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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 530-549
 Header Item Local Authority Funding
 Header Item Seniors Alert Scheme
 Header Item Housing Adaptation Grant Data
 Header Item Housing Adaptation Grant Funding
 Header Item Control of Dogs
 Header Item National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan
 Header Item Housing Data
 Header Item Coroners Service
 Header Item Residency Permits
 Header Item Garda Reserve
 Header Item Magdalen Laundries
 Header Item Garda-PSNI Transfers
 Header Item Sentencing Policy
 Header Item Sentencing Policy
 Header Item Prison Committals
 Header Item Garda Divisional Headquarters
 Header Item Criminal Assets Bureau
 Header Item Commissions of Investigation

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 826 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 530-549

Local Authority Funding

 530. 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 the cuts that have been directed at local authorities which were not published at the time; the amount he is proposing to cut in the grant funding which was being made available for persons to live in their own homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [1723/14]

 531. 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 if he will clarify the directive that was sent out on 31 December 2013 to all local authorities regarding payment of grants to elderly disabled persons who want to carry out renovations to their own homes, if it is true that this memo stated that persons will be forced to repay the grants if their homes are sold; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1724/14]

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 propose to take Questions Nos. 530 and 531 together.

  I intend to announce details of the capital allocations to local authorities in respect of the suite of Grants for Older People and People with a Disability very shortly. There has been no cut in the funding for these grant schemes in 2014.   

  Adjustments to the terms and conditions of the grant schemes were made on foot of the findings of a review group which was established in 2013 to examine the operation of these   schemes. The principal objective was to ensure that the benefits were spread as widely as possible and to ensure fairness and value for money in the operation of the grant schemes.

  The revised arrangements will see more people receiving grants for works which will assist them to remain living in their own homes for as long as possible.

The report of the review group recommended that a graduated claw-back provision should apply where grant aid is provided in respect of an extension to a house and where the house is subsequently sold within a period of 5 years. No decision has been made so far in relation to the clawback.   

Seniors Alert Scheme

 532. Deputy Charles Flanagan Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if consideration has been given to reducing the age of eligibility for the senior alert scheme from 65 to 60 years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1732/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Seniors Alert Scheme aims to encourage community support for vulnerable older people in our communities by providing grant assistance towards the purchase and installation of personal monitored alarms to enable older persons, of limited means, to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind. The Scheme is administered by local community and voluntary groups with the support of my Department.   

  My Department has not given consideration to reducing the age of eligibility for this scheme and there are no plans at present to change it.   

Housing Adaptation Grant Data

 533. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will provide the full criteria now applying to the housing adaptation grant for persons with a disability, the housing aid for older persons and the mobility aids grant; and if he will outline the way the changes will affect applicants who have already been approved by the local authority but whose grant was not paid because of funding cut-backs and who are retained on a waiting list by the council.  [1746/14]

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 changes recently notified to Local Authorities only apply to new applications received after 1 January 2014. Any person who applied for a grant prior to January 2014 will have their application processed in accordance with the guidelines in place at that time. These applicants will not be affected by the changes to the terms of the schemes.

The changes were made on foot of the report of a review group, established last year by my Department, to examine the terms and conditions governing the suite of Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability. Membership of the group included members of both the County and City Managers' Association (CCMA), the Housing Practitioner Network, Local Authority housing personnel and officials from my Department. Consultations were held with organisations working with older people and people with a disability, including the Irish Wheelchair Association, ALONE, HSE, Ataxia Ireland, the Irish Society for Autism and the National Disability Authority. The aim of the review was to spread the benefits of the schemes as widely as possible and to ensure fairness and value for money in their operation.

There has been no change to the maximum grant available under the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability which remains at €30,000 or the Mobility Aids Grant which remains at €6,000. In the case of the Housing Aid for Older People, the maximum grant has been reduced from €10,500 to €8,000. It should be noted that the average grant paid under this scheme in 2011, 2012 and 2013 was €4,162, €4,106 and €3,995 respectively, well below the maximum available. The age limit for eligibility has been increased from 60 to 66 years. However, a lower age limit may apply at the discretion of the local authority in certain cases.

Changes have also been made with regard to the assessment of means of applicants. To bring it into line with the means assessment for applicants for social housing, all household member’s income, with certain exceptions, will be included in the assessment of means. The level of income beyond which no grant is payable has been reduced from €65,000 to €60,000.

I intend to increase the level of funding available for the grant schemes in 2014. Details of the capital allocations will issue to local authorities very shortly.

A copy of the revised guidelines will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Housing Adaptation Grant Funding

 534. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the reason for changing the eligibility criteria for disability housing supports, including the disability adaptation grants scheme; and the reason organisations working with elderly and disabled persons were not consulted prior to the changes taking effect. [1750/14]

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 A review group was established by my Department to examine the terms and conditions governing the suite of Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability. Membership of the group included members of both the County and City Managers’ Association (CCMA), the Housing Practitioner Network, Local Authority housing personnel and officials from my Department. Consultations were held with organisations working with older people and people with a disability, including the Irish Wheelchair Association, ALONE, HSE, Ataxia Ireland, the Irish Society for Autism and the National Disability Authority. The aim of the review was to spread the benefits of the schemes as widely as possible and to ensure fairness and value for money in their operation.

I intend to increase the level of funding available for the grant schemes in 2014. Details of the capital allocations will issue to local authorities very shortly.

Control of Dogs

 535. Deputy Derek Nolan Information on Derek Nolan Zoom on Derek Nolan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his plans to introduce dog breed neutral legislation in relation to the control of dogs here; if legislating restrictions or bans by breed has resulted in reduced injuries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1753/14]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The primary legislation in relation to the control of dogs – the 1986 Control of Dogs Act - is already dog breed neutral in that it requires all dog owners or persons in charge of a dog to keep the dog under effectual control. Further specific control requirements in relation to certain breeds were also set out in the Control of Dogs (Restriction of Certain Dogs ) Regulations, 1991 and updated in 1998. The decision to introduce further specific control requirements in relation to certain breeds was taken as a balanced and workable arrangement which recognises the rights of dog owners versus the needs of society to be protected from dogs with a significant capability to inflict very serious injury. It followed detail consultation with interested parties, including the Irish Kennel Club, the ISPCA, the Irish Veterinary Association, the Irish Veterinary Union, the Association of Dog Wardens, the Search and Rescue Dog Association (Ireland), the Irish Guide Dogs Association and Bord na gCon. It is not my intention at present to revoke the provisions of this legislation. My Department does not maintain statistics on injuries due to dog attacks.

National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan

 536. Deputy Simon Harris Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide an update on the implementation of the national disability strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1109/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch In line with the Programme for Government commitment a National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan (NDSIP) was published in July 2013 following significant consultation and consideration between relevant Government Departments and representatives of a broad range of Disability organisations. This Plan sets out the practical measures that will be taken to advance the National Disability Strategy over the period 2013 to 2015.

  Progress on the Implementation Plan is reviewed by the National Disability Strategy Implementation Group (NDSIG) through thematic meetings which deal with specific issues. Such meetings are attended by all relevant bodies to ensure cross-sectoral input and review. All actions in the Plan relevant to the chosen issue are discussed and the progress made is mapped against commitments in the Plan.

  Two such thematic meetings were held in quarter 4 of 2013 and focussed on the themes of Irish Sign Language and Housing.

  In addition to the ongoing implementation of the actions being undertaken by the relevant Government Departments two new initiatives are currently being progressed. These are the drafting of a comprehensive employment strategy for people with disabilities and a review of the Implementation Plan with respect to how it addresses the needs of people with autism.

At my request, the National Disability Authority (NDA) and Mr. Christy Lynch (founder member of the Irish Association of Supported Employment) have initiated the drafting of a comprehensive employment strategy. A draft framework for the Strategy was agreed by the Senior Official's Group on Disability on 30 July 2013 and subsequently issued for consultation with all relevant stakeholders in August. It is anticipated that the Strategy will be finalised in the first quarter of 2014.

  I have also recently requested the NDA to examine how the Implementation Plan reflects the needs of people with autism. The NDA will, as part of that examination, engage in a consultation exercise with autism stakeholders in the near future. The NDA will report back to me on the outcome of their examination with a view to further consideration of the issue by the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy.

Housing Data

 537. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter his response to the latest report from a company (details supplied) highlighting a significant strength in cash payments, where 54% of residential transactions made in the first nine months of 2013 involved cash purchases in comparison to 43% in 2012; the vendor profile for those transactions involving cash; if he is confident that there are no links to organised crime and criminal gangs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1229/14]

 539. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the guidelines or statutory regulations that are in place to ensure estate agents carry out vetting of home buyers who pay with large sums of cash; if there is any obligation on estate agents to declare a cash transfer on homes; his response to a company's (details supplied) report on home buyers stating a noticeable increase in the strength of cash in 54% of all property transactions; what is the vendor profile for those transactions involving cash, how to ensure that there are no links to organised crime and criminal gangs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1242/14]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 537 and 539 together.

I note that the Report referred to by the Deputy was issued by a well-known estate agency with a national presence and highlighted the ongoing prevalence of cash buyers in the property market. I should advise the Deputy that the Property Services Regulatory Authority was established in April 2012 under the Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011 and is responsible for controlling and regulating Property Service Providers (i.e. Auctioneers/Estate Agents, Letting Agents and Management Agents).

To enable the Authority to exercise its regulatory role, Section 65 of the 2011 Act provides that the Authority "shall, following the receipt of a complaint, or may of its own volition, cause such investigation as it thinks fit to be carried out..." to identify any "improper conduct" which has or is being committed by a Property Services Provider. I am advised by the Authority that it does not collect or collate information in relation to cash buyers. The Authority is aware that in recent years there has been an increase in the number of properties bought for cash. This could, however, be attributed to a decrease in mortgage lending and the Authority is not currently aware of any more sinister explanation for this trend.

However I can assure the Deputy that measures are in place to ensure that any suspicious transactions can be examined by the law enforcement authorities. A Property Services Provider is a "designated person" for the purposes of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010. To comply with that Act, designated persons are required to have a range of measures in place to ensure that customers are not laundering money or financing terrorism. This includes identifying and verifying the identity of customers and beneficial owners, training their staff, keeping records etc. and making Suspicious Transaction Reports as necessary to An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners.

Under Section 42 of the 2010 Act, where a Property Service Provider knows, suspects or has reasonable grounds to suspect, on the basis of information obtained in the course of business that another person has been or is engaged in money laundering or terrorism financing they are required to make a Suspicious Transaction Report to An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners. All Suspicious Transaction Reports are subsequently investigated as appropriate by the law enforcement authorities to examine any links such transactions may have to any form of criminal activity.

I can further inform the Deputy that it is my intention to confer the relevant powers under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 on the Property Services Regulatory Authority, by way of an order under Section 60 of that Act, to enable that Authority to monitor property service providers for the purpose of securing compliance by such providers under the requirements of the Act. I understand that it is the intention of the Property Services Regulatory Authority, once such powers are delegated, to include as part of its normal regulatory investigations, an examination of how property service providers are complying with their obligations under the 2010 Act.

Coroners Service

 538. 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 reason the operations of county morgues and county coroners' expenses still have to go through the local authority and be accounted by the local authorities; and his plans to make changes to the current set-up. [1237/14]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I understand that with the exception of Dublin, where specific arrangements apply, local authorities are not involved in the provision of funding for morgue facilities. With regard to financial payments to coroners, the position is that such payments are made by local authorities.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Coroners Bill 2007 which is before the Seanad, having been restored to the Order Paper, provides for a comprehensive reform of the law, practice and structures in regard to the coroner service. The Bill envisaged a move towards having full time coroners as opposed to the current part time model. The Bill is in the course of being reviewed in my Department and in that context all governance and administrative matters in relation to coroners will be examined to determine how reform can be achieved in a cost effective manner.

  Question No. 539 answered with Question No. 537.

Residency Permits

 540. 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 position regarding permission to stay in Ireland in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1314/14]

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) of my Department that the individuals concerned have not made any application to INIS for residence permission. They will be contacted by officials from the General Immigration Division shortly with regard to their wish to reside in the State.

  I should remind the Deputy that queries in relation to the status of individual Immigration cases may be made direct to INIS by Email using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. The service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek this information through the more administratively expensive Parliamentary Questions process.

Garda Reserve

 541. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will amend the relevant legislation in relation to deleting the provision scrapping the €400 contribution which was payable to self-employed members of the Garda Reserve by the Garda Commissioner; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [1443/14]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The annual allowance payable to Reserve members as a contribution towards their expenses is set at €1,000 per annum. The Finance (No. 2) Act 2013 provided that the allowance paid to members of Garda Reserve be exempt from taxation. Garda Reserve members are also reimbursed for expenses incurred while attending court in respect of their service as a Reserve member.

Magdalen Laundries

 542. 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 with regard to the settlement of claims made by survivors of Magdalen institutions, where written records relating to survivors are utilised in the assessment of compensation and such records are disputed by the survivor concerned by means of affidavit, the way it is proposed to resolve these conflicts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [55222/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter In cases where the religious congregations have no clear record, my officials will have to carry out a thorough examination checking whatever records are available to see if they support the claim.

The application forms requested applicants to consent to the provision of personal information to my Department by any Government Department, agency, health or educational institution and the religious congregations for the purpose of verification in relation to their application. The applicant will also be asked to provide any relevant information that could corroborate her claim that she was in a specific institution for a period of time.

On the basis of all of the records and statements available, my officials will make an assessment as to whether, on the balance of probabilities, the applicant was admitted to and worked in one of the institutions covered by the scheme and an assessment will be made on the length of time she spent in a relevant institution. Each case will be dealt with on its own merit.

If the applicant does not agree with the provisional assessment made by my officials she can appeal the decision, initially through an internal review process and if she is still not satisfied with the decision made she can appeal to the Ombudsman's Office. In all cases, before payments can be made, applicants are required to sign a statutory declaration confirming an honest and truthful application has been made.

Garda-PSNI Transfers

 543. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if his attention has been drawn to disincentives to lateral entry or transfer between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI; if he has discussed these disincentives with other Departments or the Minister in the North, Mr. David Ford, with a view to overcoming or removing these disincentives. [55236/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I met with the Northern Ireland Minister of Justice, David Ford MLA, on 17 December last and we were joined by the Garda Commissioner and the PSNI Chief Constable. The programme of personnel exchanges, secondments and lateral entry between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI which has operated for some years now, was among a number of issues we discussed in the context of the positive, ongoing North-South co-operation in policing and criminal justice. Minister Ford and I have asked our officials and the two police forces to meet with a view to identifying ways in which the maximum benefit for all sides might be achieved through these worthwhile programmes.

Sentencing Policy

 544. Deputy John Deasy Information on John Deasy Zoom on John Deasy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the average length of sentence actually served in cases where convicted persons are sentenced to periods of imprisonment of 12 months, two years, three years, four years, five years, six years, seven years, eight years, nine years and ten years. [55253/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I wish to advise the Deputy that it is not possible to provide the statistical breakdown, as requested, as this would require the manual examination of thousands of individual prisoner records. This exercise would entail the diversion of a disproportionate and inordinate amount of staff time which could not be justified in current circumstances.

All sentenced prisoners serving a sentence in excess of 1 month, with the exception of Life sentenced prisoners, persons convicted of debtor offences and persons convicted of contempt of court, are entitled to remission on their sentence length of one quarter. The Prison Rules, 2007 allow for the discretionary granting of additional remission, up to one third as opposed to the standard rate of one quarter. That said, this additional concession will only be awarded in exceptional cases where I am satisfied beyond any doubt that the prisoner concerned has demonstrated that she/he meets the requirements as set out in Rule 59 of the Prison Rules.

Further, the Criminal Justice Act 1960, as amended by the Criminal Justice (Temporary Release of Prisoners) Act 2003 provides that sentenced prisoners may be approved temporary release whether it be for a few hours or a more extended period. Finally, prisoners sentenced to a period of 1 to 8 years, upon serving 50 per cent of their sentence, can be assessed for suitability for alternatives to imprisonment such as the Community Return Scheme.

Sentencing Policy

 545. Deputy John Deasy Information on John Deasy Zoom on John Deasy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the estimated number of persons imprisoned in Ireland for non-payment of court fines in each of the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.  [55254/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter A breakdown of the number of persons imprisoned solely for non-payment of fines for each of the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 is set out in the following table.

YearNumber of Persons
20082,343
20094,350
20105,995
20116,727
20127,476


  I can advise the Deputy that the number of such persons held in custody at any one time is a tiny fraction of the overall prisoner population. To illustrate this point, on 14 January, 2014, 6 people, 0.15 percent, out of a prison population of 3,973 in custody that day fell into this category.

Prison Committals

 546. Deputy John Deasy Information on John Deasy Zoom on John Deasy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the average sentence actually served by persons for non-payment of court fines; and the average current cost to the State, per day, of accommodating a typical fine defaulter in the prison system. [55255/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I wish to advise the Deputy that it is not possible to provide the information without a manual examination of records. This exercise would entail the diversion of a disproportionate and inordinate amount of staff time which could not be justified in current circumstances.

However, I can advise that in 2012 there were a total of 8,304 committals to prison for non-payment of a Court ordered fine. Based on a statistical sample, the Irish Prison Service has determined that the vast majority of these committals spent less than 2 days in custody and on average spent 1 day in custody.

I am strongly of the view that we need to keep the numbers of people committed to prison for the non-payment of fines to the absolute minimum. The Fines Payment and Recovery Bill, which was published last July and scheduled for Dáil Committee Stage on 22 January, represents a major reform of our fine payment and recovery system and provides for the payment of fines by instalment and attachment of earnings.

Allowing everyone to pay a fine by instalment and introducing attachment of earnings are important new reforms to the fine collection system which will lead to improved collection rates for fines. The new measures provided for, combined with the requirement that judges must take a person’s financial circumstances into account when setting a fine, should result in a reduction in the number of people committed to prison.

When this Bill is enacted, it will be easier for people to pay a fine and where they fail to do so, there will be sufficient alternatives available to the courts to all but eliminate the need to commit anyone to prison for the non-payment of fines. The average cost of accommodating a typical fine defaulter based on the 2012 'Cost of Offender figures (including variable costs of prisoner catering, prisoner gratuity, bedding, prisoner toiletries, dentist fees and medicines) equates to €10.44 per prisoner space per day.

Garda Divisional Headquarters

 547. 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 if tender documents for the new Garda divisional headquarters in Murrough, Renmore, have been prepared; when the tender documents will be publicly advertised; if a start date for construction has been finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55287/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The provision of the new Galway Garda Divisional Headquarters was included in the special Government stimulus package announced in July 2012. It is intended that the relevant projects will be delivered by means of a Public Private Partnership and work is being undertaken by the relevant agencies in the light of the Government announcement. As the arrangements to be put in place for Public Private Partnerships are complex, it is not possible at this stage to indicate when the specific elements of the projects will be completed. However, I can assure the Deputy that they are being treated as a priority.

Criminal Assets Bureau

 548. Deputy Willie O'Dea Information on Willie O'Dea Zoom on Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if the €1 million plus sum of money seized near Castleconnell, County Limerick, recently is deemed by the Criminal Assets Bureau to belong to the State; if it will be allocated to organisations in Limerick dealing with the scourge of drugs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55331/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter As the Deputy will appreciate the question relates to a matter which is the subject of ongoing investigation and in such circumstances it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on this matter. More generally, with regard to the destination of monies collected by the Criminal Assets Bureau, I can inform the Deputy that all such monies are returned to the Exchequer in accordance with the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Acts 1996 and 2005.

Commissions of Investigation

 549. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide, in tabular form, the number of commissions of investigation which have been established since the enactment of the Commissions of Investigations Act 2004; the date of establishment and conclusion of each commission, including the projected date of conclusion in circumstances where a commission has not been concluded; and the cost of each commission.  [55338/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I set out in the table details of all Commissions of Investigation established since the enactment of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 in respect of which the Minister for Justice was specified as responsible for matters under section 3(3)(b) of the Act.

Name of Commission of InvestigationDate of EstablishmentDate of ConclusionCost in Millions (€)
Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation (terms of reference amended in March 2009 to include Diocese of Cloyne)March 2006July 20118.8
Commission of Investigation (Dean Lyons case)8 Feb 200628 July 20061.0
Commission of Investigation (Death of Mr. Gary Douch in Mountjoy Prison)2 May 2007(The Commission has indicated that a report will be ready by the end of January 2014)*2.3
*Cost of Commission up to 31 December 2013.


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