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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 5 Apr 2007

Vol. 635 No. 3

Written Answers.

The following are questions tabled by Members for written response and the ministerial replies as received on the day from the Departments [unrevised].
Questions Nos. 1 to 10, inclusive, answered orally.

Electoral Boundaries.

Olwyn Enright

Question:

11 Ms Enright asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if in view of the recent Census of Population he will set up an Electoral Boundary Commission to review Dáil Constituencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13437/07]

The Electoral Act 1997 provides that a Constituency Commission shall be established upon the publication by the Central Statistics Office, following each census of population, of the report which contains the final population figures classified by area. The appropriate detailed population statistics that are necessary to conduct a review of existing constituencies are contained in Volume 1 of the census publications which classifies the population by area.

I intend to establish such a Commission to review and report on Dáil and European constituencies as soon as possible after the relevant report is published by the CSO. Under the Act, the Commission is required to report to the Ceann Comhairle as soon as may be and, in any event, within 6 months of its establishment; the reports will then be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Water Supply Contamination.

Dan Neville

Question:

12 Mr. Neville asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if in view of the contamination of the public water supply in Galway he will immediately introduce new regulations requiring increased monitoring and testing of public water supplies in all areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13441/07]

Regulatory regimes have been in place for many years in Ireland prescribing strict EU based standards for drinking water quality and monitoring. Reports on Irish drinking water quality are regularly compiled by the EPA and are regarded as among the most comprehensive within the EU. In its latest (2002) Synthesis Report on the Quality of Drinking Water in the Member States of the European Union, the EU Commission identified Ireland and the United Kingdom as the two member states in which improvements in drinking water quality were significant and obvious. The latest relevant EPA report verifies the high quality of Irish drinking water, with 98.9% of public supplies being in compliance with all microbiological standards.

The Drinking Water Regulations 2000 consolidated and updated earlier regulations, and they transposed the 1998 EU Drinking Water Directive and prescribed drinking water standards and monitoring regimes to meet the requirements of this Directive.

On 8 March 2007, prior to the Cryptosporidium outbreak in Galway City, I made the European Communities (Drinking Water) Regulations 2007 to update and replace the 2000 Regulations. In particular, the 2007 Regulations require local authorities to monitor all water supplies, under the supervision and direction of the Environmental Protection Agency, and to ensure that any non-compliance with quality standards is immediately investigated and appropriate remedial action taken.

I am satisfied that the new Regulations will underpin the provision of comprehensive monitoring regimes for all water supplies and that further detailed requirements can also be addressed when the Water Services Bill, now at Dáil Report Stage, is enacted.

Housing Management Companies.

Mary Upton

Question:

13 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will introduce legislation or regulations on management companies and management charges in private housing developments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13269/07]

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

50 Mr. O’Dowd asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the response from local authorities to his directive in relation to management companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13444/07]

Catherine Murphy

Question:

562 Ms C. Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the dialogue he has had with county and city managers regarding the issues surrounding management companies for traditional houses; if there is a general strategy to accelerate taking estates in charge that are subject to management companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13877/07]

Róisín Shortall

Question:

576 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress to date in updating legislation to facilitate the regulation of management companies in apartment complexes. [13974/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 13, 50, 562 and 576 together.

In relation to its responsibilities, my Department has advised planning authorities that they should not attach planning conditions requiring management companies for "traditional" housing estates, except in very exceptional circumstances. My Department understand that this advice is now accepted by all planning authorities. A Working Group chaired by my Department, and involving relevant interests, has been considering issues relating to the taking in charge of developments, including responsibility for the maintenance of certain shared facilities in newer type mixed estates. It is intended that further guidance for planning authorities, based on the Group's deliberations, will be issued shortly.

My Department is not responsible for the wider range of legislation and regulation relevant to management companies in apartment complexes. Such companies, consisting of the owners of dwellings, are generally constituted under the Companies Acts and are required to operate in compliance with company law.

The Director of Corporate Enforcement published a report on the operation of management companies in December 2006, which includes guidance for directors and members on company governance.

I understand also that the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment is considering changes in company law to deal with the specific circumstances of licensing management companies. In addition, a paper on issues relating to property management in multi-unit developments was published by the Law Reform Commission in December 2006: the public consultation is still in progress. Finally, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform is chairing an inter-Departmental committee to consider legislative responses to issues generally relating to property management companies. My Department is represented on this committee and will make every possible contribution to its work.

The Government have already decided that property managing agents will be regulated by the Property Services Regulatory Authority under legislation currently being prepared by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. Property managing agents are commercial firms engaged by management companies to provide management and maintenance services for which management charges are paid.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

14 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when the target of 10,000 new social and affordable houses per annum will be met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13429/07]

The Government's new housing policy statement Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities, and the National Development Plan 2007-2013 (NDP) reflect the strong commitment to expand social and affordable housing provision contained in the social partnership agreement Towards 2016. The NDP provides the resources — some €18 billion in total, which will enable increased output from social and affordable housing measures resulting in the needs of some 140,000 new households being met in this period.

These resources will be used to meet the needs of some 100,000 households by commencing/ acquiring 63,000 new social homes in the period 2007-2013, through a combination of local authority, voluntary and co-operative housing and new units for the Rental Accommodation Scheme. Further households will benefit as they transfer to the Rental Accommodation Scheme with their existing landlords or from naturally occurring vacancies. Over the period 2007 to 2009, sufficient resources will be made available to commence/acquire some 27,000 new units of social housing. In addition over the period of the NDP some 40,000 households will benefit from affordable housing. 17,000 of these will be delivered in the first three-year period, in line with the agreement in Towards 2016.

To ensure that these programmes are delivered in a coherent and coordinated manner City and County Councils have put in place multi-annual Housing Actions plans which encompass delivery of social and affordable housing in their area, including Town Councils.

Planning Issues.

Paul Nicholas Gogarty

Question:

15 Mr. Gogarty asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will introduce legislation to amend planning laws here to allow local authorities decision making powers on the location of sex shops and lap dancing clubs in order to not allow such businesses to operate close to schools and in residential areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13389/07]

The issues of adult entertainment and the regulation of associated venues require consideration because of the recent growth of this sector. Given the relevance of a number of different statutory codes to this matter, it is not clear that planning regulation alone can adequately support a local control regime with regard to these activities, and the interaction of these various codes needs to be examined to ensure we take the best possible approach.

To that end, in January this year I wrote to the Tánaiste proposing the establishment of a task force to examine the regulatory context around the siting and location of adult entertainment venues. The first meeting of that group will be taking place shortly. When the task force completes its work, we will have a clearer picture of the issues involved, their interaction and the possible way forward.

In advance of any new proposals, local authorities should use the powers currently available to them under the planning code, such as the development plan process, to ensure that new late night entertainment venues are not inappropriately located, for example in quiet residential areas.

Nuclear Plants.

Willie Penrose

Question:

16 Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he has abandoned taking further legal action seeking the closure of Sellafield. [13250/07]

The threat posed by the large and complex nuclear facility at Sellafield has long been a concern to the people of Ireland. The actions of this Government have reflected that concern over many years.

In 2001, and in response to the imminent commissioning of the MOX plant, Ireland instituted legal proceedings against the United Kingdom under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The action related, among other things, to the inadequacy of the environmental impact assessment carried out by the United Kingdom for the MOX Plant as well as the failure of the United Kingdom to take all steps necessary — and cooperate with Ireland in doing so — to protect and preserve the marine environment of the Irish Sea.

The UNCLOS Tribunal hearing began in June 2003 but was suspended to facilitate resolution of an issue raised by the European Commission that the case was more appropriate to matters of EU, rather than UNCLOS, competence.

Pending hearing of the substantive case, and following an application by Ireland, the UNCLOS Tribunal issued a Provisional Measures Order, which made provision for, inter alia, a review by Ireland and the UK of the mechanisms for inter-Governmental notification and co-operation. Under this process, over the following three years, a series of co-operative measures were developed, agreed and put in place.

These measures are very valuable from Ireland's viewpoint. They are working well and represent real added value to the necessarily co-operative relationship to which we believe Ireland is entitled on nuclear issues. The Bi-Lateral Agreement on Early Notification of a Nuclear Incident, direct access to the UK Radiation Monitoring System (RIMNET), access for the Garda Síochána to Sellafield, access for the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) to Sellafield and other facilities, significantly improved information exchanges, co-operation on emergency planning with the UK, and improved contacts at regulator and official level on nuclear issues, all provide objective evidence of real improvements.

The judgment of the European Court of Justice of 30 May 2006, inter alia, declared that Ireland, by instituting proceedings against the UK under UNCLOS, had failed to fulfill its obligations under Community Law. This judgment established that certain provisions of UNCLOS form part of the Community legal order and that the ECJ has exclusive jurisdiction to determine disputes between Member States on their interpretation and application. Following consultation with the Attorney General, the case taken by Ireland against the UK under UNCLOS will not now proceed. The Commission and the UNCLOS Tribunal were informed accordingly on the 16 February last.

The case taken by Ireland under UNCLOS has served the purpose of identifying the concerns of Ireland in relation to Sellafield on the international stage and more particularly at EU level. It has also led to significant improvements in the level of co-operation and information received from the UK in relation to Sellafield. Lack of co-operation and information from the UK on the issue was one of the significant claims made by Ireland in the UNCLOS case.

The ECJ in its judgement against Ireland provided clarity in that certain international agreements now fall exclusively within the Court's remit insofar as disputes arise under them. This applies not only to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (which was in dispute in this case) but also potentially to other international conventions whose aim is to protect the environment. Accordingly, the ECJ and the European Commission are now placed centre stage in respect of Ireland's concerns regarding discharges and safety at Sellafield. In my meeting with Commissioner Piebalgs in January 2006, I made clear to the Commissioner that the Commission needs to respond to these concerns and become more proactive on the Sellafield issue.

Since Ireland began its case against the UK under UNCLOS in 2001, the Commission has instituted two actions against the UK in relation to Sellafield under the terms of the EURATOM Treaty. Following my meeting with Commissioner Piebalgs, the Commission issued a Decision (15 February 2006) against Sellafield in respect of the THORP leak. This follows the Directive issued by the Commission against the UK in March 2004 in respect of the B30 ponds.

The UK have lodged an appeal in the ECJ (April 2006) against the Commission Decision on the THORP leak claiming inter alia that the Commission does not have the competence to adopt the decision because it is based on safety concerns.

While the broad legal landscape regarding disputes between Member States has changed, this Government's fundamental position has not. Our policy continues to reflect the firm position that Sellafield is an unacceptable threat to Ireland and that it should be closed in a safe and orderly manner.

I will continue to ensure that the concerns of Ireland are represented directly to the European Commission in relation to Sellafield at Commissioner and Senior Official level and that the current actions against Sellafield by the Commission are continuously monitored to ensure that they are sustained and effective. The Attorney General will also monitor developments at the European Court of Justice. The Government, as in the past, will continue to explore all legal, diplomatic and political options open to it on an ongoing basis in order to ensure the concerns and interests of the Irish people are represented and protected in relation to the continued operation of the Sellafield Plant.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Ivor Callely

Question:

17 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will report on the success or otherwise of the measures in place and operated by the local authorities to assist people in purchasing their own home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13256/07]

The Government consider that home ownership should be made available to as many people as possible where this is their preferred option. Local authorities play a key role supporting paths to home ownership for lower income groups. Over 23,000 households were assisted through all measures between 2002 and 2006 with activity in 2006 up over 30% on the 2002 figure.

This includes paths from social housing such as tenant purchase and mortgage allowance, as well as house purchase loans. The new incremental purchase scheme announced in Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities will provide a new option in this area.

In more recent years, there has been an emphasis on the provision of affordable housing. The Affordable Homes Partnership (AHP) is assisting authorities to increase the delivery of affordable housing. The AHP and local authorities are working to deliver some 17,000 new affordable homes over the period 2007 to 2008.

It is evident that the needs of a broad range of home purchasers are being addressed through these schemes. I am satisfied that they provide a strong foundation for achieving the Government's ambitious targets for the delivery of support to home purchasers in the coming years.

Water and Sewerage Schemes.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

18 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the position regarding phase two of Castleisland sewerage scheme, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13312/07]

Kerry County Council's Castleisland Sewerage Scheme Stage 2 is included in my Department's Water Services Investment Programme 2005-2007 as a scheme to commence construction in 2007, at an estimated cost of €5.57m. The scheme involves the upgrading of the existing town sewerage system in Castleisland and the extension of the sewer network to cater for unserviced existing and future development in the town environs for the next 25 years.

In January of this year, my Department asked Kerry County Council to review certain aspects of the Preliminary Report. Because of the large scale of the provision for future development in the current proposal the council was asked to review, in particular, the scope of the scheme and to consider carrying out the work in a number of phases. My Department also asked the Council to review its Water Services Pricing Policy Report for the scheme. This review will allow the value of the Exchequer and the non–domestic sector capital contributions towards the overall cost of the scheme to be determined and should result in a reduced cost to the County Council. My Department is awaiting a response from the Council.

Special Areas of Conservation.

Denis Naughten

Question:

19 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the steps he intends to take to extend the closing date for special area of conservation appeals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13271/07]

Under the Habitats Regulations 1997, a landowner may seek review of a proposed designation of land as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) by making an objection in writing, and based on scientific grounds, to my Department along with a clear map of the land in question. The Regulations provide that such objections must be made within a three-month period of the site being notified and it is now necessary in the context of EU infringement proceedings against Ireland under the Habitats Directive to strictly enforce this three-month limit. There are no proposals to amend the Regulations at this time. However, I understand that a new mechanism for amending boundaries to SACs, post-adoption, is to be devised by the European Commission in consultation with Member States; at that stage the position will be reviewed.

Election Management System.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

20 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the expenditure to date, including purchase, storage, training and public relations costs, for the proposed electronic voting system; the Election, at which he expects the system to be next used; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13266/07]

Eamon Ryan

Question:

39 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the type and length of lease put in place for the storage of the electronic voting machines, prior to their move to Gormanstown military base; the amount it cost the State to nullify these leases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13392/07]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

536 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the costs incurred to date by the Exchequer arising from the electronic voting programme including the costs of the storage of the machines. [13761/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 20, 39 and 536 together.

The total cost incurred to date in the development and roll-out of the electronic voting and counting system is €51.3 million (including some €46 million in respect of hardware costs, €2.6 million in respect of awareness and education initiatives and €0.1 million in training costs for returning officers and their staff). In addition, information provided by returning officers to my Department indicates that the annual storage costs for the electronic voting machines and ancillary equipment is currently some €706,000, with figures for 2005 and 2004 amounting to some €696,000 and €658,000 respectively.

Arrangements are now underway for the storage of electronic voting equipment at centralised premises in Gormanston and machines from a number of constituencies have already been transferred to the Gormanston facility. It is not possible to detail conclusively at this stage the total costs which will be associated with the centralised storage arrangements. Arrangements have been made for the procurement of 48 metal storage containers and ancillary items for Gormanston Aerodrome at a cost of €112,750 (excluding VAT). In addition, preparatory work has been carried out on the hangar at a cost of some €7,000.Responsibility for the security and safe storage of manual voting equipment is a matter for returning officers, who are statutorily responsibility for conducting the polls. Accordingly, similar responsibility was assigned to them in relation to the storage of the electronic voting machines and equipment. In the majority of cases, returning officers entered into leases in respect of storage premises for the machines. I propose to circulate with the Official Report a tabular statement setting out information provided by returning officers regarding storage arrangements entered into by them in each of the 25 locations involved. It would not be appropriate to comment at this stage on detailed costs that might be involved in the buy-out of leases given the commercial considerations involved.

The timing of the further use of the system is dependent on the outcome of the ongoing work of the Cabinet Committee on Electronic Voting, the associated decisions arising in this regard, and the dates on which future polls may be held.

City/County

Duration of Lease

Carlow-Kilkenny

2 years

Cavan-Monaghan

25 years

Clare

Monthly basis

Cork City

10 years

Cork County

Annual basis

Donegal

Annual basis

Dublin City

8 years

Dublin County

Annual basis

Galway

N/A (Voting Machines stored in the courthouse)

Kerry

10 years

Kildare

9 years 9 months with 5 year break clause

Laois-Offaly

5 years

Limerick

4 years 9 months

Longford

4 years 9 months

Roscommon

2 years 6 months

Louth

N/A (Town council premises)

Mayo

Annual basis

Meath

9 years 9 months

Sligo

N/A (Voting Machines stored in the courthouse)

Leitrim

1 year

Tipperary (N&S)

5 years

Waterford

10 years

Westmeath

4 years 9 months

Wexford

Monthly basis

Wicklow

Annual basis

Social and Affordable Housing.

Liz McManus

Question:

21 Ms McManus asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of households who have been enabled to purchase a home, under the shared ownership scheme, for each years since 1997 to date in 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13262/07]

Information to end September 2006 on the number of transactions completed under the shared ownership scheme is published in my Department's Housing Statistics Bulletins, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library, and also on my Department's website at www.environ.ie.

Since 1997, 10,546 transactions have been completed under the shared ownership scheme. The following is the number of transactions annually from 1997 to 2006:

Year

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

No.

1,042

805

1,314

1,190

1,611

1,686

998

798

730

372*

*Provisional.

The income limit for the shared ownership and affordable housing schemes was increased with effect from 1 January 2006. Persons whose income in the previous tax year was €40,000 or under for a single income household or €100,000 or under for a two income household, using the formula of 2½ times the main income plus once the secondary income, are eligible for the schemes.

The maximum loan a local authority may advance in respect of the share of a dwelling being purchased (minimum 40%) under the Shared Ownership Scheme is €185,000. This maximum loan amount could facilitate the purchase of a home costing €462,500. Accordingly, certain local authorities impose a maximum house price limit for shared ownership transactions in their area where they deem it necessary.

The core objective of housing policy in Ireland is to enable every household to have available an affordable dwelling of good quality, suited to its needs, in a good environment and, as far as possible, at the tenure of its choice. While the take-up on the shared ownership scheme has declined in recent years, possibly due to the availability of affordable housing under other delivery mechanisms and the availability of cheaper finance in the market due to historically low interest rates, I am satisfied that the scheme, by assisting individuals seeking to acquire their own home, continues to play an important part in contributing towards the achievement of this objective.

Electoral Boundaries.

Dan Neville

Question:

22 Mr. Neville asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will create new elected councils for areas where population growth has increased very significantly as shown in the recent Census of Population and where there is presently no urban council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13440/07]

The Local Government Act 2001 modernises the legislative framework, supports community involvement with local authorities in participative local democracy and underpins generally the programme of local government renewal. The Act also facilitates improved access, interaction, linkages and service provision for all towns and areas with their respective county councils. Local authorities, as part of the local government modernisation programme, have extensive capacity to innovate and adapt to changing circumstances and local demands, including those of economic and population growth.

I am continuing to keep the matter of new town councils under review, while consolidating progress on quality customer service measures, with the aim of ensuring good accessible local government service delivery for all towns.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Seán Crowe

Question:

23 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of social inclusion units in local authorities and the locations of same; and the dates on which he will extend the units to half of all county and city councils by the end of 2008 in line with a commitment in Towards 2016. [13465/07]

A total of eight local authority social inclusion units have been established to date, with assistance from my Department. These units are located in the following local authorities:

Cork City Council

Dublin City Council

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

Limerick City Council

Louth County Council

South Dublin County Council

Waterford City Council

Wicklow County Council

Arrangements are currently being put in place with a view to having such units extended to half of all county and city councils by the end of 2008, in line with the commitment in Towards 2016.

Liam Twomey

Question:

24 Dr. Twomey asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will change Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 to include within its remit any proposal to build five or more housing units regardless of the size of the site thus removing any existing exemption; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13449/07]

Shane McEntee

Question:

86 Mr. McEntee asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will change Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 to include within its remit any development of five or more houses which are proposed for locations which are not zoned for housing and for which permission is being granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13450/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 24 and 86 together.

Under Part V of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2006, each local authority is required to prepare a housing strategy identifying the full range of housing needs in the authority's area and is obliged to zone sufficient land to meet the needs identified. The housing strategy also provides the basis for determining the percentage, up to 20%, of land zoned for residential development or for a mix of residential and other uses that may be reserved for social and affordable housing purposes under Part V.

Part V establishes a firm legal basis through which a proportion of the benefit accruing from both the zoning and granting of planning permission can be captured to support the achievement of the desirable public policy objective of delivering social and affordable housing. It balances the objective of focusing delivery with the requirement that needs in this regard are clearly identified in the housing strategy and that delivery takes place in a plan-led manner through each local authority fulfilling its statutory obligation to zone sufficient land to meet the identified requirements.

The overall approach underpinning Part V has been considered by the Supreme Court and found to be Constitutional. I am satisfied that the balanced approach involved provides a robust basis for the effective operation of Part V, as evidenced by the increasing levels of delivery now being achieved. Accordingly, I have no proposals to amend the legislation to apply Part V to unzoned land.

In relation to the minimum size threshold for sites to which Part V applies, the initial threshold of 0.2 hectares was reduced to 0.1 hectares under the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2002. This change was made in order to take account of the potential for increased housing delivery on smaller sites arising from the implementation of policies in relation to increased residential densities. I am not aware of any significant loss of delivery under Part V due to a widespread incidence of housing developments of 5 or more units being achieved on sites of less than 0.1 hectares. Accordingly, I have no proposals to amend the legislation in this regard, but will keep its operation under review.

Water Supply Contamination.

Gerard Murphy

Question:

25 Mr. G. Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the situation in Galway where the drinking water has become contaminated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13414/07]

Michael Noonan

Question:

43 Mr. Noonan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will report on his recent meeting with the Mayor and officials of Galway City in relation to the serious contamination of the water supply in that county; the urgent and immediate action which will be taken to resolve this crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13438/07]

Mary Upton

Question:

69 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the reports he has received from the Environmental Protection Agency or the Galway local authorities regarding the water pollution crisis in Galway City and County; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13270/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 25, 43 and 69 together.

I refer to the reply to Question No. 4 of today.

Risk Management.

Enda Kenny

Question:

26 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the content of the register of risks for his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13446/07]

My Department has developed a formal risk management framework and maintains a register of risks in line with the recommendations of the 2002 Report of the Working Group on the Accountability of Secretaries General and Accounting Officers. The register of risks contains a description of each risk identified, an assessment of the likelihood of each risk occurring, the potential impact of such an occurrence and the actions required to minimise or eliminate such risks. The Department is currently undertaking a review and update of its risk management framework and risk register.

Tribunals of Inquiry.

Joe Sherlock

Question:

27 Mr. Sherlock asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the discussions he has had with the chairman of the Mahon Tribunal regarding legal fees for lawyers at the tribunal; the reason the reduced scale of fees did not come into operation on 31 March 2007 as planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13268/07]

Paul Nicholas Gogarty

Question:

77 Mr. Gogarty asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the reason behind his decision of 28 March 2007 to defer the planned reduction in the fees paid to lawyers at the Mahon tribunal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12988/07]

I propose to take Question Nos. 27 and 77 together.

I refer to the reply to Question No. 277 of 4 April 2007.

Waste Management.

Ivor Callely

Question:

28 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress made over the past ten years on recycling and other environmental friendly measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13255/07]

There has been a marked improvement in recycling performance in Ireland over the past ten years. Government policy on waste management is set out in a suite of policy documents — Changing Our Ways (1998), Delivering Change (2002), Taking Stock and Moving Forward (2004) and the National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste (2006) — published over the course of the past decade. The provision of an expanded network of civic amenity sites and bring banks, the provision of segregated collections for dry recyclables to more households, the roll out of Pay-by-Use and increased awareness through the Race Against Waste have combined to help achieve many national and EU targets for recovery and recycling of municipal waste.

National waste statistics for all waste streams are published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the most recent National Waste Report being in respect of 2005. EPA waste statistics indicate the following progress in waste recovery and recycling in Ireland:

9% of our municipal waste was recycled in 1998; this has risen to 34.6% in 2005, essentially meeting the target of 35% set for 2013 in Changing Our Ways;

59.6% of packaging waste was recycled in 2005, compared with 15% in 1998. This is some 10% in excess of the European Union target set for 2005 and essentially achieves Ireland's 2011 mandatory EU target of 60% six years ahead of schedule;

in 2005, construction and demolition waste recycling exceeded the 2013 target of 85% by 2%;

the quantity of waste deposited at bring banks and civic amenity sites in 2005 grew by 12% and 25% respectively in comparison with 2004;

kerbside collection grew by 46% in 2005 while glass recycling jumped by 9% over the 2004 level to reach 64%;

2.3m items of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) was recycled in the first year of operation of a new Producer Responsibility Initiative and broke the EU target of 4kg per inhabitant by 2.7kg set for 2008;

the numbers of bring banks grew from 837 in 1998 to 1937 in 2005 and the number of civic amenity facilities grew from 30 to 81 over the same period;

since 2002 my Department has allocated almost €100 million in capital grants to assist local authorities in the provision of recycling and recovery services. The projects assisted include bring bank networks, civic amenity sites, materials recovery, composting and biological treatment facilities;

the amount of waste going to landfill has dropped by 8.4% since 2001;

successive National Waste Reports suggest a decoupling of waste generation from economic growth. Since 2001 economic growth has exceeded the rise of waste generation by 5.3%;

a farm plastics recovery scheme operated by the Irish Farm Films Producers Group has made consistent progress since its establishment in 1997 with an estimated 12,500 tonnes collected for recycling in 2005. The arrangements for the scheme were enhanced in 2006 to improve collection and recovery systems, including the operation of local authority bring centres;

the Waste Management (End-of-Life Vehicles) Regulations 2006 governing the recycling of scrap cars were introduced in 2006 and came fully into operation on 1 January 2007. Over 65 authorised treatment facilities are currently permitted by local authorities;

a multi-annual National Waste Prevention Programme was established in 2004 within the EPA. This programme aims to deliver substantive results on waste prevention and minimisation.

a Market Development Group was established in 2004 with the aim of realising the full potential of collected recyclable material by establishing new markets for that material. The Market Development Programme is currently being finalised and will be published shortly.

The Government is determined to drive forward and build on these recycling achievements, supported by appropriate infrastructure to deal with waste that cannot be prevented or recycled. Waste-to-energy treatment can make an environmentally valuable contribution in this context, given requirements on diversion of waste from landfill under the EU Landfill Directive. The National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste, published in April 2006, sets out a series of measures through which these targets can be achieved.

The following table summarises progress towards municipal waste recycling targets in recent years.

Progress in Waste Management Activities — 1998 to 2005

Municipal Waste (Household & Commercial)

Year

Landfilled (tonnes)

Recovered (tonnes)

Recycling Rate

National Targets

%

1998

1,685,766

166,684

9.0

35% recycling by 2013

2001

1,992,050

305,554

13.3

2002

1,901,864 (down 4.5% on 2001)

496,905

20.7

2003

1,832,625 (down 3.6% on 2002)

726,763

28.4

2004

1,818,536 (down 0.8% on 2003)

885,068

32.7

2005

1,824,066 (up 0.3% on 2004)

964,367

34.6

Household Waste

Year

Landfilled (tonnes)

Recovered (tonnes)

Recycling Rate

National Targets

%

1998

1,125,698

37,518

3.2

50% diversion from landfill by 2013

2001

1,254,857

74,887

5.6

2002

1,294,061

132,602

9.3

2003

1,231,109 (down 4.9% on 2002)

185,753

13.1

2004

1,214,908 (down 1.3% on 2003)

285,134

19.0

2005

1,193,872 (down 1.7% on 2004)

349,596

22.7

Biodegradable Municipal Waste

Year

Landfilled (tonnes)

Recovered (tonnes)

Recycling Rate

National Targets

%

1998

Landfill (tonnes) restricted to— 967,433 by 2010 644,956 by 2013 451,469 by 2016

2001

1,257,272

233,852

15.7

2002

1,186,632

361,862

23.4

2003

1,145,533

537,944

32.0

2004

1,304,426

596,860

31.4

2005

1,311,314

700,289

34.8

Construction & Demolition Waste

Year

Recovered (tonnes)

Recovery Rate

National Targets

%

1998

1,171,572

43.3

50% recycling by 2003 85% recycling by 2013

2001

2,364,866

65.4

2002

2003

2004

9,513,962

85.2

2005

12,979,337

86.9

Packaging Waste

Year

Recovered (tonnes)

Recovery Rate

National Targets

%

1998

93,259

14.8

25% recovery by end July 2001 50% recovery by end December 2005 60% recovery by end December 2011 with 55% by way of recycling

2001

221,266

27.0

2002

296,389

35.0

2003

419,600

44.2

2004

479,540

56.4

2005

554,632

59.9

Infrastructure Provision

Year

Bring Banks

Civic Amenity Sites

Households with Segregated Collection

Landfills accepting Municipal Waste

1998

837

30

70,000

76

2001

1,436 (up 71.8% on 1998)

46 (up 53.3% on 1998)

200,000 (up 185.7% on 1998)

48 (down 36.8% on 1998)

2002

1,636 (up 13.9% on 2001)

49 (up 6.5% on 2001)

300,000 (up 50% on 2001)

39 (down 18.8% on 2001)

2003

1,692 (up 3.4% on 2002)

60 (up 24.5% on 2002)

564,000 (up 86.7% on 2002)

35 (down 10.3% on 2002)

2004

1,824 (up 7.8% on 2003)

69 (up 15.0% on 2003)

34 (down 2.9% on 2003)

2005

1,937 (up 6.2% on 2004)

81 (up 17.4% on 2004)

32 (down 5.9% on 2004)

Electoral Boundaries.

Olwyn Enright

Question:

29 Ms Enright asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if in view of the recent population census results he will review the local electoral boundaries and the number of councillors representing areas which have very high population growth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13436/07]

Unlike for Dáil constituencies, there are no constitutional or statutory requirements in relation to the frequency of local electoral area reviews. The last review of local electoral areas was carried out in 1998. The June 2004 local elections took place on the basis of the existing local electoral areas.

The next local elections are due to take place in 2009. Consideration can be given to reviewing the local electoral areas in the light of the final results from Census 2006 when they become available and other relevant factors.

Planning Issues.

Damien English

Question:

30 Mr. English asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the recent survey, carried out among apartment dwellers by the UCD Department of Urban and Regional Planning, which found significant levels of dissatisfaction with noisy neighbours, external storage space, gardens, litter, pollution and anti-social behaviour; the changes he will make to the planning guidelines for apartments as a result; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13452/07]

Damien English

Question:

62 Mr. English asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the recent survey among apartment dwellers which found that only 25% of respondents think they will be living in an apartment in the future, and the need to upgrade design standards for apartments to include good parks and playgrounds, schools, clean streets, safe streets and good grocery or supermarket shopping; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13453/07]

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

70 Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his Department’s plans to improve the design of new apartments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13418/07]

Dinny McGinley

Question:

88 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if the recent figures from Census 2006 showing a large increase in the numbers living in apartments will lead to a shift in planning policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13420/07]

Shane McEntee

Question:

92 Mr. McEntee asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the recent results of a quality of life survey commissioned by Dublin City Council which found strong dissatisfaction among apartment dwellers with inadequate storage space, sound insulation, kitchen size, external views and security; if he will improve the guidelines for apartment construction to address these serious issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13451/07]

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

94 Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if the recent figures from Census 2006 showing a large increase in the numbers living in apartments will lead to a shift in housing policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13419/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 30, 62, 70, 88, 92 and 94 together.

Draft Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Design Standards for Apartments were published by my Department for public consultation on 9 January this year, with the closing date of 5 March for receipt of comments and submissions. Forty submissions have been received and are currently being considered by my Department. It is intended to finalise the guidelines for publication as soon as possible.

The primary aim of the draft Guidelines is to promote sustainable urban housing by ensuring that the design and layout of new apartments will provide satisfactory accommodation for a variety of household types and sizes — including families with children — over the medium to long term. The guidance focuses on the apartment building itself and on individual units within, and sets recommended target average floor areas and a mix of unit types/sizes in apartment developments to help to ensure sustainable residential communities and facilitate integrated developments for different categories of occupants.

The new guidelines form part of a suite of guidance being prepared by the Department within a wider housing/planning context, which will also include:

new sustainable residential development guidelines which will incorporate a revision of the 1999 residential density guidelines;

a new best practice urban design handbook illustrating, with examples drawn from current practice, how the policies set out in the residential development guidelines should be implemented; and

the Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities guidelines (published last week) which revise and update the 1999 Social Housing Design Guidelines, focussing on the process surrounding the delivery of quality housing for sustainable communities.

The final apartment design guidelines will be issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000. This will require planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála to have regard to them in the performance of their functions. However, pending finalisation of the guidelines, planning authorities are being requested to have regard to the recommended standards for new apartment schemes, when preparing or varying development plans and local area plans, particularly when their current plans incorporate older standards.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Richard Bruton

Question:

31 Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the impact for his projections of the need to purchase carbon credit in view of the new EU agreement to cut emissions by 20% on 1990 levels by 2020. [10197/07]

I refer to the reply to Questions Nos. 102, 147 and 183 of 27 February 2007.

At its Spring meeting this year, the European Council endorsed the need for developed countries to collectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the order of 30% by 2020 compared to 1990. It also agreed that until a global and comprehensive post-2012 agreement is concluded, the EU should adopt an independent commitment to achieve at least a 20% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990.

The process of breaking down the 20% commitment and allocating a 2020 target to each Member State has not yet commenced. Therefore, it is too early to give an accurate indication of the likely 2020 target for Ireland or any Member State.

The National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012 presents two indicative scenarios based, respectively, on a 20% and 30% reduction, and assuming that the further cut required of Ireland, in comparison to its Kyoto target, is pro-rata to that of the EU as a whole. Under those assumptions, further emissions reduction of between 9 million and 16 million tonnes would be required by 2020.

It is also too early to estimate the extent to which the Government may opt to use carbon credits to supplement domestic greenhouse gas emission reduction measures in the period post-2012.

Construction Industry.

Gay Mitchell

Question:

32 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his view on the ESRI’s latest quarterly commentary that predicts a slowdown in new home construction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13427/07]

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

82 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the reports of a slow down in residential construction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13259/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 32 and 82 together.

The significance of the construction industry, including the housing sector, to the Irish economy is acknowledged. In addition, the strength of Ireland's economic performance, which most commentators consider is likely to continue, is itself a key factor underpinning the strength and stability of the housing market. Government policy is supportive of the continued stable development of the housing sector.

A key policy objective has been to achieve an appropriate level of housing supply to meet demand. The record shows that this has been achieved amidst unprecedented growth over the past ten years. Moreover, high levels of housing output in recent years must be viewed in the context of a relatively low ratio of housing stock to population compared with other EU States.

Both economic and demographic factors are likely to continue to underpin demand for housing into the future with all commentators expecting that house completions in 2007 will be lower than 2006. This would appear consistent with a view expressed by various commentators that housing output should ease to a more sustainable long-term pattern as supply and demand come into better balance. Forecasts prepared for my Department suggest that the population could increase by one million over the next 15 years. Commentators have, therefore, suggested that demand for housing may be for some 600,000 additional homes for the nine-year period up to 2015.

I would also expect that any easing in residential construction employment will be offset to a great extent by an increase in non-residential construction. This will be partly underpinned by the impressive level of financial funding available under the largest ever infrastructure investment programme in the new National Development Plan 2007–2013.

My Department will also be playing its part, and has already made a substantial commitment of over €18 billion investment, to ensure that 140,000 new households will benefit from housing programmes over the period of the NDP. This will be done in a way consistent with market conditions and having regard for the building of sustainable communities.

Ministerial Transport.

David Stanton

Question:

33 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his view on exchanging his Ministerial car for a hybrid vehicle, or a car that runs entirely on bio fuels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13410/07]

The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, which organises the purchase of the Ministerial Fleet through the Government Supplies Agency, has purchased 5 hybrid cars for the Ministerial Fleet, one of which has been assigned to me. Factors such as fuel efficiency and safety are taken into account in making purchases for the Ministerial Fleet. Hybrid vehicles which are electric/petrol combination vehicles have significantly better fuel consumption and significantly reduced emissions compared to equivalent conventional models.

More generally and in accordance with the National Climate Change Strategy, which I launched earlier this week, the Government is developing a Sustainable Transport Action Plan under which public sector fleet operators will be required to publish strategies to reduce emissions from their fleets including the increased use of biofuels.

Building Regulations.

John Perry

Question:

34 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on whether noise insulation in new dwellings is at an acceptable standard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13422/07]

Part E (Sound) of the Building Regulations 1997, and the related Technical Guidance Document E (1997 Edition), sets out minimum requirements in relation to sound insulation in buildings, including new dwellings.

Home Bond is carrying out a major study of sound insulation standards in Ireland and selected other EU Member States, which is due to be completed by mid-2007. I intend to initiate a review of Part E and the related TGD E, in the light of the results of the Home Bond Study and in consultation with the Building Regulations Advisory Body (BRAB).

Climate Change.

Tom Hayes

Question:

35 Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the findings of the Environmental Protection Agency that sea levels around Ireland will rise by six meters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13435/07]

Tom Hayes

Question:

40 Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his view on the latest climate change report from the Environmental Protection Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13434/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 35 and 40 together.

The recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency demonstrates the seriousness of the threat posed by climate change.

The EPS report clearly identifies a range of impacts on Ireland that could result from sustained temperature increases. These include increased river and coastal flooding, water shortages in summer, negative impacts on water quality, changes in the distribution and viability of species in Ireland, and serious potential impacts on Irish fish stocks.

These impacts highlight the urgent need for a global response to climate change. The Government strongly supported the EU's call for a global and comprehensive post-2012 agreement consistent with meeting the 2 Celsius objective. In this regard, the Government has endorsed the EU's proposal to commit to a reduction of 30% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 as its contribution to a global and comprehensive post-2012 agreement, provided that other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emissions reductions and economically more advanced developing countries adequately contribute to the global effort.

Notwithstanding the significant international efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, some change in the global climate system is inevitable due to current and historic emissions. Potential impacts in Ireland are already being addressed in a number of policy-making areas. The Government has appointed the Office of Public Works as the lead agency to implement flooding policy in Ireland, which includes a combination of structural works where flooding is already a problem, non-structural measures and awareness raising. Local authorities now have the power to consider adaptation initiatives in relation to their development plans and to provide that development in areas at risk of flooding may be regulated, restricted or controlled.

The National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012 commits the Government to developing a national adaptation strategy by 2009, to provide a framework for the integration of adaptation issues into decision-making at national and local level.

Housing Aid for the Elderly.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

36 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he has concluded his examination of the option of including radon remediation measures in the homes of elderly people where there is a high concentration of radon gas, under the housing aid for the elderly scheme. [13245/07]

My Department is still continuing its examination of the possibility of including radon remediation measures as eligible works under the new scheme of Housing Aid for Older People.

My Department undertook to examine the possibility that where a suite of works is grant aided to make an older persons home habitable, radon remediation measures may be allowable in areas where radon levels are of serious concern. My Department is currently exploring the potential implications of such a measure and will be meeting the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland shortly to progress the matter.

Departmental Expenditure.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

37 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will provide a breakdown of the way in which the €6.9 million allocated to the Environmental Research, Technological Development and Innovation Programme, funded under the National Development Plan 2000 to 2006 is being spent; his further plans to provide funding for climate change research; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13467/07]

The Environmental Research, Technological Development and Innovation programme (ERTDI) is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency with funding provided by my Department from the Environment Fund. Cumulative expenditure by the Agency at the end of the 2000 — 2006 period amounted to €39.76 million.

The ERTDI consists of four sub-measures, namely:

Sub-measure 1 — Environmentally Sustainable Resources Management

Sub-measure 2 — Sustainable Development

Sub-measure 3 -Cleaner Production

Sub-measure 4 — National Environmental Research Centre of Excellence.

Under the ERTDI 2000 — 2006, a total of 466 projects have been grant awarded with a breakdown as follows: 256 projects in sub-measure 1; 84 projects in sub-measure 2; 100 projects in sub-measure 3; and 26 projects in sub-measure 4.

In addition to the funding provided by the ERTDI, my Department has committed Exchequer funding of €8 million over the 2007 — 2008 period for research into a range of projects related to climate change. This funding is being provided under the public sector research initiative established under the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006 — 2013.

Nuclear Safety.

Willie Penrose

Question:

38 Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of mox shipments to and from Sellafield in 2006, which passed through the Irish Sea, and which he was notified of on a confidential basis; if he has satisfied himself that the figure is true; and if the Navy monitored the shipments at his request. [13247/07]

The Mixed Oxide (MOX) Plant at Sellafield utilises plutonium, separated during reprocessing of spent fuel for foreign customers at Sellafield, and returns it, predominantly by sea, to those customers in the form of MOX fuel for use in their nuclear reactors.

Such shipments of radioactive material are subject to international maritime regulations including the right of innocent passage and to strict international safety standards applicable to the marine transport of such material.

The continuing concerns of the Irish Government in relation to all transports of radioactive material through the Irish Sea are regularly and repeatedly conveyed to the UK Government at Ministerial and official level. Ireland also co-operates on this issue with like minded coastal States at international fora such as the International Atomic Energy Agency. Our concerns relate to safety, security and environmental risk from a potential accident or incident.

Arising from our efforts over the years, information is made available to Ireland on a voluntary and confidential basis by the Governments of shipping States, principally, Japan, France and the UK, in relation to shipments of radioactive material including MOX fuel. The Irish Government in response makes clear that such shipments are unwelcome, and seeks and obtains assurances from shipping States that such shipments will not enter Irish territorial waters and that they comply with the stringent system of regulation established in line with internationally agreed standards and practices.

During 2006, there were two shipments of MOX fuel from Sellafield. In accordance with normal practice, information was made available to Ireland regarding each of these shipments. The information received was made available to the relevant Government Authorities including the Coast Guard Service. It is a matter for the Coast Guard Service to determine and carry out any monitoring or other requirements in respect of these shipments. The Coast Guard has access to Naval resources (and other resources of the State) as and when required to address operational requirements on a case by case basis.

The arrangements whereby information is made available to Ireland on a voluntary and confidential basis by the Governments of shipping States, including the UK, are long standing and welcome. There is no reason to doubt the veracity of the information made available on a Government to Government basis to Ireland under this process.

Question No. 39 answered with QuestionNo. 20.
Question No. 40 answered with QuestionNo. 35.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Joe Walsh

Question:

41 Mr. Walsh asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the tardiness in proceeding to the commencement of work on a social and affordable housing scheme at Clonakilty, County Cork; and if he will take steps to expedite the project. [13272/07]

I refer to the reply to Question No. 163 of 27 February 2007.

Cork County Council, who have lead responsibility for planning and developing this project on State land provided under the Affordable Housing Initiative, held interviews on 23 March last to appoint consultants to advance a number of issues relating to the project. These include the preparation of the documentation associated with the process of public consultation and approval by the elected members required under Part VIII of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, along with the preparation of cost plans, tender documentation and the construction contract.

Following the interview process, I understand that the Council has selected a consultant to undertake this work. The completion of the Part VIII process will be the principal factor determining when construction can commence on site. My Department is continuing to closely monitor this project and is remaining in regular contact with the Council with a view to having this project advanced to the construction stage as quickly as possible.

Environmental Policy.

Trevor Sargent

Question:

42 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if, in determining the criteria for the designation of projects to be completed under the clean development mechanism or joint implementation as part of the State’s Kyoto obligations, he has prioritised those projects adhering to a gold standard such as those recommended by the WWF initiated Gold Standard Foundation or has given the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines to this effect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13382/07]

The National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012, which I published earlier this week, includes a National Policy Framework for the purchase of Kyoto Units by the State for the purpose of compliance with the Kyoto Protocol in the commitment period 2008-2012.

The purchasing framework provides that purchases shall be made in accordance with a number of specific objectives including "that they contribute to the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, i.e. stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system".

In purchasing Kyoto Units, therefore, the key consideration is to ensure that projects from which allowances are generated have been approved by the relevant authority for the flexible mechanism concerned; for example, by the CDM Executive Board in the case of the Clean Development Mechanism.

As Purchasing Agent for the State, it will be a matter for the National Treasury Management Agency to develop and implement an appropriate purchasing programme, having regard to the purchasing framework set out in the National Climate Change Strategy. I have no plans at this time to give any further Direction to the Agency in relation to purchases for compliance purposes in the Kyoto Protocol commitments in the period 2008-2012.

The purchase of carbon allowances is a new departure for Ireland and a number of other Kyoto Parties, and it is very early in the process. My Department will keep the matter under review as the new international carbon matures and settles down, and experience builds up among Kyoto Parties who proposed to purchase carbon allowances.

Question No. 43 answered with QuestionNo. 25.

EU Directives.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

44 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the nature of his involvement in the negotiations on the proposed Soil Directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13433/07]

Paul Kehoe

Question:

90 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the Government’s position on the proposed Soil Directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13432/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 44 and 90 together.

Consideration of the EU Commission's proposal for a directive establishing a framework for the protection of soil is in the early stages. The proposal for a directive is part of a package adopted by the Commission in September 2006 arising from the EU's 6th Environmental Action Programme. Although soil protection provisions exist in the body of Community legislation there is no specific legislation on soil protection. The package aims to fill this gap and has the objective of establishing a common strategy for the protection and sustainable use of soil based on the principles of integration of soil concerns into other policies, preservation of soil functions within the context of sustainable use, prevention of threats to soil and mitigation of their effects, as well as restoration of degraded soils to a level of functionality consistent at least with the current and approved future use.

In general the Government welcomes the proposal and accepts that it is appropriate to have an EU wide initiative in this area but that, given the diverse nature and condition of soils in the Member States, policies should be flexible and adaptable. My Department has had input from the Department of Agriculture and Food on the Commission's proposal and will continue to liaise closely with that Department as consideration of the proposal progresses.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Martin Ferris

Question:

45 Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that according to Central Statistics Office figures four out of every 10 houses here are vacant while there are almost 44,000 households on the social housing waiting lists across the State; his plans to produce the amount of social housing needed according to NESC recommendations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13468/07]

I am aware of the figures regarding vacant houses outlined in the recently published report by the Central Statistics Office. My Department will be fully considering this data, and other information to be released by the CSO over the coming months, as part of ongoing housing policy development. Details of an initial analysis of these data are contained in reply to Question No. 61 on today's order paper.

The key components of our housing policy, which are centred on ensuring that there is sufficient supply to meet demand and providing support to those who cannot meet their accommodation needs without assistance, are outlined in the Government's new housing policy statement Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities.

The housing policy statement and the National Development Plan 2007-2013 (NDP) also provide for a significant expansion of social and affordable housing to meet accommodation needs of households which are not served by the market, as already envisaged in Towards 2016. The NDP provides the resources — some €18 billion in total which will enable needs of some 140,000 new households to be met in this period.

These resources will be used to meet the needs of some 100,000 households seeking social housing by commencing/ acquiring 63,000 new social homes in the period 2007-2013, through a combination of local authority, voluntary and co-operative housing and new units for the Rental Accommodation Scheme. Further households will benefit as they transfer to the Rental Accommodation Scheme with their existing landlords or from naturally occurring vacancies. Over the period 2007 to 2009 sufficient resources will be made available to commence/acquire some 27,000 new units of social housing.

In addition over the period of the NDP some 40,000 households will benefit from affordable housing. 17,000 of these will be delivered in the first three-year period, in line with the agreement in Towards 2016. In accordance with the NESC report we are also ensuring that these new homes are delivered to a standard which will result in the kind of high quality integrated sustainable communities which are worth building.

Recycling Policy.

Simon Coveney

Question:

46 Mr. Coveney asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the action he will take to increase recycling in the construction industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13417/07]

Simon Coveney

Question:

64 Mr. Coveney asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the action he will take to increase recycling amongst businesses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13416/07]

Gerard Murphy

Question:

76 Mr. G. Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the steps he intends to take to increase recycling amongst households; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13415/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 46, 64 and 76 together.

There has been remarkable progress in recycling in Ireland in the past decade. National waste statistics for all waste streams are published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). National Waste Reports have been published in respect of the years 1998, 2001 and 2004 with interim reports published in respect of 2002, 2003 and 2005. EPA waste statistics indicate the following progress in waste recovery and recycling in Ireland since 1998:

9% of our municipal waste was recycled in 1998; this has risen to 34.6% in 2005, essentially meeting the target of 35% set for 2013 in Changing Our Ways;

59.6% of packaging waste was recycled in 2005, compared with 15% in 1998. This is some 10% in excess of the European Union target set for 2005 and essentially achieves Ireland's 2011 mandatory EU target of 60% six years ahead of schedule;

in 2005, construction and demolition waste recycling exceeded the 2013 target of 85% by 2%;

the quantity of waste deposited at bring banks and civic amenity sites in 2005 grew by 12% and 25% respectively in comparison with 2004;

kerbside collection grew by 46% in 2005 while glass recycling grew by 9% over the 2004 level to reach 64%;

2.3m items of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) was recycled in the first year of operation of a new Producer Responsibility Initiative and broke the EU target of 4kg per inhabitant set for 2008 by 2.7kg;

the numbers of bring banks grew from 837 in 1998 to 1937 in 2005 and the number of civic amenity facilities grew from 30 to 81 over the same period;

since 2002 my Department has allocated almost €100 million in capital grants to assist local authorities in the provision of recycling and recovery services. The projects assisted include bring bank networks, civic amenity sites, materials recovery, composting and biological treatment facilities;

the amount of waste going to landfill has dropped by 8.4% since 2001;

successive National Waste Reports suggest a decoupling of waste generation from economic growth. Since 2001 economic growth has exceeded the rise of waste generation by 5.3%;

a farm plastics recovery scheme operated by the Irish Farm Films Producers Group has made consistent progress since its establishment in 1997 with an estimated 12,500 tonnes collected for recycling in 2005. The arrangements for the scheme were enhanced in 2006 to improve collection and recovery systems, including the operation of local authority bring centres;

the Waste Management (End-of-Life Vehicles) Regulations 2006 governing the recycling of scrap cars were introduced in 2006 and came fully into operation on 1 January 2007. Over 65 authorised treatment facilities are currently permitted by local authorities;

a multi-annual National Waste Prevention Programme was established in 2004 within the EPA. This programme aims to deliver substantive results on waste prevention and minimisation.

The Government is committed to continued support for recycling. The following measures, which are being put in place by the Government, will support the achievement of higher recycling rates in future years:

the National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste was published in April, 2006 and sets out measures to progressively divert biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) from landfill in accordance with the agreed targets in EU Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste. The Strategy is based on the integrated waste management approach established as Government policy since the publication of Changing Our Ways in 1998. The preferred options for dealing with BMW are:

prevention and minimisation — avoiding generating the waste;

recycling — mainly of paper and cardboard but also of textiles;

biological treatment — mainly of kitchen and garden waste including composting ("brown bin" collections and home composting); and

residual treatment — thermal treatment with energy recovery or by way of mechanical-biological treatment.

The Strategy sets specific objectives for the contributions that each of these measures will contribute to the achievement of the 2016 target for diversion of BMW from landfill.

a Market Development Group was established in 2004 with the aim of realising the full potential of collected recyclable material by establishing new markets for that material. The Market Development Programme is currently being finalised and will be published shortly;

the Best Practice Guidelines on the Preparation of Waste Management Plans for Construction and Demolition Projects, was published last July. The primary purpose of the Guidelines is to promote an integrated approach to construction and demolition (C&D) waste management, throughout the duration of a project. The Guidelines are designed to promote sustainable development, environmental protection and optimum use of resources. They provide guidance on the preparation of construction and demolition waste management plans for certain classes of project which exceed specified threshold limits. While the Guidelines may operate generally on a voluntary basis, planning authorities may attach a condition to permissions for the types of development outlined above;

to ensure the continued success of packaging waste in Ireland, new draft regulations which aim to optimise the recovery and recycling of packaging waste in Ireland were formally submitted to the European Commission in February 2007. Under the formal notification procedures to the Commission, a three-month standstill period will apply before the draft regulations can be made. This allows EU Member States and other interested parties to comment on the draft regulations before they come into effect. The new Regulations are the culmination of a review of the Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations 2003 which has been taking place over the last two years in consultation with the industry and public sector stakeholders;

my Department is also working with the relevant sectors of industry in developing similar initiatives for other waste streams such as tyres, newsprint and batteries.

I am satisfied that implementation of the above measures, in conjunction with the successful initiatives put in place in recent years, will further enhance Ireland's strong recycling performance across all sectors.

Local Authority Housing.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

47 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to increase the availability of housing for first time house buyers and those on the local authority housing lists; the extent to which it is intended to build family sized homes in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13363/07]

The Government's new housing policy statement Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities, reiterates the Government's strong commitment to ensuring a sufficiency of housing to meet demand, particularly from first time buyers. Investment in infrastructure and streamlining of the planning system, has underpinned the strong supply response to the unprecedented demand which has arisen due to economic and demographic changes. 2006 saw record housing output with over 93,000 completions.

The housing policy statement and the National Development Plan 2007-2013 (NDP) also provide for a significant expansion of social and affordable housing to meet accommodation needs of households which are not served by the market. The NDP provides the resources — some €18 billion in total which will enable needs of some 140,000 new households to be met in this period.

These resources will be used to meet the needs of some 100,000 households seeking social housing support, by commencing/acquiring 63,000 new social homes in the period 2007-2013, through a combination of local authority, voluntary and co-operative housing and new units for the Rental Accommodation Scheme. Further households will benefit as they transfer to the Rental Accommodation Scheme with their existing landlords or from naturally occurring vacancies. Over the period 2007 to 2009 sufficient resources will be made available to commence/ acquire some 27,000 new units of social housing.

In addition over the period of the NDP some 40,000 households will benefit from affordable housing. 17,000 of these will be delivered in the first three-year period, in line with the agreement in Towards 2016.

To ensure that these programmes are delivered in a coherent and coordinated manner City and County Councils have put in place multi-annual Housing Actions plans which encompass delivery of social and affordable housing in their area, including Town Councils.

While it is a matter for individual local authorities to decide on the types of housing to be provided by them, having regard to the composition of their housing waiting lists, my Department continues to advise local authorities of the need to provide a reasonable mix of dwellings suited to the different kinds of households already on waiting lists and to plan their future programmes taking account of the estimated size and type of households likely to be seeking housing in the future.

Housing Policy.

Pádraic McCormack

Question:

48 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the initiatives his Department will take on foot of the National Housing Conference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13430/07]

The National Housing Conference, which was jointly organised by my Department and the RIAI, had as its central theme the Government's recently published housing policy statement Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities. The policy statement sets out a vision to guide the transformation of the Irish housing sector over the next ten years, by delivering more and better quality housing responses and by doing this in a more strategic way focused on the building of sustainable communities — as reflected in the agenda of the Conference. This approach responds to housing need in a way that improves choice and encourages individual responsibility within communities and delivers housing programmes more effectively.

The chief purpose of the Conference was to debate implementation issues which need to be addressed if we are to transform the Irish housing environment to meet the challenges ahead that are identified in the policy statement. The conference and associated study tours, demonstrated considerable evidence of integrated approaches being made to the delivery of housing and greater consciousness of quality in urban design. As part of the process, I launched new guidance on delivery entitled Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities. This is part of a suite of guidance which my Department will issue to drive this critical quality agenda.

Energy Consumption.

Phil Hogan

Question:

49 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the amount of electricity used in the Customs House each year for the years 2002 to 2006 inclusive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13405/07]

Phil Hogan

Question:

53 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the energy bill paid by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13404/07]

Seymour Crawford

Question:

81 Mr. Crawford asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the share of his Department’s energy needs met from renewable sources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13406/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 49, 53 and 81 together.

The total energy bill paid in respect of energy consumption in my Department's main offices in 2006 amounted to €502,036. I propose to circulate with the Official Report a tabular statement setting out details of electricity consumption in the Custom House for the period 2002 to 2006 inclusive. Increased consumption in 2006, following reductions in 2005, is mainly attributable to substantial refurbishment works taking place in the building during this period.

As I indicated in reply to Questions Nos. 946 and 948 of 20 March 2007, ambitious targets for renewable energy in the electricity, transport and heating sectors are contained in the Government's recently published White Paper, Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland. The White Paper proposes that one third of electricity consumed in this economy will come from renewable sources by 2020. In this regard, my Department is already committed to obtaining its electricity from renewable sources. Following a tender process, under the auspices of the Office of Public Works, a contract is in place since October 2006 with Energia for the supply of electricity from renewable sources to the Department's main offices and this accounted for 44% of the energy (kWh) consumed in these offices in the last quarter of 2006.

Year

Consumption (kWh)

2002

971,000

2003

982,000

2004

1,003,564

2005

948,635

2006

1,074,277

Question No. 50 answered with QuestionNo. 13.

Water and Sewerage Schemes.

Bernard Allen

Question:

51 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the percentage of water lost through leaks in water mains; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13413/07]

Bernard Allen

Question:

71 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the volume of water lost through leaks in water mains; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13412/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 71 together.

My Department's National Water Study audited 91 water supply schemes outside the Greater Dublin Area serving more than 5,000 consumers and operated by some 38 local authorities. The study reported on all aspects of water supply, including availability of raw water, treatment capacity, water distribution systems and associated management issues. The study report published in 2000 found, inter alia, that unaccounted for water levels varied significantly between regions but were generally in the range of between 40% to 50%. The corresponding figure in the Dublin region in 1996 was 42.5%.

Not all unaccounted for water is lost through leakage. Heretofore, a significant proportion would have related to unauthorised or unrecorded connections. However, the universal metering of all non-domestic consumers, which is expected to be completed in 2007, coupled with ongoing improvements in local authorities' water management systems, will significantly reduce unaccounted for water levels.

My Department has undertaken a number of initiatives over the years to assist local authorities to optimise the management, quality and efficiency of their water supply systems. In 1996 capital funding was introduced under my Department's Water Services Investment Programme to help reduce unaccounted for water levels in local authority distribution networks, to improve the quality of supply to consumers, to lower operating costs and to maximise the value of investment in new treatment works. A series of pilot schemes to identify potential improvements, as well as some network rehabilitation, was undertaken. Project locations included Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford, Limerick, Athlone and Clonmel. Capital funding of €63m was provided by my Department. The results showed that the levels of unaccounted for water were reduced considerably. For example, in Dublin they fell from 42.5% to 28.7%, in Donegal from 59% to 39%, in Meath from 47% to 34% and in Kilkenny from 45% to 29%.

A further €281m is now available to local authorities to identify and reduce unaccounted for water in public supply networks. The bulk of this allocation, €194m, is for network rehabilitation or replacement works by authorities that have already carried out water management system studies under the earlier pilot phase. The balance of €87m will enable the remaining authorities to complete water management system studies as a necessary precursor to structural rehabilitation works. In November 2005, I increased the recoupment available to local authorities from my Department for certain water conservation activities from 75% to 90% to encourage and facilitate greater progress on water conservation generally. Details of current allocations to individual authorities for water conservation measures are set out in my Department's Water Services Investment Programme 2005-2007 which is available in the Oireachtas Library.

Proposed Legislation.

Eamon Ryan

Question:

52 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to amend the compulsory purchase order legislation to reduce the cost of new transport infrastructure; if he is satisfied at the prices that have been paid for parcels of land under existing CPO legislation; if it would be preferable to have land valued on the basis of existing use values rather than on hope values dependent on potential rezoning changes or a future planning application approval; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12720/07]

In many cases in which a local authority compulsorily acquires land, the quantum of compensation is agreed between the parties concerned. Where there is no such agreement, the matter is referred to an official property arbitrator for determination.

Generally, a claim for compensation in respect of the compulsory acquisition of land will comprise one or more of the following heads of claim:

the market value of the land;

damage to other lands of the claimant through severance or other injurious affection; and

disturbance and other matters not based on the value of land.

The market value of land is assessed in accordance with rules of compensation specified in the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act 1919, as amended.

In general, factors influencing an assessment of the market value of land include:

location, area and quality,

market conditions and trends,

development potential,

availability of services, and

planning status.

The Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006 amended the 1919 Act to provide that in the assessment of any compensation, the value of any land lying 10 metres or more below the surface of that land shall be taken to be nil, unless the contrary can be shown by the claimant. This provision is intended to reduce the cost of proposed Metro infrastructure.

I have no proposals at this time to further amend the rules of compensation. However, the matter of land costs arising in the provision of transport infrastructure is to be considered by the Cross-Departmental Team on Housing, Infrastructure and PPPs.

Question No. 53 answered with QuestionNo. 49.

Urban Renewal Schemes.

John Perry

Question:

54 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to regenerate the central areas of cities and towns and to accelerate the development of key urban centres such as Cork and Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13454/07]

In support of balanced regional development, a key aim the National Development Plan 2007-2013 (NDP) is to enhance the growth capacity of the nine Gateway cities and towns designated under the National Spatial Strategy (NSS), and to strengthen their role as drivers of the development of their wider regions.

A Gateway Innovation Fund (GIF) is being established under the NDP to help fund targeted strategic investments that can trigger the accelerated development of the Gateways and their wider regions.

The Fund will operate initially on a pilot basis over the three-year period (2008-2010) with €100m of Exchequer funding being made available per annum for qualifying proposals. Lead local authorities, on behalf of each of the Gateways, will be expected to bid on a competitive and "added-value" basis for central funding for projects that stimulate Gateway development, with a significant element of co-funding to be provided locally.

This dedicated funding will facilitate, encourage and accelerate Gateway development, and will be a powerful instrument in rewarding innovation and cooperation at local level from all the stakeholders in each Gateway, including local authorities, State agencies and the private sector.

Following on the success of previous urban renewal programmes, the NDP also provides for a new, targeted urban regeneration programme with a particular focus on the NSS Gateways and Hubs. Some €170m in funding will be provided in support of local authorities engaged in significant upgrading and renewal of the public realm. Priority will be accorded to projects encompassing and demonstrating good urban design, innovation, appropriate scale and cost effectiveness.

The possibility of tax incentivisation in support of particular urban renewal objectives remains under consideration.

Proposed Legislation.

Liz McManus

Question:

55 Ms McManus asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of households that have been transferred to the RAS scheme; when he will publish the legislation to underpin the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13261/07]

The Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) is designed to cater for the accommodation needs of persons in receipt of rent supplement who have a long-term housing need. It is a collaborative project between my Department, local authorities, the Department of Social and Family Affairs and the Health Service Executive. All housing authorities are now mobilised and practically all have begun to transfer cases. Since transfers commenced in September 2005, 3,200 households have been provided with RAS accommodation and a further 2,450 rent supplement households have been allocated local authority housing. To date over 20,000 cases equivalent of 60% of the current target of recipients of rent supplement of over 18 months have been reviewed by local authorities for transfer to RAS.

The Government have approved the drafting of the Social Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2006, which provides, inter alia, for the Rental Accommodation Scheme. The drafting of the Bill is being advanced as quickly as possible and it is expected that it will be published by early summer this year.

Departmental Publications.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

56 Mr. O’Dowd asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of bilingual publications published by his Department since 2002 to date in 2007; the print run for each publication; if there are copies remaining in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13445/07]

I propose to circulate with the Official Report a tabular statement listing the bilingual publications published by my Department since 2002. Copies of the publications are available on request from my Department.

Name of Bilingual Publication

Print Run

Code of Conduct for Employees (Local Authorities)

1,000

Code of Practice between Coillte and the Minister of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government

1,000

Code of Practice between ESB National Grid and the Minister of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in relation to Archaeological Heritage

1,855

Code of Practice between the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Railway Procurement Agency

1,000

Customer Charter

9,400

Customer Complaints Guidelines for Local Authorities

3,000

Customer Consultation Guidelines for Local Authorities

3,000

Customer Service Action Plan 2006-2008

500

Design: Thinking it through

10,000

Earthen Banks and Broken Walls-our legacy of Ancient Monuments

5,000

Energy: the Ultimate Source

10,000

ENFO Brochure

15,000

Environment Fund Accounts 2001& 2002 and Comptroller and Auditor General Report

300

Environment Fund Accounts 2003 and Comptroller and Auditor General Report

300

Environment Fund Accounts 2004 and Comptroller and Auditor General Report

300

Environment Fund Accounts 2005 and Comptroller and Auditor General Report

300

Fire Services Council Annual Report 2003

250

Fire Services Council Annual Report 2004

250

Fire Services Council Annual Report 2005

20

Foodweb posters

20,000

Hedgerow posters

60,000

Insect posters (Set of four)

85,000

Irish Bulletin of Vehicle and Driver Statistics 2004

1,800

Irish Bulletin of Vehicle and Driver Statistics 2005

1,500

Irish Language Scheme 2005 -2008

600

Litter Posters

25,000

Living with Nature — The Designation of Nature Conservation Sites in Ireland

200,000

Local Government Fund Accounts — 2003 And Comptroller and Auditor General Report

300

Local Government Fund Accounts — 2004 And Comptroller and Auditor General Report

300

Local Government Fund Accounts — 2005 And Comptroller and Auditor General Report

300

Met Éireann Annual Report 2005

100

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Survey of the Architectural Heritage of County Carlow

5,000

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Survey of the Architectural Heritage of County Kerry

5,000

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Survey of the Architectural Heritage of County Kildare

5,000

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Survey of the Architectural Heritage of County Laois

5,000

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Survey of the Architectural Heritage of County Meath

5,000

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Survey of the Architectural Heritage of Fingal County

5,000

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Survey of the Architectural Heritage of South County Dublin

5,000

National Planning for Nuclear Emergencies Information Booklet

50,000

National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee — Annual Report 2004

1,250

Statement of Strategy 2005-2007

600

Sustainability begins at home

10,000

Sustainable Supplies, small things, big picture

10,000

The Bioregion: Our Place in the natural world

10,000

The Greener Garden: Blurring the Boundary

10,000

The Healthy Home: Breathing Freely

10,000

Vital Communities: Valuing Each Other

10,000

Waste: a most unnatural world

10,000

Water: Natural Flows

10,000

City Status.

Michael Noonan

Question:

57 Mr. Noonan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will give city status to towns like Drogheda and Dundalk where there has been enormous growth in population since the last Census of Population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13439/07]

The Local Government Act 2001 modernises the legislative framework, supports community involvement with local authorities in participative local democracy and underpins generally the programme of local government renewal including the position of county and city councils as the primary units of local government.

Under the Act, borough councils, such as Drogheda, and town councils which are former urban district councils, such as Dundalk, are responsible for a significant range of functions in their respective areas as well as contributing to local development in co-operation with their respective county council.

The Act takes account of the recommendations of the 1996 Report of the Reorganisation Commission Towards Cohesive Local Government — Town and County regarding improved accessibility, interaction and linkages for all boroughs and towns with their local county council areas as the way forward. A modernised legal framework and structures at both regional and local level are now in place and these provide the necessary powers and flexibility to local authorities to work in partnership to co-ordinate the provision of integrated public services. In these circumstances I have no proposals for amending legislation, which would be necessary to establish new city councils.

Housing Standards.

Dinny McGinley

Question:

58 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on whether heating insulation in new dwellings is at an acceptable standard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13421/07]

The amended Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Energy) of the Building Regulations 2002 and the related Technical Guidance Document L (2002 Edition) came into effect on 1 January 2003 and set significantly higher insulation levels and thermal performance standards for new dwellings. Part L was amended, with effect from 1 July 2006, to provide for an overall limit on carbon dioxide emissions from dwellings, in accordance with requirements of the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (2002/91/EC).

My Department has initiated a further review of Part L as part of Ireland's Climate Change Strategy. It is intended that the upgraded standards will come into effect in 2008 and will improve energy efficiency of new Irish homes by 40% relative to current standards.

Water Quality.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

59 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the extent to which he or his Department have monitored the availability and quality of the domestic drinking water supply in all areas throughout the country; if he has received in the past five years submissions from the Environmental Protection Agency or the various local authorities with specific requests for augmentation or improvement of the supply; the degree to which his Department has responded; if his Department or the various local authorities have particular or specific plans to address such issues as a matter of urgency with particular reference to the need for a readily available and safe drinking water supply in compliance with accepted international standards, free of harmful pollutants or cryptosporidiosis; if he has specifically identified the full extent of the requirements in respect of domestic drinking water and its sources and purification systems for the next 20 years having particular regard to increased demands arising from population increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13364/07]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

558 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the steps he has taken to ensure the adequacy and quality of supply in respect of the drinking water; if he has received communication from the various local authorities seeking funding for augmentation, improvement or upgrading; if he has replied positively to all such requests; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13868/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 59 and 558 together.

Information on the quality of drinking water supplies is regularly compiled and provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. The latest relevant EPA report The Quality of Drinking Water in Ireland — A Report for the Year 2005, which is available in the Oireachtas Library, confirms the fundamentally good quality of drinking water supplies in Ireland. The report shows that public water supplies have an overall compliance rate of 98.9% with bacteriological standards.

Management of public drinking water supplies is generally the responsibility of the local authorities, which have a range of instruments and measures available to them to produce and conserve sufficient stocks to meet anticipated needs and to ensure quality standards. In addition, my Department coordinates and finances a major programme of investment in improved water supply infrastructure, active leakage control, telemetry and rehabilitation of watermains. The Water Services Investment Programme 2005–2007, and previous phases of the Programme, are available in the Oireachtas Library.

The schemes included in the Water Services Investment Programme are derived mainly from regular assessments of needs undertaken by local authorities, at my Department's request, as an input to the overall strategy for meeting water supply and treatment requirements. Local authorities were requested to carry out new assessments in 2006 and these will inform project selection in the next phase of the Programme. In undertaking their assessments, authorities were asked to have regard to specific criteria, including relevant national and EU environmental, public health and drinking water quality statutory requirements and standards.

Contamination of drinking water by cryptosporidium is an ongoing risk in relation to which water authorities in Ireland and other countries must exercise constant precaution and vigilance. In 1998, my Department published detailed guidelines for local authorities on Minimising the Risk of Cryptosporidium in Water Supplies. These guidelines were prepared in consultation with the Department of Health and Children and the Environmental Protection Agency to provide clear advice to local authorities on preventing cryptosporidium getting into water supply systems. The guidelines cover all aspects of water supply management, including source protection, monitoring, treatment processes, storage and distribution as well as responding to an outbreak.

In November 2004, the National Disease Surveillance Centre published a report on waterborne cryptosporidiosis. This was circulated to all local authorities by the EPA with the request that they update their risk assessments based on the revised methodology of the report. Almost 400 such updated risk assessments were carried out by local authorities in response to this request.

Explicit requirements in relation to monitoring of drinking water for clostridium perfringens — an indicator of possible contamination of the water by cryptosporidium — are now set out in the European Communities (Drinking Water) Regulations 2007. My Department's Water Services Investment Programme provides full capital funding for improvements of the water infrastructure of local authorities. Identified deficiencies posing relatively greater risk to human health or the environment would be prioritised in this context.

The overall Exchequer commitment to water services infrastructure is reflected in the very substantially increased funding provided for the sector in recent years. Some €3.7 billion was invested in new and upgraded water services infrastructure under the National Development Plan 2000 — 2006. €4.7 billion, an increase of 27%, has been provided under the National Development Plan 2007-2013. Very significant improvements across the sector are being achieved on foot of this ongoing investment, including substantial increases in water treatment and storage capacity. Overall, the resources being put in place by my Department will ensure that the coverage and quality of the national water supply infrastructure is adequate to meet current and anticipated demands.

Nuclear Safety.

Arthur Morgan

Question:

60 Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will report on his recent meeting with the Environment Ministers of Ireland, Norway, and Austria at Dublin Castle. [13463/07]

Denis Naughten

Question:

97 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress to date made by him in conjunction with other EU member States in opposing the expansion and use of nuclear power in Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13442/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 97 together.

I hosted a meeting of Environment Ministers from Iceland, Norway and Austria on 26 March in Dublin Castle. We were joined by the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Environment for Germany who also participated in our discussions on our shared concerns in relation to nuclear energy.

I have for some time held the view that the recently renewed debate on nuclear energy, which has been prompted by concerns regarding energy security and climate change, has not reflected all the issues inherent in the nuclear energy option. I had on occasion raised these views informally at international meetings with international environment colleagues and I received significant support.

While Ireland is opposed to the use of nuclear energy, Ireland, Austria, Iceland and Norway all acknowledge that it is the sovereign right of countries to choose their own mix of energy supplies. The primary objective of the Ministerial meeting in Dublin was to express our collective concerns that nuclear is being put forward as the solution to the climate change problem. We are also concerned that the current debate often seeks to downplay the serious issues of waste, adverse environmental impacts, proliferation, liability and safety, that go hand in hand with the nuclear industry.

We also discussed in some detail the issue of trans-boundary risks arising from nuclear. We were agreed that the safety issues and environmental impacts from radioactive discharges to the sea arising from the Sellafield plant in the UK were of significant concern and that continued reprocessing operations at the plant are economically and environmentally untenable.

Ireland, Austria, Iceland and Norway issued a joint statement following this meeting which illustrates and underlines the importance we attach to the presentation of a different view of nuclear. The very fact this joint statement was issued clearly shows that Ireland is not by any means alone in the views that we hold on nuclear.

We agreed to meet again in Vienna in the autumn, along with the Environment Ministers of other States that may be interested. I expect that further meetings of concerned Ministers will provide a particularly important opportunity to contribute to a real debate on the nuclear option.

Vacant Dwellings.

Gay Mitchell

Question:

61 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his view of the statistics in Census 2006 that show a high number of vacant dwellings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13426/07]

The Census of Population results, which were issued by the Central Statistics Office on Thursday 29 March 2007, are the first of a series of reports that will issue over the coming year, all of which will have to be evaluated as part of policy development.

The CSO report indicated that about 266,000 dwellings were vacant on the Census night in April 23 2006. These statistics are derived from an analysis of the Enumerators' books in an attempt to capture the reasons why a Census form has not been received from a given housing unit.

The housing stock data indicate that approximately 50,000 of the vacant units were holiday homes. For example, the highest rate of vacancies is recorded in counties along the Atlantic Coastal and Shannon regions where holiday homes are common. Such dwellings are an important part of the country's broader tourism infrastructure, and along with other forms of tourist accommodation such as Bed and Breakfast and Hotel accommodation generate employment and tourist activity in these areas.

The remaining 216,000 vacant dwellings made up about 12% of the total housing stock. In a growing dynamic housing market, fuelled mainly by rapid economic growth and demographic changes, it may be expected that a certain level of vacant dwellings will be recorded on any given night. This may arise, for example, when houses are used to accommodate family members closer to their work or study locations, when properties are for sale or during periods of vacancy between tenancies.

Further analysis of the data is required before drawing conclusions on the policy implications. My Department is in discussion with the CSO on this issue. What is clear from the information, is that the policy of increasing housing supply has been a success with almost 300,000 dwellings completed in the inter census period — an average of 75,000 dwellings per year. This is a phenomenal response to the rapid increase in our population and shows a strong capacity to respond to the continuing needs of our growing population.

Question No. 62 answered with QuestionNo. 30.

Waste Management.

Brendan Howlin

Question:

63 Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to regulate the operation of the private waste collection and waste treatment industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13263/07]

In August 2006, my Department published a consultation paper on options for future regulation of the waste sector. Submissions were invited on whether there is a need for a regulator for the sector, if so on what model of regulator might be most appropriate and on what powers any such regulator should be given. Over fifty, many very detailed, submissions were received addressing the range of complex issues which surround the regulation of the sector. Following consideration of these submissions I intend to finalise further policy proposals.

Question No. 64 answered with QuestionNo. 46.

Waste Disposal.

Seymour Crawford

Question:

65 Mr. Crawford asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the amount of waste generated by his Department on an annual basis for the years 2002 to 2006 inclusive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13407/07]

I propose to circulate with the Official Report a tabular statement setting out details of general waste generated in my Department's Headquarters which shows a reduction of 20% between 2002 and 2006.

In accordance with its Environmental Policy Statement, my Department is fully committed to the effective management of waste including prevention, reduction and recycling. This is a critical element of our ongoing accreditation to ISO 14001:1996 which we achieved for our headquarters offices in 2003. A number of strategies guide our activities in this regard across the Department, including prevention and reduction in the amount of waste generated and maximising all opportunities for the re-use and recycling of all waste arising. A contract is in place for the collection and recycling of paper and cardboard packaging from my Department's main offices. In relation to redundant electronic IT equipment, the Department arranges for the reuse of suitable equipment and where this is not possible avails of the take back facilities under the WEEE Regulations for the dismantling and recycling of such equipment. Arrangements are in place in my Department's Headquarters under which cans and bottles are collected and recycled by Dublin City Council. There are also arrangements in place for recycling glass and for the safe disposal of batteries. My Department is also availing of the recently introduced brown bin collection scheme being run by Dublin City Council, which provides for the segregation of organic kitchen waste for composting.

Year

General waste (litres)

2002

499,200

2003

449,280

2004

449,280

2005

399,360

2006

399,360

Nuclear Safety.

Arthur Morgan

Question:

66 Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the new owners of Sellafield are examining plans to store radioactive waste underground in the hope that it will be recyclable and recoverable in future years; his views on this short sighted and ill advised proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13462/07]

A review of the long-term options for radioactive waste management in the UK was undertaken by the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, an independent body established in November 2003 by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, along with the Environment Ministers for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Committee was not mandated to select a site or sites for long-term storage of radioactive waste and no site has to date been selected for this purpose. This Committee's main task was to recommend, by July 2006, how best to manage the very significant stocks of radioactive waste held in the United Kingdom.

Ireland accepted a number of invitations to participate in various consultative fora put in place by the Committee. Most recently, departmental officials together with a senior scientific officer from the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) met with the chairman of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management in June 2006. My Department has also contributed on a number of occasions to written consultation procedures put in place by the Committee as part of their extensive stakeholder engagement process.

My policy was to monitor closely the work of this Committee and to use the consultation process to articulate the views of the Irish Government in relation to any proposals arising for the management and disposal of radioactive waste in the UK insofar as they might have implications for Ireland. My officials have consistently impressed upon the Committee that, given our proximity to the UK and our ongoing concerns and interest in relation to the management of radioactive waste in the UK, Ireland considers it has a significant interest in the issues under deliberation. My officials have also emphasised that Ireland is a unique stakeholder with distinct responsibilities in terms of protecting its population from the risks of ionising radiation and for planning protective and remedial measures in respect of such risks.

In my view a primary consideration in addressing waste management issues of any origin or type must involve the question of waste reduction. This is particularly relevant for the nuclear industry given the nature and toxicity of the wastes arising. The role of reprocessing within the industry requires particular consideration in this regard. However, I understand that the remit of the Committee did not extend to this issue and on this basis the range of issues raised and addressed by the Committee must be considered less than complete.

The Committee delivered its recommendations to the UK Government on 31 July 2006. The principal recommendations of the Committee were that geological disposal is currently the best form of long term management of UK's high level radioactive waste and that there should be a commitment to the safe and secure interim storage of the waste during the time it will take to plan and construct the geological disposal facility. The UK Government accepted the recommendations of the Committee and decided that it will further develop and consult on the process for implementation of such recommendations including site selection criteria. It also decided that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will be given the responsibility for developing and ensuring delivery and implementation of the programmes for interim storage and geological disposal. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is the UK State Body charged with ownership of 20 civil public sector nuclear sites including Sellafield and ensuring they are decommissioned and cleaned up safely, securely, cost effectively and in ways that protect the environment.

There is a clear need and obligation for the UK to manage the significant volumes of radioactive waste which have arisen as a legacy of their long standing nuclear programme safely and without adverse impact on the environment. Insofar as such plans could impact on Ireland, I will continue to engage proactively with all relevant UK Authorities and articulate clearly our legitimate views and concerns in relation to the development of long term radioactive waste management options in the UK so as to ensure that such options do not compromise the health or environment of Irish people.

Planning Issues.

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

67 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of planning applications submitted to planning authorities, for each quarter since the beginning of 2005 to date in 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13258/07]

The table, based on returns made by all planning authorities, sets out the number of planning applications received by planning authorities for each of the 4 quarters of 2005 and 2006. Returns for the 1st quarter of 2007 are currently being compiled by the planning authorities.

Planning Applications

Quarter 1

Quarter 2

Quarter 3

Quarter 4

2005

18,447

22,135

21,410

22,185

2006

20,468

24,781

24,289

27,689

Local Authority Housing.

Martin Ferris

Question:

68 Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to introduce a mechanism for transferring from social housing in the North to social housing in this State; the date on which this mechanism will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13469/07]

There are currently no proposals to introduce a specific mechanism for transferring households from social housing in Northern Ireland. The allocation of social housing in individual cases is a matter for the housing authority concerned in accordance with its scheme of letting priorities and authorities have discretion to accept housing applicants from outside their functional area.

Question No. 69 answered with QuestionNo. 25.
Question No. 70 answered with QuestionNo. 30.
Question No. 71 answered with QuestionNo. 51.

Social Welfare Code.

Brendan Howlin

Question:

72 Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will introduce a national waiver scheme, to provide financial relief for households, including pensioners who are experiencing hardships arising from the payment of waste charges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13264/07]

Waste management services have traditionally been provided at a local level, with individual arrangements being locally determined and tailored to local circumstances. The present legal framework, as determined by the Oireachtas, reflects this. In accordance with section 52 of the Protection of the Environment Act 2003, the determination of waste management charges, and any associated waiver scheme, is a matter for the relevant local authority, where it acts as the service provider. Similarly, where a private operator provides the collection service, it is a matter for that operator to determine charges. Section 60(3) of the Waste Management Act, 1996 specifically precludes the Minister from any involvement in anything for which a local authority has statutory responsibility. However, my Department has asked local authorities to engage with commercial waste collectors to agree on arrangements to assist lower income households by offering alternatives to periodic lump-sum payments.

Recycling Policy.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

73 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his Department will assist companies in the marketing of products made from recycled vehicle tyres such as crumb rubber; the methods they will use to assist them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13471/07]

One of the main barriers to an improved and sustainable recycling performance is the lack of stable and economically attractive markets and outlets for recyclable materials and products manufactured from recycled products. The need for the establishment of a Market Development Group, which would oversee the development of a Market Development Programme, was outlined in my Department's Delivering Change policy statement and the Agreed Programme for Government.

The Market Development Group was established in 2004 and has been working on the development of a National Market Development Programme. Among the key issues to be addressed are promoting stable demand for recovered materials, supporting the achievement of economies of scale in the production of products made from recycled materials and the need for more recycling infrastructure in Ireland to reduce reliance on overseas markets.

The National Market Development Programme, which the Group is developing, will identify new applications and markets for recyclable material and secondary recycled products. While the Programme's primary focus will be on paper, plastics and organics there will be scope for initiatives in respect of recycled materials derived from other waste streams, including waste tyres. The Group has been asked to identify barriers to the use and marketing of recyclable material and to develop strategies to address these. The Market Development Programme is being finalised at present for publication shortly.

I have publicly stated my concerns about inappropriate practices in the way waste tyres are managed. It is important that a proper regulatory framework be put in place to track waste tyre flows and to encourage the recovery and recycling of this waste resource. My Department has had discussions with the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) with a view to establishing a Producer Responsibility Initiative (PRI). These discussions are continuing with the intention of concluding the necessary arrangements for such an initiative later this year. Draft Regulations which will provide a regulatory framework for this PRI have been developed and were published for public consultation last month. In preparing the draft Regulations the Department consulted with the tyre industry and the farming organisations.

The closing for submission of comments under the consultation process is 26 April. Following this my Department will examine the various submissions made and proceed with the process of finalising the Regulations

EU Directives.

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

74 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the steps he will take to ensure Ireland’s compliance with the Public Participation Directive 2003/35/EEC to guarantee public participation in the EU environmental decision making process in view of the European Commission’s decision to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice and the Irish Courts’ refusal to recognise the directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13390/07]

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

580 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the European Commission referring Ireland to the ECJ for failing to give adequate rights to citizens to legally challenge decisions in cases involving environmental impact assessments and integrated pollution prevention and control; his difficulty with implementing the Aarhus Declaration in Irish law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13998/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 and 580 together.

Ireland signed the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters on 25 June 1998. Progress towards ratification of the Convention is closely aligned with work at EU level and, in that context, the European Union has adopted two Directives as part of the ratification process for the Convention. These deal with public access to environmental information (2003/4/EC) and public participation in certain environmental decision-making procedures (2003/35/EC).

I have recently made the European Communities (Access to information on the Environment) Regulations that will give effect in Ireland to Directive 2003/4/EC (the AIE Directive).

The process to transpose Directive 2003/35/EC is already well advanced with legislation already completed to amend a range of consent systems. The remaining work will be finalised by the earliest possible date.

With regard to the access to justice provisions of Directive 2003/35/EC, I am satisfied, having regard to the legal advice available to me, that Irish law complies with these provisions and that no additional legislation is required.

When full transposition of Directive 2003/35/EC is completed, the instrument of ratification of the Aarhus Convention will be submitted to Government and laid before the Dáil.

Private Rented Accommodation.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

75 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to update and amend the regulations on the standards of private rented accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13260/07]

Reform and development of the private rented sector is an important element of the Government's housing policy and we have undertaken a range of action to promote greater quality in various aspects of the sector, including accommodation standards. The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 provides a modern framework of landlord and tenant legislation. The Private Residential Tenancies Board was established to provide a range of services for the sector, including dispute resolution, registration and information. Following on a commitment in Towards 2016, I have launched a comprehensive Action Programme to promote further improvement in standards of private rented accommodation.

An important element of this Programme is the updating of the existing standards regulations in consultation with local authorities and other relevant interests. This work is progressing. Views on the updating of the regulations were invited from local authorities and relevant groups. To date a limited number of submissions on the matter has been received and these are being considered. Recommendations in relation to the regulations will also be provided by the Centre for Housing Research, which is carrying out a study of measures to promote improvement in private rented accommodation standards as part of the Action Programme. I hope to have draft revised regulations around the middle of this year.

Question No. 76 answered with QuestionNo. 46.
Question No. 77 answered with QuestionNo. 27.

Planning Issues.

Enda Kenny

Question:

78 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress nationally to date in implementing Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13447/07]

Information to end September 2006 on activity under Part V of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2006 is published in my Department's Quarterly Housing Statistics Bulletins, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library, and also on my Department's website at www.environ.ie.

Provisional annual data indicate that some 2,200 social and affordable homes were delivered under Part V last year, an increase of 60% on the corresponding level of delivery in 2005. A total of 3,845 homes were under construction under Part V at end-2006, while a further 3,392 homes were proposed under agreements entered into with developers. In addition, it is estimated that land/sites transferred to local authorities and voluntary housing bodies in 2006 were capable of yielding over 400 additional homes, while over €35 million was received by local authorities in-lieu of land.

Local Authority Staff.

Pat Breen

Question:

79 Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of litter wardens employed in the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13408/07]

Returns from local authorities indicate that, as at the end of June 2006, 408 litter wardens were employed. A total of 128 wardens were employed on a full time basis.

Radon Gas Levels.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

80 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he has satisfied himself that the sum of €40,000 spent in 2006 by the RPII in highlighting public awareness of the dangers of radon gas; his views on the instigation of a new campaign to highlight the dangers of radon with a particular view to promoting remediation measures. [13252/07]

Over the years, the Government, largely through the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII), has committed significant resources to assessing the incidence of radon throughout the country and highlighting public awareness of radon and the health risks associated with prolonged exposure to high concentrations. These are core activities of the Institute. The figure of €40,000 relates only to direct expenditure on awareness-raising and does not include all staffing costs and overheads associated with the Institute's radon related activities. The RPII estimates that its total 2006 expenditure in this area is approximately €190,000.

In addition, during the 1990s RPII carried out a nationwide survey of radon in domestic dwellings. The cost of this has been estimated at approximately €900,000.

Other Government Departments are also involved in highlighting the dangers of radon and promoting remediation measures. For example, the Radon Remediation Programme in schools, which is funded by the Department of Education and Science, has cost approximately €6million to date.

It is clear from the above, therefore, that considerable resources are being expended by Government on promoting public awareness of radon. Government efforts and resources, together with the RPII, will continue to focus on highlighting public awareness of radon and on improving information to householders and employers so as to enable and encourage them to address monitoring or remedial requirements effectively and economically.

Question No. 81 answered with QuestionNo. 49.
Question No. 82 answered with QuestionNo. 32.

National Emergency Plan.

Dan Boyle

Question:

83 Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he has co-ordinated a risk assessment strategy with the Department of Defence in the event of a US military aircraft containing depleted uranium ammunition crashing in the Shannon region (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13386/07]

The transport by air of munitions of war through Irish territory or Irish airspace requires the approval of the Minister for Transport, in the case of civil aircraft, or the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in the case of military aircraft. I understand from the Department of Foreign Affairs that neither that Department nor the Department of Transport has received any request for permission to transport depleted uranium ammunition through or above Irish territory from the period up to the Iraq war to the present day.

There are comprehensive emergency plans in place to respond to any accident or disaster in Ireland. In the event, therefore of an aircraft carrying such cargo crashing in Ireland, these emergency plans would be activated.

As part of an ongoing focus on major emergency preparedness and response, the Government, in September 2006, published A Framework for Major Emergency Management. The purpose of the new Framework is to put in place arrangements that will enable the three principal response agencies, namely, An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive and the local authorities to coordinate their efforts in the event of a major emergency. The Government put in place a Major Emergency Development Programme to implement these new arrangements. My Department chairs a National Steering Group to oversee and drive this Programme and to maintain the Framework into the future. As part of this Programme the National Steering Group are currently engaged with a number of Government Departments and Agencies to support them in the risk assessment process.

Housing Completions.

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

84 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of dwellings completed here from 1999 to date in 2007; the number of dwellings delivered to date under Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13257/07]

Information to end September 2006 on the number of house completions and activity under Part V of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2006 is published in my Department's Quarterly Housing Statistics Bulletins, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library, and also on my Department's website at www.environ.ie.

Full-year data indicate that there were 93,419 new home completions in 2006. Provisional annual data indicate that some 2,200 social and affordable homes were delivered under Part V last year, an increase of 60% on the corresponding level of delivery in 2005.

Local Authority Housing.

Dan Boyle

Question:

85 Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the percentage of persons on the housing waiting list for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council who are single persons; the percentage who are couples; the percentage who are families of three persons; the percentage who are families of four persons; the percentage who are families of five persons; the percentage who are families of six or more persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13387/07]

The most recent assessment of need for social housing was undertaken by local authorities in March 2005. The results of that assessment indicated that there were 43,684 households on local authority housing waiting lists. More comprehensive data in relation to the 2005 assessment at an individual local authority level were published in the Annual Bulletin of Housing Statistics 2005, a copy of which is available on my Department's website at www.environ.ie.

The table sets out the percentage of persons on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council's waiting list, broken down by family size.

Household Structure

No. of Households

% Total Net Need

%

Single Persons

1,142

47.7

Single Person with children

773

32.3

Couples

115

4.8

Couple with 1 child

125

5.2

Couple with 2 children

119

5

Couple with 3 children

72

3

Couple with 4 children

25

1

Couple with 5+ children

24

1

Total Net Need

2,395

100

Question No. 86 answered with QuestionNo. 24.

Environmental Policy.

Pat Breen

Question:

87 Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of vehicles operated by his Department that run on bio fuels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13409/07]

In accordance with the National Climate Change Strategy, which I launched earlier this week, the Government is developing a Sustainable Transport Action Plan under which public sector fleet operators will be required to publish strategies to reduce emissions from their fleets including the increased use of biofuels. In this regard, the entire fleet of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department numbering some 150 vehicles is now capable of running on biodiesel.

Contract arrangements for the supply of biodiesel are currently being finalised following which the National Parks and Wildlife Service can begin to order supplies for use by its vehicles

Question No. 88 answered with QuestionNo. 30.

Water Quality.

David Stanton

Question:

89 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his assessment of the quality of drinking water here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13411/07]

The most recent report on Drinking Water Quality in Ireland for the year 2005 was published by the EPA in January 2007 and a copy is available in the Oireachtas Library. The report confirms that the overall quality of Ireland's drinking water remains generally high.

For drinking water produced and distributed by local authorities the overall rate of compliance was 97.6%, with major population centres having a compliance rate of 99.8%. However the report indicates that drinking water supplied by the private group water scheme sector remains unsatisfactory. While this sector serves less than 7% of the population a major Rural Water Investment Programme is underway with the objective of improving standards substantially for consumers served by the private group water scheme sector.

Question No. 90 answered with QuestionNo. 44.

Housing Market.

Joan Burton

Question:

91 Ms Burton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the prospect that first time buyers will be excluded from the housing market if interest rates increase as forecasted to 4.75% in the coming year, causing first time mortgage limits to fall substantially; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10216/07]

Housing affordability is influenced by a range of factors such as house prices, interest rates and income levels. House prices have stabilised since the last quarter of 2006, following generally high rates of increase since the June 2005 quarter. ECB interest rates have increased from 2% to 3.75% since December 2005. Economic commentators do not at present predict further significant increases in interest rates. Recent house price moderation, increased mortgage interest relief, increases in take home pay and competitiveness in the mortgage market are assisting housing affordability. I expect that these factors and continuing economic growth will continue to have a positive effect on affordability in the coming year.

We are also assisting housing affordability by promoting housing supply, particularly affordable housing, as part of the integrated policy approach set out in the Government's new statement on housing policy Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities. We have put in place a range of targeted schemes to assist first time buyers, directed specifically at those who are unable purchase on the open market. These include the Shared Ownership Scheme, the 1999 affordable housing scheme, affordable housing delivered through Part V of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2006 and the Affordable Housing Initiative. The Affordable Homes Partnership is co-ordinating and accelerating the delivery of affordable housing in and around Dublin. The increasing momentum of delivery, particularly through Part V, will be sustained and accelerated in order to support the achievement of the ambitious target set in Towards 2016 to deliver some 17,000 homes over the period 2007 to 2009. This is a substantial commitment to meeting the needs of first-time buyers seeking affordable housing.

Question No. 92 answered with QuestionNo. 30.

Proposed Legislation.

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

93 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the reason for the delay in enacting the Water Services Bill, introduced in 2003 in view of the contamination of the Galway water supply; if he will enact it as a matter of urgency to ensure a higher standard of environmental protection for water supplies here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13391/07]

The Water Services Bill has been passed by the Seanad and is waiting scheduling for Report and Final Stages in the Dáil. I anticipate that final stages of the Bill will be taken in the Dáil soon after the Easter recess.

As an interim measure, pending the implementation of the new arrangements provided for under the Bill in relation to drinking water, I have replaced the Drinking Water Regulations 2000, by the European Communities (Drinking Water) Regulations 2007. These new Regulations contain strengthened provisions in relation to drinking water supplies.

The Regulations also provide for a new supervision and enforcement role by the Environmental Protection Agency in relation to local authorities' monitoring and management of drinking water generally, and for the supervision by local authorities of group water supplies.

Question No. 94 answered with QuestionNo. 30.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Joan Burton

Question:

95 Ms Burton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the directions he will give to the NTMA with regard to the purchase of Kyoto limits of carbon; the advice he has received from the NTMA, in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13267/07]

I refer to the reply to Question No. 10 on today's order paper.

The Carbon Fund Bill 2006 makes provision, inter alia, for the designation of the National Treasury Management Agency as Purchasing Agent for the State. At this stage, I would not expect, or have I received, any communication from the Agency on foot of its new function.

Waste Management.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

96 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his future plans to build municipal waste incinerators throughout the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13466/07]

Under the Waste Management Acts it is the statutory responsibility of local authorities, generally acting in regional groupings, to prepare waste management plans which include the identification of necessary waste management facilities. Where such facilities are not being provided by the private sector a local authority, subject to public policy in regard to procurement, may seek to provide such a facility by way of a public private partnership.

Incineration with energy recovery forms an important part of a modern, integrated and sustainable approach to waste management consistent with the internationally accepted waste hierarchy. Its role is fully recognised within the EU environmental framework which moreover regulates waste incineration in accordance with strict environmental standards. As such waste to energy plants would at a minimum be subject to the very stringent emission limits provided for in the EU Incineration Directive and be required to undergo statutorily independent physical planning and environmental licensing processes which can rightly be regarded as among the most rigorous and transparent in Europe.

Question No. 97 answered with QuestionNo. 60.

Waste Disposal.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

98 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when he expects the planned incinerators to come into operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13265/07]

Under the Waste Management Acts, responsibility for the determination and implementation of waste management plans rests with the local authority (or local authorities) concerned and my Department has no direct involvement. Thermal treatment with energy recovery in accordance with the internationally accepted waste management hierarchy is a key element of Irish waste management policy and this is reflected in the relevant regional waste management plans.

The identification and delivery of necessary waste infrastructure, including waste to energy plants, is a matter for the local authorities in each region and the private sector. The timing of plant development is a matter for individual public and private promoters, having regard also to the requirements of the applicable planning and environmental licensing regulatory processes.

Employment Costs.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

99 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost of employing one Garda, including training and pension benefits. [13770/07]

The estimated annual cost of employing a newly attested Garda, which includes basic salary, rent, boot, uniform and unsocial hours allowances along with Employer's PRSI and pension overhead costs is €53,230. It is not possible to determine the training and other costs relating to an individual attested member, as the annual costs of running the Garda College and other related costs are not broken down in this manner.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

100 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost of employing one probation officer, including pension benefits. [13771/07]

The annual estimated cost of employing a Probation Officer at the first point of the salary scale along with pension overhead costs and Employers PRSI is €43,737.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

101 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost of employing one prison officer, including pension benefits. [13781/07]

The estimated annual salary cost of employing a Prison Officer, following service as a Recruit Prison Officer for a three year period, including basic salary, allowances and additional hours payment along with Employer's PRSI is €47,762. Pension overhead costs calculated at 25% of gross pensionable salary amount to approximately €11,095.

Administrative Practice.

Paul Kehoe

Question:

102 Mr. Kehoe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of birth certificates currently in the possession of his Department due to applications for permission to remain in the State; and the rationale for not returning the birth certificates to the people involved. [13525/07]

It was administrative practice in such cases not to return birth certificates to applicants. The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available and could only be obtained by a disproportionate expenditure of time and resources.

Missing Persons.

Catherine Murphy

Question:

103 Ms C. Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of persons reported missing in 2005; the number who remained untraced at the end of 2005 in view of the fact that according to his reply to Parliamentary Question No. 143 of 29 March 2007, those numbers were 4319 and 48, respectively, whereas the Garda Annual Report of 2005 states that 5,997 persons were reported missing in 2005 with 75 persons left untraced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13526/07]

The clarification sought will be communicated to the Deputy as soon as the information is received from the Garda authorities.

Visa Applications.

Michael Ring

Question:

104 Mr. Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will issue a temporary visa to a person (details supplied) in County Mayo to allow them to return home for a two week period for a family graduation while their residency application is pending. [13527/07]

I refer the Deputy to my previous reply of 20 March 2007 in relation to the person in question. The position remains unchanged.

However, a person who is awaiting a decision on a residency application based on marriage to an Irish national is free to leave the State at any time. As a visa required national the person in question must be in possession of a valid Irish re-entry visa to allow her return to the State. While it is not the normal practice of my Department to assist persons who do not have residency in the State with a re-entry visa prior to travelling, in certain exceptional circumstances assistance may be given to the spouse of an Irish national. Applications of this nature are considered on a case by case basis by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department.

Garda Strength.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

105 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Gardaí responsible for policing Loughlinstown County Dublin during each shift including specifically the number of community officers on duty during each respective shift. [13533/07]

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Crime Prevention.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

106 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the number seven bus has stopped going into Loughlinstown on the grounds of anti-social behaviour; the steps that will be taken by Gardaí to ensure the resumption of this vital service; and if he has satisfied himself regarding policing in the area. [13534/07]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the area referred to is in the Shankill Garda sub-district. The area is patrolled by uniform and plain-clothes personnel supplemented as necessary by the District Detective and Drug Units, the Community Policing and Garda Mountain Bike Units, the Divisional Crime Task Force and Traffic Corps Units.

Local Garda management is aware that Dublin Bus is providing only restricted bus services in the Loughlinstown Park area late at night due to public disorder and other anti-social behaviour.

The local Community Policing Unit is liaising with the local community and Dublin Bus. The District Officer has met the Dublin Bus Operations Manager, the Regional Manager and the Inspector with responsibility for this area.

A special initiative by the Divisional Public Order Unit has been directed by local Garda management, targeting previously identified public disorder hot-spots in the area. This has resulted in a number of arrests for anti-social behaviour offences in recent weeks.

Local Garda management will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with the local community and Dublin Bus management.

Garda Investigations.

Tony Gregory

Question:

107 Mr. Gregory asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if a car sales business has been investigated for the sale of an unregistered 01 van; if they are in breach of legal requirements; if the Gardaí will be of assistance to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 7 who purchased the van and who reported the matter to Mountjoy Garda Station, Dublin 7. [13560/07]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that local Garda management confirm that a complaint was made at Mountjoy Garda station by the person referred to concerning the firm mentioned. The Garda investigation is continuing.

Visa Applications.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

108 Mr. Deenihan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a business permission visa renewal will be granted to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13564/07]

The person in question made an application for renewal of their permission to engage in business in the State in May 2006. An initial request for documentation in this regard issued in May 2006. There was no response to this request. Further requests were made in June 2006 and August 2006 and a final reminder issued in September 2006. No response was received until January 2007 with supporting documentation forwarded in March 2007. The renewal application of the person concerned is now under consideration and it is expected that a decision will issue shortly.

Residency Permits.

Phil Hogan

Question:

109 Mr. Hogan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will confirm receipt of an application for family reunification for a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny and the receipt of medical evidence in support of that application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13567/07]

A medical certificate was received by my office on the 6th March, 2007 and forwarded to the Immigration Division of my Department.

I am informed by the Immigration Division of my Department that the application for Family Reunification under Section 18 of the Refugee Act 1996 by the person in question is under consideration by my Department.

I expect that a decision will be reached in this matter shortly.

Prison Statistics.

Eamon Ryan

Question:

110 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the population held in prison either on remand or serving a sentence; and the same figures for five, ten, fifteen and twenty years previously. [13581/07]

The following table gives the daily average number of prisoners in custody for the years requested by the Deputy.

Year

Daily average number of prisoners in custody

1987

1,943

1992

2,185

1997

2,424

2002

3,165

2007 to date

3,238

Residency Permits.

Paul Kehoe

Question:

111 Mr. Kehoe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the status of the application by a person (details supplied) in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13599/07]

The person in question made an application for permission to remain in the State on the basis of family dependency in May 2006. An initial request for documentation issued in November 2006 and although some documentation was received in December 2006, it was insufficient to finalise the application. The necessary supporting documentation has now been received by my Department from the person in question. The application is currently under consideration and is expected to be finalised within a short period of time.

Garda Strength.

Tony Dempsey

Question:

112 Mr. T. Dempsey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Wexford; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007; and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13659/07]

Tom McEllistrim

Question:

121 Mr. McEllistrim asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Kerry by division and location; the increase in Garda numbers in each division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13731/07]

Pat Carey

Question:

132 Mr. Carey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in each of the Dublin Metropolitan districts; the numbers of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13838/07]

Seamus Kirk

Question:

134 Mr. Kirk asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in Counties Cavan and Monaghan; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13840/07]

Ollie Wilkinson

Question:

136 Mr. Wilkinson asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Waterford; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13842/07]

Peter Power

Question:

137 Mr. P. Power asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Limerick; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13843/07]

Johnny Brady

Question:

138 Mr. J. Brady asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Meath; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13844/07]

Máire Hoctor

Question:

139 Ms Hoctor asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Tipperary; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13845/07]

John Carty

Question:

140 Mr. Carty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Mayo; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13846/07]

John McGuinness

Question:

143 Mr. McGuinness asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Kilkenny; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13849/07]

Seamus Kirk

Question:

144 Mr. Kirk asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Louth; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13850/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112, 121, 132, 134, 136 to 140, inclusive, 143 and 144 together.

The allocation and deployment of Garda officers are the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner.

The following table shows the numbers of Gardaí attached to the relevant stations in question on 31 December 1997, 31 December 2002 and on the latest date for which figures are available in 2007. The number of community Gardaí, where appropriate, in each District/Division on the latest date for which figures are available in 2007 is also shown. I am informed by the Garda authorities that it is the responsibility of the Divisional Officer to allocate personnel within his/her Division. Garda Personnel assigned throughout the country, together with overall policing arrangements and operational strategy, are continually monitored and reviewed. Such monitoring ensures that optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible Garda service is provided to the general public.

Community Policing is a central feature of current policing policy and members of Community policing units are encouraged to engage with the local communities where they are assigned. Current policing policy is predicated on the prevention of public order offences; the prevention of crime including crimes of violence against persons and property and the maintenance of an environment conducive to the improvement of quality of life of the residents. This strategy is, and will continue to be, central to the delivery of a quality policing service. All Gardaí have a responsibility, inter alia, to be involved in Community Policing issues as they arise.

Dublin Metropolitan Region

Strength 31/12/1997

Strength 31/12/2002

Strength on latest date for which figures available

Community Police

D.M.R. SOUTH CENTRAL

38

District “A”

Kevin St.

124

117

131

Kilmainham

75

76

87

District “B”

Pearse St

231

214

268

Harcourt Tce.

91

79

85

District “E”

Donnybrook

126

114

125

Irishtown

60

49

55

D.M.R. NORTH CENTRAL

63

District “C”

Store St.

231

225

289

District “D”

Bridewell

156

157

164

District “U”

Fitzgibbon St.

120

116

117

Mountjoy

78

82

94

D.M.R. SOUTH

46

District “G”

Crumlin

82

88

100

Sundrive Rd.

54

57

74

District “M”

Rathfarnham

63

74

72

Tallaght

133

159

177

District “P”

Rathmines

90

67

76

Terenure

49

84

103

D.M.R. NORTH

59

District “H”

Santry

93

91

117

Whitehall

45

40

41

Ballymun

57

64

69

Dublin Airport

50

19

22

District “R”

Coolock

93

84

107

Malahide

43

43

45

Swords

45

57

71

District “J”

Raheny

64

64

70

Clontarf

57

64

69

Howth

30

41

41

D.M.R. WEST

73

District “K”

Blanchardstown

89

132

181

Cabra

82

76

68

Finglas

76

78

89

District “Q”

Lucan

58

73

72

Leixlip

11

24

26

Ronanstown

58

72

91

District “L”

Ballyfermot

72

73

90

Clondalkin

56

82

95

Rathcoole

11

21

24

D.M.R. EAST

57

District “F”

Dún Laoghaire

109

106

103

Dalkey

27

29

26

Kill-O-Grange

35

36

33

Cabinteeley

42

39

34

District “N”

Bray

76

79

104

Enniskerry

6

5

5

Shankhill

50

53

63

Greystones

28

28

38

District “W”

Blackrock

71

66

82

Dundrum

62

69

75

Stepaside

40

36

34

Eastern Region

Strength 31/12/1997

Strength 31/12/2002

Strength on latest date for which figures available

Community Police

LOUTH/MEATH

15

District: Drogheda

Drogheda

82

89

96

Castlebellingham

1

4

4

Clougherhead

1

3

1

Dunleer

2

4

4

Laytown

6

7

10

District: Dundalk

Dundalk

90

96

110

Carlingford

3

3

3

Hackballscross

13

14

11

Dromad

15

13

8

Omeath

11

14

7

Louth

2

1

2

Blackrock

3

4

5

District: Kells

Kells

30

31

38

Crossakeel

2

1

0

Athboy

4

6

6

Oldcastle

3

4

4

Nobber

3

3

3

District: Trim

Trim

25

24

26

Kilmessan

1

1

0

Summerhill

2

2

2

Longwood

0

0

1

Enfield

20

16

14

Ballivor

2

2

3

District: Ashbourne

Ashbourne

23

37

51

Dunboyne

15

15

15

Dunshaughlin

12

11

9

Kilcock

6

6

5

District: Balbriggan

Balbriggan

31

35

32

Skerries

8

10

12

Lusk

4

4

4

Rush

5

4

7

Garristown

3

3

3

District: Navan

Navan

52

47

52

Ardee

9

9

9

Collon

2

2

2

Duleek

4

3

3

Slane

3

4

3

South Eastern Region

Strength 31/12/1997

Strength 31/12/2002

Strength on latest date for which figures available

Community Police

WICKLOW/WEXFORD

District: Wexford

Wexford

58

68

87

Taghmon

3

3

3

Baldwinstown

1

1

1

Castlebridge

1

1

1

Kilmore Quay

2

2

2

Glynn

1

1

1

Rosslare Strand

2

2

3

Rosslare Pier

8

9

7

District: Gorey

Gorey

35

41

47

Bunclody

3

5

6

Courtown Harbour

3

4

4

Arklow

22

28

32

Carnew

0

1

1

District: Enniscorthy

Enniscorthy

28

31

5

Blackwater

5

6

6

Ferns

2

2

2

Kiltealy

1

1

1

Oylegate

1

1

1

Oulart

2

1

1

Clonroche

2

2

2

District: New Ross

New Ross

28

32

37

Ballycullane

2

2

2

Carrick-On-Bannow

1

2

2

Duncannon

2

2

3

Carrickbyrne

2

2

2

Campile

2

2

2

District: Wicklow

Wicklow

33

41

46

Ashford

2

3

3

Rathdrum

4

4

3

Newtownmountkennedy

4

4

2

Avoca

3

3

3

Roundwood

3

3

4

Aughrim

3

0

2

WATERFORD/KILKENNY

21

District: Waterford

Waterford

117

131

155

Dunmore East

2

3

3

Ferrybank

6

6

4

Passage East

1

1

1

Mooncoin

2

2

2

Glenmore

1

1

1

Kilmacow

1

1

1

District: Dungarvan

Dungarvan

28

35

40

Cappoquin

2

2

2

Tallow

3

3

3

Ballymacarberry

3

2

2

Aglish

1

1

1

Ring

2

2

2

Lismore

4

4

4

District: Tramore

Tramore

23

27

32

Kill

1

1

1

Kilmacthomas

3

4

4

Kilmeaden

2

2

2

Portlaw

2

2

3

Rathgormack

2

1

1

Leamybrien

1

1

1

District: Kilkenny

Kilkenny

53

64

81

Freshford

1

1

1

Callan

4

4

4

Castlecomer

7

7

7

Ballyragget

1

1

1

Goresbriddge

0

0

1

District: Thomastown

Thomastown

19

19

21

Bennetsbridge

1

2

1

Graiguenamanagh

6

6

7

Stonyford

1

1

1

Ballyhale

1

1

1

Inistioge

1

1

1

Kilmoganny

1

1

1

Mullinavat

1

1

1

Borris

2

2

2

TIPPERARY

10

District: Thurles

Thurles

62

62

67

Ballingarry South

1

1

1

Holycross

2

2

1

Killenaule

4

2

2

Ballinure

0

0

0

Johnstown

2

2

1

Urlingford

1

2

2

Littleton

1

1

1

G.C.V.U.

N/A

N/A

District: Clonmel

Clonmel

38

39

48

Kilsheelan

1

1

1

Mullinahone

2

2

2

Grangemockler

1

1

1

Fethard

3

3

2

Carrick-On-Suir

16

16

16

Piltown

2

2

2

District: Cahir

Cahir

22

25

38

Ardfinnan

1

2

1

Ballyporeen

1

1

1

New Inn

1

1

1

Cashel

12

12

13

Clogheen

1

0

1

District: Nenagh

Nenagh

29

32

33

Ballingarry North

1

1

0

Borrisokane

6

5

4

Cloughjordan

3

2

1

Dolla

1

1

1

Portroe

2

2

2

Toomevara

1

1

2

Terryglass/Ballinderry

0

1

1

District: Templemore

Templemore

17

26

28

Templetuohy

0

1

1

Roscrea

17

18

19

Moyne

1

2

2

Templederry

1

2

1

Borrisoleigh

1

2

1

Shevry

1

1

0

Moneygall

1

1

1

District: Tipperary Town

Tipperary Town

31

30

33

Dundrum

1

1

1

Emly

1

1

1

Golden

1

1

1

Cappawhite

2

2

2

Bansha

2

1

1

Oola

1

1

1

Doon

1

1

1

Galbally

1

1

1

Southern Region

Strength 31/12/1997

Strength 31/12/2002

Strength on latest date for which figures available

Community Police

KERRY

District: Tralee

Tralee

76

86

99

Ardfert

2

2

3

Fenit

1

1

1

Abbeydorney

1

1

0

Dingle

7

9

8

Clochan

1

1

1

Castlegregory

2

2

1

Annascaul

2

1

1

Ballyferriter

1

1

1

Camp

1

1

1

District: Caherciveen

Caherciveen

18

22

22

Ballinskelligs

1

1

1

Valentia Island

1

1

1

Glenbeigh

2

3

2

Portmagee

1

1

1

Killorglin

6

8

11

Waterville

2

2

2

Sneem

2

2

2

Castlemaine

3

2

1

District: Killarney

Killarney

36

48

59

Kilgarvan

1

1

1

Kenmare

6

7

8

Castleisland

7

9

11

Farranfore

2

1

2

Barraduff

1

1

1

Beaufort

2

1

1

Lauragh

1

1

1

District: Listowel

Listowel

23

31

34

Ballyheigue

2

2

2

Ballylongford

1

1

2

Ballybunion

7

7

8

Ballyduff

3

2

2

Brosna

1

1

1

Knocknagoshall

0

2

1

Lixnaw

6

1

1

Moyvane

2

1

2

Tarbert

3

2

2

LIMERICK

42

District: Henry Street

Henry St

156

184

217

Mary St

14

4

4

Castleconnell

4

4

5

Ardnacrusha

3

3

4

Mayorstone Pk.

27

41

62

District: Roxboro Road

Roxboro Rd

87

91

110

Patrickswell

5

4

3

Ballyneety

2

2

2

Caherconlish

2

2

2

District: Askeaton

Askeaton

18

22

24

Adare

4

4

3

Pallaskenry

2

2

2

Croom

3

4

3

Foynes

3

3

2

Glin

2

1

1

Shanagolden

2

1

1

Rathkeale

7

6

6

District: Bruff

Bruff

19

18

25

Kilfinane

2

2

2

Ballylanders

1

2

1

Hospital

3

3

2

Bruree

2

2

1

Kilmallock

5

4

5

Pallas

4

4

3

Cappamore

3

3

2

Murroe

1

1

2

District: Newcastlewest

Newcastlewest

25

24

28

Dromcollogher

0

2

2

Abbeyfeale

12

12

13

Ballingarry

1

1

1

Tournafulla

1

1

1

Athea

1

1

1

Kilmeedy

1

1

1

Castletown

1

1

1

Western Region

Strength 31/12/1997

Strength 31/12/2002

Strength on latest date for which figures available

Community Police

MAYO

District: Castlebar

Castlebar

58

61

68

Ballyvary

1

1

1

Ballyglass

1

1

1

Balla

2

2

2

Partry

2

2

2

Glenisland

1

1

1

Tourmakeady

1

1

1

District: Ballina

Ballina

33

36

43

Killala

2

2

2

Ballycastle

1

1

1

Bonnicconlon

1

1

1

Crossmolina

4

4

3

Lahardane

1

1

1

Enniscrone

4

3

3

Easkey

3

3

3

District:Belmullet

Belmullet

20

19

24

Blacksod

1

2

1

Bellacorrick

1

1

1

Bangor Erris

3

3

3

Ballycroy

1

1

1

Glenamoy

1

1

1

District: Claremorris

Claremorris

25

23

26

Kilmaine

2

1

1

Ballindine

1

1

1

Knock

4

3

3

Ballinrobe

7

9

9

Cong

1

1

1

Shrule

2

1

1

Hollymount

1

1

0

District: Swinford

Swinford

19

22

27

Kiltimagh

3

23

3

Charlestown

4

4

5

Kilkelly

2

2

2

Ballyhaunis

10

9

9

Foxford

3

2

2

District:Westport

Westport

21

27

29

Newport

2

2

2

Achill Sound

4

4

4

Mulranny

1

1

1

Louisburgh

3

2

2

Keel

1

1

1

Northern Region

Strength 31/12/1997

Strength 31/12/2002

Strength on latest date for which figures available

Community Police

CAVAN/MONAGHAN

2

District: Monaghan

Monaghan

92

106

106

Clones

19

15

10

Newbliss

2

2

1

Clontibret

2

2

1

Scotstown

15

7

5

Emyvale

17

10

4

Smithboro

1

0

1

District: Carrickmacross

Carrickmacross

36

36

42

Ballybay

3

5

4

Castleblaney

27

25

31

Shantonagh

1

2

2

Corrinshigagh

2

2

2

Rockcorry

1

1

1

District: Cavan

Cavan

42

57

66

Ballinagh

3

2

3

Arva

3

2

3

Stradone

2

2

2

Redhills

1

1

1

Kilnaleck

4

1

3

Finea

3

2

2

District: Baileboro

Baileboro

23

27

40

Kingscourt

4

4

6

Mullagh

2

2

2

Shercock

2

2

1

Tullyvin

0

0

1

Virginia

4

4

5

Cootehill

7

8

8

Ballyjamesduff

2

3

4

District: Ballyconnell

Ballyconnell

23

24

25

Belturbet

2

3

2

Swanlinbar

15

7

3

Killeshandra

2

1

2

Bawnboy

1

1

1

Ballinamore

7

6

6

Carrigallen

2

2

2

Asylum Applications.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

113 Ms O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a decision will be made on an application for subsidiary protection for a person (details supplied) in County Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13664/07]

The person concerned arrived in the State on 21 December, 2003 and applied for asylum. His application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, by the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

Subsequently, in accordance with Section 3 of the Immigration Act, 1999, as amended, he was informed by letter dated 29 October, 2004, that the Minister proposed to make a deportation order in respect of him. He was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why he should be allowed to remain temporarily in the State; leaving the State before an order is made or consenting to the making of a deportation order. Representations have been received on behalf of the person concerned.

This person's case file, including all representations submitted, will be considered under Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act, 1999, as amended, and Section 5 of the Refugee Act, 1996 (Prohibition of Refoulement). I expect the file to be passed to me for decision in due course.

To date, no application has been received from or on behalf of the person concerned for Subsidiary Protection under the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations, 2006 (Statutory Instrument No. 518 of 2006).

Residency Permits.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

114 Ms O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a decision will be made on an application for leave to remain here for a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13665/07]

I refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 260 of Tuesday, 13th February, 2007, and 218 of Tuesday, 3rd October, 2006 and the written replies to those Questions. The position is unchanged.

Property Interests.

John Perry

Question:

115 Mr. Perry asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the status of the half share in the fee of simple interest in the property for a person (details supplied); the status of the registration of the administration of the estate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13668/07]

As the Deputy will be aware, under the provisions of the Registration of Deeds and Title Act 2006, the Property Registration Authority was established as and from 4 November, 2006. The Property Registration Authority replaces the Registrar of Deeds and Titles as the registering authority in relation to property registration in Ireland and, subject to the above Act, is independent in the performance of its functions.

In order to be of assistance I forwarded the Deputy's query to the Authority for its attention and direct reply. I understand that a reply has already issued.

I would also like to refer the Deputy to my letter of 26 May, 2006 to members of the Oireachtas regarding a new service for T.D.s and Senators concerning the current status of applications of this type. As outlined in my letter, the service was introduced, inter alia, to provide a speedier and more cost effective alternative to submitting Parliamentary Questions.

Family Reunification.

Michael Ring

Question:

116 Mr. Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when original documents regarding a family reunification application will be returned to persons ( details supplied) in County Mayo. [13695/07]

I am informed by the Immigration Division of my Department that the original documents relating to the review of an application for Family Reunification, were recently returned to the person in question.

Residency Permits.

Michael Ring

Question:

117 Mr. Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when long term residence will be granted to persons (details supplied) in County Mayo. [13696/07]

As outlined in Parliamentary Question No. 417 put down for answer on 31st January 2007, persons who have been legally resident in the State for over five years on the basis of work permit/work authorisation/work visa conditions may apply to the Immigration Division of my Department for a five year residency extension. In that context they may also apply to be exempt from employment permit requirements.

While applications for long term residency are under consideration, the person concerned should ensure that their permission to remain in the State is kept up to date.

An application for long term residence from the persons referred to by the Deputy was received in July 2006. I understand that applications received in June 2006 are currently being dealt with.

Citizenship Applications.

Ned O'Keeffe

Question:

118 Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will re-examine an application for a certificate of naturalisation for a person (details supplied) in County Wexford as they claim to have been here for the required period of time. [13707/07]

Section 15 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended, requires that the applicant must have had a period of one year's continuous residency in the State immediately before the date of the application and, during the eight years immediately preceding that period, have had a total residence in the State amounting to four years.

In the context of naturalisation, certain periods of residence in the State are excluded. These include:

periods of residence in respect of which an applicant does not have permission to remain in the State

periods granted for the purposes of study

periods granted for the purposes of seeking recognition as a refugee within the meaning of the Refugee Act, 1996.

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy's question was received in the Citizenship section of my Department on 8 September 2006. On examination of the application it was determined that the person concerned did not satisfy the statutory residency requirements and was deemed ineligible to apply. The applicant was informed of this on 23 January 2007.

It is open to the applicant to lodge a new application if and when he is in a position to meet the statutory requirements applicable at that time.

Garda Stations.

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

119 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the plans that have been made to provide an appropriate and adequate Garda station and an expanded Garda presence to police the increased population of Stepaside and Kiltiernan which is designated for further growth in population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13708/07]

There are plans to undertake a development project at Stepaside Garda Station under the Garda Building Programme. Projects are progressed under the Garda Building Programme on the basis of agreed priorities. This is achieved by consensus and with the cooperation and commitment of the Garda authorities and the Office of Public Works from whose Vote the capital works for Garda properties are funded and in consultation with the Garda Representative Associations. As with all such projects within the Garda Building Programme, Stepaside will be progressed as quickly as overall priorities and resources allow.

It is the responsibility of Garda management to allocate personnel to and within Divisions on a priority basis in accordance with the requirements of different areas. These personnel allocations are determined by a number of factors including demographics, crime trends, administrative functions and other operational policing needs. Garda management state that such allocations are continually monitored and reviewed along with overall policing arrangements and operational strategy. This ensures that optimum use is made of Garda resources, and that the best possible service is provided to the public.

I am informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased to a record 13,178 following the attestation of 273 new members on Wednesday 14 March, 2007. This compares with a total strength of 10,702 (all ranks) on 30 June, 1997 and represents an increase of 2,476 (or over 23%) in the personnel strength of the Force during that period. The combined strength (all ranks), of both attested Gardaí and recruits in training on 14 March, 2007 was 14,258.

Garda Strength.

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

120 Mr. Ó Fearghaíl asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Kildare; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to the same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13730/07]

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Question No. 121 answered with QuestionNo. 112.

Crime Levels.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

122 Mr. Deenihan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of sexual assaults, common assaults, burglaries and thefts reported in County Kerry since 2002 to date in 2007; the number of drugs seizures in Kerry since 2002; the corresponding conviction rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13738/07]

Following the submission to me in 2004 of a report and recommendations by an expert group on crime statistics, I decided that the compilation and publication of crime statistics should be taken over by the Central Statistics Office, as the national statistical agency, from the Garda Síochána. The Garda Síochána Act, 2005 consequently makes provision for this and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose. Following the setting up of the necessary technical systems and auditing of the data from which the statistics are compiled, I am pleased to note that the CSO is now compiling and publishing criminal statistics and has published provisional headline crime statistics for the third and fourth quarters of 2006. In addition, it has compiled and published a series of quarterly and annual statistics for the period starting with the first quarter of 2003. I understand that the CSO are examining how the crime statistics published might be expanded and made more comprehensive.

I have requested the CSO to provide the information sought by the Deputy directly to him.

Crime Prevention.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

123 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of new Garda diversion schemes established since June 2002. [13763/07]

Garda Youth Diversion Projects are community-based, multi-agency crime prevention initiatives which seek to divert young people from becoming involved (or further involved) in anti-social and/or criminal behaviour by providing suitable activities to facilitate personal development and promote civic responsibility. The Garda Youth Diversion Projects are funded by my Department and administered through the Community Relations Section of An Garda Síochána. 20 new Garda Youth Diversion Projects have been established since June 2002, bringing the total number of projects to 84.

The Garda Commissioner brings forward proposals to me for the establishment of new Garda Youth Diversion Projects following assessment of applications received from community groups etc. The locations for new Projects are selected on the basis of factors including an increase in the level of juvenile crime in the area and the number of young people referred to the Juvenile Diversion Programme. It is my intention to ensure that 100 projects will be established nationwide before the end of 2007. A number of proposals are currently under consideration in the context of this further expansion of the programme. The successful projects will be announced within the next two months.

Garda Stations.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

124 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of new Garda stations opened since June 2002; and the number closed in the same period. [13764/07]

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

125 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Garda stations in the country; the number which are open on a 24 hour basis, seven days per week; the number open seven days per week, for some period; the number open for five days per week; and the number open for less than five days per week. [13765/07]

The following table provides the information required by the Deputy. It shows the opening hours for each station in the country broken down by Region, Division and district.

D.M.R. SOUTH CENTRAL

District “A”

Kevin St.

24 hours

Kilmainham

24 hours

District “B”

Pearse St

24 hours

Harcourt Terrace

24 hours

District “E”

Donnybrook

24 hours

Irishtown

24 hours

D.M.R. NORTH CENTRAL

District “C”

Store St.

24 hours

District “D”

Bridewell

24 hours

District “U”

Fitzgibbon St.

24 hours

Mountjoy

24 hours

D.M.R. SOUTH

District “G”

Crumlin

24 hours

Sundrive Rd.

24 hours

District “M”

Rathfarnham

24 hours

Tallaght

24 hours

District “P”

Rathmines

24 hours

Terenure

24 hours

D.M.R. NORTH

District “H”

Santry

24 hours

Whitehall

24 hours

Ballymun

24 hours

Dublin Airport

24 hours

District “R”

Coolock

24 hours

Malahide

24 hours

Swords

24 hours

District “J”

Raheny

24 hours

Clontarf

24 hours

Howth

24 hours

D.M.R. WEST

District “K”

Blanchardstown

24 hours

Cabra

24 hours

Finglas

24 hours

District “Q”

Lucan

24 hours

Leixlip

12.30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. Monday to Saturday

Ronanstown

24 hours

District “L”

Ballyfermot

24 hours

Clondalkin

24 hours

Rathcoole

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily

D.M.R. EAST

District “F”

Dún Laoghaire

24 hours

Dalkey

24 hours

Kill-O-Grange

24 hours

Cabinteeley

24 hours

District “N”

Bray

24 hours

Enniskerry

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Shankhill

24 hours

Greystones

24 hours

District “W”

Blackrock

24 hours

Dundrum

24 hours

Stepaside

24 hours

EASTERN REGION

Louth/Meath

District: Drogheda

Drogheda

24 hours

Castlebellingham

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Saturday & 12 midday to 1 p.m. Sunday

Clougherhead

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Saturday & 12 midday to 1 p.m. Sunday

Dunleer

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Saturday & 12 midday to 1 p.m. Sunday

Laytown

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Saturday & 12 midday to 1 p.m. Sunday

District: Dundalk

Dundalk

24 hours

Carlingford

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Hackballscross

24 hours

Dromad

Station party operating from HBX

Omeath

6 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Louth

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Blackrock

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

District: Kells

Kells

24 hours

Crossakeel

Station open for 2 hours 3 days a week depending on rostered tours of duty

Athboy

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Oldcastle

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Nobber

Open 4 Mornings weekly between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. depending on rostered tours of duty

District: Trim

Trim

24 hours

Kilmessan

Opened at various hours depending on the rostered tour of duty of the members attached to the Station

Summerhill

Opened at various hours depending on the rostered tour of duty of the members attached to the Station

Longwood

Opened at various hours depending on the rostered tour of duty of the members attached to the Station

Enfield

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday & 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Ballivor

Opened at various hours depending on the rostered tour of duty of the members attached to the Station

District: Ashbourne

Ashbourne

24 hours

Dunboyne

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Dunshaughlin

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Kilcock

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

District: Balbriggan

Balbriggan

24 hours

Skerries

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Saturday & 12 midday to 1 p.m. Sunday

Lusk

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Saturday & 12 midday to 1 p.m. Sunday

Rush

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Saturday & 12 midday to 1 p.m. Sunday

Garristown

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Saturday & 12 midday to 1 p.m. Sunday

District: Navan

Navan

24 hours

Ardee

10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 7 p.m. 8 p.m. Monday, 9.30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12 noon Friday and Saturday

Collon

Opened at various hours depending on the rostered tour of duty of the members attached to the Station

Duleek

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mon to Saturday 12 noon to 1 p.m. Sundays

Slane

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mon to Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays

Carlow/Kildare

District: Naas

Naas

24 hours

Celbridge

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Clane

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 12 noon to 2 p.m. on Sundays

Kill

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Sunday

Maynooth

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 12 noon to 2 p.m. on Sundays

District: Kildare

Kildare

24 hours

Robertstown

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Kilcullen

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Monasterevan

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Newbridge

24 hour

Rathangan

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Carbury

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

District: Carlow

Carlow

24 hours

Leighlinbridge

10 a.m.-1 p.m. 6 p.m.-7.30 p.m. daily

Ballon

10 a.m.-1 p.m. 6 p.m.-7.30 p.m. daily

Myshall

10 a.m.-1 p.m. 6 p.m.-7.30 p.m. daily

Muinebheag

10 a.m.-1 p.m. 6 p.m.-7.30 p.m. daily

Athy

9 a.m.-10 a.m. daily

Castledermot

10 a.m.-1 p.m. 6 p.m.-7.30 p.m. daily

District: Baltinglass

Baltinglass

24 hours

Blessington

Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sun 11 am-1 p.m.

Dunlavin

Mon-Sat 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Hollywood

Mon-Sat 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Donard

Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Shillelagh

Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Tinahely

Mon-Sat 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Hacketstown

Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Rathvilly

Mon-Sat 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Ballymore Eustace

Mon-Sat 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Tullow

Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sun 11 am-1 p.m.

Ballytore

Mon Wed Sat 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Tue 3 p.m. 5 p.m.

Laois/Offaly

District: Portlaoise

Portlaoise

24 hours

Mountmellick

10 a.m.-1 p.m. mon to Sat 12 p.m.-1 p.m. Sun

Mountrath

10 a.m.-1 p.m. mon to Sat 12 p.m.-1 p.m. Sun

Portarlington

10 a.m.-1 p.m. 8 p.m.-9 p.m. daily

Stradbally

10 a.m.-1 p.m. daily When Possible

Clonaslee

10 a.m.-1 p.m. daily When Possible

District: Abbeyleix

Abbeyleix

24 hours

Ballacolla

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Durrow

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Rathdowney

9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Ballylinan

9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Arles

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Ballinakill

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Borris-On-Ossory

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

District: Birr

Birr

24 hours

Banagher

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Cloghan

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Ferbane

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Kilcormac

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Kinnitty

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Shinrone

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Shannonbridge

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Lorrha

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

District: Tullamore

Tullamore

24 hours

Clara

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Clonbologue

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Daingean

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Edenderry

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Rhode

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Geashill

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Longford/Westmeath

District: Mullingar

Mullingar

24 hours

Killucan

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Kinnegad

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Rochfortbridge

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Castletown Geoghegan

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Delvin

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

District: Athlone

Athlone

24 hours

Ballinahown

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Ballymore

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Glasson

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Kilbeggan

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Moate

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Ballymahon

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

District: Longford

Longford

24 hours

Ardagh

3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Drumlish

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Kenagh

3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Newtowncashel

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Lanesboro

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Tarmonbarry

3 p.m.-5 p.m.

District: Granard

Granard

24 hours

Ballinalee

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Edgeworthstown

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Smear

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Ballynacargy

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Castlepollard

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Multyfarnham

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Rathowen

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

SOUTH EASTERN REGION

Wicklow/Wexford

District: Wexford

Wexford

24 hours

Taghmon

10 a.m.-6 p.m. and 6 p.m.-2 am daily

Baldwinstown

10 a.m.-6 p.m. and 6 p.m.-2 am daily

Castlebridge

10 a.m.-6 p.m. and 6 p.m.-2 am daily

Kilmore Quay

10 a.m.-6 p.m. and 6 p.m.-2 am daily

Glynn

10 a.m.-6 p.m. and 6 p.m.-2 am daily

Rosslare Strand

10 a.m.-6 p.m. and 6 p.m.-2 am daily

Rosslare Pier

6 a.m.-2 p.m.

District: Gorey

Gorey

24 hours

Bunclody

11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 6 p.m.-7 p.m. daily

Courtown Harbour

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Arklow

24 hours

Carnew

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

District: Enniscorthy

Enniscorthy

24 hours

Blackwater

2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Ferns

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Kiltealy

4 p.m.-5 p.m.

Oylegate

10 a.m.-11 am

Oulart

4 p.m.-5 p.m.

Clonroche

2 p.m.-3 p.m.

District: New Ross

New Ross

24 hours

Ballycullane

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Carrick-on-Bannow

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Duncannon

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Carrickbyrne

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Campile

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

District: Wicklow

Wicklow

24 hours

Ashford

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Rathdrum

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Newtownmount-kennedy

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Avoca

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Roundwood

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Aughrim

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Waterford/Kilkenny

District: Waterford

Waterford

24 hours

Dunmore East

1 hour per day

Ferrybank

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Passage East

1 hour per day

Mooncoin

1 hour per day

Glenmore

1 hour per day

Kilmacow

1 hour per day

District: Dungarvan

Dungarvan

24 hours

Cappoquin

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday to Friday and 12.30 p.m.-1.30 p.m. Sunday

Tallow

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday to Friday and 12.30 p.m.-1.30 p.m. Sunday

Ballymacarberry

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday to Friday and 12.30 p.m.-1.30 p.m. Sunday

Aglish

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday to Friday and 12.30 p.m.-1.30 p.m. Sunday

Ring

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday to Friday and 12.30 p.m.-1.30 p.m. Sunday

Lismore

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday to Friday and 12.30 p.m.-1.30 p.m. Sunday

District: Tramore

Tramore

24 hours

Kill

10 a.m.-1 p.m. when member is rostered early

Kilmacthomas

10 a.m.-1 p.m. daily

Kilmeaden

10 a.m.-1 p.m. when member is rostered early

Portlaw

10 a.m.-1 p.m. when member is rostered early

Rathgormack

if possible

Leamybrien

10 a.m.-1 p.m. when member is rostered early

District: Kilkenny

Kilkenny

24 hours

Freshford

10 a.m. 1 p.m. Mon to Sat

Callan

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Mon to Fri .

Castlecomer

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Mon to Sat

Ballyragget

10 a.m. 1 p.m. Mon to Sat

Goresbriddge

4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. daily

District: Thomastown

Thomastown

24 hours

Bennetsbridge

4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. daily

Graiguenamanagh

4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. daily

Stonyford

4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. daily

Ballyhale

4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. daily

Inistioge

4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. daily

Kilmoganny

4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. daily

Mullinavat

4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. daily

Borris

4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. daily

Tipperary

District: Thurles

Thurles

24 hours

Ballingarry South

1 hour daily

Holycross

1 hour daily

Killenaule

1 hour daily

Ballinure

Not Opened

Johnstown

1 hour for each tour of duty

Urlingford

1 hour daily

Littleton

1 hour daily

G.C.V.U.

N/A

District: Clonmel

Clonmel

24 hours

Kilsheelan

10 a.m.-1 p.m. or 2 p.m.-5 p.m.

Mullinahone

10 a.m.-1 p.m. or 2 p.m.-5 p.m.

Grangemockler

1 hour daily

Fethard

10 a.m.-1 p.m. or 2 p.m.-5 p.m.

Carrick-On-Suir

9 a.m.-1 p.m. 2 p.m.-6 p.m. and 7 p.m.-10 p.m.

Piltown

10 a.m.-12 p.m.

District: Cahir

Cahir

24 hours

Ardfinnan

3 hours per day

Ballyporeen

3 hours per day

New Inn

3 hours per day

Cashel

9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Clogheen

3 hours per day

District: Nenagh

Nenagh

24 hours

Ballingarry North

1 hour daily

Borrisokane

10 a.m.-1 p.m. daily

Cloughjordan

1 hour daily

Dolla

1 hour daily

Portroe

1 hour daily

Toomevara

1 hour daily

Terryglass/Ballinderry

1 hour daily

District: Templemore

Templemore

24 hours

Templetuohy

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Mon to sat and 12 p.m. -2 p.m. Sun

Roscrea

24 hours

Moyne

10 a.m.-1 p.m. or 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Templederry

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 12 p.m.-2 p.m. daily

Borrisoleigh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 12 p.m.-2 p.m. daily

Shevry

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 12 p.m.-2 p.m. daily

Moneygall

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 12 p.m.-2 p.m. daily

District: Tipperary Town

Tipperary Town

24 hours

Dundrum

9 a.m. to 11 am. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Emly

9 a.m. to 11 am. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Golden

9 a.m. to 11 am. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Cappawhite

9 a.m. to 11 am. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Bansha

9 a.m. to 11 am. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Oola

9 a.m. to 11 am. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Doon

Opened at various hours depending on the rostered tour of duty of the members attached to the Station

Galbally

9 a.m. to 11 am. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

SOUTHERN REGION

Cork City

District: Anglesea Street

Anglesea Street

24 hour

Barrack Street

Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. 10 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Bridewell

24 hours

Blackrock

Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

District: Gurranabraher

Gurranabraher

24 hours

Blarney

Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 1.15 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 6.45 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Ballincollig

Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Rathduff

Open 2 hours daily on roster

District: Mayfield

Mayfield

24 hours

McCurtain Street

No service

Watercourse Road

Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mallow Road

Not open to Public

District: Togher

Togher

24 hours

Douglas

Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bishopstown

Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday and Bank Holidays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Carrigaline

Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday 11 am to 2 p.m.

Passage West

Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Crosshaven

Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cork North

District: Fermoy

Fermoy

24 hours

Mitchelstown

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ballynoe

2 hours per day

Kilworth

2 hours per day

Kildorrery

2 hours per day

Castletownroche

2 hours per day

Rathcormack

2 hours per day

Ballyduff

2 hours per day

District: Cobh

Cobh

24 hour

Carrig na bhFear

2 hours per day

Carrigtowohill

2 hours per day

Glanmire

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Watergrasshill

2 hours per day

Glenville

2 hours per day

District: Midleton

Midleton

24 hour

Ardmore

2 hours per day

Youghal

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cloyne

1 hour per day

Whitegate

1 hour per day

Killeagh

2 hours per day

Ballycotton

2 hours per day

District: Mallow

Mallow

24 hour

Buttevant

2 hours per day

Doneraile

1 hour per day

Milford

2 hours per day

Charleville

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Glantane

1 hour per day

Liscarroll

2 hours per day

Cork West

District: Bandon

Bandon

24 hour

Ballineen

Opening hours vary

Ballinhassig

Opening hours vary

Ballinspittle

Opening hours vary

Ballyfeard

Opening hours vary

Innishannon

Opening hours vary

Kilbrittan

Opening hours vary

Kinsale

10 a.m. 6 p.m.

Timoleague

Opening hours vary

District: Bantry

Bantry

24 hour

Adrigole

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ballydehob

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Castletownbere

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Drimoleague

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Durrus

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Glengarrif

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Goleen

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kealkil

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Schull

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Clonakilty

Clonakilty

24 hour

Ballygurteen

1 hour per day

Baltimore

1 hour per day

Castletownsend

1 hour per day

Drinagh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dunmanway

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Roscarbery

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Skibereen

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

District: Kanturk

Kanturk

24 hour

Ballydesmond

6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Not open Sunday

Boherbue

2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Not open Sunday

Knocknagree

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Not open Sunday

Meelin

6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Not open Sunday

Millstreet

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Open Sunday

Newmarket

10.30 am to 12.30 p.m. Not open Sunday

Rathmore

2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Not open Sunday

District: Macroom

Macroom

24 hour

Ballingeary

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 2 am.

Ballyvourney

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 2 am

Coachford

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 2 am

Crookstown

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 2 am

Inchigeela

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 2 am

Stuake

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 2 am

Tarelton

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 2 am

Kerry

District: Tralee

Tralee

24 hour

Ardfert

1 hour each day

Fenit

1 hour each day

Abbeydorney

1 hour each day

Dingle

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Clochan

1 hour each day

Castlegregory

1 hour each day

Annascaul

1 hour each day

Ballyferriter

1 hour each day

Camp

1 hour each day

District: Caherciveen

Caherciveen

24 hour

Ballinskelligs

10 hours per week

Valentia Island

10 hours per week

Glenbeigh

20 hours per week

Portmagee

10 hours per week

Killorglin

48 hours per week

Waterville

20 hours per week

Sneem

20 hours per week

Castlemaine

10 hours per week

District: Killarney

Killarney

24 hour

Kilgarvan

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kenmare

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Castleisland

9.30 am to 5.30 am

Farranfore

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Barraduff

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Beaufort

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lauragh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Listowel

Listowel

24 hour

Ballyheigue

Open 10 hours per week

Ballylongford

Open 10 hours per week

Ballybunion

Open 48 Hours per week

Ballyduff

Open 10 hours per week

Brosna

Open 10 hours per week

Knocknagoshall

Open 10 hours per week

Lixnaw

Open 10 hours per week

Moyvane

Open 10 hours per week

Tarbert

Open 10 hours per week

Limerick

District: Henry Street

Henry St

24 hour

Mary St

Open less than 30 hours per week

Castleconnell

Open less than 30 hours per week

Ardnacrusha

Open less than 30 hours per week

Mayorstone Pk.

Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays-3 Relief System

District: Roxboro Road

Roxboro Rd

24 hour

Patrickswell

Open less than 30 hours per week

Ballyneety

Open less than 30 hours per week

Caherconlish

Open less than 30 hours per week

District: Askeaton

Askeaton

24 hour

Adare

Open less than 30 hours per week

Pallaskenry

Open less than 30 hours per week

Croom

Open less than 30 hours per week

Foynes

Open less than 30 hours per week

Glin

Open less than 30 hours per week

Shanagolden

Open less than 30 hours per week

Rathkeale

Open less than 30 hours per week

District: Bruff

Bruff

24 hour

Kilfinane

Open less than 30 hours per week

Ballylanders

Open less than 30 hours per week

Hospital

Open less than 30 hours per week

Bruree

Open less than 30 hours per week

Kilmallock

Open less than 30 hours per week

Pallas

Open less than 30 hours per week

Cappamore

Open less than 30 hours per week

Murroe

Open less than 30 hours per week

District: Newcastlewest

Newcastlewest

24 hour

Dromcollogher

Open less than 30 hours per week

Abbeyfeale

Open less than 30 hours per week

Ballingarry

Open less than 30 hours per week

Tournafulla

Open less than 30 hours per week

Athea

Open less than 30 hours per week

Kilmeedy

Open less than 30 hours per week

Castletown

Open less than 30 hours per week

WESTERN REGION

Clare

District: Ennis

Ennis

24 hour

Crusheen

2 hours 3 Days per week

Lissycasey

2 hours 3 Days per week

Newmarket On Fergus

2 hours 3 Days per week

Quin

2 hours 3 Days per week

Shannon

24 hour

Sixmilebridge

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 4 Days a Week

District: Kilrush

Kilrush

24 hour

Carrigaholt

2 hours 2 Days per week

Doonbeg

2 hours 2 Days per week

Kilmihil

2 hours 2 Days per week

Labasheeda

2 hours 2 Days per week

Kildysart

2 hours 2 Days per week

Kilkee

2 hours 2 Days per week

District: Killaloe

Killaloe

24 hours

Broadford

2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Newport

10.30 am 12.30 p.m.

Scariff

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Mountshannon

7 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily

Tulla

2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Rearcross

2.30 p.m.-4.30 p.m.

District: Ennistymon

Ennistymon

24 hours

Ballyvaughan

10 a.m. to 12 midday

Corofin

10 a.m. to 12 midday

Inagh

10 a.m. to 12 midday

Lahinch

10 a.m. to 12 midday

Lisdoonvarna

10 a.m. to 12 midday

Miltown Malbay

10 a.m. to 12 midday

Galway West

District: Galway

Galway

24 hour

Oranmore

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Carndolla

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lough George

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Headford

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Athenry

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Monivea

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kiltullagh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Clifden

Clifden

24 hour

Recess

3 hours daily

Letterfrack

3 hours daily

Lennaun

3 hours daily

Carna

3 hours daily

Mam

3 hours daily

Roundstone

3 hours daily

District: Loughrea

Loughrea

24 hour

Tynagh

11.30 am to 12.30 p.m. daily

Killimor

1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.

Woodford

10 a.m. to 11 am daily

New Inn

2.30 p.m. 3 p.m. daily

Eyrecourt

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Portumna

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

Kilrickle

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily

District: Salthill

Uachtarard

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Moycullen

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Carraroe

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ros Muc

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Inverin

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spiddle

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Leitir Mor

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Salthill

24 hour

Cill Ronain

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Gort

Gort

24 hour

Ardrahan

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Craughwell

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kinvara

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Peterswell

Kilchreest

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kilcolgan

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Shanaglish

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Roscommon/Galway East

District: Roscommon

Roscommon

24 hour

Athleague

1 to 2 hours daily

Knockcroghery

1 to 2 hours daily

Strokestown

1 to 2 hours daily

Ballyforan

1 to 2 hours daily

Creggs

1 to 2 hours daily

Ballygar

1 to 2 hours daily

District: Ballinasloe

Ballinasloe

24 hour

Ahascragh

1 to 2 hours daily

Kilconnel

1 to 2 hours daily

Kiltormer

1 to 2 hours daily

Menlough

1 to 2 hours daily

Mountbellew

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Taughmaconnel

1 to 2 hours daily

Clonark

1 to 2 hours daily

Moylough

1 to 2 hours daily

District: Boyle

Boyle

24 hour

Ballyfarnan

1 to 2 hours daily

Cootehall

1 to 2 hours daily

Elphin

1 to 2 hours daily

Frenchpark

1 to 2 hours daily

Keadue

1 to 2 hours daily

Tulsk

1 to 2 hours daily

District: Castlerea

Castlerea

24 hour

Ballaghadereen

1 to 2 hours daily

Ballinlough

1 to 2 hours daily

Loughlynn

1 to 2 hours daily

Ballintubber

1 to 2 hours daily

Ballymoe

1 to 2 hours daily

District: Tuam

Tuam

24 hour

Williamstown

1 to 2 hours daily

Milltown

1 to 2 hours daily

Kilconly

1 to 2 hours daily

Glenamaddy

1 to 2 hours daily

Dunmore

1 to 2 hours daily

Corofin

1 to 2 hours daily

Barnadearg

1 to 2 hours daily

Mayo

District: Castlebar

Castlebar

24 hour

Ballyvary

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Ballyglass

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Balla

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty.

Partry

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Glenisland

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Tourmakeady

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Garda Info Services

24 hour

District: Ballina

Ballina

24 hour

Killala

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Ballycastle

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. And 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Bonnicconlon

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Crossmolina

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lahardane

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Enniscrone

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Easkey

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

District: Belmullet

Belmullet

24 hour

Blacksod

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Bellacorrick

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Bangor Erris

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Ballycroy

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Glenamoy

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

District: Claremorris

Claremorris

24 hour

Kilmaine

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Ballindine

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Knock

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Ballinrobe

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cong

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Shrule

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Hollymount

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

District: Swinford

Swinford

24 hour

Kiltimagh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Charlestown

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kilkelly

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or l8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Ballyhaunis

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Foxford

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

District: Westport

Westport

24 hour

Newport

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Achill Sound

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mulranny

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Louisburgh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

Keel

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. depending when members are rostered for duty

NORTHERN REGION

Sligo/Leitrim

District: Sligo

Sligo

24 hour

Collooney

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Skreen

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Coolaney

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cliffoney

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Rosses Point

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Grange

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Ballymote

Ballymote

24 hour

Tubbercurry

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Gurteen

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Riverstown

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Aclare

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bunnanadden

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Carrick On Shannon

Carrick-on-Shannon

24 hour

Cloone

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dromod

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Drumshambo

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Keshcarrigan

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mohill

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Roosky

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Manorhamilton

Manorhamilton

24 hour

Kiltyclogher

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Drumkerrin

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kinlough

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Glenfarne

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dromahair

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dowra

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Blacklion

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Donegal

District: Letterkenny

Letterkenny

24 hour

Carrigans

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Castlefin

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Brocach

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Newtowncunningham

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Raphoe

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lifford

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ballybofey

24 hour

Convoy

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Buncrana

Buncrana

24 hour

Burnfoot

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Carndonagh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Clonmanny

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Malin

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Culdaff

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Moville

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Muff

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Milford

Milford

24 hour

Carrigart

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kerrykeel

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kilmacrennan

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Churchill

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dunfanaghy

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Craosloch

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Falcarragh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ramelton

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Rathmullen

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Glenties

Glenties

24 hour

Annagry

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ardara

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bunbeag

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Burtonport

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Clougher

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Doochary

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dungloe

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Carrick

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Gleann Cholmcille

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Ballyshannon

Ballyshannon

24 hour

Ballintra

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bundoran

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Donegal Town

24 hour

Pettigo

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dunkineely

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Na Cealla Beaga

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mountcharles

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cavan/Monaghan

District: Monaghan

Monaghan

24 hour

Clones

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Newbliss

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Clontibret

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Scotstown

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Emyvale

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Smithboro

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Carrickmacross

Carrickmacross

24 hour

Ballybay

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Castleblaney

24 hour

Shantonagh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Corrinshigagh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Rockcorry

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Cavan

Cavan

24 hour

Ballinagh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Arva

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Stradone

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Redhills

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kilnaleck

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Finea

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Baileboro

Baileboro

24 hour

Kingscourt

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mullagh

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Shercock

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tullyvin

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Virginia

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cootehill

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ballyjamesduff

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

District: Ballyconnell

Ballyconnell

24 hour

Belturbet

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Swanlinbar

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Killeshandra

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bawnboy

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ballinamore

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Carrigallen

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Garda Communications.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

126 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Garda stations equipped with email. [13766/07]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 100 of 4 April 2007 which sets out the position.

Prison Staff.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

127 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the average basic earnings of a prison officer in respect of each year since 2002 to date in 2007; and the average earnings of a prison officer, including overtime. [13767/07]

As the Deputy will be aware, a situation had developed in the Prison Service whereby the capital budget and every other budget within the system was being highly subsidised to fund overtime expenditure.

In order to reverse this wholly unsustainable dependence on overtime, on my appointment I put in place a number of measures including major cutbacks in overtime expenditure and new attendance arrangements. Following prolonged negotiations the POA, in August 2005, accepted a proposal for organisational change eliminating overtime working and introducing new organisational and working arrangements which will provide long term savings to the Exchequer of up to €25m per annum.

Accordingly, while overtime in respect of the Prison Officer grade amounted to €44.3m in 2002, the corresponding figure for overtime and additional hours payments in 2006 amounted to €23.8m. This represents a saving, for this grade of staff, of €20.5m in cash terms. Obviously, this saving would be significantly more in real terms.

The average basic earnings and the average earnings including allowances and overtime of the Prison Officer grade in respect of each year from 2002 to 2006 are as follows:

Year

Average Basic Earnings

Average earnings including allowances and overtime/additional hours

2002

28,161

52,893

2003

30,972

57,408

2004

32,372

55,201

2005

34,049

57,598

2006

35,776

59,299

As I have stated, following agreement on the Proposal for Organisational Change in the Prison Service in August 2005, overtime was replaced by a system of additional hours based on the concept of "annualised hours". As the roll-out of the new system commenced towards the end of 2005 and continued into 2006, the full year impact will not be felt until 2007. The Deputy should also note that the above figures include year-on-year general round increases under the various National Wage Agreements and awards made under the Benchmarking process.

Finally, the Deputy should note that figures for 2007 have not been included in the table above because one quarter only would not provide a true reflection of Prison Officer earnings relative to 2002-2006 which are shown on a year-on-year basis.

Garda Deployment.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

128 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of posts occupied by Gardaí in 2001 that are now occupied by civilians; his plans to fill further such posts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13768/07]

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

129 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Gardaí that have been reassigned from clerical, administrative or other non-core duties to front-line policing since 2001. [13769/07]

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

130 Ms Shortall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Gardaí stationed at Ballymun, Finglas, Santry and Whitehall Garda Station respectively; and the number of Community Gardaí stationed in each of these stations. [13812/07]

I am informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased to a record 13,178 following the attestation of 273 new members on Wednesday 14 March, 2007. This compares with a total strength of 10,702 (all ranks) on 30 June, 1997 and represents an increase of 2,476 (or over 23%) in the personnel strength of the Force during that period. The combined strength (all ranks), of both attested Gardaí and recruits in training on 14 March, 2007 was 14,258. Furthermore, I should say that on 19 December, 2006, as part of a package of anti-crime measures, the Government approved the continuation of the existing Garda recruitment programme to achieve a total Garda strength of 15,000. The accelerated intake of approximately 1,100 new recruits per annum into the Garda College will continue until this target is met. The Garda Budget now stands at €1.4 billion, an 11% increase on 2006.

I have been further informed by the Garda authorities that the personnel strength of Ballymun, Finglas, Santry and Whitehall Garda Stations on 31 December, 1997 and on 4 April, 2007 and also the number of Community Gardaí on 4 April, 2007 was as set out in the table hereunder:

Station

31/12/97

4/04/07

Community Gardaí 4/04/07

Ballymun

57

69

11

Whitehall

45

41

4

Santry

93

117

3

Finglas

76

89

10

Community Policing is a central feature of current policing policy and members of Community policing units are encouraged to engage with the local communities where they are assigned. Current policing policy is predicated on the prevention of public order offences; the prevention of crime including crimes of violence against persons and property and the maintenance of an environment conducive to the improvement of quality of life of the residents. This strategy is, and will continue to be, central to the delivery of a quality policing service. All Gardaí have a responsibility, inter alia, to be involved in Community Policing issues as they arise.

The Deputy will appreciate that, as with any large organisation, on any given day, the overall strength of the organisation may fluctuate due, for example, to retirements, resignations etc.

I should add that it is the responsibility of Garda management to allocate personnel to and within Divisions. These personnel allocations are determined by a number of factors including demographics, crime trends and other operational policing needs. Such allocations are continually monitored and reviewed along with overall policing arrangements and operational strategy. This ensures that optimum use is made of Garda resources and that the best possible service is provided to the public.

Residency Permits.

Paul Nicholas Gogarty

Question:

131 Mr. Gogarty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if a timeframe is available as to when a decision will be made on a family reunification application for persons (details supplied) in County Dublin in view of current events in their home country, Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13813/07]

The person in question made an application for Family Reunification under Section 18 of the Refugee Act 1996 on behalf of his wife and child.

I understand from the Immigration Division of my Department that a decision has been reached in relation to the application in question. The refugee will be informed of the details of the decision shortly.

Question No. 132 answered with QuestionNo. 112.

Garda Strength.

Joe Callanan

Question:

133 Mr. Callanan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Galway; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13839/07]

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Question No. 134 answered with QuestionNo. 112.

John McGuinness

Question:

135 Mr. McGuinness asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Carlow; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13841/07]

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Questions Nos. 136 to 140, inclusive, answered with Question No. 112.

Peter Kelly

Question:

141 Mr. Kelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in Counties Longford and Westmeath; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13847/07]

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Sean Fleming

Question:

142 Mr. Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of the Garda force employed in County Laois; the number of community Garda by location; the increase in Garda numbers in this division between 1997, 2002 and to date in 2007 and the Garda stations in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13848/07]

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Questions Nos. 143 and 144 answered with Question No. 112.

Residency Permits.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

145 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position in regard to the application to remain in the State in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13851/07]

I would refer the Deputy to my previous Dáil replies of 27 September 2006, 9 November 2006 and 31 January 2007 in respect of the person concerned.

The position is that the person referred to by the Deputy applied for permission to remain in the State on the basis of parentage of an Irish born child. This application was received by my Department on 28 February 2005 and refused on 7 December 2005.

The deportation order signed by me on 28 October 2003 was never served on the person concerned. My officials will write to him in the immediate future concerning his status in the State.

Citizenship Applications.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

146 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position in relation to an application for naturalisation in the case of persons in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13854/07]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 250 on Tuesday 13 February 2007. The position remains as stated.

Residency Permits.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

147 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position in relation to an application for family reunification in the case of persons (details supplied) in Dublin 22; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13870/07]

The person in question made a Family Reunification application in respect of his nieces which was refused in July 2004.

At present there are no Family Reunification applications pending in respect of any family members of the person referred to by the Deputy.

Asylum Applications.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

148 Mr. O’Shea asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 84 of 1 February 2007, if the file of the person concerned has been passed on to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13896/07]

I refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Question No. 84 of Thursday, 1st February, 2007 (ref: 3284/07) and the written reply to that Question. The position is unchanged.

Crime Levels.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

149 Mr. Stagg asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has been drawn to the fact that headline crime increased by 12% in 2006 in the Carlow/Kildare division or nearly nine times the national increase; his views on same and whether increased Garda manning has an effect on reducing crime in areas; his further views on whether the Carlow/Kildare division is the worst manned Garda division in the State per head of population; and if he will do anything regarding these serious matters. [13909/07]

The provisional headline crime statistics for 2006, published by the Central Statistics Office in 2006, show that the rate of increase declined from 3% in 2005 to 1.4% in 2006. The quarterly figures for 2006 show a similar encouraging picture, with increases of 10.1% and 0.8% in the first and second quarter respectively and decreases of 1.5% and 3.2% in the third and fourth quarters. The Garda Commissioner has reported that there was an increase in the detection rate in 2006, with the overall detection rate at 40%, compared with rates of 36% in 2003 and 35% in 2004 and 2005.

It is instructive to examine some trends in crime. For example, the crime rate per 1,000 of the population in 1996, the last full year of the Rainbow Government, was 27.8. By contrast, over the period since 2003, the first full year of this Government, using CSO census data and inter-census estimates of population, the crime rate per 1,000 of the population dropped from 26 in 2003 to 24.5 in 2006, with the figures for 2004 and 2005 being 24.5 and 24.8 respectively. The crime rate per 1,000 of the population in 2006 was therefore the lowest in the period of office of this Government, and compares very favourably with the record of the last rainbow Government.

The headline crime figures for the fourth quarter of 2006 show that there has been no increase in the number of robberies of cash and goods in transit, compared with the same quarter in 2005. There were also decreases in the high volume crimes of burglary (down 14.6%) and theft from the person (down 22%). Detections in possession of firearms increased by 34.1%, which I believe contributed to the reduction of 3.4% in discharges of firearms. Detection of possession of drugs for sale or supply has increased by 32.3% . These figures show that the trend in the third quarter of the year continued, and are part of the effect of Operation Anvil.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that local Gardaí management closely monitors crime trends in each Garda Division. The Gardaí have put in place a series of initiatives within the South Eastern Region, of which the Carlow/Kildare Division forms a part, targeting criminal activity — in particular criminals travelling through the Region and burglary and theft. These initiatives have contributed to similar reductions in headline crime in the Carlow/Kildare Division as have occurred at national level.

I am informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased to a record 13,178 following the attestation of 273 new members on 14 March, 2007. This compares with a total strength of 10,702 (all ranks) on 30 June, 1997 and represents an increase of 2,476 (or over 23%) in the personnel strength of the Force during that period. I am also informed that the personnel strength of the Carlow/Kildare Division on 31 December 1997 and on 31 March 2007 was 281 and 390 (all ranks) respectively. The next allocation of Probationer Gardaí will take place on 8 June, and the needs of the Carlow/Kildare Division will be fully considered within the context of the overall needs of Garda Divisions throughout the country.

I am further informed that it is expected that the continuing allocation of additional personnel in conjunction with special initiatives targeting criminal activity being introduced by local Garda management under the auspices of Operation Anvil, as well as the constant monitoring of crime trends in the Division by senior and local Garda management, will result in a continued reduction in crime levels.

Garda Operations.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

150 Mr. Stagg asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the information sought under Parliamentary Question No. 484 of 31 January 2007 will be provided. [13915/07]

A reply to Parliamentary Question No. 484 of 31 January, 2007 was issued to the Deputy on 4 April, 2007.

Citizenship Applications.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

151 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if original documentation submitted with an application for naturalisation by a person (details supplied) in County Waterford will be returned to them while their application is pending; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13935/07]

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person concerned was received in the Citizenship Division of my Department on 26 April 2006.

In making an application for naturalisation, applicants are specifically requested that only copies of supporting documentation such as passports, travel documents, etc should be submitted. I am advised by officials in the Citizenship Division that there is no record of any original documentation being received from the applicant in this case.

I will inform the Deputy and the person concerned when I have reached a decision on the application.

Death Certificates.

Brendan Howlin

Question:

152 Mr. Howlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the status of an application for a declaration of death in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 13 who disappeared from the Rosslare to Pembroke ferry in September 1994; if such a declaration is expected to be made in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13936/07]

I can inform the Deputy that I have no authority to issue a declaration that a missing person is dead, nor do I have information on the status of any such application that may have been made to the Courts in this regard.

A provision does exist under section 23 of the Coroners Act, 1962 that, where a coroner has reason to believe that a death has occurred in or near his district in such circumstances that an inquest is appropriate but the body is either destroyed or irrecoverable, the Minister may direct that an inquest be held in relation to that death. As far as I am aware no such direction has been sought by a coroner and in the absence of further details I am unable to comment on what application if any this section would have in this case.

Garda Operations.

Brendan Howlin

Question:

153 Mr. Howlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the basis on which a memorandum of understanding was concluded between An Garda Síochána and one motor insurance company (details supplied); if the public was made aware of the existence of such a memorandum; if any other insurance company was offered a similar arrangement; the way the accrued savings of €10,000 to the Gardaí arose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13939/07]

The information sought by the Deputy is being compiled by the Garda authorities. When the information is to hand I will write to the Deputy.

Brendan Howlin

Question:

154 Mr. Howlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has been drawn to a newspaper report (details supplied) in which it is claimed that an insurance company had been using former and serving gardaí to negotiate early settlement of motor insurance claims and that these former and serving gardaí had the ability to access, source and relay detailed information on road traffic accidents through the Garda computer system and records; if an investigation has been held or is planned into these claims; the steps he is taking to ensure the confidentiality of records in the Garda computer system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13940/07]

I can confirm that the Garda Commissioner has appointed a senior officer at Assistant Commissioner level to investigate these allegations and the Garda Síochána would welcome the receipt of any information that would assist the investigation.

The Commissioner takes his responsibility to safeguard information in the possession of the Gardaí very seriously and every allegation such as this has to be investigated. Anyone found to have been in dereliction of their duty in this regard will be subject to the full rigours of the law.

Serving and former members of the Force are subject to the prohibition on the disclosure of information contained in the Garda Síochána Act 2005. Section 62 of that Act was enacted for the purpose of specifically prohibiting a person who is or was a member of the Garda Síochána or of its civilian staff, from disclosing information obtained in the course of his or her duties. The section provides stiff penalties, fines up to €75,000 and/or up to 7 years imprisonment for conviction on indictment, for persons who contravene its provisions and receive any gift, consideration or advantage as an inducement to disclose any information. These penalties are severe and I believe will act as a real deterrent and cause people to think twice before they consider releasing such information. The provision, in its original draft form, attracted a considerable degree of public controversy during its passage through the Oireachtas on the grounds that it would be unnecessarily restrictive. However, I am satisfied that the section as enacted strikes the right balance and I know that the great majority of members of the force would instinctively support its fundamental policy aspect.

In addition to section 62 of the Garda Síochána Act, serving and former Gardaí are also governed by the provisions of the Official Secrets Act and the Data Protection Acts.

At an operational level, I understand from the Garda Authorities that members' log-on accounts for the Garda Information System (PULSE/ GNIB/FCPS) are disabled upon their retirement. This ensures that they cannot access any of the Garda IT systems.

Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

155 Ms Shortall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason no progress has been made in providing a full closed circuit television system for Finglas Village in view of the fact that it has been promised for the past ten years; and the time scale for the provision of all nine cameras. [13961/07]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 206 of 3rd April 2007 which sets out the position.

Security Industry.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

156 Ms O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the course of studies required for persons working in the security industry following the introduction of legislation by his Department to regulate the industry; the location at which these courses are available; if there are arrangements in place to facilitate people already working in the industry to take these courses, especially for those who live in parts of the country where these are not available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14008/07]

As the Deputy may be aware, the Private Security Authority, PSA, is currently licensing individuals in the Door Supervisor and Security Guarding sectors of the private security industry.

Applicants for a licence in the above sectors must hold a relevant Further Education and Training Awards Council, FETAC, qualification or equivalent. Training is provided nationwide by a number of FETAC accredited training providers, contact details of which can be obtained from the PSA's website at www.psa.gov.ie.

I am informed that, in order to facilitate the large number of individuals working in the industry who require training and to allow sufficient time for employees to obtain the relevant qualification, the Private Security Authority invited employers to enter into training agreements with it. I am further informed that a significant number of companies have taken advantage of this option.

Action on Court Decision.

Michael Lowry

Question:

157 Mr. Lowry asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if, in view of a recent Supreme Court decision (details supplied) an analysis has been carried out as to the impact this decision will have on all EU regulations transposed into Irish law by regulations since joining the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14032/07]

I understand that the Attorney General's Office has advised that the judgement in the case referred to relates solely to the Animal Remedies Act, 1993 and that the question as to whether the judgement has implications for other legislation is under review.

Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Michael Lowry

Question:

158 Mr. Lowry asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a decision will be made regarding an application (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14041/07]

I launched the Community-based CCTV Scheme in June 2005, in response to a demonstrated demand from local communities across Ireland for the provision of CCTV systems. The Scheme is designed to provide financial assistance to qualifying local organisations towards meeting the capital costs associated with the establishment of local community CCTV systems.

The Scheme offers both pre-development grants of up to €5,000 to enable qualifying applicants to investigate the need for CCTV in their area and to complete a detailed proposal, and substantive grants of up to €100,000 from my Department to install a CCTV system in their area. In addition, the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs provides successful applicants from RAPID areas with a further grant to a possible maximum of €100,000. Pobal has been engaged to administer the Scheme on behalf of this Department and it carries out thorough assessments of all applications received.

Following the success of the first round of the Scheme I was pleased to advertise a new round of funding in December 2006. Interest in the second round of the Scheme is very high with 50 groups applying for pre-development grants and 27 groups applying for full grant-aid funding, including the applicants referred to by the Deputy.

Pobal are now evaluating all of the proposals and I am informed that they expect to have a substantial number of recommendations ready for submission to my Department around mid-May 2007.

Residency Permits.

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

159 Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 181 of 5 December 2006, in relation to a person (details supplied) in west Cork who married a citizen of the EU and lodged an application to remain in this State in April 2006, if he will ensure that the letter outlining the various options open to the person referred to in his reply are now sent to them without further delay. [14049/07]

I understand from the Immigration Division of my Department that the letter referred to by the Deputy will issue shortly.

Joe Higgins

Question:

160 Mr. J. Higgins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the status of an application for leave to remain in the State by a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15. [14050/07]

This applicant applied for asylum on 11 August, 1998. Her application was refused and a Deportation Order was made on 5 September, 2003.

The applicant instituted Judicial Review proceedings on 18 December, 2003 challenging the Deportation Order made in respect of her and accordingly, as the matter is sub judice, I do not propose to comment further.

Garda Remuneration.

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

161 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the fact that Gardaí who retired prior to 1992 do not qualify for four types of allowances for time spent working unsocial hours, namely bank holidays, Sunday and Saturday hours, and night time hours, although those who retired later do; the reason for this anomaly; the progress being made in his Department to redress this anomaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14064/07]

Garda superannuation benefits are paid in accordance with the Garda Síochána Pensions Orders and Agreed Reports of the Garda Conciliation Council. Agreed Report 499 provides that members, who were serving on or after 1 January, 1993 would be entitled to a pension, based on unsocial hours allowances earnings with effect from 1 January, 1994. This Agreement, which was agreed with the Garda Representative Bodies, did not make provision in respect of members, who retired prior to 1 January, 1993.

Asylum Applications.

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

162 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the case of a person (details supplied) who had applied for asylum in 2006 and was rejected by his Department on the basis that they could have sought medical treatment in their country of origin rather than here; if he will re-examine the case in view of the fact that the application was not made on health grounds but on a humanitarian basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14066/07]

The person concerned arrived in the State on 24 January, 2005 and applied for asylum. Her application was refused following consideration of her case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, by the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

Subsequently, in accordance with Section 3 of the Immigration Act, 1999, as amended, she was informed by letter dated 25 August, 2006, that the Minister proposed to make a deportation order in respect of her. She was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why she should be allowed to remain temporarily in the State; leaving the State before an order is made or consenting to the making of a deportation order. Representations have been received on behalf of the person concerned.

This person's case file, including all representations submitted, will be considered under Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act, 1999, as amended, and Section 5 of the Refugee Act, 1996 (Prohibition of Refoulement). I expect the file to be passed to me for decision in due course.

Visa Applications.

Gay Mitchell

Question:

163 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will review the case of persons (details supplied); if he will grant them a visitor’s visa in the circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14074/07]

The applications referred to by the Deputy were received in the Ukraine on 12th March 2007 and were sent on to the dedicated Visa Office in Moscow for decision.

The decisions of the Visa Officer to refuse the applications were taken on 29th March, 2007. The applications were refused because the Visa Officer could not be satisfied, on the basis of the documentation supplied, that the applicants had demonstrated a sufficient obligation to return home following the visit. In addition it was considered that the applicants' plans were not genuinely short-term in nature.

It is open to the applicants to appeal this decision. Should they opt to do so, the appeal must be submitted within two months of the initial refusal decision. The applications will then be re-examined by an appeals officer in due course.

Departmental Strategy Statements.

David Stanton

Question:

164 Mr. Stanton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 47 of 22 February 2007, if the National Women’s Strategy has been published; if not, when it will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14083/07]

I can inform the Deputy that the National Women's Strategy will be published very shortly.

Flood Relief.

Paul Kehoe

Question:

165 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether there will be greater problems with flooding in future years as a result of global warming particularly in the town of Enniscorthy, County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13592/07]

Paul Kehoe

Question:

166 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Finance the measures with regard to flooding from the River Slaney in Enniscorthy, County Wexford that have been put in place by his Department and the Office of Public Works to address flooding since the last major flood in November 2000; the costs associated with such measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13593/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 165 and 166 together.

While there is a broad consensus among the specific community engaged in research on the matter, that global warming will result in increased frequency and severity of flooding there is at this stage no specific guidance on the likely extent of the impact or on how it will vary between different regions.

The Office of Public Works therefore, in designing flood relief schemes, design for the present climate condition but use measures that can be easily and economically altered for climate change, if and when it should occur. These measures include building foundations of sufficient strength to allow for wall heights to be increased and similarly, embankment footprints are selected with a view to having the embankments heightened, if so required.

With regard to Enniscorthy, the Office of Public Works carried out a Feasibility Study to examine the viability of implementing a flood relief scheme in the town. This study considered various options and was overseen by a Steering Committee comprising officials from OPW, Wexford County Council and Enniscorthy Town Council. An Environmental Impact Study was also commissioned and copies of the "Draft Feasibility Report" together with a "Draft Environmental Options Report" have been forwarded to the local authorities for consideration. A meeting of the Steering Committee is currently being arranged to discuss the recommendations of these reports and to agree the final format. A decision will then be taken as to whether the preferred flood relief option will be proceeded with which will involve the preparation of a full Environmental Impact Statement for the preferred option and preparation of documents to take the scheme to Public Exhibition.

Credit Card Services.

Eamon Ryan

Question:

167 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Finance when he expects the introduction of a prohibition on credit card providers from raising credit limits except at the request of the customer; the reasons for the delay of same; and the interim measures that have been taken to raise consumer awareness and reduce vulnerability to this practice. [13619/07]

The Financial Regulator issued its Consumer Protection Code in August 2006. The Code comprises a number of general principles and some more detailed requirements specific to particular financial sectors. The general principles came into effect immediately. Since the introduction of the Code the Financial Regulator has been engaged in a programme to roll out the Code to industry.

One of the requirements of the Code states that:

"A regulated entity may only increase a consumer's credit card limit following a request from the consumer."

The provision in question will come into effect on 1 July 2007.

Since the Financial Regulator was established, it has been working to inform consumers about the risks of credit card debt. On 29 March this year, it commenced a new credit card campaign, highlighting the implications of using credit cards to meet longer term borrowing requirements. The Financial Regulator has also produced a booklet on credit cards and has conducted and published the results of a number of credit card cost surveys. These surveys compare the interest rates and charges on cards in the Irish market and provide consumers with the information to select the card that suits them best.

As part of a wider project to improve the transparency of financial products, the Financial Regulator is currently examining credit card statements to assess the adequacy and usefulness of the information contained in them.

Garda Stations.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

168 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Finance the time-scale for the building of the new Garda stations in Finglas and Ballymun. [13969/07]

The Commissioners of Public Works expect to place a contract very soon for the construction of the new Garda Station at Finglas. The anticipated completion date is the end of 2008.

The contract for the construction of a new Garda Station in Ballymun was placed in October, 2006. The project is on programme for completion at the end of 2007.

Architectural Heritage.

Seán Crowe

Question:

169 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Finance if there are proposals and funding being made available for the upgrading of the Magazine Fort in the Phoenix Park; and if so, the timescale and amount that is proposed. [13546/07]

The Office of Public Works wishes to develop and restore the Magazine Fort in the Phoenix Park at a future date. A proposal has been received relating to the use of the Fort but no definitive decision has been made as to the nature of any future restoration, bearing in mind the status of the Phoenix Park as a National Historic Park and no funding is yet in place.

Flood Relief.

Tony Gregory

Question:

170 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Finance if the Office of Public Works has responsibility for the river wall (details supplied) in Dublin 3; if the OPW has responsibility for the now collapsing railings set in the river wall; if the OPW has agreed to replace these railings at the rear of just four houses; and if this matter will be reinvestigated and the work carried out. [13559/07]

The Office of Public Works is carrying out the works on the River Tolka in the Dublin City area in conjunction with Dublin City Council. The City Council is the Authority dealing directly with the public on any issues arising. Major emergency work was previously undertaken in this general area to the flood defences which required work to attached railings. The information to hand in OPW is that there are no problems with the flood defences in this particular area and so any issues with connecting railings would be a matter for the affected property owners. However, my Officials have brought the matter to the attention of the relevant Officials in Dublin City Council and have asked that the matter be investigated.

Tax Code.

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

171 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Finance his plans to tax aviation fuel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13606/07]

Aviation fuel is currently exempt from taxation on international air travel under the terms of the 1944 Chicago Convention, which still governs much of international aviation regulation, and to date there has been no consensus among governments on introducing an international jet kerosene tax.

Financial Services Regulation.

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

172 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Finance the names and addresses of those authorised as moneylenders within the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13607/07]

Fifty licences were issued by the Financial Regulator to moneylenders under Section 93 of the Consumer Credit Act 1995 for the current year. The Financial Regulator does not collate this information on a county by county basis. However, my Department has arranged for the Deputy to be forwarded a copy of the Financial Regulator's register of moneylenders which provides details of the business addresses and the applicable Court Districts Number of each licencee. This information is also publicly available from the Financial Regulator, including the Regulator's website www.financialregulator.ie.

Tax Code.

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

173 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Finance the reason VAT is charged on the public service obligation for energy providers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13608/07]

The position is that the application of VAT to goods and services is subject to the requirements of EU VAT law with which Irish VAT law must comply. The method through which VAT must be calculated has been transposed from the VAT Directive by section 10 of the Value Added Tax Act 1972 as follows;

"...the total consideration which the person supplying goods or services becomes entitled to receive in respect of or in relation to such supply of goods or services, including all taxes, commissions, costs and charges whatsoever, but not including value-added tax chargeable in respect of the supply".

Any standing charges included in utility bills are therefore legally subject to VAT.

Departmental Staff.

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

174 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Finance the number of people in his Department who have been constructively dismissed in the past five years. [13609/07]

A total of 3 staff members of my Department were dismissed in the last five years in accordance with Civil Service rules and regulations. No case of constructive dismissal has been brought against my Department.

National Parks.

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

175 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Finance his Department plans to allow regular bus traffic to use the Phoenix Park, in view of the fact that it is used daily by thousands of commuter cars; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13610/07]

The introduction of public transport in the Phoenix Park was among the recommendations of the Phoenix Park Transportation Study of 2006. Discussions with Dublin Bus are taking place about a bus route running through the Park from Parkgate Street to Castleknock Gate with stops along Chesterfield Avenue

Tax Code.

Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

176 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Finance his views on eliminating or reducing the rate of value added tax on condoms and other prophylactics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13611/07]

The position is that the scope for reducing or removing the VAT rate applicable to any good or service is determined under EU VAT law, with which Irish law must comply. It is not possible under EU law to introduce new zero rates of VAT, as we can only retain the zero rating that was in existence on 1 January 1991. Therefore it would not be possible to apply the zero rate of VAT to condoms.

However, Member States are permitted to apply the reduced VAT rate to goods or services listed in Annex III of the EU VAT Directive. In Ireland the reduced VAT rate is 13.5%. Certain pharmaceutical products including condoms are included in Annex III.

In any event, if there was a reduction in the rate of VAT applying to condoms, I am not convinced, given the mark ups in the sector, that any rate reduction would necessarily be fully reflected in retail prices for condoms.

Departmental Correspondence.

Michael Ring

Question:

177 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Finance if information from the Office of Public Works has been sent to a local authority; and if a copy of that information will be provided to this Deputy. [13692/07]

Information on the condition of the channel of the River Deel prior to the development in question is being provided by the Local Authority.

The area where the development took place is not within the OPW maintainable channel and the information held by the OPW is therefore limited.

A copy of the information provided to the Council will be provided to the Deputy.

Decentralisation Programme.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

178 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Finance the position of the decentralisation of Revenue Commissioners jobs to Listowel, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13754/07]

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that it is expected that all of the work required will be completed in June so that Revenue staff can occupy the building in Listowel. Once the building is ready for occupation Revenue will be in a position to commence the move of staff without delay.

Tax Yield.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

179 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance the yield in 2006 from stamp duty on residential properties paid at each stamp duty rate, distinguishing between amounts paid by first-time buyers and other buyers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13783/07]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

180 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance the yield in 2006 from stamp duty on residential properties paid by owner-occupiers at each stamp duty rate, distinguishing between amounts paid by first-time buyers and other buyers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13784/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 179 and 180 together.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the available information with regard to the yield in 2006 from stamp duty on residential properties broken down by reference to the consideration price bands corresponding to the rates of stamp duty, and between first-time buyers and other buyers, is set out in the following table. It is not possible to distinguish owner-occupiers from other buyers, excluding first-time buyers, as the same rates of stamp duty apply and the yield relating to both are included together as "Other" in the table.

Stamp Duty 2006

Consideration Price Bands:

Stamp Duty Yield from sales of Residential Property

Stamp Duty Yield where First-Time Buyer Relief applied*

Stamp Duty Yield — Other Buyers

€ million

€ million

€ million

€127,001-€190,500

52.9

Negligible

52.9

€190,501-€254,000

98.2

0.3

97.9

€254,001-€317,500

114

0.4

113.6

€317,501-€381,000

153.4

25.9

127.5

€381,001-€635,000

339.2

39.6

299.6

Over €635,000

543.1

543.1

*First-time buyers are identifiable where they have qualified for the first-time buyer relief and paid stamp duty at a lower rate than other buyers. As stamp duty rates for property transactions exceeding €635,000 (on or after 2 December 2004) were the same for all residential purchasers, it is not possible to distinguish first time buyer transactions in excess of these values.

The figures provided in the table are based on the yield arising from transaction documents stamped at any time during 2006. The total yield accounted for in this way does not coincide entirely with other figures supplied for the total yield from residential property which are based on cash receipts brought to account in a year.

Departmental Expenditure.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

181 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance the capital spending across all programmes allocated to the Border Midland Western region in respect of the National Development Plan 2000 to 2006; the amount actually spent; if he will give in each case the percentage this represents of the total notational allocation and spending; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13785/07]

The National Development Plan/Community Support Framework (NDP/ CSF) 2000-2006 is an integrated investment plan and strategy for economic and social development for Ireland. The Plan is delivered through seven Operational Programmes (OPs), the Economic and Social Infrastructure OP, the Employment and Human Resources OP, the Productive Sector OP, the Southern and Eastern (S&E) Regional OP, Border, Midland and Western (BMW) Regional OP, the PEACE OP and the Technical Assistance OP.

Under the National Development Plan/Community Support Framework 2000-2006 the total amount allocated to the Border, Midlands and Western region is €18.2 billion of which €14.5 billion is Exchequer and EU spending.

The most recent information for capital expenditure in the BMW Region is from the December 2006 reports to the NDP/CSF Monitoring Committee which relate to the period January 2000 to end June 2006. The table below sets out the BMW Region capital expenditure to end June 2006 for the ESIOP, EHRDOP and the BMW Regional OP.

Information in relation to capital expenditure under the Productive Sector Operational Programme and the PEACE Operational Programme is currently being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy in due course.

BMW Region Capital Expenditure

Original Forecast

Total Capital Expenditure

% of capital expenditure as compared to original forecast

€ (Millions)

€ (Millions)

%

ESIOP

7,069

5,866

83

EHRDOP

628

865

138

PSOP*

See comment below

BMW OP

4,100

2,060

50

PEACE OP*

See comment below

Technical Assistance

0

0

0

*Information in relation to capital expenditure under the Productive Sector Operational Programme and the PEACE Operational Programme is currently being compiled.

Further information in relation to capital expenditure across all programmes will become available when data is analysed following the spring 2007 meetings of the Operational Programmes Monitoring Committees in the April/May period.

The final position on capital expenditure across all programmes will not be available until expenditure under the Plan is completed in 2008, as provided for under EU rules.

Tax Yield.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

182 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance the number and percentage of income earners who paid tax at the higher rate and the standard rate in respect of each year since 2002 to date in 2007. [13786/07]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

183 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance the expected distribution of income earners for income tax payments for 2007, broken down in number and percentage terms into the categories of exempt, marginal relief, standard rate and higher rate; the comparative figures for each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13787/07]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 182 and 183 together.

The information requested by the Deputy in a format which presents the data in terms of the effective tax rates actually paid by taxpayers is set out in the following table. This is the same format as used for the presentation of pre-Budget 2007 and post-Budget 2007 distributions of earners in the 2007 Budget booklet.

Tax Year

Exempt(1)

Paying at 20% or less(2)

Paying at greater than 20%

Total

2002

632,70033.56%

907,40048.14%

344,90018.30%

1,885,000

2003

649,30033.69%

894,30046.40%

383,60019.91%

1,927,200

2004*

677,10033.97%

878,20044.06%

437,90021.97%

1,993,200

2005*

732,40035.11%

895,70042.94%

458,00021.95%

2,086,100

2006*

776,10035.92%

937,70043.40%

446,70020.68%

2,160,500

2007*

845,90038.19%

930,60042.02%

438,20019.79%

2,214,700

Notes

(1)Standard rate liability fully covered by tax credits or Age Exemption limits.

(2)Higher rate tax liability fully covered by tax credits and includes those who face a gross liability for tax at the marginal relief rate of taxation.

*Figures for these years are provisional and subject to revision.

Figures in the table are rounded to the nearest hundred and any apparent discrepancies in totals are due to this.

The figures for the years 2002 and 2003 are based on incomes data derived from income tax returns held on Revenue records and have been grossed-up to an overall expected level to adjust for incompleteness in the numbers of returns on record at the time the data was extracted for analytical purposes.

For the years 2004 to-date, the figures are estimates from the Revenue tax forecasting model using actual data for the year 2003 adjusted as necessary for income and employment growth for the years in question.

It should be noted that a married couple who has elected or has been deemed to have elected for joint assessment is counted as one tax unit.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

184 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance the average amount of income tax paid by a PAYE employee, a self employed person and a farmer in respect of each year since 2002 to date in 2007. [13788/07]