Written answers

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Brexit Expenditure

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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57. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the funding expended by his Department in promoting and hosting all Getting Ireland Brexit Ready events to date; the costs associated with advertising, design work, photography, event staging and venue hire, print and online media advertising and public relations in tabular form; the budget allocated in his Department for the Getting Ireland Brexit Ready events with respect to promotional activities in 2018 and 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12420/19]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Since my appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in June 2017, I have overseen and co-ordinated a sustained intensification of Brexit preparedness. As part of these efforts, the Government has organised “Getting Ireland Brexit Ready” public information events around Ireland to inform and advise about Brexit preparedness and the range of support measures and resources that the Government has put in place.

These events brought together over a dozen Agencies and their parent Departments – the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport - under one roof to inform and advise both citizens and businesses.

The events also attracted significant domestic and international (in particular UK) media coverage which afforded an opportunity to highlight Ireland’s overall approach and specific concerns in relation to Brexit.

The Getting Ireland Brexit Ready events in question took place in Cork on 5 October, Galway on 12 October, Monaghan on 19 October, Dublin on 25 October, Limerick on 23 November and Letterkenny on 30 November. Having participated at each event, I am pleased to confirm that they attracted very strong participation by a combined total of approximately 2,500 attendees.

The positive impact of the Getting Ireland Brexit Ready events and the Government's ongoing public information activities in relation to Brexit preparedness is reflected in an increase in the uptake of the many Brexit Business supports that are offered by State Agencies. For example, over 4,000 companies have availed of the Enterprise Ireland Brexit Scorecard facility as a first step in developing their Brexit plan. Similarly, over 1,000 SMEs have directly engaged with the InterTradeIreland Brexit Advisory Service so far in 2019; this is in addition to the 4,175 engagements in 2018.

Other Brexit preparedness-related public information activities and events continue to be organised by Government Departments and State Agencies across Ireland. Since September 2018 there have been over 80 such events across 20 counties. Relevant details on these activities and events and on Brexit preparedness more generally can be found via the gov.ie/brexit website.

To coincide with the ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ events held to date, there was also a sustained public information campaign which ran on radio, in print media, online and via social media channels. This campaign ensured that citizens and businesses were informed of the measures available to them.

In organising each event, every effort was made to ensure that costs were kept to the necessary minimum and that they achieved the best value for money. Costs that have arisen directly in connection with the Getting Ireland Brexit Ready events held so far and costs for the accompanying public information campaign activities for which invoices/confirmed costings have been received are as follows:

Item Totals
Venue Hire, Catering & Related€69,242.84
Event Staging / Audio-Visual Equipment (OPW)€101,595.73
Event Materials / Signage / Badging€22,964.30
Photography / Video / Podcast€17,252.85
Advertising & Design €294,859.18
Other €2,086.47
Total €508,001.37


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