Hare Coursing

Ceisteanna (29)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

29. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of licence breaches discovered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service inspectors at coursing meetings; the number of meetings at which inspectors were present in 2016 and 2017, respectively; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10154/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Deputy will remember my previous answers in the House on this matter.

The control of live hare coursing, including the operation of individual coursing meetings and managing the use of hares for that activity, is carried out under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958, which is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. My responsibility relates to the conservation status of the hare.

In August last year, my Department issued licences under the Wildlife Acts to the Irish Coursing Club, covering some 87 affiliated coursing clubs, to capture and tag hares for use at regulated hare coursing meetings for the 2017/18 season, which extends from the end of September 2017 to the end of February 2018.  Those licences contained a total of 22 conditions which have been developed and refined over the years. Subsequently, in October last year, my Department augmented the licencing conditions to provide for more strict regulation of coursing trials.

Veterinary staff from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine carry out inspections during the coursing season to monitor compliance with the rules governing animal welfare relating to greyhounds and hares. The Irish Coursing Club also attends local coursing meetings.  In addition, where resources allow, local National Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation Rangers from my Department attend coursing meetings, on a spot-check basis, to monitor compliance with licences issued to the ICC and its affiliated clubs.      

It is my understanding that some twenty six coursing events were monitored by officials of my Department during the current 2017/18 season, including trials. In the 2016/17 season there were a total of 17 coursing events monitored by my Department and the same number were monitored in the previous year.  The increase from 17 events monitored in each of the previous two seasons to 26 in the current season marks an appreciable increase in the level of monitoring carried out and I will keep this matter under review with a view to increasing further the amount of resources I can devote to our monitoring role. The increased monitoring will allow for a more incisive review of the season just over. It will also assist in a more informed approach to the licensing of the next season.

The final event of the coursing season took place last Sunday 25th February.  All reports in relation to the season will be reviewed and all issues arising, including possible breaches of conditions, will be investigated and considered in the context of licenses for the 2018/19 coursing season.

Greenways Development

Ceisteanna (30)

James Browne

Ceist:

30. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans for future development of coastal paths, greenways and blueways in County Wexford; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9846/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Apart from waterways under the aegis of Waterways Ireland and the properties within the National Parks and Reserves, my Department has no statutory function in relation to coastal paths, greenways and Blueways. 

Waterways Ireland, a North South Implementation Body under my remit, is responsible for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of some 1,000km of navigable inland waterways principally for recreational purposes.  It has responsibility for the Shannon-Erne Waterway, the Shannon Navigation, the Barrow Navigation, the Grand and Royal Canals, the Erne System and the Lower Bann Navigation.

This is a significant recreational resource and Waterways Ireland has been proactive in the development of Blueways and Greenways as a means to attract new visitors and in response to the growth for recreational activities such as walking, canoeing and cycling.  

Waterways Ireland has no development plans for County Wexford as none of its inland waterways are located in the county.

Through the National Parks and Wildlife Service, a Division of my Department, I am also responsible for the 6 National parks and 78 Reserves, including the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. In all this totals about 87,000 hectares and hundreds of kilometres of trails.

The NPWS is responsible for the maintenance of trails and pathways within the Parks and Reserves, as well as the provision of amenity, conservation, interpretation, scientific and visitor services. Through its participation the National Outdoor Recreation Group, an ad-hoc group of public service recreational infrastructure providers, such as Coillte, Bord na Mona, OPW and Waterways Ireland, its drives interconnection and co-operation between these entities.

Within their own counties, Local Authorities are responsible for the provision and development of the infrastructure instanced by the Deputy. Of particular note in that regard is the wonderful project on Waterford's coastline opened last year, an initiative driven by Waterford County Council. In that respect, the two Government Departments with primary funding responsibility are the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Department of Rural and Community Affairs. In that respect, the Rural Recreation Schemes and Leader Programmes operated under the aegis of the latter Department are a particular point of reference.

National Development Plan

Ceisteanna (31)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

31. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans under the national development plan, NDP, to deliver compliance with the EU habitats directive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9979/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The National Development Plan 2018-2027 sets out the funding allocated to strategic investment priorities in the culture and heritage area, in recognition of its vital role in national life.

Tomorrow I will launch this element of the Plan, with An Taoiseach, Minister Paschal Donohue and my colleague Minister of State Joe McHugh.

In regard to our unique natural heritage, at this point I can say that investment is being provided to support the objectives of the recently published National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021, including the stepping up of conservation measures to restore peatlands, wetlands and threatened species, measures to combat the spread of invasive alien species, implementation of Local Biodiversity Action Plans and investment in agri-environment measures to deliver improvements to the network of sites protected under the EU Habitats Directive.

Ireland, like all EU Member States, is bound by the requirements of the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive. These Directives aim to ensure the protection of habitats and species which have been selected for conservation within special areas of conservation and special protection areas. I will also be investing in conservation measures in designated habitats.

Our National Parks and National Reserves are of course a substantial part of the network of protected areas required under the Habitats Directive and my Department  will shortly finalise a masterplan for investment in the Parks and Reserves, ensuring their protection, while providing for enhanced visitor amenities so that Irish and overseas visitors can have an increased awareness of and access to nature and its value.

The prioritization of this investment is driven by the interlinked objectives of community, amenity, conservation and well-being. This is, I believe, the first time a National Development Plan has placed the biodiversity and natural capital agenda at its core and I look forward to delivering on our ambitious targets in that regard.

Gender Equality

Ceisteanna (32)

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

32. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her views on the issue of sexual abuse and harassment exposed by women in the arts world both at home and abroad via movements (details supplied); the steps she is taking to address the gender inequality and systems of power that exist in the arts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10099/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I have repeatedly stated that everyone, regardless of their job, is entitled to work in an atmosphere in which respect, dignity, fairness and equality are very much the norm. I have also reaffirmed my continued commitment to measures aimed at eliminating workplace harassment in the arts and culture sector

Last November, my predecessor met with leaders of Irish theatre organisations who had co-signed a statement condemning sexual harassment and abuse of power in theatre in Ireland. The meeting focused on how the theatre sector could come together to discuss the issues that have arisen. It was agreed that my Department would assist in any practical arrangements in this regard.

My Department has since worked with the Irish Theatre Institute with a view to putting in place a series of actions that will find an appropriate way forward for the Theatre sector on this sensitive topic.

As a result the Institute will be hosting a one-day event for artists and organisations on March 21st in Liberty Hall, Dublin. Entitled Speak Up And Call It Out: Establishing a code of conduct for Irish theatre, the purpose of this event is to work towards the elimination of abuse of power and to safeguard the future health and wellbeing and career potential of those working in the sector by providing a code of conduct.  A programme for the day will be announced on March 8th, International Women’s Day.

I hope that the output from the conference can be incorporated into existing measures in the not-for-profit sector while also considering if there are additional measures that can be taken for those who operate outside any organised structure.

In relation to the wider cultural sector, my Department will be organising governance workshops for the organisations that come under my direct remit. The Department is also liaising with the Arts Council in relation to the provision of similar training to all other cultural organisations and arts centres around the country through a series of regional information days.

There has to be a clear message accepted universally that a culture of dignity and respect at work is expected as a basic human right everywhere, regardless of the workplace.

Irish Language

Ceisteanna (33)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

33. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the steps being taken by her Department in relation to promoting the Irish language in theatres here and in particular, in the national theatre; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10081/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department's role in relation to Irish extends right across the Culture Division and the Gaeltacht Division as well as to a number of agencies including the Arts Council and Udaras na Gaeltachta.  My Department itself funds two important national organisations to provide Irish language theatre experiences.

- The National Irish language theatre, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe is funded by directly by my Department. Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe promotes the Irish language through plays, workshops and exhibitions. It is in receipt of an annual operational grant of €320,00 to support the delivery of the theatre’s work programme.

- The National Folk Theatre, Siamsa Tire will receive funding of €310,000 my Department in 2018.  Siamsa Tire is headquartered in Tralee and has two subsidiary "Tithe Siamsa" in Finuge and Carraig (Dingle).  It brings to life Irish folklore through music, song and dance.  Its own productions are delivered over five months in summer and are delivered almost exclusively through the Irish language sung rather than spoken.

- In relation to other funded theatres, including the Abbey Theatre, these are supported by the Arts Council and my Department does not have a direct role in relation to them. I am aware that a number of theatrical organisations actively include the use of Irish language in their work.

- I note that the Abbey Theatre in its mission statement makes a commitment  "to lead in the telling of the whole Irish story, in English and in Irish" and it affirms "that the Abbey is a theatre for the entire island of Ireland and for all its people."

- Applications for Arts Council funding schemes are open to applicants through the medium of Irish and English and the Council operates funding schemes based around the Irish language including literature as well as funding artists and organisations in Gaeltacht areas under the Ealaín na Gaeltachta scheme.

- In December last year, the Taoiseach launched the Bliain na Gaeilge programme a major celebration marking the 125th anniversary of the start of the Irish language revival movement in 2018 in which people with all levels of Irish are invited participate.  Events will be organised around five key themes - the revival of the language over the last 125 years; the creativity of the language; the vibrancy of the language; the participation of the community and the value of the Gaeltacht.

- I will be encouraging all bodies under the aegis of my Department to promote Irish during Bliain na Gaeilge, including as part of the Creative Ireland Programme.

Inland Waterways Development

Ceisteanna (34)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

34. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the works programme for the restoration of the Ulster canal for 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9885/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

In July 2007, the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) agreed to proceed with the restoration and reopening of the 13km section of the Ulster Canal between Clones and Upper Lough Erne.

Government approval to restore a 2.5km stretch of the Ulster Canal from the Shannon-Erne waterway to the International Scout Centre at Castlesaunderson, near Belturbet, Co. Cavan was granted on 24th February 2015.

The works to complete the project are in the 3rd and final phase of delivery.  This phase involves the creation of a new 250m section of canal and the construction of a new road bridge north of the existing Derrykerrib Bridge.  The recent spell of sustained heavy rainfall post Christmas has caused severe flooding on site and works have been temporarily suspended to allow the floods to recede.  Work recommenced on 26th February 2018 and completion has been rescheduled for July 2018.  In parallel, the next phase of works on the restoration is under active consideration.

The project is progressing incrementally and I am delighted that we have been able to progress the project to this stage.  

This project is important for the border region with potential to stimulate economic activity, giving a much needed boost to job creation and with the growth in water based tourism attracting help attract significant numbers of visitors to the area.  This is increasingly significant in the context of Brexit.  

I remain committed to the project and I am keen to build on current progress and advance further restoration of the Ulster Canal to Clones and to progress the commitments in the Fresh Start Agreement in relation to the further development of the Ulster Canal.

Hare Coursing

Ceisteanna (35)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

35. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if the reports on all open hare coursing meetings including, capture forms, release forms, meeting reports and veterinary reports for all coursing clubs that are subject to licencing conditions will be published. [10010/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Deputy is already aware from my previous response earlier that the control of live hare coursing, including the operation of individual coursing meetings and managing the use of hares for that activity, is carried out under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958, which is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. My responsibility relates to the conservation status of the hare.

In August last year, my Department issued licences under the Wildlife Acts to the Irish Coursing Club, covering some 87 affiliated coursing clubs, to capture and tag hares for use at regulated hare coursing meetings for the 2017/18 season, which extends from the end of September 2017 to the end of February 2018.  Those licences contained a total of 22 conditions which have been developed and refined over the years. Subsequently, in October last year, my Department augmented the licencing conditions to provide for more strict regulation of coursing trials. Some of the licencing conditions included in the licences require that reports on coursing meetings held are submitted to my Department, for example in relation to the capture of hares.

Veterinary staff from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine carry out inspections during the coursing season to monitor compliance with the rules governing animal welfare relating to greyhounds and hares. The Irish Coursing Club also attends local coursing meetings.  In addition, where resources allow, local National Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation Rangers from my Department attend coursing meetings, on a spot-check basis, to monitor compliance with licences issued to the ICC and its affiliated clubs.

I have earlier informed the House that some twenty six coursing events were monitored by officials of my Department during the current 2017/18 season including trials compared to a total of seventeen meetings monitored during the previous 2016/17 season.     I will reiterate my desire to increase the number of coursing events that are monitored by officials of my Department.

All reports received from the Irish Coursing Club including veterinary reports and reports of meetings monitored by staff from the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department will be published on the website of the National Parks and Wildlife Service www.npws.ie

As I understand that hares are neither captured nor released by coursing clubs which run Open Coursing meeting, such forms and reports are not provided to my Department.

Digital Archiving

Ceisteanna (36)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

36. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the research being conducted to digitally restore the contents of the Irish Public Record Office which was destroyed at the outset of the Civil War; the extent to which such records can be gathered again and restored; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9847/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Trinity College Dublin has commenced a project in conjunction with a number of archival partners including the National Archives here in Ireland; the National Archives (UK); the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Irish Manuscripts Commission to digitally restore the layout and make-up of the Record Treasury of the Public Records Office that was destroyed at the commencement of the Irish Civil war in 1922. This project has been titled Beyond 2022?. 

The Beyond 2022 team is working to assemble a complete inventory of loss and survival of the 1922 fire. In doing so, the team has identified ten main categories of surviving or substitute sources:

- Survivors: records that survived almost unscathed because they were held in the Reading Room of the Public Record Office, not the Record Treasury itself

- Salved records: records damaged by the fire, but not completely destroyed, now in varying states of conservation

- Duplicates of original records now held in partner archives

- Facsimile images made before 1922

- Antiquarian transcripts

- Printed editions

- Certified copies

- Published calendars summarizing the contents of the records

- Unpublished calendars in manuscript form

- Legal abstracts 

- The aim is to gather into a single database all the information from surviving and substitute sources from archives and libraries in Ireland and internationally. The entire archive will be fully searchable, with its contents ranging from basic descriptions to fully restored records ranging in date from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries.  It will not be possible to digitally restore the full contents of the Record Treasury, but visitors to this virtual archive will now be able to see what the archive held before its destruction and a large amount of material that thankfully was either copied, duplicated or transcribed to other sources.

Bullying in the Workplace

Ceisteanna (37, 43)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

37. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to carry out further inquiries into sexism, bullying and harassment in the arts and culture sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9978/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

43. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the industry wide consultation into bullying and harassment in the arts sector announced by her predecessor on 9 November 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9890/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 37 and 43 together.

I have repeatedly stated that everyone, regardless of their job, is entitled to work in an atmosphere in which respect, dignity, fairness and equality are very much the norm. I have also reaffirmed my continued commitment to measures aimed at eliminating workplace harassment in the arts and culture sector.

Last November, my predecessor met with leaders of Irish theatre organisations who had co-signed a statement condemning sexual harassment and abuse of power in theatre in Ireland. The meeting focused on how the theatre sector could come together to discuss the issues that have arisen. It was agreed that my Department would assist in any practical arrangements in this regard.

My Department has since worked with the Irish Theatre Institute with a view to putting in place a series of actions that will find an appropriate way forward for the Theatre sector on this sensitive topic.

As a result the Institute will be hosting a one-day event for artists and organisations on March 21st in Liberty Hall, Dublin. Entitled Speak Up And Call It Out: Establishing a code of conduct for Irish theatre, the purpose of this event is to work towards the elimination of abuse of power and to safeguard the future health and wellbeing and career potential of those working in the sector by providing a code of conduct.  A programme for the day will be announced on March 8th, International Women’s Day.

I hope that the output from the conference can be incorporated into existing measures in the not-for-profit sector while also considering if there are additional measures that can be taken for those who operate outside any organised structure.

In relation to the wider cultural sector, my Department will be organising governance workshops for the organisations that come under my direct remit.  The Department is also liaising with the Arts Council in relation to the provision of similar training to all other cultural organisations and arts centres around the country through a series of regional information days.

There has to be a clear message accepted universally that a culture of dignity and respect at work is expected as a basic human right everywhere, regardless of the workplace.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (38)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

38. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the projected spending increase for her Department under the national development plan in 2018, 2019 and 2020. [10096/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Project Ireland 2040 – the National Planning Framework and associated 10 year National Development Plan – explicitly recognises that our culture, language and heritage are an essential part of the sustainable development of the country.  This acknowledgement of the centrality of our culture and creativity, of our language and community and of our built and natural heritage to our national development is unprecedented in this type of planning framework.

Project Ireland has made provision for a €1 billion investment in our culture and heritage over the 10 years of the plan.  This is in addition to an investment of €178 million in the Irish language and in our Gaeltacht and Island communities.  This investment will be delivered, as follows, over the next three years:

-          €54 million in 2018;

-          €75 million in 2019; and

-          €76 million in 2020.

My Department has also been advised that the allocations for 2021 and 2022 will be €80 million and €110 million, more than double the 2018 allocation, respectively.

Maoiniú d'Eagrais Ghaeilge

Ceisteanna (39)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

39. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Peadar Tóibín den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén méadú atá i gceist leis an méadú atá luaite i dTionscadal 2040 ar chaiteachas Údarás na Gaeltachta agus Fhoras na Gaeilge sa todhchaí; cathain go díreach a dhéanfar é seo; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [10095/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Tá sé fógartha ag an Rialtas sa Phlean Forbartha Náisiúnta 2018-2027 go mbeidh €178m in airgead caipitil ar fáil le caitheamh ar thograí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta agus oileán as seo go ceann 10 mbliana. Sin €78m in airgead nua anuas ar an mbonnshuim de níos mó ná €10m in aghaidh na bliana atá á chaitheamh ar na nithe céanna faoi láthair. San áireamh sa Phlean Forbartha Náisiúnta seo, tá gealltanas go méadófar buiséad caipitil Údarás na Gaeltachta go €12m in aghaidh na bliana. Déanfar cinneadh maidir le hamchlár an mhéadaithe seo le linn an ghnáthphróisis meastacháin sna blianta atá amach romhainn.

Ós rud é nach bhfuil aon bhuiséad caipitil ag Foras na Gaeilge, ní bheidh aon tionchar díreach ag Tionscadal Éire 2040 ar chaiteachas Fhoras na Gaeilge.

Heritage Council

Ceisteanna (40)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

40. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her views on whether the €4,000 offered by the Heritage Council for an oral history project is enough to halt the demise in the construction of traditional Slaney cots and traditional cot fishing practices on the river Slaney; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10097/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question no. 103 on 23rd January, 2018.

As I stated on that occasion, the Heritage Council is best placed to offer practical advise and assistance to local groups, and works in partnership with local communities, local authorities, voluntary groups, government departments, various agencies and national cultural institutions in order to deliver this vision through supporting a wide range of heritage projects and initiatives at community level. 

Funding decisions of the Council are a matter for the Council itself and I have no role in the matter.

Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (41)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

41. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when the public consultation will report into the way in which the significant events of the 1918 to 1923 period will be appropriately remembered; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10157/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The State's commemorative programme for the second half of the Decade of Centenaries will remember the significant historical events between 1918 and 1923 and important themes of the period.  The Government will continue to be supported in its approach by the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations.  

My predecessor, Minister Heather Humphreys T.D., launched the Decade of Centenaries public consultation process last October, in order to assist the Advisory Group in its work to provide advice to the Government over the remainder of the Decade. The objective of this process is to give interested parties the opportunity to submit their views and ideas around how the significant and sensitive historical events between 1918 and 1923 and related themes, might be appropriately and respectfully remembered, in line with the principles expressed in the Second Statement of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations.  The public consultation process was originally due to close on 31st January 2018 and the closing date was extended until today (28th February) to give all interested parties who would like to make submissions the opportunity to do so. 

The Expert Advisory Group will consider the submissions received and will then provide advice and guidance to Government on the State's approach to commemorations over the remainder of  the Decade.

Built Heritage Investment Scheme Funding

Question No. 43 answered with Question No. 37.

Ceisteanna (42)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

42. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding available for the built heritage investment scheme and structures at risk fund for 2018 to support the repair and conservation of historical buildings in County Kildare and nationwide; when a decision will be made on these schemes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10021/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Built Heritage Investment Scheme is a scheme for the repair and conservation of protected structures (i.e. structures on the local authority Record of Protected Structures). The scheme supports heritage projects across the country and creates employment in the conservation and construction industries, while helping to regenerate urban and rural areas, and is co-ordinated by each local authority.   My Department has allocated €2m under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2018, of which €50,000 is the indicative amount for County Kildare.

The Structures at Risk Fund enables conservation works to heritage structures in both private and public ownership, which are protected under the Planning and Development Acts and are deemed to be at significant risk of deterioration.  Local authorities have submitted applications to my Department and they will shortly be assessed by an expert panel. Successful applicants will be notified by their local authority shortly thereafter. My Department has allocated €1,324,000 under the Structures at Risk Fund 2018. While there is no specific allocation for each local authority, I can confirm that applications have been received in respect of County Kildare.

While applications from members of the public for both the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Structures at Risk Fund 2018 have been accepted in local authorities throughout the month of January and have now closed, projects are kept under review throughout the year with a view to supporting additional projects in lieu of those that do not start or accept initial offers of grant in aid. I hope to be in a position to notify local authorities in respect of both schemes by the end of March.

Question No. 43 answered with Question No. 37.

Cúrsaí Gaeilge

Ceisteanna (44)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

44. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aindrias Moynihan den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén plean atá aici chun Bliain na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [10156/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Mar a mhínigh mé i mo fhreagra a Cheist Dála uimhir 77 ar an 23 Eanáir 2018, tá  Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 faofa ag an Rialtas chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar ár dteanga dhúchais, go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta agus, sa chomhthéacs sin, tá deontas €450,000 ceadaithe ag Foras na Gaeilge chun tacú le Bliain na Gaeilge 2018.

Tá ról lárnach ag Conradh na Gaeilge i ndáil le mórchlár gníomhaíochtaí a chur i bhfeidhm ag leibhéal an phobail ar feadh na bliana agus tá tús maith curtha leis an obair sin cheana féin, mar shampla:

- Tá comhordaitheoir ar Bhliain na Gaeilge 2018 ceaptha chun ollchomhordú a dhéanamh ar an tionscnamh tras-Rialtais seo;

- Tá CISTE 125, an chéad bhabhta de dheontais (€50,000) fógartha chun cabhrú le grúpaí imeachtaí a eagrú go háitiúil.  Beidh an dara babhta (€75,000) le fógairt sa dara leath den bhliain;

- Tá físeáin á bhforbairt agus margaíocht eile ar bun chun feasacht ar Bhliain na Gaeilge 2018 a ardú i measc an phobail i gcoitinne;

- Tá ábhair bolscaireachta á scaipeadh ar gach scoil agus ar an bpobal; agus,

- Tá comórtais éagsúla á n-eagrú chun grúpaí ar nós ógchlubanna, coláistí/campaí samhraidh, coláistí tríú leibhéil a spreagadh  le páirt a ghlacadh inti agus ciste duaiseanna curtha ar fáil ina leith.

- Ó thaobh na n-ealaíon de, eagraíodh mórcheiliúradh seolta ar Bhliain na Gaeilge 2018 beo ar TG4 ar Oíche Chinn Bliana agus beidh an mórthaispeántas cultúrtha Aisling? ar chamchuairt náisiúnta i 2018, ag léiriú saothair nua-chumtha de mhór ealaíontóirí na Gaeltachta, idir ceoltóirí, filí, scríbhneoirí, dearc-ealaíontóirí agus cumadóirí.

- Ar an drochuair, ag eascairt as an drochaimsir atá geallta don tír sa tseachtain amach romhainn, ní raibh an dara rogha ag Conradh na Gaeilge ach an mórshiúl ceiliúrtha, BEO, a bhí socraithe don Satharn 3ú Márta a chur ar athló ach táthar ag súil tabhairt faoi arís ar 14ú Aibreán 2018.

- Tá clár imeachtaí Eanáir go Meitheamh don bhliain foilsithe cheana féin agus is féidir coinneáil suas go dáta nó imeachtaí breise a chlárú ar gaeilge2018.ie.

Hare Coursing

Ceisteanna (45)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

45. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if National Parks and Wildlife Service, NPWS, officers gave permission to a coursing club (details supplied) to hand over 29 hares to two other coursing events after their meeting on 16 and 17 December 2017 contrary to licensing conditions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10009/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Officers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department did not give permission to the coursing club in question to hand over hares to two other coursing clubs after its own meeting in December 2017.

Following examination of coursing reports received by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in respect of the current coursing season, my Department wrote last week to the Irish Coursing Club in relation to an entry in the Capture and Release returns of the club in question about the possible provision of hares to other coursing clubs.  On receipt of a response, my Department will consider the matter further.

Architectural Heritage

Ceisteanna (46)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

46. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to develop a vibrant, historical, cultural and heritage quarter on the Moore Street battlefield site by recognising that the battlefield site is a national monument. [10092/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As the Deputy is aware, at a meeting with the owners of the Moore Street development site on Tuesday, 20 February, agreement was reached on the modalities of engagement between those owners and the Moore Street Advisory Group, on the presentation of a way forward for the revitalization of area in a manner that will recognise the views of all stakeholders, reflect its historical and cultural significance, its employment and economic value to the North Inner City and all in a manner consonant with the recommendations of the Moore Street Consultative Group 's work "Moore Street Report Securing History".

The Deputy will recall that the key recommendation of this report was the establishment of the Moore Street Advisory Group, of which he is also a member, which has the task of devising an agreed plan among the key stakeholders that will take account of the needs of the area in a way that also respects and acknowledges its importance in the context of the 1916 Rising and ultimately the foundation of the state.

Fundamental to this objective is dialogue with the owners of the site that extends from Moore Street to the Carlton Cinema in O’Connell Street. I was very pleased to hear from the Chair of the Advisory Group in the last few days of the constructive meeting he and the Oireachtas members of the Group, including the Deputy, had with the owners last week. I believe that this is the appropriate way in which to address the issues relating to the site and its wider environs.

I am pleased that a foundation and framework has now been laid for positive and fruitful co-operation, dialogue and interaction between all the key interests in Moore Street under the aegis of the Moore Street Advisory Group. I would encourage the Deputy to continue to engage and contribute to that process through his membership of the Group.

Cultural Policy

Ceisteanna (47, 61, 64)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

47. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the details of the €460 million phases programme of investment in national cultural institutions over the next ten years as outlined in the national development plan, by institution, project to be undertaken and estimated cost; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10025/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Joan Burton

Ceist:

61. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when the key elements of the national development programme will be delivered in particular in relation to the National Museum and the Natural History Museum; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9977/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

64. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the way in which the €725 million allocated in the capital plan will be spent on cultural infrastructure; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9887/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 47, 61 and 64 together.

This Government recently launched Project Ireland 2040; a comprehensive national planning framework and associated 10-year National Development Plan.  Project Ireland 2040 explicitly recognises that our culture, language and heritage are an essential part of the sustainable development of the country.

This acknowledgement of the centrality of our culture and creativity to our national development is unprecedented in this type of statutory planning framework, as is the commitment to investment in excess of €1 billion in our culture and heritage over the next 10 years.  Of this investment some €725 million will be invested directly in our cultural infrastructure, in our creative industries and in enhancing cultural experience for our citizens.

As outlined in Project Ireland 2040, €460 million will be spent on the National Cultural Institutions Investment Programme.  Over the 10 years of the plan, this will see the renovation of the National Library of Ireland, significant enhancements at the National Archives, investment at a number of sites of Natural Museum of Ireland commencing with the Natural History Museum, the renovation of the National Concert Hall and Crawford Art Gallery, the completion of the National Gallery master development plan, the redevelopment of the National Theatre and projects at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and at the Chester Beatty Gallery.  These projects will be sequenced and prioritised having regard to the outcome of the evaluation and planning processes in line with the Public Spending Code.

A further €265 million has been made available under the NDP for a culture and creativity investment programme.  This investment programme will be closely aligned with the Creative Ireland Programme.  Key areas for investment under this programme will be:

- A programme of investments in regional arts and culture facilities to enhance opportunities for communities to participate in Irish cultural life;

-  Investment in our creative industries with a particular focus on the audio-visual sector which represents an important economic opportunity for Ireland;

-  A programme for the digitisation of our national collections; and

-  Investment in Galway 2020 for its year as an EU Capital of Culture. 

I will shortly launch this element of the Plan.

Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge

Ceisteanna (48)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

48. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Mary Lou McDonald den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta an dtabharfaidh sí tuairisc maidir le beartas a roinne i leith na Gaeilge. [7229/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Is í an Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010-2030 bunchloch pholasaí an Rialtais i leith na Gaeilge. Sa chomhthéacs sin, chun tacaíocht a thabhairt do chothabháil agus d’fhorbairt na Gaeilge mar theanga pobail agus teaghlaigh sa Ghaeltacht, tá cur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise aitheanta mar phríomh-thosaíocht sa Chlár do Rialtas Comhpháirtíochta. Sa bhreis air sin, is fiú a rá go bhfuil tagairt shonrach déanta don Ghaeilge, don Ghaeltacht agus do na hoileáin sa Chreatlach Náisiúnta Pleanála agus sa Phlean Forbartha Náisiúnta 2018-2027 a foilsíodh le gairid, le mír faoi leith faoin ábhar, ina chuimsítear réimsí faoi leith ann lena n-áirítear gnóthaí  Pleanála Teanga agus infheistíocht Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Maidir leis an Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010–2030, is fiú a threisiú uair amháin eile gur gá a aithint gur le linn na géarchéime eacnamaíche is measa a bhuail an Stát riamh a lainseáladh an Straitéis. Ainneoin na gcúinsí deacra ina raibh gníomhaireachtaí na Gaeilge ag feidhmiú, idir mo Roinn féin, Foras na Gaeilge, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus na heagraíochtaí éagsúla atá á maoiniú acu, táim sásta go bhfuil dul chun cinn suntasach déanta agus á dhéanamh maidir le raon leathan gníomhaíochtaí faoin Straitéis a chur i bhfeidhm de réir a chéile ar bhealach córasach laistigh de na hacmhainní atá ar fáil. I measc na bpríomhgníomhaíochtaí atá bainte amach go dáta luafainn go sonrach na nithe seo a leanas:

- Tá cur i bhfeidhm an phróisis pleanála teanga a leagtar amach faoi Acht na Gaeltachta 2012 faoi lán seoil anois. Faoin Acht seo, a rinneadh a achtú sé bliana ó shin mar chéim shuntasach le dlús a chur le feidhmiú na Straitéise, tugtar feidhm reachtúil don phróiseas faoina bhfuil pleananna teanga á n-ullmhú ag leibhéal an phobail trasna an sé chinn is fiche de limistéir pleanála teanga Ghaeltachta atá aitheanta faoin bpróiseas. Ina theannta sin, tá an próiseas tosaithe, nó ar tí tosú i gcás seacht gcinn de bhailte a d'fhéadfadh a bheith aitheanta mar Bhailte Seirbhíse Gaeltachta faoin bpróiseas in am trátha. Lena chois sin, ar ndóigh, tá trí Líonra Gaeilge aitheanta faoin bpróiseas anois. Sa bhliain reatha, cuirfear tús le feidhmiú pleananna faoi leith sa Ghaeltacht agus, chun cabhrú leis an obair seo trí chéile, is fiú a mheabhrú go bhfuil ciste faoi leith ar fiú €2.65m in iomlán curtha ar fáil sa bhliain reatha. Is ionann é seo agus ardú €1.4m thar an méid a bhí luaite leis an gciste in 2017. Mar thaca breise don phróiseas, tá ciste ar fiú €2.322m curtha ar fáil faoin gClár Tacaíochtaí Pobail agus Teanga atá á riaradh ag mo Roinn. Leis an gciste breise ar fiú €900,000 atá curtha ar fáil don chlár seo sa bhliain reatha thar an méid a cuireadh ar fáil sna Meastacháin Athbhreithnithe 2017, táim sásta go mbeifear in ann an dul chun cinn cuí a dhéanamh chun tacú le feidhmiú an phróisis trí chéile - próiseas atá ag croílár fheidhmiú na Straitéise, ar ndóigh, mar a bhaineann sé leis an nGaeltacht;

- Tá Polasaí don Oideachas Gaeltachta 2017-2022 foilsithe agus á chur i bhfeidhm go rathúil agus tá Straitéis Náisiúnta Litearthachta agus Uimhearthachta á cur i bhfeidhm chomh maith;

- Tá athbhreithniú déanta ar Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla 2003 agus d’fhógair mé an mhí seo caite go bhfuil Bille na dTeangacha Oifigiúla (Leasú) i measc na mBillí atá ar chlár reachtaíochta an Rialtais don earrach/samhradh;

- Tá buiséid bliantúla Údaras na Gaeltachta agus Fhoras na Gaeilge méadaithe le cúpla bliain anuas;

- Tá cinneadh déanta deireadh á chur leis an maolú don Ghaeilge san Aontas Eorpach i 2021; agus,

- Tá raon leathan tionscadal á maoiniú ag mo Roinn chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn san earnáil dhigiteach.

- Sin ráite, ní miste dom a mheabhrú don Teachta go bhfuil bailchríoch á cur ag mo Roinnse faoi láthair  ar an bPlean Gníomhaíochta don Ghaeilge 2018-2022, a dhéanfar a fhoilsiú go han-luath.

Foras na Gaeilge

Ceisteanna (49)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

49. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the terms of the lease in relation to the new offices for Foras na Gaeilge; the length of the lease and break clause; the annual rent and review period; the financial commitments arising from Amiens Street and accommodation of ÁIS, including rent and other contributions arising with the lease and details of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10080/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The details sought by the Deputy in regard to the lease terms attaching to the new offices of Foras na Gaeilge are set out in the following table:

OFFICE

Annual Rent

Lease Duration

Break Clause

Rent Review

Insurance Costs

Service Costs

HQ, Amiens Street

€593,000

30 years

15 years

5 yearly basis

€8,300

-

Áis, Dunshaughlin

€35,000

10 years

7 years

5 years

€1,000

€3,000*

* Management fee applicable to this Business Park  location