Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire

Wednesday, 20 May 1992

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 419 No. 10

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Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bord Fáilte Staff.

Was asked: if she has satisfied herself with the arrangements made by Bord Fáilte regarding the terms of employment for all of their staff who work at home and abroad; if she has any plans to enter into negotiat...More Button

I consider that the terms of employment for staff of State companies located abroad should provide for regular rotation of such staff in order to ensure that they do not lose contact with their home b...More Button

I have asked the two semi-State companies to which the Deputy is probably referring, Bord Fáilte and Aer Lingus, to provide details to my Department and myself in relation to the staff located abroad,...More Button

I am not sure it would be necessary to give them a financial reward. Rotating staff, such as is done by the IDA on a regular basis and is being done consistently by the Department of Foreign Affairs i...More Button

As the Deputy is aware the Government decide towards the end of each year the budget requirements of each Department and that includes semi-State bodies under the aegis of those Departments. It is a m...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Air Freight Services.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the proposal at the recent IMI conference for an air bridge between Ireland and continental Europe; whether the Government have given any consideration to this propo...More Button

Was asked: if she has recently made a submission to the EC seeking economic aid to help subsidise air and sea freight services with a view to helping Irish exports compete; if so, if she will outline the respons...More Button

I propose to take Question Nos. 3 and 26 together. On 25 February, I gave the House details and progress to that date of Ireland's application for EC funding for mobile assets. On 5 March, discussions...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that since the last time I was involved in Question Time the Government have been pushing very strongly for EC assistance for mobile assets. We have to fight that case, we los...More Button

The Deputy can be assured the Government are pursuing every avenue to try to reduce costs to Irish industry to enable it provide more jobs. We must be aware of what the competition directorate of the ...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Radio and Television Commission.

Was asked: whether she has requested the Independent Radio and Television Commission to examine the Broadcasting Act, 1990, with a view to possible changes; if so, whether she has received any recommendations fr...More Button

Was asked: if she has received any submission from the Independent Radio and Television Commission regarding proposals for the restructuring of Irish broadcasting; if she will outline the main points of any such...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 and 8 together. In the course of my recent meeting with the Independent Radio and Television Commission I suggested that it would be useful in the context of my revi...More Button

In the context of my review of broadcasting, I have been meeting all the different groups involved in broadcasting. In that context I would think that the Independent Radio and Television Commission w...More Button

I would, and that is why I have set out on the trail of talking to all of the people who are very anxious to talk to me and make their points of view known. I accept that the capping and the difficult...More Button

I hope that, with the support of the Deputy and his party and that of the other parties in the House, we will get that through the House very quickly.More Button

I would remind Deputy Currie that the question he asked was if I had put a time limit on the Independent Radio and Television Commission within which it must make its submission to me and the answer t...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - EC Green Paper on Postal Services.

Was asked: if she will outline the information available to her Department on the likely content of the EC Green Paper on the Postal Services; if she will further outline the implications for An Post; and if she...More Button

The European Commission adopted its Green Paper on the development of the Single Market for Postal Services on 13 May 1992. The Green Paper is a discussion document, the purpose of which is to stimul...More Button

We have only got the proposals of the commission in the last couple of days. It is too early yet to say what the precise implications are for An Post but there are serious implications for its future....More Button

The Green Paper was adopted only last Wednesday by the commission. The reports in the newspapers that Deputy Byrne refers to contained only leaked proposals in relation to this issue which were from t...More Button

Given the proposals of the European Commission it is imperative that An Post be in a healthy financial state if they are to compete with the competition post-1992. There is a separate question regardi...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Railway Rolling Stock.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the inadequacy of the existing rolling stock and the effects of same on the quality of service of Iarnród Éireann; and if she will make a statement on the general le...More Button

The type and quality of rolling stock used on particular rail lines and the extent and quality of rail services are matters falling entirely within the day to day administration of Iarnród Éireann. I ...More Button

I do not make decisions in relation to the type and quality of carriage used by CIE; that is a matter for the company themselves and not one in which any Minister should get involved. The company and ...More Button

As I said, between 1980 and 1991 £940 million was made available in direct State support to the company.More Button

In addition, CIE have invested almost £230 million in the rail network over the same period.More Button

The Exchequer subvention for CIE in 1992 amounts to £108 million, £90 million of which is being allocted to Irish Rail. The public capital programme for 1992 provides for capital expenditure of £17.8 ...More Button

——signalling equipment and other essential rail related infrastructures.More Button

I am giving the answer.More Button

In response to the first part of the Deputy's question, I do not recall the Deputy making any complaint to me in relation to the service provided——More Button

——but I can say that his constituents and my own have made complaints. Each time a complaint has been made I have asked Iarnród Éireann to investigate it and received a response for the customer which...More Button

It is important that everyone accepts that our first priority is to guarantee the safety of passengers, so far as Iarnród Éireann are concerned. I would not like anyone to take it from the Deputy's su...More Button

We will deal with a question in a little while which underlines the co-operation that exists between the authorities here and in Northern Ireland.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Shannon Airport Overflying.

Was asked: if she will outline the procedures in her Department governing requests for permission for trans-atlantic flights to overfly Shannon when there are adverse weather conditions there; if her attention h...More Button

Thank you.More Button

There are two anxieties in this regard, one on the east coast and the other on the west coast and they are not compatible.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Commuter Services.

Was asked: whether Iarnród Éireann have brought to her attention plans for an expansion/introduction of commuter services on the Leixlip, Maynooth, Kilcock, Enfield line; whether detailed plans and costs have be...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, there is a strategic study into the future of the railways being carried out by CIE in consultation with my Department. In fact, a subsequent question tabled will deal specific...More Button

The application for EC funding and the discussions going on in relation to EC funding concerned, in the first instance, the Dublin-Belfast rail line. As the Deputy is aware, the outcome was very succe...More Button

No decisions have yet been made as to where the new 17 rail cars will be allocated when they arrive.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Tourism Development Proposals.

Was asked: whether she has made a presentation to the European Commission as to the Government's proposals on the future development of the tourism industry in the European Community; and the way in which these ...More Button

Was asked: if she will outline her proposals for the expansion of rural tourism projects, under the proposed 1994-99 tourism Structural Funds programme.More Button

I propose to take Question Nos. 10 and 24 together. The post-1993 Community budgetary position is currently under negotiation at EC Council level. The outcome will, among other things, determine the t...More Button

The answer to the first part of the question is that no tourism council meetings have been held since I became Minister. The second question is primarily a matter for the commission itself. The Presid...More Button

As the Deputy knows, there is in existence an operational programme for tourism that will finish its term in 1994. In the context of the Delors II package, which was agreed only on 11 February, the d...More Button

In relation to the second part of the Deputy's question concerning rural tourism, the finance for agri-tourism came from the Agricultural Directorate in Europe to the Department of Agriculture and Fo...More Button

I do not accept that there is a stop-go policy.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Departmental Entertainment Expenses.

Was asked: the departmental budget for entertainment expenses for each of the last five years together with the estimated figure for 1992; and if she will make a statement on the trend indicated.More Button

The information sought by the Deputy is set out in a tabular statement which I propose to have circulated in the Official Report. Expenditure on entertainment has varied from year to year depending pa...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin-Belfast Rail Link.

Was asked: if her Department have yet completed their consideration of the consultants report on the costs and benefits of the proposed upgrading of the Dublin-Belfast rail line; whether any decision has yet bee...More Button

Was asked: if, in regard to the announcement made following the meeting of the Anglo-Irish Conference on 27 April, regarding the upgrading of the Dublin-Belfast rail line, she will outline the total budget for t...More Button

Was asked: if she will give details of the recent agreement between the EC authorities and the Irish and British Governments in upgrading the Belfast-Dublin railway line; and if she will outline (a) the total co...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 12, 22 and 23 together. Arising from the consultant's report on the Dublin-Belfast line, which was commissioned by my Department, the Northern Ireland Authorities and ...More Button

All of us would share the distress the Deputy has outlined in relation to the many times the railway line from Dublin to Belfast has had to be closed. This is an issue which has been raised consistent...More Button

Of the £42 million the European Community is funding 75 per cent of the cost, the balance being financed by Iarnród Éireann. I am assured that five years is the normal length of time required to under...More Button

The decision on the part of both Governments indicates that they will not be influenced in any way by the activities of paramilitaries from one side or other of the community. The Deputy will apprecia...More Button

Unfortunately I do not have that type of detail in the back-up material I have with me here but I shall be delighted to provide it for Deputy Ahern.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - An Post Management.

Was asked: if she will outline her views on the performance of the management of An Post in regard to industrial relations in the company, and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My objective is to ensure that An Post are in a position to provide an efficient, cost-effective postal service in an industrial relations environment free from disruption of services. The conduct of ...More Button

As I said initially, I am on the side of the national interest and the taxpayer. That is the side I have to be on: as Minister I have no choice in this. I have spoken separately to the Communications ...More Button

The policy of recruiting part-time and temporary staff, the issue causing most pain in this dispute, is already being operated by An Post throughout the provinces. Therefore, it is not true to say the...More Button

This goes back to my answer to the previous supplementary. An Post are not introducing anything new in their proposals to employ part-time and temporary staff. Part-time and temporary staff are employ...More Button

The best way of dealing with this dispute is for both sides to sit down in a reasonable manner around the negotiating table of the Labour Relations Commission.More Button

If both sides were prepared to do that and really negotiate then I believe this dispute could be resolved.More Button

That matter is being considered in the context of the committee set up by the Government to deal with all operational matters in relation to the European Union Treaty referendum on 18 June.More Button

I should not like to speculate as to whether or not I have a soul but I hope anyone who knows me would appreciate that I have a heart.More Button

Thank you, Deputy. I have said several times that I have no wish to be painted as being in a hardline corner. I have said repeatedly — I said it to the Communications Workers' Union in Tralee and the ...More Button

It is unfair for people to say that something new is being done in this instance that it not being done anywhere else.More Button

The facts are that temporary and part-time workers are employed by An Post in all provinces. What I am saying is that I am not the one who is going to be able to resolve this dispute. All I can do is ...More Button

No.More Button

No, I merely outlined to the Deputy the arrangements put in place by every Government at a time of referendum, that is that there is always an operational committee who look at the day to day operatio...More Button

Written Answers. - Pilot Training School.

Was asked: if she will elaborate on the reported comments of the Taoiseach at the IMI Conference in Killarney, County Kerry relating to the establishment of a pilot training school at Shannon Airport.More Button

I presume the Deputy is referring to the reported comments by the Taoiseach relating to the possibility of an air academy being established at Shannon. The University of Limerick has a long-standing i...More Button

Written Answers. - Tourism Task Force Report.

Was asked: when she expects to have the report from the Tourism Task Force; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As I informed the House on 24 March 1992, the task force are working on a series of reports on key issues in the tourism industry, and I now understand that they expect to submit the first of these re...More Button

Written Answers. - EC Structural Funds.

Was asked: if she will confirm that Ireland has formally requested the EC Commission to reform the terms and conditions of EC Structural Funds so as to enable public transport infrastructures to receive the maxi...More Button

On a general level, issues relating to the terms and conditions which will govern the next stage of EC Structural Funds are matters for my colleague the Minister for Finance. However, in so far as pub...More Button

Written Answers. - CIE Ticket Sales Investigation.

Was asked: if she will outline the outcome of all investigations into the alleged missing £250,000 worth of CIÉ ticket sales last year; whether the fraud squad and the Garda authorities have completed their inqu...More Button

I understand that this matter is the subject of ongoing Garda investigation. In such circumstances it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this stage.More Button

Written Answers. - MMDS Services.

Was asked: the up-to-date position regarding the provision of MMDS throughout the country and with particular reference to the situation in County Donegal.More Button

I would refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 2 of 2 April 1992 for the general position on the provision of MMDS services throughout the country. Vol. 418 No. 2 — Columns 417 to 419 of the Of...More Button

Written Answers. - Railway Expenditure.

Was asked: if she will give details of the amount which has been expended for each of the last ten years on the national railways under the following headings, specifying on which main line railway tracks (a) ra...More Button

The information sought by the Deputy is of a very detailed nature and is being compiled at present by my Department. I will arrange for the information to be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possibl...More Button

Written Answers. - State Agency Boards Appointments.

Was asked: the persons she or her predecessor has appointed to boards of State agencies since the terms of the review of the Joint Programme for Government were agreed on 18 October 1991; if she will outline, in...More Button

Appointments to the boards of the semi-State bodies under the aegis of my Department since 18 October, 1991 are set out in a tabular statement which I propose to have circulated in the Official Report...More Button

Written Answers. - Role of Independent Radio and Television Commission.

Was asked: if she has satisfied herself with the role of the Independent Radio and Television Commission; if changes are being considered; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The role of the Independent Radio and Television Commission is laid down in the Radio and Television Act, 1988. As part of my review of broadcasting, I will be looking at the operation of all legislat...More Button

Written Answers. - County Kildare Commuter Rail Services.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to any plan to introduce or expand commuter rail services for Celbridge, Sallins or Newbridge, County Kildare; if any submission has been made in respect of capital cos...More Button

The possibility of providing commuter rail services on the south-west rail corridor which includes Celbridge (Hazelhatch), Sallins and Newbridge is being examined in the context of the current Operati...More Button

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