Questions Nos. 1 to 23, inclusive, answered orally.

Questions Nos. 24 to 33, inclusive, resubmitted.

Questions Nos. 34 to 40, inclusive, answered orally.

Hare Coursing Regulation

Questions Nos. 42 to 45, inclusive, answered orally.

Ceisteanna (41)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

41. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will consider the introduction of microchipping to ensure that hares are not subjected to trafficking and continuous recoursing and to eliminate the illegal trapping of hares for sale to coursing clubs. [1678/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department issued the Irish Coursing Club with licences in August 2018 on behalf of its affiliated clubs to capture and tag hares for the 2018/19 coursing season which included conditions relating to the reporting of coursing trials.

There are 29 conditions associated with the licences issued to the Irish Coursing Club which have been developed and refined over the years. One of the conditions requires that hares may not be coursed more than once on the same day. In addition, the licence specifically requires that hares that have been coursed can be readily identified to ensure that this condition is rigidly observed.

Any allegations made to my Department about illegal trading of hares will be investigated where possible. It would of course be useful if any such allegations were backed up by some evidence. If a coursing club were involved in illegal trading of hares – for example, by selling on hares that had already been coursed – this would represent a breach of the licensing conditions, with inevitable consequences in the context of renewal applications for any clubs found to be involved in any way in such activities. If there is tangible evidence of illegal trafficking or trapping of hares I would urge that it be made available to my Department. Indeed, I would abhor and condemn this activity unequivocally.

There may be some merit in considering the issue of microchipping of hares at coursing meetings and I have requesting officials of my Department to examine the possibility of, perhaps, introducing a pilot project at some coursing meetings during the next 2019/20 coursing season in consultation with the Irish Coursing Club. It is certainly a method using in the tracking, quantification and assessment of certain species in the wild and if it aids the welfare of the wild animal and can be feasibly, safely and cleanly done, then it merits that consideration, and I want to thank the Deputy in that regard.

Officials of the NPWS of my Department have monitored 32 coursing events during the current 2018/19 season to date. During the previous 2017/18 season, 35 coursing events were monitored while during the 2016/17 season a total of 17 coursing events were monitored by my Department.

I am advised that Department officials have not encountered trafficking of hares in the current season so far. If such activity is detected, I have asked my officials to bring it to my immediate attention and I will consider the possibility of in-season sanction as well as looking to actions next season. In the meantime, I will also seek advice as to whether a possible offence arises under the Wildlife Acts in this regard.

Questions Nos. 42 to 45, inclusive, answered orally.

Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (46)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

46. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans for the upcoming centenary commemorations of the War of Independence, the Civil War, the 1st Dáil and partition; the estimated cost of these commemorations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1586/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My priority is to ensure that the Government's approach to the remembrance of the significant historical events and related themes of the period 1919-1923 is appropriate, measured, respectful, inclusive and sensitive to the different perspectives that persist on the events of this period.

This approach will continue to be informed by the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations including its most recent guidance, which I published on 8th January (https://www.chg.gov.ie/minister-madigan-announces-publication-of-guidance-of-the-expert-advisory-group-on-decade-of-centenaries-1919-1923/). The All-Party Consultation Group on Commemorations also has a significant contribution to make and will be instrumental in promoting an authentic, consensus-based and inclusive approach.

I have allocated €1.1m to support the Decade of Centenaries Programme in 2019, an increase of €250k on 2018 and I will seek to continue to adequately and appropriately resource the programme in future years.

The centenary of many of the relevant events are concentrated in the period 2020-2022 but the events of 21st January 1919 were defining moments on our journey towards nationhood.

On Sunday, 20th January I will represent the Government at a community-led centenary commemoration of the Soloheadbeg Ambush, generally recognised as the first action in the War of Independence.

Significantly, on the day of the ambush Dáil Éireann was also convened for the first time. The Houses of the Oireachtas are leading plans to mark this centenary and have developed a diverse and inclusive public engagement programme – accessible at www.dáil100.ie.

The Decade of Centenaries Programme 2019-2023 will be based on a four strand approach comprising:

- a State Ceremonial Strand which will comprise a limited number of symbolic acts of national commemoration focusing on themes of remembrance and reconciliation and on the commemoration of all of those who lost their lives during this period;

- an Historical Strand which will comprise a diverse range of activities designed to encourage authentic historical enquiry about this period and promote the use of primary archival sources;

- a Community Strand, which will involve a collaborative approach – similar to that adopted for the 1916 centenary commemorations – between the State, local authority network and community organisations, including in Northern Ireland where appropriate; and

- the Creative Imagination Strand, which will continue to encourage artistic and creative expression in remembrance of the significant historical events of the period from 1919 to 1923 and all of those who lost their lives.

I look forward to working with colleagues in the Oireachtas and communities across Ireland, in appropriately commemorating these important events.

Gaeltacht Policy

Question No. 48 answered with Question No. 44.

Ceisteanna (47)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

47. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the actions she will take following the publication of a report (details supplied). [1768/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

At the outset I wish to welcome the publication of the report referred to by the Deputy. The report, which highlights some of the challenges and opportunities facing the Gaeltacht areas, adds to the significant regional and rural knowledge base Údarás na Gaeltachta possesses and is a welcome addition to our collective knowledge of the ongoing challenges facing peripheral regions.

The challenges of rural depopulation, disadvantaged areas, ageing population and broadband infrastructure are not unique to Gaeltacht areas and are being addressed on an ongoing basis by way of inter-departmental strategies such as the Action Plans for Jobs, the Action Plan for Rural Development, Harnessing our Ocean Wealth and the Rural Regeneration & Development Scheme.

Gaeltacht areas are unique, however, in being the natural domain of spoken Irish and it is a stated cross-party objective to maintain and support the development of these areas as embodied in the Government's 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030.

Údarás na Gaeltachta is responsible for supporting the economic, cultural and social development of the Gaeltacht and the organisation believes that it has the appropriate business model and strategy in place to address the various challenges outlined in the report.

In support of the Údarás, the Deputy may be aware that I recently announced that additional capital funding has been allocated to Údarás na Gaeltachta in 2019. In addition to this, a sum of €0.7m unspent by my Department in 2018 has been allocated to An tÚdarás’ capital budget, thus providing An tÚdarás with a total capital budget of €9.7m to be spent in support of employment and enterprise in 2019. This represents a significant increase from a Revised Estimates total of €7m in 2018.

Taking into account the €2.8m in funding allocated recently to An tÚdarás under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, as well as the €2m in funding for Páirc na Mara in Cill Chiaráin allocated to An tÚdarás under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Exchequer funding of €14.5m is being made available to the organisation in 2019. This figure represents more than double the amount allocated to the organisation in the 2018 Revised Estimates.

I am confident, in light of all of this, that both my Department and Údarás na Gaeltachta are in a strengthened position and can now accelerate the implementation of both existing programmes, schemes and initiatives in addition to developing new measures as emerging opportunities arise.

Question No. 48 answered with Question No. 44.

Island Communities

Ceisteanna (49, 55)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

49. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the consultation process in relation to the airstrips at Cleggan and Inisbofin; when the consultation process began; when it concluded; the number of submissions received; the decisions arising from the consultation process; the further steps in this regard; the publication date for the report in respect of the consultation process; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1759/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

55. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans for the use of the airstrips built in Inishbofin and in Cluain Leacht an Abba, Cleggan, County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1544/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 and 55 together.

As the Deputies will be aware, in April 2017 my Department undertook a public consultation process whereby it sought submissions from interested parties in relation to the future use of airstrips and surrounding sites in the ownership of the Department on Inishbofin and in Cleggan, County Galway.

Adverts were placed in the media with a deadline set for receipt of submissions of 19 May 2017. I understand that 113 submissions were received from members of the public, community organisations and other public bodies, all of which were then reviewed by my Department.

The various submissions received have been uploaded to my Department's website and are available for public view. My Department is currently exploring two of the proposals, one for the site at Cleggan and one for the site on Inishbofin.

With regard to the site at Cleggan, my Department is in discussions with the Irish Coast Guard with a view to utilising part of the site for the provision of a Coast Guard Station.

In the case of the site on Inishbofin, my Department is in discussions with the HSE with a view to the use of part of the site to locate a Health Care Centre for the island, a facility for which the island development company has been campaigning for some time.

Any such developments will need to be agreed with the relevant regulatory bodies and planning bodies having regard to the original purpose for which the sites were developed.

It is also important to point out that any development undertaken at this time will not prejudice the potential future use of the airstrips for the provision of air services to Inishbofin.

It is not my intention to publish a formal report with regard to the consultation process.

Arts Funding

Ceisteanna (50)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

50. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the details of the €2.13 million in funding through Culture Ireland for Irish arts globally in 2019; and the projects with involvement from County Clare. [1775/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

On Monday on 31 December, 2018 I announced approval of over €2.13m in funding by Culture Ireland for the promotion of Irish arts globally in 2019.

Of this amount a total of €1.16m is accounted for by over 160 projects enabling Irish artists and arts organisations to present their work covering architecture, circus, dance, film, literature, music, opera, theatre and the visual arts in more than 40 different countries and build on Ireland’s strong global reputation for creativity.

Also included in the awards is a total of €975,000 to annual funding for the promotion of Irish literature, music and film through resource organisations and Ireland’s cultural centres in Paris and New York who partner Culture Ireland to present ongoing programmes of Irish artists abroad.

The breakdown of the annual funding is as follows:

Body

Amount allocated

Centre Culturel Irlandais

€180,000

First Music Contact

€160,000

Irish Arts Center

€245,000

Irish Film Institute Intl.

€100,000

Literature Ireland

€290,000

Total

€975,000

Through Culture Ireland’s most recent funding round we have supported the following three applications by artists and arts organisations based in county Clare for this year:

Salmon Poetry is being funded €2,500 to present Irish writers at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference & Bookfair, at the Portland Convention Center , USA in late March. Salmon Poetry has been taking part in AWP for 14 years and has been described as central to the promotion of Irish writers in the US by the AWP development.

Culture Ireland will also support new film installation work by County Clare visual artist Shelagh Honan at seven international exhibitions during 2019 in Slovenia, Lithuania, Spain, France and Croatia. Shelagh has been selected by Limerick School of Art and Design and Wom@rts for this project and is being supported by Culture Ireland with €3,500 in funding. The exhibition will be presented at each of location for a period of 2 months.

Culture Ireland will fund €4,000 for participation by Music of Oriel as a program headliner at the National Festival, Canberra, Australia, in April. The National Festival is a huge supporter of traditional Irish Music, having showcased many traditional artists in previous years including Sharon Shannon, Andy Irvine and many more.

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Ceisteanna (51)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

51. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she has contact with the owners of an estate (details supplied) in relation to a public access proposal for the estate with regard to walkers and mountaineers; her plans to acquire the estate in the national interest; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1583/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As outlined in my responses of 18th September 2018, (Parliamentary Question No. 823), 02 October 2018 (Parliamentary Question No. 69), 29th November 2018 (Dail Question No. 248) and 7th December 2018 (Parliamentary Question number 47411/18) there is no change to my Department's position. The sale of the property is a commercial matter for the vendor.

While the lands in question would represent a significant addition to the stock of publicly owned heritage properties and lands, my Department could, as stressed previously, only consider acquiring this property if the price fell to within a certain range, or in the context of a donation or bequest. This is known to the Vendors. Through the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), my Department manages a property portfolio in respect of national parks and reserves of approximately 87,000 hectares. These important biodiversity areas are located all around the country including a large area of County Wicklow, and the 5,000 hectares of lands in Glenasmole purchased in recent years. Given the limited resources available for capital investment within the National Parks and Nature Reserves, I recognise the need to focus on the core responsibilities relating to the management of the existing Parks and Reserves' lands.

Clearly, the Glenasmole purchase of 5,000 hectares sets a precedent, and although the circumstance pertaining are very dissimilar, it is certainly a market factor. As the Deputy will no doubt appreciate, it would not be appropriate of me to seek to negotiate indirectly or publicly. Suffice it to say that I am aware of the public-good value of this property, balanced across a range of demands across my Department.

With regard to the use of the area by hillwalkers, climbers and the public in general, as I have stated previously, I have no statutory function regarding the provision of access to private lands. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the Estate has allowed a permissive access to its hugely popular walking route for many decades and I would hope that this would continue under any new ownership arrangements and my Department has conveyed this desire directly to the vendors and their agent.

As outlined in my earlier replies, my Department's relationship with the Guinness Estate here, and more generally, has been positive. It is one of mutual respect and good neighbours, and indeed often working together on shared issue of interest. These include herd management and husbandry, habitat oversight, film-making, signage, visitor accommodation, trail maintenance and designation management. Indeed, for the most part, the boundary between the private estate and the National Park is invisible to the visitor and tourist, with pre-imminence being given to the idyllic shared land, lake and mountainscape.

Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge

Ceisteanna (52)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

52. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén líon cruinnithe le 12 mhí anuas a bhí ag an gCoiste atá le maoirsiú a dhéanamh ar Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022 faoin Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge agus an bhfuil an Coiste tar éis aon ghníomh nó tionscnamh a aithint a chuideodh chun an plean a chur chun cinn. [1673/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Faoi mar a tugadh le fios agus Ceist Dála Uimh 689 á freagairt ar 16 Deireadh Fómhair 2018, is mian liom a chur in iúl don Teachta gur tionóladh an chéad chruinniú den Choiste Stiúrtha ar 1 Samhain 2018 i ndiaidh don Rialtas a bheannacht a thabhairt i mí Meithimh don Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018 - 2022 don Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge.

Is é cúram an Choiste Stiúrtha, atá ag feidhmiú faoi chathaoirleacht mo Roinne, ná:

1. monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar chur i bhfeidhm an 180 beart atá leagtha amach sa phlean. a chuirfear i bhfeidhm i gcomhar le 60 páirtí leasamhar;

2. tacú le bearta agus tionscnaimh eile nach bhfuil san áireamh cheana féin sa phlean a aithint; agus,

3. treochtaí, constaicí nó údair imní a thagann chun cinn maidir leis an nGaeilge trí chéile a shainaithint ar leas foriomlán na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010-2030.

Ós rud é go bhfuil freagracht thras-Rannach i gceist maidir le forfheidhmiú an Phlean, tá an Coiste Stiúrtha comhdhéanta d’ionadaithe ón Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna, An Roinn Leanaí & Gnóthaí Óige, An Roinn Caiteachais Phoiblí & Athchóirithe, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus Foras na Gaeilge, chomh maith, ár ndóigh, le hionadaíocht ó mo Roinn féin.

Tá sé i gceist go dtiocfaidh an coiste le chéile ar bhonn rialta agus mar atá leagtha amach sa phlean, go bhfoilseofar tuairisc bhliantúil maidir le dul chun cinn, tar éis don tuairisc a bheith faofa ag an Rialtas. Tá beartaithe, dá réir, go bhfoilseofar an chéad tuairisc bhliantúil i bhfómhar 2019. Tá i gceist go dtionólfar an chéad chruinniú eile den choiste an mhí seo chugainn agus tá na socruithe ina leith idir lámha cheana féin.

Ní miste a lua chomh maith go bhfuil sé i gceist go leanfar leis an gCoiste Comhairleach a ceapadh in 2014 mar thaca eile d'fhorfheidhmiú rathúil na Straitéise. Ina theannta sin, leanfaidh mo Roinn ag obair go dlúth, ar bhonn déthaobhach agus leanúnach, leis na Ranna agus na forais ábhartha Stáit ar mhaithe le dul chun cinn a chinntiú.

De thoradh seo ar fad, táim sásta go ndéanfar monatóireacht agus tuairisciú chuí ar chur i bhfeidhm an Phlean 5-Bliana.

Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (53)

Colm Brophy

Ceist:

53. Deputy Colm Brophy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will provide a summary of the guidance of the expert advisory group on the decade of centenaries 1919 to 1923 and the plans for commemorative events for the period. [1754/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As the Minister with responsibility for leading the Decade of Centenaries commemorative programme, my priority is to ensure that the Government's approach to the remembrance of the significant historical events and related themes of the period from 1919 to 1923 is appropriate, measured, respectful, inclusive and sensitive to the different perspectives that persist on the events of this period.

At the Government's first cabinet meeting this year, I outlined my proposed overall approach to commemorations in 2019 and over the remainder of the Decade. This approach will continue to be informed by the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations - specifically, the principles laid down in the Advisory Group's Second Statement, which was published in October 2017, and also the most recent specific guidance from this Group, which I published on 8th January. This guidance is available on my Department's website (https://www.chg.gov.ie/minister-madigan-announces-publication-of-guidance-of-the-expert-advisory-group-on-decade-of-centenaries-1919-1923/ ). The advice will inform the Government's approach to the remembrance of specific historical events over the coming years, including the Struggle for Independence, the Civil War, the Foundation of the State and Partition. This latest guidance follows from last year's publication of the Group's Second Statement of Principles. These guiding principles have been widely commended for providing clarity and a broad template to support all involved in delivering authentic, citizen-focused and meaningful commemorations at national and local level over the remainder of the Decade.

The All Party Consultation Group also has a significant contribution to make and will be instrumental in promoting an authentic, consensus-based and inclusive approach. I look forward to continued positive engagement and consultation with both groups over the coming period.

My objective in developing the State Commemorative Programme for the years from 2019 – 2023 is to ensure that, in remembering this complex period in our history, which includes the Struggle for Independence, the Civil War, the Foundation of the State and Partition, we promote a deeper understanding of the significance of these events, which accepts that the shared historical experience of those years gave rise to very different narratives and memories. It will also take account of sensitivities across communities in Northern Ireland and continue to recognise that very different perspectives persist on many of these events.

This Programme will be based on a four strand approach comprising:

A State Ceremonial Strand which will comprise a limited number of symbolic acts of national commemoration focusing on themes of remembrance and reconciliation and on the commemoration of all of those who lost their lives during this period.

A Historical Strand which will comprise a diverse range of activities designed to encourage authentic historical enquiry about this period and promote the use of primary archival sources. Initiatives will be developed in collaboration with State partners, National Cultural Institutions, institutions of learning and other stakeholders.

A Community Strand, which will involve a collaborative approach – similar to that adopted for the 1916 centenary commemorations – between the State, local authority network and community organisations, including in Northern Ireland where appropriate.

The Creative Imagination Strand, which will continue to encourage artistic and creative expression in remembrance of the significant historical events of the period from 1919 to 1923 and all of those who lost their lives.

Commemorative Events

Question No. 55 answered with Question No. 49.

Ceisteanna (54)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

54. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will be attending the commemoration of the Soloheadbeag ambush in January 2019. [54138/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Plans to mark the centenary of the Soloheadbeg Ambush on 21st January 2019 are well advanced. Tipperary County Council is supporting a community-led commemoration on Sunday, 20th January, as part of a broader commemorative programme across the county to mark the centenary of the Independence Struggle. My Department is collaborating with Tipperary County Council to support these plans, in accordance with the most recent guidance of the Expert Advisory Group, which states that:

'Many of the events of this period have great local significance; it is therefore appropriate for local authorities and local community organisations to be encouraged to lead the commemorative process. Some events have been commemorated annually for decades and it would be inappropriate for the State to compete with these established ceremonies.

I can advise the Deputy that I will be representing the Government at this commemoration. I might add that I have approved a grant allocation of €10,000 to assist Tipperary County Council in supporting the local commemorative committee and wider community in developing their plans, in recognition of the significance of the Soloheadbeg Ambush as the generally accepted first action in the War of Independence. It is, I believe, very fitting that local authorities have a leading role in supporting inclusive, respectful and meaningful community-led commemorations such as this one which remember all of the lives lost, augmented as appropriate with support from the State, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Question No. 55 answered with Question No. 49.

Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (56)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

56. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding streams being made available for the decade of centenaries through the all-party committee on commemorations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1766/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As Chair of the All-Party Consultation Group on Commemorations (APCGC) I reconvened the group last October and our initial meeting was well attended with good engagement and a wide range of perspectives were offered on the themes anticipated over the second phase of the Decade of Centenaries. The group is composed of members of the Oireachtas and the SDLP and Alliance political parties in Northern Ireland.

The Group is consultative in nature - funding to underpin and support elements of the Decade of Centenaries Programme will be administered directly by my Department. The process by which funding is administered will be informed by my consultation with partners and relevant stakeholder bodies. I have allocated €1.1m to support the Decade of Centenaries Programme in 2019. This is €250k above the funding level in 2018 and I will seek to continue to adequately and appropriately resource the programme in future years.

I have recently published the Guidance Report of the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Commemorations and this important and very valuable advice will help inform our next meeting of the All-Party Group.

I look forward to future meetings of both groups to explore and address appropriate commemoration of the events and milestones in the period covered by the next phase of the Decade of Centenaries. Both groups are due to meet shortly.

My Department will also continue to consult and collaborate with a wide range of relevant stakeholders, including the local authority network, in developing the State commemorative programme out to 2023.

Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (57)

Michael Moynihan

Ceist:

57. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will report on the commemorations planned by her Department for 2019. [50452/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As the Minister with responsibility for leading the Decade of Centenaries commemorative programme, my priority is to ensure that the Government's approach to the remembrance of the significant historical events and related themes of the period from 1919 to 1923 is appropriate, measured, respectful, inclusive and sensitive to the different perspectives that persist on the events of this period.

The programme will be based on a four strand approach comprising:

- A State Ceremonial Strand which will comprise a limited number of symbolic acts of national commemoration focusing on themes of remembrance and reconciliation and on the commemoration of all of those who lost their lives during this period.

- An Historical Strand which will comprise a diverse range of activities designed to encourage authentic historical enquiry about this period and promote the use of primary archival sources. Initiatives will be developed in collaboration with State partners, National Cultural Institutions, institutions of learning and other stakeholders.

- A Community Strand, which will involve a collaborative approach – similar to that adopted for the 1916 centenary commemorations – between the State, local authority network and community organisations, including in Northern Ireland where appropriate.

- The Creative Imagination Strand, which will continue to encourage artistic and creative expression in remembrance of the significant historical events of the period from 1919 to 1923 and all of those who lost their lives.

With regard to the State commemoration programme for 2019, I can advise that it commences with engagement by my Department on the marking of the centenary of the Soloheadbeg Ambush on 21st January 2019. Tipperary County Council is supporting a community-led commemoration on Sunday, 20th January, as part of a broader commemorative programme across the county to mark the centenary of the Independence Struggle. My Department is collaborating with Tipperary County Council to support these plans, in accordance with the most recent guidance of the Expert Advisory Group.

I have approved a grant allocation of €10,000 to assist Tipperary County Council in supporting the local commemorative committee and wider community in developing their plans, in recognition of the significance of the Soloheadbeg Ambush as the generally accepted first action in the War of Independence.

Significantly, on the day of the ambush, Dáil Éireann was also convened for the first time. The Houses of the Oireachtas are leading plans to mark this centenary and have developed a diverse and inclusive public engagement programme – accessible at www.dail100.ie.

Soláthar Aersheirbhísí

Ceisteanna (58, 76)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

58. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta céard iad sonraí an chonartha maidir le hAersheirbhís Árann; cén dul chun cinn atá déanta ag an Roinn maidir le hAerfort na Mine a cheannach; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [1760/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

76. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén dul chun cinn atá déanta maidir le hAerfort Chonamara a cheannach; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [1543/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Tógfaidh mé Ceisteanna Uimh. 58 and 76 le chéile.

Ag deireadh mí na Nollag 2018, aontaíodh conradh eatramhach idir mo Roinn agus Galway Aviation Services Ltd chun seirbhís aeir a chur ar fáil chuig na hOileáin Árann, don tréimhse ó 21 Nollaig 2018 go dtí 30 Meán Fómhair 2019. Faoin gconradh seo, leanfar leis an tseirbhís aeir go hÁrainn ar na coinníollacha a bhí leagtha amach san Iarratas ar Thairiscintí a foilsíodh. Is ionainn iad seo agus na coinníollacha a bhí san áireamh sa chonradh a bhí i bhfeidhm go dtí 20 Nollaig 2018.

Níl an dáta ar a bhfógrófar an comórtas tairisceana don chonradh fadtéarmach socraithe go fóill. Tá obair ar bun ag oifigigh mo Roinne chun na cáipéisí tairisceana cuí a ullmhú don chonradh seo a bheidh le tosú ar 1 Deireadh Fómhair 2019 agus déanfar iad seo a fhoilsiú in am trátha. Tá comhairleoirí fostaithe ag mo Roinn ag a bhfuil taithí ar sholáthair san earnáil aerthaistil. Cuirfear comhairle ar fail do mo Roinn agus an conradh á dhréachtú le cinntiú go ndéanfar seo de réir na rialacháin chuí agus go ndéanfar seirbhís a chur ar fáil a fhreastalaíonn ar riachtanais na n-oileánach.

Tá plé leanúnach ar bun idir mé féin, oifigigh mo Roinne agus ionadaithe ó na hoileáin le cinntiú go bhfuil siad ar an eolas faoi gach atá ag tarlú, agus ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghlacadh leo siúd agus leis na hionadaithe poiblí as ucht a n-ionchur sa phróiseas seo.

Tá mo Roinn agus Galway Aviation Services Ltd ag brú ar aghaidh leis an obair maidir leis an bpoitéinseal go gceannófaí Aerfort na Mine a scrúdú. Níl an obair seo ach ina tús ag an bpointe ama seo, áfach. Mar a rinne mé go dtí seo, tá i gceist agam cruinnithe rialta a thionól le hionadaithe na n-oileán agus leis na hionadaithe poiblí ar mhaithe len' iad a choinneáil ar an eolas faoin dul chun cinn.

Scéimeanna Teanga

Ceisteanna (59)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

59. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén tuairim atá aici faoin gcaoi a bhfuil ag éirí leis an gcraoltóir náisiúnta RTÉ a phlean teanga a chur i bhfeidhm agus a dhualgais i leith na teanga náisiúnta a chomhlíonadh. [1675/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Tháinig an chéad scéim teanga de chuid RTÉ faoi Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla 2003 i bhfeidhm ar 01 Meán Fómhair 2015. Tá an dara scéim dá gcuid curtha faoi bhráid na Roinne agus táthar ag súil léi a bheith ceadaithe go luath. Tá an cúram maidir le monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar chur i bhfeidhm na scéimeanna teanga ar Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga.

Ina theannta sin, ceadaíodh deontas i leith réimse Gnímh Dhigiteacha RTÉ mar chuid de Phlean Gníomhaíochta Gaeilge RTÉ thar tréimhse 3 bliana, 2016-2018. Tá deontas de €210,000 íoctha ag mo Roinn i leith an togra seo agus tá mo Roinn sásta go bhfuil an méid a bhí beartaithe curtha i gcrích anois.

Waterways Ireland Funding

Ceisteanna (60)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

60. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if additional capital funding will be provided to Waterways Ireland in 2019 apart from the provision in the 2019 Estimates at present; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1764/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Waterways Ireland is responsible for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of 1,000 km of the inland navigable waterway system throughout the island, principally for recreational purposes, including the Lower Bann Navigation, the Erne System, the Shannon-Erne Waterway, the Shannon Navigation, the Grand Canal, the Royal Canal and the Barrow Navigation.

Waterways Ireland's work programmes are critical to providing a safe and high quality recreational environment for the public, whilst also preserving the industrial and environmental heritage of the waterways for future generations. These challenges must be balanced with its objective of increasing recreational activity across all our waterways.

Despite the many challenges of reduced resources which have been felt right across all publicly funded bodies, Waterways Ireland has continued to ensure the inland waterways have been developed and maintained.

The Estimates for 2019 provide for an allocation of €25,117,000 for Waterways Ireland, made up of €20,737,000 in Current funding and €4,380,000 in Capital funding. This is an overall increase of €1,000,000 on the original 2018 allocation.

Capital funding has been increased by €800,000 from €3,580,000 in 2018 to €4,380,000 in 2019.

The funding of Waterways Ireland for 2019 is for investment in the management, maintenance and development of the inland waterways under its control.

Any requests for additional funding from Waterways Ireland in 2019 can only be considered on their merits, taking into account the Organisation's strategic business objectives for the waterways network and the Estimates and annual budgetary processes.

Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (61)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

61. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding and support she has provided to date for the commemoration of the Soloheadbeg ambush in County Tipperary. [1542/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Plans to mark the centenary of the Soloheadbeg Ambush on 21st January 2019 are well advanced. Tipperary County Council is supporting a community-led commemoration on Sunday, 20th January, as part of a broader commemorative programme across the county to mark the centenary of the Independence Struggle. My Department is collaborating with Tipperary County Council to support these plans, in accordance with the most recent guidance of the Expert Advisory Group, which states that:

'Many of the events of this period have great local significance; it is therefore appropriate for local authorities and local community organisations to be encouraged to lead the commemorative process. Some events have been commemorated annually for decades and it would be inappropriate for the State to compete with these established ceremonies.

I have approved a grant allocation of €10,000 to assist Tipperary County Council in supporting the local commemorative committee and wider community in developing their plans, in recognition of the significance of the Soloheadbeg Ambush as the generally accepted first action in the War of Independence.

My Department is also assisting the local authority with its request for appropriate Defence Forces ceremonial participation at the commemoration. It may be noted that all such requests for Defence Forces participation over the coming years will be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Department of Defence and relevant parties.

It is, I believe, very fitting that local authorities have a leading role in supporting inclusive, respectful and meaningful community-led commemorations such as this one which remember all of the lives lost, augmented as appropriate with support from the State, considered and agreed on a case-by-case basis.

City of Culture Initiative

Ceisteanna (62)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

62. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the breakdown of sponsorship raised by Galway 2020 to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1762/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

It is my understanding that Galway 2020 commenced with the full rollout of the partnership programme from the beginning of this month. Sponsorship has commenced with the receipt of approximately €29,000.

The funding raised through the partnership programme will be in addition to other streams of funding to Galway 2020. This includes €15m from my Department which, together with existing commitments from Galway City and County Councils, amounts to €23m.

Film Industry

Ceisteanna (63)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

63. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will provide a progress report on film industry stakeholder forum; the stakeholders the appointed chairperson of the forum has engaged with in advance of convening the forum since their appointment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1772/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

A Report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on the Development and Working Conditions in the Irish Film Industry was published in July 2018.

One of the Report's recommendations is for Screen Ireland to constitute a Film Forum, with an independent Chair, in order to allow all stakeholders within the sector to meet and work together to develop mutually beneficial solutions for the industry. I have met with Screen Ireland on arrangements to hold an Industry Forum that can focus on issues around employment and dignity at work.

Stakeholder disputes have emerged which have impeded progress. Screen Ireland has been endeavouring to organise the Forum and had drawn up a list of all stakeholders to invite to the Forum. These include representatives of workers in the industry which include

- The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)

- SIPTU

- Irish Film Workers Association (IFWA)

- GMBh Trade Union

- Screen Guilds of Ireland

The emergence of disputes between stakeholders have, however, impeded progress on the Forum. I understand that following the transmission of an RTÉ Prime Time programme on the film industry, ICTU and SIPTU stated that they would not attend a Forum to which the IFWA is invited, and that the Screen Guilds of Ireland gave a similar response. Based on the ICTU position, Screen Producers Ireland also indicated that it would not attend.

My Department continues to work with the Audiovisual High Level Steering Group to address issues in the audiovisual industry, and to support the industry and to the people who work in it.

Meanwhile, the Deputy will be aware that the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 was enacted in December and will introduce important new protections - particularly for those workers in sectors where employment terms are perceived to be becoming more precarious.

Departmental Projects

Ceisteanna (64)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

64. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to extend the creative schools pilot project; and the number of DEIS schools that are part of the project. [1677/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Creative Schools pilot project is one of the flagship projects of Creative Youth - a plan to enable the creative potential for every child and young person, which was launched last December 2017. This Plan seeks to ensure that every child in Ireland has practical access to tuition, experience and participation in music, drama, art and coding by 2022. This Plan is being led by my Department, the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Arts Council, all working in partnership.

The Creative Schools pilot project for 150 schools was launched in 2017 and is now up and running reaching over 38,000 children and young people. Approximately 10% of all schools in the country applied for the pilot; 150 schools were chosen from 400 applications. Of the 150 schools participating, 110 are primary, 30 post primary, 7 special schools and 3 Youthreach centres. 38 DEIS schools were chosen for inclusion in the pilot (30 primary and 8 post-primary).

Each participating school will have access to Creative Associates who are essential in embedding inspirational and sustainable creative practices in teaching and learning. Creative Associates are a mixture of practising artists and teachers with an understanding of creativity and its potential to transform the lives of children and young people.

Participating schools, working with their Creative Associate, are completing the development of a school development plan for arts and creativity and implementing these plans. The Creative Associates will explore new links for schools with artists and with arts and cultural organisations, both locally and nationally, to help develop their plan. To assist this, each participating school will be awarded €2,000 for implementation of their plan.

The Creative Youth Plan is ambitious and ever developing. I hope that by 2022, it will have touched the lives of every child and young person in Ireland. Plans for Creative Schools in 2019 will be announced shortly.

Heritage Sites

Ceisteanna (65)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

65. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the steps she will take to promote the importance of heritage and burial grounds nationally, with particular reference to the encouragement of interest in local historical sites; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1757/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As Minister, I am the owner or guardian under the National Monuments Acts 1930-2014 of approximately 1,000 national monuments located at approximately 750 sites, including historic graveyards. Presentation and maintenance of national monuments in State care is undertaken by the Office of Public Works (OPW). Local authorities are responsible for national monuments of which they are owners or guardians.

Under the provisions of the National Monuments Acts, my Department has established and maintains the Record of Monuments and Places, which affords legal protection to all recorded archaeological sites and monuments in the State. Anyone proposing works to, at, or in the vicinity of a monument that is included in the Record of Monument and Places must give my Department two months prior notice before works can start.

The majority of historic graveyards are in the ownership of the local authorities. My Department's National Monuments Service has issued a guidance document “The Care and Conservation of Graveyards” to help guide the appropriate preservation of these important elements of our culture for the benefit of local communities and as places for visitors to come to.

My Department fully supports the appropriate conservation of Ireland’s rich portfolio of heritage sites, both as important assets in their own right and to optimise their contribution to economic development and tourism promotion. It is in regular and ongoing contact with the Office of Public Works and Fáilte Ireland to agree and devise shared priorities and policy approaches with respect to the management of national monuments and their presentation to visitors.

Part IV of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, provides for the protection of architectural heritage. The Act gives primary responsibility to planning authorities to identify and protect the architectural heritage by including relevant structures on the Record of Protected Structures. Inclusion on the Record of Protected Structures places a duty of care on the owners and occupiers of protected structures and also gives planning authorities powers to deal with development proposals affecting them and to seek to safeguard their future.

I also have a role, as Minister, in terms of being a prescribed body under the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2015, whereby development proposals that may impact on our built heritage are referred by planning authorities to my Department so that recommendations can be made as appropriate to avoid or mitigate any such impacts.

Arts Council Funding

Ceisteanna (66)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

66. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to address employment, income and career precarity and insecurity in theatre, film and across the arts sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1774/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I am aware of the issues referred to in the question and I am determined to deliver additional supports to the arts and culture sector in line with Government commitments.

Primary support for the Arts is delivered through the Arts Council. Funding for the Arts Council has increased in recent years and now stands at €75 million in 2019, and increase of some €6.8m or 10% over 2018. The Creative Ireland Programme is also delivering additional resources to the sector, for example, through the Creative Youth Programme and the Culture and Creativity Strategies delivered by local authorities.

The Arts Council, which is independent in its funding decisions under the Arts Act 2003, operates within a published 10 year strategic framework entitled Making Great Art Work. This strategy prioritises support for artists throughout their careers, by the involvement of many agencies in cultural provision, by the impact of the arts on the creative economy, and by the depth and breadth of people's engagement with the arts.

For example the Arts Council now include as an assessment criterion, an organisation’s policy on the remuneration of artists in an effort to ensure that organisations in receipt of Arts Council funding should offer fair and equitable remuneration to artists.

With regard to legal protections for workers across the arts sector, it is important to note that employees in every industry and sector are entitled to all existing legal protections.

As members will be aware legislation was introduced by my colleague, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 should improve the insecurity and unpredictability of working hours for employees on insecure contracts and those working variable hours. Employment law in general should also have a role to play in terms of existing legal protections. There are also institutions for reporting abuse of employment legislation. I am satisfied that the industry works in general to a high standard.