Office of Public Works Projects

Ceisteanna (78)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

78. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the historic gates to the Phoenix Park removed in summer 2018; when the original gates will be restored; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14675/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

In preparation for the Mass for the World Meeting of Families 2018 in the Phoenix Park, a number of historic Park gates were removed for health and safety reasons to ensure the safe and free movement of people attending the Mass and vehicles associated with the event on Sunday 26 August.

As part of the project plan for the event for the temporary removal and reinstatement of the gates under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, the Office of Public Works plans to undertake conservation work at the following entrances:

- North Circular Road Gate (c1906)

- Grangegorman Gate on Blackhorse Avenue (c1906)

- Cabra Gate (c1835)

- Ashtown Gate (c1835)

- Castleknock Gate (c1834)

- Chapelizod Gate (c1833)

- Islandbridge Gate (c1833)

The gates are in need of significant refurbishment and it is a condition of the planning consent granted by Dublin City Council for the temporary removal of the gates that as part of the reinstatement phase each gate and entrance will be fully conserved and restored.

The OPW is providing Architectural (Conservation), Civil and Structural Engineering and Project Management services for this project with external architectural and quantity surveying support. Given the unique nature of the gates, railings, piers and abutment walls, a comprehensive specification for each gate, photographic records and detailed conservation reports have been developed by conservation specialists over the last number of months.

The works to repair and reinstate the gates and entrances will be contracted through a competitive tender process in compliance with public procurement requirements. The work is highly complex and OPW is resolved to complete the work to the highest possible conservation standards. Therefore, it is not possible at this stage to provide a definitive completion date. Further updates will be available to the public on the Phoenix Park website www.phoenixpark.ie and on our social media pages. It is also planned to post information panels at each entrance informing the public about what is happening, information about the history of the gates, the work involved and the indicative programme for the work once that is known.

Sports Organisations

Ceisteanna (79)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

79. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the Comptroller and Auditor General has statutory authority to oversee and investigate the operations of independent sports organisations in cases in which those organisations are in receipt of public moneys; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14683/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Article 33(1) of the Constitution requires the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) to control all disbursements on behalf of the State: “There shall be a Comptroller and Auditor General to control on behalf of the State all disbursements and to audit all accounts of moneys administered by or under the authority of the Oireachtas.”

Pursuant to Article 33(4) of the Constitution the C&AG is obliged to report to Dáil Éireann at stated periods as determined by law. Thus, the principal duties of the C&AG are to control, audit and report.

While duties are imposed by the Constitution on the C&AG, further and additional duties have been imposed on him by statute in particular as set out under the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 (“the 1993 Act”).

The core duties of the C&AG, in conducting an audit of central Government financial statements are to ensure the financial statements properly present the transactions and balances, and that transactions have been “regular”. The latter essentially means establishing that the State’s money was properly used or handled in accordance with lawful authority.

Section 8 of the 1993 Act permits the C&AG, at his discretion, to inspect the accounts of non-public bodies, including recipients of grant funding, but only where 50% or more of their gross receipts come from public sources. Such an inspection of accounts, books and records can only be undertaken in respect of a year (or period of account) where the “50% condition” is satisfied, and only for the purposes of ascertaining that the public money was spent for the purposes authorised by the Oireachtas and in accordance with any conditions specified by the Department through which the funds were allocated.

Child Abuse

Ceisteanna (80)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

80. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the Teaching Council can investigate and make a decision against a registered teacher under existing complaints procedures if it receives notification of an historic alleged complaint of sexual abuse by a student against a former teacher (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14559/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Under the Teaching Council Act 2001, the Teaching Council was established in March 2006 as the body with statutory authority for the regulation of the teaching profession.

In July 2016 Part 5 of the Teaching Council Act, as amended by the Teaching Council (Amendment) Act 2015, was commenced. From that date the Teaching Council has power to investigate a complaint about a teacher and to conduct fitness to teach inquiries.

Any person, including a member of the public, an employer or a teacher may make a complaint about a registered teacher. In addition, the Teaching Council can itself make a complaint about a registered teacher. Grounds for complaint are set out in the legislation and can relate to such issues as alleged professional misconduct or poor professional performance.

The Teaching Council’s fitness to teach processes are not intended to replace the procedures that are already in place in schools to deal with issues of professional conduct and competence. Underperformance or misconduct will continue to be dealt with first at school level and while generally school procedures should be exhausted before any inquiry by the Teaching Council takes place the Council can proceed where there are good and sufficient reasons.

In general, the Teaching Council’s Investigating Committee has authority to consider complaints where the matters complained about took place on or after 25 July 2016. For complaints relating to professional misconduct and where the events took place before 25 July 2016, the Investigating Committee may decide to proceed to consider and investigate the complaint in exceptional circumstances, as follows:

(a) The conduct complained of is conduct that, if proven, would have constituted a criminal offence at the time that it occurred,

and

(b) The conduct complained of is of such a nature as to reasonably give rise to a bona fide concern that a child or vulnerable person may be physically, sexually or emotionally exploited or abused.

The Council will tell the registered teacher if it receives a complaint about them. The Council will send the teacher a copy of the complaint, all documents enclosed with it and any further information it receives about the complaint during the complaint process. The teacher will have an opportunity to respond to the complaint.

It is a matter for the Investigating Committee to decide whether or not to refer all or part of a complaint to the Disciplinary Committee for an inquiry before a panel of the Disciplinary Committee.

An inquiry takes place in public unless the teacher or a witness about whom personal matters may be disclosed requests the panel to hold the hearing or part of the hearing in private, and the panel is satisfied that it would be appropriate to do so.

At the conclusion of an inquiry the Council may find that there is no case to answer. Alternatively there is a range of sanctions available ranging from the teacher’s removal from the register (and consequently removing the ability to be paid in a state funded teaching post) to the provision of advice to the teacher.

Other than where the lowest level of sanction has been applied, the teacher may apply to the High Court for an annulment of the Council’s decision.

If, as a result of the Council’s investigation and disciplinary process, a teacher is removed from the register of teachers, then the inquiry panel can make a decision that the teacher is not eligible to apply to be restored to the register before the expiration of a period of time specified by the panel.

When the specified period of time set by the inquiry panel has elapsed, the teacher may apply to be registered again. Registration includes a requirement for the applicant teacher to satisfy the Council that he/she is a fit and proper person to be a teacher.

Further information on the Teaching Council’s process for considering complaints about registered teachers is available on their website at https://www.teachingcouncil.ie/en/Fitness-to-Teach/.

Teaching Qualifications

Ceisteanna (81)

Pat Deering

Ceist:

81. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a decision will be made regarding funding for the shared learning bursary 2018 to 2019 for schools participating in the Droichead programme; his views on whether it should have been made available before now; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14622/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The Teaching Council is the statutory body with responsibility for professional standards at all stages of the teaching career. It has established standards for post-qualification professional practice, as set out in Droichead, the new model of induction and probation for newly qualified primary and post-primary teachers.

The Council has advised me that the Droichead bursary scheme, which operated as part of the Droichead growth phase until the end of the 2017/2018 school year, has not been authorised for the current school year, and that it is actively considering how best to support cultures of shared learning in the teaching profession, as outlined in its Strategic Plan 2018-2020. This includes how any such supports could support collaborative professionalism and innovation across the continuum of teacher education.

The Council provides many supports already through the CROÍ Research Series (Collaboration and Research for Ongoing Innovation), which includes free webinars and e-zines on a range of topics for schools. It also includes the John Coolahan Research Support Framework, through which the Council allocates up to €100,000 per annum to support teachers’ engagement with and in research. It hosts the annual Festival of Education in Learning and Teaching Excellence (FÉILTE) attended by almost 1,000 people each year.

The Council is keen to ensure that any additional funding which it may approve to support collaborative professionalism would leverage these and other resources in the system to be of maximum benefit to all teachers and learners.

School Staff

Ceisteanna (82)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

82. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills when his Department will meet with representatives of a union (details supplied) to discuss the need to review pay arrangements, policy and the terms and conditions of grant-funded school secretaries and caretakers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14632/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I recognise the very important work done by school secretaries, and indeed by other support staff, in the running of our schools and I am grateful to them for the contribution they make to our education system. I have spoken to a number of school secretaries about their employment conditions.

Schemes were initiated in 1978 and 1979 for the employment of Clerical Officers and Caretakers in schools. The schemes were withdrawn completely in 2008. These schemes have been superseded by the more extensive capitation grant schemes. The current grant scheme was agreed in the context of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress, published in 1991.

The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools now receive assistance to provide for secretarial, caretaking and cleaning services under these grant schemes. It is a matter for each individual school to decide how best to apply the grant funding to suit its particular needs. Where a school uses the grant funding for caretaking or secretarial purposes, any staff taken on to support those functions are employees of individual schools. Specific responsibility for the pay and conditions rests with the school.

On foot of a Chairman’s Note to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, my Department engaged with the Unions representing school secretaries and caretakers, including through an independent arbitration process in 2015. The Arbitrator recommended a cumulative pay increase of 10% between 2016 and 2019 for staff and that a minimum hourly pay rate of €13 be phased in over that period. This arbitration agreement covers the period up to 31 December 2019.

The arbitration agreement was designed to be of greatest benefit to lower-paid secretaries and caretakers. For example, a Secretary or Caretaker who was paid the then minimum wage of €8.65 per hour in 2015 prior to the arbitration will, from 1 January 2019, be paid €13 per hour which is a 50% increase in that individual’s hourly pay.

The FÓRSA trade union have requested a meeting with the Department to discuss pay arrangements for grant-funded Secretaries and Caretakers from 2020 onwards. The Department has acknowledged the letter and is considering the union’s request.

Dual Citizenship

Ceisteanna (83)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

83. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there are no barriers for a person (details supplied) to apply for dual citizenship between Ireland and Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14562/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Ireland currently allows dual citizenship. However, the acquisition of Irish citizenship may have implications for other citizenship(s) held by the person concerned, including automatic loss of those citizenships. Accordingly, applicants for Irish citizenship are advised to check the position with the relevant authorities of the State(s) concerned.

Immigration Controls

Ceisteanna (84)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

84. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if an impediment exists to a person (details supplied) being allowed entry here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14575/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I understand that the person concerned is a non-EEA national and, therefore, subject to the provisions of the Immigration Act, 2004 that deal with entry to the State. The person is required, on arrival, to present to an immigration officer for permission to enter and be in the State.

In deciding whether to grant permission to enter the State, the immigration officer will take all relevant factors into account with the principal ones being: the purpose of the visit or stay, the duration of stay, the ability of the individual to support themselves during their stay, and proof that the person will exit the country on or before the expiry of any permission given. A person's previous immigration record may, if relevant, also be taken into account. Each application for entry to the State is assessed on its own merits. The Immigration Act 2004 sets out in section 3(4) the grounds on which an individual may be refused leave to enter the State.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (85)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

85. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to previous parliamentary questions and submissions in respect of a person (details supplied) and the renewal of that person's permission to remain in the State on foot of production of a national passport, if alternative arrangements can be made to facilitate regularisation of the individuals' residency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14642/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned had their permission to remain in the State renewed for a further one year period to 14 December 2019. This decision was conveyed in writing to the person concerned by letter dated 07 January 2019. This permission was renewed to enable the person concerned to obtain a valid passport or alternatively submit evidence as to what effort they have made to secure a passport.

There is no record of the requested documentation having been submitted to date. The position in the State of the person concerned can be further considered upon receipt of the requested documentation.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (86)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

86. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to replies to previous parliamentary questions and submissions in respect of a person (details supplied) and renewal of that person's permission to remain in the State on foot of production of a national passport, if alternative arrangements can be made to facilitate regularisation of the individual's residency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14643/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned had their permission to remain in the State renewed for a further one year period to 14 December 2019. This decision was conveyed in writing to the person concerned by letter dated 07 January 2019. This permission was renewed to enable the person concerned to obtain a valid passport or alternatively submit evidence as to what effort they have made to secure a passport.

There is no record of the requested documentation having been submitted to date. The position in the State of the person concerned can be further considered upon receipt of the requested documentation.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (87)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

87. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure to be followed to facilitate the restoration of stamp 4 in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14644/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, in response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned has submitted written representations.

These representations, together with all other information and documentation on file, will be fully considered, under section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation, in advance of a final decision being made. This decision will be made as soon as it is possible to do so.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (88)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

88. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if alternative means can be found to facilitate an application in view of the difficult experience in obtaining a passport from the home country in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14645/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a valid passport is normally required to enable an applicant to register their permission to reside in the State. Where an applicant does not hold a valid passport, a temporary permission can be issued at the discretion of an immigration officer, to give them time to arrange for a new passport.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. this service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy's view inadequate or too long awaited.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (89)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

89. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when stamp 3 will be renewed or extended to stamp 4 in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14646/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department that the person concerned was granted immigration permission on 11 July 2018 under Stamp 3 conditions as the dependent family member of a non-EEA national. This permission may be renewed on Stamp 3 conditions at the local immigration office if the person can show they have obeyed the laws of the State and have complied with the conditions set out in the decision letter.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility, which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (90)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

90. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if all relevant documentation required to facilitate an application for naturalisation has been received in the relevant section of his Department in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14648/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, as indicated in my response to the Deputy's Parliamentary Question No. 113 of 21 February 2019, the processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is ongoing. On completion of the necessary processing the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. Should further documentation be required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements, not only within the State but also at European Union level, and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Controls

Ceisteanna (91)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

91. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the way in which provision is being made to transfer a person (details supplied) to Sweden; if the person's case will be reviewed with a view to clarification; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14651/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is the subject of a decision to transfer to the United Kingdom under Council Regulation (EU) No. 64/2013, known as the Dublin Regulation.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (92)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

92. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 113 of 31 January 2019, if all pertinent documentation has been received by the relevant section in his Department in the case of a person (details supplied); the basis on which it has been suggested that this information is not available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14653/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, if an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications or to provide comment on what stage such applications are at in the administrative process.

Under section 26 of the International Protection Act 2015, it is an offence to identify an international applicant. As a result it would be contrary to national law for me or my Department officials to provide information which pertains to a protection applicant. The Chief International Protection Officer and his team of International Protection Officers are also bound by the confidentiality provisions of Section 26 of the 2015 Act to protect the identity of the applicant. The applicant or his legal representative should contact the International Protection Office directly either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2.

Following the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 on 31 December 2016, new arrangements for the investigation and determination of applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and cases involving permission to remain in the State have been introduced. Such applications are now processed, as part of a single application procedure, by the International Protection Office (IPO) which has replaced the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) from that date. The staff of that Office (the Chief International Protection Officer and International Protection Officers) are independent in the performance of their protection functions.

For your information, on 27 February 2017, the Chief International Protection Officer, following consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), published a statement on the Prioritisation of Applications under the International Protection Act 2015 which is available on the website of the International Protection Office (www.ipo.gov.ie).

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (93)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

93. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current or expected status in respect of leave to remain and-or naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14654/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there is no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisation on behalf of the person referred to by the Deputy, who currently has permission to reside in the State until 16 June 2020.

A determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria attendant to naturalisation can only be made after an application is received, and every application is considered on its individual merits, regardless of whether the applicant had applied previously.

It is open to any individual to lodge an application for a certificate of naturalisation if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. There is no appeals process under the legislation. The fact that a person may have had an application refused does not preclude or disqualify them from submitting a fresh application in the future. Indeed, the letter advising an applicant of a negative decision also informs them that they may re-apply for the grant of a certificate of naturalisation at any time. The letter advises that, when considering making such a re-application, they should give due regard to the reasons for the refusal which were contained in the submission attached to the refusal letter and that any further application will be considered taking into account all statutory and administrative conditions applicable at the time of application.

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and I know the Deputy will appreciate that it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited

IDA Ireland Site Visits

Ceisteanna (94)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

94. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of site visits by IDA clients to Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford in each year since 2012, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14531/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

IDA Ireland hosted 607 site visits in 2018, with over 55% of these visits taking place in regional locations. The IDA always does everything it can - whether through site visits or in direct engagement with potential clients - to encourage overseas firms to locate or expand in regional areas. It is important to remember, however, that the final decision as to where to invest rests solely with the company concerned. It is also the case that site visit activity does not necessarily reflect investment potential, as a significant proportion of all new foreign direct investment (FDI) comes from existing IDA clients already present in the country.

That said, I want to emphasise that creating jobs in the regions remains a top priority for both the IDA and my Department. The energy and resources we have invested into regional growth is, as the evidence illustrates, producing results. In 2018, for example, the IDA delivered 113 regional investments with 56% of net new jobs created outside Dublin. The last four years have seen 44,500 new FDI jobs created outside the capital. We will continue to do our utmost to encourage further such job growth across all parts of Ireland in the time ahead.

The table below outlines the number of IDA site visits to Counties Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford in each year since 2012.

County

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Total

Cork

38

31

30

48

49

51

61

308

Dublin

196

180

205

242

284

327

269

1703

Galway

18

15

19

41

42

62

54

251

Limerick

30

23

22

40

49

42

35

241

Waterford

26

14

11

31

17

11

21

131

Dental Services Provision

Ceisteanna (95)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

95. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of an appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14534/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.