417. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if consideration has been given by his Department to establish a mechanism by which emigrants may renew their driving licences whilst remaining resident abroad in view of the ongoing plight of the undocumented Irish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50817/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Driver Licence Renewals)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Irish driver licensing operates within a framework of EU law.  Under EU law, Member States may issue driving licences only to those normally resident in their jurisdiction.
A person may remain ‘normally resident’ if they are out of the country for fixed-term contract of work or for a fixed period of study. 
However, we cannot issue driving licences to people who have taken up residence abroad.
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540. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an earlier date can be offered for a driving test for a person (details supplied) in order to allow them to take up an offer of employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50007/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Driver Test Waiting Lists)

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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542. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress being made to carry out upgrade works on the N14 route; the road class which is being proposed for this route; if costings are available for the various options being considered for this upgrade including the comparative costs of constructing a dual carriageway versus a 2 plus 1 class roadway for this route; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50035/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Transport Infrastructure Ireland Projects)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects  is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a ma...

499. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an earlier date for a driving test for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will be arranged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48707/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Driver Test)

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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201. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to the introduction of mutual recognition of driver disqualification between the State and Britain as and from 1 August 2017, in circumstances whereby a person has been convicted and found guilty of driving offences leading to that person being disqualified from driving and forced to surrender their licence here, if such a disqualification is recognised by authorities in Britain should the conviction have occurred prior to the aforementioned date; if authorities here recognise a disqualification for driving offences committed in Britain should the conviction have occurred before said date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48575/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Driver Licences)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Mutual Recognition of Driving Disqualifications between Ireland and the United Kingdom came into effect from 1 August 2017. The Agreement underpinning that mutual recognition provides in Artice 14.3 that the Agreement shall only apply to offences committed after entry into force of the Agreement. Therefore any convictions for offences committed before 1 August 2017, in respect of covered by the Agreement, fall outside of the sco...

1042. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport 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 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 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 46476/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Ministerial Advisers Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I appointed two Special Advisers when I took up office as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.  Following the Cabinet reshuffle in June 2017, I reappointed Aisling Dunne and Carol Hunt as my Special Advisers.  The Government Order dated 26th July 2017 re-appointed them with effect from 15th June 2017. Their current salary scale is €81,767 to €100,333 per annum, which is in line with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform ...

1056. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress made in having Quebec added to the reciprocal agreement for driving licence exchange; when he envisages it to be included; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46780/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Driver Licensing Exchange Agreements)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Irish driver licensing law operates within a framework of EU law, in accordance with which we have mutual recognition of exchange of driving licences with all other EU Member States.  In the case of jurisdictions outside the EU, we may reach bilateral agreements on reciprocal exchange of licences.
The work of reaching an agreement is not straightforward.  It depends on the relevant authorities on each side comparing the two licensing...

317. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding options available to local authorities to formally apply for moneys to construct dedicated pedestrian infrastructure projects such as footbridges should such a project represent a road safety benefit to road users; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44568/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Road Safety)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the relevant local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993 with works on those roads funded from local authorities’ own resources supplemented by State road grants. 
The economic reality of recent years has meant significant reductions in roads budgets across the board and this resulted in some gran...

352. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the contribution his Department will be making to Dublin City Council in preparation for the Euro 2020 competition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45065/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Sports Events)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The hosting of four matches in Dublin as part of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament is a collaborative effort between Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and Dublin City Council (DCC), with the support of the Government.
The cost of hosting the matches is being shared by the FAI, UEFA, Dublin City Council and Government. The Government will contribute to the costs of a public transport programme, policing and security costs, and a prom...

480. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress which has been made to extend the number of jurisdictions with which a reciprocal agreement is in place for the purpose of driving licence exchange; if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties which are being faced by emigrants returning home from countries with which no such mutual agreement exists but where they hold a valid driving licence as issued by the competent licensing authority in the relevant jurisdiction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43746/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Driver Licences)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Ireland has driver licence exchange with all other EU Member States as a part of EU law, and in addition has bilateral agreements with a number of other jurisdictions.  The list of jurisdictions with which we have bilateral agreements is available on the website of the Road Safety Authority (RSA).  
In August, I signed into effect the most recent agreement, which is with British Columbia.  This represents the fourth Canadian province...

164. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal can expect to receive a date for a driving test; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43052/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Driver Test Waiting Lists)

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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541. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department has received correspondence from Donegal County Council regarding proposals to develop a dedicated greenway route on the former rail line linking Letterkenny to Burtonport; the progress that has been made to develop this proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42579/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Greenways Development)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Donegal County Council (DCC) submitted a proposal to my Department for the construction of a greenway from Letterkenny to Burtonport under the National Cycle Netork 2014-2016 funding programme. However, the Council was not successful in securing funding at that time.  I understand that since then DCC have progressed a section of the route with the support of local groups and DCC would be best placed to update the Deputy on the curre...

553. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a decision will be made in respect of a taxi licence application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42674/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Taxi Licences)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including the issuing of taxi licences, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.
I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.
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587. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has received correspondence from the relevant local authority regarding the funding of a planned pedestrian foot bridge adjacent to the R257 route spanning the Clady river at An Bun Beag in County Donegal; if so, the progress that has been made to deliver this project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39111/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Road Projects)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As I explained to the Deputy in PQ 5361/17 ,the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993.  Works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants.  The initial selection and prioritisation of projects to be fun...

1514. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the obligations that are on taxi drivers to accept payment by card or other non-cash methods; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37053/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry, including fare payment methods, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.
I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.
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1524. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport 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 37229/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Departmental Banking)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Deputy will note the Department makes a large amount of important and necessary banking payments to individuals and organisations in all corners of the island of Ireland. These include the tourism bodies and other public bodies in sports and transport, sports capital grants, and major Public Transport projects as well as safety and regulatory programmes for the Irish Coastguard, Aviation and Maritime services. 
Given the large v...

1631. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal can expect to receive a date for a driving test; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38960/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Driver Test Waiting Lists)

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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673. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding requirements for Donegal Airport through each of the various approved schemes by capital funding and current funding, respectively, for each of the years 2017 to 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32128/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Regional Airports)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​Under the Regional Airports Programme, the four regional airports, including Donegal airport, submit their funding requirements in response to an invitation issued to them each year by my Department for proposals. It is a matter for the airport authorities themselves to identify the projects and activities in the areas of safety and security that they wish to submit for grant support each year under the Programme.
Under this year’s...

693. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a decision will be made in respect of an application for the sports capital programme by a club (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32735/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Sports Capital Programme Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): The 2017 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on the 24th February and I can confirm that an application has been submitted by the organisation referred to by the Deputy. 
By the closing date, a record number of 2,320 applications seeking €155 million in grants were received and all of these applications are currently being assessed. The total amount available to allocate unde...

1824. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal can expect to receive a date for a driving test; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26851/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Driver Test)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The operation of the driver testing service is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority.  I have therefore referred the Question to the Authority for direct reply.  I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.
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218. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport 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 26294/17 asked on 01 Jun 2017 - Insurance Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The information requested by the Deputy is being collated and will be forwarded as soon as possible.  Your question will be forwarded to the agencies under my remit for direct reply to you.  If you do not receive the information within 10 working days please contact my private office. 
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253. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of staff and personnel employed by Fáilte Ireland by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24881/17 asked on 24 May 2017 - Fáilte Ireland Staff)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Patrick O’Donovan): Matters regarding staffing are operational matters for Fáilte Ireland.
Accordingly, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the agency for further information and direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.
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255. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a driving test can be expedited to facilitate a person (details supplied) in County Donegal who requires a driving licence for work purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24913/17 asked on 24 May 2017 - Driver Test)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The operation of the driver testing service is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority.  I have therefore referred the Question to the Authority for direct reply.  I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.
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623. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will expedite a driving test for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal who requires a driving licence for work purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24447/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Driver Test)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The operation of the Driver Testing Service is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority. I have therefore referred the Question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.
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624. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to outline his views on recent reports that certificates of proficiency awarded to seafarers (details supplied) as part of training provided to offshore workers are not recognised by his Department; if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of trainees over this failure to recognise the accreditation, particularly in respect of the impact this will have on employment in related sectors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24491/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Maritime Training)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​I refer to my previous replies to Deputy McGrath on the 29th September 2016 and 7th March 2017. In those replies I confirmed that the mutual recognition of IMO STCW certificates validly issued by other EU Member States is fully supported and accepted by my Department. Particular issues had arisen in relation to IMO STCW certifications under the authority of the United Kingdom which were the subject of correspondence between my Dep...