21. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí in each Garda station in the Dublin north central division and in the Dublin south central division as of 30 September 2017; and the number of new recruits assigned to each division since recruitment resumed in 2014. (Question 44205/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Garda Deployment)

Deputy Darragh O’Brien: I will address Ceist Uimh. 6. Will the Minister outline the number of new recruits assigned to the Dublin north division and the Dublin west division, as of 30 September 2017, since recruitment resumed in 2014? The reason is that in the north Dublin and west Dublin area, especially the north Dublin area, we have lost one in five gardaí in the past six years and the pace of replacement has not kept up at all with that. Community policing, an issue I will address also, h...

62. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Finance if individual taxpayers foregoing tax cuts and cuts to the USC in order that this money can be ring-fenced for specific purposes such as homelessness will be facilitated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44346/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Office of the Revenue Commissioners is obliged to comply with its statutory tax and duty obligations. In so doing, it is required to apply any changes to tax or USC rates as passed by the Oireachtas. The question of Revenue applying rates other than those set out in statute does not therefore arise.
On the topic of ring-fencing tax receipts, from a budgetary perspective any move to hypothecate revenue from a particular source should in general b...

87. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Finance the detail of the dwelling house exemption in respect of capital acquisitions tax; if he will review the provisions of this relief in order that family members inheriting two houses as opposed to one house are not disadvantaged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44106/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that section 86 of the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003 provides an exemption from capital acquisitions tax on the inheritance or gift of a dwelling house in certain circumstances. 
One of the qualifying conditions for the dwelling house exemption is that the beneficiary does not have an interest in another dwelling house when he or she claims the exemption.  This restriction applies whether a beneficiary alrea...

111. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will restore subsidies to student primary school teachers in respect of Gaeltacht courses undertaken by them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42697/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Education Grants)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 91, 98, 102, 108, 109, 111 and 130 together.
The decision to stop the Gaeltacht placement grants was taken during the economic crisis when, unfortunately, very difficult decisions had to be made to stabilise the nation’s finances. Priority was given to protecting resources for front line education services as far as possible, which remains particularly challenging with rising numbers of school-going chil...

564. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether the NCT fee of €28 is reasonable for a visual inspection in respect of a headlight which is carried out on the same day as the actual NCT; the reason for this fee; if he will review this fee structure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42889/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - National Car Test Fees)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The operation of the National Car Test is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority, and I have no role in individual cases.  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.
 ...

2. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Taoiseach if he has spoken to President Macron recently. (Question 40539/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 7, inclusive, together.
 Ongoing political engagement with our EU and international partners is crucial, especially as negotiations on Brexit proceed. I will continue to use every opportunity to ensure that other member states and EU institutions fully understand our particular concerns arising from Brexit in order to enable the best possible outcome for this country. Other Ministers, in particular the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,...

4. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Taoiseach if he will report on Cabinet Committee C, European Union, including Brexit; and when it last met. (Question 41385/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 5 together.
As outlined to the House in July, the Government agreed a new streamlined Cabinet committee structure and approved the establishment of six new committees, one of which is Cabinet Committee C. This Cabinet committee will cover issues relating to the European Union and will assist the Government in its ongoing consideration of Brexit. Cabinet Committee C will also support the Taoiseach’s participation as a member of the European C...

196. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will examine SI No. 394 of 2017, Education Support Centres (Appointment and Secondment of Directors) Regulations 2017, in view of the fact there are concerns that it will not lead to effective management; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41816/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Statutory Instruments)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department arranges for the secondment of teachers from their teaching posts for the purpose of developing and providing CPD for teachers and for appointment as Directors of Education Support Centres (ESC’s).
By their nature, secondments are not permanent appointments and are renewed each year subject to ongoing need and policy requirements. 
Secondment arrangements provide flexibility and ensure that the in-service needs of teachers...

240. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the safe passage campaign by an organisation (details supplied) for the introduction of a humanitarian admission programme to reunite families fleeing conflict; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41566/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Refugee Resettlement Programme)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Before the migration crisis escalated, the former Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr. Alan Shatter, introduced a Syrian Humanitarian Admissions Programme (SHAP), which was subject to certain conditions, including economic dependency being met by the sponsor. This was superseded by the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP), which allows for Syrians and other eligible nationalities to benefit from resettlement and relocation sche...

430. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health his views on the number of Irish doctors taking up permanent positions abroad following qualification; the reason for this; the steps he will take to deal with the problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41815/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Medical Qualifications)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I appreciate that there are many reasons why doctors – both from Ireland and from other countries – emigrate. There is always a mixture of ‘push and pull’ factors at play when one decides to leave one’s country. A number of our consultants and Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors go abroad as part of their training, and some following completion of their training, to gain experience and expertise prior to taking up posts in Ireland. A further group goes a...

36. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health the measures being taken to reduce the long waiting times for primary care ophthalmology appointments being experienced by persons under 18 in the Dublin north central local health area. (Question 40965/17 asked on 28 Sep 2017 - HSE Waiting Lists)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. 
 ...

78. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the commemorations that are planned or being co-ordinated in her Department for 2018; and her plans to commemorate the Good Friday Agreement’s 20th anniversary. (Question 40541/17 asked on 27 Sep 2017 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The Government will continue to mark significant events throughout the Decade of Centenaries based on the inclusive, open and consultative approach that has become the hallmark of the Decade of Centenaries commemorative programme. The Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations will continue to advise and support the Government in its plans. 
A number of significant historical events took place in 1918, which will be mark...

155. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the capitation sum allocated to primary schools is inadequate to meet all their expenses; if this sum can be increased in line with that provided to post-primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40352/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Capitation Grants)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I recognise the need to improve capitation funding for primary schools having regard to the reductions that were necessary over recent years.
It is difficult to make precise comparisons between the levels of grants paid and the actual costs of running schools at primary and post-primary levels.  However it is self-evident that the maintenance and running costs for second level schools are much greater on a unit cost basis than those in p...

163. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if school transport will be provided for a person (details supplied) with special needs in order that the person can access secondary school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40656/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - School Transport Eligibility)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. 
During the 2016/17 school year almost 116,000 children, including some 12,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 4,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.
In general, under the terms of the De...

367. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Health if Ireland is implementing the Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Global Action of the World Health Organisation; his views on the fact that foreign doctors are taking up permanent positions in the health service rather than practising in their home countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40593/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Health Services Staff)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Global Action recognise the need for action to resolve the accelerating crisis in the global health workforce and call on Governments to determine the appropriate health workforce skill mix while providing coordinated and coherent support to formulate and implement comprehensive country health workforce strategies and plans.
As set out in its Statement of Strategy 2016-2019, my Department has committed to developin...

489. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the fact that child care providers are increasing their fees following the introduction of the new child care support scheme; the steps she is taking to prevent this; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40351/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Child Care Costs)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): As the Deputy will be aware, the factors impacting on the costs across delivery of services in any sector are complex and multifaceted. The cost to childcare providers is affected by many factors such as rates, rent, labour costs, and insurance amongst other things.
The cost to parents to access that childcare is decided by childcare providers taking account of these overheads.
Notwithstanding this, I am committed to ensuring t...

225. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills when his attention was drawn to fire safety concerns in schools (details supplied); the actions being taken to rectify this situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39240/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Fire Safety Regulations)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): On 1 September my Department announced that it is publishing a public tender notice on the Governments e-tenders website to commission fire safety audits of a representative sample of up to 25 schools constructed over the last 20 years. 
The tender for appointment of fire safety consultants will be completed by the mid October. It is expected that the first set of Fire Safety Audit Reports will be provided to the Department by the end of...

245. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the practice of secondary schools contracting out the setting of mock junior certificate and leaving certificate papers in addition to the marking of these papers; his further views on whether the school teachers should do this themselves; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this imposes extra costs on parents of children attending secondary schools; the measures which can be taken in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39490/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - School Costs)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): At the outset I wish to state that, neither my Department nor the State Examinations Commission has any role in relation to the setting or marking of mock examinations. Mock examinations can either be set by teachers themselves or are sourced from commercial providers. Similarly, they are either marked by the class teacher or many mock providers offer a marking service. This is a decision for the school. 
The updated Framework for Jun...

246. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on extra costs being imposed on parents of children attending post-primary schools such as charges for transition year activities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39491/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Education Costs)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My ambition is to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe within a decade. 
To deliver on my ambition to be the best we have to improve information and complaint procedures for parents and students, particularly in relation to costs.
I want to give parents a strong voice in ensuring costs are always kept to a minimum.
I announced in April of this year measures to be adopted by schools to reduce school costs. The...

305. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the State will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39761/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - UN Conventions Ratification)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): Ireland signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 and since then, successive Governments have emphasised Ireland’s strong commitment to proceed to ratification as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure all necessary legislative and administrative requirements under the Convention are met. This Government remains committed to ratification of the Convention.
It ...

638. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to ongoing complaints from residents of Clontarf, Dublin 3, about night time aircraft noise when the secondary 16/34 crosswind runway is used due to upgrading works on the main runway at Dublin airport; if he is satisfied that the attention of the Irish Aviation Authority has been drawn to its responsibilities under EU Regulation 598/2014 in respect of aircraft noise; if he will intervene to ensure that this noise nuisance is alleviated for local residents; if these aircraft flying at low altitude pose a danger for the householders affected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39671/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Noise Pollution)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Firstly, I can advise that the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is responsible for the State’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) and the daa (Dublin Airport Authority) is responsible for the operation and management of Dublin airport. The direction of flight paths and the altitude of flights at Dublin airport is an operational matter for the IAA while the daa is responsible for the opening and closing of runways to facilitate runway repair...

687. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a mortgage interest supplement payment will be made to a person (details supplied); if their file has been retrieved from the archives; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39156/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Mortgage Interest Supplement Scheme Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The persons concerned claim for Mortgage Interest Supplement was disallowed on 18/7/12 as they had not entered into and complied with an alternative repayment arrangement with their mortgage provider for a period of 12 months prior to their claim (Section 198 of The Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, Subsections 5AA, 5AB and 5AC). The person concerned was advised at the time to contact their mortgage provider to ...

721. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the position regarding the drafting of legislation to exclude compensation awards arising from a tragedy (details supplied) as means for social welfare payments; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39762/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Legislative Measures)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Social welfare legislation provides for the disregard of certain compensation awards when assessing the means of a person for social assistance means testing purposes.
My Department is currently considering the appropriate legislative amendments for disregarding awards from the Stardust compensation scheme.
It should be noted that any such awards have been disregarded on an administrative basis since 15 December 2016 ...

1337. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason camper vans are prohibited from the middle pier in Howth harbour, Dublin; his views on whether this will adversely affect tourism in the area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38336/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Harbours and Piers)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Pursuant to the Fishery harbour Act 1968 (as amended), my Department has responsibility for the six Fishery Harbour Centres, including Howth. Howth Fishery Harbour Centre is first and foremost a working fishery harbour and its primary objective is to provide for the needs of fishermen and the fishing industry generally. However, Howth is also a very important tourist and leisure destination as you know, and my Department has t...

1682. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will pay a capital grant to a provider (details supplied) to allow it to open a replacement preschool facility as soon as possible; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38563/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Early Years Sector)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The service to which the Deputy refers has not made an application for capital funding under the early years capital scheme, 2017. As the deadline for this has now passed, it will not be possible to facilitate an application at this stage. 
Pobal and the local City Childcare Committee (CCC) have been in contact with the service in question and it is my understanding that this service is currently closed. It is also my understand...