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Category Archives: Parliamentary Question

Photo of Séamus HealySéamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)

317. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality in view of the recent traumatic events in France and the recommendation of the Constitutional Convention, the plans the Government has to hold a referendum to exclude blasphemy from the Constitution Article; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3864/15]

 Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Justice and Equality; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)

The Deputy will be aware that the Government agreed last September to hold a referendum on removing the offence of blasphemy contained in Article of the Constitution, in response to the 6th Report of the Convention on the Constitution.

The work necessary to prepare a Referendum Bill and a Bill to amend the current legislative provision for the offence of blasphemy is ongoing in my Department.

An appropriate date for the Referendum will be decided by Government when the legislation has been prepared. Earlier this month, the Taoiseach confirmed in the Dáil that the blasphemy referendum will not be held this year, as two referenda are already scheduled for this year.

In the meantime, my officials and I are working on preparing the necessary legislation which is included in the Government Legislative Programme for 2015, as announced on 14 January.


Photo of Séamus HealySéamus Healy TD (Tipperary South, Independent)

243. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of Industrial Development Agency sponsored visits to County Tipperary in the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; and the number of planned visits for 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3866/15]

 Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton TD (Minister, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Dublin North Central, Fine Gael)

I am informed by IDA Ireland that in the 4 year period from 2011 to 2014, inclusive, there were 13 IDA Ireland sponsored site visits by potential investors to Co. Tipperary. The number of site visits paid in each of those years is set out in the following tabular statement. For reasons of commercial sensitivity and client confidentiality IDA Ireland does not comment on upcoming site visits by potential investors.

Statistics show that there are 11 IDA Ireland client companies in County Tipperary employing 3,370 people in full and part time employment.

IDA Ireland is currently in the process of finalising its new strategy for the coming 5 years and is conscious of the need to secure investments and jobs for all regions of the country over the lifetime of the strategy.

Growing both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and indigenous enterprise is key to Ireland’s economic recovery. I am glad to inform the Deputy that 2014 was a record year for both IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in terms of investment wins and job creation, with 7,131 net new jobs being created in IDA Ireland client companies and 8,476 net new jobs being created in Enterprise Ireland client companies.

As Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, I introduced a collaborative, cross government approach to advancing job creation in the State. The Action Plan for Jobs is an annual plan designed to drive action across all Government Departments and Agencies in a collective effort to put in place the conditions needed to support and grow enterprise in the State.

As I have said on more than one occasion, I have been working with my Department on the development of a framework for the formulation of Regional Enterprise Strategies that will enable us to identify the sustainable competitive strengths of each region and to better integrate the efforts of the enterprise development agencies and other regional stakeholders in supporting enterprise growth and jobs in areas of potential, which I hope to publish shortly.

It is my intention that the Regional strategy will be rolled out firstly in the Midlands before being rolled out in other regions and will include specific actions and targets on the part of my Department, the enterprise development agencies and other public bodies to promote enterprise growth and job creation in the region.

Table showing the number of IDA sponsored site visits by potential investors to Tipperary in each of the years 2011 to 2014 inclusive

Number of site visits

Question to An Taoiseach:
Seamus Healy TD: In June, some weeks after the local elections, the Taoiseach came to the House and agreed that his Government would restore medical cards to people who had lost them. These were people who had held them on discretionary medical grounds. The process was to take three weeks. It is now four months later and there are still thousands of people who have not had their cards restored.

When will that process finish? When will the committee of experts that was set up at the time to address this issue report? Has it reported? Will the report be placed before the House? In particular, when will the cards be restored to the thousands of people who, four months later, still have not got their cards back?

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny: I thought the vast majority of people had had their cards restored following the Government decision. As I understand it, the Minister has not yet received the Keane report into the matter but it is due to be sent to him shortly. Obviously, he will examine that, assess the report’s analysis and findings and bring it before Government and the House in due course.

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