242. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the policy of the removal of staged payments to small and medium sized developers of new social housing under Rebuilding Ireland will be reinstated or alternatively if a bridging finance scheme can be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2325/18 asked on 17 Jan 2018 - Social and Affordable Housing)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The large majority of social housing projects initiated by local authorities are implemented through standard contracts for public works, following a competitive tendering process. Contractors in such cases are paid on a staged basis as the project advances.
Local authorities may also acquire social housing either through acquisitions of second-hand or newly completed houses, or through turnkey developments.  In these c...

165. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to provide multi-year funding for the next phase of the UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme on female genital mutilation, FGM, which is the largest global response to accelerate the elimination of FGM, in order to meet Target 5.3 of the sustainable development goals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50827/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Female Genital Mutilation)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is a clear violation of the human rights of women and girls. It has serious social, health and psychological consequences and is one of the most pervasive forms of gender based violence. Girls and women subjected to FGM are at risk of early marriage and dropping out of school. In turn, this is linked to reduced opportunities for growth, development and susta...

190. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to arrange for a technical engineer from his Department to visit a school (details supplied) with a view to allocating the necessary funding to allow repair work to be carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48789/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Schools Refurbishment)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department has been in contact with the principal of the school in question and the school will be submitting an Emergency Works application to the Department in respect of this issue.
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208. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a school (details supplied) will receive administrative status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49019/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Since 2012 special schools are staffed based on their actual current pupil profiles and the disability category of each pupil, as opposed to primarily by school designation, in accordance with Department Circular 0042/2011. 
Currently the awarding of Administrative Principal in special schools is governed by the Report of the Special Education Review Committee 1993 (SERC Report).  Under the SERC report, Administrative Principal is warran...

197. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if funding for underpasses will be allowed under TAMS or other agricultural support schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48364/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - TAMS Eligibility)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 196 and 197 together.
The TAMS II Scheme provides attractive grant rates for a wide range of investment items.  Overall I am delighted that the scheme has proved to be so popular with Irish farmers with over 15,000 applications submitted to date. Of these over 11,500 or over 75% have been approved to commence work. Approvals issue on an ongoing basis with approvals under the most recent tranche...

50. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the progress made on the Creative Ireland programme to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47910/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Creative Ireland Programme)

Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy: I acknowledge that the Creative Ireland programme’s genesis was in last year’s 2016 commemorations. I welcome it and that we can focus on the well-being of our citizens with the Creative Ireland programme as well as focusing on our identity as a nation, which is important for us and the arts community, for everyone to be able to experience that. Has the Minister had any update on progress across the country under Creative Ireland 2017?
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61. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if there will be a further round of the arts and culture capital scheme in 2018 to support local arts centres; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47911/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Arts and Culture Capital Scheme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 61 and 80 together.
The Arts and Culture Capital scheme 2016-2018 which I announced in 2016 is focused on the refurbishment and enhancement of the existing stock of arts and culture facilities throughout the country. This scheme is running from 2016 to 2018 over three complementary grant streams. Grant funding of between €20,000 and €2m is being offered to projects on a matched funding ...

275. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to improve the facilities at a location (details supplied) in terms of extending the carpark; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47134/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Archaeological Sites)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The OPW has understood for some time that the carparking facilities at Clonmacnoise Visitor Centre are limited having regard to the volume of visitor traffic the site is experiencing and has been working in recent months to develop a solution to the issue. Proposals being examined will entail both changes to the system for managing visitors to the site and certain physical changes to the carparking ...

713. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Health the status of dental services for primary school children in counties Offaly and Laois following a Topical Issue raised by this Deputy on the matter on 6 July 2017; the steps which have been taken to recruit additional dentists to the midlands dental service; when the national oral health policy will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46225/17 asked on 07 Nov 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. 
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853. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Health his plans to include Kabuki syndrome on the list of disabilities which will allow access to the range of services and supports provided by the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46987/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - 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 ...

1076. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to ensure the conversion of the national fleet of vehicles to electric and renewable fuel sources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47009/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Bus Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the procurement of the bus fleet for PSO services. The procurement of buses for Dublin Bus’ and Bus Éireann’s commercial services as well as private bus fleets is a matter for the individual companies. 
However, clean and energy effi...

200. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if ACCESS II funding allocated to a centre (details supplied) is still available to the project. (Question 44954/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): In 2007, a capital grant of €2 million was approved in principle for the centre to which the Deputy refers. 
The approval in relation to this project remains open and my Department continues to maintain contact with the local authority in question in regard to it.
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142. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Health when he plans to introduce the new transport support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44300/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Transport Support Scheme)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the proposed Health (Transport Support) Bill with the Joint Committee on Public Petitions on Wednesday 11th October. The Deputy will be familiar with the background to the closure of both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant schemes in February 2013. Since the closure of the Mobility Allowance, the Government has directed that the Health Service Executive shou...

35. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will report on the progress of the trading online voucher scheme, which is part of the national digital strategy; the take up of the scheme; and his plans to expand or further develop the scheme. (Question 41789/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - National Digital Strategy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): My Department’s Trading Online Voucher Scheme is specifically designed to support small and micro enterprises to trade online. Through training and mentoring, coupled with financial support of up to €2,500, subject to matched funding, the scheme is helping small businesses to grow and diversify their markets.  
This is a demand-led scheme, funded by my Department and delivered on a nationwide basis by the Lo...

55. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of applications for and the number of businesses taking part in the trading online voucher scheme which is part of the national digital strategy in County Offaly, by year since its introduction. (Question 41788/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - National Digital Strategy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Trading Online Voucher Scheme, designed and funded by my Department, is delivered on a nationwide basis by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO).  Applications are received directly by individual LEOs who award vouchers of up to €2,500 matched- funding to qualifying businesses on a competitive basis, following evaluation by an expert panel. Successful applicants are expected to complete their trading online pro...

424. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) will not be considered under the HSE treatment abroad scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41784/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Treatment Abroad Scheme)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Health Service Executive operates the Treatment Abroad Scheme, for persons entitled to treatment in another EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland under EU Regulation 883/04, as per the procedures set out in EU Regulation 987/09, and in accordance with Department of Health Guidelines. 
The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.
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328. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the detail of all capital expenditure such as extensions, new builds and additional accommodation for all primary schools in County Offaly since January 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37210/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Schools Building Projects Data)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The capital funding expended on new schools, school extensions, additional accommodation, emergency works and the summer works scheme for primary schools in Offaly in the period 2011 - August 2017 follows. 
Details of all school capital works that have been funded by my Department may be viewed on my Department’s website www.education.ie and this is updated regularly.
 YEAR YEAR YEAR YEAR YEAR YEAR YEAR SCHOOL NA...

1278. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Health if he will provide information on the midlands public health dental service (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38966/17 asked on 11 Sep 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.
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1630. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to reach agreement with the USA to include it on the recognised countries list for the purposes of driver licence exchange; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38959/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Driver Licensing Exchange Agreements)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The issue of whether driving licence exchange with the USA would be possible has been examined and is, regrettably, not being pursued at this time given the complexities involved.
Driver licensing law is grounded on the principle that people must meet certain defined standards. Irish driver licensing law operates within a framework of EU law, which sets common standards for driver testing across all Member States. On this basis, al...

314. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the detail of capital expenditure, extensions, new builds and additional accommodation for all post-primary schools in County Offaly since January 2011 in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35781/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Schools Building Projects Data)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The table details the capital expenditure on new school buildings and additional accommodation projects for all post-primary schools in County Offaly since January 2011. No large-scale extensions were funded during the period in question.
 Schools Accommodation 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Total COLAISTE CHOILM TULLAMORE New School €5,960,980.39 €422,392.53 €224,400.41 €61,936.65 €669,650.00 €74,074.28 €0...

324. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason an original decision giving approval for additional accommodation was overturned at a school (details supplied); if he will review this application for additional accommodation in view of the significant increase in enrolments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35896/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - School Accommodation)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department received a number of applications in recent years, from the school referred, for additional accommodation. In that regard, my Department approved funding for the provision of a room for Special Education Teaching in April 2015. The project has been delivered and the additional accommodation has greatly improved the facilities in the school.
An application to provide an additional classroom...

206. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason students enrolled in third level courses that are dependent on their parents for financial support may only have income earned during holiday periods disallowed for assessment of total family income under SUSI grant applications; the reason income earned by students during term time is disallowed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32164/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Student Grant Scheme Administration)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The assessment of means under my Department’s student grant scheme is based on gross income from all sources, with certain social welfare and health service executive payments being exempt.
In the assessment of means, a deduction can be made for holiday earnings made by the applicant from employment outside of term time but within the reference period. I increased the value of this income disregard from ...

279. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will clarify the ownership of a building (details supplied). (Question 32165/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Courts Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts, including the provision of accommodation for court sittings, is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions. 
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that Birr Courthouse is owned by the Courts Service and h...

622. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if owners or management companies of apartment blocks are required to provide full waste disposal and recycling services including glass to owners or tenants of the apartments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32425/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Waste Management)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Under waste management legislation, collectors of household waste are required to provide receptacles for the collection of residual, recyclable and food waste, in line with the requirements of their waste collection permit issued under the Waste Management Act 1996 (No. 10 of 1996), the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations 2007, (S.I. 820 of 2007) as amended, and the European Union (Household Food W...

101. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the lease of a premises (details supplied) for use as a public office for the Department of Social Protection will be open; if tenders have been invited to fit out the building for the Department of Social Protection; when departmental staff will occupy this building; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31632/17 asked on 05 Jul 2017 - Office of Public Works Properties)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The lease for the new Department of Employment and Social Protection office in Birr has been agreed by the Commissioners of Public Works and will be signed shortly. The Commissioners will immediately proceed to procure the works required to fit the building out for occupation once the lease has been completed.
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