Dáil Éireann - Volume 499 - 02 February, 1999

Written Answers - Children and Family Policy.

299. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands the areas of responsibility, if any, her Department has with regard to the Government's policy on children; the areas of responsibility, if any, her Department has with regard to the Government's policy on the family; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2744/99]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): While my Department does not have any direct responsibility for [1118] implementing the Government's policy on children and the family there are a number of measures which are taken either directly by my Department or by bodies under its aegis which relate to these policies. These measures include:–

1.The encouragement of families and young people to visit the heritage sites managed by Dúchas, the Heritage Service of my Department, by providing discount admission charges to the sites. 2.The provision of educational and outreach facilities on a continuing basis by the major cultural institutions operating under the aegis of my Department. For example, the National Gallery of Ireland provides a young peoples' programme which comprises a number of initiatives aimed specifically at children and teenagers, the majority of which are free of charge e.g. the children's Christmas art holiday and some activities involve family participation as well. The annual heritage day is also marked in each of these institutions. 3.The provision of a code of standards in advertising and childrens' programmes aimed at protecting children from the effects of potentially harmful advertising. 4.The provision by the National Library of Ireland of facilities for family research.

The Deputy will also be aware that a range of activities aimed at the promotion of the use of Irish by young people is supported by my Department, Bord na Gaeilge and Údarás na Gaeltachta.