66. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to meet formally with the Polish Foreign Minister, Mr. Jacek Czaputowicz, to discuss the Middle East peace process, Brexit and EU relations with South Korea; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20540/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Ministerial Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I had a useful bilateral meeting with my Polish counterpart, Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, in the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 19th March last. We discussed a number of issues including bilateral relations and Brexit. I continue to have regular engagements with my Foreign Ministerial colleagues from other EU Member States including at the monthly Foreign Affairs Council meetings, but I don...

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 ...

68. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on whether it is now time to examine the possibility of requiring Israeli citizens who reside in illegal settlements to undergo the same visa application process as that which Palestinians are subject to in order to enter here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20762/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Visa Applications)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The determination of visa requirements is primarily a matter for the Minister for Justice and Equality. I understand however that the existence of a visa requirement is dependent on the citizenship and travel document held by the traveller, and not on their home address.
 ...

69. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the recent visit of Mr. Michel Barnier here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20766/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Brexit Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The EU’s Chief Negotiator for the Article 50 negotiations, Michel Barnier, attended the All-Island Civic Dialogue in Dundalk on 30 April. Mr Barnier’s visit was yet another demonstration of the EU’s continued steadfast support for Ireland and commitment to addressing our specific concerns in the Brexit negotiations.
Mr Barnier delivered the keynote address to the All-Island Civic Dialogue and met with a range of individu...

70. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on recent meetings which he has had with his UK counterpart regarding Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20767/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Brexit Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): In November 2017, I welcomed UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson MP, for his first visit to Ireland since being appointed to the position. A number of areas of mutual foreign policy interest were discussed, including the Middle East and Africa, in addition to the strong British-Irish bilateral relationship and how this relationship can be strengthened in the future. Although the For...

71. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the Departments which have conducted and published Brexit sectoral response plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20768/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Brexit Data)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Co-ordination of the whole-of-Government response to Brexit is being taken forward through the cross-Departmental coordination structures chaired by my Department. Contingency planning for a no-deal or worst-case outcome, bringing together the detailed work being undertaken by individual Ministers and their Departments on issues within their policy remit, is now well advanced. Its focus is on the immediate regulatory and...

84. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way in which an Irish citizen can apply to the Irish Embassy in the United States of America for a guided tour of the White House, Washington DC in September 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20251/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Consular Services Provision)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Irish citizens who are visiting Washington, D.C., and who would like to visit the White House should contact the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, D.C., at least 21 days before the date of their arrival, supplying their full names (as they appear on their passports) and country of citizenship for each person requesting a tour. The maximum number of visitors that can be accommodated in a visit application is 5.
Please no...

85. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has sought a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference under the Good Friday Agreement. (Question 19725/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Government has consistently affirmed our unwavering commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and determination, as co-guarantor of the Agreement, to secure the effective operation of all of its institutions. To this end, over the course of many months, we have been working tirelessly in partnership with the British Government to support and facilitate the parties in their efforts to form a Northern Ireland Executive....

86. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the capital allocation across his Department in each of the years, 2018 to 2022. (Question 20451/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Capital Expenditure Programme)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 86 to 88, inclusive, together.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has a capital allocation in the 2018 Revised Estimates of €13 million across its two Votes (Vote 27 - International Co-operation and Vote 28 - Foreign Affairs and Trade).
Under the National Development Plan 2018 - 2027, the Department will have capital allocations, across its two Votes, as follows:
2019 - ...

87. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his Department’s capital allocation for projects underway and projects tendered or committed to spending contractually. (Question 20468/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Capital Expenditure Programme)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 86 to 88, inclusive, together.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has a capital allocation in the 2018 Revised Estimates of €13 million across its two Votes (Vote 27 - International Co-operation and Vote 28 - Foreign Affairs and Trade).
Under the National Development Plan 2018 - 2027, the Department will have capital allocations, across its two Votes, as follows:
2019 - ...

88. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his Department’s capital allocation in each of the years 2018 to 2022 disaggregated according to capital allocated to projects underway, projects contractually committed to and projects yet to be initiated. (Question 20485/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Capital Expenditure Programme)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 86 to 88, inclusive, together.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has a capital allocation in the 2018 Revised Estimates of €13 million across its two Votes (Vote 27 - International Co-operation and Vote 28 - Foreign Affairs and Trade).
Under the National Development Plan 2018 - 2027, the Department will have capital allocations, across its two Votes, as follows:
2019 - ...

102. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he or officials in his Department met the British Minister for the Cabinet Office, Mr. David Lidington, when he visited Dublin. (Question 19620/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Ministerial Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I met with UK Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington, during his visit to Dublin in April. As the Minister for the Cabinet Office often deputises for the Prime Minister, it is appropriate for me to routinely meet Minister Lidington to discuss issues of importance to both Governments. 
Although the Minister for the Cabinet Office does not have lead responsibility for Brexit, his visit to Dublin, and subseque...

104. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if Mr. Michel Barnier elaborated on the scope of the alignment he referred to in his speech in the context of the Border when they met on 30 April 2018. (Question 19988/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Brexit Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 and 108 together.
The Taoiseach and I met with Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator for the Article 50 negotiations, on 30 April in advance of his address to the All-Island Civic Dialogue. Our meeting offered an opportunity to take stock of the current state of play in the negotiations on both the future relationship and the draft Withdrawal Agreement, including progress on the ...

105. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings; and if he or his officials have held meetings recently on the matter. (Question 19990/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Dublin-Monaghan Bombings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Dealing with long-outstanding issues relating to the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland are of the utmost importance to the Government. 
The Programme for a Partnership Government highlights this priority, with specific reference to implementation of the All-Party Dáil motions relating to the Dublin-Monaghan bombings. 
The All-Party motion on the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings that was adopted by the Dáil on 25...

106. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the Syria Donor Conference; the measures Ireland is undertaking to press EU and UN member states to pursue a full diplomatic resolution to the Syrian conflict and increase humanitarian assistance to displaced Syrians who require better solutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20160/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Syrian Conflict)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Ireland has consistently been a strong donor to the victims of the Syria crisis. At the Second Brussels Conference for Syria and the Region, Ireland pledged €25 million in humanitarian support for 2018. This brings Ireland’s support since 2012 to over €100 million – our largest ever response to a single crisis. Our funding provides supports to those in need inside Syria, as well as Syrian refugees and vuln...

107. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if it will be October 2018 before a possible deal will be negotiated on Brexit; and the way in which it will be applied to the Border. (Question 19729/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 103 and 107 together. 
Following on from the March European Council, the EU and UK agreed to five additional formal rounds of negotiations between April and the next European Council in June. These negotiations are focused on all outstanding issues in the draft Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as the future relationship.
The UK has ag...

108. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he spoke with Mr. Michel Barnier regarding the way in which total alignment would work after Brexit in March 2019. (Question 19731/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Brexit Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 and 108 together.
The Taoiseach and I met with Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator for the Article 50 negotiations, on 30 April in advance of his address to the All-Island Civic Dialogue. Our meeting offered an opportunity to take stock of the current state of play in the negotiations on both the future relationship and the draft Withdrawal Agreement, including progress on the ...

52. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied); if a public services card is a requirement in order to make an application for a renewal passport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19339/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Passport Applications Administration)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Since 29 March 2016, the Passport Service has required all first time passport applicants, aged 18 and above, who are resident in Ireland to hold a valid Public Services Card (PSC). This requirement also applies to the small number of adult passport applicants, whose passport was issued before 1 January 2005 and has been reported as lost, stolen or damaged and those whose passport expired more than five years ago. If a...

53. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the statement from a group (details supplied) in which the group apologised for the hurt caused to victims of its armed actions; his views on whether the statement from the group is an important contribution to peace and reconciliation; his plans to request the Spanish and French Governments to respond positively to this statement and to help build a fair, comprehensive and irreversible peace in the Basque country and to deal with the issue of political prisoners. (Question 19381/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Foreign Conflicts)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I have noted the public statement from ETA on 20 April and the response of the Spanish authorities. I sincerely hope that the conflict is at an end, and that the people of Spain are never subjected to such violence again.
 ...

54. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact the deadline for appealing a 20 March 2018 decision from a chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, regarding the torture of persons (details supplied); and if he will support the request of these persons to appeal the 20 March 2018 decision to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR. (Question 19382/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I refer the Deputy to my answer to question no. 70, Ref No: 17815/18, on Tuesday, 1 May 2018, which is repeated here.
On 20 March last, the European Court of Human Rights issued its judgment on the Government’s application for a revision of the ruling in the 1978 Ireland v UK case. The ruling is being fully considered by the Government. It is important to note that, although the Court dismissed the Government’s applic...

55. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that four men in Bahrain were recently sentenced to death by a Bahraini military court on charges of trying to kill the head of the country’s armed forces (details supplied); if he will raise the cases with his Bahraini counterpart; and if he will request their release and for Bahrain to end the use of capital punishment. (Question 19383/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the case raised by the Deputy, and I am concerned by reports of the conduct of this trial, and by the original death sentences imposed.
I am also aware that the death sentences of the four men in question were commuted by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa last week and that life sentences have now been imposed. Ireland condemns the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, and I welcome that these death se...

56. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the amount spent on facilitating departmental members’ attendance at social media training conferences or other external events. (Question 19398/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Departmental Staff Training)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): As the Deputy has not specified a timeframe for this question I can confirm that during the most recent financial years 2016 and 2017 my Department has not spent any money on facilitating departmental staff attendance at social media training conferences or other social media-related external events. From time to time the Department’s eighty missions overseas may incur modest miscellaneous expenses in relation to attenda...

79. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has raised with the Indian authorities and/or at the European Foreign Affairs Council the recent report by an organisation (details supplied) of the persecution of Christians in India; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19179/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Religious Persecution)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I have received the Church in Chains report entitled “Official India: On the side of the militants”, setting out the details of a number of violent incidents targeting Christian communities in India. The agenda for the next EU Foreign Affairs Council does not include India as a topic for discussion. A suitable opportunity to raise such concerns is in the context of the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue in which the EU and ...

80. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the progress to date in implementing legislative measures as required under the 2014 Stormont House Agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19181/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Northern Ireland)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Dealing with long-outstanding issues relating to the legacy of the Troubles are of the utmost importance to the Government. The Programme for a Partnership Government highlights this priority, including a specific reference to implementation of the institutional framework on the past, as provided for under the Stormont House Agreement 2014. In the discussions at Stormont Castle on outstanding commitments that took pla...

81. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way in which his response to Parliamentary Question No. 110 of 24 April 2018, stating that the OPCW investigation had no role in attributing the origin or ascertaining blame for the poisoning in Salisbury had a bearing on the State’s decision to expel a Russian diplomat as stated in his reply to Parliamentary Question No. 188 of 17 April 2018. (Question 19208/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Diplomatic Representation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The OPCW was requested by the UK to independently verify the toxic chemical used in the Salisbury attack. The OPCW was not investigating the circumstances of the poisoning or responsibility for it.
Following on from extensive briefings by the United Kingdom at senior official level and to EU Foreign Ministers, UK Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the European Council on 22 March 2018. She made a compelling case in sup...