67. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his position on the campaign for a United Nations parliamentary assembly; when a parliamentary assembly will be inaugurated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20595/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - United Nations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Since joining the United Nations in 1955, Ireland has been strongly committed to the values and principles of the UN Charter.
As a steadfast supporter of the UN, Ireland continues to advocate, through a range of fora, for reform of the UN’s structures and systems to best equip the organisation to respond to the many and interlinked global challenges of the twenty first century. Ireland is committed, in this context, to ...

33. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the exceptional circumstances under which a coursing club may apply to hold a second day’s trial; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19895/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Hare Coursing Regulation)

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: Section 34 of the Wildlife Act 1976 says that an individual coursing club may hold no more than one trial session, but that in exceptional circumstances it may apply to hold a second day’s trial. What are those exceptional circumstances? I am aware that in February Clonmel coursing club was given permission to hold a second day’s trial. What were the exceptional circumstances pertaining to that? I have been asking a series of questions about strengthening the Natio...

45. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of hares dying at coursing clubs by club in 2017 and to date in 2018; if post mortems have been carried out in all cases; the number which had pre-existing conditions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19896/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Hare Coursing Data)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Figures available to my Department from the Irish Coursing Club indicate that during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 hare coursing seasons the number of hares that died at coursing meetings was 26 and 24 respectively. The reports generated by the Irish Coursing Club and the National Parks and Wildlife Service for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, which would include information to identify the coursing clubs where hares died and ...

194. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the details of the meetings he has with representatives from a group (details supplied) in relation to services in Fingal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20363/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Health Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): I met with this group on a couple of occasions since being appointed Minister. I visited with the group in Portrane on 29 June 2017. At the last meeting I had with the group on 1 February 2018, I asked the HSE official who attended the meeting to meet regularly with the group and address any concerns with them. 
I understand from communications my office has had with the HSE, that these meetings are ongoing and are proving ...

45. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to greatly expand the mortgage to rent scheme to obviate the sale of family homes by banks to vulture funds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13632/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Mortgage to Rent Scheme)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My focus, and that of the Government, is to ensure that as many households as possible remain in their homes and in this regard, a range of measures are currently being implemented across Government Departments and agencies. These actions are focused on encouraging those in mortgage distress who have not been able to engage, to reach a long term debt resolution and avoid repossession if possible.
 The Mortgage to Rent (...

88. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of families with children being accommodated in hotels each month since July 2017 to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19606/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Homeless Persons Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Monthly homelessness data reports are produced by housing authorities using the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS), the single integrated national data information system on State-funded emergency accommodation arrangements overseen by housing authorities. My Department collates this information into monthly national homeless reports, which are available on my Department’s website at the following link:
http:...

193. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of convicted sex offenders in prison here; the number of these that are for child sex offences; the number of convicted sex offenders that have completed their sentences; the number of these that were for child sex offences and are subject to reporting requirements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19735/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Sexual Offences Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that there were 375 prisoners in custody under sentence for offences of sexual nature on 3 May 2018. 
The Irish Prison Service does not receive age profile information on the victims of sex offenders therefore it is not possible to provide the information in the format requested by the Deputy. The Courts Service and An Garda Siochána have also confirmed that they do not collate offence data in ...

194. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there is a monitoring of international travel by sex offenders convicted in courts here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19736/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Sex Offenders Notification Requirements)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Convicted sex offenders are subject to monitoring and supervision in the community through the Garda Síochána and the Probation Service. The Sex Offenders Act 2001 provides for the monitoring of convicted sex offenders in the community. Under the 2001 Act a person who has been convicted of a sexual offence must notify the Garda Síochána of their name and address within seven days. The 2001 Act also provides for sex offenders orders ...

205. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the fact that almost 50% of the fleet in the Garda R District is either aged over ten years or has almost 300,000 kilometres on the vehicles; if extra vehicles will be allocated to this district; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20155/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Garda Transport Provision)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Government’s Capital Plan 2016 – 2021 provides €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet, to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit for purpose fleet and this is in addition to the investment of almost €30 million in the period 2013 to 2015. In total, in the period 2013 to 2017, almost €44 million has been invested in the fleet with some 2,000 vehicles coming on stream in that period.
As the Deputy will a...

349. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health if he will meet with representatives of an organisation (details supplied) and the pharmaceutical industry regarding access to new and effective medication for multiple sclerosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20039/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Medicinal Products Reimbursement)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.  The Act sets out criteria for decisions on reimbursement. As Minister for Health, I do not have any statutory power or function in relation to the reimbursement of medicines.
In line with the 2013 Act, if a company would like a medicine to be reimbursed through the community drug schemes, ...

361. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in CHO area 9 who received an electric powered wheelchair in each of the years 2015 to 2017, inclusive, and to date in 2018; the average waiting time to receive such a wheelchair in those years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20153/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Medical Aids and Appliances Applications Data)

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

408. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of times he meets the CEOs of the major State companies and agencies under the remit of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20076/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Ministerial Meetings)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): My Department’s remit includes complex policy areas, oversight of State regulation and service provision across key strategic services such as energy, environment, climate change and public broadcasting, as well as regulation of sectors such as mining and hydrocarbon exploration. In this context there are 6 commercial State bodies, 8 non-commercial State bodies and 3 regulators, under the aegis of my Department....

492. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the additional revenue that would be required in 2019 if the budget for the housing adaptation grants for older persons and persons with a disability increased by 25% or by 50%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20154/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Housing Adaptation Grant Expenditure)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I am conscious of the social benefit accruing from the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, particularly in terms of facilitating the continued independent living by older people and people with a disability in their own homes.  This is recognised in the Programme for Government and as a consequence, funding for these schemes has been increasing year on year since 2014.  
In 2018, a to...

8. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will report on the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2018-2021; if she will report on the achievements of the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2015-2017; the areas which require further resources and improvements in the context of poverty proofing budget 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18666/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Poverty Impact Assessment)

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: Last year was the 20th anniversary of our first national poverty strategy, introduced by the Minister’s predecessor, Proinsias de Rossa, when he was Minister for Social Welfare. The Minister has had a consultation on the new plan for 2018 to 2021. How does she evaluate the updated National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2015-2017, and what does she expect to feature in the new plan, given that 750,000 people are still living in consistent poverty?
 ...

16. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will report on an announcement by an organisation (details supplied) that it is receiving a high number of calls regarding food poverty among families; her plans to address the matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18667/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Food Poverty)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): At the outset, I would like to express my admiration for the work of the St Vincent de Paul in assisting vulnerable people in our society. My department works very closely with Vincent de Paul in addressing many issues in relation to vulnerable people, including food poverty. The Department administers the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), which provides food and basic consumer products to people mo...

243. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated first year and full year cost of increasing entitlement under the living alone allowance scheme by €5; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19357/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 243 to 245, inclusive, together.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Living Alone Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €52.2 million in 2019.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Fuel Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €49.6 million in 2019. 
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Disability Allowance by €20 per week ...

244. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated first year and full year cost of increasing entitlement under the fuel allowance scheme by €5; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19358/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 243 to 245, inclusive, together.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Living Alone Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €52.2 million in 2019.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Fuel Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €49.6 million in 2019. 
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Disability Allowance by €20 per week ...

245. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated first year and full year cost of increasing the entitlement under the disability allowance scheme by €20 per week; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19359/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 243 to 245, inclusive, together.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Living Alone Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €52.2 million in 2019.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Fuel Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €49.6 million in 2019. 
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Disability Allowance by €20 per week ...

246. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated first year cost and full year cost of increasing paternity leave by one, two, three and four weeks, respectively. (Question 19360/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Benefits Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 which was enacted in July 2016 introduced a new scheme of paternity leave and an associated social welfare payment of paternity benefit from the 1st September 2016. It is paid for 2 weeks and is available for any child born or adopted on or after 1 September 2016. The 2018 Estimates for my Department provide for expenditure of nearly €16 million for the paternity benefit sche...

48. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount of the recently announced €190 million SICAP 2018-2022 fund that will be made available to local community development committee projects in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18908/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme Funding)

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): On 20 April I launched the new Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, or SICAP.  This is a five year programme covering 2018 to 2022, and is a major investment to support the most disadvantaged individuals and communities in our society.
For 2018, the national allocation for the programme is €38 million.  I am confident that over the five year term of SICAP that my Department will, subject to the budgetary process ...

38. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of social work vacancies in Tusla by title; the number of children classified as high priority awaiting allocation of a social worker; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18546/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Child and Family Agency Staff)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 37, 38 and 45 together.
I acknowledge that the recruitment and retention of social workers is one of the biggest challenges for Tusla with only 200-250 graduating per year in a very competitive labour market. 
Working in child protection is one of the most difficult areas, and I fully appreciate the dedication of all professionals in Tusla who undertake this extremely important task.
I am fully s...

45. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the work she is undertaking alongside Tusla to address staff recruitment and retention issues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18545/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Child and Family Agency Staff)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 37, 38 and 45 together.
I acknowledge that the recruitment and retention of social workers is one of the biggest challenges for Tusla with only 200-250 graduating per year in a very competitive labour market. 
Working in child protection is one of the most difficult areas, and I fully appreciate the dedication of all professionals in Tusla who undertake this extremely important task.
I am fully s...

149. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) will no longer meet the threshold for an administrative principal from September 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18773/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - School Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school has been in touch with my office in relation to the matter raised. The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts is published annually on the Department website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September. 
The criteria for the appointment of an administrativ...

355. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of written notifications sent by the Road Safety Authority in 2015 to learner drivers for the offence of driving while unaccompanied informing them of the number of penalty points being added to their learner permit; the number of those notices that confirmed that the fixed charge notices was paid within the time limit; the number of notices that confirmed conviction in court of the offence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18630/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Road Traffic Offences Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 355 to 357, inclusive, together.
These statistics are within the remit of the Road Safety Authority, and I have forwarded this Parliamentary Question to them for direct reply. Please contact my office if a reply has not been received within 10 working days.
 ...

356. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of written notifications sent by the Road Safety Authority in 2016 to learner drivers for the offence of driving while unaccompanied informing them of the number of penalty points being added to their learner permit; the number of those notices that confirmed that the fixed charge notices was paid within the time limit; the number of notices that confirmed conviction in court of the offence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18631/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Road Traffic Offences Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 355 to 357, inclusive, together.
These statistics are within the remit of the Road Safety Authority, and I have forwarded this Parliamentary Question to them for direct reply. Please contact my office if a reply has not been received within 10 working days.
 ...