding.

Pat Breen

Question:

45 Mr. P. Breen asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the action she intends to take to ensure that Ireland increases its expenditure on research and development (details supplied) to the EU target of 3% by 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13772/04]

At the European Council in Barcelona in 2002, the Heads of State agreed that overall spending on research and development in the EU should be increased from the current EU average of 1.9% to approximately 3% of GDP by 2010, and with two thirds of this new investment coming from the private sector. The target of 3% is for Europe as a whole, rather than each individual member state, reflecting that some countries such as Sweden and Finland are already above the 3% figure.

In April 2003, I established a high level cross-departmental group to assess and agree policy priorities, which Ireland should pursue as its contribution towards the creation of a European research area and the 3% target, taking account of Ireland's industrial structure, current research and development performance and potential. The group established a number of working groups involving representatives from industry, venture capitalists, universities and institutes of technology, Departments and semi-State agencies. Its work is now well advanced and I expect it to report by mid-2004.

The Government is committed to transforming Ireland into a leading research and innovation intensive knowledge-based economy and society. However, I do not believe that we should be overly focused on targets for their own sake, but rather on putting in place policies which support firms and public institutions to enhance the quality and scale of their research efforts.

The National Development Plan 2000 — 2006 aims for a significant increase in support for research and development. In my Department, expenditure on research and development rose from 8.9% of gross public expenditure in 1999 to over 21% in 2003. In particular, Science Foundation Ireland's investments have made a significant impact in marking Ireland out as an attractive location for excellent researchers from around the world. Similarly, within the education area, the programme for research in third level institutions has impacted strongly on bringing the research infrastructure in our universities up to the standard expected for carrying out world-class research and development.

In addition, the Finance Act 2004 for the first time provides for the introduction of an research and development tax credit. The credit provides an effective incentive to industry to increase research and development and help enhance out competitiveness as a location for new internationally mobile research-related investment.

I am confident that the range of existing initiatives, together with the recommendations which should emerge from the cross-departmental group, will allow Ireland to contribute further towards the EU 3% target.

FÁS Training Programmes.

Dan Neville

Question:

46 Mr. Neville asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the proportion of non-apprentice employees who are in FÁS training centres; the proportion of these who are taken from the live register; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13763/04]

The latest published follow-up survey of FÁS participants was carried out by the ESRI and published in 2003. It was based on asking a sample of FÁS trainees that left their FÁS programme in 2001 about their status in autumn 2002. Trainees were asked about their employment status in the month before coming on training. In the 2002 survey, 26% stated that they were in receipt of unemployment benefit, 17% in receipt of unemployment assistance and 3% were signing-on for credits. These three categories made up the live register figure of46%. A further 2% were in receipt of lone parent's allowance and 2% in receipt of a disability payment. FÁS training courses are open to all job-seekers. Two significant groups not on the live register are early school leavers, aged 16 years or 17 years, who are not eligible to sign on and women returning to the workforce after a period on home duties.

Job Protection.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

47 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps she intends to take to counter the growing trend of jobs being transferred to lower cost countries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13834/04]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

74 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps she has taken or proposes to take to minimise job relocation to low wage economies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13874/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 74 together.

The Irish economy has been undergoing substantial change which has impacted on both the manufacturing and service sectors. A fundamental shift in our strengths and competitive advantages has taken place and the economy is now one typified by high output and productivity together with high returns to labour in the form of wages, salaries and better living standards. Ireland has become a more prosperous and wealthy economy, converging with the broad income and prosperity levels of other EU member states.

The change taking place across our enterprise base will continue and is inevitable. With this, some plant transfers and other adjustments are bound to come. However, relocation to date has largely been limited to relatively low technology, labour intensive activities. In an open Europe, with no restrictions on where people can work or where investors can do business, there will always be competition for investment.

Figures released in March by the Central Statistics Office show a growth in total employment of more than 60,000 jobs between the end of 2001 and the end of 2003, a strong performance given global economic conditions in the same period. One of my key objectives is to develop a competitive economy that will be resilient to the toughest competitive pressures, either from within the EU or elsewhere. However, it is not the Government but businesses that make these investment decisions. Consequently, I am committed to making sure that when companies decide to invest, Ireland has the reputation as a secure world class investment location to meet the most demanding business requirements and where our citizens have the skills to blend creativity and adaptability with the resourcefulness needed by knowledge businesses.

Both at national and EU level, my Government colleagues and I are working to ensure this happens. Arising from the most recent work of the National Competitiveness Council, the Government has decided that it will assess our competitive status every six months. My Department's focus on helping generate sustainable employment growth complements work that I am pursuing at a European level. As president of the EU Competitiveness Council, I am acutely aware that we have to work together with other member states to reinforce our national objectives. Items on the agenda that must be progressed include entrepreneurship, strengthening the internal market and putting in place EU framework conditions to deliver greater and more effective research, development and innovation. I am chairing a further meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council next week and will ensure that all Ministers will engage in detailed discussions about the direction of European competitiveness and employment growth.

Last July, I set up the enterprise strategy group to be the architect of new enterprise policies for the coming decade. I asked its chairman, Mr. Eoin O'Driscoll, to specifically look at what is needed for a competitive, knowledge-based enterprise economy. The group was also asked to specifically take account of international trends in globalisation and EU enlargement. I expect to receive this report around the middle of the year.

Trade Union Recognition.

Arthur Morgan

Question:

48 Mr. Morgan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her views on the fact that trade union recognition is a fundamental right of all workers which must be enshrined in law; if she will bring forward legislation for the recognition of trade unions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13855/04]

Seán Crowe

Question:

53 Mr. Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when she will bring forward legislation for the recognition of trade unions in the State. [13856/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 48 and 53 together.

The system of industrial relations in Ireland is essentially voluntary in nature. In line with this voluntarist approach, a high level group, chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach, comprising representatives from IBEC, the ICTU, and various Departments and semi-State agencies, was established under Partnership 2000 to consider proposals submitted by the ICTU on the recognition of unions and the right to bargain.

This group recommended that two distinct procedures be put in place for the resolution of disputes where negotiation arrangements are not in place and collective bargaining does not exist — a voluntary procedure and a legislative fall back procedure. These recommendations were implemented through the Industrial Relations Act 1990 (Code of Practice on Voluntary Dispute Resolution) (Declaration) Order 2000 (SI 145 of 2000) and the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2001.

During the negotiations between the Government and the social partners on the partnership programme, Sustaining Progress, the need to enhance the effectiveness of these procedures was agreed. A number of measures, which have resulted in significant improvements to the procedures, have been put in place earlier this year by means of the Industrial Relations Act 1990 (Enhanced Code of Practice on Voluntary Dispute Resolution) (Declaration) Order 2004 (S.I. No. 76 of 2004), the Industrial Relations Act 1990 (Code of Practice on Victimisation) (Declaration) Order 2004 (S.I. No. 139 of 2004), and the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004. These measures include the introduction of timescales to the process of dispute resolution in situations where it is not the practice of the employer to engage in collective bargaining negotiations in respect of a particular grade or group of employees.

Industrial Development.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

49 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she has identified the issues contributing to price hikes and lack of competitiveness in the economy; her proposed action to deal with the situation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13873/04]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

81 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the extent to which she or her Department has monitored increasing costs to industry here; the efforts she has made to combat these issues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14016/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 and 81 together.

The Government is committed to providing a pro-business environment, which will enhance the competitiveness of the Irish economy. A pro-business environment with low inflation will stabilise firms' costs and provide them with a solid competitive business environment from which they can successfully compete on both domestic and international markets. The Government has made concerted efforts to achieve the goal of the partnership programme, Sustaining Progress, to create a virtuous circle of low inflation, moderate wage growth and higher productivity. This in turn provides firms with a competitive business environment from which they can successfully operate.

Examples of these efforts include the establishment of an anti-inflation initiative. As part of this initiative, a group was created to examine ways of addressing domestic inflationary pressures. The group published its first progress report in November 2003 and in response to their recommendations, the Government has agreed new management and control arrangements designed to keep public expenditure on target. The 2004 budget avoided inflation-fuelling increases in indirect taxes thus minimising the Government's contribution to inflation. These efforts coupled with the depreciation of the dollar have resulted in the steady decline in Ireland's inflation rate. The most recent inflation figures from the consumer price index show an inflation rate of 1.3% in March 2004. This is a decrease from 1.7% in February and is the lowest level in more than four years.

Price increases in the area of insurance have been a particular concern. I have referred on many occasions to the programme of reform I have initiated to tackle the issue of high premia, which have had a detrimental effect both on consumers and on business competitiveness. I am pleased that the Personal Injuries Assessment Board will commence dealing with employer liability cases from 1 June 2004. By eliminating the need for litigation costs where legal issues are not in dispute, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board will significantly reduce the cost of delivering compensation.

I have stated on several occasions that the principal method for reducing costs and maintaining them at an acceptable level is to increase competition in all sectors of the economy. We cannot afford to have sheltered sectors of the Irish economy immune from price competition. The Competition Authority is charged with combating anti-competitive practice in the economy. It is undertaking several studies in key areas of the economy such as the banking and insurance sectors. The Government looks forward to the publication of the authority's reports into these key sectors later this year. Competition in all sectors must be encouraged to ensure goods and services are provided at an efficient and affordable price.

My Department is preparing a report into the implementation of the National Competitiveness Council recommendations for submission to the Government in June. The report will set out progress to date in implementing the recommendations set out in the National Competitiveness Council's 2003 report, Competitiveness Challenge, and will enable the Government to evaluate Ireland's competitiveness, as it intends to do twice yearly in accordance with the Government decision of the 25 November 2003.

Grocery Industry.

Seán Ryan

Question:

50 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when she intends to publish the results of her review of the 1987 groceries order which forbids below cost selling; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13837/04]

My review of the groceries order is ongoing and I hope to conclude my consideration of the matter in the near future.

Question No. 51 answered with QuestionNo. 6.

Nítrigin Éireann Teoranta.

Paul Kehoe

Question:

52 Mr. Kehoe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if, following the liquidation of Nítrigin Éireann Teoranta, all creditors have been paid; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13761/04]

Nítrigin Éireann Teoranta is not in liquidation. Nítrigin Éireann Teoranta is the holding company for the State's interest in Irish Fertiliser Industries Limited, which went into liquidation in November 2002, and it is assumed that the parliamentary question refers to the liquidation of Irish Fertiliser Industries Limited.

I understand that the liquidation of Irish Fertiliser Industries Limited is progressing in an orderly and efficient manner and that considerable progress has been made in relation to the realisation of the company's assets. However, while the company's principal properties at Arklow and Marino Point have been placed on the market, I am advised that it may take some time to sell them.

I also understand that the company's obligations to secured creditors have now been settled in full while payments to preferred creditors, which would include some amounts due to former employees, have been or are in the course of being made. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that any payments will be made to unsecured creditors until the main property assets are sold, which could take some time.

Question No. 53 answered with QuestionNo. 48.

Asylum Applications.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

54 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if it is her intention to enter into discussions with her colleagues at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to ensure the right to work of all asylum seekers whose application of asylum is at least six months old; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13858/04]

Policy and legislation regarding persons who seek asylum in this State is the responsibility of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. Persons seeking asylum in Ireland are currently prohibited from taking up employment in the State under the Refugee Act 1996. I am not aware of any plans to amend this legislation, and the provisions contained therein, at this time.

County Enterprise Boards.

Denis Naughten

Question:

55 Mr. Naughten asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will provide additional funding to efficient county enterprise boards; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13752/04]

In determining the allocations for individual city and county enterprise boards this year, my Department adopted a systematic approach to ensure the maximum degree of objectivity and equity of treatment. This approach involved the provision of a basic allocation to each board as well as an additional allocation that was determined mainly by population. It also took account of issues such as unemployment, capacity to spend, existing commitments and regional spread. I do not expect to be in a position to provide any additional funding under any heading to any board this year.

With regard to the issue of efficiency my Department, in partnership with the county enterprise boards, continually monitor and evaluate the level of service provided by the boards to their client base. There is both a formal procedures manual and operating agreement in place between the Department and the boards to ensure that the efficient delivery of services by all county enterprise boards is standardised.

Trade Union Recognition.

Martin Ferris

Question:

56 Mr. Ferris asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the details of all meetings she has had in the past five years in which the issue of trade union recognition was raised in a substantive way; if she has been lobbied by IBEC or representatives of IBEC to block the introduction of legislation to provide for trade union recognition; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

I have examined my diaries covering the last five years. This examination indicates that the issue of trade union recognition was on the agenda at one meeting I attended. The meeting took place in June 1999 with representatives of a number of foreign hi-tech companies. The issue of trade union recognition has also been raised at other multi-purpose meetings such as the national partnership negotiations, where both trade union and employer representatives have the opportunity to state their positions.

An examination of my records indicate that I have not been lobbied by IBEC, or representatives of IBEC, to block the introduction of legislation to provide for trade union recognition.

Unemployment Levels.

Seán Crowe

Question:

57 Mr. Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress that has been made on the national anti-poverty strategy commitment to eliminate long-term unemployment as soon as circumstances permit but in any case not later than 2007; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13857/04]

Long-term unemployment has been reduced dramatically during the last seven years. In 1998 long-term unemployment amounted to 63,500, which represented 3.9% of the labour force. By 2002 the numbers had fallen by over 40,000 to 21,600 — 1.2% of the labour force. There was a small increase to 26,900 during 2003, resulting in an end of year rate of 1.4%. The EU average rate, by contrast, is 3%.

In support of the national anti-poverty strategy, FÁS is providing a range of training and employment programmes for the long-term unemployed. These include skills training, foundation training and employment programmes such as community employment and the job initiative. FÁS statistics show that in the first eleven months of 2003 a total of 27,954 long-term unemployed persons started FÁS programmes.

To increase the focus on long-term unemployed persons, FÁS introduced two new initiatives in 2003. The employment action plan process, involving referral by the Department of Social and Family Affairs of unemployed persons to FÁS for help in gaining access to training or employment, was extended to long-term unemployed persons on a regional basis. By the end of 2003, the process was operational in six of the eight FÁS regions including Dublin. It will become operational in all regions during this year. The process had already been shown to be successful in four pilot areas, so there is every reason to expect that it will now be successful on a State-wide basis.

In addition a high support process was officially launched early last year. The process provides additional funding to help purchase specific training courses to meet individuals' needs and helps them rejoin the workforce. The target group includes long-term unemployed clients and, last year over 450 persons were referred to the process.

Organisation of Working Time Act.

Liz McManus

Question:

58 Ms McManus asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she has satisfied herself with the level of implementation of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13821/04]

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 came fully into effect on 1 March 1998. If an employee considers that his or her employer has contravened the provisions in this Act governing holidays, rest breaks, rest periods and maximum average weekly working hours he or she may refer the matter to a rights commissioner for adjudication.

The labour inspectorate of my Department has a limited role in the keeping of records of provisions of the Act. In this connection, when inspectors are pursuing complaints concerning alleged infringements of other employment rights entitlements, they will also check that an employer, in accordance with the prescribed format required by the 1997 Act, is maintaining relevant records. During 2003, inspectors undertook 1,005 such inspections and the figure, to date in 2004, is 336.

In all of the circumstances, I am satisfied with the level of implementation of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. The number of cases referred to the rights commissioner service under the 1997 Act in the period 1998 to 2003 is set out in the following table.

Number of Cases referred to the Rights Commissioner Service under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.

Year

Number of cases referred to Rights Commissioners under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997

1998

395

1999

526

2000

620

2001

740

2002

967

2003

631

Community Employment Schemes.

Martin Ferris

Question:

59 Mr. Ferris asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her views on the instigation of increased mainstreaming of community employment schemes providing services for persons with disabilities. [13870/04]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

90 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of requests she has received for extra funding to enable FÁS continue with existing and new community employment schemes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14025/04]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

91 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of community employment schemes that have been discontinued due to lack of funding; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14026/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 59, 90 and 91 together.

In accordance with the Government's decision in 1999 to restructure community employment schemes, participation levels have gradually been reduced in line with a strategic shift in policy in favour of training and other more appropriate supports. The number of community employment projects reduced from 2,274 in January 2000 to 1,368 in January 2004. This was due to the reduction in overall participation levels during this period. There were 19,848 participants on community employment at the start of the year and no further reduction in participation levels is targeted during 2004. There may be scope for a slight increase in the participation rate during the year based on the overall budget allocation of €351 million provided for FÁS employment programmes in the Estimates for 2004.

Community groups submit proposals on an ongoing basis for additional community employment places or renewal of individual schemes. These submissions are passed to FÁS for consideration. Of most concern to many sponsor organisations is the difficulty that they encounter in recruiting eligible unemployed people to replace those who have finished their term on the programme. There are no longer large numbers of long-term unemployed persons willing and eligible to take a place on community employment.

As provided for in the PPF, consideration has been given to the mainstreaming of certain essential services provided through community employment. In this regard, approximately 4,500 community employment places in schools have been mainstreamed over the past number of years. In addition, in the region of 2,300 places have peen provided on the social economy programme. Detailed discussions took place during 2002 involving the Department of Health and Children, health boards, FÁS and sponsor groups, with regard to the possible mainstreaming of health sector places. However, due to the amount of additional funding required by the Department of Health and Children to mainstream these positions, and having regard to other major demands on the health budget, it was not possible to proceed with mainstreaming.

The future structure of the community employment programme remains under review by a group of senior officials and FÁS, and this group will report to Ministers on the outcome of their deliberations shortly. Decisions on any future adjustments in the structure and the terms and conditions of community employment participation will be taken when the review process has been brought to a conclusion.

EU Presidency.

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

60 Mr. Cuffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will provide the minutes of the recent Agenda 133 committee meeting in Dublin Castle. [13903/04]

Minutes of the meetings of the Article 133 Services Committee, including that held recently in Dublin Castle, are internal to the work of the committee. The reports are based on discussions conducted in the context of international multilateral trade negotiations. Documents circulated for consideration at the Article 133 committee contain information communicated in confidence to officials within an international institution representative of all EU member states.

Services Sector.

Joan Burton

Question:

61 Ms Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the action she intends to take in regard to her comments at the recent conference in Dublin Castle, Promoting Competition for the Benefit of Consumers, that there are too many barriers to entry to the professions and that such impediments are costing the consumer; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13812/04]

The Competition Authority is studying the market for professional services and the study aims to identify any unnecessary or disproportionate restrictions to entry to the various professions under examination.

The authority engaged Indecon Economic Consultants to carry out initial work on the study which it published a report in 2003. The Indecon report found that there were three types of restriction common across the eight professions examined. Indecon found entry restrictions in seven of the eight professions examined comprising academic requirements, professional education and training requirements and character requirements. It also found that professions impose restrictions on the transfer of qualified practitioners from other countries into the Irish market. The eight professions under examination are engineers, architects, veterinarians, dentists, optometrists, medical practitioners, barristers, and solicitors. The authority intends to complete its study later this year.

Older Workers.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

62 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps she has taken to implement the recommendations of the NESF report, Labour Market Issues for Older Workers, published in 2003; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13869/04]

The National Economic and Social Forum report — whose project team included representatives from my Department — examined labour market participation issues for older workers. Changing demographics have resulted in ageing populations in many EU countries and this poses threats for their labour markets. For each pensioner in Europe there are on average 3.5 workers who contribute to the retirement income of that pensioner. By 2020 this ratio is expected to be 2.5:1. In Ireland, the situation is less pressing. Currently the ratio here is five people of working age, 15-64, to every one pensioner aged 65 years and over and this ratio is not expected to reach 3:1 until the year 2025.

As the demographic situation changes over time the position of older workers in the labour market will become increasingly important. It will be essential that we focus on the training and employment needs both of older workers and of the older workers of the future. The NESF report's findings focus on a variety of topics encompassing training, work-life balance, pensions and employer attitudes to older workers. The recommendations are addressed to a number of bodies including the social partners, a number of Departments and their agencies. Those addressed to my Department and agencies will continue to contribute to employment and training policy development.

Many of the recommendations were reflected in FÁS Irish Labour Market Review 2003. They are also addressed in Employment Action Plan 2003, which is Ireland's response to the European employment strategy. This commits Ireland to a policy of active ageing which will be addressed in the medium to long term through changing employers' attitudes, up-skilling and re-skilling the labour force, improving flexible working arrangements and reviewing social security and tax provisions to ensure those who wish to extend their working lives can do so. The NESF report, together with an OECD thematic review of policies to improve the labour market prospects of older workers in Ireland, due to commence this year, will continue to inform policy changes in the future.

Health and Safety Regulations.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

63 Ms O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her attention has been drawn to the recent study carried out by the Health and Safety Authority suggesting that safety regulations introduced in 1995 have had no impact on the type of accidents occurring on building sites; the action she intends to take to address this situation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13828/04]

I would not agree that the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 1995 and their replacement regulations in 2001 have had no impact on preventing accidents occurring on construction sites. The significant resources dedicated to inspecting construction sites by the Health and Safety Authority and the co-operation of the major players in the industry in the construction safety partnership have contributed to a steady reduction in fatality rates from a high of 11 fatalities per 100,000 at work in the construction sector in 1999 to six per 100,000 in 2003. However, this rate remains twice that of the economy as a whole. This is unacceptable and requires that vigilance and continued effort be made in the prevention of accidents in the sector.

I assume the Deputy is referring to studies entitled An Examination of Dutyholder Responsibilities: Fatal Construction Accidents 1997 — 2002, published December 2002, and Fatal Accidents in the Construction Industry 1991 — 2001: A Survey of Contributory Factors, published December 2003, which are both available in PDF format on the HSA website. This clearly indicates that more than 25% of the underlying factors behind fatal accidents are due to failures at the pre-construction stage. The Health and Safety Authority has recommended further updating of the Construction Regulations 2001, which seek to address this issue by making existing obligations upon clients, designers and those responsible for co-ordinating safety and health throughout construction projects more specific. The legal drafting of those regulations is now in train and I hope that they will be ready for signing later this year.

Decentralisation Programme.

Mary Upton

Question:

64 Dr. Upton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the details of any survey that has been undertaken to establish the number of persons employed in her Department and in boards or agencies operating under the aegis of her Department who are willing to move to the new locations announced in the 2004 budget, in regard to proposals for decentralisation; the results of any such survey; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13843/04]

Following the announcement of the Government's decentralisation programme, under which 250 staff of my Department will decentralise to Carlow, a survey was conducted within the Department with a view to establishing the numbers of staff interested in decentralising to locations outside Dublin. A total of 503 staff responded to the survey, 69 of whom indicated that they would be prepared to transfer to Carlow and 160 of whom indicated a willingness to decentralise to other locations outside Dublin. With regard to the agencies under the aegis of the Department who will be decentralised, surveys have been carried out in FÁS, which is decentralising to Birr, and the Health and Safety Authority, which is decentralising to Thomastown.

Out of the 413 Dublin-based FÁS staff who were surveyed, 30 expressed an interest in decentralising to Birr. In January 2004 the staff of the Health and Safety Authority were asked in the context of the Government decision on decentralisation whether they were interested in moving to Thomastown, County Kilkenny as part of the decentralisation of the authority. Out of the 110 staff surveyed, 15 said yes, 90 said no and there were two maybes. The National Standards Authority of Ireland, which will be decentralising to Arklow, and Enterprise Ireland, which will be decentralising to Shannon, have not conducted a survey of their staff on the issue of decentralisation.

Work Permits.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Question:

65 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when the new rules announced by her on 18 February 2004 in regard to the new arrangements for spouses of skilled non-EEA nationals will come into operation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13823/04]

The new arrangements for spouses are designed to give greater ease of access to employment for the spouses of non-EEA nationals working in the State under specified schemes and facilities. These arrangements are already in operation for some weeks now. Some 40 work permits have already been issued in respect of eligible spouses. A detailed set of guidelines, outlining the eligibility criteria and procedures relating to these arrangements, have been available on my Department's website since April. They have also been circulated to a range of Departments, health bodies and other relevant organisations to promote as wide a circulation of this information as possible.

EU Directives.

Joe Sherlock

Question:

66 Mr. Sherlock asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of EU directives for which her Department has responsibility which have yet to be implemented; the number in respect of which the deadline for implementation has passed; if she has satisfied herself with the rate of compliance by her Department; the number of cases in which legal actions have been notified or commenced by the EU Commission arising from a failure to implement a directive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13839/04]

The current position in relation to the transposition of EU directives for which my Department is responsible indicates a total of 22 directives to be implemented, including six for which the deadline for implementation, in full or in part, has passed. Details of the directives, including, in as far as it has been decided, the proposed transposition instruments, are available on my Department's website at www.entemp.ie/trade/eudirectives. The website also contains information on directives in respect of which infringement proceedings have been commenced. A number of these directives have been transposed but are still the subject of legal proceedings by the EU Commission.

With regard to one of the directives that has not yet been transposed and for which the deadline has passed, a letter of formal notice under Article 226 of the treaty has been issued by the European Commission. In the case of another three of the directives for which the deadline for implementation has also passed, reasoned opinions have been issued by the Commission. To date this year a total of seven directives have been transposed. I am satisfied that my Department is giving all due priority to the task of implementing EU directives in light of the available resources.

Work Permits.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

67 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the measures she will take to address the plight of migrant workers who find that they are illegal through no fault of their own; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13859/04]

The question of the immigration status of workers from overseas is primarily one for my colleague, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. To the extent that work permits are an issue, experience has shown that each case must be considered on its own merits. Some employees have undoubtedly been misled by unscrupulous employers and my Department has generally been able to adapt a flexible and constructive approach. However, some employees are also capable of portraying themselves as victims when it suits them, for example when persons come for a holiday and simply stay on with every intention of working, regardless of whether they have permission to work. I assure the Deputy that my Department will continue to judge each case in light of the available evidence.

Social Economy Programme.

Paul McGrath

Question:

68 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress of the social economy programme; the number of persons in the programme for the years 2000 to 2004 inclusive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13768/04]

The Social Economy Programme, SEP, was launched in September 2000 with a view to generating 2,500 jobs for the long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged people. The number of people supported by the SEP for the years 2000 to 2004 inclusive are:

Year

Numbers

2000

0

2001

101

2002

1,889

2003

2,370

2004

2,374 (as at 7 May 2004)

The programme is funded by FÁS from its employment programme budget. A total allocation of €351 million is being provided in 2004 to support up to 25,000 places across the three FÁS employment schemes — community employment, job initiative and the social economy programme. Of this, over €40 million is earmarked for the SEP. This compares with funding of €6.6 million in 2001, €20.5 million in 2002 and €36 million in 2003. A review of the SEP was undertaken and is being considered at present by FÁS and the Department. The review will inform the future direction of the programme.

Insurance Industry.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Question:

69 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress made to date with regard to the implementation of her action plan for the insurance industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13824/04]

The insurance reform programme that I announced on 25 October 2002 comprises a comprehensive set of inter-related measures designed to improve the functioning of the insurance market. I chair a ministerial committee established to drive the co-ordinated implementation of the reform programme across the relevant Departments and other bodies concerned. Substantial progress is being made on a range of measures that will radically overhaul the functioning of the insurance market and help tackle the high cost of insurance.

The key measures include the following: implementation of the recommendations in the motor insurance advisory board action plan within a target timeframe — to date, 32 of the recommendations have been fully implemented, four have been partially implemented and work is in progress on the implementation of the other recommendations; establishment of the personal injuries assessment board — the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Bill 2003 completed its passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas on 19 December 2003 and was signed into law on 28 December 2003. The board was established and the members were appointed on 13 April 2004. It is intended that the PIAB will commence dealing with employer liability cases from 1 June 2004; and the undertaking by my Department and the Competition Authority of a joint study into the insurance market will identify and analyse barriers to entry and limitations on rivalry in the insurance marketplace. The bulk of the study was completed in 2003 and a preliminary report and consultation document on competition issues in the non-life insurance market was published on 18 February 2004. Following a two-month consultation period, a final report will be published which will contain recommendations based on its findings.

Significant progress has been made by the Department of Transport in the implementation of the road safety strategy. The Government has given approval to the Minister for Transport for the drafting of the heads of a road safety Bill. It is intended that this Bill should be enacted in this Dáil session. The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform published the Civil Liability and Courts Bill on 11 February 2004 and it is currently before the Houses of the Oireachtas. The Bill contains measures to streamline the law relating to personal injury claims, including measures to deal with fraudulent and exaggerated claims.

While EU law prohibits the imposition of price control on insurance I have made it clear that I consider there to be an onus on the insurance industry to ensure that the reforms to be taken will have the effect of significantly reducing the cost of premiums to consumers and businesses. Indications to date are that the reform programme is having its desired effect. The CSO publishes monthly indices of costs for a number of classes of insurance. These statistics show that there was a reduction of 12.9 index points, 12.1%, in motor insurance between the months of October 2002, when the programme was launched, and March 2004. This is the latest figure available. The reduction in premiums between March 2003 and March 2004 is 14.4 index points, 13.3%. This is a bigger decrease as premiums had continued to rise for some months after the launch of the programme before its effects were evident.

As implementation of the reform programme continues, I expect further reductions to occur in all forms of insurance. I am also confident that the measures the Government is putting in place to reform the Irish insurance market will attract new players into the market, leading to further downward pressure on premiums.

Consumer Strategy Group.

Willie Penrose

Question:

70 Mr. Penrose asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the role of the recently established consumer strategy group; when it is expected that it will publish a final report; if interim reports are expected; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13830/04]

The role of the consumer strategy group, which I established this March, is to advise and make recommendations for the development of a national consumer policy strategy which will provide consumers with the knowledge, information and confidence to be demanding of quality, service and value; ensure consumers are well informed of their rights and have effective and speedy means of redress in the event that those rights are denied; give consumers a powerful voice and effective representation and input in the development of policy proposals at national and local level; ensure the views of consumers are heard and taken into account in national debate on relevant business, trade and social policy issues; and promote among product and service providers best practice in the delivery of quality customer service and value for money and an appreciation of the contribution satisfied consumers make to the growth and development of business.

The consumer strategy group is due to produce a final report by the end of 2004. The group may produce such interim reports to me as it considers appropriate. I see the establishment of this group as a significant initiative designed to improve and promote consumer rights in Ireland. I want to encourage and see develop in Ireland a culture where consumers are confident and insistent in demanding value and quality at all times.

Job Creation.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

71 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of new jobs announced during 2003 from new investments or expansion of IDA backed plants; the expected level of announcements during 2004; the steps that are being taken to promote job creation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13833/04]

IDA Ireland is the agency with statutory responsibility for the attraction of foreign direct investment to Ireland and its regions. In 2003, 32 greenfield and expansion job creation projects were announced by IDA Ireland with a projected total job content of nearly 5,600 jobs. This result was achieved against the backdrop of two consecutive years of falling global inflows of foreign direct investment. In 2002, for example, global FDI inflows declined by one-fifth to $651 billion — the lowest level since 1998. The main factor behind the decline was slow economic growth in most parts of the world, a phenomenon that had an inevitable impact on a small, open, trade-dependent economy such as Ireland.

Looking to 2004, IDA believes that this year will be its best since 2000 in terms of new investments into Ireland and of growth in the value and scale of activities in overseas companies operating here. This view is based on contacts with client companies and strong indications of a substantial recovery in growth in the global economy and consequent increased flows of FDI. IDA is now competing for some very significant, high-value investments. Vigorous pursuit by IDA Ireland of its main policy objectives is the best response to the current challenging environment.

Key features of this approach are as follows: continuing investment promotion activities to generate new flows of FDI into Ireland — this involves pursuing high quality sustainable projects that are in keeping with the competitive characteristics of the Irish economy today and seeking out niches of business in which Ireland can carve out world market leadership to continue the growth and development of the economy; limiting the immediate impact of the global downturn by working closely with foreign owned companies already located in Ireland — this involves concentrating more resources on helping to underpin the competitiveness of these companies by identifying new investment opportunities and encouraging them to move up the value chain into higher value products and services and into higher order functions, such as research and development; and working to maximise investment levels from sectors less affected by the global economic downturn, such as health care and pharmaceuticals.

As the ultimate decision regarding where to locate a project rests with overseas investors it is difficult to predict the exact number of IDA-supported investment projects announcements that might be made in 2004. However, I am confident that the strategies and policies being pursued by IDA, together with the ongoing commitment of Government to regional development, will bear fruit in terms of maximising new investment and jobs.

Health and Safety Regulations.

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

72 Mr. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the maximum distance and time span for a replacement vessel to be available if a company (details supplied) replaces the current two vessel standby/supply boat cover at the Kinsale Head gas field with a single self-relieving dual purpose standby/supply boat, in the event of a breakdown of this single vessel service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10235/04]

Day-to-day responsibility for the administration and enforcement of occupational safety and health legislation, including the Safety, Health and Welfare (Offshore Installations) Act 1987 and the Safety, Health and Welfare (Offshore Installations) (Emergency Procedures) Regulations 1991, made under that Act, is a matter for the Health and Safety Authority. The regulations provide for the availability of adequately equipped stand-by vessel.

I am informed by the Health and Safety Authority that the company referred to owns two fixed production platforms/installations in the Kinsale Head gas field. One of these platforms has become what is termed a normally unmanned installation and therefore it only presents a risk to personnel when they are on board for maintenance and so on. Processing of gas takes place on the platforms, on one of which personnel are located. As a result, a standby vessel is required to render assistance if required in the event of an emergency. The company currently has a contract for two full-time vessels — one standby vessel and one support vessel. The standby vessel serves the two platforms. The support vessel is also certified and equipped to be a stand-by vessel. Standby boats have crew, medical supplies, medic or paramedic and other supplies on board and two rescue boats attached.

I understand that the company has recently tendered to have a single self-relieving dual purpose stand-by/supply boat vessel. I am informed that there will also be one certified temporary standby vessel capable of carrying supplies and cargo available. When a crew change is needed at a platform, normally every two to three weeks, the certified standby boat will come out from port and replace the original standby vessel while it goes into port to change crew and get supplies. This temporary standby boat will be certified to be a standby vessel. The Health and Safety Authority has informed me that this arrangement will satisfy regulation 13 of the Safety, Health and Welfare (Offshore Installations) (Emergency Procedures) Regulations 1991, as at all times there will be a certified standby vessel in the vicinity of both platforms which are approximately three nautical miles from each other.

As regards arrangements in the event of breakdown of the single self-relieving dual-purpose stand-by/supply boat vessel, I am informed that the following would apply. The standby vessel has spare replacement parts for the vessel on board, so the likelihood of the standby vessel being down for long is low. Notwithstanding that, each platform has its own self-contained lifeboats capable of reaching Cork harbour on their own. Even if the standby vessel breaks down, it has two fast rescue craft it can launch itself which can be at the installation within minutes. Helicopter back–up from Cork Airport or the platform would also be put on a higher state of alert in the event of a standby vessel breakdown.

Unemployment Levels.

Finian McGrath

Question:

73 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will give an update on strategies to deal with the high unemployment rate of between 12%-14% in some parts of the State; and to outline any plans to deal with social exclusion. [8888/04]

The quarterly national household survey released by the CSO in December 2003 shows that 86,500 persons or 4.6% of the workforce were unemployed. The long-term unemployment rate was 1.4%. Employment growth continued in the third quarter of the year to bring the total number of persons in employment to 1.82 million. In view of the slowdown in global economic growth over the last two to three years, this performance demonstrates retention of a significant job creation capacity in the Irish economy.

With regard to IDA-assisted companies only, there was a net reduction in employment of just over 3,000 in 2003. The work of IDA in attracting FDI and encouraging new rounds of investment from within the existing population of overseas firms in Ireland is just one part of the complex set of activities that Ireland must undertake to underpin the job creation capacity of the economy in a way that will help ensure that in the round, job gains will exceed job losses. The national development plan, national spatial strategy, regulatory and competition policy, indigenous industry and relevant implementing bodies and agencies also play a key role in this process.

Enterprise Ireland has primary responsibility for indigenous manufacturing and internationally traded services companies employing more than ten people, as well as for inward investment in the food and natural resources sector. Through its network of eight regional offices, Enterprise Ireland aims to ensure that both start-up opportunities and the expansion of existing firms can be achieved with maximum benefit to the regions and their communities. Funding packages for entrepreneurs and business projects in the BMW regions include additional financial supports and incentives to further encourage growth outside of the greater Dublin area.

Enterprise Ireland also works with companies to assist them in improving competitiveness. One such example is Enterprise Ireland's competitiveness fund 2003, which is designed to help small and medium enterprises overcome distinctive competitiveness difficulties. The fund is now closed, with 97 applications, to the value of €11,904,636, having being approved. Under its community enterprise centre programme, Enterprise Ireland supports communities in the provision of local business infrastructure to foster the setting up of new businesses which have the potential to grow. A total of €26 million has been committed to support local communities in providing their own enterprise space over the past four years. In the previous 15 months, capital grants from Enterprise Ireland were approved for 35 communities throughout the country.

FÁS undertakes a range of activities that address the needs of socially excluded groups and long-term unemployed people. Such categories of people participate in the full range of FÁS training and employment programmes and avail of their guidance and advisory services. In addition to availing of mainstream services, FÁS has specific targeted approaches to this category of client.

The national employment action plan, NEAP, adopted by the Government as its response to the European employment guidelines, includes a commitment to a more systematic engagement of employment services with the unemployed. The core orientation of the employability pillar in the EU guideline, which is based on a preventative strategy, is focused on early and systematic intervention with unemployed people, re-integrating them into the labour market as quickly as possible, inter alia, by providing them with the necessary skills to improve their employability. The aim of the action plan is to reduce unemployment and prevent the drift into long-term unemployment by assisting unemployed people to return to employment by actively engaging with them at an early stage. Under the NEAP the Department of Social and Family Affairs refers all persons reaching certain thresholds of unemployment for interview by FÁS. The referral threshold for those aged 25-54 was reduced from nine months to six months in March 2003.

The NEAP is now being rolled out on a phased basis to all persons who are more than six months on the live register and have not been selected for inclusion in the process previously. The process commenced in Dublin in May 2003, followed by the west, the north-west and the midlands in October 2003, with the remaining two regions — south-east and north-east — commencing by the end of 2003. In Dublin some 9,000 persons should benefit from this process over the next 18 months, with an additional 27,000 persons approximately benefiting in the remaining regions.

The Pathways programme was designed by FÁS as a response to the needs of long-term unemployed people to assist them to identify the most appropriate development pathway for them in order to obtain and maintain employment. The programme is of two weeks' full-time duration and is intended to be a highly positive and motivating experience. Participants are allowed to retain social welfare benefits while participating. Each participant finishes the programme with a career path action plan and an appointment with an employment services officer. The first Pathways pilot programme took place in Sligo in July 2003 and it has also been piloted in four locations in Dublin. More than 220 clients attended pilot programmes in 2003. Pathways is being further developed and rolled out during this year.

In January 2003 FÁS introduced a new high supports process, HSP, for job-seekers who are suffering personal barriers to employment. A budget of €1.2 million was assigned for the piloting of the HSP in seven regions. Under the programme, supports are provided for participants identified for inclusion including long-term participants on the job initiative programme as well as job seekers referred to FÁS under the NEAP. Service providers such as the Department of Social and Family Affairs, the Department of Health and Children, the Department of Education and Science, LES, and other organisations as appropriate, participate in and drive flexible local networks of relevant service providers to deliver progression routes to clients under the HSP.

The HSP has been continued in 2004 and will operate as in 2003, with the exception that the process has been extended to cover all regions and not just those identified in the pilot in 2003, thereby extending the process to a greater number of clients. A budget of approximately €1.3 million has been allocated. It is projected that 320 "non-progression-ready" clients and 230 job initiative participants will engage in the HSP in 2004.

The RAPID programme is aimed at targeting Government expenditures on disadvantaged areas in a co-ordinated way. The FÁS contribution to the RAPID programme has been delivered mainly through the prioritisation of existing FÁS programmes. Support provided by FÁS has been through FÁS community services — where the community employment programme is the major element and where RAPID areas continue to be prioritised — FÁS employment services, the local employment service and FÁS training services. As the Tánaiste has previously stated, "Projects and/or places in disadvantaged areas which come under the RAPID initiative are given priority over places outside these areas, subject to budgetary and quality considerations."

Question No. 74 answered with QuestionNo. 47.

Ansbacher Report.

Paul Kehoe

Question:

75 Mr. Kehoe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of recommendations of the Ansbacher report of 2002 which have been implemented; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13760/04]

The inspectors appointed by the High Court to Ansbacher (Cayman) Limited investigated the affairs of the company, drew conclusions based on the evidence before them that named individuals and companies may have breached certain laws and reported back to the court. Action on the conclusions drawn by the inspectors is a matter for the ODCE, the DPP, the Revenue Commissioners and the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland, as the case may be.

The report confirmed the concerns I had for some time about the extent to which companies and their officers complied with the requirements of company and other law. However, I did not wait for the completion of the report before taking action to ensure that any regulatory failures coming within my area of responsibility were dealt with. Accordingly, I introduced the following initiatives: proactive enforcement of the provisions of company law by the establishment and resourcing of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement; increased penalties and additional resources to ensure companies meet their filing obligations with the Companies Registration Office; better oversight and regulation of the accounting and auditing profession by the proposed establishment of the Irish auditing and accounting supervisory authority; establishment of the company law review group on a statutory footing to ensure that the provisions of our company law are appropriate to the needs of Irish society.

Following the commencement of the Company Law Enforcement Act 2001, it is now the statutory responsibility of the Director of Corporate Enforcement to pursue the possible breaches of the Companies Acts identified in the report. The director has emphasised his determination to take appropriate action on foot of the report. I also note that the Revenue Commissioners have been very active in pursuing tax issues arising from the Ansbacher report and other tax evasion mechanisms.

Job Losses.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

76 Mr. O’Shea asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of redundancies notified to her Department during 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and to date in 2004; the projected numbers for 2004; the steps that are being taken to deal with the sharp increase in redundancies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13826/04]

The number of redundancies notified to my Department in the years specified were 13,316 in 2000, 19,997 in 2001, 25,358 in 2002, 27,702 in 2003 and 8,761 to the end of April 2004. The corresponding figure to the end of April 2003 was 8,115, which means an 8% increase in the number of redundancies notified to my Department so far this year. However, the quarterly national household survey prepared by the Central Statistics Office in March of this year shows that employment growth continued in the fourth quarter of 2003, with an increase of 44,600 or 2.5% in the year on year position.

The development of a competitive economy is a central tenet of generating sustainable employment and growth and is the focus of this Government's policies. Initiatives by the Government and the State development agencies, including reducing the burden of unnecessary regulation, are aimed at helping the country progress towards a knowledge and innovation-driven economy. Ongoing six-monthly assessment of our competitive position will ensure that appropriate and timely actions are taken to address identified weaknesses. In addition, the enterprise strategy group which I established in July 2003 has been given the task of developing strategic policy recommendations for enterprise in Ireland. I expect the group to report to me by the middle of this year.

Work Permits.

Liz McManus

Question:

77 Ms McManus asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when the promised legislation to put the employment permit regime on a comprehensive and sound statutory footing will be introduced; the reason for the delay in bringing forward the legislation, which was originally promised for 2003; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13822/04]

It is my intention to publish the Bill in question before the summer recess. A number of significant legal questions are being addressed and it is hoped to resolve these issues shortly.

Job Losses.

Richard Bruton

Question:

78 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if her attention has been drawn to the background to proposed redundancies in a company (details supplied); if the company has notified her of the justification for this move in accordance with the laws governing redundancy and the arrangement under social partnership; and if there are policy initiatives planned to ease the situation for the workers threatened with redundancy. [13945/04]

From inquiries made in this Department we have found that on 27 April 2004, the company concerned wrote to the Tánaiste giving her full notification of the proposed collective redundancies under section 12 of the Protection of Employment Act 1977. The company also stated that the employee representatives had been consulted, as set out in sections 9 and 10 of that Act. I understand that it is proposed to make 70 employees redundant out of a total workforce of 688 employees. There are no initiatives planned in this case.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

79 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps she proposes to take to bring about replacement jobs for those likely to be lost at a company (details supplied) in Naas, County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14014/04]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

80 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the extent to which she received prior knowledge of the impending closure of a company (details supplied) in Naas, County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14015/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 79 and 80 together.

Champion Automotive, Naas, County Kildare, informed IDA Ireland of its intention to close on 7 May 2004. I understand from IDA Ireland that the facility will be closed in the next few months with the loss of approximately 50 jobs. The news of the intended closure is disappointing, particularly for the workers affected and their families. The company is highly specialised and automated and obtains high levels of productivity. However, due to the extended life expectancy for spark plugs, the market for their product has been declining over the years and the parent company has decided to concentrate its production in the US and UK. On commencement of redundancies, FÁS will make its full range of services available to the company and the employees, while Enterprise Ireland and the Kildare County Enterprise Board will provide advice and support to any employees interested in starting their own business.

As regards positive developments, there are a number of significant projects in Kildare for which companies are actively recruiting at present. In Newbridge, Wyeth Medica's €70 million investment is being implemented and an active media recruitment campaign is under way. In Leixlip, Intel is actively recruiting, as is Hewlett Packard in Celbridge. IDA Ireland is strongly marketing the Millennium Business Park facility in Naas to prospective investors. I assure the Deputy that the State development agencies under the aegis of my Department will continue to promote the Kildare area for enterprise development.

Question No. 81 answered with QuestionNo. 49.

Price Increases.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

82 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the extent to which she or her Department has examined instances in which the consumers or customers are clearly being ripped off through price hikes; the steps she has taken to address the issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14017/04]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

83 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps she or her Department has taken to curb price increases which are not in keeping with inflation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14018/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 82 and 83 together.

The responsibility of Government in the matter of the prices of goods and services generally is mainly limited to ensuring that markets are working properly for the benefit of consumers and of the economy as a whole. Many people in the country share concerns over the price of goods and services and I emphasise that the Government is acutely aware of the difficulties which price increases pose for the average consumer. However, we must note the progress made in bringing inflation below the Government target of 2% which we set last year and I am pleased to further note that the consumer price index for March showed that the inflation rate fell to 1.3%.

Within this context Forfás has produced reports on consumer price inflation in 2002 and 2003. This has complemented the work of the National Competitiveness Council and the Competition Authority, which undertake on a continuous basis investigations into the competitiveness of the Irish economy and the level of competition within it. These investigations highlight the key areas that require attention to enhance Ireland's competitiveness and economic performance.

The Competition Authority is currently involved in investigative work in the insurance, banking and professional services sectors. In regard to professional services, comprehensive studies are being undertaken of eight individual professions, namely medical practitioners, veterinarians, dentists, optometrists, barristers, solicitors, engineers and architects. As the Deputy knows, I have also set up the new consumer strategy group, whose main role is to advise and make recommendations for the development of a national consumer policy strategy. In its performance of this role the group shall be entitled to initiate studies which demonstrate objectively whether or not Irish consumers are getting a fair deal. The group is due to produce a final report to me by the end of 2004.

With regard to other steps taken I must mention the ongoing work of the Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs in undertaking price surveys and bringing the results to the public's attention. I specifically mention the ODCA's late 2003 Price Awareness Pays campaign, which was run on behalf of the anti-inflation group established under the partnership agreement Sustaining Progress. In tandem with and as a follow up to this campaign the ODCA has published the results of price surveys of products such as CDs, petrol, car insurance, drinks prices over a rugby weekend, potatoes and over-the-counter medicines. Consumers have their part to play in acting on this type of information and seeking out the most competitive prices available.

Insurance Industry.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

84 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress to date in her efforts to reduce public liability insurance costs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14019/04]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

85 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the extent to which she or her Department has taken steps to reduce motor insurance costs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14020/04]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

86 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps she has taken to reduce insurance costs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14021/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 84 to 86, inclusive, together.

I am very concerned about the difficulties that are being caused by high insurance premiums. The insurance reform programme I announced on 25 October 2002 comprises a comprehensive set of inter-related measures designed to improve the functioning of the insurance market. I chair a ministerial committee established to drive the co-ordinated implementation of the reform programme across the relevant Departments and other bodies concerned. Substantial progress is being made on a range of measures that will radically overhaul the functioning of the insurance market and help tackle the high cost of insurance.

The key measures include the following: implementation of the recommendations in the Motor Insurance Advisory Board action plan within a target timeframe — to date, 32 of the recommendations have been fully implemented, four have been partially implemented and work is in progress on the implementation of the other recommendations; establishment of the personal injuries assessment board — the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Bill 2003 completed its passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas on 19 December 2003 and was signed into law on 28 December 2003. The board was established and the members were appointed on 13 April 2004. It is intended that the PIAB will commence dealing with employer liability cases from 1 June 2004; and the undertaking by my Department and the Competition Authority of a joint study into the insurance market will identify and analyse barriers to entry and limitations on rivalry in the insurance marketplace. The bulk of the study was completed in 2003 and a preliminary report and consultation document on competition issues in the non-life insurance market was published on 18 February 2004. Following a two-month consultation period, a final report will be published which will contain recommendations based on its findings.

Significant progress has been made by the Department of Transport in the implementation of the road safety strategy. The Government has given approval to the Minister for Transport for drafting the heads of a Road Safety Bill. It is intended that this Bill should be enacted in this Dáil session. The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform published the Civil Liability and Courts Bill on 11 February 2004 and it is currently before the Houses of the Oireachtas. This Bill contains measures to streamline the law relating to personal injury claims, including measures to deal with fraudulent and exaggerated claims.

The MIAB recommendations which Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, IFSRA, is charged with progressing deal with issues relating to public information, promotion of competition, transparency and consumer protection. One such recommendation deals with the gathering of statistics on motor insurance and claims costs by IFSRA. On 10 December 2003, IFSRA published its first set of comparative tables of motor insurance quotations on its website, www.ifsra.ie. The motor insurance cost survey is based on eight driver profiles and is designed to show the range of quotes available for specific drivers in Ireland. Regular surveys will be published on the IFSRA website at three-month intervals. These surveys, which will be of interest to all drivers, demonstrate the advantages of shopping around.

While EU law prohibits the imposition of price control on insurance I have made it clear that I consider there to be an onus on the insurance industry to ensure that the reforms to be taken will have the effect of significantly reducing the cost of premiums to consumers and businesses. Indications to date are that the reform programme is having its desired effect. The CSO publishes monthly indices of costs for a number of classes of insurance. These statistics show that there was a reduction of 12.9 index points, 12.1%, in car insurance between the months of October 2002, when the programme was launched, and March 2004, which is the latest figure available. The reduction in premiums between March 2003 and March 2004 is 14.4 index points, 13.3%. This is a bigger decrease as premiums had continued to rise for some months after the launch of the programme before its effects were evident. As implementation of the reform programme continues, I expect further reductions to occur in all forms of insurance. I am also confident that the measures the Government is putting in place to reform the Irish insurance market will attract new players into the market, leading to further downward pressure on premiums.

Work Permits.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

87 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of work permits granted in each of the past three years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14022/04]

Data about work permits granted in each of the past three years is as follows:

Year

Number of permits issued

2001

36,436

2002

40,321

2003

47,551

Statistical information on work permits is available on the work permits web page of my Department's website, www.entemp.ie.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

88 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of work permits applied for in 2004; the number refused, granted or pending; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14023/04]

Data about work permits received in 2004 up to 30 April are as follows:

Number

Applications received

14,591

Work permits granted

13,090

Work permits refused

523

Applications pending

4,191

There is a carryover of work permit applications from 2003. Applications which were incomplete or ineligible for consideration are not included in these figures. Statistical information on work permits is available on the work permit'sweb page of my Department's website, www.entemp.ie.

Departmental Funding.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

89 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the extent to which the budget for 2004 is adequate to meet commitments entered into by FÁS and any likely new commitments; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14024/04]

A total of €837 million has been provided by my Department to FÁS in 2004. Of this, €366 million is allocated to employment programmes, €307 million to training and integration supports and €22.7 million for capital expenditure.

The allocation to employment programmes includes an amount of €351 million, which will support up to 25,000 places across the three major employment schemes — community employment, job initiative and the social economy programme. This allocation is similar to that provided in 2003. Accordingly, participation levels over the three schemes in 2004 are being maintained at 2003 levels. The allocation of €307 million to training and integration schemes in 2004 represents a 3% increase on 2003 investments. FÁS, through the prioritisation and efficient use of resources, will endeavour to maintain activity levels at 2003 levels. The €22.7 million allocation to FÁS's capital subhead this year represents a 65% increase on the level of investment in 2003. This significant increase is being provided to allow FÁS to upgrade its training centres and thereby provide improved services to trainees. The breakdown of funding among regions and schemes is a day-to-day matter for the board of FÁS within the overall policy guidelines set by my Department.

Questions Nos. 90 and 91 answered with Question No. 50.
Question No. 92 answered with QuestionNo. 42.

Commission on the Newspaper Industry.

Phil Hogan

Question:

93 Mr. Hogan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she has plans to review the report of the commission on the newspaper industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14060/04]

I have no plans to review the report of the commission on the newspaper industry, which was published in June 1996.

Pension Provisions.

Finian McGrath

Question:

94 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Defence if the pension issue of a person (details supplied) will be resolved; and if he will work closely with this person’s widow. [13969/04]

The person in question is in receipt of a non-contributory pension in accordance with the terms of the Defence Forces (pensions) schemes. She will qualify for a contributory pension under the terms of the contributory spouses' and children's pension scheme in June 2005, when the full contribution liability to the scheme will have been met. At that stage her non-contributory pension will be replaced by the contributory pension.

The husband of the widow in question had been given an option to join the contributory spouses' and children's pension scheme in April 1985. He was informed that in the event of his death before the total contribution liability under the scheme had been discharged, his spouse would not qualify for immediate payment of a contributory pension and that there would be a "waiting period" before this pension commenced to take account of the outstanding contribution liability.

Foreign Military Personnel.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

95 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Defence if the facilities at Baldonnel Airport were made available to foreign military personnel during the weekend of 30 April to 3 May 2004; and if so, the forces to which they were made available. [14047/04]

A total of ten foreign aircraft from the following countries used Casement Aerodrome during the period 30 April 2004 to 3 May 2004: the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, Slovenia, Turkey, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. All aircraft carried delegations attending the EU ceremonies on 1 May 2004. Four of these aircraft were military aircraft, namely, those of the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark and Slovenia.

Grant Payments.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

96 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a special beef premium grant cannot be awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13970/04]

The person named submitted two applications under the 2003 special beef premium scheme, one on 9 June 2003 in respect of 23 animals and one on 1 December 2003 in respect of 33 animals. Under the EU regulations governing the 2003 scheme a stocking density of 1.8 livestock units per hectare applies, based on the forage area declared on an applicant's area aid application. As the forage area declared on the area aid application of the person named is 9.86 hectares, the number of units that may be calculated for livestock premium purposes is 17.74 livestock units, LU.

The 23 animals on the first application equated with a livestock unit value of 13.8 as each animal was deemed 0.6 LU, while the 33 animals on the second application equated with 19.8 LU with each animal again being deemed 0.6 LU. Thus, the 56 animals in question represented 33.6 LU. Given that the maximum number of units that may be calculated for premium purposes is 17.74, payment is restricted to this number and the relevant payments have been made in full.

Seymour Crawford

Question:

97 Mr. Crawford asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when a bull premium and top up slaughter premium will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cavan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13972/04]

The person named submitted four applications under the 2003 special beef/bull premium scheme, one on 23 June 2003 in respect of seven animals, one on 7 October 2003 in respect of five animals, one on 20 October 2003 in respect of eight animals and one on 4 November 2003 in respect of one animal. Under the EU regulations governing the 2003 special beef premium scheme a stocking density of 1.8 livestock units per hectares applies, based on the forage area declared on an applicant's area aid application. As the forage area declared on the area aid application is 46.10 hectares, the number of units that may be calculated for livestock premium purposes is 82.98 livestock units.

The reckonable livestock units are obtained in respect of the calendar year as follows: male cattle seven months and up to and including 24 months old on which the producer applies for 2003 special beef and bull premium — 0.6 livestock unit each; male cattle over 24 months old on which the producer applies for 2003 special beef and bull premium — one livestock unit each; ewes on which the producer applies for 2003 ewe premium — 0.15 livestock unit each; notional dairy cows needed to produce 3,982 litres of any milk quota held at 31 March — 1 April 2003 — 1 livestock unit each; suckler cows on which the producer applies for 2003 suckler cow premium — one livestock unit each; heifers eight months and up to and including 24 months on which the producer applies for 2003 suckler cow premium — 0.6 livestock unit each; and heifers over 24 months on which the producer applies for 2003 suckler cow premium — one livestock unit each.

In this case, the milk quota of 366,683 litres utilises 92.08 livestock units — 366,683 divided by 3,982 — leaving no remaining livestock units to cover special beef premium. Therefore, the person named is not entitled to payment in respect of the 21 animals applied for under the 2003 special beef premium scheme. The person named has been paid the national envelope top-up under the 2003 slaughter premium scheme in full in respect of 12 animals. The national envelope top-up is paid on beef breed heifers who have qualified for the slaughter premium 2003 and are at least eight months and under 30 months on the date of slaughter within the EU or when exported live to a non-EU country. Forty animals were slaughtered under the herd number of the person named in 2003, of which twelve were eligible for the top-up.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

98 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason the 2003 suckler cow grant has not been awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13974/04]

The person named applied for premium on 40 animals under the 2003 suckler cow premium scheme. When processing the application for payment it was found that the information recorded on CMMS for three animals was inconsistent with that provided by the herdowner and so required further clarification. The queries have now been resolved and payment will issue shortly.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

99 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a person (details supplied) in County Galway did not receive the remaining part of their suckler cow grant 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13975/04]

The 2003 area aid application for the person named was processed by my Department in respect of 13.82 hectares. Subsequently, it was established that the area contained buildings. This resulted in a revised area determined for payment purposes of 13.65 hectares. The person named was paid €1,615.43 on 19 September 2003 under the 2003 area-based compensatory allowance scheme. He was paid €1,228.32 in respect of 13.82 hectares of more severely handicapped land at €88.88 per hectare and an additional sum of €387.11 under a compensation package agreed with the European Commission for farmers experiencing losses under the area-based compensatory allowance scheme. The revised area determined for payment is 13.65 hectares at €88.88 per hectare, amounting to €1,213.21, resulting in an over-payment of €15.11 under the 2003 area-based compensatory allowance scheme.

An application for premium on 16 animals under the 2003 suckler cow premium scheme was received on 29 January 2003. The 80% advance instalment amounting to €2869.12 issued to the applicant on 29 October 2003. At balancing payment stage the amount of €15.11 overpaid under the 2003 area-based compensatory allowance scheme was recouped from the 20% balance instalment of €717.28 and a cheque for €702.17 issued to the herdowner on 23 March 2004.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

100 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a REP scheme 2 grant has not been awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13976/04]

The agri-environmental plan from the person named has been returned on several occasions for amendment in recent months. The most recent version, received in late March, is being examined at present and my Department will be in touch directly with the applicant when this examination is complete.

Michael Ring

Question:

101 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he proposes to implement a so-called windfall claw-back on the cap entitlements of the 15,000 or more farmers who sold suckler cow quota during and immediately after the reference years, 2001-03; if so, the provision under which he considers himself legally entitled to apply such a retrospective measure; if he has taken account of the hardship or disadvantage which the move will cause; and if his attention has been drawn to the widespread anger and charges of grossly unfair and punitive treatment which are pouring out in the wake of the claw-back reports in the media. [14006/04]

Under the EU regulations governing the single payment scheme a member state may provide that a certain percentage of the single payment to be established for certain categories of farmers may be transferred to the national reserve — the so-called windfall profit clause. The categories of farmers concerned are in general those who sold or leased out their holding or part of their holding before 29 September 2003. The provision, if invoked, will not apply to a farmer who within one year of disposing of the holding has either bought or leased in another holding. Likewise, the provision will not apply where the farmer proves to the satisfaction of the member state that the price of sale or lease corresponds to the value of the holding without payment entitlements. These provisions are optional for all member states and a decision on whether or not to invoke the provisions in Ireland will be taken in due course in the context of the setting up of the national reserve.

Michael Ring

Question:

102 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo is not receiving area-based compensatory allowance for 2003. [14007/04]

Applicants under the area-based compensatory allowance scheme must meet a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare of the holding in the year preceding application. However, farmers with some stock who are unable to meet that minimum stocking density but who traditionally qualified for headage grants in respect of cattle and/or sheep may continue to qualify for payment provided their land is being utilised and is not being under-grazed.

The person named, when replying to a letter from this Department, said she had no stock. Accordingly, she was not paid. My Department is now writing to her setting out why she was not paid, and offering her the usual right of appeal against that decision should she choose to exercise it.

Civil Service Recruitment.

Richard Bruton

Question:

103 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons recruited by the Civil Service Commission each year since 1998 and the number projected in 2004. [14077/04]

Under the Civil Service Commissioners Act 1956, recruitment to permanent positions in the Civil Service is carried out by the Civil Service Commissioners, who are involved in recruitment to a range of positions in the Civil Service using open competition. The number of persons assigned is as follows:

Year

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

January 2004-March 2004

Administrative posts

1737

2765

4308

3417

3175

1339

344

Professional and Technical posts

234

285

286

544

570

385

60

Total

1971

3050

4594

3961

3745

1724

404

On occasion, a candidate assigned to a Department may not report for duty. In that instance the Department in question makes a subsequent request to the Civil Service Commissioners.

Departmental Properties.

Richard Bruton

Question:

104 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance the trend in the square footage of space rented by the OPW in each year since 1998 and projected in 2004; and in each year the aggregate rental paid by the OPW in respect of these properties. [14083/04]

The Commissioners of Public Works currently manage approximately 1,035,900 sq. m or 11.1 m.sq.ft. of accommodation of which 41% — 424,719 sq.m. or 4.5 m.sq.ft. — is leased. The annual cost since 1998 of rental paid including rent reviews, service charges etc. in respect of leased properties is as follows:

Year

sq. m.

€m

1998

296,625

45.03

1999

324,833

46.75

2000

352,593

56.27

2001

382,044

70.81

2002

408,444

98.46

2003

424,719

105.35

2004

430,000*

105.80*

* Estimated

Departmental Programmes.

Richard Bruton

Question:

105 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance the aggregate square footage of new works, alterations and additions in each year since 1998 and projected for 2004 undertaken by the OPW; and in each year the average cost per square foot of the respective works. [14084/04]

Arrangements are being made by the OPW, as agreed with the Deputy, to have information supplied in response to this question by Friday, 21 May 2004.

Passport Applications.

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

106 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of Irish citizens, living abroad, who have obtained passports in the past five years for which figures are available; the breakdown of country of residence into the United Kingdom, the European Economic Area, the United States and other countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12725/04]

The following is the number of passports issued for the years 1999 — 2003 in the countries and areas requested by the Deputy.

Area

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

United Kingdom

61,813

66,037

64,829

78,066

73,581

European Economic Area

5,388

5,526

5,770

5,791

6,344

United States

11,702

10,978

11,665

13,352

15,601

Other Countries

14,764

16,713

14,784

15,146

14,868

Total

93,667

99,254

97,048

112,355

110,394

The total number of passports issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, at home and abroad, in 2003 was over 550,000. This is 20,000 more than the previous year and more than double the number of passports issued as recently as 1996.

Human Rights Issues.

Finian McGrath

Question:

107 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if steps will be taken to ensure the safe return of the Colombia three (details supplied); and if he will report on their current situation. [13977/04]

Since the judge's decision in the case was announced on 26 April, officials from our embassy in Mexico, which is also accredited to Colombia, have been in close contact with the Colombian authorities, as well as with the Dutch Ambassador, who is representing our interests, and the Irish Honorary Consul in Bogota.

In all its contacts, the embassy has made clear the importance we attach to ensuring the men's safety, particularly during any time they may spend in the country between leaving prison and returning to Ireland. The Colombian authorities have assured us in response that they share our concerns in this regard, and will provide the men with security for this period. In addition, both the Taoiseach and I have sent personal messages to the Colombian President and foreign minister respectively reiterating the desirability of facilitating the men's early departure from Colombia as the best way of ensuring their safety.

The current position is that the Colombian Attorney General has lodged an appeal against the judgement in the case. The men's lawyers have made a petition to the judge to allow them to leave the country after their release from prison. The judge's decision on this petition is currently awaited. I assure the Deputy that, as from the start of this case, the Department of Foreign Affairs will continue to do its utmost to ensure the safety and well-being of the three men.

Finian McGrath

Question:

108 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the Government’s position on the torture of Iraqi prisoners by US and British Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13978/04]

The Government has from the outset called on all parties in the conflict to respect their obligations under international law both in regard to the status of civilians and in regard to prisoners of war. The Government's calls are in keeping with the public pronouncements of UN Secretary General Annan. Moreover, Security Council resolution 1483 of 22 May 2003 calls upon all concerned to comply fully with their obligations under international law including, in particular, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Hague Regulations of 1907. The treatment of prisoners of war is specifically covered by the 3rd Geneva Convention. The Government has publicly and strongly condemned any incidents of abuse of prisoners in Iraq by occupying forces which have taken place as contrary to international humanitarian law. Our position has been conveyed to both the US and British authorities. We also noted the response by these authorities in instigating investigations into such abuse, and their commitment to rectify any failure to adhere to international humanitarian law and to take appropriate action. We would also expect that they will implement measures to prevent any possible recurrence of such abuse.

Passport Applications.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

109 Mr. O’Dowd asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if a passport will be issued to a person (details supplied) in County Louth. [13989/04]

The person to whom the Deputy refers was born abroad and is seeking to claim Irish citizenship on the basis of having a grandparent who was born in Ireland. He has been advised by my Department of the documents that are required for this purpose. On the successful completion of this process, the person concerned will be entitled to an Irish passport and his application will be processed by the passport office.

Human Rights Issues.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

110 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will report on representations he has made to US authorities on the war crimes committed by US personnel against Iraqi prisoners held at the Abu Ghraib facility in Baghdad; the steps the Government will take to ensure that there is no impunity for persons responsible for these crimes regardless of position or rank; and if the Government will demand that the US allow independent human rights monitors including Amnesty International and the United Nations access to all US detention facilities in Iraq. [14039/04]

The Government has from the outset called on all parties in the conflict to respect their obligations under international law both in regard to the status of civilians and in regard to prisoners of war. In line with this, the Government has publicly and strongly condemned any incidents of abuse of prisoners in Iraq by occupying forces which have taken place as contrary to international humanitarian law. The Government's calls are in keeping with the public pronouncements of UN Secretary General Annan. Moreover, Security Council Resolution 1483 of 22 May 2003 calls upon all concerned to comply fully with their obligations under international law including, in particular, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Hague Regulations of 1907. The treatment of prisoners of war is specifically covered by the 3rd Geneva Convention. As stated above, the Government has strongly condemned the abuse of prisoners in Iraq, and our concern in this regard has been conveyed to the US and to the British authorities. We have also noted the response of these authorities in instigating investigations into reports of such abuse, and their commitment to rectify any failure to adhere to international humanitarian law. We expect that the authorities will deal with those responsible accordingly, and will implement measures to prevent their recurrence. The International Committee of the Red Cross has access to the US detention facilities in Iraq but we would also welcome wider access for reputable non-governmental organisations. In this regard, I am not aware of the United Nations having requested such access. However, the United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, OHCHR, is preparing a report on the human rights situation in Iraq which will cover, among other issues, the treatment of persons in detention.

Military Neutrality.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

111 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of overflight permissions granted to foreign military aircraft on the weekend of 30 April to 3 May 2004; the conditions attached to these permissions; and the specific aircraft involved in each case. [14040/04]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

112 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of permissions granted to foreign military aircraft to land in the State’s airports on the weekend of 30 April to 3 May 2004; the conditions attached to these permissions; and the location of such landings, the specific aircraft involved, the number of military personnel who landed and the duration of their stay in each case. [14041/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 and 112 together.

Fourteen military aircraft were granted overflight permission during the period of 30 April to 3 May 2004. As regards landings, permission was granted to 34 foreign military aircraft, including state aircraft transporting VIPs, which are categorised as military aircraft for this purpose, to land at Irish airports during the same period, which spanned the weekend when EU heads of state or Government participated in events in Ireland to mark the accession of ten new member states.

These clearances were granted in accordance with the normal criteria which include the stipulation that the aircraft be unarmed and not carrying any arms or ammunition. It is not the Government's policy to provide specific details of individual requests for overflight and landing applications.

Human Rights Issues.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

113 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied) who is serving a 16 year murder sentence in England and to the fact that serious questions have been raised regarding the evidence and the manner in which this case was dealt with by the British justice system; if he has raised or intends to raise the matter with the British authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14042/04]

I am aware of this case and I have met with the family of the person in question. On my instructions, the case continues to be closely monitored by my Department through the Irish Embassy in London. The embassy in London remains in contact with both the person himself and his solicitor. I understand that the solicitor is still seeking appropriate grounds on which either to lodge an appeal against conviction or to seek to have the case reopened. This is against the background where the person in question pleaded guilty at his original trial and was given a mandatory sentence.

I can assure the Deputy that my Department will continue to keep in contact with the person concerned, his solicitor and his family, and to provide all appropriate consular assistance and advice. I will consider whether there is any further action that I might take when the legal position has been clarified.

Diplomatic Representation.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

114 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs further to Question No. 146 of 31 March 2004, if the Government took no steps to investigate whether the permanent mission of Ireland to the United Nations was bugged, or the Irish representatives put under any form of surveillance, during the time Ireland held a seat on the Security Council. [14043/04]

As stated in my reply to the previous question referred to by the Deputy, I am very conscious of the importance of maintaining adequate security arrangements in respect of communication facilities in all the offices of my Department. However, for security reasons, it would not be appropriate to state what measures are taken in this regard in any particular mission. I would like to state again, however, that there is no evidence to suggest that our UN office was bugged during the time when Ireland held a seat on the Security Council, or at any other time

Superannuation Benefits.

Mary Upton

Question:

115 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Education and Science if all moneys owed to a person (details supplied) will be reimbursed including interest accruing, that were withheld to this person in lieu of while on a two-year secondment contract to another organisation at which they were also obligated to make superannuation payments. [14438/04]

My Department will arrange for a refund in full of the net overpayment of superannuation contributions applicable in relation to the secondment period. The Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999 provides for superannuation schemes for staff who are direct employees of FETAC, HETAC and the National Qualifications Authority. Draft schemes have been prepared and are awaiting final approval. The schemes will provide for the transfer of pensionable credit from other relevant public sector employments.

Higher Education Grants.

Dan Neville

Question:

116 Mr. Neville asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason the third instalment of the higher education grant was not awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick in view of the fact that students in similar circumstances in other counties have been awarded such a grant. [13944/04]

I understand that the candidate in question completed the Bachelor of Science course in health, fitness and leisure studies in the 2003-04 academic year. I understand that this degree programme consists of two study blocks of 15 weeks each, separated by a six month work placement in industry.

Under the terms of the third level student support schemes, grant-holders may be paid three equal instalments of the maintenance grant over the duration of the normal academic year. As the course in question ended no later than 31 March 2004, the grant-holders are only entitled to two instalments of the maintenance grant under the VEC scholarship scheme. This position on the funding of a number of similar courses at Tralee Institute of Technology was confirmed, in writing, to the registrar at the institute in a letter from the Department dated 7 June 2001.

School Staffing.

Olwyn Enright

Question:

117 Ms Enright asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of schools that will have their teacher allocations cut for the academic year 2004-05; the number of schools that have been informed of this cut in recent weeks; the number of these schools that are classified as disadvantaged by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13946/04]

A total of 246 schools are due to have the number of approved mainstream teaching posts reduced for the 2004-05 school year. For the 2004-05 school year, I have decided that the determination by reference to enrolments in junior and senior classes at 30 September 2003 of teacher posts allocated for disadvantage will remain unchanged. A detailed review of educational disadvantage schemes is nearing completion and this will impact on existing schemes. I hope to announce the outcome of this review shortly.

Special Educational Needs.

Finian McGrath

Question:

118 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science the long-term education plan for a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3 with a disability; and if they will be given a place when they reach 18 years of age. [13947/04]

Special schools funded by the Department of Education and Science are intended to cater for children and young persons with special educational needs from four years of age until the end of the school year in which they reach their 18th birthday.

The Department of Health and Children has direct responsibility for provision for young adults over 18 years of age with special needs and my Department provides funding towards the education component of such provision.

Schools Building Projects.

Finian McGrath

Question:

119 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will grant permission to Gaelscoil Chomcille, Whitehall, Dublin for a new premises, particularly in view of the fact that it has a site; and if he will work closely with the school authorities to resolve this accommodation problem. [13948/04]

My Department is considering a number of options for the long term accommodation of Gaelscoil Cholmcille including the possible purchase of a site. However, due to the commercial sensitivities surrounding site acquisitions, the Deputy will appreciate that I am unable to comment on specific site purchase issues.

Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

Denis Naughten

Question:

120 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has received a notification (details supplied) from the Department of Health and Children; if the institution will now be included under the terms of the redress Act; when he hopes to make a decision on the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13982/04]

At present, 128 institutions are listed on the Schedule to the Residential Institutions Redress Act. Section 4 of the Act enables additional institutions that are identified as reformatory schools, industrial schools, orphanages, children's homes and special schools, in which children were placed and resident and in respect of which a public body had a regulatory or inspection function, to be added to the Schedule.

My Department has received correspondence from both individuals and survivor groups identifying a number of additional institutions that may be eligible for inclusion in the Schedule. Discussions have taken place between my Department and other Departments that may have provided a regulatory or inspection function in the operation of these facilities in order to ascertain whether these institutions are in fact eligible for inclusion. The initial information received in some cases was limited due to the long period that had elapsed since these institutions were closed and therefore the process of verifying each of these institutions has been time consuming and is continuing.

It is my intention that a list of additional institutions will be brought before both Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as the verification process is completed. I am sure that the Deputy will appreciate that it is not possible for me to confirm as to whether or not any particular institution will be included until the list of additional institutions is laid before the Oireachtas. However, I can confirm that my Department has received notification from the Department of Health and Children in relation to the institution referred to by the Deputy and it is under active consideration.

Special Educational Needs.

Phil Hogan

Question:

121 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Education and Science if and when a special needs assistant will be allocated to a school (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13985/04]

My Department has no record of having received an application for a special needs assistant from the school referred to by the Deputy. Any application received will be considered in the context of the criteria set out in the relevant Department circulars and the existing level of SER provision in the school.

Phil Hogan

Question:

122 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Education and Science if a resource teacher will be allocated for persons at Stoneyford national school, County Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13987/04]

I can confirm that my Department received applications for special educational resources, SER, for the school referred to by the Deputy. The position is that SER applications received between 15 February and 31 August 2003 are being considered at present. In all, more than 5,000 such applications were received. Priority was given to cases involving children starting school last September and all these cases were responded to at or before the commencement of the current school year.

The balance of more than 4,000 applications has been reviewed by a dedicated team comprising members of my Department's inspectorate and the National Educational Psychological Service, or NEPS. These applications are being further considered in the context of the outcome of surveys of SER provision conducted over the past year and the data submitted by schools as part of a nationwide census of SER provision.

The processing of the applications is a complex and time-consuming operation. However, my Department is endeavouring to have this completed as quickly as possible and my officials will then respond to all applicant schools. Pending a response, schools are advised to refer to circular 24/03, which issued in September 2003. This circular contains practical advice on how to achieve the most effective deployment of resources already allocated for special educational needs within the school. In the case of teacher resources, the outcome for each applicant school will be based on a new weighted system of allocation which I announced recently. This system, as part of which an additional 350 teaching posts will be allocated, will involve two main elements. The first element is to make a staffing allocation to schools based on a predicted incidence of pupils with special educational needs and the second is to make individual allocations in the case of children with more acute lower-prevalence special educational needs. It is expected that the change to a weighted system will bring with it a number of benefits. The new system will reduce the need for individualised educational psychological assessment; reduce the volume of applications to my Department for additional resources for individual pupils; and give greater flexibility to schools, which will facilitate the development and implementation of improved systems and procedures in schools to meet the needs of pupils with low achievement and pupils with special educational needs.

The detailed arrangements for processing applications for resources, including applications for next September will be set out in a circular to be issued to schools before the end of the current school year. It is also intended that schools due to receive the additional posts will be notified within this timeframe.

State Examinations.

Richard Bruton

Question:

123 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has satisfied himself with the fairness of the system for deciding eligibility for the accommodation on spelling and so on in respect of the leaving certificate examination for persons with dyslexia; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that at least one person granted the accommodation was tested at a substantially higher percentile than those refused; if he has further satisfied himself that all schools are equally equipped to submit the supporting documentation for pupils seeking a waiver and that the appeal system does not re-test the appellant but simply reverts to the original deciding psychologist for their assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13988/04]

The issue raised by the Deputy is being considered by the State Examinations Commission, SEC, an independent body established on foot of a Government decision of 6 March 2003.

Special Educational Needs.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

124 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science when EU regulations pertaining to salary payments to part time teachers employed in special teaching schools will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13990/04]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

125 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science when PPF will be paid to part time teachers employed in special teaching schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13991/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 124 and 125 together.

The revised rates of pay for part-time teachers in primary schools, including those employed in special schools, will be implemented as quickly as possible. Contact will be made with the management authorities of the schools in question as part of this process.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

126 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science if and when provision will be made available for extra resources to facilitate the urgent need for extra classes for a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13992/04]

The pupil in question is currently in receipt of five hours resource teaching per week together with special needs assistant support in the school referred to by the Deputy. I understand that he is awaiting a placement in a special class for pupils with autism in the area. There are currently ten special classes for children with autistic spectrum disorder operating in primary schools in the Kildare area at a pupil teacher ratio of six to one. My Department also provides funding for the Saplings project, a facility sanctioned on a pilot basis which uses applied behavioural analysis methodologies for children with autism. A total of 30 children are currently enrolled in this facility. In addition, my Department is currently liaising with a primary school in the Kildare area regarding the establishment of two additional special classes for pupils with autism.

It is my intention that all children, including children with autistic spectrum disorders, receive education appropriate to their needs.

Pupil-Teacher Ratio.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

127 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science if provision will be made for an extra classroom teacher for San Carlos school, Leixlip, County Kildare for pupils progressing to senior infants class in September 2004 who will have a pupil/teacher ratio of 35 to 1; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13993/04]

The staffing of a primary school is determined by reference to the enrolment of the school on 30 September of the previous year. The number of mainstream posts sanctioned is determined by reference to a staffing schedule and is finalised for a particular year following discussions with the education partners.

The mainstream staffing of the school referred to by the Deputy for the current school year is a principal and 11 mainstream class teachers based on the enrolment of 312 pupils on 30 September 2002.

Based on an enrolment on 30 September 2003 of 313 pupils, the mainstream staffing for the school year 2004-05 will remain at principal and 11 mainstream class teachers. The enrolment of 313 pupils is significantly less than the required minimum figure required for the appointment of a 12th mainstream class teacher. It is open to the board of management of a primary school to submit an appeal under certain criteria to an independent appeals board which was established to adjudicate on appeals on mainstream staffing allocations in primary schools. Details of the criteria and application date for appeal were issued recently to all primary schools.

Special Educational Needs.

Mary Upton

Question:

128 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Education and Science, further to Question No. 122 of 9 October 2003, the position regarding the provision of additional teaching resources to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 6W; and if his Department’s school inspector has been in touch with the school in question to sanction the allocation of an additional period to the child. [14038/04]

The Deputy will be aware that a total of five hours resource teaching support and a full-time special needs assistant was sanctioned for the pupil in question and has been in place since the beginning of the 1999-2000 school year. This is the maximum level of resource teaching available under my Department's circular. The Deputy may be interested to know that my Department is at present reviewing existing arrangements for the allocation of special educational supports to primary schools. In that context, my officials have been involved in ongoing discussions on a weighted system of allocation with representative interests. At this stage it would be premature to anticipate the outcome for the school in question. I can confirm, however, that the basic purpose of that review is to ensure that each school has the level of resources required to cater for its pupils with special educational needs.

Pending the introduction of the weighted system, schools are advised to refer to the circular 24/03, which was issued in September 2003. This circular contains practical advice on how to achieve the most effective deployment of resources already allocated for special educational needs within the school. The weighted system, as part of which an additional 350 teaching posts will be allocated, will involve two main elements. First, to make a staffing allocation to schools based on a predicted incidence of pupils with special educational needs; and, second, to make individual allocations in the case of children with more acute lower-prevalence special educational needs.

It is expected that the change to a weighted system will bring with it a number of benefits. The new system will reduce the need for individualised educational psychological assessment; reduce the volume of applications to my Department for additional resources for individual pupils; and give greater flexibility to schools, which will facilitate the development and implementation of improved systems and procedures in schools to meet the needs of pupils with low achievement and pupils with special educational needs.

The detailed arrangements for processing applications for resources will be set out in a circular to be issued to schools before the end of the current school year. It is intended also that schools due to receive the additional posts will be notified within this timeframe.

Educational Projects.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

129 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has received the final report of the review of an establishment (details supplied) in Dublin 11; the main recommendations of the report; and when he intends to publish it. [14046/04]

I have received the report of the review of the operation of the Finglas child and adolescent centre. As the Deputy is aware, this review was commissioned in March 2004 in the light of concerns raised about the operation of the centre by key stakeholders both internal and external to the centre. The review was undertaken by Mr. Michael Donnellan, director of Trinity House school, and its purpose was to identify the issues and problems affecting the efficient and effective operation of the centre and adversely impacting on the task of caring for troubled children and to make recommendations to address the shortcomings identified.

Following consideration of the report I propose to release it to the various stakeholders shortly. I will also arrange for a copy of the report to be made available to the Deputy.

Special Educational Needs.

Mary Upton

Question:

130 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will review the special needs of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 and take steps to ensure that they obtain the one-to-one assistance needed. [14062/04]

The school in question is a special school for pupils with a moderate general learning disability. Such schools generally operate at a ratio of one special needs assistant, or SNA, per two class groups of eight pupils each. The school currently has 18 SNAs caring for 86 pupils. My Department considers that the staffing complement is adequate to cater for the number of pupils attending the school. It is a matter for the school management to arrange the most effective deployment of resources available to meet the needs of the pupil in question.

Mary Upton

Question:

131 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will again review the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 6W. [14063/04]

The application referred to by the Deputy has been reviewed by my Department. The position is that my Department considers that satisfactory education facilities exist in the State to meet the person's educational needs. In the circumstances, funding will not be made available by my Department for the person in question to attend school abroad.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

132 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science if provision can be made for a bus service for children living in the Donadea area who are attending the Irish school in Maynooth (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter [14205/04]

A report on this case has been requested from Bus Éireann. The Deputy will be advised of the position as soon as the report has been received and assessed.

Fisheries Protection.

Pádraic McCormack

Question:

133 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the outcome of an investigation regarding the dumping of farmed salmon by persons (details supplied); if sanctions have been imposed on these persons; if residues of a banned chemical suspected of being carcinogenic have been found in salmon on a farm in Connemara, County Galway; if so, the action which has been taken to prevent the banned substance from entering the food chain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13960/04]

As I indicated in my reply to Question No. 121 of 24 February 2004, investigations have been carried out in respect of matters relating to the discovery last summer of salmon buried on land near Casla, County Galway. As proceedings are pending, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the matter at this time.

My Department continues to carry out regular residue testing in accordance with the requirements laid down under European legislation. I can confirm that there has been a case where an unapproved chemical was detected at a site in Connemara in the course of my Department's residue testing programme. I do not wish to comment in detail on this case given that legal proceedings may arise. My Department acted immediately on receipt of the positive residue test result. An immediate restriction on the sale or movement of any stock from the suspected site was put in place. A programme of additional sampling was carried out. Officials from my Department carried out an investigation to ensure that any potentially contaminated stock was identified and isolated. Investigations into this case and related matters are continuing.

Pádraic McCormack

Question:

134 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if ovigerous lice levels on salmon farms in Connemara, County Galway are in some cases ten times above the level set in his Department’s protocols; the penalties which have been imposed in these circumstances; and the action which has been taken to ensure the survival of wild sea trout smolts migrating to sea. [13961/04]

A comprehensive system of monitoring and control of sea lice levels at marine finfish farms is operated on behalf of my Department by the Marine Institute. Certain inspections carried out at some fish farms in Connemara this year have found elevated levels of lice which in a limited number of cases have been of the magnitude suggested by the Deputy. In any such cases, the operators of the farms have been required to take appropriate action to reduce the lice levels. My Department has also emphasised to them the importance of taking all necessary and appropriate steps, on an ongoing basis, to control lice levels at their farms.

The Department and the Marine Institute are monitoring the situation closely and will ensure that any further measures that may be required for dealing with the position are adopted. In the event of a failure on the part of a farm operator to comply with relevant requirements or to co-operate in taking the action necessary to control lice levels, the question of taking action against the operator would fall to be considered.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

135 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he has received a submission from the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland; if he has examined its contents with a view to offering advice, assistance or funding towards the meeting of the objectives set out therein; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14036/04]

I am advised that the submission, dated 7 May 2004, to which the Deputy refers was received by my colleague, the Minister of State, Deputy Browne, earlier this week. As the Deputy may be aware, I recently commissioned a fundamental review of the inland fisheries sector, which is ongoing. The independent consultants undertaking the review are required, inter alia, to evaluate the adequacy of the current model for the governance of the inlands fisheries sector and to recommend a structure which will contribute to the optimum development of the inland fisheries resource in Ireland. I expect that this review will address all aspects of coarse fishing also. I can assure the Deputy that the submission from the national coarse fishing federation of Ireland will be considered fully by my Department in the context of the current ongoing review of the inland fisheries sector.

Sports Capital Programme.

Michael Ring

Question:

136 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the details of all the organisations in County Mayo which received grant aid from the sports capital programme; the name of each organisation; and the amount granted to each. [13971/04]

Michael Ring

Question:

137 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the organisations which applied for funding under the capital sports programme 2004; when each organisation applied; the amount of funding each organisation applied for; and the amount granted to those which were successful. [14003/04]

Michael Ring

Question:

138 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the organisations in County Mayo which applied for grant aid under the capital sports programme 2004; when each organisation applied; the amount of funding each organisation applied for; and the amount granted to those which were successful. [14004/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 136 to 138, inclusive, together.

The 2004 national lottery-funded sports capital programme was advertised in the national newspapers on 30 November and 1 December 2003. The deadline for receipt of applications was 5 p.m. on 16 January 2004. A total of 1,304 applications were certified as having been received before that deadline and these were evaluated against the programme's assessment criteria, which are outlined in the guidelines, terms and conditions of the programme.

Following this evaluation process, I announced on Friday last, 7 May, provisional funding allocations totalling €50.8 million to 717 projects.

I will shortly be making further announcements under the 2004 sports capital programme in respect of funding for projects of major significance which, while meeting local needs, will also add considerably to the national and regional sporting infrastructure which is required both for increasing levels of participation and improving standards of performance. In keeping with Government policy, the allocations reflect special priority for the development of sports and recreational facilities in areas designated as disadvantaged, that is, RAPID, CLÁR and local drugs task force areas. Projects that have been allocated sports capital funding in designated disadvantaged areas may also receive additional top-up funding under the CLÁR and RAPID programmes, administered by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. A statement will issue from the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, at a later stage regarding top-up funding allocations under these programmes.

Letters are currently being prepared and will issue in the coming days to all applicants. Those awarded provisional grant allocations will be informed of the requirements to be fulfilled to enable them to draw down their grant including compliance with public tendering processes, legal and tax clearance requirements and the submission of invoices in respect of completed work on the project. Those which were unsuccessful this year will be given the reasons and a copy of the assessment of their application. The attached schedule contains the full listing for each applicant of the provisional grant amount and amount sought under the 2004 sports capital programme, beginning with County Mayo, and then reverting to alphabetical county order. Where the ‘Sought' column is blank, this indicates that the applicant did not supply this information on the application form.

The following are the provisional grant allocations made to projects in County Mayo:

Grantee

Amount€

Swinford Amenities Development Company Ltd

200,000

Foxford Sports and Leisure Centre

200,000

Knockmore GAA Club

170,000

Breaffy GAA Club

100,000

Straide and Foxford United AFC

100,000

Ballyvary-Keelogues Development Company

90,000

St. Patrick's GAA Club Westport

90,000

Balla GAA Club

90,000

Lahardane McHales GAA Club

80,000

Ballinrobe Town Soccer Club

60,000

Claremorris AFC

55,000

Ballyglass Association Football and Social Club

50,000

Ballyheane Football Club

45,000

Eastern Gaels GAA Club

45,000

Ballinrobe Rugby Football Club

45,000

Swinford Soccer Club

40,000

Carracastle Community Council

35,000

Lacken Sports and Recreation Association Ltd

30,000

Bangor Hibs FC Ltd

25,000

Mayo Gaels GAA Club

25,000

Swinford Handball Club

10,000

Western Lakes Cycling Club

5,000

Kilmaine Boxing Club

4,000

Sports Capital Programme 2004 Applications for Funding

Co. Mayo

County

Applicant

Grant€

Sought€

Mayo

1,594,000

7,083,189

Achill Island Golf Club

0

41,547

Balla GAA Club

90,000

120,000

Ballina Golf Club

0

400,000

Ballinrobe Community School

0

265,125

Ballinrobe Rugby Football Club

45,000

93,415

Ballinrobe Town Soccer Club

60,000

80,000

Ballycastle Community Hall Ltd

0

120,000

Ballycastle GAA Club

0

42,365

Ballycroy Community Council Ltd.

0

495,000

Ballycroy Field Management Co. Ltd.

0

86,295

Ballyglass Association Football and Social Club

50,000

67,310

Ballyheane Football Club

45,000

65,300

Ballyvary-Keelogues Development Company

90,000

135,000

Bangor Hibs FC Ltd

25,000

50,744

Barnacarroll Cuiltibo Enterprises Ltd.

0

19,000

Belcarra Sports Centre

0

400,000

Breaffy GAA Club

100,000

200,000

Carracastle Community Council

35,000

50,790

Castlebar Celtic Football Club

0

286,023

Castlebar Mitchels GAA Club

0

265,000

Castlebar Rugby Football Club

0

58,000

Charlestown Bellaghy & District Sports Complex

0

107,390

Claremorris AFC

55,000

74,497

Conn Rangers AFC Ltd

0

61,600

Eastern Gaels GAA Club

45,000

59,200

Foxford Sports and Leisure Centre

200,000

250,000

Glenans Irish Sailing Association

0

125,311

Glencorrib Community Sportsfield Trustees/Glencorrib and Border Ramblers GAA Club

0

80,000

Graine Uaile Sub Aqua Club

0

24,490

Kilmaine Boxing Club

4,000

5,000

Kiltane GAA Community Complex

0

105,000

Kiltimagh/Knock United Soccer Club Ltd

0

205,064

Knockmore GAA Club

170,000

212,962

Knockmore/Rathduff Economic & Social Development Company Ltd.

0

306,550

Lacken Development Association Ltd

0

120,000

Lacken Sports and Recreation Association Ltd

30,000

69,500

Lahardane McHales GAA Club

80,000

146,410

Manulla Sporting Club

0

273,889

Mayo Gaels GAA Club

25,000

30,000

Mulranny Western Holdings Ltd

0

40,000

Newport Handball Club

0

30,000

Snugboro United Football Club Ltd

0

158,000

Straide and Foxford United AFC

100,000

143,688

St. Louis' Community School Kiltimagh

0

500,000

St. Patrick's GAA Club Westport

90,000

125,500

Swinford Amenities Development Company Ltd

200,000

250,000

Swinford Handball Club

10,000

14,000

Swinford Soccer Club

40,000

76,000

Vally Rovers Football Club

0

142,624

Western Lakes Cycling Club

5,000

5,600

Sports Capital Programme 2004 — Applications for Funding — Remainder of the country

County

Applicant

Grant€

Sought€

Carlow

632,000

1,415,490

Bagenalstown Soccer/Tennis/Pitch and Putt Club

60,000

74,000

Ballon GAA Club

40,000

53,568

Ben Mulhall Memorial Park Association

60,000

100,000

Carlow Golf Club

0

100,000

Carlow Sports and Social Club

20,000

50,000

Dr. Cullen Park Committee c/o Coiste Condae Ceatharloch CLG

0

200,000

Éire Óg GAA Club

200,000

262,823

Myshall-Drumphea Sports Council Ltd

0

170,000

New Oak Boys Football Club

2,000

3,124

Old Leighlin Basketball Club

10,000

12,000

Old Leighlin GAA Club

10,000

10,460

Palatine GAA (Cnoc Arda)

45,000

50,000

Rathanna Community Group

0

90,000

Rathvilly GAA Club

45,000

50,000

St. Patrick's Boys AFC

70,000

95,000

Tinryland GAA Club

70,000

94,515

925,000

2,849,130

Bailieborough Swimming and Leisure Centre

0

143,752

Bailieborough Shamrocks GAA Club

0

33,800

Ballinagh Leisure and Sports Complex Trust Ltd

70,000

105,000

Ballyhaise Multi-purpose Sports Facility c/o Ballyhaise GAA Club, Annalee Athletic Club

20,000

92,414

Ballyjamesduff Soccer Club

50,000

60,000

Castlerahan GAA Club Ballyjamesduff

0

90,000

Cavan Amateur Boxing Club

0

5,000

Cavan Town Council — Tullacmongan Pitches

50,000

120,651

Coiste Bhreifne uí Raghallaigh an Cábhan

0

200,000

Cootehill GAA Club

20,000

36,580

Crosserlough GAA Club

70,000

105,000

Drumalee GAA Club

15,000

25,500

Drumgoon GAA Club

0

130,000

Drung GAA Club

0

300,000

Kill Community Development Limited

60,000

92,600

Killeshandra Leaguers GAA Club

0

150,000

Kingscourt Handball and Racquetball Club

100,000

134,254

Lacken Celtic GAA Club

150,000

250,000

Laragh Area Development Group Limited

0

98,998

Loch Gowna GAA Club

0

152,296

Mullahoran GAA Club

80,000

150,000

Shercock Sports & Recreation Facilities Ltd

65,000

103,285

St. Mary's Brass and Reed Band

0

20,000

Templeport St. Aidan's GAA Club

100,000

150,000

Virginia Rugby Football Club

75,000

100,000

Clare

1,027,000

4,168,664

Banner GAA Club

30,000

50,000

Burren Sub Aqua Club Ltd

20,000

28,484

Clonlara Leisure Athletic & Sports Society Ltd.

150,000

200,000

Corbally United Football Club

0

230,000

Corofin Community GAA Development

20,000

27,000

Cratloe GAA Development Committee

150,000

190,000

East Clare Golf Club

0

165,325

Ennis RAPID Community Assembly

90,000

154,869

Ennis Sub Aqua Club

20,000

31,272

Ennis Town Council — Lees Road Centre

0

1,314,428

Ennistymon Recreation and Leisure Centre

22,000

25,000

Killaloe Ballina Tennis Club

25,000

33,000

Killmurry GAA Club

25,000

28,000

Kilmaley Sports and Leisure Complex

0

187,972

Lifford Oldtown Football Club

50,000

85,000

Meelick GAA Club

45,000

50,000

Park Rangers AFC

5,000

6,500

Parteen St. Nicholas GAA Club

30,000

37,000

Scariff GAA Club

0

110,000

Seanchonill Sports Centre

0

396,388

St. Breckan's GAA Club Lisdoonvarna

40,000

80,426

St. Senan's Rugby Football Club

160,000

210,000

Tulla Soccer Club

70,000

255,000

Wolfe Tones Camogie Club

75,000

97,000

Wolfe Tones na Sionna GAA Club

0

176,000

Cork

4,874,000

23,696,715

Aghada GAA Club

0

295,000

Ardfield/Rathbarry Rowing Club

7,000

10,000

Ballincollig GAA Club

70,000

90,000

Ballydehob Community Association Limited

0

93,055

Ballyhea GAA Club

90,000

121,000

Ballymartle GAA Club

0

152,000

Ballyphehane Community Association

0

350,000

Baltimore Sailing Club

35,000

52,483

Banteer Community Sportsfield Ltd

45,000

54,429

Banteer Youth Club

1,000

2,100

Bantry Rowing Club

8,000

14,911

Bishopstown Hurling and Football Club

50,000

70,000

Blackpool Community Co-op Service Centre Ltd

40,000

55,356

Blackrock National Hurling Club

0

200,000

Blarney GAA Club

50,000

126,000

Boherbue GAA Club

25,000

29,400

Ból Chumann Na hÉireann

0

160,840

Brian Dillon's GAA Club

100,000

151,040

Carrigaline United AFC

0

44,098

Casement Celtic Football Club

26,000

30,000

Castlelyons GAA Club

65,000

77,000

Castletown Kinneigh Table Tennis Club

0

120,000

Charleville Rugby Club

60,000

72,675

Clonakilty Enterprise Board Ltd

0

50,000

Clonakilty GAA Club

100,000

226,467

Clonakilty Rugby Club

70,000

81,232

Coachford Soccer Club

75,000

85,000

Cobh GAA Club

80,000

200,000

Cobh Pirates RFC

0

51,212

Cobh Ramblers Football Club

0

265,000

College Corinthians AFC

250,000

1,930,388

Community and Renewal Enterprises

150,000

225,000

Cork Amateur Weightlifting Association

0

1,000

Cork Boat Club

0

25,997

Cork City Council — Fairfield Dressing Rooms

90,000

130,000

Cork City Council — Mahon Sports Project

100,000

140,000

Cork City Council — Togher Community Association/Ballyphehane Community Association

80,000

100,000

Cork County Cricket Club

4,000

5,000

Cork Co. Council — Powerscourt Housing Estate, Mallow

70,000

112,000

Cork CSI Campsite Activity and Sports Centre

50,000

60,000

Crosshaven Rowing Club

6,000

11,300

Crosshaven Rugby Football Club

0

31,500

Cuman Peile Mhichil Naofa

40,000

50,000

Cumann Camógaíochta Iniscartha

40,000

58,908

Cumann Iománaíochta agus Peile Baile na mBocht (Mayfield GAA)

30,000

40,000

Cumann Iománaíochta Cloch Dhubh (Cloughduv Hurling Club)

180,000

217,341

Davis College Community Facility, Mallow

0

194,964

Dolphin Swimming Club

0

2,027

Donoughmore Hurling and Football Club

20,000

26,200

Dromina GAA Club

50,000

64,000

Dromtariffe GAA Club

40,000

56,000

Durrus and District Community Council

150,000

240,000

Fermoy Boys/Girls Amateur Boxing Club

5,000

7,000

Fermoy Concert Band

0

19,355

Fermoy GAA Complex

0

60,800

Fermoy Rowing Club

35,000

45,000

Fishermen's Rowing Club, Cobh

0

4,200

Freemount GAA Club

35,000

41,669

Glandore Harbour Yacht Club

10,000

14,744

Goleen and District Community Council

0

150,000

Harlequins Cricket Club

0

8,961

INE Church of Ireland Cork Young Mens Association

200,000

250,000

Irish Amateur Rowing Union

0

1,500,000

Kanturk AFC

60,000

70,560

Kanturk Cycling Club

15,000

24,272

Kilcrohane Development Association

0

40,000

Kilmacabea & Glandore Rowing Club

8,500

12,770

Kilshannig GAA Club

250,000

400,000

Kinsale and Dock Rowing Club

0

11,232

Kiskeam GAA Club

30,000

50,000

Leeds AFC

25,000

30,955

Leevale Athletic Club

15,000

20,000

Lisgoold GAA Club

30,000

34,782

Lismire GAA Club

40,000

47,000

Lismire Youth Club

0

2,000

Lombardstown Tennis Club

20,000

24,500

Lyre Community Sports & Cultural Association

0

300,000

Lyre Rovers FC

35,000

52,210

Mahon Association Ltd

0

4,186,949

Mallow GAA Club

400,000

500,000

Mallow RFC

0

148,000

Mallow Town Council — Gymnasium

0

324,000

Mallow Town Council — Sandfield Playing Pitch

25,000

30,400

Mallow Town Council — Woodview Drive Playing Pitch

40,000

56,800

Mayfield United AFC

0

361,275

Millstreet Town Park

15,000

24,830

Mitchelstown Rugby Team

2,500

3,080

Mourneabbey Community Council

100,000

120,000

Munster Branch IRFU — Musgrave Park

0

1,000,000

Munster Football Association — Turner's Cross

0

800,000

Myross Rowing Club Ltd

0

9,350

Na Piarsaigh Hurling and Football Club

300,000

800,000

Nemo Rangers GAA Club

200,000

2,000,000

Newmarket GAA Club

0

110,000

Newtown Shandrum GAA Club

60,000

70,000

Old Christians Rugby Football Club

0

190,000

Páirc Na Choláiste, Charleville

0

500,000

Passage Soccer Club

50,000

76,000

Passage West Rowing Club

0

13,475

Rapthpeacon GAA Club

0

36,725

Rathluirc GAA Club

65,000

83,000

Ringmahon Rangers

100,000

161,840

Riverstown Amateur Boxing Club

0

5,600

Rockchapel GAA Club

50,000

66,458

Roscarbery Rowing Club

6,000

8,290

Rushbrooke Rowing Club

7,000

10,683

Rylane Boxing Club

4,000

5,950

Schull Yawl Rowing Club

4,000

7,700

SMA Parish Community Sports Centre, Cork City

0

500,000

Sovereign Dive Club

0

24,000

Spirit of Kinsale Yawl Rowing Club

0

20,000

St. Anne's Pitch & Putt Club, Blarney Road

15,000

17,000

St. Catherine's GAA Club

40,000

45,000

St. Colman's College Fermoy

0

26,950

St. Finbarr's Pipe Band, The Glen

0

8,000

St. James' GAA Club, Clonakilty

0

294,000

St. Joseph's Foundation, Charleville

70,000

86,430

St. Mary's Association Football Club

15,000

19,732

St. Oliver Plunkett GAA Club

50,000

63,000

St. Patrick's Youth Group Band, Bandon

0

30,000

St. Vincent's Hurling & Football Club

0

300,000

Sunnyside Amateur Boxing Club

5,000

6,000

Tadhg Mac Carthaigh GAA Club

15,000

70,000

Togher Athletic Club

0

4,040

Tullylease Community Council

0

55,000

Whitechurch & Waterloo Community Association

25,000

38,590

Whitegate Rowing Club

0

8,635

Youghal GAA Club

50,000

96,000

Donegal

1,802,000

13,030,440

Aodh Ruadh GAA Park Development Committee

100,000

151,500

Ballybofey and Stranorlar Golf Club

0

68,139

Ballyshannon Leisure Centre Management Limited

0

320,000

Buncrana Golf Club

0

150,000

Buncrana Youth & Community Development

0

500,000

Bundoran GAA Club

0

120,000

Cappry Rovers FC

30,000

52,164

Castlefinn Partnership Initiative Ltd

0

490,598

CLG Carndomhnaigh (Carndonagh GAA)

0

375,000

CLG Ghleann Fhinne (Glenfinn GAA)

50,000

80,000

CLG na Cealla Beaga (Killybegs GAA)

65,000

76,149

Cockhill Celtic Football and Youth Club

0

47,110

Convoy Arsenal FC

0

47,000

Creeslough 2000 Project

0

250,000

Curragh Athletic/CAKE Ltd

0

100,000

Deele Community Sports Development Committee

0

56,000

Desertegney Youth Club

0

30,000

Donaghmore GAA Setanta Hurling Club

0

18,500

Donegal Motor Club

0

28,000

Donegal Town Basketball Club

0

Donegal Town Soccer Club

25,000

31,978

Dunkineely Celtic FC

0

88,000

Eany Celtic Football Club/Inver Community Development Co-Op

0

51,200

Erne Enterprise Development Company Ltd.

0

300,000

Finn Harps Co-Op Society Ltd.

0

2,179,489

Foresters Sport & Social Club, Killybegs

0

1,000,000

Gaeil Fhanadha CLG

130,000

178,435

Glenswilly GAA Club

80,000

128,000

Greencastle Community Development Company

0

241,833

Gweedore Celtic Football Club

0

50,000

Inishowen Football League

100,000

176,750

Inishowen Sub-Aqua Club

15,000

26,512

Inniskeel Athletics Club/Parents Association

0

110,833

Letterkenny Athletic Club

0

20,400

Letterkenny Blaze Basketball Club

3,000

5,322

Letterkenny Community Centre Ltd

0

Letterkenny Golf Club

0

200,000

Letterkenny Rugby Club/Letterkenny Gaels GAA Club

0

712,268

Letterkenny & District Caledonia Pipe band

0

20,938

Lifford Athletic Club

175,000

247,078

Manorcunningham Orange Hall Bowling Club

10,000

11,295

Milford Park Development Committee

100,000

200,000

Moville Celtic FC

90,000

117,859

Moville Community Complex Development Company Ltd

0

10,026

Naomh Conaill (St. Connel's) GAA Club

70,000

115,500

Naomh Pádraig GAA Club, Muff

0

50,000

Ozanam Community and Sports Centre, Dunfanaghy

170,000

227,198

Quigleys Point Community Centre Ltd

135,000

165,312

Raphoe Hockey Club

8,000

11,000

Ray Athletic Youth Club

0

60,000

Red Hugh’s GAA Club, Killygordon

85,000

102,000

Redcastle Community Development Ltd

70,000

100,000

Robert Emmets GAA Club

20,000

25,000

St. Catherine's Accordion Band — Killybegs

0

3,000

St. Eunan's GAA Club

150,000

2,600,000

St. John Bosco Club, Milltown

40,000

80,000

St. Johnston Cricket Club

5,000

6,300

St. Michael's GAA Club

75,000

160,000

St. Patrick's GAA Club, Malin

0

128,000

St. Patrick's Park Trust, Carndonagh

0

107,119

Twin Towns Amateur Boxing Club

1,000

1,635

Whitestrand Football Club

0

20,000

Dublin

11,941,000

66,586,888

Aerlingus Divers

0

24,000

Aquamarine Divers

0

18,200

Athletic Union League

35,000

40,000

Aughrim Street Scout Unit

0

9,960

Avoca Hockey Club and Newpark Comprehensive School

250,000

350,000

Ayrfield Community Association

0

26,000

Ayrfield United FC

0

23,000

Balbriggan Rugby Football Club

0

600,000

Baldoyle United

0

250,000

Ballinteer St. John's GAA Club

0

250,000

Ballyboden St. Enda's GAA Club

200,000

600,000

Ballyboden Wanderers GAA Club

100,000

125,000

Ballybrack Football Club

30,000

40,000

Ballybrack/Loughlinstown Boxing Club

80,000

110,000

Ballyfermot Leisure Co-operative Ltd

150,000

323,000

Ballymun Kickhams

0

120,000

Ballymun Regeneration Ltd — Balcurris Park

40,000

55,000

Ballymun Regeneration Ltd. — Coultry Park

40,000

90,000

Ballymun Regeneration Ltd. — Meakstown Equestrian Arena

0

2,250,000

Ballymun Regeneration Ltd. — Poppintree Centre

0

2,000,000

Ballymun Regional Youth Resource

300,000

471,555

Ballymun United FC

300,000

1,272,588

Basketball Ireland

150,000

200,000

Bay City Amateur Boxing Club

2,000

4,000

Belgrove Football Club

0

200,000

Blakestown Mountview Youth Initiative and Blakestown Mountview Neighbourhood Youth Project

15,000

30,312

Bushido Kickboxing Karate Palmerstown

4,000

10,500

Cabra Panthers Amateur Boxing Club

2,000

3,570

Castleknock Lawn Tennis Club

0

375,185

Catholic Youth Care outdoor bounds programme

5,000

11,158

Cherry Orchard Football Club

0

225,000

City of Dublin YMCA

250,000

528,936

Citywise, Jobstown

0

48,575

Clann Mhuire GAA Club

65,000

101,599

Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAC

0

295,600

Clondalkin Athletic Club

2,000

2,174

Clondalkin Gymnastics Club

3,000

6,500

Clondalkin Rugby Football Ltd.

30,000

40,000

Clondalkin Sports & Leisure Centre

300,000

384,000

Clonsilla Historical Society

0

13,920

Clontarf Cricket Club

20,000

21,500

Clontarf GAA Club — Seafield Road grounds

140,000

200,000

Clontarf GAA Club — St Anne's Park pitches

0

250,000

Clontarf Lawn Tennis Club

50,000

80,000

Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club

0

180,000

Coiste Átha Cliath CLG (Dublin Co. GAA Board) — Parnell Park

0

225,000

Commercial Rowing Club

65,000

86,000

Coolmine Community School Sports Complex

200,000

306,503

Coolmine Rugby Football Club

350,000

366,000

Croí Ró Naofa GAA club

140,000

224,000

Crumlin Bowling Club

0

100,000

Cuala GAA Club

80,000

120,000

Cumann Báire Setanta

150,000

250,000

Cumann Naomh Maur

60,000

99,451

Cumann Rás Tailteann — FBD Milk Rás

5,000

7,623

Cycling Ireland — Corkagh Park

0

387,207

Cycling Ireland — National Cycling Safety School, Eamon Ceannt Park

85,000

102,250

DCC — Northway Estate

0

7,000

DCC — Albert College Park

0

7,000

DCC — Brickfield Park Dressing Rooms, Drimnagh

100,000

200,000

DCC — Bushy Park pitches

0

56,000

DCC — Bushy Park Skateboard Park

100,000

140,000

DCC — Edenmore Pitch and Putt

0

28,000

DCC — Irishtown Stadium

350,000

1,033,387

DCC — Johnstown Park, Finglas

0

1,770,400

DCC — Le Fanu Park

0

4,000,000

DCC — Longmeadows Pitch and Putt, Inchicore

0

20,000

DCC — Mellowes Park pitches

15,000

20,000

DCC — O'Devaney Gardens Sports and Community Centre

700,000

1,000,000

DCC — Sheriff Street Park

65,000

80,000

DCC — St Anne's Park

40,000

56,000

DCC — Tolka Valley Pitch and Putt, Finglas

20,000

32,000

DCC — Williams Park Leisure Centre, Rathmines

0

4,550,000

DCC — Willie Pearse Park, Crumlin

100,000

160,000

DIT Aquatec Sub Aqua Club

0

30,000

DLRCC — Dundrum Family Recreation Centre

120,000

255,000

DLRCC — Loreto Park

0

56,800

DLRCC — Loughlinstown Leisure Centre

160,000

208,000

DLRCC — Loughlinstown Wood

0

40,000

DLRCC — Meadowbrook Park Pitches

40,000

56,800

DLRCC — Monkstown Pool & Fitness Centre

400,000

1,017,483

DLRCC — Newtown Park Tennis Courts

30,000

37,246

DLRCC — Shanganagh Cliffs Sportsfields

40,000

56,000

DLRCC — Snorkel Mania Project

4,000

4,500

Drumcondra Football Club

15,000

20,000

Dublin Institute of Technology

0

393,600

Dublin Postal Sports and Social Club

200,000

500,000

Dún Laoghaire Kenpo Karate Club

2,000

5,500

Dún Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

0

25,000

Dún Laoghaire Playcentre

0

25,892

Dundrum Athletic Football Club

40,000

68,500

East Wall Water Sport Group Ltd

250,000

360,000

Erins Isle Pitch & Putt Club

9,000

11,000

Esker Celtic Football Club

120,000

196,000

Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine

33,000

100,000

Fifth Port Dollymount (Watersports Centre)

350,000

450,000

Fingal Co. Co. — Balbriggan Town Park

0

35,391

Fingal Co. Co. — Balheary Park

0

328,468

Fingal Co. Co. — Balheary Reservoir Park

0

52,500

Fingal Co. Co. — Balrothery Park

0

34,125

Fingal Co. Co. — Broomfield Open Space

0

260,820

Fingal Co. Co. — Carrickhill Park, Portmarnock

0

67,928

Fingal Co. Co. — Grace O'Malley Park

0

4,200

Fingal Co. Co. — Hartstown Park

40,000

54,720

Fingal Co. Co. — Ladyswell Park Pitches, Blanchardstown

8,000

12,000

Fingal Co. Co. — Mountview Road Pitches, Blanchardstown

5,000

8,000

Fingal Co. Co. — Newbridge Demesne Pitches

60,000

237,552

Fingal Co. Co. — Porterstown Park Pitches

20,000

31,178

Fingal Co. Co. — Skerries Community Centre

130,000

260,820

Fingal Co. Co. — Skerries Town Park

0

13,776

Fingal Co. Co. — St Catherine's Park, Rush

0

37,737

Fingal Co. Co. — Swords Manor

0

59,052

Fingal Co. Co. — Tolka Valley Linear Park Pitches

16,000

22,544

Fingal Co. Co. — Ward River Valley Park, Swords

0

21,952

Fingal Ravens GFC

0

126,000

Football Association of Ireland

100,000

126,561

Gaelscoil Naomh Pádraig

0

69,000

Garda Sub Aqua Club

0

21,832

Garristown Gaelic Football Club

100,000

180,000

Go Skydive

0

20,515

Grange Woodbine Football Club

0

23,103

Greenfield Park Boys Club

25,000

42,500

Hamilton United FC

0

30,000

Herbert Park Bowling Club

75,000

95,664

Hercules Amateur Wrestling & Weightlifting Club

0

89,000

Home Farm Football Club

400,000

1,030,000

HWA — Rang Taekwondo Youth Group

0

7,900

Innisfail GAA Club

0

900,000

Institute of Technology Tallaght

0

257,600

Irish Cricket Union

50,000

70,000

Irish Gymnastics Limited, National Basketball Arena and IRFU

0

5,942,200

Irish Hockey Association & UCD Sports Department

0

Irish Sub Aqua Club

6,000

51,268

Irish Underwater Council

35,000

38,000

Irish Youth Diving Association

0

28,762

Janz Gymnastics Club

6,000

23,500

KADCA/KCCP (Kilbarrack and District Community Association/Kilbarrack Coast Community Programme)

0

664,370

Kilcross residents and development group

0

Kilnamanagh Family Recreation Centre Ltd.

200,000

250,000

Larkin Sports & Leisure Complex

140,000

200,000

Larkview Football Club

0

261,800

Leicester Celtic FC

70,000

138,000

Leinster Branch IRFU

0

250,000

Longmeadows Pitch and Putt Company Limited

0

971,974

Loreto Hockey Club

7,000

12,842

Loughlinstown Boys Football

10,000

12,000

Loughlinstown Community Rooms Ltd

0

12,000

Loughlinstown/Ballybarack Kickboxing club

0

2,000

Lourdes Celtic Football Club

200,000

608,946

Lucan Harrier and Athletic Club

0

3,500

Lucan United Football Club

100,000

135,000

MAAN Group

100,000

358,000

Malahide Cricket Club

20,000

30,000

Malahide Cricket Club

0

173,000

Marlin Sub Aqua Club

15,000

32,000

Mellowes BDS Football Club

30,000

40,000

Merrion Cricket Club

70,000

110,432

Morton Stadium Management Committee

245,000

384,300

Mountwood Fitzgerald Park Community Development Project

0

560,000

Na Fianna GAA Club

250,000

250,000

North County Cricket Club

32,000

35,871

North County Cricket Club — Clubhouse

0

233,583

O'Connell School

0

270,000

Oscar Traynor Coaching Development Centre Limited

70,000

206,225

Our Ladies of Victories Youth Centre, Ballyfermot

0

15,000

Our Lady of Good Counsel GAA and Camogie Club

100,000

170,000

Palmerstown United Football Club

0

150,000

Pembroke Cricket Club

10,000

14,000

Pembroke Wanderers Hockey Club

150,000

210,570

Phoenix Cricket Club

17,000

24,550

Phoenix Swimming Club

0

3,600

Portmarnock Sub Aqua Club

0

21,799

Priorwoods Youth Project/Outreach Celtic FC

0

6,000

Railway Union Cricket Club

7,000

11,160

Rathcoole Boys Football Club

70,000

85,000

Rathcoole Community Council Ltd

0

44,492

Rathgar Tennis and Bowling Club

40,000

45,562

Round Towers GAA Club

0

347,000

Royal Dublin Society

0

5,588,450

Royal Irish Yacht Club

0

427,418

Rush Cricket Club

25,000

26,619

Rush Sailing Club

70,000

131,145

Sacred Heart Football Club

130,000

235,679

Sailing In Dublin Club

11,000

13,839

Santry Community Association

0

250,000

SDCC — Aylesbury Pitches, Tallaght

19,000

24,000

SDCC — Ballyowen Park

40,000

48,000

SDCC — Bancroft Park, Tallaght

0

28,000

SDCC — Beechfield Park, Walkinstown

15,000

21,000

SDCC — Chapel Hill Park, Lucan

30,000

42,000

SDCC — Clondalkin Park

0

36,000

SDCC — Clondalkin Park Athletic Track

0

360,000

SDCC — Corkagh Park

0

32,000

SDCC — Dodder Valley Linear Park, Application 1

0

126,000

SDCC — Dodder Valley Linear Park, Application 2

0

52,500

SDCC — Elkwood Park, Rathfarnham

0

42,000

SDCC — Esker Park, Lucan

0

84,000

SDCC — Firhouse Linear Park

0

63,000

SDCC — Greenhills Park All-Weather Pitch

80,000

160,000

SDCC — Greenhills Park, Walkinstown

0

21,000

SDCC — Griffeen Valley Park, Lucan

0

32,000

SDCC — Kilnamanagh Open Space

0

42,000

SDCC — Kiltalown Pitches, Tallaght

30,000

36,000

SDCC — Liffey Valley Park

0

32,000

SDCC — McGee Park Soccer Pitch

30,000

36,000

SDCC — Tymon Park soccer pitches

0

63,000

SDCC — Tymon Park Trim Trail

0

32,000

SDCC — Tymon Park Walking Routes

0

5,600

Sheriff Youth Club

0

50,000

Skerries Community Centre

0

263,307

Skerries Sailing Club

0

56,815

Slade Valley Golf Club

0

1,237,141

Spinal Injuries Association

60,000

65,000

Straight Blast Wrestling Club

0

6,000

St. Brigid's GAA Club

350,000

426,700

St. Catherine's Tae Kwon Do and Aerobics

4,000

5,600

St. Ciaran's Community Centre, Hartstown

0

St. Dominic's Sports Club, Ballyfermot

0

250,000

St. Helena's Rivermount Boys

40,000

60,000

St. James Gaels/Robert Emmets GAA

0

4,628

St. John's Indoor Bowling Club

1,000

2,000

St. Kevin's Boys FC

50,000

St. Mark's GAA Club

0

790,000

St. Mary's Boys Football Club

0

140,000

St. Mary's Church, Clonsilla

0

80,000

St. Matthew's Boxing Club Ltd, Ballyfermot

2,000

2,000

St. Michael's CBS/Lissadel United FC

7,000

10,500

St. Patrick's GAA Club Palmerstown

150,000

200,000

St. Paul's Youth Club, Artane

22,000

35,000

St. Peregrine's GAA Club

50,000

200,000

St. Vincent's Basketball Club

60,000

88,169

St. Vincent's GAA Club

0

1,217,438

St. Vincent's & Joseph's Karate Club, Fairview

2,000

2,375

Suttonians RFC

130,000

154,000

Templeogue United/FAI Regional Development Centre

0

350,000

Terenure College Rugby Football Club

0

360,000

The Hills Cricket Club

25,000

26,600

Thomas Davis GAA Club

0

150,000

Tolka Rovers Sports Club

50,000

76,727

Trident Sub Aqua Club

10,000

14,700

Trinity Sports and Leisure Football Club

100,000

150,000

Trojan Gymnastic Club

0

20,000

Tru Blue Sub-Aqua Club

15,000

21,917

Tymon Athletic Sports Club

0

592,000

UCD AFC

0

1,197,600

UCD Boat Club

40,000

64,614

Viking Sub Aqua Club

14,000

21,700

Weston Hockey Club

100,000

149,144

Wexford Centre Project

75,000

169,845

Whitehall Rangers AFC

36,000

40,400

YMCA Cricket Club

38,000

59,000

York Road Table Tennis Club

0

2,000

Galway

2,702,000

16,037,685

Abbeyknockmoy Hurling Club

100,000

305,000

Annaghdown GAA

0

84,000

Athenry Golf Club

0

100,000

Ballinakill Field Committee

85,000

101,400

Ballincurry Leisure Centre Co. Ltd.

0

32,432

Ballygar & District Co. Ltd.

0

105,000

Ballymoe Development Centre Ltd.

130,000

195,000

Belclare Community Council

0

387,929

Caherlistrane GAA Club

0

63,000

Cappataggle Community Sportsfield

50,000

123,837

Carnmore GAA Club

20,000

20,000

Castleblakeney Community Development Association

0

26,499

Claddaghduff Hall Co. Ltd.

50,000

100,000

Clarinbridge Hurling Club

20,000

82,600

Clonberne Community Centre Co. Ltd.

130,000

196,000

Connemara Pony Breeders Society

0

58,703

Creggs Development Association

95,000

141,675

Creggs RFC

0

148,000

Dynamo Blues AFC

0

170,000

Eyrecourt Sports & Social Development Co. Ltd.

0

117,000

Father Sammon Community Centre Ltd.

50,000

80,750

Fohenagh & Districts GAA Club

110,000

137,572

Galway Bay Sailing Club Limited

100,000

142,576

Galway Corinthians RFC

0

250,000

Galway County Council — Cappagh Road, Knocknacarra

150,000

344,000

Galway Lawn Tennis Club

0

108,635

Galway Rowing Club

0

1,000,000

Galway Sub Aqua Club

20,000

22,000

Galway & District Football League

0

186,000

Glen Celtic AFC

0

208,000

Gort Basketball Club

3,000

3,000

Gort GAA & Camogie Club

50,000

182,000

Headford GAA Club

100,000

157,000

Irish Underwater Council — Hyperbaric Chamber

0

173,000

Killannin Community Centre

50,000

100,000

Killimor GAA Club

50,000

109,610

Killimordaly GAA Club

0

150,000

Kinvara Bay Sailing Club

8,000

10,472

Liam Mellowes Hurling Club

0

306,250

Loughrea Tennis Club

8,000

13,393

Maree Basketball Club

0

89,912

Maree Sports Acrobatics/Gymnastics Club

0

6,000

Menlough GAA Club

0

Merbhiu Bailebhán GAA Club

0

54,000

Milltown Community Council Ltd.

0

40,000

Monivea RFC

60,000

70,000

Mountbellew Community Sport & Leisure Co. Ltd.

280,000

350,000

Moylough Parish Sportsfield

40,000

49,000

Mullagh GAA Club

0

158,874

New Inn Community Council

0

280,000

Newcastle Combined Community Association

0

320,000

Oranmore Community Development Association

100,000

150,000

Oughterard Community Centre

100,000

163,500

Oughterard GAA Club

50,000

52,000

Rainbow Rinks Project

0

5,100,000

Regional Sports Centre, Galway

0

492,720

Renmore Gymnastics Club

10,000

10,000

Salthill Devon FC

0

500,000

Scoil Pádraig Naofa Board of Management

50,000

135,000

Scout Hall, 2nd Galway Tuam Scouts SI

0

100,000

Shiven Rovers FC

80,000

241,330

St. Joseph's (The Bish) Rowing Club

20,000

24,924

St. Cuana's N.S., Kilcoona

0

300,000

St. Michael's GAA Club

120,000

150,000

St. Thomas' GAA Club

40,000

60,000

Sylane Hurling Club

0

6,400

S.N. Creachmhaoil Board of Management

0

6,000

Tuam Athletic Club

3,000

3,136

Tuam Rugby Club

70,000

96,000

Tuam Stadium Association

0

360,000

Tuam Stars GAA Club

250,000

350,000

Williamstown GAA Club

50,000

52,442

Woodford Youth Club

0

24,114

Kerry

2,976,000

16,225,336

Abbeydorney Community Centre Building Committee

40,000

100,000

Abbeyfeale Karate Club

0

Acard Limited

0

240,000

Anabla National School, Kilcummin

0

18,500

Ballyduff Co-op Development Society Limited

0

100,000

Ballyduff GAA Club

0

245,852

Ballyhar Dynamos AFC

100,000

298,207

Ballyheigue Castle Golf Club

0

80,000

Beale GAA Club

20,000

31,500

Beaufort Community Council

0

10,000

Brosna GAA Club

50,000

98,518

Caherciveen Community Resource Centre

50,000

204,000

Cahersiveen Rowing Club

100,000

145,000

Callinafercy Pier Rowing Club

0

23,042

Callinafercy Rowing Club

0

28,000

Cashen Vale Boxing Club

4,000

5,800

Castleisland Community Centre Development Committee

100,000

266,000

Castleisland Desmonds GAA Club

0

40,000

Castlemaine Community Services Group Ltd.

0

160,000

Churchill ABC

3,000

3,437

Commercial Rowing Club

0

128,000

Cordal Community Centre and Sports Hall

25,000

49,886

Craobh Cumann Emmett CLG

0

526,096

Cromane GAA Club

30,000

55,000

Cromane Rowing Club

0

12,300

Cumann Peile Abha Na Scáil (Annascaul GAA)

80,000

114,852

Dooks Golf Club

0

300,000

Dr. Crokes GAA Club Killarney

0

250,000

Duagh Family Centre Sports Hall

0

50,000

Duagh GAA Club

15,000

42,000

Finuge GAA Club

100,000

234,000

Firies/Ballyhar GAA Club

0

104,096

Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney

0

175,000

Fossa Community Centre Ltd.

10,000

Glenbeigh Glencar GAA

120,000

140,000

Gleneagle Squash Club

0

44,800

Institute of Technology Tralee

0

495,000

John Mitchels Hurling & Football Club

35,000

45,273

Kenmare ABC

1,000

1,200

Kenmare Rowing and Boat Club

0

Kenmare Shamrocks Hurling & Football Club

200,000

315,299

Kerins O'Rahillys Hurling & Football Club

100,000

380,000

Kerry Aero Club Ltd.

0

250,000

Kerry District League

30,000

50,000

Kilcummin GAA Club

100,000

200,000

Killarney Athletic FC

70,000

94,500

Killarney Celtic AFC

0

177,726

Killarney Golf & Fishing Club

0

275,690

Killarney Gymnastics Club

0

36,327

Killarney Town Council

0

2,000,000

Killorglin Sports and Leisure Club

50,000

70,862

Knocknagoshel GAA Club

50,000

123,667

Laune Rangers GAA

200,000

244,072

Lenamore Rovers FC

7,000

9,500

Lispole GAA Club

0

54,335

Listowel Celtic Soccer Club

50,000

120,800

Listry GAA Club

20,000

45,000

Mercy Secondary School, Tralee

0

250,000

Milltown/Castlemaine GAA Club

60,000

103,000

Moyvane GAA Club

90,000

335,064

Muckross Rowing Club Ltd.

20,000

60,000

Over the Water Rowing Club

30,000

40,800

Portmagee Rowing Club

0

24,000

Rathmore GAA Club

50,000

168,615

Rathmore Social Action Group

0

60,000

Rattoo Rovers FC

14,000

20,000

Renard GAA Club

0

100,000

Shanakill Family Resource Centre

50,000

64,280

Sneem Community Sports Hall Committee

0

60,000

Sneem Rowing Club

80,000

95,000

South Kerry Sports Centre

250,000

400,000

Spa GAA Club

150,000

200,000

St. Brendan's Park FC

70,000

225,900

St. Mary's Asdee GAA Club

30,000

50,000

St. Mary's GAA Club, Caherciveen

0

224,000

St. Michael's College/Listowel Basketball Club

25,000

33,800

St. Senan's GAA Club

0

550,000

Tarbert GAA Club

0

165,000

Templenoe Rowing Club

0

16,000

Tralee Bay Sailing Club

50,000

189,000

Tralee Dynamos AFC

60,000

113,345

Tralee Regional Sports and Leisure Centre

0

3,000,000

Tralee RFC

40,000

80,535

Valentia Community Health & Welfare Association Ltd.

110,000

150,000

Valentia Regatta Committee

7,000

11,420

Valentia Young Islanders GAA Club

0

47,000

Waterville GAA Club

10,000

15,000

Waterville Rowing Club

0

13,440

Workmens Rowing Club

20,000

45,000

Youth Rowers Club

0

2,000

Kildare

2,857,000

13,511,779

9th Kildare CSI Kilcullen

0

10,000

Allenwood GAA Club

100,000

200,000

Athy Town AFC

25,000

32,000

Ballyteague GAA Club

100,000

160,000

Castledermot/Kileen Basketball Club

5,000

7,500

Celbridge Athletic Club

0

302,840

Celbridge Badminton Club

2,000

2,437

Celbridge Community Centre Ltd

0

330,000

Clane United AFC

70,000

80,000

Clonmullion Football Club

140,000

160,000

Confey GAA Club

50,000

177,250

Craddockstown Golf Club

0

340,000

Crookstown-Millview Athletic Club

15,000

23,750

Cuan Mhuire Teo.

50,000

73,671

Dunmurray Springs Golf Club PLC

0

300,000

Éire Óg Corrachoill Hurling Club

250,000

350,000

Éire Óg Corrachoill Hurling Club — Application 2

0

660,000

Golfing Union of Ireland — National Coaching Academy

0

1,108,754

Kilcock Canoe Polo Club

60,000

80,125

Kilcullen Canoe & Outdoor Pursuits Club

15,000

16,638

Kilcullen Community Centre Ltd.

30,000

40,000

Kildare County Council — Liffey Valley Regional Park

100,000

175,000

Kill GAA Club

200,000

685,832

Leixlip Amenities Centre

0

3,000,000

Leixlip Tennis Club

100,000

200,000

Lord Edward's Own Pipe Band

0

45,000

Milltown GAA Club

40,000

50,000

Moorefield GAA Club

200,000

350,000

Naas Rugby Football Club

100,000

140,000

Naas Sub Aqua Club

25,000

31,010

Newbridge Athletic Club

0

20,000

Newbridge Town FC/Kildare County FC

0

350,000

Newbridge Volleyball Club

0

3,000

Nurney GAA Club

80,000

160,000

Racing Academy & Centre of Education

0

170,250

Rathcoffey GAA Club

0

150,000

Robertstown GAA Club

200,000

322,215

Round Towers GAA Club

400,000

500,000

St. Brigid's CYMS

0

30,000

St. Conleth's Vocational School, Newbridge

0

100,000

St. Laurence's GAA Club

250,000

615,608

St. Mary's GAA Club, Leixlip

0

532,619

St. Michael's Boxing Club

250,000

314,400

Woodlands Golf Club

0

1,111,880

Kilkenny

850,000

2,864,495

Black and Whites GAA Club

30,000

40,000

Carrigeen GAA Community Group

70,000

200,000

Castlecomer Golf Club

0

383,883

Castlecomer Lakes Company Limited

0

35,000

Cloneen GAA Club

45,000

60,000

Coon Hall Development Fund

20,000

35,000

Dicksboro GAA Club

50,000

60,000

Fenians GAA Club

0

122,318

Freshford Community Club

10,000

20,000

Graignamanagh GAA Club

55,000

69,000

Highview Athletic FC

30,000

40,000

Johnswell Development Committee

20,000

50,000

Kells Resource Centre Limited

0

350,000

Kilkenny Flying & Gliding Club

0

53,000

Kilkenny Sub Aqua Club

25,000

30,000

Kilmacow Hall Committee

130,000

170,000

Muckalee Community Centre

35,000

45,000

Mullinavat Parish Finance Committee

20,000

30,000

Paulstown Development Association

40,000

44,500

Piltown Community Centre

0

150,000

Piltown GAA Club

20,000

24,000

Scanlon Park

90,000

120,417

St. Lachtain's GAA Club

75,000

109,872

St. Patrick's GAA Club Ballyragget

85,000

97,000

Thomastown United Athletic Football Club

0

525,505

Laois

786,000

1,811,493

Abbeyleix Golf Club

0

35,000

Ballylinan GFC Community Sports Centre

0

200,000

Ballyroan GAA Club

7,000

8,000

Ballyroan Juvenile GAA Club

10,000

13,000

Clonaslee Billiard Club

3,000

3,117

Clonenagh Parish Hall

0

20,000

Clonin Sports Field Committee

35,000

48,000

Graiguecullen GAA

190,000

290,560

Hawthorn Community Development Association

90,000

113,125

Heywood Sports Facilities Committee

55,000

66,300

Kilcotton GAA Club

30,000

42,834

Killeen Community Hall Development Association

30,000

37,806

Lions FC

35,000

40,000

Mountmellick Macra na Feirme Sports Club

24,000

35,000

Mountrath Golf Club

0

350,000

O'Dempsey's GAA Football Club

80,000

100,000

Portarlington Community Centre

25,000

30,145

Portlaoise Boxing Club

2,000

2,263

Portlaoise GAA Club

50,000

60,000

Rathdowney GAA Club

28,000

103,000

St. Bernadette Community Hall, Errill

0

18,500

St. Colmcille's NS & Errill GAA CLub

5,000

6,843

St. Mary's Community Hall, Portlaoise

70,000

95,000

The Heath GAA Club

17,000

27,000

Vicarstown Community Hall

0

66,000

Leitrim

479,000

4,636,640

Allen Gaels GAA Club

100,000

270,000

Annaduff GAA Club

0

395,768

Aughavas GAA Club

40,000

65,000

Aughnasheelin Park Committee

40,000

77,000

Ballinamore Basketball Club

4,000

5,221

Bee Park Resource Centre Ltd

0

75,000

Carrigallen GAA Club

0

93,600

Childhood Days Ltd

0

2,563

Cloone GAA Club

0

300,000

Cluanin Vol Housing & Tenants Ass.

0

22,000

Drumkeeran Handball Sports & Leisure

0

160,000

Drumshanbo Community Development Co Ltd

0

160,000

Eslin GAA Club

20,000

65,000

Fenagh Handball Club

30,000

86,400

Gortletteragh GAA Club

0

80,000

Keshcarrigan Development Association Ltd

0

360,000

Killargue Development Association

0

7,125

Kiltoghert Development Group

0

13,000

Kiltubrid GAA Club

70,000

120,597

Kinlough Development Co. Ltd.

0

90,000

Leitrim County Council — Attfinlay, Carrick on Shannon

0

300,000

Leitrim Co. GAA Board — Páirc Mac Diarmada

0

1,200,000

Leitrim Gaels Community Field Development Ltd

80,000

236,018

Manorhamilton Rangers AFC

15,000

29,960

Manorhamilton Sub Aqua Club

0

12,200

Sean O'Heslin's GAA Club

80,000

146,188

St. Hugh's Park/Ballinaglera GAA Club

0

144,000

St. Mary's GAA Club, Carrick-On-Shannon

0

120,000

Limerick

1,925,000

5,873,622

AAI Limerick County Board

0

76,059

Ardagh Hall Committee

0

10,500

Askeaton AFC

100,000

246,000

Askeaton Swimming Club

0

350,000

Ballingarry AFC

0

104,000

Ballingarry GAA Club

35,000

45,000

Broadford United AFC

125,000

134,000

Cappamore Development Association

0

437,936

Croagh-Kilfinny Development Organisation

140,000

184,000

Croom United Soccer Club

80,000

178,025

Cumann Athain CLG (Ahane GAA Club)

0

340,000

Desmond Ability Resource Complex Ltd

200,000

270,000

Dromcollogher Broadford GAA Club

140,000

222,023

Dromore Angling Club

0

21,800

Fairview Rangers AFC

125,000

150,000

Feohanagh-Castlemahon GAA Club

25,000

31,490

Galbally Coursing Club

0

60,000

Garryowen Football Club

0

172,000

Garryowen Sports Group

0

70,000

Geraldines AFC

0

50,000

Glenroe GAA Club

75,000

90,000

Glin Rovers AFC

20,000

25,000

Herbertstown GAA Club

65,000

81,120

Hill Celtic AFC

100,000

500,000

Kilcornan Soccer Club

14,000

16,800

Killeaney AFC

55,000

60,643

Kilmallock United AFC

85,000

100,000

Knockainey Sportsfield Co-Op Society Ltd

0

65,245

Limerick Boat Club

15,000

18,200

Limerick Desmond League

65,000

145,000

Limerick District League

65,000

200,000

Limerick Marine Search & Rescue Service

0

45,000

Monagea GAA Club_

30,000

51,177

Mungret Regional Football Club

40,000

49,000

Murroe AFC

25,000

26,000

Newcastle West Golf Club

0

280,000

Old Christians GAA Club

14,000

20,000

Old Cresent Rugby Football Club

0

308,421

Our Lady of Lourdes Community Services Group

50,000

286,468

Rathkeale Boxing Club

0

3,500

South Liberties GAA Club

170,000

227,840

Southill Weight Powerlifting Club

4,000

5,375

Star Rovers Soccer Club

23,000

26,000

St. Kieran's GAA Club

40,000

50,000

St. Mary's Racing Pigeon Club

0

40,000

Longford

545,000

4,167,602

Abbeylara GAA Club

0

120,000

Abbeyshrule Flying Club

0

45,000

Ballymahon AFC

0

35,000

Ballymahon GAA Club

70,000

110,000

Ballymore GAA Club

0

200,000

Carrickedmond GAA Club

0

46,285

Cashel GAA Club

80,000

128,500

Clonguish GAA Club

25,000

40,000

Colmcille GAA Club

0

25,000

County Longford Golf Club

0

316,916

County Longford VEC

0

400,000

Dromard GAA Club

0

70,975

Edgeworthstown Development Association

0

13,000

Fr. Manning Gaels GAA Club

70,000

82,551

Irish Wheelchair Association

0

360,000

Killoe Young Emmets GAA Club

0

128,000

Longford County Board of the GAA — Pearse Park

0

675,000

Longford Lawn Tennis Club

0

96,531

Longford Rugby Football Club

40,000

55,000

Longford Town Council — The Mall All-Weather Pitch

100,000

175,257

Lough Ree Sub Aqua Club

45,000

62,250

Midland Cubhunter Horse Shows

0

10,000

Sean Connolly's GAA Club

0

151,000

St. Columba's Mullinalaghta GAA Club

100,000

150,874

St. Brigid's Football Club

0

58,000

St. Joseph's Community Centre

15,000

32,577

St. Mary's GAA Club and Community Development

0

560,386

Templemichael-Ballymacormack Shooting and conservation

0

14,500

Torpedo Basketball Club

0

5,000

Louth

1,294,000

5,764,395

Ardee Celtic Football Club

70,000

83,407

Blackrock Athletic Club

1,000

1,990

Boyne RFC Development Project

150,000

350,000

Carlingford Community Development Ltd

50,000

64,507

Coiste Chontae Lu (Louth County GAA Board)

0

174,000

Collon Pitch and Putt Club

0

2,000

Cooley Kickhams GFC

100,000

172,000

Cooley Kickhams Ladies Development Squad

0

3,000

Cretegaff Marina Club

0

90,000

Cross Border Centre for Community Development

0

1,105,000

Dowdallshill GF & AC

140,000

250,000

Dundalk District Minor League

0

229,541

Dundalk Sub Aqua Search and Recovery

4,000

5,250

Dundalk Town Council — Muirhevnamor Park

0

664,495

Dundalk Young Irelands GFC

80,000

120,264

Dundalk & Carlingford Sailing Club

70,000

115,000

Dundealgan Athletic Club

0

Glenmore Athletics Club

0

325,000

Glenmuir United Football Club

100,000

150,431

Golden Dragon Wado-Kai Karate Club

1,000

1,500

John Mitchels GFC

90,000

116,900

Kilkerley Bowling Club

0

4,500

Kilkerley Emmets GFC

20,000

30,000

Lannleire & District Recreation Centre

8,000

9,470

Mattock Rangers GFC

100,000

139,000

Muirhevnamor Football Club

0

52,800

Naomh Malachí GFC

50,000

80,000

O'Raghallaighs GFC Sports and Social Centre

60,000

80,000

Omeath Sports Club

0

394,000

Quay Celtic Club

30,000

50,000

St. Fechin's GAA Club, Drogheda

0

80,000

St. Joseph's GFC, Commons

0

340,900

St. Mary's GFC Ardee

40,000

59,000

St. Nicholas' GFC, Rathmullen

30,000

60,000

St. Patrick's GFC

0

204,040

St. Paul's Table Tennis Club, Drogheda

0

1,400

Walshestown Juvenile Football Club

100,000

155,000

Meath

1,160,000

11,504,468

Alphadive Sub-Aqua Club

5,000

7,694

Athboy Social Needs & Recreational Co Ltd

300,000

400,000

Ballinabrackery GAA Club

0

26,282

Bhulf Tón GAA Club

50,000

63,585

Blackhall Gaels GAA Club

130,000

202,000

Carnaross GAA Club

40,000

60,000

Castletown GAA Club

0

105,000

Clann na nGael Athboy GAA Club

0

80,000

Donaghmore-Ashbourne GAA Club

150,000

300,000

Dunboyne Ladies GAA

40,000

50,000

Dunboyne Tennis Club

30,000

35,350

Dunderry Football and Hurling Club

0

560,000

Irish Aquatic Sports Centre

0

80,000

Kells Tennis Club

20,000

29,357

Kilbride GAA Club

20,000

32,000

Kilmainhamwood GAA Club

0

67,533

Meath GAA County Board

0

5,000,000

Moynalty Football Club

0

237,462

Moynalvey GAA Club

0

36,000

Navan Road Club

5,000

6,000

Newtown United Football Club

0

157,955

Oldcastle GAA Club

0

150,000

Ratoath Community Centre Development Group

0

700,000

Ratoath GAA Club

100,000

300,000

Seneschalstown Community Sports Centre

150,000

265,000

Stackallen National School Field Committee

0

66,000

Stamullen Cycling Club

5,000

6,250

St. Colmcille's GAA Club

100,000

135,000

St. Mary's GAA Club (East Meath)

0

98,000

St. Michael's GAA Club Carlanstown

15,000

20,000

Trim Area Recreation and Social Needs Company Limited

0

2,200,000

Wilkinstown Community Centre

0

28,000

Monaghan

996,000

3,770,063

Aughnamullen Sarsfields GAA Club

90,000

150,000

Ballybay Development Association Ltd

0

148,313

Ballybay Pearse Brothers GAA Club

130,000

150,000

Ballybay Recreation Committee

100,000

115,000

Castleblayney Arts and Community Development Co.

0

262,469

Clara Community Playground Project

25,000

33,000

Clones Town Association Football Club

0

292,000

Clontibret O'Neills GAA Club

55,000

75,000

Corduff Gaels Gaelic Football Club

70,000

120,000

Cremartin GFC

60,000

112,800

Currin GFC

50,000

65,000

Donagh Parish Finance & Maintenance Committee

0

25,000

Doohamlet Sports

15,000

20,053

Drumhowan Geraldines GFC

80,000

120,000

Emyvale Cycling Club

1,000

1,416

Gaeil Triúcha CLG

70,000

100,000

Glaslough Youth Club

0

2,500

Inniskeen Pitch & Putt Club

0

122,532

Killeevan Development Association

50,000

75,000

Killeevan Gymnastics Club Ltd

20,000

35,000

Monaghan Collegiate School

0

Monaghan GAA Training & Development Centre

0

1,300,000

Oram GFC

0

175,000

Phoenix Regional Sports & Leisure Centre

50,000

79,980

Sean McDermott's GFC

70,000

100,000

St. Mary's Park Development Committee

60,000

90,000

Offaly

857,000

5,187,263

1st, 10th, 11th Offaly Scout Troops

0

17,380

Ballinamere GAA Club

0

50,000

Banagher Shannon Bank Park Development Group

40,000

51,310

Birr and District Auto Club Ltd

15,000

19,845

Birr Development Company Limited

300,000

343,000

Birr Rugby Football Club

45,000

51,419

Birr Town Football Club

0

100,000

Cloghan Hall Committee

0

16,100

Coolderry GAA Club

45,000

54,000

Crinkill GAA Club

30,000

41,800

Drumcullen GAA Club

20,000

60,000

Edenderry GAA Club

50,000

60,000

Ferbane GAA Club

15,000

35,000

Gallen United Soccer Club

0

70,000

Irish Parachute Club Limited

0

352,000

Kilclonfert GAA Club

35,000

45,000

Kinnitty GAA Club

0

175,000

Kinnitty National School

0

16,772

Lusmagh GAA Club

0

189,644

Offaly GAA County Board

0

1,500,000

Rhode GAA Club

0

232,000

St. Brendan's Sportsplex Birr

15,000

23,000

St. Brigid's GAA Club — North Offaly Training Centre

80,000

100,000

St. Rynagh's Football Club

20,000

22,007

Tubber GAA Club

15,000

16,870

Tullamore AFC

125,000

142,816

Tullamore Canoe Club

7,000

7,300

Tullamore GAA Club

0

345,000

Tullamore Town Council/Swimming Pool Committee/Tullamore Harriers

0

1,050,000

Roscommon

1,027,000

4,857,256

Ballaghadereen Community Sports Park Ltd.

0

140,392

Ballinagare FC

40,000

51,554

Boyle Celtic Football Centre

75,000

100,000

Boyle GAA Club

100,000

150,000

Castlerea Brass and Reed Band

0

50,000

Castlerea Celtic Football Club

80,000

110,000

Church View Residents Association, Boyle

18,000

23,560

Dysart Community Sports Centre

80,000

168,000

Éire Óg GAA Club

40,000

116,598

Elphin Social Centre

0

225,000

Frenchpark Boxing Club

4,000

5,180

Fuerty GAA Club

0

231,000

Hodson Bay Celtic FC

0

148,930

Irish Wheelchair Association

10,000

26,570

Keadue Development Company

0

100,000

Kilbride Community Centre Company Ltd

0

15,000

Kilbride GAA & Social Clubs

0

Kilglass Gaels and Community Group

0

195,000

Kilmore GAA Club

85,000

120,000

Kilteevan Community Development Group

0

475,000

Lisacul Handball Club

5,000

8,000

Loughglynn Community Centre Ltd

50,000

120,000

Pádraig Pearse's GAA Club

80,000

143,000

Roscommon Gaels GAA Club

0

122,500

Roscommon Golf Club

0

170,450

Strokestown Co-operative Community Centre Ltd

20,000

80,000

Strokestown GAA Club

0

390,400

Strokestown United Football Club

200,000

336,348

St. Barry's Gaelic Football Club

0

148,000

St. Brigid's GAA Sports and Social Club

0

217,000

St. Faithleach's GAA Sport & Leisure Club

80,000

336,800

St. Kevin's GAA Club

0

205,377

St. Ronan's GAA Club

20,000

32,633

Taughmaconnell Sports Coalition

10,000

38,964

Tisara Community Sports Park

30,000

56,000

Sligo

1,253,000

6,149,693

Ballisodare Community Council

0

483,000

Cloonacool Community Park Ltd

30,000

57,008

Coláiste Iascaig & West Sligo Sport and Recreation Centre

0

392,000

Coolaney Development Company Limited

0

120,000

County Sligo Golf Club

0

250,000

County Sligo Tennis Club Ltd

30,000

34,000

Cully Ball Ally Committee

0

50,000

Curry GAA Club and Community Park

0

250,000

Drumcliffe Rosses Point GAA Club

0

10,000

Easkey Community Council Ltd

0

100,000

Fr Kevin Brehony Memorial Park Committee

40,000

90,000

Geevagh Community Resource Group

200,000

391,000

Irish Surfing Association

10,000

12,000

Mercy College Sligo/Sligo All Stars

500,000

701,616

Mullaghmore Sailing Club Centre

12,000

18,548

Mullinabreena-Coolaney GAA Club

13,000

17,000

North-West Parents and Friends Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability

0

Oxfield Playing Grounds

18,000

25,000

Riverstown Community Park Development Committee

0

250,000

Skreen & Dromard Community Council

180,000

270,000

Sligo-Leitrim District Soccer League

0

395,200

Sligo Borough Council — Garravogue Villas

170,000

374,044

Sligo County Board and Coolera-Strandhill GAA

0

500,000

Sligo Co. GAA Board/Markievicz Park Committee

0

Sligo Rovers Development Association

0

218,280

Sligo Rugby Football Club

0

1,000,000

Sligo Sub Aqua Club

0

18,600

St. John's Community Development Association

0

40,000

Tubbercurry GAA Club

50,000

82,397

Tipperary

2,048,000

9,008,006

Ballinahinch GAA Club

75,000

95,000

Ballinderry Sportsfield

0

95,085

Ballingarry GAA Club

0

80,000

Ballyporeen — Skeheenarinky GAA Club

75,000

100,000

Blackcastle United FC

75,000

86,240

Borrisokane District Development Association Limited

0

2,000,685

Borrisokane GAA Club

0

78,484

Borrisoleigh Town Park Ltd

90,000

140,000

Cappawhite Community Council Ltd.

100,000

167,500

Carrick on Suir Community Resource Centre

0

2,500

Carrick on Suir Golf Club

0

120,000

Carrick United AFC Ltd

0

22,148

Carrig/Riverstown GAA Club

30,000

46,324

Cashel Town FC

30,000

70,000

Clonmel Athletic Club

50,000

72,800

Clonmel Boxing Club

5,000

6,000

Clonmel Celtic FC Ltd

150,000

250,879

Clonmel Rugby Club

80,000

150,000

Clonmore NS

0

29,775

Duneske Leisure Limited

300,000

1,023,105

Éire Óg Annacarty GAA Club

50,000

73,339

Fethard Community Sports Field Ltd

30,000

46,000

Fr. Sheehy GAA Club

60,000

85,000

Glengoole Community Development Association

0

101,557

Gortnahoe/Glengoole GAA Club

25,000

37,200

Horse & Jockey Handball Club

0

20,000

JK Brackens GAA Club

13,000

19,500

Kilbarron Hall Committee

0

40,000

Kilcash Ballypatrick Killurney Sportsfield

0

20,000

Kilfeacle & District Rugby FC

45,000

54,000

Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams GAA Club

0

100,000

Knockshegowan GAA Club

0

52,500

Lough Derg Yacht Club

0

80,000

Moycarkey Borris GAA Club

0

378,275

Moyglass Sport & Leisure Centre Ltd

0

70,000

Mullinahone GAA Club

150,000

330,823

Nenagh Lawn Tennis Club

35,000

45,000

Newcastle GAA Club

0

125,500

O'Connor's Field Development Committee, Cashel

0

65,000

Rearcross FC

0

10,505

Rock Rovers FC

0

250,000

Roscrea Golf Club

0

49,400

Rosegreen Development Association/Rosegreen Rangers FC

0

4,200

Sean Kelly Sports Centre

0

384,000

Sean Treacy's GAA Club

50,000

210,000

South Tipperary GAA Board

0

150,000

St. Joseph's College/Newport Handball Club

50,000

63,371

St. Michael's AFC

140,000

200,000

St. Molleran's GAA Club

80,000

119,856

Templederry Kenyons GAA Club

180,000

269,955

Templemore Athletic Club

80,000

134,000

Thurles Community Sports Campus Project

0

580,000

Tipperary Town Athletic Club

0

52,500

Two Mile Borris St. Kevins FC

0

150,000

Waterford

1,580,000

7,537,974

Affane Cappoquin GAA Club

40,000

78,600

Ballinameena Community Centre

20,000

30,103

Ballyduff Lower GAA Club

50,000

278,665

Ballygunner GAA Club

0

242,197

Blackwater Community School/Lismore GAA

70,000

99,000

Boatstrand Dunabrattin Fishermens Community

50,000

174,000

Bohemians Football Club

75,000

125,000

Brideview United AFC Limited

40,000

58,515

Butler Community Centre Ltd

50,000

133,317

Cappoquin Community Development Company Ltd

200,000

569,701

Cappoquin Playground Committee

0

35,000

Cappoquin Rowing Club

20,000

34,938

Cappoquin Salmon & Trout Anglers Association

15,000

19,166

Children's Group Link Waterford

45,000

60,000

Cunnigar Pitch and Putt Club

5,000

6,960

De La Salle Hurling and Football Club

175,000

507,850

Dungarvan Boxing Club

10,000

10,166

Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club

0

17,055

Dungarvan Hurling & Football Club

90,000

147,151

Dunhill Squash Club

10,000

11,159

Ferrybank AFC

80,000

250,000

Fourth Waterford Unit Scouting Ireland

0

13,000

Hibernian Football Centre

70,000

90,000

Joseph & Therese White-Finisk Valley

0

481,600

Kilgobnet Sports Club

0

145,000

Rathgormack GAA Club

10,000

22,320

Seaview Celtic FC

55,000

70,268

Sliabh gCua/St. Mary's GAA Club

0

215,000

Southend United Football Club

45,000

54,323

Stradbally AFC Club

20,000

29,900

Stradbally GAA Club

0

90,740

St. Brigid's Hall, Kilrossanty

50,000

100,000

St. Paul's Boxing Club

5,000

6,400

Tallow Hurling & Football Club

0

57,280

Tourin GAA Club

80,000

96,600

Tramore Amateur Boxing Club

0

Tramore GAA Club

60,000

127,000

Waterford City Council — Regional Sports Centre

0

2,600,000

Waterford Harbour Sailing Club

0

70,000

Waterford Local Economic Development Co Ltd

140,000

180,000

Waterford Motorboat & Yacht Club

0

200,000

Westmeath

1,083,000

4,045,980

Athlone GAA Club

150,000

200,000

Athlone Tennis Club

10,000

20,000

Athlone Town Stadium Ltd.

0

800,000

Ballinahown Community Sports Centre

50,000

82,453

Ballinlough Castle Golf Club Ltd

0

72,000

Boher Hall Community Development Association Ltd

0

40,000

Bunbrosna GAA & Community Services

150,000

520,500

Castlepollard Community Centre

30,000

60,000

Clonkill Hurling Club

0

770,000

Coralstown/Kinnegad GAA Club

65,000

75,000

Delvin Handball Club

80,000

210,000

Lough Ree Yacht Club

40,000

57,410

Loughnavalley Gaelic Football Club

80,000

107,208

Milltown Community Centre Association & Milltown GAA

0

200,000

Moate All-Whites GAA Club

20,000

Mullingar Athletic Football Club

80,000

110,430

Mullingar Canoe Club

6,000

7,700

Mullingar Karate Kyokushinskai Club

0

Mullingar Shamrocks GAA Club

0

85,000

Mullingar Sub Aqua Club

0

10,500

Mullingar Tennis & Badminton Club

7,000

10,000

Mullingar Town AFC

90,000

112,442

Multyfarnham Park Development

0

23,366

Rosemount Community Centre

30,000

39,938

Shandonagh GAA Club

100,000

183,818

St. Francis FC

75,000

96,000

St. Loman's Foróige

0

St. Paul's GFC

0

30,000

Temple Villa AFC

20,000

22,215

Westmeath Show Society Ltd

0

100,000

Wexford

1,887,000

4,590,762

Ajax Athletic AFC

0

80,000

Ballaghkeen Community Project Ltd

0

34,090

Bree Community Development Group

17,000

20,296

Bunclody AFC

20,000

33,118

Castlebridge Reading Rooms

0

15,750

Castletown Liam Mellows GAA Club

0

70,000

Cloughbawn AFC/Community Group

0

150,000

Courtown Hibernian AFC

120,000

170,000

Crossabeg-Ballymurn Hurling & Football Club

45,000

50,000

Curracloe United AFC

70,000

120,406

Edermine Ferry Rowing Club

8,000

14,998

Enniscorthy Rugby Football Club

225,000

336,000

Faythe Harriers GAA Club

25,000

36,800

Ferns St. Aidan's GAA Club

100,000

272,918

Ferns United AFC

85,000

102,900

Fethard/St. Mogue's GAA Club

80,000

140,000

Glynn Barntown GAA Club

40,000

50,000

Gorey Boxing Club

0

108,130

Gorey Rangers AFC

150,000

300,000

Hook Sub Aqua Club

0

25,000

Horeswood GAA Club

100,000

275,000

Killenagh Wanderers AFC

80,000

161,000

Kilrush Askamore GAA Club

45,000

55,000

Monageer Boolavogue GAA

120,000

344,254

Moyne Rangers AFC

65,000

96,898

New Ross Celtic AFC

25,000

30,800

New Ross Coarse Angling Ltd

0

70,160

New Ross District Pipe Band

0

10,000

North End United AFC

0

144,437

Rapperees/Starlights GAA Club

100,000

200,000

Rosslare Rangers AFC

100,000

227,600

Sarsfields GAA Club

40,000

50,823

Shamrocks Hurling & Football Club

40,000

77,303

Shielbaggan Outdoor Educational Centre

0

143,148

St. John's Volunteers Community Centre

0

100,000

St. Kearn's Rowing Club

10,000

15,550

St. Michael's Pipe Band

0

21,335

St. Mogue's Rural Community Centre Ltd

7,000

Tintern Community and Sports Complex Commission

150,000

367,115

Wexford Christian Brothers Secondary School

0

39,200

Wexford Sub Aqua Club Ltd

20,000

30,733

Wicklow

1,700,000

5,307,247

Arklow Boxing Club

15,000

18,000

Arklow Geraldines/Ballymoney GAA Club

65,000

111,161

Arklow Rock Parnell GAA Club

0

127,664

Arklow Town FC

0

346,700

Ashford Rovers Soccer Club

10,000

10,695

Avondale GAA Club

40,000

65,000

Avonmore Football Club

50,000

120,000

Ballinacor Community Project

0

117,000

Ballywaltrim Community Centre Limited

200,000

300,000

Baltinglass Golf Club

0

103,285

Blessington GAA Club

500,000

750,000

Bray Wanderers Football Club

0

493,735

Bullfrog Racing Club, Bray

5,000

9,000

Carnew Emmets GAA Club

100,000

150,000

Coillte Teoranta Cycling Trail, Roundwood

0

91,105

Dunlavin GAA Club

0

91,797

Éire Óg GAA Club Greystones

200,000

350,000

Greystones Community Centre Project

0

Greystones Rugby Football Club

30,000

60,000

Greystones United Football Club

0

500,000

Hollywood Community Development Association

200,000

384,986

Lakers Social & Recreation Club

0

200,000

Newcastle GAA Club

0

25,750

Newcastle Judo Club

0

2,000

Newtown GAA Club

60,000

120,000

Rathdrum Rugby Football Club

0

163,212

RC Girl Guides of Ireland Carnew Branch

0

3,000

Shillelagh GAA Club

0

22,757

St. Brendan's College, Bray

0

300,000

Tiglin Adventure Sports Training Trust Ltd

75,000

85,400

Tinahely GAA Club

150,000

175,000

Wicklow County Camogie Board

0

10,000

Woodlands Development Commitee

0

50,800,000

251,682,275

Michael Ring

Question:

139 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the reason local media can be furnished with details of the recipients of grants from his Department while elected public representatives are unable to do so; if he will investigate this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14005/04]

Decisions on the allocations of funding under the 2004 sports capital programme were finalised late last week with a view to publication of the complete list of successful applicants on the Department's website on Friday. Arrangements were also made for the simultaneous release of information to national and local media. Unfortunately it took somewhat longer than had been anticipated to format the material for publication on the website with the result that it did not appear until 4 p.m. on Friday. I regret that this should have happened and can assure the Deputy that no discourtesy was intended to public representatives.

Medical Cards.

Richard Bruton

Question:

140 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the substantial fee which doctors charge to pensioners who wish to renew their driving licence; if arrangements will be made to subvent this cost in line with the Government’s policy to promote independence for older persons and access to travel opportunities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13951/04]

Medical card holders are eligible for a range of treatments and services without charge under the GMS scheme. However, the issue of certificates for driving licence tests to any medical card holder, regardless of age, may incur charges. I do not have any plans to change the current system.

Hospital Services.

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

141 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will give consideration to a request from persons (details supplied) in Dublin 12 to have their child transferred for treatment to a UK facility expert in the treatment of anorexia. [13979/04]

Where an individual requires specific treatment which is necessary and which cannot be provided in Ireland, a health board may refer the person to another member state for treatment. Under EU regulations, the board issues form E112 to the person being referred to establish his or her entitlement to such treatment and to imply a commitment by the health board to pay the full cost of the treatment. My Department has issued guidelines which set down the criteria to be used by health boards when assessing applications for approval of forms E112, as follows. The application to refer a patient abroad must be assessed before the patient goes abroad except in cases of extreme urgency; medical evidence must be provided by a hospital consultant giving details of the condition from which the patient suffers and of the type of treatment envisaged. It must be certified by the consultant that the treatment concerned is not available in this country; there is an urgent medical necessity for the treatment; there is a reasonable medical prognosis; the treatment is regarded as a proven form of medical treatment; the treatment abroad is in a recognised hospital or other institution and is under the control of a registered medical practitioner.

Health Board Services.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

142 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when speech therapy and physiotherapy will be offered to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13994/04]

Responsibility for the provision of services for people with an intellectual disability and those with autism in the Kildare area lies, in the first instance, with the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department, therefore, has asked the CEO of the authority to investigate the matter raised by the Deputy and reply directly to him.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

143 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when a disabled persons grants application with the SWAHB will be processed in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13995/04]

The provision of health related services, including assessment for a disabled persons grant, for people with physical or sensory disabilities is a matter for the Eastern Regional Health Authority and the health boards in the first instance. Accordingly, the Deputy's question has been referred to the CEO of the Eastern Regional Health Authority with a request that he examine the matter and reply directly to the Deputy, as a matter of urgency.

Jack Wall

Question:

144 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding the application for assessment for orthodontic treatment by a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13996/04]

Responsibility for the provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons in County Kildare rests with the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department has asked the regional chief executive to investigate the matter raised by the Deputy and to reply to him directly.

Liz McManus

Question:

145 Ms McManus asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 13 is still on a waiting list after three years for ENT treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13997/04]

Responsibility for the provision of health services to persons living in Counties Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow rests with the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department has, therefore, asked the regional chief executive of the authority to investigate the matter raised by the Deputy and to reply to her directly.

Michael Ring

Question:

146 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of clinical psychologists in County Mayo dealing with national school children; and the number who deal with secondary school children. [13998/04]

Responsibility for the provision of clinical psychology services to children rests in this instance with the Western Health Board. My Department has asked its CEO to investigate the matter and to reply directly to the Deputy.

Michael Ring

Question:

147 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of children being seen by speech therapists in schools in County Mayo. [13999/04]

Michael Ring

Question:

148 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of children being seen by speech therapists in health centres in County Mayo. [14000/04]

Michael Ring

Question:

149 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of children being seen by speech therapists in County Mayo. [14001/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 to 149, inclusive, together.

The provision of health related services, including speech therapy, for people with physical or sensory disabilities is a matter for the Eastern Regional Health Authority and the health boards. My Department has asked the CEO of the Western Health Board to investigate the matter and to reply directly to the Deputy, as a matter of urgency.

Michael Ring

Question:

150 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of speech therapists in employment in County Mayo. [14002/04]

The Deputy requested information on speech and language therapists working in the public and private sectors. Unfortunately, my Department does not retain such information.

As far as employment in the public health services are concerned, responsibility for the provision of speech and language therapy services in County Mayo rests with the Western Health Board. My Department has asked its CEO to investigate the matter and to reply directly to the Deputy.

Nursing Home Subventions.

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

151 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children if he intends to increase the nursing home subvention to a more realistic level. [14013/04]

The Nursing Home (Subvention) Regulations 1993 are administered by the health boards and the Eastern Regional Health Authority. At present there are three rates of subvention payable, €114.30, €152.40 and €190.50 for medium, high and maximum levels of dependency. The payments include an increase of 25% that came into effect in April 2001.

A health board may pay more than the maximum rate of subvention relative to an individual's level of dependency in a case such as no remaining personal funds. The application of these provisions is a matter for the health board concerned in the context of meeting increasing demands for subvention within its revenue allocation as notified annually in the letters of determination. This is in keeping with the provisions of the Health (Amendment) (No. 3) Act 1996. The average rate of subvention generally exceeds the current approved rates.

At present a review of the scheme is under way involving all of the key stakeholders. Its objective is to develop a transparent scheme that offers a high standard of care for clients; provides equity in the system to include standardised dependency and means testing; is less discretionary; provides a home and nursing home subvention depending on need; is consistent when implemented; and is financially sustainable and draw on experience of the operation of the old scheme. Pending the outcome of the review, there are no plans to increase the current approved subvention rates.

Hospital Services.

Michael Ring

Question:

152 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be called for hip surgery to Galway Regional Hospital; and the length of time this person has been waiting for urgent surgery. [14048/04]

The provision of hospital services for people living in County Mayo is a matter for the Western Health Board. My Department has asked its CEO to reply directly to the Deputy, as a matter of urgency.

Overseas Medical Services.

Mary Upton

Question:

153 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will review the case of a dangerously ill person (details supplied) in Dublin 12; and if he will reconsider their parents’ request to avail of appropriate treatment in the UK. [14061/04]

Where an individual requires necessary treatment that cannot be provided in Ireland a health board may refer them to another member state. Under EU regulations the board issues form E112 to the person being referred to establish his or her entitlement to such treatment and to imply a commitment by the health board to pay its cost. My Department has issued guidelines that outline the criteria to be used by health boards when assessing applications for approval of forms E112. They are as follows: the application to refer a patient abroad must be assessed before the patient goes abroad except in cases of extreme urgency; and medical evidence must be provided by a hospital consultant giving details of the condition from which the patient suffers and of the type of treatment envisaged. A consultant must also certify that the treatment is unavailable here, that there is an urgent medical necessity for it; that there is a reasonable medical prognosis; that there is proof to support it; and that it is in a recognised hospital or other institution and is under the control of a registered medical practitioner.

Light Rail Project.

Richard Bruton

Question:

154 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Transport if the operators of the Luas system will introduce a number of free days for the new line to Tallaght during its initial stage in August. [13942/04]

The RPA is considering a range of promotional initiatives, including some limited introductory travel.

Public Transport.

Richard Bruton

Question:

155 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Transport the number of applications received by his Department in respect of new bus routes in the greater Dublin area; the areas they apply to; when his Department first reviewed each application; and the reason he has failed to make a decision on them. [13943/04]

Private operators must apply to my Department for licences to operate road passenger services in the State in accordance with the Road Transport Act 1932.

Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann are exempt from the requirement to hold a licence under the Act. Since 10 January 2001 both companies are required, by ministerial direction, to notify my Department of proposed new services or changes to existing services at least four weeks prior to their introduction.

At present my Department has received a total of five notifications and licence applications for the greater Dublin area. The dates of receipt are as follows:

Date

Licence applications

14 January 2004

11 March 2004 (two applications)

1 April 2004

Notification

16 March 2004

In accordance with long-standing practice, details of applications and notifications remain confidential until a decision is made. At present my Department is processing the outstanding applications and the notification indicated above.

All licence applications and notifications are dealt with on a first come, first served basis. The processing of applications and notifications involves detailed analysis to ascertain, for example, the extent of any overlap between the proposed service and existing licensed or other public transport services. This can include similar licence applications already received or prior notifications received from either Dublin Bus or Bus Éireann. Pressing or exceptional circumstances can be taken into account in determining the order in which applications are dealt with. In some circumstances, while the preliminary work may have been completed on a particular application, a final decision cannot be made until other relevant applications or notifications received prior to it have been finalised.

Decisions on the applications and notification that I have mentioned are expected in the near future.

Arthur Morgan

Question:

156 Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for Transport if applications were made for an operating licence for a Newry, Dundalk, Dublin bus route in 2003; the number of applications that were made for the route; when his Department received applications; and the details of applicants. [13980/04]

Persons operating international transport services by coach or bus between EU member states must hold a community authorisation under Council Regulation (EEC) No. 684/92, as amended by Council Regulation (EC) No. 11/98, on common rules for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus.

During 2003 my Department did not receive any applications for community authorisation to operate services between Newry, Dundalk and Dublin. At present it has six CA applications to operate cross-Border services along the route. They are being processed in collaboration with the competent authorities in Northern Ireland, as required by the EU regulations.

In accordance with long-standing practice for processing licence and authorisation applications, details of these applications remain confidential until a decision is made.

Driving Tests.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Question:

157 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to the 11 month waiting period for a driving test in Killarney, County Kerry; and how he proposes to deal with the backlog. [13984/04]

There are 24 driver testers assigned to the south west region covering nine driving test centres, including Killarney. Their allocation is kept under review having regard to the demand for tests. The waiting times at the Killarney test centre will be addressed in this context.

The overall number awaiting driving tests nationally has risen because of an above average increase of 21% in applications in 2003 compared to 2002. Indications are that applications have fallen to normal expectations and I anticipate that waiting times will improve over the coming year.

A bonus scheme designed to deliver additional tests operated in 2003. In addition, eight retired driver testers were re-employed with effect from 13 October 2003. Driver testers continue to deliver additional tests by working overtime, including Saturdays.

A driver testing and standards authority will be responsible for conducting driving tests and will have more flexibility to respond to variations in demand. Preparation of legislation to establish it is at an advanced stage and I expect to submit the text of the Bill to Government shortly.

Public Transport.

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

158 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Transport the level of subsidy on a one way trip per person on the DART system. [14011/04]

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

159 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Transport the level of subsidy per trip per person on Dublin Bus. [14012/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 158 and 159 together.

The allocation of the annual Exchequer subvention between the group's subsidiary companies is a matter for the board of CIÉ. In 2003 the average subvention per passenger journey for Dublin Bus was 36 cent.

The operating subsidy for DART services was 70 cent in 2003. The figure involves an apportionment of costs and revenues between the DART and other suburban services.

Driving Tests.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

160 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport if and when a driving test can be arranged for a person (details supplied) in County Kildare. [14044/04]

A driving test will be arranged as soon as possible. He should submit documentary evidence from his employer as to his need for an early driving test date.

Citizenship Applications.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

161 Mr. O’Dowd asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, further to Question No. 865 of 27 January, the position regarding an application for citizenship (details supplied). [13949/04]

The application is still being processed in my Department's citizenship section. It will be submitted to me for decision shortly. As soon as I have reached a decision I will inform the applicant and the Deputy of the outcome.

Child Care Facilities.

Gay Mitchell

Question:

162 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason four applications for large scale capital funding, lodged with the equal opportunity child care programme, have waited for a response since 2000. [13965/04]

I am not aware of capital projects awaiting a decision since 2000 other than in circumstances where an applicant requested them to be placed on hold pending the clarification of a specific issue. A number of projects submitted more recently have waiting for a thorough review of the programme to be completed. Its aim is to maximise the availability of capital under the present programme. Perhaps the Deputy is referring to projects in this group.

The Equal Opportunities Child Care Programme 2000-2006 is a seven year development programme. Its progress was commented upon favourably by the mid-term evaluators of the regional operational programmes and the National Development Plan 2000-2006. Expenditure under the programme covers the period to end 2007. Spending must take place in a planned manner, as must grant approvals, to ensure that it meets its financial commitments at all times.

There has been considerable demand from community based groups for capital grant assistance under the programme. Every county has benefited from significant grant commitments to provide new and enhanced community based child care facilities. Capital developments in the private child care sector have also been supported. Area Development Management Limited, on behalf of my Department, is carrying out an extensive review of the programme's capital commitments to date, numbering over 1,100 and valued at €114 million, to ensure that grant commitments previously entered into will be realised. Projects may be awaiting planning permission or the completion of tender processes before reasonable assurance can be taken that they will proceed. If they do not the funding can be made available to another project.

Recently my Department reviewed the different budget lines under the EOCP, including the capital programme, to ensure that the most effective use is made of all remaining funding in accordance with its objectives. Some transfers between measures were recommended and require the approval of the regional assemblies. I expect that the technical process will be completed shortly and that it will increase the total allocation to €157 million for the capital development of child care under the present EOCP. It includes an element for the administration by ADM Limited of the capital programme. At the same time an extensive review of child care provision took place to identify obvious service gaps. At present the remaining capital funding amounts to about €35 million and it will be used to fill the gaps in service.

I intend to allocate the remaining capital funding under this strand of the Government's commitments to child care to address the most immediate service gaps. As a result all of the projects in the pipeline are being reviewed again by ADM Limited on the basis of geographical need, the range of services being offered and the capacity of the groups to complete a project before the end of the programme. The projects that best meet the criteria will be prioritised. The review process will be repeated as necessary to maximise the benefits deriving from this phase of the EOCP.

ADM Limited was engaged by my Department to carry out assessments, against the programme criteria, of all applications for grant assistance. It undertook the day-to-day administration of programme. All large scale capital projects are referred by the company to an independent external building specialist to assess suitability and if they are value for money. On completion of the assessment process, applications are considered by the programme's appraisal committee, chaired by my Department. I make the final decision after the committee recommends funding.

The current review of applications will be concluded as speedily as possible to facilitate the development of additional child care places and to ensure that the funding is drawn down before the end of 2007 in the planned manner I mentioned earlier.

I do not doubt that the success of the present strand of the EOCP and the need to continue to make child care available to support the needs of our growing workforce will support my case for ongoing capital and current funding from Government. I expect that the programme would again benefit from transfers if additional funding became available before the end of the present national development plan.

Gay Mitchell

Question:

163 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if the Minister of State, Deputy Brian Lenihan, will meet persons (details supplied) to discuss the child care crisis in Ballyfermot. [13966/04]

I forwarded the details to the Minister of State for his attention and consideration.

The Equal Opportunities Child Care Programme 2000-2006 has allocated almost €2.8 million to a number of projects in the Ballyfermot-Cherry Orchard area. As many as 249 new child care places will be created and support given to 121 existing places when the amount is fully drawn down. Surrounding areas have also received substantial funding. Applications for substantial capital and staffing grants were received from a number of large scale capital projects in Dublin 10.

A major review of the community based capital child care programme is under way. Its aim is to determine which projects should be prioritised for funding under the present strand of capital funding, of which about €30 million remains. As a result the applications from the Ballyfermot area are being reviewed comparatively against other projects. The applications will be prioritised according to the programme's criteria and whether they can be completed before the end of 2007. The national comparative analysis is based on a thorough review of current service provision in the immediate area of each application and a review of the services proposed by each of the current applicant groups.

Garda Investigations.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

164 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform about inquiries into the death of a person (details supplied) after a hit and run accident on 20 July 2001. [14028/04]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that a comprehensive investigation has taken place. At this time no person has been charged with an offence and investigations are continuing.

Citizenship Applications.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

165 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if and when an application for citizenship will be processed in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare. [14037/04]

My Department has no record of an application for citizenship in respect of this person.

Garda Deployment.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

166 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of gardaí on duty on 1 May; the number of armed gardaí on patrol throughout the weekend of 30 April to 3 May in Dublin; the type of weapons issued; the instructions given; if each armed officer had the appropriate training in the weapons issued to them; and the cost to the State of the armed aspect of the operation. [14050/04]

The Garda authorities are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel. They have informed me that there were almost 5,900 gardaí of all ranks working in the Dublin metropolitan region on 1 May.

It is not Garda policy to state how many gardaí on patrol were armed or the type of weapons issued to them over a specific period for security and operational reasons. The costs associated with the armed aspect of the operation form part of the overall costs of the May Day operation. Costs are not available at present.

All members of the Garda Síochána who are armed have authorisation cards and received training in respect of the type of weapon they carry. Only members of the Garda who hold a valid authorisation card are issued, as the need arises, with firearms on duty.

Garda Training.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

167 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost of riot training for members of the Garda Síochána in the past six months; the number of gardaí involved; their ranks; the length of training; and if he outline the programme. [14051/04]

The Garda authorities have informed me that the additional cost of travel and subsistence expenses for riot training for the six month period between 1 November 2003 and 30 April 2004 was approximately €180,850.

The number of gardaí trained under the public order training programme and their ranks for the same period are as follows:

Rank

Number

Chief Superintendent

2

Superintendent

17

Inspector

28

Regional Public Order Instructors (Sergeants)

33

Sergeants and gardaí

1,037

Total

1,117

The duration of the courses were as follows:

Course Title

Duration

Public Order Commander Course

5 days

Public Order Course

6 days

The public order commander course included the following topics: public order related legislation and code instructions; intelligence led risk analysis; conflict resolution; riot curve; operational support unit; briefing and debriefing; human rights and public order; tactical doctrine; introduction to protective clothing and equipment; potential public order scenario; and live public order tactics and command of a public order unit.

The public order courses included ten basic street tactics, baton training, retractable baton training, flexicuff training, petrol reception training and CS gas training which was delivered to 140 Dublin metropolitan personnel only.

Garda Equipment.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

168 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the person who authorised the transfer of water cannons from PSNI to the Garda Síochána, and the duration of the loan; if gardaí received training in their usage; if so, the person that provided it; the number of gardaí involved; where training took place; and its duration. [14052/04]

In April the Garda authorities considered a range of tactical options available through co-operation on public law and order. The Garda Commissioner entered into a service level agreement for the loan of two water cannons from the Police Service of Northern Ireland to ensure the safety of the public in dealing with unruly protesters. The water cannons were procured for the period 18 April to 5 May, inclusive, and have since been returned.

A total of 19 members of the Garda Síochána received training in the tactical command and use of water cannons from the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Training took place at the PSNI training centre in County Down and at Gormanstown Camp, County Meath over a three week period.

Prisoner Transfers.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

169 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost to the State of vacating a wing of Cloverhill Prison and the transfer of prisoners to Wheatfield Prison in order to make room for potential arrestees for the period from 30 April to 3 May; the number of prisoners involved; the date on which the directive was given to the prison governor; and the person by whom it was given. [14053/04]

On 30 April 12 prisoners were transferred from Cloverhill Prison to Wheatfield Prison to ensure that accommodation would be available, if required, for any potential arrestees over the bank holiday weekend. The prisons are adjacent to each other and no additional or overtime costs were incurred.

A total of 125 overtime hours were required over the period in Wheatfield Prison as additional staff had to be assigned to deal with the extra prisoners. The average overtime rate for Wheatfield Prison in 2003 was €30.07 per hour and, based on this figure, the total extra cost involved was approximately €3,758.75.

The decision to move the prisoners followed a series of discussions and co-ordinated contingency planning involving the Garda Síochána, senior officials of the Irish Prison Service, who approved the individual transfers on my behalf, and the governors of Cloverhill and Wheatfield Prisons.

Garda Deployment.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

170 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost to the State of the Garda security operations for the 1 May celebrations. [14054/04]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 47 of 5 May.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

171 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost to the State of Garda security checks, involving 2,800 homes in the Shannon district and sealing off the town and airport in advance of the US Presidential visit in June. [14055/04]

I am advised by the Garda authorities that, as the security arrangements for the forthcoming visit are ongoing, full costs are not available.

Residency Permits.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

172 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the status of the residency application of a person (details supplied); and when this family may expect a determination of the case. [14056/04]

The man entered the State accompanied by his then wife and made an application for asylum in September 1998. His application was refused on appeal in December 2001. He subsequently applied to remain in the State based on marriage to an Irish national in February 2003. Applications of this type are dealt with in strict chronological order. Applications received at that time are being processed. It is expected that the file will be submitted for decision shortly.

Richard Bruton

Question:

173 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will state when his Department will make a decision concerning a person (details supplied); and if the person will be allowed to work here while a decision on their long-term status here is being made. [14073/04]

In March 1998 this person arrived in the State and applied for asylum. In November 1998 he married an Irish national, withdrew his asylum application and made a claim for residency based on that marriage. He was granted permission to remain on the basis of his marriage in May 1999. I have information that the person has not resided with his spouse since 2000.

The case is being submitted for consideration. A decision will be made when all the circumstances peculiar to this case have been considered.

Garda Prosecutions.

Richard Bruton

Question:

174 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the crime and detection rates by the Garda in each year from 1998 to 2003, inclusive, and classified by headline and non-headline crimes; the total number of cases handled by the probation service in each year for the same period, classified by main category. [14079/04]

I have had inquiries made with the Garda authorities. The following tabular statements give headline crime statistics for 2003 and details of non-headline offences where proceedings commenced. The statistics furnished for 2003 are provisional and are subject to change. Crime statistics for the years 1998 to 2002, inclusive, are published in the Garda Síochána's annual reports and are available in the Oireachtas Library.

Recorded2003

Detected2003

% Detected2003

Headline Offence Groups

%

Group 1 Homicides

101

73

72

Group 2 Assaults

4,738

3,171

67

Group 3 Sexual Offences

2,463

1,505

61

Group 4 Arson

1,440

227

16

Group 5 Drugs

2,715

2,695

99

Group 6 Thefts

57,870

20,640

36

Group 7 Burglaries

25,733

4,438

17

Group 8 Robberies

2,794

909

33

Group 9 Frauds

4,037

2,529

63

Group 10 Other Headline Offences

1,469

997

68

Total

103,360

37,184

36

Non-Headline Offences Where Proceedings Commenced in 2003.

2003

EASTERN REGION

43,053

Carlow-Kildare

13,727

Laois-Offaly

5,478

Longford-Westmeath

5,423

Louth-Meath

18,425

DUBLIN METROPOLITAN REGION

136,273

Eastern

14,448

North Central

25,568

Northern

18,738

South Central

26,410

Southern

26,029

Western

25,080

NORTHERN REGION

18,112

Cavan-Monaghan

8,194

Donegal

6,769

Sligo-Leitrim

3,149

SOUTH EASTERN REGION

24,692

Tipperary

6,876

Waterford-Kilkenny

9,002

Wexford-Wicklow

8,814

SOUTHERN REGION

45,771

Cork City

16,652

Cork North

5,034

Cork West

4,838

Kerry

7,019

Limerick

12,228

WESTERN REGION

24,378

Clare

5,740

Galway West

8,186

Mayo

5,941

Roscommon-Galway East

4,511

Total

292,279

The total number of cases handled by the probation and welfare service in the years 1998 to 2000, inclusive, classified by main category are as follows:

Offence

1998

1999

2000

Manslaughter

0

1

2

Assault

754

692

537

Sexual Offences

119

118

65

Arson

28

23

18

Drugs Offences

514

519

392

Larceny

1,260

1,130

1,101

Burglary

282

225

145

Robbery

168

111

169

Embezzlement, Fraud and Extortion

89

63

55

Others

2,308

2,431

2,423

Total

5,522

5,313

4,907

Statistics on the cases handled by the probation and welfare service are not yet available for the years 2001 to 2003, inclusive.

Prison Statistics.

Richard Bruton

Question:

175 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the average number of prisoners held in State prisons in the years 1998 to 2003, inclusive; and his estimate of recidivism in the total prison population in each of those years. [14075/04]

The average number of prisoners in custody for the years referred to are as follows:

Year

Average number of prisoners in custody

1998

2,610

1999

2,763

2000

2,919

2001

3,112

2002

3,165

2003

Being finalised

Official statistics for 2003 are being finalised and will be contained in the Prison Service annual report for 2003 that will be released in the coming months. It is expected that the figure will indicate a marginal increase on the average number of prisoners in custody for 2002.

While accurate figures on rates of recidivism in the prisoner population are not yet available, the computerisation of prisoner records from 2001 will in future provide a more detailed view of a prisoner's past committal history. Recently the director general of the Prison Service commissioned a major three year research project on the topic. He hopes to present an accurate picture of recidivism. It will assist and shape the way we manage prison sentences in the future. The findings of the research are expected in early 2007.

Housing Grants.

Pádraic McCormack

Question:

176 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if additional funding can be provided to local authorities to enable them to proceed with the processing of insulation grants for older houses. [13959/04]

My Department does not provide grants specifically for insulating houses. Many effective measures to improve energy efficiency in houses can be achieved at negative or zero equivalent annual cost to the householder. The national climate change strategy provides for intensification of educational and awareness programmes, being undertaken by Sustainable Energy Ireland, to promote these options and to fill the existing information gap for consumers.

The standards of insulation required in new housing have been progressively improved in 1982, 1991, 1997 and, most recently, following the 2002 revision of the statutory building regulations.

Since 1976 all new local authority housing has been built with wall cavity and attic and floor insulation in accordance with the building regulations in force at the time. My Department financially assists local authorities in upgrading, renovating and redeveloping their housing stock through the remedial works scheme and funding for regeneration and redevelopment projects. Works under the remedial works scheme must comply with building regulations. Where an extensive programme of refurbishment works is carried out, measures are taken to improve thermal insulation in accordance with the building regulations.

EU Directives.

Eamon Ryan

Question:

177 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when he intends to introduce laws, regulations and administrative decisions to comply with Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and Council that was agreed on 25 June 2002 and is required to be enacted into national law by 18 July 2004; and the legislative changes intended to be made in this regard. [13973/04]

I intend to make regulations transposing Directive 2002/49/EC on the assessment and management of environmental noise into Irish law by 18 July 2004. My Department has been in discussions for some time with other relevant Departments, local authorities and transport bodies on the implementation of the main requirements of the directive. This includes the making of strategic noise maps by 30 June 2007 for agglomerations with more than 250,000 inhabitants and all major roads, railways and airports, and the drawing up of action plans to manage noise issues and effects by 18 July 2008. Dublin City Council has already made considerable progress on strategic noise mapping.

The protection of quiet areas is another concern of the directive. In 2003 the EPA published a report under the Environmental Research, Technological Development and Innovation Programme 2000-2006 entitled Environmental Quality Objectives: Noise in Quiet Areas.

Housing Grants.

Denis Naughten

Question:

178 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the reasons for the delay in processing a rural renewal application by a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon; and when a decision will be forthcoming. [13981/04]

An assessment of the costs of the development will be undertaken with a view to the issue of a certificate of reasonable cost as soon as possible.

Housing Loans.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

179 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the interest rate charged in respect of annuity or similar mortgages taken out in the late 1980s or early 1990s through the various local authorities; and if they are in line with current interest rates. [14027/04]

The current local authority mortgage interest rates are 2.95% variable and 4.45% for fixed. These are competitive rates of lending.

Prior to the introduction of variable interest rate loans on 1 December 1987 the fixed interest rate that applied to loans issued by local authorities was 10.5%. The variable interest rate that applied to loans at that time was 9.75%.

Since 1980 borrowers with local authority fixed rate mortgages have been permitted to redeem such loans without any interest rate penalty and refinance them in the private sector. This represents a significant concession, having regard to the redemption penalties of up to six months interest or more applied by commercial lending agencies in the event of early redemption of such mortgages.

The position regarding high fixed interest rates on local authority loans was reviewed in November 2001 in consultation with the Department of Finance. The review determined that a State subsidy to reduce interest rates would not be appropriate.

House Completions.

Richard Bruton

Question:

180 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of social houses completed in each year since 1998; and his estimate of the average cost per unit. [14076/04]

Details of social housing output since 1998, both under the local authority housing programme and by the voluntary and co-operative housing sector, are set out in my Department's housing statistics bulletin. Copies are available in the Oireachtas Library.

Average unit costs for social housing for each of the years from 1998 to 2003, inclusive, are as follows:

Year

All-In Unit Cost (€)

1998

82,313

1999

103,923

2000

122,083

2001

127,993

2002

140,562

2003

137,949

The Government's positive commitment to the social housing programme is shown in the increased provision for social and affordable housing in 2004. The total housing provision, Exchequer and non-Exchequer, in 2004 of €1.884 billion represents an increase of 5.4% on the 2003 provision. The increase in the housing provision will allow for 5,000 starts under the main local authority programme. This is an increase of 500 above 2003 levels. There will also be a further 500 commencements under area regeneration programmes in 2004. In addition the voluntary and co-operative housing sector will provide 1,800 units of accommodation in 2004.

The social and affordable housing needs of over 13,600 households were met in 2003 compared to almost 8,500 in 1998. This is the highest level of housing provision under the full range of social and affordable housing measures for over 15 years.

Housing Loans.

Richard Bruton

Question:

181 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of shared ownership loans issued in the years 1998 to 2003, inclusive. [14080/04]

Richard Bruton

Question:

182 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of outstanding loans under shared ownership in the years 1998 to 2003, inclusive; the total subvention awarded towards the cost of the rental element. [14081/04]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 181 and 182 together.

Mortgage finance for the shared ownership scheme is generally provided by the Housing Finance Agency and administered by individual local authorities. Accordingly, statistics on the number of loans advanced to fund shared ownership transactions or the number outstanding are not available in my Department. Activity under the scheme, for each local authority, is published in my Department's housing statistics bulletins. Copies are available in the Oireachtas Library.

The following amount was paid to the local authorities in respect of rent subsidy under the shared ownership scheme for the years 1998 to 2003, inclusive:

1998

1,710,832

1999

1,576,865

2000

1,097,376

2001

1,468,803

2002

1,878,536

2003

1,757,979.

Local Authority Housing.

Richard Bruton

Question:

183 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of affordable houses provided in the years 1998 to 2003, inclusive; and the value of the sites provided by public authorities for these units. [14082/04]

The number of affordable houses provided in the years 1998 to 2003, inclusive, is published in my Department's housing statistics bulletins, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library.

Information on the value of sites provided by public authorities to build affordable houses is not available in my Department.

Harbours and Piers.

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

184 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the need for further construction of the area immediately surrounding a recently built pier in Cashel, County Galway and the fact that the pier is not large enough to cope with the number of boats using the facility; and the grants or other financial aid his Department can provide to improve the pier in view of the relatively small outlay required. [13986/04]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to his Question No. 209 on 12 May.

Question No. 185 withdrawn.

Social Welfare Benefits.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Question:

186 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the reason for the delay in processing applications for carers allowance; the reason her Department is now dealing with applications received in January; and her proposals to clear the backlog of applications. [13983/04]

My Department is committed to providing a quality customer service to all its customers. This includes ensuring that applications are processed and that decisions on entitlement are issued as expeditiously as possible having regard to the eligibility conditions.

Entitlement to carer's allowance is based on an applicant satisfying medical, means and residency conditions. In some cases there is an unavoidable time-lag involved in making the necessary investigations and inquiries to enable decisions to be made. For example, there is an onus on applicants to furnish all necessary documentation. Time can elapse through delays and applicants may not supply all of the necessary information required to support their claim.

All claims are dealt with when my Department receives them. Some decisions are made without delay. For example, 21% of new claims received since the beginning of April have already been decided.

On average 12 weeks elapse between initial receipt of claim and a decision to award carer's allowance. At the present the total number of claims is 1,555, the majority of which were received in the last eight weeks. A total of 288 or 19% of them were received in or prior to January.

About 50% of claimants are already in receipt of another social welfare payment or are a qualified adult whilst waiting for their carer's allowance entitlement to be determined. Such payments will normally continue until entitlement to their carer's allowance is determined.

The staff and other resources available to my Department are regularly reviewed having regard to the workload arising and other competing demands. The available resources are then used to best advantage in discharging my Department's obligations towards our customers and in implementing cost-effective control measure.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

187 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the reason rent supplement was refused in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; if the decision is the result of recent budget cuts; and when the person is likely, if ever, to qualify for rent supplements. [14032/04]

The South Western Area Health Board was contacted about the case. It has advised that the application for a rent supplement from the person concerned has not yet been determined. The board is awaiting the return of a completed application form. The board will consider whether to grant a rent supplement when it receives the form.