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Written Answers — Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Forestry Sector (21 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: 2464. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will act on the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Agriculture and the Marine and introduce a 15 year premium from the date of replanting diseased ash and remove the age discrimination in the current scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18619/21]

Written Answers — Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Departmental Meetings (21 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: 2505. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the details of the meeting by his departmental officials with a group (details supplied) on 11 March 2021 in relation to its withdrawal from the 2030 agrifood strategy committee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19467/21]

Written Answers — Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Departmental Meetings (21 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: 2506. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if further engagement will take place with the Environmental Pillar following a meeting held by his departmental officials on 11 March 2021 with a range of representatives from the group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19468/21]

Written Answers — Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Agrifood Sector (21 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: 2507. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if there will be further revisions of the draft Agri-Food 2030 Strategy before publication in April 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19469/21]

Written Answers — Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Felling Licences (21 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: 2536. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of tree felling licences that have been approved since June 2020; the number of these licences that were for Coillte; the number that were for private growers; the average time between the submission of the licence and approval for both Coillte licences and private licences; and if he will make a statement on the...

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 30 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
(20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: I thank Mr Gleeson for presenting to the committee. I go back to the issue of the derogation by the European Commission in relation to sea fisheries. I am reading a report by Michael Clifford in the Irish Examiner, published a number of weeks ago. It states that an EU investigation reported that "during a four-year period, 33 cases of suspected fraud in relation to fishing quotas were sent...

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 30 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
(20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: My question is quite specific. Was the Department aware of the delays by the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority, SFPA, which was there to provide supervision? Was it aware the authority was defaulting in doing its job?

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 30 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
(20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: My question is quite clear. Was the Department aware of the delays that were occurring in bringing forward the cases? It is a simple question.

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 30 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
(20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: I will ask a further question. My understanding is there are different views between inspectors and management within the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority. In 2012, there were concerns raised with management in the authority about activities about which the inspectors were concerned. Was the Department aware of those concerns being raised by inspectors?

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 30 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
(20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: Surely the Department must be concerned. In 2017, a fishery officer alleged he raised the issue in late 2012 but nothing was done about it. Was the Department aware of the lack of action at managerial level? The report from the European Commission seems to say that there was a lack of action at managerial level in taking decisions about prosecutions.

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 30 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
(20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: The EU investigation found that 33 cases were sent to the DPP and not prosecuted. Surely the Department must be concerned that someone is not doing their job and there is likely to be penalties as a result of lack of action?

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 30 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
(20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: I know but if I go back again, five years ago a number of the biggest fishing operators in the State were found to have falsely reported the size of catches but we were told files would not be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions on that occasion. We were also informed the value of the fraud they were suspected of perpetrating would not be calculated. If that happened five years ago,...

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 30 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
(20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: I thank the witnesses for their replies to the earlier questions. I have two quick questions on different issues. On the SFPA, the PwC report concluded that the SFPA was not working effectively and required urgent attention. That was one report. There was a report from Deloitte in 2020 as well. What action will the Department take in dealing with all the concerns that have been raised?...

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 30 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
(20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: Are there targets for each year over the next ten years? Sometimes one can have a good year with a reduction in cases where TB has been identified but then the following year it could be back. Are clear targets set for each year?

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 30 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
(20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: Penalties are now likely to be imposed.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Covid-19 Vaccination Roll-out: Update (20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: I thank Dr. Henry and Professor Butler. I very much appreciate the work that is being done by them and all their back-up support teams and the progress that has been made to date. I will raise a number of issues, the first of which is with regard to the roll-out of the vaccine and the approach now being adopted in Denmark in administering the vaccine. My understanding, and I may not have...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Covid-19 Vaccination Roll-out: Update (20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: The suggestion made by Dr. John Campbell, one of the people on the radio show on which I appeared - I am not a medical expert so I am not holding myself out as such - was that his experience was if there is a connection to a vein, the vaccine then reacts to something which may then contribute to the clotting mechanism. This is what was suggested by him. I am not sure what the witnesses'...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Covid-19 Vaccination Roll-out: Update (20 Apr 2021)

Colm Burke: As I understand it, the only way of indicating whether a person has hit a vein is by drawing back on the syringe.

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