357. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of written notifications sent by the Road Safety Authority in 2017 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 18632/18 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.
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10. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of his deliberations on the Welfare of Greyhounds (Amendment) Bill 2017; the way in which he will improve the welfare of greyhounds being exported in the interim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16267/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Greyhound Industry)

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: The Minister and Minister of State are hoping to introduce the greyhound industry (amendment) Bill shortly. It has undergone pre-legislative scrutiny and so forth, but there are rumours within the animal welfare community, including among the ISPCA, Dogs Trust and other organisations, that there will not be a white list of countries with low welfare standards to which the export of greyhounds will be forbidden.
As the Minister and Minister of State know, I introduced ...

22. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the Common Fisheries Policy and the challenges facing the fishing industry from March 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16268/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): As the Deputy is aware the biggest challenge facing the Irish fishing industry is Brexit which is the reason the sector has been a high priority for Ireland in the Brexit negotiations, and will continue to be so for the Government. I am determined to ensure that fisheries remain high on the Brexit agenda in the EU and that the interests of Ireland’s fishing communities are fully safeguarded.
My continued objective is to ensur...

60. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the representations he has made to the Israeli Government regarding its use of live ammunition on civilians involved in the six week great march of return which began on 30 March 2018 in Gaza; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18395/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Middle East Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I have been greatly concerned by the events in Gaza over recent weeks, and especially by the appalling number of serious injuries to and deaths of people engaged in demonstrations.
Every country is entitled to defend its border, but the use of force, and particularly deadly force, must only be used as a last resort and should be proportionate to a real and immediate threat. Israel is obviously vigilant when there are mas...

22. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the national policy of his Department regarding solar arrays, solar power and the contribution such power may make to sustainable energy generation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16263/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Renewable Energy Generation)

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: We have all noticed over the past year or two a major number of planning applications for solar power arrays, particularly in counties Wicklow and Limerick and in Fingal in north County Dublin. What is the current level of proposed solar array power generation? How does the Minister see it fitting into the renewable energy strategy? He announced photovoltaic, PV, grants for households in respect of solar microgeneration on rooftops and so on a couple of months ago. ...

56. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will report on the work and challenges faced by the national cyber security centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16264/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Cyber Security Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is located within my Department and serves to provide a range of cyber security services to owners of Government IT infrastructure and Critical National Infrastructure (CNI). The areas of online safety and cyber defence also fall under the remit of other Government Departments, including the Department of Defence and the Department of Justice and Equality.
Since its esta...

101. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a school (details supplied) is being closed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18285/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - School Closures)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Education provision on an inclusive basis is a fundamental principle of our education and training system. Ensuring every child is supported and given the opportunity to reach their full potential is a key priority for this Government and my Department is committed to improving educational outcomes for members of the Traveller and Roma communities.  
As the Deputy is aware the school referred to is a school with Special School designatio...

199. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the action he will take to ensure that tobacco companies make a contribution towards the clean up of waste in view of the fact that according to Dublin City Council, cigarette butts account for 60% of all street littler in Dublin city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18284/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Litter Pollution)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Litter Pollution Act 1997 provides the statutory framework to combat litter pollution. Under the Act, the primary management and enforcement responsibility rests with Local Authorities, who have a wide range of powers to tackle litter effectively, including “on-the-spot” fines of up to €150 or, on summary conviction, fines up to €4,000, for those who litter.
While rigorous Local Authority enforcement is a pa...

200. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department submitted an observation as part of the public consultation for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18288/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Nuclear Plants)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Ireland enjoys a close working relationship with the United Kingdom on radiological matters through a UK-Ireland Contact Group which meets biannually. The most recent meeting, held in Dublin on April 18, was attended by officials from my Department, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the United Kingdom’s Department of Business, Energy and Indu...

235. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason Ireland was excluded from the transboundary impact assessment relating to the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in view of the fact that Ireland is the nearest state to this power plant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18286/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Nuclear Plants)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The United Kingdom has informed relevant Government Departments - i.e. my Department and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment - of developments in relation to plans to build new nuclear power plants at sites judged as potentially suitable, including Hinkley Point C.  However, prior to planning permission being sought for the proposed Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Plant, the United Kingdom ...

236. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 239 of 18 April 2018, the residential units which are specifically wheelchair liveable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18135/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Building Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): My Department does not have details of residential units that are specifically wheelchair liveable.  My reply to Question No. 239 of 18 April 2018 sets out the requirements of Part M of the Building Regulations and indicates that these may be regarded as the statutory minimum level of provision. While Part M provides, inter alia, that new dwellings are visitable, the accompanying technical guid...

39. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when action No. 33 of the RSA Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020 (details supplied) will be enacted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16271/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Road Safety Strategy)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Action 33 of the Road Safety Strategy, for which the Road Safety Authority have lead responsibility, is that long term reliance on multiple learner permits should be reduced by introducing measures to ensure that learner permit holders sit a driving test before they can obtain a subsequent learner permit. 
I understand from the Road Safety Authority that an action plan has been developed to progress this initiative. However, increa...

46. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he is taking to improve direct ferry links to Europe in view of the imminence of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16270/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Ferry Services Provision)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Ireland is well served by ferry links to the Uk and continental Europe. These links are frequent and competitive, and are vital to facilitate trade and tourism.
All shipping companies servicing routes to and from Ireland operate as independent commercial companies. Any new initiatives to enhance shipping services must be market driven. My Department has no function in, nor finance for, the provision of ferry services.
Ports and ship...

174. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 641 of 16 January 2017, the further proposals that will be in place for Springboard in September 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16174/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Springboard Programme)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Springboard+ is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. An evaluation framework underpins the initiative with ongoing monitoring of its impact. Springboard+ forms part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, Action Plan for Education and the National Skills Strategy, which aims to increase the number of people in employment to 2.1 million by 2020. The programme is funded th...

267. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 280 of 23 January 2018 the number of other persons who were killed in the road traffic collisions involving an unaccompanied learner driver in the years concerned; the number of persons who were seriously injured in the road traffic collisions; if the report has been published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17469/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Road Traffic Accidents Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have again requested a report from An Garda Síochána in relation to the statistics sought by the Deputy, and I can assure the Deputy that I will be in contact with him directly on receipt of the report.
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275. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the post of head of training and development within An Garda Síochána will be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17655/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Garda Recruitment)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): It has not been possible to answer this question in the time available. I will revert to the Deputy in due course.
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276. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to set out the number of retirements in An Garda Síochána from the rank of superintendent up to Commissioner since 1 January 2017, by rank, role and location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17656/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Garda Retirements)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is  responsible for carrying on and managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána.
I have included in my reply for the Deputy’s information details of departures from An Garda Síochána for the ranks of Superintendent to Commissioner inclusive from 1 January 2017 to date, as provided to me by the Garda authorities. These figures inc...

288. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount collected by the Criminal Assets Bureau in 2017 and to date in 2018; the purpose these funds were used for when returned to the Exchequer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17866/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Criminal Assets Bureau)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Section 21 of the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996 requires the Bureau, through the Garda Commissioner, to provide a report of its activities each year to the Minister for Justice and Equality who is then required to lay copies of the report before each House of the Oireachtas.  The Annual Reports, including the most recent one for 2016 are available in the Oireachtas library and on the website of An Garda Síochána and my own Department...

388. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of inpatients and outpatients who did not attend at Beaumont Hospital in 2016, 2017, and to date in 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17657/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Hospitals Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.
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516. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 1295 of 17 April 2018, the follow-up that has taken place to retrieve licences from the 281 learner drivers who did not surrender their licences; the way in which these licences have been taken from the disqualified drivers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17861/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Driver Licences)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The policy and management of the surrendering of driving licences is the responsibility of the Road Safety Authority. In light of the RSA’s responsibility in the matters raised, I have referred the Deputy’s question to the Authority for a more detailed reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.
 ...

517. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 1295 of 17 April 2018, if any of the 544 learner drivers were subsequently involved in a road traffic collision following their disqualification; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17862/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Driver Licences)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The information requested by the Deputy is not available on the National Vehicle and Driver File, as no details in relation to traffic collisions are provided or recorded on the database.
 ...

518. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 1295 of 17 April 2018, the procedure to access the licences which were not surrendered; his plans for improvement in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17863/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Driver Licences)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The policy and management of the surrendering of driving licences is the responsibility of the Road Safety Authority. I have referred the Deputy’s question to the Authority for a more detailed reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.
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540. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if Tusla will conduct a case review of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17548/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Child and Family Agency)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I can advise the Deputy that I am aware of this case. While it is not appropriate for me to comment on individual cases, I have written to Tusla and asked them to give the case the appropriate attention.
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543. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the percentage of the out-of-hours budgets for social work services that were allocated to north County Dublin in each of the years from 2015 to 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17658/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Child and Family Agency Services)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, is responsible for out-of-hours social work services for children and young adults. As the distribution of funds between geographical areas is an operational issue, I have asked Tusla to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.
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19. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health his plans to establish a national co-ordinated helpline and clearly publicised nationwide professional supports for persons with mental health issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16234/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Mental Health Services Administration)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Improving access to mental health services is a key priority for this government. At present there are a number of voluntary and non-governmental organisations being supported by the HSE that are providing mental health support to the public via the telephone, internet or text message.
In December 2017, I published the recommendations of the National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health. These included recommendations to provide active...