320. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health if a reply will issue to a request from a group (details supplied) in relation to outreach services; the funds available to the group in relation to the outreach plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53522/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Outreach Clinics)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In response to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.
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321. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health if a reply will issue to concerns raised in correspondence (details supplied); if a commitment will be made to secure funds for the Louth Meath branch of an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53527/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Disability 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 ...

114. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding persons (details supplied) that are awaiting a decision on their status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53272/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Immigration Status)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the matters raised are currently under review with a view to contacting the family concerned shortly. It is expected that a decision will be issued in the coming days. 
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been...

201. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if a reply will issue to correspondence from a person (details supplied) regarding broadband; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53274/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - National Broadband Plan Implementation)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location.  The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector so that today over 65% of the 2.3m premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband and this is set to increase to 77% (1.8m premises) by the end of 2018 a...

159. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills if issues raised by a person (details supplied) in correspondence will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52710/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Apprenticeship Programmes)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): SOLAS is the co-ordinating provider for craft apprenticeship programmes.  I have brought this correspondence to the attention of SOLAS and have asked them to respond to the Deputy directly. 
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186. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding a new primary school for children with disabilities who are attending a school (details supplied) in County Louth. (Question 53025/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Schools Building Projects)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy is aware, a project to provide permanent accommodation for the school in question is included on my Department’s Capital Programme.
Officials in my Department continue to liaise 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 this building project. The location for the school has been agreed and all parties are...

201. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills if an exemption for a leaving certificate exam subject for a person (details supplied) will be granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53115/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - State Examinations Exemptions)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): While the study of Irish is compulsory in both primary and post-primary schools recognised by my Department, there are a limited number of specific circumstances whereby an exemption from this requirement may be granted.
The granting of exemptions is governed by Departmental circular M10/94 for post-primary schools. Under this circular the authority to grant exemptions within the terms of the circulars has been delegated to school manage...

229. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will examine correspondence (details supplied) brought to the attention of his Department regarding a customs matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53077/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Customs and Excise Protocols)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): My Department has been in contact with the person in question to inform them that the matters raised do not fall within the responsibility of the Department of Justice and Equality.  These matters are more appropriate for Customs officials in the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and a copy of the correspondence has been sent to that Office for their attention and consideration. 
I am advised by the Office of the Revenue Commissioner...

287. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with haemochromatosis that have attended venesection clinics by clinic in 2015, 2016, and to date in 2017; the names of the venesection clinics that have reintroduced the day case levy of €80 for the same time period, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52797/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Hospital Charges)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 287 and 359 together.
I am aware of this issue and have asked officials in my Department to examine it, including the particular points made by the Irish Haemochromatosis Association, and to provide me with advice.
The Deputy’s questions relate to service delivery matters and accordingly I have asked the HSE to respond directly.
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288. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health the steps he will take in the case of daily charges being introduced in the venesection clinic in County Louth earlier in 2017 in order to ensure that persons with haemochromatosis do not avoid the clinic for financial reasons and subsequently put their health at risk; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52798/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Hospital Charges)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Health Act 1970 (as amended) provides that all people ordinarily resident in the country are entitled, subject to certain charges, to  public in-patient hospital services including consultant services and to public out-patient hospital services. Under the Health (In-Patients Charges) (Amendment) Regulations 2008, a person who has been referred to a hospital for an in-patient service, including that provided on a day case basis, will have to pay the...

299. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health if emergency funding will be made available to fund an outreach team for a project (details supplied) in County Louth to deal with the increase in the area of homelessness and addiction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52821/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Addiction Treatment Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): With effect from 1 January 2014, operational and financial responsibility for the Red Door Project was transferred to the HSE. In the circumstances, I have referred this matter to the HSE for direct reply.
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311. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health the waiting times for paediatric orthodontic treatment in Louth county hospital for priority cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52848/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In response to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.
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312. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health the funding provided to local addiction outreach services under the HSE’s remit in the CHO 8 area, in each of the years 2015 and 2016, and to date in 2017, in tabular form. (Question 52849/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Addiction Treatment Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 312 and 313 together.
As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
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313. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health the catchment areas of the HSE funded addiction outreach services in the CHO 8 area; and the breakdown of funding per head of capita. (Question 52850/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Addiction Treatment Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 312 and 313 together.
As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
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335. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health the position regarding respite services for persons with disabilities in County Louth. (Question 53024/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Respite Care Services)

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...

354. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide urgent and immediate emergency funding for respite service proposals that are currently in the HSE’s possession, specifically to provide immediate funding for the Talbot proposal as requested in previous parliamentary questions that will provide immediate and substantial relief to the crisis in County Louth as highlighted in a programme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53111/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Respite Care 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 o...

417. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to include the replacement of windows under SEAI grants; if the replacement of windows to improve BER rating and reduce carbon footprints is in his Department’s future plans; if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53009/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Better Energy Homes Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Better Energy programme is funded by my Department and operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The measures currently offered under the Better Energy Homes (BEH) and Warmer Homes Schemes (WHS) were selected as the best balance that could be achieved between the limited resources available to the schemes, the number of homes that can receive support and the energy savings that can be ...

77. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the position of a school (details supplied) in relation to the minor works and other funding requirements will be examined; the best course of action for the concerns raised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52384/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Minor Works Scheme)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 75, 77, 81, 82, 87, 88 and 90 together.
I am pleased to advise that on Tuesday I announced the Minor Works Grant 2017/2018 for primary schools across the country and payment will issue next week. 
The funding will allow minor works to be carried out on the physical infrastructure of schools or on the purchase of items of furniture and equipment.
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197. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a reply will issue to correspondence received from a person (details supplied) regarding the sports grant allocation for County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52492/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Sports Capital Programme Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): The Sports Capital Programme is the primary means of providing Government funding to sport and community organisations at local, regional and national level.
The 2017 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on the 24th February and by that date a record number of applications were received. When the programme was launched, it was envisaged that €30m would be available which would ...

90. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Taoiseach the expenditure by his Department by heading (details supplied) in each of the years since June 1997 to January 2011, in tabular form; and the miscellaneous expenditure not relating to set Department budgets pertaining to the headings. (Question 52229/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

The Taoiseach: I am advised that the information requested is not readily available, due to the significant volume of information sought and having regard to the long time period in question. The information requested by the Deputy is being compiled by my officials and will be sent to the Deputy when it is finalised.
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94. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the expenditure by his Department by heading (details supplied) in each of the years since June 1997 to January 2011, in tabular form; and the miscellaneous expenditure not relating to set Department budgets pertaining to the headings. (Question 52223/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The records sought by the Deputy relate to a very wide range of expenditure areas and to a very lengthy period, beginning over twenty years ago and running to almost seven years ago. In that context, the bulk of the records in question are no longer available and could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost to my Department and the Exchequer.
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98. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Finance the expenditure by his Department by heading (details supplied) in each of the years since June 1997 to January 2011, in tabular form; and the miscellaneous expenditure not relating to set Department budgets pertaining to the headings. (Question 52222/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The records sought by the Deputy relate to a very wide range of expenditure areas and to a very lengthy period, beginning over twenty years ago and running to almost seven years ago. 
In that context, the bulk of the records in question are not readily available and could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost to my Department and the Exchequer.
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102. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the expenditure by his Department by heading (details supplied) in each of the years since June 1997 to January 2011, in tabular form; and the miscellaneous expenditure not relating to set Department budgets pertaining to the headings. (Question 52227/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform was established on 6 July 2011 and therefore had no expenditure under the headings provided in the question from June 1997 to January 2011.
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117. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the minor works grant for a school (details supplied) in County Louth; if the grant has been authorised for 2017; if not, the reason therefore; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52137/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Minor Works Scheme Applications)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 112, 117 to 119, inclusive, 121, 122, 124, 125 and 127.
I am pleased to advise that yesterday I announced the Minor Works Grant 2017/2018 for primary schools across the country and payment will issue next week.
The funding will allow minor works to be carried out on the physical infrastructure of schools or on the purchase of items of furniture and equipment.
 ...

123. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills the expenditure by his department by heading (details supplied) in each of the years since June 1997 to January 2011, in tabular form; and the miscellaneous expenditure not relating to set department budgets pertaining to the headings. (Question 52220/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): All of the details requested are not readily available within my Department and it would involve a very significant amount of administrative time to identify, retrieve from storage, and examine all relevant files in order to compile the information in question. 
The FMS Financial Management System used by the Department did not become fully operational until 2004 and does not format the relevant details into the categories as requested b...