Invalidity Pension Application Numbers

Questions (312)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

312. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection the total number of claims for invalidity pension claims that have been earmarked as special project cases in her Department in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11649/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

A deciding officer may review a decision in the light of fresh facts or evidence. Where an adverse decision is made by a deciding officer, the option of such a review is offered to the customer in addition to the statutory right of appeal to the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO). Where a case is pending appeal and there is a change of circumstances or additional evidence available, a deciding officer will first review the claim to see if a revised decision is warranted before the case is sent to the SWAO for determination. A total of 474 invalidity pension cases were decided in this way in 2012; 345 in 2011 and 185 in 2010.

In addition a customer may, following disallowance, request that the decision be reviewed by a deciding officer instead of or prior to submitting an appeal. I am informed that many customers avail of this option and decisions are often reviewed in this manner without the need to proceed through the formal appeal process. However, statistics of these revised decisions on invalidity pension claims are not maintained.

A structured programme to address significant backlogs in claim applications has been underway in this scheme area over the last number of months. The term ‘special projects’ is a temporary one in use during this period to reflect cases which had been at least 1 year on illness benefit but which were initially disallowed invalidity pension because they were deemed not to satisfy the condition of being expected to be incapable of work for a further year. Because of the backlogs in place and the consequent delays involved in claims proceeding to review or appeal, a number of these cases can now be deemed to have fulfilled the condition of being incapable for work for 1 year. These cases are being reviewed by deciding officers with a view to possible revised decision. These cases arose as a direct result of the backlog elimination and will not continue to occur once the backlog of appeals cases has been cleared. It is expected that the backlog of invalidity pension cases awaiting appeal submission will be cleared by end Q2 2013.

Land Swaps

Questions (313)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

313. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the position regarding a request from Killarney Town Council to the Office of Public Works to swap 21 acres for 12 acres from the national park to be used for the purpose of a new burial ground; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11168/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

Killarney Town Council has made a submission to my Department about this proposal. A meeting was recently held between the local authority and my Department to discuss the issue, which is now under consideration.

Offshore Islands

Questions (314)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

314. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount of funding that will be made available to upgrade the roads infrastructure on County Donegal's populated offshore islands in 2013; the total expenditure by his Department in 2012 on infrastructure programmes on County Donegal's populated offshore islands; the amount allocated in his Department for the development of infrastructure on County Donegal's populated offshore islands in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10941/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

My Department’s expenditure on infrastructure programmes relating to County Donegal’s offshore islands in 2012 was €138,835. The works undertaken included roads, lighting and improvement to a slipway. My Department’s capital allocation for island infrastructure in 2013 is €0.679m, subject to the Revised Estimates being published and approved in due course. Given the significant reduction in capital budgets in recent years, my Department will be severely curtailed in its ability to fund island infrastructure development this year. However, as well as meeting its existing commitments, my Department hopes to be in a position to fund a number of small targeted infrastructure projects on the offshore islands in 2013.

In this regard, I refer to my reply today to the Deputy's Question No 315, in which I confirm that I have approved a grant of €248,500 in principle to enable Donegal County Council to undertake the planning and construction phase of the development of a helipad on Toraigh. I hope that it will be possible for the project to proceed this year, subject to planning permission for the development being approved in sufficient time.

Offshore Islands

Questions (315)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

315. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he has allocated a sum of money to facilitate the commencement of construction of a helipad on Toraigh Island should planning permission for the project be approved in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10942/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

I can confirm that my Department has allocated a grant of €248,500 in principle to enable Donegal County Council to undertake the planning and construction phase of the development of a helipad on Toraigh. I hope that it will be possible for the project to proceed this year, subject to planning permission for the development being approved in sufficient time.

Wildlife Conservation

Questions (316)

Michael Creed

Question:

316. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the position regarding the National Parks and Wildlife Service survey on the hen harrier at a location (details supplied); if additional lands will be sanctioned for afforestation in this area; the compensation available to land owners who face ongoing restrictions as to land use arising from the designation of their lands; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11028/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

In 2010, my Department commissioned a survey of breeding Hen Harrier in Ireland. The findings of this survey indicated that the national population of this species appears to be stable since the previous national survey in 2005, but significant regional declines were noted, including for the Special Protection Area (SPA) at the location referred to by the Deputy, which has experienced a 35% decline in breeding pairs in that period. The Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is responsible for licensing afforestation, which must be done in compliance with relevant national and European legislation, including that relating to the protection of SPAs.

EU funding is made available to provide compensation for land-owners arising from restrictions related to SPAs and Special Areas of Conservation. This is disbursed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine through the Rural Development Fund. In recent years, my Department has administered a small-scale farm plan scheme using Exchequer funds, which has supported farmers in adopting appropriate management practices in the Hen Harrier SPAs. However, due to budgetary constraints, the scheme is closed to new applicants.

Wildlife Protection

Questions (317)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

317. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in relation to the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2010, his response to the reported incident of a deer hunted by the Ward Union Hunt near Dunshaughlin, County Meath into the River Boyne; if he recognises the need for greater monitoring of the Ward Union Hunt activities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11317/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

Officials of my Department monitor compliance with the Wildlife Acts across the country on an ongoing basis, and carry out patrols and site visits to enforce the various provisions of these Acts, as required. They also investigate reports of breaches of the Acts. Members of An Garda Síochána are also empowered under the Acts to investigate alleged offences and to prosecute if they see fit. My Department is undertaking enquiries at present in relation to the particular incident referred to in the Deputy's Question.

Arts Funding

Questions (318)

John O'Mahony

Question:

318. Deputy John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding or grants available for drama festivals here and in particular with staging an all-Ireland event; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11434/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

Government policy is to promote and strengthen the arts in all its forms, increase access to and participation in the arts, to make the arts an integral and valued part of our national life, and maximise the potential for cultural tourism. Primary responsibility for the promotion of the arts at all levels, including drama throughout the country, is devolved under the Arts Acts to the Arts Council, which is independent in its funding decisions. In 2013, the Arts Council will receive an overall allocation of some €60.7 million from the Exchequer in current, capital and EU Presidency funding.

Appointments to State Boards

Questions (319)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

319. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of appointments he has made from March 2011 to January 2013 to State boards; in the case of each appointment, the number of appointments that were made to members of the general public who submitted a curriculum vitae for the appointment; the number of direct appointments he made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11469/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

The information requested by the Deputy is contained in the table.

Board

Number of members appointed March 2011 - Jan 2013

Appointments made following receipt of CV/expression of interest

Appointments made directly by Minister

Arts Council

4

4

0

Heritage Council

6

3

3

National Concert Hall

15

12

3

National Gallery

1

N/A - appointment in train prior to new arrangements

1

Crawford Art Gallery

7

Nil - all appointments rolled over from previous Board

7

Chester Beatty Library

2

2

0

National Archives Advisory Council

2

2

0

Irish Manuscripts Commission

19

Nil - all appointments rolled over from previous Board

19

Údarás na Gaeltachta

11*

4 (out of 7 Ministerial nominees)

1 (out of 4 county council nominees)

3 Ministerial nominees

3 county council nominees

*One county council nominee yet to be ratified.

For completeness, the following table sets out appointments to the boards of Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency, which comprise An Foras Teanga, a North South Implementation Body. Appointments to the boards of such bodies are made by the North South Ministerial Council, arising from nominations on a 50:50 basis from each jurisdiction.

Board

Number of members appointed March 2011 - Jan 2013

Appointments made following receipt of a CV/expression of interest

Appointments made directly by Minister

Foras na Gaeilge

16

N/A

N/A

Ulster-Scots Agency

8

N/A

N/A

Appointments to State Boards

Questions (320)

Niall Collins

Question:

320. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the date on which he plans to announce the membership of the Irish Film Board. [11598/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Arts)

I intend to announce the names of the new seven person board of the Irish Film Board shortly.

Inland Fisheries

Questions (321)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

321. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if the fisheries board had a by-law passed at some stage to change the date of the Maine-Brown Flesk river opening dates from 17 January to 17 March; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11330/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I am advised that bye-laws drafted by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) or its predecessor, the South Western Regional Fisheries Board (SWRFB), and subsequently enacted, did not affect the opening date of the Maine/Brown Flesk River. IFI’s research indicates that CS No. 61 of 29 June 1910, set the close season for salmon fishing by single rod and line, in all rivers and their tributaries flowing into the sea between Dunmore Head and Dromgorm Point, both in ‘No.7 or Killarney District’, in Co. Kerry. This closed season was set from the 1 November each year to the 16 March in the following year, inclusive. The opening date would therefore appear to be 17 March each year.

IFI further advise that Under the Salmon and Trout Conservation Bye-Law No.623 of 1981 the beginning of the annual close season was amended to 1 October in each year. The closed season for salmon fishing by rod and line in the River Maine/Brown Flesk and its tributaries is 1 October each year until 16 March in the following year, both dates inclusive. This bye-law did not affect the opening date which remained at 17 March. I can therefore clarify for the Deputy that it would appear that the opening date of the River Maine/Brown Flesk and its tributaries has not changed for more than 100 years. IFI’s advice on this matter is that in practice there is little point in this fishery opening before the 17th March due to the late run nature of the fish in the river and the risk of early anglers harming recovering kelts on their return to the sea.

Broadband Services Provision

Questions (322)

Regina Doherty

Question:

322. Deputy Regina Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the progress that is being made in bringing broadband to rural areas in County Meath, particularly in the Kilbride area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11266/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I refer to my reply to your Question No. 434 dated 12th February 2013. As outlined in my response to you, broadband provision through private and State investment means that Ireland has met the EU Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe 2013 target of having a basic broadband service available to all areas, including County Meath. The National Broadband Plan which I launched last August aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed services of at least 30Mbps are available to all of our citizens and businesses, well in advance of the EU’s target date of 2020. I also outlined in my response to you the progress being made in relation to the implementation of the Plan. Work in this regard continues. I would reiterate that the Government remains committed to the delivery of the speeds referred to in the Plan, to ensure that all parts of Ireland, including Kilbride and other rural areas in County Meath, will have at least 30Mbps connectivity.

Online Business Voucher Scheme

Questions (323, 328)

Michael Colreavy

Question:

323. Deputy Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources when he will publish the details of the new broadcasting charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11276/13]

View answer

Andrew Doyle

Question:

328. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his plans to establish a new broadcasting charge; if it will replace the existing television licence; if it will be a blanket charge; if all homes will be applicable; the exemptions that will apply; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11532/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 323 and 328 together.

The Programme for Government commits to examining the role and collection of the TV licence fee in light of existing and projected convergence of technologies and to transforming the TV licence into a household based Public Broadcasting Charge to be applied to all eligible households and applicable businesses, regardless of the device used to access content or services. In line with this commitment, my Department is involved in the ongoing analysis and policy development work that is necessary in advance of the implementation of any changes that may be required.

The replacement of the existing funding system based on the collection of television licence fees with one based on the imposition of device-independent charge on eligible households and businesses is a complex process and the logistics involved require thorough attention. Issues such as identifying the most appropriate collection method, exemptions and enforcement mechanics require detailed consideration and all have a bearing on the timeframe for implementation. My Department is currently carrying out a Value for Money Policy Review conducted by an independently chaired group on the proposed policy. I expect to receive a copy of the group’s recommendations and report for my consideration by the end of March.

It should be noted that although subject to a degree of evasion, the existing TV licence fee system has provided a stable funding base for our public service broadcasters. The rationale for providing State funding for public service broadcasting is to provide an independent and reliable income flow that allows these corporations to attain their public service objects while ensuring they can maintain editorial independence. This is especially important in the context of news and current affairs. The overall aim of Public Service Broadcasting is to provide services and content which cater for all interests in society, while ensuring that the varied elements of Irish culture and its intrinsic values are protected.

Through the statutory obligations placed on the Public Service Broadcasters and the criteria set for the funding of content through the Sound & Vision Scheme, which is funded from licence fee revenue, the production of quality indigenous programming and the production of minority interest programming is strongly promoted via the current funding regime. Whatever the system of funding, the rationale for providing funding will continue to apply and any changes that may be implemented must continue to provide a secure funding base for public service broadcasting and content. It is also important that any changes to the system of funding should take account of the reality of new mechanisms to access such content and services and the pervasiveness of such content in today’s society.

Publicly-funded public service broadcasting and content are now available to everyone on an ever-increasing range of platforms and devices and, in fact, access is not dependent on the ownership of a device. In short, everyone benefits from the availability of these services, regardless of how content is accessed or relayed to the public, and, therefore, it is my view that the cost should be borne by society as a whole. This underlines the rationale for a household based broadcasting charge. All households and businesses will be subject to the charge, except for those that are specifically exempted. The issue of exemptions under any new Irish system is one which will have to be given detailed consideration when the type of model to be developed is agreed. That said, it is my expectation that the current exemptions in relation to pensioners and those entitled to the Household Benefit Package will continue to apply.

Broadband Services Provision

Questions (324)

James Bannon

Question:

324. Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources when the substandard broadband provision to Ardagh, County Longford will be improved, in view of the fact that it is dependent on the upgrading of the telephone exchange; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11307/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Ireland’s telecommunications market has been liberalised since 1999 and thus the delivery of broadband services is a matter, in the first instance, for private sector commercial operators who are licensed and regulated by the independent regulator, the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg). Decisions relating to the provision of broadband services in any particular area, including the upgrading of telephone exchanges, are commercial decisions for the commercial service providers. I have no statutory power to compel any service provider to offer higher levels of broadband service at any particular location. The State only becomes involved in the provision of services in instances of clear market failure, such as in the case of the National Broadband Scheme (NBS) and the Rural Broadband Scheme (RBS).

The Government’s National Broadband Plan, which I published in August last, aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed services of at least 30Mbps are available to all of our citizens and businesses, well in advance of the EU’s target date of 2020, and that significantly higher speeds are available to as many homes and businesses as possible. Ireland is now therefore moving to a new phase of public and private sector investment in broadband in Ireland which will see significantly improved speeds delivered across the country.

The National Broadband Plan commits the Government to investing in areas where high speed services are not commercially viable and will not be provided by the market. This will ensure that citizens or businesses, wherever they are located, have a broadband connection which meets their needs to interact effectively with society and business in a global digital environment. I would reiterate that the Government remains committed to the delivery of the speeds referred to in the Plan, to ensure that all parts of Ireland, including Ardagh, County Longford, will have at least 30Mbps connectivity.

Broadband Services Speeds

Questions (325)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

325. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the proposals being put in place to improve broadband in Lauragh, Killarney, County Kerry. [11336/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

In December 2008, my Department entered into a contract with Hutchison 3G Ireland Ltd (“3”) for the delivery of the National Broadband Scheme (NBS), following the conclusion of a competitive dialogue procurement process. The objective of the NBS is to deliver broadband to certain target areas in Ireland in which broadband services were deemed to be insufficient. Since October 2010, “3” has made broadband services available in all of the 1,028 Electoral Divisions (ED) designated to be covered under the Scheme. Lauragh, Co. Kerry is included in the NBS and broadband services are available to all residents and businesses who seek a service in the area.

Following the recent contractual upgrade to the NBS mobile broadband product specifications, the minimum download speed increased from 1.6Mbps to 2.3Mbps while the minimum upload speeds increased from 1.2Mbps to 1.4Mbps, subject to a maximum contention ratio of 18:1. The combined data allowance increased from 25GB to 40GB. As foreseen in the NBS contract, “3” may, for technical reasons associated with the location of the premises, deploy a satellite solution in a limited number of cases.

My Department has put in place robust monitoring arrangements to ensure that the NBS network delivers the minimum specified service or better to all users. Performance delivery data, which is submitted to my Department on a monthly basis, or as required, is critically analysed. The monitoring arrangements provide information on a wide range of key indicators including, the broadband excess availability in each cell of the network, the number of customers resident in that cell and actual contention and latency values. Utilisation thresholds are set for each element of the network and upgrades of the network and its capacity are automatically triggered at contractually agreed levels of traffic to ensure that the quality of the broadband service is maintained.

My Department is satisfied that the NBS service supplied by “3” in the Lauragh area, is within the contractually agreed specification of the scheme. “3” have advised my officials that there are no current plans for additional infrastructure or network upgrades in the area. Any NBS customer experiencing problems with the NBS service, in the Lauragh area, can contact 3’s customer care centre 24 hours a day 7 days a week by phone at 1913 (free of charge) or via email to nbssupport@three.ie. A team of field engineers has been established to address NBS specific maintenance issues at customers’ premises.

My Department has a role where customers have fully utilised the established complaints process and consider that their complaint has not been resolved. My officials operate a dedicated NBS mailbox, which NBS customers can contact by email at nationalbroadbandscheme@dcenr.gov.ie, with any comments or complaints they may have about their NBS service.

The combination of private investment and State interventions means that Ireland has met the EU Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe target of having a basic broadband service available to all areas by 2013, and the focus is now on accelerating the roll out of high speed services. The Government’s National Broadband Plan, which I published in August last, aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed services of at least 30Mbps are available to all of our citizens and businesses, well in advance of the EU’s target date of 2020, and that significantly higher speeds are available to as many homes and businesses as possible.

During the preparation of Ireland’s National Broadband Plan, the commercial market operators indicated that they expect to provide 70Mbps to 100Mbps services to 50% of the population by 2015. The commercial sector is already making these investments in high speed services, particularly in urban and semi-urban areas. The Government is also committed in the Plan to investing in areas where high speed services are not commercially viable and will not be provided by the market.

My Department is making preparations to commence a formal national mapping exercise to identify where the market is expected to succeed and fail in the delivery of high speed broadband over the coming years. This will inform the level of Government interaction that may be required and the areas that need to be targeted for a State-led investment. It will also form a critical input to an EU State Aid application in respect of any State-led intervention.

Through the implementation of the National Broadband Plan, we are committed to increasing the availability of next generation speeds significantly, with a view to ensuring that all citizens and business can participate fully in a digitally enabled society. I would reiterate that the Government remains committed to the delivery of the speeds referred to in the Plan, to ensure that all parts of Ireland, including Lauragh, Co. Kerry, will have at least 30Mbps connectivity.

Appointments to State Boards

Questions (326)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

326. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the number of appointments he has made from March 2011 to January 2013 to State boards; in the case of each appointment, the number of appointments that were made to members of the general public who submitted a curriculum vitae for the appointment; the number of direct appointments he made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11471/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I wish to advise the Deputy that there have been 64 appointments made to State Boards under the aegis of my Department in the period March 2011 to January 2013 and details of these are set out in the table. All of the appointments have been made in light of the objectives of the organisation and on the basis of appointees having the necessary competencies, expertise and experience to contribute effectively to the work of the particular boards, whilst also taking into consideration the legislative requirements where applicable.

I have, for the past two years, on the Department’s website, invited Expressions of Interest from persons wishing to be considered for appointment to vacancies on State Boards under the aegis of my Department. I have recently advertised on the website of my Department for persons interested in such appointments during 2013. It should be noted that such invitations are designed to extend the range of suitable persons from which a Minister might make appointments – not to constrain that range.

Body

Appointee

Date Appointed

An Post

Mr Donal Connell CEO (ex officio)

Mr James Wrynn

Mr Paul Henry

Mr Noel Adamson (worker director)

Mr Patrick Compton (worker director reappointed)

Mr Thomas Devlin (worker director reappointed)

Mr William Mooney (worker director)

Ms Martina O’Connell (worker director)

Mr William Scally

Ms Lorraine Tormey

14/08/2011

15/09/2011

15/09/2011

01/11/2012

01/11/2012

01/11/2012

01/11/2012

01/11/2012

11/12/2012

01/01/2013

Bord na Móna

Ms Denise Cronin

*Mr. John Horgan (Chairperson)

Mr Gerard O’Donoghue

Ms Elaine Treacy

Mr Barry Walsh

15/09/2011

24/04/2012 (as a Director) 27/09/2012 (as Chairperson)

02/10/2012

17/07/2012

16/10/2012

Bord Gais Eireann

Mr Finbarr Kennelly

11/12/2012

EirGrid

Dr Gary Healy

*Ms Regina Moran

*Mr Liam O’Halloran

Ms Bride Rosney

Ms Doireann Barry

15/09/2011

15/09/2011

15/09/2011

15/09/2011

22/12/2011

ESB

Mr Lochlann Quinn (Chairman – reappointed)

Mr Pat O’Doherty (CEO ex officio)

Ms Noreen Wright

Mr Seamus Mallon (reappointed)

Ms Anne Butler

21/01/2013

09/01/2013

28/06/2011

03/05/2011

13/11/2012

Irish National Petroleum Corporation (INPC)

Mr Sean Fitzgerald (reappointed)

Mr Vincent Caffrey (reappointed)

Ms Aoife MacEvilly (reappointed)**

Mr Aidan Donnelly – Chairperson (reappointed)

01/06/2011

01/06/2011

18/07/2012

18/07/2012

National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA)

Ms Aoife MacEvilly **

Mr Pat Meehan CEO (ex officio) (reappointed)

11/04/2011

01/01/2013

TG4

Mr. Micheál Seoighe

Ms. Mairéad Ní Cheoinín

*Mr. Joe Connolly

*Mr. Des Geraghty

Ms. Andréa Ní Éalaithe

Ms Mairead Nic Suibhne

Ms. Michelle Ní Chróinín

Siún Ní Raghallaigh (Chairperson)

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

17/04/2012

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)

*Ms Julie O’Neill

Mr. Edgar Morgenroth

Mr. Michael Conlon

Ms. Anne Farrell

Mr. Declan Waugh

Ms. Michelle Green

Mr. Brian Carroll (reappointed)**

Mr. Brendan Halligan (re-appointed) (Chairperson)

Dr Brian Motherway CEO (ex officio)

15/09/2011

24/04/2012

15/09/2011 (but resigned on 21/08/2012)

24/04/2012

29/05/2012

29/05/2012

26/06/2012

01/10/2012

01/05/2012

Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA)

*Mr. Paul Holden

Mr. Seamus Ratigan

Mr Leonard Donnelly (Chairperson - reappointed)

29/05/2012

29/05/2012

24/11/12012

Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi)

Mr. Ronan O’Reilly (Chairperson)

Ms. Anne Butler

Mr. Robin Simpson

Dr. Enda Howley

Dr. Denis Kelliher

Ms. Marion Coy

Mr. Justin Gleeson

Ms Sandra Ryan

*Mr. Padraic Jordan

Mr. Oliver Hickey

Mr Noel Ward

22/05/2012

22/05/2012 (but resigned on 25/10/2012)

22/05/2012

22/05/2012

22/05/2012

22/05/2012

22/05/2012

22/05/201222/05/2012

19/06/2012

21/12/2012

The Mining Board

Mr Michael Neary (reappointed)

17/11/2011

*Expression of Interest received

** Official in my Department

It should also be noted that 24 of the appointments in the table were either ex-officio appointments, reappointments, the appointment of worker directors chosen by election, or appointments made from nominations made by an Oireachtas Committee

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Scheme

Question No. 328 answered with Question No. 323.

Questions (327)

Robert Troy

Question:

327. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he intends to compile a mandatory register of oil installers and service technicians to install, commission and service heating appliances similar to RGII and RECI. [11503/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I assume that the Deputy’s concern relates to the potential dangers that may result from faulty installations, especially carbon monoxide gas, which would be dangerous to people in their homes and at their places of work. In that regard, I was pleased to launch the first Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week on the 24th September 2012. The Awareness Week saw a sustained, multi-media publicity campaign to alert people to the dangers posed by carbon monoxide and to give them advice as to what they should do to be safe. The issue was widely reported on television, on national and local radio and in both national and local press. In respect of the possibility for a mandatory registration scheme for oil technicians, similar to those in place for the gas (RGII) and electricity (RECI) industries, I have asked my officials to meet with industry representatives to discuss the matter and I await the outcome of such discussions.

Question No. 328 answered with Question No. 323.

Electricity Transmission Network

Questions (329)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

329. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide details of wind energy grid connection contracts awarded by his Department from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11534/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Supervision of the grid connection process is vested in the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). The CER sets the policy by which connection offers to grid applicants are issued (under section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act 1999, as amended). I have no role or function in the matter of grid connections. The grid connection offers are issued (i) by EirGrid, the Transmission System Operator (TSO), for those generators connecting to the transmission system and (ii) by ESB Networks, the Distribution System Operator (DSO), for those generators connecting to the distribution system. These must be issued in line with the CER’s policy. If a developer accepts their offers, then EirGrid or ESB Networks issue the actual contract (connection agreement). The standard form of the connection agreement is also approved by the CER.

Information on the windfarms connected to the grid, including the estimated connection date, is available on the EirGrid website for TSO connected windfarms (www.eirgrid.com) and on the ESB website for DSO connected windfarms (www.esb.ie).