Wildlife Control

Questions (973)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

973. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Question No. 777 of 25 June 2019, if she has received reports of negative impacts of urban seagulls on persons since 2016 in relation to St. Stephen's Green and Grafton Street. [31228/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

My Department received one item of correspondence in relation to the impact of seagulls in the St. Stephen's Green/Grafton Street area in Dublin for the period question.

Departmental Legal Services

Questions (974, 975)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

974. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if Dublin City Council consulted her Department in regard to the legal advice as read to council members at the debate held by the council on 12 June 2017 in relation to urban seagulls; and if so, if copies of the request by the council for the legal advice and a copy of the advice given to the council by her Department will be provided. [31229/19]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

975. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason advice (details supplied) did not include points relevant to the deliberations of the council concerning her legal power to issue derogations and licences to legally permit the removal of nests and eggs and the well established precedents and practice in her Department. [31230/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 974 and 975 together.

My Department has no record of providing any such advice nor indeed of any such consultation. Deliberations at local authority meetings are not within the ambit of my Department, nor does my Department provide legal advice to Local Authorities.

Criminal Prosecutions Data

Questions (976, 977)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

976. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of convictions under the Wildlife Acts in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019. [31315/19]

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Niamh Smyth

Question:

977. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of convictions under the Heritage Act 2018 to date. [31316/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 976 and 977 together.

There were 30 successful prosecution cases taken by my Department under the Wildlife Acts, which incorporate relevant provisions in the Heritage Act 2018, for the period 2016 to date.  A yearly breakdown is a follows:

- In 2016, 9 successful prosecutions

- In 2017, 8 successful prosecutions

- In 2018, 11 successful prosecutions and

- To date in 2019, 2 successful prosecutions

These prosecutions cover a variety of offenses under the Wildlife Acts including destruction of vegetation, illegal hare and duck hunting, the laying of poison and the sale of illegal traps.

Departmental Communications

Questions (978)

Shane Cassells

Question:

978. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the oversight of her Department of directives, circulars, advice or requirements issued since 2016; if surveys have been carried out of compliance with these communications to date; the surveys carried out; the results of the surveys; the compliance rate; the actions taken by her Department following these results; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31321/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

As the Deputy will be aware, in addition to their statutory responsibilities, both my Department and those bodies under its aegis are subject to normal Civil and Public Service Governance practices and procedures across all areas of operations including Corporate Governance, Finance,  Human Resources, Procurement etc. and are also subject to audit by the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

As such it is standard practice that directives, circulars, advice or requirements issued by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, or other Government Departments or Agencies in relation to matters under their remit, are brought to the attention of Department  staff and the management of bodies under the remit of the  Department.  The Department will also on occasion develop and issue internal guidance to management and staff to assist in achieving compliance with operating policies.

Compliance with Civil and Public Service policies and procedures, including internal Department policies is subject ongoing and periodic monitoring and review by line management and the Department's Evaluation Unit and Internal Audit Unit in keeping with the Department's Governance Framework.  Similar controls are in operation in those bodies under its aegis, and my Department continues to engage with the management of those bodies to ensure compliance with the provisions of  the  Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. 

Climate Change Policy

Questions (979)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

979. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the recurring weekly meetings attended by either her or the Secretary General of her Department in 2019 at which climate change and or preparations within her Department to enact a climate plan has been an agenda item; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31337/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

I am briefed on a regular basis by senior officials in relation to climate action initiatives in my Department and on biodiversity initiatives with a climate action impact. I have published for consultation two draft climate adaptation plans - one on built heritage, and one on natural heritage and  I intend to complete these plans on time for final publication by the end of September 2019.

My Department has had significant input into the Climate Action Plan published by my colleague Minister Bruton and I met with him recently to discuss the details of that contribution.

In February this year, I hosted the first National Biodiversity conference and I am currently promoting the 40 Seeds for Nature initiative arising from the conference. Many of these Seeds have a significant climate action impact, and I am regularly briefed on the progress of this initiative.

The Secretary General of my Department is a member of the Climate Action Delivery Board, comprising Secretaries General from Departments responsible for the delivery of actions outlined in the Climate Action Plan. The Delivery Board will ensure an effective whole of Government delivery of the Plan and will report on progress in implementing the Plan on a quarterly basis to the Cabinet Committee and the Government.

In summary, and given the important links between climate action, biodiversity and nature conservation, both myself and the Secretary General are in regular contact with relevant officials, and my Department is progressing climate action and biodiversity policies as a core component of its remit in the heritage area in particular.

Foreshore Licence Applications

Questions (980)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Question:

980. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if an application for funding from Donegal County Council to complete a foreshore licence application for Rannagh Pier, Arranmore Island, County Donegal has been received; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31354/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

I can confirm that my Department recently received an application for funding from Donegal County Council in relation to the development of Rannagh Pier, Árainn Mhór, County Donegal. 

My officials are currently examining this application and a decision will be made in due course.  It is important to restate that, as with all such projects, the Rannagh Pier development will have to be examined under the terms of the Public Spending Code and in the context of the funding available for island infrastructure development and the various demands on that funding.