22. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to develop a coordinated national coastal plan to prioritise the most at risk inhabited and to develop a unified approach to the management of coastal erosion nationwide. (Question 53063/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Coastal Protection)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The primary objective of Government policy on coastal protection is to ensure that in areas identified as being at greatest risk of damage or loss of economic assets through coastal erosion or flooding, appropriate and sustainable measures are identified by Local Authorities to protect those assets. Where such measures are economically justified on cost benefit grounds and compatible with all requir...

24. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the steps being taken to prevent further damage to dunes at Portrane, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53466/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Coastal Erosion)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The problem of coastal erosion at Portrane is being addressed by Fingal County Council. The Council applied for and was approved funding of €57,800 in 2012 under the Office of Public Works’ Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme to carry out a Coastal Erosion Risk Management Study of Portrane to Rush. This study was completed and the Council has been working on the basis of its ...

242. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 266 of 5 December 2017, if he will clarify that while the absolute numbers of prisoners on restricted regimes have decreased, the percentage of prisoners on restricted regimes has doubled between October 2013 and October 2017. (Question 54017/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Prisoner Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that the census of July 2013 recorded a total prisoner population of 4,180, 339 of which were subject to a restricted regime. Of this 339, 211 prisoners were on 22/23 hour lock up, a further 65 prisoners were on 21 hour lock up and 63 prisoners were on 19 hour lock up. 
The October 2017 census reported a total prisoner population of 3,665. Of this figure, 428 prisoners were subj...

557. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has confidence in the Marine Institute after it issued a statement on 8 December 2017 in relation to the viral disease he identified in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 49 of 8 November 2017 (details supplied). (Question 53694/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Marine Institute)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 557 and 558 together.
The Marine Institute advises my Department on scientific matters associated with aquaculture regulation. My Department has been advised by the Institute that the scientific publication referred to by the Deputy is not at variance with the Statement issued by the Institute on 8 December concerning salmon losses at Connemara fish farms.
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558. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will instruct the Marine Institute to issue a correction of equal prominence to its erroneous statement on 8 December 2017 claiming that only salmon contract cardiomyopathy and inform the public of the highly transmissible nature of the cardiomyopathy virus as made clear in peer reviewed published research. (Question 53695/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Marine Institute)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 557 and 558 together.
The Marine Institute advises my Department on scientific matters associated with aquaculture regulation. My Department has been advised by the Institute that the scientific publication referred to by the Deputy is not at variance with the Statement issued by the Institute on 8 December concerning salmon losses at Connemara fish farms.
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559. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he plans to take to ensure that the Marine Institute is properly staffed to guarantee that information provided to the public is scientifically accurate. (Question 53696/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Marine Institute)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Following the lifting of the moratorium on recruitment by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in 2015, the Marine Institute has delegated sanction in relation to recruitment within the parameters of its core pay vote. In 2017, my Department provided a total of €31.563m in exchequer funding to the institute which included €7.8m for current pay costs. The figure for 2018 is currently being finalised. 
I am confident t...

560. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the recent regulation (EU) 2016/429 on transmissible animal diseases (details supplied); and if he will reconsider his refusal to release information with regard to the outbreak of cardiomyopathy resulting in 200,000 mortalities of farmed salmon and numerous wild mackerel reported to Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Macroom office by a member of the public on the afternoon of 21 September 2017. (Question 53697/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Animal Diseases)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The Marine Institute is the Competent Authority for the implementation of aquatic animal health legislation. The Institute has advised my Department that the Regulation referred to by the Deputy which shall apply in EU Member States from 21 April 2021 does not envisage the listing of Cardiomyopathy Syndrome.
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561. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the virus cardiomyopathy has been found in the lice that infect farmed salmon. (Question 53698/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Animal Diseases)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 561 and 562 together.
My Department has been advised by the Marine Institute that the virus referred to by the Deputy has been reported as occurring in sea lice in one Norwegian report. The report reference is as follows:
 Hellebø, A., Stene, A., and Asphaug, V. (2014). Potensielle reservoarer for SAV og PMCV p_a marine akvakulturanlegg, (In Norwegian). Ålesund, Norway: Møreforskning og Høgsko...

562. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the cardiomyopathy virus revealed by him in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 49 of 8 November 2017 is not now nor will become transmissible to human beings. (Question 53699/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Animal Diseases)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 561 and 562 together.
My Department has been advised by the Marine Institute that the virus referred to by the Deputy has been reported as occurring in sea lice in one Norwegian report. The report reference is as follows:
 Hellebø, A., Stene, A., and Asphaug, V. (2014). Potensielle reservoarer for SAV og PMCV p_a marine akvakulturanlegg, (In Norwegian). Ålesund, Norway: Møreforskning og Høgsko...

643. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs when Ireland will ratify the second optional protocol of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the legal reason Ireland has not done so. (Question 53518/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - UN Convention on the Rights of the Child)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): My Department is working with the Department of Justice and Equality to ensure that all necessary arrangements are in place to fully comply with the provisions of the Second Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography so that Ireland can ratify the Optional Protocol as soon as possible.
The recent enactment of the Sexual Offence Act (2017) constituted a key step on the pathway to ratificat...

770. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if director medical branch instruction number 52 amendment number 1 of 24 August 2016 is still relied upon by the Defence Forces for vaccinations and other preparations for overseas deployments. (Question 53529/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Military Authorities have advised me that Director Medical Branch (DMB) Instruction No. 52 ‘Vaccinations And Other Preparations For Overseas Deployments’ Amendment No. 1 dated 24 August 2016 is still current and used for reference for overseas deployments. 
 ...

30. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the continued imposition of sanctions on Syria, in particular their utility in forcing regime change in that country. (Question 53196/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Syrian Conflict)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy Wallace has been given permission to take Parliamentary Question No. 30.
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57. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a review of the effectiveness and utility of economic sanctions placed on other states as a tool of coercive diplomacy is under way or planned by his Department. (Question 53197/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Economic Sanctions)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Restrictive measures, also referred to as ‘sanctions’, are legally binding measures which may be taken against individuals, entities or countries. Such measures can cover a variety of elements including financial services (e.g. asset freezes), immigration (visa and travel bans) and trade (e.g. export restrictions).
The objective in adopting sanctions is to bring about a change in policy and/ or behaviour by the target o...

70. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to meet the NATO Secretary General. (Question 53354/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Ministerial Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I currently have no plans to meet with NATO’s Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg. 
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82. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the estimated additional revenue yield if a publican’s excise licence and on the value of turnover was in excess of €1.270 million increased from €3,805 to €5,125. (Question 53356/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Excise Duties Yield)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that 390 licences were issued to traders declaring an annual turnover in excess of €1.27m during the 2016/2017 licensing year, which ended on 30 September 2017.  The total Excise Licence Duty payable by these traders was €1,483,950 (€3,805 x 390).
If the Excise Licence Duty payable had been €5,125 in the same period the total Excise Licence Duty payable would have amounted to €1,998,750. This would represent an increase of €...

83. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the estimated full year cost of providing ten additional statistician and economist posts for the Revenue Commissioners. (Question 53357/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Revenue Commissioners Expenditure)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that recruitment of analytical staff, such as economists, statisticians or other data analysts, in Revenue is generally addressed through specialist recruitment. As well as direct recruitment or internal promotion of staff with relevant background or experience in these areas, Revenue also benefits from economist recruitment panels established by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service and the secondment of Stat...

101. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost in a full year if the student to staff ratio in institutes of technology decreased from 23:1 to 21:6. (Question 53353/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Third Level Staff Data)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): While currently the staff: student ratio across the University sector is 23:1, it is lower in the Institutes of Technology sector, with the current ratio at 19:1.
Higher education is a key priority for this Government. This is evidenced in the fact that we will be investing €60 million in additional funding in 2018. Combined with the increase in funding in 2017, this means that we will be investing €100m more in higher education in 2018 ...

129. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí attached to each Garda divisional public order unit in each of the years 2015, 2016, and to date in 2017; and the number of vans attached to each divisional public order unit in each of the years 2015, 2016, and to date in 2017. (Question 53355/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Garda Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources. 
I have sought th...

138. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on whether it is normal practice for An Garda Síochána to monitor the activities of political parties (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53434/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can assure the Deputy that is it is not the normal practice for An Garda Síochána to monitor the activities of political parties.
The functions of An Garda Síochána in respect of providing policing and security services to the State are set out in the Garda Síochána Acts 2005-2015.  In conducting those functions, there may on occasion be a requirement for policing deployments in respect of managing public gatherings or demonstrations...

197. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 414 of 5 December 2017, his plans to consider the development of a wildlife rehabilitation hospital and visitor centre in Fingal in conjunction with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Education and Skills, in view of the fact that such a proposition would be a new venture in an Irish context. (Question 53477/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Wildlife Conservation)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The Deputy will be aware that my Department provides ex-gratia funding to organisations involved in protecting animal welfare. Applications for funding from animal welfare organisations are assessed by my Department and awards made on the basis of certain criteria, including the level and type of assistance provided by the organisation in the delivery of care and welfare services to animals and the level of funding raised by...

218. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Sligo municipal district of Sligo County Council at its meeting on 24 April 2017 unanimously adopted a motion relating to funding being specifically provided under the CLÁR and RAPID programmes (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53295/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Sports Facilities Expenditure)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): In relation to the college referred to by the Deputy, earlier this year my Department was made aware of local concerns relating to the continued sporting use of facilities which had previously received funding under the Sports Capital Programme. The facilities also received CLAR and RAPID funding from the then Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.  On foot of the concerns raised, my Dep...

230. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will request Iarnród Éireann to increase the number of carriages from four to seven on the 9.35 a.m. train from Drogheda to Pearse Station. (Question 53352/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Rail Services Provision)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The issues raised are matters for the National Transport Authority (NTA), in conjunction with Iarnród Éireann, and I have forwarded the Deputy’s questions to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.
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262. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the local authorities that have taken advantage of part 5 of the Local Government (Financial and Audit Procedures) Regulations 2014, which provides discretion to the elected members of a council to vary the level of rate refunds on vacant properties; the steps his Department is taking to encourage local authorities to take advantage of the regulations to alter the rate of refund on vacant properties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53292/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Commercial Rates)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on the occupiers of rateable property in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists prepared by the independent Commissioner of Valuation under the Valuation Acts 2001 to 2015.
Legislative provision is made for the refund of rates paid on vacant commercial properties in certain circumstances.  The Local Government Act 1946 provides that wher...

263. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the claims by Sligo County Council that it submitted details of a wind farm (details supplied) to the Valuation Office for revision in 2004; if his attention has been further drawn to claims by the executive of Sligo County Council that it was unable to levy rates on the windfarm since it became operational seven years ago due to the fact that the council did not receive the valuation from the Valuation Office until January 2017; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Sligo County Council lost approximately €89,000 income in rates from the wind farm each year due to the delay in it being valued; his plans to intervene to ensure that properties are valued promptly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53293/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Valuation Office)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I refer to the reply to Question No. 549 of 12 December 2017 which sets out the position in this matter.
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267. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 518 of 6 December 2017, the cost of services stated to be provided by a company (details supplied) to deal with defects not associated with pyrite; and the reason these costs are not borne by a scheme. (Question 53459/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Pyrite Resolution Board Expenditure)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 267 and 268 together.
The Pyrite Resolution Act 2013 provides the statutory framework for the establishment of the Pyrite Resolution Board and for the making of a pyrite remediation scheme to be implemented by the Board, with support from the Housing Agency.  The pyrite remediation scheme is a scheme of “last resort” and is limited in its application and scope.  The full conditions for el...