Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Departmental Expenditure

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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215. To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount of money that the State has spent on the aerial observations of persons cutting turf from the period 22 June 2012 to 22 November 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46562/14]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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My Department has incurred expenditure in the sum of €80,367 in the period June 2012 for the hire of private aircraft for the purpose of aerial monitoring of activity on raised bog Special Areas of Conservation, where the requirement to cease turf cutting applies. Private aircraft are only used when the Air Corps is not in a position to undertake these flights. Any costs incurred by the Air Corps are a matter for the Department of Defence. I should point out that Ireland is at risk of action - including the potential imposition of daily fines of up to €25,000 - before the Court of Justice of the European Union if these Special Areas of Conservation, which are protected under Irish and European law, are not preserved.


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