Renewable Heat Incentive

Ceisteanna (281)

Michael Lowry

Ceist:

281. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of applications (details supplied) for the SEAI renewable heat-deep retrofit scheme; when a letter of offer will be issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40211/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I understand this question relates to the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat which has been developed to financially support the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating and other non-domestic heat users not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System.The first phase of the scheme, an installation grant for heat pumps, opened for applications in September 2018. Following EU State aid approval, the second phase of the scheme, an operational support for biomass boilers and anaerobic digestion heating systems, opened for applications in June of this year. Under this phase of the scheme, eligible renewable energy technologies will be supported through a multi-annual payment, for a period of up to 15 years, on the basis of prescribed tariffs. Under Project Ireland 2040, the National Development Plan sets out an allocation of €300 million for the roll-out of the scheme for the period up to 2027. Applications received under the second phase of the scheme are being evaluated by SEAI, who administer the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat. SEAI inform me that the first projects have completed the evaluation process and are ready for approval. Prior to any projects being formally approved, an Annual Budget Cap for the scheme must be set. This is a financial safeguard that was included in the Government decision approving the scheme. It places an overall limit on the State's annual expenditure in any given year and is one of a number of measures put in place based on lessons learned from similar schemes in other jurisdictions.

The Annual Budget Cap will be set by me with the agreement of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. I plan to do this as part of the budgetary process and I expect the first projects to be formally approved this month.

Air Quality

Ceisteanna (282)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

282. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to bring the clean air strategy to Government for approval; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40233/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I refer the reply to Question No 462 of 1 October. The position is unchanged.

Bord na Móna

Ceisteanna (283)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

283. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the steps he is taking to ensure a just transition in Bord na Móna in view of further concerns regarding the future of 2,000 jobs by the group of unions following a meeting with management at the end of September 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40257/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Government has committed to delivering a whole of Government approach, and to working with local stakeholders, to ensure that a just transition is provided to those impacted by Ireland’s move away from carbon-intensive sources of fuel, such as peat. There will be several strands to Government’s response. These include the diversification of Bord na Móna; an accelerated programme of bog restoration; and other initiatives for regional development.

The whole of Government Climate Action Plan was designed with the aim of embedding the concept of just transition into policy instruments. It is essential that the burdens borne are fair and those regions and sectors that have to bear most of the adverse effects of the change necessary can have this mitigated to some effect.

A ‘Just Transition Review Group’ has been established within the National Economic and Social Council. This Review Group will review the ongoing transition and identify specific transition needs for those affected, as well as wider communities and enterprises.

An interdepartmental group, led by Department of An Taoiseach, has also been established to develop a just transition plan for the Midlands.

Bord na Móna has been an integral part of the commercial and social development of the Midlands for decades, creating significant employment in the region. Government intends for this to continue into the future.

In its strategy to exit peat, Bord na Móna envisages the development and scaling up of new business opportunities to ensure the future commercial viability of the company and enable it to continue to fulfil its mandate to be an employer of scale in the Midlands.

I want to assure the Deputy that I am monitoring the situation closely and am acutely conscious of the impact the recent uncertainty is having on the employees of Bord na Móna, their families, and the wider communities.

Mobile Telephony Services

Ceisteanna (284)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

284. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to quell health concerns regarding 5G roll out; the actions he will take to ensure that information is provided on the health impact of 5G roll out here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40260/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

5G is the next generation of mobile communications and has the potential to deliver hugely enhanced connectivity. Ireland welcomes the benefits that the enhanced connectivity and technology will bring. It is expected that 5G will be commercialised over the next few years. Rollout in Ireland is primarily a matter for private mobile network operators, operating on a commercial basis.

As Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, I have policy responsibility for matters pertaining to public exposure to non-ionising radiation. This is an area that is kept under review and earlier this year I assigned a new statutory function to the Environmental Protection Agency to provide general information to the public on matters pertaining to public exposure to non-ionising radiation, to monitor international scientific developments and provide independent advice to my Department in this area. Information is published on the EPA’s website at www.epa.ie/radiation/emf

Irish policy in this area is informed by a substantial volume of internationally recognised scientific research and evidence. This includes the guidelines set down by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the ICNIRP.

These guidelines provide scientifically-based exposure limits that are applicable to both public and occupational exposure from electromagnetic fields (EMF), including 5G. ICNIRP guidelines apply up to a frequency of 300 gigahertz (GHz), well above the maximum frequencies being considered for 5G. ComReg, the independent telecoms regulatory authority, ensures that licensed mobile operators comply with their licence conditions and do not exceed ICNIRP guidelines.

In 2015, the Irish Government commissioned a report by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment of the Netherlands (RIVM). This was published in 2016 and is entitled “Electromagnetic Fields in the Irish Context”. It examined and synthesised existing peer-reviewed research into clear findings, with particular focus on the potential health effects of electric and magnetic fields arising from high voltage power lines, and electromagnetic fields from base stations for mobile communication. This report reaffirms the overall conclusion of an earlier 2007 report, “Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields”, that there is insufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields and adverse health effects.

Energy Efficiency

Ceisteanna (285)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

285. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position regarding funding streams which are available to gym owners and fitness entrepreneurs to assist with the significant costs associated with purchasing self-power generating treadmills and exercise bikes thus ensuring the business has a higher degree of energy self-sufficiency and incentivises companies to be more green conscious, energy efficient and environmentally aware; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40261/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

My Department supports businesses through a range of supports and grants administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). As the scope for reductions in energy or related carbon emissions from the technologies the Deputy mentions is limited, and as the focus for grant supports needs to be on technologies with the potential to deliver the most effective impact (i.e. significant users of heat or electricity), no specific supports are envisaged for this type of equipment. However, the Excellence in Energy Efficient Design (EXEED) grant scheme can be applied to any investment project where energy is a factor. EXEED has supported a number of projects in the Leisure Sector. Power generating treadmills and exercise bikes could form part of an overall investment in an energy efficiency project in a leisure centre.

Beyond the specific grant supports available, the SEAI also provides information and advisory services to businesses. These range from an SME guide to energy efficiency and case study examples of best practice to advice on energy efficiency design. New online audio-visual modules for businesses focusing on energy efficiency opportunities are also being developed and will be available in the coming months.

By availing of these supports and improving their energy efficiency, businesses can cut costs as well as carbon, free up resources that can be invested in more productive activity, improve their competitiveness, resilience, and green credentials. I would encourage all businesses to engage with SEAI to benefit from these supports.

Energy Policy

Ceisteanna (286)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

286. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the roll out of smart metering; the number of smart meters installed to date; the rights of householders and consumers with regard to the installation of smart meters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40323/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Smart Meter Upgrade is a meter replacement programme which will result in the upgrade of over 2 million meters to modern, smart-ready technology. These new generation electricity meters are being rolled out across Europe and internationally and when the programme completes in Ireland in 2024 all domestic and business premises will have a new modern meter installed. The upgrade to smart meters will encourage energy efficiency, support an increase in renewable power on the energy system, and result in lower overall costs for consumers. The installation of smart meters is a key enabler for the energy transition to a decarbonised system as outlined in the Government's Climate Action Plan.

There will be no need for estimated bills with smart meters. Accurate energy usage information across the day will enable consumers to be more efficient in their use of electricity and save money (e.g. by using appliances off peak). This will, in turn, reduce the need for less efficient and more costly generation at peak times and support the increase in renewable power on the electricity system.

The programme is being coordinated by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities with ESB Networks responsible for rolling out smart-ready electricity meters and Gas Networks Ireland responsible for the installation of smart-ready gas meters.

A customer who does not want an upgraded meter will be able to decline to have this new meter installed. However, the intention is that the default position will be for the installation of a smart meter for newly constructed dwellings and other premises or where meters are due for replacement at the end of their life. Under its licence ESB Networks is required to have in place a code of practice covering persons visiting land and/or premises on behalf of the licensee and a Complaints Handling Procedure which applies in the event that an issue arises.

The rollout plan is scheduled to replace 250,000 electricity meters between autumn 2019 and the end of 2020 and a further 500,000 meters every year from 2021 to 2024. On 2 September 2019 ESB Networks commenced the replacement of over 2 million electricity meters with new smart-ready meters. I have been informed that as of 30 September 2,000 electricity meters have been installed.

Energy Prices

Ceisteanna (287)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

287. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the rank of Ireland in the EU in terms of electricity and gas prices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40464/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Electricity and gas retail markets in Ireland are commercial, liberalised and competitive and operate within national and European regulatory regimes. Responsibility for the regulation of the electricity and gas markets is solely a matter for the independent regulator, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), which was assigned responsibility for the regulation of the Irish electricity market following the enactment of the Electricity Regulation Act, 1999, and subsequent legislation. The regulation of retail market prices for electricity in Ireland ended in 2011 and for gas prices in 2014. Price setting is wholly a commercial and operational matter for electricity suppliers with no regulatory approval involved. The Government is acutely aware of the financial challenges faced by families and businesses from electricity and gas prices, with the main thrust of Government policy on energy costs focused on the competitive market and the provision of supports for energy efficiency. Government policy has supported competition to drive down prices. Data from approved price comparison sites (www.bonkers.ie and www.switcher.ie) shows that consumers can make significant savings by switching energy suppliers in the competitive market. In addition, the Government has provided more than €100 million in capital funding for energy efficiency schemes in 2019.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is the lead organisation for the submission of Irish data on electricity and gas prices to EUROSTAT, and publishes reports and analysis of these statistics twice yearly, which include Ireland’s EU ranking in terms of energy prices. The latest SEAI energy prices report covering July-December 2019 is available on the SEAI website at: https://www.seai.ie/publications/Price-Directive-2nd-Semester-2018.pdf

The latest SEAI report highlights that Ireland continues to have amongst the highest electricity and gas prices for household and business customers within the EU. While overall electricity costs are influenced by various drivers, Ireland’s elevated position in European rankings should be seen in the context of a number of drivers, including high reliance on imported fossil fuels for electricity generation, the small size of the Irish market, and a widely dispersed low density population that increases costs associated with electricity and gas transmission and distribution.

National Broadband Plan

Ceisteanna (288)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

288. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when he expects to sign the contract for the national broadband plan; the roll out timetable in terms of the number of premises to be connected in each quarter of 2020 and 2021; the number expected to be connected at the end of 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40466/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Every home, farm, school and business in Ireland will have access to high speed broadband – no matter where they are located – following the Government’s decision to approve the appointment of a preferred bidder to the National Broadband Plan. Under this plan, Ireland will become one of the first countries in the world to ensure that those in rural areas have the same digital opportunities as those in urban areas. This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment across the country, and a State intervention in those areas where commercial operators acting alone are unlikely to invest. The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector. In 2012, less than 700,000, or 30% of Irish premises had access to high speed broadband. Today, 74% of the 2.4 million premises in Ireland can access high speed broadband.

The goal of the National Broadband Plan intervention is to engage a company to build, operate and maintain the NBP State intervention network.

The Government decision on 7 May 2019 means that it is intended to award the State Intervention contract to National Broadband Ireland, subject to contract close, including the finalisation of financial and legal documents. Deployment of the NBP State Intervention network will commence shortly after that.

The Bidder has indicated that the NBP State intervention will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment.

A deployment plan will be made available by the Bidder once the contract is signed. In the first year of roll out, the Bidder will deploy approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) across all counties. It is anticipated that between 7 and 23 BCPs will be deployed in each county. BCPs will provide a community based high speed broadband service, enhancing online participation and allowing for the establishment of digital work hubs in these locations.

The Bidder is aiming to pass 133,000 premises at the end of the second year, with 70-100,000 passed each year thereafter until roll out is completed.

Work continues on finalising the contract and in parallel to this work, I am considering the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Communications Committee report which was published recently. I will bring my deliberations of the report to Government in due course.

Motor Insurance

Ceisteanna (289)

Seán Crowe

Ceist:

289. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has had discussions with the EU Commission regarding agreeing, under article 8(2) of the motor insurance directive, a mechanism to avoid the need for green cards for cross-Border drivers in view of Brexit; the progress made to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40285/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The UK Government has confirmed that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Green Cards will not be necessary for Irish motorists entering the UK.  Valid Irish insurance discs will be accepted as proof of insurance cover.

A number of small exceptions apply. In relation to Irish registered motorcycles or agricultural tractor vehicles, some of these vehicles display insurance discs and some do not.  In these cases, no additional documentation is required if the vehicle displays a valid Irish insurance disc.  However, if the vehicle does not display a valid Irish insurance disc, it is recommended that a motor insurance certificate or a Green Card is carried in the vehicle.  Any policyholder with an Irish registered vehicle who requests a Green Card from their insurance provider will be issued with one.  

EU law governs vehicles registered in non-EU countries travelling to the EU. Under the EU Motor Insurance Directive (2009/103/EC), the default position is that Green Cards will be required as proof of motor insurance for UK-registered vehicles entering the EU, including Ireland, post Brexit.  This means that UK and Northern Ireland registered vehicles will require a Green Card if driving to Ireland. 

My Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have made a number of requests to the European Commission regarding its intentions to fix a date under Article 8(2) of the Motor Insurance Directive from which the carrying of Green Cards would not be required after the UK has exited the EU.  While the Commission has confirmed that such a measure is not part of its published Contingency Plan, my officials are continuing to pursue this matter with the Commission.

Roads Maintenance Funding

Ceisteanna (290)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

290. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of funding for an area (details supplied); and when works will commence. [40179/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the relevant local authority in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants. 

I understand that Cork City Council prepared proposals for an upgrade of Tinkers Cross in order to attract funding under the National Transport Authority's (NTA) Regional Cities Programme but has not been successful to date due to the available budgetary allocation for the city being limited relative to the number of projects to be undertaken.  Cork City Council is continuing to engage with the NTA on this matter.

Noting the NTA's involvement in the matter and the publication of the draft Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy , I have referred the Deputy's questions to the NTA for a more detailed reply.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

Sports Funding

Ceisteanna (291)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

291. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding provided to each local sports partnership in each of the years 2016 to 2018 by funding type, that is, core funding, women in sport programme and so on. [40224/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards, including the allocation of funding across its various programmes. This includes the allocation of funding to Local Sports Partnerships. I have no role in the process.

I have referred the Deputy's question to Sport Ireland for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

Sports Funding

Ceisteanna (292)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

292. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason, in the case of each local sports partnership that did not receive funding, no allocation was made under the women in sport programmes in 2018. [40225/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards, including the allocation of funding across its various programmes. This includes the allocation of funding to Local Sports Partnerships. I have no role in the process.

I have referred the Deputy's question to Sport Ireland for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

Sports Funding

Ceisteanna (293)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

293. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the specific criteria and specific weighting applied to each criteria in determining funding allocations to local sports partnerships. [40226/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards, including the allocation of funding across its various programmes. This includes the allocation of funding to Local Sports Partnerships. I have no role in the process.

I have referred the Deputy's question to Sport Ireland for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

Sports Funding

Ceisteanna (294)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

294. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when it is planned to announce the 2019 allocations to the local sports partnerships; and the reason for the delay. [40227/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards, including the allocation of funding across its various programmes. This includes the allocation of funding to Local Sports Partnerships. I have no role in the process.

I have referred the Deputy's question to Sport Ireland for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

Bus Éireann

Ceisteanna (295)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

295. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his policy and the policy of Bus Éireann relative to paternity leave; if pension contributions continue to be paid for the employee during the period of leave; if it is paid leave; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40247/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have overall responsibility for policy and funding in

relation to public transport.  The issue raised is an operational matter for Bus Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (296)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

296. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of an application for a sports capital grant by a club (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40264/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on Friday 19th October last.  By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. 

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents.  These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January. 

619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced to these organisations in May.

Work is now underway in assessing the remaining applications for capital works, including an application from the organisation referred to by the Deputy. 

For the first time, applicants who submitted incorrect documentation under this round are being given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a further number of weeks to have all applications assessed with allocations announced shortly after that.  

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (297)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

297. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of an application for a sports capital grant by a club (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40265/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on Friday 19th October last.  By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. 

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents.  These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January. 

619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced to these organisations in May.

Work is now underway in assessing the remaining applications for capital works, including an application from the organisation referred to by the Deputy. 

For the first time, applicants who submitted incorrect documentation under this round are being given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a further number of weeks to have all applications assessed with allocations announced shortly after that.  

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (298)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

298. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of an application for a sports capital grant by a club (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40266/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on Friday 19th October last.  By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. 

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents.  These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January.  

The club referred to by the Deputy submitted one of these applications and was awarded a grant.   The club has subsequently received formal approval to start their project. 

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (299)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

299. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of an application for a sports capital grant for a club (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40269/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on Friday 19th October last.  By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. 

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents.  These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January. 

619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced to these organisations in May.

Work is now underway in assessing the remaining applications for capital works, including an application from the organisation referred to by the Deputy. 

For the first time, applicants who submitted incorrect documentation under this round are being given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a further number of weeks to have all applications assessed with allocations announced shortly after that.  

Bus Services

Ceisteanna (300)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

300. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of a planned new bus service for Mullingar, County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40275/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have overall responsibility for policy and funding in relation to public transport.  The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.