Garda Districts

Questions (200)

Frank Feighan

Question:

200. Deputy Frank Feighan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an assurance that any proposed amalgamation of Castlerea and Boyle Garda Districts will not affect existing resources in both districts and Roscommon/Longford Garda Division. [12282/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Garda Policing Plan for 2013 sets out the Commissioner's proposals to amalgamate a number of Garda Districts, including the Castlerea and Boyle Districts, into one enlarged Castlerea District. The decision to amalgamate the relevant Districts follows on from a comprehensive review of current District structures carried out by the Garda authorities. This review was designed to identify strategic reforms which would lead to increased efficiencies, improved operational capacity and enhanced Garda service delivery. While no specific date has been set for the amalgamation of these Districts, it is expected that they will be amalgamated in the coming months.

The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no direct function in the matter. This allocation of resources is constantly monitored in the context of demographics, crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place on a District, Divisional and Regional level to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the total strength, as of the 31 January 2013 the latest date for which figures are readily available, of the Roscommon/Longford Division was 280 Gardaí, 17 Garda Reserves and 24 civilians, of which 32 and 26 Gardaí are assigned to the Castlerea and Boyle Garda Districts. Castlerea Garda Station will remain as district headquarters and will open to the public on a 24 hour basis. Boyle Garda Station will support Castlerea Garda Station and will continue to provide a 24 hour policing service. Boyle Garda station will be open to the public between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and as required. I am advised by the Garda authorities that, following the amalgamation, a full and comprehensive policing service will continue to be delivered to the communities concerned.

Garda Transport Data

Questions (201)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

201. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of new Garda patrol cars coming on stream in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12291/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, I made an additional €3 million available to An Garda Síochána towards the end of last year enabling the Commissioner to procure 171 Garda vehicles. This brought total investment in the Garda fleet in 2012 to €4 million and resulted in a total of 213 new vehicles being procured during the year. The roll out of the most recently purchased vehicles is currently on-going.

In addition, €5 million has been made available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda transport in 2013. That funding will enable An Garda Síochána to obtain a significant number of new vehicles and it is a matter which is under active consideration by Garda authorities. At this stage, however, the specific details involved have yet to be finalised but the Deputy can be assured that the vehicles will be deployed as effectively as possible in line with operational circumstances.

This funding represents a very considerable financial investment in Garda transport, particularly at a time when the level of funding available across the public sector is severely limited. It is a clear indication of my commitment to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, An Garda Síochána will have sufficient resources to enable them to provide an effective and efficient policing service.

Departmental Funding

Questions (202)

Jim Daly

Question:

202. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding grant aid for an association (details supplied) for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12038/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department is currently considering a request for grant-aid by the association.

Agriculture Schemes Payments

Questions (203)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

203. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if additional entitlements will be awarded to a person (details provided) in County Kerry or if they will be permitted to apply for further entitlements as a new entrant in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12052/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named submitted an application for an allocation of entitlements from the 2012 National Reserve. The 2012 National Reserve caters for farmers’, who commenced farming after 17 May, 2010. Applicants are required to submit a 2012 Single Payment application form detailing all lands which they are currently farming. In addition, applicants are required to meet certain criteria with regard to income limits and educational qualifications. Off-farm income cannot exceed €30,000 and total income, including farm income, cannot exceed €40,000. Applicants must have obtained a FETAC Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture or its equivalent. The green certificate in farming is regarded as equivalent for this purpose.

The person named does not currently hold the necessary qualification and has forwarded documentation informing my Department that he is currently attending an Agricultural Educational course, on completion of which, it is indicated, he will obtain the necessary educational qualifications. On completion of this course, and on submission of the required certification, my Department will be in a position to finalise this case.

Forestry Sector

Questions (204)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

204. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if Coillte will have to seek his permission under Section 14 of the 1988 Forestry Act, for the sale of approximately 250 hectares in County Donegal; the criteria under which he would consider giving approval if his permission is required; the reason he stated that it would be inappropriate for him to interfere in this process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12075/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Coillte Teoranta was established as a private commercial company under the Forestry Act, 1988 and day-to-day operational matters, such as the sale and acquisition of land, are the responsibility of the company. While the Forestry Act 1988 provides, under Section 14, that “The company shall submit to and agree with the Minister each year a programme for the sale and acquisition of land and the sale of timber, whether standing or felled ”, this programme states the overall area of land for which agreement is sought for possible sale in the year ahead. The implementation of the programme, and the actual land parcels involved, is a matter for the company. On this basis, the company does not seek my permission in relation to each specific proposed sale. The Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies, with which Coillte, as a state body, must comply, outlines procedures to be followed in the disposal of State assets, including oversight requirements.

Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste

Questions (205)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

205. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara cén uair a dhéanfar deontas a íoc faoi scéim na limistéar faoi mhíbhuntáiste le feirmeoir i mo dháilcheantar (sonraí leis seo); agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [12099/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Faoi Scéim Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste 2012, éilíodh ar na gabháltais d'iarratasóirí incháilithe an t-íosdlús stocála de 0.15 aonad beostoic a chomhlíonadh ar feadh tréimhse coinneála de shé mhí chomhleanúnacha, chomh maith le meánaonad beostoic bliantúil de 0.15 a choimeád atá ríofa thar tréimhse 12 mhí de bhliain na Scéime. Ós rud é nár léirigh an t-iarratasóir go fóill go gcomhlíonann an gabháltas riachtanais íosdlúis stocála na scéime i leith Scéim 2012.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

Questions (206)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

206. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the single payment per hectare on a flat rate basis that would be payable on all land in a holding over 33 hectares if €350 per hectare single payment was paid on the first 33 hectares; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12100/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The data requested by the Deputy is currently being compiled by my Department and a detailed response will issue directly when this is completed.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Questions (207)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

207. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when the disadvantaged area payment will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12101/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, the holdings of eligible applicants were required to have met a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units for a retention period of six consecutive months, in addition to maintaining an annual average of 0.15 livestock units calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year. As the applicant has not as yet demonstrated that the holding satisfies the scheme minimum stocking density requirements, as of now, no payment is due in respect of the 2012 Scheme.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Eligibility

Questions (208)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

208. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 561 of 26 February 2013, the reason this Deputy was informed that the Department has not received any evidence of livestock on the holding (details supplied) in County Galway; when passports for horses were provided to his Department as requested and returned to the applicant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12102/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, the holdings of eligible applicants were required to have met a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units for a retention period of six consecutive months, in addition to maintaining an annual average of 0.15 livestock units calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year. The relevant records in my Department have been checked and no evidence of receipt of the passports referred to has been found. However, my Department has made direct contact with the person named, who confirmed that he would submit the horse passports immediately. On the assumption that the documentation demonstrates compliance with the stocking requirements, payment will issue shortly thereafter.

EU Regulations

Questions (209)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

209. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the way EU Reg 995/2010 (details supplied) will be enforced here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12106/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The new EU Timber Regulation (EUTR – Regulation (EU) No 995/2010) is now in effect. It is part of a package of measures aimed at ensuring that all products containing wood placed on the market in the EU are from legally harvested timber. It applies to wood and wood products being placed for the first time on the EU market. It counters the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products by imposing three key obligations:

- Placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber on the EU market, for the first time, is prohibited.

- EU operators – those who place timber products on the EU market for the first time – are required to exercise ‘due diligence’.

- Traders - those who buy or sell timber and timber products already on the market – are required to keep information about their suppliers and customers to make timber easily traceable.

My Department is currently drafting the appropriate legislation that will oversee and enforce these rules in Ireland. I can assure the Deputy that my Department will lay out effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties, where appropriate, to ensure compliance. Official checks will also be carried out which may include visits to premises to monitor and audit material. It is expected, however, that for the vast majority of those affected, this regulation will involve the reaffirmation of their current business practice. It will require them to ensure that their paper trail is in a format which can be checked to verify compliance. The key change this regulation will bring about is to impose a greater responsibility on those placing timber on the market to ensure that their products have been legally harvested.