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 ...

243. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when she last met and will next neet a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16963/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Ministerial Meetings)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I have met the person concerned on a number of occasions since I was appointed as Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and both myself and my officials maintain ongoing contact with Chairs and Directors of bodies under the aegis of my Department as appropriate.
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304. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the details of the annual honorarium awarded to the Irish Fiction Laureate and the Laureate na nÓg. (Question 13469/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Arts Council Grants)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The Laureate for Irish Fiction 2018–2021 is Sebastian Barry and the Laureate na nÓg 2016-2018 is PJ Lynch. These honoraria are a matter for the Arts Council which under the Arts Act 2003 is statutorily independent in relation to its funding and executive decisions. I have no function in the selection of or awards in this matter.
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36. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of the research being conducted to digitally restore the contents of the Irish Public Record Office which was destroyed at the outset of the Civil War; the extent to which such records can be gathered again and restored; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9847/18 asked on 28 Feb 2018 - Digital Archiving)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Trinity College Dublin has commenced a project in conjunction with a number of archival partners including the National Archives here in Ireland; the National Archives (UK); the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Irish Manuscripts Commission to digitally restore the layout and make-up of the Record Treasury of the Public Records Office that was destroyed at the commencement of the Irish Civil war in 1922. T...

71. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of hares that died while in captivity by coursing clubs in each of the years 2015 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9844/18 asked on 28 Feb 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 2015/16 and 2016/17 hare coursing seasons the number of hares that died at coursing meetings was 36 and 26 respectively.  Based on returns received by my Department to date from the Irish Coursing Club on behalf of its affiliated clubs and reports by officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department, 20 hares have ...

787. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of staff in the National Parks and Wildlife Service; the numbers involved in monitoring coursing meetings; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9585/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - National Parks and Wildlife Service Data)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I am advised that, of my Department’s total staff, 325 work in the National Parks and Wildlife Service, NPWS. In addition, my Department takes on approximately 70 seasonal staff at the National Parks during the busy tourist season. 
Officials of my Department monitor compliance with the Wildlife Acts across the country on an ongoing basis and carry out patrols and site visits to enforce the various provisions of the Acts,...

319. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Question No. 357 of 31 January 2018, the number of the 20,164 individual archaeological excavation licences issued by the National Monuments Service under section 26 of the National Monuments Act 1930 since 1995 that resulted in the discovery of remains or features of archaeological interest; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6232/18 asked on 07 Feb 2018 - Archaeological Sites)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Data relating to the numbers of discoveries of remains or features of archaeological interest arising solely from archaeological excavations licensed under Section 26 of the National Monuments Acts 1930 is not compiled or categorized separately by my Department. New archaeological discoveries come to light from a number of sources, including excavations. The total of recorded archaeological sites and monuments now numbe...

357. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of archaeological licences which have been issued by her Department since 1995; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4674/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Archaeological Sites)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The total number of individual archaeological excavation licences issued by the National Monuments Service of my Department under Section 26 of the National Monuments Act 1930 since 1995 to date amounts to 20,164.
The licensing of  archaeological excavations is an important function of the National Monuments Service in the protection of archaeological sites and monuments where there is a risk of damage from development-le...

655. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she granted permission to a club (details supplied) to hold a second day of hare coursing trials at a location in January 2018; if so, the grounds on which it was granted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4008/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Hare Coursing)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): In October 201, my Department issued a revised licence in relation to coursing under Section 34 of the Wildlife Act 1976 (as amended) to the Club, which included new and revised conditions relating to the reporting of coursing trials. One such condition stipulates that an individual coursing club may hold no more than one trial session but that in exceptional circumstances may apply to hold a second day’s trial.
My Depar...

656. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the purpose of hare coursing trials; the monitoring of such trials that are taking place; if participants are paying a fee to take part in these trials; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4009/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Hare Coursing Data)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): My Department issued the Irish Coursing Club with a revised licence in October 2017 on behalf of its affiliated clubs which included new and revised conditions relating to the reporting of coursing trials.
It is my understanding that it is normal practice for some coursing clubs to “trial” or familiarise hares with the course in advance of coursing meetings. This involves releasing the hares from the same location from ...

657. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the consequences of coursing clubs not adhering to their licence conditions; the number of such breaches recorded in 2016 and 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4010/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Hare Coursing Regulation)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): During the 2015/16 coursing season, my Department sanctioned two coursing clubs (Thurles, Co. Tipperary and Doon, Co. Limerick) due to non-co-operation with Departmental officials by reducing the number of courses run during their meetings. Doon coursing club subsequently cancelled the holding of their meeting.
During the 2016/17 coursing season my Department published three reports on incidents at the Rathdowney, Co. Lao...

1937. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when section 36 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 will be commenced; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1646/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Commencement of Legislation)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Section 36 provides for licensing of certain hunting activities on the part of commercial shoot operators. There are no immediate plans to commence this section but the matter is kept under on-going review.
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553. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the sanctions that will be placed on a coursing club (details supplied) for allegedly contravening the terms of its licence by capturing wild hares with visible signs of ill-health that were subsequently coursed and died; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52672/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Hare Coursing Regulation)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): I am aware of the reports of National Parks and Wildlife Service officers of my Department in relation to coursing meetings monitored this year.  All issues arising from such reports will be reviewed and considered in the context of licences for the 2018/19 coursing season.
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554. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of hares dying at coursing clubs, per club, in each of the years 2015 and 2016 and to date in 2017; 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 52673/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - 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 2015/16 and 2016/17 hare coursing seasons the number of hares that died at coursing meetings was 36 and 26 respectively. Based on returns received by my Department to date from the Irish Coursing Club on behalf of its affiliated clubs and reports by officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department, 13 hares have ...

555. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans for improving the monitoring and invigilation of coursing clubs in 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52674/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Hare Coursing Regulation)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): While my Department does not have resources to provide 100% attendance at coursing meetings, it endeavours to attend as many meetings as possible having regard to the various demands on its staffing complement. During the 2016/17 coursing season, conservation rangers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of my Department attended seventeen coursing meetings and the same number of meetings was monitored during...

64. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of hare coursing meetings in areas (details supplied) attended by National Parks and Wildlife Service personnel in 2015, 2016 and to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47711/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Hare Coursing)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The hare coursing meetings referred to by the Deputy were not monitored by officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of my Department in either 2015 or 2016 owing to resource constraints.   Trials in one of the areas were monitored by the NPWS on Saturday 4 November, 2017. The meetings for both clubs for 2017 have not taken place.     Where resources allow, local NPWS conservation rangers and staff att...

578. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the monitoring that has been carried out in respect of the Irish hare in the past ten years since the survey of 2006-07; the reports her Department has made to the European Commission in the same period regarding the population status of the Irish hare; the summary conclusions these included regarding the species’ health; if this report will be brought before Dáil Éireann; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45912/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Wildlife Conservation)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The EU Habitats Directive requires Ireland to make a detailed report every six years on the conservation status of all listed species, including the hare. Ireland’s last report in 2013 included a comprehensive assessment of the range, population status, habitat and threats for the Irish hare. The report can be downloaded at https://www.npws.ie/article-17-reports-0/article-17-reports-2013. The next report is due in 2019....

612. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 149 and 150 of 5 July 2017 and 245 and 246 of 26 September 2017, if the report is now to hand; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47079/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Film Industry)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The report referred to by the Deputy was recently published by the Irish Film Board (IFB) on its website at https://www.irishfilmboard.ie/news/bai-and-ifb-report-calls-for-government-policy-on-training-for-the-film-tel.
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202. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the estimated full-year cost of recruiting an extra 25 full-time conservation rangers for the National Parks and Wildlife Service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45020/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - National Parks and Wildlife Service Staff)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I am advised that, based on current pay levels, the estimated cost of recruiting an additional 25 Conservation Rangers for the National Parks and Wildlife Service would be €638,086.
My Department is currently engaged with the Public Appointments Service in recruiting Conservation Rangers and I am further advised that 11 Rangers have been appointed so far this year.
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253. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of hares coursed in 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017, by county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42564/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Hare Coursing)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The total number of courses run during the years in question were as follows: 8,811 during the 2014/15 season; 8,408 during the 2015/16 season and 8,278 during the 2016/17 season. To date in the 2017/18 season, four coursing meetings have been held and I am awaiting reports on these meetings. 
A more detailed breakdown of the statistics is available on the website of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Depa...

254. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of staff assigned to monitor hare coursing in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42565/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Hare Coursing)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Of the total Departmental staff, 330 work in the area of natural heritage in the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of my Department. In addition, my Department takes on about 70 seasonal staff during the year to assist the NPWS. Frontline conservation Rangers are deployed through a regional structure and assignments are determined in light of Departmental business needs and priorities. 
 Staffing levels acro...

122. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of staff employed in the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of inspections undertaken by the NPWS regarding wildlife in the same years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40833/17 asked on 27 Sep 2017 - National Parks and Wildlife Service Data)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The total number of staff employed in the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of my Department in each of the years requested by the Deputy is as outlined in the table. In addition, my Department recruits a number of seasonal staff each year to meet demand during the busy tourist season at the National Parks. 
 Year Number of Staff 2014 295 2015 276 2016 283 2017 (September) 307 

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123. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will report on the monitoring of coursing trials around the country; if breaches of trial rules have taken place in 2015 and 2016 and to date in 2017; the repercussions for breach of a club’s rules (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40834/17 asked on 27 Sep 2017 - Hare Coursing Regulation)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Hare coursing meetings are monitored, as resources allow, by conservation rangers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department in order to ensure compliance with the conditions of the licences. Available resources precluded to monitoring of coursing trials in 2015 or 2016. One such trial has already been monitored in 2017. A report on that trial is currently being finalised and will be published by my D...

245. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 149 and 150 of 5 July 2017, the location in which this register is maintained; the way in which the trainees receive their ultimate qualifications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40668/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Film Industry)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 245 and 246 together.
The Irish Film Board is responsible for the strategic development of the Irish film, television and animation industry training through Screen Training Ireland. These are operational matters for the Irish Film Board and Screen Training Ireland and I have requested  the Board to reply to the Deputy directly on these matters. 
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