1160. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the names of the special advisers employed in his Department; the names of special advisers to Ministers of State 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 whom they were appointed; 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 effective 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 46474/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Ministerial Advisers)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): My Department employs two Special Advisers; Mr. Daniel Rowan, with effect from 14 August 2017 by Government order dated 6 September 2017, and Mr. Seamus O’Ceallachain with effect from 11 September 2017, by Government order dated 19 October 2017. Both Special Advisers are appointed to my office and were not Advisers immediately prior to taking up their current roles.
The costs to the Exchequer relating to the salaries of both Spe...

194. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when he will publish the report on public banking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44102/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Community Banking)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The Programme for a Partnership Government envisaged that An Post, the Irish League of Credit Unions and other interested stakeholders would be asked to investigate and propose a new model of community banking, such as the Kiwibank model in New Zealand, which could be delivered through the post office network. The Programme for Government also includes a commitment to investigate the German Sparkassen model for the development ...

1708. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development 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; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37273/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Departmental Banking)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The Department of Rural and Community Development was established following the enactment of the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 2017 on 19 July 2017.
Functions transferred to my Department include the Rural Division from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Community Division from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, and the Charities Regulatory Authority from the Department...