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Shatter, Alan

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Domestic Violence Incidence (Continued)

I thank my colleague Deputy Mitchell O'Connor for raising this matter, and Deputy McDonald, who seems to be consistently disappointed about everything. I regard this as an issue of particular impo...More Button

The report released by Women's Aid today shows that domestic violence continues to be a blight on the life of many women, children and indeed men in Ireland and shows the importance of the commun...More Button

The domestic violence sector in Ireland spent €31.2 million in 2011, according to annual accounts. The sexual violence sector spent an additional €7.8 million in that year. In 2012, the HSE, th...More Button

The issue of domestic violence is one that I and this Government take very seriously. Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, is continuing to...More Button

After coming into office, I did in fact at a very early point take action to reform the law. I was able to bring through important amendments to the Domestic Violence Acts 1996 and 2002 through ...More Button

In addition, during its Presidency of the European Council, Ireland successfully negotiated an agreement with the European Parliament on the European Protection Order, a civil law measure which w...More Button

Work to develop further responses to help children affected by domestic violence is expected in the context of the new child and family support agency, which will replace the HSE as the core fund...More Button

Finally, I wish to address the particular issue raised by my colleague Deputy Mitchell O'Connor. I absolutely agree with her that there is a need for new and better family court facilities in th...More Button

I believe it is crucial in the context of the family courts that there are adequate consultation and in-house mediation facilities such as those operating on a pilot basis in Dolphin House. It is ...More Button

Again, I thank the Deputies for their contributions. There is no one in this House who does not share the concern to ensure we have the best possible legal architecture to deal with domestic viole...More Button

In other countries there are not, as far as I know, 24-hour court services for accessing emergency barring orders. Here, if someone is forced to leave his or her home because of domestic violenc...More Button

A protection order can be sought, whether or not Deputy McDonald is aware of it, at District Court level by way of an ex parte application by a wife who is a victim of domestic violence...More Button

EU Conventions

Was asked: if he will be signing the European Convention on Violence against Women; the reason he has not signed it to date; if he will provide a date for the signing to take place; and if he will make a stat...More Button

Ireland supports, in principle, the aims and terms of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. It is a detailed Convention with a ...More Button

However, a particular difficulty to be addressed in Ireland’s consideration of the Convention relates to reconciling property rights under the Irish constitution with the requirement under Articl...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: if he will set out the value for money reports and the focused policy assessments carried out within his Department since March 2011; the actions that have been taken to implement such reports; and...More Button

A Value for Money Review was carried out by my Department on the Legal Aid Board during 2011, with the report published in 2012. The recommendations from this Value for Money Review and the curren...More Button

Was asked: when he will publish in full Chapter 20 of the Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin chaired by Judge Yvonne Murphy; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that the publication of the relevant sections of the report referred to is subject to directions of the High Court under section 38 of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2...More Button

Was asked: if he will set out the value for money reports and the focused policy assessments carried out within his Department since March 2011; and the actions that have been taken to implement such reports. More Button

No Focused Policy Assessments have been carried out within my Department during the time frame outlined. Since March 2011, a Value for Money (VFM) Review of the Reserve Defence Force (RDF) was fin...More Button

Since the publication of this Review in November, 2012, there has been significant progress made in implementing its recommendations. New organisational structures for the Reserve were introduce...More Button

Garda Vetting of Personnel

Was asked: his plan to tackle the waiting list in Garda vetting, which is currently at 16 weeks, and is unnecessarily delaying the time to process employment checks and is preventing persons from taking up em...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the current average processing time for applications is approximately 14 weeks from date of receipt. However, seasonal fluctuations and the necessity to ...More Button

A vetting disclosure is made in response to a written request and with the permission of the person who is the subject of that request. Garda vetting disclosures are issued to specified organisat...More Button

I remain in ongoing contact with the Garda Commissioner as to how best the service can continue to be delivered and improved upon, while at all times protecting the integrity of the process. Clea...More Button

The Garda Commissioner has informed me that there are currently 1 Superintendent, 2 Sergeants and approximately 113 civilian personnel assigned to the Garda Central Vetting Unit. This civilian c...More Button

Court Orders

Was asked: the number of reports under section 47 of the Family Law Act 1995 that have been ordered in the District Court. More Button

Was asked: the number of reports under section 47 of the Family Law Act 1995 completed in the District Court and paid for, wholly or partially, by the Legal Aid Board. More Button

Was asked: the number of reports under section 47 of the Family Law Act 1995 completed in the District Court by Barnardos. More Button

Was asked: the total cost to the State of all reports under section 47 of the Family Law Act 1995 completed in the District Court by Barnardos. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 166 to 169, inclusive, together.More Button

It should be noted that section 47 of the 1995 Family Law Act does not provide for the provision of reports in the District Court. Reports on the welfare of children in proceedings before the Di...More Button

Public Order Offences

Was asked: if he will request a report from the Garda Commissioner regarding riots (details supplied) in County Dublin; the number of persons arrested; the amount of alcohol seized; and the number of juvenile...More Button

I have requested a report from the Garda authorities in relation to the matter referred to by the Deputy. I will contact the Deputy directly as soon as the report is to hand.More Button

Crime Prevention

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the law is sufficiently robust to deal with gangs who are involved in the theft of clothes from charity clothes banks and who have caused damage to the clothes banks; and th...More Button

An Garda Síochána’s Policing Plan 2013, sets out the continued commitment of An Garda Síochána to pro-actively target groups and individuals engaged in criminal activity, including all forms of org...More Button

An Garda Síochána continues to develop and implement new operations and strategies aimed at targeting, dismantling and disrupting criminal networks by utilising advanced analytical and intelligen...More Button

I should mention that at my request, I have received a detailed confidential report from the Garda Commissioner on the activities of certain crime gangs involved in bogus charity collection and r...More Button

Insofar as the number of prosecutions that have taken place over the past three years that directly relate specifically to stealing clothes from charity banks and/or causing criminal damage to cl...More Button

Garda Operations

Was asked: if he will report on the Garda Operation Headrest; the number of persons arrested and charged in line with this operation; the number of successful convictions secured to date; and if the operation...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that Operation Headrest, which commenced in 2010, is a joint operation between An Garda Síochána and the Department of Social Protection targeting particular ...More Button

The operation is ongoing and investigations are continuing. More Button

Was asked: the contact he has had with the Garda or other State bodies in relation to the GoSafe operation; and whether he is satisfied with its role in relation to road safety. More Button

I am advised by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána is satisfied with the service provided by Go Safe in the provision of an outsourced safety camera network. Go Safe is contracted to prov...More Button

I am also advised that the results of speed surveys carried out in the two years from January 2011 to January, 2013 show there has been a sustained improvement in driver behaviour and increased c...More Button

Garda Training

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown of the full cost to the Exchequer of training an additional 250, 500, 750 and 1,000 members of An Garda Síochána. More Button

I am informed that on the basis of current figures the direct cost, incorporating basic pay and allowances, of a Garda recruit up to attestation would be in the region of €8,000 and that uniform co...More Button

Garda Divisional Policing Plans

Was asked: when the Garda divisional policing plans for 2013 will be published on the website of An Garda Síochána, particularly the policing plan for the Dublin Metropolitan Region northern division; and if ...More Button

The Garda Divisional Policing Plans for 2013, including that for the Dublin Metropolitan Region North Division, are available on the Garda Síochána website,, under 'Publications'.More Button

Stardust Fire Issues

Was asked: if he will lay the Report of the Independent Examination of the Stardust Victims Committee's Case for a Reopened Inquiry into the Stardust Fire Disaster as originally drafted and submitted to his D...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the document in question has been released under Freedom of Information legislation but I do not propose to depart from normal practice by laying before the Oireachtas ...More Button

Road Safety Issues

Was asked: the actions his Department will take to ensure that road safety laws concerning cyclists are enforced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that members of An Garda Síochána enforce the law on pedal cycling as part of their normal duties on an ongoing basis. In addition to the day to day enforcem...More Button

I am further informed that the Garda authorities regularly give educational talks, including through the Garda Schools Programme, on road safety and road traffic legislation, including on pedal c...More Button

Subsidiary Protection Applications

Was asked: when the application for subsidiary protection in the State will be decided in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5.More Button

Following the formal refusal of his asylum application, the person concerned lodged an application for subsidiary protection. In light of the High Court Judgment of Mr. Justice Hogan in the MM case...More Button

The legislative provisions referred to above are being given priority attention. Once the new arrangements are in place, steps will be taken to have all outstanding applications for subsidiary pr...More Button

In the event that his 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

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

European Arrest Warrant Issues

Was asked: the number of extradition requests made here in 2012 under the European arrest warrant scheme; the number of persons returned here under the European arrest warrant; the amount the European arrest ...More Button

The Deputy may be interested to know that the Central Authority produces an annual report, under the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, relating to European arrest warrants both received in a...More Button

Prison Committals

Was asked: his views on the fact that, as of March 2013, three prisoners aged 17 years were on protection in St. Patrick's Institution, Dublin, two of whom are locked up for 23 hours per day; and if he will m...More Button

I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that of the three prisoners referred to in the Deputy's question, two of those prisoners requested to be placed on protection in St Patrick'...More Button

Of the further two 17 years olds who are on protection and were previously on 23 hour lock up, I wish to advise the Deputy that while still classified as protection prisoners, both prisoners work...More Button

Penalty Point System

Was asked: in view of the serious implications for road safety, if he will outline the steps he has taken to deal with the allegations of widespread cancellation of fixed charge notices; and if he will make a...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the conduct of the investigation into the cancellation of fixed charge penalty notices in view of the serious implications for road safety.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 181 and 182 together.More Button

As the Deputies are aware, the Garda Commissioner appointed Assistant Commissioner John O'Mahoney, in October 2012, to conduct the examination of the allegations that fixed charge notices were im...More Button

In addition, the O'Mahoney report, and a related report by the Garda Professional Standards Unit, have recommended a number of changes aimed at ensuring that administrative procedures are correct...More Button

Defence Forces Expenditure

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form on a monthly basis for 2013 the total cost of sending soldiers from the military barracks in Dundalk, Athlone and Donegal, namely the 27 Infantry Battalion, 6 Inf...More Button

It was not possible to provide the information sought by the Deputy in the time available. My Department is currently seeking to compile an accurate reply and I will provide the information direct...More Button

Defence Forces Personnel

Was asked: if the personnel model adopted for enlisted personnel entrants to the Permanent Defence Force, PDF, since 1994 will be adjusted to facilitate the continued service of soldiers who meet high fitness...More Button

A claim has been received from the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA) in relation to this matter. In accordance with normal procedures the Association's claim...More Button

Ministerial Correspondence

Was asked: if he is in receipt of information (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

It was not possible to provide the information sought by the Deputy in the time available. My Department is currently seeking to compile an accurate reply and I will provide the information direct...More Button