503. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the broadband access to a small business in a location (details supplied) in County Cork; when fibre optic broadband will be accessible to a person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13763/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location.  The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector. Today, almost 7 out of 10 of the 2.3 million premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband. This will increase to nearly 8 out of 10 premises by the en...

251. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he, his officials or advisers have had meetings with the strategic communication unit since it was set up; the issues that were discussed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6534/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Strategic Communications Unit)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I met with Mr. Concannon and a colleague from the Strategic Communications Unit on 5 October 2017. The meeting was also attended by the Secretary General of my Department, the Assistant Secretary over the Corporate area, and one of my Special Advisors.  
Mr. Concannon, at the request of the Secretary General,  also addressed a monthly meeting of Senior Managers in the Department on 23 October on the role of ...

251. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will report on his Department’s strategy statement and its commitments on delivering key infrastructure including broadband and energy. (Question 6002/18 asked on 07 Feb 2018 - Departmental Strategy Statements)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Government has outlined, in a range of policy guidance documents, including the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP), the Energy White Paper - “Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future, and Ireland’s National Climate Mitigation Plan, a series of policy interventions and measures  for the realisation of Ireland’s energy  infrastructure, including energy networks and interconnection wit...

449. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department’s officials have a role in media ownership and diversity policy formation. (Question 43638/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Media Mergers)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Media Mergers process was created as a result of amendments made to the Competition Act 2002 by the Competition & Consumer Protection Act 2014. All media mergers must be notified to me as Minister, and I must make a determination whether or not the proposed merger may proceed based on an assessment of its impact on the plurality of media in the State.
This process cannot be applied retrospectively and only ...

561. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the role his Department has in ensuring that there is a plan to address the risks on the findings in the national assessment of risk report regarding the prominence of some technological risks being increased including the potential for cyber attacks or data fraud and theft to cause serious disruption. (Question 39104/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Cyber Security Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is home to the National Cyber Security Centre, and has responsibility for the National Cyber Security Strategy 2015-2017, which includes measures to improve the security of public sector infrastructure and services, to better protect critical national infrastructure and to formalise arrangements in law in order to comply with EU requirements on cyb...

584. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which his Department is tackling climate change. (Question 15143/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - National Mitigation Plan)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 72, 81 and 584 together.
The objective of Ireland’s first National Mitigation Plan is to set out what Ireland is doing and is planning to do to further our transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050.
Work on the development of the first Plan is nearing completion and I intend to submit it to Government for approval in early June....

192. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress made on the programme for Government commitment on addressing long-term challenges such as broadband and climate change. (Question 33805/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Programme for Government Implementation)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Government’s National Broadband Plan, which was published in August 2012, aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed broadband is available to all citizens and businesses.  The Programme for Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority.  This is being achieved through private investment by commercial telecommunications companies and throug...

796. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the status of discussions with the owners of the Whitegate refinery regarding potential buyers with a view to maintaining the operation of this vital energy supply asset for Ireland and the direct and indirect employment the facility provides to the surrounding region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22016/16 asked on 19 Jul 2016 - Energy Resources)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 796 to 799, inclusive, together. 
Ireland has a single, privately owned, refinery in Whitegate, Cork.  The owners, Phillips66, have been involved in a sales process in respect of the refinery for the last number of months. The Whitegate refinery is a fully privatised facility and its sale is a commercial matter between Phillips66 and a potential purchaser.
The Government views the...

797. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the action he is taking to ensure the future operation of the Whitegate oil refinery which plays a vital role in securing Ireland’s energy supply; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22017/16 asked on 19 Jul 2016 - Energy Resources)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 796 to 799, inclusive, together. 
Ireland has a single, privately owned, refinery in Whitegate, Cork.  The owners, Phillips66, have been involved in a sales process in respect of the refinery for the last number of months. The Whitegate refinery is a fully privatised facility and its sale is a commercial matter between Phillips66 and a potential purchaser.
The Government views the...

888. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the status of future oil-refining requirements here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46709/15 asked on 13 Jan 2016 - Energy Resources)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): The Whitegate refinery was privatised as a result of its sale by the State in 2001. Under the terms of the sale, the owners are obliged to continue to operate the refinery for a minimum of fifteen years, a commitment which remains in place until July 2016. That commitment is not affected by the planned sale.
The owners of the refinery, Phillips 66, advised my Department in October that they were putting the Whitegate...

225. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide in tabular form the number of requests for meetings he has received from private, external, non-State-funded lobby groups; the number of meetings he has held with these groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26696/15 asked on 02 Jul 2015 - Ministerial Meetings)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): As the Deputy will appreciate, in view of the range of my remit as Minister I receive representations, including requests for meetings from a broad range of sources, including members of the Oireachtas, local and voluntary groups and private individuals and companies.
Since my appointment as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources on 11 July 2014 I have attended some 870 meetings with a range of indi...

833. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide in tabular form the number, name and date of Bills initiated in his Department that have been subject to the pre-legislative scrutiny procedure in the Oireachtas. (Question 23635/15 asked on 16 Jun 2015 - Legislative Process)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): I propose to take Questions Nos. 833 and 834 together. 
There have been two Bills initiated by my Department since September 2013, the details of which are set out in the following table.
 Title of Bill Date Bill Published Status ESB (Electronic Communications Network) Bill 2013 19/12/2013 The Bill was enacted on 18 March 2014 as the ESB (Electronic Communications Network) Act 2014 - Number 5 of 2014. Co...

834. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide in tabular form the number, name and date of Bills initiated in his Department since September 2013. (Question 23661/15 asked on 16 Jun 2015 - Legislative Process)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): I propose to take Questions Nos. 833 and 834 together. 
There have been two Bills initiated by my Department since September 2013, the details of which are set out in the following table.
 Title of Bill Date Bill Published Status ESB (Electronic Communications Network) Bill 2013 19/12/2013 The Bill was enacted on 18 March 2014 as the ESB (Electronic Communications Network) Act 2014 - Number 5 of 2014. Co...

839. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if she will account for the low broadband penetration rates in Cork city and county; the actions that are being taken to address this situation; the timeframe for connecting remaining households and businesses to high speed Internet of at least 30 Mbps, the minimum that the European Commission has set for a viable service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23727/15 asked on 16 Jun 2015 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): I propose to take Questions Nos. 839, 840 and 841 together. 
The Government’s National Broadband Plan aims to ensure that every citizen and business, regardless of location, has access to a high quality, high speed broadband service. This will be achieved through a combination of commercial investments and a State led intervention in areas where commercial services will not be provided.
The commercial telecommunicatio...

840. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the way 32% of business premises in Cork city and county do not have access to high speed broadband of at least 30 Mbps; the actions that are being taken to address this situation; the timeframe for connecting remaining premises; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23728/15 asked on 16 Jun 2015 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): I propose to take Questions Nos. 839, 840 and 841 together. 
The Government’s National Broadband Plan aims to ensure that every citizen and business, regardless of location, has access to a high quality, high speed broadband service. This will be achieved through a combination of commercial investments and a State led intervention in areas where commercial services will not be provided.
The commercial telecommunicatio...

841. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources considering that high speed broadband is vital for businesses to compete on a level playing field in the online market place, if he will provide a timeframe regarding connecting remaining businesses in Cork city and county to high-speed broadband Internet access of at least 30 Mbps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23729/15 asked on 16 Jun 2015 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): I propose to take Questions Nos. 839, 840 and 841 together. 
The Government’s National Broadband Plan aims to ensure that every citizen and business, regardless of location, has access to a high quality, high speed broadband service. This will be achieved through a combination of commercial investments and a State led intervention in areas where commercial services will not be provided.
The commercial telecommunicatio...

966. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide in tabular form the number, name and date of Bills initiated in his Department that have been subject to the pre-legislative scrutiny procedure in the Oireachtas. (Question 1810/15 asked on 14 Jan 2015 - Legislative Programme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): To date there have been no Bills initiated in my Department that have been subject to the pre-legislative scrutiny procedure in the Oireachtas, which was introduced with effect from November, 2013. There are a number of Bills currently in preparation in the Department which will be brought to the Houses of the Oireachtas in due course. These Bills will, in accordance with Dáil Standing Order 123A, where feasible be se...

967. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide in tabular form the number, name and date of Bills initiated in his Department since September 2013. (Question 1825/15 asked on 14 Jan 2015 - Legislative Programme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): There has been one Bill initiated in my Department since September 2013, the details of which are set out in the following table:
 Title of Bill Date Bill Published Status ESB (Electronic Communications Network) Bill 2013 19/12/2013 The Bill was enacted on the 18th of March 2014 as the ESB (Electronic Communications Network) Act 2014 - Number 5 of 2014. 
 ...

30. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his views on the discussions on digital participation and inclusion at the British Irish Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46815/14 asked on 11 Dec 2014 - National Digital Strategy Implementation)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Joe McHugh): The Taoiseach and the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources attended the British Irish Council Summit (BIC) in the Isle of Man on 28 November last where digital inclusion was a main item on the agenda.
Digital inclusion is central to the Government’s National Digital Strategy. The strategy aims to position Ireland to take advantage of the opportunities of digital by gettin...

117. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the position regarding the memorandum of understanding between his Government and the British Government on wind energy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12779/14 asked on 06 May 2014 - Wind Energy Generation)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): In January last year the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Mr. Ed Davey MP and I signed a Memorandum of Understanding on energy cooperation. That Memorandum demonstrated our shared interest in developing the opportunity to export green electricity from Ireland to Britain. A key objective was to realise the potential for investment, jobs and growth. An agreed programme of work was put into place wit...

14. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his views on Irish wind energy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46204/13 asked on 04 Dec 2013 - Wind Energy Generation)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): The overarching objective of the Government’s energy policy is to ensure secure and sustainable supplies of competitively priced energy to all consumers. Ireland is currently heavily reliant on imported fossil fuels to meet our energy needs. While it is acknowledged that fossil fuels will remain part of the energy mix for some time to come, progress is being made towards increasing the share of renewable energy in o...

19. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications; Energy and Natural Resources the procedure that is followed by his Department when appointing members of the public to State boards or other agencies under the aegis of his Department; if he will outline all appointments made by him to all boards or agencies since March 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44974/13 asked on 24 Oct 2013 - Appointments to State Boards)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): This Government has made changes in relation to appointments to State Boards and bodies with new arrangements involving advertisement of vacancies for applications from suitably qualified candidates and, in accordance with the government Decision of 12 April 2011, I have, each year, on my Department’s website, invited Expressions of Interest from persons wishing to be considered for appointment to vacancies on state...

33. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his views on the recent announcement that the Whitegate Oil Refinery is for sale; if he is satisfied that the National Oil Reserves Agency will not be affected by any sale; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35057/13 asked on 17 Jul 2013 - National Oil Reserves Agency)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): Security of oil supply is central to the economy and to our economic and social development. While significant efforts are underway to improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy, Ireland remains dependent to a large degree on imported oil. Oil comprised 59% of total final energy consumption in Ireland in 2011 and it is clear that oil will continue to play a pivotal role in the medium to longer term. ...

722. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if the all-island energy initiative is a priority for him; and if it will be discussed at the next North-South ministerial meeting. (Question 30034/13 asked on 16 Jul 2013 - Energy Schemes Issues)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): The ongoing development of the All Island Energy Market is a major priority for my Department and for the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). For some time now the administrations in Northern Ireland and Ireland have cooperated actively on energy policy. There is top level political commitment in both jurisdictions to the development of competition in the energy sectors in the interests of delivering improved ...

395. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the number of Dáil Topical Issue debates submitted to his Department following selection by the Ceann Comhairle since March 2011; the number of topical issues taken directly by him; the number of topical issues taken by a junior Minister in his Department; the number of issues taken by a Minister not from his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30337/13 asked on 25 Jun 2013 - Topical Issue Debate)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): The information that the Deputy requires is a matter of public record and is available to view on the Oireachtas website http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/.
 ...