3. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the contact he has had with Aer Lingus management regarding the future of the airline; and his views on the State’s 25% ownership. (Question 54578/13 asked on 19 Dec 2013 - Semi-State Bodies)

Deputy Clare Daly: I apologise for my absence earlier; I was mistakenly advised that I had the fifth question.
I wish to know the dealings the Minister has had with Aer Lingus in recent months with regard to the future ownership of the company and also with regard to a number of quite substantial changes that have taken place on some operational matters on the pension etc. I would be quite glad to get any such information because obviously these issues are overhanging the staff as we speak.
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18. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport in view of the tourist potential linked to the work of the Irish Seal Sanctuary, if he will facilitate this volunteer organisation with a suitable permanent premises in Balbriggan as part of the previously planned marine conservation project in conjunction with Fingal County Council. (Question 54134/13 asked on 19 Dec 2013 - Tourism Promotion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): My Department’s role in relation to tourism relates primarily to national policy. It is not involved in the administration of tourism-related funding programmes nor the building of tourist attractions.  That is a matter for the State tourism agencies.  
In this regard, Fáilte Ireland administers the Tourism Capital Investment Programme, which provides support for investment in certain categories of visitor attraction, visitor ac...

38. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he will take to assist the Irish Amateur Boxing Association in working with Swords Boxing Club, County Dublin, to develop international level boxing facilities in the town. (Question 54133/13 asked on 19 Dec 2013 - Sports Facilities Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Michael Ring): I understand that discussions have recently taken place between Fingal County Council, the boxing club referred to by the Deputy, and the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.  I further understand that these discussions have centred around the possibility of securing alternative premises for the club, as the Council does not view their current premises as being suitable for sporting purposes.  Indeed, the Cou...

294. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide a list of aquaculture licences issued under the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997 where aquaculture in respect of which a licence has been granted has not commenced within two years after the date on which the licence was granted and the licence has therefore ceased to have effect under the the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997; the name of the original and last holder of each licence; the nature, extent and location of such licences; if he has notified the appropriate bodes of the cessation of each of these licences; and if he has notified the holders of these licences; if has published a notice of the cessation of these licences in a newspaper circulating in the vicinity of these licences. (Question 54878/13 asked on 19 Dec 2013 - Aquaculture Licences)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 294 and 295 together.
The circumstances referred to by the Deputy are dealt with by Section 69, subsections (1) and (2) of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997. 
My Department does not retain the detailed and extensive information requested by the Deputy on a routine basis. My Department’s records currently indicate the following licences have ceased or been revoked under the provisions of Sect...

295. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide a list of aquaculture licences issued under the Fisheries (Amendment Act) 1997 where aquaculture in respect of which a licence has been granted has ceased for a continuous period of two years and he is required to revoke these licences; the name of the original and last holder of each such licence; the nature, extent and location of each such licence; if he has notified the appropriate bodes of the revocation of each of these licences; if he has notified the holders of these licences; and if he has published a notice of the revocation of these licences in a newspaper circulating in the vicinity of these licences. (Question 54879/13 asked on 19 Dec 2013 - Aquaculture Licences)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 294 and 295 together.
The circumstances referred to by the Deputy are dealt with by Section 69, subsections (1) and (2) of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997. 
My Department does not retain the detailed and extensive information requested by the Deputy on a routine basis. My Department’s records currently indicate the following licences have ceased or been revoked under the provisions of Sect...

296. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has notified the applicant for a company (details supplied) in County Galway and all those who have made submissions or observations in relation to the application of the reasons it has not been possible or appropriate to determine the application within four months; and if he has specified the date before which he intends the application to be determined, in accordance with the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997. (Question 54880/13 asked on 19 Dec 2013 - Aquaculture Licences)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Section 13 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1997 sets down timeframes within which the Minister shall endeavour to determine an application for an aquaculture licence. 
However, in the absence of a commencement order, there is no statutory timeframe in force for the determination of applications for aquaculture licences under the Act. Every effort is made by my Department to expedite the determination of all applications su...

399. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the action he has taken to investigate the collapse of the pilot training college in July 2012, with particular reference to the knowledge of the IAA with regard to financial problems in the college and the steps taken to assist the students complete their training. (Question 54927/13 asked on 19 Dec 2013 - Pilot Training Colleges)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Pilot Training College Waterford (PTC) was a privately owned and operated flight training organisation  that  reneged on its contractual obligations and failed its students. On 28 September 2012 the High Court ordered the liquidation of PTC.  Neither the IAA nor the taxpayer are liable for the failure of this private sector company.   The IAA’s responsibility for flight training organisations cover the oversight of the safety,...

10. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if he will alter his proposals for a redress scheme for the victims of symphysiotomy to take account of the concerns of their representative organisation SoS and instead that a mechanism for dealing with medical negligence and the lifting of the statute of limitations would be facilitated in order to secure proper compensation. (Question 53985/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Medical Negligence Claims)

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): On 26 November Government approved the appointment of retired Circuit Court Judge Yvonne Murphy to assist in setting out a possible course of action in relation to women who have undergone surgical symphysiotomies. Judge Murphy has been asked to meet a number of key interested parties, particularly the support groups for the women, and also the State Claims Agency, and the insurers. Together with the Judge, I met the three support groups - Survivors ...

35. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health his views on the disproportionate numbers of maternal deaths to women of black minority ethnic status and the action he will take regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53984/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Maternal Mortality)

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 35 together.
The Confidential Maternal Death Enquiry in Ireland report (2009-2011) confirms that the number of maternal mortalities in Ireland is small. While the Report does not specify ethnicity, 10 of the 25 deaths reported in the three year period were women not born in Ireland. There was no evidence of clustering of cases in any one hospital.
A significant issue identified in the report was engagement with ...

168. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when updated legislation to control and licence gambling is likely to be introduced; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a company (details supplied ) have been guilty of criminal activity in relation to interactive gambling; and the plans he has to prevent such operators from being able to trade. (Question 54632/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Betting Legislation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): As the Deputy will understand, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on alleged breaches of the criminal law in a foreign jurisdiction.
My Department is preparing new legislation to control and licence gambling. The Gambling Control Bill will update and replace all existing laws on gambling (other than those relating to the National Lottery). The Government approved the General Scheme in July this year and it has been available on ...

186. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the progress that has been made on the Garda investigation into cockfighting in County Monaghan; and his plans to increase penalties and enforcement of those guilty of this unlawful activity. (Question 54631/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Garda Investigations)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): My officials have been in touch with An Garda Síochána in this matter. I understand that investigations are on-going, that good progress has been made and that a file is being prepared for submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the New Year.
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199. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason Collite is not contributing to increasing our extremely low forest cover in line with our national forestry targets; the reason public forests are being cleared to be replaced with concrete and steel for private wind energy companies; the reason Coillte is unable to supply the ESB with quality wooden poles to satisfy an extremely lucrative domestic market; and his plans for same. (Question 54626/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Forestry Management)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): While Coillte reforests some 6,000 ha annually after a crop of timber is harvested the company is not actively involved in afforestation of bare land. Current Government incentives for afforestation include grants generally to private farmers to cover the cost of afforestation and premiums to compensate the landowner for the loss of income. Under EU rules, Coillte is not entitled to receive these premiums. In order for Coillte...

200. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the millions of euro worth of public forests which were sold by Coillte to a pension fund company (details supplied) that Coillte is a partner of were put out to tender on international markets, or, was it the case that there was one seller and one buyer. (Question 54627/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Coillte Teoranta Lands)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Department is currently seeking information from Coillte regarding the background to these sales. Contact will be made directly with the Deputy when the relevant information has been received.
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221. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if he will reverse the funding cuts to the national drugs task force which has resulted in funding to policing forums being dramatically eroded; and the plans he has to ensure that the policing forums are adequately financed. (Question 54513/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Drugs Crime)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White) (Deputy Alex White): The Deputy will be aware that the funding allocated to Drugs Task Forces for community based drugs initiatives in 2014 has been reduced by 3% on the 2013 allocation. It is a matter for Local and Regional Drugs Task Forces to determine individual project allocations including where a local policing forum is the project promoter. In determining project allocations, Drugs Task Forces are expected to take into a...

73. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in view of the state apologies in Australia, Spain and Britain to children who were the victims of forced and often illegal adoptions, her views on whether the Irish State should make a similar apology to Irish children who were forcibly adopted and exported from the State. (Question 54123/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Adoption Records Provision)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question relates to the shoddy way in which the Irish State has treated adopted persons. This issue has come to prominence recently with the release of the film “Philomena”, and the producers of that film have been inundated with requests from Irish people to seek assistance in getting their identity traced. Appalling crimes of identity theft have been committed against people. Other states have apologised for such behaviour and I wonder whether the Minister would cons...

85. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the percentage of cases where the Adoption Authority of Ireland has overturned negative assessments of couples as being unsuitable parents; the circumstances in which these decisions are made; and if she has any plans to reform this system. (Question 53811/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Adoption Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): This information has been requested from the Adoption Authority of Ireland. Unfortunately it was not possible to ascertain the information in the time available. As soon as my Department is in receipt of the necessary information I will forward it directly to the Deputy.
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103. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reasons for the delay in bringing forward the adoption and tracing legislation; and if she will specify the obstacles that she has previously referred to in relation to implementing full tracing rights and retrospection. (Question 53812/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Proposed Legislation)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 and 103 together.
Existing procedures for the tracing of birth parents by people who have been adopted are not ideal and I have been anxious to see improvement brought about. The existing arrangements for those seeking access to information reflect a transition from complex and historical situations and I am anxious that the HSE implement much more improved and consistent arrangements. It is ...

382. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when the pyrite resolution board will process applications for remediation and expedite the claims in view of the urgency and very serious deteriorating condition of a number of dwellings. (Question 53685/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Pyrite Remediation Programme Implementation)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): The second stage of the Pyrite Resolution Bill, which provides for the establishment of the Pyrite Resolution Board on a statutory basis and for the operation of the pyrite remediation scheme, was passed in the Seanad yesterday evening; the Committee and remaining stages of the Bill are scheduled to be taken in the Seanad later this evening with all stages of the Bill scheduled for debate in the Dáil on Thursday. I...

389. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will undertake a study on the way the excessive numbers of take-away and fast food outlets operating in many urban and suburban areas can be curtailed. (Question 53838/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Planning Issues)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): Planning authorities may, when adopting the Development Plan for their areas, adopt policies to curtail an excessive concentration of takeaways in particular areas. Under planning legislation the change of use of any premises to a takeaway or fast food outlet would require planning permission. In deciding whether or not to grant permission for a development, the relevant planning auth...

407. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that members of Sligo Borough Council served a notice on the temporary county manager (detail supplied) under section 140 of the Local Government Act 2001, directing her to have a special meeting of the borough council convened on 16 December 2013; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the temporary county manager ignored the section 140 notice; the reason the assistant secretary of his Department appointed this person as temporary Sligo county manager, taking into consideration their view that they can ignore and refuse to comply with section 140 of the Local Government Act 2001; if his Department will, as a matter of urgency, now appoint a temporary county manager who will carry out his or her duties in compliance with the Local Government Act 2001; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54163/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Local Authorities Management)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 407 and 410 together.
Section 140 of the Local Government Act 2001 is not the mechanism to requisition a meeting of a local authority. This is provided for in paragraph 6 of Schedule 10 of the Act, which sets out the procedure for the Cathaoirleach to requisition a special meeting and for members of the authority to request the Cathaoirleach to requisition a meeting. I refer to th...

408. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the most recent local government auditor’s report indicates that the overall debt of Sligo County Council has increased from €85 million to €94 million; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the auditor has again expressed concern in respect of the financial performance and standing of the council and its increasing level of debt; if it has been brought to his attention that the elected members of Sligo County Council, at a meeting on 2 December 2013, unanimously adopted the following motion: “Having considered the contents of the Local Government Auditors Report for the year ending 31 December, 2012 and recognising the financial crisis the council finds itself in, the elected members of Sligo County Council hereby resolve (a) to request the Minister for the Environment to meet as a matter of urgency with an all party delegation of councillors to discuss the critical financial position of the Council; (b) to request the Minister and his Department to provide necessary advice and assistance to the Council”; if he intends to meet with the all party delegation in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54164/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Local Authority Expenditure)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): It is a matter for each local authority, including Sligo County Council, to determine its own spending priorities in the context of the annual budgetary process having regard to both locally identified needs and available resources. The elected members of a local authority have direct responsibility in law for all reserved functions of the authority, which include adopting the annual budget and authorising borrowi...

443. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied that the terms of reference of the consideration of the Fr. Niall Molloy case have been published even though no consultation had taken place with those who handed over the evidence of a cover-up. (Question 54150/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Garda Investigations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 443 and 451 together.
I refer the Deputies to my reply to Parliamentary Questions Nos 71, 99, 380 and 381 of 10 December 2013 wherein I informed the House that the Senior Counsel carrying out the proposed examination of the report of the Serious Crime Review Team in this case will be asked to do two things, namely, first, to prepare a report which can be put into the public domain on any issues of public in...

516. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will undertake a study with regard to the way fast food outlets and supermarkets who undertake special cheap deals targeted at lunch times and schoolchildren can be curtailed in the interest of combatting the growing levels of youth obesity. (Question 53837/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Obesity Strategy)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Responsibility for the regulation of food and beverage providers lies with the Department of Health and, through it, with the HSE and Food Safety Authority of Ireland. I understand that this remit currently focusses on food safety rather than nutritional content.
The Minister of Health has established a Special Advisory Group on Obesity on which a member of my Department sits. This has been working with food providers on a va...

521. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 145 of 4 December 2013, if she will clarify the nationalities of children in care on a national basis for the past ten years. (Question 54179/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Children in Care)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Further to my response in the previous Parliamentary Question response the HSE has advised that this data is currently not collated. The introduction of the National Child Care Information System (NCCIS) will record the nationality of children when introduced.
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544. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if he will ensure that the arbitration award due to the Northern Meath Community Development Association is paid without delay. (Question 53686/13 asked on 17 Dec 2013 - Community Development Projects)

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): The HSE have advised that there were two arbitrations in relation to their occupation of this property. One from 1/5/2004 and one from 1/5/2009. Both arbitration awards were honoured in full by the HSE, to include payment of all back monies due from the relevant dates. The HSE have further advised that no further payments are currently due. 
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