10. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 233 and 234 of 10 October 2017, his plans to rethink his strategy regarding women in respect of the building of a larger prison facility and the promotion of step-down facilities rather than non-custodial alternatives and supported independent living. (Question 44225/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Prison Service Strategies)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question arises on foot of previous parliamentary questions I have submitted regarding our attitude to penal policy in the context of the incarceration of women. I have concerns about the fact that the Minister is investing resources in larger facilities for women prisoners. While everybody agrees that there needs to be a new facility in Limerick, why does it have to be so big? Why are we putting resources into step-down facilities and where is the evidence that this i...

36. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the initiatives he has taken or the progress made on dealing with drugs entering prisons and drug treatment in prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44226/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Drugs in Prisons)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by my officials that the Irish Prison Service policy ‘Keeping Drugs out of Prison’ was introduced in 2006 to address many aspects of drug use in prison, including measures to reduce the use of illegal drugs in the prison setting.
In 2008, the Operational Support Group was established which received resources and investment in order to implement the key objectives of Keeping Drugs out of Prison. A key role of the Operatio...

164. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) has been told that they will be waiting almost a year before treatment can be accessed in the Mater hospital after a referral from their company’s doctor in respect of their chronic knee problems. (Question 44429/17 asked on 19 Oct 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.
The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which...

165. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if he will meet with a person and a group (details supplied). (Question 44435/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Medicinal Products Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drugs schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013. The Act does not give the Minister for Health any powers in this regard. 
In relation to the access scheme for Respreeza, the operation of such schemes is at the discretion of manufacturers. As Minister for Health I have no role in the operation of th...

168. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the origins and genesis of the radiological study published by his Department in November 2016 in the Harding Clark report on the symphysiotomy payment scheme​; and if this study was authorised and-or commissioned by his Department or his office. (Question 44507/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 to 171, inclusive, together.
The Surgical Symphysiotomy Ex-gratia Payment Scheme, which was approved by Government, concluded with the publication of the Report of its independent Assessor, Judge Maureen Harding Clark, on 22 November 2016. Judge Clark’s Report, included, as an appendix, a review undertaken by Professor Leo Lawler, Director of Radiology Services, consultant radiologist Mater Hospital and visiting C...

169. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if the radiological study published by his Department in November 2016 in the Harding Clark report on the symphysiotomy payment scheme was paid for by his Department; if so, the amount; if the study’s principal author (details supplied) received payment from his Department for this purpose; if so, the amount; if the other ten doctors listed as co-authors of the study received payment for their work; and if so, the amount received by each. (Question 44508/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 to 171, inclusive, together.
The Surgical Symphysiotomy Ex-gratia Payment Scheme, which was approved by Government, concluded with the publication of the Report of its independent Assessor, Judge Maureen Harding Clark, on 22 November 2016. Judge Clark’s Report, included, as an appendix, a review undertaken by Professor Leo Lawler, Director of Radiology Services, consultant radiologist Mater Hospital and visiting C...

170. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health ​the terms of reference of the radiological study published by his Department in November 2016 in the Harding Clark report on the ​symphysiotomy ​payment ​ scheme​; the process by which those terms of reference were drawn up; and the names of the persons involved in the process. (Question 44509/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 to 171, inclusive, together.
The Surgical Symphysiotomy Ex-gratia Payment Scheme, which was approved by Government, concluded with the publication of the Report of its independent Assessor, Judge Maureen Harding Clark, on 22 November 2016. Judge Clark’s Report, included, as an appendix, a review undertaken by Professor Leo Lawler, Director of Radiology Services, consultant radiologist Mater Hospital and visiting C...

171. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the patient demographics used ​​to access the images of applicants to the symphysiotomy ​payment ​scheme ​from the national imaging archive further to the radiological study published by his Department in November 2016 in the Harding Clark report on the ​scheme; ​if the X-rays of all applicants to the scheme, including those whose applications failed, were accessed for the purposes of this research; if the data used to download these images included the applicants’ names or other identifiers; and if so, the identifiers. (Question 44510/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 to 171, inclusive, together.
The Surgical Symphysiotomy Ex-gratia Payment Scheme, which was approved by Government, concluded with the publication of the Report of its independent Assessor, Judge Maureen Harding Clark, on 22 November 2016. Judge Clark’s Report, included, as an appendix, a review undertaken by Professor Leo Lawler, Director of Radiology Services, consultant radiologist Mater Hospital and visiting C...

259. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his Department received a request from Sligo County Council in 2017 to increase staffing levels in the council’s housing section; the response of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44309/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Local Authority Staff)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each Chief Executive is responsible for staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authorities for which he or she is responsible.
My Department has not received any staffing applications from Sligo County Council in 2017 to increase staffing levels in the Council’s Housing Section.
 ...

32. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he has satisfied himself that all correct procedures were followed prior to the nomination of a person (details supplied) for election to the position of chair of the European Union Military Committee. (Question 44216/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - EU Bodies)

Deputy Clare Daly: My question is about the procedures followed in making the decision to nominate the Chief of Staff as chair of the European Union Military Committee. The decision was taken on 18 September, two days before we resumed after the summer break, without any consultation with the Dáil. There was an arrogance in the timing and the fact that the House had not been consulted. No doubt the Minister of State will tell me that, strictly, no rules were broken, but it was an affront to o...

37. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views regarding the nomination of a person (details supplied) as chair of the European Union military committee, in particular the way in which this nomination fits with Ireland’s stated military neutrality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43973/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Military Neutrality)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question is similar to my earlier one but such is the bounce of the ball in the Priority Question lottery. It relates to the nomination of the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces to the position of chair of the European Union military committee. When the nomination was announced, the Minister of State told us proudly that Ireland is one of the strongest contributors to common security and defence policy operations and that the nomination provides a positive and valuabl...

47. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to commission a second review of claims by former Air Corps staff that say their exposure to toxic chemicals from the late 1980s to the early 2000s caused chronic illnesses in view of the fact that the person commissioned to perform the first review (details supplied) has stated that they were not in a position to consider the substances in use or implications for human health arising from such use in view of the fact these issues are outside their competence. (Question 43976/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Protected Disclosures)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 38, 47 and 65 together.
The health and welfare of the men and women of the Defence Forces are a priority for me; that is why I ensured that protected disclosures alleging exposure to chemical and toxic substances were investigated by an independent third party. The reviewer’s report has indicated that he felt that given the breadth of the remit of the Terms of Reference he commented in general t...

50. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the participation of the Defence Forces in Operation Sophia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43974/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Operations)

Deputy Mick Wallace: Operation Pontus, the search and rescue mission, was established as a humanitarian mission with the primary focus being on saving lives. Wonderful work was done and almost 16,000 lives were saved in the Mediterranean. The recent Dáil motion to bring Operation Pontus within the remit of Operation Sophia was a terrible development. The day before the motion was considered, a House of Lords inquiry in the United Kingdom concluded that Operation Sophia had failed in its manda...

57. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the position regarding progress toward the discontinuance of the use of Lariam in the Defence Forces following the passage of a motion in the Houses of the Oireachtas calling for same in June 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43977/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 57 and 59 together.
As I stated in my reply to the Private Members’ Motion, which was before the Dáil on 28 June, fundamentally the use of anti-malarial drugs is a medical matter that should be decided by qualified medical professionals. In the Defence Forces these are decisions for highly qualified Medical Officers having regard to the specific circumstances of the mission and the individual me...

62. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if his Department has entered into contracts for the procurement of services or products with suppliers in attendance at a trade fair (details supplied) on foot of the attendance of departmental officials at same. (Question 43975/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Departmental Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The bi-annual Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition was held in London from Tuesday 12 September 2017 to Friday 15 September 2017.
The event was attended by a number of Department of Defence and Defence Forces personnel. Attendance by Defence Organisation personnel at such Defence exhibitions is standard practice and has been a feature at previous exhibitions. It is best practice in Defence acquisition...

95. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 165 of 10 October 2017, if he will request the NCPE to begin collecting data on the number of children turned down annually for speech and language classes in primary schools despite meeting the qualifying criteria, in view of the fact that adapting capacity to meet demand is difficult if not impossible with the absence of this data; the reason the NCPE has not collected this data to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44094/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Special Educational Needs Data)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Students with Specific Speech and Language Disorder (SSLD) may attend a special class for students with SSLD with speech and language therapy services provided in class by the HSE or attend a mainstream school with additional teaching supports and speech & language therapy through the HSE primary care service. 
The NCSE monitors and reviews the requirement for special class places in particular areas and has capacity to establish such ne...

113. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the situation with regard to LGBTQI persons (details supplied) in Egypt. (Question 44089/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Human Rights)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the worrying situation with regard to LGBTI people in Egypt, to which the Deputy refers.
The promotion and protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals globally is a priority for Ireland in our international human rights advocacy, including our engagement at the UN Human Rights Council, at EU meetings and through our diplomatic network. Ireland attaches importance to...

120. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 116 of 4 October 2017, if officials in the Office of the State Pathologist are not accountable to his Department; and if the chief State pathologist is equally not accountable to him or his Department. (Question 44104/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - State Pathology Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): All bodies which operate under the aegis of my Department agree governance and accountability arrangements with the Department, including written governance agreements, in line with the requirements of the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodiesand in accordance with the Department’s Corporate Governance Framework.  Such arrangements help to ensure that appropriate corporate governance is in place in State bodies and that t...

164. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the persons who currently work in the greyhound industry, in tabular form. (Question 44107/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Greyhound Industry)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Bord na gCon is a commercial State body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958, chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. 
Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Accordingly, the information being requested by the Deputy has been forwarded to Bord na gCon for direct reply.
 ...

169. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 4 October 2017, if there was a disease outbreak or other incident resulting in extensive fish mortalities at a site (details supplied) previous to the recent jellyfish strike; the date his Department and Inland Fisheries Ireland were notified of the disease outbreak or incident; the number of mortalities from this disease outbreak or incident; and the condition and number of the remaining fish at the time of the jellyfish strike. (Question 44185/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Fish Farming)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): My Department has been advised by the Marine Institute that the aquaculture site referred to by the Deputy experienced a disease outbreak in advance of the jellyfish strike. 
On 21 September my Department received an inquiry from Inland Fisheries Ireland concerning large quantities of dead fish at the site referred to by the Deputy. Inquiries by my Department’s Marine Engineering Division indicated that substantial mortalitie...

170. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the compensation fund for biotoxin events in aquaculture provided by the State can be accessed for the recent mortalities through jellyfish strikes on salmon farms; and the extent, duration and rationale of the fund. (Question 44186/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Fish Farming)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Ireland’s €240 million European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme 2014-20 provides €29.6 million to support the sustainable development of the aquaculture sector, in accordance with the 2015 National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development. This includes a €2 million fund to aid mollusc farmers affected by suspension of harvesting of molluscs during periods of raised biotoxin levels.  
In accord...

180. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if there are obligations in terms of regulatory oversight and enforcement in regard to the issue of crew numbers in airlines under the jurisdiction of the IAA. (Question 44090/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Air Services Provision)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 180 and 181 together.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is responsible for aviation safety regulation in Ireland, as provided for under the Irish Aviation Authority Act, 1993.
The Deputy’s questions have been referred to the IAA for direct reply. If a reply does not issue within 10 days please contact my Office.
 ...

181. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is satisfied that the dominant employment model of multiple subcontractors for the provision of crew to Irish registered airlines has no hazard or safety implications. (Question 44091/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Air Services Provision)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 180 and 181 together.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is responsible for aviation safety regulation in Ireland, as provided for under the Irish Aviation Authority Act, 1993.
The Deputy’s questions have been referred to the IAA for direct reply. If a reply does not issue within 10 days please contact my Office.
 ...

182. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is satisfied with the performance of Irish aviation regulatory authorities in view of the approach taken by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. (Question 44092/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Airlines Regulations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) is the independent regulator for the enforcement of air passenger rights in Ireland under EU Regulation 261 of 2004. It functions as part of a close network of national enforcement bodies across the EU, including the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK. 
As regards the role played by CAR in enforcing passenger rights in Ireland following the recent announcement by Ryanair of the canc...

198. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the way in which the task of lifting 113,000 children out of consistent poverty can be achieved with budget 2018 only allocating a small increase to the child dependant allowance of €3 per week; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44267/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Child Poverty)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The increase of €2 in the payment for qualified children (IQC), which most weekly social welfare payments can include, represents an increase of 6.7% in this payment, and will bring the estimated cost of this child-related element of the welfare budget to in the region of €579 million in 2017. This budgetary measure specifically targeted children in low-income families, and as such should assist in the goal of liftin...