222. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health if assistance can be provided to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20694/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Narcolepsy Issues)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The details supplied indicate that the question concerns legal proceedings being managed by the State Claims Agency. As of 9 May 2018, legal proceedings against the Minister, the Health Services Executive and GlaxoSmithKline Biological SA have been initiated by seventy individuals.  The plaintiffs allege personal injury in which they claim the development of narcolepsy resulted from the administration of the H1N1 pandemic vaccine.  The management of th...

122. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Finance the number of claims pending against the State Claims Agency at present by claim type, category and county in which the claimant is based; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19902/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - State Claims Agency Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): In response to the Deputy’s question the State Claims Agency (SCA) have supplied the following table regarding active claims, broken down by Incident/Hazard Category recorded on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as of 4 May 2018. The SCA advise that they do not record the county in which a claimant is located in a reportable manner on the NIMS. The table and the report excludes Property Damage Recovery Claims.
Table: Active claims rec...

400. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the body responsible for the upkeep, repair and maintenance of the slipway in Foynes, County Limerick (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20107/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Harbours and Piers Maintenance)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Pursuant to the Fishery Harbour Centres Act 1968 (as amended), this Department is responsible for the management, control and operation of the six Fishery Harbour Centres located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth, Killybegs and Ros an Mhíl. In addition, my Department also has responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of North Harbour at Cape Clear, as well as the maintenance of a small number of piers, lights ...

220. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of his engagement on the proposed plans for free InterRail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19561/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Free Travel Scheme)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The proposal for free InterRail referred to by the Deputy is a European Commission initiative. I understand that the Commission has allocated €12m for the provision of free travel passes for up to 15,000 18 year olds from across the European Union in 2018. 
The passes are to be allocated by means of a competition details of which are due to be announced by the Commission shortly. Those who avail of the pass will be able to travel u...

229. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the total Irish contribution to the European Solidarity Corps; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19560/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - European Solidarity Corps)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The European Solidarity Corps aims at enhancing the engagement of young people and organisations in solidarity activities which are of high quality and accessible to all young people, as a means to contribute to strengthening cohesion and solidarity in Europe, supporting communities and responding to unmet societal needs. A regulation for implementation of the European Solidarity Corps is currently under discussion at EU level,...

73. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when the consultation process will commence on the planned White Paper on Irish overseas development assistance; the expected publication date for the White Paper; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18931/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - White Paper on Irish Aid)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): The Government is strongly committed to Ireland’s overseas development cooperation programme and to its place at the heart of our foreign policy. My Department will produce a new White Paper on international development policy in 2018.
Our ambition in the White Paper will be to continue to lead and participate in collective global aspirations for a better world, as reflected in the Sustainable Development G...

179. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason persons working for police forces in other jurisdictions are not considered or permitted for direct entry as members of An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18563/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Garda Recruitment)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): While there are currently no mechanisms for the transfer of persons with policing experience and qualifications gained in another jurisdiction to An Garda Síochána, there are a number of routes under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 by which individuals with such experience may join the organisation. 
Competitions for the positions of Garda Commissioner and Deputy Garda Commissioner are not restricted to serving members and, as the Deputy w...

188. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if an appeal for a visa by a person (details supplied) will be considered and granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18767/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Visa Applications)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the decision to refuse the application referred to was upheld on appeal, and the applicant and sponsor were advised accordingly.
As only one appeal is permitted, no further review of the application can be undertaken. However, it is open to the applicant to submit a fresh visa application at any time. Any new application should address the r...

347. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the voluntary national review of the sustainable development goals which is due in July 2018; if he or his officials have consulted with NGOs, interest groups or stakeholders as part of this review; if so, the NGOs, interest groups and stakeholders consulted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18938/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Sustainable Development Goals)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): As Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, I have lead responsibility for promoting and overseeing the implementation of  the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on a whole-of-Government basis, and for the establishment of a robust SDG implementation and reporting framework. Ireland has committed to delivering its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the SDGs to the United Nations’ Hig...

82. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a date has been set for a meeting of the high level forum on community employment supervisor pensions; if his attention has been drawn to the anger and frustration of community employment supervisors and assistant supervisors; his views on the fact that their contribution to improving the life chances of scheme participants and to their overall local communities is not being properly recognised at the end of their careers in spite of a Labour Court ruling in their favour; his further views on whether the Government may be undermining the Labour Court by ignoring its recommendation; the steps he will take to resolve the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18407/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Community Employment Schemes Supervisors)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 70 to 88, inclusive, 90, 91, 96 and 97 together.
I would refer the Deputies to my responses to PQ 54985/17 of 16 January 2018 and PQ 13684/18 of 27 March 2018.
 ...

129. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health the number of persons waiting for a MRI scan in University Hospital Limerick; and the number waiting zero to six, six to 12, 12 to 18, 18 to 24 months and more than 24 months in tabular form. (Question 18339/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.
 ...

114. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her views on issues raised in correspondence (details supplied) regarding employment permits and non-EEA workers. (Question 18113/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Work Permits Data)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The employment of all non-EEA nationals in the State is governed by the Employment Permits Acts 2003 – 2014. Under this legislation in order to work in the State all non-EEA nationals require a valid employment permit or relevant immigration permission from the Minister for Justice and Equality which allows them to reside and work in the State without the requirement for an employment permit. 
Ireland operates a managed...

95. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if it is his policy to record phone calls from lobbyists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17986/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Regulation of Lobbying)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I am fully compliant with the provisions of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015. Notification of contacts with Designated Public Officials to the Standards in Public Office Commission is the responsibility of lobbyists as set out in the Act.
 ...

99. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the most recent meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17447/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - European Council Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I attended the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 16 April. The Council discussed Syria, Iran, the Western Balkans, Russia and the EU’s External Financing Instruments. Council Conclusions were adopted on Syria, South Sudan, malicious cyber activities and on Chemical Weapons.
I was glad to have the opportunity to discuss Syria with my EU colleagues, especially in light of the most recent horrific chemical attack ...

100. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the outcome of discussions on Syria at the most recent meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17448/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Syrian Conflict)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 100, 105 and 108 together.
The Syria conflict, which is now in its eighth year, has cost up to 500,000 lives. Over 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including close to 3 million people trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas. Over 6 million people are displaced internally, and a further 5.5 million have fled to neighbouring countries and the wider ...

102. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on discussions at the recent EU Foreign Affairs Council on the prospects for the Iran nuclear deal in the event that the United States of America withdraws from the deal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17590/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - European Council Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): At the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on 16 April, which I attended, Ministers strongly underlined our continuing conviction that the nuclear agreement with Iran is an important and positive achievement, which has delivered significant gains and which should continue to be implemented by all parties. The ending of the agreement would represent a serious blow to both the cause of nuclear non-proliferation globally...

103. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the situation in Venezuela; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17591/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Foreign Policy)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The situation in Venezuela continues to be a matter of serious concern to the Government.
Ireland and its EU partners have repeatedly called for concrete actions to ensure full respect for and the independence of Venezuela’s democratic institutions, notably through the holding of free and fair elections supervised by a balanced Electoral Council and involving independent international observation.
The Government of Venez...

104. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on judicial reforms in Poland and efforts by the EU to address these reforms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17592/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - EU Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The European Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Dialogue has been ongoing between the European Commission and Poland regarding the rule of law since January 2016, when the Commission initiated its rule of law process following changes introduced by the Polish government to the functioning and composition of Poland’s Cons...

111. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if under the lobbyist register it is expected that calls from lobbyists are recorded; if this is the practice in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17988/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Regulation of Lobbying)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): As the Deputy will be aware, the obligation to record and submit lobbying returns to the lobbying register rests with those carrying out lobbying activity, not with those who are lobbied, such as the Designated Public Officials of my Department.
While it is the case that Designated Public Officials of my Department have no formal obligation to make a record of telephone calls from lobbyists or others, they may decide tha...

117. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Finance when a relief from stamp duty will be available to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17499/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Stamp Duty)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The stamp duty relief to which the Deputy is referring was introduced in Finance Act 2017, and provides for a reduced rate of stamp duty on certain farm consolidation transactions. This measure is subject to a commencement order after a full consideration of any administrative or EU state-aid requirements.
For the relief to operate, there must be both a sale and a purchase of land within a period of 24 months of each other. Where other qualifying co...

135. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Finance if under the lobbyist register it is expected that calls from lobbyists are recorded; if this is the practice in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17987/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Regulation of Lobbying)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Deputy will be aware that the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 provides for the establishment and maintenance of a publicly accessible register of lobbying.  Responsibility for the implementation of the Lobbying Act 2015 rests with the Standards in Public Office (Standards Commission). The Standards Commission oversees the implementation of the register, monitors compliance with the Act, provides guidance and assistance and where necessary inves...

251. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills if under the lobbyist register it is expected that calls from lobbyists are recorded; if this is the practice in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17995/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Regulation of Lobbying)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy is aware, under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015, it is a requirement for all persons engaged in lobbying Public Officials to register with the www.lobbying.ie lobbying register and to ensure that all lobbying activities undertaken by such persons must be reported in a timely manner.
The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 does not set out any requirements for Designated Public Officials to register, submit returns, or valid...

273. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will report in tabular form on the commitments made on refugees; the timeline for accommodating same; the number of refugees who have arrived here to date in 2018 under the resettlement and relocation mechanisms; the commitments made to accept unaccompanied minors here; the number of unaccompanied minors who have been accommodated to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17594/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Refugee Resettlement Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The Government established the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) in September 2015 as part of the State’s humanitarian response to the EU migration crisis and  agreed to accept up to 4,000 asylum seekers and refugees into Ireland under EU relocation and Resettlement programmes. Ireland voluntarily opted into the two EU Council Decisions on Relocation (2015/1523) and (2015/1601), which provided for the EU ...

283. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a person (details supplies) will be admitted as a Garda Reserve having completed the application process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17754/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Garda Reserve)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, recruitment to the Garda Reserve is governed by the Garda Síochána (Reserve Members) Regulations 2006. The Public Appointments Service (PAS), on behalf of the Garda Commissioner, manages the initial recruitment stages for selection of Garda Reserve members with the final stages of the recruitment process being managed by the Garda Commissioner and I, as Minister, have no direct involvement in the matter. 
...

294. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if under the lobbyist register it is expected that calls from lobbyists are recorded; if this is the practice in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17990/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Regulation of Lobbying)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 (the Act) obliges lobbyists to register on the Register of Lobbying website which is maintained by The Standards In Public Office Commission. Lobbyists are required to provide information to the Commission three times a year. The information provided can be viewed and searched by the public free of charge.
The Act does not set out any formal obligations for Designated Public Officials to register, ...