147. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the new Garda divisional headquarters for County Galway is scheduled to open; the units that will operate out of this building; if there will be a public office, public hours at this facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20441/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Garda Divisional Headquarters)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
I understand from Garda authorities that the construction of the new Regional and Divisional ...

129. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Finance the status of a compensation scheme for third party claimants of a company (details supplied); the timeframe for the introduction of the scheme; if the scheme will be made a priority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20108/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Insurance Compensation Fund)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Setanta Insurance was placed into liquidation by the Malta Financial Services Authority on 30 April 2014. As it was a Maltese incorporated company, the liquidation is being carried out under Maltese law.
The Deputy will be aware that under the Insurance Act 1964, as amended, monies may be paid out of the Insurance Compensation Fund (ICF), with the approval of the High Court, in relation to an insolvent insurer, to meet claims up to a limit of 65% o...

383. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will reconsider his decision and implement a meal voucher scheme in view of the ongoing fodder crisis; his plans to use the EU crisis fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19824/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Fodder Crisis)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): In response to pressures on fodder supplies caused by a long wet winter and spring I introduced a national Fodder Transport Support measure in January of this year, followed in April by a Fodder Import Support measure. These two interventions working together effectively addressed issues around fodder availability in the country. Grass growth, as confirmed by Teagasc assessments, has continued to improve significantly and li...

466. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of plans to reform the planning laws to have developments such as data centres regarded as strategic infrastructure allowing them to get through the planning process quickly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19685/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Planning Issues)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I am proposing to introduce the necessary legislative steps in the coming weeks to amend the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, in order to classify data centres above a certain size threshold as strategic infrastructure developments.  This change will mean that applications for planning permission for data centres that meet the scale requirements will be made directly to An Bord Pleanála, thereby streamlinin...

477. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason a house which is valued within the mortgage to rent thresholds must be discounted to take account of essential repairs and maintenance despite the fact that repairs and maintenance are not required and this is preventing the mortgage broker accepting the sale price; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19907/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Mortgage to Rent Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Under the Mortgage to Rent (MTR) scheme introduced in 2012, where an Approved Housing Body (AHB) indicates an interest in acquiring a property, the AHB will make an offer to purchase the property based on the market value determined by an independent valuation less any known essential repairs that were not taken account of in the valuation process.  This means that while the market value will reflect the condition of the...

102. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the procedure for calculating the amount of compensation due to landowners in the event that part of their land has to be taken over by the Office of Public Works for the purpose of carrying out flood alleviation measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18788/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Flood Relief Schemes Payments)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran): Compensation claims in respect of flood relief schemes carried out by the Office of Public Works arise in situations where a person’s property interest suffers losses or damages arising from interference with that property in the execution of such schemes under the Arterial Drainage Acts.
Although in almost all situations land is not acquired, the compensation provisions follow the compulsory purchas...

198. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of bench warrants issued in 2016 and 2017; the number outstanding in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19065/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Bench Warrants)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have requested a report from the Garda authorities in relation to the matters referred to by the Deputy and I will contact him directly when the report is to hand.
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260. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the reason for excluding persons over 21 years of age with type 1 diabetes from accessing the FreeStyle Libre blood glucose monitor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18789/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Medical Aids and Appliances Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
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263. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the outcome of reviews and investigations by organisations (details supplied) and the measures that were put in place to ensure a similar situation does not recur; if the surgery required by the person will be expedited in view of their experience with the initial surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18817/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Medical Inquiries)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, the Medical Council is the statutory body charged with responsibility for the registration and regulation of medical practitioners in the State. Disciplinary matters concerning registered medical practitioners are entirely a matter for the Council. I have no role in relation to such matters, as I am precluded by section 9 of the Act from giving policy directions to the Council in relation to the performance of...

345. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department has developed a national e-commerce strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18635/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Departmental Strategies)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): My colleague, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation leads in policy development and implementation to enhance Ireland’s enterprise environment to support the start-up and growth of competitive firms in Ireland and sustainable development for enterprises of all sizes.  My Department, through the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, is contributing to this work by assisting small businesses that are not...

366. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a reversing compound will be provided for the RSA to carry out truck driver tests in County Galway in view of the fact that truck driver tests are now being cancelled in Galway city due to a lack of facilities; the timeframe for the resolution of this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18876/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Driver Test Centres)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): This is a matter for the Road Safety Authority. I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply, I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.
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450. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of retained fire personnel who are due to retire in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18770/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Fire Service Staff)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department oversees workforce planning for the local government sector, including the monitoring of local government sector employment levels. To this end, my Department gathers quarterly data on staff numbers in local authorities; however, the data gathered does not provide details in terms of the number of retained fire personnel that are due to retire in 2018. Accordingly, the information requested is not availab...

97. Deputy Noel Grealish 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; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18542/18 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.
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137. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in nursing homes under the fair deal scheme who have a family home registered in their name which is included as part of the assessment for the scheme; the number of these houses that still have a spouse or family member residing in the property; the number of these family homes that are rented and generating an income; the number of these houses that are vacant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18179/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Nursing Homes Support Scheme Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
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337. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number and cost of operations and procedures carried out under the National Treatment Purchase Fund in each of the past three years by specialty; the estimated cost of such operations or treatments had they been carried out in a HSE hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17427/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - National Treatment Purchase Fund Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In response to the question raised by the Deputy, I have asked the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) and the HSE to provide the Department with comparative figures and estimates. 
As this information is in the process of being collated, I have asked both agencies to respond directly to me, and I will forward the response to the Deputy as soon as it is available.
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338. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number and cost of operations or treatments undertaken under the National Treatment Purchase Fund in each of the past three years by medical facility or hospital in which they were undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17428/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - National Treatment Purchase Fund Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The NTPF has advised my Department that it did not have a direct role in the commissioning of patient treatments in 2016 and 2015. The procurement of treatments was carried out by the HSE and the role of the NTPF was the administration of the payments to the hospitals. 
In addition, the NTPF has indicated that the 2017 Annual Financial Statements have not yet been finalised and as a result the data requested by the Deputy in relation to 2017 is not curr...

339. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number and cost of operations and procedures carried out under the cross border directive in each of the past three years by specialty; the estimated cost of such operations or treatments had they been carried out in a HSE hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17429/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Cross-Border Health Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 339 and 340 together.
The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine these matters and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.
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340. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the number and cost of operations or treatments undertaken under the cross border directive in each of the past three years by medical facility or hospital in which they were undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17430/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Cross-Border Health Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 339 and 340 together.
The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine these matters and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.
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483. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the locations in which the records of driver tests and licences granted are kept; if these records can be accessed if required; the length of time the records are kept; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17470/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Driver Test Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): This is a matter for the Road Safety Authority. I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.
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212. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Finance if, when the decision was reached in 2011 to abolish tax relief on union subscriptions, there was agreement to have the decision reviewed in 2016; if this review took place; if not, when this review is likely to take place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16471/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Tax Reliefs Abolition)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I wish to advise the Deputy that a review of the appropriate treatment for tax purposes of trade union subscriptions and professional body fees was carried out by my Department in 2016 and included in the 2016 report on tax expenditures published on budget day 2016. The review may be found at the following link:
http://www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2017/Documents/Tax_Expenditures_Report%202016_final.pdf.
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1059. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an incident (details supplied) was reported to the relevant authorities; if so, when; the authority to which it was reported; the date on which the incident occurred; the farm from which the fish escaped; if Inland Fisheries Ireland was informed of this escape; the details of the year class and so on of the escaped fish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15374/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Fish Farming)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The incident referred to by the Deputy was reported to my Department by the operator on 4 July 2017. The report confirmed that approximately 20,000 fish at an average weight of 189 grams escaped from a site at Glinsk in Mulroy Bay on 3 July 2017.
My Department’s records indicate that all relevant stakeholders, including Inland Fisheries Ireland, were informed in accordance with the applicable aquaculture licence conditions.
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1114. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a farmer that as part of an agreement to lease land transfers their BPS entitlements to the leasee can recover these entitlements along with the land at the termination of the lease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16114/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Transfer of Entitlements)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Entitlements transferred by farmers by way of lease to a third party will revert to the farmer at the end of the relevant scheme year of the lease period. The reversion of entitlements on expiry of a lease is not considered a transfer of entitlements. 
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1115. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a farmer leasing land and transferring entitlements as part of the lease must retain some land and corresponding entitlements in order to be able to recover the entitlements at the termination of the lease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16115/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Transfer of Entitlements)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Entitlements transferred by farmers by way of lease to a third party will revert to the farmer at the end of the relevant scheme year of the lease period. The reversion of entitlements on expiry of a lease is not considered a transfer of entitlements. Transfers of entitlements by way of lease may be with or without land. 
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1520. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the new affordable housing scheme will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15272/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Social and Affordable Housing Provision)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The delivery of more affordable homes, to buy or rent, is a major priority for Government, focusing in particular on the cities of Dublin, Galway and Cork, where people are facing the greatest affordability challenge.  Increased delivery of homes at more affordable prices will involve local authorities developing their own residential land bank, comprising some 1,700 hectares, to its full potential. Where appropriate, i...

185. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if a copy of the current standards produced by the National Standards Authority of Ireland for fire detection and fire alarm systems in buildings and for emergency lighting will be provided; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14376/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Fire Safety Regulations)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The current Irish Standards for Fire Detection and Fire Alarm systems in buildings and for Emergency Lighting are I.S. 3217:2013 and I.S. 3218:2013. These publications are the main reference documents concerning Fire Alarm systems and Emergency Lighting systems in Ireland.  A copy of these standards will be sent to the Deputy.
Standards may be viewed free of charge at NSAI Headquarters, 1 Swift Square, Northwood, Santry...