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Shatter, Alan

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Defence Forces Personnel

Was asked: his plans to review the 21 year limit for those members of the Defence Forces who remain fit and able, who are in good health and who are well capable of continuing to serve; and if he will make a ...More Button

The unsatisfactory age and fitness profile of the Permanent Defence Force was an issue of serious concern during the 1990s and the subject of severe criticism in a series of external reports, mainl...More Button

In an effort to alleviate the situation, the Government had already decided in 1993 to enlist personnel on a five year contract basis, following consultation with PDFORRA, Permanent Defence Force...More Button

In 2004 PDFORRA submitted a claim under the conciliation and arbitration scheme for a further review of the terms of service applying to personnel enlisting in the Permanent Defence Force after 1...More Button

Was asked: the reason the maximum cost of discharge is being imposed on a person in the Air Corps (details supplied); if same can be calculated at a cost of €3,145; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

I have been advised by the Military Authorities that they have sought legal advice on this matter and that they will provide me with a report upon receipt of that advice. I will reply directly to ...More Button

Defence Forces Personnel (Continued)

A set of criteria was agreed with PDFORRA to provide longer careers for those who enlisted post 1 January 1994 while continuing to address the Government’s objective of having an appropriate age pr...More Button

Like any Member of the House, I am anxious to ensure those who have given long service in the Defence Forces have every possible opportunity to obtain alternative employment when they leave. Many ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, I cannot comment; it would be inappropriate for me to do so during the negotiations. What he is raising and, in effect, protesting against is a policy that his party stood ...More Button

We are recruiting 400 new members to the Defence Forces this year by virtue of the fact that certain numbers retire annually and that we can bring new young people into the Defence Forces and give ...More Button

Defence Forces Fatalities

Was asked: if he will outline all efforts by the Defence Forces and his Department to follow up on an initiative from PDFORRA in March 2001 aimed at recovering the body of a person (details supplied) when the...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, Private Kevin Joyce was killed on 27 April 1981 in the village of Dayr Ntar in south Lebanon. An observation post at Dayr Ntar, near As Sultaniyah, manned by Private Hugh D...More Button

Was asked: if he will meet the family of a person (details supplied).More Button

Defence Forces Fatalities (Continued)

In what year did that meeting take place?More Button

In response to the Deputy's initial question, I have outlined the chronology of events. I went further on from 2001 and, unfortunately and tragically, no further information emerged. In 2007 the ...More Button

I have no difficulty in bringing to the attention of the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade what the Deputy has had to say. I am sure our ambassador will, in so far as she can, lo...More Button

I can only say to the Deputy that I am not optimistic that this will be resolved in a manner that would be fitting and appropriate. I wish it were so. I would very much like to achieve that outco...More Button

The case of the death of Private Doherty, as well as the disappearance of Private Joyce to which the Deputy refers, has already been outlined in my reply to a priority question earlier. As I menti...More Button

I took some time to read through the extensive documentation that was furnished to me regarding matters of relevance and in respect of which some concerns have been expressed. When my life in th...More Button

Having read through all the files and papers, there were clearly several issues of relevance to the tragic events that occurred on the day in question. It is also quite clear to me that a report r...More Button

It is not necessary to give me a summary of the issues involved because I have read in full the concerns raised, the critique and the questions asked about some individuals not being questioned or ...More Button

Defence Forces Records

Was asked: in relation to the recently announced recruitment campaign for the Defence Forces, if he will be reviewing the admissibility criteria in relation to the visibility of tattoos; if there will be an a...More Button

In order to be eligible for enlistment in the Permanent Defence Force as a general service recruit, applicants must meet all of the specified criteria and standards for entry as laid down in Defenc...More Button

The purpose of this requirement is to prevent the induction of personnel who subsequently could not be deployed on ceremonial duties which form part of the functions of military personnel. In pa...More Button

The military authorities have advised it is at the physical fitness testing stage of the selection process for recruitment that a determination on the matter of a tattoo is made. Where an applic...More Button

There are no plans to review the admissibility criteria on the visibility of tattoos.More Button

I understand our Defence Forces are not in any way unique in this area. A number of armies, including the British, Australian and US armies, have a similar rule. I note what the Deputy said and I...More Button

If the Deputy has a letter he is very welcome to furnish it either directly to me or to my private secretary. He can simply pass on the letter with a compliment slip. There is no need for a cover...More Button

Was asked: his plans to increase the numbers serving in the Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I announced the launch of a new recruitment campaign for enlisted personnel in both the Permanent and the Reserve Defence Forces on Friday, 7 March 2014. The Government is committed to maintaining...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he expects the next recruitment campaign to augment numbers in the Defence Forces at all levels in the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which any particular emphasis might be placed on encouraging the young unemployed to join the Defence Forces in the context of the forthcoming recruitment campaign; and if he will mak...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide details of the new recruitment campaign for the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 822, 826 and 830 together.

  I announced the launch of a new recruitment campaign for Enlisted Personnel in both the Permanent and the Reserve De...More Button

Defence Forces Reorganisation

Was asked: his views on the impact his recent organisational changes of the Defence Forces has had on the working conditions of members of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy is aware, arising from the comprehensive review of expenditure in 2011, the Government decided to stabilise the strength of the Permanent Defence Force, PDF, at 9,500 personnel. Followi...More Button

The men and women of the Defence Forces always have risen admirably to the challenge of change and modernisation and this period of change for the PDF has been no exception. All options to minim...More Button

In the context of the Defence Forces and the difficult financial circumstances that have afflicted the State as a result of the total economic and fiscal ineptitude of the Deputy's own party in gov...More Button

Defence Forces Reorganisation (Continued)

There are no practical day-to-day difficulties of which I am aware. The Defence Forces have managed during my period in office to come in annually on budget in accordance with the Estimates prescr...More Button

Defence Forces Properties

Was asked: if he will halt all eviction notices and court proceedings against Curragh camp residents who are either former serving soldiers or the families of former serving soldiers until the technical asses...More Button

I welcome the recent meeting Deputies Daly and Wallace had with officials from my Department on the issue. I hope the exchange of views and the explanations given were helpful and worthwhile from ...More Button

As I have said previously, military personnel are obliged, under Defence Forces regulations, to vacate married quarters within 21 days of retiring or being discharged from military service. The ...More Button

The situation of overholders continuing to occupy married quarters is no longer sustainable and measures to resolve this are being progressed. Properties located outside barracks are offered for...More Button

In the period since January 2013, 12 properties which were being overheld in the area of the Curragh camp have been returned by the occupants. Currently, there are 28 overholders remaining at th...More Button

I cannot support the illegal occupation of military property by those who have no entitlement. It is also important to remember that the Department of Defence does not have a role in the provisi...More Button

In any event, the assessment of the current vacant housing stock does not change the fact that there are occupiers of houses in the Curragh camp who have no right to those houses and, therefore, ...More Button

Was asked: in view of the fact that the surveying, listing and ongoing monitoring of protected buildings in the Defence property portfolio falls within the remit of the local authority, the number of meetings...More Button

Was asked: the number of conservation architects and building surveyors employed by the Defence Forces property section; the person responsible for deciding when a building should be demolished; and the exper...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 135 and 137 together.

  A small number of military buildings are included on the Record of Protected Structures of Kildare County Council....More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the progress of the technical assessment of dwellings in the Curragh Camp; when the report is expected; if he will convene a multi-departmental meeting with representatives o...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the technical assessment of the Curragh Camp dwellings; if he will consider organising a cross-departmental meeting to include the Department of the Environment, Com...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 146 and 809 together.More Button

Again I am aware that this issue was discussed at the recent meeting Deputy Daly and yourself had with officials from my Department. As I have mentioned earlier an assessment of a select group o...More Button

As these properties are within the Curragh Camp the factors other than the cost of refurbishment per unit that will need to be considered in deciding whether or not to retain properties include:More Button

- Proposals for the redevelopment of the Camp generally in order to improve the overall layout of the facilities.More Button

- The requirements for Single Living In (SLI) accommodation within the camp both presently and into the future.More Button

- Their potential for military use taking account of their configuration both internally and externally.More Button

In addition, any restoration programme will be dependent on the prioritisation of capital projects generally across military barracks in line with available funding. More Button

I will wait until I have received the results of the assessment before I make a decision on how to proceed. However, I must emphasise that any proposed development of former married quarters pro...More Button

Defence Forces Properties (Continued)

As I have said previously to the Deputy, having dealt with the overall issue in my initial reply, it is my Department's policy to review each over-holder situation on a case by case basis. Obvious...More Button

It has been the practice to meet, where appropriate, the individuals occupying the houses as opposed to some nominated representatives. I must emphasise what I said earlier, namely, that individua...More Button

Defence Forces Operations

Was asked: if the Defence Forces personnel who were on duty on the runway at Shannon Airport on 22 February and 2 March conducted searches of US military aircraft.More Button

Was asked: the reason Defence forces personnel were stationed in front of US warplanes at Shannon airport on 22 February 2014 and 2 March 2014; and if any inspections of the aircraft took place.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 131 and 138 together.More Button

An Garda Síochána has primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State. Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces is the provision of...More Button

In respect of the dates of 22 February and 2 March 2014, requests for Defence Forces support were received from An Garda Síochána. With regard to inspections of aircraft, the Defence Forces have...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a progress report on the Defence Forces participation in the EU-led training mission in Somalia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have an extraordinarily long reply and the Leas-Cheann Comhairle will have to stop me halfway through it. However, I will do my best.More Button

EUTM Somalia which was launched on 7 April 2010 has been deployed to provide military training for members of the Somali national armed forces so as to increase their capability to ensure the sov...More Button

Following Government approval, five Defence Forces personnel were deployed in April 2010 to the EU-led training mission, EUTM Somalia, providing a training team and certain staff posts.More Button

Was asked: if he remains satisfied regarding the adequacy of training, equipment, supply and transport and communications throughout the Defence Forces in the Army, Navy and Air Corps with particular referenc...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which training for the Army, Navy and Air Corps continues to be upgraded in line with requirements in the event of a security incident or natural disaster; and if he will make a state...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 and 821 together.

  My priority as Minister for Defence is to ensure that the operational capacity of the Defence Forces is maintained...More Button

Was asked: the number of suspect devices that the Army disposal unit dealt with in 2013; the number to date in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Primary responsibility for the maintenance of law and order rests with An Garda Síochána. The Defence Forces, pursuant to their role of rendering Aid to the Civil Power (ATCP), assist An Garda Síoc...More Button

Was asked: the number of cash-in-transit escorts carried out by the Defence Forces in 2013; the number to date in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if it is the intention of senior management in the Defence Forces to remove the Defence Forces from escort duties for cash-in-transit deliveries. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 832 and 835 together.

  Primary responsibility for security matters rests with An Garda Síochána. However, one of the roles assigned to the Defen...More Button

Defence Forces Operations (Continued)

The incident to which the Deputy refers was contrary to normal conditions that apply to foreign military aircraft overflying or landing in Ireland. It is down to the Tánaiste and Minister for Fore...More Button

I have no knowledge - nor has Deputy Daly - of any aircraft landing in Shannon that was carrying the munitions to Iraq that she mentioned. If the Deputy has information that could confirm that she...More Button

If, in the context of aeroplanes landing at Shannon Airport during the course of this year, the Deputy can provide additional information which indicates that the arrangements and agreements relati...More Button

I have not driven anybody onto a runway. It would be very unwise to drive people to such a place.More Button

Ireland took over operational command of the mission in August 2011, with the appointment of Colonel Michael Beary of the Defence Forces as mission commander, and deployed additional staff to suppo...More Button

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brigadier General Beary and Brigadier General Aherne for their outstanding contribution to the success of the mission and to wish the new force comm...More Button

  Additional information not given on the floor of the HouseMore Button

The recent reduction in the number of Defence Forces personnel deployed to EUTM Somalia from 11 to six was as a result of the drawdown of Defence Forces personnel associated with Ireland's having h...More Button

The mission has changed significantly since locating in Mogadishu, having initially been in Uganda. We are engaged in 14 overseas missions, including EUTM Somalia, and given Ireland's commitment t...More Button

I understand we have more missions currently serving overseas than at any time previously in the history of the State. We are engaged concurrently in 14 different missions. On 22 January 2013, th...More Button

Defence Forces Records (Continued)

Of course, that is one of the varied and numerous issues to be considered in the context of the Defence Force White Paper which will look to the future, to the State's needs and to the capabilities...More Button

A key issue is resources. In the context of the Air Corps, there is the issue of the extent and nature of the missions that it is required to undertake and the capacity of the State, within limi...More Button

As Deputy Ó Fearghaíl will be aware, substantial investment has been made in the Naval Service. We will see in the not too distant future the commissioning of a new naval vessel, which has cost ...More Button

We have been able to maintain the resources and equipment of the Defence Forces at a very high level to meet the operation requirements of the Defences Forces, both in the context of the Army, navy...More Button

In the context of the consideration of the purchase of any further assets for the Air Corps, that is a matter based on looking at what is contained ultimately in the White Paper on the needs and ...More Button

European Defence Capabilities

Was asked: the extent to which the Defence Forces is in liaison with other defence forces throughout the European Union with a view to ensuring compatibility in respect of procedures, operational equipment, c...More Button

The Defence Forces liaise with other armed forces personnel throughout the European Union through a range of fora. These include: NATO Partnership for Peace, EU military staff, EU military committ...More Button

I am satisfied that the substantial engagement by the Defence Forces, both at UN level in co-operation with European Union colleagues in UN-sanctioned missions and engaging in the EU battlegroups, ...More Button

The nature of the equipment being used by the Defence Forces in the difficult UN mission at present on the Golan Heights in the context of difficulties that have arisen has proved that the resour...More Button

Civil Defence

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the level of support available to the Civil Defence to deal with severe weather emergencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Civil Defence has 4,500 active volunteers who are based across all local authority areas in the country. Civil Defence has a wide range of equipment available to the organisation to assist in resp...More Button

At national level Civil Defence, along with the Defence Forces, is part of my Department’s representation on the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning.More Button

Civil Defence training programmes, which include courses such as Water and Flood Awareness and Flood First Responder training, are intended to support the organisation’s ongoing involvement in se...More Button

In that regard I want to compliment the over 500 Civil Defence volunteers who assisted the frontline emergency services in dealing with severe weather in many parts of the country in recent month...More Button

Since 2011, in spite of the overall budgetary situation, I have been successful in maintaining the allocation available for Civil Defence at more or less the same level. I have allocated €4.240 m...More Button

  Question No. 137 answered with Question No. 135.More Button

  Question No. 138 answered with Question No. 131.More Button

White Paper on Defence

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the White Paper on Defence; and if we can expect to see it published prior to the end of this Dáil session in July.More Button

Was asked: the date on which the White Paper on Defence will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when the White Paper on Defence will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 139, 828 and 839 together.

  The development of a new White Paper on Defence is progressing well and I anticipate that a draft will be com...More Button

Military Archives

Was asked: his plans to make changes to the military records regarding the death of a person (details supplied).More Button

Firstly I would like to again extend my sympathies to the families of the deceased.There have been three separate official investigations into this tragic accident. The first of these was conducte...More Button

Ministerial Dialogue

Was asked: when he last met with the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces.More Button

I have met the current Ombudsman for the Defence Forces (ODF), Mr. Patrick Anthony McCourt, at a number of events over the recent past and generally discussed issues relating to his office. In the ...More Button

Following the ODF’s most recent meeting with senior officials in my Department, I expect to meet him formally early next month. I have, of course, received a number of reports from the Ombudsman...More Button

Army Personnel

Was asked: if he will give a complete assessment of the future of Kickham Army Barracks, Clonmel, County Tipperary; if there are plans to relocate Clonmel Garda station to the barracks; and if he will make a ...More Button

Discussions are at an advanced stage for the sale of the former barracks in Clonmel to South Tipperary County Council and I expect that the sale will be finalised over the coming weeks. In that reg...More Button

Was asked: the total number of military installations closed or decommissioned throughout the country in the course of the past 20 years; the alternative use to which such installations have been put; the ext...More Button

My Department has been engaged on an ongoing programme of barrack consolidation since 1998. This programme has brought to fourteen the number of barracks closed during that time. To date nine of t...More Button

Discussions are at an advanced stage in relation to the sale of the former barracks in Clonmel to South Tipperary County Council and I expect that the sale will be finalised over the coming weeks...More Button

Magee Barracks in Kildare and Columb Barracks in Mullingar remain the property of the Department of Defence. Columb Barracks is currently used by an Garda Síochána and the Customs Service for tra...More Button

In addition to the main barracks outlined above a number of other properties have also been identified as surplus to military requirements over the past twenty years. A large number of these have...More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: when he proposes to update legislation on the Irish Red Cross; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Programme for Government provides for the initiation of a detailed legal review of the basis, structures and governance of the Irish Red Cross to improve its functioning in the light of changin...More Button

EU Battle Groups

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No.12 of 6 February 2014, relating to Ireland's participation in EU battle groups, his views on whether the triple lock has been substantially weakened by the Defe...More Button

The statutory authority for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas as part of an International Force, is set out in Section 2 of the Defence (Amendment)(No....More Button

- the authorisation of the operation by the Security Council or General Assembly of the United Nations;More Button

- A formal Government decision; andMore Button

- the approval of Dáil Éireann. More Button

There is no requirement for Dáil approval for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas as part of an International Force where that Force is unarmed or wher...More Button

Deployment in the case of any Battlegroup operation will be for a period of 30 days extendable up to 120 days under the agreed EU concept under which Battlegroups operate.More Button

Within the EU Battlegroup concept, the purpose of the Battlegroup, as a rapid response capability, includes the role of acting as an initial entry force to stabilise a situation pending the deplo...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the EU does not have a common defence arrangement and as such there is no situation in which a Battlegroup could be committed to take part in any war, as is suggested...More Button

EU Meetings

Was asked: when the next meeting of EU Foreign and Defence Ministers will take place; the agenda for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Twice a year Defence Ministers attend the formal Foreign Affairs Council. The formal Council meetings are held in Brussels or Luxembourg at the invitation of the High Representative for Foreign Af...More Button

Naval Service Vessels

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the commissioning of the new vessels for the Naval Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A contract was signed in October, 2010 with Babcock International in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV’s) for the Naval Service. The first of the two ship...More Button

Was asked: his policy on the naming of naval vessels; the reason for the change of policy in view of the commitments in the 20 year strategy for the Irish language; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

I would like to assure the Deputy that the use of the Irish language by the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces is continually encouraged. In relation to the naming of the two new Naval Se...More Button

It is my view that the names LE Samuel Beckett and LE James Joyce portray a very strong sovereign link between the Irish State and the Naval Service and set the tone both domestically and abroad ...More Button

Was asked: the plans in place for the commissioning of the LE Samuel Beckett as the newest vessel in the Naval Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A contract was signed in October, 2010 with Babcock International in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV’s) for the Naval Service. The first of the two shi...More Button

Was asked: if he will consider purchasing an aircraft carrier to protect Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Naval Service conducts routine maritime surveillance patrols on a daily basis throughout Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The primary day-to-day tasking of the Naval Service is to provi...More Button

Army Equitation School

Was asked: his plans regarding the Army Equitation School; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The mission of the Army Equitation School is to promote the Irish horse through participation in international competition at the highest level. The Equitation School has discharged this task with ...More Button

Defence Forces Reserve Strength

Was asked: the number of members presently in the Reserve Defence Force; his policy on the reserve; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Reserve Defence Force is currently undergoing a period of reform following publication of the Value for Money Review of the Reserve Defence Force in November, 2012. Since then, there has been ...More Button

The Reserve budget has been rebalanced and funding previously allocated to gratuities has been redirected to increase the amount of paid training available to the Reserve. This will ensure that ...More Button

Information in relation to the numbers of effective members of the reserve are currently being compiled following the reorganisation. While this process is ongoing as records from units are upda...More Button

Commemorative Events

Was asked: if there are plans for members of the Defence Forces to participate in upcoming events to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War at home and abroad; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

The development of the commemorative programme for the centenary period, to include World War I, is being co-ordinated on behalf of the Government by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltac...More Button

In this regard, the Defence Forces already play a central role in the annual commemorations at the National War Memorial Garden in Islandbridge and in the National Day of Commemoration ceremony i...More Button

In addition to the support and representation provided at national and international commemorations to mark World War I, requests for Defence Forces participation in events organised by local aut...More Button

Overseas Missions

Was asked: the position regarding the withdrawal of the seven Army personnel remaining with the NATO ISAF forces in Afghanistan, in view of the fact that most other European countries have withdrawn their tro...More Button

Ireland has participated in the NATO–led UN mandated mission in Afghanistan since 5 July 2002. On 25 June 2013, the Government agreed to continue to provide seven members of the Permanent Defence F...More Button

Ireland has participated in ISAF in Afghanistan since 5 July 2002, following the Government Decision of 2 July 2002, authorising the provision of seven (7) members of the Permanent Defence Force ...More Button

Defence Forces participation in all overseas missions is reviewed on an ongoing basis. The overall drawdown of ISAF personnel is currently underway and the withdrawal of the Defence Forces person...More Button

The current plan, post 2014, is that NATO will lead a follow on training advisory and assistance mission to support the development of Afghan National Security Forces capacity and provide sustain...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the Defence Forces’ participation in the UNDOF mission; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was established on 31 May 1974 under UN Security Council Resolution 350 in order to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria. By its ...More Button

Following Government and Dáil approval, the deployment of the 43rd Infantry Group to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights was successfully completed on 28 ...More Button

Irish personnel serving with UNDOF Force Reserve Company will be rotated on a six-monthly basis. Members of the 43rd Infantry Group will shortly complete their six month tour of duty at the end o...More Button

An incident, where Irish Troops came under small arms fire did occur in UNDOF in November last year. At that time an Irish patrol, with five (5) Armoured Personnel Carriers, was escorting Philipp...More Button

Irish troops are deployed to the Golan Heights at a time of increased instability in that region. That was the situation pertaining in the region when Dáil Éireann considered this issue last Jul...More Button

  Question No. 830 answered with Question No. 822.More Button

Northern Ireland Issues

Was asked: if he will meet with the Omagh Support and Self-Help Group to receive a copy and a personal presentation of the report they have commissioned into the investigations carried out on both sides of th...More Button

I met representatives of the Omagh Support and Self-Help Group in July 2012 and they presented me with a copy of their report. I am in the process of finalising a detailed consideration of the mat...More Button

EU Funding

Was asked: the position regarding a review of an application for ERF funding (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Pobal is responsible, on behalf of my Department, for carrying out calls for and assessing applications for ERF grants. It is open to unsuccessful applicants to seek a review of the decision on th...More Button

Coroners Service

Was asked: if he will ensure a coroner's report will issue without further delay in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath.More Button

Under the Coroners Act 1962, a Coroner is a statutory officer exercising quasi-judicial functions in relation to which he or she is independent and neither I nor my Department has any role in indiv...More Button

Was asked: in view of the TV3 programme "A Search for Justice: Death in Bray" broadcast on the evening of 10 March 2014 (details supplied) and the clear criticism of the conduct of the Coroner for East Wicklo...More Button

I appreciate the concerns that are involved in relation to the matters raised by the Deputy. As he will be aware, the background circumstances are linked to a very tragic set of events which occur...More Button

The primary legislation currently applicable to coroners is the Coroners Act 1962. With regard to the holding of an inquest the position is that under the 1962 Act a coroner is a statutory offic...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Coroners Bill 2007 was restored to the Order Paper in 2011. The Bill provides for a comprehensive overhaul of the law relating to coroners and it makes provisio...More Button

Domestic Violence Policy

Was asked: if he will sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As I have indicated previously in response to questions on this issue, Ireland supports, in principle, the aims and terms of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence ag...More Button

Legislative Programme

Was asked: if there is a timeframe in place for the completion of the current review of criminal legislation on prostitution and for a policy decision to be taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy's question refers to the Report of the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality on hearings and submissions on the Review of Legislation on Prostitution. The review in question ...More Button

Garda Operations

Was asked: the information or the files that are maintained on persons (details supplied) by the Garda authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have sought information from the Garda authorities to enable me to respond fully to the Deputy and I will write to him when this is available.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on Garda Operation Munster; the number of persons arrested and charged; and the number of successful convictions that have been obtained to date as part of this operation.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that Operation Muster was conducted on 4 and 5 March, 2014 by Gardaí in Tipperary, Kilkenny and Waterford supported by the Regional Support Unit with the assi...More Button

Was asked: in view of allegations that more than 40 Traveller families, including a Traveller baby, were registered on the PULSE system, if he will set out in detail the specific enquiries he has made and ass...More Button

The management of the PULSE system is an operational matter for the Garda Commissioner. While An Garda Síochána doesn't comment on individual cases, I am informed by the Commissioner that PULSE d...More Button

Was asked: the cost of the policing operation for the European People's Party convention in Dublin recently in terms of financial cost and the number of Garda hours involved.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the European People's Party Election Congress took place in Dublin on the 6th and 7th of March this year. In the circumstances the event fell within the Garda roster p...More Button

I am advised by the Garda authorities that, given the roster situation, the bulk of the claims by Garda personnel arising in connection with the event have yet to be submitted for payment and, ac...More Button

Legal Aid Applications

Was asked: the waiting times by area for access to the Legal Aid Board.More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that demand for legal services from the Legal Aid Board ("the Board") has increased significantly since the downturn in the economy and this has led to an incr...More Button

Garda Station Closures

Was asked: if he will reconsider the policy of closing rural Garda stations in view of the reports that none of the stations have been sold and only €3,000 has been saved; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the closure of the stations was proposed by the Garda Commissioner in his Policing Plans for 2012 and 2013. The key objective involved was to promote the more efficien...More Button

Community Service Orders

Was asked: if he will confirm whether supervisors are employed to supervise community service; the person who ensures the correct numbers of hours are undertaken by the person doing community service; the per...More Button

The Probation Service has responsibility for the supervision and management of community service orders in accordance with the Criminal Justice (Community Service) Act, 1983 as amended by the Crimi...More Button

Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal Funding

Was asked: if and when a new criminal injuries compensation scheme board will be put in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I can inform the Deputy that I am in the process of appointing a new Tribunal to administer the Scheme under the terms of Paragraph 17 of the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally...More Button

Registration of Title

Was asked: the current status regarding a land registry dealing (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can inform the Deputy that under the Registration of Deeds and Title Act 2006, the Property Registration Authority (PRA) was established as and from 4 November 2006. The PRA replaces the Registr...More Button

Television Licences Data

Was asked: the number of persons prosecuted in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 for non-payment of TV licences; the number of persons in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 that received custodial sentences for no...More Button

Under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions, which include the provisi...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: the number of external or internal policy reports currently that have been handed to him but not yet published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when he will publish reports currently in his possession that have not been published to date; if he will provide in tabular form the reports involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 744 and 745 together.

  The information requested by the Deputy is not available in the timeframe allowed. I will contact the Deputy directly wh...More Button

Was asked: the number of external or internal policy reports currently that have been handed to him but not yet published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when he will publish reports currently in his possession that have not been published to date; if he will provide in tabular form the reports involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 812 and 813 together.

  The following table sets out details of reports in my possession which have not been published to date.

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Naturalisation Applications

Was asked: the current and-or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The position in relation to the person whose details were supplied remains unchanged and is as outlined in the responses to Question No. 192 of 27 February and Question No. 182 of 13 March.More Button

Visa Applications

Was asked: if he will provide further information explaining the reason the spouse of an Irish citizen (details supplied) was refused a travel visa on the grounds that there were inconsistencies in informatio...More Button

The visa application referred to by the Deputy was made by a person who wished to visit their spouse in Ireland. It was received in the Visa Office in New Delhi, on 10 February 2014. Following fu...More Button

Was asked: the reason an application for a visa has been refused by his Department (details supplied).More Button

The visa application referred to by the Deputy was made by a person who wished to join their spouse in Ireland on a permanent basis. It was received in the Visa Office, Abu Dhabi on 30 December 20...More Button

The decision to refuse was appealed on 4 March 2014. The appeal will be considered by a Visa Appeals Officer and a decision will issue in due course. As outlined in the refusal letter issued to ...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the stamp 4 visa application in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the persons mentioned by the Deputy availed of the 2004 Student Probationary extension in 2012 and as s...More Button

This information was issued to their legal representative on 19 December 2012 on foot of the applications detailed by the Deputy.More Button

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

Immigration Policy

Was asked: if separate Garda National Immigration Bureau arrangements could be made for employed tax-paying persons, many of whom are here as the result of IDA Ireland incentives and are often forced to take ...More Button

A dedicated public office where non-nationals who are resident in the Dublin Metropolitan area are required to register, pursuant to section 9 of the Immigration act 2004, is situated at the Garda ...More Button

The nature of the registration requirements necessitates the personal attendance of the applicant at his or her registration office. Every effort is made to ensure the process is undertaken in a...More Button

Was asked: if he is concerned that funds from the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals, that is, non-EEA nationals, may be used to support those other than the target group Third Count...More Button

The aim of the Fund in question is to facilitate the integration of third-country nationals into European societies. A third-country national is any person who is not a citizen of the European Uni...More Button

Private Security Authority Inspections

Was asked: when it is anticipated that the Private Security Authority will announce a timeframe for the licensing of CCTV monitoring centres and the introduction of the new standard; and if he will make a sta...More Button

The Private Security Authority, which is an independent agency under the remit of my Department established under the Private Security Services Acts 2004 and 2011, is the regulatory body with respo...More Button

Legislative Measures

Was asked: if he will report on the current status of the criminal justice (community sanctions) Bill; and if he will outline specifically the extent to which the provisions of the Bill will apply to persons ...More Button

In early February, the Government approved the drafting of a Criminal Justice (Community Sanctions) Bill to replace the Probation of Offenders Act 1907 with modern provisions dealing with community...More Button

The General Scheme of the Bill, which is available on my Department's website, has been submitted to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality for pre-legislative considerat...More Button

Prison Accommodation Provision

Was asked: if he will report on whether the transfer of all inmates aged under 21 years from St. Patrick’s Institution to Wheatfield Prison has been completed; and the current number of inmates under 21 years...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that all prisoners aged between 18 and 21, sentenced to detention have been transferred from St Patrick's Institution to Wheatfield Place of Detention. On 24 March 2014,...More Button

School Curriculum

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 399 of 11 March 2014, if and when same sex marriage is passed, if demominational schools will still be allowed to teach that marriage is between one man and on...More Button

As I indicated in my response to Parliamentary Question No. 399 of 11 March 2014, "No school will be obliged to change its religious teachings in relation to marriage". Of course, where ...More Button

Prison Medical Service

Was asked: if he will approve the release on medical grounds of a person (details supplied) in view of the fact that the Irish Prison Service requested a second medical opinion which has now been received and...More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service did not seek a second medical opinion in relation to this person, the offer of a second medical opinion was made by the treating consultant...More Button

It is not intended to provide the prisoner with early release on medical grounds. I stated on the record on the 15th October 2013 that the prisoner referred to in this question is under review b...More Button

Garda Expenditure

Was asked: if he will provide an annual breakdown, in tabular form, of the amount invested in policing services in County Donegal yearly since 2008. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that an annual breakdown of specific expenditure incurred from 2008 to 2013 in respect of the Donegal Garda Division is as presented in the following table.&n...More Button

Departmental Properties

Was asked: the amount his Department spent on rent for a property (details supplied) in Dublin 13; when the next rent review may take place on the property in question.More Button

No rent has been expended by my Department on the property referred to. It is leased by the Office of Public Works (OPW) on behalf of my Department for use by the Probation Service. The OPW are the...More Button

Closed Circuit Television Systems

Was asked: if appropriate funding will be provided to fund a new phase of a Garda CCTV system in view of the continuing high levels of burglary and related crime.More Button

Garda CCTV systems are planned and implemented on the basis of An Garda Síochána's identified operational needs and priorities. Accordingly, decisions in relation to the introduction or extension ...More Button

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the question of extending the current Garda CCTV arrangements is being kept under ongoing review in the context of overall policy considerations and th...More Button

Residency Permits

Was asked: the procedure to be followed to make an application for long-term residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 16; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person referred to by the Deputy submitted an application for Long Term Residency in November 2012....More Button

Long Term Residency is granted on the basis that non EEA national has completed five years legal residency on work permit/work authorisation/ working visa or green card permit conditions. The app...More Button

It is open to any individual to lodge an application for Long Term Residency if and when they are in a position to meet the eligibility criteria. Full details of the qualifying criteria can be fo...More Button

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

Was asked: his plans to implement the earned regulation scheme proposed by a number of undocumented migrant groups here so as to provide citizens, who are contributing significantly to this country, with a re...More Button

I am familiar with the ongoing campaign in this area but at present my Department has no plans to introduce any form of a so-called earned regularisation scheme. It remains the responsibility of a...More Button

If a person is undocumented his/her case can be considered on its merits by officials in the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department. Such cases are presented on a regular ...More Button

Broad regularisation programmes are problematic and could give rise to unpredictable and potentially very costly impacts across the full range of public and social services. At EU Level, the Memb...More Button

Any significant departure from well established policies in this respect would have a major impact on the operation of the Common Travel Area both here and in the United Kingdom which is of the m...More Button

Garda Recruitment

Was asked: if the cut-off point for consideration of new Garda recruits is 2,000 candidates. More Button

Was asked: if membership of the Garda Reserve will provide candidates just outside the cut-off point any special consideration should new recruiting begin in the future.More Button

Was asked: his plans to have any future large scale recruitment drives for the Gardaí after the current 300.More Button

Was asked: the selection criteria used to determine the progression of candidates from phase two to three of the most recent Garda recruitment campaign; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 760 to 763, inclusive, together.

  I can inform the Deputy that recruitment to An Garda Síochána is governed by the Garda Síochána (Admissions an...More Button

Was asked: the number of Garda Reserve members that made it to stage three of the recruitment process for An Garda Síochána; the weighting given to those applicants that had indicated to have been attested by...More Button

The Public Appointments Service (PAS) is managing the recruitment process for the Garda Commissioner and I have no direct involvement in the matter.

  The number of Garda reserv...More Button

Departmental Meetings

Was asked: the number of times his Department received requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times his Department met with Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if ...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is represented on the Forum on Philanthropy and Fund-raising and officials from my Department attend the regular meetings of the Forum in this capacit...More Button

I can further advise the Deputy that officials from my Department met with representatives of Philanthropy Ireland on three occasions in 2012 and on one occasion in 2013 in connection with the pr...More Button

Was asked: the number of times his Department received requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times his Department met with Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if ...More Button

My Department has not received any requests from, nor have any meetings been held with Philantrophy Ireland, since 2011.More Button

  Question No. 828 answered with Question No. 139.More Button

Departmental Investigations

Was asked: if he will confirm that he will extend the terms of reference of the section 42 inquiry into the Roma children controversy to now include an examination of Garda racial profiling practices and any ...More Button

The terms of Reference for the Inquiry being undertaken by Ms Emily Logan into the events referred to by the Deputy are set out in the Statutory Instrument No. 481 of 2013 entitled "Ga...More Button

Equality Issues

Was asked: the steps he has taken to address the findings regarding Garda racial profiling as set out in the European Commission on Racism and Intolerance report of February 2013; and if, in accordance with t...More Button

My Department is aware of the report of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and also of the report of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. My Department ...More Button

Racial profiling in services offered by the Gardaí is already prohibited by race discrimination under Equal Status legislation. However, investigation of crime, public order etc are not services ...More Button

This is of course a complex matter. Ireland has become a much more diverse society and indeed the nature of Irishness has evolved as many people from overseas have made their homes here. At the...More Button

Firearms Licences

Was asked: the recommendations he has received from An Garda Síochána and his Department in relation to changes to firearm licences; if he accepts the recommendations; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

Was asked: his proposals to change the firearm licensing system to involve compensation for affected owners, a risk analysis of the changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 769 and 772 together.More Button

My Department is examining key issues relating to licensing in conjunction with An Garda Síochána. The issues include the rationale for and matters arising in relation to any proposed changes. Re...More Button

Was asked: the current total number of restricted handguns currently licensed to sports persons here; the total number of non-restricted handguns currently licensed to sports persons; and if he will make a st...More Button

Was asked: the total number of firearm licences presented in tabular form broken down by type; if membership of a sports club is necessary and on a per county currently held in the country; and if he will mak...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 770 and 771 together.

  I have asked the Garda Commissioner for a report in relation to these matters and will write to the Deputy when I have fu...More Button

  Question No. 772 answered with Question No. 769.More Button

Magdalen Laundries

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 420 of 11 March 2014, if he will confirm which of the two congregations have responded to his request for a financial contribution to the Magdalene Laundries R...More Button

I can confirm that the Sisters of Mercy and the Religious Sisters of Charity have responded to my request to reconsider their positions on making a financial contribution.More Button

Was asked: if he will clarify figures as presented in Dáil Éireann in 2013 to be paid to the Magdalen fund which range between €34.5 million to €58 million; the reason the figure set aside to pay for the ex g...More Button

The overall total estimated cost associated with the establishment of the Restorative Justice Scheme is €34.5m to €58m based on an estimate of 555 to 1000 applicants applying to the scheme. It inc...More Button

In the current year, the cost of the scheme as regards the Justice Vote is expected to be in the region of €23m. This takes account of the lump sum payments, weekly instalment payments for those...More Button

Was asked: the number of the 224 applicants for whom payments have been issued who are resident with and-or are in the care of the religious congregations that formerly operated the Magdalene laundries in vie...More Button

I can advise the Deputy that 251 applicants to the ex-gratia scheme have received their lump sum payment to date. Of that number, 24 reside with and are in the care of the religious congregations ...More Button

It has been the case with all payments to date, that payments only issue to a Bank account in the sole name of the applicant. Where there are capacity issues with an applicant who is not a Ward o...More Button

Garda Vetting of Personnel

Was asked: the position regarding Garda clearance in the case of a person convicted of a criminal offence more than 30 years ago (details supplied) who is now seeking work in the health care area; and if he w...More Button

Garda Vetting Disclosures are predicated on the signed authorisation of a vetting subject for An Garda Síochána to disclose to the registered organisation “details of all prosecutions, successful o...More Button

Elements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 relating to the disclosure of convictions are under review at present having regard to a recent judgment of the ...More Button

Until now all records of all criminal convictions have been disclosed by the Gardaí when vetting people for various employments. However, in future certain minor offences that are more than seven...More Button

Pending commencement of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 the revisions in approach outlined above will, in the interim be applied on an administrative basis ...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that a decision as to the employability of a specific individual rests with the relevant employer who may have to take into account a wide variety of considerations in ...More Button

Was asked: when a charge is stuck out, if no reference to it will appear on a Garda vetting report (details supplied). More Button

Garda Vetting Disclosures are predicated on the signed authorisation of a vetting subject for An Garda Síochána to disclose to the registered organisation “details of all prosecutions, successful o...More Button

Elements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 relating to the disclosure of convictions are under review at present having regard to a recent judgment of the ...More Button

Until now all records of all criminal convictions have been disclosed by the Gardaí when vetting people for various employments. However, in future certain minor offences that are more than seven...More Button

Pending commencement of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 the revisions in approach outlined above will, in the interim, be applied on an administrative basis...More Button

Courts Service

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 194 of 22 May 2013, if the report referred to in the reply is now to hand.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts, which includes the provision of information on the courts system, is the responsibilit...More Button

Report on cases in the District Court in 2011 for failure to pay a fixed penalty notice within 56 days  

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Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 507 of 4 February 2014, the position regarding the review being conducted by the Courts Service across Dublin city and county; if Swords and Balbriggan Court h...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts, including the provision of accommodation for court sittings, is the responsibility of the Cour...More Button

As outlined in my response to Parliamentary Question No. 507 of 4 February 2014, the Courts Service, during 2013, undertook a review of court services in the greater Dublin Area which included S...More Button

The Courts Service has assured me that any proposal to change the status of Swords or Balbriggan District Courts will be subject to a comprehensive and detailed assessment and the criteria which ...More Button

Joint Policing Committees Remit

Was asked: when his Department, together with the Garda authorities and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government will outline the outcome of the review process of the role of the joint po...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, I initiated the review of the operation of Joint Policing Committees in the context of the commitment in the Programme for Government to build on existing community policing...More Button

Garda Deployment

Was asked: if it is the intention of senior management in An Garda Síochána to remove the gardaí from escort duties for cash in transit deliveries. More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that it would be contrary to the public interest for me to comment on matters of a security related nature or on the procedures in place for the secure transport of cash....More Button

Was asked: the number of Garda station closures there have been in County Mayo for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. More Button

Was asked: the number of gardaí who retired and were not replaced in County Mayo for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 784 and 785 together.

  There were no station closures in the years 2000 to 2011 inclusive. There were however 39 Garda Stations closed in 2012 o...More Button

Ministerial Staff

Was asked: the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on his behalf; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties.More Button

The current staffing of my constituency office, and their salary ranges, is as follows:

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Was asked: the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on his behalf; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties.More Button

There are no civil servants engaged in constituency work on my behalf in the Department of Defence.More Button

Garda Career Breaks

Was asked: the reason for encouraging current members of An Garda Síochána to take an incentivised career break while at the same time recruiting new members.More Button

The Incentivised Career Break Scheme for members of An Garda Síochána is part of the agreed terms set out in the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013 - 2016 (The Haddington Road Agreement). Appe...More Button

This agreement was entered into between the Garda Staff Associations and the management side.More Button

My objective is to maintain Garda strength at 13,000 and the number of trainees to be recruited will be determined taking that objective into account along with the rate of departures from the fo...More Button

Court Accommodation Provision

Was asked: the number of court houses which have closed in County Mayo for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts, including the provision of accommodation for court sittings, is the responsibility of the Cour...More Button

Marriages of Convenience

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the number of arranged marriages taking place here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate I have no responsibility for marriage registration: I assume he is referring to marriages of convenience and the abuse of the EU free movement legal framework by those...More Button

One such abuse, which has emerged from the now well documented trend towards unusual patterns of marriage between European citizens and third country nationals, relates to sham marriages or marri...More Button

This is a complex issue and there is no single, legislative or operational approach that will permanently eliminate the problem. The authorities deploy a range of measures and cooperate closely ...More Button

In addition to our operational response I have asked my officials to re-examine the provisions in the Immigration Residence and Protection Bill 2010 and to draft amendments dealing with immigrati...More Button

At the European level there are also a number of initiatives focused at abuse on legal migration channels such as marriages of convenience. In 2009 the Commission published guidelines on the bet...More Button

Insolvency Service of Ireland Funding

Was asked: the budget provided for the Insolvency Service of Ireland in 2014; the number of staff currently employed by the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I can advise the Deputy that the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) has been allocated a budget of €7.2 million for 2014 under the Justice Vote. It should be noted that practically all of the pla...More Button

There are 89 staff assigned to and currently working in the ISI. This includes staff working for the Official Assignee who previously formed part of the Courts Service.More Button

Insolvency Service of Ireland Application Numbers

Was asked: the number of applications that have come before the Insolvency Service of Ireland; the number of debt relief notices, debt settlement arrangements and personal insolvency arrangements that have be...More Button

In the interest of confidentiality, the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) is not providing details or breakdowns of the numbers of applications received or being processed at this time. The ISI f...More Button

Departmental Correspondence

Was asked: if any dialogue has occurred between the different religious groups and his Department regarding arranged marriages of girls under the age of 17; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I will contact the Deputy's Office directly in relation to this matter.More Button

Garda Reports

Was asked: if he has received the annual report from An Garda Síochána for 2013; when the 2013 report will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Section 46 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 requires the Garda Commissioner to submit an Annual Report not later than four months after the end of each year on the policing of the State for the previ...More Button

The Act also requires me, as the Minister, to lay a copy of the report before the Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable, and not later than 30 days, after receiving the report.More Button

Crime Data

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form the number of murders in which a firearm was used that were recorded in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of these that were recorded in Dublin; the number of convi...More Button

Was asked: the number of gangland style shootings that have occurred in Dublin in 2013; if he is concerned at the increase in gangland activity in Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 793 and 794 together.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that seven murders in which firearms were used and which are classified as associated with organised crime were recorded in the Dublin region in 2013. Whil...More Button

No-one underestimates the challenges faced by the Gardaí in tackling organised crime and investigating what are typically very carefully planned shootings but the Gardaí are impacting on these or...More Button

In particular, the Garda Policing Plan 2014 sets out the continued commitment of An Garda Síochána to pro-actively target groups and individuals engaged in organised criminal activity. Multi-dis...More Button

Homicide rates continue to be monitored closely and investigations are actively progressed under the daily supervision of local Garda Management and specially appointed Senior Investigating Offic...More Button

I have every confidence that An Garda Síochána will continue to develop and implement strategies to dismantle and disrupt criminal networks, through targeted operations utilising advanced analyti...More Button

Garda Vetting Applications

Was asked: if a person has a case taken against them by the Director of Public Prosecutions at the request of a member of An Garda Síochána and if following that case the charge against the person was complet...More Button

Garda Vetting Disclosures are predicated on the signed authorisation of a vetting subject for An Garda Síochána to disclose to the registered organisation “details of all prosecutions, successful o...More Button

Elements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 relating to the disclosure of convictions are under review at present having regard to a recent judgment of the ...More Button

Until now all records of all criminal convictions have been disclosed by the Gardaí when vetting people for various employments. However, in future certain minor offences that are more than seven...More Button

Pending commencement of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 the revisions in approach outlined above will, in the interim, be applied on an administrative basis...More Button

Garda Oversight

Was asked: if he will report on the meeting of the criminal justice working group established to oversee and facilitate the implementations of the report of An Garda Síochána inspectorate entitled, The Fixed ...More Button

The function of the Criminal Justice (Fixed Charge Processing System) Working Group is to oversee and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations of the Report of the Garda Síochána Inspec...More Button

Court Orders

Was asked: the numbers of applications to the respective district courts across the country for ejectment-possession orders made by each and all local authorities under both the Housing Act 1966 and the Housi...More Button

Was asked: the numbers of ejectment-possession orders obtained in District Courts across the country by each and all local authorities for the years 2009 to 2013, inclusive, under the Housing Act 1966 and the...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 797 and 798 together.

  The Deputy will be aware that, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the respo...More Button

Copyright Infringement

Was asked: his view on correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that I have no official responsibility to the Dáil in relation to the issue he has raised. The matter appears to involve an alleged breach of the civil law in relation ...More Button

Garda Transport Data

Was asked: the number of additional Garda community relations vans that came into service in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number that were withdrawn during same period; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

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

  I am adv...More Button

Citizenship Status

Was asked: the position regarding a person born in Ireland in 1993 to French parents who lived here until six years of age; if the person is automatically entitled to Irish citizenship; and if he will make a ...More Button

Under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, a child born in the island of Ireland prior to 1 January 2005 is entitled to be an Irish citizen. Citizenship can be established i...More Button

Programme for Government Implementation

Was asked: if he will provide an update in tabular form of the commitments in the programme for Government that relate to his Department; and the progress that has been made in the implementation of each comm...More Button

For detail on progress to date I refer the Deputy to the Programme for Government Annual Report 2014 published on 4 March 2014 and to my own statement to the House on 5 March 2014.More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update in tabular form of the commitments in the programme for Government that relate to his Department; and the progress that has been made in the implementation of each comm...More Button

The commitments in the Programme for Government relating to Defence and the progress that has been made are set out in the table.

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Residential Institutions Redress Scheme

Was asked: if he will implement the full recommendation regarding the nursing home supports scheme, as outlined by Mr. Justice Quirke, for women still in residential care; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

Judge Quirke in his 10th Recommendation, having looked at wardship, the schemes provided for under the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 and the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal Act 1997 a...More Button

The provision for the appointment of a care representative under section 21 of the 2009 only applies to a person who is incapable of making a decision relating to the making of an application for...More Button

My understanding of what Judge Quirke intended was that there should be a similar statutory scheme applicable to women who have capacity issues and who fall within the scope of the scheme recomme...More Button

Refugee Status Applications

Was asked: in view of the recent Government decision on admitting some Syrian refugees if he will clarify the procedures for accepting applications in this context; if Syrian refugees now in Turkey who have f...More Button

I recently announced the introduction of the Syrian Humanitarian Admission Programme (SHAP) which focuses on offering temporary Irish residence to vulnerable persons who are present in Syria, or wh...More Button

I am informed by INIS that details of the SHAP application procedure and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available on the INIS website www.inis.gov.ie and that the final date for the submis...More Button

The Deputy may wish to note that 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 establi...More Button

  Question No. 809 answered with Question No. 146.More Button

Planning Issues

Was asked: if planning permission was sought to demolish dwellings at the Curragh Camp as required by Schedule 2, Part (1), class 50 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001; and if not, the reason fo...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, by Regulations made under the Planning and Development Act, 2000, developments used for the purpose of or in connection with the operation of the Defence Forces are exempted...More Button

Pension Provisions

Was asked: the circumstances in which deductions are made from the gratuity or pension of former serving soldiers in relation to outstanding payments for rent or ESB on Defence Forces dwellings; and the legis...More Button

Under Defence Forces Regulations made in accordance with Defence Acts 1954 - 2011, married quarters were allocated to serving members of the Defence Forces in circumstances where it was considered ...More Button

Occupation of quarters by the spouse and children of a former member of the Defence Forces to whom the quarters were allocated is considered to be occupation by the former member themselves. On ...More Button

The Regulations provide that such charges that become payable in respect of overholding be recovered by way of public debt from monies due to the former member of the Defence Forces or the estate...More Button

Defence Forces Deployment

Was asked: the current compliment of staff at Custume Barracks, Athlone; the timeframe for the new recruitment process in the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

 I have been advised by the Military Authorities that the current strength of personnel in Custume Barracks, Athlone is 872.   With regard to recruitment, I announced the launch...More Button

Was asked: the total number of Irish Defence Forces personnel currently posted overseas on various missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the total number of personnel current posted from the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps at various trouble spots overseas under the aegis of the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the current peacekeeping missions in which the State has a role; if he expects to see further requests from the UN for Irish involvement in any other peace keeping o...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 817, 819 and 834 together.

  As of 01 March 2014, Ireland is contributing approximately 404 Defence Forces personnel to 14 different missions thr...More Button

Defence Forces Training

Was asked: the extent to which ongoing training in respect of Permanent Defence Force in line with international standards continues with particular reference to any potential posting overseas through the aeg...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which ongoing training and upgrading of technical support in respect of the Permanent Defence Force continues with a view to ensuring that Army, navy and Air Corps personnel are adequ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 818 and 820 together.More Button

The Defence Forces has a robust and comprehensive training system which incorporates a wide variety of modern training methods. Training standards in the Defence Forces are constantly benchmarked...More Button

Troops selected for overseas service undergo a rigorous programme of training designed to help them carry out their peacekeeping duties, this also includes mission specific training. Pre-deploy...More Button

Ireland’s membership of the Partnership for Peace has allowed the Defence Forces to gain access to NATO standards – which are internationally-recognised as representing best practice in military ...More Button

The acquisition of new equipment for the Defence Forces remains a focus for me as Minister for Defence and is a matter that is kept under constant review at a senior level in my Department and in...More Button

In the current economic climate the budgetary situation will continue to dictate the level of funding available for new equipment, training and equipment upgrades. Decisions will be made accordin...More Button

I am assured by the Chief of Staff that the Defence Forces are adequately equipped and trained to meet the many demands and tasks Government has assigned to them.More Button

  Question No. 819 answered with Question No. 817.More Button

  Question No. 820 answered with Question No. 818.More Button

  Question No. 821 answered with Question No. 148.More Button

Defence Forces Equipment

Was asked: the extent to which military vehicles, including vehicles, aircraft and seagoing vessels, continue to be maintained, serviced and upgraded as required on an ongoing basis; and if he will make a sta...More Button

I am satisfied that the level of equipment currently available to the Defence Forces enables them to carry out their roles, both at home and overseas. The acquisition of new equipment for the Army...More Button

However, the fact remains that in the current economic climate the budgetary situation will continue to dictate the level of funding available for new equipment and for equipment upgrades. Decisi...More Button

On the transport side, the Defence Forces has a significant fleet of vehicles. In recent years, a number of vehicle purchases took place which included Minibuses, standard patrol vehicles and mid...More Button

The Air Corps operate a maintenance plan which endeavors to ensure that the maximum number of operational flying hours is available from aircraft when most needed. The maintenance of the Air Corp...More Button

The provision of two new offshore Patrol Vessels for the Naval Service is well advanced with the first ship due for delivery shortly and the second ship scheduled for delivery in early 2015. The...More Button

Defence Forces Personnel Data

Was asked: the extent to which the number of women serving in each branch of the Defence Forces has fluctuated in the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The table contains the strength of women in the Permanent Defence Force, broken down into Army, Air Corps and Naval Service for each of the years 2009 to 2013. The Government is committed to a pol...More Button

  Question No. 826 answered with Question No. 822.More Button

Defence Forces Retirement Scheme

Was asked: when he will reply to the claim submitted by PDFORRA to his Department regarding the issue of extending privates and corporals beyond 21 years service in the Defence Forces; if his attention has be...More Button

The unsatisfactory age and fitness profile of the Permanent Defence Force was an issue of serious concern during the 1990s and was the subject of severe criticism by a series of external reports, m...More Button

In an effort to alleviate the situation, the Government had already decided in 1993 to enlist personnel on a five year contract basis, following consultation with Permanent Defence Force Other Ra...More Button

In 2004 PDFORRA submitted a claim under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for a further review of the terms of service applying to personnel enlisting in the Permanent Defence Force after 1...More Button

The criteria require that any person re-engaging after 12 years service must be able to continue to operate at their current level both at home and overseas on an ongoing basis. Re-engagement is ...More Button

- Enlisted Personnel, up to and including the rank of Corporal (and equivalent Naval Service rank), may not serve beyond 21 years service.More Button

- Enlisted Personnel, in the rank of Sergeant (and equivalent Naval Service rank), may be permitted to continue in service up to the age of fifty years.More Button

- Enlisted Personnel in all higher ranks may serve to the age of fifty-six.More Button

With the approach of 2015 the first effects of the agreement, whereby Privates and Corporals may not serve beyond 21 years, will be felt by Permanent Defence Force members in those ranks. I am aw...More Button

However, I am confident that in examining this claim from PDFORRA, all pertinent facts, including cost to the Exchequer and benefit to the Defence Forces are being considered. It is intended to ...More Button

  Question No. 834 answered with Question No. 817.More Button

  Question No. 835 answered with Question No. 832.More Button

Defence Forces Strength

Was asked: if he will provide up-to-date figures for the strength of the Permanent Defence Force and the Reserve Defence Force with regard to all three services; if he will provide the gender breakdown of sam...More Button

The strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 31 January 2014, the latest date for which figures are available, was 9,198, broken down into 7,403 Army, 775 Air Corps and 1,020 Naval Service. 556 (...More Button

  Question No. 839 answered with Question No. 139.More Button

Air Corps Strength

Was asked: the number of pilots currently serving in the Air Corps; the number of those who are female; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Military Authorities that there are 88 pilots currently serving in the Air Corps. Of that total there is 1 female pilot.More Button

Semi-State Bodies Remuneration

Was asked: the salaries, including pensions and any other bonus related additions, including company cars, of chief executive officers of commercial State bodies under the remit of his Department; and if he w...More Button

There are no commercial State bodies under the aegis of my Department.More Button


 

 

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