Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (50)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

50. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to implement the decision to name a day as national famine commemoration day; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10023/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The National Famine Memorial Day Bill, which inter alia proposes the establishment of a fixed date for the annual commemoration, passed Second Stage last year. A date has not yet been agreed for the scheduling of the Committee Stage of the Bill. I understand that the issue of a money message in respect of this Bill remains under consideration.

Digital Archiving

Ceisteanna (51)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

51. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to digitise national collections as mentioned in the national development plan; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10024/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The National Development Plan will guide national, regional and local planning and investment decisions in Ireland over the next two decades including investment in the digitisation of national collections.

The importance of digitisation was really underlined during the 2016 centenary year, when a number of our National Cultural Institutions made a wealth of material available online for the first time. Digitisation also provides a very important channel to connect with our Diaspora – which is estimated to be up to 70 million people worldwide – and in turn encourages cultural tourism.   

We have already seen the transformative effect of making some of our collections available online.  For example, the 1901 and 1911 census are digitised, published and freely available at the National Archives website.  

My Department also recently announced over €2m for the new cultural Digitisation Scheme which will help our Cultural Institutions, together with a number of other cultural heritage bodies, to build on this work and digitise their rich and varied collections for the benefit of the public.  

Funding, for example, is being provided to the National Library of Ireland for three projects over the coming years including “Towards a Republic” which is a project to digitise the personal papers of the signatories of the Treaty.  This is a significant project which will take several years to complete.  A total of €320,000 is allocated to the project over the next three years and it is planned to complete digitisation of the papers in advance of the centenary of the foundation of the State.

Other examples of digitisation projects to be funded over the coming years include:

- Band Aid Archives – a tribute to Bob Geldof's role in Band Aid and Ireland’s part in this global initiative of charitable donation.

- Digitisation of Church of Ireland Parish Registers, which will greatly complement the exising access to the Catholic Church records.

Scéimeanna Teanga

Ceisteanna (52)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

52. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén líon scéimeanna teanga atá á chur i bhfeidhm sa Ghaeltacht i láthair na huaire; cén caiteachas a bheidh i gceist leis na scéimeanna teanga i mbliana; cad é an méid is mó atá ceadaithe d’aon scéim teanga don bhliain 2018; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [9808/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Den 26 limistéar pleanála teanga Gaeltachta atá aitheanta faoin bpróiseas pleanála teanga tá pleananna i leith na limistéar a leanas faofa agus táthar ag súil leis dá réir go mbeidh tús á chur lena bhfeidhmiú go luath:

- Gaoth Dobhair, Rann na Feirste, Anagaire & Loch an Iúir

- Cois Fharraige

- Cloich Chionnaola, Gort an Choirce, An Fál Carrach agus Machaire Rabhartaigh

- Na Déise, Co Phort Láirge.

- Tá pleananna teanga á mbreithniú ag mo Roinn faoi láthair i leith cheithre cinn eile de na limistéir: Múscraí; An Cheathrú Rua; Dúiche Sheoigheach & Tuar Mhic Éadaigh; agus Ciarraí Theas.

- Lena chois sin táthar ag súil leis go mbeidh pleananna i leith na limistéar a leanas á gcur faoi bhráid mo Roinne chun críche faofa faoi Acht na Gaeltachta go luath:

- Ceantar na nOileán

- Conamara Láir

- Ciarraí Thiar.

Maidir leis an cúig limistéar déag eile, beifear ag súil leis go mbeidh pleananna ina leith á gcur faoi bhráid na Roinne chun críche ceada idir seo agus deireadh 2020 - uair a mbeifear ag súil leis go mbeidh feidhmiú pleananna ar bun i ngach aon cheann de na limistéir.

Ina theannta seo, tá plean á ullmhú faoi láthair do Dhaingean Uí Chúis i nGaeltacht Chorca Dhuibhne agus tá obair idir lámha ag Údarás na Gaeltachta chun eagraíocht a aimsiú a thabharfaidh faoi phlean a ullmhú agus a fheidhmiú don Clochán Liath i nGaeltacht Thír Chonaill.

Chun tacú le feidhmiú an phróisis pleanála teanga atá leagtha amach faoi Acht na Gaeltachta 2012 agus faoina gcuimsítear na ceantair Ghaeltachta chomh maith le Bailte Seirbhíse Gaeltachta agus Líonraí Gaeilge, tá cistíocht faoi leith ar fiú €2.65m curtha ar fáil sa bhliain reatha.  Is ardú suntasach é seo thar an €1.25m a cuireadh ar fáil don phróiseas pleanála teanga i 2017.

Tá ciste ar fiú suas le €100,000 thar tréimhse 12 mhí iomlán le bheith ar fáil i leith gach limistéir Gaeltachta ina cheadaítear plean teanga chun tús a chur le feidhmiú na bpleananna sin.  Ina theannta sin, tá allúntas breise ar fiú suas le €50,000 thar tréimhse 12 mhí á chur ar fáil faoin bpróiseas pleanála teanga i leith 5 limistéar faoi leith.  Is de bharr dúshlán faoi leith atá bainteach leis na ceantair seo a tógadh an cinneadh seo. Is iad na ceantair atá i gceist ná:

- Gaoth Dobhair, Rann na Feirste, Anagaire & Loch an Iúir

- Cois Fharraige

- Conamara Láir

- Ciarraí Thiar.

- Is ar an mbunús go sásaíonn na limistéir thuas trí chinn den ceithre chritéar a leanas atá an t-allúntas breise á chur ar fail:

1. Achar an Limistéir Pleanála teanga a bheith os cionn 200km2

2. Daonra an limistéir níos sine ná trí bliana d’aois os cionn 5,000 duine

3. Líon cainteoirí laethúla Gaeilge taobh amuigh den chóras oideachais sa limistéir a bheith circa agus ós cionn 1,500 duine

4. Céatadán do chainteoirí laethúla Gaeilge an limistéar a bheith circa agus os cionn 50% de dhaonra iomlán an limistéir.

Ibhfianaise go bhfuil dúshlán tíreolaíoch ar leith leis na trí oileáin Árann atá aitheanta mar limistéar pleanála teanga amháin, tá i gceist go dtiocfaidh an limistéar seo faoi scáth an tsocraithe seo chomh maith.

Lena chois sin, is fiú a lua go bhfuil €2.322m curtha ar fáil in 2018 chun cúram a dhéanamh de Chlár Tacaíochtaí Pobail agus Teanga na Roinne. Mar a bhí ar bun go dtí seo, bainfear leas as an gclár seo, atá dírithe ar na ceantair Ghaeltachta agus atá ardaithe €900,000 thar an soláthar a bhí curtha ar fáil ina leith sna Meastacháin Athbhreithnithe 2017, chun tacú tuilleadh le feidhmiú an phróisis.

Caithfear a chur san áireamh chomh maith an raon leathan clár, scéimeanna agus tionscnamh eile atá á maoiniú agus á riaradh ag mo Roinn, ag Údarás na Gaeltachta agus ag Foras na Gaeilge araon chun tacú go díreach nó go tánaisteach leis an bpróiseas.

Ag cur é seo ar fad san áireamh, táim sásta go bhfuil soláthar cuí curtha ar fáil ón státchiste chun cúram cuí a dhéanamh den phróiseas pleanála teanga sa bhliain reatha.

Special Areas of Conservation

Ceisteanna (53)

Brian Stanley

Ceist:

53. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the study of Coolrain bog, County Laois; when this will be completed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9849/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The National Raised Bog Special Areas of Conservation Management Plan 2017-2022, published in December 2017, sets out how the raised bog special areas of conservation are to be managed, conserved and restored and how the needs of turf cutters are to be addressed.

Within the framework of this National Plan, my Department is considering the available options in terms of relocation of turf cutters to non-designated bogs and other alternatives and the invocation of certain provisions of the EU Habitats Directive. Under article 6.3 of the Directive consent could only be given to cut turf on a raised bog special area of conservation where it can be shown that such cutting will not have an adverse effect on the site. Under article 6.4 of the Directive consent could only be given to cut turf on a raised bog special area of conservation for imperative reasons of overriding public interest and where there are no suitable alternatives.

14 sites have been identified by the Department, after consultation with turf cutting representatives, as suitable for investigation for the possible utilisation of Article 6.3 of the Habitats Directive – a list of these sites is included in the National Raised Bog Special Areas of Conservation Management Plan 2017-2022. Coolrain Bog special area of conservation is included on this list. 

Scientific contractors engaged by my Department have undertaken a preliminary review of the eco-hydrological conditions present on this site to examine the potential for continued turf-cutting there in accordance with the provisions of the Directive. A separate Raised Bog Monitoring and Assessment Survey report was prepared to outline the current ecological condition and location of active raised bog habitat and other raised bog habitats, listed in Annex 1 of the Directive, on the site.

The results of these studies, amongst those for other sites, are being considered by my Department within the framework of the National Plan.

Historic Towns Initiative

Ceisteanna (54)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

54. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of an application by Kildare town under the historic towns grant scheme 2018; when a decision will be made on these schemes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10022/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

In the current year, €1m has been earmarked specifically by me for the Historic Towns Initiative, which will complement any capital component of supports for the Historic Towns Network. The Initiative, managed by the Heritage Council, will provide capital funding in the region of €150,000-€200,000 each to a number of towns in 2018.

I understand that the Historic Towns Steering Group will assess the applications and plans and make recommendations for funding to the Council by the end of February 2018. In conjunction with the Heritage Council I will then be making a public announcement of the outcome of this year's round of funding and all applicants will be notified by letter in March of the outcome.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (55)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

55. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which she is in a position to offer funding under various headings to cultural and heritage projects, community based or otherwise in 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10152/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Both my Department and the bodies under its aegis operate a wide range of funding schemes in the areas of arts, culture and heritage.  Details of these schemes are made available on my Department's website and the individual website of the bodies concerned.

For the Deputy's convenience a summary of the various funding areas and the links to detailed information in respect of funding is set out in the following tables.  

Arts, Culture and Heritage Funding Schemes available from the Department

Programme Area

Details available at:

Arts Film and Investment

http://www.chg.gov.ie/about/information-requests/freedom-of-information/foi-publications-scheme/services-provided-by-the-department/arts-unit/#grantfunding

Cultural Policy and Institutions

http://www.chg.gov.ie/about/information-requests/%20freedom-of-information/foi-publications-scheme/services-%20provided-by-the-department/cultural-policy-and-institutions-unit/#grantfunding

Culture Ireland           

http://www.cultureireland.ie/funding

Built Heritage & Architectural Policy

http://www.chg.gov.ie/about/information-requests/%20freedom-of-information/foi-publications-scheme/%20services-provided-by-the-department/built-heritage-%20and-architectural-policy-unit/#grantfunding

National Monuments Service

http://www.chg.gov.ie/about/information-requests/freedom-of-information/foi-publications-scheme/services-provided-by-the-department/national-monuments-service/#grantfunding

 

Funding available from bodies under the aegis of the Department

Body

Details available at:

Arts Council

http://www.artscouncil.ie/funding/

Irish Film Board

http://www.irishfilmboard.ie/funding_programmes/

Heritage Council

http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/funding

Údarás na Gaeltachta

http://www.udaras.ie/en/forbairt-pobail/tionscnaimh-ealaion-chulturtha

Waterways Ireland

https://www.waterwaysireland.org/heritage-grant

Foras na Gaeilge

http://www.forasnagaeilge.ie/sceimeanna-maoinithe/

Scéim na gCúntóirí Teanga

Ceisteanna (56)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

56. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta an dtabharfaidh sí cuntas ar an dul chun cinn maidir le scéim na gCúntóirí Teanga, go háirithe maidir leis na poist bhreise a cheadaigh an tAire ach nár líonadh in 2017 i scoileanna (sonraí tugtha); cén fáth, i mBliain seo na Gaeilge, go bhfuil scoileanna ag fanacht ar chúntóir teanga le breis agus dhá bhliain; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [9818/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Ar mhaithe lena chinntiú go bhfuil Scéim na gCúntóirí Teanga ag feidhmiú ar an gcaoi is fearr is féidir mar thaca don phróiseas pleanála teanga agus don Pholasaí don Oideachas Gaeltachta araon, tá tús curtha ag mo Roinn le hathbhreithniú ar an scéim.

Ós rud é go bhfuil éileamh thar na bearta ó scoileanna Gaeltachta le bheith rannpháirteach sa scéim, beifear ag súil leis, de thoradh an athbhreithnithe, go mbeifear in ann aghaidh a thabhairt ar fhreastal níos fearr a dhéanamh ar an éileamh sin. 

D'eisigh mo Roinn Iarratas ar Thairiscintí i leith an athbhreithnithear ar etenders.ie ar 5 Feabhra 2018 agus tá go dtí 9 Márta 2018 chun tairiscintí ina ina leith a dhéanamh.  Tá sé i gceist go dtosóidh feidhmiú thorthaí an atbhreithnithe sa scoilbhliain 2018/19.

Special Areas of Conservation

Ceisteanna (57)

Brian Stanley

Ceist:

57. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the overall plan for the special areas of conservation, SAC, designation of raised bogs, such as Abbeyleix bog, County Laois, in view of the importance of its conservation; the timeframe for completion of designation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9850/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The National Raised Bog Special Areas of Conservation Management Plan 2017-2022, published in December 2017, sets out how the raised bog special areas of conservation are to be managed, conserved and restored and how the needs of turf cutters are to be addressed.

This Plan sets out the national conservation target for active raised bog to be achieved within the raised bog special area of conservation and natural heritage area networks.

The Review of Raised Bog Natural Heritage Area Network was published in January 2014. The review concluded that Ireland could more effectively achieve conservation of threatened raised bog habitat through focused protection and restoration of a reconfigured network. This entails:

- The continued designation of 36 existing natural heritage areas - this includes 7 sites to be divided, with part to be conserved and part de-designated;

- The de-designation of 46 natural heritage areas - including the relevant areas of the 7 sites to be divided; and

- The designation as natural heritage areas of 25 currently undesignated raised bogs, which are in public ownership or where there is reduced turf cutting pressure, so as to compensate for the loss of habitat within the sites where it is proposed that turf cutting can be allowed to continue.

I do not propose to identify these 25 sites until I am in a position to apply the relevant legal protections to them.  Compensation will be made available to affected turf cutters from these sites.

The Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2016 has been presented to Dáil Éireann and is proceeding through the necessary stages in the Houses of the Oireachtas. Its purpose is to provide for the implementation of a reconfiguration of the natural heritage area network arising from the 2014 Review.

Cultural Policy

Ceisteanna (58)

Alan Farrell

Ceist:

58. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the opportunities available for local groups to become involved with the European Year of Cultural Heritage; the funding available; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9880/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I was delighted to launch the The European Year of Cultural Heritage in Ireland and the Heritage Council's online events calendar last month. This lists all the events and activities taking place in Ireland under the EYCH 2018 banner and will be updated with new events throughout the year.

The best way for local groups to get involved with the year is to submit their planned events that fit the theme 'Make a Connection' to the Heritage Council through the dedicated website EYCH2018.ie. Successful submissions will be granted the EYCH label, added to the online events calendar and promoted on social media.

Regarding available funding, the Heritage Council's Community Grant Scheme for this year has focused on the European Year of Cultural Heritage theme 'Make a Connection', with up to €750,000 to be allocated to voluntary and community groups to build heritage connections that will last beyond 2018. Applications for this Scheme closed earlier this month, and I look forward to announcing the successful projects with the Heritage Council in due course.

In addition, the Heritage Council is planning a special initiative, ‘Le Chéile san Eoraip’, to be coordinated with local authority heritage officers and community groups to research heritage links – literary, historical, craft, architectural, linguistic, etc. – between their community and a community in another European country.

National Cultural Institutions

Ceisteanna (59)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

59. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason the position of director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art has not yet been advertised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9889/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As the Deputy is aware, the appointment of a new Director is a matter, in the first instance, for the Board of Irish Museum of Modern Art, subject to my approval after consultation with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.  My Department is in discussions with IMMA and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform regarding the terms and conditions relating to this post.  It is hoped to conclude this matter shortly and once it has been finalised the position will then be advertised.

In the interim, an acting Director has been appointed by the Board who will remain in place until the appointment of the new Director.

Cultural Policy

Question No. 61 answered with Question No. 47.

Ceisteanna (60)

Hildegarde Naughton

Ceist:

60. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the contribution being made to Galway city as capital of culture 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9879/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

In December 2014 the Government decided that Ireland should exercise its right to nominate a European Capital of Culture for 2020 and committed in principle at that time to provide €15m to the selected project.

The Government's support represents the largest  single contribution to the overall cost of Galway 2020 as the European City of Culture which is €45.7m.  The balance of the funding is sourced from city and county local authorities, and commitments from business and sponsorship. The EU Commission's award is €1.5m.

My Department officials continue to work and support the newly formed Galway 2020 Company with the preparations for delivery of the programme, "Making Waves". The Board of Galway 2020 Company is now finalised following a skills set analysis and  Dr. Aideen Mc Ginley has been appointed as Chairperson, with Declan McGonagle serving as my Department's representative.

The Board comprises a  very broad range of experts striking a balance between artistic and governance expertise.  On 17th January, this year, I met with the CEO Ms. Hannah Kiely, and I have accepted an invitation to meet with the wider team of Galway2020 in the not too distant future.

I also note that the new Pálás art house cinema, largely funded by my Department, will also add significantly to the cultural infrastructure of Galway in advance of the Capital of Culture and that it will be a major asset for hosting events during Galway 2020 and beyond.

Question No. 61 answered with Question No. 47.

Arts and Culture Capital Scheme

Ceisteanna (62)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

62. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to expand the arts and culture capital scheme as mentioned in the national development plan; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10026/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Arts and Culture Capital Scheme which is running from 2016 to 2018 is focused on the refurbishment and enhancement of the existing stock of arts and culture facilities throughout the country.  To date, funding of €10.214m has been allocated to 134 projects under three complementary grant streams. This is the most significant investment in cultural infrastructure in a decade with funding provided to a range of facilities, including arts centres, theatres, galleries and museums, as well as artists’ studios and creative spaces. A full list of all successful projects is available on my Department’s website at the following link www.chg.gov.ie/arts/creative-arts/grants-and-funding/.

The National Planning Framework and National Development Plan - Ireland 2040 launched on 16 February 2018 by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., recognises the value and importance of our culture, language and heritage as an integral part of Irish life.  In these areas, the headline announcement from the launch is a €1 billion investment in Culture and Heritage over the 10 year period of the plan including;

 - €460 million for our National Cultural Institutions,

 - €265 million for cultural and creativity investment programme, and

 - €285 million for natural and built heritage.

Incorporated in the Plan is the expansion of the Arts and Culture Capital Scheme.  I will shortly launch my Department's sectoral plan entitled Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage.  This will cover the Department's investment programme in greater detail as part of the State's overall plan.  In due course, details of further grant schemes under the Arts and Culture Capital Scheme will be announced in parallel with an application process which will be similar to the application processes operated in 2016 and 2017.

Commemorative Events

Question No. 64 answered with Question No. 47.

Ceisteanna (63)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

63. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to mark the 70th anniversary of the National Symphony Orchestra; if she has discussed this with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9976/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

While the RTÉ  National Concert Orchestra does not come under the remit of my Department, I note that the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra did celebrate its 70th birthday with a special birthday concert from the National Concert Hall on 16th of February and broadcast live on Lyric FM.

My Department is maintaining close contact with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment in relation to the RTÉ review of orchestral music as set out in my reply to today's question number 21.

Question No. 64 answered with Question No. 47.

Film Industry

Ceisteanna (65, 68)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

65. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to establish a proper and transparent structure of progression and qualification for trainees in the film industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10082/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

68. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she has satisfied herself with the conditions of employment for workers in the Irish film industry in terms of training, working hours, employment status and pension rights; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10083/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 65 and 68 together.

As part of a response to improve training  and related conditions of employment in the film industry, the Irish Film Board and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland jointly commissioned a report on the issue of training in the Irish film, television and animation industry. The study by consultants Crowe Howarth Final Report in respect of Strategy for the Development of Skills for  the Audio-Visual Industry in Ireland.

The Film Board through its training arm Screen Training Ireland is already acting on the recommendations of the Crowe Howarth Report. Screen Training Ireland is now examining the report wit a view to implementing the major recommendations.  This will include:

 - Establishment of an advisory Board for Screen Training Ireland;

 - Appointment of a Training Manager;

 - Engagement with the sector with regard to the recommendations;

 - A skills-gap audit across live-action, animation and television production sectors; and

 - Consideration of accreditation models.

In  addition, international audiovisual consultants Olsberg SPI with Nordicity were commissioned to undertake an economic analysis of the Irish audiovisual industry to determine its contribution to Ireland’s economy and to make recommendations for policy interventions which would increase the value of and numbers employed in the sector.  The consultants finalised and submitted their report to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Steering Group members in December 2017.

The recommendations of the economic analysis and the Crowe Horwath report are providing inputs for the development of an industry-wide long-term plan for the production of film, TV, drama and animation in Ireland under Pillar 4 of the Creative Ireland programme. This will include the establishment of an ongoing steering group to oversee the development of the industry.

Employees in the film industry are entitled to all existing legal protections. However, the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017,  which is currently before the Dáil will improve the security and predictability of working hours for employees on insecure contracts and those working variable hours. The Bill, which is a matter for the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection is being brought forward in response to the commitment in  the Programme for a Partnership Government to address the problems caused by the increased casualisation of work and to strengthen the regulation of precarious work.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (66)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

66. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the expenditure to date on the restoration of the Ulster canal; the provision in her Department's Estimates for this project in 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9884/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

In July 2007, the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) agreed to a proposal to restore the section of the Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne to Clones. Planning approvals for the project have been secured from the relevant authorities in the two jurisdictions.

Government approval to restore a 2.5 km stretch of the Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne to the International Scout Centre at Castle Saunderson near Belturbet in Co. Cavan, was secured on 24th February 2015.

Waterways Ireland is currently working on the first phase of reopening navigation from the Erne to Castle Saunderson on the Ulster Canal.  The works have been temporarily suspended to allow flooding to recede on site following the heavy rainfall post Christmas. Work recommenced on 26th February 2018.  This weather event will delay completion until July 2018.

To date over €2.8m has been spent on the entire Ulster Canal project. Expenditure of €1.133m is forecast to complete navigation to Castle Saunderson in 2018.

Broadcasting Sector

Question No. 68 answered with Question No. 65.

Ceisteanna (67)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

67. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the review of orchestral provision at RTÉ which was due to report in February 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9888/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Deputy will appreciate that there are existing legislative obligations on RTÉ in relation to the provision of music and that responsibility for RTÉ is, in the first instance, a matter for my colleague the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment. 

However, as Minister with responsibility for culture, and of oversight of the National Concert Hall, I believe it is important that there is strong provision of orchestral music in Ireland.

In this regard, officials from my Department have met with officials from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to discuss the matter. They were informed that the RTÉ review is an internal review which is to make recommendations regarding the best configuration of the orchestras, but that RTÉ has acknowledged that the orchestras are integral to RTE's arts and cultural programming, and form a key part of RTÉ’s arts and culture strategy. 

My Department will maintain close contact with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment in relation to this matter and both Departments will consider the outcome of the RTÉ review when that is complete.  I understand that a final report will be delivered to RTÉ shortly. 

Question No. 68 answered with Question No. 65.

Limistéir Pleanála Teanga

Ceisteanna (69)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

69. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cé mhéad limistéar atá i gceist maidir leis na limistéir pleanála teanga i nGaillimh; cé mhéad plean atá faofa agus ag feidhmiú faoi láthair; cé mhéad plean atá os comhair na Roinne faoi láthair; cad é stádas na bpleananna eile [10078/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Faoin bpróiseas pleanála teanga mar a leagtar amach é faoi Acht na Gaeltachta 2012 tá Gaeltacht na Gaillimhe comdhéanta den 10 limistéar pleanála teanga Gaeltachta a leanas:

1. Oileáin Árann

2. Ceantar na nOileán

3. An Cheathrú Rua

4. Conamara Láir

5. Dúiche Sheoigheach agus Tuar Mhic Éadaigh

6. Cois Fharraige

7. Maigh Cuilinn

8. Bearna agus Cnoc na Cathrach

9. Oirthear Chathair na Gaillimhe

10. An tEachréidh

Ar bhonn náisiúnta, tá pleananna teanga i leith: Ghaoth Dobhair, Rann na Feirste, Anagaire & Loch an Iúir; Cois Fharraige; Cloich Chionnaola, Gort an Choirce, An Fál Carrach & Machaire Rabhartaigh; agus Na Déise ceadaithe anois faoin bpróiseas.

Tá pleananna teanga i leith na limistéar:  Múscraí, Ciarraí Theas; Dúiche Sheoigheach/Tuar Mhic Éadaigh; An Cheathrú Rua á mbreithniú ag mo Roinn faoi láthair.

Beifear ag súil leis go gcuirfear pleananna i leith na limistéar a leanas faoi bhráid mo Roinne chun críche faofa idir seo agus deireadh na blian.

- Ciarraí Thiar

- Ceantar na nOileán

- Conamara Láir

- Toraigh

- Tuaisceart Dhún na nGall

- Maigh Eo Thuaidh

- Oileán Árainn

- Rath Chairn & Baile Ghib

- Dún na nGall Theas

- Árainn Mhór

Ina theannta sin tá obair ar bun chun ullmhúchán pleananna teanga i leith na limistéar eile a bhrú chun cinn sa bhliain reatha i dtreo is a bheith ag cinntiú go mbeidh feidhmiú pleananna teanga ar bun i ngach ceann den 26 limistéar pleanála teanga Gaeltachta faoi dheireadh 2020.

Feabhsú Céibheanna

Ceisteanna (70)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

70. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cad iad na pleananna atá aici chun feabhas a chur ar Ché na Reannaí ar Athphort ar oileán Árainn Mhór; an dtabharfaidh sí sonraí maidir leis na pleananna chun an togra a thabhairt chun críche; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [9817/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Tá deontais éagsúla ceadaithe ag mo Roinn thar na blianta don togra atá luaite ag an Teachta.  Idir na blianta 2001 agus 2006, ceadaíodh deontais de luach €217,666 chun réamhthuarascáil a ullmhú maidir le forbairt na cé.  Sa bhliain 2008, cheadaigh mo Roinn deontas €240,185 chun a chumasú do Chomhairle Chontae Dhún na nGall innealtóirí comhairleacha a cheapadh don tionscadal.  Bhí an dearadh, ullmhú doiciméid tairisceana agus lorg tairiscintí i measc na n-oibreacha a bhí le cur i gcríoch ag an gComhairle agus, mar chuid den togra, ba ghá ceadúnas urthrá a fháil ina leith chomh maith.  Tuigtear do mo Roinn nach bhfuil an ceadúnas sin faighte go fóill ag an gComhairle Chontae.  Tuigtear di chomh maith go bhfuil tuilleadh suirbhéanna le déanamh mar chuid den iarratas ar an gceadúnas ach go bhfuil costas ard ag baint leis na suirbhéanna sin.  Má fhaigheann mo Roinn iarratas ar chúnamh ón gComhairle Chontae chun cuidiú leo íoc as na costais sin, déanfar é a mheas chomh báúil agus is féidir, ag cur san áireamh na n-acmhainní atá ar fáil d'forbairt na n-oileán agus na n-éileamh éagsúla ar na hacmhainní sin.

Hare Coursing Data

Ceisteanna (71)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

71. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of hares that died while in captivity by coursing clubs in each of the years 2015 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9844/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Figures available to my Department from the Irish Coursing Club indicate that during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 hare coursing seasons the number of hares that died at coursing meetings was 36 and 26 respectively.  Based on returns received by my Department to date from the Irish Coursing Club on behalf of its affiliated clubs and reports by officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department, 20 hares have died at or subsequent to coursing meetings during the current 2017/18 season.

The reports generated by the Irish Coursing Club and the National Parks and Wildlife Service for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons, which would include information to identify the coursing clubs where hares died, are available on the website of the NPWS at www.npws.ie.  Similar reports on the 2017/18 coursing season will be published on the NPWS website as they become available.

Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (72)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

72. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the role of her Department in the planning and preparations for State commemorations up to 2021; and the number of staff involved and proposals under consideration. [9876/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As the Minister with responsibility for leading the State commemorative programme for the second half of the Decade of Centenaries, my constant priority is to bring forward commemorations that are inclusive, respectful and authentic. 

The Government will continue to be supported in its approach to remembering the significant historical events between 1918 and 1923 by the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations, chaired by Dr Maurice Manning and by the All Party Group on Commemorations once established.

My predecessor, Minister Heather Humphreys T.D., launched a 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 events between 1918 and 1923 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.  Over 50 submissions have been received to date and the Expert Advisory Group will consider these submissions in providing their advice and guidance to Government.

The number of staff involved in planning, preparing and delivering State commemorations up to 2021 will vary depending on the volume and intensity of the work on hand but currently stands at a core team of seven staff.  This team also liaises with relevant colleagues in a number of other Government Departments including the Departments of the Taoiseach, Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade and Education & Skills, along with the Office of Public Works as appropriate.

The 2018 Commemoration Programme comprises four thematic strands commemorating the significant historical event which took place in 1918:

- the death of John Redmond and the decline of the Irish Parliamentary Party

- the end of World War 1

- the introduction of voting rights for women and their right to stand in Parliamentary elections

- the emergence and divergence of Irish identity in 1918.