Defence Forces Strength

Questions (579)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

579. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Defence the strength of the Defence Forces for each of the years from 1960 to 1970. [22245/14]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The strength of the Defence Forces in each of the years from 1960 to 1970 is set out in the table.

Combined strength of the Permanent and Reserve Defence Forces 1960 - 1970

Description

Year

Permanent Defence Force

Reserve Defence Force

Combined Total

Strength at 31 December

1960

8,812

23,917

32,729

Strength at 31 December

1961

8,450

23,449

31,899

Strength at 31 December

1962

8,332

22,460

30,792

Strength at 31 December

1963

8,302

21,803

30,105

Strength at 31 December

1964

8,190

22,256

30,446

Strength at 31 December

1965

8,375

22,288

30,663

Strength at 31 December

1966

8,249

21,588

29,837

Strength at 31 December

1967

8,319

21,297

29,616

Strength at 31 December

1968

8,226

21,587

29,813

Strength at 31 December

1969

8,256

21,620

29,876

Strength at 31 December

1970

8,563

20,418

28,981

Defence Forces Personnel Data

Questions (580)

Seán Kenny

Question:

580. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Defence the number of females in each rank in the Naval Service, Air Corps and the Army; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22396/14]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Government is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for men and women throughout the Defence Forces and to the full participation by women in all aspects of Defence Forces activities. While progress has been made by the Military Authorities in addressing gaps between male and female participation in the Defence Forces, it is recognised that more work needs to be done to meet the gender target for recruitment of females of 20% which was set by the Military Authorities in 2007.

In this context, as part of the recently announced recruitment campaign for enlisted personnel and the Reserve, specific efforts are being made to increase the number of female applicants as part of a wider campaign aimed at improving gender and ethnic representation and diversity in the Defence Forces. In the case of female participation, these efforts include school visits, media engagement including national and local radio, targeting sports clubs and use of social media.

As at 30 April 2014, the latest date for which figures are available there were 555 women out of a total strength of 9,110 serving in the Permanent Defence Force (PDF). This represents 6.1% of the overall strength of the Defence Forces.

The tables show the number of women serving in each branch of the Permanent Defence Force by rank at 30 April 2014.

Army

Rank

Total

Lt Gen

0

Maj Gen

0

Brig Gen

0

Col

0

Lt Col

3

Comdt

25

Captain

33

LT

46

SM

0

BQMS

0

CS

1

CQMS

1

Sgt

49

Cpl

115

Pte

182

Cadets

3

Total

458

Air Corps

Rank

Total

Lt Gen

0

Maj Gen

0

Brig Gen

0

Col

0

Lt Col

0

Comdt

0

Captain

5

LT

2

SM

1

BQMS

0

CS

0

CQMS

0

Sgt

6

Cpl

11

Pte

9

Cadets

0

Total

34

Naval Service

Rank

Total

Lt Gen

0

Maj Gen

0

Brig Gen

0

Col

0

Lt Col

0

Comdt

6

Captain

10

LT

12

SM

0

BQMS

0

CS

0

CQMS

0

Sgt

2

Cpl

12

Pte

21

Cadets

0

Total

63

Defence Forces Ceremonies

Questions (581)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

581. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 502 of 15 April 2014, the person who made the decision for the military ceremonial element to be removed from the church on the basis that it was no longer considered appropriate and the criteria used to determine the nature of what is or is not appropriate; and if he will expand further on what exactly is meant by the term inclusive; if there any consultation between his Department and Army personnel in arriving at this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22576/14]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

Following a review in 2012 of the 1916 Arbour Hill Commemoration, a number of changes were made to the Ceremony. As part of the review of all aspects of the Commemoration, a substantial exercise in examining the list of invitees and ensuring records were updated was carried out. As a result, prioritised reserved seating was made available for those who are direct descendants of the leaders of the 1916 Rising and who are interred in Arbour Hill. This was an important issue raised by relatives prior to commencement of the review.

Also, arising from the review, which included a consultative process between Departmental officials and Defence Forces personnel, a decision was made to remove the Military ceremonial elements from the Church on the basis that it is no longer considered appropriate that Military personnel would be requested to perform such a role in a religious ceremony. Instead, all military ceremonial functions were carried out to the full outside the Church and at the graveside in Arbour Hill Cemetery.

The decision to remove the Military ceremonial elements from the church was taken to reflect the changes that have taken place in Ireland, North and South and the importance of emphasising tolerance and a welcome for all nationalities and creeds. In this context it is no longer considered appropriate that the Defence Forces, an important institution of the State, should be requested to perform such a role in a religious ceremony.

I believe that these changes have ensured that the annual 1916 Arbour Hill Commemoration is a more inclusive event.

Defence Forces Training

Questions (582)

Clare Daly

Question:

582. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence if he will operate a national emergency training unit from Columb Barracks in Mullingar, County Westmeath, in view of the security costs, costs renting by the Reserve Defence Force unit and poor facilities which are used by the Civil Defence which could utilise the barracks. [22919/14]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

Following the closure of Columb Barracks, Government Departments and other Public Bodies were invited to identify any interest in the property. No such interest was expressed. In the meantime a one year lease was signed with Westmeath GAA County Board for the use of part of the former barracks as a centre of excellence for the development of Gaelic games in the County. Following on from this arrangement agreement has now been reached in principle for a long term lease with Westmeath GAA Board for the whole of the barracks and this will be put in place shortly. The barracks is also currently being used for training purposes by An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners (Specialist Dog Unit). There are no plans for any other operations within the former barracks at this time.

Defence Forces Properties

Questions (583)

Paul Connaughton

Question:

583. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton asked the Minister for Defence the plans that exist for the sale of the former Army barracks in Loughrea; if a reserve price has been put in place; if the sale has been advertised; and, if not, when it will be advertised; when an auction will take place; where members of the public can get more information on the sale; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23308/14]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The former Reserve Defence Force property in Loughrea, Co Galway was vacated in March 2013 and has been identified as being surplus to military requirements. In accordance with normal procedure for the disposal of State property, my Department invited other Government Departments and Public Bodies to register any interest in this property. As no interest has been expressed, preparations are under way for the disposal of the property by Public Auction and my Department is currently in the process of appointing an auctioneer for the provision of these services. It is expected that the auction will be completed by mid July. All details of the public auction will be advertised both nationally and locally within the next few weeks.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Questions (584)

Michael Ring

Question:

584. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive the remainder of their agri-environment options scheme payment. [22153/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from the 1st November 2010 and full payments have issued in respect of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Scheme years.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. The checking process in respect of the 2013 Scheme year has been successfully completed and 75% payment issued to the person named on the 12th December 2013. The checks on the balancing payment have now been completed and I expect payment to issue shortly to the person named.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

Questions (585)

Noel Harrington

Question:

585. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding 2013 farm payments in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22156/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

A review of the land parcels declared by the person named under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme revealed that one of the land parcels declared by the person named contained ineligible features. However, while the person named was notified of this decision and of his right of appeal, to date no such appeal has been received. It remains open to the person named to appeal, should he so wish.

Forestry Grants

Questions (586)

Michael McCarthy

Question:

586. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when payment of a forestry grant will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22195/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The grant payable in respect of the application by the person named under the Afforestation Scheme cannot be paid until satisfactory proof of his ownership of the lands the subject of the application has been received by the Department. The Department has been in contact with the applicant’s agent seeking this documentation and he has undertaken to provide this proof when it becomes available. As soon as this is received the processing of the application for payment will resume.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

Questions (587)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

587. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the single farm payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; if same will now be expedited due to financial hardship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22234/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Payment under 2013 Single Farm Payment issued in December, this payment included a penalty in relation to an error relating to land also declared by another applicant. Following an appeal by the person named this penalty has now been removed and a supplementary payment will issue shortly.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Questions (588)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

588. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding area aid payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; if same will now be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22237/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, eligible applicants’ holdings were required to have satisfied minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units for a retention period of seven 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 holding of the person named did not satisfy these minimum requirements, no payment is due to the person named under the 2013 Scheme.

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

Questions (589)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

589. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties that proposed qualification criteria for the new GLAS will have for farmers with commonage land; if he will amend the proposed criteria in order to ensure that farmers with commonage land will qualify for GLAS without the need for all farmers with the right to commonage having to sign up for the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22311/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The provisions in relation to commonage in the proposed new GLAS scheme are designed to encourage those grazing it to work together in the best interests of all concerned, and to ensure that the commonage is managed in a manner which protects the environment. I am aware that in some cases it would be a challenge to get all shareholders to sign-up to any agreement, but I should point out that this has never been proposed as a requirement under GLAS; while 100% participation would be the best possible outcome, the target is set at 80% participation to secure Tier One access to the new Scheme.

Since I first proposed this, I have further reviewed the position and I announced on 13 May 2014 that I was building in a second-tier access to the Scheme where a minimum of just 50% participation could be secured. I believe this will significantly ease the burden of securing agreements, while at the same time providing a critical mass for management of the commonage which can be expanded upon in future years.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Questions (590)

Pat Breen

Question:

590. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a disadvantaged areas scheme payment will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22334/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, applicants were required to maintain a minimum stocking density on their holding of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare for a minimum retention period of seven consecutive months, in addition to maintaining an annual average of 0.15 livestock units calculated over the 12 months of the scheme year. Payment under the 2013 Scheme could not issue to the person named as their holding did not satisfy these requirements.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

Questions (591)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

591. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding an application to transfer 2012 entitlements in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Wexford; when a decision will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22390/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department received a 2012 Transfer of Entitlements application on 22nd Jan 2014 to transfer 7.64 entitlements from the first person named to the second person named by way of a one- year lease. Although this application was received after the closing date of 15th May 2012 it was accepted on Force Majeure grounds. The Transfer of entitlements application has been processed and acceptance letters have issued to the persons named. Payment will issue shortly.

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

Questions (592)

Dara Calleary

Question:

592. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo was denied access to the sheep grassland scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22401/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As processing of the 2013 Grassland Sheep Scheme application of the person named has recently been finalised, following resolution of outstanding issues, payment will issue to the nominated bank account of the person named shortly.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Questions (593)

Denis Naughten

Question:

593. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon will receive their AEOS payment; the reason for the delay in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22426/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved for participation in the 2010 Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1st September 2010 and has received full payment in respect of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Scheme years.

The holding of the person named was selected for ground inspection which took place on 30th September 2013 and was further selected for a re-performance inspection which was carried out on 10th December 2013. The re-performance inspection identified non compliances with the Traditional Stone Wall Maintenance action which resulted in a penalty being incurred. A letter issued to the person named on the 5th March 2014 notifying him of the findings and setting out the appeal option. As no appeal has been received by my Department, the application of the person named is currently being processed on the basis of the inspection findings with the intention of issuing payment at the earliest opportunity.

Beef Data Programme

Questions (594)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

594. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when payments under the 2013 beef suckler scheme will be paid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22427/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Payments to all eligible participants under the 2013 Beef Data Programme will commence in June of this year when all of the required notifications on calves born during the late autumn will be submitted by participants in the Programme and the related verification checks are completed by my Department.

Single Payment Scheme Appeals

Questions (595)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

595. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding a land verification check under the single farm payment scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22432/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

A review of the land parcels declared by the person named under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme revealed that one of the land parcels declared by the person named contained ineligible features. As the person named sought a review of my Department’s decision, a visit by a Department official to verify the position on the ground was necessary to progress the matter. This verification visit was conducted, the file is being processed and person named will be informed of the outcome of his appeal, in writing, as soon as possible.

Single Payment Scheme Appeals

Questions (596)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

596. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason for a reduction in single farm payment and area aid payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22441/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

A review of the land parcels declared by the person named under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme revealed that several of the land parcels declared by the person named contained ineligible features. As the person named sought a review of my Department’s decision, a visit by a Department official to verify the position on the ground was necessary to progress the matter. This verification visit was conducted, the file is being processed and person named will be informed of the outcome of his appeal, in writing, as soon as possible.