107. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there is a provision whereby some time is waived with regard to the period after a person has been granted subsidiary protection before they can apply for naturalisation, in view of the delay in making decisions on subsidiary protection applications due to of the High Court challenge to the EU provision relating to subsidiary protection; the date by which a person regarding whom a decision to grant subsidiary protection was made on 20 May 2014 can make a valid application for naturalisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44414/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Naturalisation Eligibility)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended.  Section 15 of the Act provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation provided certain statutory conditions as set out in the Act are fulfilled.  The statutory conditions include that the applicant himself or herself mu...

152. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the dental services covered by the HSE in the Limerick area for primary school children; if this includes deciduous teeth in addition to permanent teeth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44317/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Dental Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. 
 ...

107. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of the various categories of work permits such as critical skills permit for non-EU nationals per industry that sector have been granted to companies in the mid-west region over the past two years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43894/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Work Permits Data)

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Irish State’s general policy is to promote the sourcing of labour and skills needs from within the workforce of Ireland, the European Union and other EEA states. Policy in relation to the application and granting of employment permits remains focused on facilitating the recruitment from outside the EEA of highly skilled personnel, where the requisite skills cannot be met by normal recruitment or by tra...

174. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to implement a review of the eligibility guidelines for acceptance onto the Springboard+ programme in view of the continuing fall in unemployment, the increase in the non-EU population and recent changes enabling asylum seekers to participate in the workforce; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43436/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Springboard Programme)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Springboard+ which incorporates the ICT skills conversion programme, is a targeted initiative which is primarily used to provide funding for higher education courses aimed at meeting the need for in-demand skills in the economy and supporting jobseekers to return to employment.
In 2017 the eligibility criteria was expanded to include homemakers and those in employment including those in self-employment who wish to upskill, reskill or cro...

14. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her plans to support the retail sector in advance of Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43028/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Brexit Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I recognise that the impact of Brexit is one of the most immediate concerns facing the retail sector.
As a result, my Department has ensured that Retail representatives have been included in all relevant stakeholder engagements on Brexit, including the Enterprise Forum on Brexit and Global Challenges. 
Brexit has also become a standing item on the agenda at meetings of the Retail Consultation Forum, which ...

26. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No.17 of 11 September 2017, if further consideration has been given to Ireland joining the European Southern Observatory in view of the benefits to Ireland which would ensue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43029/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - European Innovation Partnerships)

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 18, 25 and 26 together.
Innovation 2020, the national strategy for research and innovation, recognises that in order for Ireland to become a Global Innovation Leader, our research and innovation system must be open with strong international collaboration links. Membership of leading International Research Organisations is an important mechanism for facilitating this engage...

27. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the preparation State agencies under her Department’s remit have made to assist businesses and enterprises to prepare for Brexit; her plans to offer specific supports for those most affected; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43038/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Brexit Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am very aware of the challenges faced by companies in the wake of the Brexit vote and my Department and Agencies continue to monitor and assess carefully the various Brexit-related issues that may impact on business in Ireland. Our focus remains on taking steps to mitigate the potentially adverse consequences Brexit may have for our economy whilst also ensuring that Ireland is well-placed to capitalise o...

42. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if her attention has been drawn to predictions that Ireland may have to recruit workers from abroad to fill vacancies in businesses here on a larger scale; if she has engaged with other Ministers and Departments to ensure that education, training and in work upskilling are provided for those that remain unemployed or underemployed in order that persons that can benefit from the improving economy are not left behind; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43032/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Skills Shortages)

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation I recognise that investing in education, training and upskilling is vital for a strong workforce and to ensure a stable and healthy economy. This Government has shown its commitment to this through the Action Plan for Jobs 2017 which recognises the need for upskilling and reskilling jobseekers and the importance of providing training for the long term un...

198. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a local authority that is within a rent pressure zone is entitled to increase the rates for the rented portion of a home that has been purchased under the shared ownership scheme at an amount that is above the 4% per year limit for RPZs; if he will request local authorities to limit increases to 4% or less; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43159/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Rent Pressure Zones)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 amends the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to provide for the introduction of Rent Pressure Zones. The 2004 Act applies to every dwelling that is the subject of a tenancy, subject to a limited number of exceptions.  The dwellings to which the Act does not apply are set out in section 3(2) of the Act and include dwellings occupied under a shared own...

517. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has given consideration to include funding for the Drogheda northern port access route in the forthcoming capital plan review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41341/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Road Projects Expenditure)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in Co. Louth is the statutory responsibility of Louth County Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities’ own resources supplemented by State road grants.  The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.  
My Department has no gr...

518. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is reviewing the operation of the secondary toll on the M1 at Drogheda; if he has had formal engagement with the toll operator in this regard; the nature and timeframe of the toll operator’s contract; the cost to the State; if the secondary toll at Drogheda is to be removed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41342/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Road Tolls)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The statutory position which I as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport have is responsibility for overall policy in relation to roads.  The statutory powers to levy tolls on national roads, to make toll bye-laws and to enter into toll agreements with private investors are vested in TII and as such there is no provision under legislation by which I, as Minister, could review toll charges, such as those on the M1.
In 2012 TII cond...

98. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if applications have been received from County Louth by the Office of Public Works for works to be carried out at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40272/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Office of Public Works Projects)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The Office of Public Works has not received an application from Louth Council in respect of the Abbey of St. Mary D’Urso. Although the structure has some local historical significance, the building in question is not in the care of The Office of Public Works and it has no role in relation to it.
 ...

133. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a site has been acquired for a new school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40204/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Schools Site Acquisitions)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy will be aware, a project to deliver accommodation for the school to which she refers is included on my Department’s Capital Programme. The acquisition of a site by my Department is required for the purpose of this project.
With the assistance of officials in the relevant local authority, a number of site options were identified and assessed. Of these, the two most suitable options have been selected.  Engagement with the ...

174. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the issues arising for mothers who have a different surname to their child, or children, in cases in which they are travelling abroad with that child, or children; if he has given consideration to providing the names of parents and guardians on children’s passports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40135/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Passport Data)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): A passport is an internationally recognised travel document which attests to the identity and nationality of the bearer. The Passport Service does not have any plans to expand the purpose of a passport to indicate a parental relationship between a child and his/her parent(s).
Parents are encouraged to complete the emergency contact details page at the back of their child’s passport which may assist in this matter, in particular for ...

175. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to fund the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, supplies in budget 2018 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40137/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Departmental Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): I propose to take questions 175 and 177 together.
The UNFPA is one of Ireland’s UN partners, and the agency’s work is closely aligned with many of the areas identified in Ireland’s Policy for International Development ‘One World, One Future ’. 
Hundreds of thousands of women and girls die each year in developing countries from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Improved maternal and reproductive h...

176. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the work supported by Irish Aid in Bolivia to promote the sexual and reproductive health of vulnerable and marginalised young persons in line with the commitment in One World, One Future to promote universal access to reproductive health care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40149/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Irish Aid)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Ireland’s Policy for International Development, One World, One Future commits to supporting efforts, consistent with the Cairo Programme of Action, to reduce maternal and infant mortality, and promote universal access to reproductive healthcare, including antenatal care and family planning services. In this context, Irish Aid supports a range of programmes related to sexual and reproductive health, including the work of the Irish Fa...

177. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to increase core funding to the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, in budget 2018 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40150/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Departmental Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): I propose to take questions 175 and 177 together.
The UNFPA is one of Ireland’s UN partners, and the agency’s work is closely aligned with many of the areas identified in Ireland’s Policy for International Development ‘One World, One Future ’. 
Hundreds of thousands of women and girls die each year in developing countries from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Improved maternal and reproductive h...

212. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress that has been made in the implementation of the active mobility project in An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40307/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of Garda equipment and resources are a matter for the Garda Commissioner and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. 
The Deputy will be aware that the extensive programme of reform currently underway in the context of the Garda Commissioner’s Modernisation and Renewal Programme 2016-2021. 
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the AC...

213. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there will be an appropriate allocation of probationary gardaí to the Limerick division in the next round of allocations in view of demands on the force in policing urban and rural crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40308/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Garda Deployment)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
This Government i...

296. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if the HSE, through the National Office for Suicide Prevention, will continue to provide core funding to an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40274/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Suicide Prevention)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Following extensive engagement recently between the organisation in question and the Health Service Executive, it was agreed by all parties that there was no longer a strategic alignment between the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) and this organisation and that NOSP would be invoking the termination clause of the previous Grant Aid Agreement. However, this organisation was advised to contact other HSE divisions or ag...

488. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the fact that some parents are choosing to keep their children in the community child care subvention scheme even though they qualify for ECCE in view of the fact that it is more advantageous from a parent’s perspective; her plans to address the loss of grant support under ECCE that results to the childcare service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40309/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Community Childcare Subvention Programme )

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I am aware of the situation which the Deputy highlights. Officials in my Department are looking into this issue and will be taking steps to rectify this situation. The precise mechanism for effecting the payment with regard to the grant discrepancy for that small number of service providers who may lose out is under consideration. The steps to be taken will be communicated to all providers in the near future.
I am committed t...

501. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the identities of the security companies contracted by her Department and its agencies to provide security services; if all such companies are in compliance with the new employment regulation order rate for the security industry which has been in force since 1 June 2017; the steps her Department has taken to ensure compliance with the new legal hourly rate of pay; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40275/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Departmental Contracts)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): My Department’s security contract is with Secureway at Risk Security (SAR) group. SARs wrote to the Department in July 2017 to advise that they had implemented the Employment Regulation Order (ERO) hourly rate increase from the 1st June 2017. 
Only one of the statutory bodies operating under the aegis of my Department has security contracts. The Citizens Information Board (CIB) directly engage the following security...

503. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a person who has been transferred to a organisation (details supplied) can transfer back to the Department placement system in order to pursue a training course relevant to their job prospects; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40310/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - JobPath Programme)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Participants with JobPath receive intensive individual support over a period of up to 12 months to help them tackle barriers to employment and to find jobs. As part of the JobPath service each person is assigned a personal advisor who assesses their skills, qualifications and experience with a particular focus on identifying appropriate training and educational interventions in the context of potential employment opp...

526. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the funding allocated to local authorities for the mobility scheme for council tenants in 2017 in tabular form; his plans to increase funding in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40151/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Local Authority Funding)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Disabled Persons Grant Scheme provides funding for adaptations to existing social housing stock such as grab rails, disabled access ramps, wet rooms, etc. The Scheme also provides for extensions in cases of overcrowding.  On top of the exchequer funding amounts, the local authority makes a further 10% contribution in respect of these grants. The detailed administration of these grants, including the assessment, app...

544. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress of each of the 3,322 housing units that were approved for construction in 2015 and 2016 as listed in appendix 2 of his Department’s housing action report of April 2016, by local authority, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40671/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Housing Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Since the publication in April 2016 of the Housing Action Report Laying the Foundations referred to in the question, the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, Rebuilding Ireland has further enhanced the funding resources to accelerate the delivery of social housing for all local authorities. Critically, €5.35 billion in Exchequer investment has been made available to support its implementation and to deliver 47,000 ...