38. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will report on his recent visit to UNIFIL, UNDOF and UNTSO; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20414/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): During the period 13 to 20 March 2017, I visited the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) and also the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The visit afforded an opportunity to see at first hand the tremendous work done overseas by the Irish Defence Forces in the Middle East and also ...

47. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will report on the recent informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20415/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - EU Meetings)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Defence Ministerial Informal Ministerial was held in Sofia on the 4th and 5th of May. The meeting was hosted by Bulgaria who currently hold the Presidency of the EU. 
There were two working sessions over the course of the meeting which was chaired by the High Representative, Ms Federica Mogherini. The two sessions dealt with a range of ongoing developments in relation to EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP); specifi...

52. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which recruitment to the Defence Forces is likely to adequately replenish the strength of each branch of the Defence Forces in early date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20719/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 52 and 53 together.
There are significant recruitment opportunities currently available in the Defence Forces, at both enlisted and officer level, for eligible individuals who wish to have a rewarding and positive career in service to the State.
In 2018, an intake of some 800 personnel across a range of recruitment streams is anticipated. To achieve this, targeted recruitment has been and is curr...

53. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of women that have retired or resigned from the Defence Forces for whatever reason in each of the past five years to date; his plans for their replacement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20720/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 52 and 53 together.
There are significant recruitment opportunities currently available in the Defence Forces, at both enlisted and officer level, for eligible individuals who wish to have a rewarding and positive career in service to the State.
In 2018, an intake of some 800 personnel across a range of recruitment streams is anticipated. To achieve this, targeted recruitment has been and is curr...

54. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of non-commissioned officers that have retired from each branch of the Defence Forces in each of the past five years to date; his plans for their replacement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20721/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 54 and 55 together.
The Permanent Defence Force has always had a level of turnover that far exceeds other areas of the public service. This is a necessary feature of military organisations and allows for continuous renewal, promotions etc.
The following table sets out the numbers of commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers that left for each of the years from 2002 t...

55. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of commissioned officers that have retired from each branch of the Defence Forces in each of the past five years to date; his plans for their replacement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20722/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 54 and 55 together.
The Permanent Defence Force has always had a level of turnover that far exceeds other areas of the public service. This is a necessary feature of military organisations and allows for continuous renewal, promotions etc.
The following table sets out the numbers of commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers that left for each of the years from 2002 t...

56. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which the Defence Forces continue to be trained and have their military equipment upgraded in order to be in a position to meet security risks that might emerge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20723/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Resources)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 56, 57 and 60 together.
My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government as set out on the White Paper on Defence. 
The acquisition of new equipment for the Defence Forces re...

57. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which the Defence Forces continue to be trained and have all equipment upgraded in line with the best standards throughout the EU in order to be prepared for emergencies that might arise such as a natural disaster or otherwise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20724/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Resources)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 56, 57 and 60 together.
My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government as set out on the White Paper on Defence. 
The acquisition of new equipment for the Defence Forces re...

58. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the degree to which his Department continues to monitor all equipment including aircraft, fixed-wing and-or helicopters in the Air Corps; the deficiencies identified; his plans for upgrading; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20725/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Defence Forces, including the Air Corps, is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable them to carry out their roles as assigned by Government. In this regard future equipment priorities for the Air Corps are being considered in the context of the lifetime of the White Paper on Defence as part of the capabi...

59. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the degree to which the Naval Service continues to be equipped to the most modern standards in order to be in a position to effectively participate in emergencies that might arise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20726/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Naval Service Equipment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 59 and 61 together.
My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service, is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government. 
The White Paper underpins the on-going replacement of the Naval Service fleet which has enjoyed a sign...

60. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps continue to have access to the most modern technology including foolproof GPS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20727/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Resources)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 56, 57 and 60 together.
My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government as set out on the White Paper on Defence. 
The acquisition of new equipment for the Defence Forces re...

61. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which all branches of the Defence Forces and rescue services including the Irish Coast Guard continue to be equipped with the most modern and regularly updated technology in order to be in a position to fully participate in emergencies that might arise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20728/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Naval Service Equipment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 59 and 61 together.
My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service, is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government. 
The White Paper underpins the on-going replacement of the Naval Service fleet which has enjoyed a sign...

62. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which efforts continue to be made to ensure that the charts available to the Defence Forces or the rescue services are fully updated to record obstacles that might pose a threat in the air or at sea; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20729/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Operations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Safety is of paramount concern for the Defence Forces. I am advised that navigation charts used by the Air Corps and Naval Service are routinely updated.
 ...

63. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which promotional vacancies remain to be filled in the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20730/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The following table outlines the promotional posts vacant within the PDF, by Army, Air Corps and Naval Service as at 31st March 2018, the latest date for which such figures are available. 
The manpower requirement of the Defence Forces is monitored on an ongoing basis in accordance with the operational requirements of each of the three services. In this regard, promotions are ongoing within the officer ranks in order to fill ran...

64. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which discussions continue to take place at EU level with a view to assuring a high degree of preparedness in the event of a terrorist attack; if the Defence Forces continue to be adequately briefed in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20731/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Operations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): At Ministerial level there is ongoing contact as required with EU colleagues both in the context of European Defence and Security and other matters. In addition to these bilateral contacts, two official meetings of EU Defence Ministers are held during each six month EU Presidency. The most recent informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers took place in Sofia on 05 May 2018. Discussions at the meeting covered a wide range of Europ...

65. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which he has had discussions at EU and UN level with regard to future deployment of the Defence Forces overseas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20732/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Deployment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 01 May 2018, Ireland is contributing 637 personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 369 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 138 personnel. 
Other missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the...

37. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the degree to which she continues to support, maintain, preserve and promote heritage sites throughout the country with particular reference to the need to ensure that nothing is lost that can be preserved for future generations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20075/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Heritage Sites)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): My role is set out in the provisions of relevant legislation, as are the roles of local authorities and the responsibilities of owners.
I recently launched Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018-2027, a major capital investment of close to €1.3 billion in funding for culture and heritage over the next 10 years. This plan will see increased investment in protecting and celebrating our built and natural herita...

59. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which she will be in a position to continue to utilise events of a cultural and heritage nature to promote the national image at home and abroad with particular reference to the need to generate increased interest in such matters among young persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20074/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Cultural Policy)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Irish culture and heritage are indisputable assets when it comes to promoting Ireland’s image and reputation at home and abroad among all age groups. 
My Department supports a broad range of programmes and initiatives across its remit to promote Ireland’s image, including in particular the Creative Ireland Programme and Culture Ireland. 
The remit of Culture Ireland, a division of my Department, is to promote and advance ...

135. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if specific action can be taken in the case of a property (details supplied) in which management companies have failed to represent the interests of the residents and tenants in multi-unit developments and in which there is clear evidence of an unwillingness to acknowledge the position and grievances as set out by the residents and tenants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20493/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Property Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that I am not in a position in my capacity as Minister for Justice and Equality to provide legal advice or to refer to a specific case of this kind in response to a parliamentary question. 
By way of general information, the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 was enacted with the primary purposes of reforming the law relating to the ownership and management of common areas of multi-unit developments and facilit...

144. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of a stamp 4 application in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20337/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Immigration Status)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that it has received a request for permission to remain in the State in respect of the person mentioned by the Deputy. 
As the Deputy may be aware this case was among a large number of cases held by my Department pending the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment in respect of Luximon and Balchand which were finalised on 24 April 2018.  INIS advise...

145. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the basis on which a person (details supplied) is being held in Dublin Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20339/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Immigration Controls)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): It would not be appropriate for me to go into the details of the case referred to by the Deputy. I can say however, that the person concerned was refused permission to enter the State on 2 May 2018 and left the State on the same day. He is not the subject of an Irish Deportation Order. 
The following matters pertain in all cases where a person is refused permission to enter the State.
- There are in total twelve (12) grounds on which a...

153. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation when an appeal in respect of a work permit in the name of a person (details supplied) will be concluded; if the matter can be concluded at an early date with particular reference to the skills required by the company in question; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20274/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Work Permits Appeals)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The Employment Permits Section of my Department inform me that following the submission and consideration of additional information at review stage a decision has been made to award a General Employment Permit to the person concerned and the permit issued on 4th May 2018.
 ...

239. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the requests received by his Department from a county council (details supplied) for funding due to extreme weather events; the funding sought and the works proposed; when the application was submitted; the decision made on the request; the funding allocation made in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20221/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Roads Maintenance Funding)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of local authorities, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council’s own resources supplemented by State road grants.  The selection, prioritisation and implementation of works, including works relating to the impact of severe weather, is also a matter for the local au...

276. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the requests received by his Department from a county council (details supplied) for funding due to extreme weather events; the funding sought and the works proposed; when the application was submitted; the decision made on the request; the funding allocation made in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20222/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Local Authority Funding)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Since 2009, my Department has made financial support available to assist local authorities in meeting the costs of clean-up and necessary immediate works associated with the response to significant severe weather emergency events. This is in recognition of the exceptional nature of the activities carried out by local authorities in responding to these types of emergencies and the fact that the costs of these un-programme...

299. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which her Department is engaged in the restoration of major historical or cultural sites throughout the country; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20494/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - National Monuments)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I refer the Deputy to my reply today to Question No. 70, Reference No.19913/18.
 ...