18. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health his views on the need for investment in regional hospitals and in particular in the emergency department at Cavan General Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16830/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Hospital Groups)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The RCSI Hospital Group has identified the need for development of the resuscitation area in Cavan Emergency Department. Future investment in Cavan General Hospital will be considered within the overall acute hospital infrastructure programme, the prioritised needs of the hospital groups and within the overall capital envelope available to the health service.
The National Development Plan provides €10.9 billion for Health capital developments across the...

83. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if delayed ambulance response times will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16831/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Ambulance Service Response Times)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly. 
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176. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to reform the Garda vetting process (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17229/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Garda Vetting)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The National Vetting Bureau processes requests for vetting for prospective employees from relevant organisations, as defined in the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016, who are registered with the Bureau. Vetting applications can only be submitted via the relevant organisations. 
I am informed by the Garda authorities that liaison persons in the relevant organisations are trained by the National...

234. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of the appointment of a position (details supplied); the timeframe for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17151/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Health Services Staff Recruitment)

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 ...

297. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the grants available for angling clubs to provide classes (details supplied); the details of same; the person or body to contact in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17198/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Angling Sector)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Seán Kyne): I have been advised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) that all funding schemes are advertised on their website – www.fisheriesireland.ie, their weekly ezine, social media and by press release to angling representative federations and the general media. The latest funding scheme for financial support closed for applications on 22 January 2018.  It is expected that the next scheme will open la...

330. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an appeal by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17185/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Social Welfare Appeals)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 6 April 2018, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing. 
The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is r...

178. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason persons diagnosed with cancer are not automatically being granted a medical card to alleviate the financial burden and stress during their treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16995/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Medical Card Eligibility)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The HSE’s Expert Group on Medical Need and Medical Card Eligibility examined the issue of awarding medical cards on the basis of illness and concluded that it was not feasible, desirable, nor ethically justifiable to list medical conditions in priority order for medical card eligibility. The Expert Group also concluded that a person’s means should remain the main qualifier for a medical card.  This position remains unchanged.
Medical card provision is...

288. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of works at a Garda station (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16766/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Office of Public Works Properties)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): The Office of Public Works has acquired a property in Bailieborough to provide a new Garda Station. The OPW, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, is now finalising documentation and plans regarding the proposed works. A Part 9 Planning application will be lodged in the next number of weeks.
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362. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a matter regarding a school (details supplied) will be reviewed to ensure that his Department allocates an additional teacher to the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15447/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - School Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The criteria used for the allocation of teachers to primary schools is published annually on the website of the Department of Education and Skills. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September.
The staffing schedule operates in a clear and transparent manner and treats all similar ...

478. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16761/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school to which the Deputy refers is at an advanced stage of the tender process. The school was recently authorized to issue the Letter of Intent to the preferred tenderer. Subject to no issues arising the project is still on track to commence construction in the second quarter of 2018.
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502. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of inspectors in the Cavan and Monaghan Garda division in each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018 in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15003/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Data)

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 that as of 28...

728. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of a surgical procedure for a person (details supplied); if a date for this appointment will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15294/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

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...

981. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health his plans to implement a similar practice to that in Germany for the detection and treatment of Lyme disease; his further plans to improve follow up care for persons following diagnosis; his views on whether current training for doctors is adequate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16503/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Disease Management)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 981, 986 and 1029 together.
Lyme disease (also known as Lyme borreliosis) is an infection caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to humans by bites from ticks infected with the bacteria. The infection is generally mild affecting only the skin but can occasionally be more severe and highly debilitating. Lyme disease is diagnosed by medical history and physical examination. T...

1027. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of works planned for a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16754/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Health Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.
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1030. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the number of emergency department new attendances at Cavan General Hospital in each of the years 2012 to 2017 and to date in 2018 in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16767/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Emergency Departments Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Government provided an additional €30 million in 2017 and €40 million in 2018 for measures aimed at alleviating pressure on Emergency Departments this winter.
In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.
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1056. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a payment for a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15318/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Agriculture Scheme Appeals)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): A review by the  Director of Agriculture Appeals Office of the decision of the Appeals Officer has been requested in this case in accordance with the provisions of the Agriculture Appeals Act, 2001. The outcome of this review will be notified to the person named by the Director of the Agriculture Appeals Office in due course.
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1128. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will address a matter raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16467/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Fodder Crisis)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1075, 1077, 1124, 1128 and 1137 together.
 In response to the problems experienced in parts of the West and North-West in the late autumn and winter I took a number of steps to address issues around the availability of fodder. 
 I asked Teagasc from an early stage to work locally with affected farmers in areas with fodder difficulties and support them on fodder budgeting for the winter ahead.
...

1136. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to introduce grant aid for land drainage for farmers due to severe wet weather; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16751/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Drainage Schemes)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The budget for the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation scheme (TAMS) of €395m under the Rural Development programme is fully committed at this stage. Support for land drainage is not included as an eligible item in the current programme. It is not possible to include additional investment items within the available budget. 
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1137. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to ease the fodder crisis in counties Cavan and Monaghan and nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16752/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Fodder Crisis)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1075, 1077, 1124, 1128 and 1137 together.
 In response to the problems experienced in parts of the West and North-West in the late autumn and winter I took a number of steps to address issues around the availability of fodder. 
 I asked Teagasc from an early stage to work locally with affected farmers in areas with fodder difficulties and support them on fodder budgeting for the winter ahead.
...

1138. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of plans to introduce reform of the forestry programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16755/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Forestry Sector)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The current forestry programme was introduced in January 2015 and has recently been subject to a midterm review (MTR). The aim of this MTR was to compare targets against outturn, identify why targets were not achieved and propose measures to help address barriers to achieving these targets. The MTR process itself encompassed a public call for submissions and a series of consultation meetings with stakeholders and the Europea...

1139. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applications received from counties Cavan and Monaghan and the rest of the country under the fodder transport scheme in tabular form. (Question 16762/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Fodder Crisis)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): To date 22 applications have been received for the Fodder Transport Support Measure. 
No applications have been received yet from counties Cavan or Monaghan. 
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1140. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of persons in counties Cavan and Monaghan waiting for GLAS payments; the number of part payments issued; and his plans to process the outstanding payments. (Question 16763/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - GLAS Payments)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1140 and 1141 together.
A 2017 GLAS advance payment has issued to 1,793 farmers in Cavan with 68 cases continuing to be processed.  For County Monaghan 1,021 farmers have been paid with 26 continuing to be processed. The majority of the outstanding cases are the responsibility of the applicant and the payment is delayed due to the applicant failing to meet his or her obligations under the sche...

1141. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of delayed GLAS payments to persons in counties Cavan and Monaghan in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16764/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - GLAS Payments)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1140 and 1141 together.
A 2017 GLAS advance payment has issued to 1,793 farmers in Cavan with 68 cases continuing to be processed.  For County Monaghan 1,021 farmers have been paid with 26 continuing to be processed. The majority of the outstanding cases are the responsibility of the applicant and the payment is delayed due to the applicant failing to meet his or her obligations under the sche...

1142. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to offset the impact of Brexit on farmers in counties Cavan and Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16765/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Brexit Issues)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Brexit has the potential to have a very significant impact on the agri-food sector throughout Ireland, including in counties Cavan and Monaghan. 
As the Deputy will be aware, the agri-food sector is of critical importance to the Irish economy, and its regional spread means it underpins the socio-economic development of rural Ireland, and of the border region in particular. 
The primary means through which the Government is see...

1143. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the percentage of lands in counties Cavan and Monaghan and the entire country used for a purpose (details supplied); the way in which this is monitored; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16768/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Forestry Sector)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): According to the National Forest Inventory (NFI) 2012 total forest cover in Counties Cavan and Monaghan  is 8.7% and 4.3% respectively  - information is set out in the table below.
National Forest Inventory
 Cavan 16,830 ha.s 8.7% Monaghan 5,598 ha.s 4.3% Total for Country  731,652 ha.s 10.5% 

The National Forest Inventory (NFI) is the principal means of monitoring national forest cover in Ireland. The NFI re...