21. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the progress by his Department in acquiring the new site identified in recent months for Bailieborough Garda station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53256/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Office of Public Works Projects)

(Deputy Patrick O’Donovan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 33 together.
The Office of Public Works and the Chief State Solicitor’s Office continue to progress the acquisition of the preferred site for this project as a high priority and expect the process to reach a conclusion shortly. The Minister of State, Deputy Moran, is happy to confirm that the contracts for sale have been executed by both parties and final completion of the acquisition process will take a number of weeks. Until...

33. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans for the Office of Public Works to purchase property for State organisations in counties Cavan and Monaghan; the stages in negotiation for each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53257/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Office of Public Works Projects)

(Deputy Patrick O’Donovan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 33 together.
The Office of Public Works and the Chief State Solicitor’s Office continue to progress the acquisition of the preferred site for this project as a high priority and expect the process to reach a conclusion shortly. The Minister of State, Deputy Moran, is happy to confirm that the contracts for sale have been executed by both parties and final completion of the acquisition process will take a number of weeks. Until...

240. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54008/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Naturalisation 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 processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy, who currently has permission to reside in the State until 18 March 2018, is ongoing.
A letter issued to the person concerned on 12 December 2017 requesting certain information. Upon receipt of the requested information the case will...

324. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53539/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - 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 scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which...

326. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health his plans to increase funding for respite care across the country in an attempt to eliminate the pressures families are under particularly in view of the post code lottery system that currently exists with supports and services for family carers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53546/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Respite Care Services)

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 of...

522. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of an application by a person (details supplied); if the persons are entitled to 40% or 60% grant aid in this case; when a decision will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53552/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - TAMS Applications)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The Herd Number associated with the application referred to is in the sole name of the more senior applicant. A TAMS II application under the Animal Welfare Safety and Nutrient Storage Scheme Measure was submitted by the person named on 28 September 2017.  
Grant aid is available under this measure at the rate of 40% up to the applicable maximum investment ceiling of €80,000 per holding. 
 ...

617. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding a bus stop. (Question 53557/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Bus Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for securing or providing public transport in the State in relation to bus stops, bus shelters, bus stations, bus stands and bus fleets.
Noting the NTA’s responsibility in the matter, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the Authority for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.
 ...

747. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when a new director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art will be appointed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53514/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Irish Museum of Modern Art)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 747 to 749, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy may be aware, the appointment of a new Director is a matter, in the first instance, for the Board of IMMA, subject to my approval after consultation with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. The Board is currently in discussions with my Department regarding the terms and conditions relating to this post. Once this matter has been ...

748. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when the position of director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art will be advertised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53515/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Irish Museum of Modern Art)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 747 to 749, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy may be aware, the appointment of a new Director is a matter, in the first instance, for the Board of IMMA, subject to my approval after consultation with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. The Board is currently in discussions with my Department regarding the terms and conditions relating to this post. Once this matter has been ...

749. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason for the delay in advertising the position of director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art in view of the fact that the previous director (details supplied) was announced as the director of an institution in June 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53516/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Irish Museum of Modern Art)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 747 to 749, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy may be aware, the appointment of a new Director is a matter, in the first instance, for the Board of IMMA, subject to my approval after consultation with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. The Board is currently in discussions with my Department regarding the terms and conditions relating to this post. Once this matter has been ...

759. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will provide a breakdown of expenditure by her Department on external public relations in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54122/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Public Relations Contracts Expenditure)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 759 and 766 together.
The information requested by the Deputy in respect of the period from the establishment of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on  2nd June 2011, is set out in the table.
Value for money is a critical consideration in assessing whether external firms should be engaged to provide public relations services or any other services. 
 Year 201...

761. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to remove the cap in the percentage for the art scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54134/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Arts and Culture Capital Scheme Administration)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): A Government Decision in 1997 approved the inclusion in budgets for all Exchequer-funded capital construction projects of up to 1% as funding for an art project, subject to an overall cap of €64,000. 
Under the terms of the Scheme, funds to commission a per cent for art piece are factored into and funded from the overall budget of each capital project by the public body undertaking it. This is a matter for each project pr...

762. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her Department has assessed or had contact with her EU colleagues in relation to the potential relocation of the European Union youth orchestra; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54135/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Departmental Functions)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has had no contact on the potential relocation of the European Union youth Orchestra. I understand that the Orchestra has already made an announcement that it is establishing a legal and operational seat in Ferrara and Rome, Italy. 
 ...

33. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of his negotiations, particularly those relating to the Border counties of Cavan and Monaghan, in respect of Brexit and the possible reintroduction of a hard border. (Question 53129/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Deputy Niamh Smyth: I ask the Minister to outline the status of the Brexit negotiations, particularly with phase 1 having come to an end. I also ask him to address issues relating to the Border counties of Cavan and Monaghan that will arise on foot of Brexit.
 ...

66. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the ongoing outstanding requests with the British Government regarding inquiries into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53130/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Dublin-Monaghan Bombings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I acknowledge at the outset those across the House who work on a cross-party basis with the Government on this issue and the tireless efforts of Justice for the Forgotten. Dealing with long-outstanding issues relating to the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland are of the utmost importance to the Government. The Programme for a Partnership Government highlights this priority, with specific reference to implementa...

132. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to outline financial support his Department offers to community alert schemes; his plans for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53377/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Community Alert Programme)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for Government underlines the need for close engagement between An Garda Síochána and local communities . This is an essential feature of the strong community policing ethos which has long been central to policing in this jurisdiction.  The Deputy will also be aware that as part of the overall strategy to oppose criminality, the Garda authorities pursue a range of partnerships with community s...

133. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí assigned to the dedicated drugs unit in counties Cavan and Monaghan for the past ten years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53380/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Garda Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who 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.
As the Deputy wil...

203. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the report on the costing to the undergrounding of the proposed EirGrid North-South interconnector will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53364/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 and 204 together. 
On 21 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May of 2016. 
Following the decision of An Bord Pleanála, I met with the local opposition groups and members of the...

204. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the concerns of communities in counties Cavan and Monaghan in relation to the north south interconnector particularly in relation to health, land devaluation, property devaluation, tourism and heritage; if this project will be placed underground; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53383/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 and 204 together. 
On 21 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May of 2016. 
Following the decision of An Bord Pleanála, I met with the local opposition groups and members of the...

270. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the full cost for the Creative Ireland supplement that ran in a magazine (details supplied) for 12 weeks; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53301/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Creative Ireland Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 270 to 273, inclusive, together.
The Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based programme designed to promote individual, community and national well-being and has citizen engagement at the heart of it.  The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal well-being and achie...

271. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of weeks the Creative Ireland double page spread in a newspaper (details supplied) ran and is planned to run; the weekly cost of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53302/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Creative Ireland Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 270 to 273, inclusive, together.
The Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based programme designed to promote individual, community and national well-being and has citizen engagement at the heart of it.  The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal well-being and achie...

272. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the dates on which two Creative Ireland supplements were contained in a newspaper (details supplied); the full cost of the feature; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53303/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Creative Ireland Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 270 to 273, inclusive, together.
The Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based programme designed to promote individual, community and national well-being and has citizen engagement at the heart of it.  The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal well-being and achie...

273. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the identity of the regional newspapers and radio stations in and on which Creative Ireland advertising features were run; the cost of each feature in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53304/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Creative Ireland Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 270 to 273, inclusive, together.
The Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based programme designed to promote individual, community and national well-being and has citizen engagement at the heart of it.  The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal well-being and achie...

274. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the expenditure of the €0.4 million allocated to the development and promotion of www.ireland.ie and www.creativeireland.gov.ie; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53305/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Creative Ireland Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The development of the two informative and high quality websites - www.creativeireland.gov.ie and www.Ireland.ie - is essential to the long-term successful promotion and aims of the Creative Ireland Programme, including Pillar 5 which aims to unify Ireland’s global reputation abroad. This is particularly relevant now in the context of Brexit 
A sum €0.4m was originally allocated for the development, maintenance and promo...

275. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her Department is continuing to finance the cost of the event co-ordinator of the Creative Ireland programme project who is seconded; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53306/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Creative Ireland Programme)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 275 to 278, inclusive, together.
Both the former Director of Creative Ireland Programme and the former event co-ordinator referred to in the question were seconded to my Department from Fáilte Ireland. They have since been seconded from Fáilte Ireland to the Department of An Taoiseach.  This Department no longer covers the costs relating to these posts and any issues in relation to the t...