Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the progress that has been made through mapping and other means by his Department’s underwater archaeology unit to establish the location of the estimated 15,000 shipwrecks lying in Irish territorial waters.
Reply from Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan: My Department’s National Monuments Service, through its Underwater Archaeology Unit, has been researching shipwrecks in Irish territorial waters since 1999 and, from documentary sources and local research and knowledge has, to date, built up a database of 17,000 wrecks, of which some 3,000 have been accurately located.
With the co-operation and assistance of the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute, the identity and location of a further 300 wrecks has been identified and verified through high resolution seabed mapping techniques. Further analysis of data already collected and continuing research is expected to increase the number of known shipwreck sites as time goes on.
Work is currently being finalised on the development of a shipwrecks database for inclusion in the National Monuments Service website, www.archaeology.ie, where it will be available to the general public. My Department has also produced two related publications in recent years: The Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland: Louth to Wicklow and Warships, U-Boats and Liners, the latter in co-operation with the Marine Institute and the Geological Survey of Ireland.
Answered on June 26, 2013
To ask the Minister for Finance the annual cost to the Exchequer, across all Departments, of maintaining Farmleigh House, Dublin; and the number of overnight State visitors, high-level meeting delegates, and members of the public who attended events there in the years 2010 and 2012.
Reply from the Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Brian Hayes: The following are the figures requested by Deputy Deasy:
Annual Operational Costs
Operational and maintenance costs: €2,805,515
Gas and Electricity: €150,341
Operational and maintenance costs: €2,798,623
Gas and Electricity: €182,668
Answered on June 26, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of donations made to the National Museum of Ireland in the past ten years.
Reply from Minister Jimmy Deenihan: The National Museum of Ireland became a fully autonomous non-commercial semi-state body on 3rd May 2005 under the provisions of the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997 and I, as Minister, have no statutory responsibility in relation to day-to-day operational matters including donations.
I have therefore referred the Deputy's question to the Director of the National Museum of Ireland for direct reply.
Answered on June 18, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht his policy regarding the culling of seals to protect fish stocks; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Transferred for answer to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan (pictured): There are two species of seals in Irish waters - the Harbour or Common Seal and the more numerous Grey Seal. Both are included in a list of species protected under the EU Habitats Directive. Consequently, Ireland is obliged to monitor and report on their status, including in relation to their population, every six years. The next such report is due this month. The assessments of seals will be available shortly on the website of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department at www.npws.ie.
My Department has carried out a number of surveys, including aerial surveys, on the population of both the common and grey seals in the past number of years. All data arising from these surveys from the previous years are now being analysed in advance of the forthcoming report to the European Commission.
The data from both the Harbour and Grey Seal monitoring programmes will be comparable with previously-collected data and will inform my Department’s view as to the current status of the respective populations.
In terms of ascertaining the likely effects of seals on the fishing industry, I will be informed not only by the population monitoring undertaken by my Department, but also by investigations into seal-fisheries interactions that have been commissioned by Inland Fisheries Ireland and Bord Iascaigh Mhara and I understand that both organisations will report later in 2013.
While seals are protected under the Wildlife Acts, licences may be obtained under section 42 of the Wildlife Act to hunt seals where damage is being caused. Licences are issued in response to specific applications and each application is considered on its merits. This redress is available to individual fishermen to control damage to fisheries by seals at particular locations.
May 29, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount of money being set aside to fund commemorations of World War 1, the War of Independence, the 1916 Easter Rising and the Civil War.
Reply from Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan: The commemorative programme embraces the totality of our history in the years from the 3rd Home Rule Bill to the emergence of the Irish State.
Proceeding on the centenary timeline, the series of historic events will be addressed in a comprehensive, authentic and inclusive way oriented towards enhanced understanding and public participation.
The capital and current needs of the commemorative programme to date have been met from within the approved allocations of several Departments and Offices. Funding arrangements are addressed on an individual basis for each project brought forward in the context of the commemorative programme.
Answered on May 28, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount of funding his Department has allocated, and to which projects, in Tramore, County Waterford in each of the past five years.
Reply from Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan: As the Deputy will be aware, my Department was established in June 2011. The Department administers and delivers a wide range of programmes and measures, descriptions of which are available on its website at http://www.ahg.gov.ie/.
While expenditure under these programme areas takes place countrywide, it is not possible to give a town-by-town or county-by-county breakdown of that expenditure. For example, a number of my Department’s programmes are delivered through agencies and other intermediary bodies that operate across county boundaries and in respect of which there is no detailed breakdown on a county basis held by my Department. In addition, groups and organisations that receive grants directly from my Department are not necessarily constituted on a single-county or a single-town basis.
In view of the wide range of my Department’s schemes and programmes, and the large volumes of payments and grants made on an ongoing basis, it is not feasible to compile and collate the breakdown of expenditure sought by the Deputy.
Answered on May 28, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the intended transfer in trust of Mount Congreve Gardens in County Waterford to the State will take place; the reason for the non completion in discussions between the Office of Public Works and the Congreve Foundation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Reply from Minister of State Brian Hayes: The house and gardens at Mount Congreve are currently under the care of the Mount Congreve Trust. The Mount Congreve Trust consists of three Trustees including the Commissioners of Public Works. The remaining two Trustees represent the Congreve Foundation and were appointed by Mr. Congreve. The Trust period for the gardens commenced upon the death of Mr Congreve in May 2011 and will expire in May 2032. The Mansion House will remain in the hands of the Trust until 2059. Only upon the expiration of these Trust periods will the properties revert to the ownership of the State. The Commissioners of Public Works, in their role as Trustee, have been in discussions with the other Trustees as to the future management of the Trust properties. While these discussions are ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further.
Dáil Éireann allocates a certain amount of time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during which Deputies may ask questions of Members of the Government relating to Public Affairs connected with their Departments, or on matters of administration for whch they are officially responsible. The Taoiseach answers questions on his own Department on Tuesdays/Wednesdays.