3. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has had discussions with the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, Mr David Ford, MLA, or the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ms Theresa Villiers, MP, in respect of the International Red Cross process in Maghaberry and the public announcement of a new regime for political prisoners, and the implications of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45530/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Northern Ireland Issues)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question, which is tabled on behalf of the group of cross-party Deputies who regularly visit Maghaberry Prison, comes on the back of the damning inspection of that prison. The Minister is aware that there have been various initiatives to try to get the 2010 agreement implemented, including a stock-take report, but we have come to the conclusion that there must be another agenda at play because there does not appear to be any desire on the part of the prison authorities f...

18. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in view of the fact that it has been over a year since both Dáil and Seanad Éireann adopted motions calling on the Government to recognise the state of Palestine, when formal recognition of the State of Palestine by Ireland will take place; his views on the delay to date of such formal recognition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45467/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Middle East Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Government works consistently to achieve a sovereign Palestinian state not just in theory but in fact, and all of our actions on the Israeli/Palestinian issue are directed to that end. It is central to our objective of a two state solution that will ensure the security and prosperity of both peoples.
I continue to consider carefully whether the recognition by Ireland now of a state of Palestine, prior to its real achievement ...

20. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has made representations to the Embassy of the United States of America with regard to the connection between that nation’s military use of Shannon Airport and Ireland being described as part of a coalition of evil in a purported ISIS video; if he has expressed concerns to the ambassador regarding the implications of continued United States military use of Shannon Airport for Ireland’s security; and if he will reconsider such military use of Shannon Airport in view of its deleterious effect on both Irish neutrality and the security of Irish citizens. (Question 45469/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Military Aircraft Landings)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have not made representations to the US Embassy on this subject.
Permission must be sought in advance for landings by all foreign military aircraft, including US aircraft, at Irish airports and if granted, is subject to strict conditions which I have outlined many times in this House. Successive Governments have made landing facilities at Shannon available to the US for well over 50 years. These arrangements do not amount to a...

22. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has had any consultations with his European Union colleagues with regard to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, including, in particular, recent reports of multiple beheadings, and the advisability of maintaining close diplomatic and economic relations with that state in view of its human rights record; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45471/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Human Rights Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Human rights issues form a continuous part of EU discussions on third party countries, be it at EU Ministerial level or among EU representatives in the countries concerned. Ireland has the greatest impact on matters of foreign policy, including human rights, when we speak with one voice with all of our EU partners. As such, we regularly raise human rights matters in conjunction with our EU partners through the EU Representation ...

29. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views, in terms of global security, stability and peace, on the advisability of any European Union state engaging in a bombing campaign in Syria in response to the attacks in Paris of 13 November 2015; if he has had engagements with other European Union Foreign Affairs Ministers on this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45470/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - International Terrorism)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Ending the devastating conflict in Syria, which has imposed enormous burdens on neighbouring States, is critical to the stability of the Middle East region, and the security and safety of the Syrian people and their neighbours. This instability is also impacting on Europe in the form of both large scale migration and the recent terrorist attacks.
Airstrikes have been conducted against Da’esh in Iraq and Syria for a number of mont...

31. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the steps he is taking, diplomatic or otherwise, to advocate at the European Foreign Affairs Council level for a ban on the import of goods to the European Union from illegal Israeli settlements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45468/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Israeli Settlements)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The European Union has taken a number of steps to differentiate between its treatment of imports from Israel and goods coming from illegal Israeli settlements. Settlement goods are not entitled to the lower tariffs that are the norm in the EU, and meat from settlements may not be certified by Israeli veterinary authorities. EU research funding may not be spent in settlements. Most recently, the European Commission last month cl...

182. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the process by which persons are short-listed and selected for posts as architectural advisers in the Office of Public Works is fully open and competitive; if there are sufficient safeguards to protect against any favouritism; and if any audit of the recruitment process for positions in the Office of Public Works has ever been conducted. (Question 45726/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Simon Harris): The Office of Public Works does not recruit staff in the grade of Architectural Adviser. Open competitions for all Established grades are conducted by the Public Appointments Service.
 ...

269. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the funding available for Rush Harbour works and improvements in County Dublin, given the desperate need for repair; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46150/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Harbours and Piers Maintenance)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Responsibility for development, and repair and maintenance of Rush Harbour rests with Fingal County Council. The parent Department for that Local Authority is the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.
My Department has in previous years, under the annual Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, provided funding to Local Authorities for the development and repair of local authority ...

305. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence why he has not contacted a person or that person’s solicitor (details supplied) regarding the findings of a report from the Attorney General, a matter which he indicated he would act on some considerable time ago; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45899/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Ministerial Correspondence)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I can advise you that I have contacted the representatives of the individual in question regarding procedural issues and await a response from him. I would hope that as soon as I receive his response I can progress the matter further.
 ...

489. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has consulted with the Department of Defence regarding the implications of the deployment of Irish troops to Mali, given the potential impact of such a deployment at this time on the perception of Ireland’s neutrality abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45531/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): On 16 November, in the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris, President Hollande stated that France was invoking Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union. The article states that “If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Th...

561. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps she is taking to ensure that permission for a naíonra in a school (details supplied) in County Dublin will issue shortly, given that her Department assured the school that permission for same would issue in early autumn 2015. (Question 46021/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Preschool Services)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): In general my Department looks favourably on applications for the establishment of pre-school facilities on school sites. However there are a number of complex issues that need to be considered in respect of such applications, including governance, insurance and leasing arrangements among others. These issues are currently being appraised by my Department and the school authorities will be advised of developments in due course. 
 ...

3. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on recent discussions his Department has had with the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Justice and Equality and Defence on the need for an immediate overhaul of the manner in which his Department gives permission for civilian aircraft to land or overfly the State carrying munitions, given the scale of the number of such requests and against the backdrop of the growing destabilisation of the Middle East. (Question 45023/15 asked on 16 Dec 2015 - Military Aircraft Landings)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question relates to whether the Minister has had contact with his colleague in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with regard to reviewing the practice of authorising permits for the transit of weapons and munitions through Shannon Airport. This is against the backdrop of the fact that last year permits were given permits by the Minister to take weapons and explosives through Shannon Airport on a total of 272 flights, the majority of which were used to take US t...

5. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport given that Ireland’s economy has been described as improved by the Department of Finance and given that the document, Climate Change Mitigation: Preparation of Low-Carbon Roadmap for Transport, published by his Department in December 2013, envisaged retrenchment in public transport investment due to economic circumstances only until 2016, after which it was hoped to increase longer-term investment in infrastructure, giving Ireland more capacity to support and develop a low carbon economy by 2050, the plans his Department has drawn up for such investment commencing in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45025/15 asked on 16 Dec 2015 - Climate Change Policy)

Deputy Clare Daly: My priority question was my question on workers’ conditions in the Dublin Airport Authority and Aer Lingus. It followed up on a question I asked previously and I am disappointed it was not selected for reply.
On the issue of climate change, we are informed that the country’s economic performance is improving. We are clearly in a crisis, however, because Ireland will not meet its climate change targets. Transport has a key role in this area. Has the Minister used the additi...

9. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will review or if he has reviewed the public transport policies and investment budget, given Ireland’s legally binding emissions commitments and given the agreements made at the COP21 meeting in Paris in France. (Question 44880/15 asked on 16 Dec 2015 - Greenhouse Gas Emissions)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question flows from an earlier question on climate change in reply to which the Minister was a little defensive. I did not say the Department had done nothing but it has not done enough in the context of climate change and the fact that transport is the second largest non-emissions trading sector. This has a key impact on our emissions targets, particularly now, given we were not on target to meet the 2o target. The Paris agreement has changed that to 1.5o by 2050. Wh...

17. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the consultations he has had with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, other Departments and relevant stakeholders subsequent to the publication of the Preparation of Low-Carbon Roadmap for Transport, regarding his role in the national low-carbon transition and mitigation plan; the content of these discussions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44882/15 asked on 16 Dec 2015 - National Mitigation Plan)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, it is proposed to address GHG emissions through a National Mitigation Plan, which will incorporate input from the key sectors of electricity generation, built environment, agriculture and transport.  My Department is currently examining a suite of measures aimed at delivering cost effective emissions reduction in the transport sector. 
As part of this process, my officials are involved in ongoing eng...

23. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the climate change adaptation plan for transport will be published, given that his Department’s Statement of Strategy 2015-2017 stated it would be published in March 2015. (Question 44881/15 asked on 16 Dec 2015 - Climate Change Policy)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill creates a statutory obligation for a number of sectors, including transport, to develop sectoral adaptation plans.  When enacted, this legislation will provide for the making of these plans within three months of the publication of a new National Adaptation Framework.
In advance of this legislation, my Department, in consultation with key transport a...

171. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the progress in achieving an overall target of 10% of transport energy coming from renewable resources by 2020, if the target will be reached; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45466/15 asked on 16 Dec 2015 - Renewable Energy Generation Targets)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive sets all Member States a binding target that at least 10% of the energy used in the transport sector must come from renewable sources by 2020. Ireland aims to meet this target mainly through the increased use of sustainable biofuels with electric vehicles also making a small contribution.
The Biofuels Obligation Scheme was introduced in July 2010 as the primary means through which I...

41. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his views on the wisdom of continuing with the Environmental Protection Agency study into hydraulic fracturing with terms of reference that are considerably out of date, given that 50% of research into hydraulic fracturing has been carried out since 2012. (Question 44663/15 asked on 15 Dec 2015 - Hydraulic Fracturing Policy)

Deputy Clare Daly: This follows on from Deputy Colreavy’s earlier question regarding the EPA process and fracking. I am not filled with confidence given the Minister of State’s implacable defence of the process in the prepared answer he read out and then in the latter reply when he said he would give us an interim report, which completely contradicts the EPA head of research who in March of this year said there would be no interim reports. I do not know how the Minister of State can defend the...

65. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the role he envisages social enterprises performing in reducing Ireland’s dependence on fossil fuels and, in particular, the impact this sector can have compared with conventional private enterprise. (Question 44664/15 asked on 15 Dec 2015 - Energy Efficiency)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): One of the central themes in the Green Paper on Energy Policy, published in May 2014, is citizen empowerment. Since its publication, the Department undertook a public consultation process which included analysis of over 1,200 written submissions and thirteen stakeholder seminars on the various priority areas highlighted in the Green Paper. A recurring message coming from both the written submissions and the seminars...

212. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010 permits the breeding of dogs for the purpose of experimentation; and if he will protect the welfare of these dogs. (Question 44757/15 asked on 15 Dec 2015 - Animal Experimentation)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Responsibility for the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010 is a matter for the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government. Implementation of the regulations relating to animals used in medical experiments is the responsibility of the Health Protection Regulatory Authority which comes under the aegis of the Department of Health. 
 ...

279. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to outline her views on the fact that staff at governor level in the Prison Service can avail of free on-site accommodation in a number of the prisons, yet prison staff often find it difficult to secure transfers to a prison near where they live and are unable to afford accommodation costs near where they work, if she will address this inequity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44966/15 asked on 15 Dec 2015 - Prison Staff)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I wish to advise the Deputy that the only prison with on-site accommodation for staff is Loughan House Open Centre in Cavan. In this case, there are 8 rooms available to staff of all grades in the Prison, including the Governor.
There is an agreed transfer protocol for prison officers who wish to seek a transfer to another prison. Vacancies are filled in each location as they arise in line with this transfer protocol on the basis of ...

283. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to set out the number of prisoners in custody and the number under protection in each institution on 23 November 2015. (Question 45094/15 asked on 15 Dec 2015 - Prisoner Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 283 to 285, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that a breakdown of the information on the date requested by the Deputy is not available.
However, the Irish Prison Service provide a Quarterly Census Report which includes information regarding the number of prisoners under protection. This Census is published on the Irish Prison Service website, (www.irishprisons.ie). In relat...

284. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to set out the number of prisoners from 18 to 20 years of age in custody and the number under protection in each institution on 23 November 2015. (Question 45095/15 asked on 15 Dec 2015 - Prisoner Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 283 to 285, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that a breakdown of the information on the date requested by the Deputy is not available.
However, the Irish Prison Service provide a Quarterly Census Report which includes information regarding the number of prisoners under protection. This Census is published on the Irish Prison Service website, (www.irishprisons.ie). In relat...

285. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to set out the number of prisoners from 21 to 25 years of age in custody and the number under protection in each institution on 23 November 2015. (Question 45096/15 asked on 15 Dec 2015 - Prisoner Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 283 to 285, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that a breakdown of the information on the date requested by the Deputy is not available.
However, the Irish Prison Service provide a Quarterly Census Report which includes information regarding the number of prisoners under protection. This Census is published on the Irish Prison Service website, (www.irishprisons.ie). In relat...

286. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to set out the number of prisoners in each institution who are locked up in a normal day for 23 plus, 22 plus, 20 plus, 18 plus, 16 plus, 14 plus and less than 14 hours as of 23 November 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45097/15 asked on 15 Dec 2015 - Prisoner Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 286 to 288, inclusive, together.
I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that a breakdown of the information on the date requested by the Deputy is not available.
However, the Irish Prison Service provide a Quarterly Census Report which includes information regarding the number of prisoners on a restricted regime. This census is published on the Irish Prison Service website, (www.irishprisons.ie).
I ...