de Valera, Síle

Thursday, 8 November 2001

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 543 No. 4

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Ceisteanna–Questions. Priority Questions. - Bille Teanga.

Was asked: cén staid ag a bhfuil an Bille Teanga faoi láthair agus cén uair a mbeidh sé ag teacht os comhair na Dála.More Button

Ceisteanna–Questions. Priority Questions. - Special Areas of Conservation.

Was asked: the steps she is taking to ensure full compliance with the habitats directive, having regard to the finding of the European Union Court of Justice on 11 September 2001; and if she will make a statemen...More Button

It is important to place the court finding in context. The judgment of the European Court of Justice essentially reflects the legal position prevailing in February 1998 concerning the transmission of ...More Button

I thank the Deputy for his sup plementary question. It is important to clarify the position as the court's ruling was based on a technical matter. It was a question of timescale. I have explained that...More Button

With all due respect to the Deputy, he does not seem to understand the question.More Button

The court ruling was that there had not been the transmission. The full transmission of sites has occurred since then. This position was acknowledged by the EU Commission in its representations to the...More Button

Ceisteanna–Questions. Priority Questions. - Japanese Knotweed.

Was asked: if her Department has conducted surveys regarding the incidence of reynoutria japonica, Japanese knotweed, on heritage or habitat areas here; and the plans she has to eradicate this invasive weed.More Button

In the context of the overall responsibilities of Dúchas, the Heritage Service of my Department, for monitoring sites that are identified as being of ecological and conservation importance, particula...More Button

I understand the Deputy's genuine concern. When any species is introduced, it can cause havoc from time to time in different type of habitats. I am told by those who have much more knowledge on botani...More Button

Ceisteanna–Questions. Priority Questions. - Financial Situation in RTE.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the impending financial crisis being faced by RTE; the plans she has to save the national broadcasting service from insolvency.More Button

It is a matter for RTE in the first instance to arrange its financial affairs. Section 24 of the Broadcasting Authority Act, 1960, provides that: It shall be the duty of the Authority so to conduct it...More Button

I advise the Deputy not to put words into my mouth. It is acknowledged that costs at RTE are too high. This is acknowledged within RTE which has planned for a transformation agreement. The proposals t...More Button

The Deputy is referring to the work done by PricewaterhouseCoopers. In its report it was clear that much work needed to be done by RTE before any proposals could be brought forward with regard to digi...More Button

Ceisteanna–Questions. Priority Questions. - Arts Funding.

Was asked: the number of applications received in her Department for funding under the arts and culture enhancement support scheme; the number of projects being grant-aided; the total grant approved for each pro...More Button

My Department received 180 applications for funding under the arts and culture enhancement support scheme known as ACCESS. I established an independent committee to evaluate all eligible applications,...More Button

I thank the Deputy for his generous remarks. Such a fund was necessary as there was no such fund in the Department for capital spending after the CDIS ran out in 1999. That was a successful scheme and...More Button

We were able to facilitate some 23 counties in this particular round which assisted 44 projects. We tried to look at the geographical as well as the community element. There was a tough procedure and ...More Button

Other Questions. - Weapons Licensing.

Was asked: if she will restrict the licensing of hunting weapons to members of bona fide hunting organisations, as is required in Scandinavia, to ensure effective conservation of protected species and proper rec...More Button

The licensing of weapons per se is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform under the Firearms Acts. I have responsibility for the issue of hunting licences under t...More Button

Other Questions. - Broadcasting Legislation.

Was asked: the discussions she has had with the RTE Authority regarding the introduction of digital terrestrial television; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my response to Question No. 43 on 29 May 2001. Implementation of the revised arrangements agreed by Government last year for the introduction of digital terrestrial television – ...More Button

If I may, a Cheann Comhairle, I will answer the last supplementary question first. Based on the current timetable the DTT services can be expected to be launched in the second half of next year. With ...More Button

With due respect to the Deputy, I have no intention of entertaining that hypothetical situation.More Button

Other Questions. - Inland Waterways.

Was asked: if her Department has plans to increase the operating hours of locks on the Shannon-Erne waterways for the 2002 tourist season.More Button

The issue raised by the Deputy in relation to the operating hours of locks on the Shannon-Erne waterway is the day to day responsibility of Waterways Ireland, a North-South implementation body for inl...More Button

Other Questions. - Arts Centres.

Was asked: if additional funds can be found to grant aid the Castleblayney Arts and Community Resource Centre; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At present I have no funds at my disposal from which this project could be assisted. However, given the particular circumstances of this case, I am investigating the feasibility of securing additional...More Button

I acknowledge that this particular project is dear to Deputy Crawford's heart. He has discussed it with me on a number of occasions. In the past few weeks I met a deputation from the group – that was...More Button

Other Questions. - National Museum.

Was asked: if she will arrange with the National Museum to have artefacts which have a local interest transferred to museums around the country on a temporary basis to stimulate an active response to our heritag...More Button

The National Museum of Ireland has a substantial number of artefacts of local interest on loan in a number of locations throughout the country. For example, artefacts are on loan for exhibition purpos...More Button

Other Questions. - National Theatre.

Was asked: if she has concluded her consideration of the report received from the Office of Public Works, Dublin Corporation and the national theatre company regarding the options regarding the acquisition of si...More Button

Was asked: the position on the future of the Abbey Theatre; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 11 and 37 together. It is clear that the existing premises of the national theatre are inadequate for the future needs of the theatre and the board of the national the...More Button

My preference would be that the national theatre should, if possible, remain at the present location on Abbey Street. However, I have asked the Office of Public Works to furnish me with professional a...More Button

I share the Deputy's interest and concern on this matter. The Peacock Theatre has done tremendous work over the years and the public, as well as those with a specific interest, recognises that. The na...More Button

The Deputy can be assured that I have ongoing meetings and have had a number of meetings in regard to the Abbey and with representatives of the board. Once we have the Government decision we will disc...More Button

Other Questions. - Wetland Habitats.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the call made by the co-ordinator of Coastwatch Europe (details supplied) for a wetlands awareness campaign in view of the threat to wetlands areas; and if she will ...More Button

I have received correspondence from Coastwatch Europe on this matter. I am also aware of recent media comment on the importance of wetlands. I am committed to fostering an enhanced awareness and appre...More Button

This is a separate matter as planning is not the responsibility of my Department. However, a liaison committee has been established between the Departments of the Environment and Local Government and ...More Button

This is something which, no doubt, will be considered by the interdepartmental group. I agree with the Deputy that if we are to ensure that coming generations have an awareness of the importance our e...More Button

Other Questions. - Coimisiún faoin nGaeilge sa Ghaeltacht.

Was asked: cén dul chun cinn atá déanta le Coimisiún na Gaeltachta; cathain a bheidh an tuairisc aici; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh.More Button

Other Questions. - Cultural Policy.

Was asked: the proposals she has to join the international network on cultural policy; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I understand that international network on cultural policy – INCP – is an informal forum which has a current membership of 45 countries. There is a core membership of nine countries known as the mini...More Button

This is not an appropriate time to pursue membership of the network. As I have said, it is not a legal or decision-making body. Its ethos is very positive in the sense that it promotes diversity, crea...More Button

Other Questions. - National Concert Hall.

Was asked: the progress made to date by the high level group examining all issues relating to the National Concert Hall at Earlsfort Terrace; when she expects the group to report; and if she will make a statemen...More Button

The high level group has recently completed its report on the National Concert Hall and related matters. The group has presented its report to me and to the Minister for Education and Science and it i...More Button

While they are both very respected national institutions, they are separate and distinct developments in the sense that they cater to different audiences. It can be very useful to look at proposals in...More Button

Obviously, I would like the matter to proceed as quickly as possible and the decisions will be forthcoming as soon as possible. The report is being considered not only by me but also by my colleague, ...More Button

I do not believe it is one of the sites considered for the National Concert Hall in this report.More Button

Other Questions. - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the additional staff which will be provided to deal with the additional workload arising from the commencement of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act, 2000; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As is the case in many other areas, while additional resources could be put to good use in the area of nature conservation, my general approach to staffing this sector has been to build up resources o...More Button

Where there have been staffing deficiencies they have been identified and I have addressed them. I caution against the idea that conservation is solely reliant on resources available to Dúchas, the he...More Button

I certainly agree with the general principle of what Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister referred to as “ joined-up government”. We should not have tunnel vision in this matter. I am sure the Deput...More Button

Other Questions. - Ring Forts.

Was asked: the number of ring forts which have been excavated for archaeological reasons in the past four years; the number which have been opened to the public for educational and tourism purposes; and if she w...More Button

There are estimated to be as many as 30,000 ring forts or enclosures in the country. My Department's records show that since 1998, 127 excavations have taken place on or close to ring forts. These exc...More Button

There is much development taking place throughout the country and we must ensure that there is proper conservation and protection of our heritage. We have often spoken in this House about the need for...More Button

Written Answers. - Taisteal an Aire.

Was asked: an dtabharfaidh sí tuairisc ar a cuairt ar Albain le déanaí; cad iad na himeachtaí ar a ndearna sí freastal, na cruinnithe a bhí aici ansin; na socruithe a deineadh; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina...More Button

Written Answers. - National Archives.

Was asked: the likely timetable for the construction of a new building for the National Archives; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On my initiative, the Minister for Finance has sanctioned the construction of new offices for the National Archives entailing redevelopment of the existing site at Bishop Street subject to the Office ...More Button

Written Answers. - Foclóir Leictreonach Béarla-Gaeilge.

Was asked: an bhfuil plean ar bith aici foclóir leictreonach Gaeilge-Béarla a chur ar fáil; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh.More Button

Was asked: an bhfuil plean ar bith aici foclóir leictreonach Béarla-Gaeilge a chur ar fáil; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh.More Button

Tógfaidh mé Ceisteanna Uimh. 20 agus 28 le chéile. Tá cúram forbartha na foclóireachta agus na téarmaíochta i measc dhualgais reachtúla Fhoras na Gaeilge. Anuraidh ghlac an Chomhairle Aireachta Thuaid...More Button

Written Answers. - Gaeltacht Commission.

Was asked: her views on the call made at the annual meeting of Foram na Gaeltachta for the establishment of one local government authority with responsibility for all Gaeltacht districts; and if she will make a ...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Accounting Practices.

Was asked: the steps which have been taken to address the shortcomings in the annual accounts of her Department identified in the Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General; and if she will make a stat...More Button

The shortcomings in my Department's accounting procedures identified in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Appropriations Accounts for 2000 are attributable in the main to an out...More Button

Written Answers. - Plean Forbartha Náisiúnta.

Was asked: an bhfuil iarratas ina Roinn le hoibreacha forbartha agus deisiúcháin a dhéanamh ar ché an Bhuna Bhig, Dún na nGall; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh.More Button

Written Answers. - National Heritage Plan.

Was asked: if she has brought a draft of the promised national heritage plan to Government; if she intends to publish the plan before the end of 2001; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department is currently finalising the national heritage plan. I intend to bring the plan to Government before the end of this month. Depending on Government approval I hope the process of publicat...More Button

Written Answers. - RTE Licence Fee.

Was asked: the decision she has made on her consideration of a possible further increase in the RTE licence fee from 1 April 2002; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: her views on the financial difficulties disclosed by RTE; her policy position in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Question Nos. 25 and 34 together. I refer the Deputies to my response to Priority Question No. 4 of today.More Button

Written Answers. - Archaeological Sites.

Was asked: her views on the level of understanding in the archaeological excavations in the medieval core of Dublin; the consideration which has been given to generate interest in primary and second level school...More Button

As I indicated in my reply to the Deputy's Question No. 33 of 11 April 2001, no survey or research has been carried out on the level of interest in archaeological excavations of medieval Dublin. The h...More Button

Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: when she expects to publish the promised Arts Bill; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The general scheme for a new Arts Bill has been approved by Government. A parliamentary draftsman has been appointed to work on the text of the Bill which is scheduled for publication in early 2002. I...More Button

Written Answers. - Battle of the Boyne Site.

Was asked: the progress which has been made by the interdepartmental group on the Battle of the Boyne site; when she expects the group to report; the role her Department will play in the development of the site;...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the interdepartmental committee on the Battle of the Boyne site operates under the aegis of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and is chaired by a senior official of his De...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Bodies.

Was asked: the additional resources which have been provided to the Broadcasting Commission to allow it to discharge the additional functions it acquired as a result of the Broadcasting Act, 2001; and if she wil...More Button

I am satisfied the provision in my Department's Estimate in respect of the Irish Independent Radio and Television Commission, now the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, is more than sufficient to def...More Button

Written Answers. - National Museum.

Was asked: the progress in completing the inventory of artefacts in the National Museum's collection; the estimated percentage of items included in the inventory; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the National Museum of Ireland has been engaged since 1985 on a project to document particular collections, including the preparation of an inventory catalogue on compute...More Button

Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if she has submitted to Government the draft heads of Bill for the promised consolidated national monuments Bill; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am glad to inform the Deputy that draft heads of legislation for the proposed consolidation of national monuments legislation were approved by the Government last month and are now with the office o...More Button

Written Answers. - Special Areas of Conservation.

Was asked: the proposals she has to designate the River Liffey and its tributaries as special areas of conservation; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply of 5 July 2001, the substance of which has not changed in the intervening time. Although it has been concluded in the selection process that the River Liffey does not me...More Button

Written Answers. - Irish Seal Sanctuary.

Was asked: if civil servants have met with representatives of the Irish Seal Sanctuary; if, following discussions between both parties, it was agreed that action would be taken to ensure that the Government woul...More Button

In 1999 I met with representatives of the Irish Seal Sanctuary at their request to discuss their future plans for the sanctuary and officials from my Department later examined their draft development ...More Button

Written Answers. - National Biodiversity Plan.

Was asked: the level of consultation which has gone into the preparation of the national biodiversity plan for Ireland; when the plan will be completed and published; and if she will lift the ban on non-governme...More Button

The preparation of the national biodiversity action plan involved an extended formal public consultation process. Public notices were placed in the national press inviting submissions from interested ...More Button

Written Answers. - Architectural Heritage.

Was asked: if she has any plans to meet with the owners of Lismore Castle, with a view to discussing the restoration of the west wing of the castle, to bring it up to a standard which will enable it to be used f...More Button

As I have already explained to the Deputy in my reply to Question No. 157 of 25 November 1998 my Department has no funds at its disposal for the restoration of properties other than those where I, as ...More Button

Written Answers. - Clár Reachtaíochta.

Was asked: an bhfuil aon mheastachán déanta maidir le cé mhéid a chosnóidh sé Bille na Gaeilge a chur i bhfeidhm; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh.More Button

Written Answers. - Commonage Acquisition.

Was asked: if Dúchas has taken over a commonage area (details supplied) in County Mayo.More Button

I can confirm that Dúchas, the heritage service of my Department, has not taken over the commonage in question, nor does it have any plans at present to do so.More Button

Written Answers. - Heritage Properties.

Was asked: the level of work and upgrading agreed to be carried out on Illnacullin, Glengarriff; the improvement works to the slipway, the Martello tower, the footpaths and steps; and if she will make a statemen...More Button

My Department has invested considerably in the maintenance and development of Ilnacullin, Glengarriff, County Cork, more commonly known as Garnish Island, over the years since the island was bequeathe...More Button

Written Answers. - Historical Properties.

Was asked: the material which is available on the Battle of Clontarf in 1014; the information and maps available to her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

No material or artefacts which can be associated with the battle are available, either in the National Museum of Ireland or elsewhere. No contemporary maps of the Battle of Clontarf are extant and eve...More Button

Written Answers. - National Archives.

Was asked: if there is sufficient personnel at all levels in the National Archives; her views on the expressed views of the national archive advisory council in this regard; and if she will make a statement on t...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 37 of 5 July 2001. The arrangements for the recruitment of the staff referred to in that reply are in hand.More Button

Written Answers. - Digital Terrestrial Television.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the media comment concerning the possible carriage of RTE on a company (details supplied); the implications of any such arrangement for the development of digital te...More Button

The question of carriage on any given platform is a matter for the individual broadcaster. I have no statutory function in the matter. In relation to the introduction of digital terrestrial television...More Button

Written Answers. - Museum Projects.

Was asked: the plans she has for the provision of museums on a countrywide basis with particular reference to the importance of the location of local memorabilia at such locations; and if she will make a stateme...More Button

As I indicated in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 44 on 31 May 2000 on this topic, the function of developing county museums rests primarily with the relevant local authority. I understand that th...More Button

Written Answers. - National Monuments.

Was asked: if she or her Department has undertaken any studies regarding the floodlighting of Tagadoo Church and Round Tower, Maynooth, County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has not undertaken any studies regarding the possible floodlighting of Tagadoe Round Tower and Church. As indicated in the reply to previous questions on this matter, Parliamentary Quest...More Button

Written Answers. - Architectural Heritage.

Was asked: the number of heritage houses in County Kildare which are the subject matter of preservation orders or are listed buildings; the plans she has for the future of such buildings; and if she will make a ...More Button

Under the provisions of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1999, each planning authority shall, for the purpose of protecting structures, or parts of structures, which are of special...More Button

Written Answers. - National Monuments.

Was asked: the number of castles in County Kildare which are listed, preserved or otherwise protected; if expenditure is proposed in the foreseeable future; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are five castles in County Kildare which are in State ownership or guardianship. These are Kilteel Castle, Rathcoffey Demesne, Grange Castle, Jigginstown House and Maynooth Castle. There are a f...More Button

Was asked: the expenditure to date on the refurbishment works at Geraldine Castle, Maynooth, County Kildare; the works carried out; the works still remaining; the projected cost; and if she will make a statement...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, following the completion of the adaptation and conservation work to the ground floor and the provision of access to the first floor, Maynooth Castle was opened to the pub...More Button

Was asked: if she will be in a position to provide the necessary finances to undertake refurbishment works at Connolly's Folly, Maynooth, County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There is no change in the position outlined in my response to the Deputy's most recent parliamentary question on this issue dated 5 July 2001. More Button

Written Answers. - Architectural Heritage.

Was asked: if a heritage project for the restoration of Donadea Castle and buildings at Donadea Forest Park, County Kildare, might be considered; if she will enter into discussions with other interest bodies or ...More Button

I refer to my replies of 5 July 2001 – Parliamentary Questions Nos. 259 and 260 – 29 May 2001 – Parliamentary Question No. 332 – 11 April 2001 – Parliamentary Questions Nos. 191 and 192 – and 21 Febru...More Button

Was asked: the number of heritage projects throughout the country which involve archaeological excavations; if it is intended that the sites or buildings should become accessible to the public for tourism and ed...More Button

It is not possible to quantify the number of excavations relating specifically to heritage projects being carried out throughout the country. However, as the Deputy may already be aware, archaeologic...More Button

Was asked: if she has satisfied herself that in all cases of refurbishment or improvement of historical sites or buildings or other works of a heritage nature associated with such buildings, works are carried ou...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, in 1998 the Government decided on a new framework to protect the architectural heritage of the State which placed the primary responsibility in this regard on planning auth...More Button

Was asked: the number of heritage projects in hand throughout the country; the total cost involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The position is that work has commenced on 78 of the heritage projects approved for funding under the national development plan. The total estimated cost of these 78 projects is £37.185 million.More Button

Written Answers. - Special Areas of Conservation.

Was asked: if she has received complaints regarding the application of special areas of conservation on foot of the EU habitats directive; the most common cause for complaint with a view to providing a solution;...More Button

The EU Habitats Direc tive – 92/43/EEC – requires member states to propose relevant natural areas for designation as special areas of conservation for the conservation of listed habitats and species a...More Button

Written Answers. - Wildlife Habitats.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the threat to the habitat and nesting area of the kittiwake colony at the cliff face on the inner harbour in Dunmore East, County Waterford; and the action she is ta...More Button

I am aware of this case which refers to a planning application submitted to Waterford County Council by the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources for permission to carry out remedial works as...More Button

Written Answers. - Transport Services.

Was asked: the estimated annual cost of transport services to the islands; the extent to which this cost is covered by subvention and by revenue from fares.More Button


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