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McEntee, Helen

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Wards of Court

Was asked: the number of persons taken into wardship in 2019 and 2020 for brain injury, dementia, age-related illness, psychiatric illness and other reasons; the number of persons under 18 years of age taken ...More Button

The High Court has jurisdiction in wards of court matters and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts...More Button

Residency Permits

Was asked: if a temporary stamp is available for those with expiring Irish residence permits (details supplied) to ensure that no one is forced to emigrate during the Covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a...More Button

The person referred to by the Deputy has lodged an application for certificate of naturalisation, which was received on 11 August 2020. This application continues to be processed with a view to est...More Button

To ensure that people do not fall out of permission during the pandemic, six automatic extensions of immigration permission have been provided, the most recent to 20 April 2021. The renewal of pe...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

Departmental Contracts

Was asked: if her Department or State agencies under the aegis of her Department have awarded contracts to a company (details supplied); if so, the value of such contracts; if the contracts were tendered for;...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that neither my Department nor the State agencies under its aegis have awarded any contracts to the company specified in the period 2016 to 2020. More Button

Anti-Social Behaviour

Was asked: the progress made in setting up a special expert forum on antisocial behaviours to consider the effectiveness of existing legislation and to propose new ways forward including the provision of new ...More Button

Deportation Orders

Was asked: the number of persons who have been refused leave to land at all ports of entry to the State since March 2020, by month in tabular form.More Button

The Border Management Unit (BMU) of the Immigration Service of my Department has responsibility for frontline immigration services at Dublin Airport only. Other ports of entry are the responsibilit...More Button

Was asked: the number of deportations carried out between January and December 2020, by month, in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the recent deportation of a man in Dublin Airport; the current policy in relation to deportations; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of deportations of persons seeking asylum per month in 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 689, 700 and 727 together.

  While neither I nor my Department can comment on individual cases, I can confirm that in line with the clear commitm...More Button

Was asked: the position of her Department on deportations; if her attention has been drawn to the transfer order issues to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In line with the clear commitments both I and the Taoiseach have given, no further Deportation Orders are being enforced during the pandemic, except in circumstances where there are national securi...More Button

Transfers under the EU Dublin III Regulation are not deportations. However, in effecting any such transfers a pragmatic approach is also being adopted in the context of Covid-19. More Button

The Dublin Regulation determines which Member State is responsible for examining an international protection application. It is based on the principle that the first Member State to facilitate en...More Button

Traditionally, a number of the transfer decisions made in this country have been to the UK, which was still bound by the EU Regulation until the end of 2020, under the transitional arrangements o...More Button

The person concerned was the subject of a transfer decision to the UK under the Dublin III Regulation. My Department provided an undertaking in this case in December 2020, which effectively meant...More Button

Prisoner Data

Was asked: the number of persons who have been remanded to the Irish Prison Service while awaiting removal from the State, not including persons awaiting extradition since March 2020, by month in tabular form.More Button

It has not been possible to obtain the information requested by the Deputy in the time permitted. The information has been sought and I will send it to the Deputy directly when it has been compiled. More Button

Garda Operations

Was asked: the number of adult cautions issued per Garda division in each of the years 2015 to 2020, in tabular formMore Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Adult Caution Scheme was introduced to An Garda Síochána in 2006 having been approved by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).  The operation of the scheme is ...More Button

Was asked: the funding provided under the Garda youth diversion scheme in each the years 2018 to 2020. inclusive, for organisations in County Louth and east County Meath; if there are plans within her Departm...More Button

Domestic Violence Services

Was asked: the exact amount of additional ring-fenced funding across all relevant Departments to be provided to domestic violence services in budget 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Tackling domestic abuse and providing supports for victims is a priority for me as Minister and for Government. I am working with my colleagues and with our partners to ensure we have an appropriat...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency under the aegis of the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, has statutory responsibility for the care...More Button

My Department provides funding for initiatives aimed at combatting domestic abuse and sexual violence and also provides funding to promote and assist the development of support services to victim...More Button

I have secured increased funding for 2021 for combatting domestic abuse and sexual violence and increased funding for supporting victims of crime. Funding of some €3 million has been secured for ...More Button

These figures reflect the additional €2.3 million provided in Budget 2021 for implementation of Supporting a Victim's Journey - A plan to help victims and vulnerable witnesses in sexual violence ...More Button

The government has been in a position to provide an Garda Síochána with significant additional resources in recent years. This has enabled the Commissioner to allocate additional funding to tackl...More Button

Was asked: if a text alert system such as is operational in the UK for victims of domestic abuse is being considered; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can assure the Deputy that addressing all forms of domestic abuse and sexual violence is a key priority for me and my Department. We are continuously working to ensure that we have robust legisla...More Button

Women’s Aid, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, and Vodafone Ireland, launched in 2019 the BrightSky Ireland App, a free app that connects victims of domestic violence and abuse to advice and...More Button

I have been informed by An Garda Síochána that feedback from victims who have used the App is extremely positive, they feel the ability to have support information to hand in a safe manner is inc...More Button

It may interest the Deputy to know that Women’s Aid, who run the 24 hour national domestic abuse helpline in Ireland, also provide an online instant messaging support service on their website and...More Button

Naturalisation Applications

Was asked: if she will address a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied).More Button

The application of the person referred to by the Deputy has been received by the Immigration Service of my Department and I am advised that their passport will be returned to them in the coming day...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

Was asked: if she will waive a fee (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The fees to be paid by an applicant for a certificate of naturalisation are governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 569 of 2011). The applica...More Button

The standard certification fee is set at €950, while a reduced fee of €200 applies in the case of an application made on behalf of a minor or in certain cases where the application is made by a w...More Button

There is no provision in the Regulations for the discretionary waiver or reduction of fees, or for differing fees to apply to different nationalities or classes of applicant. All of the fees pay...More Button

Was asked: if she has considered fast-tracking citizenship applications of those applicants who worked on the front lines during the Covid-19 crisis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I recognise and acknowledge the crucial role frontline workers are continuing to play in responding to the threat of COVID-19. They work in a challenging environment and deal with vulnerable people...More Button

Due to the restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic, I have provided six extensions of immigration permission to 20 April 2021 to ensure that those requiring an immigration permission to ...More Button

I am conscious that a significant backlog has built up regarding the granting of citizenships due to the inability to hold in person ceremonies during Covid-19. Unfortunately, the pandemic has pr...More Button

I will this month re-start the process of granting citizenship, without the need to hold in person ceremonies, and I will outline the details of this shortly. It is anticipated that, as the backlo...More Button

Commencement of Legislation

Was asked: if she will address a matter (details supplied) with regard to the Parole Act 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I wish to assure the Deputy that I am committed to ensuring the necessary arrangements are in place for the Parole Act 2019 to be commenced and the new Parole Board to be established this year. More Button

On 26 December 2020, I announced my plan to begin the full operation of the Parole Board, including the development of a critical path to its establishment, which envisages the new Board being fu...More Button

The Government has supported this commitment with funding allocated for the Parole Board for 2021 of €1.3 million, which is more than double previous allocations. This substantial increase will a...More Button

Since my appointment as Minister for Justice in June 2020, I have put in place a dedicated project team to coordinate, track and drive forward this work across this Department and the Justice Sec...More Button

In terms of next steps, I expect accommodation for the new Board to be secured in Q1 2021, with the appointment of staff and the CEO will take place soon thereafter. Further to that, a draft Lega...More Button

The final stage of the process will be the drafting and signing of the Commencement Order, which I expect to be ready by July 2021. Once this is signed the Board members will be appointed and the...More Button

Inquiry into the Death of Mr. Shane O'Farrell

Was asked: if there shall be no further extensions to the work being carried out by a judge into the death of a person (details supplied); and if the scoping inquiry will conclude on 29 January 2021.More Button

As Deputy O’Callaghan will be aware, a retired Judge, Gerard Haughton, is currently conducting the scoping exercise into the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of the late Shane O'Farrell. More Button

Judge Haughton furnished an interim report to my predecessor in November 2019. In his interim report, the Judge stated that he would not restrict or limit Shane's family in their submissions to h...More Button

I can confirm that my Department recently received a letter from Judge Haughton updating the Department on his progress. In this correspondence, the Judge requested a further extension of the tim...More Button

While I genuinely regret this further delay, I am also aware that the Judge is doing all that he can to ensure that the concerns which the family have raised with him during the process are follo...More Button

Animal Welfare

Was asked: the number of arrests and prosecutions that have been made in each of the past five years in relation to unregulated puppy farms and animal cruelty for each breed.More Button

I understand that all complaints of cruelty to animals made to An Garda Síochána are subject to investigation. The Deputy will appreciate that in any case, it is a matter for the Director of Publi...More Button

Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission

Was asked: if she read the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, GSOC, report in respect of a person (details supplied); if she has engaged with or plans to engage with the person’s relatives; if she will clar...More Button

The sudden and untimely death in this case was an awful tragedy and I offer my most sincere condolences to the bereaved family on their terrible loss.More Button

I can inform the Deputy that I am aware of the investigation undertaken by the Ombudsman Commission in this case. However, as the matter is still open pending the conclusion of an inquest into t...More Button

While the Garda Síochána Act 2005 does not make provision for appeals against GSOC investigations, persons who have issues with the conduct of an investigations may contact the Ombudsman Commissi...More Button

Coroners Service

Was asked: the reason for the delay in conducting an inquest regarding a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Coroners are statutory officers exercising quasi-judicial functions, in relation to which they are completely independent. Neither I nor my Department have any function in this regard. However, to ...More Button

In the Dublin District, the average interval between date of death and the holding of an inquest is 20 months due to volume of work. The holding of this inquest might have been expected to have o...More Button

I understand that the Dublin Coroner’s office has been in communication with the bereaved family in relation to this matter, most recently on 15 December 2020.More Button

Prison Mental Health Services

Was asked: if she will consider the mental health and addiction challenges of those in prison considering the recent report from the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and with work ong...More Button

I wish to assure the Deputy that providing for the complex needs of people with mental health difficulties who come into contact with the criminal justice system is a priority issue for this Govern...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the priority status afforded to this issue is acknowledged in the Programme for Government in that it commits to establishing the high-level cross-departmental / cros...More Button

In order to progress this matter, I met with my colleague the Minister for Health in September to lay the foundations for advancing work on this commitment without delay because I believe that a ...More Button

It is widely acknowledged that every person with mental health difficulties coming in contact with the criminal justice system should have access to comprehensive mental health support. The Deput...More Button

This will be a complex body of work with a number of cross-cutting issues that cannot be addressed in isolation. More Button

I am pleased to say that collaboration with the Department of Health on the development of Terms of Reference and structure for the establishment of the Task Force is now at an advanced stage. Th...More Button

We do recognise the urgent need to design and put in place proper systems to care for the most vulnerable people who come into contact with the criminal justice system as a priority and our objec...More Button

Finally, I believe that it is important for me to state that this Government is fully committed to implementing the longer-term changes required to make our penal system safe, effective and respo...More Button

Public Consultation Process

Was asked: if her Department has a protocol or checklist that is used for public consultations in relation to recent public consultations.More Button

Was asked: if her Department has considered the introduction of a summary report for civil society organisations between the submissions stage and the publication of a strategy by her Department in relation t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 695 and 696 together.

  My Department is fully committed to engaging with the public and our stakeholders as part of the development of new strat...More Button

Prison Facilities

Was asked: the reason, in view of numerous media reports, that the progressive policies long associated with Dóchas women's prison were rolled back in 2019 and brought into alignment with prisons for men, eve...More Button

I wish to reassure the Deputy that the Dóchas Centre is operated in full compliance with the Bangkok Rules passed at the United Nations in 2010. More Button

The ethos upon which the Dóchas Centre is operated is that the women prisoners should live together in a community style setting. The women are accommodated in houses rather than cell blocks and...More Button

However, the requirement to ensure the safety and security of all those who live and work in our prisons is universal and in that regard there were changes made in 2019 to enhance the structure o...More Button

The Prison Service is acutely aware of the fact that women prisoners are a vulnerable group within the prison system and is aware that the supports for female offenders and their rehabilitative n...More Button

The Deputy will wish to be aware that staff working with female offenders are provided with bespoke training and in February 2020 the Prison Service introduced a new tailored programme for staff ...More Button

To enhance the rehabilitative opportunities for female offenders a new programme in partnership with the Probation Service, called the Outlook Programme which is a step down unit for women offend...More Button

Finally, it may interest the Deputy to know that the construction of a new prison facility to provide accommodation for 50 female prisoners in Limerick Prison is scheduled to become operational i...More Button

Immigration Status

Was asked: the position in relation to residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) area of my Department that the person concerned has ongoing legal proceedings before the High Court in the context of their immigration case. ...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 t...More Button

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

If an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications and the applicant or their legal...More Button

The IPO may be contacted either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Offic...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 this...More Button

Citizenship Applications

Was asked: the current average processing time for citizenship applications; if she will address concerns from applicants that there are currently long delays with citizenship applications being processed, wh...More Button

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it...More Button

It is a requirement of the naturalisation process that a current passport must accompany every application. The identity of every applicant must be confirmed to the greatest extent possible and a...More Button

Under normal circumstances, passports are returned approximately 10 days after their receipt. However, the current limits on staff attendance in the office due to COVID-19 restrictions have resu...More Button

Applicants are advised not to send in their application during the pandemic if they anticipate that they may have to travel at short notice. However, I fully appreciate that people may have to tr...More Button

In general, the current target is that it should take around 12 months for a standard application for a certificate of naturalisation to be processed from the date it is received to the date a de...More Button

In some instances, the input of several government agencies, both within and outside the jurisdiction is required to process an application and the request and receipt of information from these s...More Button

I am conscious that a significant backlog has built up regarding the granting of citizenships due to the inability to hold in person ceremonies during Covid-19. Unfortunately, the pandemic has pr...More Button

  Question No. 700 answered with Question No. 689.More Button

Was asked: if she will provide a comprehensive report on all applications for Irish citizenship submitted since 1 January 2014 for each application under headings (details supplied).More Button

The attached spreadsheet contains a series of tables that provide the details requested by the Deputy, in so far as is possible. In some instances it was not possible to provide data as to do so ma...More Button

Family Law Cases

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the memo of concern to the WHO regarding parent alienation (details supplied); her views on the concerns set out; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: her views on recommendation 36 of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and Equality Report on Reform of the Family Law System; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 701 and 707 together.More Button

The Government is committed to modernising the operation of the Family Justice system, to ensure we have more efficient and user-friendly family court system that puts the family at the centre of...More Button

I have noted that the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and Equality Report on Reform of the Family Law System includes recommendations on a range of issues connected with family justice inc...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, there is no specific legislative provision regarding parental alienation in Irish family law. However section 246 of the Children Act 2001 provides for an offence of ...More Button

As this is a complex area, I am planning for research to be carried out on parental alienation by my Department this year. More Button

My Department has also recently established the Family Justice Oversight Group which will agree a high-level vision and key medium and longer-term objectives for the development of a national fam...More Button

The Family Court Bill will be a key element of the development of a more efficient and user-friendly family court system that puts families at the centre of its activities, provides access to spe...More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: if hate crime will be a stand-alone criminal offence under her new proposals; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As you are aware, I recently announced my intention to bring forward new legislation to combat incitement to hatred and hate crime in Ireland. This announcement followed on from the publication of ...More Button

Was asked: the current status of criminal justice (repeal of certain provisions of the firearms and misuse of drugs) Bill 2020.More Button

Family Reunification

Was asked: if all those who apply for family reunification receive acknowledgement of their applications from her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

All applications for family reunification are acknowledged or receive a response once the application is initially examined. However, there may currently be some delay in doing so due to the Covid-...More Button

The pandemic has had a significant impact on my Department’s Immigration Service Delivery (ISD). In line with Government and public health advice, ISD has implemented a suite of measures for the ...More Button

While there have been some delays, ISD has continued to accept and process applications for family reunification throughout the pandemic. More Button

Was asked: the family reunification rights of Irish refugee protection programme humanitarian admissions programme, IHAP, refugees; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department implements a policy whereby programme refugees, which includes IHAP beneficiaries, can apply for family reunification under the eligibility requirements and criteria as set out in the...More Button

The Irish Refugee Protection Programme Humanitarian Admission Programme (IHAP), announced in May 2018, is part of the Government's plan to realise the full commitment of 4,000 people agreed under...More Button

IHAP received proposals for inclusion in the programme within defined periods or ‘windows for submissions’. The first window for accepting proposals ran from 14 May 2018 to 30 June 2018. Processi...More Button

The first IHAP round granted permission to 165 beneficiaries. To date, the second round of the IHAP has granted permission to 591 beneficiaries.More Button

Human Rights

Was asked: the status of action 21.3 of the National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021 to implement a fully functioning online system for reporting hate crime; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána intend to launch a new non-emergency Hate Crime Online Reporting system in the coming weeks. The reporting system is fully developed an...More Button

Dublin-Monaghan Bombings

Was asked: if an agreement has been reached between her Department and An Garda Síochána for the sharing of documents, papers and files in the matter of the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings with the team of ...More Button

Was asked: if An Garda Síochána has agreed to hand over files that are relevant to the inquiries being conducted by Operation Kenova; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if restrictions or redactions have been imposed on any files that have been handed over by An Garda Síochána to Operation Kenova; if so, the basis for such restrictions or redactions; and if she wi...More Button

Was asked: if files have been handed over to the UK authorities in relation to investigations (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if she will seek an explanation from the Garda Commissioner for the reason all relevant Garda files into the Dublin-Monaghan bombings and the Glenanne gang have not been handed over to Operation Ke...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 706, 708, 709, 715 and 716 together.More Button

As the Deputies will be aware, former Chief Constable Jon Boutcher heads up a series of ongoing independent UK police investigations or reviews into Northern Ireland legacy cases that are collect...More Button

‘Operation Kenova’ was the first such investigation and is investigating a range of criminal activities including incidents of murder which are allegedly connected with a British Army Agent known...More Button

The Deputies will appreciate that the manner in which these police investigations and reviews are pursued is entirely a matter for Operation Kenova. More Button

The issue of co-operation by An Garda Síochána with Operation Kenova and Operation Denton is an operational matter and one in which I do not have a role. I can however inform the Deputies that th...More Button

I can advise the Deputies of my continuing commitment to supporting An Garda Síochána in pursuing this work and in providing assistance to the greatest extent possible. More Button

More generally, the Deputies will appreciate that dealing with the legacy of the troubles on this island is a difficult and complex task. The Stormont House Agreement sets out a series of useful...More Button

  Question No. 707 answered with Question No. 701.More Button

  Questions Nos. 708 and 709 answered with Question No. 706.More Button

Cannabis for Medicinal Use

Was asked: the cannabis substances and products, for example, edibles, concentrates and so on personal possession of which will be considered for application of an adult caution by An Garda Síochána; and if s...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is responsible by law for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. I, as Minister, have no direct role in these matter.
<...More Button

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51.

SUBSTANTIVE ANSWER:

  I refer to Parliamentary Question Number 712 which was for answer ...More Button

Brexit Issues

Was asked: the measures that have been taken to ensure continuity of co-operation when it comes to policing on the island of Ireland following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU; and if she will...More Button

On 24 December 2020, the EU and UK negotiating teams reached agreement in principle on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which came into effect from the end of the transition period, 31 Dece...More Button

Following the implementation of the new TCA, the Minister for Justice put into effect a planned range of measures prepared to ensure the relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom in the...More Button

Central to this are elements of the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2020, which was commenced on 17 December 2020. Parts 16 to 20 of the Ac...More Button

While the provisions of the European Arrest Warrant no longer apply to the United Kingdom, under the EU-UK TCA, the swift surrender of criminals between the EU and the UK under a new arrest warra...More Button

The Agreement also includes a bridging mechanism, subject to certain conditions, pending the adoption of data protection adequacy decisions, such that for a specified period transmission of perso...More Button

The above measures are of particular value in supporting the existing excellent operational cooperation between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI in respect of the full range of policing activities. More Button

There are, of course, other international mechanisms that will also continue to be used to support international cooperation, such as INTERPOL in relation to organised crime matters and mutual as...More Button

There is also a range of mechanisms in place to facilitate policing on the island of Ireland. A joint Cross-Border Policing Strategy is operated between the two services. The Joint Agency Task Fo...More Button

I can assure the Deputy of the shared commitment to combatting crime and security threats on the island of Ireland. More Button

Crime Data

Was asked: the number of homicides committed in Ireland in each of the years 2015 to 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government is committed to driving down crime in all its forms, including serious and violent crime. To this end, An Garda Síochána has been allocated an unprecedented budget of €1.952 billion ...More Button

Questions Nos. 715 and 716 answered with Question No. 706.More Button

Garda Data

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 525 of 20 October 2020, if she has received the necessary information from the Garda Commissioner.More Button

Parliamentary Question 525 of 20 October 2020 refers to the number of Gardaí by rank attached to each crime task force within Dublin as of 31 December 2019 and 12 October 2020 in tabular form.
...More Button

Was asked: if a schedule will be provided of the number of direct impact munitions, sprays and tasers that An Garda Síochána had at its disposal in 2019 and 2020; and the number of officers trained to use the...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is responsible by law for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. I, as Minister, have no direct role in these matters.
<...More Button

Was asked: the number of times members of An Garda Síochána discharged a firearm during the course of their duty in 2019 and 2020; and the number of times persons sustained gunshot injuries in 2020.More Button

Was asked: the number of times members of An Garda Síochána used pepper spray in the course of their work in 2019 and 2020; and the breakdown of the use of pepper spray in 2020, by county.More Button

Was asked: the number of times members of An Garda Síochána used tasers in the course of their work in 2019 and 2020; and the breakdown on the use of tasers in 2020, by county.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 739 to 741, inclusive, together.

  The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is responsible by law for the management and administr...More Button

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51.

SUBSTANTIVE ANSWER:   

  I refer to Parliamentary Questions Number 739, 7...More Button

Garda Transport Provision

Was asked: if funding will be provided to replace the trucks currently in the Garda water unit.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. In addition, the all...More Button

I am pleased to have secured significant capital investment to be made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million specifically for the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. This continu...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number and type of vehicles that will be purchased in 2021 has not yet been determined.More Button

Garda Training

Was asked: if all Garda road policing unit officers are fully trained in checking tachographs for potential offences.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible, by law, for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the training of its members and civilia...More Button

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have contacted the Garda authorities who have advised that all personnel attached to Garda Roads Policing Units receive basic training in th...More Button

In addition, dedicated personnel within these units have received additional training in respect of the examination and analysis of digital tachographs. Each Divisional Roads Policing Unit has be...More Button

The Deputy may also wish to note that An Garda Síochána, with the assistance of the Road Safety Authority, have been providing ongoing training to all Roads Policing members in relation to the ex...More Button

While the restrictions imposed by COVID have inhibited the ability to conduct these seminars, I am informed that they will be recommenced as soon as restrictions permit.More Button

Was asked: if additional funding will be made available to Garda recruits who have had their training period extended until 31 January 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a statem...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters. As Minister, I have no direct...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that there are currently two classes of Garda Trainees allocated to training stations; class 202 and 203. I am further informed that class 202 is expected t...More Button

I am advised by the Garda authorities that for the duration of their training, all trainees are paid an allowance of €184 per week. In addition to this €184 per week, while on duty at training st...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that there is sufficient funds in the Garda budget to ensure that this expenditure can be met in relation to these Garda Trainees.More Button

  Question No. 727 answered with Question No. 689.More Button

Was asked: the level of firearms training provided to armed Garda personnel in each of the years 2018 to 2020, inclusive, and to date in 2021; the number of gardaí by grade or rank with firearms training; the...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including the training of its members and civilian staff. I...More Button

Property Services Regulatory Authority

Was asked: if she will consider extending the issues on which the Property Services Regulatory Authority can adjudicate from issues of professional negligence or misconduct to embrace also an ombudsman’s adju...More Button

The provision of property services to consumers in Ireland is subject to a detailed legislative framework of licensing, regulation, monitoring and enforcement, under the Property Services Regulatio...More Button

Under the Property (Services) Regulation Act 2011, any business or individual who provides a property service (other than those who are subject to a similar licence or authentication scheme in an...More Button

The PSRA is empowered to investigate complaints of improper conduct made against licensed property services providers, and to launch investigations on its own initiative for the purpose of ensuri...More Button

The Act provides for the establishment of the Property Services Compensation Fund which is funded by annual contributions from licensees, and maintained and administered by the PSRA. A person who...More Button

Businesses that are licensed to provide property services (property services employers and independent contractors) are also required under the Act to have in place professional indemnity insuran...More Button

While my Department keeps the operation of the Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011 under review, there are no plans at present to amend the Act in the way suggested by the Deputy.More Button

Covid-19 Pandemic

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to concerns being expressed regarding the Covid-19 treatment and care of prisoners within the prison population, including escalating patients to hospitals if and wh...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Irish Prison Service has put in place an extensive range of measures to prevent Covid-19 transmission within prisons, detect early any possible infection in a pris...More Button

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that as of 11 January, 2021 there have been 43 positive cases of Covid-19 identified amongst the prisoner population since March 2020, with the first case...More Button

To date, none of the cases have required hospital treatment and the Irish Prison Service inform me that there are procedures in place for this eventuality should it become necessary.More Button

The measures which have been introduced are guided by the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team and consistent with the prison specific guidance for the management of Covid-19 issue...More Button

The Deputy may wish to note that there is a Primary Healthcare service available at each prison consisting of doctors and nurses who are responsible for the management of healthcare issues includ...More Button

I wish to assure the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service continues to manage the risks and challenges faced in a prison context during the Covid-19 pandemic in line with public health guidelines...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: if the Drogheda scoping report has been completed; the timeframe for when it will be available; if she has made preliminary decisions based on the recommendations as set out; and if she will outlin...More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that the report of the Drogheda scoping exercise carried out by Mr Vivian Geiran is expected to be delivered shortly.More Button

Despite the challenges related to the CoVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions, Mr Geiran has been able to engage and meet with over 70 individuals, representing over 30 bodies in the are...More Button

Officials within my Department will carefully consider the actions and recommendations in Mr Geiran’s report and engage with relevant services and stakeholders in Drogheda in order to take them f...More Button

Bench Warrants

Was asked: the number of bench warrants outstanding in the Limerick Garda division as of 31 December 2020; 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 administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including the allocation of Garda resources, in light of identif...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, difficulties in relation to the execution of warrants, including bench warrants, are a long-standing issue for many police services around the world; notably relati...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that there were 992 bench warrants outstanding in Limerick Division as of 31 December 2020. More Button

Garda Deployment

Was asked: the number of Garda public service vehicle inspectors attached to Limerick Garda division as of 31 December 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that there is currently one PSV Inspector attached to the Limerick Garda Division.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 deployment of resources. Th...More Button

I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of policing priorities and crime trends, to ensure their optimum use. I un...More Button

Garda Stations

Was asked: if there are plans to increase opening times and personnel in Garda stations located in Ardee, Collon and Dunleer, County Louth; 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 of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters, deployment of resources and opening times of Garda s...More Button

Consultancy Contracts

Was asked: the details in respect of her Department for outsourcing to consultancies of specifically Covid-19-related work, services or advice; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that one consultancy firm was used for COVID-19 related work, services or advice. More Button

The Department availed of ARUP Advisory Services to assist with its COVID-19 Management Response. ARUP provided advice on the physical density capacity of the Department’s public offices in prepa...More Button

Advisory and support services were sought for the Department’s facilities at Mount Street, Burgh Quay, Hanover Street and 51 St. Stephen's Green.More Button

Garda Equipment

Was asked: if a schedule of the entire number of firearms at the disposal of An Garda Síochána will be provided by the number of same by weapon type, manufacturer and or brand.More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is responsible by law for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. I, as Minister, have no direct role in these matter.
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The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51.

SUBSTANTIVE ANSWER:

  I refer to Parliamentary Question Number 735 which was for answer ...More Button

European Arrest Warrant

Was asked: the systems in place with the UK to replace the European arrest warrant scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware the European Arrest Warrant is an internal EU instrument used exclusively among Member States and subject to the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU and as such i...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that the agreement reached on the future relationship between the EU and the UK as set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United...More Button

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has recently made an order under the European Arrest Warrant (Application to Third Countries and Amendment) and Extradition (Amendment) Act 2012 in order to facil...More Button