Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs

Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Questions

Posted November 19th, 2012

Public consultation on draft bye-laws for Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation – 18th February 2014

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide from Waterways Ireland details of the public consultation held on the new draft bye-laws for the Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation; the number of submissions made; the types of organisations making submissions; and what the next phases of the consultation are

Reply

The Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht (Jimmy Deenihan):

As the Deputies will be aware, the public consultation process on the draft bye-laws referred to concluded on 3 February last. I am informed by Waterways Ireland that a general synopsis reveals that in excess of two thousand submissions were received from a wide variety of interests, including, but not exclusively, individual citizens, businesses, boat owners, organisations affiliated to the waterways such as the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, Councils, communities and local representatives.

I am advised that Waterways Ireland is currently conducting an analysis of all submissions received during the consultation process, including those received in support of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland’s position in regards to the draft bye-laws.

Once the analysis has been completed, all submissions will be given due consideration by Waterways Ireland and a report on the outcome of the process will be prepared. The report will be forwarded to my Department and will be then be referred to me with recommendations for consideration and final decision.

Employment practices in the civil service – 6th February 2013

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if there are any retired public sector workers from his Department, or any other part of the public sector, currently on his Department’s payroll, for example, for sitting on a committee or preparing a report, but not exclusively these two areas; the number on the payroll; the cost to his Department; the services being delivered for this money; and the way that the positions were originally advertised..

Reply

The Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht (Jimmy Deenihan):

As I have previously advised the House, I appointed Mr. James Kenny as a special advisor with effect from 7th June 2011.

The current salary for that position would ordinarily be €83,337 at present. However, as Mr. Kenny is in receipt of a public service pension, he does not receive that full salary in addition to his pension. Instead, his salary has been abated to €41,502 i.e. he receives €41,502 in addition to his pension, rather than the full salary for the post.

No other public sector workers are currently on the payroll of my Department.

Conditions for receipt of Aosdana’s Cnuas – 20th November 2012,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the conditions for receipt of Aosdana’s Cnuas, if it is specifically for younger, unestablished artists, and if he will provide some information as to who receives it.

Reply

The Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht (Jimmy Deenihan):

The Arts Council established Aosdána in 1981 to honour those artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland and to encourage and assist members in devoting their energies fully to their art. Membership of the organisation, which is by peer nomination and election, is limited to 250 living artists who have produced a distinguished body of work. Members of the organisation must also have been born in Ireland or have been resident here for five years.

Members of Aosdána are eligible to receive a ‘Cnuas’ from the Arts Council, a tax- free means-tested annuity for a term of five years to assist them in concentrating their time and energies in the full-time pursuit of their art. The eligibility criterion for the payment of the cnuas requires that a recipient may not have other earnings in excess of € 25,755 (one and a half times the value of the cnuas). Cnuas recipients are therefore allowed to receive income from other sources so long as it does not take their earnings above this threshold. When a member makes an application for the Cnuas they must provide a signed declaration stating that they do not have other earnings in excess of the eligible threshold.

As with all elements of Arts Council expenditure, the payment of the Cnuas is independently managed by Council and is not a matter in which I have a statutory function.

Details of the current membership of Aosdána and a schedule of those members in receipt of the Cnuas are available on the Arts Council website at www.artscouncil.ie.

The table below shows my Department’s grant-in-aid to the Arts Council along with funding provided by the Arts Council to Aosdána over the five year period from 2007-2011. My Department does not award funding directly to Aosdána.

Public Sector Rostering – 6th November 2012,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the sectors of the public sector that are currently employed on a roster basis and if there are any plans to remove employees from the rostering system.

Reply

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Jimmy Deenihan):

A number of staff from the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department comprising conservation rangers, guides and general operatives work on a rostered basis to facilitate public access to national parks and nature reserves at weekends.

In addition, a number of the  National Cultural  Institutions funded from my Department’s Vote Group have agreed  rostering  systems in place so that facilities are available   to  the public  both at  weekends  and  on  certain  late evenings. Rostered staff include attendants, shop assistants, library assistants, learning and outreach officers, and cleaners.

Lock keepers from Waterways Ireland also work a rostered week, which varies according to the regions in which the lock keeper is based.

I am advised that the roster arrangements in place both in my Department and in the bodies funded from my Department’s Vote Group are working well and there are no plans to change them at present.

The number of staff in the Department’s redeployment pool – 26th June 2012,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of persons in his Department’s redeployment pool, including agencies responsible to it, that is, those persons who are to be redeployed as their current role is no longer necessary, but have not been redeployed yet.

Reply

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs (Jimmy Deenihan):

No employees of my Department are currently on the Public Appointments Service redeployment panels.

In relation to agencies within the ambit of my Department, I am advised that three members of staff of the National Museum of Ireland are currently on redeployment panels. Two members of staff were placed on the panel on 17 January 2012 and the other was placed on the panel on 15 February 2012. I am advised that redeployment has been agreed in respect of one person, to become effective from 3 August 2012.

Funding for the National Library and National Archives – 12th June 2012,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding that will be made available for the merged National Library and National Archives for this year, and if there was any decrease in the funding made available to both institutions last year.

Reply

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs (Jimmy Deenihan):

The financial allocations (both current and capital) for the National Library and the National Archives for 2012 are as follows:

Institution

Allocation 2012

Increase/Decrease on 2011

National Library of Ireland

€7,120,00

-11.92%

National Archives of Ireland

€1,409,000*

-3.36%

The allocation outlined above for the National Archives does not include salary and administration costs. As staff in the National Archives are civil servants of my Department, such costs are met directly from my Department’s Administration Budget.

With regard to the merging of the two institutions, I refer the Deputy to my reply to Questions 1, 3, 4 and 5 of 6 June 2012.

Plans for the former Hume Street Hospital – 15th May 2012,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht his plans for the former Hume Street Hospital to ensure that it retains some form of civic use.

Reply

The complex of buildings referred to by the Deputies is on the Record of Protected Structures for Dublin City.  My Department has no involvement in the current ownership or use of the former Hume Street Hospital and has no plans involving these buildings.
My statutory role with regard to protected structures is underpinned by the provisions of the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2011 and does not extend to any function regarding the sale of a protected structure in private ownership.

Under Part IV (Architectural Heritage) of the Acts, inclusion on the Record of Protected Structures places a duty of care on the owners and occupiers of protected structures and gives planning authorities powers to deal with development proposals affecting them in order to safeguard their future, in this case Dublin City Council.

My Department’s policy and best practice advice consistently recommends that appropriate new uses are identified and pursued for all vacant or derelict protected structures, as this is the best means of ensuring conservation of their architectural heritage.

What support is to be provided for the Little Museum of Dublin – 3rd April 2012,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the support he will provide to the Little Museum of Dublin in 2012 in view of its importance to the history, culture and tourism of the city and if he has decided not to provide any support, his reasons for same.

Reply

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs (Jimmy Deenihan):

I wish to advise the Deputy that a request for support has been received from the Little Museum of Dublin and is currently being examined by officials within my Department.  This examination will have to have due regard to the availability of resources and the many competing demands for such resources.

Merger of Irish Art Galleries and associated savings – 27th March 2012,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason behind the proposed merger of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery and the Crawford Gallery in Cork; and the potential savings to the State as a result of this proposed merger.

Reply

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs (Jimmy Deenihan):

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government announced its Public Service Reform Plan on 17 November, 2011.  Appendix IIA to that plan sets out a number of bodies to be rationalised, amalgamated or abolished in 2012, including, in respect of my Department, the following action: “Combine Irish Museum of Modern Art, Crawford Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Ireland, while retaining separate identities”.  The Reform Plan sets out the context and background to the decision.

My Department has commenced a detailed examination of the issues involved.  The input of the Institutions will be crucial in this examination.  At this point, it is not yet possible to properly assess the issue of projected savings.  The Deputy will appreciate that the pursuit of efficiencies and synergies are also some of the elements under consideration.

The Minister’s role in protecting heritage structures – 17th January 2012,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which Dublin City Council is meeting its obligations; the oversight role he has in maintaining and protecting structures of architectural and historical importance in the Dublin area, as required under the Derelict Sites Act 1990; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Reply

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs (Jimmy Deenihan):

For clarification, I wish to advise the Deputy that I have no role in relation to the Derelict Sites Act 1990, which is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Under the provisions of the Planning and Development Act 2000 regarding architectural heritage, each planning authority is required to include in its development plan a record of protected structures.  Details of the structures in Dublin City included on the record of protected structures are available from Dublin City Council.

In relation to protected structures, section 59 of the 2000 Act provides for a planning authority to serve notice to require works to be carried out in relation to endangerment of such structures.  On the basis of information submitted by the planning authorities to my Department, there were 19 such notices served nationwide in 2008, 27 in 2009 and 10 in 2010. On the basis of information provided by Dublin City Council, 16 notices were served in 2008, 17 in 2009, 2 in 2010 and 8 in 2011.

My role in relation to protected structures is to ensure that there are appropriate legislative and policy frameworks in place in relation to the built heritage. However, operational issues are generally a matter for planning authorities under those frameworks. My Department has responsibility for the National Inventory on Architectural Heritage, which provides a basis for me to recommend structures to local authorities for protection.

In addition, my Department provides advice to planning authorities in relation to development applications which may impact on protected structures. My Department also provides limited funding directly to local authorities, or through the Heritage Council, which is used for works on protected structures, including those which may be endangered.

The expected Departmental expenditure on consultancy fees – 6th October 2011,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount he intends to spend on consultancy fees in 2011, in particular those contracted to identify value for money in his Department.

Reply

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs (Jimmy Deenihan):

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department was established on the 2nd of June 2011. The 2011 REV provides my Department with an allocation of €211,000 under subhead A.7 Consultancy Services and Value for Money Policy Reviews. Of this allocation, some €32,764 has been expended to October 1st 2011. My Department is keeping the need for consultants under close review in order to control expenditure and ensure value for money.

It should be noted that this figure does not include any expenditure on consultancy related work which may form part of general programme expenditure. This expenditure is presently under review and, for completeness, I will write to the Deputy separately when this review is finished.

Meeting with NAMA – 20th September 2011,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 32 and 36 of 11 May 2011, if the meeting with the National Assets Management Agency is taking place; and if he has any further information from NAMA on building that have no commercial potential.

Reply

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs (Jimmy Deenihan):

In relation to the proposal regarding the use of NAMA buildings for cultural purposes, I have met the chair and chief executive of NAMA on the matter and those contacts will continue.

As the Deputy and the House will, however, appreciate, NAMA is dealing with sensitive financial matters and is restricted in regard to the information it may make available in relation to such assets.

If AIB’s art collection will be donated to IMMA– 2nd June 2011,

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in view of the on-going expense of curating and maintaining an art collection and in view of Anglo Irish Bank’s intention to donate its art collection to the public and the substantial State support provided to the banks, if he will direct or request AIB to donate its significant art collection to the Museum of Modern Art.

Reply

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs (Jimmy Deenihan):

AIB has always had an active policy of lending pieces, on request, to galleries across Ireland for exhibitions.  In the last two years, AIB has stepped up this lending programme with the objective of bringing the collection to a wider audience and supporting the arts in the communities.