To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the refurbishment and provision of a permanent extension for a school (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) the Portmarnock Community School
As the Deputy is aware, a building project for the school to which he refers is included in my Department's 6 Year Construction Programme.
The project brief is being finalised with a view to progressing the project into architectural planning.
Parliamentary Question - Oireachtas
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person Hamid bin Haydara; the efforts being made at EU and international level to address this case; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
I propose to take questions 150 and 151 together. I am aware of the case to which you refer, which is a cause for concern, in particular as the individual appears to have been sentenced on the basis of his religious beliefs.
Ireland strongly condemns all forms of persecution on the basis of religion or belief, and attaches great importance to combating all forms of discrimination based on religion or belief and incitement to religious hatred. Ireland consistently raises the issues of racism and intolerance and advocates for inclusive societies at the UN Human Rights Council, as well as at the Council of Europe and the OSCE.
Furthermore, Ireland is unequivocal in its stance on the death penalty. We oppose and condemn its use in all circumstances, and in particular in cases where there are allegations of unfair trials preceding its implementation. The abolition of the death penalty is one of Ireland’s international priorities, and my Department regularly conveys our stance on this issue to all countries where the death penalty is still in use.
The conflict in Yemen, now in its third year, has led to grave concerns about human rights and Ireland has worked in the UN system to address these. At the Human Rights Council in September 2017, Ireland joined the small core group of countries that drove forward the adoption of a Resolution on Yemen, which established a group of international experts to investigate the facts in relation to violations of human rights and humanitarian law on the ground. This group will report back to the Human Rights Council, as an important step towards accountability in Yemen.
Among other pressing issues, this resolution expressed concern at the severe restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in Yemen, including for members of the Baha’i faith. Ireland calls on all parties to immediately release all Baha’i detained in Yemen due to their religious belief, to cease the issuance of arrest warrants against them and to cease the harassment to which they are subjected.
Officials from this Department also remain in contact with representatives of the Baha’i community in Ireland, with whom they have discussed the situation in Yemen, and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
My Department necessarily prioritises its efforts to promote improvements in the general human rights situation, as it does not have the capacity to actively pursue at EU and international level all of the individual cases that arise. Accordingly, my Department will continue to monitor the human rights situation in Yemen, as well as the issues of freedom of religion and the death penalty, and will take every appropriate opportunity to advocate for them.
Finally, a real improvement in the human rights situation in Yemen will require an end to conflict. I would like to assure the Deputy that Ireland will continue to support all efforts towards a negotiated settlement to the conflict in that country.
The works to provide a new school building for a school in County Dublin in addition to the associated refurbishment works will commence as a matter of priority
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the works to provide a new school building for a school (details supplied) in County Dublin in addition to the associated refurbishment works will commence as a matter of priority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) St Molaga's National School, Balbriggan, Co Dublin
I wish to advise the Deputy that a project for St. Molaga’s National School is included in my Department's Capital Programme to primarily replace existing temporary accommodation with permanent accommodation. In that regard officials in my Department are currently preparing the project brief which will facilitate the progression of the project into Architectural Planning, which includes the appointment of a Design Team. In this context I can confirm that a meeting has been arranged with the school authorities for early February in relation to their project.
In the interim I am pleased to advise that my Department has approved additional temporary accommodation to meet the school’s immediate accommodation needs.
Safety concerns arising from cars that have been poorly or improperly maintained by technicians without adequate training
To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the considerable safety concerns arising from cars that have been poorly or improperly maintained by technicians without adequate training; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Road Safety Authority, which comes under my Department's remit, has responsibility for the National Car Testing Service and Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Test, both of which will detect vehicles that do not meet the required roadworthiness standards.
However, the standards of vehicle maintenance, as with other service standards, is a consumer rights matter and falls within the responsibility of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, which is under the aegis of the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and do not come within the remit of my Department. Neither does the training of technicians who carry out such maintenance, or the adequacy thereof, which is a matter for Quality and Qualifications Ireland under the Minister for Education and Skills.
To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the expenditure on metro north since 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As the Deputy is aware, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) including the development of a metro scheme.
I am advised by the NTA that the expenditure on Metro North from 2005 up to the end of January 2018 is approximately €170 million.
As the Deputy may be aware, following consideration of the Fingal/North Dublin Transport Study and the recommendations of the National Transport Authority (NTA) arising from this study, the Government decided in 2015 that an optimised metro rail link as set out in the study is the long term public transport solution on the Airport/Swords corridor. In addition, the Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to proceed with the metro scheme.
The recently published Project Ireland 2040 now proposes to take forward a Metro Link scheme to run from Swords, via Dublin Airport to Dublin’s south city centre (operating in tunnel under the city centre) and onwards to Sandyford using the existing Luas Green Line to ensure that growth along this corridor can be accommodated. This will provide Dublin with a high capacity, high-frequency cross-city rail corridor serving critical destinations such as Swords, Dublin Airport, Dublin City University, Ballymun, the Mater Hospital and existing destinations along the Luas Green Line to Sandyford. Metro Link will provide faster reliable journey times to and from these key destinations while offering interchange with other rail, DART Expansion, light rail and bus services.
The next steps are that the details of the Metro Link scheme (Swords to Sandyford) will put out to public consultation in the coming weeks, with construction expected to commence in 2021 with a view to delivering the project by 2027.
To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the countries or states within countries with which Ireland has a reciprocal exchange of driving licences agreements, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
This information is already in the public domain and may be found on the website of the National Driver Licensing Service. Besides all of our fellow EU Member States, the countries with which we have bilateral agreements on exchange are -
Isle Of Man
Ontario Province of Canada
Manitoba Province of Canada
Newfoundland & Labrador Province of Canada
British Columbia Province of Canada
To ask the Minister for Health the status of the reimbursement of the drug ocrevus; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing and reimbursement of medicines under the community drug schemes, in accordance with the provisions of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for reply to the Deputy.
To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the status of the delivery of metro north; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsiblity for the development and implementation of public transport and sustainable transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) including new Metro North.
Funding of over €700 million has been allocated under the Government’s present Capital Plan 2016-2021 for planning, design and beginning construction of new Metro North, with construction work planned to commence in 2021 and passenger services expected in 2027.
The NTA, in collaboration with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), has been undertaking an option analysis and selection study of possible metro alignments and station locations. It is my understanding that the NTA and TII expect that this process will be completed shortly, after which a public consultation process will be undertaken on the Emerging Preferred Route (EPR). Arising from this work a final route and station location will be established. It is also expected that Preliminary Design will commence early this year.
The 10 year capital plan which will published shortly will provide a funding commitment to complete this significant addition to public transport.
To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport the status of the construction of a second parallel runway at Dublin airport; his engagement with stakeholders in this regard; his plans to establish a competent authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
In accordance with the National Aviation Policy, the Government fully supports the building of a second runway at Dublin Airport and the development of the Airport as a hub airport with the necessary capacity to connect key existing and emerging global markets.
The daa - which has statutory responsibility to manage, operate and develop Dublin Airport - was granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála in 2007 for a second runway. An extension of the duration of the planning permission was granted last year, for a further five years (to expire in August 2022).
Preliminary works under the first phase of construction, including preparation of the site, realignment and building of new roads, fencing and landscaping were completed in late 2017. The procurement process for the main construction works on the runway itself is now underway and is expected to be completed by Q3 2018 with construction to commence thereafter.
All pre-construction conditions attached to the 2007 planning permission were completed to the satisfaction of Fingal County Council prior to the commencement of preliminary works. This included the putting in place of a voluntary purchase scheme for dwellings, together with a property insulation scheme for homes and schools. The daa has also undertaken a range of other measures to communicate with all stakeholders, e.g. written communication, newsletters, public meetings, information sessions and one to one meetings where requested. I have also personally met with a number of residents' groups to hear their views and concerns and ensured that these concerns were passed on to daa.
EU Regulation (598/2014) concerning Noise Related Operating Restrictions at EU Airports entered into effect on 13 June, 2016. The Regulation requires the appointment of a State body – independent of the airport company – to regulate airport noise at Dublin Airport in accordance with prescribed procedures for assessing and, where appropriate, ensuring the adoption of measures to mitigate noise impacts. To ensure full compliance with this Regulation, I, with the support of Government, intend to appoint Fingal County Council as the Competent Authority. The necessary statutory arrangements are a priority objective for my Department in 2018. I also intend to appoint An Bord Pleanála as the Appeals Body for purposes of the Regulation.
It is my view that provisions of the Regulation – (including the appointment of an independent regulator, a detailed and technical assessment of airport noise, the application of international best practice noise management measures, a provision for public consultation and an independent appeals process) – represent a huge improvement on current arrangements and that full implementation is in the broad national interest and in the best interests of residents and Dublin Airport.
To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport his contacts with Dublin city council in relation to the plans to reduce inbound traffic at Fairview, Dublin 3 to one lane; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. However, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport, including the building and maintenance of cycling infrastructure or the regulation of traffic on public roads.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) is responsible for the development and implementation of public transport and sustainable transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) and I understand they are working closely with the relevant roads authority, Dublin City Council, on this specific scheme.
Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred your question to the NTA for a more detailed reply with regard to this particular project. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.