390. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has received correspondence from an organisation (details supplied) in relation to the designation of rivers as catch-and-release salmon fisheries for 2018; if a response has yet been issued; the reason for the reclassification of these fisheries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50729/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Fisheries Protection)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Seán Kyne) (Deputy Seán Kyne): Management of salmon stocks is carried out by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and is supported by scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and Ireland’s independent Standing Scientific Committee (SSC).
I gave statutory notice on 15 November 2017 of the draft Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations, 2017 to provide ...

513. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress that has been made to establish a commission on the future of the media; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50036/17 asked on 28 Nov 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 media merger may proceed based on an assessment of its impact on the plurality of media in the State.
The examinations of all previous proposed media mer...

983. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the names of the special advisers employed in his Department; the names of special advisers to junior ministers in his Department; the annual salary of each adviser; if these persons were special advisers immediately prior to taking up their current role or immediately prior to the June 2017 Cabinet reshuffle; if so, the minister to which they were appointed to; the date each special adviser was appointed with effect as stated in the Government order; the date of the Government order; if they received a salary for the period before the appointment order was signed in the case of special advisers whose appointment order date has an effect date earlier than the order date; if so, by whom they were paid; if a special adviser during a period later backdated by appointment order had access to confidential material and or Cabinet papers; if they were subject to the Official Secrets Act 1963 during this period; if any persons currently employed as special advisers have not yet been appointed by order since the Cabinet reshuffle of 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46463/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Ministerial Advisers Data)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The information requested in relation to my two special advisors is set out in the table: 
 Post Name Gross Salary p.a. Special Advisor  Ms Suzie Coogan €91,716 Special Advisor  Mr Ross Elwood €85,091 

 The two advisors were employed in my Department prior to the June 2017 Cabinet reshuffle. On my reappointment as Minister  for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, both were re-appoint...

527. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timeframe for the roll-out of at least 30 Mb broadband speeds to a location (details supplied) in County Donegal as part of the national broadband plan; if such areas with poor or no broadband coverage will be prioritised during the roll-out phase as part of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42302/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - National Broadband Plan Implementation)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) will 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 so that to date approximately 1.5m or 65% of the 2.3m premises in Ireland can get high speed broadband and this footprint is expanding.
In April I published an updat...

1418. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the guidelines in place to ensure persons are made aware that lo-call 1890 numbers may be more expensive to call from a mobile than landlines; his plans to ensure persons calling State offices are aware of this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37429/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Telephone Call Charges)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The matter raised in the Question is a customer service issue for each individual public body including Government Departments.  The use and display of telephone numbers is an area in which I have no statutory function. The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) manages and administers the National Numbering Scheme which lists all numbers and codes that are available for use on public telecommunicati...

1433. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the cost his Department incurred in each of the past five years due to debit and credit card payment services and banking fees; the financial institutions to which the payments were made. (Question 37221/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Departmental Banking)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following table: 
 Year Debit Card Charges € Credit Card Charges € Banking Fees & Charges € Fees for processing credit card and online sales receipts€ 2017 (to date) 0 69.67 5738.31 426.61  2016 0 75.12 2635.66 1008.60 2015 0 86.31 778.07 2129.73  2014 0 160.37 758.07 1385.77  2013 0 148.20 192.25 1257.36 

The above payments in...

509. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timeframe for the roll-out of at least 30 Mb broadband speeds to a location (details supplied) in County Donegal as part of the national broadband plan; if such areas with poor or no broadband coverage will be prioritised during the roll-out phase as part of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31235/17 asked on 04 Jul 2017 - National Broadband Plan)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 499, 502, 503 and 509 together.
The Government’s National Broadband Plan will provide 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 so that to date approximately 1.4 million or 61% of the 2.3 million premises in Ireland can get high spee...

189. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timeframe for the rollout of at least 30mb broadband speeds to a location (details supplied) in County Donegal as part of the national broadband plan; if such areas with poor or no broadband coverage shall be prioritised during the rollout phase as part of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 29278/17 asked on 22 Jun 2017 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 189 and 192 together.
The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed broadband services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland. The Programme for Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority.  This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment by the telecommunications sector and a State interventi...

1790. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will consider extending the warmer homes scheme to include applicants over 66 years of age to avail of heating upgrade works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28627/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Warmer Homes Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme on behalf of my Department. The scheme provides energy efficiency upgrades free of charge to people who meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of their age. Typical measures available under the scheme include attic and cavity wall insulation, draught proofing, lagging jackets and low energy light bulbs. The ...

208. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the expenses incurred by his Department relating to insurance of all types in each of the past five years; the cost of each insurance policy held by his Department over the same time period per annum; if he will provide the same data for all bodies under the aegis of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26282/17 asked on 01 Jun 2017 - Question Heading for question(s) 208)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): My Department is a Designated State Authority under the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2000 and subsequent orders and as such is covered by State Indemnity. My Department is not required to hold its own insurances and does not therefore have expenses over the last five years in that regard.  
The information regarding the agencies under the aegis of my Department is an operational matter...

520. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to reports that the State is facing fines of up to €75 million each year if it does not meet its target of obtaining 16% of total energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, if his Department has factored these fines into expenditure projections over the next five years; the estimated impact of the fines on the net fiscal space for the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22817/17 asked on 16 May 2017 - Renewable Energy Generation Targets)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The EU Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC set Ireland a legally binding target of meeting 16% of our energy demand from renewable sources by 2020. Ireland is committed to achieving this target through meeting 40% of electricity demand, 12% of heat and 10% of transport from renewable sources of energy, with the latter transport target also being legally binding. While good progress has been made to date, with...

522. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will commence a ministerial inquiry into the decision by Inland Fisheries Ireland to issue and in some instances to subsequently withdraw summonses and legal proceedings initiated against a number of persons in regard to a dispute over fishing rights on the Gweebarra river in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22770/17 asked on 16 May 2017 - Inland Fisheries)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Seán Kyne): Last February, the Office of the Attorney General provided advice to my Department in the course of a review of the Inland Fisheries Act 2010. The advice identified that amending legislation is required to provide explicit powers to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) to summarily prosecute offences under the Fisheries Acts and, consequently, a number of prosecution cases nationwide, including s...

297. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has received correspondence from a person (details supplied) concerning revisions to the wind energy guidelines; if a response was issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21058/17 asked on 03 May 2017 - Wind Energy Guidelines)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The statutory responsibility on planning policy and legislation, including leading the review of the Wind Energy Development Guidelines, rests with the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. Responsibility regarding the authorisation of wind farm developments is a matter for the relevant planning authority or An Bord Pleanála.
The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Gov...

1109. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which his attention was drawn to Inland Fisheries Ireland not having the power to prosecute offences under the Fisheries Acts (details supplied); his plans to amend this legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13180/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Fisheries Offences)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1109, 1117 and 1118 together.  
The Office of the Attorney General provided advice to my Department in the course of a review of the Inland Fisheries Act 2010 in February. My Department advised Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) of the relevant position. It should be noted that anyone who commits an offence is still liable to be prosecuted under the Act. Amending legislation is be...

1117. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which his attention was drawn to Inland Fisheries Ireland not having the power to prosecute offences under the Fisheries Acts, in view of a communication issued by his department to that agency (details supplied); the legal advice with which he has been furnished; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13182/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Fisheries Offences)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1109, 1117 and 1118 together.  
The Office of the Attorney General provided advice to my Department in the course of a review of the Inland Fisheries Act 2010 in February. My Department advised Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) of the relevant position. It should be noted that anyone who commits an offence is still liable to be prosecuted under the Act. Amending legislation is be...

1118. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of legal cases which have already been determined by the courts but for which an appeal against the ruling has been taken by the defendant, in view of a communication issued by his department to Inland Fisheries Ireland (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13183/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Fisheries Offences)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1109, 1117 and 1118 together.  
The Office of the Attorney General provided advice to my Department in the course of a review of the Inland Fisheries Act 2010 in February. My Department advised Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) of the relevant position. It should be noted that anyone who commits an offence is still liable to be prosecuted under the Act. Amending legislation is be...

1123. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason for the removal of an ambulance call centre (details supplied) from a new and revised contract agreement which had previously been stipulated as a designated centre for the purpose of service provision; if the terms of this revised document do not require the contracted party to retain the centre as part of the agreement; if he will consider amending the revised contract with a view to have the centre included as part of the agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13318/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Ambulance Service)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I assume the Question is referring to the Emergency Call Answering Service call centre in Ballyshannon and not the National Ambulance Service call centre.  
The contract for a new Emergency Call Answering Service Operator is subject to a procurement process which commenced on 15 April 2016. This procurement process is currently on-going and is being conducted in accordance with the relevant national public pr...

591. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the EU funds his Department accesses; the plans he is putting in place to access these funds to a greater degree in view of Brexit; if he will outline initiatives he is pursuing to establish access to new funds in view of the challenge of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8802/17 asked on 21 Feb 2017 - EU Funding)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Government has a coordinated approach to Brexit managed centrally by the Department of An Taoiseach.
As outlined in An Taoiseach’s speech on 15 February, as a direct response to Brexit, the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform have been asked to prepare an ambitious multi-annual 10-year capital plan that will make Ireland a far better place in which to live and work.
That plan will make pr...

249. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the action he has taken to dispel concerns held by the tyre industry over lost revenues and trade, among others, which it is claimed will ensue as a result of new structures and regulations being introduced for the industry, including a new compliance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6149/17 asked on 08 Feb 2017 - Waste Tyre Disposal)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): It is my intention to introduce new regulations early this year to address Ireland’s waste tyres problem. 
These regulations will enable me to put in place a full compliance scheme for tyre operators, which will be financed by a visible Environmental Management Charge (vEMC). Similar compliance schemes have operated very successfully across other waste streams, including, packaging, waste electrical and electro...

680. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which he plans to ensure the costs incurred by households which opt to heat their properties using renewable energy sources such as renewable biofuels are no greater than those incurred by households whose heating and energy needs are met by the utilisation of non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels; if his attention has been drawn to the effects which market forces and price volatility have in determining energy prices, particularly with regard to oil and gas, which resultantly can cost less than renewable energy alternatives for the purpose of meeting a household’s energy and heating needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4278/17 asked on 31 Jan 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Energy White Paper presents a long-term strategic vision that is intended to guide the direction of Irish energy policy from now until 2030. At its heart is a commitment to transform Ireland into a low carbon society and economy by 2050 and reduce the country’s fossil fuel dependency. The Programme for Government also commits to reducing our import dependency while maintaining energy security, affordability ...

452. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he requested the public broadcasting of advertisements on both TV and radio promoting the use of Eircode postcodes during emergency situations; if so, the reason the public advertisements do not carry any endorsement by his Department; and if he did not consider it more appropriate to use public funds to run public awareness campaign advising persons to assure if their Eircode postcode is correct. (Question 38883/16 asked on 06 Dec 2016 - National Postcode System Implementation)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Eircode ran an advertising campaign on television and radio to raise public awareness of using Eircodes during emergency situations. Using Eircodes helps the National Ambulance Service (NAS) provide speedier access to care. The NAS integrated Eircodes into their Computer Aided Dispatch system (CAD) in February 2016. This means that callers to the ambulance service can give the patient’s Eircode, which is valid...

453. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if Eircode has carried out an assessment of the accuracy of the Eircodes assigned to households. (Question 38884/16 asked on 06 Dec 2016 - National Postcode System Implementation)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Eircode employ rigorous quality assurance and validation check processes on the assignment of Eircodes to each postal address and its corresponding geo-location. The postal addresses and the geo-locations are provided to Eircode from authoritative sources, namely An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland through their subsidiary company An Post GeoDirectory.
Eircode undertake detailed quality checking process of all ...

454. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the public broadcaster covered the cost of the production and transmission of the Eircode postcode public service advertisement; and if so, if it was requested by him. (Question 38886/16 asked on 06 Dec 2016 - National Postcode System Expenditure)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The decision to run the public broadcast is an operational matter for RTE and not one in which I have a function.
 ...

522. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timeframe for the roll-out of at least 30 Mb broadband speeds to County Donegal as part of the national broadband plan; if areas with poor or no broadband coverage shall be prioritised during the roll-out phase as part of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36264/16 asked on 22 Nov 2016 - National Broadband Plan Implementation)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland. The Programme for Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority.  This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment by the telecommunications sector and through a State intervention in those areas where commercial investment has not  b...

407. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is a limited number of public recycling facilities for plastics at recycling points located throughout County Donegal; the measures being taken to increase the prevalence of such facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32533/16 asked on 02 Nov 2016 - Recycling Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): As the waste industry began releasing, in June 2016, its proposed prices under the introduction of a mandatory pay-by-weight charging structure, the Government relayed its concern to the industry regarding the reported escalation of waste bills for customers of certain companies. On foot of this, my Department engaged with representatives of the waste industry to agree a way forward that results in customers pa...