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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 81-100
 Header Item Íocaíochtaí Deontas
 Header Item Íocaíochtaí Deontas
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Íocaíochtaí Deontas
 Header Item Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Applications
 Header Item Ash Dieback Threat
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Payments
 Header Item Dairy Equipment Scheme
 Header Item Bovine Disease Controls
 Header Item Fishing Vessel Licences
 Header Item Air Corps Recruitment
 Header Item Parental Leave Framework Agreement
 Header Item Garda Overtime
 Header Item Immigration Controls
 Header Item Garda Recruitment
 Header Item Garda Reserve
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Residency Permits
 Header Item Legal Costs

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 900 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 67 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 81-100

Íocaíochtaí Deontas

 81. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney cén uair a dhéanfar cinneadh maidir le hiarratas ar theidlíochtaí faoin "Maolú Albanach" maidir le feirmeoir i gContae na Gaillimhe (sonraí tugtha); cén fáth go bhfuil moill ar an gcinneadh seo; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [44300/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Sheol na daoine a ainmnítear iarratas ar Mhaolú Albanach ar aghaidh an 8 Bealtaine 2015 ach níor sheol siad iarratas ar Scéim Íocaíochta Aonair 2013 ar aghaidh. Faoi rialacha an AE a rialaíonn an Scéim Buníocaíochta, is gá na cásanna seo a phróiseáil faoin gCúlchiste Náisiúnta.    

  Cuirfear tús le híocaíochtaí a dhéanamh leis an ngrúpa seo d’fheirmeoirí maolaithe Albanaigh in Eanáir 2016.

Íocaíochtaí Deontas

 82. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney cén uair a dhéanfar íocaíocht faoi Scéim na Limistéar faoi Shriantacht Nádúrtha agus faoin Scéim Buníocaíochta do 2015 le feirmeoir i gContae na Gaillimhe (sonraí tugtha); cén fáth go bhfuil moill leis na híocaíochtaí seo; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [44312/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Sheol an duine a ainmnítear iarratas faoin Scéim Buníocaíochta/Scéim na Limistéar Srianta Nádúrtha 2015 (ANC) chuig mo Roinn an 29 Bealtaine, 2015. Eisíodh íocaíocht faoi Scéim an ANC go díreach le cuntas ainmnithe bainc an duine a ainmnítear.

Faoin Scéim Buníocaíochta, níor deimhníodh go raibh aon teidlíochtaí ag an duine a ainmnítear agus, dá bhrí sin, níl aon íocaíocht ag dul dó faoin Scéim seo. Tugann taifid na Roinne le fios gur ghlac an duine a ainmnítear seilbh ar an uimhir thréada an 11 Deireadh Fómhair 2013, ach níor ghabh ceart leithdháilte leis an uimhir thréada seo chun teidlíochtaí a fháil faoin Scéim Buníocaíochta 2015. Níor sheol an t-iar-úinéir tréada iarratas faoin Scéim Buníocaíochta 2013 ar aghaidh, agus is gá seo a dhéanamh chun ceart uathoibríoch a dheimhniú chun teidlíochtaí nua a fháil faoin Scéim Buníocaíochta.

Déanfaidh mo Roinn teagmháil leis an duine a ainmnítear go díreach ag féachaint le hiarratas a sheoladh ar aghaidh ar leithdháileadh teidlíochtaí faoin Scéim Buníocaíochta 2016.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 83. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the length of time it will take for payment under the disadvantaged areas scheme to issue to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44328/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application under the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme was received from the person named on 1 April, 2015. This application has been fully processed and payments will issue shortly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Íocaíochtaí Deontas

 84. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney cén uair a dhéanfar íocaíocht faoi scéim na limistéar faoi shriantacht nádúrtha do 2015 le feirmeoir i gContae na Gaillimhe (sonraí tugtha); cén fáth go bhfuil moill leis an íocaíocht seo; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [44333/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Fuarthas iarratas faoi Scéim na Limistéar Srianta Nádúrtha ón duine a ainmnítear an 28 Aibreán, 2015. Tugadh próiseáil an iarratais seo chun críche go hiomlán agus eiseofar íocaíochtaí go luath do chuntas bainc ainmnithe an duine a ainmnítear.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments

 85. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when headage payments will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44345/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application under the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme was received from the person named on 1 May, 2015. Processing of the application is currently in progress. On completion of this process, the application will be further reviewed with a view to payment issuing directly to the nominated bank account of the person named at the earliest possible date.

Agriculture Scheme Applications

 86. Deputy Seán Kyne Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney why an application under the national reserve scheme by a person (details supplied) was not successful; if there is any action the person can take to have the application deemed successful; if the person is classified as being an old young farmer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44347/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named did not submit an application under the 2015 National Reserve. He submitted a 2015 Review of Entitlements application seeking to amend the number/value of his entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme. He was notified in writing on 12 November 2015 that his application was unsuccessful and was given the right to appeal this decision.

The ‘old young farmer’ category under the 2015 National Reserve was available for farmers who commenced their agricultural activity between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2009. My Department’s records show that the person named commenced his agricultural activity in 2006 and on that basis he does not meet the eligibility criteria for the ‘old young farmer’ category under the 2015 National Reserve.

Ash Dieback Threat

 87. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney his plans to make required funding available to nurseries to help combat and prevent the spread of ash tree disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44349/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Over the last number of years the Department has operated a Reconstitution Scheme to restore forests established under its afforestation schemes back to their original form following significant damage by natural causes. The Scheme has been used to assist forestry owners who have been affected by Ash dieback disease. The objective of the Scheme is to eradicate/contain ash dieback in forests by supporting the removal and destruction of trees and leaf litter and to reconstitute the forest by replanting with alternative species. The Scheme provides funding in respect of costs necessarily incurred in clearing the site and reconstituting the forest, subject to the maximum limits laid down. The Scheme is restricted to forestry and currently there are no plans to either broaden the scope of the Scheme or to introduce any other Scheme for individuals or nurseries that have been affected by outbreaks of plant diseases including ash dieback.

My Department continues to provide funding for the development of the horticultural industry including commercial nurseries through the Horticultural Grant scheme. In the recent budget I allocated €4.5 million for the Scheme in 2016 and the Scheme is currently open for applications until the 18 December of this year.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

 88. Deputy Seán Kyne Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when payments under the green low-carbon agri-environment scheme and the young farmer scheme will issue to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44351/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The above named is approved in GLAS with a contract start date of 1 October 2015. GLA S applicants with a GLAS contract start date of 1 October 2015 are entitled to a 2015 part-year payment in respect of 2015 eligible actions and covering the three month period 1 October 2015-31 December 2015.  It is intended that these 2015 part-year payments will commence later this month.

The person named submitted applications for the National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme to my Department. Processing of National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme applications, which involves administrative and on farm checks and verification of land details submitted under the 2015 Basic Payment Scheme application is well advanced. These checks are required under EU Regulations. When all checks have been completed and processing of applications has been finalised, my Department will correspond directly with each applicant to advise them of the outcome of their application. Payments to successful applicants under the National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme will commence in the week beginning 14 December.

Dairy Equipment Scheme

 89. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney why cluster flushers, which are dairy equipment, are not eligible for grant aid under the targeted agricultural modernisation scheme 2. [44373/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney A very wide range of Dairy Equipment is eligible for grant aid under the TAMS II Scheme. However, as cluster flushers are not a requirement for a basic milking machine they are not being grant aided.

Bovine Disease Controls

 90. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney why dairy farmers whose herds are locked up due to inconclusive tests for tuberculosis in cattle are not compensated for the loss of income from having to dispose of their milk for the first four months; and if he will re-examine this matter. [44374/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Dairy farmers in whose herd some animals have had an inconclusive reaction to the TB test are not prohibited from selling milk for human consumption. The position is that milk from TB infected or inconclusive animals cannot be used for human consumption or the manufacture of milk-based products for human consumption. However milk from healthy animals in TB restricted herds may be used for human consumption provided it is first heat-treated at an establishment authorised by my Department. In addition, milk from an inconclusive animal may be supplied provided the animal subsequently tests negative for TB, at a minimum of 42 days from the date of the original test. These procedures are designed to ensure the safety of the milk supply to the consumer.

Fishing Vessel Licences

 91. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the status of an application for a fishing licence by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44399/15]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Applications for aquaculture licences are assessed under the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act which provides for extensive consultation with stakeholders and also a period of general public consultation. Licence decisions in each case are made following detailed advice from my Department’s scientific and technical advisers.

  The application referred to by the Deputy is currently under examination by the Marine Engineering Division of my Department in respect of its technical and engineering elements.   

  Every effort is being made by my Department to expedite this application and a determination will be made as soon as possible.

Air Corps Recruitment

 92. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Defence Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will hold a further recruitment drive for the Air Corps early in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44268/15]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, comprising of 7,520 Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service as stated in the 2015 White Paper on Defence. I am advised by the Military Authorities that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force, at 31 October 2015, the latest date for which details are available, was 9155, comprising 7345 Army, 756 Air Corps and 1054 Naval Service.

The manpower requirement of the Defence Forces is monitored on an ongoing basis in accordance with the operational requirements of each of the three services. As there is significant turnover of personnel in the Permanent Defence Force, targeted recruitment has been and is currently taking place so as to maintain the agreed strength levels.

A General Service recruitment campaign for the Army was launched on 4 August 2015 and is ongoing. Air Corps General Service Recruits are drawn from the Army General Service Recruit campaign panels as required.

The intake of Cadets into the Permanent Defence Force is normally carried out on an annual basis taking into consideration the operational requirements of the Defence Forces and the resource envelope allocated to Defence. 10 Air Corps Cadets were inducted on 21 September 2015. The Military Authorities advise that a new Air Corps Cadetship campaign will be advertised in either the first or second quarter of 2016.

Direct Entry Competitions are also held as required from which specialist appointments are filled. 24 Apprentice Trainee Technicians have been inducted in to the Air Corps to date this year, and it is intended to advertise a further competition in the first quarter of 2016.

With the support of the Chief of Staff and within the resources available, it is intended to retain the capacity of the Defence Forces to operate effectively across all roles and to undertake the tasks laid down by Government both at home and overseas.

Parental Leave Framework Agreement

 93. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald her plans to extend the age limit for children from eight to 12 years of age in order that parents can draw down parental leave, as children up to that age cannot be left unsupervised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44310/15]

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin): Information on Aodhán Ó Ríordáin Zoom on Aodhán Ó Ríordáin The basis for the current age limit is contained in Council Directive 2010/18/EU giving effect to the revised Parental Leave Framework Agreement negotiated by the European social partners in 2009. The essential point is that the upper age limit was negotiated and agreed by employers and Trade Union representatives at EU level and their agreement was then given force of law by the Directive. There are no plans at present to extend this limit. However, I should refer the Deputy to the announcement in the recent Budget of a new entitlement to two weeks paternity leave from work for fathers together with a social welfare payment to take effect from September 2016.

Garda Overtime

 94. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the overtime budget allocation to and the amount spent by An Garda Síochána in 2013 and in 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44267/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote and in that context I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Overtime Budget Allocations, including supplementary estimate provisions, for An Garda Síochána in 2013 and 2014 and the actual amounts incurred in these years are as follows:

Year - €m Budget - €m Expenditure - €m
2013 42.6 44.04
201436.0 37.70
  The overtime expenditure incurred in 2013 and, in part in 2014, related to the provision of policing services for the EU Presidency. The provision of sufficient policing services for the Belmullet District and at Shannon airport incurred further overtime expenditure in 2014.

Immigration Controls

 95. Deputy Eric Byrne Information on Eric J. Byrne Zoom on Eric J. Byrne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the measures she is taking to deal with the outrageous system of queueing that is currently in place for the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44275/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In relation to persons seeking to obtain re-entry visas, I would inform the Deputy that a new on-line appointments service for re-entry visas was introduced on 11 November, 2016 allowing applicants to make appointments prior to attending the Public Office. Applicants wishing to apply in person for a re-entry visa now make an appointment on-line, and are seen at the confirmed date and time. There is no need for people to queue for this service.

  As has been stressed on previous occasions, the simplest and easiest way to apply for a re-entry visa is by registered post. There is no necessity to attend at the Public Office and INIS urges all applicants to make full use of the postal service insofar as possible. Postal applications are normally processed within 10 working days and should always be the first option. Special arrangements are made for emergency cases through the new on-line system.

  In relation to the persons seeking to register their permission with An Garda Síochána, I would refer the Deputy to my reply to Dáil Question No. 180 of 13th October, 2015 which sets out in detail the arrangements that were put in place with effect from 30 September, 2015 by An Garda Síochána National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), with the assistance of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).

  These measures addressed the queues at the GNIB Registration Office in Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 during the peak autumn period and worked very effectively by improving throughput and relieving the congestion in the public office that occurs in this period as demand for registration increases from students returning to their studies. I also arranged for additional staff resources from INIS to be made available to assist GNIB in this period.

  Another of the measures taken was the implementation of separate arrangements for students from certain colleges. I would like to acknowledge the support of and cooperation of the Colleges in making these arrangements work successfully.

  The measures taken at the GNIB public Office means that the peak demand has been met ahead of schedule compared to previous years with demand now restored to normal levels. Accordingly, there is no need for anyone using the service to queue outside the building in advance of opening hours. For example, I am advised that at 1pm yesterday there were still 100 tickets available for that day with the office open until 9:30 p.m.

  I would like to commend the staff of both INIS and the GNIB for their work in dealing with such a large volume of registrations and re-entry visa applications, including working over weekends to ensure these demands were met in the shortest possible timeframe.

Garda Recruitment

 96. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if a particular percentage of the posts in An Garda Síochána's recruitment process is being reserved for serving members of An Garda Síochána Reserve; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44287/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Recruitment competitions to An Garda Síochána are open to all who meet the eligibility criteria which are set out in the Garda Síochána (Admissions and Appointments) Regulations 2013.

The recruitment campaign for 2016 for full-time members of An Garda Síochána, which I announced recently, includes a special stream for eligible members of the Garda Reserve. As the Deputy will appreciate the reserve members   have undergone training in many of the skills required to be an effective full-time member of An Garda Síochána and have gained experience in operational policing. It is right, therefore, that satisfactory service by a reserve member be given due recognition in the selection process. It is not the case, however, that a percentage of trainee Garda positions is being reserved for successful candidates who meet the eligibility requirements for the special stream.

The Public Appointments Service (PAS) is organising the recently announced 2016 recruitment competition on behalf of the Garda Commissioner and I have no direct involvement in the matter. The closing date for applications is Tuesday 5 January 2016. I would encourage all reserves who satisfy the eligibility criteria to apply through the PAS website at www.publicjobs.ie.

Garda Reserve

 97. Deputy Eric Byrne Information on Eric J. Byrne Zoom on Eric J. Byrne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if a member of An Garda Síochána can, on retirement, go directly into the Garda Síochána Reserve force without any formalities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44330/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As the Deputy will appreciate, the recruitment and training of the Garda Reserve is a matter for the Garda Commissioner, and I as Minister have no direct role in the matter.

Applications to become a members of the Garda Reserve can currently be made through the Public Appointments Service (PAS) website. PAS process applications on behalf of An Garda Síochána, and admission to become a Reserve member is subject to the provisions of the Garda Síochána (Reserve Members) Regulations 2006. The Regulations provide that a former member, who has on retirement received an "exemplary", "very good" or "good discharge" is required to meet the trainee reserve Garda medical and age requirements. However, they are deemed to meet the eligibility requirements for trainee reserve Garda regarding good character, nationality and residency and are also exempt from the educational requirements. Former Garda members are required to complete only phase 1 of 5 of the required training for Garda Reserves.

Garda Deployment

 98. Deputy Joan Collins Information on Joan Collins Zoom on Joan Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding Garda Síochána numbers in Dublin 12; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44339/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As the Deputy will appreciate the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of personnel, including new probationer Gardaí, among the Garda Regions, Divisions, and Districts. Garda management keep this distribution under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the best possible use is made of resources.

  This Government is committed to the ongoing recruitment of trainee Gardaí, and to this end the first intake since 2009 of new recruits commenced training at the Garda College, Templemore, in September of last year. To date there have been six intakes of Garda Trainees to the Garda College, giving a total intake of 550. So far 295 of the new Garda Trainees have attested as members of An Garda Síochána. On attestation, new probationer Gardaí are assigned to stations throughout the country by the Garda Commissioner, where they are assigned to mainstream uniform policing duties. I am assured by Garda management that the needs of all Garda Divisions are fully considered when determining the allocation of new probationer Gardaí. I have been inform that this year 19 new Probationer Gardaí were allocated to the DMR South Division, 4 and 5 of which have been assigned to Crumlin and Sundrive Road Garda Stations respectively.

  The Deputy will be aware that I announced the opening of a recruitment campaign for new members of An Garda Síochána on 27 November last. This new campaign is necessary to fulfil the Government’s commitment to recruit 600 Gardaí in 2016. The 600 new Gardaí to be recruited next year will bring to 1,150 the total number of new recruits since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014. This ramped-up recruitment underscores the determination of this Government to deliver an effective, responsive police service to protect our communities and respond to emerging crime trends. The Public Appointments Service (PAS) is organising the recruitment competition on behalf of the Garda Commissioner and applications may be made through the PAS website at www.publicjobs.ie. The closing date for applications is Tuesday 5 January 2016.

  A key part of An Garda Síochána strategy in the fight against crime is to work in partnership with the community. As of 31 October the latest date for which figures are available there were 53 dedicated Community Gardaí working in the DMR South Division. It is, of course, the case that all Gardaí have a role to play in addressing community policing issues as and when the need arises. In that sense, community policing involves far more than a single unit within An Garda Síochána, a point highlighted by the Garda Inspectorate in their third report entitled "Policing in Ireland—Looking Forward" in which they stated that community policing is a fundamental policing philosophy and that there is a strong foundation for it in Ireland. An Garda Síochána operates a model of Community Policing which aims to build upon, and enhance, progress made so far. I fully support this renewed emphasis on Community Policing, particularly in light of the priority given to this in the Programme for Government. The model is about renewing, reinvigorating and restructuring the community policing function within An Garda Síochána to deliver a consistent national structure to the community policing function, a more co-ordinated and efficient Garda service to the community and a spread of good practice and quality of service in community policing on a national basis.

Residency Permits

 99. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if it is unusual for an application for residency to take eight years to determine, as appears to be the case for a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44353/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that if the person concerned has made an application for asylum or subsidiary protection in the State, the Deputy will be aware that it is not the practice to comment on such applications until they have fully completed the Protection Process. This is in accordance with Section 19(1) of the Refugee Act, 1996 (as amended) which provides for the protection of the identity of protection applicants.

With regard to residency status, the Deputy is reminded that protection applicants are issued with a temporary residence permission pending a final decision on their application. In the event that an applicant is finally determined not to be in need of protection, consideration is then given to whether the person should be granted leave to remain in the State on humanitarian grounds.

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.

Legal Costs

 100. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald why she consented to the order of the Supreme Court in case No. 219 JR of 2003 (details supplied) which provided for the awarding of costs for an unsuccessful High Court action to the applicant and the striking out of an appeal and cross-appeal in the matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44368/15]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Decisions to settle cases involve a careful balancing of the circumstances pertaining in the case, including consideration of legal advice, with a view to limiting the State's exposure to further costs or expense.

  I am satisfied that the correct procedures in the case raised by the Deputy were followed in deciding to settle the proceedings.


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