Údarás na Gaeltachta Elections

Questions (1011)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

1011. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to announce elections for the board of Údarás na Gaeltachta; when this will be carried out; if not, the reason therefor; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23741/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

The Deputy will be aware that the current board of Údarás na Gaeltachta was appointed on 16 January 2018 for a 5-year period to 15 January 2023 in accordance with the relevant provisions of Acht na Gaeltachta 2012. This is the second board to be appointed under the revised arrangements currently being applied, in accordance with the Act and in line with best practice.

Given the effectiveness and efficiency of the current system of appointments which was the subject of careful consideration by my Department prior to the enactment of the Gaeltacht Act in 2012, I see no good reason to reintroduce an expensive election process.

National Archives

Questions (1012)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1012. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if a matter regarding census records will be examined (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23754/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

The 1901 and 1911 censuses are the only surviving full censuses of Ireland open to the public. Both censuses were released to public inspection in 1961. Between 2007 and 2010, the censuses were digitised and made available online and have proven immensely popular.

The National Archives is aware that some files of census returns are missing from the online 1911 census and these include those referred to by the Deputy. In recent years, the National Archives has been carrying out a programme of corrections to the online data in response to submissions of suggested corrections received via e-mail from members of the public. The National Archives intends to continue with a programme of work to address missing and incorrect data.

The Deputy will be pleased to know that, although the census records to which he refers are not available online at present, the originals remain in the custody of the National Archives and can be made available for inspection in the Reading Room by arrangement. The National Archives can supply copies of individual forms to those who cannot visit in person and details of how to contact the National Archives can be found on the website www.nationalarchives.ie/.

Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge

Questions (1013, 1014)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

1013. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cad iad na strúchtúir eagraíochtúla atá i bhfeidhm chun monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar ghníomhaíochtaí aonair na Straitéise 20 Bliain; cé hiad na daoine atá páirteach sa mhonatóireacht; cad iad na ranna rialtais a bhfuil baint acu le monatóireacht ar an Straitéis ina hiomláine; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [23846/19]

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Catherine Connolly

Question:

1014. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén dul chun cinn atá déanta maidir le coiste stiúrtha a bhunú a dhéanfaidh maoirseacht ar dhul chun cinn maidir le cur i bhfeidhm na ngníomhaíochtaí aonair sa Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2023; cé hiad na daoine a bheidh ar an gcoiste sin; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [23847/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

Tógfaidh mé Ceisteanna Uimhir 23846/19 agus 23847/19 le chéile.

Dírím aird an Teachta ar an bhfreagra a thug mé ar Cheist Dála Uimh 52 den 16 Eanáir 2019 faoin ábhar seo. Mar a thug mé le fios sa bhfreagra sin, leagtar amach sa Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022 don Ghaeilge, a foilsíodh i mí Meitheamh 2018, an cur chuige nua a bheidh i bhfeidhm maidir le monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar an Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010-2030 agus ar fheidhmiú an Phlean go sonrach.

Tá an Coiste Stiúrtha atá freagrach as monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar chur i bhfeidhm agus ar dhul chun cinn an phlean bunaithe anois agus tionóladh trí chruinniú de ó bunaíodh é anuraidh.

Is é cúram an Choiste Stiúrtha, atá ag feidhmiú faoi chathaoirleacht mo Roinne, ná:

1. monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar chur i bhfeidhm an ós cionn 180 beart atá leagtha amach sa phlean a chuirfear i bhfeidhm i gcomhar le 60 páirtí leasamhar;

2. tacú le bearta agus tionscnaimh eile nach bhfuil san áireamh cheana féin sa phlean a aithint; agus,

3. treochtaí, constaicí nó údair imní a thagann chun cinn maidir leis an nGaeilge trí chéile a shainaithint ar leas na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010-2030.

Ós rud é go bhfuil freagracht thras-Rannach i gceist maidir le forfheidhmiú an Phlean, tá an Coiste Stiúrtha comhdhéanta d’ionadaithe ón Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna, An Roinn Leanaí & Gnóthaí Óige, An Roinn Caiteachais Phoiblí & Athchóirithe, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus Foras na Gaeilge, chomh maith, ar ndóigh, le hionadaíocht ó mo Roinn féin. Is faoi chathaoirleacht mo Roinne atá sé ag feidhmiú.

Ar ndóigh, tá sé i gceist go dtiocfaidh an coiste le chéile ar bhonn rialta agus mar atá leagtha amach sa phlean, go bhfoilseofar tuairisc bhliantúil maidir le dul chun cinn, tar éis don tuairisc a bheith faofa ag an Rialtas. In thaobh sin, tá beartaithe go bhfoilseofar an chéad tuairisc bhliantúil i bhfómhar na bliana seo - ina dtabhfar cuntas ar an dul chun cinn i leith an tréimhse fhorfheidhmithe Iúil 2018 go Iúil 2019.

Níor miste a lua chomh maith go leanfar leis an gCoiste Comhairleach a ceapadh in 2014 mar thaca eile d'fhorfheidhmiú rathúil na Straitéise. Tá an coiste seo comhdhéanta d’ionadaithe ó Údarás na Gaeltachta, Foras na Gaeilge, An Chomhairle um Oideachais Gaeltachta & Gaelscoileanna [COGG], Gaeloideachas Teo., Conradh na Gaeilge, Gael Linn, Oireachtas na Gaeilge, Glór na Gael, Coláiste na bhFiann, Comhlachas na gComharchumainn Gaeltachta, Muintearas Teo./Óige na Gaeltachta, Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne Teo., CONCOS, Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta agus ar ndóigh, ionadaithe ó mo Roinn féin.

Sa bhreis air sin, leanfaidh mo Roinn ag obair go dlúth, ar bhonn déthaobhach agus leanúnach, leis na Ranna agus na forais ábhartha Stáit ar mhaithe le dul chun cinn a chinntiú.

De thoradh seo ar fad, táim sásta go ndéanfar monatóireacht agus tuairisciú chuí ar chur i bhfeidhm an Phlean 5 Bliana agus an Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge.

Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge

Questions (1015)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

1015. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén dul chun cinn atá déanta maidir le forbairt an phlean chun tacú le lánúineacha óga nó tuismitheoirí nua atá dírithe ar sheachadadh idirghlúine na Gaeilge mar atá luaite sa Phlean Gníomhaíochta, 2018-2023; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [23848/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

Ag croílár an Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022 don Ghaeilge, tá breis is 180 beart atá á gcur i bhfeidhm i gcomhar le os cionn 60 páirtí leasmhar. Leagtar an bhéim is mó ar an méid a dhéanfar go sonrach ar bhonn comhpháirtíochta thar 5 bliana. Tá clár ama luaite le gach beart agus luaitear chomh maith, ar ndóigh, na páirtithe a bheidh freagrach as na bearta a chur i bhfeidhm.

Déantar cur síos sa Phlean chomh maith ar an gcur chuige a bheidh i bhfeidhm maidir le cúrsaí monatóireachta, ar mhaithe le treisiú a dhéanamh ar an gcomhpháirtíocht agus ar an gcomhúinéireacht is gá a bheith ann chun go mbeidh rath ag ár n-iarrachtaí uilig.

Ní miste a lua go raibh trí chruinniú go dtí seo ag an gcoiste stiúrtha atá bunaithe, faoi chathaoirleacht mo Roinne seo, chun monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar chur i bhfeidhm an Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022. Tá ionadaíocht ag an Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna, chomh maith leis an Roinn Leanaí agus Gnóthaí Óige ar ndóigh ar an gcoiste seo. I gcomhréir le cinneadh an Rialtais ina leith, tá i gceist go bhfoilseofar tuairisc bhliantúil maidir le cur i bhfeidhm an Phlean Gníomhaíochta tar éis an tuairisc sin a bheith leagtha os comhair an Rialtais. Foilseofar an céad tuairisc i bhfómhar na bliana seo.

Tá cistíocht faoi leith ar fiú €3.2m curtha ar fáil sa bhliain reatha chun cumasú do mo Roinn leanúint ar aghaidh agus raon leathan bearta faoi leith a thacóidh ar bhealach praiticiúil le cur i bhfeidhm an phróisis pleanála teanga agus bearta eile a bhaineann le seachadadh na Gaeilge a mhaoiniú in 2019.

Ag an bpointe ama seo, tá pleananna teanga ceadaithe agus tús á chur lena bhfeidhmiú i 14 Limistéar Pleanála Teanga Gaeltachta. Faoi 2020, beidh gach ceantar i mbun pleananna a chur i bhfeidhm. Tá 11 Oifigeach Pleanála Teanga agus triúr Oifigigh Cúnta fostaithe sa Ghaeltacht go dáta chun na pleananna sin a chur i bhfeidhm.

Mar fhreagra ar cheist an Teachta agus in éindí le bheith ag maoiniú, feidhmiú agus ullmhú pleananna sa Ghaeltacht, sna Bailte Seirbhíse Gaeltachta agus sna Líonraí Gaeilge tá bearta á mhaoiniú ag an Roinn ar bhonn lárnach mar a bhaineann sé leis na luathbhlianta; an teaghlach, na healaíona traidisiúnta agus an óige.

Tá allúntas suas le €1,027,613 thar an tréimhse 2018 go 2020 ceadaithe ag mo Roinn don eagraíocht Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta - Beart 2,11 & 3.2 den Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022. Cuirfidh an t-allúntas seo ar chumas na heagraíochta leathnú a dhéanamh ar an raon tacaíochtaí a sholáthraíonn siad do theaghlaigh atá ag tógáil a gcuid leanaí trí Ghaeilge nó ar mian leo sin a dhéanamh, agus go háirithe chun freastal ar na riachtanais a thagann chun cinn i gceantair phleanála teanga Gaeltachta. Tá leas á bhaint as an allúntas seo chun:

- 6 phost a chruthú chun an clár tacaíochta a sholáthar sna limistéir pleanála teanga ábhartha Ghaeltachta;

- an tseirbhís a bhíodh á chur ar fáil i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe agus Thír Chonaill a fhorbairt tuilleadh agus freastal ar an éileamh i gceantair Ghaeltachta eile; agus

- san áireamh san allúntas seo, tá maoiniú á chur ar fáil i leith an Phacáiste Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh, a bunaíodh in 2012 agus a bhfuil an fhreagracht maidir lena riar aistrithe ón Roinn chuig

Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta ó thús 2019. Beidh forbairt a dhéanamh ar an bpacáiste sin de réir a chéile.

Chuir Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta in iúl don Roinn ag cruinniú monatóireachta le gairid go bhfuil ceathrar ball fóirne fostaithe go data agus go mbeidh dhá phost eile á fhógairt go luath, a chuimseoidh dóibh iomlánú a dhéanamh ar an tseirbhís.

Chomh maith leis sin tá allúntas breise €1.26m thar an tréimhse 2018 go 2021 ceadaithe ag mo Roinn don eagraíocht Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta (CNNG) – Beart 2.11, 3.1 & 3.2 den Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022. Cuirfidh an t-allúntas seo ar chumas na heagraíochta leathnú a dhéanamh ar an raon tacaíochtaí a chuirtear ar fáil do sheirbhísí luathbhlianta na Gaeltachta. Bainfidh CNNG leas as an allúntas chun:

- beirt oifigeach cúnta breise a fhostú;

- 8 seirbhís bhreise a ghlacadh ar lámh in 2018/2019, 10 seirbhís in 2019/2020 agus 2 sheirbhís in 2020/2021 (20 in iomlán);

- riaradh a dhéanamh ar an Scéim Seirbhísí Réamhscoile agus Iarscoile (SSRI) thar ceann na Roinne;

- tacaíocht agus comhairle a chur ar fáil do 20 seirbhís a bhíonn ag feidhmiú trí Bhéarla chun úsáid na Gaeilge a spreagadh ina seirbhísí agus é seo a mhéadú go 30 in 2019 agus go 40 in 2020;

- feasacht a fhorbairt agus cumarsáid a dhéanamh le 2,500 tuismitheoir; agus

- treoir a chur ar fáil do naíonraí agus nasc a chothú leis na bunscoileanna Gaeltachta.

Ní miste a lua chomh maith go gcuireann Údarás na Gaeltachta maoiniú bliantúil de €535,000 ar fáil chomh maith do Chomhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta chun a gcuid gníomhaíochtaí a mhaoiniú.

Cheadaigh Foras na Gaeilge cistíocht arbh fhiú €15,000 do Chumann an Phiarsaigh chun scoláireachtaí Gaeltachta a thairiscint do theaghlaigh a bhfuil páistí ag freastal ar oideachas lán Ghaeilge – Réimse 3.4.

Cuimsítear tacaíocht theoranta do réimse sheachadadh idirghlúine na Gaeilge laistigh de chlár oibre Ghlór na nGael in 2019. Ag cruinniú in 2018, cheadaigh Bord Fhoras na Gaeilge maoiniú nach mó ná €1,078,615 do Ghlór na nGael don obair mar cheanneagraíocht ina bhfuil seachadadh na Gaeilge ó ghlúin go glúin mar cheann de na cúramaí – Réimse 3.5, 3.6 agus 3.7.

I gcomhréir le beart 3.12 den phlean, tá leibhéal uasta maoinithe caipitil atáthar ag sholáthar do thograí luathbhlianta faoin Chlár Tacaíochtaí Pobail agus Teanga mo Roinne méadaithe go 95%.

I gcomhréir le beart 3.10 den phlean, tá coiste stiúrtha bunaithe ag an Roinn Leanaí agus Gnóthaí Óige - a bhfuil ionadaithe ó Ranna agus gníomhaireachtaí ábhartha air - chun maoirseacht a dhéanamh ar fheidhmiú plean cuimsitheach don earnáil luathoideachais Gaeilge.

National Concert Hall

Questions (1016)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

1016. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the procedures in place to appoint persons to the board of the National Concert Hall; when vacancies will next arise on the board; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24066/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

Section 10 of the National Cultural Institutions (National Concert Hall) Act, 2015 deals with the appointment of the Board of the NCH. Section 10(1) provides that the Board shall consist of a chairperson and 8 ordinary members.

Section 10(2)(a) deals with the skill sets for Board members. Section 10(2)(b) requires the Minister to consult the chairperson of the Board in relation to the expertise required on the Board when the Minister is making an appointment. Section 10(2)(c) provides that the Minister shall have regard to any guidelines prepared by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in relation to appointments to boards of State Bodies.

There are currently no vacancies on the Board. The term of office for three Board members expires on 23 June 2019. Having consulted with the Chairperson of the Board of the National Concert Hall, I have decided to re-appoint two of the members of the Board for a term of five years from 24 June 2019. When the next vacancy arises, the method for filling the vacancy will be by advertisement through the StateBoards portal operated by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).

Oideachas Gaeltachta

Questions (1017)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

1017. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta an ndearnadh aon dul chun cinn maidir leis an bhféidearthacht cáilíocht shaincheaptha a sholáthar san oideachas luathbhlianta trí mheán na Gaeilge do chleachtóirí agus do chleachtóirí ionchasacha, mar atá pléite sa Pholasaí don Oideachas Gaeltachta, 2017-2022; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [24164/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

Tá roinnt bearta idir lámha ag mo Roinn i gcomhar le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta chun tacú go díreach nó go tánaisteach le cur i bhfeidhm rathúil an Pholasaí don Oideachas Gaeltachta. Tá tús curtha le héifeacht an tsoláthar trí mheán na Gaeilge a neartú i gcomhthéacs an oideachais sna luathbhlianta ag an dá eagraíocht ar a n-áirítear:

- maoiniú atá curtha ar fáil ag Údarás na Gaeltachta don eagraíocht Muintearas Teo chun cúrsa ECCE i gCúram Leanaí ag Leibhéal 6 a reáchtáil i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe agus Dhún na nGall. Tá an cúrsa seo dírithe ar dhaoine atá ag obair in ionaid cúram leanaí, naíonraí, daoine a thugann cúram do leanaí ina dteach féin nó daoine ar spéis seo oibriú san earnáil luathoideachas; agus

- an chlár oibre atá comhaontaithe idir mo Roinn agus Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge chun clár teanga agus oiliúna á fhorbairt don réimse luathoideachais. Tá mar chuspóir aige seo tacú leis an oiliúint chuí a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge do chleachtóirí luathoideachais atá ag obair i naíonraí sa Ghaeltacht agus taobh amuigh di. Faoin gcur chuige atá aontaithe leis an Acadamh, cuirfear gearrchúrsaí i sealbhú agus saibhriú teanga, mar a bhaineann sé leis an réimse luathoideachais, ar fáil sna hionaid Ghaeltachta de chuid an Acadaimh atá lonnaithe i nGaoth Dobhair, ar an gCeathrú Rua agus i gCarna agus forbrófar clár léinn níos leithne le freastal ar an earnáil thábhachtach seo.

World Heritage Sites

Questions (1018, 1019, 1020)

Joan Burton

Question:

1018. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of applications received requesting to be included on the 2010 tentative list for nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the number which were unsuccessful; the reasons for same; the number of these applications which were made by public bodies and private bodies, respectively; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24285/19]

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Joan Burton

Question:

1019. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her Department encourages previously unsuccessful applications to the 2010 tentative list for nomination as UNESCO World Heritage Sites to reapply for inclusion in the 2020 tentative list; the position regarding the sites currently on the 2010 tentative list, if they will be transferred to the new 2020 tentative list; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24286/19]

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Joan Burton

Question:

1020. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her Department encourages owners of individual buildings that have been demonstrated to possess outstanding universal value, one of the central ideals underpinning the World Heritage Convention, to apply for inclusion on the upcoming 2020 tentative list for nomination as UNESCO World Heritage Sites; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24287/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1018 to 1020, inclusive, together.

In January last, my Department advertised publicly, including through social media, for official bodies and individuals to apply to the Department to have suitable sites considered for inclusion in the 2020 UNESCO World Heritage list. Applications must be advanced in close cooperation with the relevant local authorities which are expected to take the lead with respect to potential World Heritage nominations in their administrative areas. This ensures the longterm involvement of a statutory body in preparing a site for inclusion on the Tentative List. Officials of my Department are also available to assist and advise interested parties.

The process of readying a site for eventual UNESCO World Heritage nomination encompasses the involvement of the community at large and a wide range of stakeholders. Of critical importance when deciding whether a site should be included on the Tentative List is whether it is capable of demonstrating Outstanding Universal Value. This means that the site must possess cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of global importance for present and future generations. As such, the permanent protection of this heritage is of the highest importance to the international community as a whole. This characteristic would be rigorously assessed by an expert committee for any site under consideration for the Tentative List.

Twenty-two candidate sites were put forward for inclusion on the 2010 Tentative List with the majority coming from public bodies. In addition to the newly-nominated sites that were included in the 2010 List, certain other sites had their position on the previous Tentative List renewed. Others were not considered at that time to have demonstrated that they would meet the various criteria set by the World Heritage Committee. I will provide the Deputy with details of the 22 sites separately.

My Department is currently in the process of managing the ten-year review of Ireland’s Tentative List. In this respect, the local authorities associated with each site on the current Tentative List have been invited to review the readiness of their communities and sites to proceed to World Heritage nomination. My Department is tasked with deciding whether or not sites are likely to meet the criteria for World Heritage nomination. It will do so at the end of the review period in June 2020, and with the benefit of additional information provided by the relevant local authorities in the meantime.

The following revised reply was received on 15 July 2019

I refer to my reply of 11 June 2019 to Questions Nos. 1018,1019 and 1020 relating to the applications that were made for sites to be included in Ireland’s 2010 UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. I indicated in my response that I would provide the details of the sites separately.

The position is that, taking into account those sites that were on the previous Tentative List along with newly identified candidates, 32 sites in all were considered for the 2010 Tentative List. My reply of 11 June referred to 22 sites which unfortunately did not reflect the full extent of the proposals that were examined at that time.

The following are the particulars of the 32 sites as promised:

1. Previous Tentative List Sites Reviewed in 2010:

Name of property

Outcome of 2010 Assessment

Céide Fields, Co Mayo

Accepted onto 2010 Tentative List

City of Dublin

Accepted onto 2010 Tentative List

Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly

Accepted onto 2010 Tentative List

Western Stone Forts

Accepted onto 2010 Tentative List

Cashel, Co Tipperary

Accepted and subsumed into Royal Sites serial nomination

Clara Bog site, Co Offaly

Excluded on grounds of Integrity and Authenticity

2. New Applications Accepted on to 2010 Tentative List:

Proposer

Name of property

Outcome of Application

Local Authority

Glendalough Valley Co. Wicklow

Accepted and subsumed into Monastic Sites

Local Authority

Monastic Kells, Co Meath

Accepted and subsumed into Monastic Sites

State

Monastic Sites

Accepted

Expert Committee

Royal Sites

Accepted

State and NGO

The Burren, Co Clare

Accepted

3. New Applications Not Included on 2010 Tentative List:

New applications to add the following sites to the 2010 Tentative List were variously made by the State, local authorities, private bodies and NGOS. None was found to be eligible with the majority excluded on the grounds that they did not, at that point, demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value or because further research about the site would have been required before substantive consideration could be given to including them on the Tentative List:

The Aran Islands, Co Galway

The Battle of the Boyne, Co Meath

Birr Castle Demesne, Co Offaly

Carriaphooca Castle Demesne, Co Cork

The Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare

Clonfert, Co Galway

The Emigrants’ Story

The Great Blasket, Co Kerry

Irish Walled Towns

Killarney National Park, Co Kerry

Lough Gur, Co Limerick

MacCarthy Castles, Munster

North West Mayo Boglands

Rinn Dúin, Co Roscommon

The Shannon Corridor

Cork Harbour, including the River Lee to Cork City Centre

The Military Fortifications of the South Coast of Cork

Tory Island, Co Donegal

Valentia Tetrapod Trackway, Co Kerry

Additionally, an application on behalf of the Boyne Valley was excluded as it was already in the buffer zone of another World Heritage Site. The Walled City of Derry, which was also submitted for consideration, is not located within the administrative area of the responsible authority for World Heritage within the State (i.e. my Department) and, unlike Navan Fort in Co Armagh, one of the sites that forms the Royal Sites grouping, Derry was not seen as a potential component of a serial nomination.

Turf Cutting Compensation Scheme Applications

Questions (1021)

Willie Penrose

Question:

1021. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if steps will be taken to ensure that a person (details supplied) is paid the appropriate compensation for cessation of turf cutting; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24314/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

An application for compensation under the cessation of turf cutting compensation scheme has been received by my Department from the individual referred to in the Deputy’s Question. With respect to 36 raised bog natural heritage area sites, the qualifying criteria for the scheme are that:

- The applicant must have had a legal interest (ownership or a turbary right (right to cut turf)) in one of these sites on 25 May 2010 and must have had the right to cut and remove turf from the property on that date;

- The applicant must have been cutting turf on the land in question during the relevant five year period up to 14 January 2014;

- The turf resource on the site has not been exhausted; and

- No turf cutting or associated activity is ongoing on the property.  

I am advised that Departmental staff have been in contact with the applicant and further correspondence has now issued to him. My Department will be in a position to further process the application when the requested forms have been returned.

Natural Heritage Areas Designation

Questions (1022)

Willie Penrose

Question:

1022. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when a natural heritage area order will be de-designated as communicated to affected property owners (details supplied) in which a period of over five years has elapsed since the publication of the long-term plan for Ireland’s peatlands on 14 January 2014 and de-designation is still awaited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24350/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

The Review of Raised Bog Natural Heritage Area Network, published in January 2014, provides detail on arrangements regarding turf cutting on each of the 75 raised bog natural heritage areas. The Review concluded that Ireland could more effectively achieve conservation of threatened raised bog habitat through focused protection and restoration of a reconfigured network.  This reconfigured network entails:

1. The cessation of turf-cutting on 36 existing natural heritage areas, which will remain designated - this includes 7 sites to be divided, with part to be conserved and part de-designated;

2. The complete de-designation of 46 natural heritage areas - including the relevant areas of the 7 sites to be divided - where it has been judged that their conservation potential is expected to be marginal and/or that restoration would be prohibitively expensive for the conservation benefits achieved.  These sites include the site referred to in the Deputy’s Question. Domestic turf-cutting may continue on these sites, while larger scale or commercial turf cutting will continue to be regulated through other consent systems; and

3. The designation as natural heritage areas of 25 currently undesignated raised bogs, which are in public ownership or where there is reduced turf cutting pressure. These sites are to be proposed for designation to make up for the loss of habitat within the natural heritage area sites where turf cutting is to continue.

The Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2016, to give effect to the outcome of the 2014 Review, was presented to the Dáil on 21 July 2016 and was passed by that House on 13 December 2018.

The Bill, as passed by the Dáil Éireann, provides for me, as the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to complete the 2014 Review of Raised Bog Natural Heritage Area Network and to conduct a review or reviews of blanket bog natural heritage areas, at his or her discretion.

Section 4 of the Bill proposes to amend the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 by the insertion of a new section 18A after section 18 of that Act. Within section 4 of the Bill, section 18A(6) states that where I as the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht make an order to amend or revoke a natural heritage area order which designated land as a natural heritage area, that I will place an advertisement in at least one local newspaper to inform the public of the making of the order and cause a copy of the order to be sent to (i) defined owners or occupiers of land (ii) defined holders of valid prospecting or exploration licences and (iii) various Ministers of the Government and various public authorities.

The Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2016 has completed Committee Stage in the Seanad Éireann and is scheduled for Report Stage in that House.