1. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the matters he intends to raise at the next meeting of the European Council. (Question 51688/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

2. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the forthcoming European Council meeting. (Question 51727/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

3. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with Mr. Donald Tusk; and the issues that were discussed. (Question 51993/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

4. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his recent engagements with European leaders in advance of the next European Council meeting in December 2017. (Question 51999/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

5. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with the European Council President, Mr. Donald Tusk. (Question 52882/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

6. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his recent telephone conversations with the European Commission President, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker on Brexit. (Question 52883/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

7. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach the agenda for the upcoming European Council meeting; and if, in future, his Department will provide a briefing to Opposition leaders in advance of such meetings. (Question 52885/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

8. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with Mr. Mark Rutte and the issues that were discussed. (Question 52909/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

9. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. (Question 52947/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

10. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his contact with Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. (Question 52948/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

11. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with the Dutch Prime Minister. (Question 53133/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

12. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he has spoken to the German Chancellor, Ms Angela Merkel, recently. (Question 53228/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

13. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach further to Question Nos. 5 to 11, inclusive, of 28 November 2017, the role of his Department in respect of the new national children’s hospital. (Question 53043/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Departmental Communications)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 and 14 together.
Good, clear and consistent communication is a virtue of good government. Citizens have a right to know what Government is doing and why. 
The strategic communications unit was established earlier this year to bring that consistency, clarity and professionalism to all Government communications. It means communication is treated as a strategic, whole-of-Government activity, which must be conducted to the same level of profession...

14. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the outcome of the tender by his Department for a research and insights survey; and the results to date. (Question 53135/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Departmental Communications)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 and 14 together.
Good, clear and consistent communication is a virtue of good government. Citizens have a right to know what Government is doing and why. 
The strategic communications unit was established earlier this year to bring that consistency, clarity and professionalism to all Government communications. It means communication is treated as a strategic, whole-of-Government activity, which must be conducted to the same level of profession...

15. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his planned visits abroad in the next six months. (Question 51723/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 15 to 17, inclusive, together. I can, at this stage, outline my plans for a number of visits abroad, relating both to EU and non-EU business. As the House is aware, I will travel to Brussels for a meeting of the European Council on Thursday and Friday. Further European Council meetings are scheduled for March and June 2018. I plan to travel to Lebanon later this month to visit members of the Defence Forces serving in the UNIFIL mission. My vis...

16. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the foreign visits he plans to undertake to the end of June 2018. (Question 52879/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 15 to 17, inclusive, together. I can, at this stage, outline my plans for a number of visits abroad, relating both to EU and non-EU business. As the House is aware, I will travel to Brussels for a meeting of the European Council on Thursday and Friday. Further European Council meetings are scheduled for March and June 2018. I plan to travel to Lebanon later this month to visit members of the Defence Forces serving in the UNIFIL mission. My vis...

17. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach if he will report on discussions he has had with President Trump. (Question 52958/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 15 to 17, inclusive, together. I can, at this stage, outline my plans for a number of visits abroad, relating both to EU and non-EU business. As the House is aware, I will travel to Brussels for a meeting of the European Council on Thursday and Friday. Further European Council meetings are scheduled for March and June 2018. I plan to travel to Lebanon later this month to visit members of the Defence Forces serving in the UNIFIL mission. My vis...

25. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the way in which a confidential internal report by his Department on Brexit was leaked to and reported in the media on 23 November 2017; the specific actions he has taken to prevent further leaks of confidential and sensitive data regarding Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53239/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Brexit Documents)

Deputy Darragh O’Brien: Is the Minister aware of how a confidential internal Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade report on Brexit was leaked to and reported in the media, both in Ireland and abroad, on 23 November 2017? What specific actions has he taken, if any, to prevent further leaks of confidential and sensitive data? Will he confirm whether he has given this matter the absolute priority it deserves?
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26. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the Government has a guarantee that Northern Ireland will stay in the customs union and Single Market; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53242/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Deputy David Cullinane: I commend the Minister on his appointment as Tánaiste. It is very important we get clarity and certainty for businesses, farmers and citizens across the island of Ireland with respect to what will happen in Brexit negotiations. The only way we can provide certainty to businesses, farmers and others that there will be no hardening of the Border is if the North stays in the customs union and Single Market. My party leader put this question to the Taoiseach last week but ...

27. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the recent progress that has been made regarding Ireland’s domestic responses to Brexit, including progress with our EU counterparts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53240/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Brexit Issues)

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: There is a lot we still do not know about Brexit. We do not know whether there will be a hard or soft Brexit. We do not know if there will be a transition period. If there is such a period, we do not know how long it will be or what conditions might apply to it. We do not know whether there will be a deal. One of the parties might walk away from the table over the next one, two or three years. We do not know any of these things. As the Tánaiste knows, this leve...

28. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel by the United States of America and the relocation of its embassy; his further views on the removal of the invitation to President Trump; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53199/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Middle East Peace Process)

Deputy Paul Murphy: President Donald Trump is renowned for his very small hands, but he has put his big feet in it in the Middle East with his unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. This is rightly seen as an endorsement of the far-right policies of the Israeli Government and an attempt to annex not just East Jerusalem, but all of the Palestinian territories. It has caused uproar in the Middle East, with protests taking place and, tragically, four Palestinians killed and m...

29. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will meet with a group (details supplied) as soon as possible to discuss the way in which the Government will progress measures to ensure justice for them. (Question 53241/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - European Court of Human Rights Judgments)

Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan: My question relates to the group known as the hooded men. Will the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade meet with them as soon as possible to discuss ways in which the Government can progress measures to ensure they finally achieve justice?
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30. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the continued imposition of sanctions on Syria, in particular their utility in forcing regime change in that country. (Question 53196/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Syrian Conflict)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy Wallace has been given permission to take Parliamentary Question No. 30.
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31. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade whether he will make known his views on President Donald Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and acknowledge the potentially destructive consequences for the region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53037/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Middle East Peace Process)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I call Deputy Gino Kenny.
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32. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has had discussions with his counterparts in Europe after the announcement by President Trump to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53230/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Middle East Peace Process)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I call Deputy Gino Kenny.
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