Single Payment Scheme Appeals

Questions (510)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

510. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a decision has been made on an appeal of a penalty on a single farm payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30330/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The inspection process identified an over claim of 1.53 hectares in this case. Where an over claim of greater than 3% but less than 20% is identified, as was the case here, the governing EU Regulations require that a penalty of twice the difference between the area claimed and that found must be applied. The person named appealed the penalty applied in this case. The initial internal appeal process resulted in no change to the original findings. Subsequently, the applicant appealed to the independent Agriculture Appeals Office. My Department understands that an oral hearing has been arranged for 10 July.

Topical Issue Debate

Questions (511)

Micheál Martin

Question:

511. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of Dáil Topical Issue debates submitted to his Department following selection by the Ceann Comhairle since March 2011; the number of Topical Issues taken directly by him; the number of Topical Issues taken by a junior Minister in his Department; the number of issues taken by a Minister not from his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30334/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Since March 2011 a total of 35 Topical Issue Debates were submitted to my Department, of which 14 were taken by myself, 11 taken by the late Minister of State Shane McEntee, and 10 taken by Ministers outside my Department.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Questions (512)

Paul Connaughton

Question:

512. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when payment in respect of the rural environment protection scheme will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30372/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named commenced REPS 4 in June 2008 and received payments for the first four years of their contract. REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue. Following the administrative check an area discrepancy was discovered between the Single Payment Scheme application for 2012 and the REPS Agri-Environmental Plan in relation to afforestation on lands owned by the person named. This discrepancy necessitated the need for further clarification and an amended plan was requested. Following the receipt and examination of the amended plan it was confirmed that certain lands totalling 10.39 hectares that had been claimed and paid under REPS are now afforested. My Department is finalising the review of this situation and will be in contact with the person named shortly.

Live Exports

Questions (513, 518)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

513. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide details of any future live cattle exports; if he is actively engaged in development of markets for the live trade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30461/13]

View answer

Andrew Doyle

Question:

518. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if any delays are occurring at present on the live shipping exports to Libya; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30607/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 513 and 518 together.

Applications for the approval of ships for the carriage of cattle by sea are processed expeditiously by my Department in accordance with the Diseases of Animals (Carriage of Cattle by Sea) Orders, 1996 and 1998. There are no delays occurring in the approval stage and approvals are issued once all provisions of the legislation are met. The markets outside of the EU currently open to live cattle from Ireland are Egypt, the Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.

The live export trade provides alternative market outlets for certain categories of livestock, thereby serving a market demand and providing increased competition in the market place for cattle. I am always keen that Irish meat and livestock producers can access as many global markets as possible and, to that end, my Department seeks to ensure market access for Irish produce through all available channels, including the diplomatic service. Responsibility for exploiting market outlets following market access is a commercial matter for the live export sector.

Ministerial Transport

Questions (514)

Niall Collins

Question:

514. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the total cost of ministerial transport in his Department in 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date 2013; the number of drivers employed in each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30546/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The total cost of Ministerial transport in my Department from 2010 to date, along with the number of civilian drivers employed in each year is set out in the table.

Year

No. of Civilian drivers

Total Ministerial transport costs €

2010

6

207,336.13

2011

6

196,144.10

2012

4

224,844.89

2013

4

79,241.83

The costs include all payments made to civilian drivers and the mileage expenses of the Ministers of State during the period concerned and to myself since March 2011. Foreign travel costs are not included. The system for the provision of transport for Ministers changed from the use of official to private cars on the appointment of the Government in March 2011. The average annual cost of providing a state car under the previous administration in 2010 was €280,000.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (515)

Niall Collins

Question:

515. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the total costs of photography incurred by his Department in 2011, 2012 and to date 2013 in tabular form per event. [30562/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Photographers are booked for the purpose of recording key events attended by Ministers, such as the launch of schemes and programmes, new initiatives and visits by inward delegations. Where possible, the Press Office uses in house photography. The policy for booking a photographer for official purposes is that, my Departments Press Office seeks 3 quotes in advance of each photo-shoot to keep costs to a minimum.

PHOTOGRAPHY PAYMENT DETAILS 2011

DATE

DETAILS

AMOUNT

24 FEBRUARY 2011

Jim Campbell Photography

€255.72

26 MARCH 2011

O’Gorman Photography

€363.20

30 MARCH 2011

Fennell Photography

€350.56

1 APRIL 2011

John Power Photography

€124.85

7 APRIL 2011

Edmund Ross Studios

€567.50

7 APRIL 2011

Edmund Ross Photographer

€397.25

8 APRIL 2011

Barry Cronin Photographer

€491.16

12 APRIL 2011

Fennell Photography

€473.19

14 APRIL 2011

Fennell Photography

€505.20

18 APRIL 2011

Fennell Photography

€779.96

19 APRIL 2011

Fennell Photography

€285.23

5 MAY 2011

Fennell Photography

€506.58

10 MAY 2011

Fennell Photography

€240.57

16 MAY 2011

Gerard McCarthy Photography

€215.65

28 MAY 2011

Fennell Photography

€1,582.19

2 JUNE 2011

Fennell Photography

€1,732.19

9 JUNE 2011

Fennell Photography

€1,170.28

10 JUNE 2011

Barry Cronin Photographer

€784.23

15 JUNE 2011

Fennell Photography

€276.52

23 JUNE 2011

Fennell Photography

€30.86

29 JUNE 2011

Gerard McCarthy Photography

€227.00

14 JULY 2011

Gerard McCarthy Photography

€374.55

4 AUGUST 2011

Gerard McCarthy Photography

€295.10

6 AUGUST 2011

B.L. MacGill Photographic Images

€300.00

25 AUGUST 2011

Fennell Photography

€272.89

14 SEPTEMBER

Lensmen Photographic Agency

€73.81

25 - 27 SEPTEMBER 2011

Fennell Photography

€6,762.85

3 OCTOBER 2011

Press 22

€624.25

18 OCTOBER 2011

Fennell Photography

€213.72

20 OCTOBER 2011

Barry Cronin Photographer

€995.68

8 NOVEMBER 2011

Fennell Photography

€497.83

8 NOVEMBER 2011

Fennell Photography

€541.96

15 NOVEMBER 2011

Fennell Photography

€851.25

15 NOVEMBER 2011

Barry Cronin Photographer

€595.71

23 NOVEMBER 2011

Fennell Photography

€416.56

25 NOVEMBER 2011

Photography by Dermot Sullivan

€200.00

25 NOVEMBER 2011

B.L. MacGill Photography

€200.00

26 NOVEMBER 2011

Barry Cronin Photographer

€588.96

12 DECEMBER 2011

Barry Cronin Photographer

€670.82

PHOTOGRAPHY PAYMENT DETAILS 2012

DATE

DETAILS

AMOUNT

18 JANUARY 2012

Maxwell Photography

€564.26

9 FEBRUARY

Lensmen Photographic Agency

€666.88

27 FEBRUARY 2012

B.L. MacGill Photography

€200.00

5 MARCH 2012

Barry Cronin Photography

€602.12

21 MARCH 2012

Fennell Photography

€211.09

2 APRIL 2012

John Power Photography

€113.50

30 APRIL 2012

John Sheehan Photography

€340.50

17 May 2012

Marta Trzeciak-Nash

€150.00

21 MAY 2012

Barry Cronin Photography

€626.14

22 May 2012

Fennell Photography

€157.50

15 June 2012

Fennell Photography

€153.75

24 June 2012

Marty Katz Photography

€317.71

2 July 2012

Harvey Rogers Photography

€113.50

12 July 2012

Fennell Photography

€164.60

19 July 2012

Fennell Photography

€153.75

04 SEPTEMBER 2012

Fennell Photography

€127.70

08 October 2012

Marta-Trzeciak-Nash

€125.00

26 November 2012

Fennell Photography

€135.30

PHOTOGRAPHY PAYMENT DETAILS JANUARY – JUNE 2013

DATE

DETAILS

AMOUNT

16 April 2013

Dermot Sullivan Photography`

€150.00

28 May 2013

MacInnes Photography

€175.31

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (516)

Niall Collins

Question:

516. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the details and costs of any newspaper supplements his Department has been involved with in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013. [30578/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department contributed to one newspaper supplement in the period concerned at a cost of €48,400 including VAT. The publication entitled “A-Z of Agri-Food” was published in December 2011 and circulated with the Irish Independent. The aim of the publication was to promote Irish food and food businesses at home and abroad. The magazine was also circulated to schools around the country, to Irish Embassies abroad and to trade bodies. Altogether, some 250,000 copies have been circulated.

Milk Quota Trading Scheme

Question No. 518 answered with Question No. 513.

Questions (517)

Dan Neville

Question:

517. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding a milk quota in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30601/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The named person was notified in 2005 that, since he was producing less than 70% of his quota, it was being reduced by 30% as provided for in the Milk Quota Regulation ‘dormancy rules’ - with the retrieved volume going back to the National Reserve. The Regulations do provide that if the supplier is in a position to resume fulfilling his or her full quota, then that dormancy case can be reconsidered if there were force majeure circumstances. However no such case was made at that time.

The named person continued to produce reduced volumes, well below the adjusted 70%, up to 2009 and then presented his quota for leasing under the Temporary Leasing Scheme. The person was allowed, on the grounds of force majeure, to continue submitting his quota for temporary leasing for a period of three years – the normal being one year. The named person then submitted his quota for sale under the 2012/13 Milk Quota Trading Scheme. Given that the named person was not proposing to utilise his full quota in 2005 or shortly thereafter his case could not be considered as force majeure under the ‘dormancy rules’.

Question No. 518 answered with Question No. 513.

Horse Slaughter Statistics

Questions (519)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

519. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide details in tabular form by local authority for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 of the number of horses that have been disposed of under the supervision of the local authorities for that period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30624/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department provides extensive funding to Local Authorities under the Control of Horses Act, 1996, to enable these bodies implement their wide ranging powers relating to the control and welfare of stray or abandoned horses. The table following, which is based on the information provided to me by local authorities, shows the number of horses seized and euthanazed in their operation of the Control of Horses Act.

Name of County/City Council

No. Horses Seized 2010

No. of Horses Euthanized 2010

No. Horses Seized 2011

No. of Horses Euthanized 2011

No. Horses Seized 2012

No. of Horses Euthanized 2012

Carlow

18

6

18

0

27

22

Cavan

11

0

10

0

9

0

Clare

24

4

50

41

66

60

Cork County

134

17

144

45

161

58

Cork City

152

28

123

70

51

20

Donegal

0

0

0

0

20

15

Dublin City

446

208

342

249

254

239

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

23

2

38

0

7

7

Fingal (Dublin)

341

70

161

105

145

102

Galway City

0

0

0

0

50

50

Galway County

45

2

52

46

84

59

Kerry

20

3

28

16

21

12

Kildare

66

51

103

32

130

92

Kilkenny

92

14

91

28

80

58

Laois

61

1

185

52

243

222

Leitrim

26

1

40

37

18

18

Limerick City

179

73

259

217

215

193

Limerick County

144

19

113

59

123

106

Longford

4

2

5

1

4

2

Louth

16

1

8

6

39

25

Mayo

20

0

193

95

200

30

Meath

6

3

83

36

84

53

Monaghan

1

1

0

0

7

7

Offaly

14

10

59

0

0

0

Roscommon

19

1

8

8

8

6

Sligo

22

3

81

56

34

15

South Dublin

133

53

304

229

379

287

Tipperary North

103

7

125

37

91

91

Tipperary South

45

22

28

21

51

27

Waterford City

38

19

7

5

40

19

Waterford County

4

0

14

13

5

4

Westmeath

25

17

96

54

109

81

Wexford

74

10

30

0

63

43

Wicklow

112

11

138

34

151

100

Totals

2418

659

2936

1592

2969

2123

Milk Quota Applications

Questions (520)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

520. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an application will be granted for a new entrant for free quota by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; if this matter will be expedited in view of the circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30644/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I recently announced details of the 2013 Scheme for the Allocation of Milk Quota to New Entrants to Dairying. This scheme had a closing date of 7 June 2013. All applications received by the deadline are currently being processed by my Department to ensure compliance with the eligibility criteria as set out in the Detailed Rules of the Scheme. Applications that satisfy the eligibility criteria will be presented to an independent panel for assessment. Given the limited amount of quota available, the panel will conduct its assessment of all applications in an objective manner and, following a thorough examination of the information presented, the panel will recommend a list of applicants who best demonstrate evidence of a viable and sustainable enterprise. I expect to be in a position to announce the results of the Scheme in late August 2013.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications

Questions (521)

Joe Carey

Question:

521. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding an application to join the agri-environment option scheme 3 in respect of a person (details supplied); the qualification on each of the published criteria regarding that applicant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30659/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An application under the Agri-Environment Options Scheme from the person named was received in my Department on 7 December 2012. The process of ranking and selecting all AEOS applicants was clearly set out in the scheme documentation. Acceptance into the scheme was established using the pre-determined selection criteria as follows:

1. farmers in the Boora region of Co. Offaly who chose Wild Bird Cover Option B (Grey Partridge) as one of their selected options;

2. farmers with a minimum of 0.5 hectares of designated land;

3. farm partnerships;

4. farmers who previously participated in REPS commencing with smallest farms; and

5. others based on farm size (again favouring smaller holdings).

The person named was a previous participant in REPS. Based on the funding available, farmers in category 4 with 22.06 hectares of utilisable agricultural area and below were successful. As the farm size of the person named is 23.20, the application was unsuccessful. On 27 May 2013, a letter issued to the person named informing him that he was not successful and setting out the reasons.

Teagasc Rationalisation Programme

Questions (522)

John Browne

Question:

522. Deputy John Browne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will arrange early payment for loss of earnings to persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30661/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am advised that my Department recently received a query from Teagasc in relation to a loss of overtime claim by a number of Teagasc personnel including the persons in question. The matter is currently being examined and a response will issue to Teagasc shortly.

Single Payment Scheme Application Numbers

Questions (523)

Dara Calleary

Question:

523. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers drawing down single farm payments on unenclosed hill land on a county basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30678/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The following table details the number of applicants under the Single Payment Scheme who declared commonage land (both hill and lowland areas).

County

Number declaring commonage

County

Number declaring commonage

CARLOW

171

LONGFORD

61

CAVAN

130

LOUTH

162

CLARE

364

MAYO

2,962

CORK

907

MEATH

15

DONEGAL

2,373

MONAGHAN

3

DUBLIN

39

OFFALY

39

GALWAY

2,421

ROSCOMMON

156

KERRY

1,795

SLIGO

457

KILDARE

55

TIPPERARY

302

KILKENNY

34

WATERFORD

179

LAOIS

100

WESTMEATH

26

LEITRIM

427

WEXFORD

104

LIMERICK

56

WICKLOW

312

Single Payment Scheme Payments

Questions (524)

Michael Ring

Question:

524. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason the remaining balance on farm payment has not yet issued to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30681/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

A thorough review of all the background circumstances of this case is being conducted as a matter of priority. While it is acknowledged that there are issues concerning the digitising of some of the land parcels declared by the person named, there are also issues concerning ineligible features, in respect of which due allowance might not have been made and the claimed areas of each of the land parcels; each of these issues needs to be addressed. The review is currently being conducted and on its completion, the applicant will be advised of the outcome, in writing.

Suckler Cow Quota

Questions (525)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

525. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the issue of the fertility of suckler herds has been brought to his attention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30688/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Fertility of the National Suckler herd is monitored by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) through data collected from cattle breeding initiatives and DAFM Schemes such as the Beef Data Programme and its predecessor the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme. Calving interval (CI) is an indicator of fertility and figures available from the ICBF are as follows.

C.I.

Year

391.07

2013

393.95

2012

403.33

2011

401.94

2010

396.05

2009

396.62

2008

398.12

2007

399.2

2006

These figures do not show any particular trend in fertility, other than some variation from year to year. The average calving interval is 397 days and these values range from 391 to 403 days. The inclement weather earlier this year combined with the difficult fodder situation may have impacted on fertility in the suckler herd. However, reliable information will not be available until later in the breeding season.

Child Care Services Provision

Questions (526)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

526. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will release any analysis carried out prior to the cut in Health Service Executive funding to childminder officers; if she will consider reversing these cuts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30120/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

In 2002, the Health Service Executive (HSE) agreed to fund a Childminding Advisory Officer post or provide a staff member in each county, who would work with the 33 City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) funded under the Childcare Programme, implemented by the then Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The role included notifying childminders of training opportunities, providing networking opportunities and supporting the voluntary notification system which was being developed by the CCCs.

While Childminding Advisory Officers were established in most county areas, this was not always the case and they were not always located with the local CCC. Despite their presence and the additional supports including training, a small capital grant scheme and the introduction of a tax relief for childminding in 2006, the increase in the number of voluntarily-notified childminders since 2004, when the number was 500, has been relatively small and levelled off at 1,250.

In recent years, the HSE made a decision to gradually reduce the level of funding and support for the Childminding Advisory Officer posts. I would point to the fact that the CCCs are now well-established and effective bodies at local level, and that supporting the childminding sector is an integral part of their work. As a result, childminders continue to have access to support, training and advice.

Work on the development of Ireland’s first Early Years Strategy for children aged from birth to 6 years is already underway in my Department. My intention is to create an innovative and dynamic blueprint for the future development of Ireland’s early years sector and a coherent approach to seeking to improve the lives of children from birth to 6 years. A broad range of issues relating to regulations, standards, quality assurance, and inspection are currently being considered by the Expert Advisory Group which is advising my Department on the Strategy.

As Minister I am committed to ensuring high standards in early years service provision, both in terms of care and curriculum.

The role of quality provision is critical in contributing to childhood development and I am determined that this key objective will be reflected fully in the Early Years Strategy.

One of the specific issues of policy which I have identified for consideration in the preparation of the new Strategy is the future role and regulation of the childminding sector, which is already an important component of early childhood care and education.

Aftercare Services

Questions (527)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

527. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will review the Health Service Executive's decision to discontinue financial support to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 13 in view of the fact that their current course has been restructured into a two-year course, and given the stated responsibility of the HSE in such instances to support such persons until the completion of their education; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30711/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The HSE National Aftercare Policy states that all young people in care are assessed for an aftercare service from 16 years onwards. The length of time an aftercare service is provided is dependent upon the assessed needs of the young person, but is generally provided for up to the age of 21 years or 23 years if the young person is in education.

I have been advised by the HSE that the young person referred to by the Deputy turned 21 in February 2013. She commenced a course in Applied Social Studies in September 2011 and will complete this programme later this month. She has received full financial support from the HSE during this two year period to support her educational course. All of her expenses have been covered including a deposit, rent, travel expenses, educational expenses, moving in allowance and clothing allowance. She has also received a living allowance of €188 per week.

The HSE has indicated that the young person in question is now requesting funding in order to commence another course which is not a follow on from the Fetac Level 5 she has just completed. This would bring the young person up to the age of 24 years, which is outside the scope of the HSE National Aftercare Policy. The HSE has advised me that the young person in question will continue to be advised on all her options to further her education.

Early Child Care Education Issues

Questions (528)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

528. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will grant a child (details supplied) access to the early years education scheme in view of the availability of places at their preferred school, and the fact that their birthday falls within four days of the deadline; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30090/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The ECCE programme provides a free pre-school year to all eligible children. Approximately 68,000 children are availing of the ECCE programme in the current school year. Children are eligible to avail of the free pre-school year where they are aged more than 3 years 2 months and less than 4 years 7 months at 1 September in the relevant year. Children born between 2 February 2009 and 30 June 2010 will qualify for the free pre-school year in September 2013 and children born between 2 February 2010 and 30 June 2011 will qualify for the programme in September 2014.

Therefore, children born in July 2010 are below the age range for eligibility for the programme in the school year 2013/14, but will qualify in the school year 2014/15. As it is not in the best interests of children to enter the programme early, there is no provision under the programme to enrol children who are below the qualifying age. The objective of the ECCE programme is to make early learning in a formal setting available to eligible children in the year before they commence primary school. To achieve this, services participating in the pre-school year are expected to provide age-appropriate activities and programmes to children within a particular age cohort. For this reason, it is appropriate to set minimum and maximum limits to the age range within which children will qualify.