Beef Industry

Ceisteanna (281)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

281. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of a commitment made when the beef forum was set up to introduce a permanent system of carcase trim monitoring and recording in beef factories by using the latest technology. [12698/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Carcase classification and carcase presentation controls in slaughter plants are carried out by a dedicated team of specialist staff in the Beef Carcase Classification Section within my Department.

As committed to in the Beef Forum, additional monitoring of carcase presentation by my Department’s veterinary public health inspection staff (VPHIS) in the factories has been introduced since January 1st, 2019 and should provide further assurance to stakeholders that the appropriate dressing specification is being applied in factories.

Food Labelling

Ceisteanna (282)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

282. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the programme for a partnership Government commitment to continue to explore the potential development of an all-island label to successfully address the problems associated with so-called nomad cattle. [12699/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The labelling of food in the European Union is governed by a number of EU regulations which lay down strict requirements including in relation to mandatory country of origin labelling for certain meats. Under these EU rules, labels on meat from cattle born and reared in Ireland and exported live to Northern Ireland, and subsequently slaughtered there, must include the Member State of birth and rearing, and the Member State of slaughter.

The potential development of an all-island beef label on a voluntary basis, which has previously been suggested, will not be an option if the UK leaves the European Union.

Beef Industry

Ceisteanna (283)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

283. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the price beef farmers are receiving for their produce from factories; the number of times to date that beef processing factories have been fined for breaching EU carcase trimming rules; the range of fines imposed; the maximum fine that can be imposed; the number of inspections by officials in 2018 to such factories to check whether grading and trimming are in compliance with regulations; the names of factories fined in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12700/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1184 of 20 April 2017 governs the monitoring of carcase classification, carcase presentation and weighing. The question of the price paid for particular grades is a matter for the producers and processors.

Regarding sanctions, under legislation (SI 363/2010), non-compliance with the legislation attracts a maximum on the spot fine of €200 per carcase. In addition, any person who commits an offence under these Regulations is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or to both.

In 2018, my Department conducted almost 550 unannounced, on-the-spot inspections in 32 factories on classification and carcase presentation. This significantly exceeds the minimum checks as laid down in the regulation. The breaches of carcase dressing presentation in 2018 have been published on the Department website.

Regarding inspections in 2019, it is my intention to publish details of any on-the-spot fines when the inspections and the processes concerned are complete.

Beef Industry

Ceisteanna (284)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

284. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when the beef forum is due to next meet; and the number of meetings to date since the forum was established in tabular form. [12701/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Beef Roundtable was established in April 2014 in order to bring all the relevant stakeholders together and to facilitate open discussion between industry, farming organisations and others on the strategic path forward for the beef sector.

The forum has been held on twelve occasions. The last meeting was held on 03 October 2018. No date has been scheduled yet for the next meeting. However, I have had and continue to have regular bilateral contact with farming organisations and the wider beef industry about current issues of importance to the sector, particularly in the context of Brexit.

The following is a list of the dates of previous meetings.

1. April 2014

2. June 2014

3. October 2014

4. November 2014

5. February 2015

6. July 2015

7. December 2015

8. July 2016

9. November 2016

10. July 2017

11. February 2018

12. October 2018

Brexit Preparations

Ceisteanna (285)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

285. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of additional veterinary officers announced as a result of Brexit; the number who will be in place on 30 March 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12705/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department is participating very actively in the Whole-of-Government approach to preparedness and contingency planning for Brexit. The Government has already sanctioned in the region of €4m for the commencement of a phased process for the recruitment of additional staff across a range of skill sets to carry out increased volumes of import controls and export certification arising from Brexit.

These requirements are significant, and arise in relation to the carrying out of documentary, identity and physical checks on imports of animals, and products of animal origin, as set out in EU legislation.

As regards staffing requirements, my Department will use a combination of options including recruitment, redeployment and temporary flexible solutions where appropriate and as necessary. My Department continues to work with our recruitment partners, the Public Appointments Service to engage Veterinary Inspectors and Administrative support staff.

A competition for the recruitment of Veterinary Inspectors in my Department was advertised on 1 March to augment current staffing levels at Border Inspection Posts at Irish ports and airports. Mechanisms to temporarily redeploy experienced people within my Department have also been initiated and the engagement of contracted temporary service arrangements is also being progressed.

I expect my Department to have in the region of 230 staff available for redeployment as part of its Brexit Response although the final staffing numbers to be engaged in response to Brexit contingencies will depend on the nature of Brexit and the trading relationship with the UK that ensues. Should a hard Brexit be confirmed as the probable contingency to be addressed, my Department will, through the mechanisms I have outlined, have the scope to deploy appropriate levels of Veterinary Inspectors as may be required.

Overall, I remain confident that both the State, and my Department, will be in a position to deliver the services required in terms of both imports and exports at the appropriate time, be that at the end of March or any other point in the future.

Electric Vehicles

Ceisteanna (286, 287)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

286. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of standard EV charging points by county. [12469/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Robert Troy

Ceist:

287. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of fast-charge EV charging points by county. [12470/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 286 and 287 together.

Home charging is the primary method of charging for the majority of electric vehicles both internationally and in Ireland. Charging at home at night is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly way to charge an electric vehicle. Given the high proportion of homes with driveways and dedicated parking spaces, Ireland has greater capacity for home charging than many other countries. A Government grant of up to €600 is available, via the SEAI, to the purchasers of new and second-hand electric vehicles to support the installation of home chargers.

The majority of the existing network of publicly accessible charge points was rolled out by the ESB through its eCars programme. A real-time map showing the charge points, including the status and availability of the charge points, is available on the ESB's website at www.esb.ie/ecars. The management of these charge points is an operational matter for the ESB.

The table, provided to my Department by ESB eCars, sets out the number of publicly available standard charge points and fast chargers on the eCars network in each county.

County

Standard Charge Points

Fast Chargers

Donegal

26

3

Sligo

10

1

Leitrim

6

1

Mayo

20

2

Westmeath

20

3

Roscommon

16

1

Galway

28

4

Monaghan

10

1

Cavan

10

0

Longford

10

1

Meath

22

2

Louth

24

3

Dublin

160

18

Kildare

28

4

Offaly

14

0

Laois

16

2

Wicklow

26

3

Carlow

12

1

Wexford

26

4

Kilkenny

14

3

Tipperary

16

5

Waterford

24

2

Clare

16

2

Limerick

26

4

Cork

58

7

Kerry

28

1

Total

666

78

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (288, 289)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

288. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the funding his Department or agencies under the remit of his Department have provided to projects in County Galway in each of the years from 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, respectively; if the funding has been allocated; if it has been drawn down in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12505/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

289. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the funding that his Department or agencies under the remit of his Department have provided to projects in County Roscommon in each of the years from 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, respectively; if the funding has been allocated; if it has been drawn down in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12522/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 288 and 289 together.

Details of funding provided for projects or programmes in Counties Galway and Roscommon by my Department in the years 2016 to date in 2019 are outlined in the following table.

Project name

Funding amount provided

Has funding been allocated/drawn down?

County (Galway/Roscommon)

By year (2016-2019 to date)

East Galway Landfill Remediation

€458,299

Yes

Galway

2016

Glenamaddy Landfill Remediation

€34,613

Yes

Galway

2017

Ballygar Landfill Remediation

€20,122

Yes

Galway

2017

East Galway Landfill Remediation

€1,953,258

Yes

Galway

2018

Removal of Historic Tyre Stockpile

€84,709

Yes

Galway

2017

Removal of Historic Tyre Stockpile

€91,112

Yes

Galway

2018

Anti Dumping Initiative

€67,663

Yes

Galway

2017

Anti Dumping Initiative

€93,221

Yes

Galway

2018

Local Authority Enforcement Measures Grant Scheme

€72,000

Yes

Galway

2016

Local Authority Enforcement Measures Grant Scheme

€72,000

Yes

Galway

2017

Local Authority Enforcement Measures Grant Scheme

€72,000

Yes

Galway

2018

Castlerea Landfill Remediation

€19,105

Yes

Roscommon

2017

Removal of Historic Tyre Stockpile

€60,840

Yes

Roscommon

2017

Foodwaste Pilot project

€15,000

Not yet drawn down

Roscommon

2019

Anti Dumping Initiative

€54,659

Yes

Roscommon

2017

Anti Dumping Initiative

€69,322

Yes

Roscommon

2018

Local Authority Enforcement Measures Grant Scheme

€136,373

Yes

Roscommon

2016

Local Authority Enforcement Measures Grant Scheme

€136,373

Yes

Roscommon

2017

Local Authority Enforcement Measures Grant Scheme

€136,373

Yes

Roscommon

2018

Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund (LA21 EPF)

€8,500

Yes

Roscommon

2016

Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund (LA21 EPF)

€9,775

Yes

Roscommon

2017

Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund (LA21 EPF)

€9,775

Yes

Roscommon

2018

Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund (LA21 EPF)

€15,700

Yes

Galway County

2016 -

Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund (LA21 EPF)

€18,055

Yes

Galway County

2017

Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund (LA21 EPF)

€18,055

Yes

Galway County

2018

Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund (LA21 EPF)

€9,500

Yes

Galway City

2016

Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund (LA21 EPF)

€10,925

Yes

Galway City

2017

Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund (LA21 EPF)

€10,925

Yes

Galway City

2018

Anti Litter Awareness

€15,000

Yes

Roscommon

2016

Anti Litter Awareness

€19,000

Yes

Roscommon

2017

Anti Litter Awareness

€19,000

Yes

Roscommon

2018

Anti Litter Awareness

€20,000

Yes

Galway County

2016

Anti Litter Awareness

€26,000

Yes

Galway County

2017

Anti Litter Awareness

€26,000

Yes

Galway County

2018

Anti Litter Awareness

€28,000

Yes

Galway City

2016

Anti Litter Awareness

€36,000

Yes

Galway City

2017

Anti Litter Awareness

€36,000

Yes

Galway City

2018

*Trading Online Voucher Scheme

€94,007

Yes

Galway

2016

Trading Online Voucher Scheme

€93,864

Yes

Galway

2017

Trading Online Voucher Scheme

€83,350

Yes

Galway

2018

Trading Online Voucher Scheme

€47,130

Yes

Roscommon

2016

Trading Online Voucher Scheme

€31,107

Yes

Roscommon

2017

Trading Online Voucher Scheme

€38,530

Yes

Roscommon

2018

**Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme

€83,178

Yes

Galway

2017

Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme

€67,250

Yes

Galway

2018

Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme

€32,705

Yes

Galway

2019 to date

Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme

€97,099

Yes

Roscommon

2017

Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme

€95,021

Yes

Roscommon

2018

Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme

€12,721

Yes

Roscommon

2019 to date

Geoheritage

€20,000

Yes

Galway

2016

Geoheritage

€25,000

Yes

Galway

2017

Geoheritage

€25,000

Yes

Galway

2018

Geoheritage

€15,000

Yes

Galway

2019

Geoheritage

€5,000

Yes

Roscommon

2019

*The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is demand-led and, as such, funding provided to Local Enterprise Offices is based on the value of approved ‘vouchers’ and costs incurred in administering the Scheme.

**Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme funding is directly linked to the number of citizens who received training. Since the scheme commenced in 2017, some 2,067 citizens in Galway and 2,387 citizens in Roscommon have received training.

In relation to the agencies under the aegis of my Department, this is an operational matter for each agency. The Department will request the relevant bodies to reply directly to the Deputy with the information requested in respect of their organisations.

Energy Schemes Data

Ceisteanna (290)

Eamon Ryan

Ceist:

290. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of houses that availed of the deep retrofit grant assistance as managed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland in 2018; and the overall budget spend in grant support for such projects. [12545/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers the Deep Retrofit Pilot scheme on behalf of my Department.

The Deep Retrofit Pilot Scheme, a three year pilot which began in 2017, is investigating how to create a scalable offering for the deep retrofit of Ireland’s housing stock, while building consumer demand as well as contractor capacity for deep retrofit. Under the scheme Government is funding up to 50% of the total capital and project management costs for homes that achieve an A3 Building Energy Rating post retrofit. This will inform a model that could make deep retrofit available to homeowners on a larger scale post 2020, and will help Ireland move away from fossil fuels to clean renewable heating systems, such as solar and heat pumps.

To date, a total of 229 homes have been upgraded with a spend of €5.96m under the Deep Retrofit Pilot scheme. Of these, 211 houses were upgraded in 2018 with a spend of €4.72m. The scheme operates on a milestone basis, with milestone payments being made at 25%, 50% and 90% completion. 10% of the payment is retained until 12 months post works and is paid on submission of the first year’s post-works data. Each homeowner also signs up to providing SEAI with data on their energy usage for 3 years post retrofit.