563. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the recommendations of the 2014 report on promoting sustainable rural coastal and island communities by the Oireachtas joint sub-committee on fisheries that have been implemented; the recommendations of the report that remain to be implemented; the reason for the delay in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53727/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Island Communities)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The Sub-Committee report to which the Deputy refers made a number of recommendations which concerned a range of Government policies including natural resources, marine safety and social protection. I intend to address progress on aspects relevant to my remit as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. 
A number of the recommendations have been superseded by initiatives which have taken place. 
In relation to representat...

564. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on issuing heritage licences by his Department for rural costal and island communities as recommended in the report on promoting sustainable rural coastal and island communities by the Oireachtas joint sub-committee on fisheries; if legislative changes are needed to issue such licences; and if his Department carried out work on issuing such licences including costs that would be incurred. (Question 53728/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Fishing Vessel Licences)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2003 transferred the functions of sea-fishing boat licensing to the Licensing Authority for Sea-fishing Boats, which operates on an independent basis subject to criteria set out in that Act and Ministerial Policy Directives.  As a result as Minister I am precluded under Section 3(5) of the 2003 Act from exercising any power or control in relation to individual cases, or a group of cases, with whic...

591. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of amber premises for the State intervention area; the number of blue and light blue premises to be covered by commercial operators; the number of premises that have been connected under the plan for each such category under the national broadband plan, by county, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53723/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - National Broadband Plan Data)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 591 and 592 together.
The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location. The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector so that today over 67% of the 2.3m premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband. This is set to...

592. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the date by which the contract for the State intervention area will be awarded under the national broadband plan; and the approximate project build time from award of tender to construction and completion of all premises. (Question 53724/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - National Broadband Plan Data)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 591 and 592 together.
The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location. The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector so that today over 67% of the 2.3m premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband. This is set to...

609. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress as provided under the programme for Government on €100 million capital investment in the Wild Atlantic Way and greenways; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53714/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Wild Atlantic Way Project)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): The Programme for Government provides that the Government will set aside €100 million in additional capital funding for investment in the Wild Atlantic Way, Greenways and a number of other initiatives.  This commitment covers a number of funding programmes and
Departments.
Following from the mid-term review of the Capital Plan, an amount of almost €108 million is being provided for tourism product devel...

610. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress as provided under the programme for Government on €10 million in additional funding for regional airports; the capital expenditure that has been allocated in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53715/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Regional Airports)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The National Aviation Policy, published by my Department in 2015, acknowledges the role played by the regional airports of Donegal, Ireland West Airport Knock, Kerry and Waterford as being important in promoting a level of international connectivity to support the tourism and business sectors in their regions.
In this regard I am pleased to inform the Deputy that as part of the Review of the Capital Plan that was carried out by the M...

611. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress as provided under the programme for Government on review of the western rail corridor phase two between Athenry and Claremorris for passenger and freight use; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53716/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Rail Network Expansion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to provide for an independent costing and review of the Western Rail Corridor Phase Two between Athenry and Claremorris for passenger and freight use. It also commits that no measures will be taken to prevent the future reactivation of the Western Rail Corridor for rail use.
The costing and review has not been undertaken but the Deputy will be aware that a number of wi...

612. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress as provided under the programme for Government on TEN-T transport funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53719/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - EU Funding)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Under the Programme for Partnership Government, the Government committed to applying to the European Union for the revision of the TEN-T Core Network, including in relation to the Western Arc. A submission is being prepared for the European Commission for a revision of the TEN-T Core Network, which would seek to facilitate consideration of transport-related project proposals for funding under the Connecting Europe Facility for trans...

613. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress as provided under the programme for Government on capital budget for local and regional roads and the commitment to increase this budget by approximately 50%; the capital expenditure that has been allocated for 2016 and 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53720/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Rural Transport Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the local authority’s own resources supplemented by State road grants.  The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.
The Capital Plan published in Septem...

614. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress as provided under the programme for Government on rural transport and the commitment that a report will be provided to the relevant Oireachtas committee within six months examining the way in which existing routes can be made more sustainable and accessible to the public and the potential for new routes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53721/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Rural Transport Services Provision)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): In recognition of the value and benefit of rural transport to many communities, the Programme for a Partnership Government undertakes to examine how best to improve integration of services in the rural bus network within regions, and proposed that a report about this should be provided to the relevant Oireachtas Committee. This matter is being examined and developed by my Department in the context of the wider work on which it is no...

672. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount of the €28 million prepaid to local authorities at the end of 2016 that has not been spent to date on the projects for which it was approved; the steps being taken to either ensure that this money is spent or the money repaid to his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53703/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Local Authority Funding)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): As part of the Government’s programme to support rural development, a number of initiatives including CLÁR, the Rural Recreation Scheme, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, and REDZ (Rural Economic Development Zones) were launched during 2016. In general, these initiatives were implemented through the Local Authorities. 
All funding was made available in line with the sanction received from the Department of Public Expenditur...

673. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if his Department has sought permission from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to carry over unspent capital to 2018; if so, the amount sought as a carryover; the reason this was necessary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53704/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Departmental Budgets)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The proposed capital carryover will be finalised as part of the Revised Estimates Volume 2018. Government financial procedures provide for the carry-over of up to 10% of unspent capital funding from any year to the subsequent year. My Department has requested the carry-over of €7.7 million in unspent Capital allocations from 2017 to 2018. 
Capital underspends have arisen on some of my Department’s rural development schemes, g...

674. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the capital allocated to his Department for 2017; the amount spent to date by subhead; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53705/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Departmental Budgets)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The total amount of capital funding allocated to my Department upon its creation was approximately €77 million. The allocations provided in the table below reflect the recently published Further Revised Estimates Volume 2017. To date payments totalling €48.7 million have been made, as shown in the table below. It has been impressed upon Local Authorities the need to accelerate spending on their 2017 projects as a matter of ur...

675. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if permission has been sought or granted to his Department to pre-pay local authorities or other bodies for works sanctioned but not carried out before the end of 2017 and to allow these bodies do the work in 2018; if so, the amount of money to be pre-paid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53706/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Local Authority Funding)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Earlier this year, I launched a number of schemes that provide support for the development of rural communities. These include the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, the Outdoor/Rural Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, the CLÁR Programme and the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS). 
It is important to note that apart from the LIS, the rural development schemes are expected to operate over a 12-15 month period. Therefore, it was alway...

676. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the progress as provided under the programme for Government on the development of a new Atlantic economic corridor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53718/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Action Plan for Rural Development Implementation)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The Programme for a Partnership Government and the Action Plan for Rural Development both contain a commitment to progress the concept of an Atlantic Economic Corridor. The concept was proposed in February 2016 by a group involving a number of Chambers of Commerce in the Western region and the American Chambers of Commerce of Ireland. 
The overarching objective of the Atlantic Economic Corridor concept is to maximise the asset...

677. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if his ministerial briefing has been published and is downloadable on his Department’s new website. (Question 53729/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Ministerial Briefing)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): My ministerial briefing is available on my Department’s website at the following address:
http://drcd.gov.ie/about/ministers/
This briefing was provided to me on 19 June 2017. Since that date, my Department has also been assigned responsibility for the Charities Regulatory Authority. Functions relating to the Community Services Programme are due to transfer to my Department on 1 January 2018. 
 ...

678. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount allocated to town centre health checks per annum; the number of checks undertaken by county; and the number planned. (Question 54144/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Town and Village Renewal Scheme)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): While there is no specific scheme available within my Department to fund town centre health checks, the preparation and development of such health checks are eligible for support under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme which is operated by my Department. 
I recently approved funding of €21.6 million to 281 rural towns and villages under the 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, with an emphasis on projects that focus on impro...

751. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount of the capital carry over from 2016 of €13 million that has not been spent to date; the subheads under which the underspend has occurred; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53700/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Capital Expenditure Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Public Financial Procedures provide that a maximum of up to 10% of the capital envelope of a Vote may be carried over by way of ‘deferred surrender’ to the following year for spending in that year on priority capital programmes. Provision is made in the Revised Estimates Volume for the capital carryover amount by subhead and in a Ministerial Order to be made by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform before 31 Mar...

752. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her Department has sought permission from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to carry over unspent capital to 2018; if so, the amount sought as a carryover; the reason this was necessary; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53701/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Capital Expenditure Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Details of the financial allocations for my Department for 2018, including any potential carryover of unspent 2017 appropriations to capital supply services, will be made available once Revised Estimates 2018 are published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.  
It is anticipated that all current funding will be expended in full and no significant capital savings beyond those which can be carried forward by ...

753. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount of capital allocated to her Department in 2017; the amount spent to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53702/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Capital Expenditure Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Funding allocations made available to my Department are published each year in the Revised Estimates Volume with the outturn published in the Annual Appropriation Account. Further Revised Estimates for my Department can be viewed at the link below:
http://opac.oireachtas.ie/AWData/Library3/PERdoclaid151117_110705.pdf 
Details of provisional expenditure in respect of my Department and all Government Departments are publi...

754. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the capital and current budget allocations for Údarás na Gaeltachta in 2017 and 2018, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53725/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Údarás na Gaeltachta Funding)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The information sought by the Deputy is outlined in tabular format below:
      Year      Capital - €m        Current (Admin) -  €m        Current (Programmes) - €m       Total - €m       2017 8.957* 8.958 3.250 21.165 2018 7.000 9.237 3.350 19.587 
 
* An additional capital allocation of €2.270m, arising from savings elsewhere in the Department’s Vote, has been secured for an tÚdarás ...

755. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the timeframe for delivery of funds under budget 2018 to Údarás na Gaeltachta on linguistic, cultural and community development in the Gaeltacht. (Question 53726/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Údarás na Gaeltachta Funding)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The transfer of funds in 2018 from the Department to Údarás na Gaeltachta - in order to enable the discharge the organisation’s work programme - encompassing the domains specified in the Deputy’s question, will be undertaken in accordance with the normal funding and financial arrangements which apply in such cases and as agreed between my Department and Údarás na Gaeltachta.
 ...

139. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when a decision will be made on whether a person (details supplied) has to submit orders online or not; the assistance that will be given to them to comply with this requirement; the number of other dispensing doctors that must submit orders online; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52373/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - HSE Staff)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.
 ...

187. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if a company (details supplied) has met its commitments at the end of quarter 3 of 2017 on the roll-out of high speed broadband in rural areas; the number of premises served to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52468/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 187 and 188 together. 
The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) will ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland via a combination of commercial investment and State Intervention.  The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecommunications sector so that to date over 1.5m or 67% of the 2.3m premises in...

188. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of premises served under a contract with a company (details supplied) in which the service is provided by fibre to the premises, exchange of cabinet launched VDSL and other technologies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52469/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 187 and 188 together. 
The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) will ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland via a combination of commercial investment and State Intervention.  The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecommunications sector so that to date over 1.5m or 67% of the 2.3m premises in...