Parliamentary Questions June 2021

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS JUNE 2021

Click on the PQ number below to skip to the Question & Reply below. 

PQ No: 25818/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if he and bodies under his aegis have engaged private investigation companies or persons in the past three years to date; and if so, the cost, duration and purpose of these engagements of this type of contractor.

Catherine Murphy

PQ No: 27351/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if any state or semi state bodies which report to his Department are fully compliant with GDPR EU requirements and the EU network and Information Security Directive and standards with respect to their IT infrastructure including article 29 of GDPR which requires that data processors access only the data they need for their task; if ISO 27001 annex 9 standards on privileged access are fully met; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Fergus O’Dowd.

PQ No: 32733/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the way in which his Department and agencies under his remit are working towards enabling access to employment for persons from minority and or disadvantaged communities, including, but not limited to persons with disabilities, persons from ethnic minorities, Travellers, Mincéirí; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Holly Cairns.

PQ No: 33928/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the way the tendering process for an animal care centre (details supplied) was conducted; the number of valid tenders that were received; the way the criteria were determined; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Details Supplied: (IGB/IRGT Greyhound Care Centre, Tipperary) Greyhound Action Ireland <greyhoundactionireland@yahoo.com>

Holly Cairns

* For WRITTEN answer on 23/06/2021

PQ No: 33929/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the rehoming methodology that is used in an animal care centre (details supplied); the number of animals which have been sent to and rehomed by the centre; if the centre accommodates non-race-registered animals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Details Supplied: (IGB/IRGT Greyhound Care Centre, Tipperary) Greyhound Action Ireland <greyhoundactionireland@yahoo.com>

Holly Cairns

* For WRITTEN answer on 23/06/2021

PQ No: 25818/21 

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if he and bodies under his aegis have engaged private investigation companies or persons in the past three years to date; and if so, the cost, duration and purpose of these engagements of this type of contractor.

Catherine Murphy

Answer:

Dear Deputy

The above PQ refers.

Rásaíocht Con Éireann has not engaged any private investigation companies or person in the past three years to date. 

PQ No: 27351/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if any state or semi state bodies which report to his Department are fully compliant with GDPR EU requirements and the EU network and Information Security Directive and standards with respect to their IT infrastructure including article 29 of GDPR which requires that data processors access only the data they need for their task; if ISO 27001 annex 9 standards on privileged access are fully met; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Fergus O’Dowd.

Answer:

Dear Deputy

Please see below RCÉ’s response to the above mentioned PQ: RCÉ is not listed as an ‘operator of an essential service’ (OES) as defined by Directive (EU) 2016/1148, subsequently transposed into Irish law as the European Union (Measures for a High Common Level of Security of Network and Information Systems) Regulations (S.I. No. 360 of 2018). Notwithstanding this, it is the policy of RCÉ, as data controller, to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all personal data entrusted to it throughout the data lifecycle. RCÉ is cognisant of the comprehensive statutory regime and standards governing the safeguarding of personal data and associated infrastructures. The General Data Protection Regulation, (EU) No 2016/679, inter alia, stipulates that a risk management approach be taken to safeguard personal data. ISO/IEC 27001 (Information Security Management System) provides that the organisation identify the risk associated with loss of confidentiality, integrity and availability of information and implement the various aspects of the security program in a plan and routinely reassess the risk. RCÉ recognises the aim of the various legislative provisions and associated standards is to mitigate the risk associated with loss of confidentiality, integrity and availability of protected data. In complying with these requirements, we, together with our service providers take all reasonable administrative, technical and physical security measures to safeguard the personal data, collected, used and stored by us.

PQ No: 32733/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the way in which his Department and agencies under his remit are working towards enabling access to employment for persons from minority and or disadvantaged communities, including, but not limited to persons with disabilities, persons from ethnic minorities, Travellers, Mincéirí; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Holly Cairns.

Reply:

Dear Deputy

Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI) is cognisant of the difficult challenges faced by ethnic minorities and those from disadvantaged communities and/or with disabilities when it comes to securing gainful employment. We are committed to providing equal opportunities to all prospective employees irrespective of background, including those coming from other jurisdictions or minorities from within our own community. We employ people from all walks of life, regardless of ethnicity, race or nationality, whether minority or otherwise, based on merit, ability and qualification relative to the position advertised. GRI satisfy current employment targets advised by the National Disability Authority for the employment of people with disabilities. We have a diverse workforce which includes people from different jurisdictions and those with various abilities that are making a very positive contribution to our greyhound racing industry and the hospitality services we provide.

PQ No: 33928/21

Question:

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the way the tendering process for an animal care centre (details supplied) was conducted; the number of valid tenders that were received; the way the criteria were determined; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Details Supplied: (IGB/IRGT Greyhound Care Centre, Tipperary) Greyhound Action Ireland <greyhoundactionireland@yahoo.com>

Holly Cairns

Reply:

Dear Deputy

The above PQ refers (received yesterday).

Rásaíocht Con Éireann undertook a detailed procurement process through the e-tenders process in respect of seeking expressions of interest for operation of Care Centres. The request for tender included a detailed specification setting out the criteria for assessment of any expressions of interest.

Rásaíocht Con Éireann received 17 submissions and following a detailed evaluation in accordance with the criteria of the procurement process, a panel of approved applicants was recommended and approved by the Board of Rásaíocht Con Éireann. All greyhounds entering into the care centre are approved in advance by Rásaíocht Con Éireann. Rásaíocht Con Éireann has ongoing contact with the operator of the care centre and there are ongoing inspections and visits of the facility. Rásaíocht Con Éireann is fully satisfied with the operation to date and the quality of service being provided.

PQ No: 33929/21

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the rehoming methodology that is used in an animal care centre (details supplied); the number of animals which have been sent to and rehomed by the centre; if the centre accommodates non-race-registered animals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Details Supplied: (IGB/IRGT Greyhound Care Centre, Tipperary) Greyhound Action Ireland <greyhoundactionireland@yahoo.com>

Holly Cairns

* For WRITTEN answer on 23/06/2021

Reply:

Dear Deputy

The above PQ refers (received yesterday).

The first “Greyhound Care Centre” was established in Tipperary in July 2020 to provide high standard accommodation for greyhounds and contain house-training facilities to allow greyhounds adapt to a range of different home environments. The Greyhound Care Centre operates as a half-way house between the ending of a racing career and the permanent rehoming of the greyhound i.e. the Centre aids in the transition of racing greyhounds from track to retirement.

Visitor facilities are available in the Greyhound Care Centre to facilitate those wishing to obtain a greyhound for rehoming. The Tipperary Greyhound Care Centre can hold a maximum of 18 greyhounds. Greyhound Care Centres

At the Care Centre greyhounds are being introduced to:

a)       Children of all ages with children encouraged to walk and control the greyhounds, this is helpful with the rehoming of greyhounds into family environments

b)      Other dog breeds i.e. large, medium and small to establish compatibility

c)       Other domestic pets such as cats and rabbits again to establish compatibility

The rehoming methodology used at the Greyhound Care Centre is based on:

a)       Potential adopters complete an Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) Adoption Questionnaire prior to the rehoming of a greyhound

b)      Appointments are then made by RCÉ/IRGT for potential adopters to visit the Greyhound Care Centre to meet the greyhounds at the Care Centre which are available for rehoming – Due to Covid travel restrictions being in place at certain times since the opening of the Centre potential adopters were unable to visit the Centre to meet greyhounds so “Virtual Meet and Greets” were organised for adopters. This led to adopters shortlisting greyhounds for possible rehoming or reserving greyhounds for rehoming 

c)       Home checks are carried prior to adoptions being finalised and these home checks are carried out by either RCÉ Welfare Officers or an IRGT appointed Home checker prior to a greyhound being adopted. Covid prevented home checks being carried out so arrangements were put in place for “Virtual Home checks” whereby adopters would send videos of their homes to an RCÉ Welfare Officer for assessment

From July 2020 to May 2021 a total of 41 greyhounds were successfully rehomed through the Care Centre. Greyhounds were rehomed in Ireland, Italy and UK:

-          36 rehomed to homes in Ireland

-          4 were rehomed in Italy through a collaboration with an Italian Greyhound Rehoming Organisation, and,

-          1 was rehomed in the UK through a collaboration with a UK Greyhound Rehoming Organisation

There are currently 17 greyhounds (max. capacity 18 greyhounds) in the Care Centre, 3 of which are already reserved for rehoming in Ireland, and it is expected that they will be in their “Forever Homes” in the coming weeks.

RCÉ are the sole arbiters of greyhound intakes (and adoptions) at the Greyhound Care Centre and all greyhounds as defined in the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 i.e., “greyhound means a dog (including a bitch) entered in the Irish Greyhound Stud Book or the pup of a greyhound dog and greyhound bitch so entered” may be accommodated at the Centre.