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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 117-141
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Staff
 Header Item Schools Building Projects Data
 Header Item Pupil-Teacher Ratio
 Header Item Schools Building Projects Data
 Header Item Gaelcholáistí Issues
 Header Item Schools Building Projects Status
 Header Item Gambling Legislation
 Header Item Garda Disciplinary Proceedings
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data
 Header Item Cyber Security Policy
 Header Item Garda Equipment
 Header Item Naturalisation Eligibility
 Header Item International Conventions
 Header Item Family Mediation Service
 Header Item Deportation Orders Re-examination
 Header Item Mutual Legal Assistance
 Header Item Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 980 No. 5

First Page Previous Page Page of 56 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 117-141

Special Educational Needs Staff

 117. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the extent to which the special needs teacher requirement continues to be met nationally and in particular in north County Kildare; if sufficient provision continues to be made in line with requirements and requests from the various primary and second-level schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11251/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools set out the details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools.  DES Circulars 007 and 008 of 2019 set out how the allocations for schools are being updated from September 2019.

The Special Education Teacher allocation process provides a single unified allocation for special educational support teaching needs to each school, based on each school’s educational profile.

Under the allocation model, schools are provided with a total allocation for special education needs support based on their school profile.  

The provision of a profiled allocation is designed to give a fairer allocation for each school which recognises that all schools need an allocation for special needs support, but which provides a graduated allocation which takes into account the actual level of need in each school.

Under the allocation model schools are frontloaded with resources, based on each school’s profile, to provide supports immediately to those pupils who need it without delay. This reduces the administrative burden on schools as schools no longer have to complete an application process annually and apply for newly enrolled pupils who require resource hours. Children who need support can have that support provided immediately rather than having to wait for a diagnosis.

1,000 additional Special Education Teachers have been provided for schools since 2017, while the total number of Special Education Teachers has increased by 37% since 2011, from 9,740 in 2011,

to over 13,400 at present. 

I am satisfied that the very significant levels of additional provision we have made in recent years, to provide Special Education Teachers, means that all schools, including schools in County Kildare, are sufficiently resourced to provide for the special educational needs and care needs of children in their schools.

Schools Building Projects Data

 118. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the extent to which the school building programme continues in line with expectation and projections nationally and in County Kildare in particular; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11252/19]

 119. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the number of schools scheduled for expansion and extension or replacement in respect of primary and second-level schools nationally and in County Kildare in 2019; the extent to which the programme remains on target; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11253/19]

 123. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the number of school replacements, extensions or upgrades submitted to by the various school authorities throughout north County Kildare at primary and second-level in respect of which construction progress is in hand, is planned for early date or is awaiting attention; when each project will be concluded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11257/19]

 124. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the extent to which primary and second-level school construction or upgrading requirements are being met in Naas, County Kildare; if the current programme remains adequate to meet the demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11258/19]

 125. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the extent to which primary and second-level school construction or upgrading requirements are being met in Maynooth, County Kildare; if the current programme remains adequate to meet the demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11259/19]

 126. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the extent to which primary and second-level school construction or upgrading requirements are being met in Celbridge, County Kildare; if the current programme remains adequate to meet the demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11260/19]

 127. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the extent to which primary and second-level school construction or upgrading requirements are being met in Kilcock, County Kildare; if the current programme remains adequate to meet the demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11261/19]

 129. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the number and location of primary schools in north County Kildare scheduled for improvement or replacement and in respect of which submissions have been made to by the various school authorities; the extent to which progress is being achieved in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11263/19]

 130. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the number and location of second-level schools in north County Kildare scheduled for improvement or replacement and in respect of which submissions have been made to by the various school authorities; the extent to which progress is being achieved in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11264/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh I propose to take Questions Nos. 118, 119, 123 to 127, inclusive, 129 and 130 together.

My Department's Capital Programme continues to address the challenges nationally posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansion in the rate of provision of new school places. The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed through the architectural planning process, including those schools in County Kildare. My Department regularly updates the current position on all projects on the Capital Programme and this information is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie

The 2019 Primary and Post Primary Infrastructure allocation amounting to €672m will be expended primarily on the delivery of large scale projects and on the Additional Accommodation Scheme. Typically, expenditure levels of between 70% and 80% of the capital allocation available to schools annually is in respect of large scale projects and the Additional Accommodation Scheme. The balance available in 2019 will be expended on site acquisitions, the Summer Works Scheme, the Emergency Works Scheme, furniture and equipment provision and other smaller programmes. 

The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed through the architectural planning process. The Capital Programme also provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms, if required, for schools where an immediate enrolment need has been identified or where an additional teacher has been appointed. Details of schools listed on this programme can be found on my Department's website www.education.ie and this information is updated regularly.

The Deputy will also be aware of my announcement in April 2018 regarding the establishment of 42 new schools, over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement followed nationwide demographic exercises carried out by the Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country and the 4-year horizon will enable increased lead-in times for planning and delivery of the necessary infrastructure.

Pupil-Teacher Ratio

 120. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the degree to which class sizes, the pupil-teacher ratio and overcrowding at primary and second-level throughout County Kildare and nationally is being addressed; the way in which this will manifest itself in the context of a campus (details supplied) with particular reference to the need to restart the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11254/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh The 2018/19 school year saw an increase of over 6,000 teaching posts in our schools compared to the 2015/16 school year.  

The Statistic's Section of my Department's website contains extensive data in relation to our schools including pupil teacher ratios and teacher numbers. The latest figures in relation to pupil teacher ratios show an improved ratio of teachers to students from 16:1 to 15.3:1 at primary level and 13.8:1 to 13.1:1 at post primary level when comparing the 2015/16 school year to the 2017/18 school year.  

Budget 2019 marks the third year of a major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, our plan to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. In 2019, the budget for the Department of Education and Skills will increase by €674 million, a 6.7% increase on last year.  In total, the Education budget will have increased by €1.7 billion compared to 2016.

Budget 2019 will see numbers employed in our schools reach the highest ever level. Over 1,300 additional posts in schools will be funded, including more than 370 teaching posts to cater for growth in student population and additional special classes. This builds on the Budget 2018 measure which provided a one point improvement in the staffing schedule in primary schools which brings the position to the most favourable ever seen at primary level.

The Deputy will be aware that the delivery of the project to which he refers has been devolved to Kildare and Wicklow Education & Training Board (KWETB).

I understand that the project will be going to tender very shortly. I can confirm that tenders are being sought from eight contractors and that the timeframe for receipt of tenders is expected to be in early April with a view to getting on site early in the summer.  I also understand that the project remains on course for delivery within the timeframe referred to by the Deputy.

Schools Building Projects Data

 121. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the number of school projects which were halted during construction arising from the collapse of a group (details supplied); the extent to which the relevant issues have been resolved in each case; the issues pending resolution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11255/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh The Schools Bundle 5 Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme comprises five school buildings and one further education college across four sites in Bray, Wexford, Carlow and Kells.  Completion of these projects was delayed due to the liquidation of Carillion Construction Ltd in January 2018 and the examinership and subsequent liquidation of Carillion’s sub-contractor, Sammon Contracting Ireland Ltd (SCIL).

A replacement contractor was appointed in June 2018 and three of the six schools, Coláiste Raithín and Ravenswell Primary school in Bray and Loreto Secondary School in Wexford, have achieved service commencement and are now fully operational.  

The replacement contractor is now completing the remaining three school buildings - Eureka Secondary School in Kells, Tyndall College Carlow and Carlow Institute of Further Education.  While there has been slippage in relation to the completion dates originally targeted by the replacement contractor, work is progressing on all sites.  The PPP company has most recently indicated that they are targeting completion of the remaining school buildings by Q2 of this year.  However, the PPP company and contractor are currently working to finalise a detailed completion programme, which we expect to receive shortly. 

The National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), in consultation with the Department, continues to track progress very closely and to liaise with the PPP company in seeking a realistic and robust completion programme. The Department is also keeping the schools updated. 

Monthly unitary charge payments in relation to the buildings which remain to be completed will not be paid by the Department until the buildings are operational. 

Gaelcholáistí Issues

 122. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the progress in the advancement of a Gaelcholáiste in north County Kildare with particular reference to the need to meet the second-level requirements of the students emerging from a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11256/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh I am pleased to confirm to the Deputy that Gaelcholáiste Maigh Nuad will be established in September 2019 as a multi-denominational Irish-medium Community College under the patronage of Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB).  KWETB are working through the necessary practical arrangements in this regard, including appointing a Principal, the recruitment process for which is ongoing.

  Questions Nos. 123 to 127, inclusive, answered with Question No. 118.

Schools Building Projects Status

 128. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh the progress in the extension of the primary level facilities at Johnstownbridge, County Kildare; when new and upgraded facilities will become available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11262/19]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh A grant for the school to which the Deputy refers was approved in 2015 under my Department's Additional Accommodation Scheme. This grant was provided to enable the Board of Management to provide a mainstream classroom, three resource rooms and a WC for assisted users.

  The project went to construction in 2017 and was completed in 2018. The full grant has been paid to the school.

  Questions Nos. 129 and 130 answered with Question No. 118.

Gambling Legislation

 131. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the way in which and when he plans to update the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956. [11005/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): Information on David Stanton Zoom on David Stanton I am happy to update the Deputy on my plans to update the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956.

I hope to publish the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill, early in the current Oireachtas session. This will be an interim reform measure, pending the bringing forward of comprehensive gambling control legislation. 

The amendments proposed under the  Bill address certain deficiencies with regard to the conduct of activities regulated under the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956, and provide for the modernisation of that Act by way of, among other matters, arrangements for the better promotion of lotteries, updating certain stake and prize limits and standardising the minimum gambling age at 18.

Garda Disciplinary Proceedings

 132. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the number of Garda officers by rank who are subject to official disciplinary action over the misuse of the PULSE computer system and other information systems with An Garda Síochána from 1 January 2018 to date in 2019; the number of civilian staff by grade who are subject to official disciplinary action over the misuse of the PULSE computer system and other information systems with the force from 1 January 2018 to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10978/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan As the Deputy will appreciate, disciplinary matters within An Garda Síochána are governed by the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007 and are a matter for the Garda Commissioner.

  I am advised by the Commissioner that no Garda Staff (civilian) were subject to official disciplinary action over the misuse of the PULSE computer system and other information systems within An Garda Síochána from 1 January 2018 to 5 March 2019.

I am further advised that in the year 2018, the discipline section at Internal Affairs, Garda Headquarters opened 15 discipline investigation files regarding Garda members, all of Garda rank, which relate to the alleged misuse of the Garda PULSE system.  As of 5th   March, 2019, three of these files have since been closed as the Garda members were found not to be in breach of discipline.

In the current year up to 5 March 2019, the discipline section at Internal Affairs, Garda Headquarters, has opened four discipline investigation files regarding members of Garda rank which relate to the alleged misuse of the Garda PULSE system.

Departmental Staff Data

 133. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the number of staff by grade and section in his Department who are subject to official disciplinary action over the misuse of computer information systems, electronic data and or file storage systems and other information systems from 1 January 2018 to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10979/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I wish to advise the Deputy that there are no staff in my Department that are subject to disciplinary action over the misuse of computer information systems, electronic data or file storage systems or other information systems from 1 January 2018 to date.

Cyber Security Policy

 134. Deputy Jack Chambers Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if his Department, or organisations under his remit, have conducted a national security assessment of technology provided by a company (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11036/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The security of the State and the people is a matter of the highest priority for the Government.

  I can assure the Deputy that, in the context of national security matters, the level of threat is kept under constant and active review by An Garda Síochána. My Department liaises on an on-going basis with An Garda Síochána in this regard.

  Considerable resources are deployed by the Garda Authorities, supported by the skills and expertise of the Defence Forces, in combatting threats to our security.

   The authorities here work very closely on an on-going basis with their international counterparts in identifying and managing any threats arising.

  It would not be in the public interest to detail the measures that are taken by our authorities in this area.

  An Garda Síochána, along with the Defence Forces, also works closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, under the remit of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, in working to protect the State against cyber security threats.

  The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is also leading on the development of a new Cyber Security Strategy, with a number of Departments and agencies contributing to this work, including the Department of Justice and Equality.

  Policy in respect of telecommunications is a matter for the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, who keeps the security of the telecommunications sector under on-going review.

Garda Equipment

 135. Deputy Jack Chambers Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if An Garda Síochána uses technology provided by a company (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11037/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for carrying on and managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána as well as for decisions in relation to the allocation and management of Garda resources, including in relation to ICT. As Minister I have no direct role in these matters.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the only equipment in use which has been manufactured by the company referred to are branded modems supplied by mobile network operators. I am further informed that these external modems are being phased out, as they are being replaced by laptops with an internal modem.

Naturalisation Eligibility

 136. Deputy Seán Crowe Information on Seán Crowe Zoom on Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan his plans to review the policy of not granting citizenship or naturalisation to spouses of Irish citizens living abroad and who do not comply with residency requirements laid down in legislation. [11075/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The principals of citizenship are based on either the nationality of the person’s parents. Alternatively, a request for naturalisation is based on fulfilling residence requirements. The granting of citizenship carries with it, for both of the applicant and the State, a number of obligations and the criteria for the granting of Irish citizenship are set down in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.

It is a condition of the granting of Irish citizenship that a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State are made, these are solemn legal pledges which are required of the applicant before they become a citizen. These declarations are made by an applicant, having chosen to take this step in recognition of the new lives that they have built in Ireland.

It should be noted that since the introduction of Citizenship Ceremonies in 2011 almost 100,000 adults and more than 25,000 children have received their certificate of naturalisation and been granted Irish citizenship.

The Deputy may also wish to note that it is open to spouses of Irish nationals to make an application to INIS for permission to join or accompany their spouse to the State. There are currently no plans to review the existing legislative provisions in this regard.

International Conventions

 137. Deputy Bobby Aylward Information on Bobby Aylward Zoom on Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the steps he has taken to ratify the Lanzarote Convention; the timeline for the ratification of the convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11087/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Significant progress has been made towards ensuring that Ireland is in a position to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (known as the "Lanzarote Convention") .

The Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 has been enacted, Part 2 of which strengthens the law relating to the sexual exploitation of children, including child pornography, and criminalises the use of information and communication technology to facilitate such exploitation. This legislation ensures the State’s compliance with criminal law provisions in the convention. 

My Department has carried out a detailed review of compliance with regard to other elements of the convention, in consultation with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and other stakeholders such as An Garda Síochána and the HSE. Information was sought regarding the child protection, prevention and victim support aspects of the convention.

While the Department now has most of the information required for ratification, some stakeholder work is still required to ensure that Ireland is fully compliant in all areas of the convention. Once that work has been completed, and the Office of the Attorney General has been consulted, steps towards formal ratification can be taken. It is hoped this can be completed in the coming months.

Family Mediation Service

 138. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the number of persons waiting on mediation through the free legal aid system to date by county in tabular form; the length of time they are waiting; the waiting times for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11090/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Mediation is a process for resolving disputes where those in dispute meet with a third party who helps them to negotiate an agreed resolution. The Family Mediation Service is provided by the Legal Aid Board.

The waiting times for family mediation services as of the 28th February 2019 are set out on an office basis in the following table which has been provided to me by the Legal Aid Board. The detail is maintained by the Board in terms of numbers waiting and the waiting times involved on an office by office basis rather than by County.

  I am also informed by the Board that short notice appointments will be provided  to those who can take a cancelled appointment at the last minute. Those clients who have a pending Court date are accommodated, if possible, with priority appointments.

  The Board has advised that the number waiting for mediation may include some clients who have already been offered appointments and have not been able to accept them for one reason or another.

- Number Waiting at end February Approx Waiting times (weeks)
County Town    
Cork Cork 58 24
Donegal Letterkenny 19 12
Dublin Jervis Street 56 16
  Tallaght 36 16
  Blanchardstown 54 20
Galway Galway 23 12
Kerry Tralee 9 10
Kilkenny Kilkenny 7 8
Laois Portlaoise 30 16
Limerick Limerick 17 10
Louth Dundalk 47 48
Mayo Castlebar 7 8
Sligo Sligo 9 8
Waterford Waterford 11 6
Westmeath Athlone 23 16
Wexford Wexford 27 16

Deportation Orders Re-examination

 139. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan if a review of the decision to deport will be undertaken in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11100/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order signed on 12 November 2018.  

Representations were received on behalf of the person concerned requesting that the deportation order be revoked, pursuant to the provisions of Section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended).  This request will be considered as soon as possible.

The Deputy might wish to note that the decision to ensue from the consideration of this request will be to have the existing deportation order 'affirmed' or 'revoked'.  Once such a decision has been made, this decision will be notified in writing.  In the meantime, the deportation order remains valid and in place.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department 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.

Mutual Legal Assistance

 140. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan when the required reports will be furnished to the Turkish authorities from the mutual legal assistance department in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11112/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The Deputy will be aware that the provision of mutual legal assistance by Ireland to another state is governed by the Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act, 2008, which provides for, amongst other things, a legislative basis for the 1959 Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Assistance, to which both Ireland and Turkey are signatories.

A request for Mutual Legal Assistance was received from the Turkish Authorities on 17 December 2018 and some of the information requested by the Turkish Authorities has been provided. The provision of the remaining information is subject to the receipt of certain assurances from the Turkish Authorities.

My officials have been in contact with the Turkish authorities and relevant officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with a view to expediting matters.

The provision of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters is a matter between States and as such, are confidential.  It is not generally the policy to comment on individual cases.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

 141. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan the amount spent on social media advertising and online promoted content (details supplied) in 2018 and to date in 2019, by campaign and social media platform used; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11125/19]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan My Department made use of the advertising methods referenced as part of two information campaigns in 2018. These approaches allowed the campaigns to target specific demographic groups which were targets of the campaigns but which may not be readily accessed through traditional channels such as broadsheet newspaper advertising. 

  The Department spent €17,470 in 2018 promoting the "What would you do?" national awareness campaign on domestic violence on social media. This comprised of €13,557 on Facebook, €2,157 on Instagram and €1,756 on Twitter. 

  The Department also made use of such channels in 2018 to help promote its annual fireworks awareness campaign in the run up to Halloween. €1,637.02 was spent on Facebook. A further €3,868.38 was spent on online promoted content of the type specified for the campaign in addition to €430.50 for online campaign management fees.

  The Department has not accrued any such expenditure thus far in 2019.


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