87. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Health the status of the construction programme for primary care centres through the National Development Plan 2018-2027, with specific reference to the Fingal area of Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16707/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Primary Care Centres Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I recently officially opened one of the largest primary care centres in the country at Coolock on the northside of Dublin. 
In line with health strategy a decisive shift towards primary care is required to meet growing demands for health and social care services.
The construction programme for primary care centres will continue throughout the National Development Plan 2018 – 2027. The National Development Plan will support the completion of projects cu...

98. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Health the status of the development of elective only hospitals as outlined in the National Development Plan 2018-2027; if the possibility of locating the elective only hospital for Dublin in Fingal has been considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16708/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Hospitals Building Programme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The National Development Plan provides €10.9 billion to invest in infrastructure, equipment and additional service capacity for the public health sector.
The National Development Plan is a ten year plan which will provide the capital funding to develop dedicated ambulatory elective-only hospital facilities. We must ensure that we carefully plan the use of this capital funding so as to meet the populations health needs and achieve value for money. 
As i...

59. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to introduce shared paid parental leave; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8405/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Parental Leave)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for Partnership Government includes a commitment to increase paid parental leave during the first year of a child’s life, as research shows that parental care is of particular importance in the first year of life. 
To further this commitment, the Government has established an interdepartmental working group to develop proposals to give effect to the programme commitments...

310. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the investment made by the Office of Public Works on Malahide Garda station since 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16410/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Station Expenditure)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): I can confirm that a total of just under €235,000 has been spent by the Office of Public Works on Malahide Garda Station from 1 January 2016 to date. This amount represents the cost of repairs to and maintenance of building fabric and mechanical and electrical installations and systems in the period in question.
The table below shows the breakdown of that expenditure by year.
 Year Totals (to...

9. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which he will promote the importance of physical education in schools as part of a healthy living agenda; the steps he will take to support the construction of physical education facilities in schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14278/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Physical Education)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department fully supports the promotion of healthy lifestyles in schools and has issued circulars to support and strengthen schools’ efforts in developing in young people the skills and attitudes needed to make informed decisions about their health. Through the curriculum students are taught the key skills and knowledge to enable them to make healthier life choices and to develop the resilience to reject negative options. This can b...

36. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the commitment to implement coding into the primary school curriculum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14279/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - School Curriculum)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department is committed to providing a primary curriculum that will enable our children to develop the computational skills that are relevant in an ever changing digital environment, of which coding is at the forefront.
Currently my Department’s the PDST Technology in Education service provides training for both primary and post primary teachers in ICT which includes ‘Scratch’ coding.  5,800 teachers received ICT training in 2017.
Fol...

135. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a feasibility study will be considered to include his Department and educational patrons regarding the use of school premises for afterschool care throughout the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8825/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Schools Facilities)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Guidelines on the use of School Buildings outside of School Hours were published in October 2017; these can be viewed on my Department’s website. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance for schools in relation to the use of school buildings outside of school hours. These guidelines are provided for schools who currently make their buildings available and also for those schools who are considering putting such arrangements ...

173. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons arrested by An Garda Síochána on an annual basis over the past five years in tabular form, with particular reference to those detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984, section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 and section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14327/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Crime Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have requested a report from the Garda authorities in relation to this matter and I will contact the Deputy directly once the information is to hand.
 ...

818. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the DART underground as distinct from the Metro and Luas with specific reference to the planning for the project; the timeframe for its consideration; the timeframe for the construction of a link between Connolly and Heuston stations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11839/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Rail Network Expansion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I wish to advise the Deputy that in the recently published National Development Plan (NDP), the DART Expansion Programme is identified as a key investment priority comprising a series of projects that will create a full metropolitan area DART Network for Dublin with all of the lines linked and connected.  The estimated cost is €2 billion with an estimated completion date is 2027.
The initial sequencing of investment will focus on de...

58. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the opportunities available for local groups to become involved with the European Year of Cultural Heritage; the funding available; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9880/18 asked on 28 Feb 2018 - Cultural Policy)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I was delighted to launch the The European Year of Cultural Heritage in Ireland and the Heritage Council’s online events calendar last month. This lists all the events and activities taking place in Ireland under the EYCH 2018 banner and will be updated with new events throughout the year.
The best way for local groups to get involved with the year is to submit their planned events that fit the theme ‘Make a Connection’ ...

49. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if consideration has been given to a scheme to discount commercial rates for child care service providers as part of the ongoing efforts to make child care more affordable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8824/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Commercial Rates)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy John Paul Phelan): Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists prepared by the Commissioner of Valuation under the Valuation Acts 2001 to 2015.  The Commissioner of Valuation has responsibility for valuation matters, including determination of relevant property under the Acts for the p...

76. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to introduce employment activation measures targeted at young persons that are long-term unemployed or that face barriers to employment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8404/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Employment and Youth Activation Charter)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Irish youth unemployment has fallen from a peak of 31.2% in 2012 to 13.7% in January 2018. Irish youth unemployment has thus fallen from well above the EU average in 2012 (23%) to well below the current figure EU figure of 19.1%. The long-term unemployment rate for young people has fallen from over 15% at peak to below 4% in the third quarter of 2017. Youth unemployment figures can be expected to fall further this ...

15. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the action he will take to ensure the necessary resources and expertise are put in place in relation to a decision (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7509/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Noise Pollution)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy is aware, the Government recently approved my proposal to designate Fingal County Council as the noise regulator for Dublin Airport in order that Ireland fully complies with EU Regulation 598/2014.
The Regulation sets out how Member States should regulate noise at major airports, under a regulatory framework that provides for the measurement, management and on-going monitoring of airport noise.
My obligation as Minister...

70. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the action he will take to upgrade the Lissenhall junction 4 onto the M1 to cater for the increasing demand from Donabate and Portrane, in view of the inadequacy of the current infrastructure (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7510/18 asked on 15 Feb 2018 - Road Network)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects  is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a ...

47. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Health if his Department has identified priority areas for primary health care centres in the Fingal area of north County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6101/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Primary Care Centres Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly to the Deputy.
 ...

45. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the details of the activities of the local enterprise office in Swords; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5757/18 asked on 07 Feb 2018 - Local Enterprise Offices)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Creating more and better jobs in Ireland is a priority for the Government. As the Government works to achieve balanced regional development, the LEO’s will play a major role. The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for providing advice and guidance, financial assistance and ‘soft’ supports in the form of training and mentoring to anyone wishing to start or grow a business. LEO Fingal continues to...

71. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her plans for targeted investment in job creation measures for north Fingal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5756/18 asked on 07 Feb 2018 - Job Creation Targets)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for providing advice and guidance, financial assistance and ‘soft’ supports in the form of training and mentoring to anyone wishing to start or grow a business.
The LEOs provide a ‘signposting’ service in relation to all relevant state supports available through agencies such as Revenue, the Department of Social Protection, Education and Training Boards, Cred...

82. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the action he is taking to address the inadequacies and loopholes which exist in legislation governing the immigration system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5297/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Immigration Policy)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 82 and 87 together.
By any standard Ireland operates an open immigration policy which often requires a flexible approach to respond to various requirements and needs. 
The Programme for a Partnership Government contains a commitment to work with the relevant Oireachtas Committees to introduce a comprehensive Immigration and Residency Reform Bill. Work on such a Bill has not yet commenced, given other l...

87. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to prepare and issue a White Paper to provide an overview of the entirety of the immigration laws and to identify the way in which the immigration system can be improved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5298/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Immigration Policy)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 82 and 87 together.
By any standard Ireland operates an open immigration policy which often requires a flexible approach to respond to various requirements and needs. 
The Programme for a Partnership Government contains a commitment to work with the relevant Oireachtas Committees to introduce a comprehensive Immigration and Residency Reform Bill. Work on such a Bill has not yet commenced, given other l...

173. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the former school at Rolestown, County Dublin is in the ownership of the State; and his plans in relation to the building. (Question 5324/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Schools Property)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The former school to which the Deputy refers is not in my ownership, therefore any plans are a matter for the registered owner. 
 ...

314. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Health the status of a medical card application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5343/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Medical Card Applications)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.
The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to us...

383. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Health his plans to improve service provision at Swords Health Centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5634/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Health Services Provision)

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 (HSE) for direct reply.
 ...

7. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of sites for buildings for non-denominational schools in south Fingal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4655/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Schools Site Acquisitions)

Deputy Alan Farrell: My question relates primarily to the provision of school sites in the southern part of Fingal where there was a designation for a primary and secondary non-denominational school as far back as four years ago. Unfortunately, the primary school is operating in a temporary location while the secondary school which was supposed to open last September has no site at all, let alone a temporary one. On behalf of my constituency, I ask for information as to where we are in this pr...

51. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Education and Skills the action being taken to ensure adequate educational capacity exists to cater for future demand in view of the planned population and housing growth on the Donabate and Portrane peninsula; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4656/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Schools Building Projects)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas. My Department uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to identify where the pressure for school places across these areas will arise. The GIS uses data from a range of sources, including the Central Statistics Office, Ordnance Survey Ireland, the Department of Social Protection and my Dep...

99. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the capacity for social housing development in the Howth, Malahide, Swords and Balbriggan areas, with specific reference to the locality of each proposed development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4348/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Social and Affordable Housing Provision)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness has put in place the funding required to accelerate the delivery of social housing across all local authority areas. €6 billion in exchequer investment has been secured to support its implementation and to deliver 50,000 social housing units through build, refurbishment, acquisitions and leasing, over the period to 2021. 
The bringing forward of ...