36. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health the proposed expansion plans at Naas General Hospital under the health priorities of the National Development Plan 2018-2027; if timelines or individual investment amounts are available for the new endoscopy unit and new mental health unit to serve the residents of County Kildare and west County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11318/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Hospital Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 36 together.
The endoscopy suite and the mental health acute unit at Naas Hospital are both included in the National Development Plan 2018-2027. 
The National Development Plan provides €10.9 billion to invest in infrastructure, equipment and additional service capacity for the public health sector. This represents an increase of 165% in capital funding over the previous decade. The additional capital funding is ...

66. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce the opt-out process for organ donation; the process involved in the implementation of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17012/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Organ Donation)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Government approved the preparation of a General Scheme and Heads of a Human Tissue Bill last year. The proposed legislation will include provisions for a soft opt-out organ donation system and the establishment of an Organ Donor Register to record the decision of individuals to opt-out of organ donation.
If an individual registers her/his wish to opt-out of organ donation, the family will not be approached to discuss organ donation following her/h...

55. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the progress that has been made in the eastern part of the midlands region under the regional action plan for jobs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16738/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Regional Action Plan for Jobs)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Since becoming Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, I have made jobs and enterprise in the regions my top priority.
The Regional Action Plan for Jobs initiative is a central pillar of the Government’s ambition to create 200,000 new jobs by 2020, 135,000 of which are outside of Dublin. A key objective of each of the 8 regional plans is to have a further 10 to 15 per cent at work in each region by 2020, with ...

182. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health if the salary scale for the CEO position of a section 38 agency (details supplied) in County Kildare will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17022/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Health Services Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In 2015, my Department completed a review of the appropriate salary levels for the CEOs of Section 38 funded agencies, in conjunction with the HSE and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).  The review was carried out on foot of Recommendation No. 20 in the HSE’s Internal Audit report on the remuneration of senior managers in Section 38 agencies.  This recommendation stated that a review of the remuneration rates of CEOs and senior mana...

183. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health the status of work to address concerns on the future availability of general practitioners nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17023/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - General Practitioner Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Government is committed to the continued development of GP capacity to ensure that patients across the country continue to have access to GP services, especially in remote rural areas and also in disadvantaged urban areas, and that general practice is sustainable in all areas into the future. I want to ensure that existing GP services are retained and that general practice remains an attractive career option for newly-qualified GPs. 
The number of G...

54. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of his Department’s review of existing personal insolvency Acts; the main aspects of the current legislation he plans to address in such a review; when the review will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16528/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Legislative Reviews)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): My Department is currently finalising a review of Part 3 of the Personal Insolvency Acts. Part 3 is the core of the legislation, dealing with the operation in practice of the three personal insolvency mechanisms – Debt Relief Notices, Debt Settlement Arrangements, and Personal Insolvency Arrangements. This review also responds to the commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government to review personal insolvency thresholds and p...

69. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding Garda recruitment; his plans for additional recruitment; the number of new gardaí that have been allocated to County Kildare in the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16527/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Recruitment)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner 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. 
I am informed by the Commis...

286. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when progress is expected on the delivery of a €3 million property and exhibit store for Naas Garda station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16202/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - 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 can confirm that a project to provide a Property Evidence Management Store (PEMS) at Naas GS is at design stage currently.
 ...

320. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration is being given to the divestment of a school (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15812/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - School Patronage)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy will be aware, I have announced new plans aimed at accelerating the provision of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the choices of parents, families and school communities and the Programme for Government commitment to reach 400 such schools by 2030. 
In relation to the school to which the Deputy refers, my Department will consider any request that may be made by the existin...

722. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health the status of work within his Department to address the concerns of persons affected by the use of mesh implants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15265/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Hospital Procedures)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): It is important to ensure that both the current use of mesh implants in uro-gynaecological procedures in Ireland, and the ongoing clinical management of women who have had these procedures in the past are in line with international best practice and emerging evidence. To ensure this, I have requested the Chief Medical Officer to prepare a report on the many clinical and technical issues involved. I am informed that this work is advancing and involves ...

741. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health the status of the work within his Department to address the concerns of users of the Versatis patches; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15339/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Medicinal Products Availability)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 727, 741, 942, 979 and 994 together.
Medicines play a vital role in improving the health of Irish patients. Securing access to existing and new and innovative medicines is a key objective of the health service. However, the challenge is to do this in a safe and sustainable manner. Treatment must be appropriate and proportionate and clinical decision-making, such as prescribing, should be based on both patient needs an...

1634. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the grants available to assist an individual to renovate a 100 year old property which was left to them by a family member; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16653/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Departmental Schemes)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Financial support is provided by my Department through a number of schemes for the conservation and protection of historic buildings. These schemes are administered by local authorities and include the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Structures at Risk Fund. 
Projects to be funded under these schemes in 2018 were announced recently and details are available on all local authority websites and on my Department’s w...

14. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the demographic review taking place on the need for additional secondary school places in south County Kildare; the progress being made on planned secondary school extensions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14423/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - School Accommodation Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy may be aware, in order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas.  My Department uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. The GIS uses data from a range of sources, including the Central Statistics Office, Ordnance Survey Ireland, the Department o...

40. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of additional secondary school places in south County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14428/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Projects are currently being progressed in respect of four schools in the South Kildare area. A building project for St. Conleth’s Community College is currently on site and the project is expected to be completed in time for the commencement of the academic year in September, 2018.  Also, a building project for St Paul’s Secondary School, Monasterevin is currently at Stage 2(b) of the architectural planning process.
In addition, buildin...

48. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide an update on the increased activity in passport applications; if delays are being experienced; if additional resources can be assigned to the Passport Office to deal with the increased volume of applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14215/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Passport Applications Administration)

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): The Ceann Comhairle has allowed Deputy McLoughlin to take Deputy Heydon’s question. I presume there is no difficulty with that.
 ...

113. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Finance the status of the implementation of recommendations of the Cost of Insurance Working Group examining motor insurance; the recommendations which have already been implemented; when the work is expected to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13636/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Motor Insurance Costs)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Cost of Insurance Working Group’s Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance was published in January 2017 and makes 33 recommendations with 71 associated actions to be carried out in agreed timeframes, which are set out in an Action Plan. 
In line with the commitment to publish quarterly update reports on the implementation of the recommendations of the Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance, the Working Group has published four update reports to dat...

274. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a schedule of accommodation for an approved extension of a school (details supplied) will be provided; if a timeframe is available for work to commence and finish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13970/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - School Accommodation Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy is aware, a building project for the school to which he refers is included in my Department’s 6 Year Construction Programme.  In the context of progressing the building project, my Department has undertaken a site visit to the school.
The building project will be devolved to Kildare Wicklow Education Training Board (KWETB) for delivery and it is my Department’s intention to engage with KWETB shortly in this regard.
 ...

16. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the details of the investment to County Kildare under the national development plan; the next stages regarding timings of road and hospital projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11319/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - National Development Plan Data)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I should first explain that my role is with respect to determining the national capital expenditure envelope, its allocation at the overall sectoral level and to support Departments with a framework that ensures resources are allocated efficiently. I do not have a role in respect of applications or proposals for individual projects at county level.
The ten-year National Development Plan (NDP) has been put in place to underpin t...

44. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the Curragh Forum’s work programme for 2018; the status of the establishment of a new lands management team for the Curragh Plains; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12945/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Properties)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As the Deputy will be aware, the Curragh Forum was established to provide an opportunity for key stakeholders to consider and progress a wide range of issues regarding the use and management of the Curragh Plains.
The most recent meeting of the Forum took place on Friday 12 January 2018. It was attended by representatives of the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, Kildare County Council, Curragh Racecou...

52. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of plans for a peace and leadership institute on the Curragh; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10315/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Properties)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As the Deputy will already be aware, the White Paper on Defence includes a commitment to evaluate the potential development of a new Institute for Peace Support and Leadership Training at the Defence Forces Training Centre in the Curragh. The current Programme for a Partnership Government also includes a commitment to develop this Institute. It is foreseen that the new Institute will have international standing and contribute ...

208. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the date for profiling commencement of construction of a school (details supplied) from Q3 2019 will be reconsidered in view of the fact that the design team has indicated that it may be ready to commence construction by late 2018 or Q1 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13172/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The major building project for the school to which the Deputy refers is at an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2b – Detailed Design, which includes the applications for planning permission, fire cert and disability access cert and the preparation of tender documents. All statutory approvals have been obtained.
 A letter recently issued to the school and the design team outlining the projected timeframe for progression of ...

715. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the delays that are occurring in recruitment and placement of technical agricultural officers in the eastern region; the reasons for such delays; the steps being taken to address this issue in order that the industry is not restricted in its daily activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12394/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Public Sector Staff)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The competition for the role of Technical Agricultural Officer is being administered by the Public Appointments Service on behalf my Department. The competition was advertised in April 2016. Following an initial assessment involving remote testing of all candidates, the first batch of 150 candidates were called to verification testing and interview. 70 successful candidates emerged from this process and to date approximatel...

466. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount spent by the information office for Transport 21; the amount spent on public information and publicity campaigns regarding the Transport 21 plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11645/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 466 and 487 together.
I wish to advise the Deputy that a high-level Transport 21 Monitoring Committee was set up by the then Department of Transport to oversee the Transport 21 investment programme announced in November 2005. A subgroup of that Committee, called the Communications Subgroup was formed to deal with communications issues.  The Group was made up of Department officials and representatives...

487. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a high level group was established in 2005, 2006 to manage communications for Transport 21; the name of the group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11427/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 466 and 487 together.
I wish to advise the Deputy that a high-level Transport 21 Monitoring Committee was set up by the then Department of Transport to oversee the Transport 21 investment programme announced in November 2005. A subgroup of that Committee, called the Communications Subgroup was formed to deal with communications issues.  The Group was made up of Department officials and representatives...

539. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the reason County Kildare has been excluded from the CLÁR programme to date; if he will review this and consider including County Kildare in the list of eligible counties for CLÁR; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11521/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - CLÁR Programme)

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