My Department's recent progress report in relation to the Programme for Government can be accessed on the Department of the Taoiseach's website at http://188.8.131.52/attachedfiles/Pdf%20files/CommunityEnglish.pdf The position in relation to the specific commitments referred to by the Deputy is set out below. My Department has made considerable progress in relation to the development of community services on our islands through the Rural Social Scheme (RSS). The RSS programme on the islands, which is implemented by the new integrated local development company for the islands ‘Comhar na nOileán Teoranta’, has a quota of twenty participant places. Eleven projects were undertaken under the scheme in 2007. The number of projects undertaken in 2008 increased to 20. While the islands benefit from the skills and talents of local farmers and fisher persons, participants also have the opportunity to improve existing, or develop new skills and perform valuable work to the benefit of Island communities.
Under the Community Services Programme (CSP) support has been approved for eight community enterprises located on seven islands in counties Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Cork and Mayo; the islands are Arain Mhór, Inis Oirr, Inis Mór, Inishbofin, Valencia, Bere and Achill. The CSP support is in the form of a contribution to employment of a total of five managers and 28 full-time equivalent workers (some comprising part time workers) as well as an allocation for non-wage expenses. The services provided through the community enterprises include support for tourism initiatives, services in the form of transportation, recycling, literacy, translation, social care, services for older persons, youth support and maintenance of community halls and facilities.
The operation of the Community Employment and Job Initiative Schemes on islands is a matter for the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.