Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1616, 1617)

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

1616. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding from Údarás na Gaeltachta provided to a company (details supplied) in 2018. [19679/19]

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Ruth Coppinger

Question:

1617. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of employees in a company (details supplied) which received Údarás na Gaeltachta grant aid. [19680/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1616 and 1617 together.

At the outset, I wish to inform the Deputy that Údarás na Gaeltachta is tasked with the economic, social and cultural development of our Gaeltacht areas and, as a central part of its economic mission, the organisation supports eligible businesses of all types to provide employment in primarily rural Gaeltacht communities. Enterprises applying for state support from An tÚdarás, as with all development agencies, must ensure that their activities are being undertaken in accordance with the regulatory framework laid down by the state and the EU.

Many Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies undertake activities under the approval and licence of state agencies and Departments. In that context, the Deputy will be aware that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has a statutory responsibility for the welfare and protection of farmed animals under the European Communities (Welfare of Farmed Animals) Regulations 2010 and the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013. Accordingly, that Department sets out the legislative provisions for the licensing of mink farming in the state and applies rigorous controls on licence-holders in the areas of animal welfare, animal accommodation, security and nutrient management. I understand that licensees are also subject to regular inspections by departmental officials.

I have been advised by Údarás na Gaeltachta that the eligibility of the company referred to by the Deputy for state aid was thoroughly assessed under the requirements set out in State Aid rules and that it was found to be eligible for state support.

Finally, I have been informed by Údarás na Gaeltachta that in 2018, a total of €3,560 in grant aid was paid to the company and that the company had 13 full time employees at the end of 2018.