Housing Provision

Ceisteanna (211)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

211. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when work will commence on the 74 units at Craddockstown, Naas, County Kildare in view of his announcement, on 21 March 2019, of the award of social housing bundle 1 public private partnership or PPP to a consortium (details supplied); the timeframe for completion of the 74 units; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16918/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Construction work on the 534 homes that will be delivered under Bundle 1 of the Social Housing PPP Programme commenced following financial close on the contract, which took place on 19 March 2019. In relation to the work which has begun on the site at Craddockstown, as referred to by the Deputy, it is expected that these homes will be completed and ready to receive tenants by Q2 2020.

Local Authority Housing Data

Ceisteanna (212)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

212. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of all local authority built houses completed in 2018, by local authority. [16942/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Statistics on the number of social homes constructed by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are published on my Department’s website at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision.

These statistics are updated on a quarterly basis, with similar details for 2019 to be published as the year progresses.

The Social Housing Construction Status Report, which is published on a quarterly basis, provides a range of details on the social housing construction programme of local authorities and AHBs, including details on a scheme by scheme basis of  projects completed, which in the case of local authority projects, delivered 2,022 homes in 2018.  The latest report, covering the period up to end Q4 2018, is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-social-housing-construction-status-report-for-q4-2018/.

In addition to the information set out in the report, local authorities also delivered 501 Part V new builds and refurbished over 1,700 homes under the Voids programme in 2018.

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Ceisteanna (213, 214)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

213. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which various species of native birds or animals are in danger of extinction; if recent audits have taken place with a view to identifying the way in which to arrest further decline; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16955/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

214. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which the numbers of grouse, partridge or other game birds continue to be monitored to prevent extinction; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16956/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 213 and 214 together:

My Department is responsible for the implementation of the Birds and Natural Habitats Regulations 2011 (SI 477/2011) which transpose the EU Birds and Habitats Directives in the Irish context.

In line with our obligations under the Birds Directive, Ireland is due to submit its Article 12 Report, covering the period 2013 to 2018, to the European Commission later this year. This report will set out in detail the conservation status of a range of bird species (including game birds such as Red Grouse) as well as detailing the range of monitoring programmes that underpin such status assessments.

Work on this report is ongoing in my Department and its findings will be made available on the website of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (www.npws.ie) in due course.

My Department also from time to time publishes "Red Lists", a standardised approach for presentation of information on rare and threatened species, developed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, and widely used for this type of information. The most recent Red lists on npws.ie deal with moths, plants and the soft-boned fish, i.e. sharks, skates and rays.

Finally, the Atlas of mammals in Ireland, published by the National Biodiversity Data Centre in 2016, provides information on the status of mammals occurring in Ireland.

Built Heritage Investment Scheme

Ceisteanna (215)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

215. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the level of interest in the built heritage investment scheme and historic structures fund in County Limerick. [16776/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF), formerly the Structures at Risk Fund (SRF), which are administered by local authorities. 

On 28 March I announced funding of €4.3m for 478 projects under these schemes. Details of these projects are available on my Department's website and on local authority websites.  

The Built Heritage Investment Scheme is designed to leverage private capital for investment in a significant number of labour-intensive, small scale conservation projects across the country and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of the historic built environment. The scheme helps with the repair and conservation of structures that are protected under the Planning and Development Acts or within Architectural Conservation Areas. It is administered by local authorities. 

Under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, local authorities assess the applications before sending them to my Department for approval. My Department does not request the total number of applications received by the local authority. In 2019, 27 projects proposed by Limerick City and County Council were approved under Built Heritage Investment Scheme to the value of €118,000, an increase of 9% over 2018.  

Built Heritage Investment Scheme – Limerick 2019

Name and Address of Structure      

Grant

Sunvale Inn, Ardpatrick

€3,000 

1 Bridge Street, Abbeyfeale 

€3,000 

Gate Lodge, Mungret College, Mungret, Limerick 

€3,000 

Limerick Christian Centre, Mungret College Chapel, Mungret 

€4,000 

Limekiln, Loughill 

€3,500 

Countess Dunraven Fountain, Blackabbey, Adare 

€3,000

Scarteen House, Knocklong 

€6,000 

Cooleen House, Bruree 

€5,000 

Fr. Kelly's Thatched Cottage, Church View, Main Street, Adare 

€2,500 

Thatched House, Deelish, Ardagh 

€2,500 

Linfield House, Pallasgreen 

€4,000 

Castlegarde, Cappamore 

€5,000 

O'Connell's Public House, Ballyneety 

€6,000 

St. Mary's Cathedral, Bridge Street, Limerick 

€5,000 

Parnell Cottage, Moroewood, Murroe 

€4,000 

Carrickaroche, Galbally 

€2,500 

Ballymartin School, Ballymartin, Manister 

€4,000 

Purtill Cottage, Tuogh, Adare 

€2,500 

Ó Ceilleachair Bar, Main Street, Kilfinane 

€4,000

St. Mary's Church of Ireland, Askeaton 

€2,500 

St. Saviour's Dominican Priory, Glentworth Street, Limerick 

€2,500 

St. Paul's Heritage Centre, Glin 

€4,000 

Mona Lodge, Montpelier 

€2,850 

Kilballyowen Stableyard, Bruff 

€3,250 

Villiers School, North Circular Road, Limerick 

€3,250 

Saint Munchin's Church, Old Church Street, Limerick 

€3,000

Maunsell Cross, Tervoe, Clarina, Limerick 

€4,000 

Raheen House, Ahane 

€3,000

2 Pery Square, Limerick

€4,000 

17 Upper Cecil Street, Limerick

€2,750

Limerick Georgian Core Historic Railings and plinth walls project, Limerick 

€2,750 

4 O'Connell Terrace, O'Connell Avenue, Limerick 

€4,650 

68 O'Connell Street, Limerick 

€3,000 

Total 

€118,000 

The Historic Structures Fund is for conservation works to heritage structures, in both private and public ownership. The primary focus of the Historic Structures Fund is on conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the benefit of communities and the public. The fund is generally administered through the local authorities who prepare a shortlist of applications and each one can send a maximum of three private and one public project forward for assessment by my Department. 

Grants under Stream One of the Historic Structures Fund are for amounts of between €15,000 and €50,000. Under Stream Two a small number of larger grants, up to €200,000, was also available for historic structures in private and public ownership. 

Limerick City and County Council indicated they had received 13 applications under the Historic Structures Fund in 2019, of which 4 were put forward to the Department for consideration. A further application was made directly to my Department. Following assessment, two projects were approved in County Limerick as set out below.

Name and Address of Structure      

Grant 

Barry's Cottage, Church View, Adare 

€28,000 

Castletown Conyers (Upper Connello) 

€15,000 

Total 

€43,000 

Heritage Sites

Ceisteanna (216, 217, 220)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

216. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of sites or buildings nationally in respect of which preservation or restorative works are in hand; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16945/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

217. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of protected structures nationally deemed to be in need of further protective works, be they heritage buildings or sites such as burial mounds or megalithic tombs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16946/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

220. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which she continues to support heritage or interpretative centres nationally; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16950/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 216, 217 and 220 together.

As Minister, I am the owner or guardian under the National Monuments Acts of approximately 1,000 national monuments located at approximately 750 sites. The management and maintenance of these monuments, including the provision of visitor and interpretative facilities, is the statutory responsibility of the Office of Public Works (OPW).  Details of its ongoing work programme would be available from OPW. Local authorities are responsible under the National Monuments Acts for maintaining the national monuments of which they are owners or guardians.

My Department's National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) provides ongoing funding support for the visitor and interpretive centres located in our national parks, including introductory interpretive videos and customised leaflets and booklets focusing on the natural heritage of the area. These are updated from time to time as opportunity and resources allow. Exhibitions on natural heritage are also presented both in temporary and permanent form. The most recently added permanent exhibition is located in Killarney House and this is geared towards first time visitors to Killarney National Park.

Through its partnership with Fáilte Ireland, and with support from the Rural Regeneration Development Fund, NPWS also intends to develop new visitor centres in some sites whilst upgrading visitor centres/information points in others. This work will be prioritised and implemented over a phased period of ten years.

My Department also provides direct financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF), formerly the Structures at Risk Fund (SRF), which are administered by local authorities.

On 28 March this year I announced funding of €4.3m for 478 projects under these schemes. Details of these projects are available on my Department's and on local authority websites. 

The Built Heritage Investment Scheme is designed to leverage private capital for investment in a significant number of labour-intensive, small scale conservation projects across the country and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of the historic built environment. The scheme helps with the repair and conservation of structures that are protected under the Planning and Development Acts or within Architectural Conservation Areas. It is administered by local authorities.

The Historic Structures Fund is for conservation works to heritage structures, in both private and public ownership. The primary focus of the Historic Structures Fund is on conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the benefit of communities and the public. The fund is generally administered through the local authorities who prepare a shortlist of applications and each one can send a maximum of three private and one public project forward for assessment by my Department.

Grants under Stream One of the HSF are for amounts of between €15,000 and €50,000. Under Stream Two a small number of larger grants, up to €200,000, was also available for historic structures in private and public ownership. 

The Heritage Council, which my Department funds, also provides grants for the protection and preservation of the built heritage. It is primarily a matter for the Heritage Council to decide how its funding should be allocated across the range of research, education and conservation programmes it supports.  Further information about its Grant schemes is available from the Heritage Council and on its website www.heritagecouncil.ie.

In terms of future funding, Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 – 2027 represents a major capital investment scheme of €1.2 billion in funding over the next 10 years as part of Project Ireland 2040. This plan will see increased investment in protecting and celebrating our heritage across the country. More details on the commencement and completion dates for projects and programmes, as well as the timing of the expenditure in relation to them, will emerge as we go through the process of appraisal and planning as required under the Public Spending Code.

National Monuments

Ceisteanna (218)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

218. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of historical sites that have been damaged in the past ten years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16947/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

All known archaeological monuments, of which there are in excess of 130,000, are entitled to protection under the National Monuments Acts.  Protection may be extended to previously unrecorded monuments by my Department entering them in the Register of Historic Monuments or the Record of Monuments and Places.  The Acts also allow me to make a preservation order where I consider a national monument to be at risk.

As Minister, I am the owner or guardian under the National Monuments Acts of approximately 1,000 national monuments located at over 760 sites.  Maintenance of such monuments is undertaken on my behalf by the Office of Public Works.  Local authorities are responsible under the Acts for maintaining the national monuments of which they are owners or guardians. 

My Department also liaises regularly with the utility and infrastructure providers and has agreed codes of practice with a number of these agencies aimed at safeguarding archaeological sites and monuments. In addition, awareness programmes are in place with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Teagasc and farm organisations that are aimed at raising awareness in relation to farming and archaeology.

Notwithstanding the wide ranging legal provisions and other programmes in place, damage to archaeological sites and monuments does occur from time to time. My Department records all reports of damage to recorded monuments. Such reports usually emanate from members of the public, local authorities or heritage-based NGOs.  Cases involving alleged wilful damage to monuments are followed up in liaison with An Garda Síochána and prosecutions initiated where appropriate. There have been a number of convictions for such offences in recent years.

Protected structures are covered separately under the Planning and Developments Acts and local authorities have the appropriate enforcement measures in these cases.

The following table outlines the number of investigations in to reports of threat or damage carried out by the National Monuments Service of my Department over the last ten years as published in the Department's Annual Report.

Year

2018

120

2017

117

2016

117

2015

120

2014

210

2013

123

2012

107

2011

 113

2010

 88

2009

 116

Museum Projects

Question No. 220 answered with Question No. 216.

Ceisteanna (219)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

219. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which museums are located throughout urban and rural Ireland in such a way as to ensure easy and ready access from an educational or tourism prospective with a special emphasis on local history; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16948/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Irish Museums Association (IMA), which is funded annually by my Department and has an allocation of €40,000 for 2019, produced a detailed survey on the museums across Ireland in 2016, citing an approximate total of 230 museums.  The report also cites that in 2014, the collective figures visiting the 118 respondents totalled over 6 million visitors with a break out 60.5% identified as domestic and 35.2% identified as overseas visitors.  The full report is available at http://irishmuseums.org/assets/IMS-2016-DocsinglePrint.pdf.

In addition to providing funding for the IMA, my Department runs a scheme for improving exhibitions in local and regional museums which is currently open for applications at https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/culture/grants-and-funding/regional-museum-exhibitions-scheme/.  €150,000 has been allocated to this scheme for 2019.

My Department also runs a Mobility of Collections scheme for the dissemination of the National Collections to regional museums and details of the 2019 Scheme may be found at  https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/culture/grants-and-funding/mobility-of-collections-scheme/.  This scheme is demand driven and has a 2019 allocation of €15,000.

Annual operational funding is also provided by my Department to regional and specialised museums such as the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum and the Cork Butter Museum.  Details of previous funding to these bodies is available at https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/culture/grants-and-funding/cultural-projects-funding/.

Further, my Department offers capital funding to such bodies across Ireland and details of previous schemes may be reviewed at  https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/creative-arts/grants-and-funding/previous-schemes/.

Finally, under the Creative Ireland Programme, local authorities are receiving funding to support a series of initiatives over the course of 2019 that reflect the strategic priorities outlined in their own Cultural and Creativity Strategies, including events involving museums.

Question No. 220 answered with Question No. 216.

Built Heritage Investment Scheme

Ceisteanna (221)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

221. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which employment prospects are created nationally arising from various activities and restoration works; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16951/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through a number of schemes which are generally administered by local authorities.

The Built Heritage Investment Scheme is a scheme for the repair and conservation of protected structures on the local authority Record of Protected Structures. It is designed to leverage private capital for investment in small scale conservation projects across the country and to support the employment of skilled conservation professionals and tradespeople.  

In 2018, €2m was provided for the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and 284 projects were funded. Based on returns received from local authorities, 17,377 days of employment were created by the scheme during 2018 . 

The Structures at Risk Fund, which operated up to 2018, supported conservation works to heritage structures in both private and public ownership, which were deemed to be at significant risk of deterioration.  The Structures at Risk Fund was replaced in 2019 by the Historic Structures Fund, which is for conservation works to heritage structures in both private and public ownership. The primary focus of the Historic Structures Fund is on conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the benefit of communities and the public.  

In 2018, €1.324m was provided for the Structures at Risk Fund and 73 projects were funded. Based on returns received from local authorities, 7,271 days of employment were created  by the fund in 2018.

On 28 March 2019, I announced that 478 heritage projects will benefit from a combined €4.3m under this year’s Historic Structures Fund and Built Heritage Investment Scheme. Figures for the number of days of employment created by both schemes will be available towards the end of the year.

Creative Ireland Programme

Ceisteanna (222)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

222. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the degree to which she directly or indirectly continues to support the arts by way of grant aid with particular reference to commemorative events, musical or stage productions at local level; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16952/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based programme led by my Department designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. Its core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing and achievement.

Under Pillar 2 of the Programme - 'Enabling Creativity in Every Community', in 2018, my Department allocated a sum of €2m and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government a sum of €1m to all 31 local authorities (€96,000 each approximately) to enable them support an extensive programme of activities, events and initiatives in each county.  This level of funding has been maintained for this year. 

In total in 2018, over 1,300 different initiatives around Ireland were funded under Pillar 2 including arts projects, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, performances and workshops among many other activities. They covered areas such as architecture, biodiversity, crafts, heritage, dance, film, history, literature, music, photography, poetry, storytelling, theatre and the visual arts.  Of these many initiatives, twenty were commemorative events, 120 related to music while over 80 covered drama, stage and theatre productions. A full breakdown of events supported in 2018 is listed in the 2018 End of Year Report for the Creative Ireland Programme which can be found here: https://www.creativeireland.gov.ie/en/library.

In addition, in 2018, my Department allocated a separate sum of €5,000 to each local authority which supported over 100 commemorative events as part of the Decade of Commemorations programme last year. The local authorities have a leading role in supporting the national conversation about the final phase of the Decade of Centenaries by encouraging respectful, inclusive and authentic citizen engagement debate and analysis, which is sensitive to the local context. Funding of €10,000 is being allocated to each local authority this year to support ongoing development of local commemorative events under the Decade of Centenaries programme. 

Philanthropy Initiatives

Ceisteanna (223)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

223. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which the arts continues to be assisted by philanthropists on an annual basis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16953/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Private support for the arts is an important funding source and the Government continues to support this through tax incentives and other initiatives. While my Department does not have a breakdown of the total flows of philanthropic funding to the sector, the Programme for a Partnership Government does contain a commitment to encourage strong, mutually beneficial links between the business community and the arts community to assist arts organisations to capitalise on sponsorship opportunities and to develop business partnerships and fundraising skills.  In this regard, I recognise the important work carried out by Business to Arts for which my Department provides some financial assistance.

In addition, the Arts Council, which is funded by my Department, operates the RAISE programme, which seeks to enhance fund-raising skills in arts organisations with a view to diversifying the sector's sources of funding.  It is designed to assist the sector in securing philanthropic contributions to the arts in Ireland.    

In terms of other capital investment requiring co-funding, a €10 million investment scheme for arts and cultural centres is in progress, focussed on upgrading the existing stock of such centres around the country.  The funding, which is being made available as part of the Capital Investment Framework 2016-2021, is dependent on matching funding being secured by project promoters and therefore provides an opportunity for philanthropic support.

In addition, Project Ireland 2040 provides for investment of €460m in a significant number of capital projects in our National Cultural Institutions over the next 10 years and states that individual cultural institutions will be raising their own contributions (typically around 10%-15% of project costs) through philanthropic effort.

Waterways Ireland

Ceisteanna (224)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

224. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which Waterways Ireland continues to develop and improve the canals; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16954/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Waterways Ireland continues to work with local authorities to develop the towpath along the Royal Canal.  In July 2019 this work will be completed and Ireland’s longest off-road walking and cycling trail, the Royal Canal Greenway, from Maynooth to Richmond Harbour in Clondra, Co Longford (120km) will be launched. 

Waterways Ireland is also working with Offaly County Council, Kildare County Council, South Dublin Council and Dublin City Council to develop the Grand Canal towpath from Grand Canal Dock to Shannon Harbour in Co Offaly as a walking and cycling route for recreational, tourism and commuter purposes.  Waterways Ireland is leading a collaborative application under the Greenway Strategy for development of the Grand Canal towpath into a greenway.

In Dublin a programme to upgrade the towpaths into premium walking and cycleways has been on-going for a number of years.  The development of the canal towpaths provides a unique opportunity to deliver off-road walking and cycling and the potential to connect Dublin to the many rural communities along the waterways in the Midlands.

Waterways Ireland is working with Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils on the development of a recreational and tourism hub on public lands and property in the Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch areas.  In addition, the Body has created and promoted the operation of Activity Hubs in Carlow and Mullingar where activity providers offer visitors the opportunity to participate in walking, cycling and paddle sports.  In July 2018, 20km of Blueway trails (walking, cycling and paddling) opened at Mullingar Harbour on the Royal Canal.

Waterways Ireland continually seeks partnerships with other bodies such as Canoeing Ireland and Athletics Ireland to develop programmes and promote physical activity on its property.

The Paddles Up and Blueway 10k programmes with Canoeing Ireland gave people the opportunity to learn a new sport.  The partnership with Athletics Ireland will see a range of programmes such as Fit4Life and the Daily Mile take place along the canals and help promote improved levels of fitness, health and wellness.

Waterways Ireland is carrying out an on-going programme to reuse built heritage assets such as lock houses which have become unused for new recreational purposes.  For example, the 1st lock house on the Royal Canal has been redeveloped as an outdoor activity hub by the Adventure Partnership.

Annual maintenance works continue with weed cutting, grass and hedge cutting, landing jetty repairs, rehabilitation of masonry structures, navigation channel dredging, removal of fallen trees and lock chamber repairs.

Waterways Ireland continues to work with all stakeholders to regularise boating and to ensure equality for all users on the canals.  The Body invests significant time and effort in ensuring that vessels on the canal network are appropriate for the canals, and that vessels which could provide a potential closure of the navigation are dealt with in accordance with the bye-laws.