Dáil Éireann - Volume 517 - 11 April, 2000

Written Answers. - Civil Defence.

157. Mrs. T. Ahearn asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide additional resources to Civil Defence in south Tipperary; the allocation in 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10621/00]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Mr. S. Brennan): This year Civil Defence is celebrating its 50th anniversary. In recognition of this fact and the selfless contribution of so many Civil Defence volunteers to their local communities, the Government decided to provide special additional funding of £500,000 for Civil Defence activities in 2000. The total provision for the year represents an increase of almost 25% on the 1999 expenditure. This additional allocation, which will continue for future years, will boost Civil Defence training and activity both locally and nationally.

The allocation from my Department to Tipperary South Riding for Civil Defence purposes in the year 2000 is £59,000.

158. Mrs. T. Ahearn asked the Minister for Defence the rate of pay for instructors in Civil Defence; if he has satisfied himself that this is reasonable; if he proposes an increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10622/00]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Mr. S. Brennan): The rates currently payable to Civil Defence instructors are: instruction of not less than one hour, £6.98; instruction of not less than two hours, £10.83.

It is proposed to review these rates in the immediate future having regarding to the increases outlined in the Programme for Competitiveness and Work and the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.

159. Mrs. T. Ahearn asked the Minister for Defence the proposals, if any, he has to sanction civil defence personnel to serve overseas; the reason they cannot undertake such service at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10623/00]

[1413] Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Mr. S. Brennan): My Department will examine and support, where possible, any request from individual members for Civil Defence who wish to serve overseas with a recognised agency. A number of Civil Defence personnel have served overseas on an individual basis in Rwanda, Iran, Ethiopia and Belarus.

The Department is currently examining the implications of having a more structured Civil Service response available for service overseas in consultation with such organisations as the Agency for Personal Service Overseas.

The Department is pleased to have jointly developed a disaster relief nursing course for specialists who are working in disaster prone areas. The Civil Service branch provided a specialist training module for this course.