Written Answers Pat Casey

These are the written answers received by Pat Casey TD to questions Header-Facebook-Written-Answersasked of Ministers on various subjects.

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Written answers

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Broadband Service Provision

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the updated roll-out dates for live rural broadband in Wicklow in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12961/16]

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the updated roll-out dates for live rural broadband in Wicklow in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12962/16]

Denis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway, Independent)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 829 and 834 together.

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland. The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority.  This is being achieved through private investment by commercial telecommunications companies and through a State intervention in areas where commercial investment is not forthcoming.

The High Speed Broadband Map 2020, which is available at www.broadband.gov.ieshows the extent of the State Intervention area, which is the subject of procurement. The areas marked BLUE represent those areas where commercial providers are either currently delivering or have plans to deliver high speed broadband services. The Department continues to monitor the commercial deployment plans in the BLUE area where commercial operators have committed to providing services, to ensure that those services are delivered. The areas marked AMBER on the High Speed Broadband Map represent the target areas for the State Intervention. The map provides information on a county by county basis with a breakdown of coverage across the townlands in every county including County Wicklow.

Over 750,000 premises are the focus of the procurement process, which formally commenced in December 2015 with the publication of the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire ( ‘PQQ’) and Project Information Memorandum. Five responses were received from prospective bidders to this stage of the competitive procurement process by the deadline of 31 March 2016. The five responses are being assessed in line with the criteria set down by the Department with a view to shortlist of qualified bidders proceeding to the next stage of procurement.

The second stage in the procurement process will be a formal invitation to Participate in Dialogue (ITPD) to shortlisted bidders. I expect that my Department will move to this stage in the next month. The third stage of the procurement process involves the issue of final tender documentation which follows the dialogue process. Following the submission of final tenders by bidders, a winning bidder(s) will be selected for the contract which will comprise one or two lots as set out in the NBP Intervention Strategy. The Department will then enter into formal contract negotiations with the winning bidder(s). It is expected that contract(s) will be awarded by June 2017.

As part of the competitive process, the Department will engage with winning bidder(s) on the best rollout strategy, in order to target areas of particularly poor service, business needs and / or high demand. This will need to be balanced with the most efficient network rollout plan. A prioritisation programme will be put in place in this regard, in consultation with the Minister for Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht. Once contract(s) are in place, I expect to publish a detailed rollout plan for the network.

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits also to measures to assist in the rollout of the network once a contract is awarded. In this regard, Minister Humphreys will lead on the establishment of county or regional broadband taskforces,  working with Local Authorities, Local Enterprise Offices, LEADER Groups and other relevant agencies to help accelerate the broadband network build in rural Ireland, once a contract(s) has been awarded.

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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Tourism Project Funding

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the spend to date on the development of the Ireland’s Ancient East project, including all aspects of the funding streams available; the number of private and-or voluntary organisations and public sector projects which have made applications; the amount of the funding applied for by each project; the amount funded to each application; the spend to date, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12959/16]

Shane Ross (Dublin Rathdown, Independent)

The matters raised by the Deputy in relation to the Ireland’s Ancient East project are matters for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland. I have therefore referred the Deputy’s questions to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply. The Deputy should contact my private office if a response is not received within ten working days.

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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Wild Atlantic Way Project

Robert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 1134 of 17 May 2016, if no costing analysis or exercise has been undertaken for the projects proposed for development such as those mentioned in the response; the way he arrived at the figure of €100 million to set aside for the development of the Wild Atlantic Way; the total amount which has been spent on the development of the attraction to date, including moneys spent by agencies, such as Fáilte Ireland, for marketing purposes; the total amount spent by the local authorities; and if the €100 million in funding will be used to develop other attractions not along the western corridor. [12951/16]

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the spend to date on all aspects of the funding streams available for development of the Wild Atlantic Way; the number of private and-or voluntary organisations and public sector projects which have made applications; the amount of the funding applied for by each project; the amount funded to each application; the spend to date, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12960/16]

Shane Ross (Dublin Rathdown, Independent)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 872 and 875 together.

The Deputy will be aware from my answer of 17 May 2016 that the Government is seeking to set aside €100 million in additional capital funding for a number of projects, including the Wild Atlantic Way, an Atlantic Blueway route, the Ireland Way, development of a nationwide Greenway network, and a doubling of the funding available for the Rural Walks Scheme.

Investment in tourism initiatives is undertaken by the tourism agencies, in accordance with public financial procedures. In the case of tourism capital investment, Fáilte Ireland is the relevant agency and potential projects for prudent and valuable investment, which will be funded from the additional €100 million committed to by Government, will be identified by Fáilte Ireland. Cost benefit analyses, business cases, and project plans will be undertaken on a project by project basis, rather than at the level of a Programme for Government.

In relation to expenditure to date on the promotion and development of the Wild Atlantic Way, these are operational matters for Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. I have therefore referred the Deputy’s questions to both agencies for direct reply. The Deputy should contact my private office if a response is not received within ten working days.

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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Department of Health

Primary Care Centres

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Health the status for the provision of primary health care centres for Arklow and Rathdum in County Wicklow, including the list of proposed locations being considered in both towns; if funding is in place and the delivery timeframe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9791/16]

Simon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)

The Health Service Executive has responsibility for the provision and operation of Primary Care Centres. Therefore, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this issue. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Department of Health

Cancer Services Provision

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Health if, in view of the confirmation that the pigmented lesions clinic at St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin 4 is now closed to new referrals between May and September 2016, the locations the new referrals are being sent to; if there are waiting lists at these referral centres; the waiting times in these centres; if there are waiting times, if these are expected to increase, and if so, to what level; if there are best practice guidelines and standard referral timeframes in the treatment of skin cancer; if so, if he will provide the guidelines, specifically regarding cases of suspected malignant melanoma; if these standards and timeframes are being met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10489/16]

Simon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)

The Deputy’s question relates to service delivery matters and accordingly I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him.

If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow up the matter with them.

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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Tourism Project Funding

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of private, voluntary organisations and public sector projects which have made applications in relation to Ireland’s Ancient East capital grant scheme 2015 by county, in tabular form; the amount of the funding applied for by each project by county; the amount actually funded to each application; the actual spend to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10490/16]

Shane Ross (Dublin Rathdown, Independent)

While my Department provides the capital funding for investment in tourism initiatives such as Ireland’s Ancient East, it is not directly involved in developing or managing those projects. This is a matter for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland.  I have referred the Deputy’s question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply.  Please contact my private office if a response is not received within ten working days.

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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Transport Policy

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the status of the adoption of the transport strategy for the greater Dublin area national 2016 to 2035 in April 2016 and the implications this will have for his Department in a number of areas (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11544/16]

Simon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)

A specific requirement in relation to the preparation of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area is that it has regard to the National Spatial Strategy (NSS), Regional Plans and County Development Plans and this indeed has been the case in the preparation of the 2016-2035 Strategy. In fact, Chapter 2 and Page 16 in particular of the adopted GDA Transport Strategy, clearly set out where the strategy fits into an integrated spatial and transport planning hierarchy at national, regional and local levels. In addition, the GDA Transport Strategy will be a factor in the preparation of the National Planning Framework (NPF) as the successor to the NSS and subsequent Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSESs).

The suggestion that the Strategy will impact adversely on job creation in Wicklow and the GDA is unsubstantiated. Based on projected growth in population and employment, the Transport strategy identifies the East Wicklow M11 corridor as the most significantly growing part of the Region in terms of travel demand, outside the Dublin Docklands area and M4 corridor, much closer to Dublin City.

It is critical that the Dublin City Region has a long term transport plan in place to guide and inform future strategy and investment decisions and to ensure that bottlenecks can be addressed before they become seriously damaging to the economy of the region and the country as a whole. The ambition of and potential for growth in Wicklow can be best realised in the context of such a Regional strategy, through local implementation plans.

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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Department of Education and Skills

Schools Building Projects

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when she will issue a written decision to a school (details supplied) in County Wicklow regarding the building of an extra classroom; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8857/16]

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when she will issue a written decision to a school (details supplied) in County Wicklow regarding the upgrade of all the electrical systems across the school as part of the summer works scheme. [8858/16]

Jan O’Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 241 and 242 together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the school in question has submitted an application to my Department for additional accommodation. The application is currently being assessed and a decision will be conveyed to the school authority as soon as this process has been finalised.

The Deputy will be aware that I announced details of the successful applicants under the Summer Works Scheme (2016-2017) on 28th April last, details of which are published on my Department’s website, www.education.ie. €30 million of the €80 million announced for the multi-annual Summer Works Scheme (2016-2017) is now being allocated for vital gas works and electrical upgrades in schools. I am pleased to advise the Deputy that funding has been allocated to the school, to which he refers, to undertake electrical improvements. The school can access a written decision on my Department’s on-line Esinet Portal.

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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Department of Health

Hospital Services

Peter Fitzpatrick (Louth, Fine Gael)

  1. To ask the Minister for Health the number of patients treated in Louth County Hospital, Dundalk, County Louth in 2015; the services available in the hospital; his plans to increase the number of services available there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8811/16]

Leo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Health if the pigmented lesions clinic at St. Vincent’s University Hospital in County Dublin is closing to new referrals between May and September 2016 due to staffing shortages; the locations suspected skin cancer sufferers, especially those with malignant melanoma, will be referred to during this period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8825/16]

Leo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)

The Deputy’s question relates to service delivery matters and accordingly I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him.

If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow up the matter with them.

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Department of Health

Hospital Services

 

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Health if he will confirm that the pigmented lesions clinic at St. Vincent’s University Hospital is closing to new referrals between May and September 2016 due to a manpower crisis; the locations to which patients with suspected skin cancers, especially malignant melanoma, will be referred during this period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7813/16]

Leo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)

The Deputy’s question relates to service delivery matters and accordingly I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him.

If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow up the matter with them.

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Department of Health

Medical Card Applications

 

Pat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)

  1. To ask the Minister for Health the status of an application for a medical card by a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6870/16]

Leo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)

The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has recently issued to Oireachtas members.

If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office who will follow up the matter with them.