Houses of the Oireachtas

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

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 114-128
 Header Item UN Conventions Ratification
 Header Item UN Conventions Ratification
 Header Item Home Repossessions Rate
 Header Item Irish Sign Language
 Header Item Criminal Law
 Header Item Crime Prevention
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Student Visas Data
 Header Item Garda Powers
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications
 Header Item Visa Applications
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 911 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 60 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 114-128

UN Conventions Ratification

 114. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when Ireland will ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [14031/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath On 21 October 2015, the Government published a roadmap to Ireland’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which outlines the considerable legislative changes to be undertaken to enable Ireland to ratify the Convention, along with the estimated deadline of end-2016 for ratification. The Roadmap to Ratification, which is available on my Department’s website, sets out the substantial legislative agenda required for ratification. We are on track to ratify the Convention within 6 months.

  Considerable progress has already been made to overcome barriers to Ireland’s ratification. The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 was signed into law on 30 December 2015, and is a comprehensive reform of the law on decision-making capacity. The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 was passed by the Seanad on 26 January this year. When enacted, the Bill will reform Section 5 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993 to facilitate the full participation in family life of persons with intellectual disabilities and the full expression of their human rights. Achieving the necessary balance between those rights and ensuring appropriate protection is crucial.

Work is also under way on drawing up an Equality/Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill to progress miscellaneous legislative amendments necessary to proceed to ratification. It is intended that the Bill will address issues such as the Convention's requirements in relation to reasonable accommodation and deprivation of liberty, as well as removing archaic references in existing legislation relating to mental health. We intend to publish the General Scheme of the Equality/Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill shortly.

UN Conventions Ratification

 115. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to outline her progress in ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; when Ireland will fully ratify it; if Ireland will meet the deadline for 2016; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [14049/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath On 21 October 2015, the Government published a roadmap to Ireland’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which outlines the considerable legislative changes to be undertaken to enable Ireland to ratify the Convention, along with the estimated deadline of end-2016 for ratification. The Roadmap to Ratification, which is available on my Department’s website, sets out the substantial legislative agenda required for ratification. We are on track to ratify the Convention within 6 months.

  Considerable progress has already been made to overcome barriers to Ireland’s ratification. The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 was signed into law on 30 December 2015, and is a comprehensive reform of the law on decision-making capacity. The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 was passed by the Seanad on 26 January this year. When enacted, the Bill will reform Section 5 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993 to facilitate the full participation in family life of persons with intellectual disabilities and the full expression of their human rights. Achieving the necessary balance between those rights and ensuring appropriate protection is crucial.

Work is also under way on drawing up an Equality/Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill to progress miscellaneous legislative amendments necessary to proceed to ratification. It is intended that the Bill will address issues such as the Convention's requirements in relation to reasonable accommodation and deprivation of liberty, as well as removing archaic references in existing legislation relating to mental health. We intend to publish the General Scheme of the Equality/Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill shortly.

Home Repossessions Rate

 116. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to set down by the owner of the loan the number of applications for the repossession of principal dwelling houses before the courts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14153/16]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Deputy will be aware that under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998 management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service and I have no role in the matter. Section 4(3) of the 1998 Act provides that the Courts Service is independent in the performance of its functions, which includes the provision of information on the courts system. However, in order to be of assistance, I have made enquiries and the Courts Service has advised that the information is currently being compiled and I will write to the Deputy directly as soon as it is to hand.

Irish Sign Language

 117. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to outline her plans to officially recognise Irish Sign Language to ensure equality for deaf persons in Irish society; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13731/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath In 2013 the National Disability Authority (NDA) facilitated consultations with the Deaf Community in Ireland at my Department's request in relation to actions that could make improvements in the lives of deaf people. Submissions received as part of that process informed the National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan which was published in July 2013. As part of the follow-up to that initiative, in November 2013 the first special themed meeting of the National Disability Strategy Implementation Group focussed on the issue of Irish Sign Language. This meeting brought together representatives of relevant Departments, the NDA, the Deaf Community and other relevant stakeholders who reviewed the current situation across Government Departments and their Agencies with regard, in particular, to promoting recognition of Irish Sign Language, including in service provision. The Group also examined mechanisms which could promote the further use and recognition of Irish Sign Language and address practical implications for service users. Further to this meeting, the Deaf Community prepared a report to reflect their views on key actions and priorities.

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department is currently progressing a three Phase consultation process with a view to putting a new Disability Inclusion Strategy in place. Phase 2, which focused on agreeing high-level objectives for the Strategy, was completed at the end of 2015. Phase 3 will involve agreeing specific actions with timescales to deliver on each of the high-level objectives. This will commence shortly. I expect to have a set of draft actions for the Strategy for publication shortly. The consultations on this draft will include consideration by the National Disability Strategy Steering Group and, as with Phase 2, a series of regional consultation meetings. The Strategy will then be revised as necessary and submitted to Government for final approval.

Issues in relation to the Deaf Community have featured strongly in the consultation process to date and I intend that the new Disability Inclusion Strategy will respond credibly to the issues raised, including making a real difference in relation to facilitating the use of Irish Sign Language and ensuring that public bodies provide ISL users with ISL interpretation when availing of their statutory services. This is where my focus lies as I believe that taking effective steps to ensure that users of Irish Sign Language can use it with interpretation provided when availing of public services is the best approach to meeting the needs of the Deaf community.

Criminal Law

 118. Deputy Noel Rock Information on Noel Rock Zoom on Noel Rock asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to set out the status of the Sexual Offences Bill; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14018/16]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In September 2015, I published the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015, as approved by Government. The Bill includes wide ranging provisions to enhance the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation including through more effective targeting of acts of child sexual grooming. When enacted, the Bill will facilitate full compliance with the criminal law provisions of a number of international legal instruments and implement the recommendations of a number of Oireachtas committees. The Bill also provides for new offences of purchasing sexual services, in the context of prostitution. The purpose of these offences is to target the demand for prostitution.

The Bill completed all stages in Seanad Éireann in January 2016. This Bill has been returned to the Dáil Order Paper by a motion approved by Dáil Éireann on Wednesday, 1 June. Enactment of this important piece of legislation is a priority for the Government.

Crime Prevention

 119. Deputy Noel Rock Information on Noel Rock Zoom on Noel Rock asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she supports the potential introduction of a new date rape detector kit being available to buy in pubs throughout the country; if she will introduce legislation to provide for this; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [14019/16]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I trust that the Deputy will appreciate that the general approach taken in this jurisdiction in all areas of personal crime prevention has been to provide advice and assistance to the public rather than introducing legislation mandating any particular course of action or product. In this context, An Garda Síochána provide a range of personal crime prevention advice to the public and I have brought the issue raised by the Deputy to their attention.

Garda Deployment

 120. Deputy Josepha Madigan Information on Josepha Madigan Zoom on Josepha Madigan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if 68 members of An Garda Síochána are attached to Dundrum Garda station; if 11 are on temporary transfer; if this is a decrease from 86 in February 2016 and 139 in 2009; and when she will review and increase Garda numbers in Dundrum, County Dublin. [14035/16]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that the allocation of Gardaí is continually monitored and reviewed taking into account all relevant factors including crime trends, demographics, and security assessments relating to the area in question so as to ensure optimal use is made of Garda human resources.

  Dundrum Garda station forms part of the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) East. I have been informed that the number of Gardaí assigned to the Dundrum Garda Station on the 31 March 2016, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 81. The corresponding figure in February was 85 and on the 31 December 2009 there were 80 members assigned to Dundrum.

  This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. Key to achieving this goal is the commitment in the Programme for Government, "A Programme for a Partnership Government" to continue the ongoing accelerated Garda recruitment programme with a view to increasing Garda numbers to 15,000.

  As the Deputy will be aware, since the Garda College reopened in September 2014, a total of 700 Garda trainees have been recruited with a further 450 planned to be recruited during the remainder of this year. So far 395 of the new Garda trainees have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream uniform duties nationwide. I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that 10 newly attested Gardaí have been assigned to the DMR East Garda Division.

  It is expected that a further 300 trainees will attest by the end of this year which, taking account of projected retirements, will bring Garda numbers to around the 13,000 mark. We must, I believe, endeavour to make more rapid progress than this to reach our target of 15,000 and I am engaging with my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, in relation to increasing the planned annual intake this year and in coming years.

Garda Deployment

 121. Deputy Seán Crowe Information on Seán Crowe Zoom on Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to set out the number of members of An Garda Síochána assigned to and active in the Tallaght drugs unit in each of the years 2010 to 2015. [14045/16]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that the allocation of Gardaí is continually monitored and reviewed taking into account all relevant factors including crime trends, demographics, and security assessments relating to the area in question so as to ensure optimal use is made of Garda human resources.

  I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the number of Gardaí assigned to the Tallaght District on the 31 March 2016, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 245. Tallaght District forms part of the wider Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) South Division which has 19 members in its Drugs Unit. The number of Garda personnel that were assigned to the DMR South Drugs Unit on the 31 December 2010 to 2015 was as set out in the following table.

  It is important to note that all Gardaí have a responsibility in the prevention and detection of criminal activity whether it be in the area of drug offences or otherwise. The Tallaght District is policed by regular uniformed units, community policing units as well as a District Detective Unit. It is also supplemented by resources from Divisional units including the Divisional Traffic Unit and the Divisional Burglary Unit. Specifically in relation to drugs, I can assure the Deputy that An Garda Síochána continues to pro-actively and resolutely tackle all forms of drug crime in this jurisdiction. The Garda National Drugs Unit works closely with dedicated Divisional and District Drug Units and other national units, including the Organised Crime Unit, as well as the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in targeting persons involved in the illicit sale and supply of drugs.

  The Deputy will be aware that after discussions with my Government colleagues, on Tuesday 31 May, I announced a range of additional measures to tackle organised crime including the strengthening of CAB powers, new legislation to target proceeds of crime and the setting up of a new Special Crime Taskforce that will focus relentlessly on persons involved in gangland activities. In addition to these measures I will also discuss transnational dimension of organised crime with international counterparts.

  As the Deputy will be aware, when the financial crisis hit, the then Government introduced a moratorium on recruitment and the four year National Recovery Plan, published in 2010, envisaged a steady reduction in Garda numbers. Thankfully, in a recovering economy, we were able to reopen the Garda College in September 2014 and start recruiting once again. This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. Key to achieving this goal is the commitment in the Programme for Government, "A Programme for a Partnership Government" to continue the ongoing accelerated Garda recruitment programme with a view to increasing Garda numbers to 15,000. Since the Garda College reopened in September 2014, a total of 700 Garda trainees have been recruited with a further 450 planned to be recruited during the remainder of this year. So far 395 of the new Garda trainees have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream uniform duties nationwide. I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that 30 newly attested Gardaí have been assigned to the DMR South Garda Division.

  It is expected that a further 300 trainees will attest by the end of this year which, taking account of projected retirements, will bring Garda numbers to around the 13,000 mark. We must, I believe, endeavour to make more rapid progress than this to reach our target of 15,000 and I will be engaging with my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, in relation to increasing the planned annual intake this year and in coming years.

DMR South Drugs Unit

31 Dec 201031 Dec 201131 Dec 201231 Dec 201331 Dec 201431 Dec 201531 March 2016
30313023171619

Student Visas Data

 122. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald for a list of all student entry visas, including a brief description of their purpose, and a list of the legislation and regulations which give effect to each visa. [14050/16]

Tánaiste and 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 information for students on the INIS website provides guidance on the type of courses which students may pursue in Ireland. The website also provides information on the requirements for a visa and for permission to reside in Ireland during the course of their study.

  In general, students may come to Ireland to undertake degree programmes, both undergraduate and post graduate courses, and English language courses. Language courses may be long-term or short-term. Some students may wish to attend single semester courses as part of their degree programme with a recognised overseas university.

  It should be noted that nationals from many countries including, for example, Brazil and the USA do not require a visa to come and study in Ireland. For nationals requiring a visa, in line with other jurisdictions, my Department operates a visa system which examines the bona fides of each study visa application.

  Relevant guideline notes are published on the Student section of the INIS website - http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Students.

  The overall immigration regime for students is ultimately a matter of Government policy which reflects the policy choices made and involves the exercise of executive power. Persons coming to Ireland are subject to the Immigration Acts.

  The Irish visa regime (i.e. as applied to visa required persons) operates in exercise of permissive powers conferred on me under Section 17 of the Immigration Act 2004. The Regulations relating to visas are the Immigration Act, 2004 (Visas) Order 2014 (S.I. No. 473 of 2014) as amended by the Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) (Amendment) Order 2015 (S.I. No. 175 of 2015) and the Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2015 (S.I. No. 513 of 2015). The European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 548 of 2015) also applies.

Garda Powers

 123. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin Information on Fiona O'Loughlin Zoom on Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to outline the powers of An Garda Síochána in policing illegal camping on the Curragh in County Kildare. [14091/16]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In the absence of more specific information on any particular incidents or situations which the Deputy might have in mind I cannot make any detailed comment on the matter referred to. However, I am advised that there is a wide range of legislation in place which Gardai may invoke in dealing with such general issues, including legislation concerning public order and trespass. It is of course a matter for An Garda Síochána to carry out any relevant investigations where such issues may arise and to determine if there is any apparent infringement of the law. The Deputy will appreciate that I, as Minister, do not have a direct role in this regard.

Naturalisation Applications

 124. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald further to Parliamentary Question No. 84 of 28 April 2016 to outline the procedure to be followed to upgrade and regularise residency status in the case of a person; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [14186/16]

Tánaiste and 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, as previously advised on both the 14th and 28th of April 2016 in replies to Parliamentary Questions, the person in question was registered relatively recently in the State as a student - on 5th December 2014 to be precise.

As such they currently have permission to study in the State until 5 December 2016 and are subject to the student pathway. I wish to draw the Deputy's attention to the document 'Guidelines for non-EEA national students registered in Ireland before 1 January, 2011'. This notice clarifies the position in relation to non-EEA students registered here. The overall seven year period provides students with ample opportunity to achieve the sort of qualifications they need to qualify them for an employment permit if they wish to remain in Ireland afterwards.

If it is the intention of the person in question to take up full time employment in the State they must be the holder of an employment permit to do so. The issuing of employment permits is a matter for the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. When this person is issued with an employment permit they may then have their immigration status changed by their local immigration officer.

Queries in relation to general immigration matters may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for his 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 INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Naturalisation Applications

 125. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to outline the procedure a person (details supplied) must follow to regularise and update residency status; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14187/16]

Tánaiste and 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 the person concerned was registered in the State as a student from 12th December 2007 to 26th April 2014. Against this background, the person concerned is now deemed to be a timed-out student.

Ireland has offered a generous immigration to foreign students, not only in allowing them to work to support themselves in their studies, but also in providing ample opportunity for them to obtain academic qualifications that will equip them for their future, whether that is in Ireland or on their return to their home country. It is up to each student to make the best use of that opportunity. If their academic achievement is high, then Ireland offers opportunities to students to stay on as graduates, researchers, or high skilled employees. In other words, student permission gives the person concerned a chance to qualify for an enhanced immigration status on the basis of their academic achievement. However, student permission is of a temporary and limited nature that is not reckonable for naturalisation purposes and that generally does not allow for family reunification. Merely spending time in Ireland as a student does not confer entitlement or expectation to remain.

I wish to draw the Deputy's attention to the document "Guidelines for non-EEA students registered in Ireland before 1 January 2011." This notice clarifies the position in relation to non-EEA students registered here. The overall seven year period, which the person in question has now exhausted, provides students with ample opportunity to achieve the sort of qualifications they need to qualify them for an employment permit should they wish to remain in Ireland afterwards.

If the person concerned leaves the State voluntarily, then it would be open to them to apply for a D reside visa from outside the State. At that point, any family circumstances would be taken into account along with any other reasons why the person in question believes that they should be granted permission to reside in Ireland.

If there are any relevant exceptional circumstances which would justify granting the person concerned permission to remain in the State, they will be taken into account if the person concerned is issued with an intention to deport letter under Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended).

I wish to advise the Deputy that the Residence Division of INIS does not currently have an active application from the person concerned.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been 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 Question process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in questions where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Visa Applications

 126. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will facilitate a family reunification with a spouse for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14188/16]

Tánaiste and 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 the visa application referred to by the Deputy was received by the Irish Visa Office in Abuja, Nigeria on 15/04/2016. Should all documentation be in order, the applicant can expect a decision by the end of June 2016 and will be notified of this decision by the Abuja Visa Office.

The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail queries directly to the Visa Office in Abuja (abujaembassy@dfa.ie).

Naturalisation Applications

 127. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to set out the status and progress to date in the determination of eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); if all documentation requested has been received; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14189/16]

Tánaiste and 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 the processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is ongoing and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. No further information is required from the person at this time.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. While most cases are now generally processed within six months, the nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been established specifically 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 INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Naturalisation Applications

 128. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to set out the status of an application for naturalisation by a person (details supplied); if she has received all the documentation requested; when she will conclude the process; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14190/16]

Tánaiste and 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 the processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is ongoing and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. No further information is required from the person at this time.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. While most cases are now generally processed within six months, the nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been established specifically 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 INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.


Last Updated: 06/11/2017 15:00:30 First Page Previous Page Page of 60 Next Page Last Page