51. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that children and young persons living in emergency accommodation often face difficulties in accessing play or recreational facilities and the impact this has on their development; his plans to address the crisis of children living in emergency accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9021/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Emergency Accommodation Provision)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 50, 51 and 57 together.
One of the key commitments contained in Rebuilding Ireland is to cease the use of hotels for accommodating homeless families except in limited circumstances. I am absolutely committed to this objective. Hotels are not a suitable or secure form of accommodation for families and especially for young children for anything other than a short period of time. 
My Departm...

57. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to address the issue of families in emergency accommodation that are limited in their food options due to inadequate storage facilities in addition to the lack of access to cooking facilities; if his attention has been drawn to the negative impact on families’ daily food habits and dietary quality which can contribute to health problems for children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9022/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Emergency Accommodation Provision)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 50, 51 and 57 together.
One of the key commitments contained in Rebuilding Ireland is to cease the use of hotels for accommodating homeless families except in limited circumstances. I am absolutely committed to this objective. Hotels are not a suitable or secure form of accommodation for families and especially for young children for anything other than a short period of time. 
My Departm...

418. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the amount of State funding provided to a charity (details supplied) since 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9500/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Departmental Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly) (Deputy Jim Daly): The Department of Health can detail the amount of money granted through the Department of Health National Lottery Discretionary Fund, and will also request the HSE to provide details of all funding provided to Console. 
However, the Deputy should note that Console may have received additional State funding from other bodies and Departments, which will not be contained within this answer. 
Console was funded a tota...

481. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the difficulties in relation to importing a product (details supplied) which has been prescribed for a person under special licence and for which the parent needs to travel regularly to the Netherlands to collect; the HSE’s plans to reimburse the medication costs through the long-term illness or alternative scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9928/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Cannabis for Medicinal Use)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As Minister for Health, I have issued 5 licences for cannabis-based products for medical use by named patients. This allows for the importation of these products from other countries, including The Netherlands. There are no difficulties in importing such products on foot of a valid Ministerial licence.
However, there may be issues in some countries with the exporting of cannabis-based products. This is a matter for the authorities of the exporting co...

749. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of applications made by Wicklow county council to his department for funding for housing over the past five years; the number of persons on the housing waiting list in the county; the length of time each applicant has been waiting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9820/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Housing Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): As the Deputy will appreciate, my Department is in receipt of a large volume of applications for funding across a wide range of capital and current related housing programmes for all local authorities, including Wicklow County Council. Therefore, my Department is not in a position to provide details of all applications over the past five years. 
In relation to applications made, my Department has approved a range of pro...

29. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the fact that despite recognition of Traveller ethnicity in March 2017, infant mortality rates in this group are 3.6 times higher than the rest of the population; her plans to address same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9020/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Traveller Community)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I must inform the Deputy that my Department has no responsibility with regard to this issue. If the Deputy has any particular questions regarding health issues, including infant mortality, he should address these to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD.
As a lifelong campaigner for equality, social justice and fairness, I regard the recognition of Traveller ethnicity in 2017 as a hugely significant development. 
I am concer...

137. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if sativex is available or being prescribed by general practitioners here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8889/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Medicinal Products Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): 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.
On 11 July 2014, the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1988 were amended to allow for certain cannabis-based medicinal products to be used in Ireland. The Health Products Regulatory Authority subsequently granted a marketing authorisation for the cannabis-b...

112. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the hostile approach adopted by the Argentine state towards the indigenous Mapuche people in Argentina; his plans to address matters in this regard (details supplied) with his Argentine counterpart; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7368/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the situation of the Mapuche community in Argentina and the concerns that have been expressed as to their welfare. I am also aware of the historic and continued challenges faced by indigenous populations in many parts of Latin America.
I condemn unreservedly any intimidation, violence, or discrimination perpetrated against indigenous peoples and those seeking to defend their rights, whether in Argentina or...

69. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the guidelines on the proposed cannabis access programme; when he envisages the programme being fully operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6095/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Cannabis for Medicinal Use)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): On foot of the 2017 HPRA report ‘Cannabis for Medical Use – A Scientific Review’ I announced the establishment of a cannabis for medical use access programme for patients under the care of a consultant and suffering from certain medical conditions which have failed to respond to all other previous treatments.
The Programme is intended to facilitate access to cannabis-based products that are not authorised as medicines but are of a standardised quality a...

76. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if a decision has been made by the HSE on the drug, Kuvan, for those that are living with PKU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6094/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Medicinal Products Licensing)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 76 and 186 together.
The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes, under 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 it may have sought, includin...

206. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health his plans to extend the recent HSE decision to reimburse the Freestyle Libre system for children and young adults to adults that have type 1 diabetes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6245/18 asked on 07 Feb 2018 - Long-Term Illness Scheme Coverage)

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.
 ...

27. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills the timeframe to end pay inequality in all teaching grades and to deal with the crisis in the shortage of teachers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4843/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - 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 negotiated together with my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, a 15-22% pay increase for new teachers. The agreements to date have restored an estimated 75% of the difference in pay for more recently recruited teachers and deliver full equality at later points in the scale.
As a result of the changes I negotiat...

63. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to deal with the crisis facing persons at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 8 in view of the fact that in September 2018 there will be no classroom facilities for special education teaching and just one junior infant class enrolled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4842/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - School Accommodation)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that the school concerned is located in a former primary school building that was secured as part of Government policy on school divesting. 
The property is subject to a 10 year lease between the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST) and the Minister for Education and Skills.  
As the Deputy is aware, the school has submitted an application to my Department for additional accommodation to facilitate expansion. 
How...

12. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will request the release of a person (details supplied); his views on the position of UNICEF that the ill-treatment of Palestinian children in military detention is widespread, systematic and institutionalised; his further views on the fact that Israel is the only nation that systematically detains and prosecutes children in a military court system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3504/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - Middle East Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 28 together.
The overall human rights situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the treatment of children in detention, remains a matter of concern. Ireland has repeatedly drawn attention to concerns regarding the treatment of Palestinian prisoners. We have paid particular attention over recent years to issues related to the detention of minors. Ireland...

23. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if persons that make new claims for social welfare payments must have a public services card (PSC); if her attention has been drawn to the fact that there is evidence that new claimants are being told that they will not be eligible for payments unless they hold a PSC; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1911/18 asked on 17 Jan 2018 - Public Services Card)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The purpose of SAFE 2 registration is to verify a person’s identity to a substantial level of assurance. Once identity is so verified, a Public Services Card can be issued as a physical token of proof of that identity verification. My Department makes it clear to our customers that they need to complete a SAFE 2 registration to access, or continue to access, payments and entitlements. This is not an unreasonable con...

296. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration has been given to making occupational first aid training compulsory for all physically able teachers and SNAs (details supplied); if it will be fully funded by the Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54326/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - First-Aid Training)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Under the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school. 
The Board of Management of each school is responsible for the care and safety of all of the students in their school and care and safety should be at the centre of all policy and practices.
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) advise that, by law, employers and those who control workplaces to any extent, m...

850. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if he has given consideration to reimbursing the €80 charge that persons with haemochromatosis must pay if they do not hold a medical card for venesection procedures; if the petition from persons who are anxious for the charge to be removed will be responded to; if further consideration will be given to adding haemochromatosis to the long-term illness scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55038/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Hospital Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 736, 749, 751, 850, 864 and 968 together.
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-patien...

1389. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will request the NTA and TII to prepare a report on the placing of rubber infills on sections of the new Luas line that would enhance the safety of cyclists crossing the tram lines at busy junctions (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55052/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Road Safety)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy may be aware, the National Transport Authority (NTA) is responsible for the development and implementation of public transport and sustainable transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), including the Luas Cross City Green Line Extension.
I am informed by the NTA that trials abroad for installing a rubber insert, or similar, into rail grooves have not been successful, with the material becoming ripped and...

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...