National Archives

Ceisteanna (604)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

604. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if a copy of the Royal Irish Constabulary investigation notes can be located on the death of a person (details supplied) in 1910; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20937/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department has sought the advice of the National Archives in response to the Deputy's request. The National Archives have advised my Department that in 1910 legislation did not cover the preservation of records other that court records. Based on the information given by the Deputy, the documents relating to this investigation, if they still exist, could be in a number of places.

The majority of documents relating to investigations into accidents by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) such as the one referred to by the Deputy, if they were still in existence in 1922, would have been transferred to An Garda Síochána at Independence. If investigation notes survive, they could be with the Garda Síochána Museum and Archives, but I understand that the possibility of this is extremely slim.

In some cases, particularly if foul play was suspected by the RIC, the papers would have been transferred to the Chief Secretary’s Office (CSO) in Dublin. If this happened, the documents would have been preserved in the Chief Secretary's Office Registered Papers". The practice in the CSO was to transfer its records to the State Paper Office when the records became 20 years old so that documents relating to this 1910 investigation would have been due for transfer to the State Paper Office in 1930.

If the RIC sent the documents relating to this case, to the Chief Secretary's Office, they would still have been in that Office in 1922 when it was being wound up at Independence and would most likely have been transferred to London. If such transferred records survive now, they would be in the UK National Archives.

In 1986, all documents held in the State Paper Office were transferred to the National Archives on its establishment under the National Archives Act 1986. If the documents had been transferred (early) by the Chief Secretary's Office to the State Paper Office in or before 1922, then they would now be held in the National Archives.

Officials in the National Archives are reviewing registers to check for these documents.

Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (605)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

605. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the value of contracts for goods or services from companies (details supplied) since 2010. [20849/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I am advised that, since the establishment of this Department in June 2011, no contracts have been awarded by my Department to the companies referenced by the Deputy.

Waterways Ireland

Ceisteanna (606)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

606. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason Waterways Ireland has reduced the opening time of the locks on the Shannon Erne waterway in the period 1 April to 16 May 2018 from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. compared to 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. in other years; if her permission was sought for such a change; if it is planned to restrict opening hours in September and October in a similar way; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20876/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Waterways Ireland have informed me that the revised daily opening times of 9.00am to 6.00pm for locks on the Shannon-Erne Waterway applies to the period 29th March 2018 through to 16th May 2018.

Before introducing this change Waterways Ireland reviewed the same seven-week period in March and April of 2017 to determine the likely impact on boat passages through locks. It was found that only a very small proportion of daily lock passages occurred between 6.00pm and 8.00pm. The change makes best use of available resources whilst continuing to deliver a waterway patrolling service to waterway users.

Waterways Ireland is operationally independent in regard to its management of the inland waterways under its remit and I have no function in this regard therefore my permission was not required to make such a change.

I am advised that the operational hours for the locks will return to 9.00am to 8.00pm daily as of 17th May 2018, and that operational hours will be subject to ongoing review to ensure Waterways Ireland delivers a high quality service to waterway users in the most efficient and effective manner.

Forbairt Calaí agus Céanna

Ceisteanna (607)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

607. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta an bhfuil sé i gceist ag a Roinn i gcomhar le pobal Árann agus Comhairle Contae na Gaillimhe plean forbartha a réiteach do chalaphort Chill Rónáin le go mbeidh saoráidí níos fearr ann do na báid iascaigh, na báid farrantóireachta agus na báid pléisiúir agus do gach duine a úsáideann an ché; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [20877/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Tá Calafort Chill Rónáin faoi chúram Chomhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe. Is faoin eagraíocht sin a bheadh sé, dá réir, aon phlean faoi fhorbairt an chalafoirt a réiteach. Mar is eol don Teachta, tamall de bhlianta ó shin, chuir mo Roinn maoiniú substaintiúil ar fáil do Chomhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe chun an calafort a athchóiriú.

Éisteoidh mise agus mo Roinn araon le haon tuairimí ón gComhairle agus, go deimhin, ó phobal an oileáin faoin ábhar luaite.

Foilseacháin Ghaeilge

Ceisteanna (608)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

608. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta céard atá i gceist aici a dhéanamh le tuilleadh cúnaimh a thabhairt don fhoilsitheoireacht i nGaeilge; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [20879/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Tá ról reachtúil ag Foras na Gaeilge chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn ar bhonn uile-oileáin. Sa chomhthéacs sin, tá cúrsaí scríbhneoireachta agus foilsitheoireachta á gcur chun cinn ag an Fhoras ar bhonn leanúnach tríd An Gúm, Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge, Áis agus tionscadail eile.

Cuireann An Gúm, a thagann faoi chúram Fhoras na Gaeilge ó 1999, foilseacháin agus áiseanna ar fáil a thacaíonn leis an oideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge agus le húsáid na Gaeilge i gcoitinne. Foilsíonn An Gúm leabhair do dhaoine fásta fosta. Le linn 2017, chuir An Gúm 14 fhoilseachán ar fáil i réimse an oideachais, idir leabhair chlóite, phóstaeir, ábhar ar líne agus chlosábhar. Tuigtear dom go bhfuil sé aontaithe idir Fhoras na Gaeilge agus An Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna tionscadal trí bliana eile a thionscnamh chun forbairt a dhéanamh ar an gclár teagaisc Ghaeilge do na bunscoileanna Gaeltachta agus lán-Ghaeilge agus beidh idir fhoilseacháin chlóite agus áiseanna ar líne mar chuid den tionscadal sin.

Tá scéimeanna ar leith á reáchtáil ag Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge, a thagann faoi chúram Foras na Gaeilge ó 2007, chun tacú leis an bhfoilsitheoireacht i nGaeilge, mar shampla, Scéim na Foilsitheoireachta, Scéim na gCoimisiúin, Scéim na dTionscadal Litríochta, Scéim Meantóireachta agus Scéim ‘Scríobh leabhar’. Bhí buiséid iomlán de c €850,000 ag baint leis na scéimeanna sin i 2017.

Tá seirbhís leanúnach á chur ar fáil ag ÁIS (Áisíneacht Dáileacháin Leabhar) le soláthar cuí leabhar a chur ar fáil ar fud na tíre agus níos faide i gcéin. Tuigtear dom go raibh díolacháin de c.€900k ag ÁIS i 2017 chuig breis is 250 custaiméirí/siopaí leabhar.

Ar ndóigh, tacaíonn Foras na Gaeilge le foilsiú 3 mórfhoilseachán náisiúnta a bhaineann le réimsí éagsúla an tsaoil, eadhon, Tuairisc.ie (Scéim Nuachta Ar Líne), NÓS.ie (Scéim Iris Stílmhaireachtála) agus Comhar.ie (Scéim Iris Ghaeilge). Bhí buiséid iomlán de c.€500,000 ag baint leis na scéimeanna sin i 2017 agus tá na foilseacháin ar fáil ar líne saor in aisce do phobal na Gaeilge in Éirinn agus thar lear.

Cuireann Foras na Gaeilge go leor tacaíochtaí eile ar fáil don earnáil foilsitheoireachta i nGaeilge, ina measc:

- Scéim na bhFéilte – féiltí litríochta éagsúla ar nós Seachtain na Scríbhneoirí Lios Tuathail;

- Focail Eile - clár comhpháirtíochta idir eagraíochtaí cultúrtha i réigiúin Eorpacha chun líonra de shocrúcháin chruthaitheacha a chur ar bun do scríbhneoirí Eorpacha i mionteangacha;

- IMRAM - féile litríochta náisiúnta na Gaeilge; agus

- Gradaim liteartha náisiúnta na foilsitheoireachta - Gradam Uí Shuilleabháin (leabhar do dhaoine fásta), Gradam Reics Carlo (leabhar do dhaoine óga) agus Comórtais Liteartha Oireachtas na Gaeilge.

Is fiú a threisiú fosta go bhfuil maoiniú nach mó ná €240,000 curtha ar fáil do Chumann na bhFoilsitheoirí don tréimhse 2017 - 2019 chun tacaíocht mhargaíochta a sholáthar d'earnáil na foilsitheoireachta Ghaeilge, lena n-áirítear:

- Eolas maidir le leabhair nua a bhailiú ó na foilsitheoirí agus a chur ar fáil do shiopaí leabhar go luath agus ar bhonn rialta;

- Bunachar de léitheoirí leabhair a leathnú agus a bhainistiú agus eolas rialta a chur ar fáil dóibh ar na leabhair is déanaí;

- Feachtas margaíochta a fhorbairt i gcomhair le leabharlanna na tíre, leabharlanna an Tuaiscirt san áireamh; agus

- Feachtais náisiúnta/réigiúnacha a chur ar bun ar an raidió, tuairisc.ie, sna nuachtáin áitiúla agus ar na meáin shóisialta.

Tá tuilleadh eolais ar fáil ar shuíomh Fhoras na Gaeilge ag an nasc http://www.forasnagaeilge.ie/fuinn/leitheoireacht-foilsitheoireacht/.

Leis an raon leathan scéimeanna agus tacaíochtaí atá á gcur ag fáil ag an bhForas, táim sásta go bhfuil freastal maith á dhéanamh ag earnáil fhoilsitheoireacht na Gaeilge i láthair na huaire.

National Parks Facilities

Ceisteanna (609)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

609. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will request the National Parks and Wildlife Service to allow jarveys that use the Mission Road in Killarney access to the national park from a location (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20991/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

When the Mission Road was developed a new jaunting car entrance into the Park was provided nearer to the jaunting car stand located at the Kings Bridge entrance. The location of this new entrance is just beyond the end of the Cherry Tree Drive at Killarney House and was chosen carefully so as to preserve the integrity of the landscape adjacent to Killarney House and to avoid interference with plant collections and tree collections in that area.

The planning permission for the newly refurbished Killarney House and Gardens did not allow for the provision of any new roadways or routes for jaunting cars. The proposal referred to in the details supplied is incompatible with the plans for this area of the Park. It is intended that this area will be pedestrian friendly area where vehicular access will be confined to emergency vehicles and Park management vehicles only.

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Ceisteanna (610)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

610. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will request the National Parks and Wildlife Service to erect a fence at Ballydowney, Killarney, County Kerry, to stop deer coming onto the N2 Killarney to Killorglin Road in order to prevent further accidents and fatalities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21146/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Wild deer in the State are protected under the Wildlife Acts. It should be noted that while the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department licenses hunting of deer, the Department does not own the deer population. They roam freely throughout the countryside and are present in many parts of the country.

With regard to calls for increased fencing relating to alleged incidents of deer presence on public roads in County Kerry, my Department has no plans to fence the national park. Deer, albeit larger, are like other wild animals in this country and it is not part of the remit of the Department to cordon them onto specific areas of land. Moreover, fencing the national park would not be a viable solution and would not achieve the desired results for a number of reasons. The presence of deer is not confined to the national parks and so fencing of these properties would serve no practical purpose in terms of wild deer control or management. Sika deer are capable of going under fencing that is 8 inches off the ground, while red deer are capable of knocking fences that are preventing them from reaching traditional feeding and shelter grounds

The erection of a fence could also impact on the sensitive habitats within the park. There are many deer outside the park boundaries which would still be capable of running into the path of motorists. My Department is of the view that improving sight lines for motorists as well as improved, possibly larger, signage is likely to be the most effective measure to assist motorists in remaining vigilant when driving through areas where populations of deer can be expected. My officials have discussed this with Kerry County Council in 2016 and 2017 and the council undertook to improve sight lines in the Ballydowney area for the benefit of motorists. Additional or relocated advance deer warning signs, or both, may also be provided by the local authority but that is a matter for them.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (611)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

611. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of staff in her Department assigned solely or primarily to work on North-South issues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21260/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I am advised that six members of staff in my Department work solely or primarily on North-South issues, which comprises four staff members in Rannóg Fhorais Teanga and two staff working with Waterways Ireland.

My Department continues to participate in inter-Departmental preparations for Brexit and has established an internal Working Group to address all Brexit related issues affecting the Department and the State Bodies it funds. The Department also has a full time dedicated attaché to Ireland’s Permanent Representation in Brussels. This officer is a member of the Department’s Brexit Working Group. These arrangements are kept under review and will be enhanced as required.

My Department also has a number of North-South Agencies under its aegis.

The following is a breakdown of staff in those North-South Agencies;

North-South Agency

Total Staff No.

Northern Staff

Southern Staff

Foras na Gaeilge

56

7

49

Ulster-Scots Agency

13

11

2

Waterways Ireland

305

80

225

Wildlife Protection

Ceisteanna (612)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

612. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the detail of efforts being made to eradicate the American mink from offshore islands under the protection of the State, in particular the Blasket Islands, County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21329/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department’s strategy is to prioritise the protection of the nesting sites of rare and threatened bird species, including vulnerable seabirds, waders and terns, corncrake, and grey partridge, from a range of predators, including mink. Accordingly, my Department carries out predator control programmes on land it owns or manages and this includes mink where the need is identified.

Following observation of bird mortality on Great Blasket Island, in 2014 my Department, commenced a programme of trapping of American Mink on Great Blasket. Over a three year period to 2016, some 48 mink were captured. The last 3 occasions on which traps were set and inspected, no mink were found. This suggests that the population control measure has been relatively successful. Traps are due be set again on the island shortly.