6. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will meet the two serving Garda whistleblowers whose legal teams have been in contact with her requesting a meeting and access to reports commissioned in relation to their cases; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40318/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Protected Disclosures)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question relates to the undermining of the position of whistleblowers. They are the victims of bullying and harassment. These are matters that have been brought directly to the Minister’s attention by a number of serving whistleblowers, at the heart of which is the Garda Commissioner. On the Minister’s point to Deputy Wallace, it is normal procedure in any organisation when somebody is the subject of a major inquiry or serious allegations that they are suspended. Afte...

65. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will ensure that the cases of other serving Garda whistleblowers that have made complaints in relation to bullying and harassment following the making of a protected disclosure, apart from those considered by a judge (details supplied) are included in any follow on inquiry. (Question 40319/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Protected Disclosures)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy is aware, following advice received from the Attorney General, I appointed Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill to undertake a review of certain protected disclosures which were made to me. In essence, Judge O’Neill was asked to review allegations of wrongdoing contained in the disclosures; to make whatever inquiries he considered appropriate in relation to the review and to report on the conclusion of his review,...

255. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the military crackdown on the Rohingya minority in Myanmar; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40528/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Foreign Conflicts)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As I noted in Parliamentary Question No. 137 on 14 December 2016, the Government welcomes the democratic transition which is currently underway in Myanmar/Burma following elections in November 2015, and the positive steps that the new Government of Myanmar/Burma has taken in pursuit of peace and reconciliation, democratic reforms and economic growth. However we are concerned about the recent violence in Rakhine State, which began...

362. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the steps he will take to ensure that a drug (details supplied) continues to be available to treat individuals with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. (Question 40627/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Medicinal Products Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 362 and 363 together.
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. 
In reaching its decision, the HSE examines all the evidence which may be relevant in its view for the decision (including the information /dossier submitted by the Company) and will take into acc...

49. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the efforts being made to avoid the 3 January 2017 all out strike in Oberstown; the contingency plans in place for the care of the young persons residing there; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39921/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - Industrial Disputes)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Discussions are ongoing between Oberstown management and staff unions in relation to a number of issues and the Workplace Relations Commission is available to both parties to assist them in resolving matters. Oberstown management will draw up and put in place contingency plans in the event of strike action or other events occurring to ensure the safety and welfare of both staff and children. In the event of an all out strike i...

63. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the implications for the children detained in Oberstown of the decision to put ancillary staff on protective notice in respect of the planned strike due to take place on 3 January 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39922/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - Industrial Disputes)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I wish to advise the Deputy that I have confirmed that protective notice has not issued to ancillary staff.
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139. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the number of times the NPWS has been present at the release of hares after coursing meetings so far this season; and if there are plans to increase that presence to protect hares from recapture. (Question 40212/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - Hare Coursing Regulation)

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 140 together. 
Officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department have supervised the release of hares following six coursing meetings this season to date. My Department will continue to endeavour to attend as many meetings as possible, having regard to the resources available and other priority work on hands.
26 conditions in total, which ha...

140. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if the recapture of hares in the vicinity of a recent hare coursing meeting is prohibited with regard to the granting of licences; and if not, if she will make it a condition. (Question 40213/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - Hare Coursing Regulation)

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 140 together. 
Officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department have supervised the release of hares following six coursing meetings this season to date. My Department will continue to endeavour to attend as many meetings as possible, having regard to the resources available and other priority work on hands.
26 conditions in total, which ha...

36. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will consider honouring the proposal of the late Commandant Quinlan to award medals to a number of men that served with the UN at the battle of Jadotville in 1961. (Question 39705/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Military Medals)

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Before I call Deputy Clare Daly to introduce her question, I wish to check with the Minister if he is taking Questions Nos. 36, 40 and 44 together.
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42. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of occasions that aid to civil power functions were carried out by Defence Forces personnel at Shannon airport, Dublin airport and Cork airport, in respect of the protection of US military aircraft, and any other reason for each of the years 2011 to 2016 to date; and the nature of the arrangement when foreign military aircraft land at Casement Aerodrome; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39707/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Military Aircraft Landings)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána have primary responsibility for the internal security of the State. Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces is the provision of Aid to the Civil Power (ATCP) which, in practice, means to assist An Garda Síochána when requested to do so.
The number of occasions that the aid to civil power functions were carried out by Defence Forces personnel at Shannon airport,...

44. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps he has taken to liaise with the President in relation to the presentation of military medals for gallantry notwithstanding previous initiatives in relation to honouring the men of A Company, 35th Infantry Battalion that fought in Jadotville. (Question 39704/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Military Medals)

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Before I call Deputy Clare Daly to introduce her question, I wish to check with the Minister if he is taking Questions Nos. 36, 40 and 44 together.
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57. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on a request sent to the director of the medical corps by a senior member of the Defence Forces in 2009 and 2010 for a medical risk assessment of the safety of Lariam to be carried out, including a comparative survey of personnel returning from Chad and Kosovo (details supplied), which was not acceded to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39706/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The Director Medical Branch provides military medical advice to the Chief of Staff and the General Staff and is responsible for clinical governance and the development of clinical policy, medical education and training in the Defence Forces. In relation to the documents referred to by the Deputy, I note that only one of the documents was addressed to the Director Medical Branch.
In relation to that document or indeed any documents sent to ...

59. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of experts being referred to in the responses to Parliamentary Question No. 11 of 18 June 2013 and No. 69 of 24 November 2015, in which it is stated that those experts concur with the prescribing practices for Lariam followed by the Defence Forces; and the names of the experts involved. (Question 39703/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Working Group on Malaria Chemoprophylaxis was established in January 2011 and reported in April 2013. The purpose of the Group is to review, inter alia, issues arising in relation to the use of Lariam, particularly in the context of the current and potential litigation. The Group was re-convened in August 2015 and is due to complete its report shortly. As with the Group’s original report, the current report is being produ...

120. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to parliamentary question number 108 of 1 December 2016, her views on the fact that the assurances she received from the body concerned do not tally with allegations contained in a letter from a person (details supplied) dated 5 November 2016 and forwarded to her by An Taoiseach; the steps she is taking to investigate these conflicting accounts of events. (Question 39901/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Legal Services Regulation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The allegations to which the Deputy refers relate to the respective conduct of business by the body concerned under its general constitution, disciplinary code and code of conduct and in relation to the body’s making available of certain statutory forms and like matters. As I have previously conveyed to the Deputy in my Written Reply of 1 December 2016 to which she has referred, it remains for the governing body of the e...

388. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the second dead seal database report, covering the period 2014 to 2016 (details supplied), in particular the reports in it of a cluster of sub adult seals found dead with massive tissue loss; and if her department will take steps to investigate the cause of these deaths. (Question 39607/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): My Department has had sight of the second Dead Seal Database report and my officials have been in communication with the organisation referred to by the Deputy about the database. 
I am advised that the deaths referred to may have been caused by one or more large bull seals. Such behaviour has been recorded in Scotland over a number of years.
My Department intends to keep abreast of research findings...

615. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the legal requirements for driving licence applications are set out in the Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations 2006, SI 537 of 2006, as amended; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that the regulations include the statutory application form for a driving licence, known as form D401; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the most recent update to the statutory form was by SI 420 of 2013; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that the driving licence application form currently being used by the National Driver Licence Service differs from the statutory form contained in SI 420 of 2013; if the National Driver Licence Service or any other agency has the authority to change or alter the statutory driving licence application form as contained in SI 420 of 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39655/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Driver Licences)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​I am aware of these matters, and I am in the process of preparing regulations to update this form.
I have taken legal advice, and I am satisfied that the form D401 being used at present by the National Driver Licensing Service, while not in every respect identical to that currently specified in regulations, is a valid version of the form in light of section 12 of the Interpretation Act.
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654. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the legal course of action available to forced or illegally adopted persons here who have been effectively excluded from the commission of investigation. (Question 39380/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Commissions of Investigation)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The term illegal adoption is sometimes used to cover a wide range of situations, including the incorrect registration of a birth. So the Deputy will appreciate that I am not in a position to provide legal advice to individuals. Any person requiring advices on the legal remedies that may be available to their specific circumstances should consult with an appropriate legal professional.
By way of general advices I would encourage ...

678. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the broad range of studies demonstrating the neurotoxic effects of mefloquine, Lariam, (details supplied) have been reviewed and taken into account by the chief medical officer in coming to the conclusion that the benefits of Lariam as a first line anti-malarial for the Defence Forces outweigh the costs. (Question 39772/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Director Medical Branch provides military medical advice to the Chief of Staff and the General Staff and is responsible for clinical governance and the development of clinical policy, medical education and training in the Defence Forces. In this context, I am advised that the Director Medical Branch is aware of a broad range of studies relating to Lariam and indeed he is also aware of studies relating to the alternative ant...

11. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the fact that no preliminary figures on the export of dual use and military items are yet available for 2016 in view of the fact that six monthly reports on such exports were published at the end of June in each of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 and in May 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38950/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Military Exports)

Deputy Mick Wallace: For many years, Ireland has had a poor record on publishing data on its military and dual use exports. It was safer for Governments to pretend that we were not an exporter of arms to maintain our thin facade of neutrality. However, perhaps provoked by the Mark Thomas documentary, we got the Control of Exports Act 2008. In 2011 we got the first report on exports of arms and dual-use items. As we approach the end of 2016, we do not have preliminary figures for this year or...

13. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the fact that the report on the export of military and dual use items from Ireland under the Control of Exports Act 2008 covering the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 has not yet been published and preliminary figures are the only figures available for this period; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38949/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Military Exports)

Deputy Mick Wallace: For many years, Ireland has had a poor record on publishing data on its military and dual use exports. It was safer for Governments to pretend that we were not an exporter of arms to maintain our thin facade of neutrality. However, perhaps provoked by the Mark Thomas documentary, we got the Control of Exports Act 2008. In 2011 we got the first report on exports of arms and dual-use items. As we approach the end of 2016, we do not have preliminary figures for this year or...

55. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number and ages of children currently in direct provision. (Question 39239/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Direct Provision Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): I am advised that there were just under 1,100 persons under the age of 18 residing with their family in State provided accommodation at the end of November 2016. Of those, 426 were less than five years old, 514 were aged between 5 and 12 years of age and 158 were aged between 13 and 17 years old.
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115. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection his plans to restore the pre-retirement over 55s allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39166/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Pre-Retirement Allowance)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Since the 4th July 2007, Pre-Retirement Allowance was abolished for new customers. However, customers who were already in receipt of Pre-Retirement Allowance on that date continue to receive payment as long as they satisfied the conditions for payment. 
The overall concern in recent years has been to protect the value of weekly social welfare rates. Expenditure on pensions, at approximately €7 billion, is the largest block of expenditure i...

141. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to address coastal erosion in Portrane; the steps his Department has taken in conjunction with Fingal County Council following the completion of their risk management study in 2014. (Question 39165/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - Coastal Erosion)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Seán Canney): The management of problems of coastal protection in the area indicated is a matter for Fingal County Council in the first instance. The Council must assess the problem and, if it is considered that specific measures and works are required, it is open to them to apply for funding under the Office of Public Works’ (OPW) Minor Flood Mitigation Works & Coastal Protection Scheme. Any application received will...

186. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if a comprehensive investigation into the June 2010 controversy regarding misread ultrasound scans was ever undertaken; the outcome of that investigation; and the actions that were taken subsequently to ensure that such mistakes would not recur (Question 39259/16 asked on 08 Dec 2016 - HSE Investigations)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In relation to this particular query, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. 
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34. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the proposals he has made to the daa in relation to dealing with the fact that night time airport charges are reduced, effectively encouraging extra traffic at a time when it has the most impact on nearby residents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38675/16 asked on 07 Dec 2016 - Airport Charges)

Deputy Clare Daly: The question stems from a discussion on the previous Question Time when I brought to his attention that in contrast to the activities of other similarly sized airports, which operate a policy of differential charges to deter night time aircraft, daa actively promotes it. The Minister expressed surprise at the time and said he would look into it. What proposals does he now have to deal with the fact that the daa incentivises night time flights?
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