Invalidity Pension Appeals

Ceisteanna (258)

Pat Deering

Ceist:

258. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a person (details supplied) in County Carlow will receive a decision on an invalidity appeal applied for one year ago; and the reason for the delay from the time of the original application to the appeals decision. [25670/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 29 January 2019, following the outcome of a review dated 4 January 2019 by a Deciding Officer of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 12 April 2019. The appeal was referred on 3 May 2019 to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Rent Supplement Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (259)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

259. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if additional time will be allocated to submit relevant documentation in respect of a rent supplement payment in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25678/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned has been allocated a further 21 days to submit relevant documentation in respect of their Rent Supplement payment. A letter communicating this was posted to the person concerned on the 17th June 2019.

I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.

Parental Leave

Ceisteanna (260)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

260. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the target date for issuing information to private sector employers in respect of the changes under the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019. [25697/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Deputy is advised that policy for Parental Leave is the responsibility of my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality. My Department has responsibility for the associated benefit payment. As such the responsibility for engaging with employers for matters relating to parental leave is a matter for the Department of Justice and Equality.

Social Welfare Appeals Status

Ceisteanna (261)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

261. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a person (details supplied) will receive a decision on their social welfare appeal. [25726/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 27 March 2019. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 14 June 2019 and the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Appeals Status

Ceisteanna (262)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

262. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an appeal on an application by a person (details supplied); when a decision will be made; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25732/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 4 April 2019. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. When these papers have been received from the Department the case in question will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral appeal hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Homemakers Scheme

Ceisteanna (263)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

263. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if homemaker credits will be taken into account when calculating entitlement to a benefit for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25753/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The purpose of the Homemaking Scheme is to make it easier for a homemaker who takes time out of the work force to qualify for a State Pension (Contributory). A full contribution year spent as a homemaker may be disregarded in the calculation of the yearly average for State Pension (Contributory). The Homemakers Scheme is only reckonable for State Pension (Contributory) purposes and does not entitle a person to any other benefits.

A claim for maternity benefit was received from the person concerned and was disallowed as the claimant does not satisfy the insurance conditions.

Maternity Benefit is paid to a person who takes maternity leave from work and has the required number of paid PRSI contributions/credits on their social insurance record. The three most recent complete calendar years are considered along with the current year. According to the record held in the Department, the person concerned does not have sufficient PRSI contributions/credits in these years to qualify for the benefit.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Working Family Payment

Ceisteanna (264)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

264. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be made on a working family payment investigation for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal that is ongoing since December 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25754/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Working Family Payment (WFP) is an income-tested in-work payment which provides additional income support to employees on low earnings with children. In order to qualify for WFP an applicant must provide such documents, certificates , information or evidence as required for the purpose of deciding their entitlement.

All household income is assessable for WFP and must be disclosed by an applicant. Income that is assessable for WFP include an applicant's and their spouse/partner's earnings from employment plus any other income such as income from self employment, income from rented property, farm income, etc.

An application for WFP was received from the person concerned on 11 August 2018 and they were awarded WFP with effect from 26 July 2018 to 14 July 2019. However WFP was payable to 12 December 2018 only as they had ceased employment. A new WFP application was received from the person concerned on 18 February 2019 and was referred to a Social Welfare Inspector (SWI) for further clarification

Their WFP application was disallowed on 13 May 2019 as they failed to provide such documents, certificates, information or evidence that were requested by a SWI while determining their entitlement to WFP.

The person concerned was notified of this decision and of their right of review and appeal on 13 May 2019.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Appeals

Ceisteanna (265)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

265. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of files that the social welfare appeals office has sought from the invalidity section of her Department; the average delay in providing the files; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25792/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

My Department is committed to providing a quality service to all its customers. This includes ensuring that applications are processed and that decisions on entitlement are made as quickly as possible. The desire to process appeals quickly has to be balanced with the competing demand to ensure that decisions are consistent and of high quality and made in accordance with the legislative provisions and the general principles of fair procedures and natural justice.

A total of 1,548 Invalidity Pension (IP) appeals were registered and requests for appeal files were received by Invalidity Pension Section in the 12 months from June 2018 to end of May 2019.

As part of the appeal process all evidence submitted is reviewed by a different Deciding Officer to see if a revised decision is warranted. This can take some time in the case of IP applications, where additional medical evidence has been submitted in support of the appeal. In 2018, 322 cases were reviewed by a Deciding Officer in the appellant's favour, which meant that a full appeal was not required. Where the original decision is confirmed, a submission is prepared to explain the Deciding Officer's decisions and this submission is forwarded to the Social Welfare Appeals Office. This timeframe for this process can range from one week where no additional medical information is submitted with the appeal to up to a number of months for more complex cases where detailed additional medical information is received.

At all times every effort is made to complete reviews and ensure, where necessary, that appeals proceed as quickly as possible.

Anyone experiencing financial difficulties while awaiting a decision on a review or an appeal of any social welfare payment should contact their local Intreo Centre and enquire as to their entitlement to a payment under the Department's Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) scheme.

The processing time of appeal outcomes is kept under continuous review and additional staff have been assigned to this work.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Water and Sewerage Schemes Grants

Ceisteanna (266)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

266. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the expanded grant scheme for septic tanks as announced under measure 8 - domestic wastewater treatment systems grant scheme, septic tanks, in February 2019 will come into effect; when local authorities will be provided with the details for applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25624/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

On 8 February this year, I announced details of the measures being funded through my Department under the Multi-annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021. This included improved funding for on-site wastewater treatment systems (more commonly known as septic tanks).

The composition of the new multi-annual programme is based on recommendations from the Working Group that I established in April 2018 to conduct a review of investment needs and rural water services.

The new funding scheme for septic tanks will replace the grant which was brought into operation by the Domestic Waste Water Treatment System (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2013. Under certain conditions, households can receive a grant to assist them in carrying out remediation, repair or upgrading works to, or replacement of, their individual domestic wastewater treatment system.

In developing the necessary regulatory and administrative changes to underpin the revised grants scheme, my Department has over recent months consulted and met with key stakeholders, including the County and City Management Association, the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Work is at an advanced stage of development for the funding scheme. I expect that the process will be completed in the coming weeks when the necessary regulations dealing with the financial assistance arrangements and related administrative matters are put in place. This will enable a circular letter, terms and conditions, guidance and application form to issue to local authorities shortly thereafter.

Social and Affordable Housing Funding

Ceisteanna (267, 268)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

267. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if there are regular assessments in his Department on the way in which decisions on issues could be delivered faster than currently; if actions are being taken to allow processes, procurements and other decision-making matters more responsive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25635/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

268. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if local authorities have made requests or suggestions to him regarding the way in which decision-making in his Department could be improved to allow a swifter response to providing social and affordable homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25636/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 267 and 268 together.

My Department keeps the funding approval processes for housing projects under continuous review. While all publicly funded construction projects must comply with the Government’s Capital Works Management Framework (CWMF), the objectives of which are to ensure cost certainty, value for money and financial accountability, my Department has streamlined the nine stages of review in the Framework, to just four for social housing construction projects.

My Department engages continuously with local authorities, including through the City and County Management Association (CCMA), on the various work processes associated with the delivery of housing projects, in line with Rebuilding Ireland commitments. A review carried out jointly between my Department and the CCMA identified more precise target timelines for developing new social housing construction projects, including an overall target of 59 weeks from an initial proposal being brought forward, to placing the construction contract and starting on site. This timeline compares favourably with private sector construction projects.

The bulk of this time is assigned to the completion of essential local authority work in project design, developing costings and specifications, undertaking planning through the Part 8 process and the procurement of contractors; the time allotted to my Department for funding approvals is a small portion of the overall time involved. In addition, projects are advanced in such a way as to allow other work to continue during the approval stages.

My Department’s engagement with the CCMA and with individual local authorities has also seen improvements around single-stage project approvals for smaller scale projects and in relation to rapid build projects. Communications on construction proposals have also been enhanced through quarterly technical meetings, which are held between individual local authorities and my Department. Constructive input has been received from local authorities in identifying and implementing these process improvements and in working with my Department through the quarterly meetings, and in other fora, to review progress in respect of social housing projects and to clear any blockages as swiftly as possible.

These arrangements demonstrate the Government's commitment to the accelerated delivery of new housing. My Department has no interest in unnecessarily prolonging the time involved in these approvals, other than to ensure compliance with Government-wide rules for capital project oversight. We will continue to work with local authorities to ensure that projects are progressed efficiently, while also delivering high quality design and good value for money, in sustainable communities.

Protected Disclosures Data

Ceisteanna (269)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

269. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of whistleblower complaints in his Department since the legislation was introduced in 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25662/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 requires each public body to publish an annual report setting out the number of protected disclosures received in the preceding year and the action taken. The annual reports for my Department are available on my Department's website at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/search/archived/current?query=protected%20disclosure.

Since the introduction of the Act, no protected disclosures have been received from workers of my Department.

To date, ten protected disclosures have been received from workers of other bodies in relation to which the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government has legislative functions, as provided for under Section 8 of the Act.

Home Loan Scheme

Ceisteanna (270)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

270. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the financial position of the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25672/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Rebuilding Ireland home loan (RIHL) scheme was launched on 1 February of last year. When the scheme was initially being developed, it was estimated that the drawdown of loans would be approximately €200 million over three years. The RIHL has proven to be more successful than initially anticipated, with some €140 million drawn down to the end of May. The first tranche of funding has not been exhausted.

My officials have been engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform since October 2018 when higher lending and drawdown volumes were beginning to materialise.

I informed the Dáil on 29 January 2019 of the scheme’s success and of the need for additional funding and indicated that my Department was in discussions with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Finance with regard to the allocation for 2019.

At all times, the scheme remained open and all local authorities were advised to continue to receive and process applications up to and including the issuing of loans.

My Department has consulted in detail with each Local Authority as to the anticipated demand in its area, and the likely level of approvals expected. This information has been submitted to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with request for sanction for additional borrowing by the Housing Finance Agency. The HFA have an ongoing borrowing facility for when sanction is given so that they are in a position to proceed to borrow this second tranche of funding immediately.

The first tranche of funding has not been exhausted, the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan remains open to new applicants, and local authorities are to continue to receive, process and issue loans.

Home Loan Scheme

Ceisteanna (271)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

271. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if funding is in place for county councils to finalise the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme after processing applications; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that county councils are still accepting new applications for the scheme in view of reports that funding has run out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25711/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Rebuilding Ireland home loan (RIHL) scheme was launched on 1 February of last year. When the scheme was initially being developed, it was estimated that the drawdown of loans would be approximately €200 million over three years. The RIHL has proven to be more successful than initially anticipated, with some €140 million drawn down to the end of May. The first tranche of funding has not been exhausted.

My officials have been engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform since October 2018 when higher lending and drawdown volumes were beginning to materialise.

I informed the Dáil on 29 January 2019 of the scheme’s success and of the need for additional funding and indicated that my Department was in discussions with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Finance with regard to the allocation for 2019.

At all times, the scheme remained open and all local authorities were advised to continue to receive and process applications up to and including the issuing of loans.

My Department has consulted in detail with each Local Authority as to the anticipated demand in its area, and the likely level of approvals expected. This information has been submitted to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with request for sanction for additional borrowing by the Housing Finance Agency. The HFA have an ongoing borrowing facility for when sanction is given so that they are in a position to proceed to borrow this second tranche of funding immediately.

The first tranche of funding has not been exhausted, the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan remains open to new applicants, and local authorities are to continue to receive, process and issue loans.

Presidential Elections

Ceisteanna (272)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

272. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the amendment of the Constitution (extending the franchise at presidential elections) Bill to extend the franchise at presidential elections is expected to be introduced; and the role his officials have in same. [25601/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In response to the evolving needs of Irish society and its relationship with the wider Irish diaspora, the Government agreed in March 2017 to accept in principle the main recommendation in the Fifth Report of the Convention on the Constitution that Irish citizens resident outside the State, including citizens resident in Northern Ireland, should have the right to vote at presidential elections and that a referendum would be held to seek to amend the Constitution to give effect to this.

In order to inform public discourse on this significant policy change, an Options Paper was jointly published on 22 March 2017 by my Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Options Paper sets out a broad range of options for the extension of voting rights, international comparisons, the estimated costs involved and related resource issues as well as many of the legal, policy, administrative and logistical challenges associated with extending voting rights to Irish citizens resident outside the State. These options provided a basis for the discussion on voting rights which took place at the Global Irish Civic Forum in Dublin on 5 May 2017.

The Government agreed on 5 February 2019 that the preferred option to be put to the people in a referendum is for an extension of the franchise to all citizens resident outside the State, including citizens resident in Northern Ireland. More recently, at the meeting of the Government on 11 June 2019, the general scheme of a Constitution Amendment Bill was approved for drafting and for circulation to the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence, for pre-legislative consideration.

My Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are now working in close consultation with the Office of the Attorney General on the preparation of the necessary Constitution Amendment Bill. It is intended that the Bill will be published in good time to allow for the holding of a referendum in October/November 2019, subject to pre-legislative scrutiny and the passage of the Bill by both Houses of the Oireachtas.

Housing Assistance Payment Expenditure

Ceisteanna (273)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

273. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the full extent of expenditure in each of the past five years to date in respect of HAP support or rent support in lieu of local authority housing; the extent to which such annual expenditure can be replaced as capital investment in respect of local authority or affordable housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25845/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I refer to the replies to Questions Nos 48 and 1003 on 11 June 2019.

As the Deputy will be aware, Rent Supplement comes within the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. As HAP is progressively replacing Rent Supplement for households with a long term housing need, the funding directed to Rent Supplement has decreased in recent years, as funding for HAP has increased. The table below has been supplied by the Department of Social Protection in relation to expenditure on Rent Supplement over the past five years.

Year

Expenditure €000

2014

338,208

2015

311,059

2016

275,294

2017

230,566

2018

175,024

It is important to note that the ongoing supports for tenants in the private rented sector is not "in lieu" of local authority housing. At the outset of Rebuilding Ireland, a clear ambition was set out to provide social housing supports to over 137,000 households. This is being delivered through a number of vehicles, including continuing to support households in rented accommodation under HAP and RAS and also more than 50,000 homes under build, acquisition and leasing programmes.

Protected Disclosures Data

Ceisteanna (274)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

274. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of whistleblower complaints in her Department since the legislation was introduced in 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25655/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Under Section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act, public bodies are required to prepare a report not later than the 30th June each year setting out the number of protected disclosures made to it in the course of the immediately preceding year and certain other information relating to any such protected disclosures. Reports for the years 2015 - 2018 have been published on my Department's website and are available at

https://www.chg.gov.ie/about/policy-on-disclosure-of-wrongdoing-in-the-workplace/ .

I am advised that two potential Protected Disclosures have been received by my Department since the introduction of the relevant legislation in 2014. Details of the first of these, the investigation of which concluded that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing having occurred, are included in the 2017 Report. Following assessment, the second matter, which was received earlier this year and again related to a body under the aegis of the Department, was deemed not to be a Protected Disclosure within the provisions of the Act.

European Capital of Culture

Ceisteanna (275)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

275. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding and supports which have been provided to Galway 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25764/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Galway 2020’s ambition as European Capital of Culture is to deliver an artistic and cultural programme that will exceed expectations and leave a lasting legacy for Galway city and county.

The Government has committed €15 million towards the funding of Galway 2020, the bulk of which will be paid over 2019-2020. The terms and conditions for the provision of the funding are set out in a performance delivery agreement between my Department and Galway 2020. The agreement addresses the roles and responsibilities of the Department and Galway 2020 in the provision and expenditure of the grant, as well as the key deliverables and performance indicators attached to the drawdown of the grant, and the monitoring and reporting arrangements in place.

Galway City Council has committed €6 million (€2.2 m of which was expended at bid stage) and Galway County Council has committed €4 million to Galway 2020, the terms and conditions of which are also set out in individual service level agreements.

The public funders hold regular meetings with Galway 2020 to discuss all key aspects of the project and provide support, as required.

Having regard to additional funding and support, Galway 2020 commenced the roll-out of its sponsorship programme at the beginning of this year under the direction of the project’s creative leadership, Artichoke. Since then, there has been sustained engagement with local, national and international businesses and it is my understanding that a number of potential partnerships are at an advanced stage of negotiation, with Galway 2020 expected to make announcements in the near future. The sponsorship programme will continue throughout 2019 and 2020.

I am satisfied that Galway 2020 is progressing well and is developing an exciting and imaginative Capital of Culture programme. I look forward to a successful and impactful year that will serve to further highlight the vibrant and diverse cultural offering both in Galway and in Ireland as a whole.

HSE Properties

Ceisteanna (276)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

276. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if a building (details supplied) can be retained in public ownership due to its historical significance; if she will discuss this matter with the HSE; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25777/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

In the interests of the preservation, conservation, management and presentation of the built and archaeological heritage, my Department occasionally seeks to acquire certain heritage properties and monuments as resources and opportunities permit. From time to time such properties may come onto the open market, may be bequeathed to the State or may be offered to it free of cost. In addition, lands surrounding or in proximity to heritage properties or national monuments in State care (i.e. incorporating the setting of the structure) often reside in private ownership. In certain cases, improved protection of the property or monument, or access to same, would be possible if the State was to acquire such additional lands. In all cases the Department would need to examine the potential acquisition carefully, taking into account the conservation needs of the property and Value for Money principles.

My Department, in cooperation with the Office of Public Works, is, however, only in a position to acquire, maintain, conserve and present to the public a very limited number of properties and monuments such as that mentioned by the Deputy. While I am supportive of efforts to identify suitable future uses to safeguard historic buildings, crucial to their future is the identification of a viable use or uses with sufficient income to ensure their survival.

The national monuments in State care already number some one thousand sites at over 760 locations right across the country and these command considerable resource commitments in terms of both funding and personnel allocation. In addition, there are more than 45,000 protected structures spread across all 31 local authority areas in the country and in excess of 120,000 monuments listed in the Record of Monuments and Places that are not maintained by the State.

My Department does not comment on ongoing property sales processes, as it would be inappropriate to intervene publicly in individual cases.

Departmental Offices

Ceisteanna (277)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

277. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the cost of renting, leasing and hiring office space for her Department, including public bodies in each of the years 2015 to 2018, inclusive, and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [25915/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

In general, matters relating to the acquisition and leasing of property for my Department are the responsibility of the Office of Public Works. However, I am advised that my Department has also leased a small number of properties over the period in question, the details of which are shown in the relevant tables below.

The equivalent information in relation to those bodies under the aegis of my Department is also shown in the following tables.

Properties Leased by the Department

2015

Details of Property

Cost

Kerry LIFE Project Office, Shanacashel Community Centre

€ 4,995

Burren Life Project ,Office, Carron Parish Community Hall, Co. Clare

€ 9,812

2016

Details of Property

Cost

Kerry LIFE Project Office, Shanacashel Community Centre

€ 4,995

Burren Life Project, Office, Carron Parish Community Hall, Co. Clare

€14,161

LIFE Project Office, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

€10,325

2017

Details of Property

Cost

Kerry LIFE Project Office, Shanacashel Community Centre

€ 4,995

Burren Life Project, Office, Carron Parish Community Hall, Co. Clare

€ 8,717

LIFE Project Office, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

€12,167

An Coimisinéir Teanga,An Spidéal, Gaillimh

€48,228

2018

Details of Property

Cost

Kerry LIFE Project Office, Shanacashel Community Centre

€ 4,995

Burren Life Project ,Office, Carron Parish Community Hall, Co. Clare

€ 8,717

LIFE Project Office, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

€12,167

An Coimisinéir Teanga, An Spidéal, Gaillimh,

€48,019

2019 (to date)

Details of Property

Cost

Kerry LIFE Project Office, Shanacashel Community Centre

€ 1,499

Burren Life Project ,Office, Carron Parish Community Hall, Co. Clare

€ 0

LIFE Project Office, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

€6,083

An Coimisinéir Teanga,An Spidéal, Gaillimh,

€24,009

Properties leased by Bodies under the aegis of the Department

2015

Organisation

Details of Property

Cost

Arts Council

No 69 & 70 Merrion Square

€317,434

Foras na Gaeilge

Teach an Gheata Thiar - Béal Feirste

€46,287

Foras na Gaeilge

Ráth Chairn - Co. na Mí

€13,576

Foras na Gaeilge

Gaoth Dobhair - Dún na nGall

€22,616

Foras na Gaeilge

Sráid Fhreidric - Baile Átha Cliath

€83,982

Ulster Scots Agency

Corn Exchange Belfast

€12,398

Ulster Scots Agency

Raphoe, Co Donegal

€1,950

Screen Ireland

Unit 3 and 4 Lord Edward St, Dublin 2

€142,680

Screen Ireland

Queensgate, 23 Dock Road, Galway

€93,910

Screen Ireland

Callaghan House, 13-16 Dame St, Dublin 2 (Screen Training Ireland)

€21,000

Waterways

WI Regional Office, Ashtowngate, Dublin

€170,820

Waterways

WI Regional Office, Carrick-on-Shannon

€43,000

2016

Organisation

Details of Property

Cost

Arts Council

No 69 & 70 Merrion Square

€291,358

Foras na Gaeilge

Teach an Gheata Thiar - Béal Feirste

€41,001

Foras na Gaeilge

Ráth Chairn - Co. na Mí

€13,576

Foras na Gaeilge

Gaoth Dobhair - Dún na nGall

€22,620

Foras na Gaeilge

Sráid Fhreidric - Baile Átha Cliath

€63,208

Ulster Scots Agency

Corn Exchange Belfast

€10,983

Ulster Scots Agency

Raphoe, Co Donegal

€2,438

Ulster Scots Agency

Storage Lease - Duncrue Street, Belfast

€1,199

Heritage Council

Offices for National Biodiversity Data Centre at Beechfield House, Waterford Institute of Technology West Campus, Carriganore, Co. Waterford (From 22.09.16 to 31.12.16)

€5,479

Screen Ireland

Unit 3 and 4 Lord Edward St, Dublin 2

€142,680

Screen Ireland

Queensgate, 23 Dock Road, Galway

€55,787

Screen Ireland

Screen Skills Ireland Callaghan House, 13-16 Dame St, Dublin 2 (Screen Training Ireland)

€21,000

Údarás na Gaeltachta

Coiste Áiseanna na hÓige Teo, Daingean Uí Chúis, Contae Chiarraí

€9,483

Waterways Ireland

WI Regional Office, Ashtowngate, Dublin

€171,510

Waterways Ireland

WI Regional Office, Carrick-on-Shannon

€43,000

2017

Organisation

Details of Property

Cost

Arts Council

No 69 & 70 Merrion Square

€303,271

Foras na Gaeilge

Teach an Gheata Thiar - Béal Feirste

€41,519

Foras na Gaeilge

Ráth Chairn - Co. na Mí

€13,576

Foras na Gaeilge

Gaoth Dobhair - Dún na nGall

€22,612

Foras na Gaeilge

Sráid Fhreidric - Baile Átha Cliath

€28,101

Foras na Gaeilge

63-66 Sráid Amiens - Baile Átha Cliath

€148,362

Foras na Gaeilge

Dún Seachlainn - Co. na Mí

€8,750

Ulster Scots Agency

Corn Exchange Belfast

€10,266

Ulster Scots Agency

Raphoe, Co Donegal

€3,900

Ulster Scots Agency

Storage Lease - Duncrue Street, Belfast

€2,217

Heritage Council

Offices for National Biodiversity Data Centre at Beechfield House, Waterford Institute of Technology West Campus, Carriganore, Co. Waterford

€20,000

Screen Ireland

Unit 1,3,4,9, 14-16 Lord Edward St, Dublin 2 (Note: Additional lease on Unit 1 included, also Unit 9 from 1st Sept 2017)

€157,732

Screen Ireland

Queensgate, 23 Dock Road, Galway

€43,079

Screen Ireland

Callaghan House, 13-16 Dame St (surrendered) (Screen Skills Ireland)

€8,750

Screen Ireland

Unit 10, 14-16 Lord Edward St, Dublin 2 (From 1st April 2017) (Screen Skills Ireland)

€26,960

Údarás na Gaeltachta

Coiste Áiseanna na hÓige Teo, Daingean Uí Chúis, Contae Chiarraí

€9,483

Waterways Ireland

WI Regional Office, Ashtowngate, Dublin

€177,794

Waterways Ireland

WI Regional Office, Carrick-on-Shannon

€43,000

2018

Organisation

Details of Property

Cost €

Arts Council

No 69 & 70 Merrion Square

€302,549

Foras na Gaeilge

63-66 Sráid Amiens - Baile Átha Cliath

€593,447

Foras na Gaeilge

Teach an Gheata Thiar - Béal Feirste

€42,952

Foras na Gaeilge

Ráth Chairn - Co. na Mí

€13,576

Foras na Gaeilge

Gaoth Dobhair - Dún na nGall

€22,612

Foras na Gaeilge

Dún Seachlainn - Co. na Mí

€35,000

Ulster Scots Agency

Corn Exchange Belfast

€10,173

Ulster Scots Agency

Raphoe, Co Donegal

€3,900

Ulster Scots Agency

Storage Lease - Duncrue Street, Belfast

€2,139

Heritage Council

Offices for National Biodiversity Data Centre at Beechfield House, Waterford Institute of Technology West Campus, Carriganore, Co. Waterford

€20,000

Screen Ireland

Unit 1,3,4,9, 14-16 Lord Edward St, Dublin 2

€229,190

Screen Ireland

Queensgate, 23 Dock Road, Galway

€46,996

Screen Ireland

Unit 10, 14 - 16 Lord Edward St, Dublin 2 (Screen Skills Ireland)

€86,254

Údarás na Gaeltachta

Coiste Áiseanna na hÓige Teo, Daingean Uí Chúis, Contae Chiarraí

€6,322

Waterways Ireland

WI Regional Office, Ashtowngate, Dublin

€153,514

Waterways Ireland

WI Regional Office, Carrick-on-Shannon

€43,000

2019 (to date)

Organisation

Details of Property

Cost

Arts Council

No 69 & 70 Merrion Square

€151,636

Foras na Gaeilge

63-66 Sráid Amiens - Baile Átha Cliath

€296,723

Foras na Gaeilge

Teach an Gheata Thiar - Béal Feirste

€24,889

Foras na Gaeilge

Ráth Chairn - Co. na Mí

€6,788

Foras na Gaeilge

Gaoth Dobhair - Dún na nGall

€9,422

Foras na Gaeilge

Dún Seachlainn - Co. na Mí

€17,500

Ulster Scots Agency

Corn Exchange Belfast

€5,000

Ulster Scots Agency

Raphoe, Co Donegal

€1,950

Ulster Scots Agency

Storage Lease - Duncrue Street, Belfast

€1,051

Heritage Council

Offices for National Biodiversity Data Centre at Beechfield House, Waterford Institute of Technology West Campus, Carriganore, Co. Waterford (to 30.06.2019)

€9,917

Screen Ireland

Unit 1,3,4,9, 14-16 Lord Edward St, Dublin 2

€87,456

Screen Ireland

Queensgate, 23 Dock Road, Galway

€16,318

Screen Ireland

Unit 10, 14 - 16 Lord Edward St, Dublin 2 (Screen Skills Ireland)

€21,563

Waterways Ireland

WI Regional Office, Ashtowngate, Dublin

€79,518

Waterways Ireland

WI Regional Office, Carrick-on-Shannon

€21,500