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Thursday, 4 Nov 2021

Written Answers Nos. 259-278

Cross-Border Co-operation

Questions (259)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

259. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the details of his Department’s current cross-Border initiatives, goods and or services committed to and the funding allocated to each for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53868/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

Over the 2021-23 period, my Department will have ongoing Member State responsibility for two 2014-20 EU-funded North South cross-border programmes, INTERREG VA and PEACE IV, with a combined value of €553m. Member State responsibility for both programmes is shared with the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland. Management of the programmes is the responsibility of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), (a North South Implementation Body established under the Good Friday agreement), and under the joint sponsorship of my Department and the Department of Finance Northern Ireland. While both programmes are for the 2014-20 programming period, activity will continue on both out to a normal closure date of 2023-24. The INTERREG VA programme has a total value of €283m and the PEACE IV programme has a total value of €270m. Funding on programmes is now fully committed.

My Department will also have joint Member State responsibility during the 2021-23 period for the new PEACE PLUS cross-border EU programme. While a financing agreement for the new programme is still being finalised between Ireland, the UK and the EU, PEACE PLUS is expected to have a total value of c. €1.145bn. As with the current PEACE and INTERREG programmes, the new programme will be managed by the SEUPB. The draft PEACE PLUS programme has recently been approved by Government, as well as by the Northern Ireland Executive and the North South Ministerial Council, and will shortly be submitted to the European Commission for its consideration and final approval. The total funding allocations for all three cross-border programmes are set out in tabular form below.

Programme

INTERREG VA (2014-20)

PEACE IV (2014-20)

PEACE PLUS (2021-27)

Total Funding

€283m

€270m

c. €1.145bn

I note that the Deputy has addressed the same question to all other Ministers, who will doubtless provide details of a series of other important cross-Border funding initiatives underway for this period under the aegis of their own Departments, including in relation to commitments under the New Decade, New Approach agreement, under Project Ireland 2040 and the Shared Island Fund.

Cross-Border Co-operation

Questions (260)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

260. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the details of the cross-Border Project Ireland 2040 infrastructure projects and the funding allocated for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53854/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

The National Development Plan (NDP) is a high-level financial and budgetary plan, which sets out the framework and broad direction for investment priorities over the period 2021 to 2030. Under the recently announced National Development Plan, over €1 billion in capital expenditure has been allocated to my Department between 2021 and 2025.

My Department’s capital investment is centred on three high level objectives for the Department’s sectors:

- to promote Economic Recovery and Resilience

- to support Wellbeing and Social Cohesion

- to enhance Sustainability in its sectors and Guardianship of our unique cultural, linguistic and sporting heritage

My Department is progressing a range cross-border initiatives, including supporting the work of two cross-border bodies, namely Tourism Ireland and An Foras Teanga.

Over the lifetime of this plan, the Department will continue to work with Tourism Ireland and other partners to enhance all-island tourism and support the development of an all-island tourism product, and to promote the recovery of the sector following the pandemic. This will include working with the Executive on large scale North-South tourism initiatives which support the sustainable growth of the sector including cross-border walking/cycling trails as well as new marketing opportunities.

In co-operation with Sport Ireland, the Department is exploring the potential for new all-island sporting competitions, and opportunities to make Ireland-Northern Ireland and Ireland-UK bids for major international sporting events, including the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

Additionally, under the NDP, the Government has committed to allocate ring-fenced, multi-annual capital resourcing for all-island investment out to 2030, at least at the current level of the Shared Island Fund. The Shared Island Fund is allocated by Government to Departments on the basis of approved collaborative North/South projects that implement Programme for Government commitments and objectives on Shared Island.

Cross-Border Co-operation

Questions (261)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

261. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the details of her Department’s current cross-Border initiatives, goods and or services committed to and the funding allocated to each for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53872/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

As the Deputy is aware, my Department has responsibility for two of the North-South Bodies Implementation Bodies established under the Good Friday Agreement: Tourism Ireland (www.tourismireland.com/) and An Foras Teanga / the Language Body (www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/bc346-an-foras-teanga/). Details for the funding of these bodies for 2021 is available in the Revised Estimates Volume 2021.

In addition to the above, my Department provides support for a number of cross-border projects and also projects and initiatives which have a cross-border element and details of those programmes are outlined in the table below.

Other than as specified details of funding allocations for 2022 and 2023 are not currently available and will be announced in due course.

Cross Border Initiatives

Funding 2021

In 2021, 13 projects received support under the Cooperation with Northern Ireland Funding Scheme which provides support, for small self-contained projects which seek to enhance, celebrate or commemorate the artistic, cultural, musical, film or heritage of the island of Ireland on a North/South basis

€147,500

As set out below a number of local authorities have utilised funding allocated under the Creative Communities initiative to support cross-border initiatives with their counterparts in Northern Ireland:

- Monaghan County Council – Bordering Realities – Digital Animation Project

- Donegal County Council – Colmcille 1500 Digital Schools Folklore Project

- Meath County Council – Colmcille 1500 Digital Animation project

- Cavan County Council - Beyond Borders Together Online

Details of final funding allocations will not be available until year end

Under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Programme (decadeofcentenaries.com), funding of €1.94m was allocated to local authorities in 2021 to support their leading role in developing community-led, commemorative activities. A number of local authorities have engaged in cross-border initiatives. Under the Historical and Creative Expression Strands of the Programme , €29,800 has been allocated to the Gallery of Photography under the theme: Reflecting on the Past Building for the Future for two initiatives with a cross-border element including:

- National Centenaries Image Bank 2021 – 2023;

- Cherish diversity: Photo Album of the Irish (Ulster), marking the Centenary of Partition

Under Project Ireland 2040, funding of €2.5m was allocated in 2019 to the Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury research project to the end of 2022. This project, which is led by Trinity College Dublin, will lead to an open-access, fully immersive, 3D virtual reality model of the digitally reconstructed Public Record Office of Ireland to be launched in 2022 to mark the centenary of the fire that destroyed the Public Record Office in the opening engagement of the Civil War. The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is one of 5 core archival project partners.

- Beyond 2022 - Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury project.

Details of funding allocations will not be available until year end.€12,000

€17,800

€790,000

Under the New Decade New Approach Agreement (NDNA) €1.2m is to be provided for the promotion of Irish Language broadcasting in Northern Ireland each year for the period 2021-2023. €1m is being provided to the Irish Language Broadcast Fund administered by Northern Ireland Screen for content production and €100,000 each to RT? and TG4 for the promotion of the Irish Language in Northern Ireland.

€1.2m

Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions (262)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

262. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media her views on a matter regarding the easing of restrictions on basketball (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53923/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that Government has today agreed to widen the range of sporting opportunities for young people which will enable under 18 indoor sports games and competitions in sports such as basketball to go ahead. On foot of this, updated guidance has been provided by Sport Ireland to sporting organisations, to allow children under 18 years of age to participate in indoor games and competition activities according to the ordinary rules and limits of the sport concerned. The full guidance can be accessed on the Sport Ireland website at:

www.sportireland.ie/covid19/return-to-sport-and-physical-activity.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions (263)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

263. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the reason the guidelines of an organisation (details supplied) state that players under 18 years of age cannot play unless they have been vaccinated; the reason this is the case for basketball but not other sports; and if the guidelines for basketball will be reconsidered. [53948/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that Government has today agreed to widen the range of sporting opportunities for young people which will enable under 18 indoor sports games and competitions in sports such as basketball to go ahead. On foot of this, updated guidance has been provided by Sport Ireland to sporting organisations, to allow children under 18 years of age to participate in indoor games and competition activities according to the ordinary rules and limits of the sport concerned. The full guidance can be accessed on the Sport Ireland website at:

www.sportireland.ie/covid19/return-to-sport-and-physical-activity.

Wind Energy Guidelines

Questions (264, 274)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

264. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the date that the existing planning regulations for wind farms were introduced; when it is intended to publish new wind farm planning regulations on the basis that the height and span of wind turbines have increased dramatically in size since the original regulations were introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53746/21]

View answer

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

274. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage when the revised wind planning guidelines will be published; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53938/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 264 and 274 together.

I refer to the reply to Question No. 388 of 2 November 2021. The position remained the same.

Planning Issues

Questions (265)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

265. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage when a decision will be made on an IROPI planning application by an organisation (details supplied) that was referred to him for his approval; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53747/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

On 26th March 2021, my Department received a copy of a planning application, together with a Natura Impact Statement and a statement of case for imperative reasons of overriding public interest ('IROPI') from An Bord Pleanála ('the Board') pursuant to section 177AA(1) of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended ('the 2000 Act'), in respect of an application by Galway Harbour Company to the Board for permission for a strategic infrastructure development.

The planning application in question relates to the proposed extension to Galway Harbour and the development will result in direct and permanent loss of habitats in the Galway Bay Complex Special Area of Conservation.

Pursuant to Section 177AB(1)(a) of the 2000 Act, as it applied at that time, the Minister was required to request the views of the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (formerly the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht) as to whether the compensatory measures proposed in the planning application are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected. On this basis, Minister O'Brien issued a letter on 27 April 2021, to Ms Catherine Martin, TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, requesting her views as to whether the compensatory measures proposed in the application are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected.

However, certain Heritage functions, including the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media's consultative functions under the 2000 Act, were transferred to this Department on 24 June 2021, under Statutory Instrument number 302/2021, thereby rendering the consultative functions relating to IROPI planning applications between the Heritage Division (including the National Parks and Wildlife Service ('NPWS')) and the Planning Division of the Department an internal Departmental matter.

Following these transfer of functions, and pursuant to Section 177AB(1)(b) of the 2000 Act, on 3 August 2021, NPWS requested that further consultations would be required with An Bord Pleanála, who would need to consult with the applicant, and subsequently, that a modified proposal should be submitted to the Department for further review. This request was sent to the Board on 3 September 2021.

It should be noted that there is no statutory time period set for completion of any of the steps in Section 177AB of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended. It is now a matter for the Board to respond to the request for consultation, having consulted with the applicant, Galway Harbour Company, with respect to the issues raised by the request. In this regard, I am not in a position to give a timeline for completion of the present stage of the IROPI process in section 177AB(1) in this instance.

Planning Issues

Questions (266)

Carol Nolan

Question:

266. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address concerns that the timeframe in which An Bord Pleanála issues decisions on one-off rural housing applications is in ongoing contravention of the compliance target set out in the performance delivery agreement between An Bord Pleanála and his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53754/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

An Bord Pleanála (the Board) is the national independent statutory body with responsibility for the determination of planning appeals and direct applications for strategic infrastructure and other developments under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, and certain other Acts.

Section 126 of the Act provides that it shall be the duty and objective of the Board to decide appeals as expeditiously as may be and, for that purpose, to take all such steps as are open to it to ensure that, insofar as is practicable, there are no avoidable delays at any stage in the determination of appeals.

Section 126 also provides that it shall be an objective of the Board to ensure that every appeal is determined within 18 weeks beginning on the date of receipt of an appeal. Where it is not possible or appropriate, because of the particular circumstances of an appeal, to determine an appeal within the 18 week period the Board is required to notify the participants in the appeal before the expiration of that period giving the reason for not meeting the objective target and specifying a date before which the Board intends to determine the appeal. Where any case has exceeded the statutory objective period then the Board will have written to the parties involved as per these statutory requirements. In circumstances where any new date is not met, it is my understanding it is the practice of the Board to also notify the parties of that and the reason for the further delay.

The Board’s 2021 Performance Delivery Agreement with the Department reflects an overall target to determine 60% - 75% of all normal planning appeal cases within the 18 week statutory objective period. I understand that, as at end September 2021, 61% of all such cases disposed were concluded within this 18 week target. One-off rural housing appeals fall within the category of normal planning appeals.

It is acknowledged that a certain percentage of cases, due to particular circumstances, such as complexity, requests for further information from applicants for permission or further submissions from other participants including third parties, will not meet the 18 week target.

My Department will continue to liaise closely with the Board to ensure that it has appropriate resources to maintain and improve its compliance rate, in line with its annual Performance Delivery Agreement targets.

Horticulture Sector

Questions (267)

Martin Browne

Question:

267. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage when the report from the working group on the review of the use of Peat Moss in the Horticultural Industry was presented to him; when it will be published; and the deliberations that were undertaken in the intervening time. [53778/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I received the final report of the Chair of the Working Group mentioned by the Deputy on 20 October 2021. I am considering the report carefully with a view to publishing it in due course. I am very grateful for the work of Dr. Prasad, the members of the working group and all who contributed to the report.

Horticulture Sector

Questions (268)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

268. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address the crisis facing the Irish horticulture sector owing to the effective ban on indigenous peat harvesting; if he will seek the immediate publication of the report of the working group on the use of Peat Moss in the Horticultural Industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53793/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My statutory remit and responsibility as Minister does not include regulation of the harvesting or supply of horticultural peat. However, to assist in addressing the important issues around horticultural peat for domestic purposes, I set up an Independent Working Group under the Chair of Dr. Munoo Prasad. The potential of alternatives to the use of peat moss in the horticultural industry was examined extensively by the group, together with a number of related issues.

I received the final report from the Chair of the Independent Working Group on 20 October. I am considering the report carefully with a view to publishing it in due course. I am very grateful for the work of Dr. Prasad, the members of the working group and all who contributed to the report.

Wildlife Regulations

Questions (269)

Kieran O'Donnell

Question:

269. Deputy Kieran O'Donnell asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if the case of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53828/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Wildlife Licensing Unit of the National Parks & Wildlife Service of my Department has made contact with the person in question and is currently resolving the issue directly.

Cross-Border Co-operation

Question No. 271 answered with Question No. 270.

Questions (270, 271)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

270. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the details of the cross-Border Project Ireland 2040 infrastructure projects and the funding allocated for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53848/21]

View answer

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

271. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the details of his Department’s current cross-Border initiatives, goods and or services committed to and the funding allocated to each for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53866/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 270 and 271 together.

The information requested is being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy in accordance with Standing Orders.

Question No. 271 answered with Question No. 270.

Departmental Schemes

Questions (272)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

272. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if the improvement works in lieu of local authority housing schemes can be accessed for works on a private property in which the applicant is a council tenant and surrenders their tenancy to move into the funded works in a private property owned by an extended family member. [53874/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department provides capital funding to Local Authorities for Improvement Works in Lieu of local authority housing (IWILs) to enable them to repair, improve or extend privately owned houses that are occupied or will be occupied by approved housing applicants as an alternative to the provision of local authority housing. The scheme may also be used to improve private houses intended for occupation by a person surrendering a local authority house.

There are specific terms and conditions which govern the administration of the scheme and local authorities are responsible for such administration, including the assessment, approval and prioritisation of applications.

Planning Issues

Question No. 274 answered with Question No. 264.

Questions (273)

John Brady

Question:

273. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he plans to carry out an investigation into alleged planning irregularities in County Wicklow; if he has carried out a scoping exercise; if he or his officials have engaged with Wicklow County Council or An Garda Síochána on the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53933/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department has received correspondence relating to a number of allegations regarding certain matters in County Wicklow. An assessment and analysis has been carried out of the various allegations raised. A final decision on the appropriate action to be taken by my Department will be made in due course.

My Department has not had engagement with Wicklow County Council or An Garda Síochána in relation to the matters raised.

Question No. 274 answered with Question No. 264.

Compulsory Purchase Orders

Questions (275)

Cian O'Callaghan

Question:

275. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the options local authorities have to compulsorily purchase order derelict sites in instances in which they cannot establish the registered owners of the site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53940/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

Section 6(1) of the Derelict Sites Act 1990 (the Act) outlines the ways in which notices relating to derelict sites can be served by local authorities on a person under the Act. These are:

(a) where it is addressed to him by name, by delivering it to him;

(b) by leaving it at the address at which he ordinarily resides or, in a case in which an address for service has been furnished, at that address;

(c) by sending it by post in a prepaid registered letter, addressed to him at the address at which he ordinarily resides or, in a case in which an address for service has been furnished, at that address;

(d) where the address at which he ordinarily resides cannot be ascertained by reasonable inquiry, by delivering it to some person over sixteen years of age resident in or employed on the land to which the notice relates or by affixing it in a conspicuous position on or near such land.'

Section 6(2) of the Act further provides:

"Where the name of the owner or of the occupier (as the case may be) cannot be ascertained by reasonable inquiry, a notice may be addressed to “the owner” or “the occupier” (as the case may require) without naming him.".

With regard to acquiring ownership of a derelict site, in order for the site to become the property of the local authority, said local authority is required to undertake the processes outlined in section 15 of the Act. This includes serving notice on the person concerned under the above-mentioned section 6 of the Act indicating the authority's intention to compulsorily acquire the derelict site in question and publishing the details in one or more newspapers in it's functional area. If there are no objections to the proposed acquisition under section 16 of the Act, the local authority must then follow the processes outlined in section 17 of the Act in order compulsorily acquire the site by way of vesting order.

Once a derelict site has been acquired by a local authority and it, or any part of it, is not required by the local authority by whom it was required, section 20(2) of the Act allows for the sale, letting, transfer or exchange of the whole or that part of it (as the case may be) of the derelict site.

Citizenship Applications

Questions (276, 280)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

276. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the status of citizenship applications by persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53744/21]

View answer

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

280. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the timeframe of a foreign birth registration application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53831/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 276 and 280 together.

My Department is responsible for citizenship by descent through the Foreign Births Register under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the processing time for FBR applications stood at 18 months due to an unprecedented surge in applications as a result of Brexit, and the necessary rigorous processing that applies to citizenship applications.

Due to the pandemic, FBR staff have been reassigned to assist in the delivery of essential services. This has resulted in a pause in overall FBR processing. FBR staff have continued to provide an emergency service for Foreign Birth Registration in cases of exceptional urgency, such as expectant parents, or stateless persons. In cases of exceptional urgency FBR applicants may continue to contact the Passport Service directly. For other applications, the Department operates a transparent general policy of processing FBR applications in order of receipt.

The applications referenced by the Deputy were registered in February 2020. All documents received are being stored in a secure environment.

The Passport Service is actively planning to resume processing FBR applications as soon as possible and I will arrange to have the Deputy informed once a date for the resumption of processing these applications has been finalised. My Department is committed to allocating further resources to assist with the high volume of applications, with a focus on reducing turnaround times. In the medium term, changes to the FBR process to increase efficiencies and improve the customer experience will be delivered under the next phase of my Department's Passport Reform Programme.

Departmental Funding

Questions (277)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

277. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the 2022 budgetary allocation from his Department for the Reconciliation Fund. [53736/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Reconciliation Fund, which is administered by my Department, provides support for civil society organisations working to promote reconciliation and create better understanding between communities in Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between Ireland and Britain. The Fund has supported over 3,000 projects with more than €60 million in grant funding since its establishment in 1982.

The annual budget for the Fund was increased from €2.7 million to €3.7 million with effect from 2019. In the New Decade New Approach agreement which saw the restoration of devolved Government in Northern Ireland in January 2020, the Government committed to maintaining that level of funding.

In light of the Government’s continuing commitment to supporting the work of peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland, and recognising, in particular, the impact of Brexit and the effects of Covid-19 on the organisations we support, I am implementing further substantial increases in the budget during 2021-22. Already, the total of grants awarded in 2021 is likely to reach €4.0 million by the end of the year, and my intention is that this will increase to €5.0 million in 2022. This will represent a total increase of more than 80% in the budget of the Reconciliation Fund since 1 January 2019.

Foreign Policy

Questions (278)

Mick Barry

Question:

278. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if Ireland will be participating in the upcoming summit of L'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie in Tunisia; if so, the Minister or officials that will be attending; the key issues Ireland will be raising at the summit; if human rights will be amongst them; the amount Ireland has paid to the organisation since becoming an observer member; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53748/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The XVIII Summit de la Francophonie was due to be held in Djerba, Tunisia this month. It has now been postponed until November 2022.

Ireland has held Observer Membership Status at L'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) since 2018. Members are required to pay statutory contributions on an annual basis. The annual contribution is fixed for all Observer Members. Ireland has made the following statutory contributions -

2021- €11,661.00

2020- €11,490.00

2019- €11,319.00

2018- €11,152.00

Our membership of the OIF is part of our strategy to expand our international presence. Observer Status helps to extend our global footprint, including to areas like francophone Africa where we have no resident diplomatic presence. It facilitates Ireland’s networking through OIF meetings, and raising our profile among the OIF membership. It also helps to promote a number of our key foreign policy objectives, including the promotion of peace, democracy and human rights.

Since Ireland obtained observer status, we have endeavoured to establish close relations with the Organisation and its Member States. Ireland has appointed a diplomat, in the Irish Embassy in Paris, to deepen our engagement with the OIF and to develop our relations with states in Francophone West Africa. Missions across our network have also been participating in local Francophonie groupings.

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