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Coveney, Simon

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Refugee Resettlement Programme

Was asked: the nature and the full extent of the response by Ireland to the fire at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Welcome to the night shift. I hope everyone will stay with us until the early hours. I thank Deputy Brady for asking this question. It is an important issue.More Button

Like many other people, I was deeply saddened by the fire at the Moria camp on Lesbos and the impact this has had on refugees and migrants who were based there. The sudden displacement of thousa...More Button

My colleague, the Minister of State with responsibility for European affairs, Deputy Byrne, spoke with his Greek counterpart immediately after the fire to offer Ireland's full solidarity and supp...More Button

We in Ireland are endeavouring to do our part having already received 1,022 asylum seekers, including six unaccompanied minors, from Greece under the first phase of the Irish refugee protection p...More Button

In the context of the difficult situation now arising from the destruction of the Moria refugee camp the Government has decided that Ireland will welcome refugee families from Greece under the Ir...More Button

Officials from the Department of Justice and Equality are liaising with the European Commission on the detail of this commitment and, along with An Garda Síochána, will travel to Greece in the co...More Button

Like many others, I was moved by the images of young children and babies sitting on the side of the street with few or no possessions. We are responding, as I hope other countries in the EU will...More Button

Ireland has always responded positively to humanitarian crises and we will not be found wanting on this occasion either. As I said in my response, up to 50 people in family groups will be resettle...More Button

We have already received 1,022 asylum seekers, including six unaccompanied minors, from Greece under the first phase of the Irish refugee protection programme. We have also committed to accept 3...More Button

First, taking in unaccompanied minors is not a straightforward process. It normally involves civil servants from the Department and members of An Garda Síochána interviewing people to ensure they ...More Button

It is my understanding that an investigation is already under way into how this happened and to learn lessons from it.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the ongoing humanitarian situation in Lesbos, Greece; if he has engaged with his Greek and other European counterparts in this regard; his plans to accommodate pe...More Button

Was asked: the steps Ireland plans to take in respect of the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe in view of the recent fire in the refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 386 and 387 together.More Button

I am deeply saddened by the fire at the Moria camp on Lesbos and the impact this has had on the refugees and migrants based there. The very sudden displacement of thousands of people has caused g...More Button

My colleague, the Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, spoke with his Greek counterpart immediately after the fire to offer Ireland's full solidarity and support. The Greek authorities re...More Button

In terms of the situation within the camp, Greek authorities have started to transfer refugees and migrants to the Greek mainland in order to reduce overcrowding. In addition, the European Commis...More Button

As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have repeatedly urged the need for greater solidarity and burden-sharing among Member States in dealing with the wider issue of migration. The migration crisis ...More Button

On 23 September 2020, the Commission published a major new proposal on reforming the EU migration and asylum system - a “New Pact on Migration and Asylum”. I welcome this initiative by the Commis...More Button

We in Ireland are endeavouring to do our part, having already received 1022 asylum seekers (including six unaccompanied minors) from Greece under the first phase of the Irish Refugee Protection P...More Button

In the context of the very difficult situation now arising from the destruction of the Moria refugee camp, the Government has decided that Ireland will welcome refugee families from Greece under ...More Button

Officials from the Department of Justice and Equality are liaising with the European Commission on the detail of this commitment, and along with An Garda Síochána will travel to Greece in the com...More Button

Brexit Issues

Was asked: the measures he is taking to assist hauliers here to deal with the anticipated delays at ports in the UK particularly at Dover.More Button

The Government has made a range of financial and advisory supports available to all sectors, including the haulage and logistics sector. Details can be found in our Brexit Readiness Action Plan wh...More Button

It is also important to be aware of the new systems being put in place by UK authorities as set out in the UK's Border Operating Model. An update to the model is expected in the near future and ...More Button

Was asked: his plans to contact Mr. Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart in view of recent statements on Brexit from the UK Government.More Button

Was asked: if he expects the European Commission to take legal action against the UK over its internal market Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the plans that have been given consideration to ensure no infrastructure or checks are placed along the Border; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the representations he has made to foreign governments to build pressure on the Government of the United Kingdom to fulfil its commitments to the Brexit withdrawal agreement and to safeguard the Go...More Button

Was asked: the recent and upcoming political engagements he has had internationally on the Brexit withdrawal agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112, 114 and 143 to 145, inclusive, together.More Button

It is vital that the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland be implemented in full and in good faith.More Button

The publication and passage through the House of Commons of the UK Internal Market Bill in September caused grave concern. The Bill, in its current form, undermines the Withdrawal Agreement and t...More Button

The Taoiseach raised our concerns directly with the British Prime Minister on the day the Bill was published. He and I have discussed these issues with a range of interlocutors including Commissi...More Button

The Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement met on Thursday 10 September and Monday 28 September. The Joint Committee, and Specialised Committee, are the appropriate ch...More Button

At these meetings, Ireland set out clearly our concerns. Commission Vice President Šefcovic urged the British Government to remove the problematic measures from the Bill by the end of September. ...More Button

On 1 October the Commission sent the UK a letter of notice for breaching obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement. This marks the beginning of a formal infringement process against the United ...More Button

As Deputies will be aware, I have also discussed this issue with Special Envoy Mick Mulvaney during his visit to Dublin. I also visited Washington DC last week, and discussed the issues with Depu...More Button

Throughout the Brexit process, I have maintained close contacts with leaders in Northern Ireland. I welcome that the EU and UK are engaging closely on relevant implementation issues to find appr...More Button

Despite noise and setbacks, this Government’s focus remains on implementation - in full and in good faith - of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol, and on achieving a successful conclusion ...More Button

Was asked: the status of securing the movement of higher education students, staff and research funding between the two jurisdictions on the island of Ireland in the wake of Brexit; and if he will make a stat...More Button

The Common Travel Area (CTA) will continue to facilitate the movement of staff and students between higher education institutions on the island of Ireland after the end of the Brexit transition per...More Button

Ireland and the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2019 reaffirming their commitment to maintaining the CTA in all circumstances. The CTA was also recognised in the Protocol on Ireland/No...More Button

Irish officials continue to work with their UK counterparts to ensure that the interests and reciprocal rights of our respective citizens are maintained and safeguarded by the CTA. It is also imp...More Button

I welcome the resumption of North South Ministerial Council meetings, bringing the Irish Government and Northern Ireland Executive together to oversee ongoing North South work and further develop...More Button

Higher education institutions have a key role in North South collaborative research across the island and in undertaking research which results in innovation and leads to economic growth. Everyth...More Button

Was asked: the engagement held with the European Commission and other EU agencies to prepare for Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Throughout the Brexit process, the Government has worked with our EU partners and the Commission to ensure that EU-level readiness and contingency planning addresses the needs of our businesses and...More Button

The European Commission has published seven Communications on Brexit readiness and contingency planning. The most recent such Communication was published on 9 July and complements the Government...More Button

Government Ministers are in regular contact with our counterparts in the European Commission and the EU agencies. I attended the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 22 September where I also ...More Button

Officials from my Department and other Departments continue to regularly meet with their counterparts in Brussels and across the EU. On 11 September, senior Irish officials met virtually with th...More Button

The Government is also working closely with the European Commission in relation to the Brexit Adjustment Reserve agreed by EU leaders in July. Leaders agreed to make a fund of up to €5 billion a...More Button

Was asked: the progress with the UK Government regarding the UK customs preparations for Brexit.More Button

From 1 January 2021, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing negotiations, the UK will no longer be part of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union. This means any business that moves goods from,...More Button

However, it is important to note that due to the provisions in the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland no new checks or controls will apply to goods moving between Ireland and Northern Irel...More Button

From 1 January 2021 UK customs preparations are a matter for the UK Government. On 13 July 2020, the UK Government published its Border Operating Model, outlining plans for the introduction of bo...More Button

The Government continues to monitor the progress of the UK's customs preparations for the end of the transition period. Our Embassy in London maintains ongoing contact at various levels with offi...More Button

It is important that businesses trading with Great Britain, or using the landbridge across Great Britain, make themselves aware of their responsibilities in relation to UK customs and regulatory ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which progress is being made between the European Union and the UK in the context of Brexit; the extent to which alternative preparations are being made to facilitate industry here in...More Button

The ninth round of negotiations in the EU-UK Future Relationship concluded on 3 October. While some progress was made, there is still some distance to go on key issues including fisheries, a level...More Button

Given the limited progress we have seen in the EU-UK negotiations to date, the Government decided on 29 May that we should plan our readiness work on the basis of two scenarios: (i) a limited tra...More Button

While Ireland continues to support the closest possible future relationship between the EU and the UK, prudence dictates that we now plan on this basis. More Button

The Government’s Brexit Readiness Action Plan was published on 9 September which sets out in detail preparations and mitigation measures across a wide range of sectors. A key focus of the Action...More Button

The July Jobs Stimulus includes a €20 million “Ready for Customs” package which allows business to claim grants of up to €9,000 per employee hired or redeployed to a dedicated customs role. Furth...More Button

The Brexit Readiness Action Plan sets out the range of measures business will need to take to prepare for the new trading arrangements with Great Britain from 1 January 2021, regardless of the ou...More Button

Regardless of the outcome of the ongoing negotiations, the end of the transition period will mean substantial and lasting change. The UK will be outside the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union...More Button

I would encourages business and citizens to to take steps now to prepare for the end of the transition period.More Button

Was asked: the progress that has been made on securing additional direct shipping routes to the continent in order to circumvent the UK landbridge; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Ensuring that the UK landbridge remains an efficient and effective route to market for Irish traders is a priority of the Government's Brexit planning. When the transition period ends on 31 Decemb...More Button

Brexit Issues (Continued)

However, even with these preparations, delays at ports are likely immediately after the end of the transition period at the end of this year. We have highlighted this for some time including in ou...More Button

Ministers and officials are engaging regularly with their key stakeholders. I understand that engagement with the shipping, haulage and logistics representatives takes place on a fortnightly bas...More Button

Goods moving directly between Ireland and elsewhere in the EU will not be subject to any new procedures. The Government has been engaging extensively with the shipping sector to assess the capac...More Button

A number of new direct services have been launched in the past year. The shipping sector has indicated that sufficient capacity is available on direct routes to continental ports. I understand ...More Button

I encourage engagement between traders, hauliers and ferry companies to align capacity with needs and demand. Where it is feasible to do so, businesses should also consider moving to direct serv...More Button

This is an important issue and we need to continue to talk to the sector about all elements of the supply chain. The Department of Transport is in close contact with the shipping sector. Operator...More Button

However, some hauliers are asking for daily roll-on roll-off services from Rosslare. I read in the media today that the chief executive of Rosslare Europort is talking to a shipping operator abo...More Button

I wish to reassure the House that we have looked at a subsidised service. Having spoken to the shipping operators, for now anyway we have decided that would not be helpful. There is significant s...More Button

Human Rights

Was asked: if he will report on the violation of human rights in Xinjiang; the steps he and his EU colleagues will take in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I thank the Deputy for this question. Ireland, along with our EU partners, remains deeply concerned about the credible reports regarding the treatment of ethnic Uighurs and other minorities in Xin...More Button

Ireland has been vocal about raising this issue, along with other partners in the international community. In our national statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 25 September, we reiterated...More Button

At EU level, the deterioration of the human rights situation, including the treatment of minorities in Xinjiang, was raised by EU leaders with China on 14 September, and it was agreed to discuss ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he, through the EU and UN, continues to engage with NGOs and others involved in seeking an improvement in how refugees are treated internationally; the efforts being made to ens...More Button

I thank the Deputy. Ireland is a long-standing advocate for refugees. For example, in 2016, Ireland co-facilitated the UN summit on refugees and migrants. This summit agreed the New York Declarat...More Button

The Irish Aid programme, Ireland's official development assistance programme, disburses more than €180 million each year in humanitarian assistance. In 2020, Ireland is providing more than €18.5...More Button

Yesterday, I addressed the UNHCR executive committee, underlining that Ireland remains a strong supporter of the UNHCR and the life-saving work it does for displaced persons throughout the world....More Button

The conflict in Syria has resulted in a major migration crisis, with many grave and widespread consequences. The Government's response to the Syrian crisis, through Irish Aid, is the largest Iri...More Button

The International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, is also one of Ireland’s major humanitarian partners and Ireland has provided the ICRC with €14.5 million in funding this year, including €10 m...More Button

When we achieved what I considered to be a huge achievement in getting a global compact for refugees, which effectively was to try to get a global agreement on how countries should respond to refug...More Button

I thank the Deputy. I think I am right in saying that approximately 17 million people now live in refugee camps throughout the world. It is a higher figure than ever before. When we think about ...More Button

Was asked: if he will write to his Polish counterpart to call for an end to the discrimination against Polish LGBT+ people; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am very concerned at developments relating to LGBTI+ people in Poland. The principles of equality and non-discrimination are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union....More Button

The Government has expressed its concerns regarding this issue publicly. My colleague, the Minister of State with responsibility for European affairs, has written to his counterpart in the Polis...More Button

Advancing human rights is central to Irish foreign policy. We are committed to promoting the rights of LGBTI+ people, who continue to suffer disproportionate levels of violence and discriminatio...More Button

The Irish Embassy in Poland undertakes a number of initiatives, including with local non-governmental organisations, to raise awareness of and facilitate discussion on the rights of LGBTI people....More Button

The ambassador is currently engaged in a series of meetings with NGOs to hear their perspectives on recent developments in Poland and to see how the embassy can best work to support them. These ...More Button

I will commit to writing to my counterpart. There is a new Polish foreign minister who I have not gotten to know yet, but I have spoken to him briefly. It is worth noting that the Commission Pres...More Button

The Commission has responsibility to uphold the treaties and, by doing that, the value system of the European Union. I expect that this will continue to be an ongoing discussion and a focus will...More Button

I thank the Deputy. I wish to acknowledge the work done by the Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Deputy O'Gorman, who continues to work in this area. He has spoken to m...More Button

It is important that we try to advocate for and deliver change. We have to figure out the best way of doing that. Sometimes within the European Union that is not necessarily done by penalties a...More Button

Was asked: if he has discussed with his counterparts across Europe, with the Chinese Government and-or with the Chinese Ambassador the human rights abuses in respect of the Uighir people; and if he will make ...More Button

Was asked: the reason Ireland has been quiet on the human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim population by the Chinese Government; and if the treatment of the Uighur people will be condemned by way of a ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 116 and 140 together.More Button

This is an issue of serious concern, as was underlined last week by the series of worrying reports on Xinjiang. Ireland has not been quiet on this matter, and I have spoken in this House about ou...More Button

We, along with our EU partners, remain deeply concerned about the credible reports regarding restrictions on freedom of religion and belief, arbitrary detention, widespread surveillance, forced l...More Button

Ireland has been vocal about raising this issue, along with other partners in the international community. In our national statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 25 September, Ireland reiter...More Button

At EU level, the deterioration of the human rights situation, including the treatment of minorities in Xinjiang, was raised by EU leaders with China on 14 September, and it was agreed to discuss ...More Button

Prior to this, Ireland was also one of 27 States to support a Joint Statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 30 June 2020, which also called on the High Commissioner to provide regular informa...More Button

This week, Ireland is supporting a Joint Statement at the UN Third Committee which reiterates our grave concern regarding the situation in Xinjiang, and recalls the exceptional letter of concern ...More Button

Ireland has previously supported a Joint Statement at the UN Third Committee in October 2019, and a Joint Letter at the UN Human Rights Council in July 2019, which called for the Chinese Governme...More Button

The protection and promotion of human rights is a core pillar of Ireland's foreign policy, and Ireland will continue to monitor and assess the situation and, along with our EU partners, engage wi...More Button

  Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 101.More Button

Was asked: his response to the ongoing detention of defenders (details supplied) of women's rights in Saudi Arabia; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Protecting and promoting human rights is a cornerstone of Ireland’s foreign policy. Ireland has consistently supported women human rights defenders and continually advocates for the freedom of all ...More Button

The detention of women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia is deeply concerning, and Ireland has consistently raised concerns, both bilaterally with the Saudi authorities, and in international...More Button

At the most recent Human Rights Council, Ireland co-signed a Joint statement which expressed deep concern at the ongoing detention of women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia. Ireland has als...More Button

During the last Universal Periodic Review of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record in November 2018, Ireland raised its concern about the imprisonment of Human Rights Defenders and recommended that ...More Button

Ireland also works closely with other EU Member States to ensure that human rights issues in Saudi Arabia are addressed, and the EU Delegation has raised the cases of the detention of women human...More Button

We welcome that plans are advancing to establish an EU-Saudi Arabia Human Rights Dialogue. This will provide a valuable additional forum to discuss human rights issues including individual cases.More Button

  Question No. 126 answered with Question No. 118.More Button

Was asked: if he will use the upcoming role of Ireland on the UN Security Council to highlight the ongoing human rights violations being perpetrated on ethnic Uighurs in China, in particular with his Chinese ...More Button

Ireland has not been quiet on this matter, and I have spoken in this House about our concerns regarding the situation in Xinjiang on numerous occasions. More Button

The promotion and protection of human rights and respect for the rule of law is central to Ireland’s foreign policy. The United Nations is the primary platform for multilateral cooperation among ...More Button

In our national statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 25 September, Ireland reiterated our deep concern regarding the treatment of ethnic Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, and urged...More Button

Ireland was one of 27 states to issue a Joint Statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 30 June 2020, which called on the High Commissioner to provide regular information about the situation in...More Button

This week, Ireland is supporting a Joint Statement at the UN Third Committee which reiterates our grave concern regarding the situation in Xinjiang, and recalls the exceptional letter of concern ...More Button

At EU level, the deterioration of the human rights situation, including the treatment of minorities in Xinjiang, was raised by EU leaders with China on 14 September, and it was agreed to discuss ...More Button

Ireland is now working on preparations for taking up our seat on the UN Security Council next January. We will engage openly with all members of the Council, including China, across the Council a...More Button

  Questions Nos. 143 to 145, inclusive, answered with Question No. 112.More Button

Was asked: his views on the widespread detention of prominent human rights activists, journalists and opposition leaders in Bahrain in view of the deteriorating situation in terms of human rights in the count...More Button

The human rights situation in Bahrain remains a matter of serious concern. Although Bahrain has repeatedly stated its commitment to improving its human rights record and safeguarding human rights a...More Button

Respect for human rights is an integral part of Ireland’s foreign policy and we consistently seek to raise our concerns on human rights issues through the most appropriate and effective channels....More Button

Ireland also engages on the issue of human rights in Bahrain through the EU. At the most recent informal EU-Bahrain Human Rights dialogue in November 2019, issues discussed included the right to ...More Button

Our principled stance on human rights also feeds into our bilateral dialogue and we raise our human rights concerns directly with the Bahraini authorities at every suitable opportunity. When I me...More Button

Ireland will continue to monitor developments in Bahrain, and to call on the Bahraini Government to deliver on its stated commitment to make progress in relation to human rights. More Button

Was asked: if he has personally raised the issue of correction camps in Xinjiang province in China with his Chinese interlocutors; if the issue has been raised by his officials with the Chinese authorities or...More Button

Ireland, along with our EU partners, remains deeply concerned about the credible reports regarding the treatment of ethnic Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, including reports on restriction...More Button

Ireland has been vocal about raising this issue, along with other partners in the international community. [Today, Ireland is supporting a Joint Statement at the UN Third Committee which reiterat...More Button

At EU level, the deterioration of the human rights situation, including the treatment of minorities in Xinjiang, was raised by EU leaders with China on 14 September, and it was agreed to discuss ...More Button

Prior to this, Ireland was also one of 28 States to sign up to a Joint Statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 30 June 2020, which also called on the High Commissioner to provide regular info...More Button

Ireland has previously supported a Joint Statement at the UN Third Committee in October 2019, and a Joint Letter at the UN Human Rights Council in July 2019, which called for the Chinese Governme...More Button

The protection and promotion of human rights is a core pillar of Ireland's foreign policy, and Ireland will continue to monitor and assess the situation and, along with our EU partners, engage wi...More Button

Human Rights (Continued)

Prior to this, Ireland was also one of 27 states to join a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 30 June 2020, which also called on the High Commissioner to provide regular informatio...More Button

Today, Ireland is supporting a joint statement at the UN Third Committee, which reiterates our grave concern regarding the situation in Xinjiang and recalls the exceptional letter of concern issu...More Button

Ireland previously joined a joint statement at the UN Third Committee last year and a joint letter at the UN Human Rights Council in July 2019, which called for the Chinese Government to urgently...More Button

The protection and promotion of human rights is a core pillar of Ireland's foreign policy, and Ireland will continue to monitor and assess the situation and, along with our EU partners, to engage...More Button

From my experience, the most effective way to achieve things with China is through dialogue and through building relationships. We will of course be part of the debate and assessment on how the EU...More Button

I would be more than happy to do that. If the Deputy can give me the details, I will ensure we pursue it.More Button

There is a significant amount of work for the UN to do. I am really looking forward to Ireland actually taking responsibility on the UN Security Council from 1 January next year. We will certainl...More Button

International Relations

Was asked: the response of Ireland to escalating tensions between Turkey and a number of EU member states in the eastern Mediterranean over access to gas fields for exploration purposes.More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising the issue because it is a developing situation which needs more attention than it is getting, quite frankly, in many capitals across Europe. In relation to the escal...More Button

The return of the Turkish research vessel to port from Greek waters and the announcement that exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey will resume are a welcome first step, although we regret ...More Button

As I said in my response, the way this issue will be resolved is through dialogue. The EU of course has tools available to it which it can use to build pressure, including targeted sanctions, econ...More Button

International Relations (Continued)

With regard to Cyprus, we would like to see Turkey de-escalating the tension that is undoubtedly there now. The relationship between Turkey and Cyprus is complicated and difficult and so it is not...More Button

With respect, I think that is a misreading of the situation. The refugee agreement between the EU and Turkey is something that of course is part of the relationship between them but Turkey's invol...More Button

UN Security Council

Was asked: if he will outline the immediate priorities of Ireland’s membership of the UN Security Council; and the resources that are being invested to maximise membership; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

It has been a while since I have been questioned by the Deputy. Normally, I have been used to looking at him over on the other side on Thursday morning. It is nice to be on the same side for a ch...More Button

Ireland will take up its seat on the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term on 1 January. We will engage constructively across the Council agenda, which has nearly tripled since Ireland last...More Button

Three principles will underpin our approach, namely building peace, strengthening prevention, and ensuring accountability. The Taoiseach elaborated on these principles in his address to the Gene...More Button

We will seek to address factors underlying conflict, such as human rights violations and climate change, while strengthening the protection of civilians, including from conflict-related hunger. ...More Button

In the period ahead, I will undertake a series of consultations with permanent and elected members of the Council. I will also consult with a range of other states, including those that host UN ...More Button

Climate and its contribution to instability and insecurity will be a big part of what we are doing. We need to be clear, however, that there are powerful states on the Security Council which do no...More Button

It is not as simple as saying this is important to us and we are going to bring it to the Security Council. We have to be smart enough to be able to build alliances around issues that we care ab...More Button

The Deputy is correct on young people. We need to try to involve young people and women on much of the post-conflict management, conflict prevention and the accountability agenda which is importan...More Button

There was an agreement between my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that if we were successful in getting on to the Security Council that resources would be made avai...More Button

Was asked: the status of work undertaken by his Department in the advancement of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agenda as Ireland approaches the beginning of its UN Security Council term.More Button

The advancement of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation goals is a signature foreign policy for Ireland. It will continue to be important throughout our membership on the UN Security Council....More Button

Ireland, like our EU partners, takes the view that the joint comprehensive plan of action, JCPoA, endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2231, is a major achievement of multilateral diplomacy an...More Button

The continuation of the DPRK’s nuclear and missile activities breaches numerous Security Council resolutions, represents a serious threat to international peace and security and undermines the gl...More Button

As a Security Council Member, Ireland will also contribute to the work of the Committee on Security Council Resolution 1540, which addresses proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of ...More Button

Ireland’s term on the Council will coincide with the re-scheduled tenth review conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In furtherance of our nuclear disarmament and...More Button

Was asked: the status of preparations and changes made by his Department to ensure full participation by Ireland as a member of the UN Security Council.More Button

Ireland will take up its seat as an elected member of the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term on 1 January. We intend to make a constructive contribution across the agenda of the Council, wh...More Button

Three principles will underpin our approach: Building Peace, Strengthening Prevention, and Ensuring Accountability. The Taoiseach elaborated on these principles in his address to the UN General A...More Button

In the period ahead, I will undertake a series of consultations with permanent and elected members of the Council, and other key partners. I have discussed UN Security Council issues with a numbe...More Button

I also intend to consult with a range of other UN Member States, including those of States that host UN Missions, and countries that contribute troops to Peacekeeping Operations, as well as with ...More Button

We are keen to ensure an open dialogue with domestic partners, and make use of the extensive expertise available within Irish civil society organisations and academia and a stakeholder forum has ...More Button

A UN Security Council Task Team has been established in DFA Headquarters to coordinate our work on the Council. The Permanent Mission in New York will play a key role, and its staffing has been e...More Button

Our term of the Council is a Government-wide effort, and we will work closely with other Departments. This includes the Department of Defence and Defence Forces, given our longstanding engagement...More Button

I look forward to keeping the Oireachtas informed of our work on the Council.More Button

  Question No. 131 answered with Question No. 128.More Button

UN Security Council (Continued)

The Deputy is dead right on this issue. Many Irish people have no idea of the contribution this little country has made in the UN in this area. We have real credibility in this space. I have see...More Button

The problem is it is quite a technical area when one starts talking about the detail of non-proliferation treaties or about work, which Ireland is very much involved in now, around international ...More Button

I agree with that and let us see if we can facilitate that debate because it would be an interesting discussion for many people. One of the reasons that I referred to both Iran and North Korea in ...More Button

Foreign Policy

Was asked: the number of emergency repatriations carried out since March 2020 by his Department.More Button

I advise the Deputy that my Department advised or assisted more than 8,000 people to return safely to Ireland as part of our consular response to the Covid-19 crisis. The priority was to help thos...More Button

In three exceptional cases where there were significant groups of Irish citizens with no alternative options to get out and in circumstances that made them particularly vulnerable, we chartered p...More Button

I pay tribute to my Department and the consular team, which I do not often get a chance to do, which did heroic work during this period. We ended up setting up our own call centre. At times we ...More Button

I think we are mixing two issues here. The repatriation efforts were primarily for people who reside in Ireland and were away. They might have been students, people working away temporarily or pe...More Button

Was asked: the steps Ireland and the EU have taken to address the ongoing instability in Yemen; his plans to increase Irish Aid funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Yemen remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, driven by conflict, economic collapse and the breakdown of public institutions and services. More Button

Ireland and the EU fully support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, to bring about a political resolution to the conflict in Yemen. In particular, I welcome efforts ...More Button

We note the recent announcement on prisoner exchange, which is an important confidence building step. However, despite the Special Envoy’s efforts over the last months, agreement has still not be...More Button

Ireland is deeply concerned by the level of humanitarian suffering in Yemen, and has provided over €27 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen since 2015, including €5 million in 2020. As a member o...More Button

We also remain deeply concerned at the ongoing conduct of the conflict. The recent report of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen highlights a consistent record of violations of IHL and human ri...More Button

Ireland calls again on the parties to the conflict to continue their engagement with the Special Envoy with a view to agreeing a declaration and ceasefire that will be in the best interests of th...More Button

Was asked: his response to the ongoing persecution of Kurdish activists by the Turkish Government.More Button

The Government is aware of and very concerned about the detention of 82 executives of the opposition party HDP on 25 September. Among the detained are seven former HDP MPs, including the current Ma...More Button

The strong suspicion is that these latest arrests are politically motivated and an attempt to marginalise and isolate the opposition. Hundreds of local politicians and elected officeholders and t...More Button

Ireland is clear that arrests and legal proceedings should not be used for political reasons as they seriously undermine the proper functioning of local democracy. The Turkish Government needs to...More Button

On the wider Kurdish issue, it is clear that this can only be addressed through dialogue aiming at establishing a peaceful, comprehensive, and sustainable solution. Ireland has called for the res...More Button

The Government will continue to closely monitor developments in Turkey both in terms of these detentions, and in terms of the wider picture regarding human rights, freedom of expression, the rule...More Button

Was asked: the steps Ireland is taking to show solidarity with the people of Belarus at this time of unrest; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

Was asked: his views on the current situation in Belarus; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 122, 129 and 138 together.More Button

The deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus is appalling and Ireland strongly supports the Belorussian people in their clear and simple demands for free and fair elections and to have the...More Button

Even before the 9 August election, Ireland, and the EU, highlighted concerns regarding crackdowns on the freedom of assembly and arbitrary detentions in advance of the election at the Human Right...More Button

We have seen indiscriminate mass detentions, including of minors, credible reports of torture and ill-treatment of those detained, forced exiles and disappearances, and curtailments of media free...More Button

Ireland acted quickly and clearly to these events. I, and Minster of State Byrne made statements expressing our deep concern following the use of State violence against peaceful protesters. We ha...More Button

This was also the message I conveyed during a UN Security Council Members meeting on 4 September and at the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council, where Ireland also supported a Joint Statemen...More Button

We have condemned the actions of the Belorussian authorities and Ireland has continued to work with other EU Member States to ensure a firm EU response. We support the imposition of targeted sanc...More Button

The Taoiseach has spoken to opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who has a well-known connection to this country having spent many summers here in her youth. I met Mrs. Tsikhanouskaya, alo...More Button

The recent secretive so-called 'inauguration' of Lukashenko lacks any democratic legitimacy. We will maintain our call for the authorities to engage in meaningful dialogue for fresh elections tha...More Button

The future of Belarus is for the people alone to decide in fresh elections. Ireland will remain steadfast in our support for the Belorussian people as they continue to defend their rights and de...More Button

Was asked: his response to the barring of the Catalan President from public office; if the issue will be raised with his EU counterparts.More Button

Was asked: his views on the removal from office of the Catalan President for the crime of disobedience to the Spanish state; his views on the fact that he is the third successive Catalan president to be remov...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 128 and 131 together.More Button

I am aware of the recent verdict of the Spanish Supreme Court against the former President of the Catalan region in connection with disobeying an instruction from the Electoral Commission to remo...More Button

As in Ireland, we respect the separation of powers in Spain and it would therefore not be appropriate for me to comment beyond noting that in this case, as in the cases relating to the two previo...More Button

The freedom to express contesting views is essential in any democracy, including our own. However, at the same time it is important that differences of opinion are contested with full respect for...More Button

With regard to the broader situation in Catalonia, I know that the Spanish Government maintains dialogue with different strands of political opinion there. This Government’s position remains tha...More Button

  Question No. 129 answered with Question No. 122.More Button

Was asked: the actions taken to support the people of Yemen.More Button

Foreign Policy (Continued)

There were a number of people who had been away for quite some time and felt the need to come home for health reasons. I can give the Deputy all the figures and data about where those people came ...More Button

On the issue of migrants who had been away for a long time coming home, that is something I would happily talk to the Deputy about when we have a bit more time. We have done a lot of work on som...More Button

That is a more general issue, not just linked to Covid-19, although it may obviously have been a particular issue during the Covid crisis when people felt they wanted to come home for family reason...More Button

US Presidential Election

Was asked: if there have been discussions with the American Ambassador to Ireland with regard to the very worrying comments from the current President of the United States, stating they will not accept the re...More Button

Was asked: if he has discussed with his colleagues in Europe or if he has concerns regarding the statements made by President Donald Trump that he would not accept the outcome of the forthcoming US elections ...More Button

To respond more generally, as this House knows, Ireland and the United States share strong ties of kinship and enjoy close diplomatic and political relations, as well as enduring economic, cultural...More Button

I was in Washington last week, as the Deputy knows, and got an incredibly warm and supportive response when I outlined Ireland's vulnerabilities in the context of ongoing Brexit negotiations. Wh...More Button

In response to the question the Deputy asked, I am confident that the democratic institutions in the United States are robust and strong enough. It will be a more complex election than we have s...More Button

That is why the election is getting the kind of profile and media attention it is, even through extraordinary times in the United States. If people are not telling the truth, I expect that to be e...More Button

Was asked: if he discussed the upcoming US presidential elections and the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement during his visit to Washington, DC; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My visit to Washington D.C. last week came at important time for both the United States and Ireland, and offered a valuable opportunity to discuss key priorities, including Brexit, Northern Ireland...More Button

Having met with members of the U.S. Administration, Congress and friends of Ireland from across the political spectrum, the visit naturally gave me a first-hand sense of the issues that are domin...More Button

On the matter of the protests in the United States, as I have stated previously, I am deeply concerned about the issues of racial inequality and racism that underpin them. I have raised these iss...More Button

I welcome the debate it has opened up, not just in the U.S. but in our own society too and elsewhere, and believe that the stories of those who have experienced racism and exclusion must continue...More Button

  Questions Nos. 101 and 102 answered orally.More Button

US Presidential Election (Continued)

Divisive language in politics that pits people against each other is never something that should be supported. Supporting or encouraging racist forces is something that should never be supported a...More Button

I am not somebody who is afraid of mincing my words on some of these issues. As I said, we are a few weeks away from an election in the United States. We need to allow that process to take its ...More Button

Middle East

Was asked: the diplomatic representations that were made to Israel regarding its annexation plan; and if his attention has been drawn to the town of Beit Sahour (details supplied) affected by the annexation i...More Button

I thank the Deputy. It is unusual that it has taken this long to get to the Middle East peace process in foreign affairs questions. I am glad we have gotten there at nearly 12.30 a.m.More Button

Israel's announcement on 13 August that it will suspend plans to annex parts of the occupied Palestinian territory is, of course, welcome, although that proposal should never have been on the tab...More Button

Was asked: if, as the 20th anniversary of the second Palestinian Intifada is passed, his attention has been drawn to the escalating policy of silent transfer of Palestinians from occupied east Jerusalem; the ...More Button

It is actually not. We have done a great amount to try to advance the cause of the two-state solution and to focus the world’s attention on illegal settlements and their expansion. We have contr...More Button

As I have said, if we had this debate last June people would have predicted that in July Prime Minister Netanyahu would have moved ahead with annexation of parts of the West Bank, and possibly even...More Button

I agree with the Deputy that in many instances Israel acts with impunity. It continues to impinge on Palestinian lands and Palestinian rights in a way that is illegal. We have to continue to hi...More Button

  Written Answers are published on the Oireachtas website.More Button

  The Dáil adjourned at 12.30 a.m. until 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 7 October 2020.More Button

Middle East (Continued)

The unilateral annexation by Israel of any part of the occupied Palestinian territory would be a very clear violation of international law. It would have no legitimacy and would not be recognise...More Button

The Deputy raises the case of Beit Sahour. Annexation of this town would be a clear violation of international law, as would unilateral annexation of any part of the occupied Palestinian territo...More Button

There is a difference between annexation, applying Israeli sovereignty to Palestinian land and expansion of settlements, which is also in my view illegal internationally and should not be happening...More Button

My position is well understood on that and the legal position is crystal clear on this issue. Deputies can keep calling on me to do something that they know I cannot do but they want to do this fo...More Button

Ministerial Meetings

Was asked: if he will report on his recent visit to Washington, DC, USA; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On 28 September, I travelled to the United States for a series of engagements in Washington D.C.

  Over the course of the two-day visit, I met with senior members of Congress fr...More Button

Brexit Preparations

Was asked: if he will report on the Brexit Readiness Action Plan and the role of his Department in implementing same.More Button

The Brexit Readiness Action Plan supports and assists business and citizens prepare for the significant changes that will arise on 1 January 2021. Extensive work continues across Government on imp...More Button

  Question No. 105 answered orally.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he continues to make alternative provisions in respect of the post-Brexit era in the event of no agreement and limited access to the UK landbridge for exporters and importers he...More Button

Regardless of the outcome of the ongoing negotiations, the end of the transition will mean substantial and lasting change. The UK will be outside the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union from 1 Ja...More Button

Ensuring that the UK landbridge remains an efficient and effective route to market for Irish traders is a priority of the Government's Brexit planning. When the transition period ends on 31 Dece...More Button

While the UK’s accession to the Common Transit Convention (CTC) is welcome and we continue to work positively with our EU partners on addressing challenges in EU ports for transit landbridge traf...More Button

By contrast, goods moving directly between Ireland and elsewhere in the EU will not be subject to any new procedures. The Government has been engaging extensively with the shipping sector to ass...More Button

A number of new direct services have been launched in the past year and extra sailings are also planned on existing routes. Traders should now consider switching to direct route options where fe...More Button

Was asked: the plans which have been considered to ensure no infrastructure or checks are placed along the Border. More Button

Was asked: his engagements to date with the European Commission following the statements and actions by the UK Prime Minster regarding the Brexit withdrawal agreement. More Button

Was asked: the plans being put in place in order to deal with the attempt by the UK Government to circumvent the Irish Protocol through the United Kingdom International Market Bill. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 382, 391 and 392 together.More Button

It is vital that the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland be implemented in full and in good faith.More Button

The publication and passage through the House of Commons of the UK Internal Market Bill in September caused grave concern. The Bill, in its current form, undermines the Withdrawal Agreement and t...More Button

The Taoiseach raised our concerns directly with the British Prime Minister on the day the Bill was published and has subsequently met Commission President von der Leyen. I met in Brussels with Vi...More Button

The Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement met on Thursday 10 September and Monday 28 September. The Joint Committee, and Specialised Committee, are the appropriate ch...More Button

At these meetings, Ireland set out clearly our concerns. Commission Vice President Šefcovic urged the British Government to remove the problematic measures from the Bill by the end of September. ...More Button

On 1 October the Commission sent the UK a letter of notice for breaching obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement. This marks the beginning of a formal infringement process against the United ...More Button

I have also discussed this issue with Special Envoy Mick Mulvaney during his visit to Dublin. I visited Washington DC last week, and discussed the issues with Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E....More Button

Throughout the Brexit process, I have maintained close contacts with leaders in Northern Ireland. I welcome that the EU and UK are engaging closely on relevant implementation issues to find appr...More Button

Despite noise and setbacks, this Government’s focus remains on implementation - in full and in good faith - of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol, and on achieving a successful conclusion ...More Button

EU Issues

Was asked: his response to the call by the Hungarian President for the resignation of the European Commission Vice President for Values and Transparency; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware of Prime Minister Orbán’s recent letter to European Commission President Von der Leyen calling for the resignation of Commission Vice President Jourová. I want to make clear that I fully...More Button

Prime Minister Orbán’s letter to President Von der Leyen came on the eve of the publication of the Commission’s first annual report on the rule of law situation across the EU and in all Member St...More Button

As the contents of the report have shown, no Member State is immune from criticism regarding the rule of law, including Ireland. While criticism may sometimes be difficult for Member States to he...More Button

It is important that all Member States remain open to, and encourage, dialogue regarding the rule of law and seek to constructively address concerns raised by the institutions of the Union or fel...More Button

  Question No. 107 answered orally.More Button

International Sanctions

Was asked: the response by Ireland to attempts by the United States of America to reimpose sanctions on Iran.More Button

In recent months, the United States have taken a number of different steps to reimpose sanctions on Iran. More Button

In August, the US announced its intention to impose "snapback" of UN sanctions against Iran, in response to Iran's breaches of the nuclear agreement, the JCPOA. The US asserted that this triggere...More Button

However, I note that the US announced its withdrawal from the JCPOA in 2018. President Trump’s memorandum of 8 May 2018 formalised this position, and since then, the United States Government has ...More Button

It also flows from this that any actions or outcomes based on the US declaration of “snapback” would also be devoid of legal effect. This is a view shared by all the remaining participants in the...More Button

The UN Secretary General also wrote to the President of the Security Council to note that he was not in a position to take any action on the US notification. More Button

In addition to its approach at the UN, the US has is also imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran. This is a sovereign decision for the US. However, we are concerned by the unilateral imposition of...More Button

Ireland remains committed to the JCPOA, which remains the best available mechanism for preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Ireland is deeply concerned by Iranian breaches of the JCPO...More Button

Undocumented Irish in the USA

Was asked: if he had discussions during his recent visit to the United States on the difficulties facing the undocumented Irish; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the progress made to date on resolving the issue of undocumented Irish persons in the United States of America; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 and 133 together.More Button

The status of the undocumented Irish in the US has been a high priority for successive Governments and continues to be one of my key priorities. Immigration issues have been raised on an ongoing ...More Button

In the US, our Embassy and Consulates General across the country continue to monitor the situation closely and to engage with US officials on immigration issues, including with US Immigration and...More Button

In 2019, over €3m ($3.7m) was allocated to 76 organisations across the US, including those that provide front-line welfare assistance to Irish citizens. Furthermore, in response to the pandemic, ...More Button

While comprehensive immigration reform is a complex and sensitive political issue in the US at present, our Embassy and our Consulates General across the United States will continue to monitor th...More Button

In terms of securing future pathways for immigration, we continue to prioritise the E3 visa Bill and hope to see it pass through Congress at the earliest opportunity.More Button

Diplomatic Representation

Was asked: his plans there to extend Ireland’s diplomatic footprint through the EU and the world in order to forge new alliances post Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

“Global Ireland – Ireland’s Global Footprint to 2025", sets out the Government’s ambitions for expanding and deepening our international presence. It includes the expansion of Ireland’s Mission Net...More Button

My Department plans to open 26 new Diplomatic Missions over the lifetime of Global Ireland. Since its launch in 2018, my Department has been working closely with the Department of the Taoiseach a...More Button

To date we have opened new Embassies in Wellington, Bogotá, Amman, Monrovia and Santiago de Chile, and new Consulates General in Vancouver, Mumbai, Cardiff, Frankfurt and Los Angeles. Our efforts...More Button

A critical component of the Global Ireland programme is identifying new opportunities to diversify our markets in a post-Brexit world. Global Ireland 2025 will support efforts to grow and diversi...More Button

Ireland has a long-standing policy of maintaining Embassies in all EU Member States. This policy has been of incalculable benefit to our country since the UK made the decision to leave the Europe...More Button

In considering any further expansion of the diplomatic network, a range of factors will be taken into account including our national, political, economic and trade priorities, as well as the avai...More Button

  Question No. 114 answered with Question No. 112.More Button

Covid-19 Pandemic

Was asked: his plans for a colour-coded common travel agreement within the EU in respect of foreign travel during Covid-19.More Button

On September 4, the European Commission issued a proposal on a co-ordinated approach to travel restrictions within Europe in response to COVID-19. The German Presidency has been leading intensive n...More Button

One of the measures under discussion is the introduction of a traffic light system under which countries and regions within the EU and EEA would be classified in terms of COVID-19 risk. More Button

The factors used to calculate risk remain to be agreed. They are likely to include, at a minimum, the prevailing 14-day COVID incidence rate per 100,000; the percentage of recent positive COVID-1...More Button

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will be mandated with producing the necessary data on a weekly basis, setting out which areas are at higher or lower risk by way of traffic-...More Button

The data and mapping are likely to be produced at sub-national regional levels. Accordingly, Member States may then apply their respective protective measures targeted with regard to higher-risk ...More Button

The Presidency is according major priority to this issue. As set out in the National Plan for Living with COVID-19, Ireland has made clear its broad support for the Commission proposal and our in...More Button

Was asked: if additional supports have been provided to the Palestinian people to help suppress the current Covid-19 surge; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Foreign Conflicts

Was asked: his views on reports of escalating violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan.More Button

Was asked: the position of Ireland on the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 118 and 126 together.More Button

I am deeply concerned by the recent clashes in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, in particular along the line of contact, which have regrettably led to the loss of life and severe injury, including ci...More Button

Ireland joins those calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to the negotiating table, and we welcome and support the Statements of the EU through High Representative Borrel...More Button

I welcome the expression of support by Security Council Members for Secretary-General Guterres’s call for an immediate halt to the fighting, and for the central role of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Ch...More Button

Ireland urges both sides to de-escalate tensions by refraining from inflammatory rhetoric and strictly observing the ceasefire. Only through negotiation, can there be a sustainable resolution and...More Button

We will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the EU and the UN continue to monitor the activities of Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the degree to which the EU and the UN continue to focus on various trouble spots worldwide in which child soldiers are involved in conflict; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The recruitment and use of child soldiers remains a serious problem with tens of thousands of children recruited and used as soldiers in conflicts around the world. More Button

EU policy on child soldiers is set out in Guidelines on Children and Armed Conflict, first adopted in 2003 and revised in 2008. These aim to persuade governments and organisations around the worl...More Button

In 1999, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1261 on the impact of armed conflict on children. Since then, the Security Council has established tools to strengthen child protection and to ...More Button

In December 1996, the UN General Assembly created the mandate of the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict to advocate for the protection and well-being of children affected b...More Button

Ireland is a member of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict at the United Nations in New York, a network of 47 Member States who support the continued focus on Children and Armed C...More Button

Ireland continues to combat the use of child soldiers through our development programme, Irish Aid, with a focus on addressing the socio-economic causes that contribute to this situation, through...More Button

EU Migration Crisis

Was asked: his views on the developing situation at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the humanitarian crisis developing at the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the details of engagements he has had with the Minister for Justice on finding long-term solutions to support persons affected by the fire in the Moria refugee camp in Greece; and if he will make a...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 120, 124 and 134 together.More Button

I am deeply saddened by the fire at the Moria camp on Lesbos and the impact this has had on the refugees and migrants based there. The very sudden displacement of thousands of people has caused g...More Button

My colleague, the Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, spoke with his Greek counterpart immediately after the fire to offer Ireland's full solidarity and support. The Greek authorities re...More Button

In terms of the situation within the camp, Greek authorities have started to transfer refugees and migrants to the Greek mainland in order to reduce overcrowding. In addition, the European Commis...More Button

As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have repeatedly urged the need for greater solidarity and burden-sharing among Member States in dealing with the wider issue of migration. The migration crisis ...More Button

On 23 September 2020, the Commission published a major new proposal on reforming the EU migration and asylum system - a “New Pact on Migration and Asylum”. I welcome this initiative by the Commis...More Button

We in Ireland are endeavouring to do our part, having already received 1022 asylum seekers (including six unaccompanied minors) from Greece under the first phase of the Irish Refugee Protection P...More Button

In the context of the very difficult situation now arising from the destruction of the Moria refugee camp, the Government has decided that Ireland will welcome refugee families from Greece under ...More Button

Officials from the Department of Justice and Equality are liaising with the European Commission on the detail of this commitment, and along with An Garda Síochána will travel to Greece in the com...More Button

Was asked: the support being offered to assist with the fallout following the fire at Moria refugee camp; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the engagement he has had with the Greek authorities in relation to the Moria camp in Lesbos; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he and the international community have engaged with the situation in Lesbos with the objective of addressing the issues arising from the destructive fire there and consequent h...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 393, 401 and 402 together.More Button

I am deeply saddened by the fire at the Moria camp on Lesbos and the impact this has had on the refugees and migrants based there. The very sudden displacement of thousands of people has caused g...More Button

My colleague, the Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, spoke with his Greek counterpart immediately after the fire to offer Ireland's full solidarity and support. The Greek authorities re...More Button

In terms of the situation within the camp, Greek authorities have started to transfer refugees and migrants to the Greek mainland in order to reduce overcrowding. In addition, the European Commis...More Button

As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have repeatedly urged the need for greater solidarity and burden-sharing among Member States in dealing with the wider issue of migration. The migration crisis ...More Button

On 23 September 2020, the Commission published a major new proposal on reforming the EU migration and asylum system - a “New Pact on Migration and Asylum”. I welcome this initiative by the Commis...More Button

We in Ireland are endeavouring to do our part, having already received 1022 asylum seekers (including six unaccompanied minors) from Greece under the first phase of the Irish Refugee Protection P...More Button

In the context of the very difficult situation now arising from the destruction of the Moria refugee camp, the Government has decided that Ireland will welcome refugee families from Greece under ...More Button

Officials from the Department of Justice and Equality are liaising with the European Commission on the detail of this commitment, and along with An Garda Síochána will travel to Greece in the com...More Button

Was asked: his position on the situation pertaining to the refugees in Lesbos; the number Ireland plans to accept; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am deeply saddened by the fire at the Moria camp on Lesbos and the impact this has had on the refugees and migrants based there. The very sudden displacement of thousands of people has caused gre...More Button

My colleague, the Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, spoke with his Greek counterpart immediately after the fire to offer Ireland's full solidarity and support. The Greek authorities re...More Button

In terms of the situation within the camp, Greek authorities have started to transfer refugees and migrants to the Greek mainland in order to reduce overcrowding. In addition, the European Commis...More Button

As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have repeatedly urged the need for greater solidarity and burden-sharing among Member States in dealing with the wider issue of migration. The migration crisis ...More Button

On 23 September 2020, the Commission published a major new proposal on reforming the EU migration and asylum system - a “New Pact on Migration and Asylum”. I welcome this initiative by the Commis...More Button

We in Ireland are endeavouring to do our part, having already received 1022 asylum seekers (including six unaccompanied minors) from Greece under the first phase of the Irish Refugee Protection P...More Button

In the context of the very difficult situation now arising from the destruction of the Moria refugee camp, the Government has decided that Ireland will welcome refugee families from Greece under ...More Button

Officials from the Department of Justice and Equality are liaising with the European Commission on the detail of this commitment, and along with An Garda Síochána will travel to Greece in the com...More Button

A Vision for Change

Was asked: his plans to progress referendums on Irish unity.More Button

The approach of any Government in relation to Irish unity is guided by Article 3 of the Constitution, as amended by the people in 1998. The Government respects everyone’s right on this island to ma...More Button

The holding of a referendum in this jurisdiction is connected with the calling of a border poll, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, in Northern Ireland. The decision to hold such a pol...More Button

The full implementation and effective operation of the Good Friday Agreement is a priority for this Government. The principle of consent and the possibility of change in the constitutional status...More Button

These are extremely important issues which naturally require very careful and serious consideration. The Government will continue to listen to and engage with the views of everyone on this island...More Button

  Question No. 124 answered with Question No. 120.More Button

Foreign Birth Registration

Was asked: the average wait time for applications in the foreign births register section; the capacity at which the section is operating; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Foreign Births Registration Section has now resumed the processing of applications. Foreign Births Registration, by its nature, can be a detailed and complex process, often involving official d...More Button

At present, it takes between 12 to 18 months to process an application to completion. The section is operating at full capacity. More Button

The Foreign Births Registration Section has also introduced a dedicated webchat service for those seeking further information in relation to their application for FBR. This webchat service is ope...More Button

Dublin-Monaghan Bombings

Was asked: the outcome of recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the UK Foreign Secretary on the Dublin-Monaghan bombings of 1974 and the need for a full investigat...More Button

This year marked the 46th anniversary of the appalling attacks of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in which 33 people were murdered. The Government stands in solidarity with all those who lost love...More Button

The implementation of the All-Party Dáil motions relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings is a priority for the Government, as highlighted in the Programme for Government. The All-Party motio...More Button

The Government will continue to seek the full truth of these appalling attacks, and some measure of closure for those affected. We have consistently raised the issue with the British Government o...More Button

I have made clear to my counterparts that the absence of a response from the British Government is of deep concern to the Government, and that there remains a pressing need for a response. More Button

The Government welcomed the announcement by the PSNI on 30 November 2019 that former Chief Constable Jon Boutcher will head an Independent Police Team to conduct an analytical report on the Glena...More Button

The Government will continue to engage with the British Government on this request, at senior political level and in official level engagement by my Department, to pursue all possible avenues to ...More Button

Brexit Negotiations

Was asked: the main obstacles to a deal between the European Union and the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the status of the ninth round of Brexit negotiations with the EU and the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 136 and 139 together.More Button

The ninth round of negotiations in the EU-UK Future Relationship took place from 28 September to 3 October. While a degree of progress was made, there remains some distance to go on the key issue...More Button

On the level playing field in particular, both the EU and UK agreed in the Joint Political Declaration in October 2019 that, because of our proximity and economic interconnectedness, measures to ...More Button

The UK will be the EU’s partner, but also our competitor, and it is important that we have clear rules in place to make sure that this competition operates fairly and in a way that protects our b...More Button

Fisheries remains a challenging area in the negotiations. A positive resolution of this issue is an important priority for Ireland. We are seeking to protect the interests of the Irish fleet in t...More Button

We are all aware that time is growing short, and that a no deal outcome is in no one’s interests. Ireland is engaged in these negotiations as part of the EU27, and we have been working hard to en...More Button

Only a few weeks remain to secure a deal. Ireland, and the EU, will continue to engage positively and in good faith in the time remaining.More Button

I must also be clear that together with our focus on the Future Relationship negotiations, the EU will also be working hard in the weeks ahead to find a resolution to the challenge created by the...More Button

On 1 October, the Commission issued a letter of formal notice to the UK for breaching its obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement. This marks the beginning of a formal infringement process aga...More Button

The EU27 remain firmly united in support for the Commission's approach to both the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Future Relationship negotiations. Michel Barnier and his team...More Button

Programme for Government

Was asked: the steps that will be taken in 2020 and the resources that will be made available to deliver on the commitment in the programme for Government to develop third-level opportunities at Ulster Univer...More Button

In the Programme for Government, “Our Shared Future”, the Government affirms that it will work with the Northern Ireland Executive and the British Government to commit to investment and deve...More Button

  Question No. 138 answered with Question No. 122.More Button

  Question No. 139 answered with Question No. 136.More Button

  Question No. 140 answered with Question No. 116.More Button

Visa Agreements

Was asked: if progress has been made on establishing an E3 visa agreement between Ireland and the United States of America; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The House will be aware that the issue of Irish immigration into the United States has been a high priority for successive Governments and it continues to be prioritised by this Government. More Button

I have continuously raised immigration issues, particularly the E3 visa, in my interactions with the US Administration and US political leaders, including most recently during my meeting with US ...More Button

The Bill is currently before the US Senate, having been passed in the House of Representatives. It was reintroduced by Congressmen Neal and Sensenbrenner in May 2019, having failed to gain Senate...More Button

While comprehensive immigration reform is a complex and sensitive political issue in the US at present, our Embassy, along with our Consulates General across the United States, will continue to m...More Button

Military Aircraft

Was asked: his views on diplomatic clearances sought from Ireland by embassies in advance for overflight of Irish sovereign airspace by foreign states and military aircraft; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

I am satisfied that robust procedures are in place in my Department to administer the agreed procedures for Embassies to apply for clearance for military flights to enter Irish sovereign airspace.More Button

Was asked: the number of diplomatic clearances sought from Ireland by embassies in advance for overflight of Irish sovereign airspace by foreign states and military aircraft in each of the years 2017 to 2019 ...More Button

Permission for foreign military aircraft to overfly the State is subject to strict conditions. These routinely include stipulations that the aircraft must be unarmed, carry no arms, ammunition or e...More Button

Was asked: if he has held discussions with the Minister for Justice and Equality on diplomatic clearances sought from Ireland by embassies in advance for overflight of Irish sovereign airspace by foreign stat...More Button

In advance of the provision of diplomatic clearance for overflight of Irish sovereign airspace by foreign State and military aircraft, my officials seek the views of the Department of Justice and E...More Button

  Question No. 400 answered with Question No. 394.More Button

  Questions Nos. 401 and 402 answered with Question No. 393.More Button

Overseas Development Aid

Was asked: the way in which Ireland contributes to reducing global poverty (details supplied); the strategies being taken to reduce humanitarian need in these countries; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

Was asked: if Ireland is close to achieving the target of allocating 0.7% of gross national income to official development assistance by 2030 (details supplied); if not the reason preventing the goal being ac...More Button

Passport Data

Was asked: the number of passports reported lost or stolen to the Passport Office in 2019 and to date in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The numbers of passports reported lost or stolen to the Passport Service in 2019 and to date in 2020 are detailed in the following table.

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Northern Ireland

Was asked: the role of his Department in expanding university places in Derry.More Button

In the Programme for Government, “Our Shared Future”, the Government affirms that it will work with the Northern Ireland Executive and the British Government to commit to investment and development...More Button

This confirms the commitments made by the Government on 9 January 2020, when the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and I published the New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) agreement, which ...More Button

The Irish and British Governments, at the same time, each announced their own separate sets of financial and other commitments in support of the resumption of the power-sharing institutions at St...More Button

The Government welcomes the development of plans for ambitious new higher education provision at the Magee Campus, including in the context of the British Government’s City Deal and Inclusive Fut...More Button

We look forward to continued engagement with the Northern Ireland Executive including in taking forward the NDNA commitments through the regular pattern of Ministerial-level Sectoral meetings acr...More Button

The funding requirement in the years ahead to deliver these projects will depend on the timing and details for projects being agreed on a North/South basis, and will need to take account of neces...More Button

  Questions Nos. 391 and 392 answered with Question No. 382.More Button

Was asked: if he will he meet with victims and survivors of the Glenanne gang.More Button

Was asked: if he will meet with the victims and survivors of the Glenanne gang.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 394 and 400 together.More Button

The victims of the so-called Glenanne gang, as with all victims and survivors, must have access to an effective investigation and to a process of justice in accordance with the law. There is also...More Button

The implementation of the Stormont House Agreement forms part of the Programme for Government. The Government also continues to actively pursue the implementation of the all-Party Dáil motions w...More Button

The Government welcomed the announcement by the PSNI on 30 November 2019 that former Chief Constable Jon Boutcher will head an Independent Police Team to conduct an analytical report on collusion...More Button

The Government will be supportive of facilitating this investigation, subject to the requirements of the law, as we have other investigative processes in Northern Ireland, in relation to the atta...More Button

In any scenario, we will continue to engage with the British Government, to pursue all possible avenues to achieve progress on these issues, consistent with the all-party Dáil motions, until a sa...More Button

In relation to the request for a meeting to discuss these cases, I have asked my officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs who lead on legacy issues to meet with representatives of the vic...More Button

Was asked: if he has had discussions with the UK Government on the decision not to prosecute British soldiers for their role in the Bloody Sunday massacre.More Button

The Government has noted the announcement on 29 September last by the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland to uphold their decision not to prosecute 15 soldiers in connection with the eve...More Button

We understand the disappointment felt by all of the families involved in seeking this review, and who have spent so many years in pursuit of justice for their loved ones. Their dedication has be...More Button

The NI Public Prosecution Service has confirmed that, while Soldier F is among the 15 individuals to which these new decisions relate, the prosecution that commenced against him in 2019 continues...More Button

All victims’ families must have access to an effective investigation and to a process of justice in accordance with the law and regardless of the perpetrator. More Button

The Stormont House Agreement sets out a framework for dealing with the legacy of the past, agreed by all parties and by both the Irish and British Governments. It must be implemented, and that c...More Button

In March, the British Government proposed significant changes to the Stormont House Agreement framework. I have engaged with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and others to set out the...More Button

Election Monitoring Missions

Was asked: if Ireland is sending observers to monitor elections under the auspices of the OSCE this year; if not, the reason therefor; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

EU Directives

Was asked: the cost to his 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 f...More Button

The Department of Foreign Affairs has not paid any fines for non-transposition of EU Directives into Irish law.More Button

Was asked: the cost to his 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

I am advised that no EU fines were paid by my Department relating to the non-transposition of EU directives into Irish law.More Button

Conflict Resolution

Was asked: the extent of the discussions taking place at EU and UN level to address the situation at various war zones worldwide including the Armenian Azerbaijani strife; if particular initiatives are contem...More Button

At EU level the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region was discussed at the European Council on the 1st of October, where leaders called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and urged partie...More Button

The UN Security Council members expressed support for Secretary-General Guterres’s call for an immediate halt to the fighting, and for the central role of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. Ireland ...More Button

Ireland joins those calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to the negotiating table, and we welcome and support the statements of the European Council and the OSCE Minsk C...More Button

Ireland urges both sides to de-escalate tensions by refraining from inflammatory rhetoric and strictly observing the ceasefire. Only through negotiation, can there be a sustainable resolution and...More Button

We will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely.More Button

Irish Aid

Was asked: the degree to which bilateral and multilateral aid from Ireland continues to find the destination for which it was intended; the exceptions to the rule; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which Ireland continues to live up to international commitments in terms of overseas aid, bilateral and multilateral; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

EU Enlargement

Was asked: the degree to which discussions between the EU and countries in the western Balkans continue in the context of EU enlargement; the level of agreement reached to date; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

In March 2020, Member States agreed an enhanced accession methodology, which seeks to make the accession process more credible and dynamic, by clustering together negotiating Chapters and phasing i...More Button

In terms of the progress of individual Western Balkan countries, Serbia and Montenegro are both currently negotiating Chapters of the Acquis with the EU. Serbia has opened negotiations on 18 Chap...More Button

Kosovo is a potential candidate for Membership of the EU. The Commission’s report on Kosovo in 2019 noted that the political situation in Kosovo remains challenging. Rule of law, judicial reform,...More Button

Regarding North Macedonia and Albania. It was agreed by the European Council in March 2020 to open negotiations with both countries. The draft negotiating frameworks are currently being discussed...More Button

In relation to Bosnia-Herzegovina, we await the annual report due to be published on 6th October. In 2019, the Commission set out 14 recommendations in the areas of democracy, rule of law, fundam...More Button

Ireland will continue to support all of the six Western Balkans countries on their path towards Europe.More Button

Middle East Peace Process

Was asked: the extent to which efforts continue in the Middle Eastern peace process, in particular with reference to the need for permanent structures to encourage progress in Gaza; and if he will make a stat...More Button

I have given a high priority to the Middle East Peace Process since my appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2017, and I continue to do so as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Min...More Button

The Programme for Government states that the Government will “Maintain and build our relationships with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority and remain active on the Middle East Peace Proces...More Button

Ireland has long worked to keep attention on Gaza. In my last visit to Gaza in December 2019, I saw for myself the impact of the blockade. Ireland contributes humanitarian assistance to alleviate...More Button

I welcome the agreement announced on 31 August to de-escalate the situation in and around Gaza. This should now be fully respected by all parties, including the reopening of the Kerem Shalom bord...More Button

The roots of the problem in Gaza are political and cannot be solved by funding alone. I have consistently called for the lifting of the blockade, so that normal life and normal economic activity ...More Button

Culture Policy

Was asked: the embassies in which cultural officers for Ireland have been appointed; the date of each respective appointment; the number of applications that were received for each respective post; the furthe...More Button

The appointment of specialist Cultural Officers in priority locations worldwide was identified in the Government’s Global Ireland 2025 strategy as a key action to widen and deepen our global cultur...More Button

The initial three positions in Berlin, New York and London were approved and advertised this year. 30 applications for the Berlin post were received by the due date, 459 for the New York post and...More Button

Four other priority locations for the appointment of Cultural Officers were identified in Global Ireland 2025 - Beijing, Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo - with the possibility of additional location...More Button

The role of the Cultural Officers is to enhance the promotion of Irish arts and culture in the relevant countries and regions, working to achieve the objectives of the relevant Missions and of Cu...More Button

Departmental Contracts

Was asked: if he has engaged a third-party company in each of the years 2017 to 2019 and to date in 2020 to conduct online and-or social media monitoring and-or provide reports on social media coverage of his...More Button

There were no such costs incurred by my Department in 2017 to 2019 and to date in 2020.More Button

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has procured an external monitoring service for press and broadcast media. While this contract allows for social media monitoring if required, this ele...More Button

Was asked: if he engaged a third-party company in each of the years from 2017 to 2019 and to date in 2020 to conduct online and-or social media monitoring and-or to provide reports on social media coverage of...More Button

My Department does not engage a third-party company to conduct online or social media monitoring. The social media platforms Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are monitored by staff in my department’...More Button

Departmental Staff

Was asked: the number of staff in his 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 arrangements for staff on sick leave are covered by the Public Service Management (Sick Leave) 2014 Regulations, SI 124 of 2014 and the Public Service Management (Sick Leave) (Amendment) Regula...More Button

Was asked: the number of staff in his 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 pay arrangements that exist for staff in my Department on sick leave for an extended period of time are those that pertain across the Civil Service. The Sick Leave Scheme in the Civil Service ...More Button

Defence Forces Remuneration

Was asked: if a circular (details supplied) details the fact that members of the Defence Forces are classed under the same pay and conditions as public servants; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The circular to which the Deputy refers specifically relates to employment in the Civil Service and is governed by the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956-2005. The arrangements for pay and allowanc...More Button

The matter is currently the subject of a claim through the Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A) scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force. As the proceedings of Conciliation Council are con...More Button

Was asked: the specific timeframe for which the two completed reports, with regard to the R2 Tech 2-6 pay arrangements of the high-level plan Strengthening Our Defence Forces, will remain under consideration ...More Button

A review of technical pay was provided for in the Public Service Agreement 2010 - 2014 (Croke Park Agreement). The purpose of the review in the context of the agreement was to rationalise existing ...More Button

While the review of Technical Pay grades 2 - 6 in the Defence Forces was in progress, the Public Service Pay Commission made recommendations relating to the review which were substantially differ...More Button

The Public Service Pay Commission recommended that the review of Technical Pay Groups 2 - 6 be completed at the earliest opportunity, without compromising the Public Service Stability Agreement. ...More Button

This matter will be considered in the negotiations on the next public service pay agreement.More Button

Was asked: the definition of a medium-term project (details supplied); the status of the medium-term project; the deadline for completion of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Report of the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) on Recruitment and Retention in the Defence Forces was published on the 4th of July 2019. The Report was accepted in full by the Government at...More Button

The High Level Plan provides for actions or projects to be undertaken to deliver on the PSPC recommendations. It also proposes a timeframe for actions or projects to commence and identifies the l...More Button

- Immediate (i.e. action to commence and be completed within 1 month of approval of this Plan);More Button

- Short-term (i.e. action to commence (and in some cases be completed) within 3 months of approval of this Plan);More Button

- Medium-term (i.e. action to commence (and in some cases to completed within 3 –6 months of approval of this Plan); andMore Button

- Long-term (i.e. action to commence within 6 –12 months of approval of this Plan).More Button

The review of pay structures was set out as a medium term project being led by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in anticipation that such a review would take place in the context o...More Button

The Programme for Government, which was published in June 2020,, contains a commitment to establish an independent Commission on the Defence Forces which will consider, amongst other matters, pay...More Button

Defence Forces

Was asked: the status of a matter (details supplied) in relation to the awarding of medals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The siege of Jadotville was a prominent event that occurred during Ireland's peacekeeping mission in the Congo in September 1961. "A" Company, 35th Infantry Battalion took responsibility for the UN...More Button

The issue of the award of medals to the men of “A” Company, 35th Infantry Battalion was addressed in 1962 and 1965. A properly constituted Medals Board considered the various cases presented. The...More Button

A review was conducted in 2004 by military officers for the purpose of a broader examination of the Jadotville case. This Board recommended that the events of Jadotville and the contribution of t...More Button

Recognition of their contribution over the years include: More Button

A. A presentation of scrolls to "A" Company in 2006.More Button

B. Portraits of Lt Col McNamee (35th Battalion Commander) and Comdt Quinlan (Company Commander “A” Company) were commissioned in 2006. More Button

C. In July of 2010 the 50th anniversary of the first deployment to the Congo was commemorated in a highly publicised and well attended event in Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel. More Button

D. A nominal roll of “A” Company, printed in copper, was affixed to the monument in Custume Barracks and was unveiled as part of the 50th Anniversary of the Jadotville affair in September 2011. More Button

E. On the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the Siege of Jadotville, a Unit Citation to honour the collective actions and bravery of the men of “A” Company was issued. This was the first time a...More Button

Furthermore, on 13th June 2017, the Government decided, as an exceptional step, to award a medal known as “An Bonn Jadotville” or “The Jadotville Medal” to each member of “A” Company, 35th Infant...More Button

I would like to thank the Deputy for the correspondence submitted with this Parliamentary Question. This correspondence quite rightly outlines the courage and bravery of "A" Company. Over the pa...More Button

With regard to enquiries about any additional medals, it has been previously indicated that any additional documentation, information or evidence to support the request to award such medals will ...More Button

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding exam leave for Army recruits; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Military Authorities that the provisions for the granting of Leave to members of the Permanent Defence Force are set out in Defence Forces Regulation A11.

  T...More Button

Was asked: the dates on which the Curragh forum has met over the past three years; the details of its work programme; if there have been recent developments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the status of the most recent meeting of the Curragh forum; the areas addressed and actions taken arising from the meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 426 and 427 together.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, the Curragh Forum was established to provide an opportunity for key stakeholders to consider and progress a wide range of issues regarding the use and management of th...More Button

As a result of these discussions, Kildare County Council produced an indicative 'Vision' document for the Curragh Plains. Since then my Department together with Kildare County Council has agreed ...More Button

The work of the multidisciplinary team, which was appointed in 2020, is on going. I am advised part of this study will include a public consultation process scheduled to commence early 2021. More Button

Defence Forces Properties

Was asked: if a club (details supplied) will be permitted to use again the Gaelic pitch at Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin 6, which it has used for many years; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

My Department is committed to ongoing positive engagement with local schools and club communities in allowing the use of military facilities, where possible. In light of COVID-19, all long term an...More Button

Was asked: if the Curragh forum has discussed the infilling of the hollow next to Donnelly’s Hollow; the details of the discussions; the actions taken arising from such discussions; and if he will make a stat...More Button

In Summer 2017, Property Management Branch of my Department became aware that soil had been deposited at the former quarry site in the vicinity of Donnelly's Hollow. The Department subsequently eng...More Button

The Department has the site monitored on a quarterly basis and there is no evidence that any environmental pollution or degradation of the infill material on the site has occurred. I have been ad...More Button

Defence Forces Personnel

Was asked: if consideration will be given to extending the upper age limit for sergeants to 56 years of age and senior non-commissioned officers to 60 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

Military life places unique demands on individuals and it is necessary that Defence Forces personnel are prepared to meet the challenges of all military operations. To this end, it is vital the age...More Button

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

As a result, new terms and conditions were introduced for personnel enlisting after 1 January 1994 and new contracts for enlisted personnel were for a period of five years’ service. Since that ti...More Button

In 2015, following an adjudication in the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for PDF members, it was agreed that all Privates and Corporals in receipt of Tech Pay Group 3 or higher could be exte...More Button

An agreement was subsequently reached with PDFORRA in 2019 that all Privates and Corporals recruited post 1994, be allowed to continue in service to 31 December 2022 (or until they reach the age ...More Button

A review of service limits for enlisted personnel is currently being progressed in the context of a broader review provided for in the High Level Implementation Plan - "Strengthening Our Defence ...More Button

Defence Forces Recruitment

Was asked: if he will report on the implementation of the Public Service Pay Commission's recommendations on recruitment and retention in the Permanent Defence Force; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

The Government’s high level plan “Strengthening Our Defence Forces – Phase 1” sets out a range of actions to be undertaken in the short, medium and longer term. The plan is complemented by a range ...More Button


 

 

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