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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 187-198
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Apprenticeship Programmes
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Public Relations Contracts Expenditure
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Advertising Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Commercial Rates
 Header Item EU Directives
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data
 Header Item Immigration Status
 Header Item Immigration Status

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 963 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 122 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 187-198

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

 187. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to exclude students' part-time earnings in the assessment of means for the higher education grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54120/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The assessment of means under my Department's student grant scheme is based on gross income from all sources, with certain social welfare and health service executive payments excluded.

  In the assessment of means, a deduction of up to €4,500 may be applied to student earnings outside of term time but within the reference period.

Apprenticeship Programmes

 188. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the approximate time it takes to make new consortia-led apprenticeships operational to apprentices from call for proposals stage to validation by Quality and Qualifications Ireland, to being available for new enrolments; the detail of each stage in the approval and qualification process; and the approximate time it takes for each stage in the process. [54126/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan There are 10 main steps involved in developing a national apprenticeship, from research and formulating the outline proposal (step 1) to rolling out the programme with employers and apprentices (step 10).  These steps are not necessarily linear and a number can be taken in parallel.  Further detail on these steps is set out in the guidance material published in conjunction with the second call and is available at http://www.apprenticeship.ie/en/apprentice/Shared%20Documents/Handbook_document.pdf

  The Government’s Action Plan to Expand Apprenticeship and Traineeship sets an overall development timeline of 12-15 months for an apprenticeship, which can vary depending on characteristics specific to each apprenticeship. Apprenticeships developed through the first call would typically have taken longer than this, partly because processes and procedures were new for consortia, for providers and for state agencies.   The processes involved in developing a new apprenticeship are now clearer and have supported the development of a range of programmes.  These including both apprenticeships where co-ordinating providers had the power to validate programmes and make awards and those where validation and award making is performed by Quality and Qualifications Ireland.

Departmental Expenditure

 189. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the photography costs for his Department in each year since March 2011, inclusive of costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the list of occasions for which photographers were booked; the photographers used; the costs associated with each occasion that a photographer was used, in tabular form; if there is a policy regarding the booking of photographers within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54226/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The table contains details of expenditure by my Department in relation to photography as requested by the Deputy.

  Cost Breakdown

Year Event Photographer Net VAT Gross
25/08/2017 Minister Bruton Portraits Maxwell Photography € 182.00 €  41.86 €223.86
28/08/2017 Minister Mitchell O'Connor Portraits Maxwell Photography € 154.00 €  35.42 €189.42
15/09/2017 Minister Halligan Portraits Maxwell Photography € 140.00 €  32.20 €172.20
22/09/2017 Digital Learning Framework for Schools Fennell Photography € 80.00 €  15.00 € 95.00
06/11/2017 Gender Equality Taskforce Launch JCP Photography € 400.00 € 92.00 €492.00
17/10/2016 EIB Loan Agreement Signing Maxwell Photography € 9 8.00 € 22.54 €120.54
15/09/2016 Action Plan for Education Launch Maxwell Photography € 798.00 € 183.54 €981.54
10/06/2016 Music Bursary Scheme awards Maxwell Photography € 406.00 € 93.38 €499.38
03/06/2016 Action Plan for Disadvantaged Schools Maxwell Photography € 420.00 € 96.60 €516.60
15/08/2015 Jan O'Sullivan Seal of Office Maxwell Photography € 14.00 € 3.22 €17.22
29/05/2014 Winners of Irish History Competition Maxwell Photography € 294.00 € 67.62 €361.62
23/05/2014 Photography for ISSU Maxwell Photography € 336.00 € 77.28 €413.28
02/12/2013 Digital Strategy for Schools Maxwell Photography € 335.00 € 69.93 €404.93
07/10/2013 Photos ahead of trade mission to Brazil Maxwell Photography € 126.00 € 28.98 €154.98
06/09/2013 National Parents Council Anti Bullying Launch Maxwell Photography € 140.00 € 32.20 €172.20
24/07/2013 Changes to third level fees for migrant students Maxwell Photography € 126.00 € 28.98 €154.98
12/06/2012 Visit of UN Special Representative on Violence against children Fennell Photography € 245.00 € 56.35 €301.35
30/06/2011 Copies of photographs of a school project and their use on an A1 display board for the joint RIAI/Department colloquium on school design Donal Murphy Photography €  315.00 € 66.15 € 381.15
  TOTAL       €5,652.25

Public Relations Contracts Expenditure

 190. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the use of external public relations firms employed by his Department in each year since March 2011; the list of uses of the external public relations firm; the internal Department policy with regard to employing external groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54242/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The engagement of external expertise is considered where the matters involved require expert skills or capabilities that are not readily available within my Department. Such engagement is procured in accordance with the provisions of the Department of Finance "Guidelines for the Engagement of Consultants and other External Support by the Civil Service".

  The information sought by the Deputy in respect of the period from 2014 to 2016 is set out in the table below. This information is not readily available for the period prior to 2014. The information in relation to 2017 will be collated in early 2018 and I will arrange to have it forwarded to the Deputy as soon as it has been compiled.

Year
Name of Firm
Purpose
2014 Mitchell-Kane, Belfast Consultancy, Creation of brand, guidelines and logo
2014 ZOO Digital, D2 Creation of online banner advertising Design,Development and project management of websiteSet up Hosting for 1 year
2014 Phd, Clonskeagh, D14 Digital advertising and online media awareness campaign
2014 Prontaprint Printing of Flyers and Business Cards
2014 Careers Unlimited Stand at Jobs Expo 2014, Cork and Dublin
2014 Gds, Tallaght Pull-up stands for graphic display
2014 Carr Communications Interview board training & interviewee skills training
2015 Carr Communications Interview board training & interviewee skills training
2015 Phd, Clonskeagh, D14 Digital advertising and online media awareness campaign
2015 Zoo Digital D2 Skills to Work website
2016 Carr Communications Interview board training & interview skills training
2016 Zoo Digital D2 ToolTip Skills to Work website pop-up installation
2016 Carr Communications To provide professional advice on communications support to develop an information campaign on reform initiatives in the second level school system
2016 Carr Communications Communications/interview skills training and Communications workshop
2016 Career Zoo Cost of stand space at Career Zoo, IFSC
2016 Public Relations Institute of Ireland Public Relations Institute of Ireland Certificate for Civil Service Press Officers


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

  

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

 191. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the external consultant reports commissioned by his Department since March 2011; the costs per report; the company involved; the title of the report; and the publication date, in tabular form. [54258/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Details of consultancy payments made by my Department for the years 2011 to 2016 inclusive are available on the Department's website http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Corporate-Reports/Financial-Reports/Expenditure-on-Consultancy/. Information in relation to consultancy expenditure is compiled annually in respect of the previous year. Details in respect of consultants engaged in 2017 will be compiled in Q1 2018 and will be published as soon as it is available.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

 192. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the level of expenditure by his Department from 1 January 2017 to date in 2017 on advertising of Government information campaigns published specifically in national and regional newspapers in addition to all online advertising for all such Government information campaigns; the name for each such information campaign to which this expenditure related; the cost of each, in tabular form. [54274/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Details in relation to advertising for information campaigns in 2017 in my Department will be collated in early 2018. I will arrange to have the information forwarded to the Deputy as soon as it has been compiled.

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

Departmental Expenditure

 193. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the level of expenditure by his Department or organisations under the aegis of his Department from 1 January 2017 to date in 2017 on photography, advertising, communications advice, public relations, website development, media interview training and preparation; the events, campaigns or policies to which this expenditure related; the company or person to which such payments were made, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54290/17]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Details in relation to expenditure on photography, advertising, communications advice, public relations, website development and media interview training and preparation in 2017 in my Department is not collated until early 2018. I will arrange to have the information forwarded to the Deputy as soon as it has been compiled.

  The information requested by the Deputy in respect of agencies is not held centrally by the Department. If the Deputy has an interest in a particular agency then officials in my Department will request the agency concerned to provide the relevant information insofar as it is possible.

   

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

Commercial Rates

 194. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if his attention has been drawn to the fact that private early years services providing full day ECCE, free preschool, are exempt from rates while those providing full day care services or afterschool services are obliged to pay commercial rates; if he has had contact with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with a view to standardising the non-payment of rates by all early years services providers; if an equalisation grant to offset the cost of commercial rates can be provided to providers for which it is not possible to remove the rates obligation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54012/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I should point out that the Commissioner of Valuation is independent in the exercise of his duties under the Valuation Act 2001, as amended, and the making of valuations for rating purposes is his sole responsibility. I, as Minister for Justice and Equality, have no function in decisions in this regard.

The Valuation Act, 2001 as amended by the Valuation (Amendment) Act 2015 provides that all buildings used or developed for any purpose, including constructions affixed thereto, are rateable unless expressly exempted under Schedule 4 of the Act. Such exempt buildings would principally include those used for public worship, education and health care provided on a not-for-profit basis, and charitable purposes. In general, the Act maintains the long-standing position that all commercial properties - including all private childcare facilities such as play schools, pre-schools, crèches and Montessori schools - are liable for rates.

Inconsistency in the approach to the exemption from rates for childcare and education facilities and calls to exempt all such providers were among the issues raised at a number of stages during the passage of the Valuation (Amendment) Act 2015. As a result, the Government approved an amendment to the Bill, to insert into Schedule 4 of the Valuation Act 2001, an exemption from rates for properties occupied by parties that provide early childhood care and education on a not-for-profit basis. This extension of the childcare and education exemption removed an anomaly that previously existed where those that provided childcare and education on a charitable basis were exempt but those that did so on a not-for-profit basis were not.

The decision taken by Government in the Valuation (Amendment) Act 2015 to extend the exemption from rates for early childcare and education was taken having considered the views of stakeholders in the sector. As outlined in Oireachtas debates during the passage of the legislation, key valuation principles have to be respected to retain the integrity and equity of a system that is a significant source of funding for Local Authorities. One of those principles is that properties of occupiers that operate with the intention of making a profit are rateable. There is a variety of other more appropriate means through which Government can and does support the provision of such services. Making exception to core, long-standing valuation principles can have a far reaching negative impact on the rates system and consequently a far reaching impact on Local Government funding.

In addition to the exemption of those that provide childcare and early education on a not-for-profit basis, paragraph 10 of Schedule 4 of the Valuation Acts 2001 to 2015 also exempts from rates childcare facilities that only provide the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme.

The Acts are quite specific about the range of exemptions that can be allowed by the Commissioner, who has no discretionary latitude to grant exemptions not covered by Schedule 4. As a matter of course, the Valuation Office examines all claimant cases on their individual merits by reference to the relevant statutory provisions governing the operation of the Valuation Acts as they relate to pre-school childcare facilities and all other categories of properties.

Regarding the payment of rates by individual ratepayers, the Deputy will be aware that under Irish law there is a distinct separation of function between the valuation of rateable property and the setting and collection of commercial rates. The amount of rates payable by a ratepayer in any calendar year is a product of the valuation set by the Valuation Office multiplied by the Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV) decided annually by the elected members of the local authority. The latter is a reserved function of the elected members and the Commissioner of Valuation has no function in this regard.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) was consulted in the deliberations surrounding the extension of the exemption from rates for early childcare and education. Private childcare facilities which are operated for profit form part of the rateable valuation base on a nationwide basis. While I understand that this issue has been the subject of discussions earlier this year between the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and my own Department, there are currently no plans to provide for special treatment of these for profit facilities by their exemption from rateability under the Valuation Acts.

Finally, I should point out that there are a number of avenues of redress for an occupier of rateable property who is dissatisfied with a determination of valuation made under the provisions of the Valuation Acts, 2001-2015. Firstly, before a determination is made, there is a right to make representations to the Valuation Office in relation to a proposed valuation. Later in the process, if the occupier is still dissatisfied with the determination, there is a right of appeal to the Valuation Tribunal which is an independent body set up for the purpose of hearing appeals against determinations of the Valuation Office. There is a right of appeal to the Higher Courts on a point of law.

Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists prepared by the independent Commissioner of Valuation, pursuant to the Valuation Acts 2001 to 2015. The levying and collection of rates are matters for each individual local authority.

Commercial rates form an important element of the funding of all local authorities. The principle of local authorities levying rates based on an independent valuation is well established, and I understand that the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has indicated that there are no plans to change this.

EU Directives

 195. 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 if his attention has been drawn to reports that the Government is seeking to delay the implementation of the European Union work life balance directive; his views on the fact that Ireland is one of only six EU member states to not offer employer-paid paternity leave; his plans to address this anomaly in respect of the implementation of the directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54181/17]

 218. 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 his plans in respect of the implementation of the European Union work-life balance directive; his views on the fact that Ireland is one of only six EU member states to not offer employer-paid parental leave; his plans to address this anomaly in respect of the implementation of the directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53952/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): Information on David Stanton Zoom on David Stanton I propose to take Questions Nos. 195 and 218 together.

As the Deputy is aware, on 26 April 2017, the European Commission initiated a Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU. The Directive is part of a package of measures aimed, inter alia, at addressing the underrepresentation of women in employment, and supporting women’s career progression by creating improved conditions whereby they can reconcile their working responsibilities and family commitments.

The specific objectives of the Directive are (1) To improve access to work-life balance arrangements and (2) To increase take-up of family-related leaves and flexible working arrangements by men.

The key articles in the Directive are (1) Article 4, which provides for 10 days of paid paternity leave, (2) Article 5, which provides for four months parental leave, one month of which may be transferable between parents, in respect of children up to the age of eight, (3) Article 6, which provides for five days per annum paid carers’ leave, (4) Article 8, which provides that workers exercising rights in accordance with articles 4, 5 and 6 will receive payment or an allowance equivalent to national sick leave rates (at a minimum) and (5) Article 9, which provides for the right of a worker with caring responsibilities or the right of a parent (in respect of children up to 12 years of age) to ask his or her employer for flexible working arrangements.

Working Group negotiations on the proposed directive have been underway since the initiation of the proposal, and will continue in January 2018 under the Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union. It is expected that discussions on the Directive will not progress to general approach for at least several months so it would be premature to plan for the proposal’s implementation at this stage.

While supportive of the aims of the Directive, in common with many other member states Ireland recognises that there are significant cost implications associated with the proposed new Parental Leave scheme. These reservations have been expressed at working group level and also at the meeting of the Council of the European Union on Employment, Social Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) on 7 December, 2017. At that meeting the implementation of the Parental Leave scheme on a phased basis was suggested and discussed. Given the cost implications and logistical issues arising, this is a reasonable position to adopt as it would allow member states to reduce the initial costs of introducing any new leave and benefit arrangements over a period of time and it would also give member states sufficient time to manage the logistics of any new schemes. The Government is of the view that were the principle of phased implementation to be accepted, the focus should initially be on providing leave to parents of younger children and only subsequently expanded to parents of older children.

Some of the goals of the proposed directive are already reflected in existing schemes in Ireland. For instance in 2016 a new scheme of two weeks of Paternity Leave to paid at the sick leave rate was introduced which satisfies the requirements of the proposed Directive in relation to paternity leave. The Programme for Government contains a commitment to expanding paid leave for the first year of a child’s life, and work on developing proposals on how this expansion can be best achieved will formally begin in early 2018. It is expected that the agreed scheme will be recognised as progress towards achieving the requirements of the Directive.

My Department looks forward to continuing work on the Directive with the other key Government Departments and the EU Commission, Presidency and member states to shape it so that it is affordable, properly targeted, and effectively serves to improve the work life balance of parents and families.

Departmental Staff Data

 196. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the number of departmental staff by departmental premises, and within statutory bodies within his remit, and their grades, employed in Drogheda.  [53533/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The table sets out the information requested by the Deputy.

Offices of the Department and Statutory Bodies under the remit of the Minister based in Drogheda Number of Officers Grade/Rank Premises/Address
  3 Probation Officer  
  2 Clerical Officer  
Probation Service, Department of Justice and Equality 1 Community Service Supervisor 23 Laurence Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth.DroghedaLouth
  84 Garda  
  15 Sergeant  
  2 Inspector  
  2 Superintendent  
  1 Chief Superintendent  
  11 Clerical Officer  
  3 Executive Officer  
An Garda Síochána 14 Garda Reserve Father Connolly Way,Drogheda,Co. Louth,A92 P704

Immigration Status

 197. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the status of permission to work and attend college for persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53541/17]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan If an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications and the applicant or their designated legal advisor should contact the International Protection Office directly either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. Similarly, the International Protection Appeals Tribunal operate an email which can be contacted by individuals with any queries regarding their appeal application - info@protectionappeals.ie.

Section 26 of the International Protection Act 2015, provides that it is an offence to identify an international protection applicant. The offence is punishable by summary conviction to a Class A fine or a term of imprisonment of 12 months or both.

The Supreme Court judgment 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 recognised that this is a matter for the Executive and Legislature to consider and accordingly adjourned consideration of the Order the Court should make for a period of six months. The Court in making its Final Orders agreed to a stay on the execution of the Order until 9 February 2018. My officials are actively engaged in ensuring compliance with the Order.

Following the approval of Government, an Inter-Departmental Taskforce was established in July to examine the wide-ranging implications of the judgment, and to consider appropriate solutions. The Taskforce was comprised of representatives from nine Government Departments, along with the Office of the Attorney General. On 21 November 2017, the Government approved the recommendations of the Taskforce, including the key recommendation that the State should respond to the judgment by opting-in to the EU (Recast) Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33/EU). The EU Directive provides for many matters including, of course, access to the labour market for international protection applicants.

The Minister for Justice will move the required Motions to seek approval in the Houses of the Oireachtas for participation in the Directive at the earliest opportunity. Following the approval of both Houses, the opt-in procedure with formal notifications to the European Council and the European Commission will commence. The European Commission then has four months from receipt of this letter to confirm our participation. During these four months, the State will be required to demonstrate to the Commission how it is compliant with each Article in the Directive.

The Government has agreed to establish an Implementation Group to oversee the opt-in procedure and the practical arrangements for facilitating access to the labour market for eligible applicants. The Group will be drawn from membership of the Taskforce, supplemented by the participation of relevant operational areas in the Department of Justice and Equality and other Departments as required.

In relation to access to further and higher education, a Pilot Support Scheme was introduced by the Department of Education and Skills in 2015 for students who are in the Protection System or at the Leave to Remain (but not deportation order) stage. This was one of the recommendations contained in the report by the Working Group on the Protection Process which was chaired by former High Court judge, Dr. Bryan McMahon. The scheme provides supports to qualifying students which are similar to those available in the Student Grant Scheme. Following a review of the Pilot Support Scheme in 2016, a decision was made to continue the scheme for the 2017/18 academic year and to undertake a further review in 2018. To qualify for the pilot scheme, prospective students have to meet a number of criteria, including a requirement to:

- Meet the definition of a protection applicant or a person at leave to remain stage (other than those at the deportation order stage);

- Obtained their Leaving Certificate;

- Have been accepted on an approved Post Leaving Certificate course or an approved undergraduate course;

- Have attended a minimum of five academic years in the Irish school system and have been part of an application for protection or leave to remain for a combined period of 5 years prior to the 31st of August of the first year of their course.

Immigration Status

 198. 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 current and-or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53553/17]

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, in response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), written representations have been submitted on behalf of the person concerned.

These representations, together with all other information and documentation on file, will be fully considered, under Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation, in advance of a final decision being made.

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.


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