June 24, 2014
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Social Protection her views on the unreasonable delays in the payment of arrears of disability allowance payable to applicants who have been approved on appeal and have already waited approximately two years to have their claim approved; the steps she will take to improve this situation; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Reply from Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD: The Department aims to process and pay without delay all successful appeals returned by the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO). There are, however, some temporary delays currently being experienced by some successful disability allowance (DA) appellants. Over the past year, the Department has been working to reduce the number of DA applications awaiting decision and the successful clearing of high level of claims has resulted in an equally high level of appeals which are been serviced as quickly as possible.
Additional staff resources have been assigned to this work. As most of these customers are already in payment on other schemes, arrears due (if any) will issue once overlaps with these other scheme payments have been calculated and resolved.
June 18, 2014
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the commemorative activities and projects the Government has planned to mark the centenary of each of the following events: the passage into law of the Home Rule Act on 18 September 1914; the outbreak of the First World War on 4 August 1914; the Easter Rising in April 1916; the first sitting of Dáil Éireann and the Declaration of Independence on 21 January 1919; the end of the Irish War of Independence and creation of the Irish Free State in December 1921; and the Irish Civil War, 1922-1923.
Reply from Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan: The final phase of the Home Rule legislation will be commemorated this year in Ireland and, in association with the parliament at Westminster, in London. Arrangements relating to the centenary of the legislation in September are in preparation. The centenary of the World War has been acknowledged already this year by several local authorities and academic centres. Regimental associations and ex-service organisations are arranging visits to battlefield sites. National cultural institutions are organising special events and presentations. Special arrangements relating to the entry into the war are being made in Ireland, Britain and abroad in late July and early August. In this regard, I would specifically mention the dedication of a large monumental cross at Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin on 31 July.
The centenary of the Easter Rising will be the culmination of the first phase of the Decade of Centenaries programme that commenced in 2012. A number of capital projects have been commissioned for completion to feature in the commemorative programme. Consideration is underway of the events and activities that will complete the programme.
The 1918 election and the 1st Dail will be addressed in due course as they arise on the centenary timeline. The commemorative programme to date has been strengthened and enhanced by the initiatives of partners in relation to their heritage. The consideration of the Oireachtas in relation to the Centenary of the 1st Dail would be very welcome.
Similarly, the conclusion of the War of Independence, the Anglo-Irish treaty and the Civil War will be addressed on the Centenary timeline. At this remove, I can only advise that the commemorative programme will seek to ensure that the arrangements are comprehensive, authentic and inclusive.