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Coveney, Simon

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019: Committee Stage

May I speak to Part 1?More Button

To be helpful, I wish to explain to Members the position with regard to Part 1. It is a well-worn phrase but there is no getting away from the fact that Brexit will bring real changes for all of u...More Button

Why is the Leas-Cheann Comhairle throwing his hands in the air?More Button

We will do so but I just wanted to give an explanation of what Part 1 achieves.More Button

I am sorry to interrupt but the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris, is on his way to deal with the amendments related to health which are in Part 2. Obviously the Deputy can speak to his amendment...More Button

To be fair, we have moved pretty quickly thus far. I am impressed with the speed of the Leas-Cheann Comhairle.More Button

Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Continued)

For the sake of clarity, if a vote is called, I presume the clock will be stopped while the vote is taking place. Is that right, or does it form part of the hour allocated?More Button

I would like to respond to Deputy Howlin because he did ask me the question directly, following which I sought clarity on it. I will set out my understanding as to why this is not the issue the De...More Button

The powers in the provision relate to continuing into being beyond Brexit or maintaining services that were in place before the UK left the European Union. The distinction that we need to make is ...More Button

The provisions will be reciprocal. We have a basis for agreement in multiple sectors to protect and maintain the common travel area, including access to work, healthcare facilities and social welf...More Button

The memorandum of understanding is not directly related to this Part but to the entire Bill in many ways. That memorandum of understanding has been ready to sign for some time. It was agreed by s...More Button

Members will see it as soon as it is signed because it is the interpretation of the two Governments of what the common travel area represents.More Button

I think Parliament will be able to judge it but it is not like passing of legislation. It is a memorandum of understanding. We made a deliberate decision not to have a bilateral treaty on the com...More Button

7 o'clockMore Button

I move amendment No. 42:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

  Section 61, as amended, agreed to.More Button

  Sections 62 to 66, inclusive, agreed to.More Button

I will leave the line Minister to respond on the substantive transport matters. To clarify the position for the House, it is currently the case that cars driven from Ireland to other parts of the ...More Button

While there is a way to resolve this issue, Ireland cannot do it on its own. The European Commission must resolve the matter on a bilateral and reciprocal basis with the UK. The reason the UK h...More Button

One can.More Button

One can take one's car across but there will need to be proof that insurance cover is in place.More Button

This prevents no one. Green cards are freely available, as the Deputies opposite know.More Button

Passport Applications Administration

Was asked: the reason it states under an item (details supplied) that a citizen who wishes to have a new passport following a name change must have two documents dating back two years from the point of applic...More Button

The issuance of passports is subject to the terms of the Passports Act, 2008 (“the Act”). In cases where a name change arises other than by marriage, civil partnership or adoption, section 10 of th...More Button

In order for passport to issue in a new name, two documents that show the applicant is using their new name, such as a driver's licence, college identification card, school report, social welfare...More Button

A copy of valid Public Services Card issued in the applicant’s new name can be considered as one document showing proof of usage, even if the card was issued less than 2 years ago. The PSC and th...More Button

The Passport Service may request additional documentary evidence and information as may be needed to establish and verify an applicant’s identity. More Button

These rules seek to protect the integrity and security of the Irish passports against passport and identity fraud while allowing for genuine cases where name changes have occurred. The Irish pass...More Button

Climate Change Policy

Was asked: the financial instruments used in regard to €58 million of the international development programme on climate interventions in 2017; the breakdown of the climate finance from Ireland over the past ...More Button

Northern Ireland

Was asked: if he has written to his British counterpart about an inquiry into the murder of a person (details supplied) in view of the fact that it was agreed under the Weston agreement in 2001 and the recent...More Button

Was asked: if he has spoken to his British counterpart about the public inquiry into the murder of a person (details supplied) following the UK Supreme Court ruling on 27 February 2019.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112 and 127 together.More Button

The Government has noted the important judgment of the UK Supreme Court in the Finucane case on 27 February, including the unanimous decision that an investigation compliant with Article 2 of the...More Button

The Finucane family and the British Government will wish to consider this judgment in full. The Government will also be examining the judgment closely.More Button

The Taoiseach confirmed last week that the Government’s position remains that an independent public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane should be established, in line with the political commi...More Button

I met with the UK Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington MP, in Dublin on 28 February and, as part of our discussions, I raised the UK Supreme Court judgment the previous day and the Go...More Button

The Taoiseach and I were pleased to meet with the Finucane family in recent months to confirm the Government’s ongoing support for their search for truth and justice. My Department remains in ong...More Button

My thoughts are with Geraldine Finucane and her family who have had to campaign unceasingly over the last 30 years, simply seeking to establish the full facts behind the loss of Pat - a husband, ...More Button

The efforts of the Finucane family, pursued with courage, dignity and resilience, are replicated in different ways by many other families across all sections of the community, North and South, Ea...More Button

The legacy of the past still needs to be fully addressed, and this must be done in a way that meets commitments made to all victims and survivors, including by implementing the Stormont House Agr...More Button

The Government will continue to engage with the British Government to seek progress with outstanding commitments and issues, to comprehensively address the legacy of the past and meet the needs a...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the lack of a Northern Assembly and the possibility of direct rule returning to Northern Ireland.More Button

The continuing absence of vital institutions of the Good Friday Agreement is a source of deep concern for the Government, as it is for the British Government. The Government will continue to do ev...More Button

Secretary of State Bradley and I met with the leaders of the 5 main political parties at Stormont on 15 February, further to our respective consultations with each of the party leaders in January...More Button

Each of the party leaders confirmed their wish to participate in the institutions again and provided views on the necessary basis for an effective talks’ process.More Button

It was agreed that the two Governments would engage further with the parties to seek an urgent way forward with a new political process that can secure an agreement for a functioning Executive an...More Button

Following these further consultations, the Government does not underestimate the way to go in achieving a resolution, but continues to believe that this can be achieved and that there is an incre...More Button

The two-year absence of the devolved institutions cannot be allowed to continue. There are pressing decisions and issues across a range of areas, which require a functioning Executive and Assembl...More Button

The legislation that was brought forward by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which temporarily suspends the requirement to call an Assembly election, underlines the urgent requirement...More Button

I am continuing to work with the Secretary of State and remain in regular contact with the leaders of each of the political parties to get the necessary political process underway to secure an ag...More Button

Passport Applications

Was asked: if persons (details supplied) qualify for Irish passports; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

All passport applications are subject to the provisions of the Passports Act 2008. The Act provides, among other things, that a person must be an Irish citizen before a passport can be issued to hi...More Button

Entitlement to Irish citizenship is in turn determined by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, under which and in general, Irish citizenship may be obtained by birth, by de...More Button

An individual born on the island of Ireland before 1 January 2005 is automatically an Irish citizen. For individuals born outside of Ireland, they may claim citizenship if they had at least one p...More Button

Individuals born outside of Ireland can also claim citizenship through a parent who was not born in Ireland but was an Irish citizen at the time of the individual's birth or through a grandparent...More Button

www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/citizenship/born-abroad/More Button

There are no provisions for the spouse of an Irish citizen to acquire Irish citizenship solely by virtue of marriage. Post nuptial citizenship was repealed with effect from 30 November 2005. The ...More Button

In cases where no Irish lineage exists, an individual may apply for Irish citizenship through naturalisation. Minimum residency terms must be satisfied before an individual is eligible for citize...More Button

Was asked: the reason a passport for a person (details supplied) has not been issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

All passport applications are subject to the provisions of the Passports Act 2008. The Act provides, among other things, that a person must be an Irish citizen before a passport can be issued to hi...More Button

Entitlement to Irish citizenship is in turn determined by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, under which and in general, Irish citizenship may be obtained by birth, by de...More Button

An individual born on the island of Ireland before 1 January 2005 is automatically an Irish citizen. For individuals born outside of Ireland, they may claim citizenship if they had at least one p...More Button

In addition, individuals born outside of Ireland can claim citizenship through a parent who was not born in Ireland but was an Irish citizen at the time of the individual's birth, or through a gr...More Button

I understand that an application for inclusion on the Foreign Births Register has been submitted on behalf of the person in question. This application is currently being processed by the Passport...More Button

Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 115.More Button

Election Monitoring Missions

Was asked: the names of election observers registered with his Department through Irish Aid who observed elections in each of the past ten years.More Button

Was asked: if an appropriate accommodation will be allowed for a registered disabled appellant (details supplied) whose disability impeded the person sending the application in the format required by Irish Ai...More Button

Was asked: the materials that will be considered by the election observer appeals panel which decides upon the final mark for appellants; if the panels will consider disability and other relevant appeal state...More Button

Was asked: if the new election observer roster is in operation; the observer missions selected from the roster to date; the missions planned for 2019; if he is satisfied that the recruitment process for the r...More Button

Was asked: the status of the recent elections in Nigeria; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Ministerial Meetings

Was asked: his plans to have a bilateral meeting with his Spanish counterpart; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

While I have not had a formal meeting with the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Josep Borrell since his appointment in June 2018, I have met with him a number o...More Button

With my current schedule of meetings focused on Brexit, Northern Ireland and St Patrick's Day engagements, I do not have a bilateral meeting planned with Minister Borrell at the moment.More Button

Question No. 119 answered with Question No. 115.More Button

Human Rights

Was asked: the status of recent events in Sudan; the steps being taken at national and EU level to address the turmoil there; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Foreign Conflicts

Was asked: the status of the ongoing hostilities between Pakistan and India; the response and position of the EU to recent events; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am deeply concerned about the very strained relations between Pakistan and India at present. The increase in military activity between them since the suicide bombing in the Pulwama district of Ja...More Button

I hope that the difficulties between Pakistan and India will be resolved peacefully and as soon as possible. Other EU Member States have called for the prompt de-escalation of the crisis, and on ...More Button

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Indian security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, I condemned its occurrence and stressed that Ireland will always work to promote peace and reconciliati...More Button

I hope that Pakistan and India will work together to prevent further acts of terrorism in the region and pursue diplomatic solutions to the issues they face.More Button

Overseas Development Aid Expenditure

Was asked: the status of Ireland’s plans to reach the target of 0.7% of GNI for overseas development aid; the date by which it is expected to reach the targets; the level of funding as it relates to the targe...More Button

Humanitarian Aid Provision

Was asked: the status of the situation in Yemen; the way in which the additional €5 million announced will be spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

International Relations

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied); his views on whether this amounts to an implied threat and interference in the work of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann; if he has plans to respond to...More Button

I am aware of the correspondence referred to by the Deputy.More Button

Such representations by Ministers or parliamentarians in other countries are a commonplace feature of international relations between states, governments and parliaments. The Deputy himself, and ...More Button

The Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill, which is the subject of this letter and which the Deputy has supported in this House, is itself intended to have an impact beyond t...More Button

The letter to which the Deputy refers draws attention to a possible legal conflict between existing and pending US legislation, and the Occupied Territories Bill, which the letter suggests may cr...More Button

The question of how best to respond to this letter will in the first instance be a matter for the Taoiseach, in due course.More Button

Question No. 126 answered with Question No. 115.More Button

Foreign Policy

Was asked: if representations will be made to the UK Government urging it to respect the judgment of the International Court of Justice in respect of the Chagos Islands, specifically that the UK bring to an e...More Button

The United Nations General Assembly on 22 June 2017 adopted a Resolution put forward by Mauritius to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of th...More Button

On 25 February 2019 the Court delivered its Advisory Opinion. The Court found that the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius was contrary to the right to self-determination and that...More Button

Advisory opinions are addressed to the UN organs or agencies requesting them; in this case the UN General Assembly. It is now a matter for the UN General Assembly to consider the consequences of ...More Button

Middle East Issues

Was asked: his views on the detention of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons; if he has raised this issue with the authorities in Israel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if the issue of Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system has been raised at EU level including the Foreign Affairs Council; if the EU has taken action in th...More Button

Was asked: if he has taken action in relation to Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons; his views on whether the human rights of Palestinian children are being violated; and if he will make a state...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 129 to 131, inclusive, together.More Button

The human rights situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory is a matter of deep concern. The manner and practices around the detention and trial of Palestinian children in Israeli...More Button

Ireland has recommended that Israel urgently end the admissibility of evidence in military courts of written confessions in Hebrew signed by Palestinian children, the use of solitary confinement ...More Button

As a contracting party, Israel is bound by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). I am not satisfied that Israel ...More Button

During my visits to Israel and Palestine, I have personally raised Ireland’s concerns about the detention of minors directly with the Israeli authorities, including on the practices of night-time...More Button

More generally, I am seriously concerned by the Israeli military court system which is used in relation to Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including children. Palestinians do ...More Button

Ireland has repeatedly drawn attention to concerns regarding the treatment of Palestinian prisoners, and in particular, over recent years to issues related to the detention of minors. In the most...More Button

Ireland has also raised these issues at EU level. In February 2019, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted Conclusions on EU Priorities in UN human rights fora, which reaffirmed the EU’s commitment ...More Button

Ireland also provides financial support to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs who are active in bringing the issues related to the detention of minors to light, and combatting abuses.More Button

My Department and I will continue to press on these issues in the relevant multilateral fora, and also, where appropriate, directly with Israel, both with the Israeli Embassy here and through our...More Button