Disability Services Provision

Questions (246)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

246. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the reason the group home in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, has not opened since it was completed in 2016 and 2017; when the home will open; and if it will have the necessary resources and funding it needs to assist the persons that need services. [52092/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Questions (247)

Robert Troy

Question:

247. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the implementation of ongoing communications strategy initiatives that highlight schemes and programmes operated under the auspices of his Department including advertising and promotion on TV, radio, newspapers and online in tabular form; and the level of expenditure for each such initiative. [52120/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Please see attached table of information in reply to your query.

Initiative/strategy

Supplier

Consultancy

Advertising (production)

Promotion (Incl radio magazine)

Cinema

TV

Outdoor

Online

Total

Pitch to Sláintecare

Facebook Ads

€50.00

€50.00

Skin cancer prevention plan Healthy Ireland

€35.00

€35.00

Advance Nurse Practitioner Launch Chief Nurses Office

€50.00

€50.00

Healthy Ireland Awareness Ad Campaign 2019

PHD Media

€73,331.37

€46,851.41

€20,9822

€131,328.37

€51,251.80

€323,745.15

Healthy Ireland Awareness Ad Campaign 2019

Cawley Nea TBWA

€148,436.40

€148,436.40

€472,343.55

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Question No. 249 answered with Question No. 183.

Questions (248)

Robert Troy

Question:

248. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the commissioning, development, production, promotion and online sharing of a video that highlighted schemes and programmes operated by his Department in tabular form; if such videos have been commissioned for 2020; and if so, the estimated costs of each such video. [52137/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The majority of videos highlighting schemes and programmes of the Department for use online are produced in-house by the Press and Communications Office. As a result, there are no commissioning, developing or production costs associated.

External production and promotion of any Healthy Ireland videos have been included in the overall online costs for the Healthy Ireland awareness campaign 2019. (Please see table attached)

External video commissioning, development, production, promotion costs under Sláintecare are provided for in table attached.

In 2019 the Dept. of Health promoted 3 videos on its Facebook page. Total cost amounting to €135. (Further details on table attached)

There are no plans for any external video production in 2020 at this time.

Initiative/strategy

Supplier

Commissioning

Development

Production

Promotion

Online Sharing

Pitch to Slaintecare

Facebook Ads

€50.00

Skin cancer prevention plan -Healthy Ireland

Facebook Ads

€35.00

Advance Nurse Practitioner Launch - Chief Nurses Office

Facebook Ads

€50.00

Healthy Ireland Awareness Ad Campaign 2019

PHD Media

€51,251.80

Video of Staff Engagement event - Sláintecare

W1 Design Ltd (One Productions)

€1,951.85

(ex.VAT)

Video of Citizen Engagement event in Galway - Sláintecare

Morgan Creative

€615.00

(ex.VAT)

Regional Health Areas – Sláintecare

Detail Design

€6,566.00

(ex.VAT)

Question No. 249 answered with Question No. 183.

Health Strategies

Questions (250)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

250. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the way in which he plans to incorporate into his women’s health task force the concerns and views of women who were adopted and therefore have no access to their biological medical information (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52176/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I established the Women's Health Taskforce in the Department of Health to improve health outcomes and experiences of healthcare for women. The Taskforce has been established for a two year period and is meeting regularly, there have been three full meetings to date in September, October and December.

The Taskforce is at an early stage of its work and is considering the full range of issues affecting women’s health in Ireland. The Taskforce will tackle a wide range of issues impacting women’s health outcomes in Ireland and will work on these on a phased, prioritised basis. Priorities will be decided by the Taskforce in consultation with stakeholders including the public.

Early public feedback has raised a number of issues of importance to women, including ‘the need to feel heard’ and Taskforce members are committed to keeping women’s voices at the centre of their work.

The first action of the Taskforce is to lead a 'radical listening' exercise inviting women in Ireland to share their experiences of and solutions for the health system. This will commence in early 2020 and all women will be encouraged to provide their perspectives. This process will also target a number of different groups with unique perspectives. I intend that women who were adopted will be included in this process and I hope they take the opportunity to participate.

There will be multiple additional opportunities for anyone interested to feed into the work of the Taskforce and I would encourage them to do so. The work of the Taskforce, as well as opportunities to engage, can be tracked on the Taskforce's webpage.

Information and data gathered through engagement with stakeholders, combined with the other available evidence will form the basis for future policy and action to improve women's health in Ireland.

Beef Industry

Questions (251)

Michael Harty

Question:

251. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a group (details supplied) will be included in the beef markets task force talks, which commenced in December 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51911/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I established the Beef Taskforce to monitor the implementation of the beef sector agreement of 15 September.

The Taskforce is comprised of the Independent chair, Michael Dowling, representatives from my Department and relevant State agencies, farmer representative organisations and representatives from the processing sector.

I am satisfied that the current composition of the taskforce is sufficiently representative of all parties and I will not be extending membership to any additional groups outside of those already invited to submit nominees.

Agriculture Scheme Appeals

Questions (252)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

252. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a decision has been made on the review of a decision of an appeal by a farmer (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51916/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Agriculture Appeals Office operates independently of my Department.

A review of the Appeals Officer's decision is required to determine if the Appeals Officer made an error of fact or law in that decision or, in cases where new information is provided, if the decision was erroneous in the light of new evidence or of new facts submitted since the date on which the decision was given.

Requests for reviews are generally dealt with in chronological order. A number of requests for reviews were received prior to the request concerned. I am advised that every effort is being made to finalise the review of the case concerned as soon as possible and that it is anticipated that a decision will issue shortly.

Brexit Supports

Questions (253)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

253. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if section 9.2 of the terms and conditions of the beef exceptional aid measure can be changed to ensure that the immediate previous owner of an animal presented for slaughter within 30 days of it being purchased will receive the €100 payment regardless of whether the person who purchased the animal was an agent, dealer or farmer; his views on whether the terms and conditions are fair in circumstances in which an animal can be purchased and killed from a farm herd number within 30 days of it being purchased and the new owner can receive the €100 payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51966/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The objective of the BEAM measure is to provide temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132.

Section 9.2 of the terms and conditions of the beef exceptional aid measure state that 'Where an (eligible) animal (under 9.1.1) has been presented for slaughter by an agent or by a dealer within 30 days of purchase, including those purchased in the mart, payment may issue to the immediate previous herdowner or in respect of the previous eligible herd number, where that herdowner is an applicant.

This is expressly designed to try to ensure that the farmer who raised or finished the animal is the one that get the payment. As the scheme has launched and is operational, it is not possible at this juncture to amend any of the terms and conditions. However, an appeals mechanism was made available to applicants through the scheme and this is the appropriate means of clarifying any questions around eligibility.

Fisheries Protection

Questions (254)

John Deasy

Question:

254. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the licensed depuration facilities available to aquaculture producers around the Irish coast; and if Bord Iascaigh Mhara is considering proposals or funding programmes to increase the number of such decontamination sites. [52060/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The approval of establishments for the depuration of live bi-valve molluscs is a matter for the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA). The SFPA is an independent statutory body and I am precluded by statute from interfering in the performance by the SFPA of a function assigned to it or exercising any power or control in relation to individual or groups of cases with which the Authority may be concerned.

I understand that on receipt of an application from an individual or a commercial entity, a standardised approval process is undertaken by the Authority to ensure compliance with applicable food safety legislation and approved establishments are subject to an on-going inspection regime. The Authority publishes a listing of approved establishments at the link below, with depuration facilities marked with the activity code 'PC'.

www.sfpa.ie/What-We-Do/Seafood-Safety/Registration-Approval-of-Businesses/List-of-Approved-Establishments/Approved-Establishments.

Supports to the Irish seafood sector are provided under my Department's €240 million European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme.

Financial supports for depuration facilities involving a licensed aquaculture site are available under the EMFF Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme, implemented by BIM. The Scheme aims to promote the sustainable growth of the aquaculture sector by providing financial supports for capital investment in aquaculture sites. Details are available from BIM at the following link:

www.bim.ie/schemes/sustainable,aquaculture,scheme/.

Financial supports for depuration facilities involving a seafood processing premises are available under the EMFF Seafood Capital Investment Scheme, which aims to promote competitiveness and value adding in the seafood processing sector through the provision of financial supports for capital investment in seafood processing premises. Details are available from BIM at the following link:

www.bim.ie/schemes/seafood,processing,capital,investment,scheme/.

GLAS Payments

Questions (255)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

255. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of a GLAS payment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52087/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved into GLAS 2 with a contract commencement date of 1 January 2016 and has received payments in respect of scheme years 2016 - 2018, including GLAS + payments.

All GLAS claims must pass validation checks, including checks against the associated Basic Payment Scheme application, before a payment can be made. In this case, the application has not cleared the GLAS validation checks for 2019 due to an issue relating to commonage parcels on the applicant's 2019 BPS application which are therefore ineligible for GLAS.

The person named has been notified that the commonage claims have been withdrawn from the GLAS contract. Processing of the 2019 payment will be made for the remaining GLAS actions.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Questions (256)

Robert Troy

Question:

256. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the implementation of ongoing communications strategy initiatives that highlight schemes and programmes operated under the auspices of his Department including advertising and promotion on television, radio, newspapers and online in tabular form; and the level of expenditure for each such initiative. [52110/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department provides public information about the Department's wide range of schemes and programmes.

The table below lists my Department's communications initiatives for 2019 which highlighted schemes and programmes of importance to the farming community.  The advertisements were primarily placed in the specialised farming press, provincial and national newspapers and, on occasion, in the form of radio and online advertisements. Decisions on the placement of notices are made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of the advertisement and the target audience. 

Scheme/Programme 

Costs incurred to date in 2019

Calls for proposal for promotion of Forestry

€2,336.94

BPS Clinics nationwide

€20,077.80

2019 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector

€2,092.14

Call for Research Proposals

€923.64 

Getting Brexit Ready

€9,015.61 

Closing date for ANC scheme

€4,904.64 

Department's online services

€16,605 

UN International Day of Forests

€6,547.23 

Ex-Gratia funding of Animal Welfare Organisations

€2,396.86

Organic Farm Demonstration 

€2,133.39

Celebrate Biodiversity 

€4,305 

A to Z of Climate Action Booklet 

€25,000 

Demo Farm Walks 

€7,500.07 

Farm Handbooks - Afforestation 

€2,091

Wood Improvement Scheme 

€4,944.60 

Afforestation & Woodland Improvement 

€2,072.55 

One Health - Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness   

€15,375 

Forestry Information Farm TV at NPC

€12,287 

Forestry Information Farm TV

€25,830 

In addition to highlighting the schemes and programmes set out above as part of our strategic communications initiatives, my Department publishes statutory notices, public consultation notices and other public notices.  

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Questions (257)

Robert Troy

Question:

257. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the expenses incurred by his Department to date in 2019 for the commissioning, development, production, promotion and online sharing of a video that highlighted schemes and programmes operated by his Department in tabular form; if such videos have been commissioned for 2020; and if so, the estimated costs of each such video. [52127/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department provides public information about the Department's wide range of schemes and programmes. Video is one of the formats used to communicate this information and is primarily produced in-house by staff as part of their normal duties. 

My Department engages external service providers for specific projects in line with the Department's business needs and having regard to the nature of the work. These videos are primarily posted on the Department's website and social media channels.

The information requested is outlined in tabular form. 

Scheme/Programme 

Costs incurred to date in 2019 (incl. VAT)

Bovine TB Disease Eradication Information series

€8,250

Control of Pesticides

€811.80

Forestry - Woodland Environmental Fund series

€13,999.86

Brexit Preparedness Information 

€799.50 

Ireland’s Agri-Food Strategy to 2030 – An Open Policy Debate – Key Speakers recorded

€4,775 

In 2020, my Department will continue to produce videos in-house and, if required, engage external service providers in respect of producing public information videos.

Air Pollution

Questions (258)

Jack Chambers

Question:

258. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the specific actions he is taking to protect public health in response to EPA monitoring data that show dangerous levels of air pollution in several towns due to burning of residential solid fuel (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52078/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Transitioning away from fossil fuels and to more renewable, sustainable energy sources is at the heart of the Climate Action Plan. The Plan includes a number of actions which will also have a significant impact on reducing emissions and improving air quality, including:

- Putting 180,000 electric vehicles on our roads by 2025 and almost 1m by 2030

- Ensuring the EV charging network underpins public confidence

- Creating an early public procurement framework for EVs

- Accelerating steps to decarbonise the public transport fleet

- Establishing a Cycling Project Office, develop a 5 year cycling strategy and roll out 200km of new cycle lanes through bus connects

- Developing a new Park and Ride Strategy, to reduce congestion and lower journey times

- Developing a regulatory framework on low emission zones and parking pricing policies, and provide local authorities with the power to restrict access to certain parts of a city or a town to zero emission vehicles only

- Legislating for no new fossil fuel vehicles to be sold from 2030 onwards.

Further to the above, work is currently continuing on the National Clean Air Strategy, which will be the first all of government response reducing air pollution and promoting cleaner air.

Extending the ban on the use of smoky coal would have a positive impact on air quality, particularly in built up areas.

As I have said on a number of occasions recently, I am disappointed at the threats by a number of coal companies relating to the proposed nationwide extension of the ban, given the benefits it would bring for public health and air quality. My officials and I are continuing to work with the Attorney General to finalise a legally robust plan, which will improve air quality by reducing air pollution, without jeopardizing the existing ban and this plan will be published shortly.

My Department is also funding the Environmental Protection Agency’s roll-out of the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme, which will greatly improve the data available on air pollution in Ireland, facilitating the design and targeting of appropriate policy measures to tackle it.

Cybersecurity Policy

Questions (259)

Micheál Martin

Question:

259. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has spoken with EU leaders, particularly of the UK and Italy, regarding the use of technology (details supplied) in view of the reports following the NATO conference held in London recently. [51852/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

5G (5th Generation) deployment of network technologies is a major enabler for future digital services and a priority for the Digital Single Market strategy. 5G networks represent a technological shift and will provide new opportunities for the economy and society of Europe, enabling innovation and advancement in many key sectors. 5G networks will form part of Europe’s critical infrastructure and underpin key services in sectors such as energy, healthcare, agriculture and transport, and ensuring the cybersecurity of 5G networks is an issue of strategic importance for the EU in the wider context of the ongoing threats posed by cybersecurity incidents.

The European Commission published its Recommendation on the Cybersecurity of 5G Networks on 26th March 2019. The first step of the Recommendation was for Member States to carry out national risk assessments on the cyber security risks affecting 5G networks and to forward these to the European Commission for collation. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) completed this review in respect of Ireland in close collaboration with other EU Members States, including the UK and Italy, EU Institutions, ComReg, and Mobile Telephone Operators in order to ensure that a comprehensive and evidence based review was carried out.

The European Commission will publish an EU toolbox of recommended measures in the coming weeks that will be informed by the outcome of the EU risk assessment. Ireland will continue to contribute towards the development of these measures to address these risks and looks forward its publication. In addition, as part of the 2019 National Cyber Security Strategy, Ireland will be bringing forward a series of measures in relation to 5G security and Critical National Infrastructure.

National Broadband Plan Implementation

Questions (260)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

260. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on a matter (details supplied) relating to the provision of broadband for a person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51915/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is the Government’s plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises including almost 100,000 businesses and farms, along with 695 schools where commercial operators will not commit to deliver the service.

The Deputy's Question relates to a premises which is located in the AMBER area on the NBP High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER area represents the area to be served by the network to be deployed under the NBP State led Intervention, the contract for which was signed on 19 November with National Broadband Ireland (NBI).

Work has already begun and a deployment plan will be made available by NBI shortly. All counties will see premises passed in the first 2 years and over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within the next four years.

Approximately 300 Broadband Connections Points (BCPs), including schools, library hubs and local sports halls in every county in Ireland, will be connected to high speed broadband during 2020, to enable communities to quickly get free public access to high speed broadband. The BCP locations are available to view on the High Speed Broadband Map on the Department’s website www.dccae.gov.ie.

By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises, with 70,000 - 100,000 passed each year thereafter until rollout is completed. NBI has indicated that the network rollout will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment.

With regard to the fibre installation close to the premises referred to by the Deputy, eir’s rural deployment of high speed broadband is a commercial undertaking and not part of the planned State Intervention network. It is not funded by the State and is not planned, designed or directed by the Department in any capacity. The decision as to what areas and premises are served was made by eir internally and on a commercial basis. The Department has no statutory authority to intervene in that process.