15. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to put in place measures to increase the capacity of the Luas to deal with high volumes of passengers at the Heuston stop such as building a link between the Red Line and Green line filtering passengers off the Red Line before Heuston via Fatima stop. (Question 57243/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Rail Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly) (Deputy Alan Kelly): The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport has responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  Following the establishment of the National Transport Authority (NTA) in December 2009, the implementation and development of infrastructure projects in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), such as LUAS, comes under the remit of the NTA.   
Given the limited availab...

46. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport in view of the fact that €12.5 million has been allocated for capital spending on sport for 2013 and that this represents a fall of €5.5 million 30% on the 2012 allocation, if he will provide details of the national and regional projects he intends to fund in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57264/12 asked on 20 Dec 2012 - Sports Capital Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Michael Ring) (Deputy Michael Ring): I propose to take Questions Nos. 31 and 46 together. 
€30m is available to me to allocate to successful applicants under the 2012 round of the Sports Capital Programme.  I recently announced almost €26m in provisional allocations for local projects under the 2012 SCP and will shortly be announcing a further €4m in provisional allocations in respect of non-local projects.
 ...

19. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on the development of the National Children’s Hospital and on the enhanced support, if any, he will provide to the existing children’s hospitals pending the completion of the new hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57012/12 asked on 19 Dec 2012 - National Children’s Hospital Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Following the refusal by An Bord Pleanála of planning permission for the new children’s hospital on the Mater site, I established a Review Group chaired by Dr Frank Dolphin (the Dolphin Group) to advise on next steps. Their report was presented to me on 8 June this year. On Tuesday 6 November, I announced the Government’s decision to develop the new children’s hospital at the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin. In identifying the new site, the Gov...

73. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health if he will require the Health Service Executive to deliver on its agreed commitment to extend the capacity of the St. Vincent’s Hospital Cystic Fibrosis facility to 34 beds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 57013/12 asked on 19 Dec 2012 - Hospital Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) is the designated National Adult Referral Centre for patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). The new Nutley Wing at the hospital, built at a cost of just under €29m and opened this summer, is designed to provide a state of the art clinical building which includes up to date isolation facilities with accommodation for people with cystic fibrosis. In the new unit 20 beds are set aside for patients with cystic fibrosis...

89. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8, who is awaiting a decision on their jobseeker’s appeal, has been informed that they have to leave their college course or the community welfare officer will discontinue to pay them. (Question 56045/12 asked on 13 Dec 2012 - Jobseeker’s Allowance Appeals)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Under Social Welfare legislation any person who is a full-time student does not qualify for supplementary welfare allowance. As the person concerned has now ceased full-time education, his supplementary welfare allowance application has been approved and payments have issued to him.
 ...

90. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) has been refused jobseeker’s allowance. (Question 56047/12 asked on 13 Dec 2012 - Jobseeker’s Allowance Appeals)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The person concerned made 4 claims for jobseeker’s allowance; on 4th October 2010, on 24th March 2011, on 9th December 2011 and on 16th July 2012. His claims dated 4th October 2010 and 24th March 2011 were disallowed by his Social Welfare Local Office because he did not provide documentary evidence to show that he was genuinely seeking employment. The person concerned appealed against these decisions to the independent Social Welfare Appeals...

91. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) has had two appeals for jobseeker’s allowance refused. (Question 56048/12 asked on 13 Dec 2012 - Jobseeker’s Allowance Appeals)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The person concerned made 4 claims for jobseeker’s allowance; on 4th October 2010, on 24th March 2011, on 9th December 2011 and on 16th July 2012. His claims dated 4th October 2010 and 24th March 2011 were disallowed by his Social Welfare Local Office because he did not provide documentary evidence to show that he was genuinely seeking employment. The person concerned appealed against these decisions to the independent Social Welfare Appeals...

28. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Defence the reason the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces will now be a part time position; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54703/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Defence Forces Ombudsman Appointment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): As I indicated in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 4 of 7 November 2012, the office of the Ombudsman is now well established and a number of administrative and systemic issues identified by the outgoing Ombudsman have been addressed. This has contributed to improvements in procedures and policies within the Defence Forces. Recent trends show a significant increase in the number of redress of wrongs complaints being resolved within the military sys...

84. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to place on a statutory footing, clear and transparent criteria for release of prisoners through remission, temporary release and parole, as well as provision of the disclosure of reasons to prisoners for all decisions taken and the remedy to appeal any decision taken. (Question 54468/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Prisoner Releases)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 84 and 100 together.
The power bestowed on the Minister for Justice and Equality to grant remission and temporary release is clearly set out in existing legislative instruments. Rule 59 of the 2007 prison rules provides that a prisoner is eligible by good conduct to earn a remission of sentence not exceeding one quarter. Rule 59(2) allows for the discretionary granting of remission in excess of one quart...

100. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to introduce a single piece of legislation dealing with the matters of remission, temporary release and parole law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54467/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Prisoner Releases)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 84 and 100 together.
The power bestowed on the Minister for Justice and Equality to grant remission and temporary release is clearly set out in existing legislative instruments. Rule 59 of the 2007 prison rules provides that a prisoner is eligible by good conduct to earn a remission of sentence not exceeding one quarter. Rule 59(2) allows for the discretionary granting of remission in excess of one quart...

228. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the reason a project (details supplied) in Dublin 8 was informed by the county enterprise board that they do not qualify for funding from the National Lottery in respect of their restoration project. (Question 55328/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - National Lottery Funding Applications)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton)(Deputy Richard Bruton): The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has no decision making role in relation to the distribution of National Lottery funding to community based projects. Nor indeed do the County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs). The funding available from the CEBs is aimed towards providing assistance to commercially viable micro-enterprises in the start-up and expansion phases with priority being given to...

331. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason for the delay in having Garda vetting clearance issued in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12. (Question 55353/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Garda Vetting of Personnel)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I am informed by the Garda authorities that a vetting application on behalf of the person concerned was received by the Garda Central Vetting Unit on 20 November 2012. The application is currently being processed and it is anticipated that a response will issue to the registered organisation involved in the coming weeks.
 ...

51. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons receiving supplementary allowance on 1 November 2012; the number of appeals with the social welfare appeals office on same; the number of applications not finalised by her Department on the same date for each of the social welfare schemes; and the average waiting times for each. (Question 54894/12 asked on 06 Dec 2012 - Supplementary Welfare Allowance Applications)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The total number of persons in receipt of Supplementary Welfare Allowance on 1 November 2012 was 33,090. I am informed by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that the number of appeals on hands for each scheme on 1st November 2012, along with the average processing time for each scheme for cases dealt with on a summary basis and by oral hearing is as set out in table 1. The number of Supplementary Welfare Allowance appeals not finalised on th...

317. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of carees, whether on full or partial rate in reciept of respite grant for each of the last 10 years; the value of the grant each year; and the cost to the Department for each of those years. (Question 54211/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - Carer’s Benefit Payments)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 317 and 318 together.
The respite care grant (RCG) is an annual payment made automatically to people in receipt of carer’s allowance, carer’s benefit, or domiciliary care allowance from my Department. Other people who are not in receipt of one of these payments, but who are providing full time care and attention can also apply for the grant via separate application. The RCG is paid automatically on the 1st Th...

318. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of carers in reciept of respite grants for each of the last 10 years, whether on full or partial rate; the value of the grant in each of those years; and the total cost to his Department. (Question 54222/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - Carer’s Benefit Payments)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 317 and 318 together.
The respite care grant (RCG) is an annual payment made automatically to people in receipt of carer’s allowance, carer’s benefit, or domiciliary care allowance from my Department. Other people who are not in receipt of one of these payments, but who are providing full time care and attention can also apply for the grant via separate application. The RCG is paid automatically on the 1st Th...

337. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the way a project (details supplied) in Dublin 8 can access Lotto funding. (Question 53815/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - National Lottery Funding)

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): An overall allocation is provided from the National Lottery each year for expenditure through the Votes of various Departments. In 2012 my Department’s allocation of funding of €4,811,000 to the Heritage Council was partially funded by National Lottery funds. In turn, the Heritage Council supports a range of conservation projects. It is a matter for the Heritage Council to allocate funds to the various schemes which it suppo...

350. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh den an Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén taighde atá déanta ag a Roinn faoi na deacrachtaí oideachasúla a chruthódh athbhreithniú ar an gCaighdeán gach seacht mbliana. (Question 54423/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - Caighdeán Oifigiúil)

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Freagróidh mé Ceisteanna Uimh. 350 agus 351 le chéile.
Mar is eol don Teachta, foilsíodh an Caighdeán Oifigiúil den chéad uair i 1958. Tuigtear dom go ndearna Rannóg an Aistriúcháin i gCoimisiún Thithe an Oireachtais athbhreithniú air thar na blianta agus gur foilsíodh leagan athbhreithnithe den Chaighdeán Oifigiúil níos túisce i mbliana.
Faoin mBille um Choimisiún Thithe an Oireachtais (Leasú) 2012, déantar foráil maidir le ...

351. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh den an Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta maidir lena mholadh i mBille Choimisiúin Thithe an Oireachtais, an eol dó tíortha eile ar domhan a bhfuil réimis seacht mbliana acu idir athbhreithniú ar chaighdeán oifigiúil a dTeanga Náisiúnta, nó cén taighde teangeolaíochta a bhfuil sé ag brath air a léiríonn gur mar sin atá. (Question 54424/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - Caighdeán Oifigiúil)

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): Freagróidh mé Ceisteanna Uimh. 350 agus 351 le chéile.
Mar is eol don Teachta, foilsíodh an Caighdeán Oifigiúil den chéad uair i 1958. Tuigtear dom go ndearna Rannóg an Aistriúcháin i gCoimisiún Thithe an Oireachtais athbhreithniú air thar na blianta agus gur foilsíodh leagan athbhreithnithe den Chaighdeán Oifigiúil níos túisce i mbliana.
Faoin mBille um Choimisiún Thithe an Oireachtais (Leasú) 2012, déantar foráil maidir le ...

677. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the criteria in respect of grants from the National Lottery. (Question 53816/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - National Lottery Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Michael Ring) (Deputy Michael Ring): Grants under the Sports Capital Programme are partially funded by the National Lottery. All applications received under the 2012 Sports Capital Programme were first checked to ensure eligibility and then eligible applications were initially assessed against the following criteria (the final 4 criteria only apply to regional and national projects): 
 Selection Criteria Increase...

164. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the funding applications for the current Dublin City Council traveller accommodation 2009-2013 that were made; when it was made; the amount for same and specifications of the accommodation funds requested. (Question 53428/12 asked on 29 Nov 2012 - Traveller Accommodation)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): In accordance with the provisions of the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act, 1998, responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers and the preparation, adoption and implementation of multi-annual Traveller Accommodation Programmes, designed to meet identified housing need, rests with individual housing authorities. The detailed information requested in re...

48. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he acknowledges the importance of the key national cultural institutions as custodians of Irish culture and history; the way the current restructuring programme he has embarked upon will enhance and maintain this role; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53062/12 asked on 28 Nov 2012 - National Cultural Institutions)

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 48 together.
The Deputy will be aware that, as part of a range of reforms recently agreed by Government under the Public Service Reform Plan, it was decided that the existing National Archives of Ireland (NAI) governance model will be applied to the National Library of Ireland (NLI) and the National Museum of Ireland (NMI). A single statutory NLI and NMI Advisory Council will operate pr...

135. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if a Directive was sent to H.E.O.’s formerly C.W.O.’s regarding non payment of travelling expenses to hospitals under the exceptional needs payment in supplementary welfare allowance; and if he will provide details of same. (Question 53291/12 asked on 28 Nov 2012 - Exceptional Needs Payment Eligibility)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Where travel costs are non-recurring, the SWA scheme provides for exceptional needs payments to be made to assist with essential, once-off expenditure in exceptional circumstances to people on social welfare or Health Service Executive payments. There is no automatic entitlement to such payments. Every decision is based on consideration of the circumstances of the case, taking account of the nature and extent of the need and of the resources o...

246. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 has been refused a medical card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53351/12 asked on 28 Nov 2012 - Medical Card Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.
 ...

276. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number and the percentage number of pupils who took honours and pass level maths for the junior and leaving certificate for each of the past five years; the steps being taken to increase that number in the forthcoming years. (Question 52314/12 asked on 27 Nov 2012 - State Examinations Issues)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. I wish to inform the Deputy that statistics in relation to the Leaving Certificate examinations (2000 - 2012), including mathematics, can be downloaded from State Examinations Commission website:- www.examinations.ie/statistics. There are a number of initiatives currently underway to improve the quality of teac...

277. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Education and Skills the actual number and the percentage number of pupils who took honours and pass level history for the junior and leaving certificate for each of the past five years; the steps being taken to increase that number in the forthcoming years. (Question 52315/12 asked on 27 Nov 2012 - State Examinations Issues)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations. I wish to inform the Deputy that statistics in relation to the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate examinations (2000 - 2012), including the number of candidates who completed Junior and Leaving Certificate History, can be downloaded from State Examinations Commission website:- www.examinations.ie/statist...