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Ahern, Noel

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 Nbr. 4


Other Questions. - Charities Legislation.

The White Paper on Supporting Voluntary Activity published in September 2000 recognised the need for a more modern legal framework for charities and stated the Government's commitment to ensuring t...More Button

My Department engaged consultants early this year to undertake an examination of aspects of charity law, including a review of the literature on the law and a study of the regulatory environment in...More Button

Following consideration of that study I intend to commence work on the preparation of a consultation document which will serve to facilitate a public discussion on this important subject. The chari...More Button

In addition to this public consultation process, the White Paper on Supporting Voluntary Activity provides that the community and voluntary sector will be consulted on the legislation through the i...More Button

Proposals for legislative reform in regard to charities and charitable fund-raising will be brought forward as soon as possible following completion of the consultation process.More Button

The consultants' report is being examined in the Department and I expect it to be published by summer. It is complex and we need time to examine it and work with interested groups. We want to make ...More Button

What the Deputy said about the commissioners and the current set-up is true. One of the results of proper legislation will be regulation and control. At present, the only form of registration is wi...More Button

I am aware of the Law Society report to which Deputy Boyle referred and have welcomed it. It is a useful contribution to the debate and I met representatives of the society some weeks ago to discus...More Button

There is anxiety about the lack of control. The only control is registration with the Revenue Commissioners. That is why we wish to engage in this process and implement proper legislation in the ar...More Button

Adjournment Debate. - Juvenile Offenders.

I am standing in for the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, and I apologise for him not being here. This matter was raised last week and Deputy Gilmore is already in possession of much ...More Button

On behalf of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, I wish to clarify the position in relation to the open detention centre at Shanganagh Castle, Shankill, County Dublin. Shanganagh Cas...More Button

Shanganagh Castle had an average offender occupancy of 30 inmates last year and this has fallen this year. There were as few as 16 inmates being detained there recently. In addition, the full imple...More Button

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform rejects suggestions that there has been a deliberate policy of under-utilising Shanganagh Castle over recent years. While there is a con siderable ...More Button

A variety of initiatives were taken to increase the number of inmates in the centre. Among these were the implementation of new procedures for dealing with assessments of candidates for Shanganagh ...More Button

In view of the very considerable decline in the number of young offenders found suitable for transfer to Shanganagh Castle in recent years, the Irish prisons service established a group to examine ...More Button

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform asked me to stress that he recognises the important service that Shanganagh Castle and its staff have given to the prison system, in particular in ...More Button

The small number of inmates currently in Shanganagh Castle can be accommodated elsewhere in the prison system without difficulty. The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform believes that the...More Button

Closure of Shanganagh Castle will also necessitate the re-assignment of its complement of 43 Prisons Service staff to other institutions. The terms of such re-assignments will be the subject of dis...More Button

The closure and sale of Shanganagh Castle is a decision not taken lightly, but it is a decision aimed at positive re-investment in the prisons and at maximising the use of the resources available t...More Button

I will convey the Deputy's point about Shelton Abbey but it may well be that with the significant development of prisons in recent years, the smaller ones will be closed.More Button

Adjournment Debate. - Local Authority Funding.

I thank the Deputies for raising this issue. I have been involved in local government for many years. I know at first hand the important role that local government plays in delivering services to a...More Button

Since I became involved in politics, local government funding has always been a thorny issue. There is never enough money for local authorities to do everything they would like. The story is no dif...More Button

However, the Government has gone a long way towards closing the gap between what we all wish could be achieved at local government level and what can be achieved. In the current year, €593 mil...More Button

The House should acknowledge the scale of this achievement and the extent to which the Government has contributed to putting local government on a sound financial footing after a long period in whi...More Button

While much has been achieved, we must also look forward. The Minister is at present finalising proposals for the 2003 local government fund general purpose grant allocations and these will be notif...More Button

All options are being examined to ensure that an appropriate level of general purpose grant can be made available to each local authority. While these grants are of critical importance they contrib...More Button

It is not true for Deputy Murphy to claim that housing, water and other programmes will be damaged. All those programmes are funded from capital grants. The Estimates refer to current expenditure a...More Button

In framing the Abridged Estimates the Government took many hard decisions in light of the need to consolidate the public finances by bringing expenditure growth under control. This is a lead which ...More Button

Adjournment Debate. - Interventions in Planning Applications.

I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. Under planning legislation each planning authority must prepare a development plan setting out an overall strategy for the planning and development of its...More Button

An Bord Pleanála has an absolute discretion to dismiss any appeal from whatever source where it is of the opinion that the appeal is vexatious, frivolous or without substance or foundations....More Button

The debate on one-off rural housing has become polarised in recent times. While I appear as Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government, as the Minister of State at ...More Button

As a member of a local authority I know it can be annoying, particularly if council members and officials make brave decisions, if appeals go to An Bord Pleanála. However, the only way local...More Button

Speaking from my own time on the city council, I feel that councils should look at the develop ment plans more thoroughly so decisions cannot be appealed to the same extent. However, An Bord Plean&...More Button

The national spatial strategy sets out a rural housing settlement framework which has four objectives: to sustain and renew established rural communities; to strengthen the established structure of...More Button

To meet these objectives, the NSS holds that housing needs within the established rural community by persons working in rural areas or in nearby urban areas should, subject to good planning practic...More Button

Rural-generated housing needs arise for people who are an intrinsic part of the rural community by way of background or the fact that they work full time or part time in rural areas. As a general p...More Button

With regard to urban-generated housing in the open countryside, development driven by urban areas should take place, as a general principle, within the built up lands and on lands identified, throu...More Button

I will certainly convey the views of Deputy Ó Caoláin to the Minister. Councils can help if they have a tighter development plan and if they can bring forward decisions where the plan...More Button

The Dáil adjourned at 9.15 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 4 December 2002.More Button