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 3, inclusive, answered orally.
Questions Nos. 4 to 6, inclusive, resubmitted.
Questions Nos. 7 to 13, inclusive, answered orally.

Garda Investigations.

Terence Flanagan

Question:

14 Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will report on allegations that solicitors are acting as criminal intelligence officers for criminal gangs; if criminal investigations are taking place in respect of the alleged misconduct; the action he proposes to take to address such issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31478/09]

I take it what the Deputy has in mind in referring to solicitors acting as ‘criminal intelligence officers' for criminal gangs are any instances where solicitors may improperly pass information to their clients who are members of gangs.

I should stress, initially, that I am satisfied that the vast majority of solicitors behave with the utmost propriety in their dealings with clients. That said, I am aware of suggestions that a tiny minority of solicitors have been behaving improperly in the context outlined in the Deputy's question.

It is because the numbers involved would be so small that I am constrained in what I can say to the House about particular investigations which may be under way at this time. Any such information might tend to lead to the indentification of the suspects concerned. I can, in any event, assure the House that I am advised by the Garda Commissioner that instances where it is believed that solicitors have been involved in criminal activity have been, and will continue to be, fully investigated by the Gardaí and files submitted to the Director of Prosecutions.

I have no doubt either that the regulatory body for solicitors, the Law Society, would treat with great seriousness any evidence of such improper activity on the part of its members.

For my own part, the House will be aware that I took certain measures in the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act, 2009 to counteract this problem through providing, in strictly defined circumstances, for particular evidence relating to an ongoing investigation to be heard in private. During the course of the passage of the legislation in the House I expressed the view that the exclusion of legal representatives was necessary, not just to deal with the activities of a very small number of solicitors who might behave improperly, but to avoid a situation where legal representatives, if they were allowed to remain, could come under extreme pressure from their clients to disclose certain matters to them.

Garda Training.

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

15 Deputy Jim O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the indoor firearms training range at Garda headquarters was closed down as a result of ricochet and other problems; when the feasibility study into the measures required to bring the firearms range up to standard was carried out; the estimated cost; and when it is expected that the work will be completed. [31174/09]

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the indoor firearms training range at Garda Headquarters was closed in December 2005 on a precautionary basis due to health and safety issues.

I am further advised by the Garda authorities that a feasibility study into the measures required to bring the indoor firearms range located at Garda Headquarters up to the highest international standard was carried out in 2007 and the estimated cost is approximately €2.6 million. The recommendations in this study will be considered having regard to the Garda authorities identified future training requirements and the availability of capital funding.

There has been considerable investment in the provision of firearms training facilities for An Garda Síochána over the past number of years including the provision of two Prefabricated Modular Firearms ranges, one at the Garda College and one in the Dublin Metropolitan region. These prefabricated ranges are designed to facilitate live fire shooting for up to four persons in a carefully contained environment which adheres to all range safety requirements.

In addition, three Firearms Automated Training System (FATS) units were purchased by An Garda Síochána in January 2006, at a cost of just over €0.5m. This has proved to be a very successful initiative and has allowed the development of judgmental firearms training as well as traditional marksmanship training in a non-live fire environment.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that there are sufficient resources and infrastructure currently in place to provide training for members of the Garda Síochána who are authorised to carry Firearms Authorisation Cards.

Proposed Legislation.

Phil Hogan

Question:

16 Deputy Phil Hogan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his plans in respect of the establishment of a judicial council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31484/09]

As I indicated in my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 351 of 7 July 2009 the work on the scheme of the Judicial Council Bill is at an advanced stage of development. Consultations on the proposed Bill have, as is usual in the development of any legislative proposals, taken place with the Office of the Attorney General. It was also considered prudent, given the nature of the subject, to consult with the Chief Justice. Following initial contacts with the Chief Justice on the proposals for a Judicial Council, a working group has been established to advance the Bill establishing the Council. The Chief Justice is in consultation with his fellow members of the judiciary on the details of the proposals and his response, taking into account that consultation, is in the process of being finalised. On receipt of the relevant documentation from the Chief Justice, I intend to seek Government approval as quickly as possible for drafting of the Bill.

Drug Seizures.

Seymour Crawford

Question:

17 Deputy Seymour Crawford asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the quantity of drugs seized in Mountjoy Prison in 2008 and to date in 2009; the number of places available for drug treatment programmes in Mountjoy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31457/09]

Up to and including 13 September 2009 there have been 696 drug seizures within the Irish prison system this year, with 302 of those in Mountjoy Prison. From May 2008 (when new security initiatives were first introduced) to 31 December 2008, there were 351 drug seizures within the Irish prison system, with 192 of those in Mountjoy Prison. Prior to May 2008 seizure of drugs was recorded under the generic description "prohibited articles" and a detailed breakdown is not readily available.

At present, any person entering Mountjoy Prison giving a history of opiate use and testing positive for opioids is offered a medically assisted symptomatic detoxification if clinically indicated. Patients can, as part of the assessment process, discuss with healthcare staff other treatment options. These may include stabilisation on methadone maintenance for persons who wish to continue on maintenance while in prison and when they return to the community on release. Prisoners who on committal are engaged in a methadone substitution programme in the community will, in the main, have their methadone substitution treatment continued while in custody. In Mountjoy, in excess of 220 prisoners are currently on methadone substitution treatment.

The Medical Unit in Mountjoy Prison has 9 spaces specifically allocated for a therapeutic drug free programme. There is capacity for approximately 70 prisoners a year on the programme. This programme is 6 weeks in duration and includes involvement from both prison based staff and external community agencies. Its aim is to assist prisoners in achieving drug free status. However, that is not to say that this is the only detox programme available in the prison system. Up to the end of July this year, 1200 prisoners have undergone other detox programmes.

I can assure the Deputy that my Department and the Irish Prison Service strive to ensure that the provision of healthcare to prisoners is of a standard consistent with that which applies in the general community. Given the large number of prisoners requiring drug treatment services, the Prison Service endeavours to provide a comprehensive range of such services in all closed prisons not just Mountjoy.

Overall the programmes in place in our Prisons seek to reduce the demand for drugs within the system through education, treatment, rehabilitation services for drug-addicted prisoners. Particular initiatives include, inter alia, the provision of detoxification, methadone maintenance, education programmes, addiction counselling and drug therapy programmes. The Prison Service has committed significant investment in recent years in responding to addiction issues in the prison system.

These programmes continue to be expanded and enhanced, in partnership with community based services, notwithstanding the current difficult economic climate. In consultation with the HSE community addiction services, the Irish Prison Service makes every effort to ensure that prisoners engaged in treatment programmes are linked to community addiction services on their release.

A very significant development has been the awarding of a contract for the provision of Addiction Counselling Services to Merchants Quay Ireland. The Addiction Counselling Service is, in conjunction with other developments, now delivering nearly 1000 hours per week of prisoner access to addiction counselling across the prison system.

The allocation of additional Nurse Officers and Prison Officers to Dedicated Drug Treatment Teams in prisons with significant needs has improved the service quality in prisons. The provision of additional specialist sessions in addiction psychiatry, is also significantly improving the quality, coordination and availability of drug treatment in prisons.

Methadone substitution treatment is provided in eight of the 14 prisons (accommodating over 80% of the prison population). 2,014 prisoners were in receipt of methadone maintenance during 2008. The comparable figure for 2007 was 1,840.

Prisoners have access to a range of medical and rehabilitative services such as psychosocial services and ‘work and training' options which assist in addressing substance misuse issues. The Irish Prison Service is seeking to enhance and expand specialist treatment at all prisons where demand is high for drug treatment services. (It is intended to expand drug treatment services in Castlerea, Portlaoise and Midlands in the coming months.)

As previously stated the priority of my Department and the Irish Prison Service is, notwithstanding present resource difficulties, to ensure that an appropriate range of treatment services is available to all prisoners requiring same.

Departmental Expenditure.

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

18 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the amount paid out in compensation in respect of claims made against members of the Garda in respect of each of the past five years for wrongful arrest, assault and for other reasons, broken down by amounts awarded by the courts and by claims settled in advance of court hearings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31152/09]

The detailed information requested by the Deputy on damages paid in respect of civil claims against members of the Garda Síochána is set out in the table. It is also available on my Department's website.

In summary, the total amount paid out in court awards, legal costs and out of court settlements amounted to approximately €939,000 in 2004, €4.9 million in 2005, €2 million in 2006, €14 million in 2007, €7 million in 2008 and €3 million so far this year. The sharp spike in damages in 2007 and to a lesser extent in 2008 can be substantially attributed to Donegal-related cases, which have so far cost the State around €10 million, with 20 cases still on hand.

Actions taken by Civilians against Gardaí

The number of cases settled/or awards made by the Courts are shown in brackets

Year

Category of payment

Assault

UnlawfulArrest

Other

Overall Total

2004

Awards

15,000(1)

Nil

3,215.06(1)

Settlements

198,697.48(5)

73,007(5)

50,500(3)

Costs

231,646.62

100,019.36

266,713.57

Total

445,344.10

173,026.36

320,428.63

938,799.09

2005

Awards

1,000.00(1)

2,025,321.00(3)

85,125.00(2)

Settlements

130,250.00(7)

1,569,114.00(9)

58,000(2)

Costs

137,447.90(10)

658,508.78(10)

205,466.85(15)

Total

268,697.90

4,252,943.78

348,591.85

4,870,233.53

2006

Awards

18,076.32(1)

41,443.80(3)

Nil

Settlements

386,200.00(17)

622,000(15)

606,500.00(8)

Costs

187,797.28(11)

60,983.61(10)

28,983.93(3)

Total

592,073.60

724,427.41

635,483.93

1,951,984.94

2007

Awards

97,500.00(2)

Nil

5,246,047.00(4)

Settlements

238,000.00(8)

1,297,000.00 (10)

4,451,000.00(34)

Costs

485,944.95(10)

1,488,193.20(9)

1,125,597.19(29)

Total

821,444.95

2,785,193.20

10,822,644.19

14,429,282.34

2008

Awards

12,500.00(1)

5,500.00(1)

12,500.00(1)

Settlements

505,000(15)

56,024.34(6)

648,157.58(20)

Costs

816,847.70(15)

713,468.42(16)

4,317,975.40(36)

Total

1,334,347.70

774,992.76

4,978,632.98

7,087,973.30

2009 (to 09/09/09)

Awards

Nil

Nil

30,610.74(1)

Settlements

192,200.00(10)

133,150.00(8)

879,173.98(17)

Costs

607,791.16(11)

134,432.93(9)

1,098,676.12(28)

Total

799,991.16

267,582.93

2,008,460.84

3,076,034.93

Proposed Legislation.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

19 Deputy Jimmy Deenihan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his plans to amend the law to give unmarried fathers automatic guardianship rights to their children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31467/09]

Under the law as it stands — section 6A of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964, as inserted by section 12 of the Status of Children Act 1987 — an unmarried father may apply to the court to be appointed a guardian of his child. Alternatively, where there is agreement between the parents, they can make a statutory declaration under section 2(4) of the Guardianship of Infants Act, as inserted by section 4 of the Children Act 1997, conferring on the father the status of guardian. Under section 11 of the 1964 Act, a guardian may apply to the court for its direction on any question affecting the welfare of the child, including directions as to custody and access. In addition, the section provides that the unmarried father of a child, even if he is not a guardian, may apply to the court for orders on custody and access. Section 3 of the Act provides that, in deciding on an application relating to the custody, guardianship or upbringing of a child, the court shall regard the welfare of the child as the first and paramount consideration.

Where appropriate and practicable, the court will also take into account the child's wishes in the matter having regard to the age and understanding of the child. In addition, the law now places an emphasis in terms of recognising the rights of the child to the society of both his or her father and mother: Section 11D of the 1964 Act (inserted by the Children Act 1997) obliges the court in proceedings relating to the welfare of a child to consider whether the child's best interests would be served by maintaining personal relations and direct contact with both his or her father and mother on a regular basis.

These legislative provisions are comprehensive. They permit the court in cases of disagreement to decide on arrangements for the child's care and upbringing having regard to the child's best interests.

As part of its Third Programme of Law Reform 2008-2014, the Law Reform Commission recently published a consultation paper ‘Legal Aspects of Family Relationships', in which it makes provisional recommendations on the rights and duties of fathers in relation to guardianship, custody and access to their children. The Commission has invited submissions on its provisional recommendations as part of the consultation process. I look forward to examining the Commission's final report in due course.

Community Policing.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

20 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he has received, from the Garda Commissioner, the report of the working group developing proposals for a comprehensive model of rural and urban community policing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31168/09]

I was present on the 26th of January 2009 at the opening of the new Ballymun Garda Station when the Commissioner launched the new Garda Síochána National Model of Community Policing. This new model will renew, re-invigorate and re-structure the Community Policing function within An Garda Síochána to deliver:

A consistent national structure to the Community Policing function

A more coordinated and efficient Garda service to the community

The spread of good practices and quality service in Community Policing on a national basis.

A National Community Policing Office has been established within Garda Community Relations Section to develop and oversee the implementation programme.The model is being rolled out nationwide in line with an action plan which has been developed for implementation. Training has already commenced in some Districts and it is intended that every District Officer throughout the country will take ownership of community policing within their area of responsibility.

The Garda Síochána National Model of Community Policing Report is available on the Garda website www.garda.ie.

Garda Strength.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

21 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the strength of An Garda Síochána at the latest date for which figures are available broken down by full members, those who have attested but not concluded their training and those in training; the expected number who will be recruited during 2009; the anticipated number at each stated category at the end of 2009; the number of members of the force who are expected to retire during 2009; the number who will be recruited in the first half of 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31165/09]

Liz McManus

Question:

22 Deputy Liz McManus asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of applications received to date in 2009 for early retirement from members of the Garda, broken down by rank; the way this compares with the same period in each year from 2002; his views on reports that a significant number of senior gardaí are planning to take early retirement; the implications of such retirements for policing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31155/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 22 together.

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the number of applications from members of the Garda Síochána to voluntarily retire received so far in 2009, and the number who voluntarily retired in each year from 2002 to 2008, is as set out in the table. I should explain that practically all Garda retirements, whether they occur early or late in a member's career, are in a technical sense voluntary, in the sense that they do not occur on the last day of potential service. Only an exceptionally small number choose to serve until the day upon which they must retire compulsorily on age grounds.

In summary, the figures show that the number of such voluntary retirements was 234 in 2002, 252 in 2003, 323 in 2004, 284 in 2005, 238 in 2006, 177 in 2007, 243 in 2008, with 579 applications so far in 2009.

Clearly the current rate of retirements has increased appreciably compared to previous years. It must be remembered of course that the retirement age for the ranks of Garda, Sergeant and Inspector was increased in 2006 by 3 years to 60, so that we may now, 3 years on, be seeing an element of deferred retirements. Significantly however, even with this trend of increased retirements, 2009 will see an overall increase in the number of Gardaí, and by that I mean attested Gardaí with full police powers. This is because some 900 members will become attested this year, a number which significantly exceeds any anticipated rate of retirement.

To elaborate on the figures, the personnel strength of attested members of the Garda Síochána, on the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 14,516. This figure includes 831 probationer Gardaí who have been attested but have not yet graduated. It is anticipated the majority of these probationers will complete their training in 2009. On that date there were also an additional 600 unattested students in training. To repeat the main point, however, around 900 student Gardaí will have become attested to the force throughout the course of this year, which will put Garda strength at an historic high going into 2010.

A total of 200 students were inducted into the Garda College in 2009, 100 in February and 100 in May. The moratorium on Public Service recruitment now applies to Garda recruitment, but I intend to review the position during the course of 2010 in consultation with the Garda Commissioner and my colleague the Minister for Finance.

Detailed table of voluntary retirees by Rank and by Year (2009 figure latest available).

Rank

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

Commissioner

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Deputy Commissioner

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Assistant Commissioner

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Chief Superintendent

5

0

0

3

2

2

0

5

Superintendent

22

2

7

8

8

4

1

6

Inspector

24

13

6

9

10

6

6

9

Sergeant

126

52

36

54

62

66

39

48

Garda

402

174

128

162

202

244

201

168

Total

579

243

177

238

284

323

252

234

Juvenile Offenders.

Dan Neville

Question:

23 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of young offenders in St. Patrick’s Institution; and the number of young offenders who have repeatedly spent time in St Patrick’s. [31498/09]

I wish to inform the Deputy that on 17 September, 2009 there were 223 young offenders in custody in St. Patrick's Institution. Of these 223 persons, 62 were under 18 years of age with the remaining 161 aged between 18 and 21 years of age.

An accurate breakdown of statistics as requested by the Deputy is not available without the manual examination of a considerable amount of records going back over a considerable time period. Such an examination would require a disproportionate and inordinate amount of staff time and effort and could not be justified in current circumstances where there are other significant demands on resources.

In March 2008, the Government approved the development of new national children detention facilities on the Oberstown campus near Lusk, Co. Dublin, which will accommodate all under 18 year olds who have been ordered to be detained by the Courts.

The project is currently at the design stage and it is expected that the tendering process for construction should take place in 2010. Construction is expected to be undertaken in phases with the first phase scheduled to be completed by 2012.

The Deputy will be aware, however, that tendering for the construction of the new facilities will be subject to Government approval and to the necessary funding being made available.

Debt Collection Industry.

Enda Kenny

Question:

24 Deputy Enda Kenny asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the absence of regulation for debt collectors; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that debtors are being intimidated by criminal elements within the debt collection industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31489/09]

I am aware that the Law Reform Commission, in its Consultation Paper on Debt Management and Debt Enforcement, to be published later today provisionally recommends that a licensing system should be introduced for the debt collection industry. Moreover, the theme of the Annual Conference of the Commission to be held in November will also be the subject of debt management and enforcement. This work of the Commission is timely and its final recommendations based on necessary consultations will be carefully examined in the relevant Departments including my own with a view to their early implementation.

I am of course aware of the media reports which allege intimidation of persons owing money in various circumstances. Intimidation and threatening behaviour of debt collectors, no more than such behaviour by any person, comes within the scope of the provisions of the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act 1997. Any person who is threatened or intimidated by debt collectors should, therefore, report the incident to the Gardaí who will, based on the evidence, take appropriate action.

I am satisfied that the code of criminal law as it stands has the necessary strength to be applied to cases of intimidation by debt collectors. However, I can assure the Deputy that my Department continues to review the operation of the law in this specific area in consultation with other Departments, the Garda Síochána and relevant interests. I would not hesitate to take further action if I thought it was necessary.

I should also like to point out that the current legal framework has been recently reformed to provide support to persons who are in debt and have difficulties. Government policy, by way of improved systems for the management of personal debt collection, is reflected in the following measures:

a Code of Conduct for mortgage arrears issued by the Financial Regulator which came into force in February of this year and which applies to principal private residences,

new procedures to ensure that all repossession or sale proceedings on housing loan mortgages must be taken locally in the Circuit Court rather than in the High Court. This will reduce the cost and inconvenience involved in making a court appearance and, thereby, encourage borrowers who are in arrears to enter a defence in such proceedings,

new powers to allow registrars of Circuit Courts to deal with applications for repossession orders. County Registrars' hearings are likely to be less costly and intimidating than a judicial hearing. Where a case is being defended, the County Registrar will be able to give directions to enable the case to be fully prepared for trial before it comes before a judge. The County Registrar may also approve a settlement of the case between the parties,

the Enforcement of Court Orders (Amendment) Act 2009 provides a process under which the court is required to satisfy itself that the debtor is unable to pay and that all other means possible have been taken to recover the debt,

debtors are supported by the welfare services through the Money Advice and Budgeting Service and other agencies.

Pre-nuptial Agreements.

Damien English

Question:

25 Deputy Damien English asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason no action has been taken following the publication of the Report of the Study Group on Pre-Nuptial Agreements in April 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31470/09]

The Study Group on Pre-Nuptial Agreements examined the operation of the law since the introduction of divorce in 1996 with respect to pre-nuptial agreements, having regard to the provisions in the Constitution on the protection of marriage and the requirement that proper provision be made for each party in divorce proceedings.

The Report of the Study Group recommended that provision be made in both the Family Law Act 1995 and Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 to provide only that the courts be required to have regard to existing pre-nuptial agreements when making ancillary relief orders in judicial separation and divorce proceedings. The Group in making this limited recommendation recognised that the court under our Constitution must on granting a decree of divorce be satisfied that proper provision is made for a spouse and children. The effect is that the court must be in a position to look at all the circumstances of a case not just circumstances, for example, that might arise on the basis of a legal separation or some other form of consensual agreement.

The report made recommendations on the formalities necessary for the proper making of pre-nuptial agreements so that parties making such agreements would be both fully informed and protected. The report also recommended the introduction of a statutory basis upon which a court may make financial provision for a surviving spouse who may be unfairly affected by the provisions of a pre-nuptial agreement on the death of the other spouse through changes in circumstances since the agreement was concluded, e.g. as a result of the passage of time or other intervening events.

These recommendations are being considered for inclusion in the Family Law Bill referred to in the Government Legislation Programme announced on 16 September 2009.

Garda Investigations.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

26 Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when arrangements will be made to instruct members of An Garda Síochána that it is not necessary to take a longhand note of interviews with persons in custody when such interviews are being electronically recorded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31157/09]

My Department and the Garda Síochána, in consultation with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Office of the Attorney General, are considering proposals for a new system which would allow the taking of contemporaneous written notes to cease where interviews are electronically recorded.

There is a complex range of training, technological, financial and legal issues to be addressed before the changeover to a new system could take place.

The Garda Síochána are at an advanced stage in developing proposals for the operational aspects of a new system. Because of the complexities involved, it is likely that any new system would initially be introduced on a pilot basis to allow all the operational and legal aspects to be fully tested and evaluated.

Detention Centres.

Shane McEntee

Question:

27 Deputy Shane McEntee asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the progress being made in relation to the development of the new national child detention centre at Lusk, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31494/09]

In March 2008, the Government approved the development of new national children detention facilities on the Oberstown campus near Lusk, Co. Dublin.

The project is currently at the design stage and it is anticipated that the tendering process for construction should take place in 2010. Construction is expected to be undertaken in phases with the first phase scheduled to be completed in 2012.

The Deputy will be aware, however, that tendering for the construction of the new facilities will be subject to Government approval and to the necessary funding being made available.

Dublin-Monaghan Bombings.

Joan Burton

Question:

28 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has been drawn to the hardship being caused to victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings as a result of the halving of the funding from him in respect of therapy treatment; if his further attention has been drawn to the implications for victims who received no help at the time and who will lose their access to therapy when the funding is ended at the end of 2009; if alternative arrangements are being made for the small number of survivors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31142/09]

I assume that the Deputy is referring to financial assistance which was until recently provided by the Remembrance Commission under the ambit of the Scheme of Acknowledgement, Remembrance and Assistance for Victims in this Jurisdiction of the Conflict in Northern Ireland.

In relation to the long-term medical expenses of survivors of incidents in this jurisdiction arising from the conflict in Northern Ireland, I can confirm, again, that these will continue to be provided for by my Department. Accordingly I have made provision that these will continue to be met by the Victims of Crime Office, which can be contacted at Pinebrook House, 71-74 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2.

The Remembrance Commission was established in 2003 for an initial period of 3 years. The Commission's term of appointment was subsequently extended on two further occasions to give more time to those persons eligible for payments under the Scheme to make applications to the Commission. The Commission undertook extensive advertising campaigns to ensure the widest possible awareness of its role and of the categories of payments which could be made. The Commission's term of office came to an end on 31 October 2008 and no further payments under the Scheme can therefore be made.

Under the Scheme, payments could be made to individuals under various categories, such as acknowledgement payments, economic hardship payments and medical expenses payments. The Scheme also contained a provision to enable payments to be paid to groups offering support services to victims of the conflict. Under this element of the scheme payments were made to the victim support group Justice for the Forgotten for the purpose of meeting the counselling and other needs of victims or their family members. Although the Remembrance Commission's term of office has ended and funding under the Scheme is no longer available, I made arrangements to provide €190,000 to Justice for the Forgotten out of my Department's vote for 2009 to enable it to continue to operate for a further period. I understand that this funding will be sufficient to allow the group to continue to operate well into next year.

Licensed Firearms.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

29 Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of licensed handguns in respect of each year from 2002 to date in 2009; the number of licensed handguns that were reported as stolen; the number of such stolen guns that were subsequently used in crimes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31164/09]

I refer the Deputy to a tabular statement setting out the information sought by him on handguns licensed and handguns stolen for the years 2004, when handguns began to be licensed again, to date. The figures show that 52 firearms classified as handguns were stolen in the period in question while the current number of handguns currently licensed is approximately 1,900.

As I have stated previously in the Dáil I am advised by the Garda Authorities that stolen firearms do subsequently get used in the commission of other criminal offences. Not all stolen firearms used in the commission of these offences are recovered so it is not possible to say precisely how many formerly legally held handguns were used in the commission of criminal offences.

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

Handguns licensed1

1

370

948

1,368

1,895

1,902

1 The number of handguns, recorded on PULSE, for which a firearms certificate has been issued for years 2004 to 2009 (to 10 September).

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Hanguns stolen2

3

7

10

7

7

18

2Between 2004 and 2009, 52 handguns are recorded as stolen. The 2009 figure includes firearms stolen during an aggravated burglary at the home of a firearms dealer in Tipperary in January 2009.

Road Safety.

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

30 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when action number 26 of the Road Safety Strategy 2007 to 2012 for the roll out of 6,000 hours per month of speed camera monitoring on roads here will occur; if a company (details supplied) is the preferred bidder to operate the national speed camera programme; if he, the Department of Transport or the Department of Finance is providing funding for the national speed camera roll out; his views on recent criticisms on this matter by the European Transport Safety Council which highlighted the role of speed cameras in reducing excessive speed and road deaths in the Netherlands, France, Finland and the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28387/09]

Shane McEntee

Question:

73 Deputy Shane McEntee asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will outline the progress to date of the implementation of the speed camera programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29664/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 30 and 73 together.

I welcome the finding of the European Transport Safety Council in a report issued last June that Ireland is now the sixth lowest out of the 27 EU Member States in the number of road deaths per million population in 2008.

The Garda authorities are progressing the implementation of a safety camera network as provided for in the Government's Road Safety Strategy 2007 — 2012. An Garda Síochána is engaged in a procurement process, in accordance with EU Directives, national public procurement procedures and relevant legislation, for the provision and operation of the cameras.

Every effort is being made to proceed with this project as speedily as possible. A preferred bidder has been selected, and contract discussions are currently underway. Until these discussions are concluded, it is not possible to indicate details of the proposed introduction of or a specific timetable for the project.

Decisions on the provision of funding for the project will be made in the context of the 2010 Estimates and in accordance with existing Government decisions.

Criminal Assets Bureau.

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

31 Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on amending the law to allow the Criminal Assets Bureau apply to forfeit seized property after two years rather than the seven year wait; if he has an estimate of the additional revenue that would be raised if this change were made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31150/09]

The Criminal Assets Bureau operates under the Proceeds of Crime Acts 1996 and 2005 (as amended).

Under this legislation, monies or property frozen pursuant to Section 2 or Section 3 of the Act remain frozen for a period of at least seven years. The only exception to this minimum seven year waiting period is in circumstances whereby all relevant parties agree to the application of a Section 4a order which allows for a disposal order to be made by the High Court within the seven year period. This application is made with the consent of all parties.

The consent provisions were introduced in 2005 under the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act of that year.

The issue of the standard minimum seven year waiting period being reduced to a minimum three year period was considered by the Oireachtas during its examination and discussion of the 2005 Amendment Act.

Taking account of the introduction of the new consent provisions, the approach taken in the legislation was to retain the standard minimum seven year waiting period primarily on the basis that a reduction of the period between the interlocutory order and the disposal order to three years might render the legislation more open to challenge in terms of due process.

I have asked my officials to review the legislation pertaining to the length of time an asset must be held before it can be disposed of. I have also asked my officials to examine this possibility with a view to ensuring that certain types of assets may be disposed of before they depreciate significantly.

Garda Stations.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

32 Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the recommendation contained in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes that the Garda station network should be reduced by approximately half, which would result in the closure of around 350 Garda stations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31139/09]

Planned expenditure levels for all the votes in my Department will be considered as part of the Estimates and budgetary processes for 2010. This will include consideration of the report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, and the decisions on all of the issues arising will be a matter for the Government. It would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this stage pending the outcome of these deliberative processes.

Programmes for Government.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

33 Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the progress made to date with regard to implementation of those sections of the programme for Government under the headings community payback, parental responsibility, and anti-social behaviour; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31140/09]

The Criminal Justice (Community Service) Act, 1983 provides that a Court may make a Community Service Order as an alternative to a sentence of imprisonment or detention in respect of any individual over the age of 16 years who has been convicted of a criminal offence and who consents to the Order being made.

The Probation Service has responsibility for the supervision and management of Community Service Orders. A Community Service Order requires an offender to perform unpaid work for between 40 and 240 hours, usually to be completed within 12 months. The aim of a Community Service Order is to rehabilitate the offender and make meaningful reparation to the community for his or her crime.

A Community Pay Back Scheme which is provided for in the Programme for Government will build on the Community Service Scheme which is currently the subject of a Value for Money and Policy Review by an independent evaluator. The Review, which will be published shortly, will influence how best to progress this aspect of the Programme for Government.

The Children Act 2001, as amended, provides for a number of measures in relation to parental responsibility in respect of children involved in anti-social behaviour and children found guilty of offences. These include parental supervision and compensation orders. The imposition of any particular sanction provided for by the Act on parents or guardians of an offending child is a matter for the courts. The National Youth Justice Strategy 2008 — 2010 provides for the monitoring of the use of the anti-social behaviour measures in the Act. This is being progressed during the term of the Strategy in the context of the commitment in the Programme for Government.

Public order is one of my priorities for the Gardaí in 2009 and is one of the 6 strategic goals in the Garda Policing Plan 2009. The commitments relating to anti-social behaviour in the Programme for Government are being implemented in co-operation with other Departments and agencies as necessary, in the context of the resources available. Section 22 and Schedule 2 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 provide for increases in the level of fines under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994. The fine for supplying alcohol to under 18s was increased from €1,500 to €5,000 by Section 17 and Schedule 1 of the 2008 Act. The Deputy will be aware, in particular, that the Gardaí launched a new National Model of Community Policing in January 2009. One of its strategic objectives is to use problem sharing initiatives in partnership with communities and local agencies to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

Prison Building Programme.

Joe Costello

Question:

34 Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position in regard to the proposed prison at Thornton Hall; the amount spent on the project to date, including the cost of the purchase of the site, preparatory work, professional fees and other costs; when it is expected that building work on the project will commence; when it is expected to be completed and operational; the planned capacity of the prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31684/09]

In May of this year, negotiations with the preferred bidder for the construction of a prison complex at Thornton Hall, Kilsallaghan, County Dublin were broken off as their final offer, which was significantly higher than the original price tendered, was determined to be unaffordable. The original tender competition, which was initiated by the issue of formal invitations to tender in late 2007, was then abandoned as it did not offer the opportunity to obtain the best value for money for the tax payer in the light of the changed circumstances.

In June of this year the Government re-affirmed its commitment to developing a new prison campus at Thornton Hall, Kilsallaghan, County Dublin and approved the launching of a new tendering process for the construction of a more affordable and better value prison campus at Thornton. The aim is to provide good quality, regime focussed accommodation with appropriate support and rehabilitation facilities to prepare prisoners for re-integration back into society. The new facility will provide accommodation for 1,400 prisoners with operational flexibility to accommodate up to 2,200 prisoners in a range of security settings.

The development will now proceed on a phased basis with Phase one comprising essential basic preliminary works required for the development including the construction of the access route and perimeter wall. It is intended that this work will proceed in the short term on the basis of separate contracts. The tender documentation and scope of works are currently being drafted. It is anticipated that work on Phase one will commence towards the end of this year or early next year.

While Phase one work is in progress the procurement process for the buildings and other facilities that will make up the new prison campus will be examined and finalised in accordance with the Department of Finance guidelines for capital projects. The objective is to complete the design and procurement process for the main prison complex while the construction of the phase one work is underway. While an outline design plan has been prepared, work is ongoing on more detailed design plans which are required for the tendering process. The two phase approach means that once a contract is signed for Phase two the main prison development, the fact that the preliminary works envisaged by Phase one will have already have been completed will allow for construction to commence immediately on the main prison buildings within a secured perimeter.

The development of the new prison campus at Thornton Hall is a complex project which is governed by Department of Finance and EU procurement guidelines. The guidelines set out a range of actions that must take place prior to inviting tenders for the project. The Irish Prison Service is being assisted in this work by the National Development Finance Agency. It is intended to invite tenders for the construction of the Phase 2 — the main prison development next year. I would expect the new prison to be operational within 3 years of the signing of a contract for Phase 2.

In relation to expenditure on the project, the cost of the acquisition of the site for the prison development at Thornton Hall, Kilsallaghan, County Dublin was €29.9 million. The cost of the site was largely offset by the sale of surplus prison lands at Shanganagh, County Dublin. An additional 8.7 acres has also been acquired at a cost of €1.3m to provide a dedicated access route to the main prison site. This was done following representations from the local community which reflected concern in relation to the effect of increased traffic generated by the prison development.

A total of €41.8m, including the site acquisition costs above, has been expended to end August 2009 on professional fees, site preparation and engineering surveys, landscaping and security work. As is the case with all major infrastructure projects a comprehensive set of geological, engineering and archaeological surveys were conducted at the site. These essential preliminary site surveys will help to reduce the overall construction programme once a contract is signed.

Crime Levels.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

35 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of occasions in 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009 in which grenades, bombs or improvised explosive devices have been used; the number of occasions in each year when the gardaí called on the assistance of the Army ordinance unit to deal with such devices; the number of prosecutions initiated as a result of the discovery of such devices; his views on the increased use of such devices by criminal elements; the steps being taken to curb the use of such devices, particularly having regard to the danger they pose to the public; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31166/09]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that in 2009 (to 10 September) there have been 142 incidents involving suspected grenades, pipe-bombs or other improvised devices, nationwide at which a Defence Forces Explosive Ordnance Device team has attended, with 180 such incidents recorded in 2008 and 98 incidents in 2007.

I am further informed that in respect of the incidents that occurred in 2008 and 2009, up to 10 September, there have been a total of 86 arrests. There have been four convictions and in another 54 cases the matters are currently before the courts or files are with the DPP. The Deputy will appreciate that it is in the nature of proceedings for criminal offences that there may be a time period for the investigation, charge, prosecution and eventual conviction or acquittal, and the figures given may, therefore, be subject to change. A detailed breakdown of the figures for 2007 is not readily available.

Investigations by the Garda Síochána into certain recent incidents involving the use of pipe bomb attacks in the greater Dublin area indicate links between members of a republican group and organised criminal elements.

Garda strategies in counteracting these activities are firmly focused on disrupting these organised criminal groups and where sufficient evidence is adduced, proffering charges and bringing such persons before the Courts. The Gardaí will continue to take vigorous action in counteracting the threat posed by these gangs. One of the priorities I have set for the Garda Síochána in 2009 is the targeting of serious crime, in particular organised, gun and drug related crime. The Garda Policing Plan for 2009 contains a series of measures aimed at reducing the impact of crime and criminal behaviour. These goals are backed up by strategic actions which include a commitment to continue and intensify intelligence-led operations against groups and individuals engaged in criminality.

Operation Anvil is an important nationwide operation to deal with serious crime, including murder and other violent crime. The primary focus of the Operation is the targeting of active criminals and their associates involved in serious crime by preventing and disrupting their criminal activity through extensive additional overt patrolling and static checkpoints by uniform, mobile and foot patrols, supported by armed plain clothes patrols.

The Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009, which became law on 23 July, further strengthens the law dealing with those involved in criminal organisations. As a result, all organised crime offences will be tried in the Special Criminal Court unless the DPP directs otherwise. This is being done to prevent intimidation of juries in those cases where such measures are necessary. A new offence of directing or controlling a criminal organisation has been created, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The maximum penalty for the offence of participation or involvement in organised crime has been increased from 5 years to 15 years imprisonment. Expert Garda opinion evidence on the existence and operations of criminal gangs is now admissible in evidence. Furthermore, there are significant new provisions relating to bail, sentencing, drawing of inferences by the courts, intimidation of witnesses and jurors and a simplification of the procedures relating to the extension of time for questioning.

Other significant pieces of legislation introduced to target organised crime include the Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009, which provides a statutory framework for evidence obtained by means of covert surveillance to be used in criminal trials, and the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 which further tightens the legislative provisions relating to guns and knives and similar weapons.

Criminal Prosecutions.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

36 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the extent to which criminal gangs have been prosecuted under the new criminal justice legislation since the Acts were initiated; the numbers of persons charged and released without charge under this legislation; the number in respect of which charges have been preferred; the extent to which criminal gang leaders living abroad wanted on foot of crime here have been sought out for extradition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31237/09]

The issue of tackling serious crime remains of the highest priority. I am happy that recent legislation I brought before this House to help combat this issue was enacted by way of the Criminal Justice Amendment Act 2009. This legislation was brought into effect on 23 July this year.

This Act is wide ranging and seeks, among other things, to remove the effects of jury intimidation. It also provides for the use of the Special Criminal Court in trials involving the most serious of crimes.

Provision has been made in the legislation for increasing the powers of detention available to Gardai and a new offence, that of directing a criminal organisation, has been created which can attract a sentence of up to life in prison if proven guilty.

As the Deputy is aware, the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 is a very new piece of legislation. While the Garda authorities are already making use of its provisions, it will take some time before they are in a position to bring criminals before the Courts.

This legislation is aimed at tackling very serious crimes and I am sure that the Deputy would not welcome Gardai rushing investigations with the possibility of failing to provide anything other than comprehensive evidence of criminality to the Courts in very serious cases. A major conference of senior Gardaí, chaired by the Garda Commissioner, took place in the Garda Training College, Templemore last week to coordinate the efforts of those involved in investigating serious crime. I have no doubt that the effects of Garda ongoing activities will be demonstrated in a very positive way with cases being brought before the Courts in due course.

I am informed that An Garda Síochána maintains close liaison with law enforcement agencies throughout Europe and elsewhere, exchanging information and intelligence on Irish criminals living abroad. This ongoing liaison has led to a number of successful joint operations, targeting attempted importations of drugs and firearms, resulting in a number of significant arrests here and in other Jurisdictions. Where intelligence, supported by evidence, is available law enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions put operations in place, as appropriate, to prevent and detect such criminality.

Where information exists that a person, who is wanted in relation to a particular crime in this jurisdiction is living abroad, and where the particular legal requirements apply, extradition is sought or a European Arrest Warrant is applied for. In addition, Ireland is a party to various International Conventions which provide for assistance in criminal matters between jurisdictions.

Crime Prevention.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

37 Deputy Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the initiatives he has put in place to tackle knife crime; if such initiatives are subject to periodic evaluation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31450/09]

Kathleen Lynch

Question:

66 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the additional steps he plans to take to combat the use of knives in assaults and murders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31153/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 37 and 66 together.

A comprehensive and robust legal framework is now in place in this area including heavy penalties for breaches of the laws concerned. The Garda Commissioner last year made recommendations to me in relation to knives and sharply pointed or bladed weapons, and subsequently the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 was enacted, further strengthening the law and responding to Garda concerns about knife crime. The maximum penalty for possessing a knife in a public place without good reason or lawful authority has been increased from one to five years, and An Garda Síochána have been given an extended power of search without warrant in relation to knives and offensive weapons.

In tandem with the new legislation, samurai swords have generally been banned from importation and sale.

Last February, the Garda Commissioner and I launched a Knife Awareness Campaign by An Garda Síochána to inform and educate young people on the dangers of carrying knives and with the aim of reducing the number of incidents of knife crime. Young people, mainly in their 20s, make up approximately one third of knife crime offenders. The campaign is therefore targeting a young male audience with messages about the dangers of knives and knife crime delivered through role models in both the sporting and media world. The campaign is featuring twelve road show meetings during 2009 which are complemented by targeted online advertising.

The roll out of the local road show meetings is supported by print and broadcast media initiatives that are designed to be specific to the locality of the meeting. The campaign is supported online by a dedicated website and a presence on social networking websites, as well as uploaded videos and a viral video. This will help deliver the campaign message through media that its target audience find accessible and feel comfortable with. Information leaflets on the campaign will also be made available to young people and their parents.

The campaign is linked with programmes which support youth workers on youth diversion projects, thereby enabling the campaign message to reach at-risk young people. This work is further strengthened by community Gardaí who, as part of their functions, visit schools to cover a number of topics such as underage drinking, drugs and bullying. These community Gardaí have been supplied with the necessary tools to bring the key messages of the campaign into schools around the country.

More generally, all members of An Garda Síochána proactively target public disorder and anti-social behaviour, including knife related crime. Areas identified as public order hot-spots by local Garda management are the subject of additional foot and mobile patrols. Incidents of public disorder and anti-social behaviour reported to the Garda authorities are the subject of investigation and are dealt with appropriately in accordance with the law. Almost 575,000 offences have been detected since the commencement of Operation Encounter, which was commenced by the then Commissioner in February, 2002 to target public disorder and anti-social behaviour against the local and business communities.

Statistics show that nearly one third of knife crimes occur in domestic settings and often with a degree of spontaneity, which increases the challenges of policing and enforcement.

The whole area of knives and knife crime is kept under constant review.

EU Directives.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

38 Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of EU directives for which he has responsibility remaining to be implemented; the directives that are overdue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31163/09]

My Department has responsibility for seven EU Directives which have to be implemented. There are four Directives which are currently overdue as follows:

Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status.

Irish law and practice in this area is already substantially in compliance with the terms of this Directive. The Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill, 2008 contains provisions to restate the law on refugee and other protection procedures with some amendments. These restatements are in compliance with Ireland's obligations under the Directive. The Bill is currently being considered by Dáil Éireann.

Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks and amending Directive 2002/58/EC.

Part of the Directive is covered by Part 7 of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005. The remainder is to be transposed by the Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009 which was published on 9 July 2009 and is currently before Dáil Éireann.

Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing; and

Commission Directive 2006/70/EC of 1 August 2006 laying down implementing measures for Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the definition of politically exposed person and the technical criteria for simplified customer due diligence procedures and for exemption on grounds of a financial activity conducted on an occasional or very limited basis.

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Bill 2009, which will transpose these Directives, was published on 28 July, 2009 and is currently before Dáil Éireann.

There are three Directives which remain to be implemented. They are not overdue. They are:

Directive 2008/51/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 amending Council Directive 91/477/EEC on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons;

Directive 2007/23/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 on the placing on the market of pyrotechnic articles;

Directive 2008/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters.

Departmental Bodies.

David Stanton

Question:

39 Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 473 of 22 April 2009, the dates on which the Senior Official and National Disability Strategy Stakeholder Monitoring Groups have met since their establishment; the next date they are both due to meet; the issues being addressed or to be addressed by the groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31426/09]

The Senior Officials Group on Disability met on the following dates: 24 October 2005; 2 March 2006; 16 May 2006; 15 June 2006; 23 June 2006; 26 October 2006; 30 November 2006; 20 April 2007; 29 November 2007; 29 January 2008; 29 April 2008; 7 November 2008; 18 February 2009. The next meeting of the Group is scheduled to take place on 29 September 2009.

The National Disability Strategy Stakeholder Monitoring Group met on the following dates: 30 November 2006; 2 July 2007; 29 January 2008; 12 June 2008; 24 February 2009. The next meeting of the Group is scheduled to take place on 5 October 2009.

Both Groups monitor the implementation of the National Disability Strategy.

Criminal Assets Bureau.

Kieran O'Donnell

Question:

40 Deputy Kieran O’Donnell asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the coordination that exists between his Department and the Department of Social and Family Affairs in respect of criminals against whom the Criminal Assets Bureau has obtained judgments receiving social welfare payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31508/09]

Michael Noonan

Question:

46 Deputy Michael Noonan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the coordination that exists between his Department and the Department of Social and Family Affairs in respect of criminals subject to investigation by An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau receiving social welfare payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31500/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 46 together.

The Criminal Assets Bureau includes a number of Social Welfare inspectors who are appointed as Bureau Officers and who are actively engaged in identifying and targeting funds accumulated by criminals. Where such assets are identified they are seized in order to deprive criminals of the opportunity of benefitting from the use of those assets.

Social Welfare inspectors attached to the Bureau also investigate and determine social welfare entitlements of persons who are suspected of deriving assets from criminal activity.

In addition, the Regional Director's Office of the Department of Social and Family Affairs fully cooperates with all requests in relation to cases of interest to Bureau Officers and also refers Departmental cases deemed suitable for consideration of investigation and determination by the Bureau.

The effectiveness of this approach can be seen from the fact that in the period since its inception up to the end of 2007, CAB made savings of over €3.5m and recovered €2.5m in relation to social welfare payments.

Sentencing Policy.

Pat Breen

Question:

41 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the average length of a life sentence in Irish prisons; and if, in view of the role of the Houses of the Oireachtas in the matter of mandatory prison sentences, he will elaborate further on comments he made recently on the matter. [31438/09]

A person subject to a life sentence remains the subject to that sentence for life. A life sentence is mandatory in a limited number of cases most importantly in the case of a conviction for murder.

The Houses of the Oireachtas in enacting the Criminal Justice Act 1960 and the Criminal Justice (Temporary Release of Prisoners) Act 2003 provided a framework whereby the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform may release prisoners for such period and subject to such conditions as may be specified. Temporary release may be granted on a number of grounds including humanitarian grounds or where the Minister is of the opinion that the person has been rehabilitated and would upon being released be capable of reintegrating into society. Before making a decision regard has to be had to a number of factors including the nature and gravity of the offence, the period of imprisonment served and the potential threat to the safety and security of the public.

A person who has been sentenced to a life sentence and continues to remain a threat will serve his or her life sentence in custody. Five life sentenced prisoners have died in custody since 1997 and a number of current life sentenced prisoners have served more than 30 years in custody.

However when a prisoner has served a lengthy period of imprisonment and has been rehabilitated, consideration is given to granting extended periods of temporary release to such a person. Those life sentenced prisoners on temporary release remain subject to their sentence and if they breach any conditions they will be returned to custody.

The average time spent in custody by life sentenced prisoners given extended periods of temporary release over the last five years is 16 years. The comparable figure for the period 1975 to 1984 was 7 to 8 years.

Clearly there are different circumstances which must be taken into account in each tragedy which attracts a mandatory life sentence. Consequently to impose a mandatory period of a specific duration which must be served in custody without any prospect of temporary release would not, in my view, be the correct way to proceed. Our current system provides that all prisoners who are serving a life sentence are eligible to have their cases reviewed by the Parole Board when they have served seven years in custody. The Board makes recommendations to me as Minister on how such life sentences should be managed. Generally speaking — as the average sentence length suggests — life sentenced prisoners are reviewed on a number of occasions before any substantial recommendations are made that might eventually lead to the release of the prisoner into the community to continue to serve his/her sentence, subject to strict conditions. The Parole Board process has, I believe, served us well and I do not propose to alter the current practice.

European Arrest Warrants.

Bernard Allen

Question:

42 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason suspects subject to European arrest warrants were released in 2008 due to processing delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31433/09]

The three cases referred to by the Deputy were reported by Ireland in response to an EU questionnaire on the operation of the European Arrest Warrant. In two of the cases, the subjects were released in 2008 and the third subject was released in March 2009. The three subjects were released because the issuing authority failed, in each case, to collect the subjects within the statutory time limit.

Under the provisions of the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, as amended, a person, whose surrender has been ordered by the High Court, must be surrendered to the requesting state within 10 days from the date the Order takes effect. The Act provides for an extension of the time limit in circumstances where a date is agreed between the issuing authority and the Irish Central Authority for the European Arrest Warrant . The courts in this jurisdiction have ruled that applications for such extensions must be made to the courts and that the issuing authorities must show good reason why it was not possible to collect the subject within the time limit. If no extension is sought or, if sought, the extension is refused, the subject must be released on expiration of the Order. In each of the three cases in question, the Irish Central Authority notified the issuing authorities of the Order for surrender and the time limit in accordance with standard procedures. In each case, the issuing authority was unable to collect the subject within the statutory time limit.

Following legal proceedings in two of the cases, the courts ordered release of the subjects on the grounds that the reasons advanced by the issuing authorities for failure to collect within the time-limit were not sufficient. As the Deputy will appreciate, the courts are, subject to the law and the Constitution, independent in the exercise of their functions and it is not open to me to make any comment in relation to these proceedings. In the third case, the subject was released on legal advice after the issuing authority failed to respond to the Irish Central Authority.

Since the European Arrest Warrant Act came into force, Ireland has surrendered 234 persons on foot of warrants.

Finally, I should add that the Central Authority has raised the issue of non-collection with the authorities of a particular Member State. In response, the authorities in the state concerned have assured the Irish authorities that subjects will be collected on time. The Central Authority will continue to monitor the situation and take action as appropriate.

Departmental Reports.

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

43 Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the recommendation contained in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes that the system of Garda allowances on top of pay, and high levels of overtime should be reviewed with a view to making savings of €50 million; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31147/09]

Planned expenditure levels for all the votes in my Department will be considered as part of the Estimates and budgetary processes for 2010. This will include consideration of the report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, and the decisions on all of the issues arising will be a matter for the Government. It would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this stage pending the outcome of these deliberative processes.

Garda Reserve.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

44 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of members of the Garda Reserve recruited to date; the stations to which they have been allocated; the number of applicants for the Reserve currently in training; if he is satisfied with the rate of recruitment; when he expects that the full complement of 1,500 will be in place; if restrictions have been placed on recruitment to the Reserve arising from budgetary restrictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31167/09]

At 31 July 2009, there were 407 attested Reserve Gardaí and 151 Reserve trainees. Details of the stations to which the Reserve members were assigned are set out in the table below.

The Agreed Programme for Government has set a target strength for the Reserve at 10% of the full-time strength of the force. As the Garda Reserve depends on volunteers who undertake their training and other duties during their free time, it is difficult to predict how many people will commence training in any particular period. However, I can assure the Deputy that the Garda Commissioner is continuing to make every effort to reach the recruitment target. In that context, I would point out that the moratorium on recruitment and appointments in the public service does not apply to the Garda Reserve, as members are volunteers and do not draw a salary.

Recruitment is ongoing and the Public Appointments Service has received over 1,700 expressions of interest to join the Reserve in 2009. The PAS holds interviews on a rolling basis at a range of locations around the country. The ongoing public information campaign to recruit members to the Garda Reserve includes indoor and outdoor awareness raising campaigns and radio and TV promotional interviews nationally and locally.

The Government is strongly committed to the development of the Reserve.

Reserve Gardaí at 31/07/2009

Station

Total

D.M.R.S.C

Kevin Street

6

Kilmainham

3

Pearse St.

17

Harcourt Tce.

0

Donnybrook

4

Irishtown

0

Total

30

DMR NC

Store Street

6

Bridewell

5

Fitzgibbon Street

8

Mountjoy

0

Total

19

DMR North

Santry

5

D/Airport

0

Whitehall

2

Ballymun

7

Raheny

3

Clontarf

4

Howth

2

Coolock

8

Swords

5

Malahide

1

Balbriggan

5

Skerries

0

Lusk

0

Rush

0

Garristown

0

Total

42

DMR East

Dun Laoghaire

7

Dalkey

0

Cabinteely

0

Kill-O-Grange

0

Shankhill

0

Blackrock

7

Dundrum

0

Stepaside

0

Total

14

DMR South

Crumlin

5

Sundrive Road

1

Tallaght

6

Rathfarnham

3

Rathmines

2

Terenure

4

Total

21

DMR West

Cabra

0

Finglas

7

Blanchardstown

17

Lucan

8

Ronanstown

1

Ballyfermot

4

Clondalkin

6

Rathcoole

0

Total

43

DMR Total

169

Waterford

Waterford

9

Tramore

2

Dungarvan

0

Total

11

Wexford

Gorey

3

Enniscorthy

2

New Ross

1

Wexford

2

Total

8

Tipperary

Nenagh

1

Thurles

1

Roscrea

1

Carrick-On-Suir

1

Clonmel

4

Cahir

3

Tipperary

2

Total

13

Kilkenny/Carlow

Kilkenny

6

Thomastown

0

Carlow

5

Total

11

S/Eastern Region Total

43

Cork City

Anglesea Street

10

Mayfield

4

Watercourse Road

4

Togher

7

Gurranbraher

8

Total

33

Cork North

Cobh

1

Fermoy

2

Midleton

4

Total

7

Cork West

Bandon

1

Clonakilty

2

Macroom

1

Total

4

Kerry

Tralee

2

Killarney

0

Total

2

Limerick

Henry Street

10

Total

10

Southern Region Total

56

Donegal

Letterkenny

9

Ballybofey

1

Total

10

Cavan/Monaghan

Cavan

3

Monaghan

3

Total

6

Sligo/Leitrim

Sligo

6

Carrick-On-Shannon

1

Total

7

Louth

Drogheda

8

Dundalk

5

Ardee

1

Total

14

Northern Regional Total

37

Clare

Ennis

8

Killaloe

0

Total

8

Mayo

Castlebar

9

Ballina

3

Swinford

1

Claremorris

1

Westport

3

Total

17

Galway

Galway

24

Tuam

2

Salthill

2

Total

28

Roscommon/Longford

Roscommon

3

Longford

2

Total

5

Western Region Total

58

Westmeath

Athlone

2

Mullingar

7

Total

9

Meath

Navan

3

Ashbourne

1

Trim

2

Kells

2

Total

8

Kildare

Kildare

5

Naas

2

Athy

2

Celbridge

1

Newbridge

3

Total

13

Laois/Offaly

Tullamore

5

Birr

1

Portlaoise

2

Total

8

Wicklow

Bray

4

Arklow

1

Baltinglass

1

Total

6

Eastern Region Total

44

Total

407

Departmental Reports.

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

45 Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the recommendation contained in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes that responsibility for the operation of immigration control at the point of entry should be transferred to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31148/09]

Decisions on all of the issues arising from this Report will be a matter for Government. It is important to recognise that immigration controls at ports of entry are the first line in maintaining the integrity of the State's immigration system and are critical to the security of the State. Dublin Airport is by far the State's largest port of entry accounting for over 20m passenger journeys each year. It is essential therefore that any proposed change to the existing system of immigration controls is carefully considered.

The most effective approach to maintaining the integrity and security of the states borders is currently being reviewed at a senior level within the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service and the Garda National Immigration Bureau and this review will take in the elements which can contribute to maximising the effectiveness and delivery of that function and, will of course, take on board the relevant comments and recommendations in this respect contained in the Special Group Report.

Question No. 46 answered with Question No. 40.

Crime Levels.

Liz McManus

Question:

47 Deputy Liz McManus asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of gun murders which have taken place since the beginning of 2009; his views on the spate of such gun murders in the Dublin area and the extent to which this reflects the continued operation of criminal gangs; the steps being taken to deal with such murders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31156/09]

Willie Penrose

Question:

59 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of cases of murder in which firearms were used in respect of each year from 1998 to date in 2009; the number of such cases in which prosecutions for murder were initiated; the number of such cases where convictions were secured; if he is satisfied with the level of detection and conviction in such cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31162/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 59 together.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table contains the number of cases of murder in which a firearm was used, proceedings commenced and convictions secured from 1998 to 2008 and in 2009 up to 10 September. Of these murders, nineteen took place in 2009.

As the Deputies are aware, these statistics, by their nature, carry a significant health warning. The detection rate for murders by its nature increases over time as Garda investigations progress. It is expected that the number of convictions obtained will increase as Garda investigations are concluded and proceedings commenced are finalised by the courts. This applies particularly to murders committed in the most recent years. In addition, directions may be received from the Law Officers to charge persons arrested in connection with such incidents with offences other than murder, for example firearms offences. Furthermore such persons charged and brought before the courts may be convicted of offences other than murder.

All killings, regardless of the circumstances involved, are the subject of rigorous investigation by An Garda Síochána and will continue to be so.

While An Garda Síochána have made significant progress in the investigation of a number of killings, there can be considerable difficulties for them in obtaining evidence in shootings which are the result of gangland activities. It has to be accepted that the reality is that associates of a victim of a gangland killing who would have information of value to An Garda Síochána often do not cooperate with Garda investigations. Indeed, they frequently fail to cooperate even when they themselves are the victims of violence. A number of changes to the law on evidence have been made to address this. It has also to be accepted that there is often no connection or personal association between the victim and the perpetrator, which makes it very difficult for An Garda Síochána in their investigation of such a murder. Witnesses may also be subject to high levels of intimidation not to come forward, and it is to assist such witnesses that the Witness Protection Programme is in place.

Our criminal law has been significantly strengthened in recent years. Many of these changes are targeted at fighting gangland crime. The Criminal Justice Acts of 2006 and 2007, in particular, introduced wide ranging reforms to strengthen the capacity of An Garda Síochána to tackle serious crime. One of the most far reaching has been the introduction of seven day detention for offences connected with organised crime such as murder or kidnapping involving the use of a firearm. The bail laws have been strengthened to allow the prosecution mount a more effective challenge to bail applications. For example, applicants for bail can be required to provide a statement of their means so that the prosecution can highlight any divergence between their lifestyles and their stated means as evidence of their involvement in gangland activity. The circumstances in which inferences may be drawn at trial from a suspect's silence in response to Garda questioning have also been expanded.

A significant further strengthening of the law dealing with those involved in criminal organisations took place with the enactment of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009, which became law on 23 July. As a result, all organised crime offences will be tried in the Special Criminal Court unless the DPP directs otherwise. This is being done to prevent intimidation of juries in those cases where such measures are necessary. A new offence of directing or controlling a criminal organisation has been created, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The maximum penalty for the offence of participation or involvement in organised crime has been increased from 5 years to 15 years imprisonment. Expert Garda opinion evidence on the existence and operations of criminal gangs is now admissible in evidence. Furthermore, there are significant new provisions relating to bail, sentencing, drawing of inferences by the courts, intimidation of witnesses and jurors and a simplification of the procedures relating to the extension of time for questioning.

Other significant pieces of legislation introduced to target organised crime include the Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act, which provides a statutory framework for evidence obtained by means of covert surveillance to be used in criminal trials, and the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 which further tightens the legislative provisions relating to guns and knives and similar weapons.

A further important development is the publication of the Criminal Procedure Bill 2009 which gives effect to the measures contained in the Justice for Victims Initiative. The Bill provides for reform of the law on victim impact statements and proposes to end the ban on retrying people who have been acquitted in specified circumstances.

I expect that the Criminal Justice (Forensic Sampling and Evidence) Bill, which will provide for the establishment and operation of a DNA database, will be published in this session.

One of the priorities I have set for An Garda Síochána in 2009 is the targeting of serious crime, in particular organised, gun and drug related crime. The Garda Policing Plan for 2009 contains a series of measures aimed at reducing the impact of crime and criminal behaviour. These goals are backed up by strategic actions which include a commitment to continue and intensify intelligence-led operations against groups and individuals engaged in criminality.

Operations against organised criminal gangs operating in this jurisdiction are undertaken on an ongoing basis. The members of such gangs and their operating methods, criminal interests and financial assets are the subject of such operations, which are primarily undertaken by specialist units of An Garda Síochána, including the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Drugs Unit, the Organised Crime Unit and the Criminal Assets Bureau.

In particular, Operation Anvil commenced in the Dublin Metropolitan Region in 2005 to deal with serious crime, including murder and other violent crime, and was extended nationwide in 2006. The primary focus of the Operation is the targeting of active criminals and their associates involved in serious crime by preventing and disrupting their criminal activity through extensive additional overt patrolling and static checkpoints by uniform, mobile and foot patrols, supported by armed plain clothes patrols.

Under Operation Anvil, up to 6 September, 2009, over 2,700 firearms have been recovered. There have also been over 8,200 arrests for serious crimes such as murder, serious assault, robbery and burglary in the Dublin Metropolitan Region and over 79,700 searches for weapons, drugs and stolen goods. An Garda Síochána will continue to address the issue of illegal guns relentlessly through Operation Anvil.

I am determined that the highest priority will continue to be given to frontline policing. In addition to Operation Anvil, other key operations will be maintained through 2009, and I am determined that any savings that will have to be made will not be allowed to diminish frontline policing.

Number of murders recorded in which a firearm was used, proceedings commenced and convictions from 1998 to 2008 and in 2009 up to 10 September

Recorded

Proceedings Commenced

Convictions

180

47

20

Drugs in Prisons.

Jack Wall

Question:

48 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the disclosure contained in the annual report of the Inspector of Prisons that almost half of inmates in a single prison (details supplied) tested positive for illicit drugs; the steps being taken to stem the flow of drugs into prisons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31144/09]

A significant number of prisoners go to Loughan House on the first day of their sentence or soon after being admitted into the prison system. Accordingly, testing positive for drugs on arrival in Loughan is not an indication that a prisoner has consumed drugs while in the prison.

It is acknowledged that drugs present a major challenge to the Irish Prison Service and in this context, the Irish Prison Service Drugs Policy & Strategy, entitledKeeping Drugs out of Prison was launched in May 2006. The implementation of this Policy & Strategy has seen an intensification of efforts in the prison system to eliminate the availability of illicit drugs within prisons including:

Tighter control and monitoring of prisoner visits in all closed prisons;

New visiting arrangements in most closed prisons, with visitors required to be pre-approved by the Governor and required to provide identification on each visit; Greater use of screened visits;

Greater vigilance in examining mail by prison censors and searching of other items entering the prison;

Increased random searching of cells and their occupants;

Stricter searching of all persons committed to custody and prisoners returning from court, temporary release, after visits or on receipt of intelligence;

Use of modern cameras and probe systems which assist in searching previously difficult areas such as hollow chair or bed legs, under floor boards and other cavities;

Installation of nets over exercise yards to prevent access to contraband items, including mobile phones and drugs;

Use of phone detectors and phased installation of telephone blocking technology.

In addition, a number of new security initiatives have been introduced in all closed prisons including:

The introduction of enhanced security screening for all persons (visitors and staff) entering our prisons;

The establishment of a drug detection dog service within the Irish Prison Service involving approximately 30 handling teams;

The establishment of Operational Support Units dedicated to and developing expertise in searching and gathering intelligence on illicit material being hidden inside our prisons; they will be available in addition to the normal prison staff and can target specific security problem areas;

The Body Orifice Security Scanner (BOSS) chair was introduced by the Irish Prison Service in early 2008 and to date eight chairs have been installed.

The new security screening at prison entrances and the measures introduced have had considerable success in preventing the flow of and assisting in the capture of contraband such as illicit drugs.

As the Inspector of Prison states in his recently published 2008 Annual Report, the new security measures have significantly impacted upon the availability of drugs in prison. However, the reality is that as long as there is drug misuse in the community this will be inevitably reflected in a prison setting. That said, the Irish Prison Service continues to work to implement its Drugs Policy and Strategy, which also includes continued investment in services within prisons to reduce the demand for illicit drugs in the prisoner population as well as meeting prisoners' treatment and rehabilitative needs.

Court of Appeal.

Simon Coveney

Question:

49 Deputy Simon Coveney asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his plans in respect of proposals to establish a new Court of Appeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31454/09]

The Report of the Working Group on a Court of Appeal, chaired by Mrs Justice Susan Denham, was presented to Government in July last and published in August. The Group's recommendations will be examined in detail in consultation with relevant Departments, the Attorney General and relevant interests. The Deputy will appreciate that the Government is concerned to ensure that the examination should focus on identifying an approach to implementation which would minimise the net additional costs, having regard to the economic and financial benefit of a more timely conclusion of litigation. It is also necessary to ensure that multiple avenues of appeal, which would have a negative impact on costs and delays, do not develop.

No decision has yet been made regarding the holding of a referendum, as recommended in the Report, pending completion of the examination I have mentioned

Departmental Reports.

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

50 Deputy Jim O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the recommendation from the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes that the Office of the Minister for Integration should be discontinued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31173/09]

Joe Costello

Question:

72 Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the recommendation contained in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes that the Office of the Minister for Integration should be discontinued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31146/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 72 together.

The Report referred to in the Questions will be considered as part of the Estimates and budgetary process for 2010 and the decisions on all of the issues arising will be a matter for the Government. It would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this stage pending the outcome of this consideration.

Criminal Investigations.

Tom Hayes

Question:

51 Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the success of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 to date in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31482/09]

The legislation I have brought into effect through the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 will greatly assist the Gardaí in targeting those engaged in the most serious of criminal activities.

As the Deputy will understand, it remains very early in the day in order to provide definitive evidence of the success of this legislation due to the fact that the gathering of evidence by the Garda authorities against those engaged in illegal activities takes time. The investigation of serious crimes cannot be carried out in a rushed manner.

I have no doubt however that the Gardai will use the new powers available to them to best effect.

Residency Permits.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

52 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has been drawn to the hardship being imposed on migrants who are granted long-term residency here arising from the recent imposition, with little notice, of a €500 fee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31171/09]

The Deputy should be aware that Ireland is virtually alone among E.U. member States in not hitherto charging a fee for long term residency status. The fee now imposed is not considered excessive and compares favourably with that charged by the U.K. immigration authorities, for example, where a fee of €950 is levied for conveying a similar status.

Long term residency is an administrative scheme operated by my Department since 2004. It enables individuals who have been legally resident in the State on the basis of work permit/work authorisation/work visa conditions to apply for the status of long term resident thus allowing them to engage in employment without the need for a work permit/work authorisation and negating the need for them to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau on an annual basis. A long term residency permission is valid for a period of five years and on its expiry, the individual may apply to have same renewed.

The procedures involved in processing applications for long term residency are very similar to those applicable to applications for naturalisation i.e. the individual in question must be legally resident in the State for a specific period, he or she must be financially self-sufficient, be of good character, etc. The processes used to determine eligibility have been developed and refined since the scheme was introduced and, as is the case with naturalisation, are necessary to maintain the integrity of the process. Depending on the complexity of any given case, these processes can necessarily take some time to complete and involve a substantial burden on State resources. It is entirely appropriate that the State should seek to recover some of these costs. It should be noted that the fee involved does not fully meet the cost of processing the application.

The fee of €500 applies to all applicants on the initial grant of a long term residency status on or after 7 September, 2009. This status shall be valid for a period of five years at which time, the person concerned will be required to re-apply for long term residency. No fee will be payable to renew such a permission other than the existing registration fee payable to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (G.N.I.B.). Accordingly, it is worth noting that the overall cost to the applicant of long term residency, even with the fee, is less than he/she would incur by registering annually with G.N.I.B. during the currency of the long term residency permission.

Irish Prison Service.

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

53 Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has been drawn to a newspaper article (details supplied); his views on its opinion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31514/09]

The mission of the Irish Prison Service is to provide safe, secure and humane custody for people who are sent to prison. The Service is committed to managing custodial sentences in a way which encourages and supports prisoners in their endeavouring to live law abiding and purposeful lives as valued members of society.

Prisoner rehabilitation involves significant multi-dimensional input by a diverse range of general and specialist services provided both by the Irish Prison Service and in-reaching statutory and non-statutory services. Amongst these are healthcare, psychiatric, psychological, educational, vocational, counselling, welfare and spiritual services. These services are important in addressing offending behaviour, drug and alcohol addiction, missed educational and vocational opportunities, anger management, and self management in the interest of encouraging positive personal development in prisoners, and preparing them for re-integration and resettlement on release from custody.

The Irish Prison Service is also engaged in introducing an enhanced model of sentence management for prisoners (Integrated Sentence Management — ISM). ISM will involve a new emphasis on prisoners taking greater personal responsibility for their own development through active engagement with both specialist and non-specialist services in the prisons. The end result will be a prisoner-centred approach to working with prisoners with provision for initial assessment, goal setting and periodic review to measure progress. The development and roll-out of this model is planned to take place on a phased basis with the new system currently being piloted in two Dublin prisons.

In addition the Probation Service also has an active role during the course of the prisoner's sentence in helping maintain links with family and community agencies, encouraging prisoners to address their offending behaviour and engaging prisoners in individual counselling and group counselling programmes. The Service also provides supervision in certain cases under temporary release provisions.

As the Deputy is aware the Government recently re-affirmed its commitment to developing new prison facilities at Thornton Hall to replace the outdated prison facilities at Mountjoy Prison. The current lack of space, the poor physical infrastructure in Mountjoy Prison severely impacts on the ability of the Irish Prison Service and other agencies to provide the range of work training, education, and other rehabilitation programmes expected of a modern prison system.

Building a new prison on a green field site will open up new opportunities for the development of progressive regime facilities that will support the rehabilitation and resettlement of prisoners on completion of their sentence. In developing a design concept for Thornton Hall, the Irish Prison Service will deliver a modern and operationally efficient prison facility which is regime led and which provides safe and secure custody.

A two phase approach is being adopted for the development of the new prison. The first phase involves essential basic work required for the development, including the construction of a dedicated access route and a perimeter wall. This work will proceed in the short term on the basis of separate contracts. It is intended to complete the procurement process for the main prison development while the construction of phase one work is underway. Once a contract is signed for the main prison complex, it will allow for construction to commence immediately.

It is acknowledged that severe mental illness is more significant in the prisoner population compared to the general population. Under current arrangements the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) provides twenty-one Consultant led in-reach forensic mental health sessions weekly to Arbour Hill, Cloverhill, Wheatfield, Mountjoy, the Dóchas Centre, Training Unit, St. Patrick's, Portlaoise and the Midlands Prisons. In Cork, Limerick and Castlerea, specialist in-reach services are in place for Consultant led mental health sessions. Clinicians in other prisons (outside the CMH catchment prisons) arrange transfers to CMH services — mainly in Cloverhill — for assessment or admission to the CMH. Earlier this year, 10 additional beds were made available by the CMH. My officials will continue to keep this issue under review.

It is my intention to reduce, as far as possible, a dependence on imprisonment for default on payment of fines. While very few persons are in prison at any one time solely for non-payment of a fine, I am determined to reduce those numbers further. The Fines Bill 2009 is currently before the House and awaiting Committee Stage. Section 14 of the Bill allows for application to be made to a court to have a fine paid by instalments. The Bill also allows the courts to impose a community service order on a person who has not paid a fine by the due date for payment.

As you will be aware I have also set up a Project Board to examine the whole area of Electronic Monitoring. The final report from that Group is due shortly and that will inform the decision(s) to be made on using EM here for a pilot period as a management tool to support the work of the Gardaí and the Probation Service.

Departmental Reports.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

54 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the recommendation in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes to transfer disability functions to the Department of Health and Children; if his attention has been drawn to the opposition to such a transfer expressed by a group (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31172/09]

The recommendation contained in the McCarthy Report that disability functions in my Department be transferred to the Department of Health and Children is the subject of consideration by the two Departments with a view to identifying efficiencies and overall savings as well as ensuring that policy in support of equality for people with disabilities is maintained.

Given their representative character, the concerns expressed by this Group will be carefully taken into account in the deliberations on this matter. The Group's contention is that the role in co-ordinating overall policy among Departments under the National Disability Strategy and of promoting equality under that strategy should remain in my Department. The Group also suggests that the McCarthy recommendations appear to assume that my Department's functions involve the delivery of services whereas those functions centre instead around the promotion of the policy of equality. The question, ultimately for consideration by the Government in the context of the Estimates process, is whether the system of government in relation to disability equality matters can be better organised and improved at less cost. I can assure the Deputy that any decision that is made will be in the best interests of persons with disabilities.

Prison Accommodation.

Jack Wall

Question:

55 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the warning contained in the annual report of the Inspector of Prisons that overcrowding in some prisons is so acute that it is in danger of causing serious injury or loss of life; the steps being taken to address this situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31143/09]

The Inspector of Prisons Annual Report 2008 stated that overcrowding in prisons is an international problem, not unique to Ireland.

As the Deputy will appreciate the Irish Prison Service must accept all prisoners committed by the Courts into its custody and do not have the option of refusing committals. It is the case that there has been a consistent increase in the total prisoner population over recent years. This situation is particularly apparent over the past 12 months during which time the total number in custody has increased by 306. This represents an 8.5% rise in the number in custody.

On 17 September, 2009, there were 3,904 prisoners in custody as compared to a bed capacity of 3,947. This represents an occupancy level of 99%.

The Irish Prison Service has been engaged in an extensive programme of investment in prisons' infrastructure. This has involved both the modernisation of the existing estate and the provision of extra prison spaces. There are contingency plans in place in all of our prisons to deal with peak population numbers. Since 1997, in excess of 1,400 additional spaces have been introduced in the prison system including a new accommodation block for 100 prisoners recently opened at Castlerea Prison. Furthermore, current projects will also provide the potential for an additional 450 prison spaces during 2009 by means of:

a new block in Portlaoise Prison which will have the potential to accommodate approximately 200 prisoners;

a new block in Wheatfield Prison which will also have the potential to accommodate approximately 200 prisoners;

opening the separation unit in Mountjoy Prison which will have the potential to accommodate 50 prisoners.

Despite this significant investment, it is quite clear that in some of our prisons we are operating in excess of our bed capacity at this time. In the longer term, the Government remains firmly committed to replacing the prisons on the Mountjoy complex with modern prison accommodation at Thornton Hall. Building new prison facilities at Thornton Hall on a green field site will open up new opportunities for the development of structured regime activities that support rehabilitation and resettlement of prisoners. In developing its design concept for Thornton Hall the Irish Prison Service sought and continues to seek to deliver a modern, operationally efficient and cost effective facility which will provide decent living conditions for prisoners with appropriate support programmes including the provision of modern facilities for prison staff.

The mission of the Irish Prison Service is to provide safe, secure and humane custody for those placed into custody. This is one of the main reasons for the introduction of recent security initiatives, such as airport style security screening including x-ray machines and scanning equipment, the establishment of the Operational Support Group, the establishment of the Drug Detection Dog Service within the Irish Prison Service, the segregation of a number of serious drug and criminal gang members in a high security unit in Cloverhill Prison and the use of phone detectors and phased installation of telephone blocking technology.

No level of inter prisoner violence is acceptable. Every effort is made by prison staff and management to limit the scope of acts of violence. While the prison regime is designed to limit the scope of acts of violence, it is not possible to completely eliminate the possibility of such acts in prisons holding a high proportion of violent offenders without introducing a regime that would be unacceptable. When you consider that in 2008 the Irish Prison Service provided almost 1.3 million bed nights to predominantly young males, the number of assaults on prisoners, particularly those using a weapon, was comparatively low. There were a total of 759 incidents of violence among prisoners during the year of which less than 7% included the use of a weapon. This amounts to an average of 2 incidents per day among a population of more than 3,500. Moreover, prisoner on prisoner attacks are very rarely random acts of violence. They are invariably related to matters such as drug debts and gang rivalries, all of which have their origins outside the prison setting.

Garda Training.

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

56 Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the amount spent on renovating Templemore Garda College, County Tipperary, in each of the past five years; the percentage capacity at which the training college will be running for each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31513/09]

I have requested details from the Garda Authorities in relation to the amount spent on renovating Templemore Garda College and I will be in contact with the Deputy when the information is to hand.

The Garda Training College continues to provide an excellent and essential service to An Garda Síochána and will do so into the future.

There are currently a total of 600 Garda students in training and approximately 900 student Gardaí will have become attested to the force throughout the course of 2009. The Public Service recruitment moratorium does not apply to the Garda Reserve and recruitment to the Reserve is ongoing. There are currently 151 reserve members at various stages of training and these trainees attend the Garda Training College as part of their training programme.

In the past few years the accelerated recruitment campaign resulted in additional demands on the capacity of the training college. In response to on-going training requirements, some in-service Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Courses for full-time members of the Force were transferred to an outsourced centre at the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh in 2005. This allowed the Garda College to concentrate on recruitment training. In recent months the outsourcing has discontinued and CPD training is now taking place in the Garda College with a consequent reduction in associated training costs. Members of An Garda Síochána can avail of CPD courses in areas such as Crime Prevention, Tactical Training, Forensic Collision and Cultural Diversity issues.

The following table shows the number of course places available to Gardaí over the past 5 years:

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

to Nov 2008

5,908

6,613

6,976

8,076

8,422

7,362

The situation in relation to recruitment and training will continue to be monitored to ensure that optimum use is made of the resources available at the Garda Training College.

National Disability Strategy.

David Stanton

Question:

57 Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, further to Parliamentary Question No. 92 of 25 February 2009, if the strategic document outlining the vision, mission and objectives of the National Disability Strategy has been published in line with commitments in Towards 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31425/09]

The strategic document outlining the vision, mission and strategic objectives of the National Disability Strategy was, following the approval of the Government, published on 27 May 2009 in accordance with the commitment in Towards 2016. It is available on the websites of my Department and of the National Disability Authority.

Refugee Resettlement Programme.

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

58 Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the calls made by the European Commission for more refugees from conflict zones to be admitted into the EU; the steps he is taking in order to achieve this aim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31742/09]

Ireland is one of a number of EU Member States with a national resettlement programme. Since 2000, Ireland has accepted over 900 persons for resettlement from over 20 countries. Under the applicable Government Decision, the annual resettlement quota under the UNHCR Resettlement Programme is currently 200 persons to be admitted as programme refugees.

On 2 September 2009, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the establishment of a Joint EU Resettlement Programme which would be a new element of the Common European Asylum System. The Commission proposes that the Joint Programme would have the following added value compared to the existing national programmes of some of the Member States:

increased humanitarian impact through greater and better targeted support to the international protection of refugees through resettlement.

enhanced strategic use of resettlement by ensuring that it is properly integrated into the Union's external and humanitarian policies generally.

streamlining the Union's resettlement efforts delivering benefits in the most cost-effective manner.

The Commission proposal is based on the following guiding principles:

participation by Member States in resettlement should remain voluntary.

the scope of resettlement activity in the EU should be widened.

the mechanism for setting resettlement priorities annually should be adaptable.

actors other than Member States should participate, including UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration.

The resettlement activities of EU Member States are eligible for financial support from the European Refugee Fund (ERF) which was established for the period 2008 to 2013 by Decision No 573/2007/EC. The Commission proposes that the ERF Decision be amended to provide the mechanism for setting common EU resettlement priorities for the following year through a Decision to be taken by the Commission. Following the adoption of the Commission Decision, the Member States will provide pledges of numbers of persons whom they will resettle according to the common EU annual priorities. On the basis of these pledges Member States will receive financial assistance of €4,000 per person to be resettled.

The Commission proposal for an amendment to the 2007 ERF Decision is subject to the co-decision procedure involving the European Parliament and the Council. Detailed work on the proposal by the preparatory bodies of the Council has yet to commence. However, as this work proceeds my Department will be concerned to ensure that the advantages of a Joint EU Programme which are suggested by the Commission are in fact achievable and that the positive elements of the national resettlement programmes are not lost with the establishment of a Joint EU Programme.

Question No. 59 answered with Question No. 47.

Garda Deployment.

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

60 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of garda personnel engaged in providing driver and security services to the Members of the Government, members of the Judiciary, former Taoisigh or former Government Ministers; his plans to review the number involved with a view to transferring some of those garda officers to front line duties fighting crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31151/09]

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that there are 54 members of An Garda Síochána permanently assigned duties as Garda Protection Officers to 26 designated persons including current Office holders and four former Taoisigh. Included in the duties of the Protection Officer is a requirement to drive the Protected Person. There are no protection officers assigned to former Ministers.

Responsibility for the allocation of personnel rests with the Garda Commissioner, in conjunction with his senior management team. Resource levels are constantly monitored, in conjunction with crime trends and other demands made on An Garda Síochána, and are kept under review.

Drug Seizures.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

61 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the quantity and value of seizures of heroin, cocaine, cannabis, and of other drugs here during 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009; the proportion of the overall flow of drugs into Ireland which is believed to be represented by these seizures; the new initiatives he plans to control the flow of illegal drugs into Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31159/09]

The following tabular statement gives the latest available information in relation to drug seizures for 2007, 2008 and this year to date.

This statement shows seizures of a total value of over €168m being made in 2007 and just over €200m in 2008.

Because of the covert nature of the activity, it is simply not possible to give a reliable estimate of the proportion of drugs coming into the country that these figures represent.

While it is true that some international studies attempt to estimate the proportion of overall drugs seized to production, this is not a reliable guide to the situation in any particular country. In particular, such figures cannot reflect increased enforcement levels in a country.

Through ongoing specific initiatives and intelligence-led operations, An Garda Síochána continues to seize substantial quantities of illegal drugs and identify those involved in the importation, distribution, sale and supply of illegal drugs.

In addition to the officers of the Force specifically assigned to the drugs issue who are attached to the Garda National Drugs Unit and the Divisional Drug Units, officers from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Organised Crime Unit and the Criminal Assets Bureau all assist in our overall law enforcement response to drug trafficking and drug dealing.

In addition, the Gardaí work closely with Customs and the Naval Service under the umbrella of the Joint Task Force on Drugs as well as with their international colleagues in tackling the problem.

An Garda Síochána is satisfied that, in addition to the considerable volume of drugs seized to date in 2009, a significant impact continues to be made by the arrest and prosecution of a number of major players involved in drug trafficking.

Recent and ongoing initiatives include

the operation of the Organised Crime Unit on a permanent capacity,

ongoing Irish involvement in the work of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre in Lisbon,

strengthened provisions in the Criminal Justice Acts 2006 and 2007 and

the ringfencing of resources this year for Operation Anvil.

I am also confident that the recent legislation that I introduced dealing with surveillance coupled with the further measures put in place to tackle organised crime through the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act will be of particular value in tackling drugs gangs.

Finally, it is clear that we cannot tackle the problem of drug misuse through law enforcement measures alone. As set out in the Government's recently launched new National Drugs Strategy for the period 2009 to 2016, we need to address the problem in a co-ordinated way across the pillars of supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research.

In this context, I can assure the House that my Department, and all the agencies under its aegis, are fully committed to this approach and to the implementation of the Strategy.

The Garda authorities advise that the following tables show the quantities of drugs seized in 2007, 2008 and up to and including 11 September, 2009, on the basis of cases already reported to the Forensic Science Laboratory.

2009: Drug Seizures (up to and including 11 September 2009)

Drug Type

Quantity

Estimated Street Value

Cannabis

350,812.993 grams

4,209,755.916

Cannabis Resin

1,246,001.593 grams

7,476,009.558

Heroin

55,549 grams

8,332,350

Cocaine

56,237.687 grams

3,936,638.09

Ecstasy

12,872 tabs & 799.675 grams

104,343.75

Amphetamine

17,114.723 grams

256,720.845

Total Value

24,315,818.159

*Statistics provided for 2009 are operational, provisional and liable to change.

2008: Drug seizures

Drug Type

Quantity

Estimated Street Value

Cannabis

1,014,372.661 grams

2,028,745

Cannabis Resin

5,366,190.236 grams

37,563,332

Heroin

212,312.287 grams

42,462,457

Cocaine

1,688,091 grams

118,166,370

Ecstasy

113,884 tablets & 1,185.359 grams

1,198,108

Amphetamine

11,767.840 grams, 1,698 tablets

201,988

Total Value

201,621,000

2007: Drug seizures

Drug Type

Quantity

Estimated Street Value

Cannabis

779,310.871 grams

1,558,622

Cannabis Resin

1,279,697.544 grams

8,957,883

Heroin

148,520 grams

29,704,000

Cocaine

1,768,990.933 grams

123,829,365

Ecstasy

279,017 tablets, 17,375.362 grams

3,658,938

Amphetamine

58,223 grams, 10,471 tablets

1,030,410

Total Value

168,739,218

Civilianisation Programme.

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

62 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason the creation of 900 civilian posts within the gardaí has resulted in the release of only 144 garda personnel for frontline policing duties, as highlighted in the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32619/09]

An effective police civilianisation programme does not always invoke pure "one for one" replacement of individual Gardaí with civilians — it can take a number of forms. Firstly, of course there is the replacement of sworn members, who are engaged in exclusively clerical, administrative or technical duties, with civilian staff. Secondly, and very importantly there is the use of civilian support which allows sworn members who would otherwise have to devote a significant part of their working day to performing some administrative duties to focus exclusively on front-line policing duties. Thirdly, there is the recruitment of civilians to perform completely new or expanded administrative, managerial and professional support roles in An Garda Síochána, for example as crime analysts or IT specialists.

On this account, and because of the significant restructuring of roles, functions and business areas that has taken place at all levels of An Garda Síochána in recent years, it is very difficult to quantify the exact number of posts which were occupied by sworn members but which today are held by civilians. I can however confirm that since 2003 the number of civilians in An Garda Síochána has more than doubled to approximately 2,130 whole time equivalents. Civilian staff are now involved in the provision of vital support services in a wide range of administrative, professional, technical and industrial areas, including Human Resources, Training & Development, IT and Telecommunications, Finance and Procurement, Internal Audit, Communications, research and analysis, accommodation and fleet management, scene-of-crime support and medical services. In addition, a number of essential operational support areas are either wholly or largely staffed by civilian staff, such as the Central Vetting Unit, the Garda Information Services Centre, and the Fixed Charge Processing Office. The Garda Síochána Analysis Service, to which I referred earlier, is staffed by qualified and highly trained civilian analysts and civilian Telecommunications Technicians provide front-line support to the whole of the Garda organisation across a range of technologies and services.

Citizenship Applications.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

63 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his definition of a stateless person; the extent to which this is in accord with International agreements and regulations; the number of such persons who have applied for naturalisation here in each of the past five years and to date in 2009; the number of such cases approved, rejected or pending; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31236/09]

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1956 to 2004 define a Stateless person as being ‘within the meaning of the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons of the 28th day of September, 1954'. The definition of a ‘Stateless Person' as outlined under this Convention is’a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of it’s law’. Every application for a certificate of naturalisation is dealt with on an individual basis, if the applicant claims to be stateless then the citizenship laws of the country of origin, country of birth and any other country that may be involved are examined to determine whether the applicant is entitled to citizenship. It is only after these checks are completed will a determination on the nationality of the applicant be made.

The number of applications in the last five years from persons who have presented as being Stateless is twenty three. Eleven of these applications are pending a decision, while three have been refused and four were ineligible. Five applications have been approved. Of these one had their status confirmed as Stateless, two were found to have nationality of another country and two are currently being examined to determine if they have an entitlement to nationality of another country.

In the overall context the proportion of applicants presenting as Stateless is very low at 1 in every 2,000 applications. Some people may consider themselves to be Stateless for example due to their ethnic origins but nonetheless have entitlement to nationality of their country of birth or nationality of another country through descent.

Crime Levels.

Willie Penrose

Question:

64 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the discussions he has had with the financial institutions to prevent so-called tiger robberies; if new security measures have been agreed to ensure the safety of staff and the security of money; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31161/09]

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

65 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the stage of the Garda investigation into the robbery of €7.6 million from a bank (details supplied) in a so-called tiger robbery; the amount of the money recovered to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31160/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 65 together.

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the incident to which the Deputy refers remains the subject of an active and ongoing investigation. A number of persons have been charged and are currently before the Courts in connection with the incident. Consequently, it would not be appropriate for me to go into any further details about the matter, including the amount of money recovered to date.

As I stated in the immediate aftermath of this robbery, I spoke to the Chief Executive of the institution and expressed my concern that such a large sum of money could be removed from the bank in this manner. Several meetings have also taken place between An Garda Síochána and representatives from the financial institutions to discuss issues relating to their security arrangements, including the issue of so-called ‘tiger' kidnappings. There are agreed response procedures, which are detailed and all-encompassing, between An Garda Síochána and the financial institutions to deal with situations where members of staff or their families are taken hostage in order to facilitate robberies of such institutions. An Garda Síochána does not, for obvious security reasons, disclose information relating to such procedures and protocols.

I know that the members of this House will agree with me that it is vitally important that financial institutions follow the robust procedures and protocols that are in place to prevent robberies. These are there, first and foremost, to protect employees. It is important to recognise that it is only by rendering so-called ‘tiger' kidnapping attempts unsuccessful that we will stop them happening, and thereby protect innocent employees from being caught up in them in the future.

Question No. 66 answered with Question No. 37.

Criminal Records.

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

67 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the new procedures planned by the gardaí to ensure that officers do not access people’s criminal records for anything other than investigative purposes, particularly in view of the concerns expressed by the Garda Ombudsman Commission regarding the release of inaccurate information concerning a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31169/09]

The matter to which the Deputy refers concerns the alleged leaking of official material from Garda sources to the media relating to a deceased person. An investigation under section 98 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 into the matter was carried out by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission and the full text of that report is available on its website.

The Ombudsman Commission report recommends to the Garda Commissioner that supervisory ranks of An Garda Síochána should regularly monitor the use of PULSE to ensure that members adhere to their legal and disciplinary obligations with regard to its proper use. The report also recommends that suitable measures be put in place by the Garda authorities to ensure audit trails of the usage of PULSE and any other official information systems can always be accurate and verifiable.

With regard to PULSE, An Garda Síochána have detailed procedures and instructions in place on the operation of the PULSE system. The PULSE system incorporates an accurate audit system which records all record creations and updates made on the system. The audit record includes the date and time when the update on the system took place and contains details of the user signed onto the system at that time. Audit-trails also record all inquires made on the core items of interest on the PULSE system including Person and Vehicle. Audit records are written at the time the associated transaction took place. These audit records can only be accessed centrally and are not available or visible to the users.

In response to the report, a review to consider the matters raised and identify options for enhanced usage of the PULSE Audit data in respect of the monitoring of data access has been conducted by the Gardaí. Specific proposals in this regard have been formulated and are presently under consideration by senior Garda management. Under these proposals an ‘Exceptional activity level report' and related business process has been advanced which will highlight to Garda Management specific PULSE records which are subject to a high level of data access activity occurring within a defined period. This new functionality will be included in the next major release of PULSE.

Equality Laws.

Kathleen Lynch

Question:

68 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the recent complaint lodged with the European Commission by the Equality and Rights Alliance that Ireland is in breach of EU equality laws; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31154/09]

I understand that an ad-hoc group of non-governmental organisations has made a complaint to the European Commission about the level of Government funding for the Equality Authority.

The Commission has a mechanism for considering complaints from the general public of failure by a Member State to fulfil an obligation under Community law. It is a matter for the Commission in its own discretion to decide to commence proceedings on foot of a complaint. The individual complainant has no say in determining whether or not the Commission actually initiates proceedings against a Member State.

It would be inappropriate therefore for me to comment further at this stage, before the Commission has had an opportunity to consider the merits of the complaint.

Garda Investigations.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

69 Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the new instructions which have been issued to members of the gardaí arising from those recommendations of the Monageer inquiry relating to the gardaí; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31158/09]

The Garda Commissioner has accepted the findings of the Monageer Inquiry and is committed to ensuring that the safety and protection of children is a key priority for An Garda Síochána.

The Children First guidelines provide the essential framework for the work of An Garda Síochána and the Health Service Executive in dealing with the sensitive area of child safety. The guidelines, as the national guidelines for the protection and welfare of children, together with the relevant legislation, in particular the Child Care Act 1991 as amended, are being fully applied by An Garda Síochána. The recommendations of the Inquiry are being utilised to refine the practices and procedures of An Garda Síochána to ensure that they complement the guidelines.

On 5 June 2009, the Health Service Executive, in consultation with An Garda Síochána, established an out of hours emergency place of safety service, which is being provided by a private operator as agent of the HSE, for children found to be at risk (outside the Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow catchment area for which provision had already been made). These arrangements have been brought to the attention of members of An Garda Síochána.

Road Traffic Offences.

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

70 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of drivers who have been tested and prosecuted for suspected drug driving in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28393/09]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that it is not possible to provide the information requested by the Deputy, regarding the number of drivers tested for suspected drug driving in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009, without a disproportionate expenditure of Garda time and resources. In relation to statistics for drug driving prosecutions, the Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office, as the national statistical agency, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose. I have requested the CSO to provide the statistics sought by the Deputy directly to him.

Crime Levels.

Joan Burton

Question:

71 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will make a statement on the crime figures for the second quarter of 2009 published by the Central Statistics Office and in particular the continuing high level of drug related crime. [31141/09]

Overall the statistics on recorded crime in the second quarter of 2009 published by the Central Statistics Office show a continuation of the encouraging trends of the previous quarter which is very welcome.

As I said at the time of the release of the statistics it is heartening that of the 14 crime groups for which statistics are given, 11 show reductions, including public order, weapons and explosives and sexual offences and I am encouraged by positive trends which these statistics reveal.

That is not to ignore the fact that the statistics also reveal some matters of particular concern to which the Government is vigorously responding.

For example, while the number of homicides overall show a decrease of 20.8% (due to reduced numbers of cases of manslaughter and cases of dangerous driving leading to death) there has been an increase in the number of murders, from eight in the second quarter of 2008 to 15 in the equivalent period for 2009.

Many of these were gangland related, and it was partly to combat this trend that I piloted significant legislation through the Oireachtas in the past number of months, including the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act and the Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act.

In terms of drugs offences, Garda operations have contributed to the significant increase of 54.8% in the number of detections of cultivation or manufacture of drugs.

This, allied with decreases in the possession of drugs for sale or supply (- 4.3%) and for personal use (- 0.8%), is the result of the priority given by An Garda Síochána to intercepting the supply of drugs.

The House will be aware from media reports and elsewhere of the ongoing action being taken by An Garda Síochána in pursuing the activities of drugs gangs and the ongoing considerable success they are having in making major seizures and arrests.

Indeed I warmly commend our law enforcement agencies, specifically our Customs Service and An Garda Siochana on their recent high profile successful operations in this regard.

There is no room for complacency and this work is ongoing.

Finally , it is clear that we cannot tackle the problem of drug misuse through law enforcement measures alone. As set out in the Government's new National Drugs Strategy for the period 2009 to 2016, we need to address the problem in a co-ordinated way across the pillars of supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research.

In this context, I can assure the House that my Department, and all the agencies under its aegis, are fully committed to this approach and to the implementation of the Strategy.

Question No. 72 answered with Question No. 50.
Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 30.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joan Burton

Question:

74 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach the percentage of payments made by his Department since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors which were paid in full within 15 days, within 30 days and longer than 30 days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32418/09]

My Department processed a total of 589 payments to suppliers and other contractors during the period 19 May 2009 to 18 September 2009. Of the payments processed, 44% were processed within 15 days, 47% within 30 days (of which 26% were within 20 days), and 9% over 30 days.

Small and Medium Enterprises.

Arthur Morgan

Question:

75 Deputy Arthur Morgan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of small and medium enterprises here; the number of SMEs here as a percentage of total companies here; the percentage of the workforce that these SMEs employ; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32004/09]

Statistical information as sought by the Deputy is not collected through my Department. Responsibility for statistical information rests with the Central Statistics office (CSO). The CSO have provided the information as set out in the table. The information relates to 2007 and is based on information coming from the CSO Business Demography 2007 report. This figure is taken from the CSO Business Register and includes enterprises that were active at some stage during the year 2007.

The CSO figures above do not include some NACE Code sectors that are not yet covered reliably on the Business Register. The current CSO figures are different from some of the figures previously quoted (i.e. 233,200) in the supporting material to the Report of the Small Business Forum (SBF). The numbers of enterprises that are not included in the CSO figures above but which are included in the supporting material to the Report of the Small Business Forum (SBF) amount to an overall total of approximately 45,400. The sectors and numbers involved are J — Financial Services (8,100), M — Education (4,700), N — Health (11,100) and O — Other Services (21,500). In addition the CSO figures only include businesses which are active on Revenue records. The two main Revenue sources used are VAT payments and employer registrations. Businesses are included in the population of active enterprises for the year 2007 if they pay VAT to Revenue or are registered as an employer with Revenue. So enterprises that have no employees, and are either below the VAT threshold or exempt from VAT, would have been included in the earlier SBF figures but are excluded from the CSO Business Demography report.

Since the CSO figure includes enterprises that were active at any stage during the year 2007, these figures are not affected by the economic downturn.

CSO is continuing to improve and expand its Business Register in order to collect and publish more extensive information.

Table: CSO Information Relating to 2007

Number of Enterprises

Percentage of Total Enterprises

Percentage of Total Employment

%

%

Micro (0-9 employees)

141,894

87.73

27.20

Small (10-49 employees)

16,711

10.33

25.28

Medium (50-249 employees)

2,703

1.67

20.60

Large (250+)

427

0.26

26.92

All SMEs

161,308

99.74

73.08

Job Losses.

Arthur Morgan

Question:

76 Deputy Arthur Morgan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the outflow of jobs from the internationally trading foreign owned base since 2000; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32022/09]

The Forfás Annual Employment Survey reports on job gains and losses in companies that are supported by the industrial development agencies. Data is compiled on an annualised basis and the latest year for which figures are available is 2008.

The Survey shows that in the 9 year period, 2000 to 2008, the total number of jobs lost in IDA supported companies was 99,844. In the same period 109,289 new jobs were created, giving rise to a net gain of 9,445 jobs.

Departmental Expenditure.

John Deasy

Question:

77 Deputy John Deasy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the cost to the Exchequer for the rental of property for FÁS in Waterford city in each of the past five years; the individual units involved; and the rental cost of each building. [32089/09]

The cost for the rental of property for FÁS in Waterford City for each of the past five years is set out in the table.

Rental of Property for FÁS in Waterford City: 2004-2008

Waterford City

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Parnell St

63,488

63,488

70,868

83,167

83,167

Kilcohan:

8A

6,444

12,888

6,444

9

25,350

25,350

25,350

25,350

25,377

9K

74,497

79,497

79,497

74,497

79,579

10

25,350

25,350

25,350

25,350

25,350

11

25,350

25,350

25,350

25,350

25,350

12

26,669

26,669

26,669

26,669

26,696

13A

12,669

30,405

30,405

30,405

30,405

14

26,973

26,973

26,973

26,973

27,001

15

26,973

26,973

26,973

26,973

27,001

13

6,664

26,655

26,655

Agri Garage

30,739

30,739

30,739

Agri Compound

12,100

12,100

12,100

12,100

12,100

Unit 312A

19,602

39,204

Unit 312

87,698

90,195

102,608

102,608

102,608

Unit 215

50,000

IDA Northern Extension

5,551

55,510

5,551

Durands Court, Unit 5

17,878

23,837

23,837

Durands Court, Unit 6

3,973

23,837

23,837

23,837

Durands Court, Unit 3

10,140

Total

675,490

Employment Rights.

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

78 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if all of the outstanding issues relating to the exploitation of workers by an organisation (details supplied) have been fully addressed and the workers involved have been paid in full including overtime or compensatory payments; if a bank is currently being investigated for its alleged role in the alleged non-payment of the workers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32154/09]

The Supreme Court judgment of 30th April 2009 allowed the report of the inspector to be circulated to certain bodies. These certain bodies are those as listed in the interlocutory order made by the High Court on 22 April 2005 and are as follows:

(i) the Garda National Immigration Bureau

(ii) the Competition Authority

(iii) the Director of Corporate Enforcement

(iv) the Garda Fraud Squad

(v) the Revenue Commissioners.

All of the parties already listed above have been made aware of the Supreme Court judgement and all have copies of the report.

The final step in the legal process following on the Supreme Court judgement delivered on 30th April 2009 is the granting of a final perfected order by the Court. This order will be consistent with the Judgement delivered. The Supreme Court has asked that the Minister have an order drafted that will include a list identifying those entities to whom the Report should be circulated. This draft has already been made up and sent to counsel for advice and presentation to the Supreme Court. The draft will be pleaded before the Supreme Court by both sides and a perfected final order will then be granted by the Supreme Court. As regards the investigation of any body following on information contained in this report it is the case that until such time as the perfected final order of this judgement has been granted by the Supreme Court no action relating to the report may be taken by any of the bodies in possession of the report.

Great difficulties have been experienced in ascertaining whether and what payments were eventually made to the GAMA workers involved. Awards of €8,000 each in lieu of overtime were made at an early stage through LRC/Labour Court adjudication to a number of the protesting GAMA workers and others. It was difficult from the information supplied to confirm for certain whether all of the Irish Gama workers had received full value for the amounts transferred to them by payments made to them through their personal Finansbank and Isbank accounts. It will be open to the various agencies of the State to consider what further action may be possible when the final order is granted by the Supreme Court.

John O'Mahony

Question:

79 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when a company (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their employer’s rebate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32359/09]

The Redundancy Payments Section of the Department received applications from the above company in respect of statutory rebates for two of their former employees. An application which was received in late 2008 has been authorised and payment will issue shortly. The second application received from the company in June 2009 awaits processing.

Due to the unprecedented increase in the volume of claims on hand, claims completed manually, submitted by post and received in January and claims submitted online (to www.entemp.ie) received in February are currently being processed. Claims submitted online because of their nature tend to have a faster processing time. All claims are processed strictly in order of date of receipt in fairness to all claimants.

EU Directives.

Willie Penrose

Question:

80 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if in the context of the transposition of the Services Directive 2006/123/EC, which has to be passed into law here with a deadline of December 2009, she will permit an opportunity for the Houses of the Oireachtas to discuss the proposed legislative provisions, rather than the proposal set out in her consultation document which provided for transposition of this directive by way of statutory instrument; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32397/09]

Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market ("Services Directive") was agreed at European level by way of a co-decision by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers in December 2006.

The negotiation process leading to the adoption of the Directive was lengthy and complex and involved extensive consultation with all key national stakeholders. The draft Directive was the subject of debates in the Dail on 25th and 26th of January 2006 and in the Seanad (on employment issues) on 25th January 2006. Ireland supports the Directive, as adopted, as a good basis for creation of a single market in services that will benefit both Irish service providers and Irish consumers.

The work being done now is largely technical, in terms of how to give effect in Irish law to what was agreed in 2006. The Directive must be brought into force by 28th December of this year.

I propose to bring the Directive into effect by way of statutory instrument, under the European Communities Act 1972. This is the approach used for the majority of EU Directives and, in this case, will facilitate the transposition of the Directive by the due date. Work on the transposition of the Directive is well advanced and my Department has continued to consult widely. The Directive is unusual in that the transposition process involves a great deal of administrative work as well as legal drafting. The legal aspect of the transposition process will mainly involve ensuring that the provisions of the Directive are reflected in the transposing instrument. This work is detailed and technical and involves a great deal of co-operation with other Departments (which has been ongoing since the Directive was first proposed in 2004). The transposing legislation will faithfully reflect what is set out in the Directive.

Small and Medium-Size Enterprises.

Joan Burton

Question:

81 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her plans to improve supply chain finance here, particularly in respect of contractors and suppliers to Government Departments and State agencies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32401/09]

Access to finance and credit for SMEs has been a prime focus of Government initiatives. Central to our efforts has been the restoration of a properly functioning banking system to support our wider economy and to facilitate our enterprise sector to deal with the current economic situation and to be prepared to benefit from any upturn in the global economy.

Government action has included the bank guarantee scheme, the Banks' Recapitalisation Scheme, the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank and the publication of the National Assets Management Agency Bill. SMEs are benefiting from the following initiatives:

Under the banks' Recapitalisation Package, the recapitalised banks are committed to increase their lending capacity to SMEs by 10% over 2008.

A €100m environmental and clean energy innovation fund has been established by each bank as well as a further €15m each to new or existing seed capital funds. Much of the funding is flowing to small and medium enterprises.

SMEs are now covered by the Code of Conduct on Business Lending to SMEs. This will promote fairness and transparency in the treatment of SMEs by the banks and should facilitate access to credit for sustainable and productive business propositions.

Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank are providing funding for SMEs on foot of €300m facilities provided by the European Investment Bank to assist developing SMEs.

The Minister for Finance and I established a Credit Supply Clearing Group last May with bank, business (including ISME and SFA) and State representation. This Group is responsible for identifying patterns of events where the flow of credit to viable businesses appears to be blocked and for seeking to identify credit supply solutions relating to these patterns.

The Minister for Finance has published the Review of Bank Lending to SMEs (Mazars Report) which looked at credit availability and recommended appropriate action. Follow-up work on implementing the recommendations in the Mazars Report is currently ongoing.

To assist and complement the work of the Credit Supply Clearing Group, Billy Kelleher, T.D., the Minister for Trade and Commerce at my Department held eight regional meetings over a two-week period during June and July to discuss with representatives of business, banks and the State sector, their experience of gaining access to bank credit at local and regional level.

As part of the ongoing work of the Government's Credit Supply Clearing Group, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment launched an email link on 28 August last calling for submission from viable businesses that have been refused credit by banks. Such businesses, where the flow of credit appears to be blocked, can now send their details to a dedicated email contact point at the Department.

Apart from initiatives in the banking sector, Government has taken other actions additional to the range of assistance already provided by the enterprise support agencies, to directly assist SMEs getting access to financing.

The Government has provided €100m for an Enterprise Stabilisation Fund. Under the scheme, Enterprise Ireland can give up to €500,000 to viable companies with robust business models that are facing difficulties as a result of the current economic environment.

I have also announced a €250m Scheme to protect up to 27,400 vulnerable jobs in the productive sector of the economy. The Temporary Employment Subsidy Scheme will provide a subsidy of €9,100 per employee over fifteen months to qualifying exporting enterprises in the manufacturing and/or internationally traded services sectors.

With effect from 15 June last all Government Departments are required to pay suppliers and contractors within 15 days of receipt of a valid invoice. Responsibility for implementing the terms of the Government Decision rests with each individual Department. Suppliers pursuing payments should contact the relevant Departmental section with which the contract was arranged. As part of the new arrangements, Departments will be required to report quarterly to my Department on the manner in which they have complied with the Government commitment. These first reports are due to be submitted by 15 October. Departments will also include information on the implementation of the measures in their subsequent Annual Reports.

As a result of this measure, Departments are required to give greater priority to making timely payments and to ensure that suppliers themselves are aware of how they can assist the process by meeting the requirements of Departments in relation to the submission of invoices.

On a more specific level, options for various supply chain finance systems have been brought to the attention of different Departments and Agencies, including my own Department. Promoters of supply chain finance systems have made representations in the context of explaining their proposed systems and outlining opportunities for suppliers and buyers.

Supply Chain Finance involves systems under which payments to suppliers are organised through a financing entity on behalf of a significant buyer or buyers in accordance with the payment terms under the supply contract. Systems can facilitate both private sector and public sector buyers. Within the system the capacity exists for the payment of suppliers by the financing entity earlier than provided for in the supply contract. Such earlier payments would be at a discounted rate on the original invoice. In most supply chain finance systems, the authorisation of the invoice for payment by the buyer is required before the financing entity makes payments to the supplier. Under the arrangement, buyers are required to commit to paying the financing entity in respect of all invoices authorised for payment, within the period of the supply contract.

Supply Chain Finance systems usually require a critical mass of suppliers and buyers, significant initial funds to meet earlier payments and appropriate IT platforms to administer the arrangements and to interface with relevant buyers and suppliers. Apart from these considerations, the Government's commitment mentioned above, for central Departments to pay suppliers within 15 days of receipt of a valid invoice lessens the impact of such supply chain finance systems.

The Government will continue to keep under review access to finance and credit for SMEs and will consider what additional initiatives can be taken to improve the situation.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joan Burton

Question:

82 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will comment on her initiative, announced in May 2009, ensuring that all Departments pay suppliers and contractors within 15 days of invoice; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32402/09]

As on and from 15 June last all Government Departments are required to pay suppliers and contractors within 15 days of receipt of a valid invoice.

Responsibility for implementing the terms of the Government Decision rests with each individual Department. Suppliers pursuing payments should contact the relevant Departmental section with which the contract was arranged.

The Secretary General of my Department wrote to all Government Departments on 26th May, asking them to take the necessary steps to implement this commitment and to ensure that Department line staff and Finance Units are made aware of the need to prioritise payments to suppliers to meet the 15 day deadline.

The Government Decision of 19 May included a requirement for Departments to report quarterly to my Department on their performance in meeting these requirements. These reports are to be submitted by the 15th day of the month following the end of the quarter. The first such reports are due by 15 October 2009. Departments are also required to include information on the implementation of the measures in their subsequent Annual Reports.

As a result of the measures Departments are required to give greater priority to making timely payments and to ensure that suppliers themselves are aware of how they can assist the process by meeting the requirements of Departments in relation to the submission of invoices.

Small and Medium-Size Enterprises.

Joan Burton

Question:

83 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of entities here that have applied for the RCM micro-credit pilot facility, managed by the European Investment Fund, under JASMINE; her efforts to encourage the participation of Irish entities in this pilot scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32403/09]

Under EU Cohesion Policy 2007-13, the European Commission has a number of joint initiatives with the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund aimed at improving access to finance using financing engineering instruments.

One of these instruments is JASMINE (Joint Action to support microfinance institutions in Europe), a pilot initiative by the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund.

When Ireland's ERDF Structural Programmes 2007-13 were being developed, the instruments were examined by the Department of Finance, in consultation with representatives of my Department, Enterprise Ireland, the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly and Border, Midland and Western Regional Assembly in the context of the existing arrangements in place to assist SMEs in accessing appropriate financial support.

Given the nature and structure of the financial instruments, particularly in terms of the scale of operations that would be required to secure EIF participation, it was not considered suited to our Structural Funds Programmes.

Following the change in economic circumstances, the EU Commission launched the European Recovery Plan in November 2008. In this context, the Irish Authorities are considering if participation in the various financial instruments are appropriate having regard to the ERDF Programmes and the potential benefits to Irish Businesses.

Access to finance and credit for SMEs has been a prime focus of Government initiatives. Central to our efforts has been the restoration of a properly functioning banking system to support our wider economy and to facilitate our enterprise sector to deal with the current economic situation and to be prepared to benefit from any upturn in the global economy.

Government action has included the bank guarantee scheme, the Banks' Recapitalisation Scheme, the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank and the publication of the National Assets Management Agency Bill. In my reply to Question No. 32401/09 to the Deputy today, I outlined in detail the initiatives currently in place to assist the SME sector in the current economic environment.

The Government will continue to keep under review access to finance and credit for SMEs and will consider what additional initiatives can be taken to improve the situation.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joan Burton

Question:

84 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the percentage of payments made by her Department since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors which were paid in full within 15 days, within 30 days and longer than 30 days; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32411/09]

Over the period 19 May 2009 to 31 August 2009, my Department made 1,362 payments to suppliers and contractors. Of these, 81.7% (1,113 payments) were made within 15 days, 95.5% (1,301 payments) were made within 30 days and 4.5% (61 payments) were made more than 30 days after receipt of the invoice.

Only 6 payments over the period 19 May 2009 to 31 August 2009 attracted interest on late payment under Prompt Payment legislation. Under the legislation, in the absence of any other agreed payment terms between the supplier and the purchaser, late payment interest falls due after 30 days has elapsed from the date of receipt of a valid invoice.

Redundancy Payments.

Michael Ring

Question:

85 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their redundancy payment. [32499/09]

My Department administers the Social Insurance Fund (SIF) in relation to redundancy matters on behalf of the Department of Social and Family Affairs. There are two types of payment made from the SIF — rebates to those employers who have paid statutory redundancy to eligible employees, and statutory lump sums to employees whose employers are insolvent and/or in receivership/liquidation.

The Redundancy Payments Section of my Department received a statutory lump sum application from the individual concerned on 17 June 2009. When an employer claims inability to pay, the onus is on the employer to provide sufficient proof to substantiate the claim. In this case further information has to be requested from the employee to establish whether the employer has since provided the statutory payment. This is causing a further delay in processing the claim, in addition to the delays being experienced arising from the unprecedented high volume of claims on hand.

Departmental Agencies.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

86 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the names, backgrounds and positions of the chairpersons of AnCO and FÁS since 1968. [32557/09]

Given that the information relates to events going back some 42 years, I am endeavouring to retrieve all of the information relating to the names and relevant backgrounds of all past chairpersons concerned. I will reply to the Deputy as soon as the material is retrieved.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

87 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the names of the director generals of AnCO and FÁS since 1968; and the dates of their appointment. [32558/09]

The following is a list of Director Generals of AnCO, and then FÁS, since 1970. Information relating to Directors General prior to Mr Agnew's appointment in 1970 is being collated and will be provided to the Deputy at a later stage.

Directors General of AnCO/FÁS

Name

Dates of appointment

1. Jack A. Agnew

30/07/1970 – 31/10/1982

2. Malachy Sherlock

01/11/1982 – 31/12/1987

3. J. B. Leahy

01/01/1988 – 31/12/1990

4. John J. Lynch

01/03/1991 – 01/10/2000

5. Rody Molloy

02/10/2000 – 25/11/2008

6. Eddie Sullivan

08/12/2008 – 05/06/2009

7. Paul O’Toole

08/06/2009 onwards

Róisín Shortall

Question:

88 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the circumstances surrounding the departure of the first director general of FÁS in 1989-1990; the conditions attached to their departure; if a lump sum was awarded on their departure; and, if so, the basis on which it was paid. [32559/09]

Given that the events took place 19 years ago I am endeavouring to locate the relevant records involved and will reply to the Deputy as soon as the material is retrieved.

Redundancy Payments.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

89 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the entitlement to redundancy in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32586/09]

The position in relation to the person mentioned has not changed since the Deputy raised the issue on 5th February, 5th March and 6th of May, 2009, and for ease of reference the relevant details previously mentioned are outlined as follows.

As there are no records of a claim relating to this person either on the Redundancy Payments System or, I am informed, on the Employment Appeals Tribunal database, it would be prudent at this stage for the individual concerned to bring an appeal for a determination in favour of his claim to a redundancy payment directly to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT). An employee must make application for a redundancy payment or seek a determination from the EAT within twelve months of ceasing his employment, though the EAT has the power to extend the lump sum deadline from 52 weeks to 104 weeks. The 52 week deadline applies both to the making of a claim to the employer (Form 77) and to the making of a claim to the EAT in a situation where the employer disputes payment of redundancy.

A claim can be made to the EAT by submitting a form called a T1-A directly to the Tribunal. These forms can be obtained from the EAT website http://www.eatribunal.ie.

As I previously indicated under the Redundancy Payments Scheme all eligible employees are entitled to a statutory redundancy lump sum payment on being made redundant. Payment of statutory redundancy is, in the first instance, a matter for the employer. In general, a redundancy situation exists where an employee's job no longer exists. It is up to the employer concerned to determine whether or not there is in fact a redundancy situation. Disputes in this regard can be referred to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) for adjudication. It should be noted that time limits exist as explained in above.

This individual may be entitled to claim a redundancy lump sum in the event of lay off. A lay off situation is intended to cover temporary situations where the services of an employee are not required because of lack of work and the employer gives notice that the break in employment is of a temporary nature. If the lay-off continues, the question arises as to whether it is in fact a temporary measure or could potentially be a redundancy rather than a lay-off situation. It is the employer who initially decides whether or not there is a redundancy situation but in the case of a dispute, the matter should be referred to the Employment Appeals Tribunal for a decision.

The employee is entitled, after a period of lay-off of four consecutive weeks or a broken series of six weeks within a 13-week period, and, subject to meeting the normal eligibility criteria for redundancy, to seek statutory redundancy. The employee can, by serving written notice (Form RP 9) on the employer claim redundancy because of the lay-off situation. Notice must be submitted not later than four weeks after the lay-off ceases. A copy of the RP 9 form may be had from my Department or may be downloaded from the Department's website at www.entemp.ie.

In this situation, an employer has a period of 7 days within which to provide a counter-notice to the employee saying that within 4 weeks of the date of the claim for redundancy, it will be possible to offer not less than 13 weeks work without lay off.

Job Initiatives.

Tom Hayes

Question:

90 Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of job clubs here; the number of clients they have dealt with individually with a breakdown for every job club in each of the past three years; and if she will make a statement on their role in tackling unemployment. [32621/09]

FÁS Job Clubs were introduced in 1999 to assist people who were actively seeking employment by providing support for the job search process and an environment in which it could be carried out. Independent Sponsor Groups are contracted by FÁS on a year to year basis to run the programme.

Job Clubs are seen as an important resource and intervention for those who have recently completed training programmes or have recently become unemployed. They provide both a formal and structured input as well as a drop-in resource facility. They also help the individual in overcoming the personal effects of unemployment by providing a mutual support forum from people in a similar situation.

Some 56 Job Clubs nationwide provided formal programmes to the following numbers of clients for the past three years:

Year

Number

2006

6,417

2007

7,100

2008

8,814

I understand that the number of "drop-ins" would be approximately double these figures. During 2009 it is proposed to increase the number of Job Clubs to over 60.

The following table contains a list of throughputs for Job Clubs for 2006 and 2008, a breakdown for 2007 is currently being compiled and will be provided to the Deputy at a later date.

Region

Number of Job Clubs

Total 2006

Number of Job Clubs

Total 2008

South West

4

4

Total

427

410

North West

5

5

Total

486

815

Midlands

9

8

Total

893

896

North East

5

5

Total

546

919

West

4

4

Total

436

447

South East

5

4

Total

538

536

Dublin Region

19

19

Total

2158

3928

Mid West Region

8

8

Total

933

863

Overall Totals

59

6,417

57

8,814

Tax Code.

Tom Hayes

Question:

91 Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Finance the agreement in place in relation to taxation and income levy on the gratuity of retained firefighters; the way the health levy is applied to this sum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32025/09]

In 2008, all serving retained firefighters were given the option of either joining the Local Government Superannuation Scheme (LGSS), which is contributory for all reckonable service, and receiving a pension and lump sum on retirement, or remaining outside the LGSS in order to avail of the existing gratuity arrangements for retained firefighters, which are non-contributory. All retained firefighters appointed since 2008 are also given this option. Retained firefighters who had already retired in 2008 were also offered the option of joining the LGSS on the understanding that they repaid their gratuity and paid contributions on all reckonable service.

Communications Masts.

Mattie McGrath

Question:

92 Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his policy on the erection of communication masts at Garda stations; if the masts require planning permission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32041/09]

Telecommunications masts are erected at Garda Stations to support the communications system, and thereby facilitate the services and activities of An Garda Síochána. All developments carried out by the Commissioners of Public Works, on behalf of An Garda Síochána, are done so in accordance with Part 9 of the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001.

The Commissioners of Public Works, as managers of the State Property Portfolio, license third parties to install telecommunications equipment on Garda masts. The purpose of this is to extract maximum value from State assets and generate revenue for the State. This policy has been in operation for several years.

Tax Code.

Joe McHugh

Question:

93 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Finance if his Department has engaged Northern Ireland customs officials in discussion about vehicle registration; if so, if he will report on these discussions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32155/09]

Joe McHugh

Question:

94 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on work carried out by customs on vehicle registration taxation since the beginning of 2009; the amount of revenue that this has generated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32159/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 93 and 94 together.

It is assumed that the Deputy is referring to work carried out in relation to the enforcement of Vehicle Registration Tax Regulations.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that Revenue enforcement officers, who are based at numerous locations around the country, carry out regular and on-going checks to identify and deal with breaches of the VRT Regulations. This applies particularly in relation to the permanent retention of unregistered vehicles in the State or in the possession of State residents. Co-ordinated national enforcement campaigns also take place in order to detect infringements in this area.

Between 1 January and 31 August 2009, Revenue enforcement officials challenged a total of 15,161 vehicles. Of these vehicles challenged, written warnings were issued in 1,832 cases, which resulted in the collection of €2,539,194 in VRT and a further 1,433 vehicles were seized for breaches of VRT legislation. Court convictions have been obtained in 10 cases with fines totalling €20,162 imposed. Several other cases are due before the Courts or are under consideration for proceedings. The above figures include the results of a VRT blitz conducted during March and April this year in which 3,256 vehicles were challenged that resulted in the collection of €548,000 in VRT.

I am also informed by the Revenue Commissioners that Revenue officers regularly conduct informal discussions with Northern Ireland customs officials on vehicle registration matters. While no formal forum exists, discussions on vehicle registration matters are normally specific enquiries in relation to individual vehicles which have been presented for registration, or in relation to specific investigation being conducted, usually involving multiple vehicles, associated with cross border VAT fraud.

National Asset Management Agency.

Joe McHugh

Question:

95 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Finance if he will ensure that the establishment of the National Asset Management Agency is accompanied by a guarantee from banks that stocking loans will be provided to farmers subject to terms and conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32167/09]

The flow of credit is essential to the proper functioning of the economy. All of the Government's actions to stabilise the financial system have been undertaken in order to ensure that the banks continue to fulfil their essential function in providing credit for individuals and businesses which includes the farming community.

The Deputy will be aware that much has been done to ensure the provision and monitor the flow of credit to viable businesses. These measures include specific commitments attaching to the State's recapitalisation of Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland. A Credit Clearing Group has also been established, involving business groups including the Irish Farmer's Association, banks, State agencies and Departments which is examining cases of credit refusal referred to it.

The primary objective of NAMA is to cleanse the balance sheets of participating banks ensuring they are in a position to lend to the economy. The Government continues to examine potential options in relation to specific credit supply measures attaching to NAMA.

Departmental Expenditure.

Pat Breen

Question:

96 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Finance, further to Parliamentary Question No. 229 of 16 September 2009, the date on which this lease (details supplied) is due to expire. [32398/09]

In the light of a current volatile commercial property market, and the intention of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to rationalise its regional network of offices, the Deputy will appreciate that the date when the lease of the District Veterinary Offices in Raheen Business Park, Limerick expires is considered to be commercially sensitive at this time.

Disabled Drivers.

Jack Wall

Question:

97 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Finance the mechanism which is open to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare to appeal the decision not to grant them a primary certificate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32440/09]

The initial application for a Primary Medical Certificate under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994, is made to the Senior Medical Officer of the relevant local Health Service Executive administrative area. If the Primary Medical Certificate has been refused in this case, the named person may appeal the refusal to the Medical Board of Appeal, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Rochestown Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. I would point out that the Medical Board of Appeal is independent in the exercise of its functions.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

98 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the cost to the Exchequer of purchasing and training sniffer dogs for use by the security and customs services in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32442/09]

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the costs associated with the training and procurement of detector dogs for the Customs Service in the past 5 years were as follows:

Year

2008

33,802

2007

91,411

2006

66,594

2005

133,314

2004

55,519

The above costs include the cost of travelling and subsistence for the officers being trained as dog handlers.

Road Signage.

Paul Kehoe

Question:

99 Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Finance the reason adequate signage has not been provided by the Office of Public Works for a hall (details supplied) having been previously requested; the further reason the OPW has to date refused to meet the members of the local authority to discuss the opportunities of using this facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32013/09]

Directional road signs have been provided by the Office of Public Works for erection by the Local Authority. My officials have been in correspondence with the Local Authority on the matter of usage of the Desmond Banqueting Hall, and have indicated their willingness to meet with the Local Authority at a mutually agreeable time and date.

National Debt.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

100 Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Minister for Finance his estimate and forecast on the level of the national debt for each year from 2008 to 2013; the cost of servicing this debt from the Central Fund for each year from 2008 to 2013; the composition of such debt servicing costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32037/09]

Joan Burton

Question:

129 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide an estimate of the total cost of servicing the national debt, including National Asset Management Agency bonds, for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32386/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 and 129 together.

At end 2008, the national debt stood at €50.4 billion and at end-August 2009 it stood at €69.3 billion. The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) have advised that the main factor influencing the projected increase in the national debt out to 2013 is the planned Exchequer deficit for each of these years. In addition, there may also, in any given year, be some non-cash adjustments related to factors such as premiums and discounts on the issue of new bonds — in 2008, these amounted to €124 million.

Table 1: Supplementary Budget forecasts for the Exchequer Balance 2009-2013

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Exchequer Balance

-€20.35bn

-€19.9bn

-€17.8bn

-€13.4bn

-€9.4bn

In respect of 2009, the Supplementary Budget forecast an Exchequer deficit of €20.35 billion. Since then a capital injection of €4 billion has been agreed for Anglo Irish Bank, of which €3.8 billion had been paid at end-August 2009. This increases the forecast Exchequer deficit by this amount but does not impact on the General Government Balance (GGB) under EUROSTAT accounting rules.

The General Government Debt is the standard measurement of gross indebtedness used for comparative purposes within the EU. It is a wider measure of debt than the national debt and includes the debt of the Exchequer, the extra-budgetary funds, the non-commercial state-sponsored bodies, as well as the debt of local authorities. As reported to EUROSTAT in the April EDP Maastricht returns, the General Government Debt stood at 43% of GDP at end-2008. Based on the forecasted position for the General Government Debt at Supplementary Budget time, the expected trajectory for the General Government Debt over the period to 2013 is outlined in the following Table 2.

Table 2: General Government Debt developments

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

GG Debt % of GDP

59%

73%

78%

79%

77%

The NTMA advise on the likely total debt servicing costs for future years. These costs for the period 2008-2013 are set out in the following Table 3. The NTMA have advised that, as is usual, the estimates for debt servicing costs were prepared on the basis of the prevailing market conditions for Irish Government bonds at the time of the Supplementary Budget. As with other budgetary estimates, these forecasts, which align with the recently published NTMA Annual Report, will be reviewed as part of the forthcoming budgetary process.

Table 3: Supplementary Budget forecast Debt Servicing Costs 2009-2013 & Outturn 2008

Outturn 2008

Forecast 2009

Forecast 2010

Forecast 2011

Forecast 2012

Forecast 2013

€bn

€bn

€bn

€bn

€bn

€bn

Interest

1.5

3.2

5.0

6.4

7.5

8.2

Sinking Fund* and other debt management expenses

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.8

0.9

0.9

Total Debt Service Cost

2.1

3.9

5.8

7.3

8.4

9.1

Rounding may affect totals.

*The sinking fund provision is a transfer from the current account of the Exchequer to the capital account of the Exchequer — it has no impact on the overall Exchequer balance — and represents an element of paying off the principal.

With regard to the servicing of NAMA bonds, I indicated on the 16th of September that the cash flow produced will be sufficient to cover interest payments on the NAMA bonds and operating costs. This projection is based on provisional information and will depend on the outcome of a loan by loan assessment to be undertaken by NAMA.

State Banking Sector.

Finian McGrath

Question:

101 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will support a matter (details supplied). [32072/09]

I refer the Deputy to the comments I made in the course of my Second Stage Speech on the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) Bill 2009 on 16 September 2009 on the effect that NAMA will have on individual institutions. I indicated that while the banking system can be revived and serve the economy in a proper manner, the existing structures cannot remain the same. Already a number of banks are developing restructuring plans to meet EU requirements arising from recapitalisation. I am confident that this restructuring process will result in a reformed and reinvigorated banking system. While it is too early to define a definitive shape for this new banking system, it will be a focus of my work over the coming weeks.

Cigarette Smuggling.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

102 Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Minister for Finance the steps being taken to combat the illicit trade in cigarettes; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it is estimated that the loss in revenue to the Exchequer is of the order of €500 million annually; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31170/09]

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners who are responsible for the collection of tobacco products tax and tackling the illicit trade in cigarettes and tobacco products that their strategy for tackling this illicit trade is focussed both on intercepting and seizing illicit consignments at the point of importation and also on carrying out checks at retail outlets, markets and commercial premises etc. This is achieved through a combination of freight intelligence, risk profiling and scanning in the case of smuggling in maritime freight. In the case of passengers arriving by air from high risk source countries where cheap cigarettes are freely available, targeting smugglers is carried out on the basis of risk profiling by Revenue Officers based at all the main airports. Where feasible, large consignments are placed under surveillance and allowed to proceed to their destination under a controlled delivery with a view to identifying those responsible for the importation. These operations are normally carried out on a multi-agency basis with the assistance of the Gardaí.

Illicit cigarettes that escape detection at the point of importation are also seized inland in the course of intelligence- based checks carried out at retail outlets, markets, commercial premises etc. Follow-up investigations are also conducted both at home and abroad with a view to identifying those responsible and instituting criminal proceedings where the necessary evidence has been obtained.

Revenue's strategies in these areas are under continuous review. This includes the adequacy of existing staffing resources and equipment. In this regard, taking cognisance of the interception and seizure of a number of consignments of counterfeit cigarettes bearing bogus Irish tax stamps concealed in maritime freight imported from China, it is planned to introduce a new tobacco tax stamp with added security features shortly. In addition, the purchase of a second mobile container scanner has been approved with delivery due later this year.

Revenue works closely with the individual tobacco manufacturers and the Irish Tobacco Manufacturers Advisory Committee (ITMAC) with a view to identifying illicit cigarettes on sale in the State, current trends and trading patterns. There is also close co-operation and sharing of information between Revenue and the Office of Tobacco Control (OTC). In addition, on an EU wide basis, Revenue actively co-operates and shares information with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and with other Customs Administrations in the Member States. Furthermore, Ireland, along with the other Member States, has also ratified two international agreements concluded by OLAF with global cigarette manufacturers, Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International, with a view to tackling the illicit trade in counterfeit and contraband cigarettes.

As regards the estimated cost to the Exchequer mentioned, Revenue has previously acknowledged the difficulty in determining the potential tax loss as a result of the illicit tobacco trade because of the multiple factors that have to be taken into account. For instance, a drop in the overall tax take may be partly due to a decline in smoking levels as a result of the various anti-smoking campaigns. Increased legal purchase of duty paid cigarettes in other EU Member States for personal use is also a factor, particularly in the context of low cost air travel and more frequent foreign holidays. This, of course is perfectly legal in the context of the EU principle of freedom of movement. Consequently the reliable information available, which Revenue can analyse, is mainly the quantity of contraband cigarettes intercepted and seized by Customs, the revenue at risk on those cigarettes and the volumes of cigarettes on which duty is collected each year.

Details of the above for each of the past three years are as follows:

Year

No. of cigarettes duty paid

No. of cigarettes seized

Revenue at risk

(Million)

(Million)

(€ Million)

2006

5,604.88

52.38

14.40

2007

5,401.70

74.52

20.49

2008

4,940.57

135.24

39.49

As regards the estimated cost to the Exchequer, Revenue very tentatively estimate that about 20% of cigarettes consumed in Ireland may be untaxed. This is in line with previous trade estimates, equating to a tax loss of approx. €380m. However, it should be noted that this estimate includes legal cross-border shopping purchases for personal consumption along with smuggled counterfeit and contraband cigarettes.

Court Accommodation.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

103 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Finance the status of the proposed upgrades and restoration to Doneraile Court in County Cork by the Office of Public Works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32095/09]

A programme of conservation works is ongoing at Doneraile Court, including the repair of the main staircase. Further works are planned in the immediate future to provide staff accommodation in the main house and conservation works to ancillary buildings, such as the coach house and the gardeners' cottages, subject to the availability of funding.

Flood Relief.

Michael Ring

Question:

104 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Finance if a report (details supplied) has been submitted to the Office of Public Works from Mayo County Council. [32116/09]

Michael Ring

Question:

105 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Finance the work which will be carried out in areas (details supplied) in County Mayo by the Office of Public Works. [32118/09]

Michael Ring

Question:

106 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Finance the funding made available by the Office of Public Works for work needed in areas (details supplied) in County Mayo. [32120/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 to 106, inclusive, together.

Mayo County Council has this week submitted to the Office of Public Works applications under the funding scheme for flood mitigation works, referred to in my reply to the Deputy's Questions on this matter on 16 September. The Mayo County Council applications refer to a number of specific locations, including Glenisland. None of the applications received refer to any of the other locations specifically mentioned by the Deputy. It would be open to the Council to submit applications for these locations.

Mayo County Council's applications will be given full consideration, having regard to the overall number of applications received from Local Authorities seeking funding for small scale mitigation works and the availability of funds. It is expected that a decision will be made in a few weeks in relation to the allocation of funding by the OPW. The carrying out of any works in these areas would be a matter for Mayo County Council.

Tax Code.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

107 Deputy Jimmy Deenihan asked the Minister for Finance the commencement date of the Government levy on cheque books; the revenue that has been collected since its inception; the purpose of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32140/09]

Stamp duty exists on cheques in order to provide Exchequer revenue. The stamp duty on cheques predates the founding of the State and it was a feature of the Stamp Act 1891 which consolidated all existing stamp duty provisions. The yield from the duty on cheques, which also includes bills of exchange, promissory notes and drafts, in the 10 years 1999 to 2008 inclusive, was €160.8 million. Figures for earlier years can be obtained if required. However, the specific information is not readily available and could not be obtained without conducting a protracted investigation of the Revenue Commissioners' records.

North-South Trade.

Joe McHugh

Question:

108 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Finance the cost to the Exchequer in lost trade to Northern Ireland since the introduction of Budget 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32157/09]

As the Deputy may be aware, the Revenue Commissioners and the Central Statistics Office (CSO) prepared a report, at my request, on the Implications of Cross Border Shopping for the Irish Exchequer. The report was published on my Department's website on 20 March 2009. The report estimated the likely value of cross-border shopping in 2009 to be in the range of €450m to €700m, with a potential loss in Exchequer revenues arising from reduced VAT and excise yields of between €72m and €112m. In addition, a possible corporation tax loss in the range of €20m to €31m is tentatively estimated. It should, however, be noted that any estimate for corporation tax is provisional and should only be considered as indicative of the potential loss.

The report noted that the main causes of price differentials between goods in Northern Ireland and the Republic, are operating costs, profit margin (mark-up), taxes and the rapid depreciation of Sterling against the Euro. While changes in the standard VAT rates widened some price differentials, their impact however remains small compared to the size of the change in the exchange rate.

The report also noted that there is rather limited availability of quantifiable data on cross border shopping, and with a view to improving the data available, Revenue and the CSO have worked on questions for inclusion in the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) that should facilitate a more detailed assessment of cross-border shopping in the future. It is expected that the results of the QNHS Cross Border shopping module will be available by end October 2009.

Joe McHugh

Question:

109 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Finance if he or his officials will formally meet with the British Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to Strand II and Strand III of the Good Friday Agreement before the introduction of his budget for the development of a strategy to combat the impact of sterling-euro price differentials and to stimulate North-South trade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32170/09]

As the Deputy may be aware, I met with Chancellor Darling earlier this year and discussed a range of financial and budgetary matters. I also generally meet him and other European Finance Ministers at the monthly ECOFIN council meetings in Brussels. However, I have no plans to meet the Chancellor in advance of the Budget.

In relation to North South Trade, the Irish Government remains strongly committed to North/South cooperation and we will continue to explore ways in which we can work closely with our colleagues in the North to advance our common interests.

State Banking Sector.

Joe McHugh

Question:

110 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Finance if he will use the establishment of the National Asset Management Agency to secure guarantees from banks that temporary credit arrangements and stocking loans will be provided to farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32171/09]

The flow of credit is essential to the proper functioning of the economy. All of the Government's actions to stabilise the financial system have been undertaken in order to ensure that the banks continue to fulfil their essential function in providing credit for individuals and businesses which includes the farming community. The Deputy will be aware that much has been done to ensure the provision and monitor the flow of credit to viable businesses. These measures include specific commitments attaching to the State's recapitalisation of Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland. A Credit Clearing Group has also been established, involving business groups including the Irish Farmer's Association, banks, State agencies and Departments which is examining cases of credit refusal referred to it.

The primary objective of NAMA is to cleanse the balance sheets of participating banks ensuring they are in a position to lend to the economy. The Government continues to examine potential options in relation to specific credit supply measures attaching to NAMA.

Vehicle Compounds.

John O'Mahony

Question:

111 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Finance the safeguards in place to ensure that vehicles seized by the Revenue Commissioners are not damaged or destroyed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32184/09]

John O'Mahony

Question:

112 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Finance the number of compensation claims received by the Revenue Commissioners in relation to vehicles damaged or destroyed while in their custody; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32185/09]

John O'Mahony

Question:

113 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Finance the number of vehicles in the custody of the Revenue Commissioners which have been damaged or destroyed by fire in 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009; the location of each incident; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32186/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 to 113, inclusive, together.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the majority of vehicles seized by their enforcement staff are stored in the State Warehouse in Dublin. This Warehouse was designed and constructed specifically with security as a prime consideration. Seized vehicles are kept within a gated secure compound with 24 hour/7 day onsite security, including the use of CCTV surveillance. Revenue operates a number of other small compounds around the country to facilitate the shorter-term storage of seized vehicles. These include both walled and palisade compounds, as well as lock-up units. Every effort is made to ensure that vehicles are safely stored. Revenue is conscious of the need to safeguard all such vehicles. For operational and security reasons, details of security measures cannot be divulged but they do include CCTV monitoring, alarm systems and mobile security checks.

Since 1 January 2007, there has been only one incident of fire damage to seized vehicles. This occurred at around 1.30 am on the night of Saturday 20th June 2009 when 4 vehicles were either completely destroyed or substantially damaged by fire in the Revenue vehicle compound attached to Michael Davitt House, Castlebar, Co Mayo. The vehicles had previously been seized for VRT offences by Revenue's Anti Evasion Team. Gardaí investigating the incident are satisfied, having reviewed CCTV footage, that it represented an arson attack on the vehicles from outside the compound and that access wasn't gained to the compound itself. Their investigations are ongoing. Revenue has subsequently been in contact with the owners of the four vehicles and is corresponding with their legal representatives.

Other than the above incident, there have been two compensation claims received since 1st January 2007 in respect of seized vehicles allegedly damaged while in the possession of the Revenue Commissioners. In one case, the alleged incident occurred on 1st May 2007. The case was closed with no compensation paid. In the second case, the alleged damage to the vehicle occurred on 21st September 2005 and a compensation claim was received on 19th July 2007. The case is still open. Neither of these two vehicles was destroyed.

Decentralisation Programme.

Mary White

Question:

114 Deputy Mary Alexandra White asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding the decentralisation of offices of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to Carlow; when construction of the new building is expected to commence and to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32350/09]

A number of key projects were identified as priority elements of the decentralisation programme in the Government announcement of 14 October 2008. The construction of a new decentralised office for staff of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in Carlow, in conjunction with a new headquarters for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Portlaoise, and a new headquarters building in Mullingar for the Department of Education and Science, was one of the projects given priority status.

The proposed decentralised offices in the above three locations are being procured by means of a Public Private Partnership as a single Design, Build, Finance and Maintain contract.

The award of a contract for this major project will be subject to Government approval.

Tax Code.

Joe McHugh

Question:

115 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Finance his position on the taxation of public sector retirement gratuities; his views on whether the imminent taxation of gratuities is driving experienced public sector workers into early retirement; his further views on whether these early retirements are removing vital local knowledge from our public services and resulting in a diminishing return; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32367/09]

On the issue of the tax treatment of retirement gratuities for public servants, the position is that under statutory pension schemes and pension schemes approved by the Revenue Commissioners there is no liability to income tax in respect of retirement gratuities or lump sums paid to members of such schemes on retirement. In this regard, it should be noted that the tax arrangements for retirement lump sums apply in respect of pension schemes in both the public and private sectors.

The Commission on Taxation has recommended changes to the tax treatment of retirement gratuities and this recommendation, together with the many other recommendations in the Commission's Report, will be considered by me and my Government colleagues in due course.

As regards the impact of early retirements on public services the position is that there is a constant turnover of experienced staff in all public service organisations and it is a matter for local management to ensure that systems and procedures, including succession planning, are in place to ensure that service delivery standards are protected as much as possible.

State Banking Sector.

Joan Burton

Question:

116 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the progress regarding the investigations into wrongdoing at Anglo Irish Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32373/09]

As the Deputy is aware the various external investigations into alleged wrongdoing at Anglo Irish Bank are ongoing. The Bank is co-operating with all of these investigations and will continue to do so. While the Financial Regulator, the Garda Fraud Office and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement have committed significant resources to their investigations, the matters under investigation are highly complex and it will take some time to establish the precise details of what actually transpired.

The bodies concerned are independent in carrying out their functions and do not report to me on their progress. It would, therefore, be inappropriate for me to comment on their likely outcome. However, like all concerned I am anxious that the investigations are completed as swiftly as possible by the agencies involved.

Joan Burton

Question:

117 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the details of subordinated bond buy back operations at Anglo Irish Bank since its nationalisation including the price paid, the underlying book value, the counterparty and the net effect of such operations on the capital adequacy ratios of the bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32374/09]

Joan Burton

Question:

118 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the details of subordinated bond buy back operations at Anglo Irish Bank since its nationalisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32375/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 and 118 together.

On the 22nd July 2009 Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Limited launched a €3.2 billion "any and all" fixed price cash tender offer for five Tier 1 securities, one Upper Tier 2 security and one lower Tier 2 security. The purchase price paid for the Tier 1 securities was 27% of nominal value, for the Upper Tier 2 security was 37% of nominal value and for the lower Tier 2 security was 55% of nominal value. €2.5 billion of securities were tendered by investors which corresponds to a weighted average success rate across all of the securities of 77%. For information I attach a copy of the "Market Notice regarding the Tender Offer Results" which was issued by the Bank at the completion of the process. The profit arising from the buy back process was €1.6bn.

The transaction, along with the subsequent €0.8 billion capital injection from the Government significantly bolstered the Bank's Core Tier 1 capital ratio and had only a marginal impact on the Total Capital ratio. I do not have details of the counterparties concerned because of the nature of the trading and the fact that such information is commercially sensitive.

Financial Institutions Support Scheme.

Joan Burton

Question:

119 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the capital adequacy ratios of each of the credit institutions covered by the bank guarantee scheme; his views on the level of tier one capital appropriate for commercial banks operating here, above and beyond the regulatory minima; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32376/09]

I assume that the Deputy's question refers to the regulatory capital ratios for the covered institutions.

As the Deputy will be aware, the total capital ratios and core tier one ratios for the covered institutions are set out in the NAMA Supplementary Documentation provided to the House last week.

The following table sets out the latest published total capital ratio and tier one ratio for each of the covered institutions.

Institution

Core Tier 1 ratio

Total capital ratio

Date

%

%

AIB

8.5

10.7

30 June 2009

Bank of Ireland

9.5

15.2

31 March 2009

Anglo Irish Bank

1.4

8.2

31 March 2009

Irish Life and Permanent

9.2

9.3

30 June 2009

Irish Nationwide Building Society

9.4

11.6

31 July 2009

EBS

7.7

10.6

30 June 2009

The figures for Anglo Irish Bank do not include the impact of capital injected into the Bank by the State or the impact of the repurchase of certain debt instruments, both of which have a substantial impact on both the Core Tier 1 and total capital ratios of Anglo Irish Bank.

I have been advised by the Financial Regulator that the regulatory solvency total capital ratio is 8% and the Core Tier 1 ratio is 4%.

Joan Burton

Question:

120 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the net loan to deposit ratios of each of the credit institutions covered by the bank guarantee scheme; his views on the loan to deposit ratios appropriate for commercial banks operating here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32377/09]

I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to the total loans and advances to customers and customer's accounts in each of the institutions. As set out in the NAMA Supplementary Documentation provided to the House last week, the net loan to deposit ratios for each of the credit institutions are as follows:

Institution

Net loan to deposit ratio

Date

%

AIB

156

30 June 2009

Bank of Ireland

161

31 March 2009

Anglo Irish Bank

195

31 March 2009

Irish Life and Permanent

308

30 June 2009

Irish Nationwide Building Society

154

31 December 2008

EBS

164

30 June 2009

Section 39 of the Covered Institutions (Financial Support) Scheme states that a covered institution shall comply with any targets on assets and liabilities to be set by the Regulatory Authority after consultation with the Minister. These targets may include, but are not limited to loan/deposit ratio.

The Financial Regulator has advised me that it has not specified a particular Loan to Deposit Ratio for commercial banks operating here.

Financial Services Regulation.

Joan Burton

Question:

121 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the progress made regarding the proposed reform of the financial regulatory superstructure here; the details of these plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32378/09]

The Government has agreed a range of reforms of the regulatory structures for financial regulation. A new single fully integrated regulatory institution, the Central Bank of Ireland, will be established, replacing the current two pillar structure under the existing Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland. The new structure will be responsible for both the supervision of individual firms and the stability of the financial system generally, combining micro-prudential and macro-prudential supervision in the one institution to achieve the highest performance standards for the new organisation.

Within the new regulatory structures, the consumer information and education role, currently carried out within the Consumer Directorate in the Financial Regulator will be re-assigned to the National Consumer Agency (NCA) which is being amalgamated with the Competition Authority. Regulation for consumer protection, including the development and enforcement of codes of practice, remains within the new Commission as an integral part of conduct of business regulation.

A high level group, chaired by my Department and including representatives of the Central Bank and Financial Regulator, has been established to expedite the implementation of the Government's decision and undertake appropriate consultations. As I indicated in my Second Stage speech on the National Asset Management Agency Bill 2009, I expect draft legislation providing for these reforms of the regulatory structures for financial regulation to be published before the end of the year.

The Deputy will also be aware that I recently announced that Professor Patrick Honohan will succeed Mr John Hurley as Governor later this month and a new Head of Supervision will be appointed shortly. In addition supervisory capacity is being significantly enhanced through new resources and additional expert staff.

Joan Burton

Question:

122 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding a new Financial Regulator; when he will make an appointment to this position; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32379/09]

As part of the reform of the financial regulatory system, a new Director of Financial Supervision will have responsibility for the supervision of regulated institutions. The recruitment process for this position is now at an advanced stage and it is expected that an appointment will be made in the coming weeks.

State Banking Sector.

Joan Burton

Question:

123 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance if he will appoint a High Court inspector to Anglo Irish Bank to conduct an investigation into procedures and operations at the bank which led ultimately to the nationalisation of the bank in 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32380/09]

As the Deputy will be aware several regulatory bodies are carrying out investigations of behaviour at Anglo Irish Bank including in particular, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, the Garda Fraud Office and the Financial Regulator. The various regulatory bodies will make their reports in due course. I am of course anxious that the investigations are completed as swiftly as possible. This seems the most appropriate approach.

Financial Institutions Support Scheme.

Joan Burton

Question:

124 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the valuation methodology for the transfer of assets to National Asset Management Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32381/09]

Eligible bank assets identified for transfer to NAMA will be valued in accordance with the valuation methodology set out in Part 5 of the NAMA Bill 2009 as initiated and contained in draft regulations which were published with the NAMA supplementary documentation on 16 September.

Joan Burton

Question:

125 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the methodology for calculating the fee paid by participating institutions in the bank guarantee scheme; the sums paid to date in 2009 by each of the institutions under the scheme; the liabilities currently covered by the bank guarantee at each institution; the amount of money currently in the Central Bank account dedicated to the receipt of these fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32382/09]

The methodology for calculating the charge, which is paid on a quarterly basis is:

A × B ×1

4

where:

A = the Covered Liabilities for such Payment Quarter, being the average of the Covered Liabilities of the Covered Institution as of the last day of each of the three months preceding the first day of such Payment Quarter,

B = the Charge Factor. The charge factor as set out in Section 16 of the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Scheme 2008 incorporates an assessment of the risks attaching to each individual institution. These are therefore, highly commercially sensitive, and will not be revealed.

The sum raised to date in 2009 for the provision of the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Scheme 2008 is €261,159,734 which represents payments for three quarters. In total, the sum raised for the provision of the guarantee (including accumulated interest) which is held in a mandated account in the Central Bank is €371,227,020. The Deputy will appreciate that the charge paid and the covered liabilities for each covered institution would allow the Charge Factor to be calculated. Accordingly, only aggregate figures are being released.

I have consistently stated that it is my firm intention that the sums raised for the provision of the guarantee should cover the long term cost to the State for providing it. In the context of the six month review of the charge which was recently undertaken by my Department, and given the shortfall in moneys raised from the charge to date, the charge factor levied on each institution has been reviewed and new, higher rates will be charged for the remainder of the scheme. The rates have been calculated so as to recover the estimated €1billion cost of the scheme over its lifetime and to ensure that the taxpayer does not bear any unnecessary cost.

In addition, the covered institutions are obliged to pay all administrative costs associated with the scheme. The administrative costs are composed of staff costs as well as the costs for the provision of legal and financial advice to both myself and my Department. In July, my Department billed the covered institutions €2,495,449 for the period to end May 2009 which was received promptly.

In accordance with the scheme, I recently published the average quarterly liabilities of the covered institutions in Iris Oifigiúil. These are as follows:

1st Quarter value at September 30

365,046,247,030

2nd Quarter average October — December value

352,664,683,524

3rd Quarter average January — March value

317,507,470,647

4th Quarter average April — June value

275,294,936,349

Joan Burton

Question:

126 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance his plans to provide for the extension of the bank guarantee scheme; if he will exclude any of the liabilities currently covered from any such extension, notably dated subordinated debt; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32383/09]

The Deputy will be aware that it is the Government's intention to put a State guarantee in place for the future issuance of debt securities with a maximum maturity of up to five years. Access to longer-term funding in line with the mainstream approach in the EU is expected to contribute significantly to supporting the funding needs of the banks and to securing their continued stability.

The enactment of the Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act on 26 June 2009 has provided a power to extend the guarantee by order beyond its current expiry date of 29 September 2010. In this regard, work is continuing on the drafting of a scheme, the introduction of which requires EU State aid and Oireachtas approval.

On 16 September last, I published an outline of the main elements of the proposed new guarantee scheme, called the draft Credit Institutions (Eligible Liabilities Guarantee) Scheme or ELG Scheme, which is available on the Department of Finance website. The ELG scheme must be approved in accordance with EU State aid rules and discussions are continuing in this regard with the European Commission. The new scheme will be somewhat more targeted, and in this regard dated subordinated debt or asset covered securities issued after the introduction of the ELG scheme will not be guaranteed either under the ELG scheme or under the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) scheme. A key feature of the ELG scheme will be the ability of covered institutions to access unguaranteed funding.

National Asset Management Agency.

Joan Burton

Question:

127 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide a detailed breakdown, by asset class, by institution and by geographic location of underlying security, the level of impairment of the assets scheduled to be transferred to the National Asset Management Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32384/09]

The NAMA supplementary documentation pack circulated to the Oireachtas on 16 September contains information on the potential NAMA portfolio including a breakdown of the assets expected to transfer by institution, by sector and by location. These projections are based on provisional information collated by the interim NAMA.

NAMA will take a bottom up approach to the valuation of assets. This approach will be independent of any impairment charges assessed by the participating institutions.

State Banking Sector.

Joan Burton

Question:

128 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the private firms who provide, or have provided, legal, regulatory or financial advice to him in relation to the ongoing banking crisis since August 2008; the amount of money paid to each of these firms in 2008 and to date in 2009; the amount of the retainer paid to each of these firms since their services were engaged; the sum budgeted for the provision of services by each of these firms for the years 2009 and 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32385/09]

As the Deputy is aware, I have received advice on the banking crisis from the Attorney General's Office, the Central Bank, the Financial Regulator and the NTMA. The private consultancy firm which provided legal, regulatory or financial advice to me on the banking crisis since August 2008 is set out below.

Arthur Cox solicitors have been engaged by my Department since September 2008 to provide advice in relation to general banking matters including the Bank Guarantee scheme, the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank and the recapitalisation of AIB, Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank. The company was paid €1,628,024 in 2008 and €2,254,263 has been paid to date in 2009. The sum of €5.4 million has been allocated for legal advice for 2009 and an estimate of €3 million has been set aside for legal advice in 2010.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers was retained by the Financial Regulator in late 2008 to assist the Financial Regulator with a review of the financial and capital positions of Irish banks and to enable the Financial Regulator to advise the Government on what action needed to be taken. The work undertaken involved an initial high level assessment of the capital and liquidity levels of the institutions, stress testing of the institution's loan portfolios over a three year period, and review the valuation of properties held as collateral against the main property loans.

The total fees paid by the Financial Regulator to the company in respect of the work was €3.8 million, which has been completed. In addition, the Financial Regulator has paid €0.84 million to Jones Lang La Salle for financial and property consultancy services in relation to the Bank Guarantee Scheme.

The National Treasury Management Agency paid a total of €7.3 million to Merrill Lynch for investment banking advice up to 30 June 2009. Following a competitive tender process in July, Rothschild have now been awarded the contract for investment banking advice. The NTMA has also retained an economist however the terms of his contract with the NTMA were agreed on a confidential basis. In addition, following a competitive tender process, the NTMA engaged HSBC and Arthur Cox to provide advice in relation to NAMA.

Question No. 129 answered with Question 100.

Pension Provisions.

Joan Burton

Question:

130 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance his views on the estimate provided by the Comptroller and Auditor General in his recent annual report that the total public sector pension liability is in the order of €108 billion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32387/09]

The latest estimate for the gross accrued liability for public service occupational pensions is €108 billion as of December 2008. This estimate is set out in the recent annual report of the Comptroller and Auditor General. This accrued liability figure is a single monetary amount representing the present value of all expected future superannuation payments to current staff and their spouses in respect of service to date, plus the full liability for all future payments to current pensioners and to their spouses. The large size of the figure is due to the fact that it represents a projection of aggregate pension payments that will be spread over perhaps 70 years into the future.

The estimate of the accrued liability should not be confused with the actual cash funding that will be required in the future. The more meaningful measure of public service pension costs is the actual annual gross outgo on pensions, which is expected to amount to 1.6% of GNP in 2009. The latest forecast is for this outgo to rise to 2.4% of GNP by 2023. The projected increase arises from the growth in public service employment in the past and from increasing longevity.

The 2008 Finance Accounts, to be published shortly, will include the estimate of €108 billion for the total liability of public service occupational pension schemes as at 31 December 2008. The derivation of the accrued liability figure follows the approach set out in the new accounting standard issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, IPSAS 25.

Commission on Taxation.

Joan Burton

Question:

131 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance if any payments, payments in kind or reimbursements were made to members of the Commission on Taxation; if sums remain outstanding; if he will provide such information for each member of the commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32388/09]

In recognition of the commitment involved in the participation of members on the Commission on Taxation the following fee structure was put in place by my Department when the Commission was established:

A fee of €700 per day where a commitment of a half day or more was required;

A fee of €350 per day where a commitment of less than half a day was required.

In respect of the Chairman the equivalent figures are €1,000 and €500 respectively.

I understand that the Commission is in the process of finalising arrangements with my Department to pay the final tranche of fees that are due to members of the Commission. Based on payments made to end June 2009 and on fees estimated to be due for commitments from that date, the following table indicates the total amount of gross fees payable to Commission members for the period March 2008 to August 2009. The Deputy may wish to note that all payments by my Department to the Commission members are chargeable to tax under Schedule E and subject to deductions (tax, PRSI and levies, as appropriate).

I am informed that reimbursement of travel expense amounted to a total of €537.60.

Cumulative amount payable to Members in fees

Name

2008

2009

Arnold, Tom

6,650

12,950

Burke, Julie

14,000

15,750

Collins, Micheál

14,000

32,550

Convery, Frank

9,100

12,600

Daly, Frank

54,0001

65,6002

Donohue, Tom

8,050

20,300

Fahy, Eoin

11,900

22,050

Hayes, Brendan3

Nil

Nil

Hunt, Colin

7,0004

Nil

Leech, Sinead

12,250

19,950

Lucey, Con

11,200

17,150

McCoy, Danny

11,550

16,450

O’Rourke, Feargal5

Nil

Nil

O’Sullivan, Mary

16,800

24,500

Redmond, Mark

15,7506

Nil

Soffe, Willie

12,600

23,450

Somers, Deirdre

5,6007

Nil

Walsh, Mary

12,250

26,600

Total

222,700

309,900

1 Figure reflects a voluntary deduction of 20% on fees payable from 1 December 2008.

2 See footnote 1.

3 Fees were not paid to Mr Hayes or Mr. O’Rourke at their request.

4 Fees were not paid to Colin Hunt from September 2008 at his request.

5 See footnote 3.

6 Fees were not paid to Mark Redmond from December 2008 at his request.

7 Fee paid up to her resignation from the Commission in September 2008.

EU Funding.

Joan Burton

Question:

132 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the EU structural funds allocated to Ireland, broken down by region, for each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; if any of these funds remain to be allocated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32389/09]

For the purposes of EU Structural and Cohesion Funds, Ireland is designated into two NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) II regions, namely the Border, Midland and Western (BMW) Region and the Southern and Eastern (S&E) Region. Under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective, Ireland has been allocated €750 million of EU Structural Funds for the period 2007-13. Of this €458 million has been allocated to the BMW Region and €292 million to the S&E Region.

Ireland's National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), which sets out the strategy for using these Funds, was approved by the European Commission in July 2007. The BMW, S&E and Human Capital Investment Operational Programmes implementing the strategic priorities in the NSRF were approved by the European Commission in October and November 2007. The annual allocations are set out in table 1, which follows, and reflect the full amount of Structural Funds available to Ireland over the 2007-2013 programming period. Table 2 sets out the same information broken down by region.

A further €151 million has been allocated under ERDF for smaller Territorial Co-operation Operational Programmes, including the PEACE III Programme and the INTERREG Programmes for Ireland/Northern Ireland/Scotland and Ireland/Wales.

Table 1 — Ireland's indicative financial allocation for NSRF

Total

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Total ERDF

375,362,372

95,791,745

80,123,038

63,789,267

46,770,097

29,044,643

29,625,536

30,218,046

Total ESF

375,362,370

95,791,744

80,123,038

63,789,267

46,770,097

29,044,642

29,625,536

30,218,046

Total all Funds — NSRF 2007-2013

750,724,742

191,583,489

160,246,076

127,578,534

93,540,194

58,089,285

59,251,072

60,436,092

Table 2 — Ireland's indicative financial allocation for NSRF — regional breakdown

Region

Fund

Total

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Southern & Eastern

ERDF

146,603,534

19,719,928

20,114,327

20,516,613

20,926,946

21,345,484

21,772,394

22,207,842

Border, Midlands & Western

ERDF

228,758,838

76,071,817

60,008,711

43,272,654

25,843,151

7,699,159

7,853,142

8,010,204

Total ERDF

375,362,372

95,791,745

80,123,038

63,789,267

46,770,097

29,044,643

29,625,536

30,218,046

Southern & Eastern

ESF

146,603,534

19,719,928

20,114,327

20,516,613

20,926,946

21,345,484

21,772,394

22,207,842

Border, Midlands & Western

ESF

228,758,838

76,071,817

60,008,711

43,272,654

25,843,151

7,699,159

7,853,142

8,010,204

Total ESF

375,362,370

95,791,744

80,123,038

63,789,267

46,770,097

29,044,642

29,625,536

30,218,046

Total all Funds — NSRF 2007-2013

750,724,742

191,583,489

160,246,076

127,578,534

93,540,194

58,089,285

59,251,072

60,436,092

Joan Burton

Question:

133 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the extent to which Irish credit institutions have drawn down European Investment Bank funds for the purpose of on-lending to small and medium enterprises here; the efforts he has made to encourage these institutions to draw down these funds; the nature of the financial products being employed by the Irish credit institutions to support Irish SMEs with financial backing from the EIB; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32390/09]

The European Investment Bank announced on 3 October 2008 that it was increasing lending for European small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help mitigate the effects of the current credit crisis. This support is in the form of a €30 billion facility to provide loans to commercial banks for onlending to SMEs to fund medium to long-term investment projects.

Four banks operating in Ireland now have access to the EIB facility: Allied Irish Bank (AIB), Bank of Ireland (BoI) and Ulster Bank have access to €100 million each and Bank of Scotland Ireland has access to €50 million.

The overall SME Facility is an important initiative from the EIB and I have strongly urged the Irish financial institutions to utilise the facility to the maximum extent possible with a view to making the additional funding involved available to SMEs as soon as possible.

The allocation of the loans and the drawdown of the funds is a commercial matter for the banks. The indications are that substantial amounts of lending under the facility have been approved across a wide range of sectors. However, it is important to emphasise that the EIB makes funding available for onlending to SMEs as part of its mandate to assist the development of the SME sector. As a result, commercial banks that borrow from the facility are required to ensure that the money is onlent to SMEs for investment and expansion of their activities. Investment can include the purchase of tangible assets (other than land unless vital to the investment), spending on development, planning and financing costs during the construction phase of a project, spending on research and development and building up distribution networks.

It follows that there are constraints on lending from the EIB scheme. Borrowing for short-term working capital is generally not eligible, although a permanent increase in working capital required to develop an expanding SME would qualify. Loans for cash flow or the refinancing of other debt and generally for the takeover of other businesses would not qualify.

Small and Medium-Size Enterprises.

Joan Burton

Question:

134 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the adequacy of access to finance and working capital for small and medium enterprises, particularly for micro-enterprises with fewer than ten staff; his views on the finding of the recent Mazars review of lending to SMEs; the actions he has taken on foot of this report; his plans to bring forward new proposals on foot of the recommendations contained in the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32400/09]

Access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is of major concern to the Government. Making additional funds available for SME lending was a condition of the recapitalisation agreements with AIB and Bank of Ireland. The banks report quarterly on their commitments under recapitalisation and the Supplementary Documentation (Green Book) issued by the Department of Finance last week contains details of SME lending by the two banks, based on those reports. The figures show a significant flow of SME lending. Bank of Ireland report drawdown of €1.5 billion, while AIB report €1.3 billion "additional credit sanctions" and €859 million drawdown in the first half of this year. It is clear that credit drawdown/approvals are down on the same period last year, but the amounts are still substantial and represent a significant level of activity.

The Mazars Review covered the supply and demand for credit by SMEs, using both bank data and a survey of SMEs. It is clear from the review that demand for credit is at a much reduced level. In addition, the survey shows that refusal rates also vary by sector from 6% to 48%. Average refusal rates for Micro SMEs were 30%. However, the consultants also examined a sample of files where credit was refused and found that, in general, refusal seemed reasonable in the context of normal commercial and business criteria.

To help tackle credit problems, the Government has established the Credit Supply Clearing Group with bank, business and State representation. This group is responsible for identifying patterns of events where the flow of credit to viable businesses appears to be blocked and for seeking to identify credit supply solutions relating to these patterns.

As part of the ongoing work of the Government's Credit Supply Clearing Group, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment launched an email link on 28 August last calling for submissions from viable businesses that have been refused credit by banks. Such businesses, where the flow of credit appears to be blocked, can now send their details to a dedicated email contact point at the Department,creditsupplyclearinggroup@entemp.ie.

As part of its support for SMEs the Government has also provided €100 million for an Enterprise Stabilisation Fund. Under the scheme, Enterprise Ireland can give up to €500,000 to viable companies with robust business models that are facing difficulties as a result of the current economic environment. In addition the Temporary Employment Subsidy Scheme will provide a subsidy of €9,100 per employee over 15 months to qualifying exporting enterprises in the manufacturing and-or internationally traded services sectors.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joan Burton

Question:

135 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the percentage of payments made by his Department since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors which were paid in full within 15 days, within 30 days and longer than 30 days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32413/09]

Since 19 May 2009 my Department has paid suppliers and contractors as follows: 90.3% within 15 days, 7.8% between 15 and 30 days and 1.9% after 30 days.

Flood Relief.

Finian McGrath

Question:

136 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will support the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5. [32543/09]

I understand from my officials that this matter is the responsibility of Dublin City Council, as it appears to be a stormwater drainage problem. It is open to the City Council, if there are fluvial flooding conditions contributing to flooding problems, to submit a request to OPW for funding for minor flood mitigation works and studies.

National Lottery Funding.

John O'Mahony

Question:

137 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Finance the recipients of National Lottery funding for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and the amount given in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32550/09]

The amounts paid to applicants for assistance under the Charitable Lotteries Scheme which is funded from the surplus generated by the National Lottery in each of the years 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 are shown in the following tables:

Organisation

2005 Payment

REHAB Lotteries

5,314,135.75

Gael Linn

407,161.87

Irish Cancer Society

358,683.57

Polio Fellowship

358,683.57

Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

350,631.91

Irish Lung Foundation Limited

219,885.64

Asthma Society of Ireland

141,773.42

The Hanly Centre

101,179.79

Irish M.E.Trust

176,136.97

Drogheda Community Services Centre

82,042.46

West of Ireland Alzheimer Foundation

80,209.75

Longford Cathedral Circle

50,270.19

Associated Charities Trust

38,426.67

Irish Wheelchair Association

22,063.18

Mulranny Day Centre Housing Co. Ltd.

15,648.87

Cappoquin Community Development Co. Ltd.

12,235.58

Cope Foundation

152.24

The Liffey Trust

145.07

Total

7,729,466.50

Organisation

2006 Payment

REHAB Lotteries

5,748,664.10

Gael Linn

479,224.00

Irish Cancer Society

418,411.48

Polio Fellowship

418,411.48

Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

391,823.88

Asthma Society of Ireland

367,530.85

Irish Lung Foundation Limited

225,301.87

The Hanly Centre

124,999.44

Irish M.E.Trust

100,138.84

Drogheda Community Services Trust

96,003.66

West of Ireland Alzheimer Foundation

94,458.06

Longford Cathedral Circle

60,652.17

Associated Charities Trust

41,942.28

Irish Wheelchair Association

18,697.16

Mulranny Day Centre Housing Co. Ltd.

18,528.59

Cappoquin Community Development Co. Ltd.

13,212.12

Total

8,618,000.00

Organisation

2007 Payment

REHAB Lotteries

5,504,073.16

Gael Linn

541,587.06

Irish Cancer Society

413,738.27

Polio Fellowship

413,738.27

Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

316,656.75

Asthma Society of Ireland

557,013.55

Irish Lung Foundation Limited

205,152.00

The Hanly Centre

168,343.93

Irish M.E.Trust

98,105.07

Drogheda Community Services Trust

100,742.84

West of Ireland Alzheimer Foundation

104,943.51

Longford Cathedral Circle

62,209.77

Associated Charities Trust

42,214.67

Irish Wheelchair Association

7,615.56

Mulranny Day Centre Housing Co. Ltd.

17,004.60

Cappoquin Community Development Co. Ltd.

16,049.06

Lyreacrompane Community Development Ltd.

27,938.48

Slieve-Ardagh Rural Development

20,873.44

Total

8,618,000.00

Organisation

2008 Payment

REHAB Lotteries

5,185,163.72

Gael Linn

610,413.50

Irish Cancer Society

429,746.96

Polio Fellowship

429,746.96

Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

232,048.76

Asthma Society of Ireland

643,315.93

Irish Lung Foundation Limited

172,890.95

The Hanly Centre

166,103.69

Irish M.E.Trust

96,853.98

Drogheda Community Services Trust

105,947.06

West of Ireland Alzheimer Foundation

121,469.12

Longford Cathedral Circle

61,162.26

Associated Charities Trust

39,113.35

Irish Wheelchair Association

5,417.42

Mulranny Day Centre Housing Co. Ltd.

14,200.02

Cappoquin Community Development Co. Ltd.

16,896.90

Lyreacrompane Community Development Ltd.

26,776.64

Friedrich’s Ataxia (FASI)

198,949.67

Slieve-Ardagh Rural Development

22,708.23

St. Kieran’s Community Centre

39,074.86

Total

8,618,000.00

Flood Relief.

Tom Hayes

Question:

138 Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Finance if funding will be provided to ensure that necessary works will be carried out at Ardfinnan, County Tipperary to address the flooding problem and ensure that people’s homes are not at further risk. [32570/09]

A formal application for funding for works to address the flooding problem in Ardfinnan was submitted to the Office of Public Works by South Tipperary County Council in early September. The application is currently being considered in conjunction with applications submitted by other local authorities in recent weeks for funding for flood mitigation works or studies at specific locations. A decision will be made in relation to the funding application for Ardfinnan shortly.

Tax Code.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

139 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance if and when a P45 will issue in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32587/09]

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that while the issuing of P45s is a matter for the employer, they will contact the taxpayer directly in relation to his request.

Health Service Allowances.

Jack Wall

Question:

140 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children the position of a back-to-school clothing and footwear allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32020/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Pension Provisions.

Joan Burton

Question:

141 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health and Children if, as discussed during the Finance Bill 2009, she is making provision to exclude a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15, who has no pension benefits under a scheme, from having to pay the pension levy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32103/09]

Joan Burton

Question:

142 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will exclude a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15 from paying the pension levy. [32500/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 141 and 142 together.

The individual mentioned was entitled to join the employee superannuation scheme when it was opened up to part-time workers in 2005. The employer has confirmed that she was issued an option to join the scheme (under circular 23/2005), and purchase her pre-scheme service, which she did not avail of. However, on retirement, she may be entitled to a non-pensionable gratuity.

All employees, including full time and part time employees on the payroll, who are, or are entitled to be, members of a public service occupational pension scheme or pension arrangement are subject to the deduction provided for under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, 2009.

I can confirm that the levy applies to all employees of St. Michael's House as this employer is deemed to be a public sector employer for the purposes of the legislation (Sections 1(i), 2(1)(b)(i) and 2(1)(b)(iii) refer).

Health Service Allowances.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

143 Deputy Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Health and Children when a decision will be made on a back-to-school allowance application in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32511/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Health Service Funding.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

144 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health and Children if there are plans to further cut funding available to an organisation (details supplied) in view of the 3% budget cuts imposed since 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32007/09]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Nursing Home Subventions.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

145 Deputy Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Health and Children when a decision will be made on a nursing home subvention application in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32042/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Health Services.

Finian McGrath

Question:

146 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will support the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9. [32048/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Sean Sherlock

Question:

147 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health and Children the status of an application for the back-to-school clothing scheme by a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32058/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

148 Deputy Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Health and Children when a decision will be made on an application to the Health Service Executive by a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32062/09]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Finian McGrath

Question:

149 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will support the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5. [32090/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

John O'Mahony

Question:

150 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health and Children the number and cost of agency hours for each hospital in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32108/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Dan Neville

Question:

151 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health and Children when a back-to-school allowance will be granted in respect a person (details supplied) in County Limerick. [32110/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Medical Cards.

John McGuinness

Question:

152 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will expedite the approval of a medical card in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny. [32115/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Services.

Jack Wall

Question:

153 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will receive an earlier date for a hospital appointment at Naas General Hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32133/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Child Care Services.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

154 Deputy Jimmy Deenihan asked the Minister for Health and Children when a grant will be approved in respect of an organisation (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32145/09]

As the Deputy is aware the National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) 2006 — 2010 is implemented by my Office with the assistance of Pobal, who manage the day to day operation of the programme.

With the economic downturn Government expenditure, particularly in the area of new capital commitments, was reviewed earlier this year. As a result, with the exception of a limited number of projects, it was necessary to inform all NCIP capital grant applicants, including the applicant referred to by the Deputy, that no further applications were being approved and that the programme was closed to additional applications. Existing capital commitments will continue to be processed during 2009 and 2010.

The City and County Childcare Committees will be advised by my Office if and when additional capital funding becomes available to my Office in 2011 and 2012.

Muscular Dystrophy.

Joe McHugh

Question:

155 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will meet with representatives of an organisation (details supplied) further to a commitment made by her in the course of a Dáil debate on 21 May 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32160/09]

Following the Dáil Debate on 21 May 2009, I met with Duchenne Ireland on 16 June 2009. The issues discussed at that meeting included Research, Clinical Trials and Standards of Care for the treatment of boys with duchenne muscular dystrophy. The issues raised by Duchenne Ireland are under active deliberation and receiving detailed consideration within the Department.

National Treatment Purchase Fund.

Joe McHugh

Question:

156 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children the way the National Treatment Purchase Fund will base its pricing structure for beds in nursing homes; if there will be room for negotiations following the pricing; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32172/09]

Under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) has responsibility for the negotiation of prices for the provision of long-term residential care services with private nursing home providers. This negotiation is based on the definition of "long-term residential care services" as set out in the Act and on supplementary policy information provided by the Department.

The Act defines "long-term residential care services" as maintenance, health and personal care services. The Department has further clarified that this includes: bed and board, nursing and personal care appropriate to the level of care needs of the person, laundry service, and basic aids and appliances necessary to assist a person with the activities of daily living.

This information forms the basis for the NTPF to agree prices with private nursing homes. These prices will be fixed for the term of the agreement.

The NTPF's negotiating role under the scheme will be an ongoing one. Re-negotiations will take place at regular intervals. This will enable both parties to an agreement to take account of inflation and other developments on a periodic basis. It will also enable new entrants to the nursing home sector to participate in the scheme.

Foreign Adoptions.

Joe McHugh

Question:

157 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason Vietnam recently agreed to process 20 packs that were in Vietnam after the former bilateral agreement on adoption had lapsed; if she will confirm that these couples had received referral before the collapse of the agreement on 1 May 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32173/09]

As the Deputy will be aware, I visited the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in June/July last. During the course of our discussions on the agreement, the situation of 20 applications on hand in Hanoi, which were due to be returned by the Department of International Adoptions in Vietnam, was discussed. The Vietnamese side agreed to process the 20 applications as a gesture of goodwill.

I made this request having regard to the unique position of the 20 families in this category. They were at a very advanced stage of the process and their applications were submitted to the Department of International Adoptions by the 1st April deadline although they had not received a referral before the expiry of the agreement on May 1st.

The gesture by the Vietnamese Government reflects the good relationship between the two countries and the genuine desire of both sides to continue this relationship into the future. I briefed the House in detail last week on the broader developments regarding the bi-lateral agreement over the period since then. All applications currently being dealt with by the Vietnamese Government — including these 20 — will be processed to conclusion as part of transitional arrangements provided for by the Vietnamese side.

Hospital Services.

Joe McHugh

Question:

158 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children her plans for embalming in all hospitals; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32178/09]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Proposed Legislation.

Joe McHugh

Question:

159 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children the timeframe for the introduction of legislation on the regulation of sunbeds; her plan for future use of sunbeds; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32179/09]

I have asked my Department to prepare proposals for consideration by the Government to restrict the use of sunbeds. My first priority is to prohibit the use of sunbeds by people under 18 years and provide for the placing of warning notices in sunbed salons and other places where sunbeds are available for use by the public. I have also asked my Department to investigate if a complete ban on the use of sunbeds is possible. As the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has responsibility for product safety matters generally, discussions have been arranged between the two Departments to consider product safety matters arising in the context of the proposed legislation.

Pending consideration by Government, I am not in a position to say when these provisions might be introduced.

Medical Aids and Appliances.

Michael Ring

Question:

160 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason orthopaedic footwear is not being approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo. [32190/09]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Medical Cards.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

161 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will set up a dedicated inquiry line to assist with medical card queries, in view of the recent changes to the handling of medical card applications, with the setting up of the CPRS, and the subsequent rise in constituent queries. [32192/09]

Up to the start of this year, medical card and GP visit card applications were processed in the Health Service Executive's (HSE's) 32 local health areas. However, under the HSE's 2009 Service Plan, the processing of all medical card and GP visit card applications will transfer to the Executive's Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS) in Dublin. The change is being implemented on a phased basis and has commenced with the PCRS processing all medical card applications for persons aged 70 or over. The phased implementation will allow the situation to be continuously monitored and, if required, modified to address any issues arising. The PCRS is committed to responding to all queries from Oireachtas members and the wider public. Its phone number is 01-8647100.

The HSE has advised my Department that local health offices will continue to provide advice and necessary supports to people applying for medical cards. They will also deal with queries of a general nature about the medical card scheme and, along with the HSE National Helpline (1850 24 1850) will handle enquiries from clients in respect of their medical card entitlements.

Under the new arrangements, the HSE will be aiming for a turnaround time of 15 days or less for all medical card applications. Emergency applications will be dealt with immediately with a card issuing within 24 hours. Applications from people whose income exceeds the income guidelines but have a case to be considered on medical or hardship grounds will also be processed by the PCRS.

The HSE has also advised that this measure, while realising health sector efficiencies and savings, will not have an adverse affect on patient care or the quality of service provided and when fully implemented will ensure: Improved turnaround time for the processing of applications; Equitable application of eligibility across the country; Consistency of service provision to customers; Clearer lines of governance and accountability; and Improved unified data.

This project is an example of the type of innovation signalled in the Transforming Public Services Programme announced by the Taoiseach last November. It demonstrates how improved services can be delivered within the more limited resources available in a way which meets the needs of citizens in a modern society.

I will convey the Deputy's suggestion about the setting up of a dedicated phone line for medical card and GP visit card queries to the HSE for consideration.

Health Services.

Finian McGrath

Question:

162 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will support the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3. [32194/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Finian McGrath

Question:

163 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will support the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3. [32195/09]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Ambulance Service.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

164 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children her views on the recommendations of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Dublin ambulance service, as set out in the 2008 annual report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32204/09]

Emergency ambulance services in Dublin have been provided by Dublin Fire Brigade for many years on behalf of the Health Service Executive. Ambulance services in the rest of the country are provided by the HSE.

It is important to ensure that all of our pre-hospital emergency services, including the service provided by the Dublin Fire Brigade, function as a high quality, integrated health service. The advice of the Health Information and Quality Authority on pre-hospital care issues will be a significant factor in determining how services should be organised so that they operate efficiently and that clinical governance, patient safety and quality standards are met.

The HSE and Dublin City Council are in discussion regarding a number of practical issues, including the nature and terms on which Dublin Fire Brigade provides emergency ambulance services in Dublin. The views of the Comptroller and Auditor General in relation to ambulance services in Dublin will be considered in this context.

Health Services.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

165 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason a five day placement with language support is not available to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare. [32207/09]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Cancer Screening Programme.

Joe McHugh

Question:

166 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children if breast cancer services will be retained and secured at Letterkenny General Hospital, County Donegal, in view of the hospital’s status as an outreach of Galway University Hospital; her plans to downgrade or remove any breast cancer services from Letterkenny General Hospital; if she will meet with an organisation (details supplied) to discuss its concerns; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32213/09]

The matters raised by the Deputy in relation to breast cancer services at Letterkenny General Hospital relate to the provision of healthcare services and accordingly I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on these matters.

In relation to Donegal Action for Cancer Care (DACC), my office will be in touch with DACC in due course to make the necessary arrangements for a date for a meeting.

Hospital Charges.

Denis Naughten

Question:

167 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 214 of 7 October 2008, the steps she will take to include the classification of haemochromatosis as a lifelong chronic illness covered by the general medical service; if she will direct the Health Service Executive to instruct all hospitals to provide venesection only as an outpatient procedure and as a result address the current charges; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32215/09]

There are currently no plans to extend the list of eligible conditions covered by the Long Term Illness Scheme, which was introduced on a statutory basis in 1971. In addition, people who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. In the assessment process, the Health Service Executive can take into account medical costs incurred by an individual or a family. Those who are not eligible for a medical card may still be able to avail of a GP visit card, which covers the cost of general practice consultations.

I am in discussions with the Health Service Executive to ensure that there is a consistent policy in relation to the provision of venesection services throughout the country.

Water Quality.

Phil Hogan

Question:

168 Deputy Phil Hogan asked the Minister for Health and Children if recommendations have been made by the consulting engineers engaged by her in the audit of fluoridating supplies to ensure compliance with the code of practice; if the consulting engineers have identified any missing on-line monitoring and automatic fail-safe shutdown equipment necessary for safety; the name of the plants lacking this equipment; the cost of bringing all fluoridating water supplies into compliance with the code of practice nationally; the number of fluoridating supplies that are in full compliance; if she will name all those not in compliance; the cost of the national audit by the consulting engineers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32222/09]

In May 2008 consulting engineers were engaged by the Expert Body on Fluorides and Health to conduct a national audit of the fluoridation process at water treatment plants. The cost of the project was €232,000. The final draft of the report is close to completion and will be available shortly.

Foreign Adoptions.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

169 Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will confirm the date and venue of the meeting expected to take place before the end of September 2009 between her and Vietnamese officials to finalise a new draft bilateral inter-country adoption agreement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32351/09]

I outlined in some detail the developments regarding discussions on a bilateral inter-country adoption agreement with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam last week. I referred, in particular, to two significant reports which have been undertaken regarding child welfare, protection and adoption in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Firstly, in August, 2009, the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, with the technical assistance of UNICEF in that country, published a report entitled "Creating a protective environment for children in Vietnam: An assessment of child protection laws and policies, especially children in special circumstances in Vietnam" .

Secondly, a draft report on inter-country adoption in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has been prepared by the International Social Services (ISS). This report was commissioned by UNICEF in co-ordination with the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice. It aims, inter alia, to "identify and address problems in both domestic and Intercountry Adoption processes with a view to assisting Vietnam in its preparations to ratify the Hague Convention".

While work is continuing on the draft of the Agreement under discussion, the scheduling of a meeting between officials of both countries will await the outcome of my consideration of these two reports. I am currently awaiting finalisation of the ISS Report.

Michael McGrath

Question:

170 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding a bilateral adoption agreement with Russia; and when she expects such an agreement will be finalised. [32362/09]

As the Deputies are aware, the Adoption Bill, 2009, which will give force of law to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption, was published on 23 January, 2009.

Under the proposed new legislative regime, prospective adoptive parents will be able to adopt from countries that have ratified the Hague Convention as well as from those countries with which Ireland has a bilateral agreement based on Hague standards. As part of the preparations for the likely passage and entry into force of these new legislative arrangements, my Office has been liaising with the Department of Foreign Affairs to identify and negotiate with countries who continue to seek homes abroad for children in need of alternative care that cannot be provided domestically. We are working actively to assess the possibilities of entering into bilateral inter-country adoption agreements with a small number of countries, including with the Russian Federation.

Ireland has no official bilateral inter-country adoption agreement in place with the Russian Federation. However, preparatory work to consider the contents of a draft agreement with the Russian authorities is currently being undertaken. While every effort will be made to conclude a bilateral inter-country adoption agreement with the Russian Federation, it must be acknowledged that this matter will be determined to a considerable degree by the Government of the Russian Federation.

I believe that it would be imprudent to indicate at this time as to whether or when an agreement can be reached with the Russian Federation. However, I will continue to advance this matter with the assistance of my colleague Minister Martin and of his officials in both Dublin and Moscow. Any applicant who is seeking to proceed with an adoption from a non-Hague country, or from a country with which Ireland does not have a bilateral agreement, should have regard to the likelihood of the adoption being completed in advance of the Adoption Bill being commenced.

Medical Aids and Appliances.

Michael McGrath

Question:

171 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding the provision of a medical device to a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [32363/09]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Consultancy Contracts.

Joe McHugh

Question:

172 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children in relation to Health Service Executive sanctioned projects, the number of consultancy contracts that are ongoing; the number of these projects that will be completed within a definitive period; if she will list these deadlines; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32369/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

173 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 454 of 16 September 2009, if she can clarify a statement made (details supplied) in relation to the introduction of the nursing home support scheme; if she will adhere to the October 2009 introduction time that she indicated previously; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32395/09]

Negotiations are ongoing between the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) and the private nursing home providers in respect of the maximum prices to be charged under the scheme. The HSE, as the scheme administrator, is also engaged in the finalisation of its procedures in respect of the scheme.

The Minister intends to commence the Nursing Homes Support Scheme once the negotiation process with private providers has concluded and the HSE has finalised its procedures. It is not possible to be more specific at this time, particularly as the stipulation of an exact date could undermine the negotiation work of the NTPF.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joan Burton

Question:

174 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health and Children the percentage of payments made by her Department since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors which were paid in full within 15 days, within 30 days and longer than 30 days; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32415/09]

The percentages of invoices paid to suppliers and other contractors by my Department since 19 May 2009 within 15 days, within 30 days and longer than 30 days, are set out in the table below.

Payments between 19/05/09 to 18/09/09

Percentage of invoices paid (%)

Invoices paid within 15 days

99.96

Invoices paid 16 to 30 days

0.04

Invoices paid after 30 days

0.00

Foreign Adoptions.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

175 Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding the licence of an organisation (details supplied) in relation to Vietnamese adoptions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32439/09]

Adoption agencies are licensed by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the context of bi-lateral agreements with the state of origin of such agencies. In the absence of a bi-lateral agreement with Ireland, no Irish agency is licensed to operate in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at this time. This does not affect the registration of such agencies under Irish law.

Suicide Incidence.

John McGuinness

Question:

176 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children her response and that of the Health Service Executive to the number of cases of suicide here; and the numbers of same for each of the past two years and to date in 2009. [32487/09]

‘Reach Out' – A National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention, sets out a policy framework for suicide prevention. The HSE, through the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP), oversees implementation of the strategy.

Initiatives which have been progressed by the NOSP include developing and implementing national training programmes; the development of a training strategy under the direction of a Training and Development Officer; progressing the availability of self-harm services through Hospital Emergency departments; implementing recommendations arising from a review of bereavement services; dedicated suicide resource officers; the provision of funding to the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF); supporting voluntary organisations working in the field of suicide prevention and developing mental health awareness campaigns.

In addition to the €8m available to the HSE for suicide prevention initiatives, once-off funding of €1m was provided in 2009 to further develop services for those bereaved by suicide and to develop an information and awareness campaign aimed at young people. Consultations with young people were arranged under the auspices of the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs to inform the campaign and a report on the outcome of this process —’Teenage Mental Health: What helps? and What hurts?’ was launched on 15th June 2009. The campaign will be launched in October.

A target to achieve a 10% reduction in suicide by 2010 has been agreed with the National Office for Suicide Prevention. Targets to reduce deliberate self-harm (DSH) have also been agreed. The aim is to reduce the incidence of repeated deliberate self-harm by 5% by 2010 and a further 5% by 2016.

Data on mortality is compiled by the Central Statistics Office and published in the Annual and Quarterly Reports on Vital Statistics. The provisional figures for deaths by suicide for the years 2007 and 2008 are 460 and 424 respectively. These figures are subject to revision as some undetermined deaths may be recorded as suicide following a coroner's inquest. Figures for 2009 are not yet available.

Community Care.

Michael Ring

Question:

177 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the assistance available at night-time for a person (details supplied) in County Mayo. [32492/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Medical Aids and Appliances.

John O'Mahony

Question:

178 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will provide a person (details supplied) in County Mayo with an art assist machine; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32506/09]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Health Services.

John McGuinness

Question:

179 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children if continued rehab care will be arranged in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; if she will provide a long-term care package. [32545/09]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Hospital Staff.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

180 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of consultants in each public hospital here; the number of non-consultant hospital doctors in each public hospital here; the number of admissions in each public hospital here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32553/09]

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

182 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health and Children the process currently in place to approve and appoint new consultants to public hospitals; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32555/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 180 and 182 together.

As these are service matters they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Hospital Services.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

181 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health and Children when a third geriatrician will be appointed for the mid-west region; if support staff will be appointed to work as part of the new geriatricians team; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32554/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Question No. 182 answered with Question No. 180.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

183 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health and Children if a tender has been accepted for the proposed critical care unit at the Mid-western Regional Hospital, Limerick; the amount of this tender; if it differs significantly from the original projected cost; the time-frame for the development and opening of this unit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32556/09]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Health Services.

Denis Naughten

Question:

184 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children when an appointment (details supplied) will be made; the reason for delaying this appointment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32567/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Mental Health Services.

Denis Naughten

Question:

185 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 202 of 9 June 2009, the status of the mental health day hospital capital project in Roscommon town; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32568/09]

As this is a service matter the question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Hospital Services.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

186 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when hip replacement surgery will be offered to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32592/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Health Services.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

187 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when orthodontic treatment will be offered to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32593/09]

As this is a service matter it has been transferred to the HSE for direct reply.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

188 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will receive a psychological assessment and or an EEG scan; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32594/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

189 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when a European health insurance card will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32595/09]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Community Care.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

190 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children if and when provision will be made for a weekly nurse visit to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32596/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for directreply.

Medical Cards.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

191 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when a medical card renewal will issue in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32597/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

192 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when primary medical certification will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32598/09]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Health Service Allowances.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

193 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when a review of an appeal for domiciliary care allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 20 will be undertaken; when all documentation forwarded to her Department by this person will be returned to them; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32600/09]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

194 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when a back to school allowance will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32603/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

195 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children when a back to school allowance will be awarded in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32605/09]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

National Lottery Funding.

John O'Mahony

Question:

196 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health and Children the recipients of national lottery funding for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and the amount given in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32785/09]

The funding made available by my Department to voluntary organisations is from the National Lottery Fund. The breakdown by programme is provided and a list of each body in receipt of funding is published in the Appropriation Accounts audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General and is set out in the following tables.

The Health Service Executive funds a wide range of voluntary bodies to provide services on its behalf or which are similar or ancillary to the services it provides. This funding includes the allocation of funds from the National Lottery Fund under its Vote. Therefore, my Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to provide details of the funding provided and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.

2005

Acute Hospitals

836,500

Childcare

316,799

Disability Services

528,400

Health Promotion

143,901

Mental Health

450,020

Services for Older People

1,206,330

Social Inclusion

242,250

Nursing

3,000

Total

3,727,200

2006

Acute Hospital

1,010,000

Childcare

570,473

Disability Services

285,158

Health Promotion

209,500

Mental Health

695,000

Services for Older People

957,319

Social Inclusion

60,000

Primary Care

27,550

Total

3,815,000

2007

Acute Hospitals

1,158,800

Childcare

586,500

CMO

27,000

Disability Services

286,715

Health Promotion

45,000

Mental Health

677,000

Services for Older People

749,035

Primary Care

3,450

Social Inclusion

369,500

Total

3,903,000

2008

Childcare

623,500

Disability Services

745,178

Acute Hospitals

522,500

Services for Older People

609,222

Primary Care

10,000

Mental Health

598,600

Cancer and Blood Policy

365,000

Health Promotion

191,500

Adoption Board

252,000

Social Inclusion

67,500

Total

3,985,000

2005

Organisation

Address

Amount Paid

Aoibhneas Women’s Refuge

Dublin 17

2,000

Association of Irish Clinical Embryologists

Dublin 2

20,000

Association of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Ireland

Dublin 7

20,000

Autism West Limited

Galway

50,000

Best Buddies Ireland

Newbridge Co Kildare

50,000

Bodywhys

Blackrock, Co Dublin

15,600

Brainwave The Irish Epilepsy Association

Dublin 12

2,500

Caherconlish Caherline Community Council Ltd

Caherconlish, Limerick

2,000

Caring for Carers Ireland

Abbey Street, Ennis

40,000

Caring for Carers Limerick Branch

Limerick

60,000

Carrigoran House

Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare

42,000

Carrigoran House

Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare

47,670

Castlebridge Community Centre

Castlebridge, Co Wexford

20,000

Cloughjordan Active Retirement Association

Cloughjordan Co Tipperary

6,000

Cobh Youth Services Ltd

Cobh, Co Cork

10,000

Coiste Aosach na nOileán

Lettermore, Co Galway

40,000

Common Purpose

Dublin 7

2,100

Community Awareness of Drugs

Dame Court Dublin 2

4,000

Console (Bereaved by Suicide Foundation)

Grace Park Road Dublin 9

100,000

Cork Counselling Services Ltd

Cork City

80,000

Cuan Mhuire Teoranta

Bruree Co Limerick

55,000

Cuidiú — Irish Childbirth Trust

Ashford, Co Wicklow

6,000

Dóchas Family Centre

Clondalkin Dublin 22

36,000

Donnycarney Community and Youth Centre Ltd

Donnycarney Dublin 5

2,500

Down Syndrome Ireland

30 Mary Street, Dublin 1

15,000

Down Syndrome Ireland

30 Mary Street Dulbin 1

15,300

Drogheda Community Services

Drogheda Co Louth

100,000

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Dublin 2

12,000

Dun Laoghaire Lions Club

Blackrock Co Dublin

9,000

Eurochild International Project (CWPC Ltd)

Thompson House Cork

50,000

Embrace

4 Fairyville Lawn, Cork

70,000

Family Ministry

Cork

10,000

Finglas Senior Help Line

Finglas West Dublin 11

5,000

Foynes & District Community Council Ltd

Foynes, Co Limerick

20,000

Friends of St Patrick’s Association

Kilkenny

20,935

Frenchpark Community Playgroup

Frenchpark Co Roscommon

40,000

Galway Travellers Support Group

Galway

25,000

Glin Homes for the Elderly Ltd

Glin Co Limerick

100,000

Grow in Ireland

Forrest Mews, Swords

15,000

Hooked

Salthill Galway

1,000

Irish Anaesthetic & Recovery Nurses Association

Togher Cork

3,000

Irish Association of Suicidology

Castlebar Co Mayo

20,000

Irish Association of Suicidology

Castlebar Co Mayo

7,500

Irish Chronic Pain Association

Coleraine House Dublin 7

4,500

Irish Family Planning Association Limited

Dublin 1

7,500

Irish Gerontological Society

Wilton Cork

10,000

Irish Haemochromatosis Association

Rathgar Dublin

25,000

Irish Kidney Association

Block 43A Park West Dublin 12

500,000

Irish Kidney Association

Block 43A Park West Dublin 12

50,000

Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association

Coleraine Street Dublin 7

140,000

Irish Progressive Association for Autism

Bessborrough Cork

23,000

Irish Raynaud’s & Scleroderma Society

Foxrock Dublin 18

13,500

Irish Red Cross (Leenane/Haam Branch)

Leenane Co Galway

6,000

Irish Senior Citizens Parliament

Dublin 3

140,000

Irish Society for Mucopolysaccharide Diseases

Ballyneety Limerick

28,000

Irish Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society

Knockmaroon Castleknock Dublin

30,000

JADD Projects Ltd

Jobstown Tallaght Dublin 24

15,000

Johnny — Gay Peer Action Group

105 Capel Street Dublin 1

3,000

Kerry Hospice Foundation

Tralee Co Kerry

100,000

Kerry Mental Health Association (Killorglin Branch)

Killorglin Co Kerry

50,000

Killahan School — Pre-School Autism Unit

Tralee Co Kerry

15,000

Knockanure Development Association

Kilmorna,Listowel, Co Kerry

50,000

Laharn Community Action Group Ltd

Glantane Mallow Co Cork

4,500

Leitrim Lifestart

Manorhamilton Co Leitrim

15,000

Lifestart National Office

Sligo

30,000

Longford Community Resources

Longford

40,000

Mallow Social Services Council

Mallow Co Cork

45,000

Mead Day Care Centre

Donaghmede Dublin 13

20,000

Meningitis Trust

Bray Co Wicklow

16,750

Mental Health Association

Loughrea Co Galway

28,000

Mental Health Ireland

Dun Laoghaire Co Dublin

57,000

Mna Feasa

Knocknaheeny Cork

15,600

Music Network Ltd

Dublin Castle Dublin 2

12,000

National Infertility Support & Information Group

Togher Cork

20,000

Newtown/Donadea Senior Citizens Group

Kilcock Co Kildare

6,000

Oak House Resource Centre

Portarlington Co Laois

4,000

One in Four

Dublin 2

100,000

Open Heart House

Dublin 7

20,000

Order of Malta Ambulance Corps (Ballsbridge Unit)

32 Clyde Road Ballsbridge Dublin4

140,000

Order of Malta (Ballinrobe Unit)

Ballinrobe Co Mayo

60,000

Outhouse Ltd

Dublin 1

70,000

Pre-school for Travellers

Ballyhaunis Co Mayo

6,799

Samaritans (Limerick/Tipperary Branch)

Limerick

8,020

Schizophrenia Ireland

Dublin 7

20,000

Sisters of Charity of Jesus & Mary

Southill Co Westmeath

15,000

Social Communication Research Programme Limited

Trim Co Meath

80,000

Southill Family Resource Centre

O’Malley Park, Limerick

7,000

St. Andrew’s Centre

Greenhills Dublin 12

15,000

St. Helena’s Womens Awareness Group

St. Helena’s Road Dublin 11

11,577

St. John’s House of Rest

202 Merrion Road Dublin 4

55,000

St. Joseph’s Association for the Mentally Handicapped, Portrane

Blackrock Co Dublin

11,000

St. Mary’s Community Benefit Fund

Rathmines Dublin 6

35,000

St. Mary’s Parent and Toddler Group

Wheaton Hall, Drogheda Co Louth

2,000

St. Mary’s Senior Citizens Club

Corbally Limerick City

2,000

Summer Fun 2005 — Camp

Harbour Street, Mullingar, Co Westmeath

2,000

Tallaght Community Arts Centre (TCAC)

Old Bawn Road Tallaght Dublin 24

5,000

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland

Bunratty Drive Dublin 17

8,225

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (Dun Laoghaire)

Dun Laoghaire Co Dublin

50,000

The Coeliac Society of Ireland

Dublin 7

30,000

The Endometriosis Association of Ireland

Balbriggan Co Dublin

6,624

The Association of Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy Ire .

Blackrock Co Dublin

4,500

Thursday Club Clarina

Clarina Co Limerick

10,000

Tiny Tots Parents & Toddler Group

Westport, Co Mayo

2,000

Tralee Refugee Support Services

Tralee Co Kerry

10,000

Volunteer Stroke Scheme

Dublin 12

4,000

West of Ireland Alzheimer Foundation

Ballindine Co Mayo

100,000

Westgate Foundation

West Village, Ballincollig Co Cork

60,000

3,727,200

An amount of 5,200 was returned from the 2003 funding and was awarded in 2005.

2006

Ref

Division

Organisation

Amount Paid

Acute Hospitals

Brú Columbanus, Cardinal Way, Bishopstown, Cork City

50,000

Acute Hospitals

Cancer Fund Donegal Town Limited, Ardeskin, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal

100,000

Acute Hospitals

Children in Hospital Ireland, Carmichael Centre, Coleraine House, Coleraine Street, D7

90,000

Acute Hospitals

Europa Donna Ireland, The Irish Breast Cancer Campaign, P.O. Box 6602, D8

10,000

Acute Hospitals

Irish Kidney Association, Donor House, Block 43A, Park West, D12

550,000

Acute Hospitals

Irish Kidney Association, Donor House, Block 43A, Park West, D12

35,000

Acute Hospitals

Order of Malta Ambulance Corps, St. John’s House, 32 Clyde Road, D4

80,000

Acute Hospitals

Order of Malta Ambulance Corps (Thurles), Rossa Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

75,000

Child Care Legislation Unit

Nova Helpline Ltd., Upper Ormond Quay, D7

100,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Calry Select Vestry/Catacombs Project, Calry Rectory, The Mall, Sligo

100,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Castlelyons Community Centre, Castlelyons, Fermoy, Co. Cork

10,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Clondalkin Partnership, Camac House, Oakfield Industrial Estate, Clondalkin, D22

109,210

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Cobh Youth Services Ltd, 16 Midleton Street, Cobh, Co. Cork

25,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Cork Children’s Chorus, Cliffdene, Castlegreina Park, Boreenmanna Road, Cork

10,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Edgeworthstown Community Childcare Committee, c/o Old School House, Ballymahon Road, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford

45,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Inver Arts & Crafts Group, c/o Glengad, Pollathomas, Ballina, Co. Mayo

2,944

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Inver Foroige Club, c/o Inver, Barnatra, Ballina, Co. Mayo

1,600

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Killawalla Community Council, Killawalla, Westport, Co. Mayo

20,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Knockadoon Camp, Ballymacoda, Co. Cork

75,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Raphoe Community Playscheme, c/o 234 St. Eunan’s Tce, Raphoe, Lifford P.O., Co. Donegal

4,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Vita House Family Centre, Abbey Street, Roscommon Town, Co. Roscommon

30,000

Health Promotion Policy

Cuan Mhuire Teoranta, Cuan Mhuire, Cardington, Athy, Co. Kildare

45,000

Health Promotion Policy

Cuidiú — Irish Childbirth Trust, Carmichael House, Nth Brunswick Street, D7

6,500

Health Promotion Policy

Dublin North East Drugs Task Force, ‘Le Cheile’, Clancarthy Road, Donnycarney, D5

15,000

Health Promotion Policy

Eurochild International Project (CWPC Ltd), Tigh Filí, Thompson House, MacCurtain Street, Cork

25,000

Health Promotion Policy

Meningitis Research Foundation, 63 Gardiner Street Lower, D1

25,000

Health Promotion Policy

Meningitis Trust, P.O. Box 102, Bray, Co. Wicklow

3,000

Health Promotion Policy

National Network of Womens Refuges and Support Services, 27 Church Street, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

50,000

Health Promotion Policy

Southill Family Resource Centre, 267-268 Avondale Court, O’Malley Park, Southill, Limerick

10,000

Health Promotion Policy

The Coeliac Society of Ireland, Carmichael Centre, 4 North Brunswick Street, D7

30,000

Disabilities

Glasnevin Educate Together National School, Church Avenue, Glasnevin, D9

6,433

Disabilities

Inclusion Ireland, Unit C2, The Steelworks, Foley Street, D1

80,000

Disabilities

Irish Progressive Association for Autism, Unit 1G, Marina Commercial Park, Centre Park Road, Cork

40,000

Disabilities

National Parents’ and Siblings’ Alliance, 31 Magenta Hall, Santry, D9

35,000

Disabilities

St. Joseph’s Association for the Mentally Handicapped, Portrane, St. Ita’s Hospital, Portrane, Co. Dublin

24,000

Mental Health Services

Console (Bereaved by Suicide Foundation), All Hallows College, Drumcondra, D9

50,000

Mental Health Services

Cork Counselling Services, 7 Fr. Mathew Street, Cork City

96,000

Mental Health Services

Dolmen Clubhouse Ltd, Cualgara, Teeling Street, Ballina, Co. Mayo

30,000

Mental Health Services

Family Centre, Chapel Street, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

3,000

Mental Health Services

Galway Mental Health Association, c/o 73 Manor Court, Knocknacarra, Galway

28,500

Mental Health Services

Genesis Psychotherapy & Family Therapy Services Limited, Blackcourt Road, Corduff, Blanchardstown, D15

100,000

Mental Health Services

Irish Association of Suicidology /International Association for Suicide Prevention, 16 New Antrim Street, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

50,000

Mental Health Services

The Irish Institute of Naturopathic Medicine Ltd, The Fulcrum, Colliga House, Knockanarrigan, Glen of Imaal, Co. Wicklow

75,000

Mental Health Services

Mental Health Ireland, Mensana House, 6 Adelaide Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

100,000

Mental Health Services

Pieta C.P.S.O.S. (Centre for the Prevention of Self-Harm or Suicide), Old Lucan Road, Co. Dublin

30,000

Mental Health Services

Slí Eile Housing Association, Dromina, Charleville, Co. Cork

10,000

Mental Health Services

Southwest Counselling Centre, Emmets Road, Killarney, Co. Kerry

15,000

Mental Health Services

Thurles Lions Trust Housing Association Limited, c/o Neil J. Butler & Co Solicitors, Friar Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

100,000

Disabilities

Arthritis Ireland, 1 Clanwilliam Square, Grand Canal Quay, D2

10,725

Disabilities

Irish Wheelchair Association, Blackheath Drive, Clontarf, D3

20,000

Disabilities

Irish Wheelchair Association for the Acquired Brain Injury Network, Blackheath Drive, Clontarf, D3

10,000

Disabilities

Myasthenia Gravis Association, Lavalla, Ballynacally, Ennis, Co. Clare

18,000

Primary Care 1

Clondalkin Women’s Network, Quarryvale, Clondalkin, D22

7,550

Primary Care 1

National Association of the Ovulation Method of Ireland, 119 Patrick Street, Cork

10,000

Services for Older People

Boherbue Parish Hall Committee, Boherbue, Mallow, Co. Cork

15,000

Services for Older People

Castlebridge Community Centre, The Avenue, Castlebridge, Co. Wexford

20,000

Services for Older People

Charleville Sheltered Housing Services, Tower House, Church View, Charleville, Co. Cork

10,000

Services for Older People

Clarecastle Daycare Centre Limited, Co. Clare

30,000

Services for Older People

Clondalkin Senior Citizens Social Club, c/o 45 Cappaghmore, Clondalkin, D22

4,000

Services for Older People

Cloughjordan Active Retirement Association, Co. Tipperary

7,000

Services for Older People

Community of Lough Arrow Social Project, Gleann Community Centre, Drumnacool via Boyle, Co. Sligo

20,000

Services for Older People

Dromcollogher & District Respite Care Centre, Dromcollogher, Co. Limerick

60,000

Services for Older People

Embury Close Sheltered Housing, Rathkeale Road, Adare, Co. Limerick

30,000

Services for Older People

Friends of Clonakilty Day Care Centre, Hospital Grounds, Clonakilty, Co. Cork

50,000

Services for Older People

Galway Contact for the Elderly, 189 Corrib Park, Newcastle, Galway

10,000

Services for Older People

Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, 90 Fairview Strand, D3

175,000

Services for Older People

Killala Senior Citizens Group, Killala Community Centre, Killala, Co. Mayo

30,000

Services for Older People

Kilmoyley Community Care, c/o Ballyhemican, Kilmoyley, Co. Kerry

20,000

Services for Older People

Limerick Senior Citizens Club, CIE Social Club, Carey’s Road, Limerick

16,000

Services for Older People

Marino and District Community Centre Limited, c/o 12 Shelmartin Avenue, Marino, D3

70,000

Services for Older People

Mulranny Day Centre Housing Co. Ltd., St. Brendan’s Village, Mulranny, Co. Mayo

5,100

Services for Older People

Music Network Ltd., The Coach House, Dublin Castle, D2

8,000

NL 06/20

Services for Older People

Nás na Ríogh Housing Association Ltd, Ellenborough House, Dublin Road, Naas, Co. Kildare

70,000

Services for Older People

North Fingal Rural Transport Company Ltd., Security House, Ballyboughal, Co. Dublin

60,000

Services for Older People

Obair Newmarket-on-Fergus Ltd, Family Centre, Ennis Road, Newmarket-on Fergus, County Clare

8,750

Services for Older People

Queen of Peace Dinner Club, c/o Good Shepherd Convent, Roxboro Road, Limerick

2,000

Services for Older People

Raphoe Friday Seniors Club, Volt House Resource Centre, Raphoe, Co. Donegal

5,000

Services for Older People

Stroke Unit Limerick, c/o Rehabilitation Centre, St. Camillus Hospital, Shelbourne Road, Limerick

28,000

Services for Older People

Stroke Unit Limerick, c/o Rehabilitation Centre, St. Camillus Hospital, Shelbourne Road, Limerick

2,500

Services for Older People

St. Martin’s GAA Community Centre, Piercestown, Co. Wexford

15,000

Services for Older People

St. Michaels Day Care Centre, Cappamore, Co. Limerick

10,000

Services for Older People

St. Vincent’s Day Centre for the Elderly, St. Vincent’s Health Centre, Station Road, Tipperary Town

6,080

Services for Older People

Summerhill Active Retirement Group, Third Age Centre, Summerhill, Co. Meath

15,000

Services for Older People

Summerhill Active Retirement Group, Third Age Centre, Summerhill, Co. Meath

10,000

Services for Older People

Terrerath Community Alert, Cassagh, New Ross, Co. Wexford

1,000

Services for Older People

Westgate Foundation, Westgate, West Village, Ballincollig, Co. Cork

40,000

Social Inclusion

Aisling Group/Bradán Day Program, P.O. Box 26, Bradan House, Navan, Co. Meath

45,000

Social Inclusion

Cáirde, 19 Belvedere Place, D1

15,000

NL 06/ 214

Acute Hospitals

St. John Ambulance Brigade of Ireland

10,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Kiltubrid Afterschool Club, Drumcong, Carrick-on-Shannon

2,000

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Ramelton Community Youth Project, c/o Ramelton Community Centre, Pound Street, Ramelton, Co. Donegal

1,300

NL 06/ 209

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Coiste Ionad Curam Leanaí

5,000

NL 06/ 148

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Lifestart Cherry Orchard

5,000

NL 06/ 212

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Lifestart National Office

9,419

NL 06/ 181

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Little V.I.P. Playschool

5,000

NL 06/ 94

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Oasis Counselling Service

5,000

NL 06/ 33

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Millennium Holiday Home Project Ltd

3,000

NL 06/ 136

Child Welfare and Protection Policy Unit

Liberty House Parents Group/Children’s Clubs

2,000

NL 06/197

Disabilities

Western Care Association

10,000

Disabilities

Embrace, 4 Fairyville Lawn, The Lough, Cork

12,000

Disabilities

The Galway Association, Blackrock House, Salthill, Galway

10,000

NL 06/ 145

Disabilities

St. Brigid’s School Summer Fun

1,000

Mental Health Services

Alliance for Mental Health, c/o Mental Health Ireland, Mensana House, 6 Adelaide Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

2,500

NL 06/120

Primary Care 1

National Infertility Support & Information Group, P.O. Box 131, Togher, Cork

10,000

Services for Older People

Ballymote Active Retirement Association, Pastoral Centre, Tubbercurry Road, Ballymote, Co. Sligo

1,389

Services for Older People

Conna Community Council Housing for the Elderly Association Ltd, Social Centre, Conna, Co. Cork

10,000

NL 06/ 196

Services for Older People

Duagh Community and Family Resource Centre

10,000

Services for Older People

Finglas Senior Helpline, c/o 817 Ratoath Road, Finglas West, Dunlin 11

2,500

Services for Older People

Friends of Castlecomer District Hospital, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny

10,000

Services for Older People

Kare Social Services, 2 Sybil Hill Road, Raheny, D2

13,000

Services for Older People

Kilkenny Branch Alzheimer Society, c/o Caredoc, Waterford Road, Kilkenny

10,000

Services for Older People

Lucan Active Retirement Association, c/o Timberley, Leixlip Road, Lucan, Co. Dublin

1,300

NL 06/ 201

Services for Older People

Our Lady’s Manor Nursing Home

5,000

NL 06/ 167

Services for Older People

Serenity Active Retirement

5,000

Services for Older People

Sixmilebridge & District Community Complex Society Limited, Main Street, Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare

7,000

Services for Older People

St. John’s Rest and Day Care Centre, Knock Shrine, Knock, Co. Mayo

11,500

NL 06/135

Services for Older People

Templemore Community Services, Bank Street, Templemore, Co. Tipperary

12,000

Acute Hospitals

DARA (Defibrillation and Resuscitation Access), Slatta, Roosky, Co. Roscommon

10,000

NL 06/ 62

Services for Older People

Tinahely Active Retirement Association

2,500

NL 06/ 123

Services for Older People

St. Brigid’s Senior Citizens Club

2,700

Mental Health Services

Dublin Clubhouse Alliance T/A Empowering People Ireland, 24-26 Upper Ormond Quay, D7

5,000

NL 06/ 182

Disabilities

St. Anne’s Special School

8,000

Total

3,815,000

No.

122

2007

Ref

Division

Organisation

Amount Paid

NL 07/130

Acute Hospitals

Children in Hospital Ireland, Carmichael Centre, Coleraine House, Coleraine St., Dublin 7

50,000

NL 07/137

Acute Hospitals

Europa Donna Ireland, The Irish Breast Cancer Campaign, P O Box 6602, Dublin 8

173,800

NL 07/63

Acute Hospitals

Irish Kidney Association, Head Office, Donor House, Block 43A Park West, Dublin 12

600,000

NL 07/78

Acute Hospitals

Irish Kidney Association, Head Office, Donor House, Block 43A Park West, Dublin 12

65,000

NL 07/132

Acute Hospitals

Order of Malta Ambulance Corps, St. John’s House, 32 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Co. Dublin

140,000

NL 07/45

Acute Hospitals

St. John Ambulance Brigade — Southern Command, 49 Sarsfield Terrace, Richmond Hill, Cork

130,000

NL 07/115

C.M.O.

Irish Patient’s Association Ltd., 24 Church Road, Ballybrack, Co Dublin

27,000

NL 07/141

Childcare

Clondalkin Junior Montessori School A.M.I., 10 Newlands Drive Clondalkin Dublin 22

15,000

NL 07/50

Childcare

Clondalkin Partnership, Unit D, Nangor Road Business Park, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

130,000

NL 07/37

Childcare

Cobh Youth Services Ltd., “Glencree”, 89 Norwood Park, Cobh, Co. Cork

40,000

NL 07/33

Childcare

Don Bosco Teenage Care Housing Association, Carmichael Centre, North Brunswick St, Dublin 7

5,000

NL 07/87

Childcare

First Step Child Care Centre, Listry Community Council Ltd., Faha, Killarney, Co Kerry

5,000

NL 07/117

Childcare

Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency Ltd., Forge Lodge, Forge Hill, Cork

300,000

NL 07/1

Childcare

Home — Start Lucan, Ballyowen Castle Community Centre, Ballyowen Lane, Lucan, Co. Dublin

45,000

NL 07/21

Childcare

Muckross Community Play-School, Faughbawn, Muckross, Killarney, Co. Kerry

5,000

NL 07/13

Childcare

New Ross Community Pre-school, 12 Longstone Drive, Irishtown, New Ross, Co. Wexford

15,000

NL 07/48

Childcare

Parent Network for the Institutionalised Child, 53 Castlelands, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin

6,000

NL 07/35

Childcare

Sligo Social Services Council Ltd, Charles St., Sligo

2,500

NL 07/11

Childcare

Teach Oscail FRC Project, Tullachmongan Resource Centre, Killymooney Drive, Cavan

3,000

NL 07/16

Childcare

The Open Door Network, Ist Floor CDP, Rock Business Park, Rock St., Tralee, Co. Kerry

15,000

NL 07/77

Disability Services

Artane/Beaumont Family Recreation Centre Limited, Kilmore Road, Artane, Dublin 5

30,000

NL 07/138

Disability Services

Bord Bainistíochta Scoil Chrónáin, “Tir an Fhia” Newtown Upper Rathcoole Co Dublin

40,000

NL 07/23

Disability Services

Cashel na Cor Learning Disability Association Ltd, Umrican, Buncrana, Co. Donegal

15,000

NL 07/26

Disability Services

Clare Federation for People with Special Needs, Fergus View, Cusack Road, Ennis, Co. Clare

8,479

NL 07/2

Disability Services

Duhallow Carers Network, Knocknacurra, Boherbue, Mallow, Co. Cork

1,500

NL 07/5

Disability Services

Dyslexia Association of Ireland — Wexford Branch, Mulrankin, Bridgetown, Co. Wexford

2,000

NL 07/122

Disability Services

EMBRACE, 4 Fairyville Lawn, The Lough, Cork

35,000

NL 07/94

Disability Services

Friends of Ballyboden, 16 Leopardstown Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin

5,000

NL 07/158

Disability Services

Friends of Ballyowen Meadows, Beechpark Stillorgan Co Dublin

3,000

NL 07/40

Disability Services

Killahan National School — Autism Unit, Abbeydorney, Co. Kerry

8,000

NL 07/82

Disability Services

Marino School, Church Road, Bray, Co Wicklow

15,000

NL 07/70

Disability Services

Muscular Dystrophy Ireland, 71-72 North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7

6,000

NL 07/34

Disability Services

National Association for Deaf People, 35 North Fredrick St., Dublin 1

10,000

NL 07/57

Disability Services

National Parents and Siblings Alliance (NPSA), 31 Magenta Hall, Santry, Dublin 9

10,000

NL 07/54

Disability Services

North End United AFC, Lyndale, Coolcotts, Wexford

10,000

NL 07/43

Disability Services

Parents and Friends of St. Anthonys, Millview, Tomnalosset, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

30,000

NL 07/102

Disability Services

Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, St Mary’s, Delvin, Co Westmeath

12,736

NL 07/110

Disability Services

Special Olympics Ireland, 4th Floor, Park House, North Circular Road, Dublin 7

45,000

NL 07/66

Health Promotion Policy

CanTeen Ireland, North Brunswick St, Dublin 7

6,000

NL 07/93

Health Promotion Policy

Gorey Heartsafe Project Group, 132 Hazelwod, Gorey, Co Wexford

20,000

NL 07/64

Health Promotion Policy

The Coelic Society of Ireland, Carmichael Centre, 4 North Brunswick St, Dublin 7

10,000

NL 07/73

Health Promotion Policy

The Music Network Ltd, The Coach House, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2

9,000

NL 07/145

Mental Health Services

Family Ministry, 34 Paul Street Cork

10,000

NL 07/22

Mental Health Services

3Ts Turn The Tide of Suicide, 3 Arkle Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18

200,000

NL 07/30

Mental Health Services

Centre for the Prevention of Self-Harm or Suicide, Pieta House, Old Lucan Road, Lucan, Co. Dublin

100,000

NL 07/152

Mental Health Services

Console, All Hallows College Drumcondra Dublin 10

25,000

NL 07/119

Mental Health Services

Cork Counselling Services, 7 Fr. Mathew Street, Cork (approved 5/12/07)

90,000

NL 07/36

Mental Health Services

Mayo Mental Health Association, Ballyglass P.O. Claremorris Co. Mayo

50,000

NL 07/74

Mental Health Services

Mental Health Ireland, Mensana House, 6 Adelaide Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin

170,000

NL 07/7

Mental Health Services

Post Natal Distress Support Group, Beal Inse, Upper Riverstown, Glanmire, Cork

12,000

NL 07/76

Mental Health Services

St Vincent’s Hospital, Convent Ave., Richmond Road, Fairview, Dublin 3, Newsroom, RTE, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

10,000

NL 07/90

Mental Health Services

The Irish Association of Suicidology, 16, New Antrim Street, Castlebar, Co Mayo

10,000

NL 07/42

Primary Care 1 (Fergal Goodman)

Irish Raynaud’s and Scleroderma Society, 17 Dundela Park, Sandycove, Co. Dublin

3,450

NL 07/14

Services for Older People

Active Retirement Ireland, 1-2 Eustace Street, Dublin 2

10,000

NL 07/86

Services for Older People

Age & Opportunity, Marino Institute of Education, Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9

35,000

NL 07/92

Services for Older People

Ballyduff Community Centre, Ballyduff, Co Kerry

20,000

NL 07/84

Services for Older People

Caring for Carers Ireland, 2 Carmody Street Business Park, Ennis, Co Clare

54,100

NL 07/67

Services for Older People

Castlebridge Community Centre, The Avenue, Castlebridge, Co. Wexford

45,000

NL 07/58

Services for Older People

Comhlacht, Tithe Soisialta agus Forbairt an tSulain Teoranta, Doirinchullin, Cuil Aodha, Maighcromtha, Co. Chorchai

40,000

NL 07/56

Services for Older People

Drombana Day-Care Centre, Bohercoyle, Ballysimon, Co. Limerick

17,500

NL 07/55

Services for Older People

Fermoy Geriatrics Association, Cluain Dara, Duntahane, Fermoy, Co. Cork

75,000

NL 07/162

Services for Older People

Finglas Senior Help Line, Co-Ordinator 817 Ratoath Road, Finglas West, Dublin

5,000

NL 07/111

Services for Older People

Limerick Senior Citizens Club, Vokes Villas, Ballinacurra, Limerick

10,000

NL 07/44

Services for Older People

Longford Active Retirement Association, ‘Lucanto’, 35 Templemichael Glebe, Longford, Co. Longford

2,000

NL 07/118

Services for Older People

Mater University Hospital, Postgraduate Medical Centre, 48 Eccles Street, Dublin 7

8,470

NL 07/25

Services for Older People

Meelin Community Hall, Knockskely, Tullylease, Charleville, Co. Cork

40,000

NL 07/121

Services for Older People

Nazareth House Management Ltd, Church Hill, Sligo

200,000

NL 07/85

Services for Older People

Nazareth House Nursing Home, Malahide Road, Dublin 3

100,390

NL 07/61

Services for Older People

Newtown — Donadea Senior Citizens, Ballycannon, Kilcock, Co. Kildare

6,000

NL 07/96

Services for Older People

Southill Family Resource Centre, 267/268 Avondale Court, O’Malley Park, Southill, Limerick

3,525

NL 07/83

Services for Older People

St Vincent’s Day Care Centre for the Elderly, St Vincent’s Health Centre, Station Road, Tipperary

8,550

NL 07/32

Services for Older People

St. Senan’s Social Services, Robertstown, Foynes, Co. Limerick

1,500

NL 07/144

Services for Older People

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, 43 Northumberland Avenue Dun Laoghaire Co Dublin

60,000

NL 07/47

Services for Older People

The Carer’s Support Group, 621 Riverforest Leixlip Co. Kildare

2,000

NL 07/52

Services for Older People

Westgate Foundation, Westgate, West Village, Ballincollig, Co. Cork

5,000

NL 07/149

Social Inclusion

Cuan Mhuire Teo, Bruree Co Limerick

100,000

NL 07/103

Social Inclusion

Southill Family Resource Centre, 267-268 Avondale Court, O’Malley Park, Southill, Limerick

18,000

NL 07/69

Social Inclusion

Urban Outreach Ltd, 1 Boyneview, Slane, Co Meath

100,000

NL 07/18

Social Inclusion

CAIRDE, 19 Belvedere Place, Dublin 1

1,500

NL 07/53

Social Inclusion

Le Cheile Family Resource Centre (Mallow) Ltd, 33 Fair St., Mallow, Co. Cork

100,000

NL 07/20

Social Inclusion

Open Heart House, 2 St. Mary’s Place, Dublin 7

15,000

NL 07/28

Social Inclusion

Raising Issues Drama Group, 19 Grey St., Off Meath St., Dublin 8

5,000

NL 07/135

Social Inclusion

Family Life Centre, St. Brigids, Cabinteely, Dublin 18 (approved 5/12/07)

25,000

NL 07/156

Social Inclusion

St Vincent de Paul, c/o Sea Road, Bundoran, Co Donegal

5,000

3,903,000,84

2008

Ref

Division

Organisation

Amount Paid

NL 08/8

Child Care

Doneyloop Youth Club, Doneyloop Community Centre, Doneyloop, Castlefin, Co Donegal

77,200

NL 08/128

Childcare

Home-Start Lucan, Ballyowen Castle Community Centre, Ballyowen Lane, Lucan, Co Dublin

80,000

NL 08/22

Childcare

Leitrim Lifestart,The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim

56,600

NL 08/49

Childcare

Childminding Ireland, 9 Bulford Campus, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow

30,000

NL 08/59

Childcare

Ballinagh Playground Association, Drumlion, Ballinagh, Co. Cavan

3,000

NL 08/61

Childcare

Irish Foster Care Association, The Pharmacy Corner, Mayfield Terrace, Ballinteer Road, Dublin 16

50,000

NL 08/71

Childcare

Irish Chinese Contact Group, 49 East Avenue, Parkgate, Frankfield, Cork

10,000

NL 08/73

Childcare

Mountain Neighbourhood Youth Family Project, c/o Holy Family School, Dunedin Park, Monkstown Farm, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

78,800

NL 08/77

Childcare

Treoir, 14 Gandon House, IFSC, Dublin 2

25,000

NL 08/84

Childcare

Tullaghan Community Playgroup Ltd., Tullaghan, Co. Leitrim

3,900

NL 08/40

Childcare

Ballymachugh Childcare Group Ltd., House No. 2, Realtog Centre, Kilnaleck, Co. Cavan

5,000

NL 08/35

Childcare

Christ The King Girls Primary School, Turner’s Cross, Cork

10,000

NL 08/14

Childcare

Liscarroll Community Council, c/o Ted Burke, Knockbarry, Liscarroll, Mallow, Co Cork

10,000

NL 08/99

Childcare

Teen Parents Support Programme, 24 Dunbar Street, Cork

10,000

NL 08/19

Childcare

Lixnaw Playground Group, Lixnaw, Co Kerry

10,000

NL 08/124

Childcare

Ballymun Network for Assisting Children and Young People, Axis Centre, Main Street, Ballymun, Dublin 9

5,000

NL 08/79

Childcare

Ballyhass Community Childcare Facility Ltd. Ballyhass Cecilstown Macroom Co Cork

10,000

NL 08/108

Childcare

The Holiday Home Project, 19 Manor Street, Dublin 7

10,000

NL 08/3

Childcare

Clondalkin Community Montessori School Ltd, 31 St Brigids Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

25,000

NL 08/173

Childcare

Ballyglass Community Council Ltd

50,000

NL 08/21

Childcare

Castlebridge Community Development Co-Operative Society Ltd., Castlebridge Community Centre, Castlebridge, Co Wexford

5,000

Total 16

623,500

NL 08/63

Disability Services

Muscular Dystrophy Ireland, 71/72 North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7

9,300

NL 08/16

Disability Services

EMBRACE, 4 Fairyville Lawn, The Lough, Cork

35,000

NL 08/44

Disability Services

Ballyowen Meadows School, Beechpark, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin (cheque requested)

5,000

NL 08/145

Disability Services

Down Syndrome Ireland,Citylink Business Park, Old Naas Road , Dublin 12

54,150

NL 08/36

Disability Services

Freastogail Mhuire MXD National School Autism Unit, Killahan National School, Abbeydorney, Tralee, Co. Kerry

4,000

NL 08/46

Disability Services

St. Paul’s Special School, Beaumont Woods, Beaumont, Dublin 9

33,000

NL 08/65

Disability Services

Irish Deaf Youth Association, 30 Blessington Street, Dublin 8

5,000

NL 08/67

Disability Services

Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, Coleraine House, Coleraine Street, Dublin 8

150,000

NL 08/37

Disability Services

Suntower Gardens, c/o Scoil Mochua, Old Nangor Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

20,000

NL 08/20

Disability Services

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, National Headquarters & Training Centre, Model Farm Road, Cork

100,000

NL 08/12

Disability Services

Deaf Community Centre Ltd., 96A O’Connell Street, Limerick

8,090

NL 08/6

Disability Services

Headway Ireland, 1/3 Manor Street, Business Park, Manor Street, Dublin 8

5,000

NL 08/87

Disability Services

Riding for the Disabled Association, Raphoe & East Donegal, Alt Upper, Castlefin, Lifford, Co Donegal

15,000

NL 08/01

Disability Services

Setanta Special School, Beechpark, Stillorgan, Co Dublin

10,000

NL 08/116

Disability Services

Scoil Aonghusa Special School, Cahir Road, Cashel, Co Tipperary

50,000

NL 08/115

Disability Services

Intro Art, Room 1, 4th Floor, 121-122 Capel Street, Dublin 1

3,000

NL 08/28

Disability Services

Hope Project, St Joseph, Ballinabearna, Ballinhassig, Co Cork

2,500

NL 08/92

Disability Services

Irish Progressive Association for Autism

15,000

NL 08/163

Disability Services

St Aidans Day Care Centre

52000

NL 08/129

Disability Services

Tithe Cois Tra, Rathlackan, Carrowmorelacken, Ballina, Co Mayo

6960

NL 08/125

Disability Services

Nuerofibromatosis Association of Ireland, 5 St Laurence Grove, Chapelizod, Dublin 20

2000

NL 08/118

Disability Services

West Donegal Parents and Friends Assoc of the Mentally Handicapped, Lower Keadue, Burtonport, Co Donegal

30,678

NL 08/152

Disability Services

Neurological Alliance of Ireland, Coleraine House, Coleraine Street, Dublin 7

1500

NL 08/174

Disability Services

The Children’s Sunshine Home (C.S.H)

128,000

Total 18

745,178

NL 08/42

Acute Hospitals

Irish Kidney Association, Donor House, Block 43A, Park West, Dublin 12

500,000

NL 08/69

Acute Hospitals

Irish Red Cross — Roscrea Branch, 4 John’s Court, Birr, Co. Offaly

7,500

NL 08/113

Acute Hospitals

Cystinosis Foundation Ireland, 1 Terenure Place, Dublin 6W

15,000

Total 3

522,500

NL 08/26

Services for Older People

Mallow Day Care Centre, Courtview, New Road, Mallow, Co Cork

15,000

NL 08/81

Services for Older People

St Vincents Day Care Centre, Station Road, Tipperary

10,000

NL 08/119

Services for Older People

Dungloe Hospital Golden Jubilee, Dungloe Community Hospital, Dungloe, Co Donegal

15,000

NL 08/70

Services for Older People

Serenity Active Retirement, Dunmore, Culdaff, Co. Donegal

10,000

NL 08/72

Services for Older People

Rialto Day Care Centre, 468 South Circular Road, Rialto, Dublin 8

35,700

NL 08/86

Services for Older People

Friends of St Ita’s Community Hospital, c/o Fergus Scanlan, Killoughteen, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick

80,000

NL 08/25

Services for Older People

Coiste Seanoiri Ceann Trá Club Na Sinsear Teo, Ventry Community Hall, Ventry, Dingle, Co Kerry

46,000

NL 08/131

Services for Older People

Ballina Senior Citizens Urban Transport Initiative, Church Road, Ballina, Co Mayo

30,000

NL 08/139

Services for Older People

St Lukes Social Service Centre, 77 Kilbarron Park, Kilmore West, Coolock, Dublin 5

10,000

NL 08/146

Services for Older People

Pallasgreen Active Ireland,Brackile, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick

2,500

NL 08/141

Services for Older People

Coiste Ionad Na Seandaoine,Meenaniller, Derrybeg, Co Donegal

7,490

NL 08/62

Services for Older People

Dromcollogher & District Respite Care Centre, Ross, Dromcollogher, Co Limerick

45,000

NL 08/91

Services for Older People

Nazareth Social Club, Church Hill, Sligo

25,152

NL 08/9

Services for Older People

St. Gabriels’ Nursing Home, Glenayle Road, Edenmore, Dublin 6

66,380

NL 08/122

Services for Older People

Clarecastle and District Daycare Ltd, 1 St Flannans Avenue, Clarecastle, Co Clare

50,000

NL 08/143

Services for Older People

Ballybunion Active Retirement Association, 22 Glor na dTonn, Ballybunion, Co Kerry

2,000

NL 08/89

Services for Older People

Finglas Senior Citizens Help Line, 817 Ratoath Road, Finglas West, Dublin 11

4,000

NL 08/142

Services for Older People

Drogheda Senior Citizens Interest Group, 8 Workspace Mayoralty Street, Drogheda, Co Louth

6,000

NL 08/161

Services for Older People

Order of Malta Care Project

65000

NL 08/130

Services for Older People

Tithe Cois Tra Daycare for Elderly and Disabled,Rathlackan, Carrowmorelacken, Ballina, Co Mayo

2000

NL 08/117

Services for Older People

Lucan Active Retirement Association, 97 Dara Court, Celbridge, Co Kildare

2000

NL 08/167

Services for Older People

Raheen Hospital Support Group

70000

NL 08/177

Services for Older People

Limerick Senior Citizens Club

10000

Total 18

609,222

NL 08/83

Primary Care / GMS

Irish Raynaud’s and Scleroderma Society, P.O. Box 2958, Foxrock, Dublin 18

10,000

Total 1

10,000

NL 08/55

Mental Health

CONSOLE, All Hallows College, Drumcondra, Dublin 9

100,000

NL 08/97

Mental Health

Samaritans Ireland, P.O. Box 11218, Blackrock, Co Dublin

200,000

NL 08/96

Mental Health

Tallaght Travellers Youth Service (TTYS), Unit 5 Brookfield Enterprise Centre, Brookfield, Tallaght, Dublin 24

20,000

NL 08/48

Mental Health

CARP Killinarden, Killinarden Way, Tallaght, Dublin 24

9,600

NL 08/107

Mental Health

Mental Health Ireland, Mensana House, 6 Adelaide Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin

80,000

NL 08/127

Mental Health

Irish Associaton of Suicidology, 16 New Antrim Street, Castlebar, Co Mayo

12,000.00

NL 08/76

Mental Health

Beacon of Light Counselling Centre, 4 Collinstown Grove, Neilstown, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

20,000

NL 08/54

Mental Health

St. Michael’s Family Life Centre, Church Hill, Sligo

20,000

NL 08/162

Mental Health

Teen-Line Ireland

26,000

NL 08/138

Mental Health

Cork Counselling Services,7 Fr Matthew Street, Co Cork

105,000

NL 08/164

Mental Health

Free Mental Health Campaign trading as FREE

6,000

Total 7

598,600

NL 08/64

Cancer and Blood Policy

Irish College of General Practitioners, 4-5 Lincoln Place, Dublin 2

15,000

NL 08/50

Cancer and Blood Policy

ARC Cancer Support Centre, ARC House, 65 Eccles St., Dublin 7

32,000

NL 08/112

Cancer and Blood Policy

CD’s Helping Hands, Knockdoemore, Claregalway, Co Galway

78,000

NL 08/154

Cancer and Blood Policy

Friends of Sligo General Hospital,Sligo General Hospital , Co Sligo

170,000

NL 08/82

Cancer and Blood Policy

Little Way Cancer Support Centre, 4 Woods Way, College Road,Clane, Co Kildare

70,000

Total 5

365,000

NL 08/30

Health Promotion Unit

Cuidiú — Irish Childbirth Trust, Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7

5,500

NL 08/102

Health Promotion Unit

North Kerry Together Ltd., 58 Church Street, Listowel, Co Kerry

20,000

NL 08/123

Health Promotion Unit

COPE Waterside House, Courthouse Square, Galway City

1,000

NL 08/121

Health Promotion Unit

The Bridge Recovery Group Ltd, 7 O’Connell Avenue , Turners Cross, Co Cork

30,000

NL 08/110

Health Promotion Unit

Irish Countrywomen’s Association, 58 Merrion Road, Dublin 4

100,000

NL 08/160

Health Promotion

Alpha One Foundation

20,000

NL 08/158

Health Promotion

Southill Family Resource Centre

15,000

Total 4

191,500

NL 08/140

Adoption Board

International Adoption Association, Terenure Enterprise Centre, Terenure, Dublin 6W

12,000

NL 08/132

Adoption Board

Barnardos Post Adoption Service, Christchurch Square, Dublin 8

30,000

NL 08/153

Blood Policy

Irish Haemochromatosis Association,2 Annahagh Close, Latlurcan, Co Monaghan

110,000

NL 08/137

Adoption Board

Helping Hand’s Adoption Facilitation Board,Forge Lodge, Forge Hill, Co Cork

100,000

Total 3

252,000

NL 08/68

Social Inclusion

Sharing Point, 114 Castle Farm, Shankill, Dublin 18

40,000

NL 08/169

Social Inclusion

Open Heart House Ltd

27,500

Total 1

67,500

Overall amount paid

3,985,000

Number of organisations

106

Health and Children 2008 Allocation:

3,985,000

Amount allocated to date:

3,985,000

Balance available for allocation:

Rural Transport Services.

Frank Feighan

Question:

197 Deputy Frank Feighan asked the Minister for Transport if he will provide a commitment that the budget for rural transport will be retained. [32002/09]

Billy Timmins

Question:

206 Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Transport the position of the rural transport programme in view of the recommendations in the special group on public services numbers and expenditure report and in view of the fact that vulnerable people are depending on same; if same will be continued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32357/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 197 and 206 together.

As you are aware, the Minister for Finance, Mr Brian Lenihan T.D., established a Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, under the chairmanship of Mr Colm McCarthy, to examine the current expenditure programmes in each Government Department and to make recommendations for reducing public service numbers so as to ensure a return to sustainable public finances. In July 2009, the Minister for Finance received the Special Group's report and brought it to Government, and the Report was published in full. Among other things, the report recommends the abolition of the Rural Transport Programme.

The Government will be reflecting on the Report's recommendations over the months ahead. Decisions on implementation will rest with the Government and Dáil Éireann, including in the context of preparing the Budget for 2010 and later years. The Government has referred the Report for analysis and comment by the Oireachtas Committee on Finance and General Affairs prior to the Budget in December.

Road Network.

Michael Ring

Question:

198 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Transport if a report (details supplied) has been submitted to his Department from Mayo County Council. [32117/09]

In September, 2004 the Government confirmed the Office of Public Works (OPW) as the State's lead agency in flooding, to be tasked with delivering an integrated, multifaceted programme aimed at mitigating future flood risk and impact.

As regards flooding of roads, the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is a statutory function of each road authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993, to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection of works to be funded from these grants is also a matter for the local authority.

When road grants for regional and local roads are allocated each year, my Department does not hold back a reserve allocation at central level to deal with weather contingencies. Such an arrangement would mean a reduction across all local authorities in the road grant allocations to them at the beginning of each year. Instead, the allocation made to local authorities is inclusive of the weather risk factor. Local authorities are expressly advised that they should set aside contingency sums from their overall regional and local roads resources to finance necessary weather related works. Mayo County Council submitted a report to my Department in relation to damage to roads caused by flooding in July this year. This report is currently being considered by my Department. Consideration of any applications for financial assistance would, of course, have to take account of the current budgetary situation and the resources already allocated to the county.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

199 Deputy Jimmy Deenihan asked the Minister for Transport if he will approve the tender submitted by Kerry County Council for the new bridge at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32143/09]

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

208 Deputy Jimmy Deenihan asked the Minister for Transport if he will approve the successful tender for the provision of a new bridge at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32494/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 199 and 208 together.

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads, including bridges, in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993. Works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of projects to be funded is also a matter for the local authority. My Department gave approval to Kerry County Council to go to tender for the Ballinagar Bridge project in May this year. Tender proposals for the project, which I have been advised are expected shortly, will be considered when they are received.

Parking Regulations.

George Lee

Question:

200 Deputy George Lee asked the Minister for Transport his plans to regulate the private clamping industry in view of the aggressive clamping (details supplied) that is taking place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32031/09]

The practice of clamping or the removal of vehicles on private property does not come within the scope of road traffic legislation and I have no plans to legislate in this area.

Road Network.

Joe McHugh

Question:

201 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Transport the process that will apply to 2010 grant applications in respect of roads programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32180/09]

Joe McHugh

Question:

203 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Transport if a unit within the National Roads Authority will be responsible for dealing with representations from public representatives regarding local and regional roads programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32182/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 201 and 203 together.

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads, including bridges, in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993. Works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of projects to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.

New arrangements for the management and administration of regional and local road grants were introduced on 1st September 2009. These arrangements were put in place on foot of the existing statutory framework which places responsibility for the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads with local authorities.

From 1st September, last, the National Roads Authority agreed to undertake the management of the Regional and Local Roads Investment Programme on behalf of my Department. The National Roads Authority will recommend grant allocations for regional and local roads for 2010 and subsequent years, which will be subject to final approval by the Minister for Transport. A circular was issued to all local authorities on 18 August last to advise them of the Department's agreement with the NRA. The authorities were further advised that all correspondence in relation to regional and local road grants, including correspondence in relation to individual projects and programmes should be addressed to the NRA from 1st September 2009.

The handling of representations from public representatives in relation to the regional and local roads investment programme remains a function of my Department. The 2010 grant allocations will be announced early in the New Year.

Joe McHugh

Question:

202 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Transport if he will make a statement on the National Roads Authority’s budgetary systems in the future: if there will be an annual NRA budget for local and regional roads; if there will be an annual NRA budget for national routes; and if there will be one overall budget for all roads. [32181/09]

Capital funding in my Department is generally dealt with under the Transport 21 investment framework. In this context, an amount is allocated on an annual basis to the National Roads Authority (NRA) from my Department's overall Vote. The NRA is responsible under the Roads Act 1993 (as amended) for the allocation of this funding to individual national road projects. Similarly, an amount is allocated on an annual basis from my Department's overall Vote for regional and local roads. From 2010 the NRA will administer the distribution of this funding to local authorities on my behalf. Previously my Department had carried out this administration work. The present practice of having separate sub-heads within my Department's Vote for national and for local and regional roads will continue.

Question No. 203 answered with Question No. 201.

Maritime Safety.

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

204 Deputy Jim O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to the fact all commanding officers of State ships and a large proportion of Naval bridge watch-keepers hold qualifications which he does not recognise as valid for navigation and watch-keeping purposes as is allowed for under STCW95; his views on making an administrative decision to grant these persons licences in recognition of their training, professionalism and maritime experience in coastal and international waters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32191/09]

Ireland is a party to the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) Convention' on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) and amongst its provisions is a requirement for parties to the Convention to communicate information to the IMO on the measures adopted to implement the Convention nationally. This information is subject to periodic scrutiny by the IMO.

The relevant EU Directive requirements are transposed into Irish law by the Merchant Shipping (Training and Certification) Regulations 2007. In addition to the periodic auditing carried out by the IMO Ireland is also subject to inspection of its maritime education, training and certification system by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on behalf of the European Commission (EC). It is, therefore, essential that the issue of STCW Certificates of Competency to seafarers by the Marine Survey Office (MSO) in my Department be carried out strictly in accordance with the STCW regulations. Otherwise Ireland could be subject to infringement proceedings by the EC.

In order to assist Irish Naval Service personnel wishing to attain an STCW — Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch Certificate of Competency (OOW), the MSO has a system in place that requires Naval Service Officers to complete six months merchant sea service and to complete an OOW course at the National Maritime College, Ringaskiddy. This scheme is designed to satisfy the requirements of the Convention. It is not possible to exempt individual candidates for STCW certification from completing all the elements of this scheme as to do so could jeopardise Ireland's compliant status at the IMO and would have severe implications for holders of Irish Certificates of Competency.

Public Transport.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

205 Deputy Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Transport when a decision will be made on an application for a bus licence by a person (details supplied) in County Galway to run a workers bus from Ballygar to Galway city; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that no such transport exists at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32200/09]

I can confirm that an application for a bus passenger licence from the operator in question was received in my Department on 1 September 2009. This application is currently being processed by my Department, who will be in contact with the applicant in the near future.

Question No. 206 answered with Question No. 197.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joan Burton

Question:

207 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Transport the percentage of payments made by his Department since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors which were paid in full within 15 days, within 30 days and longer than 30 days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32419/09]

There has been 98% payment in full within 15 days by the Department of Transport since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors. This rises to 99.2 % when the effective implementation date for the Government decision of 15th June is taken into consideration. There has been 99.6% payment in full within 30 days by the Department of Transport since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors. There has been 00.37% payment of longer than 30 days.

Question No. 208 answered with Question No. 199.

Public Transport.

John O'Mahony

Question:

209 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Transport when he will approve and issue licences to Bus Éireann following submissions made by it for route changes in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32507/09]

My Department has only one current application for a route change in County Mayo. The change in question is part of a restructuring of the overall route on the Galway to Derry service.

As this is an international service it is governed by Council Regulation (EEC) No 684/92. Under this regulation any amendment to a regular service requires the agreement of all Member States concerned before it can be approved. Accordingly details of the proposed restructuring on this route have been sent to the Northern Ireland Authorities for approval and once received my Department will finalise the restructuring request.

George Lee

Question:

210 Deputy George Lee asked the Minister for Transport the number of bus stops that have been installed on a road (details supplied) in Dublin 18 on which no bus routes operate in 2009; when the bus routes were cancelled; the month that these bus stops were installed; the cost of these bus stops; the cost of installing the bus stops; the cost to remove same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32516/09]

This is a day-to-day operational matter for the company concerned and not one in which I have any role.

Irish Language.

Joe McHugh

Question:

211 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on whether the failure to recognise Irish sign language as an official language breaches the 1998 British-Irish Agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32158/09]

The Deputy will appreciate that interpretation of the law in relation to a particular subject matter is not a function of mine in relation to a Parliamentary Question. However, I can refer the Deputy to my response to Question No. 257 of 28 April, 2009. The position remains that the Government has no proposals to give recognition to Irish sign language as a third official language.

Policy in the area of language for people with disabilities is reflected in the Education Act 1998 (learning through Irish Sign Language), the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 (language assessment) and the Disability Act 2005 (Code of Practice on Accessibility of Public Services and Information provided by Public Bodies).

Asylum Applications.

Finian McGrath

Question:

212 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the details of payments made to members of the presenting officers panel to attend hearings of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal; his plans for this panel; if he can confirm that there has been a significant decline in the number of new asylum seekers applying to the Office of Refugee Applications Commission to date in 2009 compared to the past three years; if, in view of this development, he will be deploying existing civil service resources currently assigned to dealing with fresh applications to attending hearings of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal that are currently being served by the panel; the savings to the budget of the ORAC by making such a decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32046/09]

ORAC received 4,314 asylum applications in 2006, 3,985 in 2007 and 3,866 in 2008. The total number of asylum applications received to the end of August this year stands at 1,954. The Deputy will be aware that various factors have an impact on asylum numbers and an accurate prediction of future trends is difficult to make. A Presenting Panel of legally qualified persons was established by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) in early 2009 to represent the Commissioner at appeal hearings before the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT), and thereby support ORAC presenting officers in this regard.

The cost effectiveness of the panel, in the context of the operation of the overall asylum process, was considered before the panel was established and it was decided that its establishment provided the most cost effective use of resources, particularly when account is taken of the significant costs associated with maintaining asylum seekers while in Ireland, including in relation to the provision of accommodation and other support services. As the work of the panel has not yet been completed, it is not proposed to discontinue its operation at the present time.

The schedule of fees payable to the Panel at present, taking account of the 8% reduction in fees earlier this year arising from a Government decision in relation to professional fees, is as follows:

Prepare file and represent Commissioner at oral Hearing

276

Oral Hearing Husband and Wife similar cases

414

Oral Hearing Husband and Wife different cases

552

Deemed withdrawn / withdrawal

92

Adjourned / Postponed

Zero

Total payments made to panel members between February 2009 and end August 2009 after deduction of withholding tax amounts to €150,514.

With regard to the staffing issue raised by the Deputy, I would point out that staff allocations in the asylum and immigration areas are kept under review on an ongoing basis having regard to changing trends in asylum applications and demand for immigration services generally. Over the past number of years, some 90 posts have been redeployed from ORAC mostly to meet increased demands for immigration related services. Additional posts are in the process of being redeployed at the present time with the main priority being to reduce the number of cases on hand in other areas of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) and increase the number of removals of persons who are found to have no protection needs or other grounds to remain in the State. This in turn will contribute to reducing overall asylum and immigration costs to the State.

Garda Recruitment.

Finian McGrath

Question:

213 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding a matter (details supplied). [32047/09]

The maximum recruitment age for admission as a trainee full time member of An Garda Síochána is set at 35 years of age. This age was selected taking into account a number of criteria including the significant training cost which can only be recouped by serving a sufficient period and the operational requirements of the Force in terms of having an age profile appropriate to the demands placed on members in the course of their duty.

Citizenship Applications.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

214 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of people over the age of 18 years awaiting issue of their naturalisation certificate as of 15 September 2009; the number of same who took the oath of naturalisation and submitted the €950 fee prior to 15 August 2009; and the reason for the delay. [32147/09]

The number of people over the age of 18 awaiting issue of their naturalisation certificate as of the 15th September 2009 was 1043. The number of applicants currently awaiting the issue of their certificate of naturalisation who have made their declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State and paid the €950 fee prior to 15 August 2009 was 6. In each of the 6 cases further correspondence with the applicant has been necessary. There are various reasons why this occurs, the most common being that there is an issue with the supporting documentation submitted by the applicant. Once the matter is resolved the certificate of naturalisation is issued.

Family Reunification.

Mary Upton

Question:

215 Deputy Mary Upton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will carry out an investigation into the request for family reunification by a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12; if civil marriage ceremonies carried out in Sri Lanka are considered to be valid in this jurisdiction; if there is any precedent for accepting marriage certification from Sri Lanka in this jurisdiction; the reason this person was not informed of this concern prior to 10 September 2009; if he has satisfied himself that this application has been dealt with as promptly as possible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32150/09]

I wish to refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Question number 641 that I answered on 16 September 2009.

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service is unable to make a determination in this application for family reunification on the basis of the documentation submitted to date. In this regard a letter was sent to the person concerned on 10 September 2009 requesting them to obtain a declaration from the Irish Courts under Section 29 of the Family Law Act, 1995 indicating that the marriage in question is a valid one. In determining whether a foreign marriage is valid under the Family Law Act, 1995 it is a matter for the Courts to determine the formalities required by the law of the place or society in which the marriage was celebrated, and also to determine whether the marriage complied with those formalities. The onus is on the applicant to show that their marriage is valid and recognised for the purpose of Family Reunification. As soon as the person concerned submits the necessary Court declaration, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service will finalise the application for Family Reunification.

Citizenship Applications.

Phil Hogan

Question:

216 Deputy Phil Hogan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when an application for naturalisation will be decided in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny in view of the fact that they applied in March 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32221/09]

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy's Question was received in the Citizenship Division of my Department in March 2006.

The average processing time from application to decision is now at 24 months. More complicated cases can at times take more than the current average, while an element of straight forward cases can be dealt with in less than that timescale. However, I understand that the person concerned is a refugee. In accordance with the Government's obligations under the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, every effort is made to ensure that applications from persons with refugee status are dealt with as quickly as possible. Officials in the Citizenship Division inform me that further processing of the application is ongoing and the file will be submitted to me for a decision in due course.

The length of time taken to process each application should not be classified as a delay, as the length of time taken for any application to be decided is purely a function of the time taken to carry out necessary checks.

There is a limit to the reduction in the processing time that can be achieved as applications for naturalisation must be processed in a way which preserves the necessary checks and balances to ensure that it is not undervalued and is only given to persons who genuinely satisfy the necessary qualifying criteria.

Proposed Legislation.

Chris Andrews

Question:

217 Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the legislation for the abolishment of upwards only rent reviews will be implemented. [32352/09]

As indicated in my reply to Parliamentary Question no. 766 of 16 September 2009, when Section 132 of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 was brought forward in July, I made it clear that an appropriate period of time would be needed to allow the market to factor in the very significant changes which were being introduced. That remains the position. While I have taken no final decision on a commencement date, I would note that the section will not be commenced before 1 December at the earliest as that is the date which has been chosen for other sections in the Act.

Garda Recruitment.

Leo Varadkar

Question:

218 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason Garda reservists must resign from the reserve before applying to join the Garda on a full-time basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32353/09]

Leo Varadkar

Question:

219 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of applications that have been received by reservists to join the Garda full-time; the number of same who were refused on the basis of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32354/09]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

231 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of Garda Reserve members who have applied to become full-time gardaí but were unsuccessful; and the reason they were rejected. [32437/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 218, 219 and 231 together.

There is no requirement for Reserve Gardaí to resign before applying to join the force as a full-time member. In actual fact membership of the Reserve potentially enhances an applicant's chances of securing a position as a full-time Garda. The Garda Síochána (Admissions and Appointments) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI 509 of 2006) provide that the Public Appointments Service, when interviewing applicants, must give "due recognition to any satisfactory service by the person as a reserve member of the Garda Síochána".

If a Reserve Garda is successful in his or her application to join as a full-time member and is offered a place as a full-time trainee, he or she must then resign from their Reserve membership before taking up the place as a trainee as the two functions are wholly separate and distinct. The Admissions and Appointments Regulations for full-time Gardaí are predicated on a trainee being a civilian who can only be appointed to membership of the force upon successful completion of his or her traineeship.

Applications to become members of An Garda Síochána are processed by the Public Appointments Service on behalf of An Garda Síochána. Admission to become a member is subject to the provisions of the Garda Síochána (Admissions and Appointment) Regulations as amended, which include a provision covering minimum and maximum recruitment ages. Any applicant who does not meet the criteria as set out in the Regulations is not allowed progress through the competitive process.

The specific information on the number of Garda reserve members who apply to join An Garda Síochána on a full time basis and fail due to the age requirement or otherwise is not readily available.

Leo Varadkar

Question:

220 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his refusal to raise the age limit for recruitment to the Garda from 35 years relates to concerns about the cost of pensions or fitness levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32355/09]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

224 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of successful applicants to the Garda Síochána since September 2005 who started their training after they reached their 36th birthday; and their ages when they started training. [32430/09]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

225 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of successful applicants to the Garda Síochána who applied at the age of 35 and will now have to wait to start their training because of the moratorium; and what their ages will be when the moratorium is lifted and they start their training. [32431/09]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

232 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the list of criteria and the reason that he and the Garda Commissioner consider people over the age of 35 unsuitable for full-time service in the Garda Síochána. [32438/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 220, 224, 225 and 232 together.

Recruitment in An Garda Síochána is governed under Statutory Regulation namely, the Garda Síochána (Admission & Appointments) Regulations 1988/2005 as amended by Regulation 3 of the Garda Síochána (Admission & Appointments) Regulations 2004. The most recent change to the upper age limit was made by Statutory Instrument 749/2004 which amended regulation 164 of 1988 and increased the maximum entry age for admission as a trainee Garda from 26 years to 35 years.

This upper age limit of 35 was set having regard to equality legislation and also took into account the following criteria:

(1) The cost of training

(2) The need for recruits to serve for a sufficient period of time as full members of the service to recoup this cost.

(3) The operational requirements of the service in terms of having an age profile appropriate to the physical demands placed on members in the course of their duty.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number of successful applicants to An Garda Síochána since 2005 who started their training after their 36th birthday, and their ages, was as set out hereunder:

Age

Number

36 Years old

5

37 Years old

1

Total

6

I have requested the information from the Garda Authorities in relation to the number of successful applicants who applied at the age of 35 and have not yet started their training and I will revert to the Deputy when the information is to hand.

The moratorium on Public Service recruitment now applies to Garda recruitment, but I intend to review the position during the course of 2010 in consultation with the Garda Commissioner and my colleague the Minister for Finance.

Asylum Applications.

Jack Wall

Question:

221 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position of an application to remain in the State in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32360/09]

The person concerned applied for asylum on 17 October 2001. In accordance with Section 9 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended), the person concerned was entitled to remain in the State until his application for asylum was decided. His asylum application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner. He subsequently withdrew his appeal to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

Arising from the refusal of his asylum application, and in accordance with Section 3 of the Immigration Act, 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was informed, by letter dated 23 July 2002, 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 leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why he should not have a Deportation Order made against him.

The person concerned, separately, made an application for permission to remain in the State under the revised arrangements for non-EEA parents of children born in the State prior to 1 January 2005, commonly referred to as the IBC/05 Scheme. Following consideration of this application the person concerned was informed, by letter dated 16 November 2005, that the Minister had refused this application.

Subsequently, in accordance with Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was again informed, by letter dated 31 January 2007, 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 leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why he should not have a Deportation Order made against him. In addition, he was notified of his entitlement to apply for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations, 2006 (S.I. No. 518 of 2006).

The person concerned submitted an application for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with these Regulations and this application is under consideration at present. When consideration of this application has been completed, the person concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome.

In the event that the application for Subsidiary Protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Residency Permits.

Bernard Allen

Question:

222 Deputy Bernard Allen asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a decision will be made on an application for family reunification in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork in view of the fact that their application was submitted more than a year ago. [32364/09]

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person in question made an application for Family Reunification under Section 18 of the Refugee Act 1996 on behalf of his father in November 2008.

The application has recently been approved and the person in question has been informed of same.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joan Burton

Question:

223 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the percentage of payments made by his Department since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors which were paid in full within 15 days, within 30 days and longer than 30 days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32416/09]

I can inform the Deputy that 58% of invoices received by my Department since the 19th May 2009 have been paid in full within 15 calendar days, 98% of all invoices have been paid within 30 days and 2% were paid after 30 days. It should be noted that the details relate to calendar days and not working days. The average time to pay an invoice received during this period was 16 calendar days.

Questions Nos. 224 and 225 answered with Question No. 220.

Garda Training.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

226 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost of processing each successful applicant from their first application to starting in Templemore. [32432/09]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

227 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost of each garda trainee from when they start in Templemore to completion of their training after two years, excluding salaries and increment payments. [32433/09]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

228 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost of processing each successful applicant for the garda reserve, from their first application to starting in Templemore. [32434/09]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

229 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost of each garda reserve trainee from when they start in Templemore to completion of their probation after two years. [32435/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 226 to 229, inclusive, together.

The specific information sought in relation to costs associated with trainee Gardaí and Garda Reservists and their applications is not readily available and would involve the aggregation of costs from a wide variety of sources requiring a disproportionate amount of Garda time and resources relative to the information sought.

I can advise the Deputy however that the overall allocation for the Garda Reserve in 2009 is €1.28 million. Garda Authorities have also advised that the annual running cost for the Garda College at Templemore, which has responsibility for training Garda recruits, is approximately €28 million.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

230 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of successful applicants who have resigned from the regular Garda Síochána during their training and probation period, excluding trainees who resigned in lieu of dismissal. [32436/09]

The number of student Gardaí and probationer Gardaí who resigned in each of the years 2007, 2008 and to 31st August 2009 was as follows:

2007

2008

2009 (to 31 August 2009)

Student Gardaí

17

21

1

Probationer Gardaí

28

19

5

Corresponding information in relation to previous years is not readily available.

Question No. 231 answered with Question No. 218.
Question No. 232 answered with Question No. 220.

Residency Permits.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

233 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the progress to date of a residency application in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 6; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32588/09]

The person concerned applied for asylum on 20 September 2006. Following investigation by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, it was established that the person concerned had previously made an asylum application in Germany and, as such, a determination was made, in accordance with the provisions of the Dublin II Regulations, that the person concerned should be transferred to Germany for the purposes of having his asylum application examined there. This determination was upheld following an appeal to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

Arising from the Refugee Applications Commissioner's determination, a Transfer Order was signed in respect of the person concerned on 22 November 2006. This Order was served on the person concerned, by letter dated 23 November 2006, which placed a legal obligation on him to ‘present' himself at the Offices of the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), on Wednesday 29 November 2006, to make arrangements for his formal transfer to Germany. The person concerned failed to ‘present' on this occasion and was therefore classified as having evaded his transfer. The person concerned became illegally resident in this State at that time.

The person concerned continued to evade his transfer with the consequence that the Transfer Order ultimately expired leaving Ireland responsible for processing the asylum application of the person concerned. At this point the case of the person concerned was referred back to the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner for the purposes of having his asylum claims investigated. Subsequently, the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner made a recommendation that the person concerned be refused a declaration of refugee status. This recommendation was upheld on appeal to the Refugee Appeal Tribunal.

In accordance with Section 3 of the Immigration Act, 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was informed, by letter dated 26 September 2008, 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 leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why a Deportation Order should not be made against him. In addition, he was notified of his entitlement to apply for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations, 2006 (S.I. No. 518 of 2006).

The person concerned submitted an application for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with these Regulations and this application is under consideration at present. When consideration of this application has been completed, the person concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome.

In the event that the application for Subsidiary Protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

234 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will regularise residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare for study in Trinity College; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32589/09]

I wish to inform the Deputy that the mother of the person to whom he refers has permission to remain in the State under the IBC/05 Scheme. In 2007, the person concerned was granted permission to remain, in line with that granted to her mother, up to 2 June, 2010. This permission to remain is under Stamp 4 conditions which permit study.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

235 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the current position of an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32590/09]

The person concerned, then a minor, arrived in the State in the company of his mother on 23 October 1997. His mother subsequently made an application for asylum which was refused. The mother of the person concerned was subsequently granted permission to remain in the State on the basis of being a parent of an Irish citizen child, born before 1 January 2005, in accordance with the revised arrangements announced on 15 January 2005, commonly referred to as the IBC/05 scheme. The person concerned was not included in his mother's permission to remain in the State at that time as he was an adult by then.

In early 2008 the person concerned sought permission to remain in the State on the basis of being a family dependant of the parent of an Irish born child who had been granted permission to remain in the State under the IBC/05 Scheme. By letter dated 18 March 2009 the person concerned was informed that he had failed to demonstrate current residency as a family dependant in the State and consequently his quest to remain in the State on that basis was refused.

Subsequently, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was notified, by letter dated 31 March 2009, 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 leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why a Deportation Order should not be made against him. Representations were received on behalf of the person concerned at that time.

The position in the State of the person concerned will now be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Travel Documentation.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

236 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when travel documents will issue in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32591/09]

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) informs me that an appointment was arranged with the person concerned to attend INIS on 12 June 2009 to collect the three travel documents which was not fulfilled.

I am informed that the person concerned has been contacted by INIS and requested to attend the office at 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 on Wednesday 23 September 2009 to collect the travel documentation.

EU Enlargement.

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

237 Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on accession discussions being held between Iceland and European Union. [32070/09]

Iceland formally submitted its application for membership of the European Union to the Swedish Presidency on 17 July 2009. The General Affairs Council in July agreed to refer it to the European Commission for its opinion (avis), in accordance with established procedures. Given that its application is currently under consideration with the European Commission, no formal accession discussions are being held between Iceland and the European Union at this time.

If the Commission returns a positive opinion on Iceland's state of preparedness, as would be expected, the Council would then consider whether to open accession negotiations on the 35 chapters of EU law. Accession negotiations are a complex and open-ended process, and the outcome — as in any negotiation — cannot be predetermined.

In our bilateral contacts, we have told the Government of Iceland that we are supportive of their desire to join the European Union.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joan Burton

Question:

238 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the percentage of payments made by his Department since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors which were paid in full within 15 days, within 30 days and longer than 30 days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32414/09]

Payment of invoices by this Department is governed by the provisions of the Prompt Payment of Accounts Act, 1997 as amended by the European Communities (Late Payment in Commercial Transactions) Regulations 2002. The Act, which came into force in January 1998, initially provided for the payment of interest on invoices which are unpaid after 45 days from date of receipt. In August 2002, the point at which interest becomes due was reduced to 30 days. As the Deputy will be aware, following a Government Decision in May of this year, Government Departments were asked, where possible, to make payments within a 15 day period.

The payment procedures in place in my Department are designed to avoid undue delay in the processing and payment of valid invoices. Every effort is made to make payments as soon as possible and the Department is generally successful in making payments within the 30 day period.

The number of late payments (i.e. paid after a 30 day period) in each year represents a very small part of the total number of payments made. For example, in 2008, my Department made over 11,000 payments in Ireland, of which only 18 were late payments under the terms of the Acts mentioned above, less than 0.2% of the total payments made.

In regard to the data available concerning payments made within a 15 day payment period, all Government Departments are now required to submit quarterly reports to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with details about the length of time taken to make payments (i.e. within 15 days, within 30 days and after 30 days). The existing payments system is currently being modified so that the information needed for such reporting can be extracted. Data for the first such quarterly report, for the period ending 30 September, is currently being collated for submission by 15 October. I have arranged for a copy of the first quarterly report to be sent to the Deputy as soon as it is ready.

Sports Capital Programme.

George Lee

Question:

239 Deputy George Lee asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if there has been a reduction in the building costs of projects (details supplied) in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in view of the falling cost of construction; if so, the reduction in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32029/09]

All successful applicants under the Department's Sports Capital Programme are required to submit at least three comparable quotations to the Department for each aspect of the works being funded before an allocation is formally approved. In order to ensure value for money in the provision of facilities, the terms and conditions of the Programme specify that in each case, the contract/order should be placed with the contractor/supplier providing the most economically advantageous quotation. In addition, the Department's technical advisers, the Office of Public Works (OPW) has a monitoring role in relation to projects allocated more than €150,000 in one or more rounds of the Programme.

Of the allocations in question, records in my Department indicate that one was allocated on 2000 and paid in 2002. Of the remainder, tenders have been submitted in respect of only one project and the tenders for that project indicate that the final cost will be lower than that estimated at the time of application. Support for projects under the Programme is typically capped at 70% of the final cost of the project. Where an allocation exceeds that amount, the Department may consider a request for a change of purpose from the grantee or the surplus allocation may be withdrawn.

Arts Funding.

Finian McGrath

Question:

240 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the status of a grant (details supplied); the steps that have been taken by Athlone Town Council to progress the initiative since accepting the grant in May 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32122/09]

Finian McGrath

Question:

241 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if funding was allocated to a location (details supplied) in County Westmeath; his views on whether this funding has been awarded in order to develop a dedicated contemporary gallery and artist’s studio and such funding was not conditional to a specific location in Athlone town. [32123/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 240 and 241 together.

In April 2007 an amount of €32.4m was allocated to 67 projects under the ACCESS II (Arts & Culture Capital Enhancement Support Scheme). In May 2008, the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism allocated a further €10.2m in funding to 13 additional projects which had been placed on the reserve list for funding by the independent selection committee.

Athlone Town Council was one of the 13 additional projects and was allocated €650,000 towards the development of a two part scheme — a contemporary Art Gallery and Artists' Studios in Athlone.

The planned location of the Gallery is beside Fr. Matthew Hall, Athlone (on the west bank of the Shannon) and the Studios will be located in St. Mary's Hall on Abbey Road, Athlone (on the east side of the river). The premises are a five-minute walk apart.

My Department has recently received detailed plans in relation to the Art Gallery and a Planning Resolution under Part 8 of the Planning and Development Acts was passed by Athlone Town Council on 5 May 2009 in that respect. A Tender Report and other documentation is awaited from Athlone Town Council in order to progress this project.

Sports Capital Programme.

Seán Power

Question:

242 Deputy Seán Power asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if outstanding legal difficulties have been resolved in relation to an application for a National Lottery grant from a sporting club (details supplied) in County Kildare; when the grant will be awarded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32201/09]

There are no legal issues outstanding in relation to any allocation made to the grantee in question under the Sports Capital Programme. All allocations made to the grantee in question under the Programme prior to 2007 have been paid. Payment of the 2007 allocation of €100,000 was authorised by my Department on 14 September last.

A further allocation of €20,000 was made to the grantee in question under the Programme in 2008 and tax clearance information in respect of a contractor is awaited from the grantee before this allocation can be formally approved. The club have been reminded of the need to submit the tax clearance information by telephone on 7 and 15 September 2009 and by letter on 18 September 2009.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joan Burton

Question:

243 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the percentage of payments made by his Department since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors which were paid in full within 15 days, within 30 days and longer than 30 days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32406/09]

The percentage of payments made by my Department since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors which were paid in full within 15 days, 30 days and longer than 30 days was 84.13%, 12.30% and 3.57% respectively.

Arts Funding.

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

244 Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the number, cost and nature of the projects funded by Culture Ireland in 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32541/09]

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

245 Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the projects and individual artists funded by Culture Ireland over the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32542/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 244 and 245 together.

In 2008 Culture Ireland awarded €3,226,000 to 380 grant applicants across artforms under the quarterly grant scheme which enabled Irish artists to present their work in 44 different countries. Culture Ireland's strategic programme of showcasing the work of Irish artists to international programmers and presenters to facilitate their selection for presentation at subsequent high profile international festival/events cost €732,000 in 2008 and included APAP Arts Presenters Showcase in New York, Venice Architecture Biennale, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin Dance Festival, Frankfurt Book Fair and Music from Ireland showcases.

The projects and individual artists funded over the past 12 months by Culture Ireland under the quarterly grant rounds and showcase programme are listed in following tables.

Visual Arts September 2008

Name

Amount

Tristan Fennell participating in the Singapore International Photography Festival October 2008

800

Molesworth Gallery presentation of “Pripyat” by Nicky Larkin at the Optica Video Art Festival, Madrid, Spain from the 16th to 18th October 2008

500

Áine Phillips, performing in “Exist 08”, International Festival of Live Art in Brisbane, Australia from the 22nd to 26th October 2008

1,000

Harry Moore presenting a photographic exhibition, “A Tale of Two Cities”, at Barristers Gallery, New Orleans from the 8th November – 29th December 2008

800

Amanda Coogan presenting an exhibition and live performance at the Trace Gallery, Cardiff in November 2008

1,000

Denis McNulty exhibiting at the Sao Paulo Bienal, Brazil with four other international artists from the 2nd- 6th November 2008

2,000

Declan Rooney presenting a solo exhibition “Many Shades of Black” at the MOP in Sydney from 3rd – 26th November 2008

1,500

Amanda Coogan performing at the International Performance Festival at the Asiatopia, Bangkok from the 14th – 16th November 2008

2,000

Clodagh Emoe presenting a solo exhibition “Here Somewhere” at the Mart House Gallery, Amsterdam from the 21st November to 21st December 2008

2,000

Immagini D’Irlanda in Umbria presenting an exhibition by Janet Mullarney and Concert by Kay McCarthy as part of the 3rd Riflessidiversi Festival in Magione, Italy from the 18th – 25th October 2008

1,500

Patrick Jolly participating in a group show at the LA County Museum, Los Angeles from the 27th November 2008 – 23rd January 2009 and 2 exhibitions in Hanbury Street Project Space, London from the 4th – 25th November 2008 and at the Sketch Gallery, London from the 20th November – 13th January 2009.

3,000

Ard Bia Gallery participating in Preview Berlin – The Emerging Art Fair from the 30th October – 2nd November 2008

1,000

Trish Morrissey presenting a solo exhibition of photographs and video works at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne from the 5th June – 1st August 2009

3,000

Stephan Brandes presenting a solo exhibition at Robert Drees Gallery, Hanover, Germany in February – March 2009 and to present work at Art Cologne in May 2009

2,500

Circa art Magazine promotions at major Art Fairs and Biennales worldwide and arrange e-flux international art listing service in 2009

3,500

Aleana Egan presenting a solo exhibition at Mary Mary Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland from the 15th November – 20th December 2008

1,000

Benjamin Gaulon presenting an exhibition of work by selected Irish visual artists at Saint – Étienne Biennial of Design, Lyon, France from the 15th to 30th November 2008

3,500

Visual Arts Ireland presenting the publication “Printed Project” at Printed Matters NY Art Book Fair, New York from the 23rd to 26th October 2008

4,000

Exhibition by David Beattie, Karl Burke and Chris Fite – Wassilak at studio 1.1 London from the 8th January to 1st February 2009

4,000

Exhibition of George Bolster’s art installation “Reckoner” at MASS MoCA from April 2009 until March 2010

3,000

Clare Langan participating in “Sounds and Visions – Art Film and Video from Europe” at Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel from the 6th February – 20th April 2009

10,000

Smart Project Space Foundation selection of Irish artists participating in an exhibition project at the Smart Project Space, Amsterdam from the 10th January to the 21st February 2009

8,000

Séan McCrum organising a solo international exhibition in Newfoundland, Canada from September 2009 – September 2010

8,000

Achill Artist Group presenting an exhibition in Cologne, Germany in March 2009

9,000

Rubicon Gallery participating at Art Forum, Berlin from the 31st October – 3rd November 2008, Pulse, Miami from the 3rd – 7th December 2008 and ARCO, Madrid from the 11th – 16th February 2009

15,000

Síun Hanrahan participating in the exhibition “The Pressure of a Sign: Visible Invisible” at CACE, Porto from the 31st Jan – 1st March 2009 and Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw from the 28th January – 27th February 2010

8,000

Green on Red Gallery participating at the NADA Art Fair, Miami, 5th – 9th December 2008.

5,000

Niamh O’Malley presenting a solo exhibition at the HIAP Project Room, at the Cable Factory, Helsinki from the 2nd – 19th December 2008.

500

Visual Arts December 2008

Name

Amount

Barry Hughes presenting a solo exhibition in association with the 411 Gallery, Shanghai in April 2009

750

Marie Brett presenting a exhibition of work at the NES Centre, Skagastrond, Iceland from the 4th – 29th March 2009

850

Michelle Browne presenting a visual arts performance “The Bearer” at the National Review of Live Art, Glasgow on the 12th February 2009

1,200

Peter Fulop presenting a solo exhibition at the Sculpture Factory, Jingdezhen, China in May 2009

1,300

Christine Mackey participating in a collaborative programme and exhibition in Argentina from the 9th – 23rd March 2009

1,100

Enda O’Donoghue presenting a solo exhibition at the Irish Arts Center, New York from the 27th April – 23rd June 2009

2,500

Katie Holten presenting an exhibition in the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf from May – August 2009

1,700

Stephen Lawlor presenting a solo exhibition at the Galleri Astley Culture Centre, Bergslagen, Sweden, from the 15th March 2009 – 12th April 2009

2,500

Dan Murphy organising a photographic exhibition in China as part of a Chinese Irish exchange, 2009 – 2010

3,500

Janet Pierce presenting an exhibition at Galleries Artfelt, New Delhi from the 6th – 21st March 2009

4,000

Limerick City Gallery of Art presenting “Into Irish Drawing” at CCI, Paris, France and Aktuele Kunst Hengelo, The Netherlands from the 13th September – December 2009

5,000

The George Moore Society presenting “Ground: Contempory art from Ireland” at the American Irish Historical Society, New York, from the 26th February – 29th March 2009

15,000

RHA Projects presenting work by John Gerrard at the Venice Art Biennale in June 2009

25,000

Varvara Shavrova presenting “Untouched” a multi media project at the festival of Irish Culture Shanghai from the 14th March – 12th April 2009

2,500

Green on Red presenting a solo exhibition of Denis McNulty work at the Volta NY Art Fair, 5th – 8th March 2009.

5,000

Fion Gunn presenting two collaborative exhibitions of Irish and Chinese artists – “Our Books, Our Lives” and the “City” in Beijing, 1st – 31st March 2009.

14,000

James Ryan, 411 Galleries, presenting the exhibition “Drawing Eire” in Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou, March 2009 onwards

20,000

Visual Arts March 2009

Name

Amount

Sarah Holly Pereira presenting a solo exhibition at the Muse at 269 gallery, Portobello, London in May 2009

750

Louise Manifold presenting a solo exhibition at the PS122 Contemporary Arts Centre, New York from the 14th May – 12th June 2009

1,200

Mark Clare presenting a solo exhibition at the Galeria xx1, Prague in June 2009

1,200

Atsushi Kaga presenting a solo exhibition in Galeria Leme project in Sao Paulo, Brazil in August 2009

1,000

Anthony Haughey presenting a visual arts installation at the Gallerie Arena for the 40th Les Rencontres s’Ales 09 from the 8th July – 13th September 2009

1,000

Sirius Arts Centre attending the Lodz International Photography Festival, Poland from the 7th – 10th May 2009

2,000

Anthony Kelly presenting “Practical Dreaming” at the Courtyard Arts Centre, Hertfordshire from the 18th June – 25th July 2009

1,000

Daphne Wright presenting an exhibition “Prayer” in three galleries, Quad, (Derry), Picture This, (Bristol) and Bluecoat, (Liverpool) from the 9th May – 28th June 2009

1,000

Christine Mackey, Cliona Harmey and Saoirse Higgins exhibiting work at the European Mobile Lab for Interactive Media Artists in Greece from the 20th May – 10th June and Poland from the 19th October – 9th November 2009

3,000

Antoin O’Heocha presenting an exhibition in Vilnius from the 1st July – 30th October 2009

3,000

Conall Gleeson presenting an exhibition at the Portland Isle, Dorset, UK from May – September 2009

400

Rubicon Gallery exhibiting at Art Brussels Art Fair from 24th – 27th April 2009

7,500

Nina Canell presenting a solo exhibition at the Kunstverein, Hamburg, from the 26th September – 31st December 2009

2,000

Margaret Tuffy presenting an exhibition at the Tuule Makinen gallery as part of the Finnish – Irish Festival, Finland from the 29th September – 18th October 2009

4,000

Molesworth Gallery exhibiting at Next 2009 Art Fair, Chicago from the 1st – 4th May 2009

7,500

Green on Red Gallery exhibiting at Volta Art Fair, Basel from the 8th – 13th June 2008

7,500

Niamh Flanagan presenting an exhibition in Debica, Poland from the 4th – 18th September 2009 and Gorlice, Poland 15th January – February 2010

3,000

Richard Gorman presenting a solo exhibition at the Mitaka City Gallery of Art, Tokyo, Japan from the 11th September – 24th October 2010

15,000

Ian Joyce presenting a solo exhibition at the Czech Museum of Fine Art, Prague from 7th October – 29th November 2009

6,000

Mother’s Tankstation exhibiting at “Open Space 2009” at Art Cologne 6th – 22nd April and “Art Statements” Art Basel 40, 10th – 14th June 2009

15,000

MART presenting an exhibition “Open Door Policy” at the Shunt Vault Gallery, London, from 16th – 25th July 2009

3,000

Jesse Jones participating at the 11th International Istanbul Biennale with her project ‘Mahoganny’ from 12th September – 8th October 2009.

10,000

Visual Arts June 2009

Name

Amount

Sheila McCarron exhibiting as part of a group show at the Turn – Berlin gallery, Germany from the 14th – 26th August 2009

500

Foundation Centre for Photography presenting photographic exhibition “Bill Doyle’s Ireland” at the 111FotoArtFestival 2009, Bielsko-Biala, Poland from the 9th – 25th October 2009

1,000

Wendy Dison presenting a solo exhibition at the Tricycle Theatre Co Gallery, London from the 7th September – 17th October 2009 and at the Brindley Theatre, Cheshire from the 14th November 2009 – 2nd January 2010

1,000

Sean Campbell presenting exhibition of work at Goggle Works, Pennsylvania from the 20th September – 8th November 2009

1,000

MYK Henry presenting a performance art piece at the 10th Open Performance Art Festival in Beijing from the 7th August – 27th September 2009

1,000

Rob Vance presenting a photographic exhibition at the Everyman Theatre and Bistro, Liverpool from the 20th – 25th November 2009

1,000

Garrett Phelan participating in a group exhibition “The End of the Line: Attitudes in Drawing” at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Liverpool from the 14th November 2009 – 10th January 2010

750

Kevin O’Dwyer exhibiting sculptures at the Goggle Works Center for the Arts, Pennsylvania in collaborating with Michael Brolly from the 20th September – 8th November 2009

1,000

Eddie Kennedy presenting an exhibition of new paintings at the John Cacciola Gallery, Chelsea, New York from the 2nd – 29th September 2009

1,000

Alena Egan and Michael John Whelan presenting exhibition “First Window Open” in a gallery in Berlin, Germany from the 25th September – 17th October 2009

350

The Molesworth Gallery participating at the Preview Art Fair Berlin from the 22nd – 27th September 2009

5,000

Oisin Byrne presenting an exhibition at the Lewis/ Frank Gehry Library, New jersey from the 5th October 2009 – January 2010 and at the Bridge Gallery from the 3rd October – November 2009

3,000

Graphic Studio Dublin presenting “Artists Proof” a fine art print exhibition at the Centrespace Gallery, UK from the 17th September – 18th October 2009

3,000

Linda Quinlan and Rob Canning exhibiting “Automatic” at the Auto – Italia Gallery, London from the 28th August – 20th September 2009

2,000

Maud Cotter presenting “Rumpus Room” at the Point B Gallery, New York in November 2009

6,000

Mothers Tankstation participating at the Artissima Art Fair, Turin, 5 – 8 November and the Art Positions, Art Basel Miami Beach, 3 – 6 December 2009

15,000

Gerard Byrne presenting an exhibition at the Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva from the 9th October – 28th November 2009

3,000

5 Irish Artists presenting their work at M.K. Ciurlionis National Museum of Arts as part of the Kaunas Biennale from October – November 2009

5,000

Kerlin Gallery participating at the Frieze Art Fair, London from the 15th – 18th October 2009

7,500

Cló Ceardlann na gCnoc participation by Irish artists in Samkura exhibition in Greece, Georgia, Armenia and Portugal from June 2009 – September 2011

20,000

Theatre and Dance September 2008

Name

Amount

Ursula Mawson Raffalt performing “Ephemeral silence or the universe of D.A.N.T.E at the Chapter Arts Centre Cardiff, Wales from the 29th March – 19th April 2009 and the Etropolis Theatre and the Ion Sava Centre for Theatrical Research, the National Theatre, Bucharest, 3rd August – 6th September 2009

4,000

Miriam Lambert performing “ Goldilocks and the Three Bears” at the 25th World performing Arts Festival, Pakistan from the 13th – 23rd November 2008

2,000

Fishamble Theatre Company presenting “Forgotten” at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool as part of the Liverpool Irish Festival from the 21st – 22nd October 2008

2,500

Aindrias Stack theatre/music show/storytelling performances in NYU, New York on the 3rd November 2008, Boston Irish Theatre 10th November 2008 and Irish Arts Foundation, San Francisco November 2008

4,000

Orla Barry performing “The Scavenger’s Daughter” at the Tate Modern, London on the 13th December 2008

3,000

Ursula Mawson Raffalt performing at the International Theatre Festival in Sibiu, Romania from the 28th May – 04th July 2009

8,000

Fishamble Theatre Company presenting “Rank” by Robert Massey at the Tricycle Theatre, London from the 3rd – 22nd November 2008

30,000

Druid Theatre Company performing “The New Electric Ballroom” at the Perth International Festival in February 2009

70,000

Nessa Cronin speaking at the Symposium “ Playboy of the Western World: then and now” on 19th October 2008

600

Daghdha Dance Company presenting “Sense and Meaning” in Edinburgh College of Art on the 15th December 2008

2,000

Elena Glannotti performing as part of the Movement Research Improvisation Fall Festival, New York from the 1st – 14th December 2008

2,000

MIFA Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts presenting the triple dance bill “Irish Cream” at the War Memorial Auditorium, 16th – 20th March 2009

10,000

Legitimate Bodies Dance Company performing at the Centro Cultural Los Talleres, Mexico in January 2009

4,000

Colin Dunne performing “Out of Time” at the Barbican Theatre as part of the BITE’09 International Performance Festival in February 2009 and at the East Festival, London from the 5th – 10th March 2009

15,000

Siamsa Tíre performing in collaboration with San Francisco dance company Printz Dance Project at the Cowell Theatre, San Francisco from the 4th – 8th November 2008

10,000

Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre performing “Giselle” at the Perth International Arts Festival, Australia from the 28th February – 08th March 2009

55,000

The Gate Theatre and the 2009 Sydney Festival will present a season of plays by Brien Friel.

75,000

Blue Raincoat Theatre performing “The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst” at the 11th Turkish State Theatre’s International Festival from the 27th March -8th April 2009.

30,000

Theatre and Dance December 2008

Name

Amount

Ursula Mawson-Raffalt presenting “ephemeral silence or the universe of d.a.n.t.e. #1” in Aarhus, Denmark from 20th – 22nd March 2009

1,000

Prof Anthony Roche/ Irish participation in seminars,talks and readings to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Brian Friel at New York University on 2nd May 2009

3,000

Megan Riordan performing “Luck” at the Arches Theatre Festival, Glasgow and Shunt Vaults, London in April 2009

4,000

Irish Arts Center presenting “Voyage for Freedom: Frederick Douglass in Ireland and Barack Obama in America” at the Irish Arts Center from the 17 – 21 March 2009

3,000

Sarah Jane Scaife performing scenes from “An Anthology of Irish Literature” in Beijing March 2009.

5,000

Irish Arts Center presenting “Ladies and Gents” by Paul Walker at Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, NY from 16th March to 12th April 2009.

20,000

Barabbas Theatre Company performing “Circus” at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, Connecticut from the 13th – 21st June 2009

35,000

Daghdha Dance Company presenting “Choreography for Blackboards” at the Zodiak Centre, Helsinki from the 6th – 7th February 2009

4,000

Irish National Youth Ballet Company performing at the Youth Dance Festival in Nettuno, Italy on the 9th May 2009

5,000

Bealtaine (Age and Opportunity)/ joint collaboration and performance at the Dance Life Festival 2009, Sapporo, Japan from the 9th – 17th March 2009

8,000

Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre and English National Opera / co-production of “The Rite of Spring” at the London Coliseum in November 2009

100,000

Gare St Lazare presenting “First Love” by Samuel Beckett in New Haven Connecticut, USA from 16th – 20th June, Grahamstown, South Africa 3rd – 6th July and Capetown, South Africa from the 8th – 12th July 2009

9,000

Team Educational Theatre Company performing “Devotion” in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa in Autumn 2009

35,000

Dance Base presenting “Dialogue” by Fearghus Ó Conchuir from 5th – 23rd August and “Raw” by Fidget Feet from 18th – 30th August 2009 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

75,000

Dance Theatre of Ireland performing “Block Party” at international dance festivals in Korea in April – May 2009 and at the Greenwich & Docklands Festivals, London in June 2009

40,000

Irish Modern Dance Theatre performing “The White Piece” by John Scott in Dance Landscapes, a network of three festivals in Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine from the 18th – 27th April 2009

35,000

The London St Patrick’s Day Festival, Irish participation, 15th March 2009.

8,000

Theatre and Dance March 2009

Name

Amount

CircuSorcas performing an outdoor circus show at the International Arts Festival in Aurioac, South France 19th – 22nd August 2009

4,000

Dylan Tighe directing at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, London from the 23rd June – 18th July 2009

1,000

Gavin Kostick performing “The Heart of Darkness” at the London Literature Festival, London from the 9th – 11th July 2009

6,000

Donal O’Kelly Productions performing a tour of “Jimmy Joyced” in Portugal 16th – 19th June and Trieste, Italy 28th June 2009

7,500

Pan Pan Theatre Company performing “The Crumb Trail” at Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin from the 18th – 20th June and TBA Festival, Portland, US from the 9th – 12th September 2009

38,000

Fishamble Theatre Company performing “Noah and the Tower Flower” in Bulgaria 27th – 30th May, and at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Romania 2nd – 3rd June 2009

12,000

Legitimate Bodies Dance Company performing at the Prague Dance Festival from the 17th – 18th June 2009

1,000

Angie Smais performing a new solo work at the Islington Dance Festival, London on the 29th June 2009

800

Elena Giannotti performing at the Islington Arts Festival 2009 “Moving Voices” in London from the 27th June – 10th July 2009

800

Excel Dance Residency performing a tour of South Korea from the 15th May – 2nd June 2009

2,500

Fabulous Beast performing “Giselle” at the Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada in May 2010

30,000

Fishamble Theatre Company performing the “Pride of Parnell Street” at 59E59, New York from the 1st September – 4th October 2009

60,000

Gare St Lazare performing “Moby Dick” at the Rubicon Theatre, Ventura, California in July – August 2009

9,000

Ouroboros Theatre Company performing extracts from “Making History” and “Translations” at Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris 5th – 7th June and in Leuven, Belgium on 9th June 2009

3,000

Theatre and Dance June 2009

Name

Amount

Colin Dunne performing “Out of Time” at the da:ns Festival in Esplanade Theatre, Singapore from the 27th – 28th October 2009

4,000

Iseli/ Chiodi Dance Company presenting a collaborative programme of duets with Rex Levitates Dance Company at International Dance Festival Maracaibo 2009, Venezuela and Festival Internacional De Danza Morelos Tierra De Encuentro, Mexico in November 2009

5,000

Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre presenting Giselle as part of the World Stage 09:10 programme at the Harbourfront Centre, Toronto from the 4th – 8th May 2010

30,000

Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre presenting Giselle at the Sydney Festival from the 24th – 30th January 2010

60,000

Alan Stanford performing “In the Company of Oscar Wilde” in Munich, Germany on the 17th October 2009

300

Megan Riordan Making Strange Theatre Company performing “Luck” at the 2nd annual 1st Irish Theatre Festival at 59E59 Theatre Company from the 19th September – 4th October 2009

4,000

The Performance Corporation presenting two live performances at the Electronic Church, Berlin in the end of July 2009 and in Café Oto, London in December 2009

3,000

Irish Arts Center presenting production of “The Cambria” by Donal O’Kelly at the Irish Arts Center from the 16th September – 11th October 2009

8,000

Sean Tyrrell, a tour of a show based on life of John Boyle O’Reilly in USA in September 2009

2,000

Brokentalkers performing “In Real Time” at the Noordezon Festival, Griningen, Holland from the 27th – 29th August 2009

3,000

Fishamble presenting production of “Forgotten” at the LOKALl International Theatre Festival, Reykjavik from the 3rd – 6th September 2009

3,500

Clowns without borders performing in Palestine from September – October 2009

8,000

The Abbey Theatre presenting production of Mark O’Rowe’s “Terminus” at the Merlyn Theatre during the Melbourne International Arts Festival 2009 from the 9th – 13th October 2009

23,500

Wexford Arts Centre presenting production of “Tales from Rainwater Pond” by Billy Roche at the 1st Irish Festival by Origin Theatre Company from the 5th – 26th September 2009

13,000

Origin Theatre Company organising 1st Irish 2009 at the Origin Theatre from the 1st September 2009 – 4th October 2009

8,000

Music September 2008

Name

Amount

Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society three concerts of Irish music and song – Ger Foley on the 4th October 2008, Tommy O’Sullivan on the 23rd October 2008 and Cherish the Ladies on the 7th December 2008 in Fairfield, USA

700

David Flynn and Loana Petcu – Colan David Flynn and Ioana Petcu – Colan performing a recital of at the Academia de Muzica in Cluj – Napoca in January 2009

600

Vienna Songwriting Association Gemma Hayes, Maria Doyle Kennedy and The Hollows to perform at 4th Blue Bird Festival Vienna from the 20th – 22nd November 2008

1,000

Eugene Irish Cultural Festival Chulrua and Maldon Meehan performing at the 6th annual Eugene Irish Cultural Festival from the 6th – 7th March 2009

1,500

Derek Gleeson and Irish soloists performing works by Irish composers with the Vratza Philharmonic in Philharmonic Hall, Vratza, Bulgaria on the 11th December 2008

1,000

Gerry O’Connor, Siobhán Armstrong and Róisin Elsafy performing at the Brighton Early Music Festival from the 24th – 26th October 2008

600

Irish Composers Collective performing a concert of new Irish music at the University of York, 1st November 2008

1,000

Glyder performing at the Synchronicity Festival, Kanpur, India on the 25th October 2008

1,800

Copenhagen Irish Festival organising the annual Irish Cultural Festival from the 6th – 9th November 2008

1,500

Seamus Begley performing a tour of traditional Irish music, song and dance performanes at two festivals in Australia and a number of other venues in Australia and New Zealand from the 6th March – 2nd April 2009

5,000

Kerry Records inviting David and Kieran Munnelly to perform “An Irish Christmas” at seven venues in California 29th November – 14th December 2008

1,000

Honor Heffernan performing at ten venues across six cities in India from 12th – 30th November 2008

6,000

Danú performing a Christmas tour in Canada from the 3rd to 20th December 2008

6,000

Ceol Productions presenting tour “Irish Christmas in America” involving Téada, Karen Casey, Cara Dillon, Tommy Martin, Gráinne Hambly, Sienna Hickey and Abbey Magill from 29th November – 17th December 2008

4,000

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann performing the 36th annual North American Concert tour from the 7th – 21st October 2008

7,500

Royal Irish Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra performing concerts in Connecticut, Virginia and New York from the 23rd – 25th January 2009

10,000

Wigt Productions organising two tours of Irish music in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland between November 2008 and May 2009

10,000

Ergodos, Irish composers attending concerts of contemporary Irish music, 16th Dec, Amsterdam and 18th Dec Berlin 2008

2,775

Irish musicians participating in Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival from the 14th January- 1st February 2009.

25,000

Music December 2008

Name

Amount

Fergal Dowling performing at the Ohrenhoch der Gerauschlade sound art Gallery, Berlin from the 18th – 20th March 2009

400

Tonos Early Music Ensemble performing “Music of the Wild Geese” recital and lecture at the Royal Society for Arts, London on the 26th February 2009

300

Tyneside Irish Cultural Society presenting a series of concerts by traditional Irish musicians from the 29th January – 23rd April 2009

1,000

Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society presenting traditional Irish music concerts in Fairfield, CT, US from January – March 2009

500

Noelie Mc Donnell performing at the Folk Alliance conference / showcase, Memphis, US from the 18th – 22nd February 2009

750

Irene Buckley presenting performance of “Evolution of close double stars” at the New York Electroacoustic Music Festival from the 2nd – 4th April 2009

1,200

Sonya Keogh performing and leading workshops in Tokyo and other venues in Japan, from the 12th – 26th March 2009

1,000

Irish Arts Foundation presenting concerts by Beoga, Swallows Tail and other artists at venues in Leeds, UK, from February – April 2009

1,000

Emmet Scanlan performing at the Folk Alliance conference / showcase, Memphis, US from the 18th – 22nd February 2009

2,000

Martin Healy performing concerts, Montserrat, West Indies from the 12th – 22nd March 2009

1,500

Aindrais Stack performing “Around the World on 80 Quid” at festivals in Australia and New Zealand, February – April 2009

1,500

Embassy of Ireland in Latvia Organising “Voices from Ireland” festival of songwriting, Riga, Latvia from the 13th – 17th March 2009

3,000

Romana Kokoska Pulchartova presenting the Callino Quartet at the Marble Hall, Prague Castle on the 7th April 2009

2,000

Líadan performing concerts in Texas, New York and New Jersey from the 6th – 14th March 2009

3,000

Irish Diaspora Foundation presenting three Irish music concerts in the London Irish Centre, Birmingham Irish Centre and Manchester Irish World Heritage Centre from the 4th – 6th March 2009

2,500

Kevin Brady (Organics)/Organics performing a tour of Mexico from the 25th March – 5th April 2009

4,500

Magnetic Music GmbH presenting a 15 concert tour by Fallen Angels, Outside Track and Searson in Germany and Switzerland from the 12th – 29th March 2009

3,000

Ensemble Scratch the Surface performing concerts in Brighton, Manchester and London from 12th – 17th July 2009

2,000

Mary Dullea Fidelio Trio performing a tour in China from the 1st – 15th June 2009

6,500

Ceoltoiri na Sionainne performing at the North American Comhaltas Convention, St Louis from the 16th – 19th April 2009

3,000

Patrick Garrett/Beoga performing a US tour from the 27th Feb – 28th March 2009

3,000

Cantor Music/Carmel Conway and band performing a US tour from the 26th February – 17th March 2009

1,000

Camerata Ireland performing at the La Chaise Dieu and Berlioz Festivals in France on the 26th and 27th August 2009

10,000

Gráda performing a US tour from the 26th February – 29th March 2009

3,000

Opera Theatre Company performing Handel’s “Orlando” at the Buxton Festival from the 13th – 27th July 2009

30,000

Na Píobairí Uilleann US tour and UK tour of “Piperlink” from May – September 2009

17,000

El Feile presenting Festival in Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao from the 12th – 21st March 2009

10,000

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance presenting a concert in Paris by ACADEMOS Irish World Strings, March 2009

7,000

Our Lady’s Choral Society performing Handel’s “Messiah” in the Vatican, Rome on the 12th February 2009

15,000

U.S Ireland Alliance /Irish Artists performing at the “Oscar Wilde” event in Los Angeles, February 2009

40,000

Irish Arts Center presenting “Sweet Rosie O’Grady:An Irish Salute to Tin Pan Alley” at Symphony Space, New York, 16 March 2009.

3,000

Music March 2009

Name

Amount

Association of Irish Composers performing at the Time of Music Festival, Viitasaari, Finland on the 12th July 2009

1,400

Dr Patrick Zuk presenting “The Fleischmanns and their circle” at Durham University from the 12th – 14th July 2010

1,300

Friends of the Irish Harp Centre performing at the 10th European Festival of Youth Music, Linz, Austria from the 21st – 24th May 2009

5,000

Crash Ensemble performing a US tour in May 2010

52,000

KM Friendship Ireland performing “A musical Gift from Ireland” in Japan from the 20th – 30th June 2009

12,000

Irish Artists to perform at Catskill Irish Arts Week, New York, 12th –18th July 2009.

6,000

Shamrock Traditional Irish Festival presenting four concerts in Fairfield, Connecticut, from the 7th April – 12th June 2009

1,000

Shaun Davey performing at the Sibiu Theatre Festival, Romania, 6th – 7th June 2009

17,000

SC Irish Arts Weekend presenting Irish Artists Weekend in Columbia, South Carolina, from the 19th – 21st June 2009

800

Martin Quinn & Angelina Carberry performing concerts at two Celtic Summer Camps in the US from 13th – 19th July 2009

1,500

The Outside Track performing a tour of Canada from the 24th July – 9th August 2009

2,500

Kilfenora Ceili Band performing at the Milwaukee Irish Festival 2009, USA from the 13th – 16th August 2009

6,000

Return to Camden Town Festival presents a selection of Irish artists at the London Irish Centre, UK from the 23rd October -1st November 2009

12,000

Gráda performing concerts in Australia, New Zealand and Japan from June – July 2009

6,000

Celtic Colours International Festival presents a selection of Irish artists in Cape Breton in October 2009

40,000

European Union Youth Orchestra performing a European tour from 25th July – 26th August 2009

20,000

Music June 2009

Name

Amount

Enda Bates attending the International Gaudeamus Music Week for performance of own composition String Quartet No 1in Amsterdam from the 7th – 13th September 2009

240

Fergal Dowing attending the International Society for Contemporary Music’s World Music Days 2009, Gothenburg, Sweden for performance of own composition Manchester Material the 1st – 4th October 2009

290

David Flynn attendance at performance of own award winning composition “String Quartet No2 The Cranning” at Summergarden Festival in Museum of Modern Art, New York on the 19th July 2009

550

William Dowdall to perform recitals and conduct workshops based on contemporary Irish solo flute music, New Zealand, 24 July, 31 July, Australia, 14th – 15th August and 17th August 2009

700

Lorcán Mac Mathúna performing at the LIFEM 09 Festival, King’s Place, London from the 4th – 7th November 2009

600

Mary Bergin, Liz and Yvonne Kane, Denis Liddy & Elvie Miller and John Hoban performing concerts in Fairfield, Connecticut, USA 20th July – 12th September 2009

600

Conal O’Grada performing at the Musique Royale summer concert series in Nova Scotia 19th – 30th July 2009

1,000

Aylish E Kerrigan performing recital programme in the Bell Hall, Wuhan Conservatory of Music, China from the 16th November – 4th December 2009

1,200

Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop for Jennifer Walshe’s to work with ensemble and attend performance of her composition, “Passenger” by the Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop at the “Halle” of the Radialststem V, Berlin from the 20th – 22nd November 2009

1,000

Celebration of work of Kevin Volans to include concerts, film screening and discussion on his work at the Wigmore Hall London on the 31st October 2009

2,000

Cullen Pipe Band performing at“The Piping Live Festival 2009” at the National Piping Centre, Glasgow on the 14th August 2009

1,000

Finnish Irish society, Irish musicians participating in the 24th Finnish – Irish Festival from the 25th September – 4th October 2009

4,000

Karen Egan performing La Charlatanne at the Lainsuojattomat 10th International Theatre Festival, Finland from the 1st – 6th September 2009

2,000

Rattle the Boards touring in Western Canada from the 30th September – 12th October 2009

5,000

The Henry Girls performing at the LA Irish Film Festival from the 24th – 27th September 2009

6,000

Sonya Keogh for participation in the International Youth in Concert – Vilnius 2009 performing at Sv Kotrynos Baznycia, Lithuania on the 13th July 2009

800

Irish artists participating in the 23rd Tyneside Irish Festival, Newcastle from the 11th – 25th October 2009

2,500

Irish Arts Center, “Masters in Collaboration11: Andy Irvine meets John Doyle” from the 11th – 13th September 2009

5,000

Irish musicians, poets and filmmakers participating in the Irish Festival of Oulu from 1st – 4th October 2009

5,000

Thomas Moore Festival, concert at Washington Conservatory of Music on the 13th March 2009 and Carnegie Hall, New York on the 15th March 2009

5,000

Benjamin Dwyer, David Farrell, Izumi Kamura, Kenneth Edge, Tina Kinsella, Michael Dwyer and Brian Kavanagh performing at the Biennale of Riberao Preto, Brazil 23rd – 27th October 2009

11,000

Plankton Co LTD presenting Altan and Anuna in 11 Celtic Christmas concerts in various venues throughout Japan from the 27th November – 13th December 2009

10,000

Festival Interceltique Lorient, presenting traditional Irish musicians and dancers at Lorient

4,000

Cross Border Orchestra performing in 5 venues in New York and Washington from the 26th – 30th October 2009

20,000

Ioana Petcu Colan presenting 6 concerts involving collaboration between Irish and Spanish classical musicians in Iglesia de Sant Pere, Barcelona from September – December 2009

4,000

Literature September 2008

Name

Amount

Clare Muireann Murphy participating in the Jaipur Literature Festival, India from the 21st – 25th January 2009

1,000

Moya Cannon performing a poetry reading at the Festival International De Poesia De Granada, Nicaragua, USA in February 2009

1,000

CLE Irish Book Publishers Association programme of events involving Irish authors at the 26th Karlsruhe Book Exhibition, Germany from the 14th November – 7th December 2008

4,000

Eilean Ní Chuilleanain poetry readings and discussions in Prague and Brno 12- 15 November

750

Louis de Paor and John Spillane performing at the International Poetry Festival Islands without Borders, Czech Republic, from the 11th – 13th November 2008

1,500

Literature December 2008

Name

Amount

Literature Across Frontiers/Vona Groarke and Conor O’Callaghan performing at the Literary Café and Academy, Prague, on the 17th and 18th February 2009

900

Maurice Scully giving poetry readings in various venues, California from the 1st – 7th April 2009

800

Paul Perry giving readings at the University of Central Missouri and in the Writers Place, Kansas City in March 2009

1,000

Billy Ramsell giving readings at the March Hare Poetry Festival, Newfoundland, Canada from the 11th – 14th March 2009

1,500

Edition Rugerup/ Nimrod Forlagab/Gabriel Rosenstock and translator giving a reading at the Leipzig Book Fair on the 13th March 2009

1,500

Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar DuMars giving readings at the 2009 AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programmes) Conference in Chicago from the 11th – 14th February 2009

1,400

The Munster Literature Centre/William Wall and Thomas McCarthy giving readings at the Shanghai Literary Festival and Irish Week from the 10th – 15th March 2009

2,500

Perth Writers Festival / Sebastian Barry participating in the Perth Writers Festival, Australia from the 26th February – 2nd March 2009

2,500

Oilibhéar Ó Braonáin / Dr Ian Malcolm to give a public lecture on the Irish Language and the Ulster Protestant tradition at the European School, Luxembourg on 12th February 2009

1,000

Alliance Francaise Dublin presenting the 10th Franco-Irish Literary Festival in Dublin Castle on the 3rd- 4th April 2009

5,000

Literature March 2008

Name

Amount

John Holten reading at the Midnight Poetry Readings, Berlin on the 8th May 2009

400

John F Deane reading at the University of Massachusetts, Boston from the 18th – 27th June 2009

500

Fintan O’Toole lectures at the Fourth Symposium of Irish Studies in South America at the National University of La Pampa, Argentina from the 7th – 14th September 2009

2,000

John Banville reading in Wuppertal, Kassel and Paderborn, Germany 20th – 24th April 2009

2,000

Selection of Irish writers read at the University of Aberdeen Writers Festival UK from the 15th – 17th May 2009

2,000

Readings by five Irish poets at the International Istanbul-Beyoglu Poetry Festival, Turkey from the 21st – 26th April 2009

9,000

Kieran Furey reading at the Toronto Small Press Group Fair, Canada in June 2009

600

Four Irish writers participate in the Irish Literary Festival in Porto, Portugal, 8th-10th October 2009

3,000

Literature June 2008

Name

Amount

Ann Leahy performing lectures and readings at the Catawba College Salisbury, North Carolina in October 2009

1,000

Clare Muireann Murphy participating in Fest ’09 (Federation of European Storytelling) and performing at festival in Lausanne, Switzerland from the 5th – 7th August 2009

800

Alan Jude Moore conducting series of readings at a number of locations/events in California USA 1st – 19th September 2009

1,500

Gavin Warren performing at the International Society for the Study of Irish Literatures conference, at the Wellington Church and at the Loft, Glasgow from the 27th – 28th July 2009

1,000

Joe Brennan engaging in storytelling in a number of venues in New Delhi, India from the 14th – 21st November 2009

1,000

Wigtown Festival Irish participation in the Wigtown Book Festival from the 25th September – 4th October 2009

3,000

Irish Arts Center participation of Irish poets in Poetry Fest 2009 at the Irish Arts Center on the 7th November 2009

2,500

Paddy Bushe performing at Kirchheimbolanden on the 17th October and Kaiserslauntern on the 23rd October 2009

3,000

Colum McCann performing at the International Literature Festival Berlin in September 2009

2,000

Poetry Ireland Michael and Enda Longley readings and lectures in St Petersburg and Moscow 5th – 8th October 2009

2,700

Glucksman Ireland House New York Public Events Series September 09 – April 2010 to include readings and talks by Irish writers, playwrights and film artists

4,000

Ronan Sheehan presenting The Irish Catullus at the Edinburgh Bookshop on the 15th August 2009

2,000

Mary Grehan delivering talks on Irish practice on arts and health in Hong Kong, and Australia from the 4th – 16th November 2009

1,000

Film September 2008

Name

Amount

Conor Finnegan screening of films at the Fiae Film Festival at the Rio De Janeiro Museum of Modern Art, Brazil from the 6th – 14th November 2008

1,500

Neasa Ní Chianain screening of “Fairytale of Kathmandu” in the Best of Input event in Taiwan from the 5th – 7th December 2008 and at the Adelaide Film Festival from the 19th February – 1st March 2009

2,500

Cork Film Festival promotion of Irish short filmmaking at Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival, France from the 31st January – 7th Feb 2009

9,000

Irish Filmakers attendance at “Around the World in 14 Films” festival in Berlin, Germany from the 28th November – 06th December 2008

600

Screening two Irish Documentary films at the Sheffield International documentary Film Festival from the 5th – 9th November 2009

1,350

Elizabeth Harkman attending the Short Film Festival Encounters Festival 9th – 22nd Nov 2008

3,500

Boston Irish Film Festival organising the 10th Annual Boston Irish Film Festival from the 9th – 12th November 2008

6,000

Christina Gangos participating at the Tbilisa International Film Festival in December 2008

500

Eamon Connolly- 1i Productions attending screening of his film ‘Eternal’ in Palestine from 29th Nov-7th Dec 2008.

1,500

Alpha Pictures organising the 2nd Irish Film Festival ‘Casa Del Cinema’ Rome, Italy from t 8th-11th December 2008.

10,000

Film December 2008

Name

Amount

Kerry Film Festival promoting Irish Short film at the Sundance Film Festival, January 2009

1,500

Marc – Ivan O’Gorman presenting a selection of short films at the Mint Gallery, New Delhi from the 13th – 29th March 2009

3,000

Paul Rowley presenting feature documentary “Seaview” in Berlin and to tour ten cities in February – March 2009

4,000

Zero Em Comportamento/Irish participation and presentation of Irish cinema in the IndieLisboa Film Festival, Lisbon from the 23rd April – 3rd May 2009

5,500

David P Kelly Films presenting the London Irish Film Festival in various London venues from the 7th – 15th March 2009

7,000

Cork Film Festival presenting a showcase of Irish cinema at the Festival International du Cinéma Méditerranéen du Tetouan, Morocco from the 29th March – 6th April 2009

6,000

Seamus Byrne presenting “Eamon” at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2009

3,000

Esperanza Collado presenting Irish film programme in Margenes festival of experimental film and art, Madrid, from the 23rd – 29th May 2009 in Madrid, Spain

8,000

Fleadh Foundation organising the Craic film and music festival in New York from the 11th – 14th March 2009

12,000

Tony O Donohue presenting “A Film from my Parish – 6 Farms” at the Sundance Film Festival, in Utah, USA from 15 – 25 January 2009.

2,000

Film June 2009

Name

Amount

Alex Synge screening “Split Lip” at the Straight 8 Film Festival in London in August 2009

200

Moira Tierney presentation of her films and discussion on her work at the Versmidjan á Hjalteyri Arts Centre Iceland from the 20th – 27th August 2009

1,000

Cecilia McAllister screening of film “Féileacán” at the 13th Rhode Island International Film Festival from the 4th – 9th August 2009

1,000

Nessa King programme of regular screening of Irish films and associated events at the London Irish Centre in 2009

600

Solus Film Collective presenting film programmes at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt, El Teatro, Tunisia and La Maison Des Cineastes, Mauritania between September – November 2009

5,000

Roots Reel Films organising the 1st Irish Film Festival in conjunction with Metro Cinemas in Hyde Park, Johannesburg from the 26th – 30th August and V&A Waterfront Cape town from the 2nd – 6th September 2009

6,000

Architecture March 2009

Name

Amount

Irish Architecture Foundation tour of Lives of Spaces exhibition including Belfast and London in 2009 and 2010

25,000

Culture Ireland Showcases Over Past 12 Months

Name

Amount

Dublin Theatre Festival 2008

58,000

Association of Arts Presenters APAP New York 2009

152,000

Music from Ireland Showcases

60,000

Venice Art Biennale 2009

210,000

Edinburgh Festivals 2009

195,000

Dublin Dance Festival 2009

25,000

12 points Jazz Festival 2009

12,000

Tourism Industry.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

246 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the steps he has taken to reduce costs to the hotel and catering industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32572/09]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

247 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if his attention has been drawn to the financial position of hotels, pubs and guest houses in the current economic climate; his proposals to address same in view of the need to promote and maintain the tourism sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32573/09]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

248 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the steps he has taken or proposes to take to identify the issues negatively affecting the tourism industry here; his proposals to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32574/09]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

249 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the steps that have been taken to ensure the cost effectiveness of the tourism industry here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32575/09]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

250 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if he has taken initiatives by way of policy directive to assist the tourism industry in view of the current economic climate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32576/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 246 to 250, inclusive, together.

Latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show a reduction of 10.4% in the number of overseas visitors to Ireland for the first seven months of 2009 compared with the corresponding period of 2008. While any reduction in the number of overseas visitors is disappointing, it must be seen in context. Ireland enjoyed several years of successive growth in visitor numbers, reaching a record of just over 8 million in 2007.

There is no doubt that the period to date in 2009 has been very difficult for tourism globally and this trend has been reflected in overseas visitor numbers to Ireland. There have been significant declines in GDP, personal spending and consumer confidence across all our major source markets. Exchange rates, particularly the dollar and sterling, and reduced air access to the island of Ireland have also had a negative impact on the number of visits to Ireland.

In this context, I am fully aware of the many issues affecting the hotel and catering industry, including the issues of costs and competitiveness. I keep in regular contact with the key industry representative groups, including the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, the Irish Hotels Federation and the Restaurants Association of Ireland. While the management and effectiveness of individual companies is a matter for those companies themselves Fáilte Ireland has a range of measures to help the tourism industry to address costs and competitiveness. In particular, they have refocused their programmes to meet the enterprise support needs of businesses in the tourism sector in the current difficult climate. In 2009 they will be investing almost €6 million in the form of direct supports and advice for tourism enterprises.

The key elements of Fáilte Ireland's support package in 2009 include:

a new mentoring support service providing one-to-one advice,

a new "Biz-Check" service is being rolled out designed to provide operators with on-site business diagnosis and solutions support, covering issues such as costs and margins, cost control, pricing and cash-flow management, which are crucial to effective management of businesses,

a further expansion of the "e-Biz" initiative to improve on-line marketing and e-business skills generally within the industry,

a significant investment in on-site training of industry employees in customer care and food preparation.

The industry is responding well to the initiatives and the take up on the programmes is very positive.

Furthermore, I am glad to see that the changes that I had called for in Sunday pay rates in the hotel and catering sectors are now taking place. As a result, the cost in those sectors of labour on Sundays nationally will now be at time and a third as agreed through the JLC process. Given the high labour input in the tourism industry these important changes should have a positive impact.

As regards marketing, Tourism Ireland is keeping its marketing programmes for 2009 under constant review, to ensure necessary flexibility and responsiveness. It front-loaded its campaigns across all markets to secure as much business as possible for the peak and shoulder season and has now intensified its tactical and cooperative marketing activity for the second half of the year with an €18 million autumn campaign.

On the domestic front, Fáilte Ireland committed to its largest ever campaign to promote home holidays in 2009, with in excess of €3 million being invested in a year-round marketing programme promoting awareness of, and interest in, taking a home break. The Autumn Initiative, co-ordinated and implemented by Fáilte Ireland with funding from members of the tourism industry, was launched last week by An Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., and is intended to boost business between now and the end of the year.

While I know that our businesses and tourism agencies are responding positively to current challenges, it is just as important that the strategic framework for tourism development responds to the changing environment. Accordingly, I established the Tourism Renewal Group, which has been tasked with reviewing and, where appropriate, renewing the current tourism strategy to ensure that it is focused for the short term and, looking further ahead, that the tourist industry is well placed to benefit from the upturn when it comes. I understand that the Group has now completed its deliberations and is currently finalising its report, which will contain recommendations in the form of a Framework for Action for the period to 2013. I expect this report will be submitted to me very shortly.

The industry deserves great credit for its commitment to quality in responding to the current challenging economic conditions through more flexible pricing and offering special value offers and packages. I am confident that, with the support of the agencies, the tourism sector here has the capacity to manage the current cyclical slowdown and that, looking further ahead, the Renewal Group's Review will help the sector to return to sustainable growth in the medium term.

Sport and Recreational Development.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

251 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the amount of funding available to his Department from the proceeds of the national lottery or other sources for the provision of sporting, recreational or community facilities throughout the country for 2008 and 2009; the amount drawn down to date in 2009 in respect of both years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32577/09]

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

253 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the degree to which funding available through his Department has been allocated and drawn down by the various sporting and recreational bodies to which it was allocated to date in 2009; the way this compares with previous years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32579/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 251 and 253 together.

I presume that the Deputy is referring to the Sports Capital Programme and I will confine my reply to that Programme. Under the Sports Capital Programme, which is administered by my Department funding is allocated to sporting and community organisations at local, regional and national level throughout the country. Since 1998, over €725 million has been allocated to over 7,400 projects across the country. €56 million has been provided in my Department's vote in the 2009 Estimates to cover payments to be made from the C1 subhead, out of which grants are paid for the provision of sports and recreation facilities. The corresponding figure for 2008 was €58m. Total payments of €43m were made from this sub-head as at close of business on 17 September last. The corresponding figure for 2008 was €49m. No allocations under the Sports Capital Programme have been made in 2009.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

252 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the number of sporting, recreational or voluntary bodies throughout County Kildare that have made application for grant aid to his Department from the proceeds of the national lottery or other sources in 2008 and to date in 2009; the numbers that have been successful; the number refused and those pending; when it is expected that these matters will be concluded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32578/09]

A total of 44 applications were received from County Kildare in 2008 under the Sports Capital Programme. The allocations under the 2008 programme were published at the end of July 2008 and a list of the grant allocations, including those to 21 clubs in Kildare for 2008 together with allocations to projects in County Kildare under previous years allocations, is available on the Department's website at http://www.arts-sport-tourism.gov.ie/. No round of the Sports Capital Programme has taken place to date in 2009 and accordingly no applications have been received in the Department this year from sporting, recreational or voluntary bodies in County Kildare.

Question No. 253 answered with Question No. 251.

Arts Plan.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

254 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism his policy towards the promotion of the arts at local level directly or through intermediary bodies under the aegis of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32580/09]

I refer the Deputy to my answers in this House previously to this question and in particular to the policy as outlined in replies to Questions 2407/09; 2680/09 and 2682/09 answered together on 28 January 2009; Question 16413/09 of 28th April 2009 and Question 23816 of 16th June 2009 last. The Deputy may be assured that if there are major policy changes in this regard that they will be well signalled. In the meantime, I will continue to work to maximise public investment in arts, culture and the creative sectors.

Film Industry Development.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

255 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the extent to which his policy proposes to assist or encourage the film industry with particular reference to the use of this country for location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32582/09]

I refer the Deputy to my answer to Parliamentary Question No 65 of Thursday 17 September 2009.

National Lottery Funding.

John O'Mahony

Question:

256 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the recipients of national lottery funding for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and the amount given in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32788/09]

The elements of the Department's Vote which are part-funded by the proceeds of the National Lottery are as follows:

Subhead C.1: Grants for sporting bodies and for the provision of sports and recreational facilities under the Sports Capital Programme;

Subhead C.3: Grant-in-Aid provided to the Irish Sports Council in respect of general assistance to sports organisations and expenditure in relation to sports activities; and

Subhead D.7: Grant-in-Aid provided to the Arts Council in respect of arts activities.

In relation to the Grants-in-Aid to the Irish Sports Council and the Arts Council, allocation decisions are made by the agencies themselves and the Department has no function in this matter.

In relation to the Sports Capital Programme, details of the numerous allocations and recipients of grants in each of the years in question are available on the Department's website at www.dast.gov.ie. The total expenditures in respect of Subheads, C.1, C.3 and D.7 for the years 2005 to 2008, inclusive, are as set out in tabular form below.

Year

Sports Capital Programme

Irish Sports Council

Arts Council

Total

2008

60,137,000*

57,182,000

81,620,000

198,939,000

2007

63,724,000*

54,025,000

83,000,000

200,749,000

2006

60,053,000*

40,914,000

82,310,000

183,277,000

2005

56,782,000

34,425,000

66,233,000

157,440,000

*Includes capital carryover from previous year.

Rural Social Scheme.

Michael Ring

Question:

257 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will be approved the child dependant increase and qualifying spouse increase. [32086/09]

The person referred to by the Deputy has been approved for an increase for a Qualifying Adult and Child Dependant as part of her payment under the Rural Social Scheme.

Michael Ring

Question:

258 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if farm income is exempt from calculations of qualifying payments for rural social scheme participants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32087/09]

In general, farm income is not assessable in determining an entitlement to either an increase for a Qualified Adult and/or Child Dependent on the Rural Social Scheme.

Community Development.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

259 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the future plans for the community development projects; the current number of such projects; the funding allocated in 2009; and the source of that funding. [32208/09]

Currently, there are 181 Community Development Projects/groups funded under my Department's Community Development Programme. The allocation for the Programme for 2009 is €20.9m. I understand that some projects attract funding from other sources. My Department is currently undertaking a review of these projects and I expect to have the results later this year. In addition, my intention to integrate the Local Development Social Inclusion Programme and the Community Development Programme, in order to provide more efficient and streamlined social inclusion services to those people in the country who need them most, is on record.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

260 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the employment rights of staff of community development projects in the event of a project being closed down; and the redundancy arrangements which would apply. [32209/09]

Community Development Projects funded under the Programme are either private companies limited by guarantee in their own right or are hosted by a private company limited by guarantee. Accordingly, the issues raised by the Deputy are matters for the boards, in accordance with the relevant employment legislation.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joan Burton

Question:

261 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the percentage of payments made by his Department since 19 May 2009 to suppliers and other contractors which were paid in full within 15 days, within 30 days and longer than 30 days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32408/09]

My Department is committed to reducing the payment period to business suppliers as announced on 20 May 2009 by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. In that regard, payments due on invoices from business suppliers since 19 May 2009 have been made by my Department as follows:

%

Within 15 days

92.46

Within 30 days

99.99

Longer than 30 days

0.01*

*A single payment of less than €300 was involved.

Departmental Programmes.

Denis Naughten

Question:

262 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the status of the community support for older people grant scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32488/09]

Denis Naughten

Question:

263 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs when funding will be made available under the community support for older people grant scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32489/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 262 and 263 together.

I refer the Deputy to my reply to questions 817, 819, 821 and 822 of 16 September 2009. The Scheme remains suspended pending the finalisation of the review and related decisions.

Inland Waterways.

Willie Penrose

Question:

264 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will confirm that he has received correspondence (details supplied) dated 10 January 2008; if in this context, the issue will be addressed by the provision of a small landing stage or jetty on each side of Raleigh’s bridge over the Royal Canal at Heathstown, Coralstown, The Downs, Mullingar; if the provision of these jetties which will cost in the region of €38,000 will be put in place; if he will take steps to ensure that the small landing stage of jetty on each side of the bridge is installed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32615/09]

I am advised that the correspondence referred to by the Deputy has been received by Waterways Ireland, which has confirmed that it has replied. I am advised also that a proposal for the installation of the landing jetties referred to is being considered in the context of the Waterways Ireland Business Plan for 2010.

National Lottery Funding.

John O'Mahony

Question:

265 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the recipients of National Lottery funding for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and the amount given in tabular form; and if