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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 179-185
 Header Item European Arrest Warrant Issues
 Header Item Prison Committals
 Header Item Penalty Point System
 Header Item Garda Operations
 Header Item Defence Forces Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Reports

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 806 No. 2

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Written Answers Nos. 179-185

European Arrest Warrant Issues

 179. Deputy John Browne Information on John Browne Zoom on John Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the number of extradition requests made here in 2012 under the European arrest warrant scheme; the number of persons returned here under the European arrest warrant; the amount the European arrest warrant scheme cost the Exchequer in 2012; the amount that was paid in legal fees in 2012 under the European Arrest Warrant Scheme; the number of requests Ireland made in 2012 under the European arrest warrant scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [28369/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Deputy may be interested to know that the Central Authority produces an annual report, under the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, relating to European arrest warrants both received in and issued by the State. The annual report which provides details of 2012 figures was laid before the Oireachtas on 28th March 2013 and is available to view on the Department’s website, www.justice.ie, under “Press & Publications > Publications > Annual Reports”.

  The specific figures requested by the Deputy are as follows:

  - A total of 313 European arrest warrants were received from Member States by the Central Authority in 2012;

  - 52 persons who were subjects of European arrest warrants from Ireland were surrendered to this jurisdiction during 2012;

  - 88 European arrest warrants were transmitted by the Central Authority to other Member States in 2012.

  With reference to legal fees, while I as Minister have no function in relation to the payment such fees, I have asked my Department to make enquiries with the relevant bodies and, once this information is to hand, I will write to the Deputy.

Prison Committals

 180. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter his views on the fact that, as of March 2013, three prisoners aged 17 years were on protection in St. Patrick's Institution, Dublin, two of whom are locked up for 23 hours per day; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21821/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that of the three prisoners referred to in the Deputy's question, two of those prisoners requested to be placed on protection in St Patrick's Institution. I am further advised that the other prisoner was placed on protection following a case conference at which the relevant services, the prisoner's family and also the prisoner himself were in attendance. The Deputy might note that this prisoner is no longer on protection and is described by local management as 'getting on well'.

Of the further two 17 years olds who are on protection and were previously on 23 hour lock up, I wish to advise the Deputy that while still classified as protection prisoners, both prisoners work in the kitchens (Work and Training) and therefore mix with other prisoners 7 days a week, 7.30 am to 5.30 pm.

Penalty Point System

 181. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter in view of the serious implications for road safety, if he will outline the steps he has taken to deal with the allegations of widespread cancellation of fixed charge notices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23303/13]

 182. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he is satisfied with the conduct of the investigation into the cancellation of fixed charge penalty notices in view of the serious implications for road safety. [22664/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 181 and 182 together.

As the Deputies are aware, the Garda Commissioner appointed Assistant Commissioner John O'Mahoney, in October 2012, to conduct the examination of the allegations that fixed charge notices were improperly cancelled. The report by Assistant Commissioner O'Mahoney constitutes a detailed examination of the allegations. It concluded that there was no evidence to suggest criminality or corruption, but did identify certain departures from administration procedures. Arising from this, files in respect of three members of the Garda Síochána have been forwarded to the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Internal Affairs in the Garda Síochána for further investigation under the Disciplinary Regulations.

In addition, the O'Mahoney report, and a related report by the Garda Professional Standards Unit, have recommended a number of changes aimed at ensuring that administrative procedures are correctly followed throughout the Force in relation to the cancellation of fixed charge notices. I have asked the Garda Síochána Inspectorate to consider these changes prior to implementation, to make any necessary supplementary recommendations, and to review their implementation after 18 months. I have also referred both reports to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, and I look forward to the views of the Committee, in particular on whether any additional procedural or legislative changes are desirable.

Garda Operations

 183. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the contact he has had with the Garda or other State bodies in relation to the GoSafe operation; and whether he is satisfied with its role in relation to road safety.  [22665/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána is satisfied with the service provided by Go Safe in the provision of an outsourced safety camera network. Go Safe is contracted to provide the service to the Garda authorities for five years (from November 2010) with an option to extend provision of the service for one further year and provides 6,000 speed monitoring hours and 1,475 traffic survey hours per month across the country. I am advised by the Garda authorities that, in accordance with the contract, the surveying hours may be exchanged for speed monitoring at the discretion of An Garda Síochána.

I am also advised that the results of speed surveys carried out in the two years from January 2011 to January, 2013 show there has been a sustained improvement in driver behaviour and increased compliance with the limits in most speed enforcement zones, which is very welcome. I am, of course, determined that the resources of An Garda Síochána are used in the most efficient and effective way possible. In that regard, the outsourced safety camera network represents a considerable increase in capacity in terms of road safety enforcement while using Garda resources to the best possible effect and is playing an important part in the overall Road Safety Strategy.

Defence Forces Expenditure

 184. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide in tabular form on a monthly basis for 2013 the total cost of sending soldiers from the military barracks in Dundalk, Athlone and Donegal, namely the 27 Infantry Battalion, 6 Infantry Battalion, 28 Infantry Battalion and 2 Field Artillery Regiment, to carry out routine regimental duties(details supplied) in a tabular form on a monthly basis in 2013. [28165/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter It was not possible to provide the information sought by the Deputy in the time available. My Department is currently seeking to compile an accurate reply and I will provide the information directly to the Deputy once it comes to hand.

Departmental Reports

 185. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will set out the value for money reports and the focused policy assessments carried out within his Department since March 2011; and the actions that have been taken to implement such reports.  [28171/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter No Focused Policy Assessments have been carried out within my Department during the time frame outlined. Since March 2011, a Value for Money (VFM) Review of the Reserve Defence Force (RDF) was finalised and published.

Since the publication of this Review in November, 2012, there has been significant progress made in implementing its recommendations. New organisational structures for the Reserve were introduced at the end of March, 2013. The Reserve budget has been rebalanced and funding previously allocated to gratuities has been redirected to increase the amount of paid training available to the Reserve. This will ensure that the revised organisational strength ceiling of 4,069 personnel is sustainable within the prevailing resource envelope. The implementation of other recommendations is ongoing and these changes will ensure the continued viability of the Reserve.


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