33. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps that have been taken or are being taken to address the difficulties in both recruiting and maintaining members of the Defence Forces, including the reintroduction of the service commitment scheme, in view of the loss of trained specialist Defence Forces personnel to the private sector and the restoration of the security duty allowance payable for weekend duties to 2010 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20211/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 37 and 44 to 46, inclusive, together.
The Defence Forces have a higher level of turnover than other areas of the public service and this is a feature of military organisations internationally.
Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Permanent Defence Force have traditionally been set by, amongst other things, reference to levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public s...

37. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps that have been taken to address difficulties regarding recruitment to the Defence Forces in respect of the Public Service Pay Commission report published in May 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20212/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 37 and 44 to 46, inclusive, together.
The Defence Forces have a higher level of turnover than other areas of the public service and this is a feature of military organisations internationally.
Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Permanent Defence Force have traditionally been set by, amongst other things, reference to levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public s...

161. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the position in relation to the number of cases which have come under the remit of the State Claims Agency arising from the failure to inform women who had a smear test of the subsequent reinterpretation of their previous smear, or smears, as soon as this information came to hand; the number of proceedings initiated to date by those affected and-or their families; the number of cases already settled; the breakdown of those settlements; the damages agreed in each case; if exemplary damages were agreed in any case such as legal costs; if any of those settlements included a confidentiality clause; the status of outstanding proceedings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20746/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - State Claims Agency)

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23. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly den an Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta soiléiriú a thabhairt maidir le feidhmiú na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge, 2010-2030, agus go háirithe maidir le stádas an phlean gníomhaíochta don tréimhse 2017-2022; cén dáta a fhoilseofar an plean; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. (Question 20206/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge)

Deputy Catherine Connolly: Go raibh míle maith agat, a Cheann Comhairle. Tá mé ag lorg soiléiriú maidir le feidhmiú na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge agus go háirithe stádas an Phlean Gníomhaíochta atá geallta le fada an lá. Cén uair go cruinn a fhoilseofar an plean sin?
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24. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly den an Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cad é stádas phlean na Gaillimhe chun aitheantas mar Bhaile Seirbhíse Gaeltachta a bhaint amach; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. (Question 20134/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Scéim Áiseanna Pobail agus Teanga)

Deputy Catherine Connolly: Ceist shimplí dhíreach atá anseo. Cá bhfuil stádas phlean na Gaillimhe chun aitheantas mar Bhaile Seirbhíse Gaeltachta a bhaint amach?
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39. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of her Department’s post-project review on a cinema (details supplied); if the review has commenced; and if so, when it will be completed; the terms of reference for the review; the membership of the review team; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20131/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Departmental Reviews)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The post project review of the Pálás Cinema project will be conducted in accordance with the Public Spending Code which is managed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The Public Spending Code provides that such reviews should be undertaken once sufficient time has elapsed to allow the project to be properly evaluated with sufficient evidence of the flow of benefits/costs from it. It should be noted that wh...

47. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding allocated to Galway 2020 to date; all expenditure, including salaries and rent; the governance structures in place to monitor the expenditure and the projected further funding from her Department between now and the end of 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20130/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): In December 2014 the Government decided that Ireland should exercise its right to nominate a European Capital of Culture for 2020 and committed in principle at that time to provide €15m to the selected project. The Government’s support represents the largest single contribution to the overall cost of Galway 2020 as the European City of Culture, which is €45.7m. The balance of the funding is sourced from city and county...

69. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Catherine Connolly den an Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta an ndéanfaidh sí soiléiriú maidir leis na limistéir Phleanála Teanga i nGaillimh agus, go háirithe, maidir le stádas na bPleananna Teanga sa Chathair agus sa Chontae; cé mhéad plean atá faofa ag an Aire agus cé mhéad airgead atá curtha ar fáil chun na pleananna seo a chur i gcrích; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. (Question 20132/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Limistéir Pleanála Teanga)

Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Joe McHugh): Ar mhaithe le tacú le feidhmiú an phróisis pleanála teanga mar a leagtar amach é faoi Acht na Gaeltachta 2012, cuireann mo Roinn cistíocht bhliantúil ar fáil d’Údarás na Gaeltachta agus d’Fhorás na Gaeilge chun cuidiú le heagraíochtaí pobalbhunaithe a roghnaíonn an tÚdarás agus an Foras chun pleananna teanga a ullmhú agus a chur i bhfeidhm i leith na Limistéar Pleanála Teanga Ghaeltachta, na mBailte ...

32. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the spending by Galway City Council on emergency accommodation from 2015 to 2017 and to date in 2018; the nature of the emergency accommodation; the locations of the emergency accommodation; if the accommodation is provided directly; if not, the names of the agencies providing the accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19831/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Emergency Accommodation Provision)

Deputy Catherine Connolly: If the Minister wants an example of how out of control the market is and the emergency being created, he should look at Galway city. My question is on emergency accommodation but I will preface it by pointing out that today the students in Galway are protesting because they have been subjected to an 18% increase in their lease for the coming year. As they enter the exam period, they have been told that they have to come up with an extra €1,000 for a nine month lease ...

84. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 130 of 19 January 2017, the status of the plan to build 73 new units in Ballyburke, Galway city; the number of units that have been completed; the number of units due to be completed in 2018; when the development projected will be fully completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19830/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Housing Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Social Housing Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme involves an investment with a capital value of €300 million, with the aim of delivering 1,500 social housing units in total, via three bundles.
The Ballyburke site is part of the second bundle, comprising eight PPP sites in total, which will provide over 450 units. Three of the sites are located in the Cork County Council area, with one each in the Galway City...

14. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if persons on jobseeker’s payments are obliged to pursue the JobPath Seetec route if called upon to do so by her Department or if they have a choice not to go this route; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19215/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - JobPath Programme)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The role of the Department is not just to provide a jobseeker payment to people who are unfortunate enough to be unemployed, but also to provide assistance and support to unemployed jobseekers to help them secure employment. Central to this approach is the concept of ‘claim and commitment’. Jobseekers have a right to claim an income support from the State but also have a responsibility to commit to engaging with the...

31. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment in Galway city and county who have had their existing payment cut or withdrawn consequent on their decision not to choose the JobPath Seetec route; the number that have had their payment subsequently reinstated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19214/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Penalty rates are a legal provision within the Jobseeker schemes to ensure that the Department can achieve compliance with Government Activation Policy as stated in Pathways to Work. Legislation provides that sanctions / penalties in the form of reduced payments may be imposed by the Department’s Deciding Officers where recipients of jobseeker payments fail, without good cause, to comply with activation measures. Act...

42. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if the required review of the disadvantaged youth employment initiative has been carried out; if so, if he will provide a copy of same; the allocation of funding and the amount of underspend in relation to the scheme in 2016 and 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19007/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Youth Employment Initiative)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The Disadvantaged Youth Employment Initiative was included in the 2016 and 2017 Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plans.  Funding allocated in respect of the measure included in the 2016 Action Plan was €1.25m, however no expenditure was incurred.  No funding was allocated in respect of the measure included in the 2017 Action Plan.  These initiatives were not rolled out as planned as it was considered necessary to review the original...

58. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if the required statutory review under the Dormant Accounts Act 2001 for the 2013-2016 disbursement scheme which expired at the end of November 2016 has been conducted; if so, if he will provide a copy of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19006/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Dormant Accounts Fund Administration)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 and 58 together.
I refer to my reply of 27th March 2018 to previous questions on this matter, which set out the position with regard to the review of the Dormant Accounts Disbursement Scheme 2013-2016 and the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Dormant Accounts Fund.
In summary, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report contained a single recommendation that the statutory r...

40. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the terms of reference have been drawn up for a working group (details supplied); if so, if she will provide a copy of same; the members of the working group; the number of times it has met; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18899/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Children and Family Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I am committed to supporting and promoting the development, welfare and protection of children, and to help families be the best that they can be.
I want to see every child maintaining positive contact with both of their parents, whatever their circumstances. For some children, it is in their interest that this contact happens in a supervised, neutral, child friendly venue. 
The evaluation report on Family Child Contact Centr...

41. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the expenditure by her Department on the Tuam mother and baby home inquiry, in particular, for advertising, the appointment of consultants, collaborative forum and or other ancillary matters excluding the commission set up in accordance with the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18898/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The costs incurred to date by my Department in relation to the specific categories of expenditure identified by the Deputy are collated in the following table.
The expenditure on consultancy relates to the costs incurred by the expert technical group in providing advices on the options for the future of the Tuam site.
The Collaborative Forum is in the process of being established so the costs incurred to date relate to the initi...

146. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health when a child (details supplied) with complex medical needs will be offered an appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18435/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Disability Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality o...

152. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health further to a parliamentary question from this Deputy (details supplied), if his attention has been drawn to the fact that no progress has been made on waiting times for appointments and that children continue to wait in excess of two years for an appointment; if he has sought clarification as to the reason this remains the case; the steps being taken to ensure sufficient resources are in place to provide an acceptable service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18459/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Disability Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality o...

41. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress made in implementing the 12 key actions recommended in the national adaptation framework; the measures implemented to ensure the oversight and reporting recommendations (details supplied) at national level are fully functional; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18013/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Climate Change Adaptation Plans)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Implementing Ireland’s first statutory National Adaptation Framework (NAF) is a key priority for both my Department and indeed the whole of Government. I am very happy to report that significant progress has been made in the relatively short time that has elapsed since I published the Framework in the offices of Sligo County Council in January of this year.
The NAF identifies 12 priority actions and related supp...

61. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the publication of the national clean air strategy which was due to be published in the fourth quarter of 2017; the reason for the delay in its publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18014/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - National Clean Air Strategy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Clean Air Strategy will provide an overarching policy framework within which clean air policies can be formulated and given effect in a manner consistent with national, EU and international policy considerations and priorities. The Strategy will address priority air pollutants in Ireland in an integrated manner, and will complement the stated objectives of the National Mitigation Plan on Climate Act...

175. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the implementation of action 92 proposed in the national mitigation plan, namely, the improvement of farm sustainability through GLAS and the origin green programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18153/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - National Mitigation Plan Implementation)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Work is on-going in the implementation of the National Mitigation Plan. Action 92 refers to the proposal to continue to improve farm sustainability through GLAS and the Origin Green Programme.
In relation to GLAS over 50,000 farmers joined GLAS, which has a range of actions to address climate change and reduce emissions.
Among the actions undertaken under the scheme are almost 5,000 farmers who have committed to the Low Emissi...

176. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the 29 adaptation options included in his Department’s “Adaptation Planning - Developing Resilience to Climate Change in the Irish Agriculture and Forest Sector” report: the status of the implementation of the six recommendations for the monitoring, review and evaluation of the adapted options included in the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18154/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Climate Change Adaptation Plans)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The non-statutory adaptation planning document entitled Adaptation Planning - Developing Resilience to Climate Change in the Irish Agriculture and Forest Sector was prepared by my Department under the 2012 National Climate Change Adaptation Framework.  This document represents a first step by my Department in developing a climate change adaptation approach for the agriculture and forest sectors. This will be developed further ...

235. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the requested consultation talks with survivors of residential industrial schools to facilitate a survivor-led strategy providing support for survivors looking for assistance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17859/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Residential Institutions)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Following a meeting with survivors, I expressed a willingness to have a series of consultation meetings around the country, led by and for survivors of institutional abuse.  The purpose of these meetings will be to enable survivors to reflect on their experiences, the State’s response to the issue of institutional abuse and to make any recommendations they wish to make.  The detail of how this can happen is being worked out and Departmen...

236. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the eligibility review for Caranua will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17874/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Residential Institutions Statutory Fund)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The review of eligibility to apply for Caranua is nearing completion and will be published in the coming weeks.
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237. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the progress made by Caranua following publication of its customer service charter and its feedback and complaints policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17875/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Residential Institutions Statutory Fund)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Caranua (the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund) is an independent statutory body and I have no role in relation to its day to day operations. The organisation’s existing Customer Charter is available on its website www.caranua.ie, as is its Feedback and Complaints Policy.  Recent statistics published on the website show that 95% of the feedback between January and March of this year was positive. 
Caranua has identified a number ...