Genealogical Services

Questions (562)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

562. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if it is intended that the former Land Commission maintained by his Department should be made publicly available for genealogical research purposes by the State; if he recognises the genealogical value of the register as part of a holistic approach to genealogical research that the Government could champion; if he has had discussions with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5053/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

There are no plans at present to make the records of the former Irish Land Commission generally available to the public as they are still working documents. My officials regularly access these records to service queries from the public relating to current and past transactions and for the full completion of the work of the Land Commission. Limited access to these records may be made available following application to the Legal Services Division of my Department but access is subject to the restrictions for inspection and delivery of these documents laid down in the Land Purchase Acts Rules and in the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts. Given these circumstances discussions with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on general public availability of the documents has not arisen.

Agriculture Scheme Penalties

Questions (563)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

563. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason payment was reduced in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5082/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was the subject of a Nitrates inspection carried out in 27 March 2013 by my Department on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. This inspection recorded breaches under the Nitrates Regulations relating to the failure to minimise the creation of soiled water, the inadequate collection of manure and structural defects in storage facilities for livestock manure. This resulted in a penalty of 20% being determined. However, as similar breaches had been identified at a previous inspection on this holding in 2011 the rules governing repetition applied resulting in a final penalty of 60% being applied against the 2013 Direct Payments. The person named was recently notified of this decision. The person named was also informed of the right to seek a review of this decision. In the event that the person named is dissatisfied with the outcome of any such review, the decision can be appealed to the independent Agriculture Appeals Office within 3 months.

Coillte Teoranta Staff

Questions (564)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

564. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the persons who are the employee representatives on the board of Coillte; if all employee representatives' positions are filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5108/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Coillte is not subject to the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Acts, 1977 to 2001, which provides for the appointment of staff representatives as Directors on the Boards of certain state bodies. The appointment of an employee representative to the Board is not a requirement of the Forestry Act, 1988, under which Coillte was established, or the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. Up to recently there had been a staff representative nominated, on an alternating basis by IMPACT or SIPTU, to the Board. I wish to advise the Deputy that appointments to the board of Coillte are under consideration. This will be dealt with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, as required under the Forestry Act, 1988.

Coillte Teoranta Staff

Questions (565)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

565. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a decision will be made on the appointment of a person (details supplied) to the board of Coillte; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5109/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Appointments to the Board of Coillte are under consideration and I intend to make a number of appointments shortly, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, as required under the Forestry Act, 1988.

Special Areas of Conservation Designation

Questions (566)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

566. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding compensation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5121/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The bay referred to by the Deputy is designated as a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive (Natura 2000 site). My Department is constrained by European law from issuing or renewing aquaculture licences for sites located within Natura 2000 areas (areas protected under the EU Birds/Habitats Directives) until such time as an ‘Appropriate Assessment’ has been conducted to assess the potential of the proposed aquaculture activities on the conservation objectives for that Natura site. The licensing process must take full account of the outcome of that assessment in reaching a determination on any particular licence application. Aquaculture operations that are covered by section 19A (4) of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997 may continue to operate. This allows aquaculturists who have submitted valid renewal applications to continue aquaculture activities, subject to the terms and conditions of the old licence, pending a decision on the renewal application.

My Department has been working closely with the Marine Institute, BIM, and NPWS to achieve full compliance with the Birds and Habitats Directives through a multi-annual work programme.

This work programme entails the collection of necessary benthic, ornithological and other data in relevant marine Natura sites, the development of conservation objectives in those sites, the completion of Appropriate Assessments and the establishment of fisheries Natura plans and other arrangements so as to enable a progressive role out of consent determinations in line with the Natura obligations once all the requested pre-conditions are met. This process has begun to achieve meaningful results. Conservation Objectives have been set in respect of a significant number of bays, including Kenmare Bay. Appropriate Assessments have been completed in respect of a number of bays and it is anticipated that the Appropriate Assessment for Kenmare Bay will be completed this year. The completion of the Appropriate Assessment will enable my Department to move immediately on the licensing aspects.

To date sea fishing activities in Kenmare Bay have not been subject to restrictions by my Department as a result of the EU Habitats Directive. However, the Directive also contains obligations to take steps to avoid significant deterioration of habitats and disturbance of species. In that context, the multi-annual work programme also includes an assessment project which is currently underway to profile the risks which may be posed by sea-fishing to protected species and habitats. I understand that the risk assessment report from this work will be available in the spring. Where risks require mitigation, my Department will be obliged to develop measures which respond to the risk posed. On this aspect, efforts will be made to involve representatives of the fishing industry in this process.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

Questions (567)

John McGuinness

Question:

567. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if farm payments have issued to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny. [5165/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

There is no record of the person named having lodged a 2013 Single Payment application with my Department. All applications lodged prior to 2013 have been fully processed. My Department’s records indicate that the person named sold his Single Payment entitlements in 2012.

Grassland Sheep Scheme Payments

Questions (568)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

568. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding a sheep grassland scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5186/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

While payments under the 2013 Grassland Sheep Scheme commenced issuing, on target, on 12 December 2013, payment has not yet issued to the person named, as the land parcels declared by the person named were under review, as part of the ongoing LPIS Review. The review of those parcels declared by the person named having recently been concluded, payment under the Grassland Sheep Scheme will issue shortly, directly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Single Payment Scheme Appeals

Questions (569)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

569. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a decision has been made on the review of a single farm payment overclaim in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5257/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

A review of the land declared by the person named under the Single Payment Scheme revealed that of two land parcels declared contained ineligible features. The applicant has sought a review of the decision and this review is currently being undertaken. My Department will be in direct contact with the person named regarding the outcome of this review shortly. If the applicant is not satisfied with the outcome of the review he can appeal his case to the Independent LPIS Appeals Committee.

Fish Landings

Questions (570)

Noel Harrington

Question:

570. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide in a tabular statement the official recorded landings of blue whiting over one tonne per vessel per annum from 2004 to 2013 inclusive; if he will clarify to which segment each vessel listed was operating in, such as RSW or polyvalent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5282/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority is the body within the State responsible for data recording and reporting on the landings of sea fish by Irish Sea Fishing Boats. I have asked the Authority to respond directly to the Deputy with the data requested.

Grant Payments

Questions (571)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

571. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the grants available to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5289/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department has no record of having received a grant application from the person concerned in relation to the farm building referred to by the Deputy under any recent on-farm investment scheme. As the building is now completed, it will not be eligible for grant-aid under any new on-farm investment measure to be introduced under the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme.

Agriculture Schemes

Questions (572)

Dara Calleary

Question:

572. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a young farmer with no qualification or single farm payment entitlement and who currently farms 39 hectares of land would have entitlements under the new system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5318/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

To qualify for participation in the Young Farmers Scheme, a farmer must meet all of the criteria that go to define a ‘young farmer’ including having successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture giving rise to an award at FETAC level 6 or its equivalent. The same condition applies to the category of ‘new entrant’ under the National Reserve. As the status of ‘young farmer’ gives rise to significant benefits in terms of the allocation of entitlements from the National Reserve and in participation in the Young Farmers Scheme, the young person in question may wish to consider the option of pursuing such an educational qualification.

However if the person concerned is not eligible to be considered as a ‘young farmer’, he may be eligible for an allocation of entitlements if he never held entitlements under the current Single Payment Scheme, either owned or leased, but was actively farming in 2013. In this context ‘actively farming’ is defined as producing an agricultural product and such persons will be required to submit verifiable evidence of such production. The person concerned may wish to contact the newly established 2015 Direct Payments Information Centre at 0761 064438 or CAPdirectpayments@agriculture.gov.ie to discuss his circumstances in more detail.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Eligibility

Questions (573)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

573. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if donkeys will still count as livestock units for stocking density purposes under the disadvantaged areas scheme in 2014; if changes have been made in this regard; or whether changes are likely to the scheme this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5323/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

While the Terms and Conditions governing the 2014 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme have yet to be finalised, it is not anticipated that there will be any significant changes introduced. Insofar as donkeys are concerned, these will continue to be eligible to be taken into account for stocking density purposes, provided they satisfy the Scheme requirements as heretofore i.e. are appropriately registered and in respect of which the relevant identification documentation has been has been issued, showing the animal(s) concerned as being in the ownership of the given applicant.

Where these requirements are satisfied, the animal(s) in question will be taken into account in considering the compliance of the given holding with the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements viz (i) maintain a minimum stocking level of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare for seven consecutive months and (ii) maintain an annual average of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year. Furthermore, applicants must also have achieved a minimum stocking level on their holding in 2011 of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare or have successfully sought derogation from this requirement.

Harbours and Piers Maintenance

Questions (574)

Paudie Coffey

Question:

574. Deputy Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when he will sanction funding for the proposed dredging of Dunmore East Harbour; the estimated cost of this project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5370/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Capital Development Programme which my Department administers on an annual basis provides funding for capital works at the six Fishery Harbour Centres including Dunmore East. The current estimate for the dredging at Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre is in the order of €4 million. As with other potential projects in the six Fishery Harbour Centres, dredging at Dunmore East, will be considered for inclusion under the 2014 programme on the basis of available exchequer funding and competing priorities.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Questions (575)

John O'Mahony

Question:

575. Deputy John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (detail supplied) in County Mayo will receive a REP scheme payment for 2013; and the reason for the delay in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5424/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named commenced REPS 4 in May 2008 and received payments for the first five 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 Land Parcel Identification Scheme (LPIS) Review an area discrepancy was identified which has resulted in the necessity for further clarification. This issue is currently being investigated with the intention of an early resolution and payment in respect of Year 6.

Information and Communications Technology

Questions (576)

John Deasy

Question:

576. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the apps his Department or attached agencies have been involved in developing for smartphones and other multimedia devices in the past three years; the cost and the software developer employed in each case. [5452/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department continues to utilise Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to enhance our systems and services to our Farming, Fishing and Forestry customers and the agri-food industry. In terms of the development of “Apps” for smart phones and multi-media devices by my Department since 2011, we developed a new mobile Department website in 2013 which can be accessed at http://m.agriculture.gov.ie. This website provides better mobile access to the more popular areas of my Department’s website and it is specifically designed to work more effectively across a range of modern mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablet devices and it is automatically linked into the main website when greater information is required. This mobile website was developed internally and no additional expenditure was incurred in its development. The question of whether any of the Agencies under the aegis of my Department have developed “apps” is an operational matter for themselves.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

Questions (577)

Joe Carey

Question:

577. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will outline all payment amounts under the various schemes made to a herd number (details supplied) by his Department for the years 2012 and 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5478/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The information requested by the Deputy is being forwarded directly to the herd owner.

Control of Dogs

Questions (578, 579)

Brian Walsh

Question:

578. Deputy Brian Walsh asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the estimated cost of his proposal to introduce mandatory microchipping of dogs; the anticipated savings that would accrue to local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5496/14]

View answer

Brian Walsh

Question:

579. Deputy Brian Walsh asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when he expects to be in a position to introduce mandatory microchipping of dogs; if he expects that this will be phased in by making it compulsory for all dogs within a certain timeframe, by making it compulsory for all newly born pups after a certain date, or by making it compulsory for all dogs sold or gifted after a certain date. [5501/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 578 and 579 together.

A public consultation was held during 2013 on the microchipping of dogs and various submissions were received and are being examined. There are a variety of different approaches to achieve the policy aim and these are still being considered. However, I expect to be in a position to introduce appropriate legislation shortly. It is not possible at this stage to quantify the cost of such a proposal or the savings that will accrue to the local authorities. My Department is making every effort to ensure that the policy is delivered in a cost effective and efficient manner to dog owners and to the State.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Questions (580)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

580. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when an AEOS 3 payment will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5556/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS 3) with effect from 1 May 2013. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. These checks are well under way and I anticipate that payments for the AEOS 3 in respect of 2013 will commence in March 2014.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Questions (581)

Tom Fleming

Question:

581. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will expedite a REP scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5558/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named commenced REPS 4 in July 2009 and received payments for the first four years of their contract. REPS 4 is a measure under the 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 Land Parcel Identification Scheme (LPIS) Review an area discrepancy was identified which has resulted in the necessity for further clarification. This issue is currently being investigated with the intention of an early resolution and payment in respect of Year 5.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Questions (582)

Tom Fleming

Question:

582. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will expedite a REP scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5583/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named commenced REPS 4 in June 2008 and received payments for the first five years of their contract. REPS 4 is a measure under the 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 Land Parcel Identification Scheme (LPIS) Review an area discrepancy was identified which has resulted in the necessity for further clarification. This issue is currently being investigated with the intention of an early resolution and payment in respect of Year 6.

Milk Supply

Questions (583)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

583. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an investigation is being carried out into alleged milk quota infringements relating to a company (details supplied); if the special investigation unit is involved in the investigation; the date on which this issue was brought to the attention of his Department; the nature of the alleged infringement; if the issue relates to a quota reference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5659/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department is aware of allegations relating to possible infringements of the milk quota regulations and is currently thoroughly investigating the matter. It would not be appropriate to comment on the details of that investigation while it is underway.

Aquaculture Licence Eligibility

Questions (584)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

584. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the way a fish farm in Cuan Chill Chiaráin is permitted to restart a fish farm that has not been operational for a number of years under section 19A(4) of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997 when this section specifically refers to the continuation of aquaculture or operations in relation to aquaculture and does not give any permission to restart aquaculture or operations in relation to aquaculture; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5660/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department’s records do not indicate that the activities covered by the consents referred to by the Deputy had fully ceased. Accordingly the provisions of Section 19A (4) of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997 are applicable in this case.