Forestry Sector

Ceisteanna (165)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

165. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an environmental impact assessment or appropriate assessment, for example, a natura impact assessment, was conducted at a site (details supplied); and if the forestery service granted a tree felling licence or a tree felling licence exemption for the removal of trees. [9107/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

An authorised officer of my Department met with the land owner on site on the 2nd February 2018. The uprooting and clearance of trees is currently being investigated.  My Department is also investigating compliance with the EIA (Agriculture) Regulations which came into force on 8th September 2011.

While these investigations are ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment further.

Basic Payment Scheme Administration

Ceisteanna (166)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

166. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an exemption will be given from making applications for the basic payment scheme and the ANC scheme online to those that do not have a computer or broadband available to them and that receive agricultural grants of less than €3,000 per annum in view of the disproportionate cost of paying an adviser or other professional to complete the form online; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9115/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Under the EU regulations, applications for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)are to be submitted online.  I am aware that for some people, this will be the first year that they will have engaged with the online applications process. 

To help farmers to submit their application online in 2018, I have ensured the early opening for the BPS application facility in 2018. The application process in 2018 is opening over a month earlier than in 2017.  This will provide more time for farmers to familiarise themselves with the online application facility and to submit their applications. My Department has already contacted those farmers who applied in paper form in 2017 advising them of the new requirement to submit online in 2018, to provide them with guidance material in relation to starting their online application, and to advise them that further supports will be rolled out by my Department in the coming weeks.

Officials from my Department will implement a range of supports to farmers over the coming weeks, including a series of BPS clinics in locations throughout the country.  These clinics have proved very successful in recent years, and will be available on a much wider scale this year.  The format will enable farmers to sit with an official from my Department who will guide them through the process of submitting their application online there and then. The location details in relation to these clinics are currently being finalised.  In the meantime, officials from my Department have been present at the ongoing series of CAP consultation meetings around the country to assist any farmers with queries in relation to online applications.

Other supports such as telephone help lines and ‘How to’ guides will also be in place.  As we move towards the application deadline, my Department will be in contact with farmers again to provide further details on available supports.  I am committed to ensuring that the supports being put in place will ensure that all farmers are able to access these important payments.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (167)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

167. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of officials and advisers that travelled from his Department to the launch of the NDP, NPF in County Sligo; the cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9147/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

One senior official from my Department and one Ministerial Adviser travelled to the launch of Project Ireland 2040 in County Sligo last week.

Travel, subsistence and accommodation costs  will be paid at the normal civil service rates, as appropriate, in due course.

Aquaculture Licence Eligibility

Ceisteanna (168)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

168. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of oyster farming at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9165/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department considers all applications for aquaculture licences in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act, the 1933 Foreshore Act and applicable EU legislation. The licensing process involves consultation with a wide range of scientific and technical advisers as well as various Statutory Consultees.  The legislation also provides for a period of public consultation.  

In accordance with statutory procedures, a Public Notice was placed in ‘The Kerryman’ by an applicant for an Aquaculture Licence on 31st January, 2018. 

The details of this application and relevant accompanying documentation (including Environmental Impact Assessment Screening) are currently available for scrutiny at Killorglin Garda Station which has restricted hours and Killarney Garda Station which is open 24 hours and may also be viewed on the Aquaculture/Foreshore Licence Applications Section of my Department’s website. 

Any person may, during the period of 4 weeks from the date of publication of the Public Notice, make written submissions or observations to my Department per the details set out in the notification. The licence application referred to is under active consideration by my Department as part of a statutory process. It would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the application pending the completion of this process. 

In addition, my Department is currently processing 10 further applications in the Rossbeigh/Glenbeigh/Dooks area which have not yet reached the public consultation stage of the licensing process.  

All applications are examined in accordance with the applicable legislation and full account is taken of the engineering, scientific, environmental, legal and public policy aspects relevant to each application. 

The legislation governing aquaculture licensing also provides for an appeals mechanism. Appeals against licence decisions are a matter for the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB) which is an independent statutory body.

GLAS Payments

Ceisteanna (169)

Pat Breen

Ceist:

169. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 441 of 23 January 2018, when payments will issue to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9202/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named was approved into GLAS 3 with a contract commencement date of 1 January 2017.

Administrative checks take place on all GLAS claims.  All cases must clear these checks before payment can issue.

In the processing of the 2017 advance payment an issue presented in relation to this claim. This issue is being investigated by my Department in order to process payment. Once resolved the payment will issue. GLAS payments are continuing to issue on a weekly basis.

Beef Data and Genomics Programme

Ceisteanna (170)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

170. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the criteria for a person to opt out of a scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9209/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) was approved as an agri environment scheme by the EU Commission as part of Ireland's RDP with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the suckler herd. As with all agri environment schemes applicants commit to participating in the scheme for a number of years. In the case of the BDGP a six year commitment is required. Therefore when a  participant withdraws from the BDGP all payments previously made are subject to recovery. In certain limited circumstances however it may be possible to withdraw from the scheme without recovery of previous payments on  force majeure grounds, as set out below.

- death of the beneficiary,

- long term professional incapacity of the beneficiary,

- expropriation of all or a large part of the holding if that expropriation could not have been anticipated on the day of lodging the application,

- a severe natural disaster gravely affecting the holding,

- the accidental destruction of livestock buildings on the holding,

- an epizootic or a plant disease affecting part or all of the beneficiary's livestock or crops respectively.

Any request to withdraw from the BDGP must  be made in writing as soon as possible, and should be accompanied by any relevant supporting documentation. Such requests are considered on a case by case basis.

Horse Racing Ireland

Ceisteanna (171)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

171. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to changes to the broadcasting rights to Irish racing from a television channel (details supplied); the role his Department has in this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9233/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Horse Racing Ireland is a commercial state body responsible for the overall administration, promotion and development of the horse racing industry.

The matter referred to by the Deputy is an operational matter for Horse Racing Ireland. My Department had no role in the decision referred to.

Energy Schemes

Ceisteanna (172)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

172. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if council tenants can avail of a rooftop solar grant in summer 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9027/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

On foot of the October 2017 stakeholder workshop hosted by my Department and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) along with further engagement with the micro generation industry, I have asked the SEAI to conduct a short study to assess the likely demand for and impact of micro generation, among the public. It is important that before we deploy further public money we validate the demand and projected cost in an Irish context.

The proposed pilot scheme which I announced at the recent Renewable Energy Summit will commence this summer and will target solar PV and self-consumption amongst domestic customers. The data gathered during this scheme and throughout the behavioural and attitudes study will inform future phases of support for micro generation in Ireland, as we align with the ambition of the recast Renewable Energy Directive which recognises the rights, entitlements and obligations of renewable self-consumers and deliver on ambitions and commitments made in the Energy White Paper and the Programme for Government.

Further details of the pilot scheme for domestic rooftop solar PV self-consumption will be made available when I have received the study being undertaken  by the SEAI and have had an opportunity to consider its analysis. I intend that the final decision will be made in sufficient time to allow the scheme to commence this summer.

As set out in the National Mitigation Plan, a very significant increase in effort is required to realise the potential of the residential sector to contribute to the low carbon transition. Already, solar PV is supported under the Better Energy  Communities Scheme and the Deep Retrofit Pilot.

Additionally, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government currently supports local authorities in an ambitious plan to improve the energy efficiency and comfort levels in local authority homes, benefitting those at risk of fuel poverty and contributing to Ireland’s carbon emissions reduction and energy efficiency targets for 2020. Funding of some €115.7 million has been provided from 2013 to the end 2017 to improve energy efficiency and comfort levels in almost 64,000 local authority homes. Under this Programme, tenants do not apply for a grant to undertake works, rather the Council identifies the units to be retrofitted and undertakes the works with funding provided by the Department.

Commission for Regulation of Utilities

Ceisteanna (173)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

173. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if a matter (details supplied) will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9043/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy has been in place since 2001 and supports certain security of supply and renewable  energy objectives. The levy is a charge on all electricity customers without exception and its amount is determined by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

The resolution of customer complaints are a matter taken very seriously by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) which offers a free and independent complaint resolution service.  At www.cru.ie/home/complaint-form/energy/, the CRU explains its process for the handling of energy complaints, which involves logging the complaint and completing the complaint handling process, with, as relevant in the particular circumstances, the supplier or the network operator.  As Minister I have no role in the day to day operations, or the regulation, of electricity or gas companies

The best resolution of any complaint is directly with the energy supplier, but the CRU states that if a customer has completed the complaints handling process of a supplier or network operator, and is still not happy, that the customer should log a formal complaint with the CRU. This can be done on the CRU’s website from the link above or by contacting the CRU in other ways as follows: by email to customercare@cru.ie or by telephone at1890 404 404.

National Broadband Plan Implementation

Ceisteanna (174)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

174. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timeframe for the roll-out of broadband; and if the roll-out of high speed broadband is included in the national development plan. [9075/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The National Development Plan sets out the investment priorities that will underpin the successful implementation of the National Planning Framework (NPF). The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is included in the National Development Plan as one of those priorities. The NBP aims to ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location.  The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector. Today, almost 7 out of 10 of the 2.3 million premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband. Since this Government came into office almost 400,000 additional premises have access to high speed broadband. This will increase to nearly 8 out of 10 premises by the end of this year and by 2020, 9 out of 10 premises will have access to a high speed broadband connection. This is being achieved via a combination of commercial investment and a State led intervention.

My Department is in a formal procurement process to engage a company who will roll-out a new high speed broadband network in the State intervention area. That procurement process is now in its final stages.

When the procurement process reaches a satisfactory conclusion and a subsidy level has been approved by Government, a contract will be awarded and the network rollout will commence. Current estimates for rollout indicate the majority of premises in the State intervention area will have access to a high speed broadband connection within 3 years of the beginning of rollout.

In the interim, practical initiatives will continue to be addressed through the work of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce to address obstacles and improve connectivity in respect of existing and future mobile phone and broadband services.

Under this Taskforce, engagement between telecommunications operators and local authorities through the Broadband Officers is continuing to strengthen.  These Broadband Officers are acting as single points of contact in local authorities for their communities.  The appointment of these officers is already reaping rewards in terms of ensuring a much greater degree of consistency in engagements with operators and clearing obstacles to developing infrastructure.  There is a link to a list of these local Broadband Officers on my Department's website.

Renewable Energy Generation

Ceisteanna (175)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

175. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to research in Irish universities, institutes and industry on the extraction of carbon from natural gas and the production of clean hydrogen based energy; and the steps he has taken to encourage this research. [9143/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I am aware that considerable scientific research is being undertaken at Irish universities and institutes and by industry into new renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, much of which is exchequer funded. Specifically in the areas the deputy is enquiring about, I recently opened a Biomethane Stakeholders Group at which the research team from University College Cork presented. The stakeholder group is part of on-going stakeholder consultation on the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat which aims to meet our European Targets for renewable heat. It is intended that biomethane injection into the gas grid will form part of the next phase of the support scheme.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) SEAI 2018 Research, Development & Demonstration Funding Programme, which is fully funded by my department, includes research in the area of bioenergy and biomethane. During 2017, this SEAI Programme funded projects in the broad bioenergy/bioemethane/biofuel areas, including research with the following organisations: the University of Limerick; the Technology Centre for Biobased Resources; the Irish Bioenenergy Association; Premier Green Energy; Dundalk Institute of Technology; Dowmann Ltd.; BMS Technologies; and the Cré Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland.

Last year SEAI published the Assessment of Cost and Benefi­ts of Biogas and Biomethane in Ireland . This study looked at the contribution that biogas and biomethane could make to renewable energy production, through electricity and heat generation and the replacement of natural gas.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the SEAI, both of whom are funded by my department, provide funding to academic researchers and industry in the areas of environmental protection (EPA) and sustainable energy (SEAI).

SEAI funds Ireland’s participation in the International Energy Agency Bioenergy Task 37 - Energy from Biogas. Task 37 is an international working group which covers the anaerobic digestion (AD) of biomass feedstocks including agricultural residues, energy crops, organic-rich waste waters, and domestic and industrial organic wastes. Anaerobic digestion is a process to treat biodegradable waste to reduce landfill emissions and is also a source of renewable energy.

I am aware of recent developments in the possibilities for hydrogen to play a role in our energy systems and will be launching a position paper on this subject at NUI Galway on 20th March.

Gas Networks Ireland are managing the ‘Causeway project’, co-funded by the European Union, which represents a signification step in delivering a sustainable alternative fuel for Irish transport.  The project will see the formation of a national Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling network, the first renewable gas injection facility in Ireland from a biogas plant in Kildare, and the deployment of a fleet of CNG vehicles. Projects such as these will increase the penetration of alternative lower carbon fuels in Ireland and help to reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutants from traditional transport fuels such as diesel.

Green CO2 recovery is an option for Biogas plants where the biogas needs to be cleaned prior to injection into the natural gas grid.  Officials from my department attended the recent Green Gas Certification project which aims to provide a verifiable and sustainable certification process for green gas projects to help meet our climate and energy targets. The potential for Green CO2 from biogas plants was also raised at this forum.

It is hoped that the research being funded by the Government, aligned with the new support schemes being developed by my Department, will encourage and increase the amount of low carbon sources used in our energy mix.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (176)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

176. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of officials and advisers that travelled from his Department to the launch of the NDP, NPF in County Sligo; the cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9158/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

One official from the Department and my Press Advisor travelled to the launch of the NDP and NPF by the Government in Sligo on 16 February 2018. Travel and subsistence costs, which are payable at the normal civil service rates, are not available at this time as no claims have yet been submitted to the Department for payment.

Internet Safety

Ceisteanna (177)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

177. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to Parliamentary Question No. 263 of 18 January 2018, if there have been further developments in relation to the appointment of a digital safety commissioner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9164/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The subject of online safety for all individuals but especially for children is of vital concern and importance to me.  This issue is a complex and multifaceted one and effective actions in this area rely on the active engagement of all stakeholders including Government, technology companies and parents.  

On Tuesday 21 November 2017 I convened  a meeting with my colleagues, the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and their officials to discuss online safety issues, including the various initiatives which are taking place at a national and European level to tackle illegal or harmful content online. 

Recognising that  there are already  a  range of diverse activities being taken by many Government Departments, by the European Commission, by industry and by stakeholders, we agreed at this meeting to  further progress the matter of digital safety through an Open Policy Debate. The Open Policy Debate will take place on Thursday 8 March in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham  The establishment of an Office of a Digital Safety Commissioner is one of a number of proposals which will be discussed during this event.

My Department is co-ordinating this open policy debate with the support and participation of the Departments of Justice & Equality; Education & Skills; Business, Enterprise and Innovation; Health; and Children and Youth Affairs. My Department is also engaging with the relevant online platforms, ISPCC, parents' groups and other key stakeholders who will be participating in the initiative. The overall aim of the event is to raise awareness among all participants of the activities which are being undertaken by the Irish Government, by the European Commission, by industry and NGO's.

It is intended that the event will identify issues requiring further consideration and areas where additional cooperation between stakeholders would be beneficial.  Following the event, I will engage further with my Ministerial colleagues in relation to these matters.

Motor Tax

Ceisteanna (178)

Frank O'Rourke

Ceist:

178. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to review the motor tax payment system (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9102/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Motor tax is payable on an annual, half-yearly or quarterly basis.  The rates applicable for the half-yearly and quarterly options are 55.5% and 28.25% of the annual charge, respectively. These relativities have remained generally consistent since the 1960s. 

The differential takes account of the extra workload for staff in motor tax offices and the Driver and Vehicle Computer Services Division (which operates the motor tax online facility) in processing non-annual renewals, as well as the resultant administrative and printing costs that arise, including the issuing of renewal notices.  Each quarterly renewal of motor tax follows the same administrative procedures as the annual renewal process.  Consequently, renewing on a quarterly basis generates four times the workload of an annual renewal for the equivalent period.

Based on the number of motor tax transactions in 2017, the annual cost of abolishing the additional charge associated with the half-yearly and quarterly options would be in the order of €52.7m.  The loss of income that would arise from changing these arrangements would have a negative impact on the total collected via motor tax and would have to be borne elsewhere in the motor tax system or through the taxation system generally. 

I have no plans currently to review the basis for paying motor tax on a half-yearly or quarterly basis.

Road Improvement Schemes

Ceisteanna (179)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

179. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding provided or committed to by his Department to local authorities for the construction of new local and regional roads in 2016, 2017 and to date in 2018, by project. [9061/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Details of the grant allocations and payments for road improvement projects under the Specific and Strategic Grant Programmes for the years mentioned in the Deputy's Question are included in the Regional and Local Road Grant Payment and Allocation booklets which are available in the Oireachtas library.

Bus Services

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Ceisteanna (180)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

180. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of bus service route 52 travelling through Swinford and Kiltimagh in County Mayo; if there are proposed changes to the route; and if so, the changes and justification for same. [9101/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for Bus Éireann in conjunction with the NTA and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Rail Services Data

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Ceisteanna (181)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

181. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of Luas trams in operation in each of the years 2015 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9105/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the Luas operator Transdev and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Rail Services Provision

Ceisteanna (182)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

182. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to commence the independent review of the western rail corridor as promised in the programme for Government and in the national development plan 2018 to 2027 as part of the Atlantic economic corridor; if the development of commuter rail from County Mayo and Tuam to Galway city will form part of the review in addition to intercity services and freight connections; if the terms of reference of the review will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9114/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to provide for an independent costing and review of the Western Rail Corridor Phase II between Athenry and Claremorris for passenger and freight use.  The National Development Plan, which was published last week with the National Planning Framework, restates this commitment. 

As the Deputy is aware, the Programme for a Partnership Government also commits that no measures will be taken to prevent the future reactivation of the corridor for rail use. Arrangements for the proposed independent review of WRC are currently being considered by my Department.

Roads Maintenance Funding

Ceisteanna (183, 184, 185)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

183. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when Galway and Mayo County Councils will be issued with details of the 2018 county roads programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9117/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

184. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when details of the specific county roads grants will be notified to Galway and Mayo County Councils; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9118/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

185. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a response will issue to Galway county council in relation to its request for funding to complete the route selection process on the new R336 from Bearna to Baile na hAbhann; if a response has issued; if so, the details of the response; the amount sought by the council; the amount provided by his department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9119/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 183 to 185, inclusive, together.

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the relevant County or City Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the Council.

Local authorities were notified of their grant allocations in January. Details of the grant allocations, including an allocation in relation to the R336 Connemara Access Road, are in the Regional and Local Road Grant Allocation booklet which is available in the Oireachtas library. It is a matter for each local authority to assess its priorities and draw up a roadworks programme for the year based on the State grant funding and own resources available to it.