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Coveney, Simon

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Human Rights

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a report by an organisation (details supplied) in relation to medical care in Bahraini prisons; his views on the lack of adequate medical care in Bahrain; and if ...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Bahraini Government has announced that parliamentary elections will take place on 24 November 2018 and that members of the main opposition group...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 31 and 32 together.More Button

I am aware of reports that prisoners in Bahrain have been denied adequate healthcare in prison. Ireland attaches great importance to safeguarding the human rights of all prisoners, with due regar...More Button

As I have stated in this House previously, I remain very concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain. Although Bahrain has repeatedly stated its commitment to improving i...More Button

As the Deputy notes, the shrinking of civil and political space is particularly worrying in light of parliamentary elections which will take place in November this year. Good governance and accou...More Button

Ireland regularly conveys its concerns about human rights to the Bahraini authorities, including through the Bahraini Embassy in London and through Ireland’s (non-resident) Ambassador to Bahrain....More Button

Ireland also regularly raises the case of human rights in Bahrain at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, in the form of national statements and its support to EU Statements. In Ireland’s mo...More Button

My Department will continue to monitor the situation in Bahrain, and will continue to call on the Bahraini Government to make good on their stated commitment to make progress in the area of human...More Button

Visa Applications

Was asked: if there is a facility for a Filipino citizen applying for a visa to deal with a named official in his Department here rather than having to liaise with officials from the consulate in Manila; and ...More Button

Ireland has no Embassy in the Philippines and no Irish officials working there. The Embassy of Ireland to Singapore is currently accredited on a non-residential basis to the Philippines. You will ...More Button

At present, visa services in the Philippines are provided by our Honorary Consul in Manila. The consulate in Manila accepts applications for decision either by our Embassy in Singapore or the Ir...More Button

Any person who has concerns about the services provided by an Irish Embassy or Consulate overseas can bring the matter to the attention of the Corporate Services Division of my department..More Button

Foreign Conflicts

Was asked: if he will report on the situation in South Sudan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Western Balkans Issues

Was asked: if he will report on the situation in Macedonia; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On 30 September, Macedonian citizens had the opportunity to vote on the Prespa Agreement, which was signed on 17 June by the Greek and Macedonian Foreign Ministers and proposes changing the name of...More Button

It was a peaceful and democratic vote, in which 94% of votes cast were in favour of the Agreement. This represents a positive result, despite the turnout being low at 37%. A threshold of 50% tur...More Button

The Agreement must now be ratified by the parliaments of both countries, beginning with the Macedonian Assembly, if it is to enter into force and if the proposed name change is to become effectiv...More Button

Ireland continues to be a strong supporter of Skopje’s European perspective, and indeed of the European perspective of the Western Balkans region as a whole. We were pleased to see the European C...More Button

International Election Monitoring

Was asked: the result of the election monitoring panel competition which closed on 20 August 2018; the number of monitors nominated; the way in which his Department will conduct competitions in the future; an...More Button

UN Security Council

Was asked: the extent to which he has identified support for Ireland's case for nomination to the UN Security Council, further to his recent address to the UN General Assembly; and if he will make a statement...More Button

Ireland is seeking election to a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in June 2020 for the 2021-2022 term. Ireland’s candidacy was announced in 2005.More Button

The campaign leading up to 2020 is already well under way. I am using every opportunity during bi-lateral contacts and meetings to press the value of Ireland playing a strong and independent rol...More Button

Each year, Ireland attends the United Nations General Assembly held at UN Headquarters in New York. This is the largest gathering of Heads of State and Government and Ministers in the UN calendar.More Button

The 73rd session of the UN General Assembly got underway in early September.More Button

The theme for this year’s General Debate was "Making the United Nations relevant to all people: global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies”.More Button

I delivered Ireland’s National Statement to the General Debate in which I emphasised Ireland’s strong support for multilateralism as the best way to address global problems. It is my firm view, ...More Button

The statement offered the opportunity to highlight Ireland’s role in UN peacekeeping, disarmament and humanitarian assistance, and to highlight Ireland’s concerns regarding the situation in the M...More Button

While attending the UN General Assembly, An Taoiseach, Minister of State Cannon and I met with a large number of Heads of State and Government and Ministers from all regions. During these constr...More Button

Through all of our interactions in recent days, and the extensive range of meetings which will take place over the coming 20 months, UN Member States will be very aware that Ireland will continue...More Button

Passport Applications Fees

Was asked: if the standard fee for passports for persons who have been employed and self-employed for over four decades here will be waived; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The cost of the standard ten year adult Irish passport compares favourably with many other jurisdictions. At a cost of €80, which breaks down to €8 per year, the Irish passport fee compares with a...More Button

Was asked: the estimated amount it would cost in a full year if the passport application fee was reduced to €60 for persons over 75 years of age based on 2017 figures; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

Based on 2017 application volumes, the Passport Service has calculated the potential annual cost of reducing the passport application fee to €60 for applicants over 75 years of age to be just under...More Button

The cost of the standard ten year adult Irish passport compares favourably with many other jurisdictions. At a cost of €80, which breaks down to €8 per year, the Irish passport fee compares with...More Button

Given that any shortfall in revenue for such a subsidy would have to be met by the taxpayer, I do not have any plans at this time to waive or reduce the application fee for any category of adult ...More Button

Citizenship Applications

Was asked: if the charge is the same for citizenship for persons who apply from outside the EU.More Button

The fees for citizenship through entry on the Foreign Births Register are set out in Statutory Instrument number 47/2013 - Foreign Births Regulations 2013, which provides for fees as follows:
<...More Button

Diplomatic Representation

Was asked: if he has given consideration to opening an embassy in Georgia as part of expanding Ireland's global footprint; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Embassy of Ireland in Sofia, Bulgaria is accredited on a non-residential basis to Georgia. Ireland enjoys excellent relations with Georgia.

  With the launch of ‘Global Irel...More Button

Passport Applications

Was asked: if a passport application by a person (details supplied) will be expedited; the target and turnaround time for passport applications; if turnaround times are regularly relayed to post office staff;...More Button

An application for the individual named was registered with the Passport Service on the 2 October 2018. The Passport Service has been in touch with the applicant regarding the latest status of his...More Button

The Passport Service aims to process all passport applications submitted via Passport Express within 15 working days. At present, renewal applications through Passport Express are being processe...More Button

The fastest way for applicants to apply for a passport renewal is using the Online Passport Renewal Service. Target turnaround time for applications made via the online service is 10 working day...More Button

The Passport Service continues to work closely with the Communications Unit of An Post to ensure that information disseminated by An Post staff is accurate and up to date. Turnaround times for a...More Button

UN Conferences

Was asked: if the regulation of transnational corporations and other business enterprises in international law will be elaborated in advance of the fourth session of the UN Intergovernmental Working Group; hi...More Button

A number of developing countries, led by Ecuador and South Africa, have proposed the elaboration of an internationally legally binding instrument on Transnational Corporations and other Business En...More Button

The next session of the Inter-Governmental Working Group is scheduled to take place in Geneva from 15-19 October. Ireland and our EU partners are looking at how we might actively and constructiv...More Button

We have noted with interest the zero draft of a legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterpri...More Button

We would wish to see essential human rights principles reflected in any possible instrument, which should reaffirm the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights and stress ...More Button

Ultimately, if it is to achieve its objectives, any legally binding instrument should enjoy broad support among UN Member States to ensure its effectiveness as well as international coherence in ...More Button

Syrian Conflict

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a report on the Syrian conflict (details supplied); his views on the recommendations of the report; if, in view of the report's contents, he will reiterate his co...More Button

I am all too aware of the awful human suffering caused by the Syria conflict. There has clearly been a pattern of deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure by ...More Button

Russia is in no doubt of Ireland’s position: our concerns have been raised with the Russian authorities directly on numerous occasions at Ministerial and official level. Last October, I met with...More Button

In relation to the recommendations in the report to which the Deputy refers, key themes are accountability and effective multilateral action.More Button

Ireland has consistently called for the referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. We take every appropriate opportunity to speak out against human rights abuses in ...More Button

Ireland and the EU also provide political and financial support to a broad range of measures which aim to ensure full legal accountability for all war crimes and crimes against humanity committed...More Button

In addition to our core contributions to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ireland has contributed €200,000 specifically to the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mission ...More Button

In addition, Ireland has consistently supported EU sanctions targeting the Assad regime and its supporters, and will continue to do so as long as the situation on the ground justifies these measu...More Button

Ireland and the EU firmly believe that there can be no military solution to the Syria crisis and support the UN-led efforts to bring about a comprehensive, sustainable and inclusive resolution of...More Button

Ministerial Communications

Was asked: if there is a policy regarding ministerial use of private email for Government business in his Department; and if so, if it will be published.More Button

The ICT Unit of the Department provides a secure email service and the Department’s ICT Security Policy governs the use of the email system for all staff, contractors, agents and third parties. Th...More Button