Gender Balance

Questions (96)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

96. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach the plans of the CSO to undertake a gendered analysis of full employment to establish the gap between male and female participation in the workforce. [26687/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

There is no commonly agreed measure of what constitutes full employment for Ireland.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the official source of labour force (ILO) estimates in the State. The CSO publishes data on male and female participation in the workforce as part of the quarterly LFS release. The most recent LFS figures available are for Q1 2019.

The following table below shows the ILO Economic Status and key economic rates for persons aged 15 years and over classified by gender in Q1 2019.

Table 1 Persons aged 15 years and over classified by gender and ILO Economic Status and key economic rates, Q1 2019

Gender

ILO Economic Status

Q1 19

'000

Males

In labour force

1,303.5

of which: In employment

1,237.5

Unemployed

65.9

Not in labour force

610.0

Total males

1,913.5

Employment rate %

74.3

Unemployment rate %

5.1

Participation rate %

68.1

Females

In labour force

1,112.8

of which: In employment

1,064.4

Unemployed

48.4

Not in labour force

870.2

Total females

1,983.0

Employment rate %

64.3

Unemployment rate %

4.4

Participation rate %

56.1

All persons

In labour force

2,416.3

of which: In employment

2,301.9

Unemployed

114.4

Not in labour force

1,480.2

Total persons

3,896.5

Employment rate %

69.3

Unemployment rate %

4.8

Participation rate %

62.0

Source: Labour Force Survey (LFS), Central Statistics Office, Ireland

Data may be subject to future revision.

Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.

Reference period: Q1=Jan-March.

The employment rate is the number of persons aged 15-64 in employment expressed as a percentage of the total population aged 15-64 years.

The unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed expressed as a percentage of the total labour force aged 15-74 years.

The participation rate is the number of persons in the labour force expressed as a percentage of the total population aged 15 years and over.

Freedom of Information Data

Questions (97)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

97. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Taoiseach the number of freedom of information requests granted, part granted, refused, transferred to an appropriate body, withdrawn or handled outside freedom of information in 2018, in tabular form. [26399/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The details requested by the Deputy regarding the freedom of information requests received in my Department in 2018 are as follows:

Requests received - 490

Granted - 111

Part-granted - 243

Refused - 46

No records exist - 70

Transferred - 3

Withdrawn - 13

Handled outside FOI - 4

Cabinet Committee Meetings

Questions (98)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

98. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach the number of times Cabinet committee C, European Union, including Brexit, has met in 2019; and when it is next scheduled to meet. [26703/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

Cabinet Committee C, which covers EU and international issues, including Brexit, last met on 21 June 2018.

Given the significance of Brexit for the country, it is important that all Cabinet Ministers are fully across what is happening.

Therefore, over the past 12 months, it has been discussed on at least 25 occasions at full Cabinet level.

Recently Memos were brought to Cabinet for discussion on Brexit Preparedness Planning.

I also meet with individual Ministers or groups of relevant Ministers to focus on particular issues, including those relating to Brexit and other EU and international issues.

The date of the next meeting of Cabinet Committee C has not been confirmed.

The Tánaiste continues to hold Brexit Stakeholder Forum engagements, most recently on 29 May.

Freedom of Information Data

Questions (99)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

99. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of freedom of information requests granted, part granted, refused, transferred to an appropriate body, withdrawn or handled outside freedom of information in 2018, in tabular form. [26389/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

My Department received a total of 140 requests in 2018 for records under the Freedom of Information Acts. The table below shows the breakdown of these requests.

Among the reasons for the refusal of requests was that the records sought did not exist.

Granted

28

Part-Granted

34

Refused

47

Transferred

13

Withdrawn

13

Dealt with outside of FoI

5

Total number of FoI requests received in 2018

140

Defence Forces Remuneration

Questions (100, 101)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

100. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to the Public Sector Pay Commission report on the Defence Forces; when it will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26445/19]

View answer

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

101. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether the level of pay for personnel in the Defence Forces is adequate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26447/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 and 101 together.

Similar to other sectors in the public service, the pay of Permanent Defence Force personnel was reduced as one of the measures to assist in stabilising national finances during the financial crisis. The recovery in the economy has provided the fiscal resources to restore payscales to all public servants in an affordable and sustainable manner. Pay is being restored to members of the Defence Forces and other public servants in accordance with public sector pay agreements. The focus of these increases is weighted in favour of those on lower pay.

The Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020, provides for increases in pay ranging from 6.2% to 7.4% over the lifetime of the Agreement. The increases due under the agreement to date have been paid to Permanent Defence Force personnel. Further increases in pay are scheduled in 2019 and 2020.

By the end of the current Public Service Pay agreement the payscales of all public servants (including members of the Defence Forces), earning under €70,000 per annum, will be restored to pre FEMPI levels. The restoration of the 5% reduction to allowances cut under FEMPI is also scheduled as part of that agreement.

New entrants who joined the Defence Forces since 2011, may also benefit from the measures which will see interventions at points 4 and 8 of the pay scales for all such relevant new entrants to the public service.

The Public Service Pay Commission has conducted a comprehensive examination and analysis of underlying difficulties of recruitment and retention in the Defence Sector. The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform is expected to bring the report prepared by the Commission to Government shortly. The Government will give due consideration to the findings and recommendations in the report.

Defence Forces Allowances

Questions (102)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

102. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the estimated full-year cost of restoring the Defence Forces annual instructors allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26603/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

Non-commissioned officers who are filling appointments in the Establishment for Instructors in the Military College, Training Depots, Corps Depots and Schools and in the Observer Corps are paid an allowance at the weekly rate of €23.28 or €24.50 depending on personal pension contributions payable by the individual. This continues to be paid for duties performed.

In accordance with the Public Service Stability Agreement, 2013-2016, (the Haddington Road Agreement), all sectors across the public service were required to contribute to additional pay and productivity measures. Other sectors delivered these savings through a variety of approaches including additional working time and reduced rates of overtime payments.

As part of the cost saving measures to be secured in the Defence sector under the agreement, it was agreed with the Representative Association for Commissioned Officers (RACO) that payment of Special Instructors Allowance to Officers of the Permanent Defence Force would cease. The individuals who were in receipt of the allowance at that time were compensated in agreement with the representative association.

There are no plans to reinstate the allowance and in this regard the cost of restoring the allowance has not been computed.

Defence Forces Recruitment

Questions (103)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

103. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if a new cadetship competition for the Permanent Defence Force will open in quarter 4 of 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26604/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The 2019 competition for cadetships in the Defence Forces was launched in April of this year and the assessment process for applicants is underway. It is envisaged that the next competition for cadetships in the Defence Forces will take place in Quarter 1 of 2020.

Air Corps Strength

Questions (104)

Clare Daly

Question:

104. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of aircraft technicians in the helicopter wing of the Air Corps in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and the number that left during same period. [26706/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The following table, provided by the military authorities, sets out the number of aircraft technicians in No 3 Operations Wing:

Year

Date

Strength

2017

31/12/2017

47

2018

31/12/2018

43

2019

20/06/2019

45

The military authorities have also confirmed that a total of 13 Aircraft Technicians discharged from No 3 Operations Wing between 1st January 2017 and 20th June 2019.

Defence Forces Equipment

Questions (105)

Clare Daly

Question:

105. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if funding will be provided for the purchase of two additional water tender ladder fire appliances for the Curragh camp fire station; and the frequency with which fire appliances are replaced in military barracks. [26707/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service, is maintained to the greatest extent possible to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government.

The acquisition of new equipment and the upgrading of equipment for the Defence Forces remains a clear focus for me. Future equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are considered in the context of the White Paper on Defence as part of the capability development and equipment priorities planning process. The principal aim over the period of the White Paper will be to replace and upgrade, as required, existing capabilities in order to retain a flexible response for a wide range of operational requirements both at home and overseas.

The Defence Forces operate a fire station at the Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC), Curragh Camp with one fire crew on duty at all times. The main purpose of the fire station is to provide a rapid response in the event of a fire at the Ammunition Depot, and also to respond to fire alarms and fire emergencies within the DFTC.

Certain purchasing is carried out by the Defence Forces directly under delegation of financial responsibility which permits the Defence Forces to procure a wide range of goods and services directly, this includes the purchasing of fire appliances. I am advised by the military authorities that the fire station is adequately equipped with a Class B Fire Appliance which was delivered in 2018 following an open tender competition, and there is currently no requirement for the acquisition of additional fire appliances for the DFTC.

The only other military installation with a requirement for a fire service is Casement Aerodrome Baldonnel, where a fire and crash rescue service is required for airfield operations. A contract was awarded last year for the supply of one Rapid Intervention Foam Tender (RIFT) for the Air Corps Fire Service which is due to be delivered into service in June 2020. The delivery into service of the RIFT vehicle will augment the existing capability of the Air Corps Fire and Rescue Service at Casement Aerodrome Baldonnel.

I am satisfied that the Defence Forces have the necessary modern and effective range of equipment available to them in order to fulfil all roles assigned to them by Government.

Defence Forces Recruitment

Questions (106)

Clare Daly

Question:

106. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans for a recruitment campaign in the UK to recruit a military psychiatrist for the Permanent Defence Force. [26708/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

A recruitment campaign for a civilian consultant psychiatrist for the Defence Forces will commence shortly. To ensure that there is a broad field of candidates as possible, all options for publicising the vacancy are being considered, including the possibility of advertising the post abroad as well as in Ireland.

Defence Forces Expenditure

Questions (107)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

107. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the amount spent on replacing military police vehicles in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [26753/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service, is maintained to the greatest extent possible to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government.

The acquisition of new equipment for the Defence Forces remains a clear focus for me. Future equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are considered in the context of the White Paper on Defence as part of the capability development and equipment priorities planning process. The principal aim over the period of the White Paper will be to replace and upgrade, as required, existing capabilities in order to retain a flexible response for a wide range of operational requirements, including response to security risks and other emergencies, both at home and overseas.

There is also continuous investment in the non-armoured vehicle fleet and funding is provided on an on-going basis for the required maintenance of vehicles in the military transport fleet, both at home and overseas.

Certain purchasing is carried out by the Defence Forces directly under delegation of financial responsibility which permits the Defence Forces to procure a wide range of goods and services directly, and this includes Military Police vehicles.

The following table sets out details of the amount spent on "blue light" Military Police vehicles from 2017 to date in 2019.

Year

Number of Vehicles

Cost

Remarks

2017

Nil

Nil

2018

Nil

Nil

2019

4

€127,680

Vehicles delivered to DF and currently under-going fit-out. (There will be further costs for fitting of blue-lighting)

Rockall Island Ownership

Questions (108)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

108. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the detail of the historical negotiations with the UK with regard to ownership of Rockall; if a formal agreement with the UK on the exclusive economic zone of Rockall was made in 2013 as per an article (details supplied); and the developments of all countries contesting ownership claims on the continental shelf to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. [26065/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Rockall is a small uninhabitable rock located approximately 160 nautical miles west of the Scottish islands of St. Kilda and 230 nautical miles to the north-west of Donegal. It marks a point at which the Rockall Bank, part of the very large Hatton-Rockall area of continental shelf extending under the north-east Atlantic Ocean, protrudes 21 metres above sea level. During the 1960s and 1970s the issue of Rockall was a source of legal and political controversy in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. The UK claimed sovereignty over Rockall in 1955 and sought to formally annex it under its 1972 Island of Rockall Act.

While Ireland has not recognised British sovereignty over Rockall, we have never sought to claim sovereignty ourselves. The consistent position of successive Irish Governments has been that Rockall and similar rocks and skerries should have no significance for establishing legal claims to continental shelf. This position is now reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea which provides at Article 121, paragraph 3 that: ‘Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.’ Accordingly, sovereignty over Rockall and rights to the Hatton-Rockall area of continental shelf on which Rockall sits are two separate issues.

Under the UN Convention all coastal states are entitled to a continental shelf that extends to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles if the geological continental margin does not actually extend that far. Where a State claims a continental shelf that extends beyond 200 miles it must demonstrate to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf that geologically the margin extends beyond that distance and must provide data to support its case.

In 1988, Ireland and the UK reached agreement on the delimitation of areas of the continental shelf between the two countries in both the Hatton Rockall area of the North East Atlantic and in the Celtic Sea to the south, stretching out up 500 nautical miles from their respective coastlines. Under the UN Convention the location of Rockall was irrelevant to the determination of the boundary in the Hatton-Rockall area.

Notwithstanding the 1988 agreement between Ireland and the UK, the claims by both countries to the Hatton-Rockall shelf beyond 200 miles are not accepted by Iceland or Denmark (on behalf of the Faroe Islands), which make their own claims. The four countries began to meet regularly from 2001 in an effort to resolve the overlapping claims issue, but to date have been unable to reach agreement.

The UN Convention imposes a ten-year deadline for the making of continental shelf submissions to the UN Commission and the deadline expired for Ireland in May 2009. The Government therefore arranged to make the submission in March of that year, as did the British Government in respect of the UK’s claim. Denmark submitted its claim on behalf of the Faroe Islands in 2010. Iceland has not made a submission to date.

The UN Commission’s rules of procedure prevent its consideration of a submission relating to a disputed area without the consent of all the States concerned and Iceland does not currently consent to the consideration of these submissions. However, Ireland’s submission within the deadline preserved the State’s legal position and since then the Government has continued to work for the creation of conditions that will permit its consideration by the UN Commission as soon as possible.

The exclusive economic zone (or EEZ) is the body of water beyond the territorial sea that lies above the continental shelf between 12 and 200 nautical miles from shore. In 2013 Ireland and the UK reached agreement on boundaries between the two countries’ EEZs. The 2013 agreement built on the 1988 Agreement that established continental shelf boundaries and it provides that those boundaries, slightly adjusted to ensure that no waters were lost to the high seas, shall also be the EEZ boundaries. This created a single maritime boundary between 12 and 200 miles in the water and on the seabed beneath.

Nothing in either agreement altered Ireland’s longstanding position on Rockall, nor does either agreement have any implications for the present difficulties between Ireland and Scotland over fishing within 12 miles of Rockall.

Foreign Policy

Questions (109, 110)

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

109. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the extradition law proposed in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26210/19]

View answer

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

110. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the measures used against protestors in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26211/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 and 110 together.

I am aware of the bill that was proposed in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region which sought to amend local legislation to allow for extradition to the Chinese Mainland, Macau and Taiwan. I note that, on 15 June, the passage of this legislation was suspended indefinitely by the Hong Kong authorities in response to ongoing protests by Hong Kong citizens.

The Consulate General in Hong Kong has been closely monitoring and reporting on developments in relation to the proposed extradition bill and the related demonstrations. The Consul General, along with the EU Office and representatives of other EU Member States, has engaged directly with the Hong Kong authorities to set out our concerns with the proposed bill.

In this House last week, I highlighted Ireland's support for the right of citizens to assembly and freedom of expression, which are provided for under Hong Kong's Basic Law. I urged demonstrators to express their rights in a peaceful manner, and for the police to respect these rights and to exercise restraint in response. I note that while the demonstrations have continued since the suspension of the proposed legislation, they have largely passed without incident, which is welcome.

Ireland will continue to monitor the situation through our Consulate General in Hong Kong.

Travel Documents

Questions (111)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

111. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the documentation persons (details supplied) require to travel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26227/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Passport Service, within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is responsible for the issuance of passports to Irish citizens, as set out in the Passports Act 2008, as amended.

Immigration or administrative requirements for entry into other States, including what documentation is acceptable for those purposes, are not matters that are within the competence of my Department.

European Parliament Elections

Questions (112, 113)

Niall Collins

Question:

112. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the European Commission has carried out a review on whether there were attempts by outside agencies and State actors to manipulate the European Parliament elections in May 2019; if so, the findings of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26244/19]

View answer

Niall Collins

Question:

113. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on reports that Russian sources conducted disinformation campaigns designed to suppress voter turnout and sway public opinion during the May 2019 European Parliament elections; if action will be taken in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26245/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112 and 113 together.

Protecting democratic processes and institutions from disinformation is a major challenge for all societies. In order to tackle this challenge, the EU is building a robust framework for coordinated action which is fully in line with European values and fundamental rights.

The most recent EEAS / European Commission Report on the implementation of the EU’s Action Plan Against Disinformation was released on 14 June 2019. The Report found that available evidence did not permit the identification of a distinct cross-border disinformation campaign from external sources specifically targeting the European elections. However, it concluded that the evidence collected revealed a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russian sources, aiming to suppress turnout and influence voter preferences.

According to the EU's East Strategic Communication Task Force, activity covered a broad range of topics, ranging from challenging the Union’s democratic legitimacy to exploiting divisive public debates on issues such as migration and sovereignty.

While it is too early to draw final conclusions about the level and impact of this disinformation, it is clear that the measures adopted to date by the European Council - the EU Joint Action Plan against Disinformation and the dedicated Elections Package - helped to deter attacks and expose disinformation.

Within the framework of these actions, individuals and organisations, including journalists, fact checkers, online platforms, national authorities, researchers and civil society organisations contributed to raising awareness about how to counter the threat. This increased public awareness made it harder for malicious actors to manipulate the public debate.

More broadly, the EU has strengthened its capabilities to identify and counter disinformation, via the Strategic Communication Task Forces and the EU Hybrid Fusion Cell in the European External Action Service. A Rapid Alert System has also been established to facilitate the prompt exchange of information between Member States and the EU institutions where suspect disinformation campaigns have been detected.

During the election period the EU worked closely with online platforms and industry through a voluntary Code of Practice to increase the transparency of political communications and to prevent the manipulative use of their services. This allows users to know why they see specific political content and ads, and see where they come from and who is behind them.

The fight against disinformation is a long-term challenge that concerns all parts of our societies and requires continuous commitment and efforts. The private sector, especially the online platforms, have a particular responsibility. The Commission will shortly report back to the European Council in more detail on the implementation of the measures introduced during the election period and on the effectiveness of the Voluntary Code of Practice. Further proposals to strengthen our collective action in response to this ever-evolving threat are likely.

Foreign Policy

Questions (114)

Niall Collins

Question:

114. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to reports that a number of Ukrainian journalists are being detained in Russia and Crimea; the actions the EU has taken with regard to the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26378/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland and its EU partners closely follow developments in relation to media freedom and the treatment of journalists in the Russian Federation and Ukraine, and monitor the environment for journalists and any legislation which encroaches on the freedom of speech. Developments are discussed on a regular basis in Brussels and by EU Missions in Moscow and Kyiv.

The EU plays a key role in funding the European Centre for Press and Media freedom (ECPMF) and Ireland supports the targeted protection of journalists through Human Rights Defenders programmes.

At the European Council on 20 June, EU leaders discussed developments in Eastern Ukraine and the Azov Sea and the overall implementation of the Minsk agreements and negotiations in the Normandy format. EU leaders unanimously agreed to roll over the economic sanctions on Russia for another six months and called for an urgent resumption of negotiating efforts to implement the Minsk agreements. The European Council will continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine and stand ready to consider further options, including non-recognition of Russian passports issued in contradiction to the Minsk agreements.

Freedom of Information Data

Questions (115)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

115. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of freedom of information requests granted, part granted, refused, transferred to an appropriate body, withdrawn or handled outside freedom of information in 2018, in tabular form. [26393/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

A breakdown of the Freedom of Information (FOI) requests received by my Department in 2018 is set out in the table below. A total of 320 requests were received in 2018, plus 16 requests received in 2017 which were carried over into 2018 for reply.

Freedom of Information

Number of requests

Number of FOI requests granted

60

Number of FOI requests part-granted

91

Number of FOI requests refused

40

Number of FOI requests withdrawn

51

Number of FOI requests withdrawn and handled outside of the Act

69

Number of FOI requests transferred to other FOI bodies

7

Number of FOI requests carried over into 2019 for reply

18

Departmental Properties

Questions (116)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

116. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the full rental and-or purchase costs, maintenance and-or upkeep and-or alteration costs associated with all property outside the State that his Department has an interest in, that is, properties that are embassies, Consulates General and official accommodations by accommodation type, cost per year per property and location of property for the past five years to date in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26586/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

My Department delivers Ireland’s foreign policy objectives through our Embassy network. At present, my Department is responsible for 159 properties comprising Embassies, Consulate Generals, Permanent Missions, Permanent Representations, Secretariats, Representative Offices and official accommodation.

As part of the duty of care to staff, their families and visitors to our buildings for meetings and functions, the Department must ensure that security and health and safety standards are met, as well as provision of universal access facilities. The Department maintains appropriate health, safety and security standards in our properties overseas while also applying any additional international standards in the location in question, as necessary. All refurbishment and maintenance at missions are conducted in line with the Department’s procurement obligations under Government public tendering and contracting rules, including both national and EU public procurement thresholds.

The full rental and or purchase costs, maintenance and/or upkeep and or alteration costs for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are outlined in the first table.

A list of offices by type and location are set out in the second table.

The purchase costs of properties purchased by the State from 2014 to 2018 are listed in the final table. The purchases were official accommodation in Lilongwe, land to build Ireland House Tokyo in Japan and purchase of an adjacent building to the Embassy of Ireland in Washington to allow for its expansion.

Table 1. Cost per Mission (€) 2014-2018

Location

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

ABU DHABI

229,252

258,047

300,226

366,315

292,580

ABUJA

215,770

269,383

151,915

183,141

318,248

ADDIS ABABA

164,208

188,699

199,438

218,037

360,175

AMMÁN

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

99,727

ANKARA

134,098

138,453

264,230

332,270

586,751

ARMAGH

408,325

422,910

435,644

414,194

413,699

ATHENS

170,266

167,579

154,752

226,106

171,335

ATLANTA

56,534

66,574

60,308

97,664

82,692

AUSTIN

14,144

246,429

123,424

135,571

135,990

BANGKOK

N/A

550,087

197,067

173,483

197,191

BEIJING

1,018,923

170,658

656,734

605,323

779,418

BELFAST

274,250

201,098

273,381

820,869

369,077

BERLIN

443,042

400,390

366,171

374,641

360,362

BERNE

100,251

134,420

212,280

125,703

114,438

BOGOTA

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

BOSTON

160,370

202,275

204,859

177,847

241,461

BRASILIA

270,189

266,868

242,179

244,283

170,018

BRATISLAVA

186,270

188,683

184,005

188,819

237,426

BRUSSELS (EMBASSY)

398,275

369,174

172,237

137,726

131,280

BRUSSELS (PfP)

167,320

172,634

231,664

176,022

172,085

BRUSSELS (PR-EU)

1,857,073

2,233,370

1,721,385

1,791,836

1,802,174

BUCHAREST

268,657

277,487

235,395

177,732

174,217

BUDAPEST

260,946

277,364

283,846

294,287

290,816

BUENOS AIRES

156,158

202,745

222,107

226,258

229,978

CAIRO

231,784

282,837

318,009

268,105

272,426

CANBERRA

148,227

133,946

155,420

143,096

132,535

CAPETOWN

N/A

27,742

724.23

41,214

15,168

CARDIFF

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

CHICAGO

95,709

110,989

118,777

116,380

115,346

COPENHAGEN

66,615

260,608

74,112

134,558

89,868

DAR ES SALAAM

178,928

156,295

159,982

165,726

147,541

EDINBURGH

101,420

115,988

83,301

80,523

80,540

FREETOWN

136,687

196,756

143,358

130,701

128,268

GENEVA

527,828

614,230

599,581

693,211

525,395

HANOI

263,976

297,161

329,580

393,347

319,292

HELSINKI

275,714

268,682

197,395

287,312

323,109

HOLY SEE

N/A

101,748

135,272

139,303

140,609

HONG KONG

70,307

667,275

377,003

342,955

403,528

JAKARTA

560,125

667,911

355,533

602,059

214,921

KAMPALA

461,474

286,780

306,748

345,671

502,530

KUALA LUMPUR

224,495

156,310

266,985

167,367

181,751

LILONGWE

149,937

182,651

161,646

565,070

108,687

LISBON

164,411

159,823

168,759

235,630

679,691

LJUBLJANA

174,963

169,794

156,017

147,350

149,665

LONDON

1,128,679

1,263,321

1,069,698

1,318,672

3,270,254

LUSAKA

110,640

123,751

123,803

144,577

112,849

LUXEMBOURG

179,560

124,230

118,430

111,768

111,579

MADRID

339,922

282,320

280,628

301,302

322,823

MAPUTO

280,192

211,840

256,144

216,123

210,334

MASERU

32,288

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

MEXICO

223,290

266,849

255,426

286,783

261,087

MONROVIA

7,511

2,610

43,748

44,884

38,432

MOSCOW

469,459

239,783

276,151

306,094

299,344

MUMBAI

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

10,184

NAIROBI

32,919

348,401

504,470

212,954

204,966

NEW DELHI

690,172

840,329

889,434

862,586

822,366

NEW YORK - C.G.

1,018,992

1,214,806

1,250,791

1,227,057

1,133,043

NEW YORK - PMUN

897,309

1,103,880

1,151,669

1,195,844

1,540,357

NICOSIA

118,925

120,724

119,520

125,391

146,073

OSCE - VIENNA

264,814

261,275

256,214

295,620

229,672

OSLO

280,978

425,774

261,858

240,414

338,398

OTTAWA

145,699

168,692

156,383

168,598

185,044

PARIS

954,226

463,781

616,324

539,064

538,663

PRAGUE

239,335

228,622

222,710

231,895

241,959

PRETORIA

256,188

294,029

263,065

311,603

305,365

RAMALLAH

147,526

199,024

173,503

167,634

158,852

RIGA

98,268

89,981

91,595

99,871

118,987

RIYADH

206,926

206,144

200,513

162,015

210,128

ROME

209,630

211,445

241,990

165,259

147,277

SAN FRANCISCO

210,081

249,143

266,360

275,730

281,258

SANTIAGO

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

SAO PAOLO

N/A

16,663

123,022

660,694

190,195

SEOUL

171,124

182,851

589,533

172,839

205,640

SHANGHAI

376,028

346,540

334,816

331,077

316,845

SINGAPORE

501,492

438,781

394,198

427,263

423,803

SOFIA

229,886

235,510

217,331

196,235

209,301

STOCKHOLM

271,699

264,753

200,492

183,977

274,296

STRASBOURG

112,911

110,989

119,880

124,875

111,821

SYDNEY

299,657

199,205

255,825

262,580

268,334

TALLINN

321,105

366,703

199,175

202,742

210,560

TEL AVIV

374,381

396,831

532,657

443,899

400,442

THE HAGUE

168,895

210,618

172,034

260,568

228,791

TOKYO

597,042

552,372

889,391

8,633,108

953,306

VALLETTA

233,879

225,059

182,080

156,869

161,281

VANCOUVER

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

19,800

VIENNA

258,856

374,704

256,784

284,634

271,062

VILNIUS

201,363

148,429

154,305

153,592

156,221

WARSAW

418,924

478,642

413,159

402,165

403,805

WASHINGTON DC

229,085

147,450

140,806

173,057

3,939,344

WELLINGTON

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

13,778

ZAGREB

3,986

249,043

148,609

153,826

144,153

Table 2. List of Offices by Type and Location

Mission

Abu Dhabi chancery

Abu Dhabi official accommodation

Abuja chancery & official accommodation

Addis Ababa chancery

Addis Ababa official accommodation

Amman chancery

Amman official accommodation

Ankara chancery

Ankara official accommodation

Armagh Joint Secretariat

Armagh official accommodation

Armagh Staff Apartments

Athens chancery

Athens official accommodation

Atlanta CG chancery

Austin CG chancery

Bangkok chancery

Bangkok official accommodation

Beijing chancery and official accommodation

Beijing Visa office

Belfast British-Irish Intergovernment Secretariat

Belfast official accommodation

Berlin chancery

Berlin official accommodation

Berne chancery

Berne official accommodation

Bogota chancery

Bogota official accommodation

Boston chancery

Brasilia chancery

Brasilia official accommodation

Bratislava chancery

Bratislava official accommodation

Brussels Embassy official accommodation

Brussels, Deputy Permanent Representative official accommodation

Brussels, P.S.C. official accommodation

Brussels, Permanent Representation chancery & Embassy

Brussels, Permanent Representative official accommodation

Bucharest chancery

Bucharest official accommodation

Budapest chancery

Budapest official accommodation

Buenos Aires chancery

Buenos Aires official accommodation

Cairo chancery

Cairo official accommodation

Canberra chancery & official accommodation Compound

Capetown chancery

Cardiff chancery

Chicago CG chancery

Copenhagen chancery

Copenhagen official accommodation

Dar Es Salaam chancery

Dar Es Salaam official accommodation

Edinburgh CG chancery

Freetown chancery

Freetown HOM official accommodation

Geneva chancery

Geneva official accommodation

Hanoi chancery

Hanoi official accommodation

Helsinki chancery

Helsinki official accommodation

Holy See chancery

Holy See official accommodation

Hong Kong CG chancery

Jakarta chancery

Jakarta official accommodation

Kampala chancery

Kampala official accommodation

Kuala Lumpur chancery

Kuala Lumpur official accommodation

Lilongwe chancery

Lilongwe official accommodation

Lisbon chancery

Lisbon official accommodation

Ljubljana chancery

Ljubljana official accommodation

London chancery and official accommodation

London, Passport Information Centre

Lusaka chancery

Lusaka official accommodation

Luxembourg chancery

Luxembourg official accommodation

Madrid chancery

Madrid official accommodation

Maputo chancery

Maputo official accommodation

Mexico chancery

Mexico official accommodation

Monrovia chancery

Monrovia official accommodation

Moscow chancery and official accommodation

Mumbai chancery

Nairobi chancery

Nairobi official accommodation

New Delhi chancery

New Delhi official accommodation

New York, Consulate General chancery

New York, Consulate General official accommodation

New York, PMUN chancery

New York, PMUN official accommodation

Nicosia chancery

Nicosia official accommodation

Oslo chancery

Oslo official accommodation

Ottawa chancery

Ottawa official accommodation

Paris chancery and official accommodation

Paris, OECD official accommodation

Prague chancery

Prague official accommodation

Pretoria chancery

Pretoria official accommodation

Ramallah chancery

Ramallah official accommodation

Riga chancery

Riyadh chancery and official accommodation

Rome chancery

San Francisco Consulate General chancery

Santiago official accommodation

Santiago chancery

São Paulo Consulate General chancery

Seoul chancery

Seoul official accommodation

Shanghai chancery

Singapore chancery

Singapore official accommodation

Sofia chancery

Sofia official accommodation

Stockholm chancery

Stockholm official accommodation

Strasbourg chancery

Strasbourg official accommodation

Sydney Consulate General chancery

Tallinn chancery & official accommodation

Tel Aviv chancery

Tel Aviv official accommodation

The Hague chancery

The Hague official accommodation

Tokyo chancery

Tokyo official accommodation

Valletta chancery

Valletta official accommodation

Vancouver CG

Vienna chancery (Embassy & OSCE)

Vienna official accommodation

Vienna, OSCE official accommodation

Vilnius chancery

Vilnius official accommodation

Warsaw chancery

Warsaw official accommodation

Washington chancery

Washington chancery (adjoining site purchased 2018)

Washington official accommodation

Wellington chancery

Wellington official accommodation

Zagreb chancery

Zagreb official accommodation

Table 3. Purchase cost of properties 2014-2018

Year of purchase

Purchase value (€)

Lilongwe official accommodation

2017

410,619

Tokyo Chancery and official accommodation - purchase of land

2017

7,739,705

Washington Chancery 2018

2018

3,489,976

Election Monitoring Missions

Questions (117, 118, 119)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

117. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the name and age range of each observer appointed to the 2018 election observer roster; the country in which each resides; if they were members of the previous roster; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26641/19]

View answer

Billy Kelleher

Question:

118. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the reason no long-term election observer from Ireland was sent to the election events in Ukraine in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26642/19]

View answer

Billy Kelleher

Question:

119. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the reason the 2018 call for election observers made no provision for reasonable accommodation for disabled applicants; if his officials have been contacted by the Department of Health regarding the matter; if this aspect of the selection process will be reviewed having regard to the obligations of Ireland under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; his plans to appoint disabled election observers whose marks suffered due to the absence of reasonable accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26643/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 to 119, inclusive, together.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade administers and maintains a roster of suitably skilled individuals who are available to deploy on international election observation missions organised, in the main, by the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

A new roster was mustered in January 2019. As the security vetting of the persons shortlisted to that roster continues, the position regarding the disclosure of the list of names of the new roster remains as stated in the response to Parliamentary Question No. 73 of 29 May 2019, to which I refer the Deputy.

The roster mustering process is now complete. The Department did not receive any request for a reasonable accommodation during the seven week period for the submission of applications, or any stage prior to the appeals process deadline. The issue of reasonable accommodation has been addressed in the responses to Parliamentary Questions No. 60 of 23 January, No. 153 of 5 February, No. 65 of 6 February, No. 58 of 7 February, No. 124 of 12 February, Nos. 100 and 105 of 26 February, Nos. 117 and 119 of 5 March, Nos. 74, 76 and 81 of 6 March, No. 68 of 12 March, No. 157 of 26 March, No. 115 of 16 April and No. 73 of 29 May 2019. Further information is set out in the Information Note attached to this response.

The EU and the OSCE-ODHIR regularly issue calls for the nomination of observers to participate in the election missions organised under their auspices. The Department reviews each call and responds accordingly on a case-by-case basis, including with regard to the overall annual budget available for participation in election observation missions and the resources of the Department's Elections Desk.

Information concerning Ireland's substantial contribution to the OSCE election observation mission in Ukraine is set out in the response to Parliamentary Question No. 51 of 18 April 2019, to which I refer the Deputy.

Election Observation Roster note

Brexit Preparations

Questions (120)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

120. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the provisions that have been made to protect in as much as feasibly possible all-island financial services in a no-deal Brexit scenario; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26697/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Department of Finance has policy responsibility for matters relating to Financial Services.

Throughout the Brexit process, Ireland and the EU have been at one in our determination to do all we can, deal or no deal, to protect the peace process and to avoid a hard border. The Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland which was agreed as part of the Withdrawal Agreement underpins, in a dynamic way, continuing North-South cooperation and the all-island economy as well as recognising the Common Travel Area.

Supporting the financial services sector to prepare for Brexit is a key part of our whole-of-Government approach to prepare for Brexit, and a number of key steps have been taken at both EU and national level.

These includes legislative provisions which have been passed by the Oireachtas in the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2019. This remains ready to be deployed if and when required.

The Government is continuing its intensive preparations for the possibility of a no deal Brexit. At its meeting of 21 May the Government agreed that this work should continue to be taken forward as a matter of priority by all Government Departments and Agencies.

Diplomatic Representation

Questions (121)

Clare Daly

Question:

121. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the foreign ambassadors that have an embassy here who he has met formally to date in 2019. [26713/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

There are 62 resident Embassies in Dublin.

Opportunities to meet Heads of Mission - Ambassadors or Chargé d'Affaires - at each Embassy arise on a frequent basis. I will meet Heads of Mission from the entire diplomatic corps (both resident and non-resident) at the National Day of Commemoration on 14 July.

I also meet Heads of Mission on the occasion of visits by my counterparts to Ireland; at regular events I attend across Ireland; when participating in credential ceremonies at Áras an Uachtaráin and on numerous other occasions.

To date in 2019, in addition to the foregoing, I have had formal bilateral meetings with four resident Ambassadors: the Ambassador of India; the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the former Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran.