156. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to geo-engineering activity, for example, stratospheric aerosol geo-engineering, being conducted here; if there are plans to commence such activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2152/18 asked on 17 Jan 2018 - Air Pollution)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): There is no stratospheric aerosol geo engineering being conducted here, and I am not aware of any plans to commence such activity, or to examine its feasibility. I would add that there is no credible information or evidence that the trails from aircraft passing over Ireland are anything other than normal contrails, the appearance of which is known to vary according to atmospheric conditions, and which have no o...

63. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of extending the VRT rebate for electric vehicle purchase until 2019 to 2023, respectively. (Question 54080/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Tax Reliefs Costs)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 64 together.
As I informed the Deputy in the reply to PQ 50963/17 on 29 November 2017 Revenue does not have information to enable it provide an accurate forecast of the future growth of electric and hybrid vehicles. As such it is not possible to determine the cost of extending the VRT rebate to electric and hybrid vehicles until 2019 or beyond that year.
Revenue have estimated the cost of the Vehicle Registrat...

64. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of extending the VRT rebate for hybrid vehicle purchase until 2019 to 2023, respectively. (Question 54081/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Tax Reliefs Costs)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 64 together.
As I informed the Deputy in the reply to PQ 50963/17 on 29 November 2017 Revenue does not have information to enable it provide an accurate forecast of the future growth of electric and hybrid vehicles. As such it is not possible to determine the cost of extending the VRT rebate to electric and hybrid vehicles until 2019 or beyond that year.
Revenue have estimated the cost of the Vehicle Registrat...

325. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive cataract surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53542/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Hospital Appointments Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.
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593. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of extending the SEAI grant for electric vehicle purchase until 2019 to 2023, respectively. (Question 54078/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Electric Vehicle Grants)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 593 and 594 together. 
The electric vehicle purchase grant, introduced in April 2011, provides grant aid of up to €5,000 towards the purchase of a new Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). Other hybrid vehicles do not qualify for support under the scheme. 
From the introduction of the Scheme to the end of November 2017, grant support has b...

594. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of extending the SEAI grant for hybrid vehicle purchase until 2019 to 2023, respectively. (Question 54079/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Electric Vehicle Grants)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 593 and 594 together. 
The electric vehicle purchase grant, introduced in April 2011, provides grant aid of up to €5,000 towards the purchase of a new Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). Other hybrid vehicles do not qualify for support under the scheme. 
From the introduction of the Scheme to the end of November 2017, grant support has b...

595. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount that has been contributed to the green climate fund in 2017; and the amount that is pledged for 2018. (Question 54082/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Climate Change Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I refer to the reply to Question No. 397 of 29 November 2017. The position is unchanged. 
 ...

596. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the licence fee receipts collected in 2017 to date; the level of evasion that is currently estimated to occur; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54083/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Broadcasting Charge)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The total TV licence fee receipts to 30 November is €198m. This figure includes funding provided by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) of €48.8m in respect of free TV licences issued under the Household Benefits Scheme and receipts from An Post for direct licence sales of €149.2m. The total receipts for 2017 will not be known until Q1 2018 when final sales figures for the year a...

597. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount that has been allocated to residential energy efficiency programmes for 2018, by programme. (Question 54084/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Energy Efficiency)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): In Budget 2018, I secured €107m in capital funding for energy efficiency, an increase of over 40%. This capital increase is complemented by an increased current expenditure allocation that will allow the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to support the expansion of our highly successful energy efficiency schemes bringing the total allocation for energy efficiency schemes to €117m.
Of the €107m in c...

598. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount that has been budgeted for journalism bursaries for 2018; the number of bursaries that will be provided with this funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54085/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Broadcasting Legislation)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): There is currently no provision in the Broadcasting legislation for a bursary scheme for journalists and, as such, the issue of a 2018 budget does not arise. 
As the Deputy is aware, one of the amendments that I have proposed to the Broadcasting Act, 2009 is to amend the provisions of section 154 to allow for the creation of a new funding scheme that would allow the granting of bursaries to journalists in local ...

599. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to introduce measures to deal with the large volumes of packaging resulting from persons purchasing goods online from producers and retailers that fall outside of a scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54088/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - EU Directives)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Repak is the approved producer responsibility compliance scheme for packaging in Ireland and is tasked with meeting recovery and recycling targets established under the EU Packaging Directive (94/62/EC). This Directive is transposed by the European Union (Packaging) Regulations 2014. In accordance with these regulations any producer placing packaging on the Irish market is obliged to ensure that their waste pa...

600. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the use of external public relations firms employed by his Department per annum since coming into office, in tabular form; the external public relations firms used; the internal departmental policy with regard to employing external groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54089/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Public Relations Contracts Data)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 600 and 605 together. 
My Department’s remit includes complex policy areas, oversight of State regulation and service provision across key strategic services such as energy and public broadcasting, and regulation of sectors such as mining and hydrocarbon exploration. Given the technical complexity, economic significance and community interest in these areas, there is a requireme...

601. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the photography costs per annum for his Department since coming to office, inclusive of costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance, in tabular form; the occasions for which photographers were booked; the photographers used; the breakdown of costs associated with each occasion that a photographer was used; if there is a policy regarding the booking of photographers within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54090/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 601 and 604 together. 
The policy of selection and contracting of photography services for my Department is carried out as part of competitive procurement processes in line with Office of Government Procurement guidelines. Where possible, every effort is made to minimise costs
The following table sets out the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment photograp...

262. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) on a waiting list for over a year will have eye surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52658/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Hospital Appointments Status)

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

263. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will have surgery carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52662/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Hospital Appointments Status)

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

282. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health if an appointment for a person (details supplied) will be scheduled at the paediatric unit in University Hospital Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52756/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Hospital Appointments Administration)

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...

315. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will have eye surgery carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52852/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Hospital Appointments Status)

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

317. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive a date for a procedure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52855/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - 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 managin...

144. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be appointed to University Hospital Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52397/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - HSE Staff Recruitment)

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

69. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to introduce a new guarantee in order to ensure no child loses their place on board a school bus if they had been allocated a concessionary seat in either junior infants or first year of secondary school. (Question 51895/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - School Transport Provision)

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.
Currently over 114,000 children, including some 11,000 children with special educational needs, are being transported in over 4,500 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.
The purpose of the School Transport Scheme is, having re...

169. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive an appointment with the pain clinic in University Hospital Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52079/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Hospital Appointments Status)

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

208. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of post office closures in each year since 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52091/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Post Office Closures)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The information requested is an operational matter for the Board and management of An Post and not one in which I, as Minister, have a statutory function.
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254. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of the judicial review of An Bord Pleanála decision RL2969. (Question 52122/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Judicial Reviews)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): As neither the State, nor I as Minister, is a party to this particular judicial review, I am not in a position to indicate the present status of the case. 
Furthermore, under Section 30 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), I am statutorily precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to any case in which a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála, is, or may be involved.
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255. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the legal status of turbary rights; his views on whether they should be protected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52123/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Turbary Rights)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the legal status of turbary rights, as this would involve interpretation of law, which is ultimately a matter for the Courts.
The Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, is concerned with proper planning and sustainable development and does not interfere with other rights relating to land such as turbary rights.
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86. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí in each Garda station in County Clare as of 1 November 2017; the number of community gardaí in the division; and the number of Garda Reserve and new recruits assigned to the division since recruitment resumed in 2014. (Question 51645/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Garda Strength)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I should say at the outset that the distribution of Garda personnel is exclusively the statutory responsibility of the Garda Commissioner.
Notwithstanding the Commissioner’s responsibility for the distribution of Gardaí, I have provided for the record a breakdown, in tabular form, of the detailed information requested by the Deputy as of 31 October 2017, the latest date for which information is readily available.
The Garda strength of ...