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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 210-233
 Header Item Courts Service Remit
 Header Item Garda Stations
 Header Item Garda Vetting
 Header Item Departmental Reviews
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Ministerial Responsibilities
 Header Item Alcohol Sales Legislation
 Header Item Prison Service
 Header Item Garda Stations
 Header Item Data Protection Commissioner
 Header Item Departmental Schemes
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Lobbying Data
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications
 Header Item Probate Applications
 Header Item Garda Stations
 Header Item Garda Reserve
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Garda Expenditure
 Header Item Garda Strength
 Header Item Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Investigations
 Header Item Immigration Policy
 Header Item Irish Prison Service

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 95 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 210-233

Courts Service Remit

 210. Deputy James Browne Information on James Browne Zoom on James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if he has engaged with the Courts Service regarding affording greater involvement to wards of courts and their families with the wards of courts funds and the funds of minors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42630/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan As the Deputy is aware, the High Court has jurisdiction in wards of court matters and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service Act 1998.

In order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that when a person is taken into wardship, the President of the High Court appoints a committee, usually a relative (or relatives) of the ward, to deal with the ward's property and it is the responsibility of the President of the High Court to ensure that the estate of the ward is protected. It is standard procedure for funds of the ward to be brought under the custody of the court for investment by the Accountant of the Courts of Justice in accordance with the directions of the President of the High Court and the Registrar of the Office of Wards of Court. Investment of court funds is carried out in line with the strategies devised and reviewed on a regular basis by the Investment Committee, chaired by the President of the High Court.

The Investment Committee reviews the investment strategies with the assistance of its investment advisors to ensure the protection and suitable investment of funds of wards, minors and others lodged in court for the benefit of those persons. Investment policies and orders made thereunder must be in accordance with the Trustee (Authorised Investments) Act 1958. This procedure was examined and approved by the court in the case entitled, "In the Matter of M. H., a Ward of Court" [2011] IEHC 129.

The Courts Service has also informed me that the committee of the ward is involved with the Office of Wards of Court on an ongoing basis in establishing the expenditure needs of a ward. A case officer is appointed to manage the affairs of each ward who is available to meet with the committee initially to discuss the needs and financial arrangements for the ward and is available thereafter as required. Significant purchases or sales such as the sale of a house or lands will not take place without the involvement of the committee.

The Courts Service has advised that detailed statements providing comprehensive financial information are issued to committees on request and a process of issuing high-level financial statements to all committees has now commenced and that such statements will issue automatically on an annual basis.

As the Deputy may be aware, the legislation governing persons who are wards of court dates back to 1871. It has been recognised for some time that reforms were needed to update the law in this area and so the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 has been introduced to provide a modern statutory framework to support decision-making by adults with capacity difficulties.

New administrative processes and support measures, including the setting up of the Decision Support Service within the Mental Health Commission (a body under the Department of Health), must be put in place before the substantive provisions of the Act are brought into operation. A high-level Steering Group comprised of senior officials from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Health, the Mental Health Commission and the Courts Service, together with the Director of the Decision Support Service, are overseeing the establishment and commissioning of the Decision Support Service and this work is ongoing..

Garda Stations

 211. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the location of all non-operational Garda stations in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42642/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of Garda resources in the State and, as Minister, I have no role in relation to these matters.

  As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Síochána District and Station Rationalisation Programme gave rise to the closure of some 139 Garda stations in 2012 and 2013, including Garda stations in Tipperary, following the completion by An Garda Síochána of a comprehensive review of its district and station network.

  I understand that the review was undertaken with the objective of identifying opportunities to introduce strategic reforms to enhance service delivery, increase efficiency and streamline practices within the organisation.

  I am informed that the following stations in the Tipperary Division were closed under the Programme:

District Station
Thurles Ballinure
Nenagh Ballinderry
Nenagh Terryglass
Nenagh Rearcross
Cahir New Inn
Clonmel Grangemockler
Tipperary Town Dundrum


  While seven Garda stations were closed, there are currently 29 Garda stations in the Tipperary Division including a major divisional headquarters in Thurles. There are currently 373 Gardaí assigned to County Tipperary and Garda recruitment is continuing apace. I have been advised by the Garda authorities that the closures have allowed front-line Gardaí to be managed and deployed with greater mobility, greater flexibility and in a more focused fashion, particularly with regard to targeted police operations.

  The Programme for Government commits to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime. A cornerstone of this commitment is the Government plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians.

  In addition, the Government's Capital Plan 2016-2021 provides for an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána over the lifetime of the Plan, including:

  - €46 million for investment in the Garda Fleet to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit for purpose fleet. This is in addition to the investment of almost €30 million in the period 2013 to 2015;

  - Some €330 million, including €205 million under the Capital Plan, for investment in Garda ICT infrastructure over the period 2016 to 2021. This major investment will allow An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies in the fight against crime and will facilitate progress on important reforms arising from the Garda Inspectorate's report on Crime Investigation;

  - The Garda Station Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021, which is an ambitious five-year programme that will benefit over 30 locations around the country and provides for over €60 million of Exchequer funding as part of Government’s Capital Plan 2016-2021, as well as a major Public Private Partnership project, which will include the construction of a new Garda station in Clonmel. This is in addition to over €100 million being invested in three major Garda Headquarters in Dublin, Galway and Wexford.

Garda Vetting

 212. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the number of compliance officers employed by the national vetting unit; when they were appointed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42643/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016 provides for a range of offences and sanctions for non-compliance with the Act. In addition, the Act provides for the assigning of compliance officers with the specific powers to enter and inspect premises to ensure compliance.

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that at present all compliance issues are dealt with by the Disputes and Compliance Section of the Bureau. To date, the office has received notification of a small number of compliance requests and has acted on each issue.

The National Vetting Bureau has adopted best practice in relation to the management of compliance through a three-tiered approach of support, self-assessment, and investigation and compliance.

Pending the deadline for retrospective vetting of 31 December 2017, the focus of the Bureau at present is on providing information to organisations as to their requirements to be vetted and supporting organisations to comply with the requirements of the Act.  In this regard, the Bureau has conducted a number of presentations to a wide range of organisations nationwide.  It is the intention of the Bureau to proceed with this supportive focus in line with the flexibilities and exemptions in the Act.

The Bureau is currently finalising a self-assessment compliance template for completion by all organisations.  This approach was outlined and discussed with organisations at seminars in the second quarter of 2017, and all organisations registered with the National Vetting Bureau will be required to complete the self-assessment by the end of December 2017.

Following this bedding-in period, the Bureau will appoint compliance officers, in line with human resource management policy and a schedule of planned audits for organisations will be undertaken throughout 2018..

Departmental Reviews

 213. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan further to Parliamentary Question No. 172 of 16 September 2016, the progress to date on the Murray review of the law on surveillance of journalists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42693/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan On 3 October 2017, I published the report of Mr. Justice John L. Murray’s Review of the Law on Retention of and Access to Communications Data. The report is available on my Department's website. While the Review was initially commissioned to look at issues concerning access by statutory bodies to communications data of journalists held by communications service providers, Mr. Justice Murray also undertook a very detailed analysis of the law in this area including recent and significant judgments of the European Court of Justice.

  I thank Mr. Justice Murray for his work on the review which, I would note, he carried out pro bono. His report provides very valuable advice in this complex and dynamic area of the law.

  On 3 October, I also published the general scheme of a Communications (Retention of Data) Bill. This proposed new legislation responds to recent judgments of the European Court of Justice and will update the current law in Ireland. In particular, I am proposing prior judicial authorisation in all cases where the State seeks access to metadata in the context of investigations.

  I have written to the Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality to ask it to undertake pre-legislative scrutiny of the general scheme of the Communications (Retention of Data) Bill, and I have also forwarded Mr. Justice Murray's report to the Committee in this context.

Garda Deployment

 214. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan his plans for restoring Garda numbers in the Glencolumbkille and Carrick Garda districts, which currently stand at one when previously four gardaí were stationed in those areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42722/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.

  This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime. To make this a reality for all, the Government has in place a plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians.

  This plan is progressing apace. This year, funding has been provided for the recruitment of 800 Garda recruits and up to 500 civilians to support the wide ranging reform plan in train in An Garda Síochána. Funding has also been provided for the recruitment of 300 Garda Reserves.

  The areas mentioned by the Deputy are located in the Ballyshannon Garda District which forms part of the Donegal Division. I am informed by the Commissioner that the Garda strength of the Donegal Division, on 31 August 2017, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 392, of whom 91 members are assigned to the Ballyshannon District. There are also 19 Garda Reserves and 32 civilians attached to the Division. When appropriate, the work of local Gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units, such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

  I am further informed by the Commissioner that since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, close to 1,400 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, 24 of whom have been assigned to the Donegal Division. I am also informed that another 200 trainee Garda are scheduled to attest this year, which will see Garda numbers, taking account of projected retirements, increase to around the 13,500 mark by year end - an increase of 500 since the end of 2016.

  I am pleased to announce today that I have secured sufficient funding to provide for the recruitment of another 800 new Garda recruits in 2018, which will ensure that the planned Garda strength of 15,000 by 2021 remains on course.

  This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Síochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Garda Division, including the Donegal Division in the coming years.

This investment in personnel is complemented by substantial investment in resources across the board for An Garda Síochána. The Deputy will be aware of the significant resources that have been made available to An Garda Síochána under the Government's Capital Plan 2016-2021. In particular, some €205 million in additional funding for Garda ICT and €46 million for new Garda vehicles has been allocated over the lifetime of the plan. This investment will facilitate the provision of more effective policing services, and I have no doubt that these new resources now coming on stream will see an increase in Garda visibility in our communities.   

Ministerial Responsibilities

 215. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if there were changes in the powers delegated to the Ministers of State in his Department relative to the situation in place prior to 14 June 2017; if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42784/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan In accordance with the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) (No.2) Act 1977, the Government may delegate, by way of an Order, to a Minister of State any of the powers and duties of the relevant Minister of the Government under any particular Act or any particular statutory power or duty. Such orders can be made in cases where a Minister of State would be expected to carry out statutory functions on behalf of or in addition to a Minister. However, the role and functions of Ministers of State of course often encompass broad areas of responsibility rather than being limited to those powers formally delegated under statute.

As you will appreciate, the Department of Justice and Equality has a broad remit, and I welcome the support provided by various colleagues who have been assigned to my Department as Ministers of State.

Earlier this year, Mr. David Stanton, T.D., was reappointed Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration, and Integration. In July 2017, I received Government approval to delegate powers and duties to Minister of State Stanton, T.D. These powers and duties are set out in Statutory Instrument 351 of 2017. Minister Stanton's responsibilities include human rights and equality, matters relating to the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, reception and integration matters, various EU funding matters, and matters relating to youth justice, gambling and firearms that fall under the responsibility of the Department of Justice and Equality.

Statutory Instrument 351 differs from the prior Delegation of Functions Order, S.I. No 422 of 2016, by the addition in the Schedule of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 ( No. 11 of 2016).

Mr. Finian McGrath, T.D., also remains Minister of State attending Government and Minister of State at the Departments of Social Protection, Justice & Equality and Health with special responsibility for Disabilities. The Office of Minister of State McGrath is located in the Department of Health. I understand that certain statutory functions have been delegated to Minister McGrath by both the Minister for Health and the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Mr. Pat Breen, T.D., was appointed Minister of State at the then-named Department of Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Employment and Social Protection, the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection in June 2017, having served as Minister of State for Employment and Small Business from May 2016. His Office is located in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Minister Breen's responsibility within my Department is in respect of Data Protection matters. However, I will continue to lead on the legislative passage of the Data Protection Bill..

Alcohol Sales Legislation

 216. Deputy Marc MacSharry Information on Marc MacSharry Zoom on Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan further to recent legislation passed which provides for craft brewers licenced to sell their products to brewery visitors between certain times, if the licence is a saleable asset; if it is transferable; if they can be converted to full licences in time; if the licence will expire if a business closes down; the way in which it is proposed to police the operating hours which apply to the licence; the way in which it is proposed to police limiting the sale of products manufactured on the premises as the only alcohol products sold; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42819/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The position is that the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016 is a Private Members' Bill tabled by Deputy Alan Kelly. The Bill completed Second Stage in the Dáil on 26 July and is currently awaiting Committee Stage in the Justice and Equality Committee.

I intend to table a series of amendments to the Bill at Committee Stage. As already indicated during Second Stage discussions, the general purpose of these amendments will be to ensure that the rules normally applicable to the grant of retail licences, including the requirement to obtain an appropriate court certificate, will also apply to licences granted under this Bill. It is intended that such a licence would permit sales of intoxicating liquor produced on the premises only to those who have participated in a tour of the premises..

Prison Service

 217. Deputy Bobby Aylward Information on Bobby Aylward Zoom on Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan his views on whether the process by which the Prison Service is offering six-month contracts to retired former personnel under 60 years of age is cost-effective or counterproductive to the process of hiring of new recruits; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42875/17]

: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I can inform the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service's recruitment of retired Prison Officers on short-term contracts is a short-term measure pending the sufficient recruitment of permanent Prison Officers. Recruitment of permanent Prison Officers is ongoing, with approximately 87 new Recruit Prison Officers this year and a further 288 Recruit Prison Officers in 2018. .

Garda Stations

 218. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan his plans to provide a Garda station in Glencolumbkille (details supplied); his further plans to locate a Garda station in another community-owned building within the village of Glencolumbkille; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42930/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána. 

Gleann Cholm Cille was among a number of stations closed around the country in recent years because of the emphasis on ensuring front-line Gardaí could be managed and deployed with greater mobility, greater flexibility and in a more focused fashion particularly with regard to various targeted police operations.

The Deputy will be aware that the Government's focus is on increasing Garda numbers and ensuring that Gardaí are appropriately resourced to protect and serve the community.  In this context, among the range of justice measures announced in today's Budget, the Government committed to recruiting 800 additional Gardaí in 2018 and investing €6 million in new Garda vehicles in 2018..

Data Protection Commissioner

 219. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the funding arrangements for the office of the Data Protection Commissioner with regard to the Commissioner's plans to increase staff and resources at a location in Dublin; the timeframe to increase staff and resources; the number of additional staff being employed in the Dublin region; his plans for 2018 and 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42983/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The Deputy will be aware that the Government has publicly committed to continuing to provide the resources necessary for the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, ODPC, to perform its globally significant role, which will become increasingly prominent under the new General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR.

This commitment was reflected in the ODPC's very significantly increased budget provision of €7.256 million for 2017, up almost 60% on its allocation of €4.748 million for 2016 and four times its budget for 2014. The ODPC's budget allocation for 2018 has been considered in the context of the 2018 Estimates process and further details will be available as part of Budget-day Estimates.

The combined staff number for the ODPC's Dublin and Portarlington offices currently stands at 70 and is expected to reach 90 by the end of 2017. It is anticipated that staffing numbers will increase by a further 50% to a total of 135 staff during 2018. Allocation of staff between its Dublin and Portarlington offices will be made on a business-needs basis. .

Departmental Schemes

 220. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if an application under a scheme (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42985/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to supporting investment in CCTV systems and, in this context, a new community-based CCTV grant-aid Scheme was launched by my Department in April 2017 to assist community groups in the establishment of CCTV systems in their local areas.

  Under the Scheme, eligible community groups can apply for grant-aid of up to 60% of the total capital cost of a proposed CCTV system, up to a maximum grant of €40,000. Upon approval of the grant, the applicant will receive an up-front payment of 50% of the grant with the balance to be paid when the system is fully operational. Some €1 million was secured in Budget 2017 for the purposes of the Scheme, and it is envisaged that a similar amount will be made available in 2018 and 2019.

  Full details of the Scheme, including guidelines, application forms, code of practice and other relevant documentation are available to download from my Department's website: www.justice.ie.

I would draw attention, in particular, to some of the key requirements of the Scheme which require that the proposal must: 

  - be approved by the local Joint Policing Committee;

- have the prior support of the relevant Local Authority, which must also act as Data Controller – this is a long-standing statutory requirement, set out in the Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 289 of 2006), for the establishment of community CCTV systems generally; and

  - have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner in accordance with Section 38 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

  The Scheme is modelled closely on the previous grant-aid Scheme operated by Pobal on behalf of my Department between 2005 and 2013, under which some 45 Community-based CCTV systems were established operating in a mix of urban and rural environments.

  With regard to the application referred to by the Deputy, I understand that a number of the mandatory requirements for funding were not satisfied and, accordingly, the application was returned to the applicant to enable these requirements to be met.

The information supplied by the Deputy would appear to indicate that the applicant is of the view that there must be a local authority office and a Garda station in the location where the proposed CCTV system is to be established. I can assure the Deputy that this is not a requirement of the Scheme. I would again refer the Deputy to the documentation on my Department's website which provides a clear elaboration of the requirements for funding under the Scheme.

  I am very keen to ensure that groups take full advantage of the available funding, and I would strongly encourage interested groups to utilise the Scheme. Guidance is available from my officials to provide any clarifications required in relation to the Scheme.

Garda Deployment

 221. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan Information on Jim O'Callaghan Zoom on Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the number of community gardaí in each Garda division, in tabular form. [42218/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda Commissioner and I will write to the Deputy on receipt of same.

  The deferred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.

Garda Deployment

 222. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan his plans to increase Garda numbers in the Cavan and Monaghan division in view of the reduction in Garda personnel since 2010; if the particular policing needs of this division due to a long land border with a neighbouring jurisdiction will be taken into account in the allocation of Garda resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42257/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends, demographics and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.

I have been informed that the number of Gardaí assigned to the Cavan/Monaghan Division on 31 August 2017, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 323 with 12 Garda Reserves and 37 Civilians. When appropriate, the work of local Gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime. To make this a reality for all, the Government has in place a plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians.

This plan is progressing apace. This year, funding has been provided for the recruitment of 800 Garda recruits and up to 500 civilians to support the wide ranging reform plan in train in An Garda Síochána. Funding has also been provided for the recruitment of 300 Garda Reserves.

I am further informed by the Commissioner, that since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, close to 1,400 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, 33 of whom have been assigned to the Cavan/Monaghan Division. I am also informed that another 200 trainee Garda are scheduled to attest this year which will see Garda numbers, taking account of projected retirements, increase to around the 13,500 mark by year end - an increase of 500 since the end of 2016.

This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Síochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Garda Division, including the Cavan/Monaghan Division in the coming years.

In so far as the allocation of newly attested Gardaí is concerned, this is a matter for the Garda Commissioner. I am assured by the Commissioner that the needs of all Garda Divisions are fully considered when determining the allocation of resources. However, it is important to keep in mind that newly attested Gardaí have a further 16 months of practical and classroom-based training to complete in order to receive their B.A. in Applied Policing. To ensure that they are properly supported and supervised and have opportunities to gain the breadth of policing experience required, the Commissioner's policy is to allocate them to specially designated training stations which have the required training and development structures and resources in place, including trained Garda tutors and access to a permanently appointed supervisory Sergeant who is thoroughly familiar with their responsibilities under the training programme..

Lobbying Data

 223. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the number of occasions on which he has been lobbied in respect of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill since March 2016; the persons he has met with; the dates of these meetings; the details of the basis of the lobbying; his views on the issues raised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42295/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Since taking up office as Minister for Justice and Equality, I have been lobbied by organisations registered on the Register of Lobbyists under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 in respect of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill on two occasions. One organisation expressed support for the Bill while the other raised concerns in relation to the structural separation requirements in the Bill. I forwarded both representations to the Minister for Health.

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill is in the Programme for a Partnership Government and its enactment is a priority for Government. .

Naturalisation Applications

 224. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the position regarding a stamp 4 application in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42305/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, INIS, of my Department that the person mentioned by the Deputy arrived in the State on 11 September 2006, and that their most recent permission to remain in the State, on the basis of a change of immigration status following their separation from their Irish National spouse, expired on 27 June 2017.

  I understand that INIS have no current application for this person. As the person concerned does not have current permission to remain in the State, INIS advise that the person concerned is required to apply, in writing, to INIS for renewal of permission. An application should be forwarded to:

  Spouse of Irish National Unit

  Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS)

  PO Box 12695

  Dublin 2.

  Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long-awaited.

Probate Applications

 225. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the number of cases of probate sales in the system; the expected waiting time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42310/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The Probate Office is an office of the High Court and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service Act 1998. Probate functions are also carried out by County Registrars at District Probate Registries in 14 provincial court offices.

  However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that a Grant of Representation in a deceased person's estate may be required for a variety of reasons and statistics as to why a grant must issue are not maintained in the Probate Office/Registries. Therefore, it is not possible to provide the number of cases of probate sales as sought by the Deputy.

The Courts Service has advised further that when the Probate Office/Registries are notified that there is a sale of property pending in an estate, this Grant is always expedited. In the Probate Office in Dublin, it usually issues within a two- to three-week timeframe in Solicitors' applications, while Personal Applicants are seen by appointment as soon as possible and the Grant issues within three to four days of their appointment with the Probate Office.

Garda Stations

 226. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the reason for the delay in publishing the interim report on the reopening of Garda stations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42363/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The Deputy will be aware that I published the interim report concerned on 30 September 2017.

  While in the normal course it would be appropriate and usual to await the completion of the final report and its consideration by Government, in the light of misleading public comment and baseless assertions being made, I concluded that it would be in the public interest to make the interim report available.

  I am of the view, in all the circumstances, that the public interest was best served by the publication of the interim report and that there was no question of any "delay" in relation to its publication.

Garda Reserve

 227. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the percentage of Garda reserves completing a minimum of 208 annual hours per annum duty obligations; the number of times on average reserves are requested to assist policing in district; the annual cost of Garda reserves; the percentage of reserves formally allocated a duty in the formal duty register; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42364/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.

The Garda Reserve was established in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 to enhance the links between An Garda Síochána and local communities and consists of voluntary unpaid members, drawn from the community, to support the work of An Garda Síochána. The Reserve perform policing duties as determined by the Commissioner, while accompanied by full-time Gardaí. Their role is to provide local patrols and participate in crime prevention initiatives targeted at specific local problem areas. Reserve members are also involved in policing major incidents and events, and in providing other operational support to full-time Gardaí. In recent years, the Commissioner has conferred further powers on reserve members under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 and the Road Traffic Act 1961 and has also decided that they should carry out more duties including the serving of summonses, and the issuing of Fixed Charge Penalty Notices where offences are detected.

I am informed by the Commissioner that in regard to the deployment of Garda personnel including Reserves, a distribution model is used which takes into account all relevant factors including population, crime trends and the policing needs of each individual Garda Division.

I am further informed that the information requested by the Deputy regarding Reserves assisting policing in a district and being allocated a duty in the duty register is not readily available in the format requested by the Deputy.

As the Deputy will be aware, service in the Garda Reserve is voluntary and unpaid. However, an allowance is payable to Reserve members, who complete a minimum of 208 hours duty annually as a contribution towards expenses incurred in performing their duties. The allowance is currently set at €1,000 per annum. Reserves are also reimbursed for expenses incurred while attending court in respect of their service as a Reserve.

I am advised that during 2016, 303 Garda Reserves claimed the allowance, which is equivalent to 44% of the Reserve strength of 695 as of 31 December 2016. The cost of the Reserve in 2016 was €341,125.

The "Programme for a Partnership Government" includes a commitment to double the Garda Reserve to act in a supportive role undertaking local patrols and crime reduction measures. In line with this, the Government has in place a plan to achieve a Reserve strength of 2,000 by 2021. This year, funding has been provided for the recruitment of 300 Garda Reserves and that process is well underway.

In conjunction with the major expansion of the Reserve, over the next number of years we must ensure that it is used to optimum effect to support effective policing. To inform future decisions around the use of the Reserve, An Garda Síochána is conducting a strategic review as a matter of priority with a view to completion before the end of this year. As a first step, the Garda Executive has taken a decision to transfer the management of the Reserve from the Human Resource and People Development Directorate to the Assistant Commissioner with responsibility for Community Engagement. This is intended to ensure that its development and deployment is viewed more broadly through a community policing lens. This is a very welcome step as it is my strong view that the greatest dividend to be gained from the Reserve is in terms of a visible presence on the ground engaging with local communities..

Garda Deployment

 228. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the number of community gardaí in each district in each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42365/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda Commissioner and I will write to the Deputy on receipt of same.

  The deferred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.

Garda Expenditure

 229. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the amount of funding allocated to each division in each of the past ten years for the purposes of establishing or supporting text alert, community alert or neighbourhood watch schemes, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42366/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for Government underlines the need for close engagement between An Garda Síochána and local communities. This is an essential feature of the strong community policing ethos which has long been central to policing in this jurisdiction. The Deputy will also be aware that as part of the overall strategy to oppose criminality, the Garda authorities pursue a range of partnerships with community stakeholders; for example, the well-established Community Alert Programme and the highly successful Garda Text Alert Scheme, to name but a few.

  Community policing is at the heart of An Garda Síochána. It provides a means of recognising that every community – both urban and rural – has its own concerns and expectations. In this regard, I welcome the strong emphasis placed by An Garda Síochána on the Modernisation and Renewal Programme 2016-2021, on further developing and supporting the community policing ethos of the organisation, so that Gardaí spend more time in the community, gaining public confidence and trust and providing a greater sense of security. Proposed initiatives include the establishment of local Community Policing Teams, CPTs, headed by an Inspector and made up of Gardaí from across a range of areas, to proactively work with the community to prevent and detect crime; and the establishment of Community Safety Fora in every District comprising local Gardaí, local communities and key stakeholders.

  Since the Community Text Alert scheme was launched in September 2013, it has developed as an important crime prevention mechanism with over 700 local groups involving in excess of 130,000 subscribers and with an estimated 200,000 text messages sent each month under the scheme. Every Garda Division, rural and urban, now offers the text alert service and An Garda Síochána has published guidelines to assist in the establishment and operation of local groups.

  The Deputy might wish to note that funding from my Department is not used to provide direct assistance to Neighbourhood Watch Groups or any local Community Alert (or Text Alert) Groups.

  In relation to Community Alert, funding is allocated by my Department for the employment and associated costs of the national Community Alert programme, including the employment of regional Development Officers. These Development Officers, operating in Muintir Na Tíre, provide support to Community and Text Alert schemes and offer advice on how to establish new schemes. The long-standing view has been that this is the best use of the resources available to the Department to support effective community crime prevention actions.

  At the National Ploughing Championships this year, I was pleased to announce that an additional €100,000 was being made available to Text Alert Groups, registered with An Garda Síochána, to provide modest financial assistance with the running costs they incur each year. This Text Alert Rebate Scheme will be administered by Muintir na Tíre and Groups wishing to participate at the Scheme can find more details at: www.muintiir.ie.

  Finally, I am pleased to announce that I have also secured an additional €100,000 in the budget announced today for local crime prevention initiatives, including the text alert scheme.

Garda Strength

 230. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the number of Gardaí over each of the past ten years, by rank and division, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [42367/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.

  I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that on 31 August 2017, the latest date for which figures are currently available, the number of Gardaí was 13,293.

  This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime. To make this a reality for all, the Government has in place a plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians.

  This plan is progressing apace. This year, funding has been provided for the recruitment of 800 Garda recruits and up to 500 civilians to support the wide ranging reform plan in train in An Garda Síochána. Funding has also been provided for the recruitment of 300 Garda Reserves.

  This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Síochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Garda Division in the coming years.

  This investment in personnel is complemented by substantial investment in resources across the board for An Garda Síochána. The Deputy will be aware of the significant resources that have been made available to An Garda Síochána under the Government's Capital Plan 2016-2021. In particular, some €205 million in additional funding for Garda ICT and €46 million for new Garda vehicles has been allocated over the lifetime of the plan. This investment will facilitate the provision of more effective policing services and I have no doubt that these new resources now coming on stream will see an increase in Garda visibility in our communities.

  I am informed by the Commissioner that the number of Gardaí over each of the past ten years by Rank and Division is as set out in the following tables:

  Garda Strength by Division and Rank 2008

DIVISION GD SG IN SU CS AC Total
Cavan / Monaghan 332 72 7 6 1   418
Clare 283 44 5 4 1   337
Cork City 550 106 14 6 1 1 678
Cork North 242 49 4 4 1   300
Cork West 258 43 6 5 1   313
D.M.R. East 396 66 11 3 1   477
D.M.R. North 653 110 20 6 1   790
D.M.R. North Central 605 95 20 4 1   725
D.M.R. South 538 89 16 4 1   648
D.M.R. South Central 675 94 19 4 1   793
D.M.R. West 663 109 17 4 1   794
Donegal 400 74 9 4 1   488
Galway West 374 62 8 7 1 1 453
Kerry 280 51 5 4 1   341
Carlow / Kildare 310 56 5 3 1   375
Laois / Offaly 272 54 6 4 1   337
Limerick 532 84 12 6 1   635
Louth 237 49 7 2 1   296
Mayo 267 51 6 6 1   331
Meath 242 48 4 4 1   299
Roscommon / Galway East 235 48 5 5 1   294
Sligo / Leitrim 254 50 7 5 1 1 318
Tipperary 304 66 6 7 1   384
Waterford / Kilkenny 376 62 9 7 2 1 457
Longford / Westmeath 279 49 6 6 1 1 342
Wexford 222 47 6 4 1   280
Wicklow 282 47 9 4 1   343


  Garda Strength by Division and Rank 2009
DIVISION GD SG IN SU CS AC Total
Cavan / Monaghan 330 63 6 6 1   406
Clare 286 41 5 4     336
Cork City 580 102 11 5 1 1 700
Cork North 250 43 5 4 1   303
Cork West 256 39 6 4     305
D.M.R. East 407 62 11 2 1   483
D.M.R. North 703 102 21 5 1   832
D.M.R. North Central 610 90 14 4 1   719
D.M.R. South 547 78 13 3 1   642
D.M.R. South Central 671 85 15 4 1   776
D.M.R. West 675 95 14 4 1   789
Donegal 390 63 9 5 1   468
Galway 502 77 11 8 1 1 600
Kerry 282 47 5 4 1   339
Kildare 271 44 3 2 1   321
Laois / Offaly 264 52 6 4 1   327
Limerick 544 77 8 6     635
Louth 251 46 5 3 1   306
Mayo 254 44 5 6     309
Meath 261 44 5 4 1   315
Roscommon / Longford 239 42 5 5 1   292
Sligo / Leitrim 256 48 6 2 1   313
Tipperary 319 63 5 7 1   395
Kilkenny / Carlow 265 37 6 4 1 1 314
Waterford 256 43 5 4 1   309
Westmeath 213 33 6 4 1 1 258
Wexford 233 42 6 4 1   286
Wicklow 302 46 9 2 1   360


  Garda Strength by Division and Rank 2010
DIVISION GD SG IN SU CS AC Total
Cavan / Monaghan 309 69 6 6 1   391
Clare 271 40 5 3 1   320
Cork City 574 104 12 6 1 1 698
Cork North 251 48 5 4 1   309
Cork West 261 45 6 5 1   318
D.M.R. East 397 63 10 2 1   473
D.M.R. North 671 106 21 4 1   803
D.M.R. North Central 581 91 16 4 1   693
D.M.R. South 532 79 16 4 1   632
D.M.R. South Central 657 92 17 4 1   771
D.M.R. West 663 104 16 4 1   788
Donegal 386 67 7 5 1   466
Galway 494 85 11 9 1 1 601
Kerry 273 51 5 4 1   334
Kildare 271 44 4 3 1   323
Laois / Offaly 258 53 5 3 1   320
Limerick 538 86 12 6 1   643
Louth 254 51 5 3 1   314
Mayo 251 49 5 5 1   311
Meath 254 48 5 5 1   313
Roscommon / Longford 243 48 5 5     301
Sligo / Leitrim 260 46 8 4 1 1 320
Tipperary 312 57 6 7 1   383
Kilkenny / Carlow 264 41 6 4 1 1 317
Waterford 248 44 5 4 1   302
Westmeath 215 36 7 2 1 1 262
Wexford 228 43 5 4 1   281
Wicklow 296 47 8 3 1   355


  Garda Strength by Division and Rank 2011
DIVISION GD SG IN SU CS AC Total
Cavan / Monaghan 284 64 6 6     360
Clare 263 37 4 3 1   308
Cork City 568 102 13 6 1   690
Cork North 249 46 5 4     304
Cork West 257 46 6 2 1   312
D.M.R. East 381 58 9 3 1   452
D.M.R. North 658 96 20 4 1   779
D.M.R. North Central 557 83 15 4 1   660
D.M.R. South 511 76 14 3 1   605
D.M.R. South Central 628 85 17 4 1   735
D.M.R. West 655 94 17 4 1   771
Donegal 369 62 6 6 1   444
Galway 493 81 10 9 1 1 595
Kerry 264 43 4 2 1   314
Kildare 269 42 4 2 1   318
Kilkenny / Carlow 254 39 5 4 1   303
Laois / Offaly 250 45 5 3 1   304
Limerick 536 85 11 4 1   637
Louth 246 49 6 3 1   305
Mayo 254 45 4 5 1   309
Meath 247 44 5 5 1   302
Roscommon / Longford 232 45 4 5     286
Sligo / Leitrim 256 44 8 3 1 1 313
Tipperary 310 53 6 6 1   376
Waterford 241 41 5 2 1   290
Westmeath 210 36 7 2     255
Wexford 222 42 5 3 1   273
Wicklow 283 45 8 2 1   339


  Garda Strength by Division and Rank 2012
DIVISION GD SG IN SU CS AC Total
Cavan / Monaghan 273 63 4 3 1   348
Clare 253 33 4 2 1   293
Cork City 554 105 11 5 1 1 677
Cork North 248 46 4 4 1   303
Cork West 252 43 5 3 1   304
D.M.R. East 358 51 7 3 1   420
D.M.R. North 634 88 16 5 1   744
D.M.R. North Central 556 79 14 4 1   654
D.M.R. South 497 74 12 4 1   588
D.M.R. South Central 605 78 12 4 1   700
D.M.R. West 640 84 15 4 1   744
Donegal 359 56 6 5 1   427
Galway 486 80 8 9 1 1 585
Kerry 252 40 2 3 1   298
Kildare 267 44 4 2 1   318
Kilkenny / Carlow 249 38 5 4 1 1 298
Laois / Offaly 243 40 2 3 1   289
Limerick 515 78 6 5 1   605
Louth 238 45 5 3 1   292
Mayo 249 42 2 6 1   300
Meath 245 43 4 3 1   296
Roscommon / Longford 225 45 4 5 1   280
Sligo / Leitrim 249 43 7 2 1 1 303
Tipperary 308 51 5 6 1   371
Waterford 238 36 5 4 1   284
Westmeath 207 36 7 2 1 1 254
Wexford 214 37 4        

table cont.



Garda Strength by Division and Rank 2013

DIVISION GD SG IN SU CS AC Total
Cavan / Monaghan 261 59 5 5 1   331
Clare 250 34 4 2 1   291
Cork City 559 104 12 6 1 1 683
Cork North 247 45 4 3 1   300
Cork West 227 39 4 4 1   275
D.M.R. East 346 49 8 3 1   407
D.M.R. North 608 86 14 5 1   714
D.M.R. North Central 525 81 13 4 1   624
D.M.R. South 480 72 12 4 1   569
D.M.R. South Central 585 83 13 4 1   686
D.M.R. West 613 82 17 4 1   717
Donegal 344 54 6 4 1   409
Galway 481 74 10 7 1 1 574
Kerry 246 42 4 3 1   296
Kildare 261 46 4 3 1   315
Kilkenny / Carlow 240 37 6 4 1 1 289
Laois / Offaly 235 40 5 3 1   284
Limerick 504 73 7 4 1   589
Louth 232 44 6 3 1   286
Mayo 254 45 2 5 1   307
Meath 235 42 5 4 1   287
Roscommon / Longford 231 47 3 3 1   285
Sligo / Leitrim 248 46 6 3 1 1 305
Tipperary 307 53 5 5 1   371
Waterford 228 37 4 4 1   274
Westmeath 201 33 6 4 1   245
Wexford 206 37 5 3 1   252
Wicklow 274 43 7 3 1   328


Garda Strength by Division and Rank 2014
DIVISION GD SG IN SU CS AC Total
Cavan / Monaghan 254 57 6 5 1   323
Clare 242 37 5 2 1   287
Cork City 545 106 13 6 1 1 671
Cork North 240 48 5 3 1   297
Cork West 222 41 4 3 1   271
D.M.R. East 327 50 7 3 1   388
D.M.R. North 572 88 15 5 1   681
D.M.R. North Central 498 90 14 4 1   607
D.M.R. South 457 75 13 3 1   549
D.M.R. South Central 544 80 14 3 1   642
D.M.R. West 593 85 17 4     699
Donegal 330 55 7 4 1   397
Galway 469 82 11 6 1 1 570
Kerry 238 44 5 2 1   290
Kildare 248 45 5 3     301
Kilkenny / Carlow 229 39 6 4   1 279
Laois / Offaly 222 44 6 3 1   276
Limerick 476 75 9 4 1   565
Louth 222 47 8 3 1   281
Mayo 244 45 4 4 1   298
Meath 228 44 4 4 1   281
Roscommon / Longford 227 50 4 3 1   285
Sligo / Leitrim 239 47 6 2 1 1 296
Tipperary 299 50 5 4 1   359
Waterford 223 40 7 3 1   274
Westmeath 198 35 6 4 1 1 245
Wexford 202 40 5 3 1   251
Wicklow 265 46 8 3 1   323


Garda Strength by Division and Rank 2015
DIVISION GD SG IN SU CS AC Total
Cavan / Monaghan 253 55 5 5     318
Clare 246 38 5 2 1   292
Cork City 534 98 11 7 1   651
Cork North 242 47 5 3 1   298
Cork West 230 38 3 4 1   276
D.M.R. East 319 50 5 3     377
D.M.R. North 564 86 11 6 1   668
D.M.R. North Central 488 85 12 4 1   590
D.M.R. South 453 71 12 4 1   541
D.M.R. South Central 532 79 11 4 1   627
D.M.R. West 589 80 14 4 1   688
Donegal 331 40 5 5 1   392
Galway 465 78 10 6 1   560
Kerry 250 43 3 3 1   300
Kildare 260 43 5 3 1   312
Kilkenny / Carlow 235 38 5 4 1 1 284
Laois / Offaly 229 40 5 3 1   278
Limerick 468 73 8 4 1   554
Louth 231 44 8 3 1   287
Mayo 249 45 3 5 1   303
Meath 230 41 2 3 1   277
Roscommon / Longford 236 48 3 4 1   292
Sligo / Leitrim 238 46 5 3 1 1 294
Tipperary 298 46 5 4 1   354
Waterford 233 39 6 3 1   282
Westmeath 198 36 5 5 1 1 246
Wexford 210 37 4 3 1   255
Wicklow 263 44 7 3 1   318


Garda Strength by Division and Rank 2016
DIVISION GD SG IN SU CS AC Total
Cavan / Monaghan 251 55 6 5 1   318
Clare 243 41 5 2 1   292
Cork City 522 101 12 6 1 2 644
Cork North 245 46 7 1 1   300
Cork West 227 44 5 4 1   281
D.M.R. East 315 50 7 3 1   376
D.M.R. North 569 88 13 5 1   676
D.M.R. North Central 500 92 15 4 1   612
D.M.R. South 446 84 14 4 1   549
D.M.R. South Central 526 81 18 4 1   630
D.M.R. West 569 83 16 4 1   673
Donegal 321 49 7 4 1   382
Galway 463 87 10 7 1   568
Kerry 245 44 6 3 1   299
Kildare 259 48 5 3 1   316
Kilkenny / Carlow 236 46 7 5 1 1 296
Laois / Offaly 239 48 8 3 1   299
Limerick 462 80 10 6 1   559
Louth 246 45 7 3 1   302
Mayo 238 51 6 4 1   300
Meath 237 38 6 4 1   286
Roscommon / Longford 234 57 5 4 1   301
Sligo / Leitrim 237 49 6 3 1 1 297
Tipperary 299 53 6 5 1   364
Waterford 227 40 6 3 1   277
Westmeath 194 34 7 5 1 1 242
Wexford 211 36 7 3 1   258
Wicklow 244 47 9 3 1   304


Garda Strength by Division and Rank 2017
DIVISION GD SG IN SU CS AC Total
Cavan / Monaghan 259 51 7 5 1   323
Clare 254 44 5 2 1   306
Cork City 539 97 12 6 1 1 656
Cork North 255 48 7 2 1   313
Cork West 238 44 4 3 1   290
D.M.R. East 322 49 7 3 1   382
D.M.R. North 572 77 12 4 1   666
D.M.R. North Central 506 76 14 3 1   600
D.M.R. South 458 64 13 4 1   540
D.M.R. South Central 527 69 14 4 1   615
D.M.R. West 571 73 15 4 1   664
Donegal 333 47 7 4 1   392
Galway 471 84 10 7 1   573
Kerry 258 44 6 3 1   312
Kildare 286 47 6 3 1   343
Kilkenny / Carlow 259 48 6 5 1 1 320
Laois / Offaly 266 47 8 3 1   325
Limerick 463 74 10 5 1   553
Louth 251 47 5 4 1   308
Mayo 255 50 6 4 1   316
Meath 245 39 6 4 1   295
Roscommon / Longford 241 55 4 4 1   305
Sligo / Leitrim 238 49 6 3 1 1 298
Tipperary 312 49 6 5 1   373
Waterford 237 39 6 3 1   286
Westmeath 213 40 7 5 1 1 267
Wexford 228 39 7 3 1   278
Wicklow 248 42 5 3 1   299
*Up to 31 August 2017

Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Investigations

 231. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan his views on the fact that the GSOC investigation into the death of a person (details supplied) has been ongoing for five years with no outcome for the bereaved family; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42377/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan First of all, I want to remind the Deputy that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is an independent body tasked with the investigation of complaints against members of the Garda Síochána. That independence is crucial to confidence in the process of investigating such complaints. Therefore, it is a matter entirely for GSOC as to how it carries out its investigations and it would be entirely inappropriate for me, as Minister, to comment on any current GSOC investigation and I will not do so.

  However, I am very much aware of the particularly tragic case to which the Deputy's question refers.

  I am aware that GSOC met with members of the family in question recently. They were given a full update on the current position with regard to the investigation of their complaints.

  In the circumstances, I can only say that I await the outcome of the GSOC investigation.

Immigration Policy

 232. Deputy David Cullinane Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan his plans to introduce legislation to remove the ban on the right to work of asylum seekers in view of the recent Supreme Court ruling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42382/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Section 16(3)(b) of the International Protection Act 2015 provides that applicants for international protection shall not seek, enter or be in employment or engage for gain in any business, trade or profession during the period before the final determination of their application.

  The Supreme Court judgement in the case of N.V.H. v. The Minister for Justice and Equality found, on 30 May last, that in an international protection system with no temporal limits as to when the application process will be concluded, an absolute prohibition on the right to work for international protection applicants is contrary to the right to seek employment under the Constitution. The Court recognises that this is a matter for the Executive and Legislature to consider and accordingly has adjourned consideration of the Order the Court should make for a period of six months.

  Following the approval of Government, I established an Interdepartmental Taskforce to examine the wide-ranging implications of the judgment, and to consider appropriate solutions. The Taskforce is also examining the legal options available to the State to give effect to the judgment.

  The Taskforce is due to report back to Government shortly in preparation for the State's response to the Court judgment. In the circumstances, it would be inappropriate for me comment further in advance of the Taskforce completing its deliberations on the matter.

Irish Prison Service

 233. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the work or strategic planning that is under way to develop a non-custodial approach for women offenders in view of the proven success of such models in reducing recidivism.  [42383/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan There are a number of initiatives that have been taken in the area of female offenders who comprise a relatively small group within the criminal justice system in Ireland.

The Report of the Penal Policy Review Group published in September 2014 proposed alternatives to custodial sentences as the first choice of sanction. Chapter 6 of the Report is dedicated to the specific needs of female offenders. Work is under way to progress these recommendations. The Penal Policy Implementation Oversight Group has published three Progress Reports which are available to view on my Department’s website. I expect to publish the fourth report in the near future. The recommendations in respect of females are also included in actions 2.12 & 2.13 of the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020.

Further, the Probation Service and Irish Prison Service Joint Strategic Women's Plan puts in place a structure for these two agencies to work more effectively with this vulnerable group in society. The Probation Service works very closely with a wide variety of statutory, voluntary and community services and resources. Prompt referral and effective communication with a variety of agencies is beneficial and a key aspect of the model used by the Probation Service in working with women. Focused interventions help reduce offending, improve opportunities for reintegration and to improve outcomes more generally.

The Abigail Women's Centre run by DePaul Ireland (Tus Nua) was opened in a north Dublin suburb, in December 2014. This is a Probation Service funded project working with women leaving prison or on probation supervision and provides these women with a safe and positive supported environment. It is a dedicated women's initiative involving a range of agencies working together including the Dublin Regional Housing Executive, Dublin City Council, Probation Service, Irish Prison Service, Health Service Executive and the Dublin City Education and Training Board.

In the afore-mentioned Joint Strategic Women's Plan, the Irish Prison Service gave a commitment to explore the development of an open centre for women assessed as low risk of re-offending. This option was explored by a joint Irish Prison Service/Probation Service working group. Having considered the matter, it decided that rather than developing an open centre, a step-down facility for women was a more practical and cost effective approach. The Irish Prison Service and Probation Service are in the process of tendering for the development of a step-down unit for women in Dublin. .


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