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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 94-112
 Header Item Legal Services Regulation
 Header Item Proposed Legislation
 Header Item Garda Divisional Headquarters
 Header Item Legal Services Regulation
 Header Item Bail Provisions
 Header Item Judicial Working Group
 Header Item Sentencing Policy
 Header Item Magdalen Laundries Issues
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item EU Treaties
 Header Item Common Foreign and Security Policy
 Header Item Corporate Social Responsibility
 Header Item Diplomacy Issues
 Header Item Civil Registration Documentation
 Header Item Diplomatic Representation
 Header Item Diplomatic Representation

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 824 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 82 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 94-112

Legal Services Regulation

 94. 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 the steps that can be taken by either his office or the Law Society to deal with a practising solicitor who suppresses information in his or her possession in relation to child sexual abuse, leading to a continuation of that abuse.  [52651/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The investigation of any allegation of criminality is a matter for An Garda Síochána, and my office has no direct role in this regard. The Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 makes it an offence for any person to deliberately withhold information regarding sexual and other serious offences committed against a child or other vulnerable person. Under section 2 of the Act, a person who knows or believes that an offence has been committed against a child and has information which he or she believes would be of material assistance in the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of that perpetrator and who fails to disclose that information to the Garda Síochána is guilty of an offence. That offence however is without prejudice to any right or privilege that may arise in criminal proceedings entitling a person to refuse to disclose information. The extent to which such right or privilege may arise would be a matter for a court to determine.

I understand that the Law Society has also taken steps to address this question in the updated and third edition of 'A Guide to Good Professional Conduct for Solicitors' which it published in October 2013. In dealing with issues of privilege and confidentiality, guidance is provided in the new Guide for solicitors in relation to cases involving abuse or neglect of children. This guidance anticipates that there may be exceptional circumstances involving children where a solicitor should consider revealing confidential information to a medical practitioner. Similarly, if a situation indicates continuing sexual or other physical abuse, or ongoing neglect of a child, but there is a refusal on the part of the client to allow disclosure of such information, if the situation is sufficiently serious, a breach of the over-riding duty of confidentiality may be justified. Under the guidance it is considered that in such cases, the solicitor should consider whether the situation is sufficiently serious to justify such a breach.

Proposed Legislation

 95. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide an update on any proposed legislation on the issue of the presumption of paternity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48107/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am considering amendments to the existing legislation on presumption of paternity within the proposed General Scheme of the Children and Family Relationships Bill which I hope to finalise shortly. I understand that under the current presumptions, particular birth registration difficulties can arise for women who have children with a subsequent partner after the break-up of a marriage, but where they have not divorced and they do not have legal documentation of their separation by way of a deed of separation or a decree of judicial separation. I hope to propose a practical legislative response in consultation with my colleague, the Minister for Social Protection, who is dealing with certain consequences for the civil registration system.

  Question No. 96 answered with Question No. 75.

Garda Divisional Headquarters

 97. Deputy Seán Kyne Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide an update on the progress of a new divisional headquarters for An Garda Síochána in Galway; when construction is expected to commence; and if there are plans for realignment of districts in Galway city and county.  [52636/13]

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

With regard to Garda Districts, the position is that, 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 and I am advised by the Garda authorities that there are currently no proposals to amalgamate or realign any Districts in Co. Galway.

Legal Services Regulation

 98. Deputy Lucinda Creighton Information on Lucinda Creighton Zoom on Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the measures in the Legal Services Bill 2011 that are likely to lead to the greatest cost savings to the consumer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52656/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011, which has completed Second Stage and is continuing Committee Stage, gives legislative expression to the commitment in the Programme for Government to "establish independent regulation of the legal professions to improve access and competition, make legal costs more transparent and ensure adequate procedures for addressing consumer complaints".  Furthermore, as a sectoral objective under the EU/IMF/ECB Troika Memorandum of Understanding, it supports the objectives of structural reform, national competitiveness and early economic recovery, building on the relevant recommendations of the Legal Costs Working Group and the Competition Authority. The Bill is, therefore, a key component of the Government's strategy to reduce the burden of legal costs on consumers and enterprise.

  The Bill, in three of the objectives it sets out in section 9 for the new Legal Services Regulatory Authority, balances the focus of regulation more evenly to the benefit of consumers of legal services. It does this in terms of 'protecting and promoting the public interest, protecting and promoting the interests of consumers relating to the provision of legal services and, promoting competition in the provision of legal services in the State'.

  Building on these key and consumer focussed objectives, the Legal Services Regulation Bill makes extensive provision, particularly in Part 9, for a new and enhanced legal costs regime that will bring greater transparency to how legal costs are charged along with a better balance between the interests of legal practitioners and those of their clients. The Bill sets out, for the first time in legislation, a series of Legal Costs Principles. These are contained in Schedule One and enumerate the various matters that may be taken into account if disputed costs are submitted for adjudication. These cost transparency measures will apply to barristers as well as to solicitors.

  Under the Bill it will no longer be permissible to set fees as a specified percentage or proportion of damages payable to a client from contentious business. It will no longer be permissible to charge Junior Counsel fees as a specified percentage or proportion of Senior Counsel fees. Legal practitioners, whether solicitor or barrister, will be obliged to provide more detailed information about legal costs from the outset of their dealings with clients. This will be in the form of a Notice written in clear language which must be provided when a legal practitioner takes instructions. Among other things, the Notice must, as set out in Section 90 of the Bill, disclose the costs that are involved, or, where this is not practicable, the basis upon which such costs are to be calculated. A cooling-off period is to be allowed for the consideration of costs by the client. When there are any significant developments in a case which give rise to further costs, the Bill provides that a client must be duly updated and given the option of whether or not to proceed with the case in question.

  The Bill also provides that a new Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicator will deal with disputes about legal costs – at present these are dealt with by the Office of the Taxing-Master. The new Office, headed by a Chief Legal Costs Adjudicator, will modernise the way disputed legal costs are adjudicated with greater transparency. The Office will be empowered to prepare Guidelines and will establish and maintain a publicly accessible Register of Determinations which will include the outcomes and reasons for its decisions about disputed legal costs. The Bill also facilitates the introduction of new business models for the delivery of legal services including alongside other services where costs efficiencies can be captured to the benefit of consumers. In other provisions the Bill lifts existing restrictions on direct access to a barrister and on barristers who share premises or costs from advertising themselves as such a group. The Bill also allows that a barrister in employment may provide legal services for his or her employer.

  In support of new and more open regulatory and legal costs regimes, the Bill also provides for a new and independent regulator in the form of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority that will be bolstered by an independent complaints regime and an independent Legal Practitioners' Disciplinary Tribunal. This will provide a first port of call that is entirely independent of the legal professional bodies for members of the public who may have complaints about solicitors or barristers. The comprehensive range of relevant reform measures contained in the Bill is intended to better empower the consumer of legal services in terms of both the standard of those services and their cost.

  Question No. 99 answered with Question No. 71.

Bail Provisions

 100. 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 when he expects to be in a position to introduce the necessary legislation to discourage recidivism, with particular reference to the introduction of bail restrictions to impede those who commit crime while on bail for a previous offences; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52634/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter A decision to grant bail in a particular case is a matter for the court, which is, subject only to the Constitution and the law, independent in the exercise of its judicial functions. There is a constitutional presumption in favour of bail, since, in the eyes of the law, a person is innocent until proven guilty. The provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights also restrict the extent to which the right to bail can be limited.

Prior to the Sixteenth Amendment of the Constitution, bail could be refused essentially only on the grounds that a person would be likely to abscond or interfere with witnesses. Section 2 of the Bail Act 1997, which gave effect to the terms of the Sixteenth Amendment of the Constitution, provides for the refusal of bail to a person charged with a serious offence where it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence by that person. Section 2(2)(d) provides that in exercising its jurisdiction under that section, a court shall take into account and may receive evidence or submissions concerning any conviction of the accused person for an offence committed while he or she was on bail. In addition, section 6 of that Act, as amended by section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007, provides that every bail recognisance is subject to the condition that the accused person shall not commit an offence while on bail.

The criminal law takes a serious view of offences committed by persons on bail. Section 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 provides that any sentence of imprisonment passed on a person for an offence committed while on bail must be consecutive on any sentence passed on him or her for a previous offence, or on the sentence last due to expire, if more than one is being served. It also provides that the fact that an offence was committed while on bail must be treated as an aggravating factor at sentencing and that the court shall impose a sentence that is greater than that which would have been imposed otherwise, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

I am conscious of public concern about the extent to which offences continue to be committed by persons on bail. I share that concern and believe that bail law must be continually reviewed to ensure that all possible avenues are taken to protect the public against the commission of crime, particularly serious crime, by persons on bail. Accordingly, my Department has been engaged in work to consolidate and update bail law with a view to presenting a clear, accessible and modern statement of the law. In the context of that modernisation of the law, I will be seeking to restructure the law so that it has a focus on the protection of the individual and of the public. The intention is that the new proposals will provide better guidance to the courts on how such protection might be provided. I intend to bring proposals to Government on the matter as soon as possible, having regard to other legislative priorities.

Judicial Working Group

 101. 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 meetings he has held with the recently established judicial group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52662/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I understand that the Deputy is referring to the new arrangement that the Government has facilitated in the form of a Working Group chaired by the Chief Justice and comprising the Presidents of the Courts and other representative judges. The Attorney General, who has traditionally acted as the formal link with the Judiciary, also attends the Group accompanied by the Secretary General to the Government. There have been 4 meetings of the Group to date and it is intended that the Group will meet on an ongoing basis.

Sentencing Policy

 102. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he is planning to publish legislation establishing a sentencing council and new sentencing guidelines for the Judiciary.  [52638/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter As the Deputy will appreciate, judges are independent in the matter of sentencing, as in other matters concerning the exercise of judicial functions, subject only to the Constitution and the law. The approach of the Oireachtas has generally been to specify in law a maximum penalty for an offence, so that a court, having considered all the circumstances of a case, may impose an appropriate penalty up to that maximum. The court is required to impose a sentence which is proportionate not only to the crime but to the individual offender, in that process identifying where on the sentencing range the particular case should lie and then applying any mitigating factors which may be present. An important safeguard rests in the power of the Director of Public Prosecutions to apply to the Court of Criminal Appeal to review a sentence she regards as unduly lenient.

The Superior Courts have developed a substantial body of case law setting out general principles of sentencing. Sentencing practice is also being developed by a steering committee of the judiciary which developed the Irish Sentencing Information System (ISIS) website, a pilot initiative designed to gather information about the range of sentences and other penalties that have been imposed for particular types of offences across court jurisdictions. ISIS is being developed as a valuable tool not only for members of the judiciary but also for lawyers, researchers and those concerned with the needs of victims and their families, and I very much welcomed the initiative led by the Judiciary through the Judicial Research Office in undertaking the detailed work of gathering and providing information via the website.

The Deputy may also be aware that I have established a Penal Policy Review Group to carry out a review incorporating an examination and analysis of all aspects of penal policy including sentencing policies. I expect the Group to report early in the new year and I intend to publish that report. It might be noted that a Sentencing Council was not advocated by the Law Reform Commission in its Report on Mandatory Sentencing which was published earlier this year. The report covers a number of complex issues and the recommendations contained in the report will be fully considered in my Department together with the report of the Penal Policy Review Group when it has been finalised.

Magdalen Laundries Issues

 103. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the position regarding forthcoming legislation which is part of the redress scheme for Magdalen women; the consideration that will be given in the legislation to the health needs of the surviving women who live outside the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52552/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Legislation is required in order to implement Judge Quirke's recommendation with regard to the provision of medical services to the women who were admitted to and worked in the relevant institutions. My Department in consultation with the Department of Health are working on the preparation of the necessary legislation. The issue of providing medical services to women, eligible under the scheme, who reside outside the State will be considered by the Minister for Health.

Departmental Reports

 104. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if his Department's annual report for 2012 has been published yet.  [52553/13]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Department of the Taoiseach Annual Report for 2012 was published on the departmental website and laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on 23 May 2013.

Departmental Expenditure

 105. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will provide a breakdown of the annual infrastructure and capital expenditure by his Department on a regional basis and a county basis over the past five years.  [52805/13]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny My Department incurred no infrastructure or capital expenditure in the past five years.

EU Treaties

 106. Deputy Dominic Hannigan Information on Dominic Hannigan Zoom on Dominic Hannigan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if it is technically possible for section 48 of the Treaty on European Union to be amended so as to allow a part of an existing member state to continue to be part of the EU if that part were to secede from membership of the existing member state; if such were to occur, if a referendum would be required in Ireland to ratify the amended treaty; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52862/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore No proposal to amend the EU treaties in the manner suggested in the Deputy's question has been put forward. Any such proposal would raise complex issues of considerable sensitivity and so the Government must be careful to avoid expressing views prematurely. In all such cases, the Deputy can be assured that we are following the debate and the issues raised very closely. It would be technically possible for the EU Member States, acting unanimously and in accordance with their own constitutional procedures, and having followed the steps set out in Article 48, paragraphs 2 to 5 of the Treaty on European Union, to amend the EU Treaties in order to make provision for new states seceding from existing EU Member States to stay within the Union. Whether they would wish to do so is a matter in the first instance for each Member State.

In such circumstances for Ireland, as with other Treaty revisions, the final text of any amending Treaty would be referred to the Attorney General for advice as to whether an amendment of the Constitution (and thus a referendum) would be required to enable its ratification.

Common Foreign and Security Policy

 107. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the recent developments in the Common Foreign Security and Defence Policy in the areas of civilian crisis management and Ireland's contribution to civilian crisis management in the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [53118/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Ireland attaches great importance to the role of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union. CSDP is an integral part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), which encompasses the EU's international obligations towards the maintenance of international peace and security. There are currently 12 civilian CSDP missions deployed in the Western Balkans, the South Caucasus, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. One new civilian mission, EUBAM Libya was launched in May of this year. The mandate of EUBAM Libya is to support the Libyan authorities to develop capacity for enhancing the security of their land, sea and air borders in the short term, and to develop a broader Integrated Border Management (IBM) strategy in the long term.

During the year, it was decided to close two civilian CSDP Missions which had reached the end of their mandates: EUJUSTLEX Iraq and EUAVSEC South Sudan. EUJUSTLEX Iraq, a rule of law training mission for magistrates and prison administrators, was launched in 2005 and will close at the end of the year. EUAVSEC South Sudan, which was launched in June 2012 to assist the South Sudanese authorities with advice on aviation security and to help reinforce security at Juba Airport, will close in February 2014.

Ireland currently deploys eleven civilians and four members of An Garda Síochána to six civilian CSDP missions. These deployments include: two civilians to the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia); two civilians and four members of an Garda Síochána to the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo); three civilians to the EU Police Mission to Afghanistan (EUPOL Afghanistan); two civilians to the European Union Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq (EUJUSTLEX Iraq); one civilian to European Union Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL COPPS) and one civilian to the European Union Regional Maritime Capacity Building for the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean (EUCAP Nestor).

Corporate Social Responsibility

 108. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he is preparing a national implementation plan on the Ruggie framework of UN guiding principles which includes as one of its priorities the recognition of living wages; the stage of the drafting of the national implementation plan; if he will attend the clean clothes campaign conference on floor wage taking place in Hong Kong in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52599/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore On 16 June 2011, the UN Human Rights Council endorsed "Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' Framework”, which were prepared by the Special Representative, Mr. John Ruggie. The document stresses that the Principles should be understood as a coherent whole which aim to enhance standards and practices with regard to business and human rights, rather than the creation of new international law obligations. The Guiding Principles do not prioritise particular issues but rather act as guidance for respecting and protecting human rights in the actions taken by states and businesses.

The Commission Communication of October 2011, entitled "A renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility" invited EU member States to develop national plans for the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles. The EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, adopted by the Council of the European Union in June 2012, asked Member States to develop national plans on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles in 2013. The Guiding Principles cover a range of issues which, in this State, span the policy responsibilities of a number of Government Departments and agencies. Consideration is being given as to how best to formulate Ireland's national plan for their implementation, including through learning from other countries that have undertaken similar processes.

My Department does not currently have any information with respect to the conference to which the Deputy refers.

Diplomacy Issues

 109. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will investigate the claim that the Israeli Embassy in Dublin is threatening the jobs of Irish citizens by complaining to employers that they are actively campaigning and raising the Gaza issue; the recourse available to these citizens; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52605/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore No claim has been made to me of this nature nor am I in possession of any information pertaining to the issues raised in the Deputy's question.

Civil Registration Documentation

 110. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the position regarding a certificat de coutume in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52607/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Unfortunately, it is not possible for my Department to issue a letter as requested as we do not have access to the State's marriage records. Mr. Healy may wish to contact the General Register Office to seek a letter from them confirming there is no marriage record on file for him. The General Register Office can be contacted as follows: Email Address: gro@groireland.ie; Telephone: Direct Dial: +353(0)90 6632900 LoCall: 1890 252076; or By Post: General Register Office, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon.

  My Department will then be happy to authenticate a letter issued by the General Register Office for use in South Africa.

Diplomatic Representation

 111. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the way in which the closure of Ireland's resident Embassy to the Holy See has served Ireland's interests, particularly at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52608/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore In November 2011, the Government announced its decision to close Ireland's Embassy to the Holy See. This decision was driven by economic factors deriving from the need, at the time, to focus the modest resources of our diplomatic service on economic recovery. Following this decision, the Secretary General of my Department, Mr. David Cooney, was appointed non-resident Ambassador to the Holy See. Ambassador Cooney has travelled to the Holy See on numerous occasions since the announcement of the Embassy closure in November 2011 representing Ireland in meetings with Holy See officials and attending a range of functions.

I am satisfied that the current arrangement for Ireland's representation at the Holy See is the most effective possible in light of the resource constraints faced by my Department.

Diplomatic Representation

 112. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if there are fewer than ten Irish officials in the Roman Curia at the Holy See, the number of these officials whom a person (details supplied) has met on his numerous visits to the Holy See; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52609/13]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The Ambassador to the Holy See and the Secretary to the Embassy have met with a number of Curia officials on their visits to the Vatican, several of whom are Irish nationals. However, they have focused on meeting officials of direct relevance to the work of the Embassy and have not sought to meet with each and every Irish national working in the Curia.


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