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Shatter, Alan

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Order of Business (Continued)

How many Bills did Deputy Martin guillotine in his time?More Button

How can he keep a straight face when saying that?More Button

That is pathetic.More Button

Fianna Fáil destroyed the economy.More Button

Priority Questions

I think the Acting Chairman means the Minister for Defence.More Button

My life is complicated enough without my becoming Minister for Finance.More Button

Two jobs are enough. Three would be just too much altogether.More Button

Defence Forces Reserve Funding

Was asked: the key changes he is proposing regarding the Reserve Defence Forces; if legislation will be necessary to effect these changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the key changes that are being introduced in order to ensure the future viability of the Reserve Defence Force, RDF. A value for money review of the...More Button

The Deputy will not be remotely surprised if I disagree with what he said. What we have tried to do is to effect a reorganisation of the RDF which reflects the reorganisation of the PDF in order t...More Button

In the context of the review that was undertaken, there are currently some 4,500 members of the RDF. The most recent figure I have in respect of training for members of the RDF relates to 2011, ...More Button

I have an obligation, as Minister, to ensure that at a time of reduced resources, when we will be receiving €13.5 billion - the difference between what the State is taking in and what it is spend...More Button

Defence Forces Reserve Issues

Was asked: if he will consider retaining the Reserve Defence Forces centre in the town of Clonmel, County Tipperary in view of the fact that there are two units (details supplied); the way he intends existing...More Button

Defence Forces Reserve Issues (Continued)

A value for money review of the RDF was recently completed and published. In my previous reply I outlined the key findings and recommendations contained in that review. I also set out the necessa...More Button

The new organisational structures are based on a single-force concept which differs from the current model of reserve organisation. Army units will have permanent and reserve elements, rather th...More Button

Yes. In the case of No. 1 Brigade, this location will be in Cork. On this basis and to achieve a geographic spread, it is no longer feasible to retain reserve elements in Clonmel. While the clos...More Button

Reserve personnel from Clonmel may choose to apply for a position within their existing corps, which will now be based in Cork. Alternatively, given the distance from Clonmel to Cork, these pers...More Button

What is happening, a Chathaoirligh? This is Question Time. The Deputy was entitled to put a question to me and I am entitled to respond to it.More Button

With all due respect, a Chathaoirligh, in fairness to Deputy McGrath, he has put a series of questions to me. There is some misunderstanding on your part as to how we conduct Question Time. I dis...More Button

He can just talk away for four minutes. That is not correct.More Button

It is not fair to the Deputies opposite. It is not correct.More Button

I am trying to be of help to the Opposition. In fairness to Deputy McGrath, the Acting Chairman indicated to him that he had four minutes. My recollection from other Question Time occasions is th...More Button

I think there has been a very dramatic change in the way Priority Questions are dealt with.More Button

I am trying to be of assistance to Deputy McGrath. For once he might actually not feel the need to shout across the floor at me.More Button

Defence Forces Personnel

Was asked: his views on whether there are sufficient opportunities for promotion at all levels of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I announced details of the reorganisation of the PDF on 17 July last, which resulted from the Government decision to maintain the strength of the PDF at 9,500. As the reorganisation entailed a red...More Button

The table provided outlines the total number of vacancies by rank, based on the PDF rank establishment of 9,500 as at 31 October 2012, the latest date for which figures are available. Competitio...More Button

In respect of the Reserve Defence Force, the central recommendation from the value for money steering committee was for the retention of the reserve with 4,000 personnel spread countrywide, with ...More Button

Defence Forces Personnel (Continued)

The Deputy will appreciate that until there is significant further progress on the implementation of recommendations made in the value for money report, it will not be possible to determine where r...More Button

I do not accept that there is such a difficulty. We had a three brigade structure posited on a Permanent Defence Force strength of 11,500. When I entered office, the Defence Forces were heading t...More Button

With regard to promotions, the military authorities have advised me that up to 10 November, there were the following promotions: one major general, four brigadiers general, 233 officers and 309 e...More Button

I cannot comment and I am sure the Deputy would not want me to comment on a specific instance he has raised. If he wants to set out the difficulties he says occurred, I will ensure he receives a r...More Button

There are very specific procedures to be complied with in promotions in the Defence Forces. Should the procedures not be complied with, or should a difficulty issue arise, a complaint can proper...More Button

  Question No. 5 lapsed.More Button

EU Battlegroups

Was asked: if he will provide a progress report on Ireland’s participation in the Austro-German Battlegroup; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the cost of training troops to participate in the Austro-German Battlegroup; if money was allocated to cover the potential deployment of these troops and the number of days this money covered; and ...More Button

Was asked: the cost of Ireland's participation in the German led EU battlegroup.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 6, 29 and 33 together. More Button

Ireland is participating in the Austro-German-led battle group which will be on standby until 31 December. In 2010 the then Government approved Ireland's participation in this battle group. The...More Button

Our contribution is a reconnaissance company. Should the battle group be deployed, Ireland's contribution would amount to approximately 175 personnel. During the stand-by period, one officer ha...More Button

Should the battle group be deployed, the current estimated additional maximum cost for 120 day deployment is €10.7 million, excluding allowances and ammunition, which are generally already provid...More Button

I am happy to tell the Deputy that preliminary discussions have been held on Ireland's possible participation in 2015 in the Nordic battle group, to which he referred. Ireland participated in the ...More Button

Was asked: his plans regarding Ireland’s future participation in Battlegroup missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans for Irish troops to participate in more EU Battlegroups in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 26 together.

  The EU has the capability to deploy forces at high readiness, broadly based on the Battlegroup concept. The purpose...More Button

EU Battlegroups (Continued)

We view our participation as being beneficial to the Defence Forces with regard to training and interoperability issues but also as signifying in a European Union context that we are willing to com...More Button

The Deputy might be interested to know that at European level a dialogue has commenced to examine the utility of the battle group concept. Rather than an entire battle group being deployed on a ...More Button

We have a number of priorities dealing with the European Council meetings that will take place. As the Deputy may already know, an informal Council meeting will take place in Dublin, based at Dubl...More Button

As the Deputy will know, 21 member states of the Union are members of NATO and the other members states are not members of it. Some of the deployments have had a NATO dimension as opposed to a E...More Button

If the Deputy puts down a question, I would be happy to go through all the various issues we anticipate will come up. The very important issue is the operations in which we are engaged in conjun...More Button

White Paper on Defence

Was asked: when the White Paper on the Defence Forces will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The White Paper published in 2000 has provided, as the Deputy is aware, the framework within which the defence organisation has responded to the significant changes in the defence and security envi...More Button

I expect a draft Green Paper will be submitted to me for consideration shortly. I will subsequently bring a memorandum to Government, early in 2013, seeking formal approval to publish the Green ...More Button

I would not give respectability to the groups the Deputy mentioned by referring to them as dissident republicans: they are primarily criminal terrorists who have no respect of any description for t...More Button

The reorganisation of the Defence Forces was designed to ensure that we have the practical necessary numbers in the Defence Forces to deal with issues that arise such as issues of subversion in s...More Button

I thank the Deputy for his question. There will be widespread consultation following the publication of the Green Paper. I am very conscious that when the last White Paper was published it had ve...More Button

White Paper on Defence (Continued)

I am looking forward to engaging with my European colleagues on these issues, as well as being informed by them on issues of relevance to the formulation of our own White Paper. Obviously, we must...More Button

European Council Meetings

Was asked: if he will report on the recent meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council with Ministers of Defence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the agenda for the recent meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council with Ministers of Defence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 16 together.

  I attended both the formal Foreign Affairs Council in defence Minister format and the meeting of the European Defence Agency...More Button

It means double the time and double the excitement.More Button

I appreciate the Deputy's continuing interest in my having possible gems of wisdom. All members of the Fine Gael Party always have interesting things to say on a broad range of issues.More Button

Interoperability is like pooling and sharing, a relevant issue in the context of member states dealing with common security or defence issues or, as I said earlier, dealing with co-operation in E...More Button

Many of the issues that come up at these meetings are security issues. How do we in Europe best deal with issues of international terrorism and cybersecurity? What threats does cybercrime pose ...More Button

Being in the unusual position of having both the defence and the justice briefs, I can see the need at a European level for greater connectivity in this area. It is an issue I have discussed wit...More Button

There are many interesting and important issues in the defence area that we are going to prioritise during the Irish EU Presidency. It will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas along with t...More Button

Overseas Missions

Was asked: the new United Nations missions he expects the Defence Forces to undertake in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which further deployment of Irish troops at various locations overseas is anticipated or has been requested; when he expects current deployments to end and or new assignments to comme...More Button

Was asked: if the Defence Forces will participate in any new United Nations missions over the next year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the total number of members of the Defence Forces that have served overseas over the years; the extent to which such service is planned for the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 9, 15, 32 and 176 together. I am frightened to ask how much time that gives us as a consequence.More Button

I will try to be briefer than that.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the Defence Forces’ mission in Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Six (6) members of the Permanent Defence Force are deployed in Syria as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO). The Defence Forces have participated in UNTSO since 1958. ...More Button

As the security situation in Syria remains highly volatile, Defence Forces personnel normally based in Damascus were relocated by UNTSO to offices and accommodation at UNDOF Headquarters in the G...More Button

Six members of the Permanent Defence Force who had been deployed as unarmed military observers to the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) were withdrawn in August 2012 when the m...More Button

Was asked: the date on which he proposes to withdraw the seven members of the Defence Forces serving in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Defence Forces are primarily deployed on overseas missions in support of international peace and security under UN mandates. On 20 December 2001, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Res...More Button

  Question No. 22 answered with Question No. 14.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the Exchequer has been reimbursed by the United Nations or other bodies for overseas peacekeeping missions authorised by the EU or UN to date; if any outstanding payments remain...More Button

The UN reimburses some personnel and Contingent Owned Equipment costs in respect of contributions of personnel to UN led operations. Rates of reimbursement, fixed in accordance with UN categories o...More Button

The total amount currently owing to the Department of Defence by the United Nations in respect of contributions towards troop and other costs associated with the participation of Defence Forces ...More Button

Ireland is not entitled to any reimbursement in respect of Defence Forces participation in EU-led missions as all troop contributors to such missions are responsible for their own costs. More Button

Overseas Missions (Continued)

  Through the United Nations stand-by arrangements system Ireland has offered to provide up to 850 military personnel for overseas service at any one time, which demonstrates our commitme...More Button

I commend the Deputy on researching some of the views expressed by members of the Fine Gael party. At least they have views on issues of importance and we debate and consider them.More Button

The debate on the Green Paper will give us a useful opportunity to discuss our position in dealing with peacekeeping and peace enforcement; to discuss the benefits of the triple lock and whether ...More Button

The triple lock has played an important role in ensuring that when we deploy our Defence Forces abroad we do so for peacekeeping and peace enforcement missions that have been given a UN mandate. ...More Button

The UN mandate has an important role in all of this. The Green Paper will afford an opportunity for Members of all parties and none to consider and debate these issues. I do not believe we shou...More Button

As the Deputy is well aware, section 2 of the Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960, as amended by the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006, makes provision for the triple lock mechanism. That is the law a...More Button

It is important that we review where we are, where we were in the past and what we believe will be the position in the future and the roles we can play of a constructive nature. Irish Defence Forc...More Button

The south Sudan region has been riven by war, horror, death, destruction and problems with landmines. We are reviewing the role Ireland might play in this regard. We have particular expertise w...More Button

That is a completely different issue. I am aware of the Deputy's concern about this matter. As he will be aware, Lariam is the recommended drug of choice in dealing with malaria. Recommendations...More Button

We have, in the context of the Defence Forces, ensured procedures that should be in place are in place. I do not know, in the context of a mission to Sudan, what will be the recommended medication...More Button

The maximum information is provided for individuals on the use of Lariam, the contraindications in terms of when it should not be used and the necessity, should a person have an adverse reaction, t...More Button

Defence Forces Reserve Strength

Was asked: the current numbers of the Reserve Defence Forces based in Dublin; his plans to expand the Reserve Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The current number of Reserve Defence Force, RDF, personnel based in Dublin is 948. This number is divided into the various DFR units and sub-units currently in the Dublin area. More Button

With regard to future plans for the Reserve Defence Force, as the Deputy will be aware, I recently published a value for money review of the Reserve Defence Forces. The steering committee conclu...More Button

I have accepted the steering committee’s recommendations and directed that proposals for new organisational structures be prepared, taking account of the VFM report and the major reorganisation o...More Button

A new single force concept will see PDF units having reserve components rather than a parallel Reserve, as is currently the case. Reserve units within barracks will be supported by their parent ...More Button

In the light of my acceptance of the recommendations made in the VFM report, I have no plans for the expansion of the Defence Forces Reserve.More Button

Defence Forces Reserve Strength (Continued)

The Deputy has made a very interesting suggestion. I am conscious that the reserve trains but has not been deployed substantially to fulfil functions. I am concerned to ensure that the reserve fo...More Button

In the context of what the Deputy had to say about Dublin, he might be interested to know that under the reorganisation arrangements, units and personnel in the Reserve Defence Force are being mo...More Button

  Written Answers follow Adjournment.More Button

Defence Forces Operations

Was asked: the moneys received by the Defence Forces during each of the past ten years for providing escorts to those transporting explosives.More Button

The roles of the Defence Forces as assigned by Government are set out in the White Paper on Defence which was published in February 2000. Among the assigned roles is Aid to the Civil Power (ATCP) m...More Button

Was asked: the steps being taken by the Defence Forces to deal with the new threats posed by dissident republicans; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Primary responsibility for the maintenance of law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State, rests with An Garda Síochána. However, one of the roles assigned to the ...More Button

  Question No. 26 answered with Question No. 19.More Button

Was asked: the moneys received by the Defence Forces during each of the past ten years for providing escorts to cash in transit.More Button

The monies received by the Department of Defence in respect of the provision by the Defence Forces of assistance to An Garda Síochána in protecting movements of cash for the past ten years are as f...More Button

Defence Forces Expenditure

Was asked: the projected increase in fuel costs for the forthcoming year for the Defence Forces in view of the increases in travel that will result from the reduction in manpower; and if he will make a statem...More Button

The gravity of the current economic difficulties means that all areas of the public sector must deliver greater efficiencies and operate within a reduced resource envelope. In that regard, all elem...More Button

While the reorganisation means that certain units are being disbanded, amalgamated or relocated, it maintains, as far as possible, the existing organisational strengths within the current locatio...More Button

Given the complexity of the reorganisation process and the associated logistics to be managed by the Defence Forces, it is too early to say as to whether there will be an increase or decrease in fu...More Button

  Question No. 13 withdrawn.More Button

Defence Forces Remuneration

Was asked: if he is satisfied that remuneration levels for Defence Force personnel are adequate; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to improve the pay and conditions of members of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his views on whether all ranks of the Defence Forces receive sufficient remuneration; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 14, 22 and 167 together. More Button

Rates of remuneration and conditions of employment in the Irish public sector have traditionally been set by reference to relative levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public sec...More Button

A Scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration for members of the Permanent Defence Force was established in 1993. It provides a formal mechanism for the representative Associations, RACO and PDFORRA,...More Button

As the Deputies will appreciate, it has proved necessary to take very significant action in terms of adjusting downwards the pay and conditions for staff right across the Public Service. The Def...More Button

It is of course open to the Representative Associations of the members of the Permanent Defence Force, subject to the terms of the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme and the Croke Park Agreement...More Button

  Question No. 15 answered with Question No. 9.More Button

  Question No. 16 answered with Question No. 8.More Button

  Question No. 17 withdrawn.More Button

Defence Forces Reserve Training

Was asked: the number of Reserve Defence Force members who attend on a regular basis for training from the Lucan, Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Newcastle, Rathcoole and Saggart areas of County Dublin; and if he wi...More Button

I am advised by the military authorities that the number of Reserve Defence Force (RDF) personnel that attend RDF training on a regular basis from the Lucan, Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Newcastle, Rat...More Button

Having accepted the review’s recommendations directed that proposals for new organisational structures be prepared, taking account of the VFM report and the major re-organisation of the PDF. The ...More Button

Work on implementing the recommendations of the VFM is underway. In this context would like to emphasise that the contribution and commitment of each and every member of the Reserve is valued and...More Button

Defence Forces Reorganisation

Was asked: in view of his recent announcement of the reorganisation of the Reserve Defence Force and the consequent reduction in the number of RDF units, the criteria that will be used in deciding where the c...More Button

The re-organisation of the Reserve Defence Force is a key element of the response to the findings and recommendations of a Value for Money Review of the Reserve Defence Force, which was recently co...More Button

A new “Single Force” concept will see PDF Units having Reserve components, rather than a parallel Reserve as at present. Reserve Units within barracks will be supported by their parent PDF Unit a...More Button

All options to avoid the need for personnel to relocate are being explored as part of the re-organisation process. Personnel are being offered the opportunity for reassignment and every effort is...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that he continues to have adequate resources at his disposal to maintain the highest possible level of activity in the Defence Forces with particular reference to the need to ens...More Button

In common with all areas of the public sector, the Defence Forces must operate within a reduced resource envelope. In response to these resource constraints, the Defence organisation has undertaken...More Button

A major re-organisation of the PDF is underway since last July and is now at an advanced stage. In response to the findings of a Value for Money Review which was recently published, the Reserve D...More Button

These measures will ensure that the Permanent Defence Force can continue to deliver required operational outputs for all approved Aid to the Civil Power and approved Aid to the Civil Authority re...More Button

Defence Forces Ombudsman Appointment

Was asked: the reason the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces will now be a part time position; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As I indicated in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 4 of 7 November 2012, the office of the Ombudsman is now well established and a number of administrative and systemic issues identified by the ...More Button

  Question No. 29 answered with Question No. 6.More Button

Defence Forces Equipment

Was asked: if he has examined the possibility of procuring smaller naval coastal patrol vessels for the purposes of intercepting drugs landings on Irish coastal areas.More Button

The Customs Service of the Revenue Commissioners has primary responsibility for the prevention of drug smuggling into the country and responsibility for the prevention of crime rests primarily with...More Button

The White Paper on Defence (2000) provides for a security role for the Naval Service and the Air Corps to support the civil authorities in this area and assistance in the prevention of drug smugg...More Button

The Naval Service, as a member of the Joint Task Force, is also committed to an international initiative, the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics, (MAOC-N). The Centre which was est...More Button

The Naval Service operates eight general purpose patrol ships, which are tasked with coastal and offshore patrolling and surveillance for the State. The Naval Service is committed to having at lea...More Button

A contract was placed in 2010 for the provision of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels with an overall length of 90 metres for the Naval Service. The acquisition of these new vessels will ensure that t...More Button

There are no plans to procure smaller coastal patrols vessels for the Naval Service. I am satisfied that Naval Service have the necessary resources to meet all their operational requirements includ...More Button

Was asked: if he will rule out the procurement of any Israeli technology through the European Defence Agency for use by the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the principle of competitive tendering for Government contracts has to be used by the Department of Defence for the acquisition of defensive equipment for the Defenc...More Button

The primary purpose for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to enhance the capability of the Irish Defence Forces on overseas Peace Support Operations and to af...More Button

  Question No. 32 answered with Question No. 9.More Button

  Question No. 33 answered with Question No. 6.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the resources accruing from the closure of various military installations over the years has transferred directly to updating and upgrading the quality and standard of equipment...More Button

Was asked: the number of military installations closed or decommissioned since 1988; the extent to which funds accruing therefrom have been retained for the development of facilities for the Defence Forces; t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 169 and 175 together.More Button

Since 1998 a total of fourteen barracks have been closed under various barrack consolidation programmes. To-date nine of these barracks - Clancy (Dublin), Castleblaney, Ballincollig, Fermoy, Naas...More Button

In relation to the remaining barracks agreement has been reached for the sale of Lifford and Rockhill to Donegal County Council. Discussions are ongoing in relation to the possible sale of a port...More Button

Magee Barracks in Kildare and Columb Barracks in Mullingar remain the property of the Department. More Button

The total realised to-date in terms of sales of surplus property is €84m approx. This, together with income of €18m approx. from the sale of other smaller military properties and married quarters...More Button

All remaining vacated barracks as well as any properties identified as surplus to military requirements will be disposed of by my Department, taking account of the market conditions, so as to max...More Button

The monies received from the sales of surplus properties have returned to the Defence Vote as Appropriations in Aid. The increased levels of appropriations in aid have allowed the retention of fu...More Button

Naval Service Vessels

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the procurement of new ships for the Naval Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There is a fleet of eight ships available to the Naval Service, seven of which are currently in operational service. In order to maintain maximum availability and serviceability, major maintenance...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied regarding the degree to which funding remains available to the navy with particular reference to the upgrading of equipment, training and the use of modern technology; and if he ...More Button

A strategy for the replacement of Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessels is currently in train. A contract was signed in October, 2010 with Babcock Marine in the United Kingdom for the provision of ...More Button

Preparations for the construction of the ships have commenced in Appledore, UK and the build of the first ship is well advanced. The first ship is scheduled for delivery in early 2014. The second...More Button

On the issue of Naval Service training and associated technologies, I am satisfied that Naval Services training techniques and the technologies involved are up to date in all respects. The Naval ...More Button

I am satisfied that the equipment issued to the Naval Service is in keeping with the most modern requirements and the highest international standards. The ongoing investment in the Naval Service ...More Button

Missing Persons

Was asked: if a decision has been taken to carry out the tests required to possibly provide a definitive identification of humans bones found off the south east coast and possibly connected to recent losses o...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that pathological, anthropological, carbon dating, geographic and investigative enquiries have been conducted in respect of the remains found off the south-ea...More Button

I am advised that the extraction of DNA profiles from bones that have been in water for a long period of time is extremely difficult as the sea has been found to cause extensive degrading of Nucl...More Button

I am very much aware of the concerns which have been expressed in relation to these remains and my Department has conveyed these concerns to the Garda authorities. I am confident that in cases o...More Button

Garda Transport Provision

Was asked: if a permanent Garda vehicle will be restored to a Garda station (details supplied) in County Cavan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Decisions in relation to the provision and deployment of Garda vehicles are a matter, in the first instance, for the Garda Commissioner in the light of his identified operational requirements. At ...More Button

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the detailed allocation of vehicles is determined through a process of ongoing analysis of operational requirements. In addition, they have informed me...More Button

In that context, the Deputy will be aware that 170 new Garda vehicles have recently been ordered on foot of an investment of €3 million. These vehicles are due to begin coming on stream in the c...More Button

Tribunals of Inquiry Reports

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 502 of 1 May 2012, the progress made on the recommendations of the Moriarty Tribunal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Insofar as the report of the Moriarty Tribunal made recommendations concerning the future operation of tribunals of inquiry, many of these recommendations are anticipated by the Tribunals of Inquir...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that, following their examination of the report of the Moriarty Tribunal, the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions has been sought on the findings ...More Button

Prisoner Transfers

Was asked: if he has received an application from a person (details supplied) who is at present a prisoner in HMP Maghaberry, in Northern Ireland, for transfer to prison here; if a release date under the Good...More Button

I can confirm to the Deputy that an application has been received from the individual referred to, for a transfer to a prison here under the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentence...More Button

Garda Training

Was asked: the number of Gardaí who took the method of entry course in 2011 and to date in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that in 2011, 91 Gardaí undertook the method of entry training course and in 2012, 32 Gardaí have undergone the method of entry training course to dat...More Button

Naturalisation Applications

Was asked: if persons (details supplied) in County Limerick have been naturalised here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that certificates of naturalisation were issued to the persons concerned on 26 August, 2011.More Button

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 purpos...More Button

Courts Service Issues

Was asked: the total value of monetary fines handed down by the courts in 2011 and of this, the percentage directed to be paid to charities and specifically the Garda Benevolent Trust Fund; and if he will mak...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998 management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service and I have no role in the matter. Section 4(3)...More Button

Departmental Contracts

Was asked: if he will provide details of each service in his Department that is currently outsourced; the company that provides such services and the total cost for these services; the other services which ma...More Button

My Department has entered into no new contracts for new externally delivered services since March 2011. For more information on external service delivery policy in the Justice and Equality sector,...More Button

Child Abduction

Was asked: the measures and systems in place to restrict children travelling from Ireland, who are restricted from doing so by family court orders without the permission of the second parent or guardian, in p...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that a system of immigration exit controls does not exist in this jurisdiction and the Deputy will appreciate that there would be special difficulties with operating such a ...More Button

Departmental Staff Redeployment

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 500 of 13 November 2012, if he will detail the nature of the potential concerns raised about these appointments; if they have been investigated and if so were ...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the management of the staff of my Department is a matter for the Secretary General of the Department. I would ask the Deputy, given that this question seems to be o...More Button

I understand that an individual referred to in reply to PQ No. 500 of 13 November 2012, and who has since left the Department, had sought access to the records pertaining to his application for a...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 171 of 4 October 2012, the way staff were selected for Dublin Airport posts; if Irish language abilities were weighed into the selection decision; if any compl...More Button

In February of this year, I introduced on a pilot basis, a project of civilianisation of certain port of entry functions at Dublin Airport. Until the start of the pilot, immigration controls at por...More Button

For the pilot, invitations for expression of interest were invited from serving Clerical Officers (CO) and Executive Officers (EO) from across the Department of Justice and Equality. A short-lis...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that matters of airport security are a matter, in the first instance, for the Airport authorities under the policy direction of the Department of Transport, Tourism and...More Button

Garda Districts

Was asked: if he will clarify the geographical area which will be covered by the newly enlarged Garda districts of Ballina and Claremorris County Mayo under the proposed district amalgamations and boundary re...More Button

In accordance with the provisions of the Garda Síochána Acts, proposals to change Garda District geographical boundaries are a matter in the first instance for the Garda Commissioner, in the contex...More Button

Proposals to amalgamate a number of Garda District have been included by the Garda Commissioner in his Policing Plan for 2013. This has been done following a comprehensive review of current Dist...More Button

It is in this context that the Commissioner has proposed the amalgamation of the Swinford Garda District with the Claremorris District. Following the amalgamation, both stations will continue t...More Button

Garda Stations Closures

Was asked: the maximum distance to a 24-hour Garda station he considers acceptable to service a local community when the Garda station in its locality is proposed to be closed down under the programme of cons...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that 100 of the 664 Garda Stations throughout the State are due to close in the coming year. The stations selected for closure are those which are in areas that, in the pr...More Button

Details of the closures are set out in the Policing Plan have for 2013 which is lodged in the Oireachtas library. The Plan also provides details of the alternative policing arrangements for the ...More Button

The implementation of the reduction in the number of Garda stations and Districts will take place in full consultation with the local communities and staffing interests. Local Garda management w...More Button

I am conscious of the need to maintain, to the greatest extent possible, the operational effectiveness of An Garda Síochána. It is for that reason that a further €5 million is being made availab...More Button

Deportation Orders Data

Was asked: the position regarding deportation in respect of a person (details supplied).More Button

Given that the person concerned had no valid basis to remain in the State, he was notified, by letter dated 17th July, 2010, that the then Minister proposed to make a Deportation Order in respect o...More Button

Cyber Security Policy

Was asked: if in view of recent tragedies his attention has been drawn to the concerns of many regarding the dangers for young person's of several social networking sites; the measures he has considered withi...More Button

I assure the Deputy that I share the widespread concern about bullying by means of communications technology. It is very regrettable that this highly beneficial resource is abused in that way, caus...More Button

There are two approaches to tackling cyberbullying, that is to say, bullying over the internet, by mobile phone or by other technological devices. In the first instance, we must educate and alert...More Button

I draw attention to the services available from the organisations participating in the Safer Internet Ireland Project, coordinated by my Department's Office for Internet Safety. The www.webwise.i...More Button

The Deputy refers in particular to social networking sites. They have become very popular especially among younger people. Users need to be aware that those sites have their own rules. They usual...More Button

The second approach entails pursuing perpetrators under the criminal law. The current law has a number of relevant provisions. Two sections of the Non-fatal Offences against the Person Act 1997 ...More Button

At my request, the Law Reform Commission is examining an aspect of the requirements in section 10, namely the need to demonstrate persistence in the harassment. I await its conclusions.More Button

The Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 may be relied upon in cases where the cyberbullying entails incitement to hatred on account of race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation.More Button

The Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 is relevant to the investigation and prosecution of the offences under the 1997 Act. It permits the retention of and access to data for those purpo...More Button

While I can understand their reluctance to do so in many instances, victims, their families and friends must realise that their active participation is required if attempts to defeat the cyberbul...More Button

I have no immediate plans for new, more targeted, legislation but I will be keeping the matter under review. More Button

Departmental Staff Remuneration

Was asked: if temporary promotions or acting up allowances have not been a feature of the staffing arrangements for this EU Presidency, if he will confirm that his Department has been given sanction to make s...More Button

I have been advised that 11 temporary in nature promotions have been made in my Department as part of the preparation for the EU Presidency in the following grades; 1 Principal Officer; 4 Assistant...More Button

  Question No. 167 answered with Question No. 14.More Button

Was asked: if temporary promotions or acting up allowances have not been a feature of the staffing arrangements for this EU Presidency, if he will confirm that his Department has been given sanction to make s...More Button

My Department is not using temporary promotions or acting ups to manage staffing arrangements for the EU Presidency. Hence, my Department did not seek sanction in this regard from the Department of...More Button

Defence Forces Strength

Was asked: the number of positions in the Defence Forces or ranks approved, waiting to be filled or vacant at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The following table outlines the strength of the Permanent Defence Force as at 31 October 2012 the latest date for which figures are available, and the total vacancies, by rank, based on the rank e...More Button

Was asked: the total strength of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps by gender and rank at present; the extent to which the numbers have fluctuated in each of the past five years to date; and if he will mak...More Button

The strength of the Permanent Defence Force at the end of October 2012, the latest date for which figures are available stood at 9,152, of which 573 (6.26%) are women. Comparative figures at the en...More Button

Tables

TABULAR STATEMENT

STRENGTH OF MALES IN THE DEFENCE FORCES

31-Dec-08

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Tables

TABULAR STATEMENT

STRENGTH OF MALES IN THE DEFENCE FORCES

30-Nov-10

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Tables

TABULAR STATEMENT

STRENGTH OF THE DEFENCE FORCES

31-Oct-12



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  Question No. 175 answered with Question No. 169.More Button

  Question No. 176 answered with Question No. 9.More Button

Air Corps Training

Was asked: the extent to which the standard and levels of training normally required continue to be made available to the Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Air Corps keeps abreast of all developments in modern aviation. It conducts its training in accordance with industry best practices and to the highest standards, referencing More Button

Army Training Programme

Was asked: if he is satisfied, notwithstanding the economic exigencies within which he must operate, that sufficient resources remain available for training, updating and upgrading of equipment and technology...More Button

 I am satisfied that the level of resources available to the Defence Forces, including equipment and training resources, enables the Defence Forces to carry out their roles both at home and ov...More Button

Was asked: if sufficient resources remain available to ensure training and upgrading of the Army Reserve; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The central recommendation from the Value for Money Review of the Reserve Defence Force was for the retention of the Reserve with 4,000 personnel spread countrywide to be based in barracks and in ...More Button

A new “Single Force” concept will see Permanent Defence Force (PDF) Units having Reserve components, rather than a parallel Reserve as at present. Reserve Units within barracks will be supported ...More Button

These steps create a viable structure while addressing the inefficiency caused by having too many widely dispersed and under-strength Reserve Units. More Button

The changes to the current Reserve organisation are in response to a compelling case for reform and will dovetail with the significant changes that are occurring in the PDF organisational structu...More Button

I am satisfied that the changes when implemented will ensure a better Reserve and enhance overarching Defence capabilities. More Button


 

 

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