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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 70 - 91
 Header Item Garda Resources
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Recidivism Rate
 Header Item Prison Accommodation Provision
 Header Item Garda Strength
 Header Item Garda Stations Closures
 Header Item Garda Stations Closures
 Header Item Witness Intimidation
 Header Item Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Issues
 Header Item Prisoner Transfers
 Header Item Crime Levels
 Header Item Child Protection
 Header Item Tribunals of Inquiry Reports
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 785 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 72 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 70 - 91

Garda Resources

 70. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter arising from the new rosters, the number of shifts to cover a 24 hour period; the duration of each shift; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54801/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that arising from the new rosters which commenced 30 April 2012, there are three shifts to cover a 24 hour period. These shifts have a duration of 10 hours on Monday to Saturday and a duration of 8 hours on a Sunday. The new rosters are designed to better match the availability of Gardaí with policing demands at national and local level, while also safeguarding the welfare of members. This and other reforming measures seek to maximise the efficiency of the Garda Síochána so that, even with reduced strength, an effective policing service will continue to be delivered across the country.

Garda Deployment

 71. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the total number of Gardaí currently being deployed to deal with serious crime with particular reference to organised criminal gang activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54802/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Deputy will be aware that the Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no direct function in the matter. This allocation of resources is constantly monitored in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place on a District, Divisional and Regional level to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public. The Deputy will appreciate that it is not the practice to disclose the number of Gardaí involved in particular operations. However, I can assure the Deputy that the duty of all members of the Garda Síochána is to deal with all forms of criminal activity including serious and organised crime.

Recidivism Rate

 72. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the extent to which recidivism is being studied or monitored with a view to identification of a means to address the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54803/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The recently published recidivism report produced by the Probation Service was a joint project conducted in conjunction with the Central Statistics Office. This study, the first of its kind in Ireland, focused on a cohort of offenders under probation supervision and community service during 2007. The study has established reliable recidivism data on offenders under probation supervision and on community service orders and considers variations in recidivism as they relate to the type of original order, gender and age of offenders, category of offence and subsequent offence. Its findings show that the recidivism or re-offending rate was 37.2% for the particular cohort of offenders who were under probation supervision in the two years after their supervision ended.

I believe the value of the work that has been done to produce this report is that it provides a clearer overview of community sanctions outcomes which will better inform the work of the Probation Service in helping to make our communities safer. I look forward to receiving such evidence based material on an annual basis. The Deputy will also be aware that the Irish Prison Service facilitated a major study of prisoner re-offending by the UCD Institute of Criminology which was published in May 2008. The recidivism rate was found by this study to be under 50% after 4 years which is in the mid to lower range of recidivism rates when compared to similar countries internationally. The Irish Prison Service is currently working with the Central Statistics Office on a number of projects, including a comprehensive study of recidivism rates.

Prison Accommodation Provision

 73. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the steps in hand to address the issue of the shortage of prison accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54804/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter On 4 December, 2012 there were 4,275 prisoners in custody against a bed capacity of 4,395 which represents an occupancy level of 97%. The average number of prisoners in custody in Ireland has risen in the last 5 years, from 3,321 during 2007 to 4,389 during 2011, an increase of over 32%. Likewise the total number of committals to prison has also risen sharply during the same period, from 11,934 in 2007 to 17,318 in 2011 – an increase of over 45%. There does appear, however, to be a stabilising or levelling off in the increase in prisoner numbers being committed annually with 2011 recording only a 0.8% increase on the previous year. This compares to increases of 13.6%, 13.8% and 11.4% respectively year on year for 2008, 2009 and 2010.

I published the Irish Prison Service 3 Year Strategic Plan in April this year. The Strategy also include a 40 month capital plan to provide in-cell sanitation in all cells and radically improve prison conditions. Significant investment has already taken place in our prison estate in recent years with in excess of 900 new prison spaces having been constructed and brought into use since 2007. A new 300 space prison wing in the Midlands Prison has been completed and is currently being opened on a phased basis. The first cohort of prisoners were accommodated in the new wing in November. In addition a new Unit in the Dóchas centre which provided an additional 20 spaces has now opened.

The Programme for Government outlines the commitment of this Government to finding alternatives to custody as a means of reducing overcrowding. In conjunction with the Probation Service, the Irish Prison Service has introduced an incentivised scheme for earned temporary release, the Community Return Programme, under which offenders who pose no threat to the community are offered early temporary release in return for supervised community service. The Deputy will also be aware that I have also established a working group to conduct a strategic review of penal policy which will also help address the future needs of the prison system.

Garda Strength

 74. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the number of gardaí by gender at all ranks; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54805/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I have however been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the personnel strength of An Garda Síochána broken down by rank and gender on 31 October, 2012, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was as set out in the table.

Rank
Total
Male
Female
Commissioner
1
1
0
D/Commissioner
2
1
1
A/Commissioner
9
9
0
C/Superintendent
41
37
4
Superintendent
154
139
15
Inspector
263
242
21
Sergeant
1916
1633
283
Garda
11087
8042
3045
Total
13473
10104
3369

Garda Stations Closures

 75. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if arising from the closure of Garda stations at various locations throughout the country, his attention has been drawn to the difficulty for gardaí to respond to requests for assistance in the more remote regions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54806/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Policing Plan for 2013, which I am laying before the House today, outlines the Commissioner's proposal for the continued re-organisation and consolidation of the Garda station and District network and includes details of station closures and District re-organisation throughout the country. I must stress that the principal aim of this consolidation process is to allow the more efficient deployment of personnel and the more effective delivery of policing services to the public across the country and including in remote areas. It is also the case that, even after the proposed closures, we will still have a high number of police stations by international standards.

Garda Stations Closures

 76. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he is satisfied that no Garda stations in County Kildare will close in view of the threat of organised crime arising from close proximity to the capital city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54807/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Policing Plan for 2013, which I am laying before the House today, outlines the Commissioner's proposal for the continued re-organisation and consolidation of the Garda station and District network including in particular the closure of some Garda Stations. I must stress that the principal aim of closing Garda stations around the country is to allow the more efficient deployment of personnel and the more effective delivery of policing services to the public. It is also the case that, even after the proposed closures, we will still have a high number of police stations by international standards.

Witness Intimidation

 77. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the measures he will take to address the ongoing issue of witness or jury intimidation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54808/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The intimidation of a witness or juror is an offence under Section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1999, which specifies the offence as harming, threatening or menacing or in any other way intimidating or putting in fear another person who is assisting in the investigation of an offence by the Garda Síochána, or is a witness or potential witness or a juror or potential juror in proceedings for an offence, or a member of his or her family, with the intention of causing the investigation or course of justice to be obstructed, perverted or interfered with. Conviction on indictment for this offence carries a penalty of up to 15 years imprisonment reflecting the gravity with which the offence is viewed.

Since 1997 the Garda Síochána has operated a Witness Security Programme in response to attempts by criminal and other groups to prevent the normal functioning of the criminal justice system, including threats of violence and systematic witness intimidation. Legislation was not required to establish this Programme, but its operation is supported by Section 40 of the Criminal Justice Act 1999 which makes it an offence for any person, without lawful authority, to try to identify the whereabouts or any new identity of a witness who has been relocated under the Programme. The offence is punishable on indictment by a fine or a term of imprisonment of up to five years.

The Garda Síochána rigorously enforces the provisions in the law relating to witness intimidation and protection. In circumstances where the Senior Investigation Officer in a case has identified a witness who is crucial to the case and the evidence to be preferred is not available elsewhere, and there is a serious threat to the life of the witness or his/her family an application can be made, with the consent of the witness, to have him/her included in the Witness Security Programme. Where a threat to or intimidation of a witness or a potential witness arises during the course of criminal proceedings, the matter may be addressed through the trial judge, who has discretion to revoke bail or place other sanctions on the accused/suspect.

Section 16 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 allows a Court to admit in certain specified circumstances previous witness statements where a witness recants or refuses to testify at trial. This provision is designed to ensure that witness statements may still be available to the Courts even though the witness subsequently refuses to co-operate because of intimidation. Section 26 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 empowers a Court, following the conviction of a person for a serious offence, to make a ‘protection of persons’ order. The purpose of the order is to protect the victim of the offence or any other person named in the order from harassment or intimidation by the offender. Other persons that might be listed include relatives of the victim or witnesses.

Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Issues

 78. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the number of instances in which viable explosive devices have been found in each of the past five years to date; if the number of instances represent a particular threat; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54809/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number of viable improvised explosive devices (I.E.D.) found over the last five years is as set out in the table below.

2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
40
63
53
70
92 (to date)


  The Gardaí are committed to eradicating this particular form of criminality and An Garda Síochána’s Policing Plan 2012 sets out its commitment to pro-actively target groups and individuals engaged in serious and organised crime, including those involved with improvised explosive devices. There are substantial Garda operations in place to tackle this problem with strategies very firmly focused on disrupting the use of pipe bombs and bringing those involved before the Courts. In particular, Operation Enchant was established in April 2011 to provide national coordination for investigations into the manufacture, supply and deployment of I.E.D.

  In April 2012, Operation Enchant was expanded to incorporate a co-ordination unit comprising personnel from the Special Detective Unit, Organised Crime Unit and Garda National Drugs Unit. The co-ordination unit works closely with each Senior Investigating Officer in relation to each I.E.D. incident and also with the Garda Technical Bureau which has responsibility for identifying commonalities between each I.E.D. found in the jurisdiction. The Unit also works closely with the Garda Analysis Service and the National Criminal Intelligence Unit amongst others and assists local investigators in their investigations including, where appropriate, interviewing arrested persons and conducting searches.

Prisoner Transfers

 79. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the total number of prisoners serving sentences for serious crimes that have been transferred to lower level security prisons or have received compassionate day or longer period of release, supervised or unsupervised in the past four years and to date in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54810/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I wish to inform the Deputy that it is not possible for the Irish Prison Service to provide a detailed response to his question within the timeframe available. I will however revert to him in due course.

Crime Levels

 80. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the extent to which he continues to monitor the number of incidents wherein further serious crimes continue to be committed by prisoners while on bail and in some cases while on bail for a second offence; the action or actions he will take to address this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54811/12]

 81. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the steps normally taken to prevent a person on bail for a serious offence from absconding from this jurisdiction; if such procedure is followed on all occasions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54812/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 80 and 81 together.

While figures available from the Central Statistics Office show some reduction in recent years in the number of recorded crimes where the suspected offenders were on bail, I share the public concern about the extent to which offences continue to be committed by persons on bail. As the Deputy will be aware, the criminal law takes a serious view of offences committed by persons on bail. Section 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 provides that any sentence of imprisonment passed on a person for an offence committed while on bail must be consecutive on any sentence passed on him or her for a previous offence, or on the sentence last due to expire, if more than one is being served. It also provides that the fact that an offence was committed while on bail must be treated as an aggravating factor at sentencing and that the court shall impose a sentence that is greater than that which would have been imposed otherwise, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

A decision to grant bail in a particular case is a matter for the court, which is, subject only to the Constitution and the law, independent in the exercise of its judicial functions. There is a constitutional presumption in favour of bail, since, in the eyes of the law, a person is innocent until proven guilty. The provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights also restrict the extent to which the right to bail can be limited. Prior to the Sixteenth Amendment of the Constitution, bail could be refused essentially only on the grounds that a person would be likely to abscond or interfere with witnesses. The Bail Act 1997, which gave effect to the terms of the Sixteenth Amendment of the Constitution, provides for the refusal of bail to a person charged with a serious offence where it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence by that person. In addition, section 6 of that Act, as amended by section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007, provides that every bail recognisance is subject to the condition that the accused person shall not commit an offence while on bail.

A court in granting bail may impose certain conditions designed to help avoid the person absconding such as surrender of passports and a requirement to report at a Garda station. I believe that bail law must be continually reviewed to ensure that all possible avenues are taken to protect the public against the commission of crime, particularly serious crime, by persons on bail. Accordingly, my Department has been engaged in work to consolidate and update bail law with a view to presenting a clear, accessible and modern statement of the law. In the context of that modernisation of the law, I will be seeking to restructure the law so that it has a focus on the protection of the individual and of the public. My intention is that the new proposals will provide better guidance to the courts on how such protection might be provided. I am also taking the opportunity to introduce some general improvements to bail law to improve the overall working of the bail system. I will bring proposals to Government on the matter in the near future.

Child Protection

 82. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding emergency services for children. [54815/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I understand that the Deputy has tabled an identical question to my colleague the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. I am informed by the Garda authorities that, in accordance with Section 7.7 of the Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011, An Garda Síochána will formally notify the Health Service Executive (HSE) when they suspect that a child has been or is being the victim of emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect. It is not necessary for An Garda Síochána to have sufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution before notifying the HSE.

Rape and sexual assault are serious offences which can have a traumatic effect on the victim. It is critically important that victims of such crimes continue to be supported and encouraged to come forward and report these crimes to An Garda Síochána. An Garda Síochána's Policing plan for 2012 puts a particular emphasis on tacking sexual crime and crime against children as well as pro-active cooperation with all relevant Departments, organisations and agencies to improve the safety of children. A comprehensive policy document on the investigation of sexual crimes against children and child welfare was developed by An Garda Síochána with Children First National Guidance 2011 adopted as Garda policy. Interaction with the HSE and Children and Family Services is an integral part of that policy in relation to all investigations of child abuse.

I am advised that a strategic committee has been established within an An Garda Síochána, chaired at Assistant Commissioner level, to liaise with the HSE's National Director of Children and Family Services, to ensure that all matters of strategy and policy in the field of inter-agency working receive proper direction. A Sexual Crime Management Unit has also been established within the Garda Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit, which is part of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Unit is responsible for evaluating and monitoring the number of investigations each year into child sexual abuse, child neglect and other sexual offences, to ensure that they are receiving appropriate attention, advising on the investigation of such crimes and promoting best investigative practice. The unit interacts, as appropriate, with contact points in relevant agencies in relation to complaints of sexual abuse made to An Garda Síochána.

I am also assured that members of An Garda Síochána and HSE personnel have undergone joint and intensive training in the specialised skills necessary for interviewing children. The Garda College, in conjunction with HSE colleagues, is constantly reviewing the training to ensure it is accordance with best international practice.Furthermore, given the need for sensitivity and confidentiality surrounding sexual crimes, there is a clear advantage from an investigative perspective both for the victims and for An Garda Síochána in conducting relevant interviews away from Garda stations. A country wide network of dedicated interview suites has been established by the Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána in six strategically chosen locations throughout the State which are used by the Garda authorities to record interviews with such victims. The roll out and utilisation of these interview suites is a huge step forward in terms of how child victims of sexual and violent abuse are dealt with by the criminal justice system.

Tribunals of Inquiry Reports

 83. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will disclose any ongoing or planned investigations as a result of the Tribunal of Inquiry into certain Payments to Politicians and Related Matters, the Moriarty tribunal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54821/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am informed by the Garda authorities that the examination of the Report of Moriarty Tribunal, referred to the Garda Commissioner to identify what, if any, criminal offences have been disclosed which may required investigation by An Garda Síochána has recently been completed. An Garda Síochána has now sought the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the findings of this examination before a decision can be made as to whether, or not, a full Garda investigation should now be commenced. The examination of the Report of the Mahon Tribunal, which was referred to the Garda Commissioner by the Government, is ongoing.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 84. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding single farm and area based payments in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo. [54611/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An error was identified during processing of the application, which, following direct contact with the person named, has now been resolved. The application is, therefore, now being further processed with a view to payment issuing shortly.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 85. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding single farm and area based payments in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo. [54612/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The advance payment under the 2012 Single Payment Scheme issued to the person named on 30 October 2012 and the balancing payment on 3 December 2012. Payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme payment will shortly issue. All payments issue directly to the nominated bank account.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 86. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid their 2012 disadvantaged areas payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54615/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application has recently been finalised, payment will shortly issue to the nominated bank account.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

 87. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid their REP scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54616/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named commenced REPS 4 in September 2008 and received payments for the first four years of their contract. REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue. In the course of the administrative check an area discrepancy was discovered between the Single Farm Payment application for 2012 and the REPS Agri-environmental Plan which has resulted in the necessity for further clarification. This issue is currently being investigated with the intention of an early resolution and payment in respect of 2012.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 88. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a disadvantaged payment for 2012 will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54626/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme issued to the person named on 29 November 2012, directly to the nominated bank account.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 89. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney further to Parliamentary Question No. 548 of 13 November the position regarding a single farm payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54664/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The status of this case as of 13 November was that the applicant had sought a review of a decision to reduce the payment arising from an over-claim. However, in the interim, the applicant has written to my Department accepting the reduced payment and the application is being processed for payment as soon as possible on this basis. My Department has, nonetheless, been in direct contact to ensure the person concerned is fully apprised of the available appeal options.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 90. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a single farm payment will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54665/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In order to comply with EU requirements, the applicant was one of a number selected for a cross compliance inspection which took place on 20th April 2012. The inspection recorded breaches relating to both cattle and sheep animal identification and registration requirements. As a result, a penalty of 5% arises. The person named was notified of this decision on 8th of May 2012 and of the right to seek a review. To date, no such request has been received. However this option remains open should the person concerned wish to exercise it. In addition, in this case, issues arose relating to the eligibility of areas declared during processing of the application. These have now been resolved and processing of the application has recently been finalised. Payment, taking account of the above cross-compliance penalty, will shortly issue to the nominated bank account.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 91. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid their 2012 disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54679/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has not yet issued as, at this stage, the holding concerned has not yet satisfied the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements for 2012. Immediately the holding concerned is confirmed as having met these requirements, the case will be further processed with a view to payment at the earliest possible date thereafter.


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