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Shatter, Alan

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Garda Investigations (Continued)

I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. He was doing very well until the last three sentences, which were really a contradiction of everything that preceded them. The reality is that the Garda...More Button

In the context of the issue the Deputy raises, the House will of course understand the sensitivity that is in the very nature of operations carried out by the Garda Síochána in the course of coun...More Button

The House will appreciate that the Garda, in counteracting the threat posed by paramilitary groups, succeeds time and time again in preventing them from carrying out planned acts. Of their natur...More Button

I thank the Deputy for his full support for the efforts of the Garda Síochána in counteracting the threat that these groups pose and he will appreciate that it would not be helpful to those effor...More Button

The Garda remains very active in its efforts to counteract these paramilitary gangs. It continues to monitor them closely and to bear down on all of their criminal activities. A number of recen...More Button

I have made the point in this House previously - it bears repeating - that to refer to these gangs as some people do as "dissident republicans" affords them an historical respectability that they...More Button

I would say also that we all should exercise a degree of caution in discussing these gangs of criminals. They crave publicity and they court notoriety in order to present the appearance of being...More Button

Countering the threat from terrorists has been always a priority for the Garda Síochána. Nothing has changed in that regard. It should not be suggested that anything has changed, nor should it ...More Button

The threat faced on this island from these criminal terrorists is a shared threat and I assure the House that the Garda continues to co-operate seamlessly with the PSNI in actively pursuing them....More Button

The Deputy must understand that I will not comment on what action the Garda did or did not take with regard to the possibility that it did or did not foil a particular attempt on the life of any in...More Button

It is unfortunate that the Deputy cannot confine himself to expressing support for the Garda but instead feels the need to engage in a false battle with me for public relations purposes. I remin...More Button

I remind the Deputy that the current numbers within the Garda Síochána are 13,450. On average, some 300 to 350 gardaí retire every year. It is always the case that the number of gardaí in a given...More Button

An issue on which he and I are agreed is that the Garda Síochána is doing an extraordinary job in targeting people engaged in subversion. Tragically, there is still a number of groups on this is...More Button

Tribunals of Inquiry Reports

Was asked: the progress that has been made in relation to the implementation of recommendations arising from the Moriarty Tribunal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Moriarty Tribunal made two recommendations for changes to company law, as follows: that a provision similar to section 172 of the UK Companies Act, 2006 be adopted, together with the adoption o...More Button

The Government considered that provisions in the forthcoming Companies Bill, which will consolidate and give a statutory footing to the duties of directors, meet the objectives of the first rec...More Button

Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Issues

Was asked: if there is a standard Garda protocol or policy for dealing with sudden death, suicide, homicide and death in suspicious circumstances; if Gardaí have access to this; and if this is available to th...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the protocol for An Garda Síochána for dealing with situations of sudden death or deaths of unknown causes is set out in the Coroners Act 1962. It is Ga...More Button

Was asked: if all gardaí are trained in scene management. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that all Gardaí are trained in preserving/managing scenes of crime as part of their initial Garda training. More Button

Coroners Service

Was asked: the number of deaths reported to coroners in each county during each of the past three years in tabular form.More Button

The number of deaths reported to coroners country-wide in each of the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 was 14,228, 14,883 and 13,904 respectively. The breakdown of these figures according to coroners' dis...More Button

Crime Levels

Was asked: the number of homicides in each county during each of the past three years in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the number of unsolved homicides in each county.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 455 and 456 together.

  I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following tables show the number of manslaughter and murder incidents rec...More Button

Victim Support Services

Was asked: the support available from the authorities for the families of homicide victims.More Button

An Garda Síochána endeavours to ensure that all families of murder victims or victims of other unlawful killing are kept fully informed. The local Garda Superintendent keeps contact directly with...More Button

Prisoner Discipline

Was asked: the number of mobile telephones that were seized from inmates in each prison here in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012.More Button

Was asked: the measures he has taken to clamp down on the use of mobile telephones in prisons; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 458 and 459 together.

  The information requested by the Deputy on the number of mobile phone seizures in the years 2008 to date is set out in t...More Button

Garda Stations Closures

Was asked: the position regarding the closure of Garda stations (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Commissioner's Policing Plan for 2013, which I laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas on 5th December 2012, sets out details of the closure of 100 Garda stations throughout the country, the ...More Button

Was asked: if he will itemise the amount of money saved, in tabular form, from the closure of each of the following Garda stations in County Tipperary (details supplied); if he has asked the Garda Commissione...More Button

The Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote and I have been informed by the Garda authorities that financial cost statements are maintained at District Headquarters level ra...More Button

However, I have also been advised by the Garda authorities that the annual financial saving estimated to arise in respect of the closure of the stations referred to by the Deputy is Euro 4,000 p...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the closure of the stations has been proposed by the Garda Commissioner in his Policing Plan for 2013 and I would stress that the key objective involved is to promote...More Button

Furthermore, the Garda Commissioner has indicated he is confident that the implementation of the restructuring proposals contained in the 2013 Policing Plan will not lead to any diminution in the...More Button

Was asked: the impact of his decision to close a further 100 Garda stations in tackling the problem of sale and supply of laundered, illegal or counterfeit products such as diesel, tobacco and clothing; his v...More Button

The Commissioner's Policing Plan for 2013, which I laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas on 5th December 2012, sets out details of the closure of 100 Garda stations throughout the country, the ...More Button

In drawing up the policing plan, the Commissioner concluded that resources could be better deployed and more effectively used on the front-line if particular stations no longer had to be staffed ...More Button

An Garda Síochána continue to work closely with the Revenue Customs Service, who play the lead role in combating cigarette smuggling, fuel laundering and counterfeit goods. Together, they continu...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown of expected savings from the proposed Garda station closures on an individual station basis.More Button

The Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote and I have been informed by the Garda authorities that financial cost statements are maintained at District Headquarters level ra...More Button

However, I have also been advised by the Garda authorities that the average financial saving estimated to arise in respect of the closure of the stations in question is Euro 4,000 per station. ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the closure of the stations has been proposed by the Garda Commissioner in his Policing Plan for 2013 and I would stress that the key objective involved is to promote...More Button

Furthermore, the Garda Commissioner has indicated he is confident that the implementation of the restructuring proposals contained in the 2013 Policing Plan will not lead to any diminution in the...More Button

Was asked: the way in which local Gardaí in the Districts where small Garda stations have been named for closure have been consulted; the way the decision for closure is arrived at; the way alternative arrang...More Button

The Commissioner's Policing Plan for 2013, which I laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas on 5th December 2012, sets out details of the closure of 100 Garda stations throughout the country, the ...More Button

The Commissioner has concluded that resources could be better deployed and more effectively used on the front-line if particular stations no longer had to be staffed and maintained or if the publ...More Button

We also need to be honest about the level of policing service that was capable of being provided from the stations that were and are to be closed. Of the 100 stations to be closed next year, 98%...More Button

The intention will be that at all times optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public. The revised structures will continue to support the c...More Button

Residency Permits

Was asked: the progress made to date in the determination of residency entitlement to naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned has been granted leave to remain in the State for a three year period following the consideration of her case under Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). This...More Button

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this pu...More Button

Was asked: if he will set out the sequence of events and progress made to date in the determination of residency status and or eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if...More Button

The person concerned applied for asylum on 24 October, 2005. She has given birth to two children in Ireland. The first child was born on 19 January, 2006. Another child was born on 2 October, 2008....More Button

Was asked: the progress made to date in the matter of determination of eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that an application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to by the Deputy in November, 2...More Button

Was asked: if he will review or revoke the decision in respect of residency or asylum in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There is currently no application pending in my Department for residency in the case of the person whose details were supplied. More Button

If an application for asylum has been made by the person concerned, the Deputy will be aware that it is not the practice to comment on applications which have not completed this process. All app...More Button

Deportation Orders Data

Was asked: if he will accept a submission as a request for reconsideration and deferred of deportation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

The person concerned arrived in the State in March, 2011. As she did not have any legal basis to remain in the State, she was, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act ...More Button

Naturalisation Applications

Was asked: if marriage to an Irish citizen affects an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) inform me that there is no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the per...More Button

Was asked: in the wake of the unanimous judgement by the Supreme Court in a case (details supplied) regarding an application by a Syrian national for naturalisation and where it was found that he had failed t...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that, insofar as asylum seekers are concerned, the Refugee Act 1996 provides that the reports of both the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the Refugee App...More Button

Was asked: if a visa will be extended in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; if this person is entitled to apply for a work permit; if this person is entitled to apply for naturalisation...More Button

I have been informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person referred to by the Deputy was first registered on 27 April 2005 and has permission to remain in the S...More Button

Visa Agreements

Was asked: if those on stamp 4 visas (details supplied) are exempt from paying the €300 fee to renew a Garda ID; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I would draw the attention of the Deputy to S.I. No. 444 of 2012, Immigration Act 2004 (Registration Certificate Fee) Regulations 2012, which sets out in Regulation 4 those classes of person in res...More Button

Visa Applications

Was asked: if he will expedite an application for an entry visa in respect of a person (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 and the applicant has been advised of same.More Button

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be directed to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. Th...More Button

Public Sector Staff Increment Payments

Was asked: the date on which he intends to review the salary grading structure of the public service as it affects his Department as committed to in the Programme for Government. More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that while the Prison Service as an organisation forms part of the general Civil Service, its grade structure has developed over time in response to the demands peculiar...More Button

A number of prisons have been merged to form campuses with a view to achieving efficiencies and a reduction of staff numbers. Campuses have been established in West Dublin, Mountjoy and Portlaois...More Button

As part of the review of other grades within the Prison Service, the grades of Clerk 1 and Clerk 2 have been discontinued, and the staff are being redeployed to other areas within the Service whe...More Button

In addition, discussions are at an advanced stage with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform regarding the assimilation of some allowances into basic pay to remove anomalies in the remu...More Button

The joint task review process will continue to examine all aspects of the grading structure in order to ensure that it is fit for purpose and responsive to the needs of the Prison Service in the ...More Button

In relation to Irish Prison Service Headquarters, it is intended to reduce the number of Directors in Headquarters from its current number complement of six to four under the lifetime of the Iris...More Button

Finally, the Deputy may wish to note that in the case of the of the new Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, when it comes into operation, one of its first tasks will be to examine the sta...More Button

Garda Stations Refurbishment

Was asked: the position regarding the relocation of Glanmire Garda Station, County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda stations is based on accommodation priorities which are established by An Garda Síochána. The programme is advanced in close co-operation wit...More Button

I am advised that the necessary legal requirements are currently being finalised in respect of the acquisition of a premises for a new Garda station for Glanmire. In addition, I understand that ...More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: the timetable for the introduction of the Parental Leave Directive (2010/18/EU); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department is currently working on proposals to transpose the Parental Leave Directive (2010/10/EU) into national law by 8 March 2013 as part of the wider Bill to consolidate all of the various ...More Button

Was asked: the steps he has taken to address the issues proposed by this Deputy in the Private Members Bill Precious Metal Dealers Bill 2011, which was an effort to regulate the cash for gold and cash for scr...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that on 19 June 2012 I published a report on the criminal justice aspects of the cash for gold trade which was prepared by my Department. I have formally asked the Joint Co...More Button

Was asked: the timeframe for the enactment of changes to family law legislation that are expected following the passing of the children's rights referendum. More Button

The Programme for Government commitment to reform and modernise aspects of family law will be progressed as soon as possible having regard to the need for consultations and the need to dispose of u...More Button

European Council Meetings

Was asked: the formations of the EU Councils of Ministers on which he sits; the number of meetings of that Council held from 9 March 2011 to date in 2012; the number of those meetings he attended; the number ...More Button

The relevant Council is the Justice and Home Affairs Council. From 9 March 2011 to date, there have been 14 meetings of this Council. This includes three informal meetings of Ministers of Justice...More Button

Was asked: the formations of the EU Councils of Ministers on which he sits; the number of meetings of that Council held from 9 March 2011 to date in 2012; the number of those meetings he attended; the number ...More Button

During each European Union Presidency both formal and informal meetings of Defence Ministers are held.  There is no separate Defence Ministers' Council within the EU Council of Min...More Button

Garda Vetting of Personnel

Was asked: the current waiting time for Garda clearance certificates to be issued and the reason there has been an increase in waiting times recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Garda Central Vetting Unit provides employment vetting for approximately 20,000 organisations in Ireland that are registered with the Unit and which employ personnel to work in a full-time, par...More Button

Was asked: when Garda clearance will be issued to persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Vetting is carried out in response to written requests made through registered organisations on behalf of the individual who is to be vetted. In the context of the applications referred to in the ...More Button

Legislative Process

Was asked: the position regarding the public consultation on prostitution; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In June of this year, I published a discussion document on the future direction of legislation on prostitution. The purpose of the discussion document is to facilitate a public consultation proces...More Button

Gambling Legislation

Was asked: if he plans to amend the Gaming and Lottery Act 1956 in view of the growing social gaming industry here; this industry operates on a global scale and operations here should have a solid legal frame...More Button

The Deputy will recall my announcement in September 2011 that the Government had approved my proposals for new legislation on the regulation of gambling. I brought forward those proposals because ...More Button

Garda Deployment

Was asked: the plans he is putting in place to improve border policing in County Donegal especially in view of a robbery of a post office in the South Inishowen area in the past two weeks.More Button

I am advised that Garda management closely monitors the allocation of all resources in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place on a District, Divisiona...More Button

Penalty Point System

Was asked: the circumstances under which penalty points imposed on road users maybe suspended, removed or cancelled before the expiry of the statutory period, together with details of the officers charged wit...More Button

I presume the Deputy is referring to the cancellation of Fixed Charge Notices in respect of road traffic offences. As I have set out recently, there can be circumstances where a Fixed Charge Notic...More Button

Prisoner Transfers

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to an application from an Irish national (details supplied) currently serving a sentence in a prison in Cordoba Prison, Spain, for repatriation under the CoE Convent...More Button

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that an application (details supplied) for a transfer to a prison in this jurisdiction, under the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced ...More Button

Spent Convictions Legislation

Was asked: the status of the spent conviction Bill-Act in the context of dealing with records for minor criminal offences committed a number of years previously; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 was published on 2 May 2012 and passed Second Stage in the Seanad on 13 June 2012. The Bill provides for the non-disclosure of certain conviction...More Button

Joint Policing Committees Establishment

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that although there are three town councils and a county council in County Louth, there are only three regional county JPCs rather than three town JPCs a...More Button

The functions and powers of Joint Policing Committees (JPCs) are set out in the Garda Síochána Act 2005, which requires each local authority and the Garda Commissioner to establish a JPC in each lo...More Button

Garda Resources

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concern in Kingswood Heights, Dublin 24 that Garda services to the area are still being provided from two Garda districts in Clondalkin and Tallaght despite p...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no direct function in the matter....More Button

I have been informed by the Commissioner that the personnel strength of Tallaght and Clondalkin Districts on 30 November 2012, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 262 and...More Button

Local Garda Management closely monitors the patrols and other operational strategies in place, in conjunction with crime trends and policing needs of the communities in these areas to ensure opti...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide additional resources to the Garda Siochána at Tallaght Garda Station, Dublin 24 to allow an effective responses to the increase in burglaries in the Tallaght district; if he will...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no direct function in the matter....More Button

Garda Transport Provision

Was asked: the number of Garda patrol vehicles available to An Garda Síochána in each district of the division of Tipperary; the number of vehicles that were available to these districts in 2010 and 2011 resp...More Button

Decisions in relation to the provision and deployment of Garda transport are matters for the Garda Commissioner. Responsibility for the efficient deployment of Garda vehicles in each Division is as...More Button

Defence Forces Personnel

Was asked: if a section of the public and civil service (details supplied) will be included in the new redundancy package recently announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is currently considering the introduction of a targeted Voluntary Redundancy Scheme in parts of the Public Service, primarily to address the issue of...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the proposal to provide a very early retirement scheme for border troops and FCA members; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is currently considering the introduction of a targeted Voluntary Redundancy Scheme in parts of the Public Service, primarily to address the issue of...More Button

Departmental Staff Remuneration

Was asked: the date on which he intends to review the salary grading structure of the public service as it affects his Department as committed to in the programme for Government. More Button

The Government decision on the Department of Expenditure and Reform’s Review of Allowances and Premium Payments recognised that there are possible weaknesses in the pay structures applicable in the...More Button