248. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if a general pay increase and-or pay restoration is planned for Army rangers; the details on this matter; if there are payments of increases and-or restoration of payments outstanding for Army rangers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49601/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The rates of remuneration and conditions of employment in the Defence Forces are set by reference to relative levels of pay across the various parts of the public sector. The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts of 2009-2015 and the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2018 (the Lansdowne Road Agreement) define current pay policy for Public Servants and members of the Permanent Defence Force.
The Defence ...

187. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the working group established to examine the future of the Mayo campus of GMIT. (Question 48733/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Institutes of Technology)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department, the HEA and GMIT Governing Body are fully committed to the continuance of the GMIT Castlebar campus.
Myself and the then Taoiseach established a working group in March 2017 to formulate a plan to develop a sustainable future for the Mayo Campus in Castlebar. Membership of the GMIT Working Group comprised representatives of GMIT, my Department and the HEA. 
In the course of its work and guided by the agreed terms of refer...

90. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the action being taken to address the long waiting times for orthodontic services in the west. (Question 48213/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists)

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. 
 ...

180. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for the establishment of an Educate Together school in Westport; the steps taken to date to establish the school; and the proposed date for the school to open. (Question 48118/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Schools Establishment)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy may be aware, the report of the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector recommended that demand for patronage diversity should be met in areas of stable population by divesting patronage of existing schools where there is evidence of parental demand for change.  Following surveys conducted by my Department in areas of stable population, sufficient demand emerged in 28 areas, including th...

202. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason a person (details supplied) is still awaiting Garda vetting for resuming their position as a psychiatric nurse; the estimated date on which this will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47770/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Garda Vetting)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am informed by the Garda Authorities that records at the Garda National Vetting Bureau indicate that no valid Garda vetting application has been received in respect of the person who is the subject of the Deputy’s Question.
In the circumstances I would advise the person concerned to contact the relevant registered organisation to ascertain the status of their vetting application.  
 ...

501. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a person (details supplied) qualifies for commercial vehicle road tax on their newly purchased vehicle as a small goods vehicle in particular circumstances; if each of these pieces of evidence individually rather than both of these proofs together would satisfy the requirements in circumstances in which all other information in respect of the logbook, insurance and signed documentation from An Garda Síochána is provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47701/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Vehicle Registration)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): To be taxed as a commercial vehicle, a vehicle must be constructed as a goods vehicle and must be used solely in the course of trade or business.  Licensing authorities have an obligation under Article 3 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 1992 to be satisfied that a vehicle is correctly taxed and it is therefore open to a motor tax office to seek appropriate documentation supporting...

530. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when a person (details supplied) who recently retired from the Defence Forces will receive their final salary payment. (Question 48120/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I have had enquiries made regarding the matter and I understand that the balance of pay due to the person in question will be paid on 22 November 2017. 
 ...

6. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to review the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47144/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Deputy Lisa Chambers: Has the Minister any plans to review the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012? I ask because the current position of the Minister of State at the Department of Defence is that the Act does not provide for pre-existing superannuation arrangements and, consequently, a 2009 arrangement, CCR 421, which allows for a supplementary pension for retired commissioned officers to be in place.
 ...

416. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to change the school bus route servicing a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46844/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - School Transport)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.
During the 2016/17 school year almost 116,000 children, including some 12,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 4,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.
Under the terms of the Primary School ...

686. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in scheduling a date for a person (details supplied) to have a surgical procedure that was recommended by a consultant over two years ago; the timeframe for this procedure in this case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45959/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Hospital Appointments Delays)

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 National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managin...

717. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the reason the necessary treatment of HPV consisting of three separate gardasil injections for a person (details supplied) is not covered under their medical card; the reason they are being asked to pay €170 for each injection; if there is financial assistance available to the person in relation to this expense; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46296/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Vaccination Programme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Availability of the HPV vaccine to girls that have previously declined or missed the administration of the vaccine in school as part of the national immunisation programme is a service matter and they should contact the HSE directly. The vaccine is provided free of charge as part of the national immunisation programme. For women who did not receive the vaccine as part of the school programme it can be obtained privately from their GP. However, the co...

991. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the expenditure to date on the Wild Atlantic Way in County Mayo in terms of infrastructure and marketing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45712/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Wild Atlantic Way Project)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): My Department’s role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national tourism policy.  It is not directly involved in the management or development of individual tourism projects, such as the Wild Atlantic Way.  These are operational matters for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland.   
I have referred the Deputy’s question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply to the Deputy.  Please cont...

992. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the budget in 2018 in County Mayo for the Wild Atlantic Way in terms of infrastructure and marketing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45713/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Wild Atlantic Way Project)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): My Department’s role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national tourism policy.  It is not directly involved in the management or development of individual tourism projects, such as the Wild Atlantic Way.  These are operational matters for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland.  
The overall level of funding to be allocated to Fáilte Ireland for tourism product development in 201...

993. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the signature discovery point Achill Skywalk project at Moiteóg Head, Keem Bay, Achill, County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45714/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Tourism Project Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): My Department’s role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national tourism policy.  It is not directly involved in the funding of individual tourism projects, such as the one mentioned by the Deputy. These are operational matters for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland.
Accordingly, I have referred the Deputy’s question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply to the Deputy.  Please con...

1371. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the age of each naval vessel; when they are due to be retired; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45798/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Naval Service Vessels)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Naval Service currently operates an eight ship flotilla. The following ships make up the fleet, from oldest to new: 
LÉ Eithne – Commissioned 1984 
LÉ Ciara – Built in 1984 (Commissioned in 1989) 
LÉ Orla – Built in 1985 (Commissioned in 1989) 
LÉ Roisin – Commissioned 1999 
LÉ Niamh – Commissioned 2001 
LÉ Samuel Beckett – Commissioned 2014 
LÉ James Joyce – Commissioned 2015 ...

295. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the recent figures for the strength in whole-time equivalent terms of the Permanent Defence Force with regard to all three services and all ranks; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45493/17 asked on 26 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 295 to 298, inclusive, together. 
The following tables set out below provide the strength of the Permanent Defence Force as of 30 September 2017 across all three services and ranks, broken down by gender. The figures provided are for whole time equivalent posts. 
Army 
 Rank Male Female Total Lieutenant General 1 0 1 Major General 2 0 2 Brigadier General 6 0 6...

296. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the recent figures for the strength of the Reserve Defence Forces with regard to all three services and all ranks; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45494/17 asked on 26 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 295 to 298, inclusive, together. 
The following tables set out below provide the strength of the Permanent Defence Force as of 30 September 2017 across all three services and ranks, broken down by gender. The figures provided are for whole time equivalent posts. 
Army 
 Rank Male Female Total Lieutenant General 1 0 1 Major General 2 0 2 Brigadier General 6 0 6...

297. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of additional recruits the Permanent Defence Force have taken on to date in 2017 with regard to all three services; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45495/17 asked on 26 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 295 to 298, inclusive, together. 
The following tables set out below provide the strength of the Permanent Defence Force as of 30 September 2017 across all three services and ranks, broken down by gender. The figures provided are for whole time equivalent posts. 
Army 
 Rank Male Female Total Lieutenant General 1 0 1 Major General 2 0 2 Brigadier General 6 0 6...

298. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of whole-time equivalent persons who have been recruited in each of the years 2013 to 2016 and to date in 2017, to the Permanent Defence Forces. (Question 45496/17 asked on 26 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 295 to 298, inclusive, together. 
The following tables set out below provide the strength of the Permanent Defence Force as of 30 September 2017 across all three services and ranks, broken down by gender. The figures provided are for whole time equivalent posts. 
Army 
 Rank Male Female Total Lieutenant General 1 0 1 Major General 2 0 2 Brigadier General 6 0 6...

288. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of the Defence Forces Reserve lieutenant to captain fixed promotion scheme in view of the fact that 37 reserve officers considered for promotion are facing a delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45296/17 asked on 25 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Reserve)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The White Paper on Defence confirms that the primary role of the Army and Naval Service Reserve is to augment the Permanent Defence Force in times of crisis. In non-crisis situations, the main focus will be on training to prepare for this role. The Government appreciates the service of the members of the Army and Naval Service Reserve and the White Paper on Defence is clear that there is a continued requirement to retain and d...

153. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills to outline the details of the project for GMIT Galway campus in view of his recent announcement of €200 million for 11 major infrastructure projects in the higher education sector; the estimated cost; and when will it be completed. (Question 44909/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Institutes of Technology Funding)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The GMIT project to which the Deputy refers was among those which I announced would be included in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme for the higher education sector. The GMIT proposal involves the construction of a new STEM building, including labs, multi-purpose rooms, lab support rooms, seminar rooms and classrooms.
I am not in a position to release information on the cost of any individual project at this stage, given the ...

154. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the proposed capital allocation for GMIT Mayo campus for 2018 in view of his recent announcement of €257 million for capital spending in the higher education sector over the next three years. (Question 44910/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Institutes of Technology Funding)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Mayo Campus of GMIT has a very important role to play in delivering economic growth and job creation.
The importance of the GMIT Mayo Campus is recognised by the Department, the Higher Education Authority and GMIT. For that reason, I established the GMIT Working Group in March 2017 with then Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD. The Working Group has been engaging with all the relevant stakeholders in order to formulate a plan for the sustainabl...

155. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills when he plans to allocate the necessary capital funds to allow repair work to be carried out to the roof of the GMIT campus, County Mayo, in view of his recent announcement of €257 million for capital spending in the higher education sector over the next three years. (Question 44911/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Institutes of Technology Funding)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Mayo Campus of GMIT has a very important role to play in delivering economic growth and job creation.
The importance of the GMIT Mayo Campus is recognised by the Department, the Higher Education Authority and GMIT. For that reason, I established the GMIT Working Group in March 2017 with then Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD. The Working Group has been engaging with all the relevant stakeholders in order to formulate a plan for the sustainabl...

204. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in a person (details supplied) obtaining an appointment to see a consultant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44558/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Hospital Appointments Delays)

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 National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing ...

243. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in making a decision on the application by a person (details supplied) for a package for physical and sensory support, in view of the fact that the application was submitted a number of years ago; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44828/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Health Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): As the Deputy’s question relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...