My Department, along with a number of other government departments, has an annual presence at the National Ploughing Championships. The Department’s attendance at the Ploughing Championships is an important means to engage with the public as it enables citizens to meet representatives from the Department and our various agencies on issues such as rural connectivity, soil and geological profiling of land, sustainability initiatives, energy efficiency grants and schemes, and initiatives to support small businesses and enhance digital literacy and use in communities.
The total cost of the Department’s presence at the Ploughing Championships is as follows:
2016: €6,240 (The Department had one division represented at the Ploughing Championships viz Geological Survey Ireland)
These figures include advertising and promotional material, design, build, event support and break-down/removal of the marquee itself as well as all built items within it, all stands, audio-visual equipment, backdrop design and printing, kitchen and toilet facilities, electrical set-up, AV and marquee staffing (including project management and construction) and maintenance in the lead-up to and throughout the event. The figures also include event passes, buses and transport as well as onsite services such as waste, cleaning and security.
Staff, where their presence was required in terms of management and support across all Departmental exhibits, were paid as they would be for their normal working day. Travel, subsistence and overtime, where necessary, was paid in line with the agreed rates.
The information requested in relation to the agencies under the aegis of my Department is an operational matter for each agency. The Department will request the relevant bodies to reply directly to the Deputy with the information requested in respect of their organisations.