Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

McEntee, Helen

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Parental Leave

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 166 of 23 September 2020, when the additional three-week parental leave will be enacted; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Bill 2019 provides for two weeks of parent’s leave and benefit for all new parents in employment or self-employment in respect of children born or placed for adoption...More Button

The Government is currently considering a proposal to advance the extension of Parent’s Leave and Benefit to five weeks for all parents of children born after 1 November 2019, to enable every eli...More Button

The Government proposal would mean that eligible parents of children born during the pandemic crisis would get an extra three weeks of Parent’s Leave to offset the impact of having a child during...More Button

This will be a matter for Minister O'Gorman to progress following the transfer of this function to his Department in the coming weeks.More Button

Refugee Resettlement Programme

Was asked: if an offer has been made to the Greek authorities to accept a significant number of asylum seekers impacted by the disastrous fire in the Moria refugee camp; his contacts to date with the Greek au...More Button

Ireland strongly supports the principle of solidarity and recognises that assistance is required for Member States who face a disproportionate number of applicants and where incidences such as that...More Button

Last week, I announced an additional commitment under the Irish RefugeeProtection Programme (IRPP) to welcome up to 50 people in family groups from Greece following the recent fire that almost co...More Button

The families who will arrive from Greece have already been granted an international protection status by the Greek authorities. I will grant them ‘programme refugee’ status immediately upon their...More Button

The Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) was established in 2015 in response to the migration crisis in central and southern Europe. Under this programme, the Government committed to accepti...More Button

To date, more than 3,350 people have arrived in the State under this first phase of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). Most of the remaining people will arrive under the Irish Refuge...More Button

Last December, a second phase of the IRPP was announced giving a commitment to welcome a further 2,900 refugees between this year and 2023, through a combination of resettlement and community spo...More Button

Was asked: her plans to increase the number of refugees Ireland will offer to relocate from Greece before Christmas 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Ireland strongly supports the principle of solidarity and recognises that assistance is required for Member States who face a disproportionate number of applicants and where incidences such as that...More Button

Last week, I announced an additional commitment under the Irish RefugeeProtection Programme (IRPP) to welcome up to 50 people in family groups from Greece following the recent fire that almost co...More Button

The families who will arrive from Greece have already been granted an international protection status by the Greek authorities. I will grant them ‘programme refugee’ status immediately upon their...More Button

The Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) was established in 2015 in response to the migration crisis in central and southern Europe. Under this programme, the Government committed to accepti...More Button

To date, more than 3,350 people have arrived in the State under this first phase of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). Most of the remaining people will arrive under the Irish Refuge...More Button

Last December, a second phase of the IRPP was announced giving a commitment to welcome a further 2,900 refugees between this year and 2023, through a combination of resettlement and community spo...More Button

Property Management Companies

Was asked: if a management company is obliged to invite all owners that pay service charges to the AGM of the management company under the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011.More Button

The Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 was enacted with the primary purposes of reforming the law relating to the ownership and management of common areas of multi-unit developments and facilitating ...More Button

Section 17 of the Act imposes specific obligations on OMCs with regards to the holding of an AGM and the preparation of an annual report. OMCs must hold a meeting at least once a year to consider...More Button

Garda Stations

Was asked: her plans for Donnybrook Garda station, Dublin 4; and if it will continue to operate under the current reduced hours.More Button

Was asked: the maximum number of persons who might be working in Donnybrook Garda station, Dublin 4, at any one time; the average number of persons working in the station at any one time; the number of full-t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 591 and 610 together.

  The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, inclu...More Button

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51

In response to Deputy Richmond, in which you requested the maximum number of persons who might be working in Donnyb...More Button

Was asked: if there are plans to provide a new Garda station in Citywest, County Dublin which has been the subject of a long campaign (details supplied).More Button

The programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has the respon...More Button

An Garda Síochána has been allocated an unprecedented budget of €1.88 billion for 2020, as well as capital funding of over €116 million this year.More Button

The Garda Capital Investment Programme 2016-2021 which was announced by the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister of State at the Office of Public Works on 21 October 2015 does not i...More Button

The determination of the need for a new Garda Station in Citywest, Co. Dublin, or any other location, will be considered by An Garda Síochána in the context of the overall accommodation requireme...More Button

Direct Provision System

Was asked: the number of single persons, families, children and number of persons being accommodated in the temporary direct provision centre in Bray, County Wicklow; and if she will make a statement on the m...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons in direct provision accommodation in Bray, County Wicklow, for zero to three, three to six, six to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively, in tabular form; and if she will m...More Button

Was asked: when the contract ceases for direct provision in Bray, County Wicklow; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 592 to 594, inclusive, together.

  As of 4 October 2020, there were 128 residents in the temporary accommodation premises in Bray, including 19 c...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons to be accommodated in the Dominick Street Complex direct provision centre, Galway, by unit in tabular form; when the facility will be fully occupied; the person or body respon...More Button

The Dominick Street Complex comprises 30 apartments and 5 townhouses. Accommodation varies from 1-2 bedrooms with fully equipped kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms and on-site Wi-Fi. The units w...More Button

An initial two-year contract has been agreed between my Department and Keldesso Limited (the service provider). The service provider will be responsible for the maintenance and security of the p...More Button

All units are own-door and fully self-contained. They will facilitate independent living for residents, in line with the National Standards for accommodation centres published last year. This mea...More Button

In addition, there is a communal area on the ground floor of the apartments with a reception office and multi-functional meeting rooms for residents. This will include an indoor children’s play f...More Button

The children of international protection applicants are educated within the mainstream education system and can access free primary and post-primary education in the same way as other children in...More Button

Family Reunification

Was asked: the status of an application for family reunification by a person (details supplied).More Button

The Immigration Service of my Department received a proposal under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme Humanitarian Admissions Programme (known as IHAP) from the person referred to by the Deputy...More Button

The person concerned was informed, in letters dated 11 December 2018 and 22 January 2019, that the proposal could not be accepted for reasons outlined at that time, namely that the subjects of th...More Button

Information on the eligibility conditions of the IHAP are available on the Immigration Service website at: www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/irish-refugee-protection-programme-humanitarian-admission...More Button

Data Protection

Was asked: if she has received greater clarity and guidance on the way in which the GDPR safeguards apply in the case of children after calls made after the Council working party discussions on the scope of t...More Button

Ireland has welcomed the European Commission’s commitment to providing tools to clarify and support the application of data protection rules to children. More Button

The Commission also recommended that the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopt guidelines which are practical, easily understandable, and which provide clear answers and avoid ambiguities o...More Button

To date, neither the Commission nor the EDPB have issued guidelines in relation to the processing of children’s data. More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the GDPR is an EU wide instrument and member states cannot deviate from its provisions, nor will guidelines supersede that position. Commencement of section 30 ra...More Button

The processing of personal data for marketing and profiling purposes takes place under the so-called “legitimate interests” ground in Article 6.1(f) of the GDPR, with the case law of the Court of...More Button

The Office of the Attorney General has also advised my Department that section 30 of the Act appears to go beyond the margin of discretion afforded to Member States in giving further effect to th...More Button

The European Commission has also confirmed that processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest and that Article 6(1)(f) of the ...More Button

The Commission also indicated that subject to Article 22 (automated decision-making), processing of personal data of a child for the purposes of profiling is not generally prohibited, albeit the ...More Button

Moreover, the Commission have indicated that the term "micro-targeting", as referenced in Section 30 of the Act, is not mentioned in the GDPR, and its scope remains uncertain and undefined.More Button

Apart from this apparent conflict with the GDPR, the Office of the Attorney General has advised that section 30 gives rise to difficulties under Article 38.1 of the Constitution and under Article...More Button

Asylum Seekers

Was asked: if she will expand the plans to lease properties in Galway city centre to house asylum seekers nationwide and to remove asylum seekers from congregated settings; and if she will make a statement on...More Button

The new accommodation centre in Galway City Centre was selected following a public procurement process, which was advertised through the Government’s procurement portal More Button

Departmental Contracts

Was asked: the value of contracts awarded by his Department to a company (details supplied), its subsidiaries and each body and local authority under his remit from 1 January 2016 to 14 July 2020, in tabular ...More Button

In respect of the Deputy’s question please see the enclosed table which sets out the expenditure by my Department in each of the years from 1 January 2016 to 14 July 2020 in relation to contracts a...More Button

Crime Data

Was asked: the number of animals reported stolen or missing to An Garda Síochána in County Laois; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of prosecutions and convictions secured in County Laois regarding the theft of animals; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of animals reported stolen or missing to An Garda Síochána nationally; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of prosecutions and convictions secured regarding the theft of animals nationally; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 600 to 603, inclusive, together.

  I am very conscious of the impact that crimes like animal theft have on the quality of life for residents in l...More Button

Departmental Reviews

Was asked: the status of the review of the administration of civil justice; when the review will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A Group to review the administration of civil justice in the State, chaired by the former President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly, was established in 2017. The Group will make recommend...More Button

I understand that the Group is on track to submit its report to me by the end of October 2020 and it is my intention to publish it shortly thereafter. More Button

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to implement reforms to the administration of civil justice in the State covering matters such as the more efficient and effective deployment of...More Button

This Report will be an important and welcome contribution to bringing about reforms in the Administration of Civil Justice and will be actively considered by my Department to inform appropriate p...More Button

EU Directives

Was asked: the cost to her Department to date of all fines paid by Ireland for non-transposition of EU directives into Irish law; the breakdown, by directive of the lump sum cost and the daily cost of each fi...More Button

Garda Training

Was asked: the protocol in An Garda Síochána to act upon reports of a potential suicide.More Button

I would like to thank the Deputy for submitting this question. I very much appreciate the devastation which is caused to every family impacted upon by such tragic situations. More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that there are protocols in place for Garda members to respond to reports of a potential suicide. HQ Directive 75/2014, the Hostage/Barricade/Suicide Inci...More Button

The response by An Garda Síochána to reports of potential suicide incidents are in line with this policy of containment and negotiation for a safe resolution. More Button

This policy sets out the process for declaring a ‘Hostage/Barricade/Suicide’ incident. When such an incident is declared, a trained ‘Operational Commander’ is deployed to take command of the inc...More Button

The National Negotiation Unit and the Armed Support Unit (ASU) are routinely deployed to resolve incidents involving persons with suicidal intentions. All members of the National Negotiation Uni...More Button

Prison Deaths

Was asked: the number of deaths in custody by year, by prison, by gender and by cause of death in each of the years 2010 to 2019 and to date in 2020, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the m...More Button

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that all deaths in custody are notified to An Garda Síochána, who investigate where circumstances warrant, in addition to the inquest held in the Coroner's ...More Button

Residency Permits

Was asked: the status of Irish residency permit card renewals; the current turnaround time; if there is a procedure in place for urgent applicants; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Significant demand accumulated during the four months that the Registration Office was closed due to COVID-19. To assist in addressing this demand, a new online system for the renewal of Registrat...More Button

Was asked: the progress to date in the determination of an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written representations have been submitted on behalf of the person concerned in response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). These r...More Button

It is not possible at this point in time to provide a specific indication as to when the case will be finalised. However, the person concerned can be assured that there will be no avoidable dela...More Button

The conditions under which a national passport is issued or renewed is essentially a matter for each person to address with their own national authorities. The onus rests with each person and th...More Button

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

EU Bodies

Was asked: the Irish position regarding the European Public Prosecutor’s Office; the formalised permanent cooperation there is between Ireland and the office; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, Ireland is not participating in the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) which is being established by means of an enhanced cooperation procedure provided for und...More Button

Ireland is part of the related PIF Directive (Directive 2017/1371 on the fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law). This Directive will be transposed into ...More Button

The EPPO Regulation provides for the EPPO and the Commission putting in place arrangements for cooperation between the EPPO and the non-participating Member States. Discussions in respect of the...More Button

  Question No. 610 answered with Question No. 591.More Button

Deportation Orders

Was asked: the reason her Department does not collect statistics on the number of minors deported from the State; if this has always been the policy of her Department; her plans to change this policy; and if ...More Button

Was asked: the reason her Department does not collect statistics on the number of Irish-born non-Irish, UK, EEA and Swiss citizens deported from the State; if this has always been the policy of her Department...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 611 and 612 together.More Button

The Immigration Service of my Department captures the most relevant details relating to an applicant at the time a new immigration record is being created. Those details are comprised of the app...More Button

As I previously said in response to Parliamentary Question 718 of 29 September 2020, the issue of whether or not a child was born in the State will be identifiable and can be duly considered when...More Button

My Department does hold records for minors who have been issued with a Deportation Order where that Order has been effected and the minor has left the State. In all such cases, the minor would h...More Button

Immigration Status

Was asked: the timeline for her Department’s policy paper on the regularisation of undocumented persons; if it will be open to receiving submissions; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to create new pathways for long-term undocumented people and their dependents meeting specified criteria to regularise their status within 18 mont...More Button

Ireland along with other Member States of the EU, has committed, under the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum (2008), to a case-by-case approach as opposed to mass regularisation. However, ...More Button

A policy paper on the matter is being drafted by my Department at the present time. This will include an assessment of international best practices. Previous regularisation schemes, like the 2018...More Button

I would encourage any person who is resident in the State without permission to contact my Department or their local immigration office and to take all appropriate steps to regularise their own a...More Button

Visa Applications

Was asked: the reason for the inordinate delay regarding a review of a stamp 4 visa for a person (details supplied); and if she will commit to a time frame for making a decision on the review of the case.More Button

The Immigration Service of my Department is actively considering the immigration case of the person concerned. I understand that there has been an ongoing exchange of correspondence between the re...More Button

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

Legal Aid Service

Was asked: the position regarding the Legal Aid Board office in Finglas, Dublin 11 which has temporarily relocated to Smithfield Law Centre; when Finglas Law Centre will re-open; and if she will make a statem...More Button

The Legal Aid Board provides legal advice and aid under the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 and the Civil Legal Aid Regulations 1996-2017. Section 3(3) of the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 provides that the B...More Button

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and I am informed that the Board has recently found it necessary to vacate its existing premises in Finglas, Dublin ...More Button

I am further informed by the Legal Aid Board that it is committed to maintaining an office in the area of north Dublin city. The Legal Aid Board has, for some time, sought an alternative premise...More Button

The Board is currently engaged with another public body with offices in north Dublin with a view to Legal Aid Board staff providing a temporary clinic from those offices at specific times, until ...More Button

Insurance Costs

Was asked: her plans to revise legislation on the duty of care or negligence in the context of the ongoing insurance crisis; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to consider changes to the Occupiers' Liability Act and the Civil Liability Act (duty of care) to strengthen waivers and notices to increase prote...More Button

Insurance reform is a key priority for this Government as evidenced by the commitments on the issue contained in the Programme for Government. A Sub Group of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Re...More Button

Personal Injury Claims

Was asked: her plans to implement the findings of the Law Reform Commission report Capping Damages in Personal Injuries; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Law Reform Commission Report on Capping Damages in Personal Injuries which was published last Wednesday (30 September), considers whether it would be constitutionally permissible to legislate f...More Button

Insurance reform is a key priority for this Government. A Sub Group of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Investment has been established specifically to address insurance issues; th...More Button

Social Media Regulation

Was asked: her plans to make social media companies accountable in Irish law for false, misleading and defamatory publications on social media platforms; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In relation to defamatory publications, my Department is currently completing a review of the Defamation Act 2009. This review is included in the Programme for Government, which contains a commitm...More Button

I expect to receive the report of the review, with options for change, in the coming weeks, with a view to bringing proposals for legislative change to Government for approval before the end of t...More Button

The Review is addressing the wide range of issues raised in submissions made to it, including how to tackle effectively the new and specific problems raised by online defamation. More Button

The objective set for the defamation review from the outset was to ensure that our defamation law strikes the correct balance between rights which are protected by our Constitution and by the Eur...More Button

It is a priority for me and for my Department to get the reform of defamation law right, and to bring forward the required legislation at the earliest opportunity. More Button

My Department does not have a role in relation to the regulation of false and misleading information more generally on social media platforms.More Button

Was asked: her plans to provide greater powers to gardaí to access information in relation to false, misleading and defamatory publications on social media platforms and prosecute if and when the need arises;...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that the new Programme for Government, Our Shared Future, commits to reviewing and reforming defamation laws, to ensure a balanced approach to the right to freed...More Button

Garda Deployment

Was asked: the breakdown of population numbers to each Garda for every county here; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is, by law, responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and decisions on the deployment ...More Button

Garda Youth Diversion Projects

Was asked: the funding provided under the Garda youth diversion scheme in the past two years; the amount provided to each project during the period; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am very conscious of how the impact of anti-social behaviour affects the quality of life for local communities. Preventing children getting involved in criminality and diverting children away fro...More Button

Student Visas

Was asked: if the decision taken on 25 September 2020 to limit all students on a stamp 2 will be reconsidered in view of the fact that it restricts students, including graduating students who have submitted d...More Button

In March 2020, as part of the Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, students who hold Stamp 2 permissions and who attended colleges that had physically closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic...More Button

Departmental Staff

Was asked: the number of staff in her Department on sick leave between March and September by month in 2019 and to date 2020; the pay arrangements that exist for staff on sick leave for an extended period of ...More Button

The following table sets out the number of staff on sick leave, the number of sick leave instances and number of sick leave days by month from March to September 2019 and January to September 2020....More Button