Question No. 308 answered with Question No. 251.

Hospital Services

Questions (309)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

309. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health the progress made to date with the provision of an extra procedure room in the endoscopy unit of Galway University Hospital in view of the large number of patients waiting for this procedure at any one time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22854/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to reply to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Services

Questions (310)

Micheál Martin

Question:

310. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the functional and operational capacity of the acute medical assessment unit in St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22870/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Hospital Staff

Questions (311)

Micheál Martin

Question:

311. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the overall staffing levels in the acute medical assessment unit in St. Luke’s Hospital since 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22871/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Patient Safety

Questions (312)

Micheál Martin

Question:

312. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention or the attention of the HSE has been drawn to patient safety concerns in the acute medical assessment unit in St. Luke's Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22872/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Home Help Service

Questions (313)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

313. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter regarding the structure of home help shift work (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22882/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

General Practitioner Services

Questions (314)

Dara Calleary

Question:

314. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 280 of 16 April 2019, if the information requested has been collated. [22894/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I understand that a response issued from the HSE to the Deputy on this matter on 24 May 2019.

Departmental Agencies Data

Questions (315)

Dara Calleary

Question:

315. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 197 of 18 April 2019, if the information requested regarding non-commercial State agencies has been collated. [22895/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

A letter of response to Parliamentary Question No. 197 of 18 April 2019 issued in hard copy to the Deputy on the 25th April 2019.

A second copy is now attached for the Deputy's information.

Letter to Dara Calleary

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Questions (316)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

316. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) is on the priority list to access child and adolescent mental health services, CAMHS, in County Donegal; if other emergency services can be accessed across the Border in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22898/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hazardous Substances Disposal

Questions (317, 327)

Clare Daly

Question:

317. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when his attention was drawn in his role as chair of the stakeholders committee of the rehabilitation of Haulbowline Island to a report (details supplied) which detailed a serious imminent threat to human health and the environment; and the reason the report was not disseminated immediately and without delay as required by EU (Access to Information on the Environment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014. [22569/19]

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Clare Daly

Question:

327. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when his attention was drawn to a report (details supplied) which detailed a serious imminent threat to human health and the environment; and the reason the report was not disseminated immediately and without delay as required by EU (Access to Information on the Environment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014. [22568/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 317 and 327 together.

The Deputy will wish to be aware that the Government has taken responsibility for the remediation of former steelworks and attendant waste disposal at Haulbowline Island. It has been no secret that parts of this island have not been suitable for access by the public owing to their industrial legacy.

The report to which the Deputy refers was commissioned by Cork County Council, acting in its operational role as agent for my Department in the Haulbowline Island Remediation Project, and relates to the 11 hectare former steel works (factory) site only and not to the 9 hectare remediated East Tip site. This 11 hectare site is fully secured, in a different location away from the remediated East Tip, and is not accessible to the public.

The report was prepared for inclusion in a planning application for the remediation of the 11 hectare former steel works (factory) site, which is a disused industrial site containing areas of contamination. The references contained within the report relate to potential risks to users of the site, including future recreational end users. It should be noted that there are currently no active users of the site which is fully secured.

The report does not specify any risk to future users of the remediated East Tip area. In addition, I am advised by Cork County Council that air quality monitoring undertake on Haulbowline Island between March 2017 and December 2018, as required under the licence conditions for the East Tip remediation works, did not identify any risk to human health from the former steelworks site.

It has always been intended that all relevant reports and assessments would be made publicly available during consent application processes and this has been the case to date with the relevant planning application and waste licence for the East Tip area. In addition, Cork County Council maintains a webpage for the remediation project and posts regular updates.

Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme

Questions (318)

Willie Penrose

Question:

318. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the percentage of the €395 million allocated under the TAMS II scheme spent to date; if there are plans to extend the scheme beyond the proposed 2020 deadline; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22812/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An indicative allocation of €395 million was provided for the suite of seven measures available under TAMS II over the course of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. Including transitional payments, over €144.9m has been spent to date.

It is estimated that there are outstanding commitments of over €122m in terms of approvals that have issued but have not yet matured to payment stage because the applicants have yet to submit their claims. Applications continue to be submitted on a tranche-by-tranche basis and Tranche 14 is currently open.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Questions (319)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

319. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a reply will issue to correspondence from a person (details supplied) in relation to greenhouse gases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22308/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

At the outset, it is important to clarify that neither I nor my Department received the correspondence referred to by the Deputy.

In response to the specific query now received, I would like to highlight that our agriculture sector is internationally recognised as one of the most carbon efficient systems of food production in the EU and we are also recognised as for the efficiency of production of our temperate grassland systems.

Calculation of the national inventory on Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) emissions is actually a matter for the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Energy (DCCAE), with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compiling Ireland's national greenhouse gas emission inventory on an annual basis.

Within the National Inventory report, emissions are classified into the ten following sectors; Agriculture, Transport, Energy Industries, Residential, Manufacturing Combustion, Industrial Processes, F Gases, Waste, Commercial Services and Public Services.

The outputs produced meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requirements and follow the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) guidelines. The EPA methodology is reviewed annually by international reviewers and there is significant collaboration between inventory experts, agricultural production and agri-environmental researchers, my Department and the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Full details of the methodology applied to the calculation to the emissions for the agriculture sector are outlined in the latest National Inventory Report which can be found here: http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/air/airemissions/ghg/nir2019/

Aquaculture Licences

Questions (320)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

320. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when applications (details supplied) will be renewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22411/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department considers all applications for aquaculture licences in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act, the 1933 Foreshore Act and applicable EU legislation. The licensing process involves consultation with a wide range of scientific and technical advisers as well as various Statutory Consultees. The legislation also provides for a period of public consultation.

In accordance with the applicable legislation, the Statutory and Public Consultation phase in respect of new licence applications and renewals for the area in question is ongoing. As these licence applications are under active consideration as part of a statutory process, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the matter at this time.

Basic Payment Scheme Appeals

Questions (321)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

321. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of a farm payment appeal by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22517/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An application under 2018 Basic Payment Scheme was received on 10th May 2018 from person named.

During processing, an over claim was identified on a land parcel declared. The person named was notified of this in October 2018 and subsequently appealed this decision.

The appeal has been successful and a balancing payment will issue in the coming days.

Stocking Densities

Questions (322)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

322. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans in relation to using donkeys in stocking requirements (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22518/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the eligibility criteria of the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme, applicants must maintain 0.15 Livestock Units (LU) per eligible forage hectare for 7 consecutive months and maintain an average of 0.15 LU over the 12 months of the scheme. Donkeys have always been accepted as eligible animals under the scheme along with cattle, sheep, goats and deer. Horses are also accepted but are subject to additional criteria and must be held on a premises registered as an Equine Breeding Enterprise.

Following consultation with stakeholders, it has been decided to introduce changes in the scheme stocking requirement in relation to donkeys. From the 2020 scheme year, only 50% of an applicants stocking density can be fulfilled using donkeys and the balance must be fulfilled using other eligible animals. This change was highlighted in the Terms and Conditions document of the 2019 ANC scheme in order to give sufficient lead in time to applicants who may need to amend their stocking patterns.

Animal Welfare

Questions (323)

Clare Daly

Question:

323. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to phase out or preferably ban the use of shock collars and shock fencing for domestic animals. [22519/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, a person is prohibited from causing unnecessary pain or suffering or endangering the health and welfare of any animal. The Act also provides that a person having possession of an animal must ensure that the animal is kept in a manner that safeguards its health and welfare.

S.I. No. 108 of 2014 provides for a ban on electro-immobilisation by means of any electrical equipment of an instrument which applies a sustained electric current or impulse directly to a live animal. Electrical stimulation or shock collars for training dogs are designed to produce lower stimuli lasting milliseconds rather than produce a sustained electric current. This is line with the current position of scientific research on the use of shock collars.

Felling Licences Applications

Questions (324)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

324. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a decision will be made in relation to an application for a felling licence by a person (details supplied) in County Galway; the reason for the delay in making a decision on the application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22543/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Officials of my Department have carried out a thorough search using the details supplied and have not found a felling licence application for the person named. All felling licence applications are acknowledged on receipt and given a reference number. If the Deputy would like to provide that reference number, I would be happy to make further enquiries.

If it is the case that a felling licence has not yet been applied for, the landowner will find information on how to do so on the Department's website www.agriculture.gov.ie or may email felling.forestservice@agriculture.gov.ie for further information.

Beef Industry

Questions (325)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

325. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the way in which he plans to spend the approximately €100 million pledged in additional support for beef farmers; if he has revised spending plans to facilitate this new spending; the estimated impact of revised spending plans and the additional assistance on his Departmental budget in 2019, 2020 and 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22560/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As the Deputy will be aware, I have had ongoing discussions with Commissioner Hogan regarding the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit. I have stressed the need for the Commission to be ready to deploy a range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on the agri-food and fisheries sector. Avoiding a no-deal Brexit continues to be the Government’s overriding policy priority.

I am also keenly aware that the past few months have been very difficult for beef farmers in particular, following a difficult year for farm incomes in 2018 due to weather conditions. There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.

The announcement by Commissioner Hogan of EU exceptional aid for the Irish beef sector is really welcome in this context. I have been making the case for some time for an exceptional aid package from the EU Commission for Irish beef farmers, at EU Council of Agriculture Minister meetings, and in direct consultation with the Commission.

The announcement by the Commissioner is another example of the importance of EU solidarity when it comes to facing significant economic challenges.

Details of the proposal are being discussed with the Commission and I will make information available to farmers as soon as possible. The legal provisions used to provide the aid (Council Regulation 1308/2013) were put in place by the Irish Presidency of the EU in 2013. It is expected that this decision will be given effect through an Implementing Regulation. My officials will examine its provisions, when published, and engage with the Commission on the next steps.