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Shatter, Alan

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Garda Stations Refurbishment

Was asked: if works due to be completed by the end of August at a Garda Station (details supplied) in County Cork have been finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation around the country is based on agreed priorities established by An Garda Síochána. The programme is advanced by the Garda autho...More Button

Personal Insolvency Act

Was asked: the professions who may act as personal insolvency practitioners under the Personal Insolvency legislation; if his attention has been drawn to concerns among many professions such as financial brok...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my answer to Question No. 1265 of 18 September, 2012 in which I said that the precise details in regard to the regulation of personal insolvency practitioners require further ...More Button

Services for People with Disabilities

Was asked: his plans to have Irish sign language recognised as an official language here; if not, the reason for same, when it is so widely used here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Citizenship Applications

Was asked: the average processing time for de facto relationship visas in view of the fact that all required documentation is submitted with the application; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that de facto relationship applications are dealt with in strict chronological order of receipt. The processing time for an...More Button

If the Deputy has a particular case in mind it is open to him to contact INIS directly by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. Thi...More Button

Was asked: in respect to an application for naturalisation in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare, if any of their residency was deemed to be for study purposes; if same will be taken int...More Button

The person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State on the basis of family dependency on 20 April, 2011. This permission is currently valid until 18 January, 2014. Officials in the C...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will issue on applications for naturalisation lodged by persons (details supplied) in County Galway; the reason for the delay in processing the applications; and if he will make a s...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

Deportation Orders Data

Was asked: if he will reconsider a deportation order issued in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned was granted temporary permission to remain in the State under stamp 4 conditions for an initial one year period on 10 June, 2002, on the basis that she was part of a family uni...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 purpos...More Button

Organised Crime

Was asked: his views on the recent activity surrounding a high profile funeral in (details supplied) in Dublin 13; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that these so-called 'dissident republicans' are no more than criminal terrorists using violence in pursuit of their own, often personal, ends. They also maintain more tha...More Button

In relation to the incident raised by the Deputy, it must be accepted that the Garda members present, in taking appropriate operational decisions had, above all else, a particular responsibility ...More Button

As I said in responses to Parliamentary Questions on this matter last week, the Garda Commissioner has set up a dedicated operation, “Operation Ambience”. As a result, over 30 searches were cond...More Button

I am strongly committed to ensure that the Gardaí have the necessary resources they need, not just in terms of manpower and equipment, but also in terms of legislative provisions, to bear down on...More Button

Visa Applications

Was asked: his views of the short-stay visa waiver scheme allowing visitors here, from 16 emerging tourism markets, to travel around the rest of the island without the need for an additional visa application;...More Button

The Irish Short-stay Visa Waiver Programme, which was devised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department, commenced on 1 July, 2011 and was originally scheduled to ...More Button

Nationals of sixteen countries are currently included in the programme including India, China, Russia, various priority Middle East countries and others. A review of the Programme was conducted ...More Button

The Programme as it operates at present does not for technical reasons allow for reciprocity between the UK and Ireland. This is primarily due to the UK requirement that all visa applicants suppl...More Button

However, in tandem with the Visa Waiver Programme, work is ongoing, through the regular Common Travel Area Forum meetings between INIS and the UK Home Office, on the development of a short stay C...More Button

A number of legal and logistical issues are being addressed including the requirement for biometric data capture. It is anticipated that such a visa will prove an attractive option for tourists ...More Button

Was asked: if he will consider the issue regarding visas raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that a decision has issued in respect of the visa application referred to. The visa application was submitted to the Irish Embassy in Belgrade on 18 May 2012. It was r...More Button

Garda Investigations

Was asked: when the report regarding a particular series of events which took place after the conviction of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will be completed; and when it is scheduled to be publ...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the investigation into the matter referred to by the Deputy is ongoing. The Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to comment fu...More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that unidentified remains were discovered two years ago off Hook Head where two femur bones were discovered and off Helvick Head where a skull was discovered and if tests were ca...More Button

Was asked: if he intends to carry out any further tests to identify whether or not the remains found off Helvick Head and Hook Head have any connection to the crew members of two fishing vessels which sank in...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 323 and 324 together.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that during the last three years, there have been a number of human bone and skull finds off the coast of counties Wexford and Waterford. Inquiries to esta...More Button

Garda Transport Provision

Was asked: his plans to provide funding to purchase additional vehicles for the Garda traffic corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provision and allocation of Garda resources, including transport, is a matter for the Garda Commissioner in the light of his operational requirements.

  I am advised by the G...More Button

Garda Strength

Was asked: the number of Garda sergeants and inspector vacancies currently in the Garda R&J districts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of permanent vacancies in An Garda Síochána broken down by division and rank; the number of these which are temporarily occupied; the date on which they will all be filled.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 310 and 319 together.

  As of the 31 August 2012, the latest date for which figures are readily available, there were 13,531 Gardaí, just over 1...More Button

Road Traffic Offences

Was asked: the last time the fees to get a vehicle released after being seized by An Garda Síochána were increased; his plans to increase same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the charges referred to by the Deputy are currently provided for under the Road Traffic Act 1994 (Detention of Vehicles) Regulations 2011. These Regul...More Button

Garda Reserve

Was asked: his plans to put in place a rank structure for the Garda Reserve; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Garda Síochána Act 2005 provides for the establishment of the Garda Reserve. The first intake to the Garda Reserve in Templemore Garda College was on 30 September 2006. Members of the Garda Res...More Button

I would like to place on record my appreciation of the members of the Reserve who give their time on a voluntary basis and for their ongoing commitment to the Garda Síochána. The Garda Reserve is...More Button

Garda Recruitment

Was asked: his plans for a new recruitment drive for An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, public expenditure must be reduced to a sustainable level. This means, among other things, reducing expenditure on public service pay, whether by reducing headcount or...More Button

The current and projected Garda budgets will necessitate a significant reduction in Garda expenditure. This will undoubtedly require further reductions in Garda numbers. This has been well known ...More Button

Garda Deployment

Was asked: the number of active Gardaí at the moment and a breakdown per county on the numbers of the Gardaí in each area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that as of the 31 August 2012, the latest date for which figures are readily available, there were 13,531 Gardaí, just over 1000 Reserve Gardaí and ov...More Button

Was asked: if he will support the case of a person (details supplied) in dublin 9.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the area referred to is located in the Clontarf Garda Sub-District. The local Garda management is aware of the circumstances referred to and is providin...More Button

Residency Permits

Was asked: if he will grant a person (details supplied) whose Stamp 4 expired on 3 September, a temporary stamp pending the outcome of their application to renew it in order that they can return to their job;...More Button

I am advised by officials in the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person referred to by the Deputy lodged an application for a permanent residence card (EU3) on 3rd Sept...More Button

Asylum Applications

Was asked: if he will indicate if a Stamp 4 visa will be awarded in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; if he will bear in mind, when making this decision, the unnecessary hardship, stre...More Button

The person concerned and his family entered the State on 10 September 2004 and lodged asylum applications. Their asylum applications were considered by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commi...More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: his plans to introduce legislation to restrict the height of boundary hedges and trees to two metres in height; and when he will be in a position to introduce such legislation.More Button

Difficulties experienced by property owners arising from trees and high hedges on neighbouring land were raised in the Dáil and Seanad during passage of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 200...More Button

The manner in which problems associated with high hedges and trees are resolved in England, Wales and Northern Ireland demonstrates a clear preference for the resolution of such disputes at local...More Button

  Question No. 319 answered with Question No. 310.More Button

Was asked: his plans to respond to the public submissions on the future of prostitution legislation here; the time frame for his response; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the time frame for any future legislative initiatives regarding legislation on prostitution here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Judicial Appointments

Was asked: if he will outline the process whereby a member of the judiciary may be disciplined if they have not been able to fulfil their duties in a competent manner, if there has been any issue of misconduc...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, Article 35.4.1° of the Constitution provides that "A judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court shall not be removed from office except for stated mi...More Button

Court Procedures

Was asked: the position regarding the implementation of Section 15 of the Fines Act 2010; if any interim arrangement will be introduced to facilitate the payment of court fines by instalment; and if he will m...More Button

Section 15 of the Fines Act 2010, which has not yet been commenced, provides for the payment of fines by instalments. To avail of this facility, a person must apply to the court and the court must...More Button

Immigration Policy

Was asked: if he will provide an update on any action that he is taking to introduce a regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants living here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have no plans for any general scheme to legalise the residency of undocumented and illegally present foreign nationals in this State. It is the responsibility of all non-EEA nationals who are re...More Button

I am of course aware that there have been proposals of this nature from sources outside of Government. However, great caution should be exercised before embarking on such a project. A proposal ...More Button

At EU Level, the Member States, in agreeing the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum at the European Council in October 2008 made specific commitments "to use only case-by-case regularisation,...More Button

The circumstances of individual cases can vary considerably and it is logical that the outcomes will not always be the same. At one end of the spectrum are those whose illegal status is genuinel...More Button

Alcohol Sales Legislation

Was asked: if north south agreement has been reached on draft regulation in respect of curtailing certain drink promotions under section 16 of the 2008 Intoxicating Liquor Act; the date on which the draft reg...More Button

The position is that during my discussions earlier this year with the Minister for Social Development in Northern Ireland, Nelson McCausland, MLA, we agreed on the desirability of developing a join...More Button

The Department of Social Development in Northern Ireland subsequently launched a consultation process on draft proposals to prohibit fixed price promotions, i.e. unlimited supply of alcohol for a...More Button

In light of the approach being adopted in Northern Ireland, I am now considering how best to proceed with regulations under section 16 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008. In this context, I am o...More Button

Departmental Staff Data

Was asked: if his Department still grants leave of absence; and if not, the reason this is not considered as a neutral cost saving exercise; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department continues to grant leave of absence in the form of Career Breaks and leave under the Shorter Working Year Scheme. Other forms of unpaid leave are also widely availed of such as Paren...More Button

Liquor Licensing Laws

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No 483 of 3 July 2012, if he will arrange for the report from the Gardaí to be forwarded to this Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

As the Deputy will recall, some of the information requested previously could not be obtained in the time available. I am now informed by the Garda authorities that the following table sets out th...More Button

School Accommodation

Was asked: if he or the military authorities at the Curragh Camp have had recent discussions with the Department of Education and or Kildare Vocational Education Committee in relation to second level educatio...More Button

The Curragh Post Primary School comes under the auspices of County Kildare VEC. My Department and the military authorities are not currently engaged in discussion with the Department of Education ...More Button

The military authorities have had requests in the past from the Post Primary School for the provision of facilities and currently the School has the use of Gym facilities and the Swimming Pool on...More Button

Commemorative Events

Was asked: his views on the issues raised by a person (details supplied) in County Clare in correspondence to him dated 16 May 2012; if he will accept any of the suggestions made; and if he will make a statem...More Button

There had been a suggestion for a commemorative medal to be issued to all serving members of the Defence Forces in 2013. However, having reviewed the matter, it has now been decided not to progress...More Button

Defence Forces Strength

Was asked: his plans for the strength and structure of the Defence Forces; if such proposals will be in accord with other similar forces throughout the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Arising from the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure which reported at the end of 2011, I secured the agreement of the Government to stabilise the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 p...More Button

The new structure will continue to support the inter-operability of the Defence Forces with other military forces on peace support operations. I am committed to maintaining the capacity of the Pe...More Button

Air Corps Equipment

Was asked: the extent to which he expects to be in a position to augment, upgrade or otherwise continue to modernise the Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are no plans for the acquisition of new aircraft for the Air Corps at the present time. This has to be taken in the context of the significant expenditure on the Air Corps fleet in recent yea...More Button

Air Corps Training

Was asked: the extent to which he intends to increase training with access to the most modern technology in the Air Corps; the way in which this will compare with standards in such forces elsewhere; and if he...More Button

The Air Corps keeps abreast of all developments in modern aviation. It conducts its training in accordance with industry best practices and to the highest standards, referencing More Button

Naval Service Vessels

Was asked: the number of seagoing vessels currently available and seaworthy to the Naval Service at any given time; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised that there is a fleet of eight ships available to the Naval Service, six of which are currently in operational service. Both LE Eithne and LE Orla are unde...More Button

Irish Red Cross Funding

Was asked: his views on the report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Irish Red Cross of May 2012; his further views on the recommendations made in this report and if he is satisfied with the progress ma...More Button

I welcome the fact that arising from the Chapter on Financial Control in the Irish Red Cross Society that was contained in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General 2010, the Oireachtas Com...More Button

Defence Forces Recruitment

Was asked: the number of people who have applied for the Defence Forces during each of the last fifteen years, but were refused on the basis that they had committed a serious offence; the offences that each o...More Button

Was asked: the serious offences convictions that would result in a persons application to the Defence Forces being refused.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 338 and 339 together.

  It is a matter for the Military Authorities to select candidates based on specific criteria and in accordance with Defenc...More Button