Wildlife Control

Questions (775)

Clare Daly

Question:

775. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the damage being caused in respect of the eight licences granted by her Department to Dublin City Council to scare seagulls off the treated public water reservoirs at Stillorgan and Ballyboden, each of which cited the serious damage criterion of the section 42 provisions in the Wildlife Act 1976; the characteristics of the damage such that it was claimed to be serious by the applicant and accepted as being serious by her Department; and if the interests of public health and safety as catered for in the EU birds directive was a determining factor in the granting of the licences. [26155/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

There are provisions under the Wildlife Acts allowing for the control of bird species in certain circumstances. There is a facility under Section 42 of the Wildlife Acts whereby organisations and individuals may apply to my Department for permits, on a case by case basis, to prevent serious damage caused by individual protected animals and birds on specific lands. Permissions are only issued where there is evidence of such damage.

Dublin City Council were granted a number of Section 42 permits since 2014 to control seagulls at the Stillorgan reservoir and the Ballyboden water treatment plant. The permits were granted on the basis that, given that both reservoirs were open to the elements, the seagulls were fouling the reservoirs' waters in both facilities and this was considered a serious issue of damage. The control method involved in all cases was the use of falcons to scare seagulls and the culling of seagulls was not permitted.

It is my Department's understanding that the reservoir at Ballyboden is now roofed in and consequently the scaring of seagulls is not necessary.

Wildlife Control

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Questions (776)

Clare Daly

Question:

776. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will provide copies of all correspondence since 2016 between her Department and the European Commission and-or the EU Directorate-General for Environment in respect of controls on seagull species, compliance with the birds directive and compliance with reporting requirements, including quantitative data. [26156/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

I am arranging for the Deputy to be provided with the relevant documents referred to in the Question.

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Wildlife Control

Questions (777)

Clare Daly

Question:

777. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her Department is monitoring the serious harm being caused by seagull colonies to fauna in urban settings, for example, in St. Stephen's Green and Marley Park; if her Department is directly responsible under Article 9.1(c) for the protection of the fauna being harmed; and if not, if her Department relies on other agencies and organisations to seek protection of at risk fauna. [26157/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

My Department is aware of the impact of gull species in urban areas. My Department has received no reports of serious harm caused by seagull colonies of the type referred to in St Stephen's Green and Marley Park.

There are provisions under the Wildlife Acts allowing for the control of bird species in certain circumstances. There is a facility under Section 42 of the Wildlife Acts whereby organisations, such as local authorities, and individuals may apply to my Department for permits, on a case by case basis, to prevent serious damage caused by individual protected animals and birds on specific lands. Permissions are only issued where there is evidence of such damage. Legislation in relation to the conservation of bird species in line with the EU Birds Directive, which I presume is being referred to in the question, comes within the remit of my Department.

Inland Waterways Maintenance

Questions (778)

Peter Burke

Question:

778. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will direct Waterways Ireland to carry out work to alleviate a dangerous situation (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26337/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

Waterways Ireland is operationally independent in regard to its management of the inland waterways under its remit therefore I do not have any function in this regard.

I am informed however that the area to which the Deputy refers has been inspected by Waterways Ireland Operations staff and all areas where mowed grass was evident on the trackway have been cleared. No evidence of structural damage to existing tar surfaces was observed.

Freedom of Information Data

Questions (779)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

779. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of freedom of information requests granted, part granted, refused, transferred to an appropriate body, withdrawn or handled outside of freedom of information in 2018, in tabular form. [26388/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

The information that the Deputy has requested regarding the number of Freedom of Information requests received by in this department for the year 2018 is detailed in the table below;

Total Requests received

Personal

Non-Personal

Mixed

Granted

Part Granted

Refused

Transferred

Withdrawn

Handled outside FOI

242

5

237

0

59

72

65

3

27

16

EU Directives

Questions (780)

Clare Daly

Question:

780. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason a recommendation (details supplied) was not accepted and implemented in time for the 2019-20 derogation declarations published on 1 May 2019; and if the recommendation will be implemented in time for the 2020-2021 and future derogation declarations. [26797/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

My Department published a consultants report in October 2018 on a review of the derogation process under Article 9 of the EU Birds Directive. The consultants in their report made a number of recommendations in relation to the annual renewal of the Wild Bird Declarations which my Department will implement having regard to resources and other ongoing priorities in my Department arising from time to time.