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

Shatter, Alan

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 Nbr. 3


Leaders’ Questions

This is coming from the €10 billion man.More Button

Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Bill 2012: Second Stage (Resumed).

No IndicatorVoted No More Button

European Arrest Warrant (Application to Third Countries and Amendment) and Extradition (Amendment) Bill 2011: Order for Second Stage

I move: “That Second Stage be taken now.”More Button

European Arrest Warrant (Application to Third Countries and Amendment) and Extradition (Amendment) Bill 2011: Second Stage

I move: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”More Button

I am pleased to introduce the Bill, the main objective of which is to apply the provisions of the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003 to states other than EU member states. It also makes procedural a...More Button

6 o’clockMore Button

Before dealing with the detail I wish to make some general comments on the European Arrest Warrant Act. I am keenly aware that this is the third Bill to amend the legislation since its enactment i...More Button

The Act was amended in 2005 and again in 2009 and is once again being amended now. I consider this piecemeal approach to be most unsatisfactory. It is unfair to the courts, to legal practitioners...More Button

It is likely that the review will take some time and, in the interim, I am anxious to ensure Ireland is in a position to discharge its international obligations in regard to extradition and surrend...More Button

The Bill has three main parts. Part 2 allows the European arrest warrant system to be extended to non-EU states. Part 3 makes a series of amendments to the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, while...More Button

Part 2 enables the provisions of the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, referred to as the EAW Act, to be extended to non-EU countries. The Act gives effect to the EU framework decision on the Euro...More Button

The key element of Part 2 is section 2(1) which provides that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, following consultation with me, as Minister for Justice and Equality, may, by order, apply ...More Button

Any extension of the EAW Act to non-EU countries is subject to some important limitations. Under section 2(3), an order applying the EAW arrangements to a third country may only be made where ther...More Button

Part 3 contains a number of amendments to the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003. Since the EAW system came into force in 2004, the number of European arrest warrants received in, and issued by, Ire...More Button

As the volume of warrants increases, officials and practitioners gain greater practical experience of the operation of the EAW system. Also, the courts have had the opportunity to provide importan...More Button

Section 5 deletes a reference to the European Union framework decision from the Act, the reason being to clarify that the framework decision does not have direct effect in Irish law. There are sim...More Button

Section 6 amends the form of the European arrest warrant as part of the transposition into Irish law of the 2009 EU framework decision on judgments in absentia. The framework decision requi...More Button

Sections 9 and 10 contain the most important changes made by the Bill to the European Arrest Warrant Act. These sections amend sections 15 and 16, respectively, of the Act. These sections are the...More Button

The main purpose of the amendments is to provide a procedure which ensures that at all stages in the surrender process the requested person is subject to the supervision of the court. Within the n...More Button

The amended section 15(4)(c) will bring greater clarity to the position of a person who is placed in custody on foot of an order for surrender. It provides that where the court orders the s...More Button

The amended section 15(4)(d) is important. It provides that if a person is not surrendered by the end of the 20 day period mentioned, he or she must be brought before the High Court again a...More Button

The amended section 15(5) sets out the powers of the court in dealing with a person brought before it under the previous subsection. If the court is satisfied that the person was not or will not b...More Button

Section 15(7) is new. It clarifies that it is within the jurisdiction of the High Court to grant bail to a person where an appeal has been lodged to the Supreme Court against an order for surrende...More Button

Section 10 makes a number of amendments to section 16 of the 2003 Act. That section deals with procedures where the person has contested the European arrest warrant. Many of the amended provision...More Button

Having considered the text of section 16(4)(b) in the overall context of the substantial amendments to the section, I believe it is no longer necessary or appropriate. I intend to move an a...More Button

Sections 11 to 22, inclusive, make a range of changes to the 2003 Act, including some which are technical in nature or consequential on changes referred to. I will confine my comments to the more ...More Button

Section 11 amends section 18 of the European Arrest Warrant Act which sets out the circumstances and procedure whereby the High Court may postpone the surrender of a person on humanitarian grounds ...More Button

I have been made aware of operational difficulties in the working of this section and I intend to bring forward an amendment at Committee Stage to address the matter.More Button

Section 18 is, as matters stand, a purely technical amendment to section 30 of the Act which deals with cases where an extradition request and a European arrest warrant are received in respect of a...More Button

Section 19 simplifies the procedure for the issue of a European arrest warrant by Irish courts. The current provisions require that the court be satisfied that the person in respect of whom a warr...More Button

As applications for a European arrest warrant can only be made by or on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the DPP should be in a position to request the issue of a European arrest warr...More Button

Section 22 amends section 45 of the Act, which sets out the grounds on which the State may refuse surrender if the person to whom the warrant refers was not present at the trial which led to the se...More Button

I turn now to Part 4 which amends the Extradition Act 1965. The Act provides the statutory basis for our extradition arrangements with countries other than member states of the European Union. As...More Button

The revised text of section 16 deals with persons who are convicted in their absence. It is appropriate that we should have such a provision in our legislation. The revised text of section 17 cla...More Button

The other changes in Part 4 are mainly procedural or technical, including changes that should lead to more efficient handling of extradition applications. Section 24, for example, repeals a provis...More Button

A further change with a focus on efficiency is section 26, which deals with the documents to support a request for extradition. It provides that a reproduction or copy of the relevant documents wi...More Button

Section 28 inserts a new provision in the 1965 Act which provides the High Court with a general power to adjourn proceedings under the Act and remand the person sought in custody or on bail in the ...More Button

Section 30 inserts a new section 36A in the 1965 Act which deals with identification material. It authorises the Garda Síochána to fingerprint, palm print or photograph persons arres...More Button

In addition to the proposed Committee Stage amendments already mentioned, I will propose some further amendments to various sections, which are essentially of a linguistic or technical nature. I a...More Button

Written Answers - Taxi Regulations

Was asked: the number of SPSV licences that have been granted to persons with Garda National Immigration Bureau stamp 2 and stamp 2a visas. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the specific information requested regarding the issue of licences for small public service vehicles to certain categories of people according to their i...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications

Was asked: the position regard[436]ing an application for citizenship in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford. More Button

I am advised by the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that a valid application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referre...More Button

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...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a naturalisation application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that an application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to ...More Button

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....More Button

Was asked: when a decision will be made on an application for naturalisation in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that an application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to ...More Button

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....More Button

Was asked: when a decision will issue on a citizenship application in respect of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that valid applications for a certificate of naturalisation were received from the persons referr...More Button

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....More Button

Was asked: the number of applications for citizenship that are waiting for over two years to be completed in view of the fact that he has sought to address this issue and will priority be given to completing ...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to PQ No. 72 of the 8th May 2012:More Button

Was asked: the procedures to be followed for naturalisation in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 24; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person referred to by the Deputy has confirmed his availability to attend a citizenship ...More Button

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....More Button

Written Answers - Criminal Prosecutions

Was asked: the number of persons who have been prosecuted each year, in tabular form, pursuant to the offence of section 19D of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994, as inserted by the Housing Miscell...More Button

The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office, as the national statistical agency, and the CSO h...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide data on the number of charges and convictions brought under the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act per year since its enactment; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office, as the national statistical agency, and the CSO h...More Button

Written Answers - Charitable Organisations

Was asked: if he intends to force charitable organisations to publish yearly accounts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Charities Act 2009 provides for an integrated system of mandatory registration and proportionate regulation and supervision of the charities sector in Ireland. The various sections of the Char...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the full implementation of the Charities Act 2009 had to be examined in the context of the comprehensive review of expenditure, which took place last year. Arising ...More Button

With regard to relevant existing statutory requirements for financial reporting by charities, I would remind the Deputy that those charities that are companies limited by guarantee are subject to t...More Button

Written Answers - Court Procedures

Was asked: if he will consider amending the regulations governing the small claims procedure in order that businesses can use it to recover small debts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will outline the process followed when an individual brings a claim to the small claims court; whether the registrar of the small claims court is allowed to make an arbitrary judgement withou...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 366 and 385 together.More Button

The small claims procedure of the District Court is an alternative method of dealing with a civil proceeding in respect of a small claim. The majority of claims are dealt with by administrative st...More Button

The procedure does not cover claims in respect of debts, personal injuries or breaches of leases or higher purchase agreements. Generally such cases may be more effectively and speedily dealt with...More Button

From its inception the procedure was designed to handle consumer claims cheaply without involving a solicitor. The District Court Clerk, in his/her capacity as the Small Claims Registrar, processe...More Button

Written Answers - Data Protection

Was asked: if his attention [438]has been drawn to the fact that the Article 29 Working Party have stated that the European Commission is making changes to data protection rules wi...More Button

I am aware that the Article 29 Working Group, the European Data Protection Supervisor and other interested parties have submitted views on aspects of the Commission’s proposals to update the ...More Button

Written Answers - Legal Aid Service

Was asked: the cost to the Exchequer of the legal aid system over the past five years; the number of persons per annum that avail of the service; the number of convictions that occurred in such cases; and if ...More Button

Under the Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Act 1962, the Courts, through the judiciary, are responsible for the granting of criminal legal aid. An applicant for legal aid must establish to the satisfac...More Button

The Legal Aid Board is the independent statutory body which provides legal aid in civil cases. The two main criteria are the financial eligibility test and the merits test. The volume of business...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations

Was asked: the reason he closed Whitehall Garda station, Dublin 9. More Button

In the Policing Plan for 2012, the Garda Commissioner proposed the closure of a number of Garda stations, including Whitehall Garda Station, after a detailed review of all aspects of the stations a...More Button

Was asked: the fact that the new Garda Regional and Divisional Headquarters at Murrough, Renmore, County Galway has passed through all planning stages, if he will give a commitment that this new headquarters ...More Button

Was asked: if he will honour a commitment given by the previous Government that when the new Garda Regional and Divisional Headquarters at Murrough, Galway is constructed that the existing station at Millstre...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 382 and 383 together.More Button

The programme of replacement of Garda stations is based on the agreed accommodation priorities established by An Garda Síochána and it is progressed in co-operation with the Office of...More Button

I am advised by the Garda authorities that plans for the construction of a new Regional Headquarters in Galway have been developed by the Office of Public Works. Further progress on this project wi...More Button

I am further advised that Mill Street station will continue to serve as a Regional and Divisional Headquarters until such time as a new headquarters is provided. Any decision in relation to the st...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements

Was asked: the reason the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has not been incorporated into domestic law in view of the fact that Ireland has incorporated other international...More Button

Ireland signed the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination in 1968 and ratified it in January 2001 whereupon it became binding on Ireland in international law. Ratificat...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels

Was asked: if he is aware of any cases where the Judge has considered racial motivation as an aggravating factor at sentencing; if he will provide data on the number of such cases per year over the last ten y...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that judges are independent in the matter of sentencing as they are in other matters concerning the exercise of judicial functions, subject only to the Constitution and the...More Button

The Deputy may also be aware of the Irish Sentencing Information System or “ISIS” which is an initiative of the judiciary and is an electronic system designed to gather information about the range ...More Button

Written Answers - International Terrorism

Was asked: if his statement published on 4 May on MerrionStreet.ie was referring to the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign; the names of the declassified documents which he believes demonstrates Osama Bin La...More Button

My statement issued on 4th May referred to the action of the group mentioned by the Deputy, as reported in the national press, in directing its members to “target” a musical group in order to intim...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Releases

Was asked: the number of applications for special family-event day compassionate release currently on hand; the number of such applications likely to be approved; if such release is restricted to a particular...More Button

My replies to previous Parliamentary Questions explained the criteria which applies including the circumstances when temporary release may be provided and what matters must be taken into account. ...More Button

I have been informed by the Irish Prison Service that the reason given for seeking a period of temporary release is recorded with supporting documentation on the individual prisoner file. However,...More Button

Written Answers - Regulatory Impact Assessments

Was asked: the number and description of any regulatory impact assessments that have been undertaken by his Department on legislation or proposed legislation since 9 March 2011; the stage in the legislative/p...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is as follows.More Button

Was asked: the number and description of any regulatory impact assessments that have been undertaken by his Department on legislation or proposed legislation since 9 March 2011; the stage in the legislative /...More Button

There have been no Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA) carried out by my Department during the period in question. The Department of Defence is not a regulatory authority as commonly understood. T...More Button

Written Answers - Legislative Programme

Was asked: when the Spent Law will be in place and the time frame for same. More Button

The Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 was approved for publication by the Government on 1 May 2012 and was presented to the Seanad on 2 May 2012, where it is currently awaiting Second ...More Button

The timeframe for enactment will depend on the ordering of business in the Houses of the Oireachtas and on any amendments that may be tabled during the Bill’s passage. Having said that, the ...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Transfers

Was asked: the circumstances under which a prisoner is moved from secure or closed prison to open prison in view of recent media coverage of some inmates deciding to leave Loughan House in County Cavan, inclu...More Button

As the Deputy is aware I published the Report into the escape by the prisoner referred to on the 28th March 2012. As I stated, when publishing the Report, the decision to send this prisoner to Loug...More Button

I have been informed by the Director General that measures have been taken to provide additional oversight in the decision making processes in order to ensure that such a decision cannot be made in...More Button

Open centres are an integral part of the rehabilitation process, in that they allow prisoners to experience a lower security environment prior to their release back into the community. In the case ...More Button

Prisoners being considered for a transfer to an open centre are identified by a number of different means but primarily on the recommendation of the Prison Governor or the therapeutic services in t...More Button

Prisoner review meetings are held on a regular basis in all prisons. At these reviews, the Governor and staff and all services involved in the sentence management of the prisoner offer their views ...More Button

Question No. 385 answered with Question No. 366.More Button

Written Answers - Missing Children

Was asked: if he has been in contact with a person (details supplied) in relation to child abduction; if he has provided any assistance to the family; and the position regarding this situation. More Button

The Irish Central Authority for Child Abduction within my Department has not received an application in relation to this matter. The Central Authority operates for the purposes of a number of inte...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment

Was asked: the fact Tallaght Garda Station, Dublin 24, is awaiting the appointment of a Garda Chief Superintendent and a Garda Superintendent, the date on which these appointments will be announced. More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Commissioner, in consultation with his senior management team, is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organis...More Button

I am of course fully conscious of the importance of maintaining a sufficient strength in the senior ranks to support the investigative, management and supervisory capacity of the Force. To this end...More Button

Written Answers - Road Safety

Was asked: the number of unaccompanied learner drivers that have been involved in fatal and serious collisions each year since 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of unaccompanied learner drivers that have been convicted after being involved in a fatal or serious collision each years since 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 388 and 389 together.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that 45 unaccompanied learner drivers were involved in a fatal collision and 74 were involved in a serious injury collision between 1 January 2009 and 14 May ...More Button

Number of unaccompanied learner drivers involved in fatal and serious injury collisions*More Button

*These statistics are provisional, operational and subject to change.More Button

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...More Button

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that the information sought by the Deputy regarding the number of unaccompanied...More Button

Written Answers - Road Traffic Offences

Was asked: the number of learner drivers since 2009 that have received a caution to date for failing to display L plates and or for driving unaccompanied by a qualified driver; the number of learner drivers i...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the recent operation learner driver; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 390 and 392 together.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána under Operation Learner Driver conducted two specific enforcement operations, in conjunction with the Road Safety Authori...More Button

The following table provides a combined breakdown of offences detected during these operations (in some cases both offences were committed by the same driver):More Button

Number of Learner Drivers Driving Unaccompanied and orWithout L-plates Detected under Operation Learner DriverMore Button

*This figure is the number of proceedings commenced to 10 May 2012 and is provisional, operational and liable to change.More Button

I am further informed that statistical information relating to the overall number of cautions issued to learner permit drivers for failing to display L-plates and for driving unaccompanied by a qua...More Button

Was asked: the number of learner drivers that have been summoned to court for failing to display L plates and or being unaccompanied by a qualified driver since 2009; the number of learner drivers that have b...More Button

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...More Button

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that the information sought by the Deputy is as set out in the table below:More Button

Provisional Learner Driver Failing to Display “L” Plates on a vehicleMore Button

Provisional Learner Driver Unaccompanied by a Qualified DriverMore Button

Question No. 392 answered with Question No. 390.More Button

Written Answers - Appointments to State Boards

Was asked: the appointments made by him to State boards under the remit of his Department since March 2011 that were advertised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The information requested is set out below. More Button

Property Services Regulatory AuthorityMore Button

I appointed a Chairperson and ten ordinary members to the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) on 3 April 2012. These appointments were made following the seeking of expressions of intere...More Button

ChairpersonMore Button

Geraldine ClarkeMore Button

Ordinary MemberMore Button

Regina TerryMore Button

Myles O’ReillyMore Button

Paul MooneyMore Button

Josephine HenryMore Button

Martin HanrattyMore Button

Deirdre FoxMore Button

James DoorleyMore Button

Patrick DavittMore Button

Edward CareyMore Button

Carol BoateMore Button

I can also inform the Deputy that, of the other State board appointments that I have made since March 2011, none were advertised either for reasons of timing, in that vacancies had to be filled qu...More Button

Was asked: the appointments made by him to State boards under the remit of his Department since March 2011 that were advertised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The bodies under the aegis of my Department are the Civil Defence Board, the Army Pensions Board and the Board of Coiste an Asgard. The Civil Defence Act 2002 provides that the Board shall consist...More Button

The Army Pensions Board is an independent statutory body established under the Army Pensions Act, 1927. The Act specifies that the Board shall consist of a chairman and two ordinary members. The ...More Button

The position of Army Medical Corps ordinary member became vacant due to retirement in 2011, and I have since appointed Commandant Adam Lagun to the Board on the recommendation of the Chief of Staff...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications

Was asked: if he will expedite a joint visa in respect of persons (details supplied) in Dublin 15; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The visa application referred to was made on 7 March 2012. The application was refused on 1 April 2012. An appeal of this decision was submitted on 16 April 2012. I am pleased to inform the De...More Button

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 this purpose. This service ...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits

Was asked: the number of persons who presented to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of the Garda National Immigration Bureau to apply for extensions of residence for timed out students since th...More Button

The new immigration regime for full time non-EEA students has been in operation since 1 January 2011. These new immigration rules are designed to reform the student immigration regime in a manner t...More Button

In order to ensure a smooth transition from the old regime to the new, special transitional arrangements were put in place for those students already in the State who were affected by the change in...More Button

As a special concession “timed-out” students were granted a six month extension of their immigration permission to allow those students to address their immigration status in the State. During this...More Button

Whilst an exact figure for the number of students who have presented to the Garda National Immigration Bureau and the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service seeking “timed out” permission is ...More Button

Overall, it should be borne in mind that the time limits themselves, at 7 years overall and 3 years within the language and non-degree sector, are not ungenerous. Student permission cannot be open ...More Button

Therefore I am satisfied that significant measures have been put in place to ensure that non-EEA students resident in Ireland prior to 1 January 2011 have been treated fairly with the introduction ...More Button

Written Answers - Anti-Social Behaviour

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the current legislative position regarding tackling anti social behaviour; the remedies that might be available to persons suffering as a result of this behaviour; a...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that current policing strategies are predicated on preventing crime, public order offences and anti-social behaviour and are designed to promote an environmen...More Button

Strong legislative provisions are in place to combat anti-social behaviour. Part 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 provides for civil proceedings in relation to anti-social behaviour by adults a...More Button

A range of other legislative provisions are also available to An Garda Síochána in order to address anti-social behaviour and public order incidents, and to bring criminal proceedings...More Button