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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 73-93
 Header Item Domiciliary Care Allowance Eligibility
 Header Item Údarás na Gaeltachta
 Header Item Ferry Operations
 Header Item Irish Music Industry
 Header Item Electricity Generation
 Header Item Planning Issues
 Header Item Tenant Purchase Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Local Authority Housing Maintenance
 Header Item Water and Sewerage Schemes Provision
 Header Item Local Authority Housing Mortgages
 Header Item Local Government Reform
 Header Item Prison Accommodation
 Header Item Personal Insolvency Act
 Header Item Garda Resources
 Header Item Garda Transport
 Header Item Garda Recruitment
 Header Item Gambling Legislation
 Header Item Citizenship Applications
 Header Item Probation and Welfare Service
 Header Item Residency Permits
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 796 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 53 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 73-93

Domiciliary Care Allowance Eligibility

 73. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding the determination of eligibility for domiciliary care allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare. [13567/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton An application for domiciliary care allowance was received on the 1st October 2012. This application was referred to one of the Department’s Medical Assessors who considered that the child was not medically eligible for the allowance. A letter issued on the 25th October 2012 advising of the decision. The person concerned requested a review of the decision and the case has been forwarded to another of the Department’s Medical Assessors for further consideration. The person concerned will be notified of the outcome of this review as soon as it is completed.

Údarás na Gaeltachta

 74. Deputy Joe McHugh Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan with reference to an industrial estate in County Donegal, if his Department and Údarás na Gaeltachta will consider a proposal (details supplied); and if he will communicate directly with a person regarding this matter. [13499/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Information on Dinny McGinley Zoom on Dinny McGinley Údarás na Gaeltachta is a statutorily independent body and, accordingly, I have no function in relation to its day-to-day operations. As the proposal referred to involves property in the ownership of Údarás na Gaeltachta, the Deputy will understand that any decision in this regard would be entirely a matter for Údarás. I can say, however, that I understand that the matter in question is under consideration by Údarás na Gaeltachta and that officials from Údarás are available to meet with interested local development committees to discuss and consider any reasonable proposals.

Ferry Operations

 75. Deputy Noel Harrington Information on Noel Harrington Zoom on Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Jimmy Deenihan Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan the arrangements made by his Department for the transport of animals to and from the mainland to Dursey Island in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13501/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Dinny McGinley): Information on Dinny McGinley Zoom on Dinny McGinley My Department allocated a grant for the provision of a ferry cargo service for three days between the mainland and Dursey Island during the period from 1 July 2012 to 31 August 2013. This allowed for the transport of vital provisions to the island and also facilitated the occasional transfer of animals from the island during the period in question.

My Department will give consideration to funding a similar freight service at the end of the above period. However, it should be noted that the regular transfer of animals to and from the island is not the responsibility of my Department.

Irish Music Industry

 76. Deputy Jerry Buttimer Information on Jerry Buttimer Zoom on Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte in view of the cultural importance of the Irish music industry and its potential to create employment, the policies to promote the broadcasting of Irish music that he has implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13458/13]

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte The policy approach in regard to the imposition of programming obligations on broadcasters is set out in the Broadcasting Act 2009, which also sets out the objects of our national public service broadcasters. In pursuit of these objects RTÉ and TG4 are charged, inter-alia, with ensuring that programmes reflect the varied elements, which make up the culture of the people of Ireland and “have special regard for the elements which distinguish that culture and in particular the Irish language”. RTÉ and TG4 publish detailed commitments on an annual basis setting out how they intend to meet their public service obligations and objects as set out in the Act. The extent to which the commitments entered into by our two public service broadcasters have been met is reviewed annually by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).

Radio and television services, additional to those provided by the national public service broadcasters are matters for the BAI, which is an independent statutory body. Matters in relation to Irish music content on commercial radio are the subject of contractual negotiations between the BAI and commercial radio operators. In submitting their initial licensing applications to the BAI, such broadcasters put forward commitments in regard to how they will deal with a range of broadcast issues including public service commitments and, where appropriate, more specific commitments, for instance, in regard to the playing of Irish music. If they are successful, these commitments form part of the terms and conditions of their actual licence.

This policy approach is seen as appropriate in that it deals with the differing requirements of commercial and public service broadcasting. In relation to commercial broadcasters, it is seen as an effective means of leveraging public service type commitments that takes full account of the specific broadcaster’s business proposal. As for public service broadcasters, it provides an iterative approach that is sufficiently flexible to ensure that the changing needs of Irish society continue to be addressed.

Electricity Generation

 77. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte if energy suppliers are required to offer a feed-in tariff for micro generators; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13487/13]

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte Electricity suppliers are not required to offer a feed-in-tariff for microgenerators. Currently Electric Ireland, on a commercial basis, is the only electricity supplier to offer a feed-in-tariff to microgenerators. They offer a tariff of 9 cent per kilowatt hour for electricity exported to the grid to domestic customers under specified conditions.

The Commission for Energy Regulation, in the past, wrote to all electricity suppliers inviting them, on a voluntary and commercial basis, to introduce schemes for microgenerators, however none, apart from Electric Ireland, has chosen to do so, to date.

In 2009, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) initiated a pilot microgeneration programme. This involved 42 installations of various microgeneration technologies. A final monitoring report on the performance of the installations and learning from the programme is awaited from the SEAI. This will inform future policy development.

SEAI has been asked to provide my Department with analysis of other means through which the microgeneration sector could be supported, apart from through a feed-in-tariff funded from the Public Service Obligation. In view of falling technology costs, the Department has also asked SEAI to update analysis on the costs of varying levels of support for microgeneration technologies, with a view to considering how the sector could be supported going forward.

Planning Issues

 78. Deputy Ciarán Lynch Information on Ciaran Lynch Zoom on Ciaran Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if the review of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 has been completed; if changes are contemplated to the claw-back provision in regard to affordable housing in view of the changed market conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13450/13]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan The review of Part V of the Planning and Development Acts announced in the context of the standing down of affordable housing schemes as part of the Government’s housing policy statement will include an examination of the operational aspects of the shared ownership scheme. That review is currently advanced and I expect the consultants’ report that informs the review will be published shortly. I have also asked the Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency to provide me with a standalone analysis of the shared ownership scheme, including identification of the main difficulties and recommendations for mitigating measures.

The claw-back provision is intended to prevent short-term profit taking on the resale of the house to the detriment of the objectives of the schemes. However, where a person is selling and the clawback amount payable would reduce the proceeds of resale below the initial price actually paid, the legislation provides for the amount of the clawback payable to be reduced to the extent necessary to avoid that result. Legal and auctioneering fees are costs which vendors bear separately, as do all other owner-occupiers who choose to sell their home.

Any future changes to legislation governing affordable housing schemes, including the shared ownership scheme, will be made in the context of the review and the Housing Agency analysis, and I expect to make announcements in this regard in the coming months.

Tenant Purchase Scheme Eligibility

 79. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan when details of the new 2013 tenant purchase scheme will be made available; when the new scheme will open to tenants that wish to make an application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13473/13]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan The 1995 tenant purchase scheme for existing local authority houses closed for new applications on 31 December 2012. I intend to advance the necessary legislative proposals as soon as possible to replace that scheme with a new incremental purchase scheme, involving discounts for tenants linked to household income and a discount-related charge on the property that will dwindle away over a period unless the house is resold or the purchaser fails to comply with conditions of the sale.

Local Authority Housing Maintenance

 80. Deputy Robert Dowds Information on Robert Dowds Zoom on Robert Dowds asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the current funding for remedial works schemes in respect of council housing; and the future of this programme. [13483/13]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan I recently allocated some €19 million in respect of 25 remedial works projects which are currently on-going across 16 local authorities. All of the available funding has been committed at this stage. New projects will be considered in the context of the level of commitments and the funding available in 2014.

Water and Sewerage Schemes Provision

 81. Deputy Alan Farrell Information on Alan Farrell Zoom on Alan Farrell asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will provide an update in the status of the investment programme application submitted by Fingal County Council in August 2011 regarding Malahide waste water management. [13522/13]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Malahide Sewerage Scheme is included in my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 - 2013 as a scheme to advance through planning. Fingal County Council’s draft Brief for the appointment of a Consultant to prepare a Preliminary Report for the scheme is under examination in my Department at present and a decision will be made as soon as possible.

Local Authority Housing Mortgages

 82. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will examine the case of persons making new or joint applications for local authority housing loans currently being refused on the basis of having previously obtained a loan in the context of a previous relationship; if, in view of their housing needs and equality legislation, steps can be taken to ensure that such applicants are not disallowed on the basis of the aforesaid criteria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13543/13]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan One of the conditions applying to the availability of local authority mortgages is that the applicant be a first time buyer. However, Section 92B of the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999 defines first time buyers as including a spouse to a marriage the subject of a decree of judicial separation, a deed of separation, a decree of divorce or a decree of nullity in the case of the first acquisition of a house by the spouse following the separation or divorce provided that the spouse had, in relation to the former marital home,   

  - left that home;

  - not retained an interest in that home;

- immediately prior to the date of the decree or deed of separation is not beneficially entitled to an interest in a house other than the marital home. At the date of the decree or deed of separation, the separated/former spouse must also be in occupation of the home which was occupied by both spouses prior to the separation or dissolution of marriage. In such circumstances, an applicant may be considered a first time buyer for the purposes of local authority loans.   

I am happy that the current mortgage loan model is fair, adequately meets the needs of prospective borrowers and facilitates participation in housing acquisition initiatives such as the tenant purchase schemes.

Local Government Reform

 83. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the abolition of town councils; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13582/13]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan My Department is currently considering possible mechanisms to address the matter of ongoing development planning by planning authorities that are proposed to be amalgamated or abolished. In the meantime, planning authorities must continue to meet their statutory obligations in regard to development planning until the matter is addressed.

Prison Accommodation

 84. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter his plans for Harristown House, Castlerea, County Roscommon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13443/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Harristown House is a 22 roomed two storey property situated just outside of the boundary wall of Castlerea Prison. It was most recently used for accommodating persons who were under the care of the Probation Service. The property has been refurbished with the intention of using it as a low-security facility.

Prisoners housed there will be those who have demonstrated good behaviour over a period of time, have engaged with the therapeutic services in the prison and are deemed to be a low risk of absconding and a low risk of re-offending. It is intended that the prisoners housed at Harristown House will be taking part in a Temporary Release Programme. It is expected that five to six prisoners will initially be involved and eventually up to 15 prisoners. Those involved will be employed in the grounds under the control of an Industrial Manager. They will be obliged to abide by all the normal terms of temporary release as well as reporting daily to the Main Gate at Castlerea Prison. CCTV coverage of the house and surrounding areas will be monitored from the control room. They will also be visited during the day by prison staff. Harristown House will be secured by a fence and there will be strict conditions on access and egress at night.

The usual risk assessments will be completed by my officials in the Irish Prison Service, prior to any prisoners being moved into the facility.

Personal Insolvency Act

 85. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the position regarding the Personal Insolvency Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13472/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Personal Insolvency Act 2012, was passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas on 19 December, 2012 and signed into law by the President on 26 December, 2012.

The Act provides for the introduction of three new debt resolution processes, which though requiring approval by the court, are essentially non-judicial in nature:

- The Debt Relief Notice (DRN) will allow for the write-off of qualifying unsecured debt up to €20,000, subject to a three year supervision period.

- The Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA) provides for the agreed settlement of unsecured debt, with no limit involved, normally over five years.

- The Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) will enable the agreed settlement of secured debt up to €3 million, although this cap may be increased with the consent of all secured creditors, and unsecured debt without limit, normally over six years.

   The Act also continues the reform of the Bankruptcy Act 1988, begun in the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 and will include, critically, the introduction of automatic discharge from bankruptcy, subject to certain conditions, after 3 years in place of the current 12 years.

  The Act provides for the establishment of an Insolvency Service to operate the new insolvency arrangements. The Act provides for the Regulation of Personal Insolvency Practitioners. The Act also provides for the appointment of new specialist judges of the Circuit Court to deal with applications under the new debt resolution processes.

  Part 6 of the Act was commenced on 18 January 2013. The provisions of Part 1 (other than section 6), Part 2 (other than section 13), sections 25 and 47, sections 126 to 141, Part 5 and Schedules 2 and 3 of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 came into operation on 1 March 2013.   The Insolvency Service was established on 1 March 2013 by Ministerial Order made on 20 February last.

  The Act will be fully commenced as soon as all of the necessary preparations for administration of its provisions are finalised.

Garda Resources

 86. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter further to Parliamentary Question No. 165 of 6 March 2013, if he will elaborate the way the allocation of Garda resources is constantly monitored in the context of demographics, crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place on a district, divisional and regional level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13474/13]

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 and that I have no direct function in that matter. It is clear, however, that the Commissioner and senior Garda management keep under continuing review the measures necessary to efficiently and effectively match the allocation of resources with policing demands, and that this may involve ongoing adjustments in that allocation.

Garda Transport

 87. Deputy Noel Grealish Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the number of Garda cars that have been taken off the road in the past three years; the number of these that have been replaced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13484/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Decisions in relation to the provision and deployment of Garda transport are matters for the Garda Commissioner. In that context I am advised by the Garda authorities that the number of Garda vehicles procured and the number of vehicles decommissioned in the period referred to by the Deputy were as detailed in the following table:

Year Procured Decommissioned
2010 165 124
2011 52 306
2012 213 324
      With regard to Garda transport generally, the Deputy will appreciate that decisions in this area are made by the Garda Commissioner in the light of his identified operational demands and available resources. In that connection the Deputy may be aware that currently the Garda authorities are rolling out a supply of 171 new vehicles which have been procured by means of an additional allocation of €3 million I made available to An Garda Síochána towards the end of last year. These vehicles are being deployed on the basis of operational needs.

      In addition, I am advised by the Garda authorities that, arising from the financial provision of €5 million in the Garda budget for the purchase and fit-out of Garda transport in 2013, arrangements are being made to place an order for further new vehicles which, the Deputy can be assured, will be deployed as effectively as possible.

      This represents a very considerable financial investment in Garda transport, particularly at a time when the level of funding available across the public sector is severely limited. It is a clear indication of my commitment to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, An Garda Síochána are provided with sufficient resources to enable them to provide an effective and efficient policing service.

    Garda Recruitment

     88. Deputy Tom Barry Information on Tom Barry Zoom on Tom Barry asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if and when the next round of Garda recruitment commences, the Garda Reserve Force will be given preferential consideration. [13497/13]

    Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Recruitment to An Garda Síochána is governed by the Garda Síochána (Admissions and Appointments) (Amendment) Regulations 2006. These regulations provide that in a competition for full-time membership of An Garda Síochána, the Public Appointments Commission shall take into account any service by the candidate as a Reserve member of the Garda Síochána, and shall give due recognition to evidence of satisfactory service as such a member.

    Gambling Legislation

     89. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter his plans to prohibit fixed odds betting terminals in upcoming legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13511/13]

    Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I draw the Deputy's attention to my press statement of 21 September 2011 in which I announced that the Government had agreed to my proposals for new legislation to update our laws on gambling. In that statement I announced that the Government had decided, in the public interest, that the new legislation should prohibit fixed odds betting terminals.

    My Department has prepared Heads of a Bill that will give effect to the proposals approved by the Government in 2011. It is provisionally entitled the Gambling Control Bill. I hope to bring the Heads to the Government soon, for its approval and for authorisation to draft a Bill. Therefore, subject to the Government approving the Heads, a prohibition on fixed odds betting terminals can be expected to be included in the new Bill.

    Citizenship Applications

     90. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the position regarding a citizenship application in respect of a person (details supplied). [13512/13]

    Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that a valid application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to by the Deputy in February, 2013.

      The application is being processed with a view to establishing whether the applicant meets the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation, such as good character and lawful residence, and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible.

      As well as being a significant event in the life of its recipient, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation as provided for in law is also a major step for the State which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

      Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS 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 INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

    Probation and Welfare Service

     91. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the current situation in County Kerry regarding probation officers; if there are probation officers available to deal with cases that need assistance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13517/13]

    Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Probation Service, which is the lead agency in the assessment and management of offenders in our communities, is divided into seven operational regions. County Kerry comes within the South West Region which also encompasses Cork City and County; County Clare; and Limerick City and County.

      The team operating out of Tralee covers a caseload of both adult and young offenders. In addition to professional probation staff, the team also has the support of one full time clerical officer and two part time community service supervisors.

        The Service allocates its resources and prioritises its workload to maximise efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of front-line services. In that context, it focuses primarily on cases which have a statutory responsibility including high risk cases, community service, and young offenders.

    Residency Permits

     92. Deputy Joe McHugh Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the reason a person (details supplied) was granted just one year even though similar applicants secured five years of residency; the reason for the delay in making a decision; if he will justify the fact that the applicant has spent all personal savings on living here for four years in order to qualify; if humanitarian grounds are considered; and if he will write directly to the applicant. [13526/13]

    Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised that the person concerned was granted five years residency based on her EU Treaty Rights application but that this permission was subsequently revoked for reasons which were outlined to her at the time. The immigration status in the State of the person concerned is currently under consideration by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service and once a decision has been made, this decision and it consequences, will be conveyed to her.

      Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS 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.

    Naturalisation Applications

     93. 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 a review of the file in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal arising from which the original or photocopy of their child's birth certificate appears to have been missing; if the missing document has been found; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13545/13]

    Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that a valid application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to by the Deputy in November, 2012.

    The application is being processed with a view to establishing whether the applicant meets the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation, such as good character and lawful residence, and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible.

    A photocopy of an Irish birth certificate for her child born in 2009 was included in documentation provided with her application for a certificate of naturalisation. This is being returned to the applicant as it is not relevant to this application. I understand that further clarification has been sought from the Deputy in regard to the issue raised in his question.

    As well as being a significant event in the life of its recipient, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation as provided for in law is also a major step for the State which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

    Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS 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 INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.


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