1. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the matters he intends to raise at the next meeting of the European Council. (Question 51688/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
I will attend a series of European Council meetings in a range of formats in Brussels tomorrow and Friday.
I will of course report back to the House as usual after the European Council.
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence issues, including permanent structured co-operation, PESCO, and social, educational and cultural matters, where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg social su...

13. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach further to Question Nos. 5 to 11, inclusive, of 28 November 2017, the role of his Department in respect of the new national children’s hospital. (Question 53043/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Departmental Communications)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 and 14 together.
Good, clear and consistent communication is a virtue of good government. Citizens have a right to know what Government is doing and why. 
The strategic communications unit was established earlier this year to bring that consistency, clarity and professionalism to all Government communications. It means communication is treated as a strategic, whole-of-Government activity, which must be conducted to the same level of profession...

16. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the foreign visits he plans to undertake to the end of June 2018. (Question 52879/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 15 to 17, inclusive, together. I can, at this stage, outline my plans for a number of visits abroad, relating both to EU and non-EU business. As the House is aware, I will travel to Brussels for a meeting of the European Council on Thursday and Friday. Further European Council meetings are scheduled for March and June 2018. I plan to travel to Lebanon later this month to visit members of the Defence Forces serving in the UNIFIL mission. My vis...

2. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the functions of the parliamentary liaison unit in his Department. (Question 51687/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Departmental Operations)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, together.
As outlined in the strategy statement, my Department provides support services for the Taoiseach and the Government. As part of this service, the parliamentary liaison unit was established to perform a liaison function to help ensure that Ministers and Departments are properly informed of new responsibilities and procedures of the Thirty-second Dáil.
The unit provides support to Ministers and their Departments on Oirea...

9. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach if he has spoken to the British Prime Minister, Mrs. Theresa May, since 17 November 2017. (Question 51915/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 to 17, inclusive, together.
I spoke by phone with Prime Minister May most recently on Wednesday, 6 December and again on Thursday, 7 December. 
On both occasions we had good conversations as we took stock of the situation that unfolded on Monday, 4 December and the prospects of getting back to a point of satisfactory progress. I reiterated the firm Irish position regarding the text that had been agreed on Monday, 4 December. On Friday morning, ...

2. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach to list the Ministers and officials who attend meetings of Cabinet committee F (national security). (Question 51914/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Cabinet Committee Membership)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 2 together.
The members of Cabinet committee F are as follows: the Taoiseach; the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade; the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform; the Minister for Justice and Equality; the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation; the Minister for Health; the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment; the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport; the Minister for Hous...

8. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach his plans for structural and management changes in his Department. (Question 51686/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Departmental Administrative Arrangements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 to 9, inclusive, together. The role of my Department is to support my work as Taoiseach and to co-ordinate the work of the Government and Cabinet. My Department is structured around seven main work areas. The breakdown of staff currently assigned to each of these areas is as follows: 25 staff assigned to the international, EU and Northern Ireland division; 24 staff assigned to the economic division; 24 staff assigned to the Government secretar...

2. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the Cabinet committee that has responsibility for issues pertaining to housing and homelessness; and if he will consider establishing a dedicated Cabinet committee on housing. (Question 50151/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 4, inclusive, together.
Following the streamlining of the Cabinet committee structures earlier this year, Cabinet committee D was established to cover the areas of housing, climate action, infrastructure investment and delivery, including transport, the national planning framework and the ten-year capital plan. The committee last met on 23 November 2017.
I consider Cabinet committee D to be the appropriate forum to consider housing issues. O...

5. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the work of the National Economic and Social Council; and the status of the intended reforms of the NESC. (Question 50383/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - National Economic and Social Council)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 and 6 together.
The National Economic and Social Council has played an important role over many decades in developing shared understanding between Government and other stakeholders on economic and social policy and, more recently, on sustainable development. Over the coming years, Ireland faces into a period of significant change at home and abroad that will present some new and exceptional challenges. The Programme for a Partnership Government...

9. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach when Cabinet committee A - economy - last met; when it is scheduled to meet again; and if he will report on its work. (Question 50384/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Cabinet Committees)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 to 11 together.
Cabinet committee A held its first meeting on 12 September. The Cabinet committee’s focus will be on economic issues, including the implementation of the Action Plan for Jobs 2017 and preparation of a new, more focused action plan for next year; labour market policies, including the implementation of pathways to work and responding to emerging skills pressures; competitiveness and productivity challenges for business; rural affai...

348. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 187 of 29 June 2017, the status of the review of a service (details supplied); the timeframe for the publication of this review; and the planned process for implementation of recommendations from the review. (Question 51607/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Mental Health Services Provision)

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.
 ...

429. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will report on the position in his Department’s strategy statement to focus on the implementation of Ireland’s climate change commitments. (Question 50385/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Climate Change Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): High Level Objective 5 of my Department’s Statement of Strategy 2016-2019 sets out that my Department will ‘enable the State, within EU and global frameworks, to pursue and achieve transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy, underpinned by a secure and competitive energy supply, in the period to 2050’. This High Level Objective identifies a number of outcomes for both c...

104. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has had engagement with the Spanish Ambassador to Ireland recently. (Question 49003/17 asked on 30 Nov 2017 - Ministerial Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I met with the Spanish Ambassador on 24 October last following the Statements on Catalonia in this House earlier that day and I have also spoken recently with the Ambassador. 
The Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee TD, met with the Spanish Secretary of State for European Affairs, Jorge Toledo, who was accompanied by the Spanish Ambassador, at the Department of Foreign Affairs on 22nd November last. 
 ...

105. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has received briefings on the Brexit negotiations from Michel Barnier or his officials recently. (Question 49292/17 asked on 30 Nov 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): At the General Affairs Council (Article 50) on Monday 20 November, the EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, provided an update to the EU27 Member States on the state of play with regard to the EU-UK negotiations. This provided an important opportunity to take stock of progress in light of the forthcoming decision by the European Council in December on whether or not sufficient progress has been made on the exit issues ...

1. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the work of the social policy and public service reform division of his Department. (Question 49005/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Departmental Policy Functions)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, together.
The role of the social policy and public service reform division is to support me, as Taoiseach, and the Government in delivering on the programme for Government objective of public policies and services which support a socially inclusive and fair society. The division supports the work of Cabinet committee B and the associated senior officials group. This covers social policy and public service reform and seeks to en...

9. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach if he has had engagement with the Prime Minister of Poland, Ms Beata Szydło, recently. (Question 50150/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 and 7 to 12, inclusive, together.
I attended the social summit for fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 17 November, with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Affairs, Deputy Doherty, and the Minister of State with responsibility for European affairs, Deputy McEntee. This was organised jointly by Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker.
The social summit gathered EU leader...

10. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the informal meeting of European Union Heads of State and Government held on 17 November 2017. (Question 50152/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - EU Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 and 7 to 12, inclusive, together.
I attended the social summit for fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 17 November, with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Affairs, Deputy Doherty, and the Minister of State with responsibility for European affairs, Deputy McEntee. This was organised jointly by Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker.
The social summit gathered EU leader...

8. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the role of the strategic communications unit in Government information campaigns. (Question 49291/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Strategic Communications Unit)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 to 11, inclusive, together.
Staff of the strategic communications unit met with the Office of Emergency Planning to discuss the winter ready campaign and provided it with the Government of Ireland identity, which appeared on the cover of the winter ready booklet. The Government of Ireland identity replaced 17 logos of Departments and State agencies whose names were listed instead. This serves to simplify the message and illustrates to the citiz...

263. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of the McMahon report recommendations that have been fully implemented, partially implemented and that have yet to be implemented respectively. (Question 50013/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Direct Provision System)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Report of the Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers, also known as the Justice McMahon report, was published in June 2015. Its recommendations have implications for a number of Government Departments and services. 
My Department has since published three progress reports on the implementation of its 173 recommendations; the first i...

264. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a memo has been brought to Cabinet on the Supreme Court decision on the right of those in direct provision to work; if he will publish the memo; and the decisions that were taken as a result of this decision. (Question 50014/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Direct Provision System)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Supreme Court judgment in the case of N.V.H. v. The Minister for Justice and Equality found, on 30 May last, that in an international protection system with no temporal limits as to when the application process will be concluded, an absolute prohibition on the right to work for international protection applicants is contrary to the right to seek employment under the Constitution. The Court recognised that this is a matter for the ...

390. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health when the report on the centralisation of trauma care will be brought before Dáil Éireann; if this report will be published in full; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50253/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Hospital Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 390 and 391 together.
In 2015, my predecessor established a Trauma Policy Steering Group, chaired by Professor Eilis McGovern, to make recommendations in relation to the development of a trauma system for Ireland. Patients who have used trauma services and clinicians were at the heart of the development of the plan. The Steering Group completed its final report in July 2017 and I expect to bring the report to Cabinet b...

391. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the hospitals in which trauma care will be terminated; the hospitals which have been referenced outside cities that could be used as trauma units; and the additional resources and expertise he plans to allocate to those units. (Question 50254/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Hospital Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 390 and 391 together.
In 2015, my predecessor established a Trauma Policy Steering Group, chaired by Professor Eilis McGovern, to make recommendations in relation to the development of a trauma system for Ireland. Patients who have used trauma services and clinicians were at the heart of the development of the plan. The Steering Group completed its final report in July 2017 and I expect to bring the report to Cabinet b...

392. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health when the 50 new beds announced in the media will open at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda; the additional funding and staff that will be allocated to these beds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50255/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Hospital Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As part of the package of measures being funded for this winter and throughout 2018, funding of almost €3 million has been agreed to support the opening of significant new facilities at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, including opening and refurbishment of around 50 of the beds in the new wardblock resulting in a net increase of 25 beds. In addition, this funding will also deliver the opening of the new Emergency Department scheduled for May 201...

411. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of persons that have accessed psychiatric day care services in both Drogheda day care centre and Ladywell day care in County Louth in each of the years 2011 to 2016 and to date in 2017 (Question 50336/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - 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.
 ...

412. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of general adult community mental health teams operating in County Louth; the location of these teams; and the catchment areas for each. (Question 50337/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - 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.
 ...