31. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade whether he will make known his views on President Donald Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and acknowledge the potentially destructive consequences for the region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53037/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Middle East Peace Process)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I call Deputy Gino Kenny.
 ...

45. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the petition signed by more than 22,000 persons highlighting the arms trade with the state of Israel presented to An Taoiseach by members of an organisation (details supplied) on 4 October 2017. (Question 51490/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Arms Trade)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the petition referenced by the Deputy, which was presented to the Taoiseach in October and has since been brought to my attention.
I am pleased to inform the House that Ireland does not have an arms industry and is not therefore an exporter of weapons to any country, other than a small amount of sporting guns. National legislation imposes a licensing requirement in respect of items on the EU Common Militar...

121. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the sale of legal hemp products such as clothing, bags and cannabidiol, CBD, oil is being hampered by banks’ refusal to extend credit and debit card payment facilities to businesses selling these products in view of the fact they inaccurately deem the sales illegal; the legal position in terms of this practice by banks; if he will provide direction to banks on this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52643/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Credit Availability)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Deputy will be aware that in my role as Minister for Finance I have no direct function in the relationship between the banks and their customers. I have no statutory function in relation to the banking decisions made by individual lending institutions at any particular time and these are taken by the board and management of the relevant institution. This includes decisions in relation to what services are provided by the banks. 
The Deputy als...

255. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if a decision has been made in relation to the libre continuous glucose monitoring system being made widely available to persons with type 1 diabetes here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52637/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Medicinal Products Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

49. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to review his Department’s policy on the provision of Irish language classes to children with an autism diagnosis in their main learning environment, specifically the non-provision of the subject to children in a school (details supplied) who attend a class for those with an autism diagnosis; his views on whether this is discriminatory, exclusionary and not equality based education when a child with ASD cannot access the primary school curriculum to the same degree as their mainstream peers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52017/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Education Policy)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Special classes are part of a continuum of educational provision that enables students with more complex special educational needs to be educated, in smaller class groups, within their local mainstream schools. 
Students enrolled in special classes should be included, where possible, in mainstream classes and afforded the opportunity to access the full range of curricular areas, in line with their abilities, through differentiated teachi...

56. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to reconsider the recent cuts in learning support and resource allocation to a school (details supplied) which has meant that the school has effectively lost the services of a full-time teacher in this area; his views on he impact that this has had on the school, the staff and the pupils; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52008/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools were published on 7th March 2017. 
These Circulars set out the details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools. 
The revised allocation process replaces the generalised allocation process at primary and post primary school level for learning support and high incidence special educational needs, ...

111. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills the guidelines or Department policy regarding the voluntary contributions that many schools now request from parents of students as a matter of course; his views on the pressure that this puts on many families that are struggling to make ends meet; his further views on the fact that schools need to do this due to the fact that State funding falls short of school needs in many areas; his plans to address this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52105/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - School Costs)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Voluntary contributions may be sought from parents of pupils in recognised schools provided it is made absolutely clear to parents that there is no question of compulsion to pay and that, in making a contribution, they are doing so of their own volition and that a child’s place in the school or continued enrolment is not dependant on a willingness to make a contribution.  
The manner in which voluntary contributions are sought and collec...

48. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will use his discretionary powers in a humanitarian manner to allow relatives of Syrian residents here, who may be in equally dangerous situations as those of refugees, apply for family reunification under the family reunification humanitarian admission programme; his plans to redefine “family member” using the broader terms proposed in the International Protection (Family Reunification) (Amendment) Bill 2017; and if he will consider setting aside a budget to pay the administration and travel costs of bringing the family members of refugees that often have no means here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51496/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Refugee Resettlement Programme)

Acting Chairman (Deputy Frank O’Rourke): Deputy Kenny has 30 seconds to introduce his question.
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220. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will clarify if there are outstanding issues or if further information is required regarding the progress and upgrade of a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52055/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy is aware, a building project for the school in question is included in my Department’s 6 Year Capital Programme. 
In that regard, my Department is awaiting clarification from the patron in relation to the current status of its plans to advance a development for a therapy building on the site. My Department sent further correspondence to the patron in this regard recently.
The matter will be considered further following rece...

223. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be ratified, in view of the fact that 3 December 2017 marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51956/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): Ireland signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 and since then, successive Governments have emphasised Ireland’s strong commitment to proceed to ratification as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure all necessary legislative and administrative requirements under the Convention are met. This Government remains committed to ratification of the Convention. 
It...

49. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the fact that women who are victims of domestic abuse and in receipt of social welfare payments are being informed by her Department that they are in danger of losing their single parent payments unless they try to obtain maintenance from their abusers and that women in these situations are being put at risk by having to contact their abusive partners for financial support; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50469/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Child Maintenance Payments)

Deputy Regina Doherty: I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 49 together.
We had a conversation about this under an earlier question. The Family Law Acts are the civil legislation that requires a man or woman, who wants to claim maintenance from their spouse, to go to family mediation or seek redress through the courts. There is a condition in the one-parent family payment in my Department that a parent must make all reasonable efforts to get maintenance from the other parent for the upbring...

371. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the steps he will take to facilitate a person’s (details supplied) need to travel to the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50100/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Treatment Abroad Scheme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The HSE operates the Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS) for persons entitled to treat...

80. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the actions and statements of the IAA and CAR in respect of the cancellation of services by a large airline operator; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49283/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Air Services Provision)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The actions and statements of the CAR and the IAA in relation to the cancellation of services by the airline operator are matters for the agencies concerned having regard to their respective regulatory functions. I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to each agency for direct reply.  Please advise my office if you have not received a reply within 10 working days.
On the basis of my contacts with both agencies, I am satisfied that t...

40. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that returning nurses that have trained elsewhere must complete an adaption course to become fully registered to work here but that the number of hospitals offering the course has reduced leading to some nurses having to pay approximately €2,800 to do it privately; the way in which this impacts on their job choices to work in the private sector to try to recoup this expense; the implications for staffing of public hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48175/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) has advised that all applications for registration on a division or divisions of the register of nurses and midwives are individually assessed. If the applicant has obtained his or her nurse or midwife qualification in an EU/EEA country, they are entitled to have their qualifications assessed pursuant to the Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC. If their qualifications fall u...

51. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the likely timescale of the conclusion of HSE negotiations with the manufacturer of the drug Kuvan; his views on the urgency of it being made available for persons with PKU here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48174/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Medicinal Products Reimbursement)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 and 51 together.
The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.
In reaching a decision, the HSE examines all the evidence which may be relevant in its view for the decision and will take into account such expert opinions and recommendations which may have been so...

1008. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the DART expansion to Hazelhatch and the LUAS to Lucan plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45873/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Rail Network Expansion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA).   
The NTA’s Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035 provides a framework for the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure in the GDA over the next two decades. The strategy proposes implementation of the DART Expansion Programme involving electrificati...

1009. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the timeframe for the opening of the Kishogue train station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45874/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Railway Stations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) given the Authority’s statutory responsibility for the development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area. I have forwarded the Deputy’s question 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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46. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if all public land zoned for housing will remain public land into the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45305/17 asked on 26 Oct 2017 - Land Availability)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): It is very important that publicly owned land is harnessed in the most effective manner possible to secure the best outcomes for communities and the country as a whole.
With regard to local authority owned lands that are zoned for housing, progression of development proposals for such lands, whether directly or in partnership with other interests, such as Approved Housing Bodies or other housing providers, are matters fo...

50. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the lack of primary school teachers available to fill both long-term and short-term posts (details supplied); his plans to rectify this through setting up supply panels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44858/17 asked on 25 Oct 2017 - Teacher Recruitment)

Deputy Richard Bruton: The question is similar to that asked by Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan. I am pleased to have been in a position to significantly expand the recruitment of primary teachers, with 1,093 new primary teachers recruited in 2016-17 and 1,160 in 2017-18. The 2016-17 posts have been successfully filled and the process for filling the additional posts in the current year is almost complete. With regard to the 637 primary posts announced in budget 2018, my Department estimates there ...

62. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the financial hardship, immense stress and poor morale that is caused to teachers who continue to experience pay inequality; the steps he will take to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44859/17 asked on 25 Oct 2017 - Teachers’ Remuneration)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The public service agreements have allowed a programme of pay restoration for public servants to start. I have used this to negotiate substantial improvements in pay for new teachers. The agreement reached in September 2016 will see pay rises of between 15-22% (between €4600 and €6700) for new entrant teachers.  The agreements also provide for earlier permanency for younger teachers, new promotion opportunities and new flexibilities in w...

48. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the conditionality there will be regarding affordability of houses that will result from the new, Home Building Finance Ireland, HBFI, initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45304/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Housing Loans)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): In my Budget speech on 10 October 2017 I announced a proposal to establish a new dedicated fund, Home Building Finance Ireland (‘HBFI’) to provide funding on market terms to viable residential development projects whose owners are experiencing difficulty in obtaining debt funding. Up to €750 million of ISIF funds will be allocated to HBFI to provide funding on market terms and the fund is estimated to have capacity to finance about 6,000 homes in ...

56. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her views on the impact a club (details supplied) has had on local young persons interested in animal and equine care; if she will work with her colleagues in other Departments to introduce similar programmes in disadvantaged areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43528/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Youth Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 56 and 64 together.
The Clondalkin/Ballyowen Equine facility is an initiative which was financed by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with South Dublin County Council. The facility provides a base for young people from the area who can’t afford a private stable to care for their animals. It also provides an opportunity for young people to develop good animal welfare practice and eq...

64. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will visit a club (details supplied) to examine the positive results of young persons coming together to identify their own areas of interest with community development workers; her plans to use this model in working with young persons interested in animal and equine care in other disadvantaged areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43529/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Youth Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 56 and 64 together.
The Clondalkin/Ballyowen Equine facility is an initiative which was financed by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with South Dublin County Council. The facility provides a base for young people from the area who can’t afford a private stable to care for their animals. It also provides an opportunity for young people to develop good animal welfare practice and eq...

34. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether the NTA’s decision to tender out 10% of Dublin Bus routes to a company (details supplied) will improve bus services in view of the fact that in a written reply to a question the agency cited studies that are over ten and 16 years old to support their case for competitive tendering; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42138/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Bus Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I refer the Deputy to my reply to question number 9 which I answered earlier.
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40. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether the future of Bus Éireann following the recent crisis and closure of several routes is best served by a policy of competitive tendering for 10% of its existing network; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42139/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Bus Éireann Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I was pleased that both the Company and the Trade Unions accepted the recommendation issued by the Labour Court last April.  The implementation of the Recommendation is a matter for the Company and the trade unions. I believe implementation of that recommendation can provide for a successful and sustainable future for Bus Éireann.
Under the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008 it is a statutory function of the NTA to determine the app...