4. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if her attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied) who was killed in 2011 in a hit-and-run incident; if her attention has been further drawn to the family’s concern that if the guilty party had been properly dealt with before the fatal incident, the person would not have been killed, and that the family allege there is evidence of failure, cover up and corruption at the level of the Garda, the courts, her Department and the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP; if she will call for a public inquiry into the circumstances of the person’s death and its aftermath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40592/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Garda Investigations)

Deputy Gino Kenny: I thank the Leas-Cheann Comhairle for facilitating me. I will abbreviate my question to the Minister. Has her attention been drawn to the case of a person who was killed in 2011 in a hit-and-run incident? Has her attention been drawn to the family’s concerns that if the guilty party had been properly dealt with before the fatal incident, the person would not have been killed? The family alleges there is evidence of failure of inquiry.
 ...

11. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her views as to whether there is a legal barrier in view of the lack of any barrier to ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from a legal perspective and only from a policy point of view; the policy of Government that has informed the failure to ratify the convention; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40440/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Deputy Gino Kenny: I ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her views as to whether there is a legal barrier in view of the lack of any barrier to ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
 ...

37. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the reason the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been delayed for over nine years in view of the fact that international agreements have the force of law to the extent determined by the Houses of the Oireachtas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40439/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - 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...

41. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the significant blockages or barriers to ratification and enactment of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2007, in view of the fact there is no legal impediment to ratification from the United Nations perspective; the action that has been taken to address the putative barriers or blockages to date; when ratification is expected; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40302/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - 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...

45. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her views on whether it is the cuts to disability services which has prevented the Government ratifying the convention in view of the lack of any barrier to ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from a legal perspective and only from a policy point of view; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40441/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): 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 is essen...

46. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason children in care at a residential centre run by Tusla in County Tipperary were exposed to behaviours and situations that were higher risk than the situations they were removed from, according to HIQA; the safeguards for their care that have been put in place to ensure their current safety and security; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39934/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - Child Protection Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): As the Deputy is aware the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) carried out an unannounced inspection of this residential centre, which is operated by Tusla, in August 2016. The report in respect of monitoring against national standards was published in November 2016. 
The inspection report identified a worrying level of high risk behaviours by some young people, which staff were not able to manage, and which impact...

47. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason senior child protection sources who spoke to RTÉ said apparent discrimination by Tusla, reported by the HSE, which may have excluded children from child protection services was ongoing, but Tusla have issued a statement saying this was an issue only in the past; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39933/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - Child Protection)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I think it is vital to emphasise that the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has never found, in all of the inspections that it has conducted, an instance where child protection services – when required – were not immediately available. Tusla has reiterated its position that all child protection concerns it receives are screened and assessed in line with Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welf...

118. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the nature of the significant blockages or barriers to ratification and enactment of the 2007 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in view of the fact that there is no legal impediment to ratification from the United Nations perspective; the measures taken to address the putative barriers or blockages to date; when ratification can be expected; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39886/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Ireland is a dualist State, Article 29.6 of the Constitution providing that international agreements have the force of law to the extent determined by the Oireachtas . It is essential therefore that the State is in a position to meet the obligations it assumes under the terms of an international agreement from the moment of its entry into force for Ireland. Before the State can ratify the Convention on the Rights of Per...

217. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which he will address the anomaly whereby teachers that have taught outside of the EU are capped at seven years’ credits, while teachers that have taught in other countries inside the EU receive credits on a year for year basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40061/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Teaching Contracts)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 215 to 218, inclusive, together.
The criteria for the award of incremental credit to recognised primary teachers under Circular 10/2001 was agreed under the auspices of the Teachers Conciliation Council. This Council is comprised of representatives of teachers, school management, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Department of Education and Skills and is chaired by an official of the W...

218. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his Department will review Circular 10 of 2001, in particular section 4.2 thereof, which caps credit in respect of service given in states outside the EU at seven years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40062/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Teaching Contracts)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 215 to 218, inclusive, together.
The criteria for the award of incremental credit to recognised primary teachers under Circular 10/2001 was agreed under the auspices of the Teachers Conciliation Council. This Council is comprised of representatives of teachers, school management, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Department of Education and Skills and is chaired by an official of the W...

421. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the assurances he can provide that community employment schemes in the health and social care service will not be used to replace permanent positions in the service nor to exploit jobseekers along the lines of previous discredited schemes such as JobBridge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39448/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Health Services Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.
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4. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the preparations he is making across his department to ensure rights will be vindicated for the persons with disabilities in the care of the health service and under his area of responsibility in view of the imminence of the Government’s commitment to ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38167/16 asked on 01 Dec 2016 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Deputy Gino Kenny: I ask the Minister for Health the preparations he is making across his department to ensure rights will be vindicated for the persons with disabilities in the care of the health service and under his area of responsibility in view of the imminence of the Government’s commitment to ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
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30. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the urgent respite that can be offered to such carers and the long-term remedy he is considering in view of the reply to parents of disabled adults that there is a ten-year waiting list for residential care and that the HSE is unable to provide them with an average waiting time, or indicate when a bed may be available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37964/16 asked on 01 Dec 2016 - 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 o...

36. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health his views on the monitoring of trends in the prescription of psychoactive psychotropic drugs here, especially to children, over the past 20 years; if his attention has been drawn to concerns regarding the rise in problems associated with prescribed medications, especially opioid painkillers and benzodiazepine sedatives in terms of drug dependency and overdose, including fatal overdose; the measures being taken to address the rise in prescription rates and associated problems regarding prescription medications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37968/16 asked on 01 Dec 2016 - Prescriptions Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): My Department is aware of reports on trends indicating the increased use of psychotropic drugs. We are also aware that in recent years that the nature and scale of drug misuse has changed, with an increased prevalence of poly-drug use, as well as use of benzodiazepines, and other prescription or non-prescription medications. Treatment figures indicate an increase in the number of people seeking treatment for benzodiazepine use. 
The fourth national dr...

64. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the number and cost of assessments of needs under the Disability Act 2005, between 2011 and 2015, that were contracted out to therapists in private practice and or carried out by agency staff; the reason HSE employed staff are not being used; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37966/16 asked on 01 Dec 2016 - Disabilities Assessments)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): In order to supplement the current service provided by the HSE and to reduce waiting times the HSE have contracted private therapists and agency staff to provide a service in identified areas. However, the information sought by the Deputy on the amount spent on commissioning therapists in private practice to undertake assessments under the assessment of need process is not routinely collated and aggregated into a statistical...

69. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if he will expedite special education assessments, in the view of the National Disability Authority and the Disability Act 2005, due to the failure to commence sections of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004; the action he is taking in his dealings with the Department of Education and Skills and others to address this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37967/16 asked on 01 Dec 2016 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Policy responsibility for special education and for the EPSEN Act resides with my colleague the Minister for Education and Skills. My Department works closely with that Department and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs on a range of issues relating to children with a disability via a Cross-Sectoral team, which meets regularly.
I am informed by the Minister for Education that a number of sections of the Education for...

82. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the reason that, according to the HSE, in cases of completed applications received for an assessment of need under the Disability Act 2005, between 2011 and 2015, less than two thirds of assessment reports were completed and of those completed, less than two thirds had service statements completed despite the clear requirements of the Act to do so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37965/16 asked on 01 Dec 2016 - Disabilities Assessments)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): I propose to take Questions Nos. 82 and 85 together.
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 Gov...

160. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the reason that a person with multiple sclerosis and diabetes can hold a long term illness card for life but yet a person with a long term mental health diagnosis such as schizophrenia is ineligible for the same card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37771/16 asked on 30 Nov 2016 - Long-Term Illness Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Long Term Illness (LTI) Scheme was established under Section 59(3) of the Health Act 1970 (as amended). Regulations were made in 1971, 1973 and 1975 prescribing the 16 conditions that are covered by the LTI Scheme: acute leukaemia; mental handicap; cerebral palsy; mental illness (in a person under 16); cystic fibrosis; multiple sclerosis; diabetes insipidus; muscular dystrophies; diabetes mellitus; parkinsonism; epilepsy; phenylketonuria; haemophil...

161. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the way in which Ireland is ranked in relation to OECD countries in relation to overall spending in health both public and private and Ireland’s ranking for the public funding of health spending in particular; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37772/16 asked on 30 Nov 2016 - Health Services Expenditure)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Based on the most recent OECD estimates which refer to 2015 health expenditure, Ireland is ranked fifth highest among the EU 28 countries regarding total (public and private) spending per capita, at €3,922 per capita (adjusted for purchasing power parity) in 2015.
With regard to public spending on health care, the OECD estimates rank Ireland seventh among the EU 28 countries, at €2,713 per capita (adjusted for purchasing power parity) in 2015.
Data for ...

378. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to a case (details supplied); if he will intervene by contacting the Algerian authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37486/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Child Abduction)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The case referred to is a particularly devastating one for the parent left behind. Regarding any case of parental child abduction, my Department’s general policy is to discuss and explore with the left behind parent possible mediation options; possible legal avenues to be pursued in the country where the child or children have been taken; and to seek to facilitate a welfare check on the child or children concerned. 
Any case of...

379. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the action he has taken in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37487/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Consular Services Provision)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am very much aware of the consular case in the Philippines and the very difficult circumstances in which this individual and his family find themselves. 
I have personally raised my concerns with senior Philippines Government contacts, including most recently in New York in September. 
For any Irish citizen subject to criminal proceedings abroad, my Department officials will offer non-judgemental advice and any appropriate pra...

45. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if it is within her remit to direct an inquest to be held by a coroner; if she can direct an inquest into the death of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36630/16 asked on 24 Nov 2016 - Coroners Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The position is that the obligation on a coroner to hold an inquest lies in Section 17 of the Coroners Act 1962, as amended, where the body of a deceased person is lying in his or her district. There may be circumstances, such as in the case of a missing person, where a coroner has reason to believe that a death has occurred and that an inquest would be appropriate in the particular case, even though a body has not been...

180. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that prescribed low protein foods are required to prevent neurological damage and to supplement the diet of adults and children with phenylketonuria, PKU; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that no new low protein products have been added to the long-term illness card list in more than six years; if he will ensure a full and appropriate updated list of foods prescribed for PKU is added to the reimbursement list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36618/16 asked on 24 Nov 2016 - Medicinal Products Reimbursement)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 177 and 180 together.
The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of products under the community drug schemes, including the LTI Scheme, in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy. 
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402. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health the number of persons who have been treated in the past 12 months for whom data are available, using NTPF funding, by a consultant doctor who also had persons on his or her waiting list who had been treated in the same period by a different consultant doctor using NTPF funding; the number of persons who were treated using NTPF funding by a consultant doctor working solely in private practice; the number who were treated in total; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35800/16 asked on 22 Nov 2016 - National Treatment Purchase Fund Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In the past 12 months the NTPF has only funded diagnostic gastroenterology (GI) tests for patient. These procedures are all provided in a day care setting.
Two such GI scope NTPF initiatives have taken place. One in 2015 and another is currently in progress for 2016. In total 8,388 public patients are expected to benefit from these two initiatives (2,687 in 2015 and 5,701 in 2016).
In the two GI scope initiatives referred to, a list of private hospit...

140. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether it is appropriate that the Minister of State with responsibility for training, skills and innovation, who has said that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is appalling and unacceptable and would not be tolerated by any other state in the world, would visit Israel and meet a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35613/16 asked on 17 Nov 2016 - Ministerial Travel)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan) (Deputy John Halligan): The Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation’s visit to Palestine and Israel originated in an invitation from the Palestinian Minister for Education. The objective on this visit was to both demonstrate what Ireland is doing in the fields of education and training, and to observe and learn from what is being done in other countries, and to discuss problems arising and how they ...