Free Travel Scheme Administration

Questions (114)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

114. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Social Protection the provision being made for persons who had been availing of the free travel scheme under Bus Éireann, but because of the removal of these routes and the subsequent replacement by alternative providers cannot avail of free travel; and if the route is not new but is with a different provider will an amnesty be made to allow these persons to avail of the scheme. [11371/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

When spousal and companion passes are taken into account, there are over 1.1 million customers with some free travel eligibility and there are currently in excess of 745,000 customers with direct eligibility to the free travel scheme. Expenditure on this scheme was frozen at 2010 levels by the last Government leaving a provision for the scheme in 2013 of €77 million. Given the challenging budgetary constraints, my Department is not in a position to consider applications for additional routes to the scheme from transport operators at this time. In this regard, an inter Departmental Committee commenced a review of the scheme last year. One of the aspects being examined is the extent of the service currently provided and this will involve an assessment of the need to adjust the service having regard to its coverage to ensure it is consistent with current and anticipated future needs. This Committee is made up of representatives of my Department, the Departments of Transport, Tourism and Sport and Public Expenditure and Reform and the National Transport Authority. It is expected to conclude its work by the end of the third quarter of 2013. The report will feed into future policy development and the forthcoming budgetary process.

Community Employment Schemes Review

Questions (115)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

115. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Social Protection the future of community employment schemes; the way the CE schemes and the Tús programme are being integrated in communities alongside each other and if there has been any feedback of an overlap; if she has plans to integrate these schemes in the future; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11379/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The CE scheme aims to enhance the employability of disadvantaged and unemployed persons by providing work experience and training opportunities for them within their communities. In addition it helps long-term unemployed people to re-enter the active workforce by breaking their experience of unemployment through a return to work routine. Community and voluntary organisations sponsor local/community projects that satisfy two essential criteria - that they respond to an identified community need, and that they provide worthwhile work and training opportunities for participants. Tús is a scheme targeted at those with in excess of one year association with the Live Register that aims to provide short-term, quality work opportunities for those who are unemployed while also assisting in providing certain services of benefit to communities. Participants are randomly selected from the Live Register by the Department and sanctions apply to those who do not avail of offer of placements. While the scheme aims to contribute to the work readiness of the long-term unemployed, it also contributes to the management of the Live Register in highlighting those who are unemployed but may not be actively seeking work. Tús is delivered through 53 Implementing Bodies (IBs) - 52 Integrated Development Companies (IDCs) and Údarás na Gaeltachta who manage the day-to-day implementation of Tús.

The matters to which the Deputy refers were examined in detail in the recently published Departmental Review of Employment Support Schemes. There were various recommendations for the reform of the two schemes to aid in the activation process such as refocusing CE on shorter-term interventions and progression (in line with Pathways to Work) and using the CE exit planning model for persons exiting Tús. I am aware of overlap in the allocation of Tús places and CE places, in many cases sponsoring organisations accommodate both clients very well. The reforms outlined in the above report and the subsequent consultation and feedback from stakeholders will be of assistance in the re-alignment of Employment Programmes including CE and Tús within this Department.

Departmental Staff Recruitment

Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 103

Questions (116)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

116. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 182 of 29 January 2013, in relation to 68 unfilled positions which she prioritised as critical, if she will list them and confirm if sanction was sought from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to fill those positions. [11374/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Department’s Employment Control Framework (ECF) figure, set by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) on the total number of full time equivalent posts was set at 6,610 for 2012 and for 2013 is 6,419, which sees the Department having to reduce its number of posts by 191 this year. At any given time, vacancies within my Department occur and change, with staff being redeployed or transferred to fill critical posts. Also the status of a vacancy can change where opportunity arises in a business area to restructure or rationalise posts. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a definitive list of critical vacancies as the prioritisation of the filling of all vacancies identified as critical, is considered on a business need basis, within our commitment to deliver on the reduced ECF figure.

Vacancies are filled in the first instance through redeployment, in line with the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014, where surplus staff from other government departments/agencies are redeployed to DSP. Where there is no one available through redeployment, transfer lists are then examined. The filling of all vacancies within the Department is within the ECF sanction from DPER.

Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 103.

One-Parent Family Payment Eligibility

Questions (118)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

118. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding the one-parent family payment scheme; and the number that will be affected when this change comes into effect in July 2013. [11381/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare and Pensions Act, 2012, introduced changes to the structure of the one-parent family payment (OFP) scheme and reduced the maximum age limit of the youngest child at which the payment ceases. From 3 May 2012, the age of the youngest child is being reduced on a phased basis and will be 7 from 2014 for individuals who first claimed OFP since May of last year and from 2015 for all other OFP recipients. Originally, this year’s reduction in the maximum age limit of the youngest child for receipt of the OFP was set to occur from January. However, Budget 2013 contains a measure to provide 6,000 additional after-school child care places to low-income families who avail of employment opportunities. It is intended to launch an initial pilot of this scheme in April with the remainder of the places coming on stream later in the year. The commencement date of the age changes to the OFP scheme has, therefore, been deferred from January 2013, to July 2013. As such, recipients from the three OFP claim date cohorts will now lose their entitlement to their payment as follows:

Age Threshold reduces to:

From 3 May, 2012

From 4 July, 2013

From 3 July, 2014

From 2 July, 2015

If OFP payment commenced before

27 April, 2011

18

17

16

7

If OFP payment commenced between

27 April, 2011, and 2 May, 2012

 

14

12

10

7

If OFP payment commenced on or

after 3 May, 2012

12

10

7

The age changes will affect approximately 8,000 recipients in July 2013.

Community Employment Schemes Cessation

Questions (119)

Seán Crowe

Question:

119. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide further clarification on the way the announced local authority community employment scheme will work; and the reason for not extending the existing CE rather than creating a new scheme to cover this proposal. [11369/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Government, as part of the Budget package for 2013 announced a number of initiatives focused on providing work opportunities for those currently unemployed. The key elements of this package are to add an additional 2,500 places to JobBridge; 2,000 places on community employment; 2,500 to Tús – the community work placement initiative - and the development of a new initiative with local authorities to provide 3,000 opportunities in 2013. This is in line with the commitments set out in the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work. I have recently made announcements in respect to the roll-out of new community employment and Tús placements. The additional 2,000 places allocated to the CE Programme are prioritised for schemes and organisations who are involved in the delivery of community childcare services, social and healthcare services for people with a disability. This is in order to support the provision of these services and offer training qualifications and work experience to CE participants. An allocation of 500 additional places will be reserved for childcare support and 500 places for social and health related services. The design of the local authority initiative and the nature of work to be undertaken will require consultation with a range of stakeholders, including those bodies responsible for the delivery of other schemes funded by the Department of Social Protection. Development work on this new initiative has commenced with the local authorities. A timetable for the roll-out of a number of pilot projects to inform the design of the scheme is currently being finalised.

The new initiative is likely to have some of the characteristics of community employment, as do all work placement programmes. However, the Deputy should note that community employment is designed with a work placement and training element to progress a person back to the open labour market or on to more advanced development opportunities. Work placements are primarily hosted by community, voluntary and not-for-profit sponsors to support service delivery. This new initiative is being developed solely with local authorities to provide work placement opportunities for those on the live register for prolonged periods. It will provide opportunities for maintaining the skills and work readiness. The training element will mainly relate to on-the-job skills. A timetable for the roll-out of a number of pilot projects to inform the design of the scheme is currently being finalised.

Social Insurance Fund Deficit

Questions (120)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

120. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the current deficit in the Social Insurance Fund; her plans to ensure that this fund is fully funded for 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11055/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Insurance Fund (SIF) is a pay-as-you-go social insurance scheme that is financed by contributions from employees, employers, the self-employed and by a contribution or ‘subvention’ from the Exchequer when the cost of the benefits paid from the Fund exceeds the contribution income. The Exchequer is the residual financier of the Fund and such subventions were the norm for over 40 years. For example, in 1967, the State contribution was 38% of SIF expenditure and almost 29% in 1985. From 1997 to 2007 inclusive, social insurance income exceeded Fund expenditure. In 2008, the current operating balance of the SIF moved into deficit with expenditure exceeding income by €255m. This deficit accelerated in 2009 when it reached €2.49 billion and further rose to €2.75 billion in 2010. In addition, the surplus carried forward from previous years was eliminated during 2010, giving rise to the need for Exchequer subvention for the first time since 1996.

In total, the operating deficit of the Fund over the period 2008 to 2011, inclusive, was very close to €7 billion. The Provisional Outturn for 2012 provides for a deficit of nearly €2.09 billion in 2012. Significant exchequer subvention will be required to meet ongoing expenditure requirements in the absence of reductions in expenditure levels or increases in PRSI income. I am most concerned about the deficit in the SIF and one of my key goals is to reform the system of social protection and to put it on a sounder financial footing for the future. In the context of the SIF, Budget 2011 introduced a number of changes to the PRSI system and, in Budget 2012, my colleague the Minister for Finance announced a further widening of the PRSI base from 2013 to cover rental, investment and other forms of income from 2013.

Budget 2013 introduced significant changes to the PRSI system. The Employee’s PRSI-Free Allowance of €127 per week (for those paying PRSI Class A, E and H) and €26 per week (for those paying PRSI Class B, C and D) was abolished with effect from 1st January 2013. The minimum annual PRSI contribution for people with annual self-employed income over €5,000 was increased from €253 per annum to €500 per annum. Employees who pay PRSI at Classes B, C and D (a minority of the civil and public sector) were exempt from PRSI in respect of self-employed earned income (from a profession or trade) and any other unearned income e.g. rental income. This exemption was abolished in Budget 2013. All such income is now liable to PRSI at the rate of 4% with effect from 1 January 2013 without gaining entitlement to social insurance benefits. This measure is estimated to yield €12m additional income for the Social Insurance Fund in a full year.

In 2014, it is proposed to abolish the exemption from PRSI applying to self-employed unearned income of employees (all Classes) and those with occupational pensions, which is available where they have unearned income only. The payment of PRSI at 4% on this unearned income will not give entitlement to social insurance benefits. This measure is estimated to yield €20m additional income for the Social Insurance Fund in a full year.

In addition, I established the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare in 2011 in line with the commitment made in the Programme for Government. The Group will, inter alia, examine and report on issues involved in providing social insurance cover for self-employed persons while the Actuarial Review of the Social Insurance Fund will inform both short to medium term and long term policy development in relation to the social insurance system generally. Any proposals to address the sustainability of the Fund will have to be considered in a budgetary context.

National Internship Scheme Placements

Question No. 122 answered with Question No. 104

Questions (121)

Martin Ferris

Question:

121. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of JobBridge interns who have gone on to employment directly related to the internships in which they had been involved. [11387/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

As the Deputy will be aware, JobBridge, the National Internship scheme, provides internship opportunities of either 6 or 9 months for unemployed individuals in organisations in the private, public and community voluntary sectors. It is targeted at individuals who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments (Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/One Parent Family Payment/Disability Allowance) or are signing on for credits for at least 3 of the last 6 months (78 Days). The JobBridge scheme has made significant progress since it came into operation. 14,888 internships have commenced as at 21 February 2013 with 5,790 participants on an internship and 2,241 internship opportunities advertised on www.jobbridge.ie as of that date.

With regard to progression outcomes, the interim evaluation of JobBridge conducted by Indecon International Economic Consultants (published on 5 October, 2012) states that 61% of JobBridge finishers progressed into employment with either their host organisation or another employer within 5 months of finishing their internship. The majority of these had gone on to employment with their host organisations while the others took the skills and experiences that they gained during their internship to gain employment in the wider labour market. In total Indecon found that 40.3% of people who had completed their internship were employed either in their host organisation or in another organisation from the same industry sector. The balance of interns then in employment were employed in other sectors. Empowering an intern to look with confidence at the wider labour market with enhanced employment opportunities is one of the key successes of the scheme.

Satisfaction rates for JobBridge among employers and jobseekers remains high with surveys conducted as part of the interim evaluation by Indecon finding that 89.3% of interns felt JobBridge had given them new skills and improved their chances of gaining employment and 96% of host organisations indicating that they would recommend JobBridge to other employers.

Further information on outcomes will be ascertained in the final evaluation report. It is anticipated that this report will be available in the coming weeks. This evaluation will assess the design, delivery and impact of the JobBridge scheme, it will provide details of the nature of the work experience of the participants; a measurement of the relevance of that experience to the labour market, analysis of age categories and further findings concerning progression into employment. It will also present recommendations on how the scheme might be improved and it is at that stage that further consideration will be given to amending the terms and conditions of the scheme.

Question No. 122 answered with Question No. 104.

Departmental Staff Recruitment

Questions (123)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

123. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection in view of the backlog of social welfare appeals, if she has sought an exemption from the public service embargo to recruit additional staff to address this backlog in applications for social welfare and for social welfare appeals. [11373/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Department of Social Protection operates within the employment control framework set by Government for the public service which imposes an overall staffing ceiling for the Department on an annual basis. Whilst it is a Government objective, as part of its public service reform programme, to reduce the numbers working in the public service, the requirement to reduce staffing levels within the Department has been ‘backloaded’ over the period of the reform programme in recognition of the nature of the services provided by the Department and the scale of demand for such services. In this regard, the Department has been a significant beneficiary of the redeployment system within the public services over the last five years with over 1,000 staff redeployed from other Departments and public service agencies to fill critical vacancies and ensure continued provision of services. The Department has sought to address the increased demand for services in a number of ways including the re-engineering of business processes, increased use of automation and systems solutions, rationalisation of services and, more recently, the integration of processes with a view to ensuring improved services to customers. Through these approaches, very significant progress has been made in addressing backlogs and improving processing times across the range of scheme areas operated by the Department.

Operating within the overall employment control framework, the Department has directed additional resources towards the SWAO in recognition of the significant increase in demand for the services of that office in recent years. Since January 2011 the numbers of Appeals Officers in the SWAO has increased from 21 to 43.

The number of appeals submitted to the SWAO has increased dramatically since 2008 with the number of receipts doubling from an average of 15,000 a year to 35,484 in 2012. With improved processes within the SWAO, the number of cases finalised has risen from an average of 13,500 to 32,558 in 2012. Processing times of appeals have reduced by 10.3 weeks overall in 2012 with respect to 2011.

Of course, further improvement is needed. In that regard: the Chief Appeals Officer expects to finalise 6,000 more cases in 2013 than in 2012, there were 32,558 cases finalised in 2012; and the programme of process redesign and modernisation currently underway in relation to many scheme areas will reduce remaining backlogs and will also reduce the time taken for the Department to respond to requests from the SWAO for submissions in relation to appeals.

National Internship Scheme Funding

Questions (124)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

124. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Social Protection the action she is taking to encourage a contribution from the benefitting employer/host in lieu of the free labour they get under the JobBridge programme. [11385/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

As the Deputy will be aware, JobBridge, the National Internship scheme, provides internship opportunities of either 6 or 9 months for unemployed individuals in organisations in the private, public and community voluntary sectors. It is targeted at individuals who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments (Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit/One Parent Family Payment/Disability Allowance) or are signing on for credits for at least 3 of the last 6 months (78 Days). The JobBridge scheme has made significant progress since it came into operation. 14,888 internships had commenced by 21 February 2013 with 5,790 participants on an internship and 2,241 internship opportunities advertised on www.jobbridge.ie as of that date.

In order to assess the impact of JobBridge and to determine if the scheme should be modified to make it more effective, the Department commissioned an independent evaluation of the scheme by Indecon International Economic Consultants. Indecon’s interim report (published on 5 October, 2012) states that 61% of JobBridge finishers progressed into employment with either their host organisation or another employer within 5 months of finishing their internship. This progression rate compares very favourably with European averages for such schemes and confirms that JobBridge is an appropriate labour market intervention.

Satisfaction rates for JobBridge among employers and jobseekers are also high with surveys finding that 89.3% of interns felt JobBridge had given them new skills and improved their chances of gaining employment and 96% of host organisations indicating that they would recommend JobBridge to other employers.

The success of the scheme to date is due at least in part to the contribution made by employers in hosting interns. While the host organisation gains from the work, skills and talents of the intern, a mutual benefit exists whereby the intern also receives real workplace experience and the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment, skills and talents to a potential employer. In addition, the host organisation is required by the conditions of the JobBridge scheme to make a significant resource commitment to the intern by appointing a mentor and ensuring that the intern receives experience and training of a high quality from their internship. This commitment by the host organisation is subject to on-going monitoring by the Department.

The question as to whether a host organization should make a financial contribution to the weekly payments made to interns will be considered by the Department when it receives the final evaluation report from Indecon. It is anticipated that the final evaluation report will be available in the coming weeks.

Tribunals of Inquiry Reports

Questions (125)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

125. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Taoiseach the reason the transcripts of the Moriarty tribunal are copyrighted to private companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11527/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

At the time of its establishment in 1997, the Moriarty Tribunal engaged Doyle Court Reporters to provide a 'real time' stenography service in relation to its proceedings. This included the provision of sufficient copies of the transcripts to the Tribunal for its own purposes. In accordance with the normal practice, copyright of the transcripts resided with the stenography company, who could separately charge other parties for copies of transcripts.

Departmental Appointments

Questions (126)

Kevin Humphreys

Question:

126. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Taoiseach if he will provide a list of the members or former members of the Judiciary who, during the past five years, have acted as chairperson or member of any body in or under his Department, or as chairperson or member of any inquiry, or have performed functions including arbitration, mediation, conciliation, patronage advisory or law reform functions or any other role in or on any body under his Department or in any body wholly or partly funded by him, specifying in each case the name of the judge, if they are serving or retired, the court of which they are or were a member of and the role or function performed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11048/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The following is a list of the members or former members of the judiciary who performed functions in the Law Reform Commission:

- Mr. Justice John Quirke, former judge of the High Court (now retired) is the current President of the Law Reform Commission (appointed by the Government in July 2012);

- Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness, former judge of the Supreme Court (now retired) was President of the Commission from February 2005 until February 2011;

- Mr. Justice Donal O’Donnell, judge of the Supreme Court was a part-time Commissioner from September 2007 until February 2012.

In the last five years, Mr. Justice Michael Moriarty, judge of the High Court was the Sole Member of Tribunal of Inquiry into Payments to Politicians and Related matters.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (127)

Robert Troy

Question:

127. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach the number of agency and contract staff currently employed under the aegis of his Department; the mechanism in place for monitoring and managing the associated costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11077/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

My Department does not employ any agency staff but 38 staff are employed on a contract basis. This figure includes 20 staff who were recruited on a contract basis to support Ireland's work on the EU Presidency. Their contracts will end following the EU Presidency in July, 2013. It also includes 18 contract staff in my Department who are staff I appointed and whose contracts are coterminous with my term of office as Taoiseach or the term of the office of the Government Chief Whip or the Leader of the Seanad e.g. my Special Advisers, Personal Assistants, etc. All staff on contracts are included in my Department's payroll. Their salary costs are monitored and managed as part of the overall payroll management system together with the payroll costs for permanent staff.

Departmental Staff Rehiring

Questions (128)

Joan Collins

Question:

128. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Taoiseach the number of public sector workers who have retired in the past three years within his Department or any office/body under his aegis who have been reinstated; if he will provide details on the pay rates they are receiving; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11078/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

No staff that retired in the past three years from my Department or the National Economic and Social Development Office, which is the only agency under the aegis of my Department, have been reinstated.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (129)

Clare Daly

Question:

129. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach if he will outline the numbers and cost of agency staff under the aegis of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11079/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

My Department or the National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO), the only body under the aegis of my Department, do not employ agency staff and therefore there is no cost.

Appointments to State Boards

Questions (130)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

130. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Taoiseach 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. [11482/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) is the only State agency under the aegis of my Department. The NESC provides guidance to Government on strategic issues for Ireland’s economic and social development. Since coming into office on 9 March 2011, I have made appointments to the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) as set out in the table beneath. The appointments are made in accordance with the National Economic and Social Development Office Act 2006 and S.I. No. 603 of 2010, National Economic and Social Council (Alteration of Composition) Order 2010.

I appoint members specifically on the basis of nominations from business and employer interests, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, farming and agricultural interests, the community and voluntary sector and the environmental sector. I may also appoint up to six public servants of whom at least one shall represent the Taoiseach and one shall represent the Minister for Finance. These appointments represent relevant Departments to ensure NESC's work is integrated with Government policy-making. I also appointed eight independent members to the NESC in 2011, in most cases from the academic sector. These appointments were made following careful consideration of the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise relevant to the functions of the Council as required by the legislation.

The Government has put new arrangements in place for the making of appointments to State boards. In the particular case of the NESC, I should emphasise that most of the members of NESC are appointed on the basis of nominations received from representative organisations. Historically, the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson posts are filled from my Department at Secretary General and Assistant Secretary level.

I am satisfied that the other appointments were appropriate, bearing in mind the key strategic role of the NESC. However the option of utilising the new process for expressions of public interest will be considered when the next round of appointments of independent members to the NESC arises.

Table 1: Details of appointments made by the Taoiseach to NESC since 9 March 2011 are set out in the following table.

Name

Organisation

Date of

Appointment

Mr. Martin Fraser, Chairperson of NESC

Secretary General, Department of the Taoiseach

August 2011

Mr. John Shaw, Deputy Chairperson of NESC

Assistant Secretary, Department of the Taoiseach

January 2012

Prof. Edgar Morgenroth

Associate Research Professor, Economic and Social Research Institute

June 2011

Prof. John McHale

Economist, National University of Ireland, Galway

June 2011

Prof. Mary Daly

Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, Senior Research Fellow of Green Templeton College, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

June 2011

Prof. Anna Davis

Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin

June 2011

Prof. Seán Ó Riain

Department of Sociology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

June 2011

Dr. Michael O’Sullivan

Head of Portfolio Strategy and Thematic Research, Credit Suisse, London

June 2011

Ms. Mary Walsh

Chartered Accountant

June 2011

Dr. Michelle Norris

Senior Lecturer, School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin.

July 2011

Mr. Shay Cody

IMPACT

September 2011

Mr. John Murphy

Secretary General, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

November 2011

Mr. Seán Ó Foghlú

Secretary General, Department of Education and Skills

February 2012

Mr. John Moran

Secretary General, Department of Finance

March 2012

An Assistant Secretary from my Department was appointed to the National Statistics Board (NSB) on 13 September 2012. This appointment was made in line with the provisions of Section 18 (1)(b) of the Statistics Act 1993, which provides for the appointment to the NSB of a representative of my Department at Assistant Secretary or higher grade. My functions in relation to the NSB were delegated to the Government Chief Whip, Minister of State Paul Kehoe T.D., on 22 March 2011 who therefore made this appointment.

Dublin-Monaghan Bombings

Questions (131)

Finian McGrath

Question:

131. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Taoiseach if he will support the families of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings; and if he will make every effort to move the process forward with the British Government. [11695/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

I have committed to meeting with the Justice for the Forgotten Group who represent the families of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and fully intend to meet them when a suitable opportunity presents itself. Officials from my Department held a preparatory meeting with representatives of this group on Monday 18th February. As I have previously stated, the Government remains committed to engaging with the British Government in relation to legacy issues including the sensitive and difficult case of the Dublin Monaghan Bombings. Both Houses of the Oireachtas have previously and unanimously urged the British Government to allow access to documents relevant to these events. Many Deputies have also raised this issue directly with their counterparts at Westminster and will continue to do so. I myself have raised the issue with the British Prime Minister and the Tánaiste has also raised the matter with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.