Question No. 138 withdrawn

Social Welfare Appeals Delays

Questions (139)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

139. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; and when a decision will issue. [29985/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer who proposes to hold an oral hearing in this case.

Every effort will be made to hear the case as quickly as possible and the appellant will be informed when arrangements have been made.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Public Sector Staff Data

Questions (140)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

140. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons employed within the public sector by her Department or agency and by grade for each year of the five consecutive years for which the most recent data is available. [30459/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Agencies that operate under the aegis of the Department are the Pensions Board and the Citizens Information Board. The Office of the Pensions Ombudsman also falls under the remit of the Department. It should be noted that the costs of staff in the Pensions Board are not funded by the Exchequer but are borne by pensions schemes through fees.

The attached table shows the breakdown, by grade, of full-time equivalent posts filled at the beginning of each of year from 2009 to 2013 inclusive in respect of the Department and each of the Department’s Agencies. In addition, the Department has sanction to recruit temporary clerical officers to provide cover for long-term sick leave and maternity leave absences and since mid-2012 the Department also has sanction for up to an addition 150 temporary clerical officer posts in respect of the role out of the Public Service Card (PSC) project.

Table showing full-time equivalent posts filled at 1 st January of each year 2009-2013

Department of Social Protection

Grade

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Secretary General

1

1

1

1

1

Deputy Secretary

1

1

0

1

1

Assistant Secretary

5

2

6

8

8

Principal

73.8

67.8

64.4

66.4

78.8

Assistant Principal

211.8

201.4

180.76

282.23

292.63

Administrative Officer

11

11.8

11.4

10.8

12.4

Higher Executive Officer

625.05

618.3

636.75

1660.97

1653.2

Executive Officer

762.32

830.8

874.7

881.92

934.65

Staff Officer

510.73

569.05

611.25

629.82

640.67

Clerical Officer

2195.81

2305.48

2490.2

2569.55

2684.81

Service Grades

136.21

126.89

126.57

151.23

160.09

Total

4533.72

4735.52

5003.03

*6262.92

6467.25

Plus TCOs

0

0

160

139

261

Grand Total

4533.72

4735.52

5163.03

6401.92

6728.25

* During 2011 and 2012 the Community Welfare Services of the HSE and the Employment Services of FÁS were integrated in to the Department.

-

Pension Board

-

-

-

-

Grade

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Chief Executive

1

1

1

1

1

Principal Officer

7

8

7

8

6

Assistant Principal

8

6.5

5

9

9

Higher Executive Officer

5

4.6

3.8

8

11

Executive Officer

8

9

9

9

10

Clerical Officer

13

12

12

11

12

Total

42

41.1

37.8

46

49

-

Citizens Board

-

-

-

-

Grade

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Chief Executive

1

1

1

1

1

Principal

2

2

2

1

2

Assistant Principal

12

13

12

13

11.8

Higher Executive Officer

37.9

37.8

36.8

32.5

35.1

Executive Officer

1

2

1

1

1

Clerical Officer

1

2

2

1

1

Grade VII

1

1

1

1

1

Grade V

3

3

2

2

2

Grade IV

15

13.8

12.5

13.5

14.5

Grade III

13

12.8

12.8

11.8

10.6

Services Officer

1

1

1

1

1

Total

87.9

89.4

84.1

78.8

81

Office of the Pensions Ombudsman 2009-2013 inclusive

Grade

No. of posts

Pensions Ombudsman

1

Principal

1

Assistant Principal

3.8

Higher Executive Officer

1

Executive Officer

1

Clerical Officer

2

Grand Total

9.8

Urban Foxes

Questions (141)

Finian McGrath

Question:

141. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of foxes in Dublin city; and if they are a threat to children and families. [29767/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

The fox is one of the most common and widely distributed mammals in Ireland. It is not a protected species and no national census has been undertaken. Data collated on the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s website, however, shows that it is found in every county of Ireland and has adapted to both rural and urban habitats. It is well established in the suburbs of Dublin, and in Dublin city.

Foxes are no more of a threat to families or children than dogs. However foxes are wild animals and should not be encouraged into close contact, for example by feeding in gardens.

National Monuments

Questions (142, 144)

Paschal Donohoe

Question:

142. Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when he expects a decision to be made on whether works will be permitted to take place on a monument (details supplied) in Dublin 1; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29720/13]

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Sandra McLellan

Question:

144. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht his views on the current state of the 1916 national monument at Moore Street-Moore Lane, Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29907/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 142 and 144 together.

I refer to the reply to Question No. 4 on 30 May 2013.

National Monuments

Question No. 144 answered with Question No. 142.

Questions (143)

Dominic Hannigan

Question:

143. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide a list of all official monuments in County Meath, including map references; the person who can be contacted if there is a query regarding a monument; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29774/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

Information on all recorded monuments, including a GIS-based mapping facility and relevant contact details, are most readily accessible from the Archaeological Survey of Ireland section of my Department's National Monuments Service website, www.archaeology.ie.

Question No. 144 answered with Question No. 142.

Abbey Theatre

Questions (145, 146)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

145. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide details of the various outreach initiatives, if any, that the Abbey Theatre engages in specifically in relation to primary and secondary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29909/13]

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Sandra McLellan

Question:

146. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide details of the outreach initiatives, if any, that the Abbey Theatre is involved in specifically in the inner city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29912/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 145 and 146 together.

The Arts Council provides the annual operating grant to the Abbey Theatre. I have no role in the day to day management and operation of the Abbey Theatre. These are matters for the Board and management of the organisation. The Abbey Theatre's website – www.abbeytheatre.ie. contains details of its outreach and education initiatives.

Tourism Promotion

Questions (147)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

147. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide details of the efforts he has made to promote and develop political tourism; his view of the potential to develop historical and contemporary political sites as a tourism product; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29913/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

As the Deputy will be aware, the promotion of Ireland as a tourist destination is primarily a matter for Tourism Ireland and the development of tourism is the responsibility of Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland. My Department and the bodies funded from its Vote Group are, however, involved in a wide range of cultural and heritage activities which promote Ireland as an attractive tourist destination worldwide. This includes promoting Ireland's history and rich culture through operating and making accessible our National Parks and Nature Reserves, our built heritage and also supporting the National Cultural Institutions and Arts Council in their work in presenting exhibitions and arts events.

The Cultural Institution supported by my Department play a key in the development of tourism and the commemoration of particular historic and political events. For example, today members of the Kennedy family and I attended the exhibition in the National Library of Ireland dedicated to the visit of President John F. Kennedy to Ireland in June 1963.

The opportunity to promote history-related tourism will be enhanced by certain special anniversaries in the coming years, particularly the millennial anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf in 2014 and the continuing centenary programme relating to the revolutionary period that included the World War, the Easter Rising and culminated in the founding of the Irish State. In this regard, my Department will be working with all other stakeholders to ensure that the maximum benefit for tourism is obtained from any planned events. I recently met with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland to enhance co-operation between my Department in promoting heritage and cultural tourism and will continue to work with both bodies in order to progress this key agenda for Ireland.