34. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the schemes available to support built heritage projects in County Louth; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19983/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Architectural Heritage)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The protection and management of our architectural heritage is set out in the provisions of relevant legislation as are the roles of local authorities and the responsibilities of owners.
Financial support for the protection of architectural heritage is provided by my Department through a number of schemes. These schemes are administered via the local authorities.
The Built Heritage Investment Scheme is a scheme for the re...

48. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the main provisions and the current status of the Heritage Bill 2016; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19972/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Legislative Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The Heritage Bill, which has passed all stages in Seanad Éireann, passed Committee stage in Dáil Éireann yesterday. The Bill has three main Parts, amending the Canals Act 1986, the Wildlife Acts and the Heritage Act 1995.
The principal purpose of the Bill is to implement the Report of the Critical Review of the Heritage Council approved by Government in 2013. 
The Bill also amends the Canals Act 1986 to allow the making o...

96. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the long-term plans for the historic St. Laurence’s Gate in the centre of Drogheda; if the plan will include public access to the Gate; if risk assessments have been carried out on the effects of such access; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20245/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - National Monuments)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The issue of the future of the St. Laurence’s Gate National Monument is under consideration by the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Local Authority. This consideration includes the question of facilitating public access and the significant Health & Safety issues this creates are being assessed as part of the analysis. In the shorter term however, the issue of necessary structural works needs to...

111. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a reply will issue to correspondence on the amalgamation of schools (details supplied); if a meeting will be arranged with his departmental officials in order to progress concerns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20255/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Schools Amalgamation)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Department agreed to the proposed amalgamation of Scoil Bhride Girls and Scoil Phadraig Naofa and also the re-organisation of Presentation Primary School and St. Joseph’s CBS from the start of the school year 2018/19. The proposal was agreed subject to all 5 primary school including Scoil Oilibheir Naofa agreeing a Common Application and Enrolment Policy and having a commitment to grow naturally. The Patron also agreed to ensure that...

152. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of industrial visits organised by the Industrial Development Agency and Enterprise Ireland, respectively in the past three years by location in counties Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Cavan; the number of visits organised to the towns of Drogheda and Dundalk by potential investor name and business type; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20228/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - IDA Ireland Site Visits)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Data on IDA Ireland site visits is collated on a county-by-county basis only. Information on the number of site visits to specific locations in individual counties is therefore unavailable. IDA Ireland does not also release details of the specific itineraries of potential investors on grounds of client confidentiality and commercial sensitivity. Enterprise Ireland does not conduct site visits.
The table sets out deta...

175. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health if a reply will issue with regard to issues raised in correspondence from an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20296/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Disability Support Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality o...

316. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health his views on a newspaper article in relation to an organisation (details supplied); the reason for the decrease in funding for 2018 for the organisation; if the service will be assisted in bridging the financial shortfall; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19906/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Disability Support Services Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality ...

320. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health the location of services for each category of patient needing mental health services in County Louth; the waiting list for such services; the number of staff vacancies; the length of time they have been outstanding; his plans to expand mental health services in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19928/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Mental Health Services Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible. 
 ...

134. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health the status of the opening of the minor injuries unit in the Louth County Hospital, Dundalk; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19242/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Hospital Facilities)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Minor Injuries Unit at Louth County Hospital was developed in 2010 to provide rapid treatment of minor injury patients aged 14 years and over. This service is available to the people of Louth 7 days per week from 9:00am to 8:00pm.
As the query raised is a service matter, I have also asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly with any further information. 
 ...

149. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a matter (details supplied) regarding funding will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19218/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Driver Test Centres)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): This is a matter for the Road Safety Authority. I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.
 ...

174. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on an issue raised in correspondence from a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19039/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Schools Building Projects Applications)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that the school in question submitted a master plan containing details of how it envisaged the school developing in the future. The master plan would require significant capital funding to undertake a major extension and refurbishment of the existing school building. The school indicated that the proposed project would cater for future demographic growth in the area as well as providing additional specialist...

91. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position regarding coastal protection in areas surrounding the Boyne River inlet in County Louth and the eastern area of County Meath following recent extreme weather; if reports have been undertaken to examine the change in the coastal protection requirements; if reports have been undertaken to examine the silt deposits in the Boyne River inlet and other related reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18118/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Coastal Protection)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The information sought by the Deputy is currently being compiled. A detailed response will issue to the Deputy directly.
 ...

194. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position with coastal reclamation and protection in areas surrounding the Boyne River inlet in County Louth and the eastern area of County Meath following recent extreme weather; if reports have been undertaken to examine the change in the coastal protection requirements; if reports have been undertaken to examine the silt deposits in the Boyne River inlet and other related reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18117/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Coastal Protection)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I have no statutory function in relation to coastal erosion and flood relief. The lead responsibility for dealing with flood relief and flood risk management rests with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which is the responsibility of the Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. I understand that Drogheda Port Company also has a role in relation to dredging of the Boyne Estuary. 
 ...

215. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding coastal reclamation in areas surrounding the Boyne River inlet in County Louth and the eastern area of County Meath following recent extreme weather; if reports have been undertaken to examine the change in the coastal reclamation requirements; if reports have been undertaken to examine the silt deposits in the Boyne River inlet and other related reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18119/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Coastal Protection)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Coastal reclamation is a matter for the relevant local authorities and as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have no function in relation to this matter.  I am not aware of any reports undertaken to examine change in coastal reclamation requirements or to examine silt deposits in the Boyne River inlet. 
 ...

423. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health his views on increasing the means allowance for a single person and a couple over 70 years of age for medical cards; his plans to increase the limits to the 2009 or 2013 limits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17928/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Medical Card Eligibility)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health (Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) (No. 2) Act 2013, when a person attains the age of 70, the medical card income limits are €500 gross income per week for a single person and €900 gross income per week for a couple.   
Persons aged 70 or older, who are assessed as ineligible under the gross income thresholds, may also have their eligibility assessed under the means-tested medical card scheme if they so wish, for example in the ...

166. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to expand the parental leave process to further strengthen support for parents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17214/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Parental Leave)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for Partnership Government includes a commitment to increase paid parental leave during the first year of a child’s life, as research shows that parental care is of particular importance in the first year of life. 
To further this commitment, the Government has established an interdepartmental working group to develop proposals to give effect to the programme commitments...

216. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health if reports from parents of children attending a school (details supplied) will be examined; the contractual changes that have taken place since 2017 that may have led to this deficit in services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17133/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Services for People with Disabilities)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality ...

237. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health if concerns raised by a person (details supplied) in regard to juvenile arthritis will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17174/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Health Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I am aware that there are challenges in meeting the growing demand for rheumatology services, and that the Health Service Executive is working towards improving access to such services. 
In relation to rheumatology service provision, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible. 
 ...

341. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to open up the pyrite remediation scheme nationwide to assist homeowners that are adversely affected by same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17148/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Pyrite Remediation Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): 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 provisions of the Act apply only to dwellings affected by significant damage attributable to pyritic heave consequent on the presence of reactive pyrite in ...

60. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the IDA’s plans for its regional property programme for Drogheda and Dundalk in view of the recent announcement in Project Ireland 2040; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16182/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - IDA Ireland)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): This Government is fully committed to the creation of high-quality and sustainable employment across Ireland, including in County Louth.  The new National Development Plan recognises the importance of Dundalk and Drogheda as key centres in the context of the Dublin-Belfast economic corridor. Both towns are attractive destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) given their track record in attracting multinational c...

241. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Finance if an energy roadmap document from a person (details supplied) will be examined; if he will relay the document to the relevant officials in his Department; if his officials will contact the person to meet and discuss the roadmap in more detail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15473/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I wish to thank the Deputy for forwarding the above mentioned paper which has been passed onto to my officials for their consideration. The paper contains proposals in relation to vehicle and carbon taxation.  
The National Mitigation Plan sets out the Governments approach to transforming Ireland towards a low carbon society. The plan contains commitments in relation to carbon tax and vehicle taxation which my officials are currently working on. In ...

322. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills the progress to date on the construction of a new headquarters for counties Louth and Meath Education and Training Board (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14943/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Education and Training Boards)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy may be aware, the project to which he refers has been devolved for delivery to the local Education and Training Board (LMETB).
The project is currently at stage 2 B of the architectural planning process and a revised stage 2 B cost plan, to include some necessary additional works, has been submitted to my Department for consideration.  The project will proceed as soon as funding permits for this project type.
 ...

356. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the proposed special school for County Louth that will merge two schools (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15378/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy is aware, a project to provide permanent accommodation for the schools in question is included on my Department’s Capital Programme.
Officials in my Department are liaising with officials in the relevant local authority in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding in relation to the acquisition of a suitable site to facilitate the building project. The proposed location for the schools, on the Cement Road in Drogheda...

357. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the major building project at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15381/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The major building project referred to by the Deputy is at an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2(b) - Detailed Design, which includes the applications for Planning Permission, Fire Cert and Disability Access Cert and the preparation of tender documents. All statutory approvals have been obtained.
In May 2017, the Department gave approval to the school authorities to have their Design Team commence the process of Pre-Quali...

745. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health the status of the laundry department in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, County Louth; the short to medium term plans for the department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15362/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Hospital Facilities)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly.
 ...