Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 538-558
 Header Item Court Records
 Header Item Cash for Gold Trade
 Header Item Residency Permits
 Header Item Court Orders
 Header Item Crime Data
 Header Item Crime Data
 Header Item Crime Data
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Legislative Programme
 Header Item Computer Crime Investigation Unit
 Header Item Garda Investigations
 Header Item Garda Investigations
 Header Item Overseas Missions
 Header Item Departmental Properties
 Header Item Departmental Properties
 Header Item Civil Defence Training
 Header Item Departmental Bodies

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 821 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 83 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 538-558

Court Records

 538. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter his plans to make audio recordings of court proceedings available to the public in an accessible manner in view of the fact that substantial investment took place in all courthouses to make this possible. [49520/13]

 539. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter his views on the fact that it is private companies which operate the stenographer system in the courts; and the remedies that are open to citizens when the accuracy of a transcript is disputed.  [49521/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 538 and 539 together.

  As the Deputy will be aware the courts are, subject only to the Constitution and the law, independent in the exercise of their judicial functions, and the conduct of any case is a matter entirely for the presiding judge.

  All Court records, including recordings of court proceedings, are under the control of the presiding Judge, as provided for in section 65(3) of the Court Officers Act, 1926. As I previously informed the Deputy in response to Parliamentary Questions No. 444 and 445 of 25 June 2013 and No. 897 to 899 of 16 July 2013, the relevant Rules of the District Court, Circuit Court and Superior Courts (S.I. Numbers 99/2013, 100/2013 and 101/2013) came into effect on 8 April 2013. The instruments regulate the procedures whereby parties or other persons wishing to have access to records of court proceedings, including audio recordings, may apply to the court concerned for access to such records. The instruments also set out the terms on which such access may be granted. A party to a case may apply to the court to access the recording however, the granting of access and the terms under which such access is granted is a matter for the court.   In common with all court rules these instruments are available on the Courts Service website.

  Stenography services have now been replaced by the Digital Audio Recording system which enable the provision of high quality transcripts from the digital recording of the court proceedings. Where a transcript is prepared for a case in the Court of Criminal Appeal it is in the first instance reviewed by the Judge who presided over the original trial and is approved by the presiding Judge before release to the parties for the appeal.

  Where the accuracy of a transcript is disputed, it would be a matter for the party to raise the issue either at the appeal hearing or with the office of the Court of Criminal Appeal in advance of the appeal hearing. All recordings of proceedings are centrally stored and where a dispute arises, the transcript can be checked against the original recording for accuracy.

  The position in regard to civil proceedings is that any stenographers that appear in the civil courts are there at the request of the parties. They are paid for by the parties and the Courts Service has no function in relation to them. The accuracy of a transcript in such cases is a matter for the parties.

Cash for Gold Trade

 540. Deputy Martin Heydon Information on Martin Heydon Zoom on Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he has considered introducing legislation to regulate the cash for gold outlets in view of the increase in burglaries and the amount of gold being stolen and sold on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49558/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I published a report in June, 2012 on the criminal justice aspects of the cash for gold trade. The Report prepared by my Department is available on www.justice.ie. I requested the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence to consider the content of the report, to ensure that it obtains the views of all relevant interested parties and that it makes such report and recommendations to the Houses of the Oireachtas and to Government as it deems proportionate and appropriate in the public interest. I received the Committee's response on 30 May, 2013, and it is currently under consideration.

  The Deputy might also note that the latest CSO figures show that burglary offences decreased by 8.9%, continuing the trend observed since the introduction of Operation Fiacla.

Residency Permits

 541. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the options available to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare who wishes to renew their Stamp 4 status but is unable to afford the associated fee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49587/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State on 5 October, 2005 under the revised arrangements for the non-EEA parents of children born in Ireland prior to 1 January, 2005, known as the IBC/05 Scheme. This permission was renewed with the most recent permission expiring on 5 October, 2013. I would advise the person concerned to submit a written request for renewal of permission to remain to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department, at PO BOX 10003, Dublin 1.

The introduction of the registration fee in May, 2006 resulted from a policy decision that the fee income was required for the ongoing development of immigration services (both in the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) and the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). Our migrant population have made a valuable contribution to the economic, cultural and social life of Ireland and will continue to do so. However, I believe that it is not unreasonable to ask those who benefit from the immigration system to make a reasonable contribution to the cost of services. It is common practice throughout Europe to charge a fee for immigration services. By comparison with many jurisdictions the current registration fee represents very good value.

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 purpose. This service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Court Orders

 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 if, under section 24(5)(g) of the Multi-Unit Development Act 2011, an order amending the covenants contained in an agreement, including a lease between the developer, owners' management company and the unit owners, has ever been availed of; if he will provide instances where this provision has been applied; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49593/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I have been advised by the Courts Service that the information sought by the Deputy in respect of court orders under section 24 of the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 is not available since court records are not maintained in a manner which identifies such cases according to the types of orders granted.

Crime Data

 543. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the number of hit and run incidents that have occurred here from 2005 to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49597/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am informed by the Garda authorities that the information sought by the Deputy is not readily available. Due to the manner in which collision statistics are recorded, it would require a disproportionate expenditure of Garda time and resources to compile the information requested.

Crime Data

 544. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the number of drink driving incidents that occurred here per annum from 2005 to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49598/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose.

I have requested the CSO to provide statistics directly to the Deputy relating to the number of recorded offences in respect of incidents of driving in charge of a vehicle while over the legal alcohol limit.

Crime Data

 545. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the number of drug or other substance abuse driving incidents that occurred here per annum from 2005 to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49599/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose.

I have requested the CSO to provide statistics directly to the Deputy relating to the number of recorded offences in respect of incidents of driving in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs.

Garda Deployment

 546. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the total number of staff in the Garda bureau of fraud investigation unit in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013 broken down in tabular form by the following units, fraud assessment unit and commercial fraud investigation unit, money-laundering investigation unit including the financial intelligence unit, cheque, payment card, counterfeit currency and advance fee fraud investigation unit, computer crime investigation unit; and the number of secondments to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.  [49600/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I have requested the detailed information sought by the Deputy from the Garda Commissioner and as soon as it is to hand I will pass it on to the Deputy.

Legislative Programme

 547. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the steps being taken to tackle cybercrime here; if a strategy has been developed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49601/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I can inform the Deputy that significant steps are being taken to tackle cybercrime.

Among the Bills promised in the Government Legislation Programme is the Criminal Justice (Cybercrime) Bill. The Bill was originally intended to enable ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (the 'Budapest Convention') and the transposition of the 2005 EU Framework Decision on attacks against Information Systems. Drafting had been at an advanced stage when the European Commission presented a proposal for a Directive on Attacks on Information Systems which would repeal and replace the 2005 Framework Decision. Work on the Bill was put on hold pending finalisation of the Directive so that Ireland will have a single comprehensive piece of legislation dealing with cybercrime.

The Directive has recently been formally adopted and a review of the Bill is being carried out in my Department to assess what further provisions, if any, may be necessary to ensure that the Bill gives full effect to the Directive and the Convention.

An Garda Síochána have also undertaken a number of initiatives which have sought to strengthen the law enforcement response to cybercrime. The strategy of An Garda Síochána in this regard focuses on a number of key elements including prevention, detection and training.

The Computer Crime Investigation Unit (CCIU) of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation is the primary Garda unit responsible for investigating computer crime in Ireland.

While the investigation of certain aspects of computer crime is undertaken directly by the CCIU, the Unit also provides expert assistance to Senior Investigating Officers and Investigation Teams tasked with the investigation of this type of criminality on a District and Divisional basis.

Members of the CCIU also provide warnings to the public in relation to various types of Cyber Crime, including Computer viruses, Denial-of-service attacks, Malware (malicious code), Fraud and identity theft and Phishing scams. The CCIU is also represented on the Irish Payment Card Service Organisation and the Irish Banking Federation High Tech Crime Forum.

In addition, a member of the CCIU is on full time secondment with CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team). The role of CERT, which was established under the auspices of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources as part of a series of initiatives to deal with the general issue of cybersecurity, is to prepare and manage cyber incidents in conjunction with relevant stakeholders.

I can also inform the Deputy that members of the CCIU continue to be trained in the techniques necessary to counter cybercrime, in partnership with the Centre for Cybercrime Investigation at University College Dublin.

Finally, the Deputy might also be interested to note that cybercrime and organised crime were considered during the public consultation on the forthcoming White Paper on crime and that these subjects will be addressed in the White Paper.

Computer Crime Investigation Unit

 548. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the number of gardaí tasked with co-operating with the European Cybercrime Centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49602/13]

 549. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the number of gardaí who have taken part in Europol's European cybercrime training and education group per annum from 2005 to date in 2013.  [49603/13]

 550. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the cybercrime training courses for gardaí that have been developed at the Garda training college in Templemore, County Tipperary. [49604/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 548 to 550, inclusive, together.

  I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the Computer Crime Investigation Unit is part of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.

  While the investigation of certain aspects of computer crime is undertaken directly by the Computer Crime Investigation Unit, the Unit also provides expert assistance to Senior Investigating Officers and Investigation Teams tasked with the investigation of this type of criminality on a District and Divisional basis.

  There are currently twenty-five Gardaí allocated to the Computer Crime Investigation Unit.

  The Computer Crime Investigation Unit liaise with the European Cybercrime Centre both directly and via the Europol Office at the Liaison & Protection Section at Garda Headquarters.

  The European Cybercrime Training and Education Group (ECTEG) was formed in 2007 for the development and delivery of cybercrime training courses. Since its inception training courses have been successfully delivered by associated agencies and Member States including Ireland.

  Two members of An Garda Síochána have been members of the board of the Group since its formation. To date twenty-eight members of An Garda Síochána have received ECTEG training in computer forensics and cybercrime investigations.

  While no cyber crime training courses have been developed at Templemore for delivery to members of An Garda Síochána, members of the Computer Crime Investigation Unit have received cybercrime training courses delivered by a number of agencies including the following:

- CEPOL - European Police College

- OLAF – The European Anti-Fraud Office

- ECTEG - European Cybercrime Training and Education Group

- UCD Centre for Cyber Crime Investigation

- Masters in Forensic Computing & Cybercrime Investigation at UCD.

Garda Investigations

 551. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if an investigation was ever carried out into the allegations outlined in a book (details supplied); if not, his plans to do so; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49608/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am not aware of any such investigation and I do not consider that, as Minister for Justice and Equality, I have any function in relation to the investigation of anonymous claims of the kind referred to by the Deputy.

Garda Investigations

 552. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the position regarding a cold case investigation (details supplied); if he will provide the details including location, circumstances and items of evidence that were missing in the case of the person; the investigations, if any, that took place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49609/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Deputy may wish to be aware that I met with the family of Chief Officer Brian Stack on 3 May this year and attended a memorial service in Portlaoise Prison where a bust in Chief Officer Stack's honour was unveiled.

  As I have previously said, Chief Officer Stack was a dedicated and committed servant of the Irish State and a loyal husband and father. His murder was not only a tragedy for his family but an attack on the foundations of this State.

  I have been aware from the Garda Commissioner that the case has been the subject of a review by the Serious Crime Review Team and is with the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation which, as a matter of course, liaises with families.

  I have sought information from the Garda authorities on the specific matters raised by the Deputy and will contact him when I have received this.

Overseas Missions

 553. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if the Defence Forces deployment with the EU Training Mission in Somalia is to continue in 2014 and beyond; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49089/13]

 558. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the way deployment to the Somalia EU Training Mission for Irish Defence Forces is determined; the level of interdepartmental consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on such decisions; the reason the total number of Defence Forces deployed in Somalia fell between June 2013 and November 2013 from 11 to eight; if this was a strategic redeployment of Defence Force members to other jurisdictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49041/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 553 and 558 together.

EUTM Somalia, which was launched on 7 April 2010, aims to strengthen the Somali National Government as a functioning government and to empower the institutions to serve the Somali citizens, by providing military training to members of the Somali National Armed Forces. The mission is part of the EU's long term strategy for the Horn of Africa. EUTM Somalia has contributed to the training of approximately 3,600 Somali soldiers to date.

Following Government approval, five (5) Defence Forces personnel were deployed in April 2010 to the EU-led Training Mission, EUTM Somalia, providing a training team and certain staff posts. Ireland took over operational command of the mission in August 2011, with the appointment of Colonel Michael Beary of the Defence Forces as Mission Commander and deployed additional staff to support the role of Mission Commander. On 1 February 2013, Brigadier General Gerald Aherne took up the appointment of Mission Commander.

On 22 January 2013, the European Council adopted a decision extending the mandate of EUTM Somalia until March 2015. The new EUTM Somalia mandate involves a significant change of focus of the mission from Uganda to Somalia. In this regard, the European Council has gradually been moving the mission’s training activities from Uganda to Mogadishu in Somalia. The move is expected to be completed in early 2014, but this is dependent on security conditions in Somalia.

Ireland currently has eight (8) personnel serving with the mission including the Mission Commander. The recent reduction in the number of Defence Forces personnel deployed to EUTM Somalia from eleven (11) to eight (8) was as a result of the completion of that training phase of the mission to which Ireland contributed three (3) personnel. With Italy taking over the role of Mission Commander, Ireland will draw down the Defence Forces personnel associated with Ireland having held that post. Ireland’s participation in the mission beyond 31 December 2013 will be considered by the Government shortly when the mission comes up for review.

Departmental Properties

 554. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if Lifford Army Barracks and Rockhill Army Barracks in County Donegal were sold to Donegal County Council on a bundled basis at the request of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48829/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  As I have stated in the House previously agreement was reached some time ago for the sale of both Lifford and Rockhill to Donegal County Council. My Department has been pressing the Council for completion of the transfer and the Council has promised progress on this matter by early December.

Departmental Properties

 555. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the position regarding the disposal of lands in his ownership at Lahinch, County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48901/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  Following a re-organisation of the Reserve Defence Force Lahinch Camp closed in March of this year. The property is surplus to my Department’s requirements and in accordance with normal procedure was offered for sale to other Government Departments and Public Bodies. Discussions have taken place with Clare County Council and local community groups in relation to the property and these are now nearing completion. If the property is not sold through this process it will be disposed of by public auction in early 2014.

Civil Defence Training

 556. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if any grants are available from his Department in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48910/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Dublin Civil Defence has over 650 active volunteer members. It also has a large fleet of vehicles including ambulances and fire tenders. There are two Road Safety Authority approved driving instructors within Dublin Civil Defence. These instructors provide the required driving lessons to ensure that Dublin Civil Defence has an adequate number of appropriately qualified drivers. Dublin Civil Defence also pays for the required driver tests. It is an operational matter for Dublin Civil Defence to select which volunteer members are provided with this driver training.    

  In view of these arrangements, the issue of my Department providing grants for driving lessons does not arise.   

Departmental Bodies

 557. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the names and qualifications of all those appointed by him to serve on his Department of Defence working group on Lariam; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49040/13]

 561. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if his Department has secured expert advice on the development of an anti-malaria policy; the names and qualifications of those providing such advice; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [49511/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 557 and 561 together.

The Working Group on Malaria Chemoprophylaxis in the Defence Forces was convened in the context of current and potential litigation. The group comprises of representatives of the Defence Forces, the Department of Defence, State Claims Agency and the Chief State Solicitors Office. The group includes representatives of the Medical Corps, and persons dealing with Human Resources and litigation management in the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces. The report of the group is legally privileged, as is information about the working group and its membership.

I can confirm that the Group investigated all the various allegations surrounding the use of Lariam and obtained advice from leading medical experts. These experts concur with the practices followed by the Defence Forces in prescribing Lariam.

  Question No. 558 answered with Question No. 553.


Last Updated: 08/05/2020 17:55:29 First Page Previous Page Page of 83 Next Page Last Page