Afforestation Programme

Questions (2045, 2046, 2047)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

2045. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide a copy of the form 3 inspection report from an inspector after their inspection of a site (details supplied) on 19 February 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31819/19]

View answer

Jackie Cahill

Question:

2046. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide a copy of the report from an inspector at a site (details supplied) on 28 May 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31820/19]

View answer

Jackie Cahill

Question:

2047. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the final payment has been made to a company (details supplied) after an inspection of a forester at a site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31821/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2045 to 2047, inclusive, together.

The afforestation contract to which this question refers comprises four different forestry plots with three different owners. In accordance with a request from one of the owners, one of the four plots was removed from the contract eligible area which means that this plot is not eligible for grant and premium payments under the afforestation scheme.

The 2nd Instalment Grant in respect of the remaining eligible area for the forestry contract in question was paid on 28/06/2019 to the applicants’ registered forester, which is the company named, on the instruction of the multiple applicants on this contract.

Prior to payment of the 2nd Instalment Grant, the eligible area was inspected on 13/03/19 and 05/06/19. No inspection was carried out on 28/05/19.

If the applicants would like to receive any further detail about the situation with their afforestation contract, including a copy of the Form 3 Inspection Report, they should contact the 2nd Grant Section in the Forestry Division of my Department at Tel. No: 053 9163424.

Forestry Grants

Questions (2048)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

2048. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason for the differential in the planting grant paid on GPC land; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31978/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In accordance with paragraph 507 of the European Union Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas 2014 to 2020, afforestation grant payments can cover the cost of establishment.

In general, establishment grants for broadleaf GPCs tend to be higher than those for conifer GPCs to reflect the higher costs of establishing broadleaf forests. For example, broadleaf plants tend to cost more than conifer plants, stocking densities are higher, there are higher weed control costs and there is a higher risk of deer damage for broadleaf forests.

Forestry Premium Payments

Questions (2049)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

2049. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason for the differential in the premia paid on GPC land; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31979/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In accordance with paragraph 507 of the European Union Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas 2014 to 2020, premium payments may be granted to cover the costs of agricultural income foregone. Premium payments for broadleaf GPCs are higher than those for conifer GPCs reflecting the longer rotation for broadleaf forests.

This longer rotation length means that it takes more time for broadleaf forest owners to get a return on their investment than for those landowners who planted conifer forests. For example, GPC 3 (Sitka spruce) has a rotation of between 35-40 years and a premium payment of €510/ha. Oak plantations, on the other hand, could be clearfelled at around 100 years or more and the annual premium payment is €645/ha.

Afforestation Programme

Questions (2050)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

2050. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the restrictions on forestry planting by which there must be a 4:1 ratio of enclosed land to unenclosed land will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31980/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Department's rule concerning afforestation of unenclosed land, limited the total area of this type of land in any one afforestation application to 20%.

The “Land Types for Afforestation ” document introduced in March 2016 sets out the potential eligibility of land for support under the Afforestation Scheme, based on the capability of that land to produce a sustainable commercial crop of timber. The introduction of this document has resulted in some previously ‘poor’ unenclosed land (GPC 1) now been classified as ‘Unsuitable Land’. However, this new procedure has led to some previously ‘good’ GPC 1 land being planted as GPC 3 and, therefore, eligible for a higher grant and premium rate.

All aspects of the current Forestry Programme will be examined in the context of the regulatory framework for the next programming period.

Afforestation Programme

Questions (2051)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

2051. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the blanket ban on the plantation of forestry on hen harrier land will be reviewed in view of the research that states that different stages of afforestation can enhance the habitat for hen harriers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31981/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is currently developing a Threat Response Plan (TRP) for the conservation of Hen Harriers. This plan will be based on the latest information and research available.

Forestry will form an element of the Plan and my Department is working closely with NPWS on issues concerning forestry in Hen Harrier SPAs. Until the Threat Response Plan is completed, my Department will not be in a position to approve afforestation projects within the SPAs.

Milk Prices

Questions (2052)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

2052. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if concerns that milk prices here continue to perform poorly when compared with prices offered across the EU will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31997/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As the Deputy will be aware, neither I nor my Department have any role in determining market prices for any commodity, nor can I intervene in the price-setting process.

The average milk price paid to Irish dairy farmers in 2018 was 34 cent per litre, which was higher than the average price paid across the EU of 33 cent per litre. To date in 2019, the average price paid to Irish dairy farmers was 32 cent per litre, which is slightly below the average price paid across the EU.

The Irish dairy market, following on from broader EU and international trends, is currently in a much improved position compared to the relatively recent past during the period 2014 - 2016. Of course, my Department remains extremely vigilant in monitoring the current market and emerging trends, particularly as we approach the peak period for Irish milk production.

In 2018, Ireland exported dairy products to approximately 140 countries totalling over €4.5 billion worth of produce, an increase of over 5% by volume compared to 2017. Most recent CSO figures available to May 2019, indicate further volume growth of over 8% for Irish exports of dairy products.

My Department, in conjunction with other stakeholders, including the Irish dairy companies and agencies such as Bord Bia, are playing a key role in building the market for Irish dairy with intensive Ministerial trade mission programmes and other promotional activities.

I have clearly stated previously, at Council of Ministers meetings and elsewhere, that it is imperative that the Commission remains vigilant in monitoring the market and that it has contingencies in place in the event of market volatility re-emerging in relevant markets, particularly the raw milk, butter and skimmed milk powder markets.

Whilst challenges have continued throughout recent years, in particular price volatility, the long-term fundamentals of the global dairy market are strong, and the Irish dairy sector is well placed to gain from the opportunity presented by expanding global demand.

Trade Agreements

Questions (2053)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

2053. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the perceived controversial EU beef trade agreement with Brazil to import meat; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31998/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Following the conclusion of the headline political agreement of 28 June in the EU/Mercosur trade negotiations, the Deputy will be aware that An Taoiseach has requested the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to commission a full economic and sustainability assessment to measure its impact. My Department will assist in that exercise regarding the agricultural aspects.

While as a small, open economy, Ireland is supportive of international trade deals, I am very concerned at the potential impact of elements of this deal on the beef sector in particular.

Ireland, worked closely with other Member State colleagues and engaged directly with the European Commission, throughout the negotiations and consistently called for the cumulative effect of successive Free Trade Agreements to be taken into account in these negotiations. Therefore, it is a matter of great disappointment and considerable concern for Ireland that a beef TRQ of 99,000 tonnes has been included in the agreement. While it will be phased-in over a period of six years, it is still likely to have a significant negative impact on an EU beef market that is delicately balanced and operating against the backdrop and challenges of Brexit.

The legal scrubbing process will now commence which may take up to two years to conclude. Ireland will spare no effort during this process to ensure that the proposed safeguard mechanism, product segmentation, the management of TRQs through import licenses, the insistence that all Mercosur imports into the EU fully satisfy EU food safety and animal health requirements, and the commitments in relation to environmental sustainability, climate change and deforestation are set out in as much detail as possible, and in a way that maximises the protection afforded to the European agriculture sector.

Live Exports

Questions (2054)

Brendan Smith

Question:

2054. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has had recent discussions with the French authorities in relation to the need to increase lairage facilities at Cherbourg; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32047/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Live exports are a critical part of Ireland’s livestock industry. They play a significant role in stimulating price competition and providing an alternative market outlet for farmers. My Department facilitates this trade, recognising its importance to the agri-food sector, while placing a strong emphasis on the welfare of all animals being transported.

In 2018, total live exports of cattle increased by over 30% compared to 2017, to 246,000 head. This growth trend has continued into 2019, with live exports already totalling 229,000 up until the week ending the 14th of July. This is up from 179,000 for the same period in 2018 – a 28% increase.

This increase is in part down to my decision in 2017 to reduce the veterinary inspection fee payable on live exports of calves less than three months of age from €4.80 to €1.20 which brought greater equity to the inspection fee regime. Since then, there has been continued growth in the export of calves, rising from 102,000 in 2017 to 159,000 in 2018. We have already surpassed this figure in 2019, with 187,000 calves exported in the year to date.

Development of additional lairage capacity in Cherbourg is a commercial matter for the export sector. Officials from my Department met their French counterparts recently in Cherbourg and, during these discussions, the French authorities indicated that they would be willing to consider applications submitted for additional lairage capacity should they arise. This has proved possible – as evidenced by the French authorities approving an increase of the holding capacity of the Qualivia lairage in Cherbourg earlier this year. My Department worked closely with the French authorities in this matter. The move provided for additional daily capacity for 400 animals, providing increased capacity of some 1,200 animals per week.

In my meetings with live exporters, I have suggested that a representative group be set up to represent their interests with a view to enhancing co-ordination in relation to the live export trade. The Deputy will be aware that the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture, Food and the Marine's recent 'Report on the future of the Beef Sector in the context of Food Wise 2025' also makes this recommendation.

Meat Processing Plant Inspections

Questions (2055)

Denis Naughten

Question:

2055. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of unannounced on-the-spot inspections carried out in the 23 plants with mechanical grading machines in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, respectively; the number of instances to date in 2019 when meat plants were instructed to revert to manual classification when a machine was found to be working outside of tolerance by inspectors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32121/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In 2018, there were 412 inspections conducted in the 23 Mechanical plants. This is an average of 18 inspections per plant.

In 2017, there were 469 inspections conducted in the 23 Mechanical plants. This is an average of 20 inspections per plant.

In 2016, there were 588 inspections conducted in the 23 Mechanical plants. This is an average of 25 inspections per plant.

In the year to date (up to 30/6/19), there were 229 inspections conducted in the 23 Mechanical plants.

The Deputy will be aware that the legal minimum requirement is 8 inspections per year.

The number of instances to date in 2019 when meat plants were instructed to revert to manual classification when a machine was found to be working outside of tolerance by inspectors is one.

Animal Slaughtering Standards

Questions (2056)

Denis Naughten

Question:

2056. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 848 of 15 January 2019, if he has applied a fine on a particular carcase for non-compliance with the carcase trim specification in January 2019; the plant involved; the payment made to the farmer supplier to reflect loss; the number of other instances of non-compliance with the carcase trim specification to date in 2019; if a fine has been applied in each case, the plant involved in each instance; the payment made to the farmer supplier to reflect the loss in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32122/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In December 2018, my Department published the names of the factories where, following inspection in that year, non-compliances were found regarding carcase trim specification.

To date in 2019, there has been one non-compliance found with the carcase trim specification in relation to three carcases in a single plant. An on-the spot fine was issued in relation to this incident. Details of this non-compliance will be published on the DAFM website in due course.

Any payments made to a Farmer Supplier, including in relation to issues such as this, are a matter between the Farmer/Supplier and the Processor/plant.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Questions (2057, 2058)

Bríd Smith

Question:

2057. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if Teagasc considered additional scenarios to those relayed in the preparations of its 2018 report, An Analysis of Abatement Potential of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Irish Agriculture 2021–2030; the nature of each of the scenarios considered in the event that additional scenarios were considered; if the scenarios considered the impact of a reduction in the dairy herd in favour of greater agricultural diversification; and if Teagasc established the impact that other scenarios considered would have on overall agricultural emissions. [32130/19]

View answer

Bríd Smith

Question:

2058. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the 2018 Teagasc report, An Analysis of Abatement Potential of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Irish Agriculture 2021–2030, was peer reviewed or subjected to independent external review; if so, if the raised concerns or reservations regarding the scenarios considered or concerns regarding the ability of the abatement measures proposed, that is, agricultural mitigation measures, land use mitigation measures and energy mitigation measures to deliver the reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions envisaged; the concerns raised in the peer or external independent review process of the report; if concerns were raised regarding the impact of further intensification of the dairy sector on overall agricultural emissions in the peer or external independent review process of the report; the consideration Teagasc gave to the concerns raised; if Deputies will have sight of the peer or independent external reviews; and if Deputies will have sight of the deliberations of Teagasc regarding concerns, factors or issues raised in the peer reviews. [32131/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2057 and 2058 together.

I am advised by Teagasc that the future scenarios they explored with respect to the dairy and beef herd reflect a realistic assessment of market prospects for the two sectors, including the effects of CAP Reform, Brexit and other trade considerations, none of which are known with certainty. Given that milk production is by a long way Ireland’s most profitable broad acre agricultural activity, reducing the size of the dairy herd in favour of “diversification” was deemed to be an unrealistic scenario that did not warrant exploration. A further reason for the exclusion of such a scenario is that the cultivation of permanent grassland itself leads to large and sustained emissions of CO2.

That said, my Department is committed to achieving sustainable development and future growth of the horticultural sector which is demonstrated through

- the State-funded Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector. For 2019, my Department has committed over €6 million in funding through the Commercial Horticulture Grant Aid Scheme.

- the EU-funded Producer Organisation Scheme - this provides an important mechanism for producers to achieve a more sustainable balance in the supply chain through collaboration and enhancing bargaining power by becoming part of a larger supply base. The Scheme also aims to increase market orientation among EU growers, encourage innovation, promote fruit and vegetables consumption, increase grower’s competitiveness and improve marketing, product quality and the environmental aspects of production.

Furthermore, my Department completed a review of Organic supports and subsequently published a development plan to 2025 identifying key opportunities in the organic sector. A targeted reopening of the organic scheme took place to support this objective. This should prove beneficial to both the environment and climate change.

The agricultural mitigation measures, land use mitigation measures and energy mitigation measures included in the MACC report are all based on peer reviewed publication, as cited extensively in the report. If any concerns were raised in peer review, these would be incorporated into a manuscript prior to publication and, therefore, given due consideration before the measures were included in the MACC report. In addition, within the Climate Action Plan, there is a specific action on reviewing the MACC and identification of additional abatement opportunities. Action 113 commits to commission an independent assessment of GHG abatement measures to establish what additional measures can be developed.

Fisheries Offences

Questions (2059)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Question:

2059. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the costs incurred by his Department and the State, respectively, for various court actions in defending the previous statutory instruments regarding serious fishing infringements as per EU requirements; the costs the State had to pay for both the High and Supreme Court cases; if all liabilities to the State have been honoured in respect of the cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32161/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I can inform the Deputy that a number of cases arose from the operation of the European Communities (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 3 of 2014), whereas none arose in relation to the European Communities (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 125 of 2016) or the annulled European Communities (Common Fisheries Policy)(Point System) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 89 of 2018).

In relation to S.I. No. 3 of 2014, the following Table contains details of cases in respect of which certain payments have been made to date. I should advise that certain matters pertaining to costs and State liabilities have yet to be finalised in a number of relevant cases.

Name of case

Payments to date

Doyle Fishing Company v Michael C.O'Connor and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority

€19,017.00 (State's Counsel fees).

High Court Costs paid in the sum of €61,996.78.

Patrick O'Sullivan and Cathal O'Sullivan v SeaFisheries Protection Authority and Ors.

€105,138.50 (State's Counsel fees).

High Court Costs paid in the sum of €138,577.33 and Supreme Court costs paid in the sum of €122,325.67.

Crayden Fishing Company Limited v SeaFisheries Protection Authority and Ors.

€73,858.97 (State's Counsel fees).

Child and Family Agency Funding

Questions (2060)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

2060. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the funding available to an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32212/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, supports and promote the development, welfare and protection of children. Tusla provides funding to voluntary organisations offering a range of counselling and support services to children and families including bereavement counselling and support on the death of a family member.

I am aware of the tremendous work that Embrace Farm undertakes and the support they give to families who have suffered a loss due to a farming accident. The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has primary responsibility for Health and Safety on Farms and my Department is fully supportive of their work and assists in the promotion of safe farming practices.

The Deputy will be aware that a wide range of safety equipment is available under TAMS II and that scheme also has a requirement for all applicants to complete safety training. In addition, farm safety is a mandatory part of the Knowledge Transfer programme.

Consultancy Contracts Data

Questions (2061)

Shane Cassells

Question:

2061. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of external consultant reports commissioned by his Department in each of the years March 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the cost of same; the company involved; and the title and publication date by report in tabular form. [32240/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table in the following link.

Table

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (2062)

Shane Cassells

Question:

2062. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the photography costs for his Department in each year since March 2011 including costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the occasions for which photographers were booked; the photographers used; the costs associated with each occasion that a photographer was used in tabular form; if there is a policy regarding the booking of photographers within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32257/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The information requested by the Deputy with regard to photography is available on my Department's website at www.agriculture.gov.ie/aboutus/ministers/photographycosts. This information is updated regularly.

Wherever possible, the Department avails of internal photography skills.

Departmental Legal Costs

Questions (2063)

Shane Cassells

Question:

2063. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the expenditure incurred in respect of external legal fees in each year since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32274/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department generally avails of the legal services of the Chief State Solicitor's Office and its own Legal Services Division. However, occasionally it engages private Solicitor Firms and Junior and Senior Counsel for external legal advice. The amount spent by my Department on external legal fees for the specified years is set out in the attached table. This includes expenditure on independent legal advice for the Agriculture Appeals Office.

Year

Expenditure incurred on External Legal Fees

2011

8,098

2012

1,047

2013

108,421

2014

112,784

2015

28,128

2016

37,574

2017

Nil

2018

14,404

2019

15,375

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (2064)

Shane Cassells

Question:

2064. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the expenditure incurred in external information technology costs in each year since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32291/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department makes extensive use of ICT systems and services to underpin all of its core activities, including areas such as Animal Health and Welfare, Food Safety, Sea Fisheries, Environmental Protection and scheme payments. My Department continues to invest in ICT services to ensure that it has the necessary systems in place to deliver on its wide range of commitments over the coming years.

For instance, since 2015, the Department has introduced over 20 new CAP-related schemes and the vast bulk of these are now processed end-to-end by digital systems. This transformative project has been achieved using a mix of internal staff and external support. Ireland is to the fore in Europe in its delivery of agriculture-related ICT Systems and this is evidenced by our ability to draw down EU CAP funding at a rate that is second only to Finland.

My Department is also currently totally re-developing its GIS Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) to ensure that it can make maximum use of the latest high definition satellite imagery, ortho-photography and technology. In addition, my Department continues to update and improve other critical systems such as the Animal Identification and Movement System (AIM), the Animal Health Control System (AHCS), the Agriculture Field Inspection System (AFIT) and the Integrated Fisheries Information System (iFIS) on a continuous basis.

Table 1 details the expenditure on external ICT services as requested by the Deputy. These figures are made up of ICT External Service Providers/Contractors and Consultancy costs.

Table 1 - External IMT Services Payments (1st March 2011 – July 11th, 2019)

PERIOD

Amount Paid

01/03/2011 – 31/12/2011

€9,432,947.30

2012

€9,714,571.61

2013

€9,916,191.90

2014

€13,118,085.21

2015

€16,020,310.01

2016

€17,796,559.58

2017

€22,320,439.79

2018

€26,464,215.66

01/01/2019 – 11/07/2019

€13,062,009.31

Protected Disclosures Data

Questions (2065)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

2065. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of protected disclosures for which he has engaged an external consultancy and-or legal firm since 2014 to date; the name of the firms engaged; the year and the costs associated with engaging the consultancy and-or legal firms in respect of protected disclosures; the way in which persons are protected in cases in which an external consultancy firm is engaged in respect of protected disclosures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32391/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As required under the relevant legislation, my Department has a Protected Disclosures Policy in place under which a staff member who wishes to make a protected disclosure may do so to any of the following confidential recipients:

- an independent/external confidential service engaged for this purpose;

- the Head of the Internal Audit Unit in the Department, or

- any member of the Department’s Management Board.

Contact details for all of the above confidential recipients, as well as procedures and protections in respect of making a protected disclosure, are contained in the policy document which has been circulated to all staff and which is also available on the Department's intranet platform.

In accordance with the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, a worker will not be penalised for making a protected disclosure, getting a disclosure wrong or being mistaken, provided the worker had a reasonable belief that the information disclosed showed, or tended to show, wrongdoing.

Following a competitive tendering process, the contract to provide an independent/external confidential recipient service has been provided by the company Resolve Ireland. A modest annual fee is paid to the company for this service and is irrespective of the numbers of disclosures received. The company is obliged to maintain the level of confidentiality as set out in the Department’s policy document.

Since the introduction of the legislation, it has not been necessary for my Department to engage an external consultancy or legal firm in respect of any protected disclosure.

Fishery Harbour Centres

Questions (2066)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

2066. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the fishery harbour and coastal infrastructure scheme is still open to local authorities; the way in which projects are selected for this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32452/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department owns, operates and maintains six designated State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres, located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth, Killybegs and Ros An Mhíl under statute.

In addition, my Department also has responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of North Harbour at Cape Clear, as well as the maintenance of a small number of specific piers, lights and beacons throughout Ireland, in accordance with the 1902 ex-congested Districts Board piers, lights and Beacons Act.

The responsibility for the development, and maintenance of Local Authority owned piers, harbours and slipways rests with each Local Authority in the first instance and their parent Department, the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government thereafter.

However, as part of my Department’s annual Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, limited funding is provided to assist coastal Local Authorities in carrying out small scale projects for the development and repair of piers, harbours and slipways in their ownership.

On the 28th January this year, all coastal Local Authorities were invited to submit applications under the 2019 Programme with a closing date of 8th February for receipt of applications. Following an initial evaluation, detailed applications were sought on the 21st February for projects shortlisted under the process. The closing date for receipt of detailed applications was the 6th March 2019.

I can confirm that all applications for funding made by Local Authorities in respect of qualifying projects have been assessed, taking into account the criteria of the scheme, the priority attached to each project by the relevant Local Authority, the funding available, and the need to ensure a broad geographical spread of projects.

On the 31st March I announced details of a €2.2m package to assist 12 Coastal Local Authorities undertake and complete 39 development and repair projects on harbours and slipways owned by them. The package provides funding for maintenance and repair works in addition to supporting the ongoing development and enhancement of harbour facilities including some marine leisure developments.

The Local Authorities have been advised of the projects for inclusion in this year’s programme and the funding available to them.

Fishery Harbour Centres

Questions (2067)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

2067. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the grant allocations to Kerry County Council under the fishery harbour and coastal infrastructure scheme since 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32453/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department owns, operates and maintains six designated State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres, located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth, Killybegs and Ros An Mhíl under statute.

In addition, my Department also has responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of North Harbour at Cape Clear, as well as the maintenance of a small number of specific piers, lights and beacons throughout Ireland, in accordance with the 1902 ex-congested Districts Board piers, lights and Beacons Act.

The responsibility for the development, and maintenance of Local Authority owned piers, harbours and slipways rests with each Local Authority in the first instance and their parent Department, the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government thereafter.

However, as part of my Department’s annual Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, limited funding is provided to assist coastal Local Authorities in carrying out small scale projects for the development and repair of piers, harbours and slipways in their ownership.

Between 2011 and 2018, Kerry County Council have received grants totalling €1,654,657 under the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme (incl the special Storm Damage scheme in 2014). In addition, I have allocated €127,500 to the Council under the 2019 programme. The following table sets out the details of the projects funded under the programme between 2011 and 2018 and those approved for funding in 2019.

Kerry County Council Grant Allocations 2011 - 2019

Year

Location

Amount Allocated €

Yearly Totals

2011

Kenmare Works

67,500

Fenit slipway

46,735

Westcove slipway

16,357

€130,592

2012

Laghacallow Slipway

377

Dooneen Repairs

45,000

Knightstown Repair

7,500

€52,877

2013

Castlemaine Hbr

67,021

Knightstown Pier

10,521

Brandon Pier

48,750

€126,292

2014

Renard Pier

112,500

Brandon Pier

57,610

Dromatoor Pier

7,500

Cahersiveen Pier

2,067

The Glen Pier

3,375

Rossdohan Pier

1,333

Blackwater Pier

1,875

Oysterbed Pier

2,625

Cornagillagh Pier

623

Kenmare Pier

2,484

Local Aids to Navigation

17,395

Kilmakilogue Pier

18,675

Tahilla Pier

5,412

Blackwater Pier

613

Cuan Pier

2,700

Coonanna Pier

1,125

Cooscrome Pier

7,606

Fenit Pier

7,740

Knightstown Pier

6,750

Dromatoor Pier

7,650

Bunnavalla Pier

4,430

Dunquin Pier

27,000

Brandon Pier

2,796

€301,884

2015

Renard Pier

71,863

Scraggane Pier

14,713

Brandon Pier

13,121

Kay Rock A to N

17,494

Tarbert Pier

3,750

Caherciveen A to N

29,935

€150,876

2016

Ballinskelligs Pier

112,500

Fenit Pier

112,500

Renard Pier

90,000

Scraggane Pier

45,000

Caherciveen Pier

3,750

Kay Rock AtoN

60,000

Visitor Moorings

27,866

Kenmare River AtoN

21,492

€473,108

2017

Ballinskelligs Pier

112,380

Renard Pier

60,872

Fenit Pier 1

22,500

Fenit Pier 2

60,000

€255,752

2018

Ballinskelligs Pier

109,598

Tarbert Pier

53,678

€163,276

2019

Tarbert Pier

112,500

Dromatoor Pier

15,000

€127,500

Total:

1,782,157

Beef Industry

Questions (2068)

Denis Naughten

Question:

2068. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 439 of 16 April 2019, if the corresponding figures for the year to date in 2019 will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32465/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1184 of 20 April 2017 governs the monitoring of carcase classification, carcase presentation and weighing. The legal tolerances for authorisation of a mechanical classification system are set in that legislation.

The figure quoted of 60% is the minimum accuracy figure for conformation and fat cover that must be achieved for a mechanical classification system to be authorised for use in any EU state. The average performance for conformation in Ireland in 2018 was 91.8% for conformation and 94.8% for fat cover.

In 2018, 23 machines were inspected during 412 inspections. During these inspections, on 112 occasions the accuracy was between 80% and 90% for both conformation and fat. In all other instances, the machines were above 90% accuracy.

In the year to date, (up to 30/6/19), 23 machines were inspected during 229 inspections. During these inspections, on 39 occasions the accuracy was between 80% and 90% for both conformation and fat.

In all other instances, the machines were above 90% accuracy.

Pesticide Use

Questions (2069)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

2069. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 482 of 28 November 2017, the position regarding pre-harvest spraying of certain crops with glyphosate-based products; if he has consulted with the Minister for Health on same in the past two years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32629/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is the Competent Authority in Ireland with responsibility for the authorisation of Plant Protection Products (PPPs). Regulatory decisions on the approval and use of pesticides are based on the scientific consensus view of all the relevant technical information from all sources. In regard to glyphosate, my Department is guided by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), who have both concluded, on the basis of extensive reviews, and involving public consultation, that glyphosate can be used safely without putting consumers or users at risk. The EFSA review included an assessment of potential dietary exposure that could result from pre-harvest use. This process guided the decision to renew the authorisation of glyphosate within the European Union in 2017.

Following the approval of active substances at EU level, plant protection products (formulations containing the active ingredient) are assessed thoroughly at a national level on the basis of detailed scientific evaluations conducted in accordance with agreed EU standards and taking account of local agronomic and environmental conditions. This process is currently on-going at Member State level and may result in some changes to the authorised uses for glyphosate based products. My Department will only authorise plant protection products on the basis of robust scientific evidence indicating high levels of protection for human and animal health and the environment.

The EU process for consideration of a further renewal of approval of glyphosate will begin in December 2019 and a full dossier will be submitted to the Member States Assessment Group on Glyphosate (France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden) by 15 June 2020. This process will involve a comprehensive scientific evaluation of all relevant data from all sources and will include a public consultation period.