To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he is taking to address the capacity issue at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.
I wish to advise the Deputy that a project for the school in question is included on my Department’s 6 Year Construction Programme. Officials from my Department have been in contact with the Patron of the school in order to progress the project.
I also wish to advise the Deputy that acquisition of a site at Loughshinny to facilitate the new school building is currently advancing. Department officials are working to complete this acquisition at the earliest possible date.
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine his plans to ensure that the 2015 ruling of the European Court of Justice which ensures the welfare of animals during live export will be met throughout transport to destinations beyond EU borders.
My Department implements stringent system of controls on the welfare of animals being exported, in particular through a comprehensive legislative framework relating to the transport of animals by sea (The Carriage of Livestock by Sea Regulations 2016 (S.I. 356 of 2016). Ships must be approved by my Department in advance of exporting cattle from Ireland. Cattle being exported are monitored during the prescribed isolation period by Department Veterinary Inspectors and in some cases by Official Veterinarians from the importing countries. This is in addition to work carried out by Private Veterinary Practitioners who carry out the testing required prior to export to enable certification. Furthermore, animals are inspected and certified by Official Veterinarians from the Department with regard to their health status and fitness for travel.
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if he has had discussions with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection regarding exemptions for stable staff to the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997; his views regarding the impact in the horse racing industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Following the Labour Court ruling regarding exemptions for stable staff to the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, I was made aware of the deep concern that existed in the horse racing industry arising from this ruling and its potential for significant impact on the sector, particularly for smaller operators.
As part of the legislation governing employment in this area falls within the remit of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, I can confirm that I met with my colleague Minister Humphreys in relation to this issue in early 2018. I also raised the matter with Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Minister Doherty.