Priority Questions

Job Creation

Michael Ring


45 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will indicate the initiatives that have been introduced to prevent unemployment and stimulate job creation in Gaeltacht areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19058/10]

It is a primary aim of Údarás na Gaeltachta to reverse the downward employment trend in the Gaeltacht and to effect the transition from a declining manufacturing sector to employment in services, including Irish language-centred employment. The organisation also provides supports for community-based projects in the areas of language development, child care, youth services and rural development. Atotal of €30 million has been allocated to Údarás na Gaeltachta from my Department's Vote for the year 2010. It is worth noting also that extra funding of €2 million was provided as an additional support to the organisation at the end of 2009, bringing the overall allocation for 2009 to €37.6 million. Thus, over the two year period, 2009-10, an tÚdarás will have received €67.6 million from my Department's Vote in order to allow it to pursue its objectives.

In addition to Exchequer voted funding, an tÚdarás also has access to other sources of income that enable it to promote and stimulate employment creating initiatives, for example, income generated from schemes such as the community employment scheme and the rural social scheme, and income from dividends, fees and the sale and lease of assets. Funding is also made available to an tÚdarás by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment through the employment subsidy scheme and the enterprise stabilisation fund. These supports are important to businesses in the Gaeltacht and help them to continue trading and to protect jobs. Last year, for example, these two schemes safeguarded 605 jobs.

I am acutely aware of the challenges and the obstacles facing an tÚdarás in the difficult economic environment currently being experienced at both the national and international level. In this context, it is encouraging to note that 710 new jobs were created in Údarás client companies in the Gaeltacht in 2009. I would also like to draw Deputy Ring's attention to the fact that the rural development programme, RDP, 2007-13 is being delivered by Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta, MFG, in Gaeltacht areas. While the key RDP measure providing direct support for investment and job creation is the support for business creation and development measure, other RDP measures also have job creation targets and aim to support opportunities for job creation in rural areas. Under the RDP, MFG has an overall programme allocation of almost €17.3 million, including a specific allocation of €1.68 million for business creation and development.

Comhar na nOileán, the Leader partnership company for the island communities, most of which are in the Gaeltacht, has been allocated a total budget of €4.6 million under the RDP. Finally, a further allocation in my Department's Vote in 2010 for Gaeltacht and islands development amounts to €33 million. This expenditure on various schemes, including infrastructural improvements, cultural and social schemes and island transport services, is an important stimulus for the Gaeltacht economy.

I wish to ask the Minister a number of questions. The first concerns jobs losses in the Gaeltacht. He said some 710 jobs were created but forgot to say that we lost 721. We had a gain of ten or 11 jobs in the Gaeltacht areas. Since then we have had major lobs losses in Erris in Belmullet, Donegal and Glenties.

Was the decision to grant a bonus of €3,900 to the head of Údarás na Gaeltachta correct, given the situation the country is in and the job losses it has suffered? Was it approved by the Department of Finance?

I have a very important question. Has the Minister had any bilateral meetings with his colleague, the Minister, Deputy Ryan, on wave and wind energy, in particular in Gaeltacht areas? People are prepared to spend millions of euro. They want to come into Gaeltacht areas and rural Ireland, but the major problem is that we have no national grid.

Has the Minister, Deputy Carey, had meetings with the Minister, Deputy Ryan, to discuss how we will get a national grid and companies into rural Ireland, in particular, and Gaeltacht areas? If he had not had such meetings, will he have them to see how we can create jobs in Gaeltacht areas? It is one way we can do it.

On the Deputy's final question, as he knows, I was in Mayo on Saturday, with the Minister, Deputy Ryan, and the Minister, Deputy Ó Cuív. In the context of discussions with the north-west Mayo forum, the issue of job creation was fairly central to the debate. The issues of job creation, sustainable jobs and using new technologies was part of that discussion. In the lead-up to the meeting on Saturday I had three, if not more, meetings with the Minister, Deputy Ryan, at which we discussed a wide range of issues and initiatives which will be required to support jobs, not just in the north-west Mayo area but in the Gaeltacht generally. It is proposed that we continue with those.

On the bonus paid to the príomh fheidmeannach of Údarás na Gaeltachta, I have explained the situation. The figure, as I recall, applied to a portion of, I understand, 2009. The board had taken a decision that no bonus would be paid for the rest of 2009 and it took a decision, as a board, not to pay bonuses before the Department of Finance issued its directive in March or April 2009.

On job losses and job creation, it is acknowledged that——

We are under time pressure.

Would the Minister publish copies of the minutes of the meeting he held with the Minister because I am very anxious that the Minister, Deputy Carey, would have bilateral meetings with the Minister, Deputy Ryan? The only hope we have of creating jobs will have to involve wind energy and wave power. If these jobs could be created in Dublin city the Minister would not be coming to rural Ireland. We are lucky to have the water and sea at our backs because if the jobs could be created in Dublin, the Minister would have them there. I want the Minister, Deputy Carey, to put pressure on the Minister, Deputy Ryan, regarding the national grid because an American company is prepared to spend millions to create jobs in wind and wave energy.

I will certainly continue my discussions with the Minister, Deputy Ryan. Further to meetings I have had with him, I had a meeting with the príomh fheidmeannach and the cathaoirleach of Údarás na Gaeltachta. I was very encouraged to hear that the pipeline for high-end jobs was quite positive and Údarás na Gaeltachta is confident that, with the introduction of high-speed broadband and other technologies, it will be possible in the Gaeltacht to roll out a number of new technology jobs. These will replace the lower level jobs that had been traditional in the Gaeltacht over a relatively short period as part of the employment creation strategy.

Community Development

Jack Wall


46 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his plans for a review of the community development programmes in view of the concerns expressed during recent budgetary changes that affected the groups involved; if he has or proposes any review of areas in which funding for CDP’s was withdrawn in the recent change of funding for such groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19057/10]

As Deputy Wall is aware, the local development social inclusion programme and the community development programme were my Department's two main social inclusion and community development programmes. My Department had seen the need, however, to re-design these programmes, drawing on good international practice and in a way that would support ongoing programme evaluation. Both programmes had a community development element and were delivered through separate local delivery structures. These came to an end on 31 December last and have been superseded by a new integrated programme, the local and community development programme, LCDP.

The aim of the LCDP, which preserves elements of good practice from the CDP and LDSIP programmes, is to tackle poverty and social exclusion through partnership and constructive engagement between Government and its agencies and people in disadvantaged communities.

An implementation strategy involving the stakeholders is underway for LCDP roll-out over the course of 2010. Integrated workplans have now been developed by the local development companies and the CDPs, covering all local development company areas. These were submitted to Pobal for analysis at the end of March and I am awaiting the submission of proposals for approval of these area workplans. The next phase to the end of June will cover the development of local integration plans for reduced structures post-2011.

A key difference between the new LCDP and its predecessor programmes is the fact that, when fully implemented, it will be delivered nationally on an integrated basis by a reduced number of companies. My Department has set out a model for integrated service delivery and structures at a local level, which would involve, among other things, the re-constitution of the voluntary CDP boards from the end of 2010. Each board would then form an advisory committee to the local development company and act as the voluntary management committee for the local project. This approach will preserve the community development ethos in areas and will not detract from the key essential services and supports being provided through the CDP. In addition, the new programme will enable groups to more objectively demonstrate the positive impacts and outcomes they are securing to meet the needs of local communities.

Additional information not given on the floor of the House.

My Department has clearly indicated to CDPs and local development companies that it is open to them to bring forward other models, as long as the proposed alternatives can achieve integrated and cost effective service delivery. However, it is not possible to maintain the status quo and any alternative model has to show that it will result in less structures; it holds the potential for integrated delivery; it has the potential for introducing efficiencies; and it will reduce the burden on company directors in CDPs.

It remains my primary concern to make every effort to ensure the front-line services provided by, or supported through, my Department are protected, especially those providing tangible benefits for the most disadvantaged communities. Under the new programme, local development companies will be able to identify and meet the needs of communities and the Department will pay particular attention to RAPID areas and to those areas where a CDP is no longer operating. My Department and Pobal will provide a range of supports to ensure the process is successful.

I thank the Minister for his reply. Deputy Carey was not the Minister in situ when the decision to change the CDPs was implemented. I am sure there was great disappointment in his area, as in my area, in respect of the changes that took place. We received many visits from the committee and individuals from the various CDPs expressing concern that, for the want of a better way of putting it, the boards of management were to be sidelined from the new initiatives. Does the Minister understand the concerns expressed by the boards? Such concerns remain because we are still receiving calls about the loss of employment and initiatives and the loss of support funding and mechanisms in the various areas. Several CDPs have been refused funding. Has any research been done in these areas as on the original initiatives and how they will be underpinned in respect of the projects in hand?

Like Deputy Wall, I have been familiar with the CDPs for a long time. As the Deputy is aware, a review of the CDPs was carried out some time back. The majority of community development projects were found to be performing an excellent function and providing a wide range of programmes. A small number were found to be performing below the expectations required. An appeals process was put in place. Several of these projects were appealed and were successful. A small number were not successful and offers have been made to these to ensure there is an orderly wind down of the activities and that support is provided to the CDP company directors to discharge their responsibilities as company directors and to ensure that whatever assistance possible within reason is provided to protect all those involved. I refer to how they will develop from here and the local development structures. It is fair to say there are several areas throughout the country where there are difficulties. It has been put in writing and elsewhere by my officials that where a better proposal is deemed available at local level, it will be examined by the officials in my Department and myself.

I appreciate the last point made by the Minister because he referred to what is important. It is important that a door is left open for the various groups and they are not cut off from discussion and debate on the matter. I call on the Minister to make this known. I realise the matter is under discussion today but there is a need to make known in general that the door is open for a better way and where there are such possibilities, let them be discussed. I realise that ultimately a decision must be made. However, I would appreciate if the Minister would make the matter known. Let the debate take place and then the decisions can be made.

As I have stated here previously when asked about community development matters, a one size fits all approach does not always suit. While maintaining the integrity of the process under way, I am keen that we proceed with it and allow sufficient room for groups to make proposals. Several groups have come forward to me and these cases are under examination at present to establish whether what is being proposed provides a better service more efficiently and with a greater series of outcomes for the community. The door is not closed but I do not wish to raise expectations unrealistically. It is an issue only in a small number of areas. Groups have some time remaining to dove-tail their plans with the local development group and then ease into moving to the next phase of cohesion towards the end of the year.

Regulation of Charities

Michael Ring


47 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will indicate the consultation that has taken place with the charities sector to date regarding the implementation of a new regulatory framework for the sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19059/10]

An inclusive, consultative approach has been adopted by my Department from the outset of the initiative to introduce a regulatory framework for charities in Ireland. In fact, the original Charities Bill was published only after an extensive public consultation process. As Deputy Ring is aware, this consultative approach continued during the passage of the Bill through the Houses of the Oireachtas when many amendments were made to the Bill on the basis of views expressed by Members of both Houses and by the charities sector. I have no doubt that this open, consultative approach taken at all stages of the development of the legislation and its passage through the Oireachtas helped to improve the Bill substantially and contributed to the fact that the Act was broadly welcomed.

Now that the legislation has been enacted, I am committed to further consultation with the charities sector, especially in respect of of the financial and activity-related information charities will be required to provide to the proposed charities regulatory authority on an annual basis, a matter of considerable interest to the sector.

This process has already started in the framework of a wider consultation process being conducted by the Accountancy Standards Board, ASB, for the UK and Ireland relating to the future of UK and Ireland generally agreed accounting principles. The outcome of the Accountancy Standards Board process is likely to inform the approach taken to financial reporting for charities in Ireland as well as the UK. To ensure that Irish charities could have an input into the process, my Department co-hosted a conference in Dublin Castle in January 2010 with expert speakers from throughout the UK and Ireland. It was attended by more than 150 delegates from throughout the Irish charity sector and I understand it was regarded by the speakers as one of the most successful conferences of the entire ASB series.

It is intended to continue this work with the sector, especially in respect of future financial and activity reporting by charities under the Charities Act, through a targeted consultation process that will commence later this year.

Separately, and parallel to the statutory framework provided for in the Charities Act, my Department has committed funding to the charities sector to implement and monitor codes of practice on charitable fundraising. There has been extensive engagement with the sector since my Department first provided support for this project. An implementation group comprising representatives from the sector, persons with a public and donor perspective and professional support from the legal and accountancy professions has been established. Two national briefing sessions were held this year in Dublin and Cork to disseminate and promote the materials relating to the codes among the charities sector. I understand that both these sessions were well attended. These are just two examples of my Department's positive disposition towards consultation. Officials in my Department also interact with charities on an ongoing basis in respect of the Act.

The Minister, Deputy Pat Carey, was responsible, as Minister of State, for bringing the Charities Act through the House and will recall that I, as Fine Gael spokesperson, and Deputy Wall, as spokesman for the Labour Party, put significant work into the legislation. We had many briefings and met many groups throughout the State whose concerns we conveyed to the Minister. Deputy Wall and I were grateful that he dealt with many of our amendments on Committee Stage. It is now time to develop the process further. We read regularly in the national newspapers about the uncertainty surrounding some of those apparently collecting money and goods for charity. In some cases it has been discovered that money and goods collected are used for other purposes. Irish people are very generous and will always subscribe to worthy causes. We must all be confident that money and other types of donations to charity are used for the purpose indicated.

How many departmental officials are working to progress this legislation? Of the approximately 7,500 charities in operation, how many have thus far been included on the register? Does the Minister have the necessary funding to ensure the provisions of the Act are implemented so we can be sure that people collecting money or other items on behalf of charities are genuine? We do not want any more situations such as those with mass cards and clothing collections where donations were found not to be going to charity.

I thank Deputy Ring for his comments. The departmental unit has always been small, comprising a principal officer and two additional officials. As I pointed out when the legislation was being debated, it took four years in the United Kingdom, for example, for a framework to be developed. Consultations are ongoing in this regard together with the development, for instance, of the guidelines for best practice and the Guide Star project. It will probably take some time before we are ready for the commencement orders for the various sections of the Act. However, the resources required will not be extensive and it is expected that they will be accommodated within existing departmental resources.

When does the Minister expect the consultation process to be completed and the regulator to be in place? I accept it took time in other jurisdictions for similar frameworks to be established and that there is a significant amount of law to be dealt with. Is funding available within the Department to allow charities to access the register on-line?

We expect to provide an on-line facility. Among the jobs currently under way are the gathering of key data for the 7,500 holders of a charity number prior to establishment day, the dissolution of the Office of the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland, the preparation of up to 25 sets of regulations, the appointment of the board and staff of the charity appeals tribunal, development of information technology systems, development of protocols for dealing with other statutory bodies likely to engage with the authority, development of the authority's website, and the preparation of forms and documentation required for the establishment day. Taking all of that into account, we are aiming for the end of next year for the establishment of the new authority.

Sale of Dangerous Substances

Catherine Byrne


48 Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he is satisfied that everything possible is being done to prevent dangerous substances being sold for human consumption; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19056/10]

I assure the Deputy that the Government is fully cognisant of the dangers posed by head shops and the psychoactive substances they sell. I have been working closely with my Cabinet colleagues on an interdepartmental basis to develop effective responses to the threats involved. The Minister for Health and Children is introducing controls under the Misuse of Drugs Acts on a broad range of psychoactive substances, commonly referred to as "legal highs", which are sold in head shops and through the Internet. These regulations will be introduced with immediate effect, following on from approval by the relevant European Union authorities. The regulations will make the possession and sale of the substances involved illegal and subject to criminal sanctions.

Following cross-departmental consideration of the issues involved, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform brought legislative proposals to Government today to make it a criminal offence to sell or supply substances that are not prohibited under the Misuse of Drugs Acts but that have psychoactive effects on humans. These proposals were accepted by Government and it is hoped to have legislation drafted before the summer recess. In addition, the Government is responding to the problem of head shops on several fronts. For example, as part of the current interdepartmental and inter-agency response to the issue, relevant Departments and Government agencies are reviewing existing legislative provisions to establish whether head shops are in compliance with the legislative provisions applying. The Garda Síochána and Revenue's customs service are closely monitoring the activities of head shops on an ongoing basis with a view to ensuring no substances currently illegal are being sold. The Health Service Executive, in association with partner agencies under the national drugs strategy, is finalising a national drugs awareness campaign that will focus on the dangers of psychoactive substances available through head shops and the Internet. In addition, the national advisory committee on drugs has been asked to carry out some targeted research in this area.

I assure the Deputy that I will continue to work closely with my ministerial colleagues in vigorously pursuing all viable approaches to counter the threats posed by head shops and psychoactive substances.

I thank the Minister for his reply. We must do everything possible to prevent the sale of some of the products found in head shops throughout the State. My question as tabled referred to SI 62 of 2004 of the European Union, which governs the packaging and labelling of dangerous products. Unfortunately, that part of the question was not accepted. I am interested to discover whether this provision can be used to outlaw the sale of dangerous products in head shops. I welcome today's announcement by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform of the banning of certain chemical products. My colleagues and I have repeatedly queried the delay in taking such initiatives. It is obvious now that action can be taken quickly if it is pursued vigorously enough. Members of all parties have been asking for six months that this issue be taken seriously and dealt with in legislation without delay.

I may be able to assist the Deputy if the Leas-Cheann Comhairle will allow me to expand.

The Minister may do so as long as he does not answer a question that was not accepted.

I will bear in mind that danger. Section 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 allows the Government to make an order declaring any substance or product to be a controlled drug for the purposes of that Act. By order of today, the Government has banned a list of substances including methadrone, methylone, synthetic cannabinoids, BZP and piperazine derivatives. All such substances are now controlled drugs for the purposes of the State's drugs legislation. Possession of a controlled drug is illegal and attracts criminal penalties. It can be prosecuted in either the District Court or the Circuit Court depending on the direction of the DPP as to the seriousness of the offence. The courts have power to impose either a fine or imprisonment for possession of a controlled drug and have other powers designed to assist drug users to overcome an addiction. Possession of a controlled drug for sale or supply attracts significant penalties. The 1977 Act provides that a court will look to the quantity of drugs possessed to determine whether it is for sale or supply. Where the value of the drug is more than €13,000, a sentence of life imprisonment may be imposed. These provisions potentially have significant implications for the operators of head shops. However, I cannot prejudice any actions the Garda or the DPP may take in the future.

In regard to the labelling directive, SI 64 of 2004, I understand from my colleague, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, who has responsibility in this area, that the regulations transpose into Irish law directive 1999/45/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of member states in regard to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous preparations. The regulations require persons placing a dangerous preparation on the market to classify and label it according to its inherent hazards. In the context of the current inter-agency and interdepartmental response to the question of regulating the activities of so-called head shops, the scope for using the provisions of this statutory instrument is being examined.

The Minister has spoken about the drugs awareness campaign in the past couple of weeks. Is there any progress on that? I may have missed what the Minister said about it just now.

When I spoke to the HSE last week, it was virtually ready to roll out the campaign. I am anxious for it to begin, if possible, before the first primary schools go on holiday at the end of the month.

Údarás na Gaeltachta

Dinny McGinley


49 D’fhiafraigh Deputy Dinny McGinley den Aire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta an bhfuil sé ar intinn aige bualadh le Bord Údarás na Gaeltachta; an dtuigeann sé an ghéarchéim airgid atá san Údarás faoi láthair agus na deacrachtaí maidir le fostaíocht a chruthú sna Gaeltachtaí; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [19358/10]

Tá áthas orm a chur in iúl don Teachta gur thapaigh mé an deis castáil le cathaoirleach agus príomhfheidhmeannach Údarás na Gaeltachta nuair a bhí mé ar chuairt chuig oifigí mo Roinne sna Forbacha le déanaí. Tá mé ag súil le castáil le comhaltaí eile an bhoird nuair a bheidh deis fheiliúnach ann chuige sin.

Maidir le cúrsaí airgeadais an údaráis, tá soláthar iomlán de bheagnach €30 milliún curtha ar fáil don eagraíocht ón Státchiste trí Vóta mo Roinne don bhliain 2010. Cé gur laghdú é seo ar an soláthar iomlán de €37.6 milliún a chuireadh ar fáil in 2009, creidim nach gciallaíonn sé seo go mbeidh ciorrú substaintiúil á dhéanamh ar ghníomhaíochtaí an údaráis nó go mbeidh leas phobal na Gaeltachta ag fulaingt dá bharr. Ar an gcéad dul síos, ní mór a chur san áireamh gur ag deireadh 2009 a cuireadh méadú de €2 mhilliún leis an mbunsoláthar de €35.6 milliún a bhí i Meastacháin 2009, mar thacaíócht bhreise don eagraíocht. Ciallaíonn sé sin go mbeidh soláthar iomlán de €67.6 milliún curtha ar fáil don Údarás sa tréimhse dhá bhliain, 2009–2010, chun a spriocanna maidir le forbairt na Gaeltachta a chur i gcrích.

Ní mór a chur san áireamh freisin go mbíonn teacht ag an údarás ar fhoinsí ioncaim eile, ar a n-áirítear ioncam a ghintear ó scéimeanna a fheidhmiú ar nós scéimeanna fostaíochta pobail agus scéimeanna sóisialta tuaithe agus ioncam a fhaightear ó dhíol agus léasáil socmhainní, ó dhíbhinní agus ó tháillí. Chomh maith leis seo, cuirtear maoiniú ar fáil don údarás tríd an Roinn Fiontar, Trádála agus Fostaíochta chun an scéim fóirdheontas fostaíochta agus an ciste cobhsaíochta fiontar a fheidhmiú. Tá tábhacht ar leith ag na tacaíochtaí seo do chomhlachtaí sa Ghaeltacht chun cuidiú leo leanúint ag trádáil agus poist a choinneáil slán. Anuraidh, mar shampla, thacaigh an dá scéim seo le caomhnú 605 post Gaeltachta.

Is eol dom go maith na dúshláin agus na constaicí a gcaithfidh an t-údarás dul i ngleic leo sa timpeallacht dheacair gnó atá i bhfeidhm faoi láthair. Níl amhras ar bith ach go bhfuil an ghéarchéim eacnamaíoch náisiúnta agus domhanda ag cruthú deacrachtaí do chomhlachtaí sa Ghaeltacht agus tá impleachtaí dá réir ann do chúrsaí fostaíochta. É sin ráite, áfach, is údar misnigh é gur cruthaíodh 710 post nua i gcliant-chomhlachtaí de chuid an údaráis in 2009.

Ba mhaith liom buíochas a thabhairt don Aire as an fhreagra a thug sé, ach sílim go gceileann sé níos mó san fhreagra ná an méid eolais a thugann sé. Nuair a bhí an cruinniú ag an Aire le príomhfheidhmeannach agus cathaoirleach an údaráis, ar phlé siad na deacrachtaí airgid? Ar chuir siad in iúl don Aire go bhfuil deacrachtaí acu gníomhú go héifeachtach maidir le fostaíocht a chur ar bun sna ceantair Gaeltachta? An aontaíonn an tAire leis, nuair a bhíonn cruinnithe ag comhaltaí an bhoird anois, gur beag tionscnaimh a cheadaítear mar nach bhfuil na hacmhainní ag an údarás chun é sin a dhéanamh? Dá bharr sin, an aontódh an tAire go bhfuil na Gaeltachtaí go léir, go speisialta na mion Gaeltachtaí, ag fulaingt go mór mar nach bhfuil sé ar chumas an údaráis tionscail a mhealladh isteach agus fostaíocht a chur ar fáil sna ceantair, fostaíocht atá an-tábhachtach i gceantair Gaeltachta má táimid chun an teanga a choinneáil beo agus fostaíocht a chur ar fáíl do na daoine sin ina gceantair féin?

Mar adúirt mé, nuair a bhuail mé leis an príomhfheidhmeannach agus le cathaoirleach an údaráís, phléamar ceisteanna go ginearálta. Beidh mé ag bualadh leis an mbord i gceann tamaill chun cruinniú níos faide a bheith againn. Ansin, beidh seans againn na ceisteanna atá luaite ag an Teachta a phlé. Idir 2004 agus 2010, díríodh ioncam ón Státchiste de €263.5 milliún chuig an údarás. I 2004 tugadh €33 milliún agus i 2010 íocfar €29 milliún chuig an údarás. Maidir le hioncam ó díol maoine, i 2004 bhí teacht isteach de €7 mhilliún agus meastar go mbeidh teacht isteach de €3 mhilliún ann i mbliana.

Tuigim nach bhfuil an t-Aire sa Roinn ach le mí nó níos lú ná sin, ach an bhfuil sé ar intinn aige aon reachtaíocht a thabhairt isteach i mbliana maidir le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta? Tá Bille geallta le fada — Bille Údarás na Gaeltachta. An bhfuil sé ar intinn aige é a thabhairt isteach i mbliana. Má tá sé chun fad a chur le tréimhse chomhaltaí Údarás na Gaeltachta, is gá reachtaíocht a thabhairt isteach roimh dheireadh na bliana. An bhfuil sin ar intinn ag an Aire agus an Rialtas ag an bpointe seo?

Tá sé ar intinn agam é sin a dhéanamh ceart go leor. Mar is eol don Teachta, tá síneadh trí bliana, go dtí 18 Aibreán 2013 curtha agam le tréimhse triúr comhalta den údaráis, an cathaoirleach agus beirt eile. Tá sé ar intinn agam Bille gearr a thabhairt roimh an Dáil go luath, roimh dheireadh na bliana.