School Enrolments

Ceisteanna (65, 66)

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

65. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he is satisfied with the current section 29 appeal system for schools; the number of appeals recorded as successful under the process of appeals; the number of complaints made in relation to the appeals process itself; his plans to review the appeals system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23096/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

66. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of appeals lodged to date under the section 29 appeals process at a school (details supplied); and the number of appeals accepted. [23097/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 65 and 66 together.

Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 provides for an appeal by a parent or guardian or student who has reached the age of 18 years to the Secretary General of my Department, or in the case of an Educational Training Board (ETB) school to the ETB in the first instance, where a Board of Management of a school, or a person acting on behalf of the Board, refuses to enrol a student in a school, expels a student or suspends a student for 20 or more days in any school year.

The most recently available statistics on Section 29 appeals are from the calendar year 2018. In 2018, my Department received a total of 432 Section 29 appeals. Of these, 256 went to a full oral hearing before an independent Section 29 Appeals Committee. Of the appeals heard by an independent Section 29 Appeals Committee, 113 (44%) were upheld. My Department does not provide information on section 29 appeals in relation to individual schools.

The Deputy will be aware that the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 is providing for a new Section 29 to be put in place to replace the existing Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998. Section 7 of the Education (Admissions to School) Act 2018, when commenced, will provide for a number of significant changes to the appeals process under section 29 of the Education Act. The main aim of these changes being put in place is to make the process fit for purpose and less cumbersome for parents and schools. Many of the changes relate to operational matters and seek to align the legislation with actual practice and procedures as they have developed over the years and increase the efficiency of the processes. However, there are also a number of changes which relate to policy matters. These include the following matters:

- setting in statute that the cumulative number of days on suspension that has to elapse before an appeal can be lodged at 20 days;

- removing the additional layer of appeal currently provided in section 29 which requires that appeals in relation to ETB schools must be heard in the first instance by the ETB;

- clarifying that an appeal against a decision to suspend, expel or refuse to admit where the decision to refuse admission is not due to oversubscription, is an appeal ‘de novo’, which encompasses a full re-hearing of the matter by an appeals committee, based on the evidence and materials properly available to the committee;

- providing that an appeal against a decision to refuse to admit where the decision to refuse admission is due to oversubscription is an appeal on the record, where the evidence and materials which are properly relied on by the appeals committee will be the same as those which were before the school;

- providing that procedures for appeals shall be determined by the Minister, including the timeframes for appeals;

- providing for an appeals committee to issue a preliminary decision, following an oral hearing ( i.e. in the case of appeals against a decision to suspend, expel or refuse to admit where the decision to refuse admission is not due to oversubscription). The applicant and board can provide observations on the preliminary decision and following consideration of any observations received, an appeals committee will make a final decision to confirm or amend the preliminary decision;

- providing that in the case of a decision to refuse admission which is due to a school being oversubscribed, an applicant must request a board of management to review the decision before an appeal can proceed and where an error or failure has been identified the Board must correct that error or failure. However, in the case of a decision to refuse admission which is not due to a school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request, but is not required to request, a review by the Board prior to proceeding to an oral hearing. This provides a fast track for appeals against a decision to refuse enrolment where a school has places available but for some reason is refusing to offer a place contrary to one of the most fundamental provisions of the Admissions Bill;

- introducing a compellability that where an appeal is allowed the school must admit the student, readmit the student or adjust the ranking of the student on the waiting list as applicable;

The new section 29 provisions are designed to operate within the broader admissions framework being put in place under the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018. In that regard, I have outlined that it is my intention to commence the relevant provisions of the Act, including those relating to the new section 29, so that they will apply to applications for admission in respect of the 2021/22 school year.

State Examinations Data

Ceisteanna (67)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

67. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of students sitting the junior certificate in 2018 that took more written final exams than ten or eleven subjects in circumstances in which CPSE was included; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23100/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations.In view of this I have forwarded your query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to you.

Educational Disadvantage

Ceisteanna (68)

Michael Harty

Ceist:

68. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the analysis on educational disadvantage and resource allocation will be complete in the context of extending the DEIS programme to further schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23176/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department is currently undertaking data analysis in the context of resource allocation to match identified need, including the examination of variables known to be strong predictors of educational disadvantage. All schools at both Primary and Post Primary are being assessed using the new identification model. Until this analysis is complete, it is not intended to extend the DEIS programme to any further schools.

Garda Resources

Ceisteanna (69)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

69. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda vacancies in Cork city and county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23070/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.

I have asked the Garda Commissioner for information in relation to the matter raised by the Deputy and when it is received I will write directly to the Deputy.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (70)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

70. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of an extension of residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23079/19]

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 registration can be issued, at the discretion of an immigration officer, to give the applicant time to arrange for a new passport.

I am further advised that the applicant referred to by the Deputy currently has permission to reside in the State, and that a temporary registration is being processed for him. This temporary registration permission will be extended when the applicant presents a new passport to the INIS Registration Office.

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 (71)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

71. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23110/19]

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 and the applicant or their legal representative should contact either the International Protection Office (IPO) or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly, as appropriate.

The IPO may be contacted 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. The International Protection Appeals Tribunal may be contacted either by email to info@protectionappeals.ie, by telephone at 01-4748400 (or Lo-Call 1890 201 458), or in writing to Corporate Services Division, The International Protection Appeals Tribunal, 6-7 Hanover Street East, Dublin D02 W320.

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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (72)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

72. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if temporary residency or an alternative will be available in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23111/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that it would appear the person's presence in the State may be unlawful as they do not appear to hold a current permission to reside in the State or have an on-going application for an immigration permission.

The Deputy will appreciate that, under the relevant provisions of the Immigration Act, 2004, a non-national may not be in the State other than within the terms of a permission from the Minister for Justice and Equality. In order to allow for a full examination of the person's circumstances, the person concerned should write to Unit 2, Domestic Residence and Permissions Division, INIS, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 and provide a detailed account and documentary evidence of their personal circumstances since the expiration of any permission to visit or reside in this State they may have previously held.

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 (73)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

73. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if consideration for naturalisation can proceed in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23112/19]

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.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (74)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

74. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if consideration for naturalisation can proceed in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23113/19]

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 (75)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

75. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if permission to remain or an extended residency renewed work permit is applicable in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23116/19]

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 and the applicant or their legal representative should contact either the International Protection Office (IPO) or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly, as appropriate.

The IPO may be contacted 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. The International Protection Appeals Tribunal may be contacted either by email to info@protectionappeals.ie, by telephone at 01-4748400 (or Lo-Call 1890 201 458), or in writing to Corporate Services Division, The International Protection Appeals Tribunal, 6-7 Hanover Street East, Dublin D02 W320.

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 (76)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

76. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current or expected position in regard to the determination of eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23117/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the 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.

The records indicate that the current permission to reside in the State granted to the person concerned is due to expire on 2 June 2019. It is up to the person concerned to seek permission to remain beyond the expiry of her current permission. All non-EEA nationals are required to keep their permission to remain in the State up to date at all times, and to have such permission registered. Failure to do so may adversely affect an application for a certificate of naturalisation

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.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (77)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

77. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); if further documentation is required in their case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23121/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the 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.

The records indicate that the current permission to reside in the State granted to the person concerned expired on 15 June 2018. It is up to the person concerned to seek permission to remain beyond the expiry of her current permission. All non-EEA nationals are required to keep their permission to remain in the State up to date at all times, and to have such permission registered. Failure to do so may adversely affect an application for a certificate of naturalisation.

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.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (78)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

78. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the relevant section has received the required and requested correspondence, a response to which is awaited by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23123/19]

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 a current application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy.

A previous application was returned in its entirety on 25 July 2018 as it was accompanied by an incomplete statutory declaration form and no application fee or supporting documents.

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.

Full details of the eligibility criteria and extensive guidelines are available on the INIS website at www.inis.gov.ie

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.

Direct Provision Data

Ceisteanna (79)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

79. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount of funding paid to catering contractors for each direct provision centre, temporary or permanent, in each of the years since 2016, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23157/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Reception and Integration Agency in my Department is responsible for the procurement and management of accommodation and ancillary services for persons in the protection process. All accommodation centres for those persons seeking protection, whether State-owned or privately owned, are operated by commercial companies. There are currently 39 accommodation centres being operated under the direct provision system.

RIA contracts for an all-inclusive service, which includes catering services, as well as cleaning, security, maintenance and laundry services. It is not possible to isolate the cost of catering services from the overall cost.

Extensive and detailed information on the amount paid by my Department to each company contracted to provide direct provision accommodation every year up to and including 2016 can be found on the RIA website www.ria.gov.ie under the 'Contract Values' section of the website. This is in accordance with the Reception & Integration Agency's policy on disclosure of financial information which was agreed with the Office of the Information Commissioner. The Deputy will appreciate that it is not appropriate to provide values for current contracts entered into by my Department. Negotiations take place with a number of commercial entities on an ongoing basis with a clear focus on achieving the best value for money in respect of each contract. It is not in the interests of yielding best value for the taxpayer that details of current individual contracts are made available to other commercial bodies which are, or may be in the future, engaged in these negotiations.

Trade Agreements

Ceisteanna (80)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

80. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status of the Mercosur trade talks; if beef will not form a part of a final agreement; if the European Commission has indicated it will offer additional beef access to Mercosur countries greater than the 70,000 tonnes that was signed off at EU level in October 2017; if she will not support a final deal that has beef as a component; the status of discussions at the recent EU Trade Policy Council Committee meeting regarding Mercosur; and the formal position taken by Ireland on same. [23164/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and Mercosur are ongoing. If concluded, an EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement would be the EU’s largest trade deal to date. The most recent formal round of negotiations took place in Buenos Aires on 11th – 15th March 2019. A week of intersessional meetings also took place between the European Commission and Mercosur in Buenos Aires between 13th – 17th May 2019.

At the October 2017 round of talks, an offer was made to Mercosur of an annual quota of 70,000 tons of beef to secure an FTA. This offer was divided into 35,000 tons of fresh beef and 35,000 tons of frozen meat. During discussions in January 2018, the Mercosur region made it clear that an increased offer on beef would be required to conclude the Agreement. However, the European Commission - which leads on such trade negotiations for the Member States under the EU Treaties - has not formally tabled a revised EU market access offer to date, as it awaits further movement from Mercosur on the EU’s offensive interests.  In this regard, Ireland and other Member States remain clear that the EU’s offensive goals must be achieved in the negotiations, particularly for Ireland’s dairy industry, before any final discussions on beef quota arrangements take place.

Overall, Ireland remains committed to these negotiations, especially in the view of the important economic and political gains expected for both sides from a comprehensive, ambitious, and balanced EU-Mercosur Agreement. Sectoral opportunities for Ireland in further enhancing a trading relationship with this region include software and services in telecommunications, financial services, digital content and travel, engineering products and services, life sciences, food and beverages, and education services.

Negotiations are ongoing with the likelihood of an agreement dependent on a number of factors, including whether there is an additional EU offer on beef.  Ireland continues to engage with our colleagues in the Commission and other Member States on the matter and they are aware of Ireland’s trade sensitivities in relation to agricultural products (especially beef), and the cumulative impacts for the agriculture sector across the suite of FTAs.  Ireland’s view on any Agreement reached, will be informed on the aggregate benefits the Agreement offers our economy as a whole.

In relation to the EU Trade Council meeting on Monday 27th May, the substantive agenda items were discussions on WTO Reform, EU-US trade relations, and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade and Investment Protection Agreements. The Commission also gave a debrief over lunchtime on ongoing Free Trade Agreements, including Mercosur.  Ireland expressed our commitment to the negotiations with Mercosur, but also expressed our concerns in relation to agriculture – in particular, sensitive tariff lines in relation to beef and Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) volume. The Commission confirmed that they are keenly aware of Ireland’s national sensitivities on agriculture in the context of this and other FTA negotiations.

Hospital Appointments Delays

Ceisteanna (81)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

81. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if an appointment will be provided to a person (details supplied). [23054/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Occupational Therapy Provision

Ceisteanna (82)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

82. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health if occupational therapy services will be provided to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23056/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Occupational Therapy

Ceisteanna (83)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

83. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health the position regarding occupational therapy in Roscommon town, County Roscommon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23057/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

HSE Funding

Ceisteanna (84)

James Browne

Ceist:

84. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding funding for an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23064/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.