144. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason there is a requirement (details supplied) for persons seeking to have professional qualifications for regulated construction industry activities recognised in relation to qualifications obtained outside the State; if his attention has been drawn to the difficulty this requirement is having for residents of Border communities who have previously obtained the relevant qualifications in Northern Ireland and wish to work and provide services here and who may in previous years have provided such services here; the actions he will take to address this anomaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18747/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Qualifications Recognition)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 144 and 145 together. 
A number of professional activities in the construction sector are regulated by the SOLAS Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013. These professional activities may only be pursued by persons who are suitably qualified. 
Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professiona...

145. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason there is a requirement (details supplied) for persons seeking to have professional qualifications for regulated construction industry activities recognised for the provision of services on a temporary or occasional basis in relation to qualifications obtained outside the State; if his attention has been drawn to the difficulty this requirement is having for residents of Border communities living here and that wish to work and provide services here; the actions he will take to address this anomaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18748/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Qualifications Recognition)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 144 and 145 together. 
A number of professional activities in the construction sector are regulated by the SOLAS Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013. These professional activities may only be pursued by persons who are suitably qualified. 
Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professiona...

162. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Pearse Doherty den an Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna an gcasfaidh sé le toscaireacht ó scoil (sonraí tugtha) i gContae Dhún na nGall chun a cás eisceachtúil ó thaobh soláthar foirne agus maoiniú a phlé; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. (Question 18921/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Foirne Scoile)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Rinne mo Roinn breithniú ar an gcomhfhreagras a ndearna an Teachta tagairt dó maidir le Príomhoide Riaracháin a cheapadh agus eisíodh freagra le déanaí.
Foilsítear na critéir a bhaineann le leithdháileadh poist mhúinteoireachta go bliantúil ar shuíomh gréasáin na Roinne. Úsáidtear an sceideal foirne don scoilbhliain ábhartha agus rolluithe na ndaltaí ar an 30 Meán Fómhair roimhe sin mar eochairthoisc chun na hacmhainní foirne a chuirtear...

222. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment for an assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18602/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

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.
 ...

228. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will be transferred from Our Lady’s Hospital, Manorhamilton to local rheumatology services at Letterkenny University Hospital with a view to continue receiving the appropriate medical treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18636/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Hospital Transfers)

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.
 ...

292. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason the medical card section failed to take into account certain items for the purpose of assessing and determining the eligibility of persons (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18973/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Medical Card Eligibility)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy. 
 ...

293. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive a psychiatric assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18974/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Mental Health Services)

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.
 ...

295. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the withdrawal of a general practitioner service from a facility (details supplied) in County Donegal; the steps he will take to provide support to the service lead in order to ensure the continuation of the service going forward; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18983/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - General Practitioner Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

317. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the details of the legislative controls and restrictions in place for the purpose of regulating the sale, supply and use of hookah instruments for the smoking and vaping of tobacco; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19076/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Tobacco Control Measures)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): A hookah is a water pipe used to smoke tobacco through cooled water. 
The current legislative framework on tobacco control is the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 to 2015. Section 47 of the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts prohibits smoking in most enclosed work spaces. This includes office blocks, public house/bars, restaurants and company vehicles (cars and vans). The overall purpose of the ban is to limit people from the harms of second hand tobacco sm...

349. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timeframe for the roll-out 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 will be prioritised during the roll-out phase as part of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18975/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - National Broadband Plan Implementation)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to 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. Today, almost 7 out of 10 of the 2.3 million premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband. Since this Government came into office almost 400,000 addit...

427. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer’s allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19008/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Carer’s Allowance Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Carer’s allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.
CA was awarded to the person concerned on 26 April 2018 and the first payment will issue to his nominated bank account on 3 May 2018. 
Arrears of allowance due from 25 Ja...

62. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if a waiving of local property tax liabilities in respect of properties in which defective block work that is not pyrite has been identified is being considered; if so, when such a scheme will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18420/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Property Tax Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The legislation governing the administration of Local Property Tax (LPT) provides for a limited number of exemptions from LPT. There is no specific exemption for properties affected in the way described in the Deputy’s question and there are no plans to introduce such an exemption. 
LPT operates on a self-assessment basis and it is a matter for the property owner in the first instance to calculate the tax due based on his or her assessment of the ma...

64. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of active investigations the Central Bank is running into matters related to insider information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18473/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Central Bank of Ireland Investigations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 65 together.
“Insider information” as referenced by the Deputy is a form of market abuse. The Central Bank of Ireland has been designated as the single administrative competent authority for the purpose of Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 on market abuse. 
Securities markets activity encompasses a high number of participants engaged in significant levels of trading activity in a range of securities across global m...

65. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons or companies that have been reprimanded by the Central Bank as a result of investigations into insider information by year and nature in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18474/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Central Bank of Ireland Investigations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 65 together.
“Insider information” as referenced by the Deputy is a form of market abuse. The Central Bank of Ireland has been designated as the single administrative competent authority for the purpose of Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 on market abuse. 
Securities markets activity encompasses a high number of participants engaged in significant levels of trading activity in a range of securities across global m...

198. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the Pollagh section of the River Moy in County Mayo; if Inland Fisheries Ireland is considering the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18369/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Inland Fisheries)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Seán Kyne): I understand that the Deputy is referring to speculation regarding the sale of fishing rights.
The section of the River Moy which flows through the townland of Pollagh near Foxford, Co. Mayo is part of the wider Cloongee Fishery and is directly managed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in whom the fishing rights are vested. IFI have confirmed that state owned fishing rights on the Moy are im...

233. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress being made to establish a redress scheme for properties in counties Donegal and Mayo in which defective block work has been identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18419/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Building Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): The Expert Panel on concrete blocks was established by my Department in 2016, to investigate problems that have emerged in the concrete blockwork of certain dwellings in Counties Donegal and Mayo.
The panel had the following terms of reference:
(i) To identify, insofar as it is possible, the numbers of private dwellings which appear to be affected by defects in the blockwork in the Counties of ...

84. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the rights an applicant for a mortgage has if the required life insurance to obtain a mortgage is refused on the grounds of a historical medical condition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18128/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Mortgage Insurance)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Central Bank has advised that when an individual(s) applies for a mortgage loan to buy a home, the individual(s) will generally be required to take out mortgage protection insurance. This is a particular type of life assurance taken out for the term of the mortgage and designed to pay it off on the death of the borrower or joint borrower.
It is an underwriting consideration for an insurance firm to decide whether to take on the risk or not. Sho...

127. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the reason no Garda vetting application has been issued by the HSE to An Garda Síochána in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal as required for a staffing vacancy with home support services; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this failure may render the person’s job application invalid as a result; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18129/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Health Services Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly on this matter.
 ...

143. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment to attend Letterkenny University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18224/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists)

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 National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing...

118. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number and nature of investigations the Central Bank has carried out with regard to overpricing or overcharging on commercial loans in the past ten years; the financial institutions involved; the result of such investigations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17503/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Central Bank of Ireland Investigations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am informed by the Central Bank that this can be considered both from the broader enforcement perspective and in terms of consumer protection. Both of these perspectives are outlined as follows. 
On the Enforcement side, the Central Bank operates an assertive risk based approach to supervision which is supported by a credible threat of enforcement. The Central Bank’s enforcement strategy is aimed at promoting principled and ethical behaviour in re...

128. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the estimated impact on fiscal space in 2019 and beyond of a failure to reach the medium term objective in 2018, in legal and accounting terms in tabular form with the fiscal space in 2019 and beyond in such a situation. (Question 17755/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Fiscal Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 122 and 128 together.
Assessment of compliance with the fiscal rules and, in particular, whether the MTO is achieved is undertaken by the European Commission on the basis of its Spring Economic forecasts.  These will be published in early-May.  
So I will return to this issue in the Summer Economic Statement.  
Finally, as I have stated on numerous occasions, the Government will formulate budget policy based on what ...

413. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 259 of 8 March 2018 and 246 of 21 March 2018, the reason a response has yet to issue from the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17830/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Regarding Parliamentary Question No. 246 (PQRef:13054/18) concerning a person; a reply has already been sent to the Deputy.   
Regarding Parliamentary Question No. 259 (PQRef:10849/18) concerning a person: HSE Parliamentary Affairs have sought an update on the progress of the response to this PQ, and stressed the urgency of a reply.
 ...

431. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the concern in the communities of Burt, Bridgend, Burnfoot and Inch Island in the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal, at the widespread removal of landscape features such as trees and hedges across an estate (details supplied); and if these works are in compliance with all relevant domestic legislation and European directives. (Question 17412/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Environmental Regulations)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): An application under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations 2011 was received by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in September 2017 regarding land located within Lough Swilly Special Protection Area (Site Code: 004075), involving an area of just over 6 hectares. The application was then referred to the National Parks and Wildlife Service as is normally the case involving SAC/SPA. The ...

557. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) in County Donegal has been advised of their ineligibility for participation in an upcoming community employment scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17390/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Community Employment Schemes Eligibility)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): All Jobseekers on the live register must be capable of, available for, and actively seeking full time employment, they are also required to engage with the Department’s activation services whether the service is provided internally by an Intreo case officer or externally by one of the contracted providers e.g. JobPath providers and Local Employment Service providers. The JobPath service is one of a number of employme...

620. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her attention has been drawn to the concern in the communities of Burt, Bridgend, Burnfoot and Inch Island in the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal, at the widespread removal of landscape features such as trees and hedges across an estate (details supplied); and if her departmental officials in addition to the NPWS have ensured that these works are in compliance with all relevant domestic legislation and European directives. (Question 17413/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - National Parks and Wildlife Service)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The area of Inch Lake and surrounding wet grassland within the area referred to by the Deputy has been leased by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department under a 30 year agreement established in 2001.  This area has been developed into the Inch Wildfowl Reserve. Inch Wildfowl Reserve is not a statutory nature reserve but is afforded protection by its inclusion in the Lough Swilly special protection area an...