45. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the timeframe for Defence Forces pay restoration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53155/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Deputy Brendan Ryan: For too long, members of the Defence Forces have been treated like second-class citizens in the context of our public service workers. The Defence Forces have always been our last line in service provision. If the weather is too bad for commuting, the Army will be called in. In times past, the Army even cleared rubbish off our streets when industrial action led to environmental damage. The Defence Forces have never been treated on par with the rest of the public sector. ...

63. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on strategies within the Defence Forces to combat mental health challenges of personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52903/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I can assure the Deputy that the health and welfare of the men and women of the Defence Forces is a high priority for me. The Defence Forces is fully aware of the importance of attention to mental health.
Mental health services are part of the range of medical and non-medical services provided so as to ensure that Defence Forces personnel are medically fit to undertake the duties assigned to them. Also, to treat any medical co...

64. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if there is a timetable for Defence Forces pay restoration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52900/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Deputy Paul Kehoe: I propose to take Questions Nos. 51, 57, 64, 70 and 83 together.
As I said earlier in reply to a previous question, the pay of the Permanent Defence Force, similar to other areas within the public service, was reduced during the financial crisis. The reductions in pay were on a graduated scale with higher percentages being deducted from those on higher earnings. This action was one of the measures that it was necessary to take to stabilise the financial situation which faced...

70. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if there will be an increase in the duty allowance or payments to Defence Forces personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52901/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Deputy Paul Kehoe: I propose to take Questions Nos. 51, 57, 64, 70 and 83 together.
As I said earlier in reply to a previous question, the pay of the Permanent Defence Force, similar to other areas within the public service, was reduced during the financial crisis. The reductions in pay were on a graduated scale with higher percentages being deducted from those on higher earnings. This action was one of the measures that it was necessary to take to stabilise the financial situation which faced...

71. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the effective strength of the Reserve Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52902/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Reserve Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The White Paper on Defence confirms that the primary role of the Reserve is to augment the Permanent Defence Force in times of crisis. In non-crisis situations, the main focus will be on training to prepare for this role. The Government has also assigned a formal role to the Reserve of contributing to state ceremonial events. The Government appreciates the service of the members of the Reserve and the White Paper on Defence is ...

79. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he is examining strategies to reopen barracks along the border in the event of a hard Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52904/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Army Barracks)

Deputy Declan Breathnach: The roles assigned to the Defence Forces in the White Paper on Defence include the provision of aid to the civil power, that is, providing assistance and support to the Garda Síochána when requested to do so, and assisting the Revenue Commissioners in the carrying out of their duties. We in Louth are fortunate to have Aiken Barracks and Gormanston Camp, but many of the Border counties have been denuded of Army barracks. My question refers to the need to have a Defence...

153. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of a new and permanent building for a school (details supplied) in view of the traffic and safety concerns being caused for parents and pupils due to its current temporary location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52638/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school to which the Deputy refers is temporarily located in a property in the ownership of Teagasc in Kinsealy, Dublin 17 pending delivery of the school’s permanent accommodation. 
My Department is aware that the school has made contact with Fingal County Council’s traffic engineer and Road Safety Officer and that the Council has completed a report recommending that appropriate parking options need to be identified. In this regard, ...

324. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Health if he will provide a report on the frequency of helicopter transports arriving at Beaumont Hospital at a location (details supplied); his plans for the hospital to build a helicopter landing pad in the grounds of the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52971/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Air Ambulance Service Operations)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.
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175. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Health if financial support is available for a person (details supplied) for the purchase of a mobility scooter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52114/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Medical Aids and Appliances Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. 
 ...

188. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 271 and 272 of 17 October 2017, if the one health approach to tackling antimicrobial resistance, AMR, encompassing all sectors means that the current and evolving risk of AMR contamination associated with urban gulls will be monitored and addressed by the recently established National interdepartmental AMR consultative committee in view of the launch of iNAP on 25 October 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52188/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Infectious Disease Epidemics)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 188, 189, and 195 to 198, inclusive, together.
The HSE-Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is a specialist agency for the surveillance of communicable diseases. It works in partnership with health service providers and similar organisations in Ireland and around the world, to provide the best possible information for the control and prevention of infectious diseases. The roles of the HPSC include providing timel...

189. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Health if such current and emerging associations (details supplied) will be monitored and addressed by the recently established national interdepartmental AMR consultative committee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52189/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Infectious Disease Epidemics)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 188, 189, and 195 to 198, inclusive, together.
The HSE-Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is a specialist agency for the surveillance of communicable diseases. It works in partnership with health service providers and similar organisations in Ireland and around the world, to provide the best possible information for the control and prevention of infectious diseases. The roles of the HPSC include providing timel...

147. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if the Revenue Commissioners are prepared to facilitate a suitable deferred payment arrangement in the case of a person (details supplied) whereby they discharge their responsibilities over a reasonable period of time by way of monthly payments thus facilitating their ability to trade out of his financial difficulty without being forced to cease trading or to go into bankruptcy, whilst also meeting the requirements of the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51922/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Personal Insolvency Arrangements)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 148 together.
Revenue has advised me that its clear preference is always to engage positively with insolvent individuals who enter into Personal Insolvency or Debt Settlement arrangements and has to date agreed terms in more than five hundred cases since the Personal Insolvency Act was enacted.
However Revenue can only “opt in” to the process where the Personal Insolvency Practitioner on behalf of the insolve...

148. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if it is normal for the Revenue Commissioners to dismiss in a summary manner proposals formulated by a personal insolvency practitioner to deal with the financial circumstances of a person (details supplied), including proposals to pay off all debt due to the Revenue Commissioners; and if these proposals can be reviewed. (Question 51923/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Personal Insolvency Arrangements)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 148 together.
Revenue has advised me that its clear preference is always to engage positively with insolvent individuals who enter into Personal Insolvency or Debt Settlement arrangements and has to date agreed terms in more than five hundred cases since the Personal Insolvency Act was enacted.
However Revenue can only “opt in” to the process where the Personal Insolvency Practitioner on behalf of the insolve...

171. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50095/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Schools Establishment)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy may be aware, where a requirement for additional post-primary schools has been identified, details including proposed timelines related to the opening of the schools are made known by a Ministerial announcement. However, patrons may decide for different operational reasons in a particular year that it is in the best interests of a new post-primary school to defer its opening.  In some cases there may be a timing issue, wher...

75. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if an application for the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme by a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49738/17 asked on 23 Nov 2017 - Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that an application under the Drivers/Passengers with Disabilities Scheme was received from the person concerned on 15 November 2017 and that a Certificate of Approval will issue within the next week.
 ...

212. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will provide the PRSI record of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49736/17 asked on 23 Nov 2017 - Social Insurance Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): My Department is committed to providing a contribution record statement to all customers who require one.
The main facility for accessing social insurance contribution statements is now online, via the MyWelfare.ie application. This service was introduced on 27 January 2017; and details of how to register are available at: https://www.mygovid.ie/en-IE/GettingStarted/. 
However, if any customer is not in a position to...

213. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will provide the PRSI record of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49737/17 asked on 23 Nov 2017 - Social Insurance Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): My Department is committed to providing a contribution record statement to all customers who require one.
The main facility for accessing social insurance contribution statements is now online, via the MyWelfare.ie application. This service was introduced on 27 January 2017; and details of how to register are available at: https://www.mygovid.ie/en-IE/GettingStarted/. 
However, if any customer is not in a position to...

53. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the international marketing campaign for 2018 to be delivered by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland with an emphasis on the positions of Dublin and the breath of fresh air campaign within those strategies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49424/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Tourism Promotion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Tourism Ireland is the agency responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas as a tourism destination. The matter raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for Tourism Ireland. I have referred the Deputy’s Question to Tourism Ireland for direct reply, albeit I understand that they have not yet published marketing plans for 2018. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.
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63. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether there has been an outcome to the NTA review of additional car park facilities at Portmarnock Dart Station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49433/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Railway Stations Upgrade)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy is aware, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). 
In light of the NTA’s responsibility in this area, I have forwarded the Deputy’s questions to the NTA for direct reply on the issue raised. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.
 ...

64. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide the timeframe on the delivery and implementation of the promised stakeholder forum for transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49344/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Public Transport Initiatives)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 64 together.
The Deputies will be aware that Iarnród Éireann workers are currently balloting on the recent Labour Court Recommendation and I do not wish to interfere in any way in that process. However, I would like to assure the Deputies that I look forward and remain committed to holding a dialogue with public transport stakeholders at an appropriate time and I hope that this can be shortly....

81. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the potential impact on the future of metro north of forced dezoning of residential lands in north County Dublin, in line with the new draft national planning framework; if he has discussed this matter with Transport Infrastructure Ireland; and his further views on the future of metro north. (Question 49345/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Light Rail Projects)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The draft National Planning Framework (NPF) - which is expected to be finalised and agreed by Government shortly - recognises the statutory arrangements for transport planning in the Greater Dublin Area under the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the transport planning policy set out in the NTA’s Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) 2016-2035. Indeed, the draft NPF includes a National Strategic Outcome to “Deliv...

87. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to establish a study on the use of the Dublin Port Tunnel with a view to encouraging more car traffic at peak times in order to reduce traffic jams on the M1 corridor, with particular emphasis on the pricing structure at peak times; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49427/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Traffic Management)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy in relation to roads.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects on national roads are a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the relevant local authority.  For regional and local roads it is a matter for each respective local authority.
More specifically, the statuto...

118. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of new school buildings for a school (details supplied); his views on the acquisition of land; if the extension of the school is a more likely prospect in the short term as a result; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49499/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department is currently finalising its plans for capital expenditure in 2018. Building projects, including the project for the school to which the Deputy refers, will be considered in that context. 
Officials from my Department will shortly be in contact with the school regarding the timeframe for progression of its project.
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317. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Health the status of an operation for a person (details supplied) at the Mater hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48727/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have ...

611. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to outline his plans for the introduction of a new affordable housing scheme to assist those on modest incomes to buy a home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48741/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Social and Affordable Housing Provision)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 611, 627 and 629 together.
The Government recognises the housing affordability pressures faced by households with low to moderate income, particularly in parts of the country where housing costs are highest. Therefore, housing affordability has been examined by my Department, in consultation with the Housing Agency, local authorities and other stakeholders as part of the targeted review o...