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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 118-134
 Header Item Garda Investigations
 Header Item Crime Prevention
 Header Item Refugee Resettlement Programme
 Header Item Residency Permits
 Header Item Crime Prevention
 Header Item UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
 Header Item Road Traffic Offences Data
 Header Item Probation and Welfare Service
 Header Item Direct Provision Data
 Header Item Departmental Properties
 Header Item Workplace Relations Services Data
 Header Item Prison Facilities
 Header Item Prisoners Treatment

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 946 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 118-134

Garda Investigations

 118. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the status of the review into the allegation of abuse made by a person (details supplied) and the Garda handling of the case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17678/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am aware that the members of the family, connected with the case referred to, have pursued complaints in respect of a number of issues over a long period of time and that there was also protracted litigation which I believe was concluded some time ago. There are, however, no aspects of this case currently under examination in my Department and there are no further actions being taken or open to my Department in this regard.

Crime Prevention

 119. 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 the position in respect of the provision of public CCTV in County Kildare; if Clane, County Kildare, can be considered in respect of any pilot scheme in this regard in the future; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17695/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am very conscious of the value that communities, especially rural communities, place on CCTV as a means of deterring crime and assisting in the detection of offenders.

The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to providing investment in CCTV systems and that I have secured €1 million in Budget 2017 to begin a new round of community CCTV schemes in line with the Programme. I expect to make an announcement in this context shortly.

Refugee Resettlement Programme

 120. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the commitments the Government has made in terms of accepting refugees and unaccompanied minors in Ireland; the number of persons to date who have been accepted under the various resettlement and relocation programmes, in tabular form; the number of unaccompanied minors who have arrived; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [17702/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): Information on David Stanton Zoom on David Stanton As the Deputy will be aware, the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) was established by Government Decision on 10 September 2015 as a direct response to the humanitarian crisis that developed in Southern Europe as a consequence of mass migration from areas of conflict in the Middle East and Africa. Under this programme, the Government has pledged to accept a total of 4,000 persons into the State, 2,622 through the EU relocation mechanism established by two EU Council Decisions in 2015 to assist Italy and Greece, and 1,040 (519 by the end of 2016 and the remainder in 2017) under the UNHCR-led refugee resettlement programme currently focussed on resettling Syrian refugees from Lebanon.

  In a further gesture of humanitarian assistance towards the most vulnerable caught up in the migration crisis and following a debate in the Dáil, the Government also committed to taking up to 200 unaccompanied minors (UAMs) from France who were previously resident in the migrant camp at Calais. Twenty-one UAMs have thus far arrived in Ireland under this initiative and are in the care of Tusla. These initiatives therefore leave just a small residual balance to be allocated from the Government decision to take 4,000 persons.

  In summary, to the end of March 2017, the numbers of persons that have arrived under both the programme refugee resettlement strand and the relocated asylum seeker strands of the programme are set out in Table 1 and Table 2 respectively:

  Table 1: Programme Refugees

Total PeopleAdultsMinorsAge 0-4Age 5-12Age 13-17
62731036211119754


  Table 2: Relocated Asylum Seekers
Total PeopleAdultsMinorsAge 0-4Age 5-12Age 13-17
380219161597626


  Further numbers will of course arrive under the relocation programme over the coming months. Full details on the two primary strands of the programme are set out below for the information of the Deputy.

  Resettlement strand of the programme

  Taking account of the situation in the Middle East, and the plight of the refugees, the Tánaiste announced that Ireland would accept 520 persons for resettlement over an 18-month period to the end of 2017. This was almost double the figure proposed for Ireland by the European Commission and was delivered a year ahead of the Commission deadline.

  In addition, the Government recently announced that it is extending the resettlement programme to take in a further 520 refugees from Lebanon in 2017, most of whom are of Syrian origin. 260 refugees have already been selected during a selection mission to Lebanon in October 2016. 152 have arrived with remaining due in the coming weeks. Most of these refugees are also Syrian. A further selection mission to Lebanon is taking place to select the remaining refugees due to come to Ireland in 2017 under the resettlement programme.

  Relocation strand of the programme

  Despite initial delays outside of Ireland's control in respect of the operation of the 'hotspots' on the ground in Greece, Ireland has to date taken in a total of 380 people from Greece under relocation. A monthly schedule has been agreed with the Greek authorities which will sustain the pace of intakes throughout 2017 at the levels required to allow Ireland to meets its commitments to Greece within the time frame envisaged by the Programme.

  Ireland has agreed to take up to 20 UAMs under the IRPP.  Fundamentally, Ireland's capacity to take UAMs is determined by Tusla, the child and family agency. 6 UAMs (by the Irish definition) have arrived in Ireland from Greece under the programme. However, relatively few UAMs appear to be available within the cohort eligible for relocation and efforts continue to seek further transfers within this cohort.  All UAMs that have arrived to date are in the care of Tusla. 

  As regards Italy, the relocation mechanism from Italy has yet to commence for many countries, including Ireland, due to issues with the Italian authorities surrounding the security assessment of migrants assigned to other Member States. Intensive efforts are ongoing to resolve this, both bilaterally with Italian counterparts at official, diplomatic and Ministerial level, and at EU level, including through the European Commission and it is hoped that a resolution can be found in the coming weeks.

  The total target for relocation EU-wide in the two Council Decisions for relocation also includes an allocated portion which in the case of Ireland amounts to  910 persons. These numbers have not yet been allocated as between Greece and Italy.  It is understood that the European Commission are examining allocating this "unassigned" portion and if they do Ireland will immediately work towards relocating them. 

  Table 3 sets out the position regarding the assignment of the 4,000.

  Table 3: Table of Total Numbers under Government Decision
Relocation StrandNumbers
Council Decision 2015/1523600
Council Decision 2015/16012,022
Total Relocation2,622
Resettlement Strand 
Government Decision 09/06/15520
Government Decision 06/07/16260
Government Decision 29/11/16260
Total Resettlement1,040
Total Unaccompanied Minors Calais (Government Decision 10/11/16)200 (up to)
Mechanism as yet undecided138
Grand Total4000

Residency Permits

 121. Deputy Jack Chambers Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the status of the case of a person (details supplied) who has been having difficulties obtaining the relevant stamps to remain here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17708/17]

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 made an application for Long Term Residency on 19 December 2016. Further documentation, which was requested from the applicant, was received in INIS on 5 April 2017. The application is being considered and INIS will be in contact with the person concerned shortly.

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 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 email service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Crime Prevention

 122. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the position regarding local organisations applying for funds for CCTV cameras in rural areas and villages; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17723/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am very conscious of the value that communities, especially rural communities, place on CCTV as a means of deterring crime and assisting in the detection of offenders.

The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to providing investment in CCTV systems and that I have secured €1 million in Budget 2017 to begin a new round of community CCTV schemes in line with the Programme. I expect to make an announcement in this context shortly.

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

 123. 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 the estimated annual cost for the proper implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities once ratified; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17735/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath Ireland signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 and since then, successive Governments have emphasised Ireland’s strong commitment to proceed to ratification as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure all necessary legislative and administrative requirements under the Convention are met. This Government remains committed to ratification of the Convention.

It is essential that the State is in a position to meet the obligations that it assumes under the terms of an international agreement from the moment of its entry into force for Ireland. Before the State can ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, enactment of new legislation and amendment of existing legislation is required to ensure obligations will be met upon entry into force for Ireland. Ratification of a Convention before we have amended domestic legislation that contradicts it makes no sense and does nothing to ensure compliance or to protect the people for whose benefit the Convention exists. The previous Government published a Roadmap in October 2015, which sets out the legislative measures needed to meet those requirements, along with declarations and reservations to be entered by Ireland on ratification.

Considerable progress has already been made to overcome the remaining legislative barriers to Ireland's ratification of the Convention. 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) Act 2017 has reformed 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.

The Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016 was published immediately prior to Christmas and completed Second Stage in February January 2017. The primary purpose of the Bill is to address the remaining legislative barriers to Ireland’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Work is ongoing on all the other issues set out in the previous Government’s Roadmap for Ratification published in October 2015 and these will be progressed as Committee Stage amendments. The Bill will be progressed to enactment at an early date to facilitate ratification of the UN Convention as soon as possible.

The precise timing of ratification now depends on how long it will take for this Bill to progress through the enactment process and on issues in relation to commencement both of Deprivation of Liberty provisions, which will be included in the Bill at Committee Stage, and of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015.

The Convention creates no new rights, but rather requires that people with disabilities be treated on an equal basis with others. I should make the point that service standards and funding are subject to what the Convention describes as ‘progressive realisation’ and are subject to the budgetary decisions of the Government of the day. Issues around the allocation of resources are matters for each annual Budget and are for the individual Departments involved. Insofar as the Department of Justice and Equality is concerned, there are no cost implications from ratification of the Convention.

Road Traffic Offences Data

 124. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 33 of 16 February 2017 and 61 of 30 March 2017, the number of convictions resulting from each of these prosecutions commenced by An Garda Síochána in 2016 and to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17764/17]

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.

  In order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have made enquiries with the Courts Service who has confirmed that it is not in a position to match specific prosecutions initiated to court results. However, the Courts Service has provided the following three reports:

  - Report 1: Sets out the number of offences: convicted for driving without a driving licence or driving while disqualified for 2016 and January to March 2017.

  - Report 2: Sets out the number of offences: convicted for disqualified driver failing to submit licence for 2016 and January to March 2017.

  - Report 3: Sets out the number of offences: convicted for non-production of a driving licence in Court for 2016 and January to March 2017.

  Please note that these figures relate to actual convictions recorded in a specific year regardless of when the prosecution was commenced by An Garda Síochána.

  Report 1: Number of offences: convicted for driving without a driving licence or driving while disqualified for 2016 and January to March 2017.

Number of offences: convicted for Driving without Driving Licence or Driving while Disqualified
Court Area2016January to March 2017
Acaill1 
An Clochan Liath1 
An Fal Carrach21
Ardee113
Arklow102
Athlone226
Athy114
Ballaghaderreen113
Ballina85
Ballinasloe1013
Ballyshannon4 
Bandon176
Bantry72
Beal an Mhuirthead1 
Bray4211
Buncrana10 
Carlow6517
Carndonagh33
Carrick on Shannon62
Carrick on Suir42
Carrickmacross21
Cashel188
Castlebar298
Castlerea83
Cavan43
Clifden3 
Clonakilty53
Clonmel276
Cork City446116
Doire an Fheich63
Donegal4 
Drogheda5721
Dublin Metropolitan District914291
Dundalk868
Dungarvan83
Ennis11429
Fermoy206
Galway9239
Gorey3515
Gort147
Kenmare2 
Kilcock95
Kilkenny6925
Killaloe212
Killarney2 
Kilrush203
Letterkenny318
Limerick24862
Lismore41
Listowel5 
Longford274
Loughrea305
Macroom98
Mallow387
Meath3930
Midleton3512
Monaghan 1
Mullingar346
Na Gleannta11
Naas6124
Navan8 
Nenagh175
Newcastle West5020
Portlaoise503
Roscommon107
Skibbereen82
Sligo124
Strokestown51
Thurles186
Tipperary81
Tralee52
Trim3 
Tuam3311
Tubbercurry81
Tullamore6116
Virginia3 
Waterford City206
Westport42
Wexford5418
Wicklow182
Youghal61
Total3,224962


  Report 2: Number of offences: convicted for disqualified driver failing to submit licence for 2016 and January to March 2017.
Number of offences: convicted for Disqualified Driver Failing to Submit Licence
Court Area2016January to March 2017
Tuam01
Total01


  Report 3: Number of offences: convicted for non-production of a driving licence in Court for 2016 and January to March 2017.
Number of offences: convicted for non-production of a Driving Licence in Court
Court Area2016January to March 2017
Cashel10
Total10

Probation and Welfare Service

 125. Deputy Pat Buckley Information on Pat Buckley Zoom on Pat Buckley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of housing units operated by the Probation Service in each respective local authority area, in tabular form; and the relevant services provided to the residents of these units. [17875/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Probation Service is the lead agency in the supervision and assessment of offenders in the community. To assist and enable it in this work my Department provides funding to voluntary and community organisations for the provision of support services to offenders through the transition from prison and an offending background into the community, and to break the cycle of offending.

The Probation Service is a statutory member of the nine Regional Homeless Consultative Fora and works within this structure to ensure the needs of homeless Probation Service clients are addressed. However, the Service does not operate any housing units itself.

Some of these organisations funded by the Probation Service have as part of their suite of services the provision of accommodation units which can be availed of by the offenders referred to them for assistance by the Probation Service. The following Community Based Organisations (CBO's) provide residential placement to offenders among their services: PACE, TRAIL, and Tus Nua. Other CBO's provide residential services as part of their addiction programmes: these include Coolmine, Ceim Eile and Fellowship House. Residential services to young persons are provided by Matt Talbot Adolescent Services and Aislinn which are organisations also funded by the Probation Service.

  Question No. 126 answered with Question No. 105.

Direct Provision Data

 127. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of persons who are currently in direct provision; the number of persons granted asylum over each of the past ten years; the waiting times to be granted asylum; the number of persons who have been refused asylum; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17906/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The International Protection Act 2015 was commenced on 31 December 2016.

  The new system will ensure that all aspects of a person's claim (Asylum, Subsidiary protection and Humanitarian Leave to Remain) are considered together rather than sequentially as heretofore. The following figures are provided in answer to the Deputy's question:

  Regarding Direct Provision, as of 26 March, 2017, there were 4,519 persons resident in Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) accommodation centres.

  The numbers of persons granted, and refused, asylum over each of the past ten years are as follows:

YearGrantedRefusedTotal
200760035074107
200859127693360
200939442374631
201016035723732
201113216861818
2012929311023
2013192771963
2014210511721
20153238851208
201659113521943
Total32852022123,506


  In addition, a number of these applicants may have been granted subsidiary protection or permission to remain subsequent to their initial application.

  The median processing time for applicants granted asylum by the Ministerial Decisions Unit (MDU) for 2016 was 358 days (51 weeks).

  The new single application procedure under the International Protection Act 2015, will, in time, significantly accelerate the protection determination process and by extension will reduce the length of time which applicants spend in State provided accommodation.

  In relation to direct provision, the Deputy will be aware that a new analysis published in February reported on further significant progress in implementing the recommendations of the McMahon Report. 92% of the Report’s 173 recommendations are now implemented, partially implemented or are in progress, a significant increase on the 80% reported in the first audit of progress published last June. The process of implementation will continue across a number of Government Departments and Agencies. 121 of the recommendations are now implemented, with a further 38 recommendations partially implemented or in progress. When the Working Group examined the figures in 2015 there were 2,695 people in Direct Provision for 3 or more years. As of 1 January this year, this has been reduced by 55% to 1,204 people. The number of people in the system for 5 years or more has reduced by 58% from 1,946 to 811. Only 251 of these are awaiting a final decision on their protection application and the vast majority of these cannot be processed for various reasons such as pending judicial review proceedings. In effect, this means that almost all cases in the Direct Provision system for over five years that can be processed have been.

Departmental Properties

 128. Deputy John Deasy Information on John Deasy Zoom on John Deasy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of vacant buildings in her Department’s ownership or control; the locations of same; and the time they have been unoccupied in each case. [17924/17]

 141. Deputy John Deasy Information on John Deasy Zoom on John Deasy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the amount spent by her Department over the past five years on maintaining vacant or unused State-owned properties, including security arrangements; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18729/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 128 and 141 together.

  I wish to inform the Deputy that it has not been possible to provide the information required in the time available. The information is currently being collated and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as it is to hand.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

  As the Deputy will recall, the information requested could not be obtained in the time available, and I undertook to contact the Deputy again. The information requested in respect of vacant properties under the aegis of my Department is provided below. Maintenance costs for the 5 year period excludes minimal utility costs incurred.

AddressVacant sinceMaintenance/ Security Costs
Thornton Hall, Kilsallaghan, Co. DublinMay 20092012 - 2016 €275,000

Includes essential refurbishment work necessary to maintain a listed structure.
Old Cork Prison1/4/2016 - 1/3/20172016 - 2017 €40,500
South Circular Road,Islandbridge, Dublin 8

(Site in the process of being transferred to Dublin City Council)
19 October 20102012 - 2016 €15,400
15 Bath Street, WaterfordJan 2012 - Mar 2012Nil
390 Clonard Road, Crumlin,Dublin 12June 2015 - May 20162015/2016 - €326
25 Wolfe Tone Street, Dublin 1 (Lease vacated end 2016)Vacant 2008 - 20162012 - 2016 €7100

Workplace Relations Services Data

 129. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of cases involving her Department and agencies under the aegis of her Department that have been the subject of adjudications by the Workplace Relations Commission in 2016 and to date in 2017; the number that have been accepted and implemented by her Department or departmental agencies; the number that have not yet been implemented; the reason for this; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17931/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The total number of cases involving my Department and agencies under the aegis of my department which have been subject of adjudications by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) during 2016 and to date in 2017 is 14. The breakdown of the cases concerned are as follows:

  - In respect of the Department, one case has been adjudicated during the period in question. The claim brought by the complainant was rejected and the WRC found in favour of the Department.

  - The Irish Prisons Service had 10 cases determined at the WRC in the period in question. Of these, six determinations were found in favour of the Irish Prisons Service, five of which have been appealed by the complainant. Four determinations were in favour of the complainant and have been appealed by the Irish Prisons Service.

  - One case involving the Courts Service was adjudicated upon by the WRC. Judgment was in favour of the Courts Service.

  - The Legal Aid Board had one case adjudicated by the WRC, the findings of which have been implemented.

  - The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission was also the subject of one adjudication by the WRC. The adjudication was accepted and implemented by that body.

Prison Facilities

 130. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if all pregnant women who may be in prison during their pregnancies have access to structured appropriate antenatal care education classes (details supplied). [17961/17]

 133. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of pregnant women that have been cared for in prison for each of the years from 2010 to 2016. [17964/17]

 134. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when plans to open the first mother and baby unit, as recommended by Judge Reilly in recommendation 247 of the 2010 inspector's review of standards of care for women prisoners, will be implemented.  [17965/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 130, 133 and 134 together.

  I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the level of maternity care provided to women in custody, including ante-natal care, is comparable to that available to women in the community. It is provided on a shared care arrangement between the maternity hospital to which the patient is referred, and the Healthcare Team in the Dóchas Centre.

  Pregnant women attend a maternity hospital, and the babies receive the same care from Public Health Nurses as that provided to a baby born outside prison. The Dóchas Centre provides a 24 hour nursing service, and has daily access to a Prison Doctor.

  The Irish Prison Service has confirmed that there is a Mother and Baby Unit in the Dóchas Centre. Provision is made in the Dóchas Centre to facilitate new mothers keeping their infants with them so as not to disrupt early bonding. Each mother and child are provided with their own single room with en-suite facilities on their return to the Dóchas Centre after giving birth. Required items such as cot, baby food, nappies, etc are also provided. As there is no mother and baby unit in Limerick Prison, any woman who needs to be accommodated in such a unit is facilitated with a transfer to the Dóchas Centre.

  The Irish Prison Service does not record data in the format requested in this question. However, it can confirm the number of children born to women in custody for the years 2010 to date is included in the following table:

YearNumber of babies
20171
20163
20150
20143
20132
20120
20113
20102

Prisoners Treatment

 131. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if pregnant women that may be in prison are not restrained or shackled when making visits to hospital clinics for antenatal care. [17962/17]

 132. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if pregnant women that may be in prison are not restrained or shackled in the intra partum or immediate post-birth period. [17963/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 131 and 132 together.

  I am advised by the Irish Prison Service (IPS) that decisions relating to the handcuffing of prisoners both male and female are made on a case by case basis, following a risk assessment and consideration of the operational and security requirements of the escort.

  In accordance with the IPS Escorting of Prisoners Policy, female prisoners in the norm are not handcuffed, unless directed by the prison Governor or Chief Officer.

  IPS Escorting of Prisoners Standard Operating Procedure specifically states that pregnant female prisoners may not be transported in a cellular vehicle.

  Questions Nos. 133 and 134 answered with Question No. 130.


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