72. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the progress made towards securing consistent access to a drug (details supplied) for persons suffering with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency via its approval for reimbursement by the HSE. (Question 17008/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Medicinal Products Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 28 and 72 together.
The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on the pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drugs schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The HSE carefully considered the pricing and reimbursement of human alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (Respreeza). The manufacturer, CSL Behring, was notified in August 2017 that the HSE was unable...

84. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce a scheme put forward by a union (details supplied) by which women could access contraception directly from their community pharmacist without prescription and without charge regardless of eligibility in order to improve access to contraceptives. (Question 17009/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Pharmacy Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): My Department received a proposal from the Irish Pharmacy Union recently in relation to provision of contraception services through pharmacies. The proposal will be considered in due course.
 ...

136. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to fund a purpose built ASD unit at a school (details supplied); and when funding will be made available. (Question 17170/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Funding has been approved to provide a two-classroom ASD unit at the school to which the Deputy refers.  The project has been devolved for delivery to the school authority.  The project is in the design stages.  My Department’s Professional and Technical staff visited the school recently and are assisting the school with design options.
Funding is committed to the project.  The first tranche of devolved project funding (70%) is drawn dow...

256. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if he will engage with an organisation (details supplied) and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure new medicines are available to persons with MS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17338/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Medicinal Products Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.   As Minister for Health, I do not have any statutory power or function in relation to the reimbursement of medicines. The Act specifies the criteria for decisions on the reimbursement of medicines.
In line with the 2013 Act, if a company would like a medicine to be reimbursed by the HSE pu...

49. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applications for a licence to export military or dual use items denied by her Department in 2017. (Question 16605/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Military Exports)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): My Department is responsible for controls on the export of these military and dual use items from Ireland. 
Under Irish law, military export licences must be sought in respect of the goods and technology, and any components thereof, listed in the Annex to the Control of Exports (Goods and Technology) Order, S.I. 216 of 2012 which reflects the 2008 EU Common Position on Arms Exports and EU sanctions regimes.
My Departmen...

63. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number and value of licences issued for military exports in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16604/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Military Exports)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): My Department is responsible for controls on the export of military items from Ireland. Under Irish law, military export licences must be sought in respect of the export from Ireland of military goods and technology, and any components thereof, listed in the EU Common Military List.  
I publish an annual report under the Control of Exports Act 2008 which includes information on military exports. The objective of publish...

184. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the salmon hatchery operated by a company (details supplied) in County Donegal has been awarded organic status. (Question 16838/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Organic Farming)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The certification, control and inspection of all organic operators in Ireland, including those engaged in the production of organic farmed salmon, has been delegated in accordance with EU Regulations to a number of approved Organic Control Bodies. 
The relevant Organic Control Body has confirmed that the site named is certified as an organic freshwater rearing site i.e. a hatchery.
 ...

185. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the food producers that have been included in the Origin Green Programme while being investigated by his Department or other State agencies for breaches of statutory requirements. (Question 16839/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Origin Green Programme)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Origin Green is the national sustainability programme for the Irish food and drink industry. It is a Bord Bia initiative and operated by that State Body. 
Participating companies within the programme sign up on a voluntary basis. As part of the membership requirements, companies must develop a multi-annual sustainability plan with time-bound targets. This plan is then independently assessed and verified by a third party auditi...

186. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on whether it is appropriate for his Department to have responsibility for the organic food programme in view of the continued designation of a company (details supplied) as an organic producer of farmed salmon despite multiple investigations by his Department into breaches of licence conditions by that operator and the payment of fees to the assessors by the operators. (Question 16840/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Organic Farming)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The organic status of operators in the food sector here in Ireland is certified by rigorous on-going assessment undertaken on behalf of my Department by designated Organic Control Bodies. My Department remains the Competent Authority under EU regulations but has delegated the certification function to those independent control bodies, in accordance with the relevant EU regulations and in common with the practice in many other...

187. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the sites of a company (details supplied) that are being investigated by his Department for breaches of licence conditions; and when he expects these investigations to be completed. (Question 16841/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Aquaculture Licences)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): My Department is currently examining possible breaches of licence conditions in respect of three aquaculture licences held by the Company referred to by the Deputy.
These licences are in respect of the following sites: 
 1. Deenish (Co. Kerry)
 2. Lough Swilly (Co. Donegal)
 3. Roancarrig (Co. Cork)
Every effort is being made by my Department to bring these examinations to a conclusion as soon as possible. As these examination...

188. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to initiate an inquiry into salmon farming here in view of the public concern regarding environmental damage to the coastal environment caused by the industry and the recent report of the Scottish Parliament stating that salmon production in that country is unsustainable and is not being sufficiently regulated. (Question 16842/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Fish Farming)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): All applications for aquaculture licences are considered by my Department in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act, the 1933 Foreshore Act and applicable National and EU legislation.
The licensing process provides for a period of Statutory and Public Consultation. Licensing decisions are taken following the fullest consideration of all scientific, environmental, legal, engineering and public pol...

64. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has requested the Garda Commissioner to explain when and the way in which the information contained in the intelligence report that led to the expulsion of a Russian diplomat came to light regarding the activities of the person concerned; the number of meetings that took place between An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces and other organisations in relation to completing the intelligence report; and if he is satisfied that An Garda Síochána has been appropriately monitoring this reported security threat. (Question 16538/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Diplomatic Representation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can assure the Deputy that the Government affords the highest priority to the State’s security.
An Garda Síochána carries out a range of functions in safeguarding our national security, including actions to counter terrorist threats, to support international security and to protect the State and its vital interests, where necessary, from espionage and unlawful acts of foreign interference.
In this regard, the Garda Authorities work v...

77. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress of the statutory inquiries initiated as a result of the Independent Review Mechanism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16539/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Independent Review Mechanism)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy is referring to five Statutory Inquiries which were established, under Section 42 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, on 15 May 2017.  These inquiries, each of which is presided over by a retired judge, arose out of the recommendations of Counsel of the Independent Review Mechanism in respect of five complaints considered by it. 
As the Deputy will be aware, the Orders establishing these Inquiries prescribe that a report will b...

105. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach if a ministerial allowance is claimed in respect of his ministerial role at the Department of Defence. (Question 15443/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Ministerial Allowances)

The Taoiseach: I do not receive an allowance in respect of my role as Minister for Defence. I am in receipt of one office holder allowance - in respect of my role as Taoiseach.
 ...

129. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the person with responsibility for final sign-off of Army Pensions Board decisions; and if the Minister of State with special responsibility for Defence is empowered to sign off on same. (Question 15442/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Under the Army Pensions Acts 1923-1980 a disability pension or gratuity may, following retirement, be granted to a former member of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) for permanent disablement due to a wound or injury attributable to military service (whether at home or abroad)  or to a disease attributable to, or aggravated by, overseas service with a United Nations Force.    
The criteria for awarding a disability pension or gr...

161. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if members of the Army Ranger Wing have ever served in Afghanistan; the overseas missions in which members of the unit have served; and if these particular missions have been approved by Dáil Éireann under the triple lock system. (Question 16069/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Army Ranger Wing (ARW) are the Special Operations Forces of the Defence Forces. Personnel from the ARW served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015.  
Members of the ARW have also served in the following missions:
United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNISOM) in 1993; 
International Force East Timor (INTERFET) from October 1999 ...

166. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the efforts being made to contact the authorities in Northern Ireland to have the missing body parts of a person (details supplied) returned to the family for appropriate burial with the rest of their body; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15217/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Location of Victims’ Remains)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I recently met with the family in the case referred to by the Deputy. I subsequently tasked officials in my Department with engaging with the relevant authorities in Northern Ireland in relation to the issue. My Department will keep the family informed as to the progress of these efforts.
As the Deputy will appreciate, this is a private and most difficult matter for the family and direct contact will therefore be maint...

178. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the steps he has taken or will take to ensure that the Israeli authorities are contacted to express the opposition of the Houses of the Oireachtas to the continued use of administrative detention of Palestinian Legislative Council members who have been arrested and detained without being convicted of an offence in a manner which is in violation of all human rights standards and agreements under international law. (Question 15391/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 178, 181 and 184 together.
The 132 members of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) were elected in 2006 for a four year mandate. The PLC has not held a regular session since 2007 and its mandate has since expired. I regret that it has not been possible to hold long overdue elections. I note that there are currently twelve members of the PLC currently held in Israeli jails with nine of...

179. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the diplomatic steps he has taken against Israel in order to express the Irish population’s outrage at the slaughter of civilians in Gaza and its ongoing consistent and flagrant breaches of international law. (Question 15587/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Middle East Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 179, 182, 183, 185, 190, 193 and 194 together.
I have been greatly concerned by the events in Gaza over recent weeks, and especially by the appalling number of serious injuries and deaths to people engaged in demonstrations.
Every country is entitled to defend its border, but the use of force, and particularly deadly force, must only be used as a last resort and should be proportionate to...

188. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on whether the decision to expel a Russian diplomat from Ireland was premature and unwarranted (details supplied); if he will be apologising to the Russian ambassador; the steps he will take to repair Irish-Russian relations in the wake of the expulsion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15836/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Diplomatic Representation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Following on from extensive briefings by the United Kingdom at senior official level and to EU Foreign Ministers, Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the European Council on 22 March. She made a compelling case in support of her government’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation was responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with a military-grade nerve agent, and t...

221. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the reason the standard cut-off income rate for PAYE taxation is different for married couples with one income as distinct from married couples with two incomes; if an assessment has been carried out of the discriminatory impact this has on married persons who stayed at home to raise their children; his plans regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15154/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The move towards a system of individualisation commenced in 1999, and is now integral to the overall income tax system. When first announced, the stated purposes of individualisation were to ease the burden on single persons which accounted for 65% of the work force, to take workers on the average industrial wage out of the higher rate of tax and more generally to facilitate a reduction in the numbers paying tax at the higher rate. Prior to this, ...

345. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Topical Issue No. 2 on 21 March 2018 regarding provision for a location for a school (details supplied), the timescale for the delivery of the new site for the school; the impediments regarding same; when the school will be in a position to develop this facility to the next phase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15219/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Schools Building Projects)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As outlined in my response to the Topical Issue to which the Deputy refers, a project to provide a permanent school building for the school in question is included on my Department’s capital programme. Officials in my Department are working closely with officials in the relevant local authority in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding in relation to the identification and acquisition of a suitable site to facilitate the school...

396. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the recent 27% year-on-year increase in rent at a student residence (details supplied); and his plans to address exorbitant rents in the student accommodation sector. (Question 15734/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Student Accommodation)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I am aware of the recent price increases for purpose built student accommodation in certain private developments.  
The Government’s housing strategy, Rebuilding Ireland, seeks to address the current shortage of housing supply. The National Student Accommodation Strategy (NSAS) which I launched in July 2017, together with the Minister of State for Higher Education and the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, is an importa...

466. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason for the decision to cut funding to a centre (details supplied) resulting in its likely closure; if the decision will be reversed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16519/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Ensuring every child is supported and given the opportunity to reach their full potential is a key priority for this Government. 
The Department is committed to improving educational outcomes for members of the Traveller and Roma communities.  
St. Thomas’s Clonshaugh is a school with Special School designation dating from a period when separate education provision for members of the Traveller community was the norm.    
The phasing out ...

517. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress that has been made with regard to releasing the Crowley report into the death of a person (details supplied); if the process of proactively engaging with those that participated to waive the confidentiality agreement which allegedly exists as the basis upon which they took part in the report; the advice he has received regarding the publication of the report with the names redacted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15216/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Departmental Reports)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The fatal shooting of Aidan McAnespie in February 1988 was a devastating tragedy for Aidan McAnespie’s family and for the people of Aughnacloy. Given the public disquiet following the shooting, the then Government commissioned a report into the circumstances that was carried out by then Garda Deputy Commissioner Crowley.
Given the circumstances in which the Crowley report was carried out and the commitments given to many local people ...