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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 588-603
 Header Item Refugee Resettlement Programme
 Header Item Refugee Resettlement Programme
 Header Item Property Management Companies
 Header Item Garda Stations
 Header Item Direct Provision System
 Header Item Family Reunification
 Header Item Direct Provision System
 Header Item Data Protection
 Header Item Asylum Seekers
 Header Item Departmental Contracts
 Header Item Crime Data

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 998 No. 5
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 588-603

Refugee Resettlement Programme

 588. Deputy Brendan Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee if an offer has been made to the Greek authorities to accept a significant number of asylum seekers impacted by the disastrous fire in the Moria refugee camp; his contacts to date with the Greek authorities on the matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28215/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee Ireland strongly supports the principle of solidarity and recognises that assistance is required for Member States who face a disproportionate number of applicants and where incidences such as that which occurred in the Moria camp in Lesbos can cause additional hardship.

Last week, I announced an additional commitment under the Irish RefugeeProtection Programme (IRPP) to welcome up to 50 people in family groups from Greece following the recent fire that almost completely destroyed the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos in Greece.

The families who will arrive from Greece have already been granted an international protection status by the Greek authorities. I will grant them ‘programme refugee’ status immediately upon their arrival in Ireland. Officials from my Department are liaising with the European Commission on the detail of this commitment, and along with An Garda Síochána will travel to Greece in the coming weeks to make the arrangements for their safe passage to Ireland.

The Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) was established in 2015 in response to the migration crisis in central and southern Europe. Under this programme, the Government committed to accepting up to 4,000 people into the State, primarily through a combination of the EU Relocation Programme and the UNHCR's Refugee Resettlement Programme.

To date, more than 3,350 people have arrived in the State under this first phase of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). Most of the remaining people will arrive under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme Humanitarian Admissions Programme (IHAP). However, these people make their own travel arrangements, and so no exact timeframe can be given for when they might arrive in Ireland.

Last December, a second phase of the IRPP was announced giving a commitment to welcome a further 2,900 refugees between this year and 2023, through a combination of resettlement and community sponsorship. The refugees who are due to arrive from Greece are in addition to this number.

Refugee Resettlement Programme

 589. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee her plans to increase the number of refugees Ireland will offer to relocate from Greece before Christmas 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28589/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee Ireland strongly supports the principle of solidarity and recognises that assistance is required for Member States who face a disproportionate number of applicants and where incidences such as that which occurred in the Moria camp in Lesbos can cause additional hardship.

Last week, I announced an additional commitment under the Irish RefugeeProtection Programme (IRPP) to welcome up to 50 people in family groups from Greece following the recent fire that almost completely destroyed the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos in Greece.

The families who will arrive from Greece have already been granted an international protection status by the Greek authorities. I will grant them ‘programme refugee’ status immediately upon their arrival in Ireland. Officials from my Department are liaising with the European Commission on the detail of this commitment, and along with An Garda Síochána will travel to Greece in the coming weeks to make the arrangements for their safe passage to Ireland.

The Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) was established in 2015 in response to the migration crisis in central and southern Europe. Under this programme, the Government committed to accepting up to 4,000 people into the State, primarily through a combination of the EU Relocation Programme and the UNHCR's Refugee Resettlement Programme.

To date, more than 3,350 people have arrived in the State under this first phase of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). Most of the remaining people will arrive under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme Humanitarian Admissions Programme (IHAP). However, these people make their own travel arrangements, and so no exact timeframe can be given for when they might arrive in Ireland.

Last December, a second phase of the IRPP was announced giving a commitment to welcome a further 2,900 refugees between this year and 2023, through a combination of resettlement and community sponsorship. The refugees who are due to arrive from Greece are in addition to this number.

Property Management Companies

 590. Deputy Emer Higgins Information on Emer Higgins Zoom on Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee if a management company is obliged to invite all owners that pay service charges to the AGM of the management company under the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011. [28703/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee The Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 was enacted with the primary purposes of reforming the law relating to the ownership and management of common areas of multi-unit developments and facilitating the fair, efficient and effective management of owners' management companies (OMCs). These are companies registered under the Companies Act, the members of which are the owners of residential units within the development, which are established for the purposes of ownership and management of such common areas.

Section 17 of the Act imposes specific obligations on OMCs with regards to the holding of an AGM and the preparation of an annual report. OMCs must hold a meeting at least once a year to consider the report. Advance notice of the meeting must be given to each member at least 21 days before the meeting; a copy of the annual report must be provided at least 10 days beforehand; moreover, the meeting must take place within reasonable proximity to the multi-unit development unless otherwise agreed in writing by 75% of the members.

Garda Stations

 591. Deputy Eoghan Murphy Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee her plans for Donnybrook Garda station, Dublin 4; and if it will continue to operate under the current reduced hours. [29087/20]

 610. Deputy Neale Richmond Information on Neale Richmond Zoom on Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee the maximum number of persons who might be working in Donnybrook Garda station, Dublin 4, at any one time; the average number of persons working in the station at any one time; the number of full-time gardaí attached to the station; the number of parking spaces at the station; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28628/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee I propose to take Questions Nos. 591 and 610 together.

  The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources. As Minister, I have no responsibility for these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.

  I have requested information from the Garda Commissioner in relation to this matter but it was unfortunately not possible to compile it in the time available.

  I will write to the Deputy directly with the information requested, when it is available.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51

In response to Deputy Richmond, in which you requested the maximum number of persons who might be working in Donnybrook Garda Station, Dublin 4 at any one time; the average number of persons working in the station at any one time; the number of full-time gardaí attached to the station and the number of parking spaces at the station.   You will recall that the information could not be obtained in the time available and I undertook to consult with An Garda Síochána and contact you again when the information was available.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

  You will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.

  I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number of personnel attached to Donnybrook Garda Station as at 31/08/2020 was;

Garda Members 107
Garda Reserves 4
Garda Staff 5
Non-Industrial 3




  You will appreciate that the number of persons working in a Garda station at any one time is an operational matter. Due to shift patterns ,it is not possible to give such numbers. In addition, this information is not disclosed for security reasons.

  The official number of car parking spaces at Garda Station’s is a matter for the OPW.

  I hope this information is of assistance.

  In response to Deputy Murphy, in which you requested plans for Donnybrook Garda station, Dublin 4; and if it will continue to operate under the current reduced hours.

  You will recall that the information could not be obtained in the time available and I undertook to consult with An Garda Síochána and contact you again when the information was available.   

                                                                                                                                                                                   You will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.

  In 2012 a decision was made, as part of the rationalisation of Garda Stations in the DMR, to reduce the opening hours of Donnybrook Garda Station from being open on a 24 hour basis to opening from 7am to 9pm. The opening times for public admissions to the station is from 7am to 9pm however Donnybrook Garda Station operates operationally on a 24 hour basis. The station is manned on a 24 hour basis and patrols are maintained from Donnybrook Garda Station on a 24 hour basis.

  I hope this information is of assistance.

Direct Provision System

 592. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee the number of single persons, families, children and number of persons being accommodated in the temporary direct provision centre in Bray, County Wicklow; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28094/20]

 593. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee the number of persons in direct provision accommodation in Bray, County Wicklow, for zero to three, three to six, six to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28095/20]

 594. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee when the contract ceases for direct provision in Bray, County Wicklow; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28096/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee I propose to take Questions Nos. 592 to 594, inclusive, together.

  As of 4 October 2020, there were 128 residents in the temporary accommodation premises in Bray, including 19 children living with their parents or guardians. There are 64 single people and 24 family units accommodated in this centre. Family units are couples or parents/guardians and children.

  The table below sets out the length of stay for persons residing in this accommodation.

Length of Stay Total
0 - 3 Months 24
3 - 6 Months 43
6 - 12 Months 9
12+ Months 52


  My Department has been using the premises in Bray for accommodation of international protection applicants as an emergency measure due to insufficient capacity in our accommodation portfolio. This became necessary from September 2018, when our accommodation portfolio reached full capacity due to large increases in applications for protection, in order to ensure that Ireland could continue to meet our legal obligations to provide accommodation and other services to people seeking international protection. The premises was offered to my Department following a public advertisement for such hotel and guest house accommodation on short-term contracts.

  The contracts for such accommodation premises are on a rolling short term basis (3 or 6 months). The current contract for the premises in Bray is due to run until December, 2020. Before the expiry of the contract, an evaluation will be carried out of the requirement for accommodation in order to determine usage going forward.

  My Department aims to move people from temporary accommodation to fully serviced centres as soon as possible as and when vacancies arise or new accommodation comes on stream. Our priority is to move families with children first.

Family Reunification

 595. Deputy Marian Harkin Information on Marian Harkin Zoom on Marian Harkin asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee the status of an application for family reunification by a person (details supplied). [28154/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee The Immigration Service of my Department received a proposal under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme Humanitarian Admissions Programme (known as IHAP) from the person referred to by the Deputy on 30 June 2018.

The person concerned was informed, in letters dated 11 December 2018 and 22 January 2019, that the proposal could not be accepted for reasons outlined at that time, namely that the subjects of the proposal did not meet the eligibility criteria as set out in the Eligible Categories of Beneficiaries for the IHAP programme. Further letters of clarification issued to the person concerned regarding the decision on 20 March 2019 and 2 October 2020.

Information on the eligibility conditions of the IHAP are available on the Immigration Service website at: www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/irish-refugee-protection-programme-humanitarian-admission-programme-2-(ihap).

Direct Provision System

 596. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee the number of persons to be accommodated in the Dominick Street Complex direct provision centre, Galway, by unit in tabular form; when the facility will be fully occupied; the person or body responsible for the maintenance and security of the centre; if there will be no charge to the residents for the provision of utilities including electricity, bins, heating and wifi; the plans in place for the provision of childcare facilities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28207/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee The Dominick Street Complex comprises 30 apartments and 5 townhouses. Accommodation varies from 1-2 bedrooms with fully equipped kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms and on-site Wi-Fi. The units will be occupied over the coming weeks with families moving in over this period. One family will be accommodated in each unit, and there is a maximum capacity of 139 people in total.

An initial two-year contract has been agreed between my Department and Keldesso Limited (the service provider). The service provider will be responsible for the maintenance and security of the premises, which will be subject to unannounced inspections by officials of my Department.

All units are own-door and fully self-contained. They will facilitate independent living for residents, in line with the National Standards for accommodation centres published last year. This means that all residents will have cooking facilities and an in-house food hall where they can get their groceries using a cashless system. The residents will not pay for utilities, bins or heating.

In addition, there is a communal area on the ground floor of the apartments with a reception office and multi-functional meeting rooms for residents. This will include an indoor children’s play facility, a library and a games room for teenagers.

The children of international protection applicants are educated within the mainstream education system and can access free primary and post-primary education in the same way as other children in Ireland. The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme, administered by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, provides early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age including the children of international protection applicants.

Data Protection

 597. Deputy Denise Mitchell Information on Denise Mitchell Zoom on Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee if she has received greater clarity and guidance on the way in which the GDPR safeguards apply in the case of children after calls made after the Council working party discussions on the scope of the report on the evaluation and review of the Regulation to the Council and European Parliament; the implications this will have for the amendment and commencement of section 30 Of the Data Protection Act 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28208/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee Ireland has welcomed the European Commission’s commitment to providing tools to clarify and support the application of data protection rules to children.

The Commission also recommended that the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopt guidelines which are practical, easily understandable, and which provide clear answers and avoid ambiguities on issues related to the application of the GDPR, particularly in relation to the processing of children’s data.

To date, neither the Commission nor the EDPB have issued guidelines in relation to the processing of children’s data.

The Deputy will appreciate that the GDPR is an EU wide instrument and member states cannot deviate from its provisions, nor will guidelines supersede that position. Commencement of section 30 raises serious matters, including the risk of infringement proceedings and the potential for significant penalties against the State.

The processing of personal data for marketing and profiling purposes takes place under the so-called “legitimate interests” ground in Article 6.1(f) of the GDPR, with the case law of the Court of Justice underlining the importance of free movement of personal data and establishing that Member States are not permitted to impose additional conditions that would have the effect of amending the scope of any of the grounds now set out in Article 6.1 of the GDPR.

The Office of the Attorney General has also advised my Department that section 30 of the Act appears to go beyond the margin of discretion afforded to Member States in giving further effect to the GDPR and would conflict with Article 6(1)(f), read alongside Recital (47). Put simply, it is not an option for a Member State to unilaterally prohibit a category of processing activities which might otherwise be lawful under Article 6.1(f). The commencement of section 30 could, therefore, give rise to a substantial risk of infringement proceedings against the State pursuant to Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The European Commission has also confirmed that processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest and that Article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR does not make the processing of personal data of a child for the purposes of direct marketing unlawful.

The Commission also indicated that subject to Article 22 (automated decision-making), processing of personal data of a child for the purposes of profiling is not generally prohibited, albeit the processing must take into account that children merit specific protection as clarified in recital (38).

Moreover, the Commission have indicated that the term "micro-targeting", as referenced in Section 30 of the Act, is not mentioned in the GDPR, and its scope remains uncertain and undefined.

Apart from this apparent conflict with the GDPR, the Office of the Attorney General has advised that section 30 gives rise to difficulties under Article 38.1 of the Constitution and under Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 38.1 provides that no person shall be tried on any criminal charge save in due course of law. In order for a domestic offence provision to comply with Article 38.1, it must be clear, precise and foreseeable in its application. It is not clear under section 30 what might constitute the processing of personal data of a child for the purposes micro-targeting. It is also a requirement under Article 7 of the Convention that offence provisions must be sufficiently clear and precise so as to enable individuals to ascertain which conduct constitutes a criminal offence and to foresee the consequences of engaging in such conduct.

Asylum Seekers

 598. Deputy Holly Cairns Information on Holly Cairns Zoom on Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee if she will expand the plans to lease properties in Galway city centre to house asylum seekers nationwide and to remove asylum seekers from congregated settings; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28249/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee The new accommodation centre in Galway City Centre was selected following a public procurement process, which was advertised through the Government’s procurement portal www.etenders.gov.ie for the Western Region. While that regional competition has now ended, my Department is currently finalising the results of a similar process for the Borders Region. Upon completion of that process, all regions of the state will have been covered by tender competitions within the last two years.

  All properties selected under the tender process must be able to meet the requirements of the National Standards for accommodation centres. The Standards were published in August 2019 and developed through an Advisory Group including representatives from UNHCR Ireland and the NGO sector. The Standards will come into force in January 2021 and address a range of themes including accommodation; food and catering; individual, community and family life; health and wellbeing; governance; and meeting the special reception needs of applicants. The Standards will ensure that all new accommodation coming on stream must be able to meet the requirements for independent living by the provision of self-catering facilities for residents including a food hall and the availability of separate family spaces outside of bedrooms.

  Last year, Dr. Catherine Day was asked to bring together an expert group with representation from asylum seekers and NGOs to examine best practice in the provision of services to international protection applicants, to examine likely longer term trends and to set out recommendations and solutions. Any new system for the provision of accommodation and additional supports to international protection applicants will be informed by the Report of this Expert Group, which was presented to me and Minister Roderic O'Gorman T.D, on 23 September 2020. The report will be presented to Government very shortly and I expect that it will be published thereafter.

  It is the Government's intention to publish a White Paper by the end of this year, informed by the recommendations of the Expert Group, which will set out how a replacement to the Direct Provision system will be structured and the steps to achieving it. It will be a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, to progress the matter following the transfer of this function to his Department.

Departmental Contracts

 599. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan Information on Maurice Quinlivan Zoom on Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee the value of contracts awarded by his Department to a company (details supplied), its subsidiaries and each body and local authority under his remit from 1 January 2016 to 14 July 2020, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28260/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee In respect of the Deputy’s question please see the enclosed table which sets out the expenditure by my Department in each of the years from 1 January 2016 to 14 July 2020 in relation to contracts awarded to the named company.

Vendor Name 2016 2017 2018* 2019* 2020* Total
CAMPBELL CATERING LTD   2,640,576 1,431 9,600 266 2,651,873
ARAMARK/CAMPBELL CATERING LTD 5,575,076 3,864,654       9,439,730
ARAMARK WORKPLACE SOLNS 5,010         5,010
ARAMARK PROPERTY SERVICES LTD   800   47   847
Total 5,580,086 6,506,030 1,431 9,647 266 12,097,460


  Please note that, for reasons of commercial sensitivity, the International Protection Accommodation Service do not release information on the most recent 2 prior years. Accordingly the information above does not contain any information on expenditure, if any, which may have been incurred by the International Protection Accommodation Service (formerly the Reception and Integration Agency) in the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Crime Data

 600. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee the number of animals reported stolen or missing to An Garda Síochána in County Laois; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28261/20]

 601. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee the number of prosecutions and convictions secured in County Laois regarding the theft of animals; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28262/20]

 602. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee the number of animals reported stolen or missing to An Garda Síochána nationally; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28263/20]

 603. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee the number of prosecutions and convictions secured regarding the theft of animals nationally; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28264/20]

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Information on Helen McEntee Zoom on Helen McEntee I propose to take Questions Nos. 600 to 603, inclusive, together.

  I am very conscious of the impact that crimes like animal theft have on the quality of life for residents in local communities. Gardaí are working hard to tackle this, and all forms of criminality in our communities, to make them safer for all members of society.

  I am informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána closely monitors emerging crime trends, and that the Garda National Crime Prevention Unit coordinates a number of crime prevention initiatives aimed at reducing crime. These initiatives include Crime Prevention Information Campaigns through traditional and social media.

  The Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 provides for offences of theft, the handling of stolen property and the possession of stolen property. The offence of theft provided for by this legislation would, based on the broad nature of the offence, include the theft of animals. A maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment is provided for in the case of offences of theft and handling of stolen property; while a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment is provided for the offence of possession of stolen property.   

  Officers of Customs and Excise (a division of the Revenue Commissioners), as well as members of An Garda Síochána, have responsibility for searching vehicles at our ports of entry to deter ongoing criminal activity, including that of attempts to smuggle animals into and out of the State. Animals found without the necessary paperwork under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 are seized and handed into the care of the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the relevant Local Authority as appropriate under Section 15 of the Control of Dogs Act 1986.

  I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number of animals reported stolen or missing to An Garda Síochána in the Portlaoise Garda District, which is part of the Laois/ Offaly Division, is shown in the table below. The Portlaoise Garda District is made up of the sub-districts (stations): Abbeyleix, Arles, Ballylinan, Borris-In-Ossory, Clonaslee, Durrow, Mountmellick, Mountrath, Portarlington, Portlaoise, Rathdowney and Stradbally (Co Laois)

  The figures shown are approximate being based on descriptions given for the PULSE object.

Reported Year ‘Stolen’ Animals ‘Lost’ Animals
2010 15 86
2011 25 105
2012 186 126
2013 108 100
2014 51 147
2015 108 122
2016 23 133
2017 30 155
2018 132 205
2019 ** 155
2020* 21 119


  * Up to and including 29-Sep-2020.

  ** Figure is less than 10.

  Figures less than 10 are not reported to ensure there are no issues from a data protection perspective.

  I am further informed by An Garda Síochána that the number of animals reported stolen or missing to An Garda Síochána nationally are in the table below. Again, the figures shown are approximate being based on descriptions given for the PULSE object.
Reported Year ‘Stolen’ Animals ‘Lost’ Animals
2010 2514 3166
2011 1944 3201
2012 1705 3126
2013 2319 3590
2014 2577 3782
2015 1711 3530
2016 1377 3481
2017 1146 3917
2018 569 4667
2019 575 4390
2020* 577 3348


  * Up to and including 29-Sep-2020.

  I have consulted with the Courts Service to determine the number of prosecutions and convictions secured regarding the theft of animals both in County Laois and nationally, and I am informed that the ability to pull together data in response to the Deputy's question is dependent upon being able to isolate animal theft in their records over any other type of theft. For other offences, this is possible because the offence type has a specific code on An Garda Síochána's PULSE system, which the Courts Service use for populating their own records.

  I understand that there is no specific code on PULSE for theft of animals. The same code is used for all types of theft and it would require the checking of individual records within the Courts Service to separate out theft of animals from other types of theft. Given the numbers of offences of theft every year, this is too onerous a task to narrow down over the period the Deputy has requested.


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