Coveney, Simon

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 1

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Priority Questions - Milk Quota

Was asked: the progress he has made on the milk quota and butterfat correction issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

This is not the first time Deputies Moynihan and Kirk have raised this issue, understandably so, because it is an important one. In the past year my Department and I have been extremely active in rais...More Button

The initiative is under way in that regard. I have mentioned the butterfat issue at practically every Council meeting I have attended. We have been taking Ministers aside on an informal basis and al...More Button

It has been brought up directly with the Danish Presidency but it has also been brought up repeatedly directly with the Commissioner by me. The Commission position is straightforward. The Commission...More Button

The position is clear. Unless the Commission can be persuaded to change the regulation on the treatment of butterfat levels, they will remain as they are. This puts Ireland under pressure, which I a...More Button

Priority Questions - Animal Diseases

Was asked: the steps he has taken to prevent the Schmallenberg virus spreading to farms here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy raises the important issue of the Schmallenberg virus, SBV, which was confirmed in December 2011 following the birth of deformed lambs in the Netherlands. Its manifestation in adult cattle...More Button

I have discussed this issue with my counterpart in Northern Ireland. It is a good example of where we can take a fortress Ireland approach. Diseases do not respect borders, but our geographical loca...More Button

Priority Questions - Grant Payments

Was asked: the reason, after dealing with 11 members of his Department’s staff and having been promised since early December that their agri-environment options scheme payment would be processed, a person (de...More Button

By way of background, the situation in regard to payments under the agri-environment options scheme, AEOS, is that the European Union regulations governing its administration require that full and com...More Button

I do not normally read long replies but the Deputy asked about a specific case and I wished to give a specific answer and there is a lot more detail on that case. I have been frustrated by the roll-o...More Button

First, it is not acceptable if this has happened.More Button

If someone from my Department tells a farmer that he or she will be paid within days, I expect that to happen. I note that last year, payments in general in my Department were way ahead of any previo...More Button

In the first instance, it is important to place on record that this person has been paid.More Button

The issue is that there were delays in respect of the payment. Such delays should not have occurred but there were genuine reasons for them. I would certainly not criticise the staff of my Departmen...More Button

The issue arose in the context of a process problem which related to changing maps, in the first instance, and then digitising those changes. Delays arose as a result of the problem to which I refer....More Button

Priority Questions - Fisheries Protection

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the unsustainable fishing practices by Iceland and the Faroe Islands for mackerel in the north-east Atlantic; the steps he is taking to protect the interests of t...More Button

I thank Deputy Browne for tabling a question on this extremely topical matter. I have set out for the House on numerous occasions the background to the mackerel dispute with Iceland and the Faroe Isl...More Button

What I have been doing with this issue I do not do lightly. We have made statements that I am sure make some people in Iceland uncomfortable and angry but we cannot stand by and allow the plundering ...More Button

Pat “The Cope” Gallagher is on a twin-track approach with me. We are both trying to increase the pressure. Sometimes we need to rattle cages to get things done. If we do not do what we are now doin...More Button

Priority Questions - Sugar Industry

Was asked: if he will provide a stimulus for the sugar industry here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I do not need to read a script as I am very familiar with the sugar industry as it was and, I hope, as it will be in future. Last summer I had two professional feasibility studies done on the buildin...More Button

I concur with the Deputy. If we can access funding to cover the capital costs of building an infrastructure that can facilitate a sugar industry, we should consider the proposal. My responsibility i...More Button

Other Questions - Food Industry

Was asked: the progress made to date in the creation of an umbrella brand for Irish food and drink, brand Ireland, as outlined in July 2010 with the publication of Food Harvest 2020; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Deputy Niall Collins raises the issue of the need to create an umbrella brand for Irish food. We are lucky to have a body in Ireland responsible for branding Irish food, trying to build our internati...More Button

I can understand why the Deputy would like to recognise the work of my predecessor, and I would like to do that too. Food Harvest 2020 was put in place during the lifetime of the previous Government....More Button

I speak to Bord Bia about this issue all the time. The work on brand Ireland has already begun and is under way. When I am abroad I speak all the time about the beef quality assurance scheme and abo...More Button

What we are about is winning that reputation by providing data, backup and science to support our claims. That is tedious work in terms of going onto farms, crunching the numbers with farmers and bei...More Button

The Deputy is entitled to that view.More Button

There are perception issues with GM foods but we are also trying to develop a reputation for developing research capacity in food in Ireland. This is where the initiative comes from in Teagasc’s view...More Button

Other Questions - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: if he will provide details of the consultative policy he will undertake with regard to reform of the Common Agriculture Policy which will take place during the Irish Presidency beginning in January...More Button

An initial consultation process was launched with stakeholders by my Department in July 2009 to obtain views on what EU agriculture policies would serve Ireland and the EU best in the years to come. ...More Button

I know what the Deputy is getting at and I have no difficulty with introducing a cap on payments. There is a proposal to do that. The current proposal from the European Commission is to propose a ca...More Button

We had a long discussion and debate in the European Council yesterday on greening, an area where there is a flagship change in policy on the part of the Commission by insisting on 30% of the single fa...More Button

Was asked: the developments in the Common Agriculture Policy reform post-2013; his plans to reduce the income loss in single farm payments to 10% to 15%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

This question is about what I have just been discussing. The Deputy refers to the need to limit any reduction in the single farm payment for current recipients to 10% to 15%. I believe that figure c...More Button

I am not quite clear on what the Deputy is asking. He is correct that there will be price volatility in the future. The price trends for food will continue to increase for dairy and meat products, b...More Button

The Deputy’s final point is very relevant. It is also important to recognise that when prices were not so good, many farm families had alternative sources of income. A couple of years ago approximat...More Button

Other Questions - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme

Was asked: the environmental effects, such as over-grazing, he believes will be caused by increased stocking rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

This question concerns stocking rates in disadvantaged areas. I am fully satisfied that the proposed changes to the 2012 disadvantaged areas scheme, currently under discussion with the EU Commission,...More Button

That is because I do not yet have an exact answer to that question. This is not just about an appeals mechanism. Any farmer who was required to have a lower stocking rate in 2011, because of a commo...More Button

That is a whole new question so I hope you will give me the latitude to answer it, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, because it will take a while.More Button

I will try to be brief. I have said consistently since budget day that we will not be opening an AEOS 3 in the same way as the previous two schemes worked. We do not have the money to do it, and tha...More Button

Suspension of Member

Question put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Written Answers - Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes

Was asked: the progress made to date in advancing investment under the targeted agricultural modernisation schemes under the various schemes launched in 2010 and early 2011; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

EU Commission approval for the introduction of a number of targeted on-farm investment schemes focused on supporting productive investment in the agricultural sector was received in March 2010. Prio...More Button

Written Answers - Single Payment Scheme

Was asked: if he has considered capping the single farm payment at €100,000; if he considered bringing single farm payment in line with the average industrial wage; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

The EU Commission has proposed to cap single farm payments at €300,000, net of the greening component and salary costs and this is the proposal that I am giving consideration to currently in the CAP r...More Button

Written Answers - Discussion Groups

Was asked: the progress made on discussion groups in the beef and dairy sectors, money spent and budgeted for such groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Dairy Efficiency Programme When it was agreed in 2008, under the CAP Health Check, that unspent Single Payment Scheme (SPS) funds could be made available to support economically vulnerable types of fa...More Button

Written Answers - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme

Was asked: the details of the 2012 disadvantaged area scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The budgeted expenditure under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme is being reduced to from €220 million to €190 million. In order to make the necessary savings it is proposed to make technical adjust...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Development Programme

Was asked: the steps he is taking to support agricultural development in less favoured areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Rural Development Programme for Ireland has an allocation of close on €4.9 billion for the period 2007-2013 to fund various support schemes in the agricultural sector under the principles of compe...More Button

Written Answers - Trade Missions

Was asked: his plans to lead a delegation to China in the new year to increase exports of Irish food products and the opening of new markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I will lead a trade delegation to China from 15-22 April which will comprise representatives from the meat, dairy, seafood, horse and agri-tech sectors. This Trade Mission follows from the successful ...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: the steps he is taking to construct an alliance at member State level to support Ireland’s case for reform of the common agricultural policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is at all times a key priority of mine to build alliances with my counterparts in like-minded Member States in order to maximise support for my position on the proposed reform of the CAP. Indeed I ...More Button

Written Answers - Single Payment Scheme

Was asked: the number of farmers that have applied for the single farm payment online so far this year; if he will provide a breakdown by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An analysis of the numbers of applications lodged via iNet, my Department’s on-line application facility for the Single Payment Scheme, shows continued, year-on-year growth, across all counties, with ...More Button

Written Answers - Livestock Inspections

Was asked: if he will reconsider new livestock inspection in order that they will be more farmer friendly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department, in the context of delivering the Direct Payments Schemes is required to carry out annual inspections covering land eligibility and cross compliance to ensure compliance with EU regulato...More Button

Written Answers - Milk Quota

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to milk quota superlevy fines due to a supply surge so far this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

With Ireland narrowly avoiding a super levy liability in the 2010/2011 quota year, and with high supply figures in the early months of this quota year, my attention has been firmly focused on the milk...More Button

Written Answers - Artisan Food Sector

Was asked: the number of jobs that are sustained within the artisan food sector; the trajectory of this sector; the level of specific targeted support that this sector receives; and his plans, if any, to simpl...More Button

Neither the CSO nor my Department hold the figures requested by the Deputy as there is not a consensus definition of “artisan” food businesses. Artisan food is categorised by an uncompromised commitm...More Button

Written Answers - Food Exports to Iran

Was asked: the total amount of exports in food products — meat, beef, lamb and fowl — to Iran in 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012; the person who represents Ireland in Iran now that the Iranian Embassy services ...More Button

Ireland does not have access for beef or sheepmeat to Iran at present and therefore does not export any meats to Iran. My Department has been in contact with the Iranian authorities, through the Depar...More Button

Written Answers - Agri-Environment Options Scheme

Was asked: if he will outline the details of the agri environment options scheme 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I would like, at the outset, to emphasise my commitment to the agri-environment schemes which put environmentally-friendly farming to the forefront and which recognise the vital role farmers play in d...More Button

Written Answers - Draught Horse Passports

Was asked: the number of Irish draught horse passports processed by Horse Sport Ireland in the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Horse Sport Ireland is approved by my Department, in accordance with the relevant EU and National Zootechnical legislation to manage the Irish Draught Horse studbook, including the issuing of passport...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Welfare

Was asked: if minks, cats and racing horses will be included in the upcoming Animal Welfare Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The new Animal Health and Welfare Bill proposes to amend, consolidate and update legislation in the area of animal health and welfare, particularly to reflect the changed disease status of our animals...More Button

Written Answers - Environmental Schemes

Was asked: the level of funding provided for REP scheme and agri-environment options scheme for 2011; the expenditure incurred under those schemes in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am committed to agri-environment schemes, which put environmentally-friendly farming to the forefront and which recognise the vital role farmers play in delivering public goods for the benefit of al...More Button

Written Answers - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme

Was asked: the number of farmers who were eligible for disadvantaged area payments in 2011, but will not qualify in 2012 due to changes in the stocking density; if he will provide a breakdown nationally and by...More Button

The budgeted expenditure under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme is being reduced from €220 million to €190 million and in order to make the necessary savings it is proposed to make technical adjust...More Button

Written Answers - Appointment of Inspector

Was asked: his plans to appoint a regional inspector at his Department’s office in Drumshanbo, County Leitrim, following the retirement of the previous regional inspector last November; and if he will make a s...More Button

The post to which the Deputy refers has recently become vacant and, as the Deputy will be aware, a moratorium on recruitment and promotion is in place in the public service. Alternative arrangements a...More Button

Written Answers - Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes

Was asked: the level of funding provided for the targeted agricultural modernisation schemes for 2011; the amount of expenditure incurred under those schemes in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

The original allocation for the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes (TAMS) for 2011 was €21.3 million. As the deputy will be aware, the schemes were suspended for new applications on 8 June 20...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry

Was asked: the extent to which he and his EU colleagues have reached consensus on the future development of the food industry throughout Europe and as a consequence in this country with a view to maximisation ...More Button

I believe there is a good commitment within the EU to a strong agrifood sector and an increased recognition of the importance of the sector’s contribution to the achievement of economic, social and en...More Button

Written Answers - National College of Amenity Horticulture

Was asked: his views on the fact that in September of this year all students of the college of amenity horticulture in the Botanic Gardens will be moved to Teagasc in Kinsealy, County Dublin, to facilitate a €2...More Button

This is an operational matter for the Teagasc, a non commercial semi state body operating under the aegis of the Department. Ministerial responsibility is confined to matters of policy in accordance w...More Button

Written Answers - Ownership of Coillte Lands

Was asked: if he will explain the sense in which the State will retain ownership over Coillte lands if the company is sold and a private commercial entity has control of the enterprise and if, for example, unde...More Button

As recently announced by the Government, consideration will be given to the possible sale of some assets of Coillte excluding the sale of land. A valuation of Coillte assets is currently being undert...More Button

Written Answers - Pigmeat Sector

Was asked: the proposals he has to assist the pig production sector in view of the particular difficulties affecting that sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am aware of the concerns currently being expressed by the pig production sector, particularly in relation to feed costs and the availability of credit. The pig sector remains the third largest indiv...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: if he is willing to discuss proposals for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy which raise concerns with the flat payment per hectare model; if he is willing to consider proposals on a cut off pa...More Button

The European Commission’s proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy for the period 2014 to 2020 include a gradual move away from payments based on historical production towards a system of uniform ...More Button

Written Answers - Teagasc Rationalisation Programme

Was asked: if he has been briefed by Teagasc on the proposed closure of the Kinsealy research centre, Dublin, and relocation of staff and the Kinsealy function to the Teagasc Ashtown facility, Dublin; if he is ...More Button

This is an operational matter for Teagasc, a non commercial semi state body operating under the aegis of my Department. Ministerial responsibility is confined to matters of policy in accordance with t...More Button

Written Answers - Fuel Costs

Was asked: if he agrees that generally speaking agriculture is doing well at the moment but not all farmers are finding it so easy, and high fuel costs are certainly a major factor in the difficulties they are ...More Button

The agrifood sector has performed very well in the last two years. Agrifood exports have increased by 25% in that time and now stand at almost €9bn. World food prices, including dairy and meat prices...More Button

Written Answers - Potato Industry

Was asked: his plans to provide support for potato growers who are currently experiencing low prices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Whilst the area of potatoes planted has declined over the last 10 years, high yields in the past two seasons have seen production levels of over 400,000 tonnes, which has led to excess supplies and do...More Button

Written Answers - Agri-Environment Options Scheme

Was asked: if he has made any decisions regarding funding for the agri-environment options scheme 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I would like, at the outset, to emphasise my commitment to the agri-environment schemes which put environmentally-friendly farming to the forefront and which recognise the vital role farmers play in d...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Was asked: if he will report on the operation of Teagasc; the numbers employed by Teagasc each year form 2007 to date in 2012; the number of centres or sites and the key activities carried out at each of these ...More Button

Teagasc operates as a separate non-commercial semi state body under the aegis of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with their own management structure and governing Authority. They de...More Button

Written Answers - Milk Quota

Was asked: the provisions he will put in place for new entrants to the dairy sector after the ending of milk quotas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The decision to abolish milk quotas with effect from 1 April 2015 was made in the context of the CAP Health Check in 2008. Ireland strongly supported their abolition, on the basis that quotas were wi...More Button

Written Answers - Common Fisheries Policy

Was asked: his views that sustainable fisheries under Common Fisheries Policy reform cannot be implemented without a comprehensive, unrestricted observer regime. More Button

The sustainable exploitation of any renewable natural resource, means that the resource can be used indefinitely. Fisheries can be defined as sustainable, when they are conducted over the long term at...More Button

Written Answers - Agricultural College Places

Was asked: if he intends to look at the issue of agricultural college placements when demand far exceeds supply in view of the strong emphasis being placed on agriculture at present; and if he will make a state...More Button

This is an operational matter for the Teagasc Authority. Under the Agriculture, (Research, Training and Advice) Act, 1988, Teagasc has statutory responsibility for the provision of education, researc...More Button

Written Answers - Millennium Projects

Was asked: his capacity as the major shareholder on behalf of the Irish people in Coillte, if he will make a statement regarding the status of certificated of ownership issued to persons for the 1.2 million nat...More Button

The mission of the People’s Millennium Forests Project was to ensure that all future generations can enjoy the benefits of Ireland’s native forests. One element of the Project was the issue of a cert...More Button

Written Answers - Single Payment Scheme

Was asked: the position regarding an application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application under the Single Payment Scheme /Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on the 16th May 2011. This application was selected for a Cross Compliance Inspection. Dur...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 159 of 1 February 2012 when a response will issue from the Health Service Executive More Button

The information requested by the Deputy was issued to him in a letter dated Friday 16 March 2012.More Button

Written Answers - Employment Support Services

Was asked: if he will consider arranging at least one or two courses during the summer months for young farmers to pursue an 18-day course which is part of the qualifying condition to qualify as fully trained f...More Button

This is an operational matter for Teagasc, a non-commercial semi state body operating under the aegis of my Department. Under the Agriculture, (Research, Training and Advice) Act, 1988, Teagasc has s...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will receive 25% payment of the 2012 agri-environment options scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 September 2010 and full payment totalling €608.11 issued in respect of 2010. Under the EU Regu...More Button

Was asked: when payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named submitted an application for entitlements under Category B of the 2011 National Reserve. Category B caters for new entrants to farming who commenced farming since 15 May 2009. A New ...More Button

Written Answers - Aquaculture Licences

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the publication in the peer-reviewed Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of an article, “Evidence for sea lice-induced marine mortality of Atlantic s...More Button

My Department’s policy on sea lice controls is strictly evidence based. The control protocols are operated by the Marine Institute on behalf of the State and are more advanced that those operated in ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Reports

Was asked: if there was a report in 1994 by the then Minister with relevant responsibility, which recommended that fish farms not be allowed any closer than 20 km from any wild salmon river, if so, the reason t...More Button

The precise nature of the report referred to by the Deputy is not clear. However, my Department’s records indicate that a report entitled ‘The Sea Trout Working Group 1994’ was commissioned by the De...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid their REP scheme 2011 payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named commenced REPS 4 in October 2009 and received payment for the first two years of their contract. REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and accordin...More Button

Was asked: the reason the agri-environment option scheme payment is held up for 2010 and 2011 in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 November 2010. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment sch...More Button

Written Answers - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme

Was asked: if he will review a matter in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry. More Button

As the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme is co-funded by the EU under the Rural Development Programme 2007/2013, it is necessary to obtain the agreement of the EU Commission to any proposed changes; my offic...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme

Was asked: if REP scheme inspectors can call unannounced to farms to make inspections; the health and safety standards these inspectors are trained to; what, if any insurance do inspectors have when they are ca...More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to the relevant EU Regulation in relation to inspection procedures and other issues. My Department’s policy wi...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Welfare Issues

Was asked: if he will investigate into the welfare of the horses owned by a person (details supplied) which have undergone serious health complications and injuries that occurred while in the care of the Turf C...More Button

I am aware of the issues raised by the person to whom the Deputy refers. There has been extensive contact between the individual concerned and officials from my Department regarding these matters. I ...More Button

Was asked: in respect of a person (details supplied) and the poor health of his horses, if he will confirm that the welfare of race horses during training and racing falls under the responsibility of the member ...More Button

I am aware of the issues raised by the person to whom the Deputy refers. There has been extensive contact between the individual concerned and officials from my Department. I have also written to this...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Diseases

Was asked: if there is definitive evidence that the Schmallenberg virus cannot be transmitted animal to animal and if he has been in contact with his counterpart in the Northern Ireland Assembly with a view to ...More Button

Was asked: the percentage of the beef and sheep meat trades respectively that involve live imports; if he has considered restrictions to these imports in view of the Schmallenberg virus outbreak in the United K...More Button

Was asked: the provisions he has adopted to ensure that there is not an outbreak in the national herd and flock of the Schmallenberg virus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 547 to 549, inclusive, together. Schmallenberg virus (SBV) was confirmed in December 2011 following the birth of deformed lambs in the Netherlands. Its manifestation i...More Button

Written Answers - Agri-Environment Options Scheme

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their agri-environment options scheme payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 September 2010. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment sc...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Was asked: if he will provide, in a tabular form, a breakdown of the position, salary, allowance and expenses paid to each of the employees of the agencies (details supplied) in 2011. More Button

Was asked: if he will provide, in a tabular form, a breakdown of the number of board members and their respective annual remuneration for 2011 of agencies (details supplied). More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 551 and 552 together. The information requested by the Deputy for the named agencies can be found in the following table. However, queries regarding additional allowa...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide, in tabular form, a list of all agencies and bodies and internal organisations under his aegis. More Button

There are currently 12 State Bodies that fall under the aegis of my Department. 1. Aqua Licensing Appeals Board (ALAB) 2. Bord Bia 3. Bord na gCon 4. BIM 5. Coillte 6. Horse Racing Ireland 7. Irish Na...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Travel

Was asked: if he will set out the mileage claimed by any Minister of State in his Department for each year from 2005 to 2010, inclusive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The expenses in respect of mileage (kilometre) claimed by Ministers of State in this Department for each year from 2005 to 2010 is set out in the following table: More Button

Written Answers - Forestry Sector

Was asked: the position regarding an application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Applications for forestry plant must meet certain criteria to be eligible for such applications to proceed. All applications submitted to my Department for approval to undertake afforestation are exa...More Button

Written Answers - Beef Industry

Was asked: the way the new beef technology adoption programme was devised; when was the contract for it tendered; the number of applications for tender he received; when is the contract up for review; and if he...More Button

The establishment of an effective discussion group model similar to that successfully employed in the dairy sector was a key recommendations of the report of the industry-led Beef 2020 Activation Grou...More Button

Written Answers - Public Procurement

Was asked: the steps he is taking to ensure that Irish small and medium enterprises can compete for tenders from his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department implements the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Circular 10/10 “Facilitating SME Participation in Public Procurement”. Public procurement contracts, including prior informati...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: the extent to which he proposes to reform all farm payments or supports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the EU Commission published proposals for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy in October last that will, if implemented, bring about significant changes to the Singl...More Button

Written Answers - Poultry Industry

Was asked: the total level of employment in the poultry sector, in each of the past three years and to date in 2012; the potential for expansion with resultant increased employment; and if he will make a statem...More Button

The farm gate value of the poultry sector, at €150m (approx €120m meat and €30m eggs), is 3% of gross agricultural output. Export values in 2011 increased by 3% to €210 million arresting the decline e...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry

Was asked: the extent to which the tonnage of fish catches landed at Irish ports has fluctuated in each of the past four years to date in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority is the body within the State responsible for gathering data and reporting on the landings of sea fish by Irish Sea Fishing Boats and other fish landings into Iri...More Button

Was asked: the total number of jobs currently in the fish processing sector; the potential for increased employment at this level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he expects the fishing industry to expand in the next four years; the level of employment likely to be generated as a result; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 561 and 563 together. I am advised by an Bord Iascaigh Mhara that some 2,870 people are presently employed in the Irish seafood processing industry. Food Harvest 2020...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry

Was asked: the total number of persons employed in the food industry at all levels — production, processing and services; the extent of potential for increased employment in the sector; and if he will make a st...More Button

The Central Statistics Office publishes employment statistics in its Quarterly National Household Survey, the most recent of which was in respect of Quarter 4, 2011. The following table shows these f...More Button

Written Answers - Beef Industry

Was asked: the current strength of the beef herd; the extent to which he expects growth in numbers over the next three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The latest CSO data indicates that the beef cow herd numbered 1.063m head in December 2011, a marginal reduction of 7,400 head (or 0.7%) on the figure for December 2010. Improved cattle prices have h...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry

Was asked: the extent to which he expects Irish food exports to increase over the next 12 months on European or global markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The prospects for Irish food and drink exports in 2012 are positive. That being said, lower output availability in some sectors and softening global commodity prices are likely to result in more limi...More Button

Was asked: the degree to which Irish food exports remain competitive on European and world markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The fact that agri-food exports increased by 25% over the past two years is an indication that this sector remains competitive on European and world markets. This view is also borne out by the Forfas...More Button

Was asked: the extent and location for new markets established for Irish food exports in the past two years and to date in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department, together with Bord Bia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to place the highest priority on ensuring and developing market access to markets worldwide for Irish fo...More Button

Written Answers - Agri-Environment Options Scheme

Was asked: when the agri-environment option scheme payment will be available to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 November 2010. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment sch...More Button

Written Answers - National Milk Agency

Was asked: the amount it cost the Exchequer to run the National Milk Agency in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the amount that was collected for the National Milk Agency from the specific levy which is collected on a per litre basis from milk suppliers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 569 and 570 together. The National Milk Agency is entirely funded by a levy of 0.145 cent per litre of milk purchased for processing for liquid consumption by milk pro...More Button

Written Answers - Forestry Sector

Was asked: if he will release a record of the 1.2 million trees planted as part of the millennium project in 2000; and if those trees for which individual ownership was given to members of the public could be s...More Button

The mission of the People’s Millennium Forests Project was to ensure that all future generations can enjoy the benefits of Ireland’s native forests. 16 sites were chosen throughout Ireland, 12 sites ...More Button

Written Answers - Harbours and Piers

Was asked: the amount spent by him in the past carrying out public works in Fenit Island, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department administers the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme. This Programme provides for maintenance and development works at the six State-owned Fishery Harbour Ce...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions

Was asked: if he will examine the calculation of the lump sum payment of a former employee (details supplied) of the Department regarding the deductions especially the interest on a previous payment by a previo...More Button

My Department has re-checked the calculation of the deductions from the lump sum in this case and is satisfied that it is correct. A letter is being sent to the person concerned outlining the basis up...More Button

Written Answers - Forestry Sector

Was asked: his plans for the future with regards to the ongoing management of existing forest on peat lands in addition to current available afforestation options for unenclosed land; the number of hectares of ...More Button

The afforestation schemes provide attractive grants and premiums to incentivise the planting of agricultural land by farmers and other landowners, to support the continued development of a viable and ...More Button

Written Answers - Fisheries Protection

Was asked: if he is concerned that plans for a deep sea fish farm off the west coast could pose a risk of epizootics spreading to the wild salmon population, given the proximity of its proposed location to its ...More Button

I understand that Bord Iascaigh Mhara will shortly submit an aquaculture licence application in respect of a deep sea fish farm in Galway Bay. The application will be considered under the provisions o...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments

Was asked: when payment will be made to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if the matter will be expedited. More Button

An application under the 2010 Single Payment Scheme was received from the person named on 20 April 2010. During processing of the application, one land parcel was found to be dual-claimed with another...More Button

Written Answers - Cattle Identification Scheme

Was asked: the requirement of the State to ensure that each bovine animal in the State is properly accounted for and identified by reference to the passport-cattle identity card for that animal; the procedures ...More Button

All bovines in the state must be identified in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1760 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 July 2000 establishing a system for the identification and r...More Button

Written Answers - Irish Land Commission

Was asked: the agent to contact on behalf of a land estate (details supplied) to gain consent for the use of a small portion of the land for a public project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The records of the former Irish Land Commission are being examined by my Department to ascertain if the information sought is available. I will write to the Deputy as soon as possible. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Offices

Was asked: if he will clarify the plans for his Department office in Raphoe, County Donegal; and if additional clerical staff will be employed in the office to deal with the additional workload. More Button

All local offices of my Department are being reconfigured to provide a better service in a more efficient manner to our stakeholders; essentially, this process involves doing more work with fewer staf...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments

Was asked: the position regarding the stocking rate in 2012 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The budgeted expenditure under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme is being reduced to from €220 million to €190 million. In order to make the necessary savings it is proposed to make technical adjust...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an application for a single farm payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is understood that the Deputy is referring to the proposed changes to the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. As the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme is co-funded by the EU under the Rural Development Progr...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a single farm payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application under the Single Payment Scheme/Disadvantaged Area Scheme was received from the person named on 11 May 2011. During processing of the application an apparent over-claim was identified i...More Button


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