25. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to improve the pay and conditions of Defence Forces members. (Question 20422/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 25, 32 and 34 together.
Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Defence Forces have traditionally been set by reference to, inter alia, relative levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public service. Defence Forces pay is increasing in line with recent public sector pay agreements. The focus of these increases is weighted in favour of those on lower pay. 
Members of the De...

40. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will report on the planned future use of Columb Barracks, Mullingar. (Question 20423/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Army Barracks Closures)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As the Deputy is aware, since the closure of Columb Barracks in 2012, my Department has explored a number of avenues to try and secure its long term future for the benefit of the local community. Government Departments and other Public Bodies, including Westmeath County Council, have been invited to declare an interest in acquiring the property. However no interest has been expressed from any of these bodies.
In May 2016 officia...

266. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will liaise with the management of Bus Éireann to provide a double deck vehicle on the airport route which services Mullingar, County Westmeath (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20535/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Bus Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The issue raised is a matter for Bus Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the company for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.
 ...

308. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will publish the new tenant purchase scheme without further delay. (Question 20676/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Tenant Purchase Scheme)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme came into operation on 1 January 2016.  The Scheme is open to eligible tenants, including joint tenants, of local authority houses that are available for sale under the Scheme. To be eligible, tenants must meet certain criteria, including having a minimum reckonable income of €15,000 per annum and having been in receipt of social housing support for at least one year.
In line with...

26. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the supports that her Department can make available to towns wishing to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. (Question 20141/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Heritage Promotion)

Deputy Josepha Madigan: Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann plays a very important role in nurturing, supporting and developing Ireland’s rich heritage in traditional music, dance and the Irish language. Now in its 66th year, the organisation has a growing international network and contributes significantly to our reputation abroad as a culturally rich nation. Its work in Ireland has undoubtedly sustained and grown participation and enjoyment of Irish music, dance and the Irish language. Fleadh Cheoi...

204. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if a hospital appointment for a person (details supplied) can be expedited. (Question 20381/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

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...

247. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on plans to create a unified and identical livery for all buses in receipt of a PSO payment; the potential impacts that this would have on brand recognition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20400/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Public Transport)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility under section 5 of the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008 to secure the development and implementation of a single public transport brand. I have therefore forwarded the Deputy’s question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.
 ...

270. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a FIS application by a person (details supplied) can be expedited. (Question 20380/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Working Family Payment Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Working Family Payment (formerly Family Income Supplement) is a weekly tax free payment which provides additional income support to employees on low earnings with children.
An application for Working Family Payment (WFP) was received from the person concerned on 26 April 2018.
The applicant has been awarded WFP from 26 April 2018 to 24 April 2019.
Payment is due to issue to the claimant’s nominated financial account t...

34. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when he will place new wind energy guidelines placed on a statutory footing. (Question 19852/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Wind Energy Guidelines)

Deputy Robert Troy: I would like to ask the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the Government intends to bring forward new wind energy guidelines and when these will be placed on a statutory footing.
 ...

47. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of applications for social housing projects which have been submitted by Westmeath County Council and Longford County Council; and the stage they are at. (Question 19853/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Social and Affordable Housing Provision)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department publishes information on social housing construction projects via quarterly Construction Status Reports. The most recently available report, which sets out the position at end 2017 and is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-social-housing-construction-status-report-q4-2017/, provides project and stage details for all ...

418. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the preparatory work that has been carried out with regard to maintaining the open skies policy following Brexit; the contingency plans in place if no agreement is reached; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19827/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Brexit Issues)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Brexit and its potential implications for Ireland are being managed on a whole-of-government basis. My Department is represented on all relevant cross-Departmental coordination structures, and an internal Departmental Committee on Brexit meets regularly. The Department also consults regularly with the aviation regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders through the National Civil Aviation Development Forum.
Contingency planning in r...

419. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the 2015 amendment to the Harbours Act 1996 provides for retrospective application in that it covers the period from 1997 when the port companies were corporatised; the reason the lengthy retrospective application was included in the 2015 amendment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19880/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Harbour Authorities)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Harbours Act 2015 was signed into law by the President on the 25 December 2015 and commenced from that date.
 ...

420. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the circumstances in a matter (details supplied); the reason an elected official whose election was validated by the returning officer and company secretary has been refused letter of appointment as a director of a port company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19881/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Harbour Authorities Membership)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Harbours Act 2015 introduced changes in legislation in line with Government policy and to strengthen and improve corporate governance arrangements for port company boards, including the introduction of a 10-year limit on the period served by a director of a port company. 
Section 30(6) of the Harbours Act 1996, as substituted by section 39 of the Harbours Act 2015, provides that a person shall not serve as a director of a port co...

421. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is apparently no time limit on the term of a CEO as a director of a port company here even though their employment contracts according to the Department of Finance must not exceed seven years (details supplied); the reason this inconsistency exists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19882/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Harbour Authorities Staff)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): In the case of the State commercial ports sector, section 36 of the Harbours Act 1996 provides that CEOs shall also be appointed to the board as an ex officio (often referred to as an executive) director of the relevant company for the duration of their term of office as a CEO. I would note that the appointment of a CEO as an ex officio director of a company is a standard feature of most commercial organisations; however, that appoi...

422. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason an anomaly exists in the election of worker directors of ports here (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19883/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Harbour Authorities Membership)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): To strengthen the position of the Boards of Port Companies, the Harbours Act 2015 introduced changes in legislation in line with Government policy and to strengthen and improve corporate governance arrangements for company boards, including the introduction of 10-year limit on the period served by any director, including an employee director, of a port company.
The legislation also introduced certain stated skill sets for company dir...

423. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether elected worker directors play an important role in the governance of tier one commercial port companies; and his further views on whether the number of elected worker directors on the boards of State-owned tier one port companies should be restored to the level set out in the Harbours Act 1996 from one to two in order to reflect the importance attached to the role of worker democracy in State-owned ports and to bring these entities into line with representative levels established in other successful commercial State companies. (Question 19884/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Harbour Authorities Membership)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): In line with the Ports Policy Statement 2005, the Harbours (Amendment) Act 2009 reduced the total number of directors serving on a port company board from 12 to 8. This was in recognition of the need for smaller, more focussed boards which were clearly aligned, on an individual member level, solely on the achievement of the commercial objectives and wellbeing of the port company.  In tandem with smaller, more focussed boards being pu...

96. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if an application by a school (details supplied) for works to be carried out on car parking facilities will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19463/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Summer Works Scheme Applications)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Summer Works Scheme is designed to allow schools to carry out small and medium scale building works that will improve and upgrade existing school buildings. This scheme is additional to other capital funding schemes that are operated by the Department such as the additional accommodation scheme, Emergency Works scheme i.e. for projects of such urgency that they would prevent some or all of the school from opening, and Minor Works sch...

162. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if dermatology services will be restored to Mullingar Regional Hospital; and if persons will be offered treatment in an alternative setting in the interim. (Question 19367/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Hospital Services)

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

198. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the payment mechanism in place for families who have recently lost a relative under the care of the fair deal scheme; if the balance on an account can be paid off in instalments in cases in which a family home has been listed against the deceased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19461/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Where a resident under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS) has assets including land or property, they may defer their contribution to care based on such assets under Ancillary State Support (also known as Nursing Home Loan). This contribution becomes payable on their death. Collection and recovery of repayable amounts of the Ancillary State Support is a function of the Revenue Commissioners, acting as a collecting agent for t...

204. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if dermatology services will be restored to Mullingar Regional Hospital; and if patients will be offered treatment in an alternative setting in the interim. (Question 19476/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Hospital Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to you, as soon as possible.
 ...

224. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the responsibilities of the Coast Guard including if the Coast Guard is responsible for the enforcement of the Sea Pollution Acts 1991 and 2006, the Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act 1993 and Annexe 12 (Standards and Recommended Practices Search and Rescue) Designation of Authorities Order 1995 (Question 19482/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Coast Guard Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The IRCG have a number of functions and responsibilities, primarily Search and Rescue (SAR) and Maritime Pollution Prevention and Response. SAR functions are provided for in International Conventions promulgated by both the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Ireland is a contracting State to both organisations.
The powers to undertake such activities have been conferred...

225. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 217 of 25 April 2018 and 355 of 29 March 2018, the full yearly breakdown of the amount his Department spent on social media consultancy and social media training since 2011, in view of the fact that the breakdowns of external expenditure provided on his website do not indicate whether such expenditure relates to social media specifically. (Question 19483/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): My Department has not incurred any expenditure on social media training since 2011.
As part of my Department’s promotion of Bike Week in 2017, external expenditure was incurred in relation to the online promotion of this national event and that expenditure is recorded on my Department’s website. 
Total expenditure was €40,000 (ex VAT) and would include the establishment and management of a social media presence as part of the event’s...

120. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if an appointment for a person (details supplied) will be scheduled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19158/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Hospital Appointments Status)

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 ...

117. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the percentage of new temporary clerical officer posts (details supplied) in the Civil Service that will be for persons with disabilities; and if persons included in the WAM programme will be considered as part of this. (Question 18934/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Disability Act Employment Targets)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, the civil service is an equal opportunities employer and all recruitment campaigns, including the Temporary Clerical Officer campaign, are conducted in strict compliance with the Codes of Practice set out by the Commission for Public Service Appointments. Codes include the Code of Practice governing the External and Internal Appointments of Persons with Disabilities to Positions in the Irish Civil S...

207. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the supports that are available to a small start-up company; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18953/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Small and Medium Enterprises Supports)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for advice and guidance, financial assistance and other supports for anyone who intends to start or grow their own business. 
In the first instance, the LEOs provide a ‘signposting’ service in relation to all relevant State support available through agencies such as Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Revenue Commissioners, the Department of E...