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Shatter, Alan

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Garda Stations Closures

I thank Deputy Ross for raising this issue. I fully appreciate the sensitivities with regard to Garda station closures. While I dealt with the issue at great length in the House during Question T...More Button

The decision to close 100 Garda stations in 2013 was the result of a comprehensive operational assessment carried out not by me but by the Garda Commissioner over the past 12 months. The policin...More Button

It is important to put the consolidation of our Garda stations into context. Up to this year, the Garda station network was essentially the same as the Royal Irish Constabulary network in 1922, ...More Button

In contrast to previous Governments, this Government has chosen to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the Garda Síochána by enabling and supporting those measures which are bringing the...More Button

Having set out the general context, I will turn to the specific situation in Stepaside. Stepaside is in the Blackrock district in the Dublin metropolitan eastern division and it is approximately...More Button

Deputy Ross has quite an odd view of policing. He seems to think that all of the gardaí simply sit in the station and do nothing until someone telephones them, as he made reference to the distan...More Button

Local Garda management will shortly commence the process of engaging with staff interests and local communities through partnership processes, the joint policing committees and other forums to ad...More Button

Despite our financial difficulties, we were able in 2012 to acquire 213 new Garda vehicles at a cost of €4 million. I am very pleased that in 2013 a further €5 million will be made available for...More Button

Was asked: if he has received a submission from an organisation (details supplied) in relation to the proposed closure of 100 Garda stations in 2013 in rural areas; his plans to address the concerns regarding...More Button

I received correspondence from the organisation in question on 12th December and quite separately I received an email from them on 14 December 2012. This email was also sent to a number of Deputie...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Commissioner's Policing Plan for 2013, which I laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas on 5th December 2012, sets out details of the closure of 100 Garda stati...More Button

The Commissioner has concluded that resources could be better deployed and more effectively used on the front-line if particular stations no longer had to be staffed and maintained or if the publ...More Button

We also need to be honest about the level of policing service that was capable of being provided from the stations that were and are to be closed. Of the 100 stations to be closed next year, 98%...More Button

The intention will be that at all times optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public. The revised structures will continue to support the ...More Button

Was asked: if the proposals to close rural Garda stations is implemented, the procedures that will be used to ensure that the Garda stations and the lands surrounding them are made available to community and ...More Button

The implementation of the reduction in the number of Garda stations and Districts as set out in the Policing Plan for 2013 will take place in full consultation with the local communities and staffi...More Button

The question of the possible future use of the property is a matter for the Office of Public Works and I understand that they are open to proposals as to how best to utilise the premises in quest...More Button

Garda Stations Closures (Continued)

It is not the garda at the end of the telephone sitting at a desk who rushes out of the Garda station to provide the necessary policing assistance. That is provided through gardaí in patrol cars...More Button

I assure Deputy Ross I am well able to meet people from my constituency without it being necessary for him to troop them in to me. Deputy Ross well knows he is choosing to ignore what I said earli...More Button

The difficulty with Deputy Ross's position on this issue, like so many others, is that he is a serial protester who is opposed to any innovation and reform and anything that could result in the m...More Button

It suited the Deputy to arrange it in that way because it was a crass piece of local party politics-----More Button

-----designed for his own personal benefit-----More Button

-----and designed and intended to create alarm and concern for individuals who have no reason to be alarmed or concerned because what we are doing, and I reiterate it, is using our police resources...More Button

Obviously I struck a nerve. Deputies Ross and Joe Higgins have a lot in common. They are serial protestors about everything.More Button

If Deputy Ross wished me to attend the meeting he could have arranged it and I would have been there.More Button

Deputy Ross is making a fool of himself again.More Button

If he were really interested in the issue he might have tabled a parliamentary question on it.More Button

It is extraordinary it took the Deputy two weeks to raise this issue in the House. Other Deputies raised issues about Garda stations during Question Time.More Button

It is probably inconvenient to the Deputy to be in the House for Question Time because he is so rarely here participating.More Button

National Positive Ageing Strategy Implementation (Continued)

I am responding to the Deputy because the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch is not available. I listened with interest to Deputy Dooley. He is living in the fantasy world occupied by the r...More Button

As regards the specifics of some of the issues the Deputy raised, the programme for Government has committed to completing and implementing the national positive ageing strategy in order that old...More Button

Traditionally, old age has been associated with retirement, illness and dependency. Policies and services that reflect this traditional view of society do not reflect today's reality. Indeed, m...More Button

The national positive ageing strategy will be a high level document outlining Ireland's vision for ageing and older people, and the national goals and objectives required to promote positive agei...More Button

A considerable amount of preparatory work has been completed and consultation with other Departments is ongoing. The final drafting of the strategy is proceeding within the Department of Health ...More Button

As Minister for Justice and Equality, I have been working with the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, in areas that have a cross-departmental impact. Contrary to the perspective painted b...More Button

I am very taken with the Deputy's concern for older people. Had there been some reasonable planning by him and his colleagues when they were in the previous Government, had they had some reasonabl...More Button

However, one should also recognise there are constraints with regard to available staff in dealing with these matters, not just because of other priorities but because of the obligation on the Go...More Button

House Repossessions

Was asked: if, arising from the recent statement issued by the Revenue Commissioners, it is expected that home repossessions referred to are likely to be in respect of the family home; if it is intended to en...More Button

I must inform the Deputy that I am unaware of any statements issued by the Revenue Commissioners on this particular subject.

  The Deputy should be aware that all mortgage cont...More Button

Joint Policing Committees Establishment

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that although there are three town councils and a county council in County Louth, there are only three regional county JPCs rather than three town JPCs a...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to him contained in Parliamentary Question No. 487 of 18 December 2012.More Button

Garda Training

Was asked: the next date for the evidential breath test training day; the number of Gardaí who will take part in the course; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that it is proposed to hold further evidential breath test training in late December 2012.

  It is envisaged that approximate...More Button

Was asked: if all the recommendations in the An Garda Síochána Training and Development Review Group Report 2009 have been fully implemented; if not, when the outstanding recommendations will be implemented; ...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that An Garda Síochána is continuing to implement the recommendations of the report taking into account the changed economic climate and the subsequent impac...More Button

The terms of reference for the Review of Training and Development were to "examine all training and development in An Garda Síochána for Garda and Civilian personnel and to make recommendations f...More Button

While a majority of the report's recommendations are either implemented, completed or being progressed, it is not possible to give a precise timetable for full implementation. In particular, som...More Button

Community Text Alert Systems

Was asked: his plans to have the Garda community text alert scheme in operation in the Dublin region; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that text alert systems may be used by Gardaí, via Community Alert or other such groups, to alert the community in relation to suspicious activity or vehicles...More Button

I am advised by the Garda authorities that there are at present two local text alert systems operating in particular areas within the Dublin Metropolitan Region. More Button

An Garda Síochána is currently examining text alert systems to determine whether it is feasible to roll out such systems nationally.More Button

Closed Circuit Television Systems

Was asked: the number of Garda stations in which the custody area is fitted with CCTV cameras; his plans to increase this number; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the four Garda stations listed below currently have a fully commissioned and operational internal audio/visual CCTV system installed in public and custod...More Button

Garda Divisional Headquarters

Was asked: the timeframe for the development of the new Garda divisional headquarters in north Dublin as announced in the recent stimulus plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The provision of three new Garda Divisional Headquarters for Kevin Street (Dublin), Galway and Wexford was included in the special Government stimulus package announced in July. These projects are...More Button

Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Issues

Was asked: if he will report on Garda Operation Vacuum; the amount of drugs seized to date; the number of persons arrested and charged to date; the number of successful convictions obtained to date; if this o...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that 'Operation Vacuum' was the policing operational name given to an investigation into the cultivation of cannabis.

  This operation le...More Button

Road Traffic Accidents Data

Was asked: when the Gardaí intend to publish data compiled by their road accident investigation unit into the cause of road accidents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána do not publish data complied by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators. I am further advised that, in accordance with the provisions o...More Button

Sex Offenders Notification Requirements

Was asked: the number of persons registered with the Gardaí who must comply with Part 2 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001; the number actually complying with Part 2 of the Act of 2001; the steps being taken to tr...More Button

The Sex Offenders Act 2001 contains a comprehensive series of provisions aimed at protecting children and other persons. Part 2 of the Act makes persons convicted of a range of sexual offences sub...More Button

All offenders subject to the notification requirements are monitored by the Sex Offender Management and Intelligence Unit (SOMIU) at the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Unit ...More Button

Where An Garda Síochána becomes aware that an offender subject to the notification requirements has breached those requirements, appropriate action is taken, including circulation through PULSE o...More Button

In this regard, I am informed by the Garda authorities that, to 18 December, 2012, there were 1,239 persons subject to the requirements of Part 2 of the Act. I am further informed that there hav...More Button

I am also informed that when the Garda authorities become aware that a convicted sex offender has left or is intending to leave the State, the Sex Offender Management and Intelligence Unit ensure...More Button

Legislative Programme

Was asked: when he intends to publish legislation reforming the Sex Offenders Act 2001; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has been conducting an examination of the law on sexual offences generally. This includes a review of the Sex Offenders Act 2001. Having regard to competing legislative priorities, ...More Button

This will be wide-ranging legislation and is not limited to reform of the Sex Offenders Act 2001. Inter alia, it will also implement the recommendations of two Oireachtas committees, facilitate ...More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: the progress made on the drafting of the legal costs Bill and the family law Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011 makes provision, among other things, for a new legal costs regime, applicable to both solicitors and barristers. It will bring greater transparency to how l...More Button

- a new, independent, Legal Services Regulatory Authority with responsibility for the oversight of both solicitors and barristers. More Button

- an independent complaints system to deal with public complaints including those relating to professional misconduct. There will also be an independent Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Tribunal ...More Button

- a framework for new forms of legal services provision similar to those already being rolled out in other common law jurisdictions. These new or "alternative" business structures will be entirely...More Button

I expect the Legal Services Regulation Bill, which completed Second Stage in the Dáil earlier this year, to commence Committee Stage in the first quarter of 2013.More Button

The Government Legislation Programme includes a Family Law Bill to make provision for pension adjustments in the context of separation agreements and certain other reforms. Work on this Bill is ...More Button

Personal Debt

Was asked: when he expects to have the new Personal Insolvency Service up and running and dealing with individual cases; the number of individual cases the service will have the capacity to handle in 2013; hi...More Button

The Personal Insolvency Service are working towards a launch date in Quarter 1 of 2013 that will include the opening of an office and website, the launch of an information campaign and the issuing ...More Button

Intensive efforts are also under way to design and implement the regulatory and IT frameworks required to be in place prior to the Service accepting applications for the new debt solutions (Debt ...More Button

I expect a significant number of persons to seek to avail of the new or reformed insolvency processes. However, it is difficult to be precise as it will very much depend on individual circumstanc...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that these estimates for debtors seeking to avail of the new arrangements are tentative. Not all insolvencies will require to be dealt with under the new statutory debt...More Button

Residency Permits

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions No. 172 of 20 September 2012 and No. 195 of 15 November 2012, if, in view of the fact that a person (details supplied) in County Kildare was legally in this count...More Button

The person concerned entered the State on 3rd June, 2000 and was last granted permission to remain until 23rd July, 2010. The person concerned remained in the State since that date without permissi...More Button

The position in the State of the person concerned will now be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 199...More Button

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 pu...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding residency naturalisation in the case of persons (details supplied) in County Westmeath;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned, together with the other family members referred to by the Deputy, are the subject of Deportation Orders, made against them, following a comprehensive and thorough examination ...More Button

The effect of the Deportation Orders is that the persons concerned must leave the State and remain thereafter outside the State. The enforcement of the Deportation Orders is an operational matter...More Button

There is no outstanding application for Zambrano in relation to the persons concerned.More Button

I am satisfied that the applications made by the persons concerned for asylum and for temporary leave to remain in the State were fairly and comprehensively examined and, therefore, the decision ...More Button

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by Email using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this pur...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a residency naturalisation application in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) inform me that there is no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the per...More Button

Legally resident non-EEA nationals over the age of sixteen years are required to register with their local immigration registration officer. More Button

It is open to any individual to lodge an application for citizenship if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship A...More Button

The naturalised parent of the person concerned may consider submitting an application for naturalisation on behalf of her child once the minor has regularised her immigration status with the rele...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

Was asked: the current and expected position and the reckonable residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 20; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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 August...More Button

The application is at an advanced stage of processing. Numerous attempts have been made, without success, to contact the person concerned regarding his application. It is vital that an applicant ...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

Was asked: the current or expected position regarding determination of residency or entitlement to long term residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a state...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 479 of Tuesday, 13th November 2012. The position remains as stated.

Reply to Parliamentary Question No. 479 of Tuesday, 13t...More Button

Family Reunification Applications

Was asked: the position regarding an application for family reunification in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person referred to by the Deputy made a Family Reunification application in April 2011.More Button

The application was forwarded to the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner as required under Section 18 of the Refugee Act 1996. The investigation was completed in December 2011 and a ...More Button

I am further informed by INIS that the application is currently under consideration, that a letter issued by INIS to the legal representatives of the person in question on 16th May 2012 and a res...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

Deportation Orders Data

Was asked: if he will review the proposed deportation under prevention of refoulement criteria in the case of persons (details supplied) in County Meath;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The persons concerned comprise a father and a mother and their two children. The father applied for asylum on 4th March, 2008. His asylum claim was refused. Arising from the refusal of his asylum a...More Button

The person concerned initiated Judicial Review Proceedings in the High Court, challenging the decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal in his case. The Judicial Review proceedings were struck out...More Button

The position in the State of the father will now be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amen...More Button

The mother also applied for asylum on 4th March, 2008. Her asylum claim was also refused. Arising from the refusal of her asylum application, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of...More Button

The mother submitted an application for Subsidiary Protection. When consideration of this application has been completed, she will be notified in writing of the outcome.More Button

In the event that the application for Subsidiary Protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3 (6) of t...More Button

A separate asylum application was lodged on behalf of the couple's eldest child on 13th May, 2008. This application was also refused. Arising from the refusal of this asylum application, and in a...More Button

This child lodged an application for Subsidiary Protection. When consideration of this application has been completed, the child concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome. In the event...More Button

An asylum application was lodged in respect of the couple's second child on 10th July, 2012. The Deputy will appreciate that it is not my practice to comment on individual asylum applications whe...More Button

It is unlikely that the Zambrano Judgment will have any impact on the cases of the couple in question given that no evidence has been submitted to date to suggest that any of the couple's childre...More Button

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 pu...More Button

Food Safety Standards Inspections

Was asked: if he will confirm that poultry produce used in meals for prisons is Bord Bia quality assured; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The current contract for the provision of fresh poultry products for the Irish Prison Service was placed with Crossgar Foodservices, an Northern Ireland company following an open tender competition...More Button

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service (IPS) that all the poultry produce currently supplied through this contract is certified as been reared, slaughtered, cut and packed in accordance with th...More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that poultry produce used in meals for army barracks is Bord Bia quality assured; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The current contract for the provision of fresh poultry products to the Defence Forces is with Kildare Farm Foods, an Irish Company based in Kildare, who were awarded the contract as part of an ope...More Button

I am advised that Kildare Farms Foods is not a member of the Board Bia quality assurance scheme. However the company has a full traceability system which allows them to trace their product back t...More Button

Air Accident Investigations

Was asked: if the Defence Forces have completed their investigation into the heavy landing by the Air Corps air ambulance on 19 June last; the results and recommendations on foot of the investigation; and if ...More Button

The Air Accident Investigation Unit of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is carrying out an investigation following the heavy landing incident involving the Emergency Aeromedical Suppo...More Button

Departmental Properties

Was asked: the number of vacant residential units in the ownership of his Department on the Curragh Camp, County Kildare, or in its environs; if he will provide a description of the properties concerned; the ...More Button

There are 40 residential properties (former married quarters) vacant in the Curragh Camp environs in various states of repair but the majority of which are uninhabitable. 39 of these properties are...More Button

In February 1997 the then Minister for Defence set out policy on married quarters on the basis that they were largely an anachronism and that they should be discontinued in a managed and orderly ...More Button

It is not possible to indicate how much has been spent on repair and maintenance on each individual property over the last five years, however because of the Department’s policy of non allocation...More Button