Public Private Partnerships

Ceisteanna (93)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

93. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the school bundle 5 public private project has been completed; the schools within the bundle that have been completed; the schools that have not been completed to date; the cost for the entire bundle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38051/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The Schools Bundle 5 Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme comprises five school buildings and one further education college across four sites in Bray, Wexford, Carlow and Kells.  Completion of these projects was delayed due to the liquidation of Carillion Construction Ltd in January 2018 and the examinership and subsequent liquidation of Carillion’s sub-contractor, Sammon Contracting Ireland Ltd (SCIL).

A replacement contractor was appointed in June 2018 and three of the six schools, Coláiste Raithín and Ravenswell Primary School in Bray and Loreto Secondary School in Wexford, achieved service commencement in 2018.  Eureka Secondary School in Kells achieved service commencement in June 2019 with the remaining two schools in Carlow, Tyndall College and Carlow Institute of Further Education, achieving service commencement in July and August 2019 respectively.

The overall capital cost of Schools Bundle 5 was approximately €100 million.  These schools are paid for by way of a monthly Unitary Charge to the PPP Company over 25 years.

Institutes of Technology

Ceisteanna (94)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

94. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the capital project at Dundalk Institute of Technology has commenced; if so, the stage the project is at; when the project is expected to go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38056/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The refurbishment of the North & South Blocks at DKIT will be delivered in phases over the period to 2023, with most work undertaken over the summer holiday periods.  It is anticipated to proceed to tender stage in Q2 2020 with work commencing in Q3 2020.

The total project cost is estimated in the region of €18.5m. No Exchequer funding has been drawn down to date.

Institutes of Technology

Ceisteanna (95)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

95. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the capital project at the Institute of Technology Tallaght has commenced; if so, the stage the project is at; when the project is expected to go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38057/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Planning permission for the Sports Science, Health & Recreation Building at TU Dublin Tallaght Campus has been granted.  The Institute has recently received approval to proceed to tender.  Construction will commence after the tender process has been completed.   

The total project cost is estimated in the region of €14.7m with €559,000 in exchequer funding drawn down to date.

Third Level Facilities

Ceisteanna (96)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

96. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills the stage the E3 Trinity College Dublin project is at; when the project will go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38085/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The project to which the Deputy refers is anticipated to proceed to tender stage in Q2 2020.  The project is approved in principle for an exchequer contribution of €15m. Subject to no unforeseen circumstances, it is envisaged that the project will be completed in Q3 2022. The total project cost is estimated in the region of €60m. No exchequer funding has been drawn down to date.

Institutes of Technology

Ceisteanna (97)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

97. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills the stage the Limerick Institute of Technology project is at; when the project will go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38086/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I can advise that the enabling works element of phase 1 of the Coonagh Campus upgrade has been completed.   The fit out element of phase 1 is due to go to tender in Q4 2019.  The total project cost is estimated in the region of €11.6m with €4.75m of Exchequer funding drawn down to date.

School Management

Ceisteanna (98, 99)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

98. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the cost of audits for schools will be reviewed with a view to reducing the burden of costs for small schools with a low number of transactions. [38119/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

99. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the cost of an audit for a school can absorb a large portion of capitation for a small school; if his Department monitors the cost of financial audits for small schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38120/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 98 and 99 together.

I hosted a Small Schools Symposium in June attended by CPSMA, Church of Ireland Board of Education, Gaeloideachas, National Association of Board of Management in Special Education, An Foras Pátrúnachta, Educate Together, Muslim Primary Education Board, Education and Training Boards Ireland, Laois and Offaly ETB, INTO, IPPN,NPC,NCCA, Centre for School Leadership,DES, Association of Trustee Catholic Schools, TUI, Catholic Education-An-Irish Schools Trust CEIST and DRCD to discuss issues of concern to small schools securing the future of small schools is a priority for me as Minister for Education and Skills.  

It is important to ensure that appropriate governance arrangements are in place for transparency and accountability in the management of public money.

Therefore, all Boards of Managements of schools are obliged to comply with Section 18 of the Education Act 1998 and the arrangements set out in my Department’s circulars 0060/2017 and 0002/2018 in relation to the operation of the Financial Services Support Unit (FSSU). This includes the submission of accounts to the FSSU by an external accountant/auditor who has a current Practising Certificate, Professional Indemnity Insurance and is registered with a prescribed accountancy body in the State.

The independence of an external accountant/auditor provides assurance to the Board and the State that the accounts are prepared in line with good accounting practice and standards.

With regard to school funding the minimum grants paid to Primary schools with enrolments of 60 pupils or less is €20,880. Schools are permitted to regard capitation and ancillary grants as a combined grant from which the Board of Management can allocate according to its own priorities.

Furthermore, a 5% increase in capitation funding was provided for Primary and Post-Primary schools that will apply from the start of the 2019/20 school year.  

Responsibility for procurement of an external accountant/auditor and payment of same rests with the Board of Management in respect of schools operated by them. Boards of Management should take a proactive approach when it comes to sourcing accountancy services in order to ensure best value is obtained and to ensure compliance with public procurement procedures. Schools Procurement Unit which has a national remit is available to advise and assist schools in relation to procurement matters.  The FSSU also provides assistance for schools when sourcing accountancy services.

Institutes of Technology Staff

Ceisteanna (100)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

100. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Education and Skills the Waterford Institute of Technology staff members currently undertaking courses, degrees, masters or doctorates by the name of the course, the institution in which the staff member is undertaking the course, if the course is full-time or part-time and the amount the institute is paying for each course in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38142/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I attach in the link below the data collated by the Higher Education Authority on Waterford Institute of Technology staff members currently undertaking full, part-time and modular courses, degrees, masters or doctorates by the name of the course and the institution in which the staff member is undertaking the course for the Deputy's information.

WIT Staff Members Undertaking Courses

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (101, 102)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

101. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of civil servants who have left and or retired from his Department in the past ten years who were bound by a cooling-off period in respect of taking up new employment in the private sector by grade, year and sector the staff moved on to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38150/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

102. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of civil servants who have left and or retired from his Department in the past ten years who were not bound by a cooling-off period in respect of taking up new employment in the private sector by grade, year, and sector the staff moved on to; the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38166/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 101 and 102 together.

Civil Servants at my Department are subject to the terms of the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour.  Section 20 of the said Code addresses the matter of officials engaging in private sector employment or in consultancy work following resignation or retirement.

I trust the Deputy will appreciate that it would take an inordinate amount of official time to retrace resignations/retirements for a ten year period. Therefore, I would suggest that if the Deputy has a concern about a particular case, she should provide me with specific details and I will request officials at my Department to examine the matter.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (103)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

103. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a school project (details supplied) will be expedited in view of recent events; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38196/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I am aware of the tragic circumstances of the project to which the Deputy refers which, as a Summer Works Scheme project, has been devolved to the school for delivery. I share fully the Deputy's concerns and his desire to progress this project as a matter of urgency. The school authority is, of course, of the same mind.

In that respect, the school and its design team is working as efficiently as possible to ensure that the contractor has carried out the preparatory work necessary to proceed with the repair works. This includes preparing a method statement for the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) to allow it to carry out the first phase of these works. This work must be done while respecting the important job the HSA has to conclude its investigation.

Naturalisation Certificates

Ceisteanna (104)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

104. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason a person (details supplied) must pay €1,000 to become an Irish citizen in order to obtain an Irish passport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37995/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The fees to be paid by an applicant for a certificate of Naturalisation are governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Regulations 2011 (S.I No. 569 of 2011). The application fee of €175 is payable on application for a certificate of naturalisation and a certification fee is set at €950. A reduced fee of €200 applies in the case of an application made on behalf of a minor or in certain cases where the application is made by a widow, widower or surviving civil partner of an Irish Citizen.

A person born outside of Ireland with a parent who was also born outside Ireland and a grandparent who was born in Ireland may become an Irish citizen by registration in the Foreign Births Register, which is maintained by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Persons who are registered on the Foreign Births Register are automatically Irish Citizens and do not need to apply for naturalisation. Further information for Citizenship by descent can be found on the DFAT website www.dfa.ie.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Immigration Service is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Garda Strength

Ceisteanna (105)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

105. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated cost of doubling the number of dogs in the Garda dog unit; the estimated cost of doubling the number of horses in the Garda mounted unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37976/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion, as well as €92 million in capital investment this year. As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána as well as for decisions in relation to the allocation and management of Garda equipment and resources. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters. 

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda Mounted Unit is based at Áras an Uachtarain, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8. The unit has a national remit under the direction and control of the Assistant Commissioner, Roads Policing and Major Event Management and the operational control of the Superintendent, Operational Support Services. There are currently 13 horses attached to the Garda Mounted Unit.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the cost of doubling the number of horses in the Unit, by increasing the number of horses to 26, would be approximately €78,000.  This represents the estimated cost for the purchase of the horses only and does not include other costs including those which would arise in relation to equipment, training or personnel.

I have been advised by the Garda authorities that the Garda Dog Unit is based at Kilmainham Garda Station, in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) and has a national remit. I am pleased to confirm that dog units have also been established in the Southern Region based at Togher Garda Station, Cork, and Henry Street Garda Station, Limerick. I understand that facilities for a future regional dog unit have also been included in the Western Region Garda Headquarters, Galway.

I am informed that there are currently 23 dogs attached to the Garda Dog Unit, comprising general purpose (search), drugs and explosive detection dogs. The cost of purchasing Garda Dogs vary from €1500 - €3000 in respect of a German Shepherd and from €1000 - €1500 for a Springer Spaniel.  I am advised by the Garda authorities that depending on the number of each breed involved, the cost up to €46,000 to double the number of dogs in the Unit by purchasing an additional 23 dogs. This represents I understand that the duration and cost of training for dogs in the Garda Dog Unit varies depending on what purpose the dog in question will be used for and that training of Garda dogs is provided in house.

While the costs set out above are an estimate of purchase price only, I am advised by the Garda authorities that doubling the number of dogs and horses in An Garda Síochána would require a significant increase in Garda personnel in both units and would also significantly raise the ongoing running costs of both units, including veterinary, feed and kennelling costs. 

I am further advised that the doubling of both units would also require capital investment in terms of accommodation, stables and kennels at each location. An Garda Síochána indicate that the stables at Áras An Úachtaráin are currently at maximum capacity, as are kennelling facilities at Kilmainham Garda Station.

Proposed Legislation

Ceisteanna (106)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

106. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when he plans to introduce the Family Law Bill; when he expects to have it enacted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37982/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I published the General Scheme of the Family Law Bill 2019 on 11 July 2019, following its approval by Government. The main purpose of the Family Law Bill will be to amend the law in relation to divorce following the enactment of the Thirty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution (Dissolution of Marriage) Act 2019.  

The Bill will reduce the minimum living apart period specified in section 5 of the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 to two years during the previous three years.

The Bill will provide that spouses whose judicial separation application is pending before a court may apply for a divorce if they have been living apart for at least two years during the previous three years.

The Bill will clarify the meaning of the “living apart” requirement for divorce applications by giving certainty to the interpretation that has been given by the Irish courts to the phrase “lived apart from one another” as including spouses who are living in the same dwelling but are otherwise living separate lives.

The Bill will reduce to one year the living apart period of three years that applies to judicial separation applications on the basis of living apart where the respondent does not consent to the decree of judicial separation being granted.

Finally, the Bill will ensure, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, that the recognition in Ireland of divorces granted in the United Kingdom after EU legislation in this area came into operation on 1 March 2001, will continue to be on the basis of habitual residence. This would be rather than the domicile requirement which applies to divorces granted in non-EU states. This provision will be brought into operation only if and when the UK withdraws from the EU without an agreement.

The General Scheme of the Bill has been submitted to the Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality for pre-legislative scrutiny and to the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for drafting.

The Deputy will appreciate that it is not possible for me to predict the outcome of the legislative process with regard to this or any other Bill.  However, my aim is that the Bill will be enacted as soon as possible this year.

Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (107)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

107. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a visa will be issued on humanitarian grounds to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38016/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed that the person referred to by the Deputy lodged a visa application at the Irish Embassy in Nairobi on 18 September 2019.

I am further informed that the Embassy will process the application under delegated sanction from my Department.  The Embassy has assured the applicant that his application will be processed in good time for his expected travel date.

It is open to any visa required national to apply for a visa to travel to Ireland for any purpose.  All visa applications must be made on my Department's Automated Visa Application and Tracking System (AVATS).  The Immigration Service of my Department publishes comprehensive information on the visa application process (www.inis.ie). The information provided on the website is intended to provide guidance only.  It does not limit the discretion of the visa officer in dealing with an individual application, which is assessed on its own merits.  The onus rests, at all times, with the applicant to satisfy the visa officer that the visa sought should be granted.

Queries in relation to the status of individual Immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Question process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the Immigration Service is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.  

Garda Transport Data

Ceisteanna (108)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

108. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda vehicles available within the Donegal division in each of the years 2009 to date; his views on recent media reports which indicate that the Garda car fleet within County Donegal is reduced by 25%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38131/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion, as well as €92 million in capital investment this year.

Very significant capital investment is also being made in the Garda Fleet. Between 2016 and 2021, a total of €46 million is being invested in the Garda fleet to ensure that An Garda Síochána can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime. 

It is important to point out that in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána.  In addition, the allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands. 

This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles among the various Garda divisions.  As Minister, I have no role in these matters.  I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.

The attached spreadsheet, provided to me by An Garda Síochána, sets out the number of vehicles allocated to the Donegal Divisions from 2009 to date (as at 18 September 2019), as requested by the Deputy. This information is broken down provided by Division and District for the years 2011 to 2019. For the years 2009 and 2010, the allocation of vehicles is available at Divisional level only.

I would point out that a total of €10 million has been allocated by Government for investment in the Garda fleet in 2019. Garda management has informed me that this allocation will be used to purchase and fit-out over 300 vehicles this year. 

I am informed by the Garda authorities that to date this year, the Northern Region has been allocated three unmarked cars and that a further nine marked cars are due to be allocated in the coming weeks. As I have noted, this allocation of Garda vehicles is entirely a matter for the Commissioner and not for me as Minister.

Garda Fleet

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (109, 110)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

109. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of civil servants who have left and or retired from his Department in the past ten years who were bound by a cooling-off period in respect of taking up new employment in the private sector by grade, year and sector the staff moved on to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38156/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

110. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of civil servants who have left and or retired from his Department in the past ten years who were not bound by a cooling-off period in respect of taking up new employment in the private sector by grade, year and sector the staff moved on to; the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38172/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 and 110 together.

The Regulation of Lobbying Act was enacted in 2015. Section 22 of the Act provides that specific categories of Designated Public Officials (“DPOs”) are subject to a one-year “cooling-off” period, during which they cannot engage in lobbying activities in specific circumstances, or be employed by, or provide services to, a person carrying on lobbying activities in specific circumstances.

The relevant DPOs for whom a “cooling-off” period applies are Ministers of the Government and Ministers of State, Special Advisers appointed under section 11 of the Public Services Management Act 1997 and public servants prescribed as a DPO by the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform under section 6(2) of the Regulation of Lobbying Act, such as Secretary General, Second Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Assistant Secretary or Director. A list of current DPOs is maintained on the website of my Department.

The cooling-off period is a statutory requirement and applies for the full one-year term unless the relevant DPO applies to the Standards in Public Office Commission for consent to waive or reduce their cooling-off period. It is the responsibility of the relevant DPO to seek consent prior to taking up an offer of employment (or to provide services). Statistics on the number of applications for consent under section 22 of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 are included in the annual Regulation of Lobbying report published by the Standards in Public Office Commission.

The Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour sets out further guidance on the acceptance of outside appointments and of consultancy engagement following resignation or retirement (Section 20). Civil Servants who hold positions which are “designated positions” for purposes of the Ethics Acts shall not, within twelve months of resigning or retiring from the service, accept an offer of appointment from an employer outside the Civil Service or accept an engagement in a particular consultancy project where the nature and terms of such appointment or engagement could lead to a conflict of interest, without first obtaining approval from the appropriate authority. Officers below Assistant Secretary level must apply to the Secretary General or Head of Office in which they are serving, or have last served before retirement or resignation. Officers at and above Assistant Secretary level must apply to the Outside Appointments Board.

The specific data sought by the Deputy is not available. However, the Department has no record of receiving any recent application of the type referred to above.

Deportation Orders Re-examination

Ceisteanna (111)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

111. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if consideration will be given to revoking the order to deport in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38207/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Immigration Service of my Department that the person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order, signed on 11 March 2005.  Representations were received from the person concerned, pursuant to the provisions of Section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), requesting that the Deportation Order be revoked.  Following detailed consideration of the information submitted in support of the request, the Deportation Order was affirmed and notified to the person concerned by letter dated 4 April 2019.  I am further advised that there are no outstanding applications or appeals for this applicant.  

The Deportation Order requires the person to remove themselves from the State and remain outside the State.  The enforcement of the Deportation Order is a matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau. 

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Immigration Service is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (112)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

112. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure to be followed to update stamp 4 in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38208/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Immigration Service of my Department that permission to remain in the State for the person concerned expired on the 17 May 2018. This person should contact the Immigration Service in writing without delay to outline their current circumstances.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Immigration Service is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (113)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

113. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the way in which persons (details supplied) can best regularise their residency and permission to remain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38209/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Immigration Service of my Department that the persons concerned are the subject of a Deportation Order signed on 27 June 2019. This Order requires the persons concerned to remove themselves from the State and remain outside the State. The enforcement of Deportation Orders are a matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

It is open to the persons concerned to submit representations requesting that the Deportation Orders be revoked, pursuant to Section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended).  However, such applications would require substantial grounds to be successful. 

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Immigration Service is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

IDA Ireland Supports

Ceisteanna (114)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

114. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number and exact values of State-funded grants provided to a company (details supplied) that supported the company from its opening to its recent announcement that it will close its operations in Drogheda, County Louth; the details of grants provided to the company; if the funds were given on the provision of reaching employment targets; and if other details in relation to the matter will be provided. [37997/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I was disappointed to learn of the job losses at MTI Technologies in Drogheda earlier this summer, which I understand followed the loss by the company of a key contract.

IDA Ireland worked closely with MTI since it established in Ireland. The Agency had also approved grant assistance for the firm. However, I understand that the grant was not drawn down by MTI prior to its closure.

While the news of MTI’s closure was regrettable, it is important to note that enterprise developments in Louth, on the whole, have been positive. This includes strong job creation by a number of IDA-supported firms. Since 2010 the number of staff at IDA-supported firms in Louth has almost trebled to over 3,900. Last year alone saw announcements from Almac, Wuxi and PCI which will result in the creation of over 700 jobs. The investment by Wuxi was particularly significant, with construction beginning earlier this year on the company's €325 million state-of-the-art facility in Dundalk.

Third Level Facilities

Ceisteanna (115)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

115. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the stage the upgrading of the Tyndall National Institute project is at; when the project will go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38080/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Tyndall National Institute (TNI) is a leading research centre in integrated ICT (Information and Communications Technology) hardware and systems. The institute was established in 2004 under an agreement between the then Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and University College Cork. My Department continues to provide core funding for TNI (€5.5m in 2019) which it uses to leverage a total research budget of approximately €38m per annum.

The upgrade and expansion of TNI is identified as a strategic investment priority under the National Development Plan, Project Ireland 2040 and Future Jobs Ireland 2019.

The proposed development would see Tyndall National Institute substantially  increase in size and capacity over the period to 2027, ensuring that the institute can stay at the forefront of new technologies, is positioned to avail of opportunities under European research programmes and can build on its successful industry engagement model in sectors such as health and life sciences, ICT, energy and agri-tech.

I am aware that UCC and Tyndall are undertaking preparatory actions for the upgrade and expansion including a design study. My Department will engage with UCC and Tyndall on receipt of their proposal.

National Development Plan

Ceisteanna (116)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

116. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the stage the National Design Centre project is at; when the project will go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38081/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

One of my Department’s commitments under the National Development Plan is to develop plans for a National Design Centre (NDC) to support the potential of the design sector to drive innovation and competitiveness and as a source of future job growth potential.

My Department officials are currently consulting with stakeholders and drafting a Request for Tender for the development of a business plan for a National Design Centre, setting out a business model, appropriate budget and funding requirements, management structures and drawing upon best practice and international precedents.  There has been no expenditure to date. The tenderer will be required to estimate the cost of the initiative, as part of the development of the business plan.

The Request for Tender will be published shortly.

Regional Development Initiatives

Ceisteanna (117)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

117. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the stage the e-hubs project is at; when the project will go out for tender; when construction will commence; when the project will be completed; the estimated cost of the project; the amount spent to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38082/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

My Department and its agencies are actively engaged in the development of regional digital hubs / ehubs which provide the opportunity for relocation and for full-time or part-time remote working. A number of projects which have been offered funding under, for example, the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), are already prototype ehubs and should develop over time into more sustainable ehubs in their own right.  

In the context of the further development of ehubs, as envisaged in Project Ireland 2040, in support of efforts to expand entrepreneurship and start-ups in every region, Enterprise Ireland is addressing the need to expand and further develop co-working initiatives including through existing community enterprise centres.

The relevant projects funded as part of the first and second calls of the REDF that I launched in December 2017 and December 2018 are set out in the tables below. In June 2019 I announced a further €45m to be made available under this fund. The third call is currently open for applications and closes on 25th September 2019.

REDF funding for eHubs/Enterprise Spaces/Incubation/Food-Hubs/Co-Working

Call 1

Name     

Region     

County/Counties     

Funding Amount     

RDI Hub   CLG      

South-West

Kerry

€3,614,669

Dublin Enterprise &   Technology Centre

Dublin

Dublin

€3,226,776

BIA Innovator Campus CLG

West

Galway

€2,466,148

Ghala DAC

Dublin

Dublin

€2,488,528

Donegal Digital Innovation CLG

North-West

Donegal

€1,119,640

Leitrim County Enterprise Fund

North-West

Leitrim, Longford, Cavan

€1,284,000

Insurtech Network Centre DAC

South-East

Carlow, Wexford

€1,439,832

Cork Urban Enterprises

West

Cork

€669,064

County Kildare Community     Network                 

Mid-East

Kildare

€1,917,200

Monaghan County Enterprise Fund

North-East

Monaghan

€202,800

Sneem Innovation & Tech   Services

South-West

Kerry

€250,000

Mol Teic CLG

South-West

Kerry

€189,144

Social & Local Enterprise   Alliance DAC

Dublin

Dublin

€1,135,195

Call 2     

Name     

Region     

County/Counties     

Funding Amount     

Galway City Innovation District   CLG

West

Galway

€2,487,400

Midc Páirc Na Mara

West

Galway

€2,000,000

Ludgate Operations     CLG                   

South-West

Cork

€1,990,392

Vista Agri 4.0 Hub CLG

South-West

Cork, Kerry, Waterford,   Tipperary

€1,865,215

National Design Innovation Hub       DAC                 

South-East

Kilkenny, Carlow

€1,843,320

Boyne Valley Food Innovation   District

Mid-East

Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Louth

€1,580,640

Mountmellick Development     Association        

Midlands

Laois

€218,200

Offaly Innovation & Design   Centre   CLG        

Midlands

Offaly

€458,600

Innovate Limerick T/A Hospital   Food Units DAC

Mid-West

Limerick, Clare, Tipperary

€2,279,073

Innovate Dublin Communities     CLG           

Dublin

Dublin

€249,955

SPADE CLG

Dublin

Dublin

€2,094,000

Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone   CLG

North-West

Leitrim, Cavan, Sligo, Donegal

€953,640

Sligo County Enterprise Fund   CLG

North-West

Sligo, Mayo, Leitrim

€1,906,640