Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications

Questions (622)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

622. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding an application under the agri-environment option scheme 3 in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8457/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An application under the Agri-Environment Options Scheme from the person named was received in my Department on 4 December 2012.

The initial processing of the applications has been completed and acknowledgement letters have issued to all applicants. The detailed actions listed in each application are currently being recorded and all applications will be ranked and selected according to the predetermined selection criteria. This process is expected to take several weeks and letters will issue to all applicants informing them of the outcome of the selection process in due course.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Questions (623)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

623. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when 2012 REP scheme payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; the reason for the delay in issuing payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8527/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named commenced REPS 4 in March 2009 and received payment for the first three years of their contract.

REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue. Following the administrative check an issue was discovered is relation to Supplementary Measure 10 which promotes biodiversity on grassland by encouraging mixed grazing. A letter issued to the person named on 17 December 2012 regarding this matter. A response to this query has not yet been received. Upon receipt of a satisfactory response to this query the REPS 4 application of the person named will be processed further.

Hare Coursing

Questions (624)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

624. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the monitoring reports from the National Parks and Wildlife Service which document hare hits, injuries, kills and hares having to be put down due to injuries for the 2011-2012 coursing season; if he is concerned that hares continue to be injured and killed, despite muzzling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8636/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the provisions of the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 the regulation of coursing is chiefly a matter for the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) subject to the general control and direction of Bord na gCon, which is the statutory body with responsibility for the improvement and development of the greyhound industry. The ICC has a system of regulation in place to underpin the maintenance of standards in the sport.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, under section 24 of the Wildlife Act 1976, has responsibility for the issue of an annual licence to the ICC and its affiliated clubs to capture live hares. These licences currently have a total of 26 conditions, including welfare aspects, attached to them.

The ICC ensures that a veterinary surgeon and a control steward are present at all coursing meetings. In addition to this, veterinary staff from my Department and rangers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (part of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht) carry out random monitoring inspections during the coursing season to verify compliance with the licences and the rules governing animal welfare.

As a further control, a Monitoring Committee on Coursing was established during the 1993/94 coursing season and is comprised of officials from my Department and representatives from both the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the ICC to monitor developments in coursing and in that regard the situation is kept under constant review to ensure that coursing is run in a well controlled and responsible manner in the interest of animal both for hares and greyhounds alike.

A very high proportion (97.3%) of the hares captured for hare coursing were returned to the wild at the end of the 2011/2012 season.

Departmental Appointments

Questions (625)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

625. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a position (details supplied) will be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8652/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

A competition took place recently to fill the post of Harbour Master Dingle and I expect that my Department will be in a position to make an offer of appointment shortly.

Student Grant Scheme Reform

Questions (626)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

626. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the concerns raised in correspondence (details supplied) regarding third level grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8671/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am very aware of the issue raised in relation to the treatment of farm assets in the proposed new capital assets test for third level grants.

It is important to note that decisions have not yet been made by Government on this matter. However, I ensured that my Department was represented on the Capital Asset Test Implementation Group for Student Grants, and that the implications for agriculture and for agri-food policy were fully explored with the group. I have also conveyed my own views on this issue to the Minister for Education and Skills on a number of occasions and these discussions are continuing.

Animal Disease Controls

Questions (627)

Martin Ferris

Question:

627. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps being taken in relation to prevention of the Schmallenberg virus taking hold here. [8686/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is transmitted by vector (biting midges) during the vector active season, which in most years in Ireland, extends from the beginning of April through to the beginning of December. This virus causes mild transient disease manifesting as a drop in milk production, fever and sometimes diarrhoea in adult cattle. When infection occurs in animals that are not pregnant, the impact is very limited. However if ruminant animals are infected during the early stages of pregnancy, they may subsequently abort or give birth to malformed offspring.

It would be impractical to attempt midge control measures, except for valuable breeding stock. Exposure of non-pregnant animals to the virus may, in fact, be beneficial pending the development of an effective vaccine. Exposed animals develop a strong immunity and are unlikely to suffer any ill-effects if exposed to the virus on a subsequent occasion. If this viral infection becomes endemic, the ill-effects are likely to be confined to younger animals and cows and ewes that have not been previously exposed. Based on Australian experience in vaccinating against a similar virus/disease (Akabane virus infection), the expert view is that vaccination is likely to be an effective tool in control of the SBV infection. The development of a vaccine is in progress and my Department will continue to monitor developments closely.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Questions (628)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

628. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive their disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8748/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named is one of a number of applicants under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, whose cases were impacted by the requirement of a minimum stocking density of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare in 2011 and who applied for and were refused derogation in this regard. The person named subsequently availed of the option to appeal to the independently chaired DAS Appeals Committee. The Committee is currently adjudicating on this appeal and the person named will be notified of the outcome, in writing, once this adjudication is completed.

Sheep Census

Questions (629)

Jack Wall

Question:

629. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will confirm the numbers of Galway sheep recorded last year; the breakdown of the number of females in the total number; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8763/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

There is a legal requirement on all flock owners to complete and return the annual Sheep Census form. While the closing date for the return to my Department of completed 2012 Sheep Census forms had initially been fixed for 11 January 2013, I subsequently decided to extend the closing date to 25 January 2013 in order to give farmers sufficient time to complete and return the Census, as I was particularly mindful of the additional data farmers are being asked to provide. Processing of these forms is ongoing and it will be some time yet before the statistics from the 2012 Census will become available; the Deputy will be aware that a comprehensive report is published annually, following processing of the Census returns.

The figures from the 2011 Sheep Census for County Galway were as follows:

Number of flocks

Average flock size

Breeding Ewes over 12 months old

Rams

Other sheep

Total sheep

4,121

94

260,028

8,226

120,938

389,082

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Questions (630)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

630. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive their disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8771/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named is one of a number of applicants under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, whose cases were impacted by the requirement of a minimum stocking density of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare in 2011 and who applied for and were refused derogation in this regard. The person named subsequently availed of the option to appeal to the independently chaired DAS Appeals Committee. The Committee is currently adjudicating on this appeal and the person named will be notified of the outcome, in writing, once this adjudication is completed.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Questions (631)

Colm Keaveney

Question:

631. Deputy Colm Keaveney asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Galway may expect to receive payment of their agri-environment option scheme grant for 2012 now that further information has been submitted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8781/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from the 1st September 2010 and full payments totalling €1,424.71 and €4,473.78 issued in respect of 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. These checks have been successfully completed in respect of 2012 and I expect that 75% payment will issue shortly to the person named. The balancing 25% payment will issue shortly thereafter.

Garda Investigations

Questions (632)

John McGuinness

Question:

632. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 27 June 2012 regarding the Garda investigation into the cause of the dioxin crisis, if he will confirm the actions taken by his Department to date to resolve the issue and the status of the Garda inquiry. [8804/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Arising from the dioxin contamination incident of December 2008, my Department has taken significant steps to enhance the level of inspections and sampling at feed business operator (FBO) establishments with a view to avoid, as far as possible, the repetition of similar incidents. These measures include a focus on commercial grain dryers whereby all commercial grain dryers have been subject to an annual audit since 2009. Grain samples taken from every commercial grain/feed dryer has been tested for dioxins or indicator PCB’s since then and all test results have proved compliant.

350 farmers involved in on-farm drying of grain and feed have been audited at least once and, in some cases twice, since 2009. The emphasis of the on-farm audits is on the oil used in dryers, and the operation of the dryers. Samples of the dried grain are analysed for PCB and a dioxin test and all have been compliant.

In addition to commercial and on-farm direct drying operations, there are a number of businesses which have a direct drying process in their feed manufacturing activity. All such FBO’s have been subject to increased controls including an annual audit.

Finally, greater emphasis is being placed in the Department’s annual inspection programmes on checking the HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point) plans of Feed Business Operators. Trader Notices have issued to establishments reminding them of requirements in relation to HAACP systems, with particular emphasis on ensuring that the correct type of oil is used in feed/grain drying operations.

The matter of prosecutions is one for the Gardai and DPP.

Farm Inspections

Questions (633)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

633. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if any tests are being carried out on prepared Irish meat products for the presence of the drug phenylbutazone; if so, if he will indicate the tests being carried out; the number of tests that have been carried out to date; the results of the testing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8830/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) National Residue Control Plan (NRCP) provides for the testing for residues of certain substances in live animals and animal products. In accordance with EU legislation, testing is carried out at farm level and in the primary processing facilities (slaughterhouses) because these are the most suitable locations for testing for the presence of illegal substances. In particular, where an equine has been treated with phenylbutazone (commonly referred to as ‘bute’), the positives for residues of the medicine are more likely to be detected in a fresh meat sample rather than a processed meat sample as this substance is not a very stable compound and breaks down quite quickly. Tests are not routinely carried out at secondary processing plants or prepared products. National Residue testing is carried out on an ongoing basis throughout the year at farm and slaughterhouse level with 19,500 tests completed last year. In addition, primary processors are required to carry out self-monitoring plans for the detection of residues of substances, veterinary medicines and contaminants.

With regard to Phenylbutazone (Bute), testing is conducted every year under the NRCP as part of the testing programme for substances in category B2 (e) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Testing for Bute is carried out in samples from bovine, porcine, ovine, caprine and equine animals as well as poultry, farmed game and milk. In 2011, 12,575 horses were slaughtered and approx 280 equine samples were tested, 58 for Bute. Final equine slaughter figures are not yet available for 2012 but approximately 330 samples were tested, 104 for Bute. As in the case of residues generally, testing is not routinely conducted on processed or prepared products.

One positive sample for phenylbutazone was found under the National Residue Control Plan in 2010 at a level of 10 parts per billion (10ppb). While the result was above the minimum limit detectable, it was at an extremely low level in terms of human health risk. A follow up investigation was conducted by DAFM and resulted in an increase in testing of animals presented by the owner of the animal from which the positive sample was derived. No further positives were detected.

As agreed at the meeting which I convened last week, it has been agreed at EU level to introduce an EU wide month programme of control measures, including significant testing of samples for bute. The intention behind the programme is to publish the findings of the first month’s testing on 15th April following their presentation to the Commission, and then review the programme. The results of this control programme would provide an evidence base for the possible consideration of further risk based measures.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Questions (634)

John O'Mahony

Question:

634. Deputy John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8881/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

While the person named successfully applied for derogation in regard to the 2011 stocking density, payment has not issued as the holding does not, as yet, satisfy the 2012 Scheme minimum stocking density requirements.

My Department has been in direct contact with the applicant to request submission of the Sheep Flock Register, on receipt of which the application can be further progressed.

Aquaculture Licences Applications

Questions (635)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

635. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 426 of 15 May 2012 and 204 of 7 March 2012, the progress that has been made on the issue of a licence for mussel farming to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8888/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As indicated in my previous reply to the Deputy the application referred to is in respect of a site located within Kenmare Bay which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive (Natura 2000 site).

The European Court of Justice declared in case C418/04 that, by failing to take all the measures necessary to comply with Article 6(3) of Directive 92/43 (Habitats Directive) in respect of authorisation of aquaculture programmes, Ireland had failed to fulfil its obligations under that Directive.

In the negotiations to address the judgment a process was agreed with the European Commission which would lead to full compliance by Ireland with the relevant EU Directives. This process includes the following steps: a detailed data collection in 91 Bays/Estuaries; detailed analysis of raw data collected; setting of Conservation Objectives by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in respect of each site; carrying out Appropriate Assessments of each licence application/fishery plan against the detailed Conservation Objectives set, and determination of Licences/Fisheries on the basis of the Appropriate Assessment and other relevant factors.

My Department has been working closely with the Marine Institute, BIM, and NPWS to achieve full compliance through a multi-annual work programme. A key factor of this Work Programme is the identification of prioritised bays based on the number of aquaculture sites, the ready availability of scientific data and other factors.

The prioritised list of bays is kept under continuous review by my Department so as to facilitate the use of scientific and other resources on a flexible basis across the full range of bays, if deemed necessary. This approach is consistent with the maintenance of a prioritised list which includes Kenmare Bay.

Food Labelling

Questions (636)

Martin Ferris

Question:

636. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the level of monitoring that takes place of fish produce and labelling. [8905/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority is responsible for operational matters in relation to enforcement and compliance of Sea Fisheries law and areas of Food Safety law agreed with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

There are general requirements in Regulation EC 178/2002 and Directive 2000/13 prohibiting the misleading of consumers with food labels. In the case of fishery products there are additional requirements in Council Regulation 104/2000 and Commission Regulation EC 2065/2001. These require the provision of more detailed information to consumers on the provenance of fishery and aquaculture products and also to provide greater transparency on the traceability of all fish. The Regulations apply only to raw fish and aquaculture products, processed products such as breaded fillets, crab sticks or ready-to-eat dishes are not covered by those Regulations. The Regulations make it a legal requirement to provide at the point of retail sale the following information: the common name of the species of fish, the production method (whether the fish is caught or farmed) and the catch area (origin), this applies to products sold loose or in a pre-packaged form, traceability information for all food must also be available at each stage of marketing of the product.

Responsibility for the enforcement of food labelling legislation in Ireland rests with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and is discharged by the official agencies who operate under Service Contract to the FSAI, as part of their supervisory role and enforcement activities. The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), under service contract with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) enforces the Regulations up to the level of wholesale. Labelling checks are carried out in establishments as part of routine inspections by authorised SFPA officers.

The SFPA does not have a remit in retail sales; the Health Services Executive is responsible for enforcing the labelling requirements of the Regulations at the retail stage.

Fish Sales

Questions (637)

Martin Ferris

Question:

637. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the discrepancy between the volume of cod landed here and the volume of cod sold through retail and catering outlets and bought by public institutions such as hospitals and prisons. [8910/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

At EU level there is a common organisation of the market in fishery and aquaculture products. The movements of fish and fishery products are largely unrestricted within the EU while imports of fish and seafood from outside the EU are strictly regulated. Decisions on the sourcing of fish or fish products for the retail and catering outlets and purchased by public institutions are a matter for the individual enterprises concerned. Accordingly there is not any direct relationship between the volume of cod landed and purchased within Ireland.

Agriculture Schemes Payments

Questions (638)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

638. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide, in tabular form, the number of persons in County Meath in receipt of payments in 2011; and if he will provide a breakdown of same by scheme (details supplied). [8950/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The following Table contains the details sought by the Deputy:

Scheme

Total number of persons paid

Agri-environment Option Scheme (AEOS)

228

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme (DAS)

1,316

Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS)

722

Animal Welfare, Recording and Breeding Scheme

(Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme)

703

Adoption Records Provision

Questions (639)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

639. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will ensure that persons who spent time in Bessborough House in Cork and other such institutions around the country be given access to their records for the time they spent there; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8687/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The HSE Regional Adoption Services has taken responsibility for the adoption files of the Sacred Heart Adoption Society in respect of homes in Bessborough, Co. Cork; St Peters, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath and Sean Ross Abbey, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. I have been advised by the HSE that the files have been transferred to the HSE in their entirety. Queries are being dealt with in the HSE Regional Adoption Department in order that enquirers can be offered a meeting with a social worker/counsellor to deal with requests as promptly as possible. The HSE is responding to individual queries and encourages anyone seeking their personal data to communicate directly with the HSE South Adoption Unit, St Stephens Hospital, Glanmire, Co.Cork (tel. 021 4858650).

Work is continuing in relation to the preparation of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill. The proposed Bill will provide for a structured and regulated approach to providing access to adoption information and will facilitate contact for those affected by adoption, including in circumstances where an adoption order was not effected.

It is intended that the Bill will provide for the Adoption Authority to have access to all adoption records. The Bill will provide for a National Index of Adoption Records to be maintained by the Adoption Authority containing information as to where all known adoption records are located within the State. It is envisaged that only the Authority, the HSE and accredited bodies will hold adoption records, with the Authority having overall charge of those records.

It is also intended that the Bill will provide for placing the National Contact Preference Register on a statutory basis. The purpose of the Register is to allow persons affected by adoption to register their names with a view to receiving information about a person from whom they have been separated as a result of adoption and will allow for registering a preference, as to whether or not, they want to have contact with that person.

A National Tracing Service will be established, the operation of which will be subject to guidelines which will be set out in regulations. It is intended that the Tracing Service will be made available to adopted persons, birth parents and relatives with the Adoption Authority having the overarching responsibility for the service.

Complex issues have arisen during the course of the preparation of the Bill including the criteria for balancing an adopted person's right to information about his or her identity as against a birth parent's right to privacy. My own view is that persons affected by adoption should be provided with as much information as possible within permissible Constitutional boundaries.

Consideration of legal and policy issues is ongoing and once these have been satisfactorily resolved, I intend to seek Government approval to publish the Heads of Bill. It is my intention to bring this Bill before the Houses of the Oireachtas in 2013.

Early Child Care Education

Questions (640)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

640. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will confirm that, regarding the early childhood care and education scheme, there is currently nothing in legislation to prevent a child being removed early by a childcare service provider from its programme whilst allowing the service provider to claim a capitation fee in respect of the child for up to another month; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8708/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is designed to allow each eligible child to avail of a free pre-school year in the year before commencing primary school. In general, the programme is provided for 3 hours per day, 5 days per week, over 38 weeks.

Childcare service providers participating in the ECCE programme are obliged to abide by the terms and conditions of the programme as laid out in the contract and in the Guide to the Administrative Procedures which is on my Department’s website.

The ECCE funding is paid to service providers in instalments at the start of each pre-school term. There are a number of reasons why a child might cease to avail of the ECCE programme in a particular service and, depending on the circumstances, the service provider may in certain cases retain a portion of the capitation fee that has been paid in respect of that child. However, in circumstances where the service provider has indicated that s/he is no longer in a position to provide the programme to a particular child, for whatever reason, any funding already paid for the provision of the service in respect of a period beyond the date of cessation must be returned to the Department. This is provided for under paragraph 5.3 of the ECCE contract.

In such circumstances, if the parent subsequently enrols the child in the ECCE programme in another pre-school service, the capitation fee due for that child will be paid to the new pre-school service with effect from the date the child commences in that service.

Legislative Programme

Questions (641)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

641. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the position regarding the child and family support agency Bill; if the integrity of the family resource centres' programme will be preserved; if funding for this programme will be ringfenced; if it is intended that the family resource centres will have representations on the new board and if their views will be taken on board in the finalisation of the legislation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8055/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Government has approved the Heads of the Child and Family Support Agency Bill and has also agreed to the priority drafting of this Bill. The necessary legislative and organisational preparations are being prioritised so that the Agency can be established as soon as possible. The Agency, upon establishment, will assume full statutory responsibility for a range of child and family services currently provided by three separate agencies; namely the HSE, the Family Support Agency and the National Educational Welfare Board.

The Government's consideration of these matters was informed, by the content and recommendations of the Report of the Task Force on the Child and Family Support Agency which I published in July 2012. The Task Force considered that the Agency needs to be as broadly based as possible and should include a range of prevention, early intervention, family support and therapeutic care interventions. It is my intention that the Agency will have a role in supporting families and communities. I can assure the Deputy that the new Agency will build on the excellent work undertaken by the Family Support Agency over the last decade, and that a community based approach will form an integral part of the new Child and Family Support Agency.

Funding of over €23.5 million has been provided to the Family Support Agency (FSA) for 2013. This includes a dedicated provision of over €14 million in respect of the Family Resource Centre Programme in 2013. Under the programme some 106 Family Resource Centres will receive funding from the FSA this year. The FSA, like all other State bodies, has been asked to make savings across all the programmes which it administers. In this context the Family Resource Centres have been asked to focus, in particular, on identifying the scope for greater efficiency and for reduction in the administration and overhead costs associated with the day-to-day running of the centres.

The composition of the Board of the Child and Family Support Agency is currently under consideration. It will reflect the broad ranging nature of the Agency's responsibilities. In line with best corporate governance, the criteria for Board membership will be focused on ensuring that Board members have the requisite mix of experience and competencies needed to steer such a large organisation providing a diverse range of personal services.

The establishment of the new Agency and the wider transformation of children's services represents one of the largest, and most ambitious, areas of public sector reform embarked upon by this Government.

Ministerial Appointments

Questions (642)

Shane Ross

Question:

642. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the details of all appointments made by her to all State agencies, commercial bodies and all other appointments made by her since taking office, including the State owned banks and the Judiciary. [8114/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I would like to inform the Deputy there are four agencies which are funded by the Exchequer through my Department's Vote. These are the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI); the Family Support Agency (FSA); the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) and the Ombudsman for Children. With effect from 1 January 2012, I have taken responsibility for the Children Detention Schools as provided in Part 10 of the Children Act 2001.

Apart from the Ombudsman for Children's Office which does not have a board, I am responsible for all Board of Management appointments.

Since I took office in March, 2011 there have been 35 appointments to the Boards of Management under the aegis of my Department. I can confirm to the Deputy that I have not made any appointments to any commercial bodies, state owned banks or the Judiciary since taking office.

Set out in tabular format are the details of all appointments made by me to the Boards of Management under the aegis of this Department.

National Educational Welfare Board

Board Member

Term

Annual remuneration

Nuala Doherty (Chair)

30/07/12 – 29/07/17

Does not receive fee

Brendan Broderick

15/09/11 – 03/03/14

Does not receive fee

Catherine Connery

28/05/12 – 27/05/15

Does not receive fee

Marian Jennings

28/05/12 – 27/05/15

Does not receive fee

Eamonn Flynn

15/09/11 – 03/03/14

Does not receive fee

Bob Dowling

02/03/12 – 01/03/15

Does not receive fee

Ruairí Gogan

02/03/12 – 01/03/15

Does not receive fee

Deirdre Matthews

14/01/13 – 30/09/13

Does not receive fee

Mary Donnelly

23/04/12 – 22/04/15

Does not receive fee

Children Detention Schools

Board Member

Term

Annual remuneration

Joe Horan (Chair)

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Gerard McKiernan

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Ursula Kilkelly

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Diego Gallagher

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Sylda Langford

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Pat Rooney

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Elizabeth Howard

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Colin Fetherston

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Barry Rooney

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Deirdre Keyes

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Dan Kelleher

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Does not receive fee

Family Support Agency

Board Member

Term

Annual remuneration

Sharon Foley (Chair)

30/01/12 – 31/03/13 (Ordinary Board member)

26/03/12 – 31/03/13

(Chair)

€8,978

Caroline Murphy

20/10/11 – 31/03/12

16/04/12 – 31/03/13

€5,985

Dick Hickey

02/06/11 – 01/12/11

02/12/11 – 31/03/12

16/04/12 – 31/03/13

€5,985

Dr. John Griffin

30/04/12 – 31/03/13

€5,985

Marie Fenlon

01/09/11 – 31/03/12

16/04/12 – 31/03/13

€5,985

Liz Chaloner

30/01/12 – 31/03/13

€5,985

Nuala Ryan

30/01/12 – 31/03/13

€5,985

Catherine Downey Murphy

11/07/12 – 31/03/13

€5,985

Catherine Hazlett

(Resigned on 16/05/12 due to restructuring of Department)

26/07/11 – 31/03/12

16/04/12 – 31/03/13

Does not receive fee

Yvette O’Malley

(Resigned on 10/11/11)

01/09/11 – 10/11/11

Does not receive fee

Marie Dullea

11/07/12 – 31/03/13

Does not receive fee

Imelda Martin

28/11/11 – 31/03/12

16/04/12 – 31/03/13

Does not receive fee

Lorraine Mulligan

12/12/12 – 31/03/13

Does not receive fee

Dr. Nollaig Byrne

08/02/12 – 31/03/13

Does not receive fee

Adoption Authority of Ireland

Board Member

Term

Annual remuneration

Dr. Imelda Ryan

07/02/12 – 6/07/17

Does not receive fee

Ministerial Appointments

Questions (643)

Shane Ross

Question:

643. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the details of the qualifications of all the appointees made by her to all State agencies, commercial bodies and all other appointments made by her since taking office including the State owned banks and Judiciary for the appointments they have accepted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8132/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I would like to inform the Deputy there are four agencies which are funded by the Exchequer through my Department's Vote. These are the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI); the Family Support Agency (FSA); the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) and the Ombudsman for Children. With effect from 1 January 2012, I have taken responsibility for the Children Detention Schools as provided in Part 10 of the Children Act 2001.

Apart from the Ombudsman for Children's Office which does not have a board, I am responsible for all Board of Management appointments.

Since I took office in March, 2011 there have been 35 appointments to the Boards of Management under the aegis of my Department.

I can confirm to the Deputy that I have not made any appointments to any commercial bodies, state owned banks or the judiciary since taking office.

Set out in tabular format is a list of all appointments made by me to the Boards of Management under the aegis of my Department together with details of their terms of appointment and their qualifications/competencies.

National Educational Welfare Board

Board Member

Term

Qualifications

Nuala Doherty (Chair)

30/07/12 – 29/07/17

Director, Centre for Effective Services, former Director of Educational Welfare Services in National Educational Welfare Board

Brendan Broderick

15/09/11 – 03/03/14

ASTI

Catherine Connery

28/05/12 – 27/05/15

Former Teacher. Member of Kilkenny County Council and Kilkenny VEC

Marian Jennings

28/05/12 – 27/05/15

Law Lecturer, DIT

Eamonn Flynn

15/09/11 – 03/03/14

National Educational Welfare Board

Bob Dowling

02/03/12 – 01/03/15

Teacher

Ruairí Gogan

02/03/12 – 01/03/15

Civil Servant – Department of Justice and Equality Rep

Deirdre Matthews

14/01/13 – 30/09/13

Civil Servant – Department of Education and Science Rep

Mary Donnelly

23/04/12 – 22/04/15

Civil Servant – Department of Social Protection Rep

Children Detention Schools

Board Member

Term

Qualifications

Joe Horan (Chair)

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Retired (ex County Manager)

Gerard McKiernan

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Acting Local Health Manager HSE

Ursula Kilkelly

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Lecturer, University College Cork

Diego Gallagher

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Practising Solicitor

Sylda Langford

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Retired – ex Civil Servant

Pat Rooney

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Farmer (Local Rep)

Elizabeth Howard

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Homemaker (Local Rep)

Colin Fetherston

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Residential Care Worker

Barry Rooney

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Residential Care Worker

Deirdre Keyes

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Education Officer County Dublin VEC

Dan Kelleher

26/03/12 – 25/03/14

Civil Servant – Department of Children and Youth Affairs Rep

Family Support Agency

Board Member

Term

Qualifications

Sharon Foley (Chair)

30/01/12 – 31/03/13 (Ordinary Board member)

26/03/12 – 31/03/13

(Chair)

CEO Irish Hospice Foundation

Caroline Murphy

20/10/11 – 31/03/12

16/04/12 – 31/03/13

Organisational Psychologist and Broadcaster

Dick Hickey

02/06/11 – 01/12/11

02/12/11 – 31/03/12

16/04/12 – 31/03/13

Executive Director, St. Brigid’s Family resource Centre

Dr. John Griffin

30/04/12 – 31/03/13

Consultant Psychiatrist

Marie Fenlon

01/09/11 – 31/03/12

16/04/12 – 31/03/13

Nominee of the Family Resource Centre National Forum

Liz Chaloner

30/01/12 – 31/03/13

Independent Researcher, Facilitator, Consultant

Nuala Ryan

30/01/12 – 31/03/13

President UCD Women Graduates Association

Catherine Downey Murphy

11/07/12 – 31/03/13

Management positions in Health Service, Southern Health Board

Catherine Hazlett

(Resigned on 16/05/12 due to restructuring of Department)

26/07/11 – 31/03/12

16/04/12 – 31/03/13

Civil Servant – Department of Children and Youth Affairs Rep

Yvette O’Malley

(Resigned on 10/11/11)

01/09/11 – 10/11/11

Family Support Agency Staff Rep, Mediator

Marie Dullea

11/07/12 – 31/03/13

Department of Children and Youth Affairs Rep

Imelda Martin

28/11/11 – 31/03/12

16/04/12 – 31/03/13

Family Support Agency Staff Rep

Lorraine Mulligan

12/12/12 – 31/03/13

Experienced Researcher, financial analysis, advocacy

Dr. Nollaig Byrne

08/02/12 – 31/03/13

Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Adoption Authority of Ireland

Board Member

Term

Qualifications

Dr. Imelda Ryan

07/02/12 – 6/07/17

Doctor/medical

Ministerial Appointments

Questions (644)

Shane Ross

Question:

644. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of appointees and the percentage of appointments made by her to all State agencies, commercial bodies and all other appointments made by her since taking office including the State owned banks and the Judiciary that were subject to a public applications process. [8150/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I would like to inform the Deputy there are four agencies which are funded by the Exchequer through my Department's Vote. These are the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI); the Family Support Agency (FSA); the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) and the Ombudsman for Children. With effect from 1 January 2012, I have taken responsibility for the Children Detention Schools as provided in Part 10 of the Children Act 2001.

Apart from the Ombudsman for Children's Office which does not have a board, I am responsible for all Board of Management appointments.

Since I took office in March, 2011 there have been 35 appointments to the Boards of Management under the aegis of my Department.

As the Deputy may be aware, in line with the Government decision of April 2011, new arrangements were put in place for the making of appointments to State Boards and bodies. Following this Government Decision, on my Department's website I have invited expressions of interest from persons interested in being appointed to the boards of State Bodies and Agencies operating under the Department's aegis. The notice indicates the vacancies in the boards of the respective bodies. My officials acknowledge all expressions of interest received and maintain a database of those expressions. My Department’s website is monitored and updated on a regular basis to reflect the number of vacancies as they arise.

The appointment of members to each of these bodies is not a competency-based process. The governing legislation in relation to each of these bodies sets out the composition of the Board either in terms of their qualifications and experience, or the Government Minister or body that is responsible for nominating representatives on them or who must be consulted in the nomination process.

For example, the Adoption Act, 2010 requires that the Adoption Authority of Ireland consists of 7 members – the chairperson must be a Judge, barrister or solicitor and the ordinary members must include a social worker with experience in adoption practice, a social worker with research expertise in child welfare, child protection or both, a barrister or solicitor with experience in the practice of law in relation to families and children, a medical practitioner and a person with appropriate training in psychology.

On the other hand, the Education Welfare Act, 2000 provides that the Minister shall make appointments to the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) from among persons who in the opinion of the Minister have a special interest or expertise in matters relating to the functions of the Board.

There are also prescribed bodies to be consulted in appointing ordinary members. The Family Support Agency Act, 2001 provides that the Minister may appoint individuals to the Board who have a special interest or expertise in matters relating to the functions of the Agency. Of the 10 people appointed to this Board, 9 of the 10 people were appointed after submitting expressions of interest. The other person appointed to this Board was a Departmental representative.

The Children Act, 2001 outlines the different Ministers and organisations that nominate persons to serve on the board of management of the children detention schools.

In making my decisions on appointments to Boards, subject to the governing legislation, I consider the most suitable persons for the positions available with due regard to the body or agency in question and its particular responsibilities and I seek to ensure that the appropriate mix of skills and experience is in place to achieve the best result.

I can confirm to the Deputy that I have not made any appointments to any commercial bodies, state owned banks or the Judiciary since taking office.