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Fitzgerald, Frances

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Offences against the State (Amendment) Act 1998 and Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009: Motions

I move:More Button

Offences against the State (Amendment) Act 1998 and Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009: Motions (Continued)

Prior to moving any motion for renewal, the Act requires that I lay before the Oireachtas a report on the operation of the relevant provisions. The current report covers the period from 1 June 2...More Button

It is the fervent wish of the Government and, I have no doubt, the House that the time will come when these provisions will no longer be required. As Minister for Justice and Equality, however, ...More Button

In 2013, 30 terrorist related attacks occurred in Northern Ireland and there have been five such attacks so far this year. They include such serious incidents as the planting of a bomb in a Belf...More Button

While the direct threat level in this jurisdiction may be different from that in Northern Ireland, it is imperative our laws and police are properly equipped to deal with the threat, whether in t...More Button

North-South co-operation is vital and I assure the House it has never been better. I intend to keep in close contact with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, whom I ha...More Button

It is the firm view of An Garda Síochána that the Act continues to be a most important tool in its ongoing efforts in the fight against terrorism. The Garda authorities have stated that the prov...More Button

Terrorist groups remain a threat to the peaceful lives of people on this island. They are opposed to the benefits that have flowed from the peace process and are determined to undermine it. The...More Button

On the motion to continue in operation section 8 of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009, I will briefly remind the House of the background to that Act. The legislation was a response to a ...More Button

In the circumstances, it was imperative that the Government and Oireachtas took the necessary steps to ensure the criminal justice system was sufficiently robust to withstand the assault launched...More Button

The Act provided for a limited number of specific organised crime offences to be prosecuted in the Special Criminal Court. The proposal to use the Special Criminal Court for a limited number of ...More Button

The purpose of section 8 is to ensure that organised criminal gangs cannot interfere with the criminal process to determine the outcome of cases. To this end, the section declares that the ordin...More Button

The reasons the Government is seeking the renewal of section 8 are clear. Organised crime continues to present a significant law enforcement issue, with a number of criminal gangs continuing to ...More Button

Those involved in organised crime are ruthless people who will stop at nothing to avoid being brought to account for their crimes. Violence and intimidation are a way of life for these people. ...More Button

I thank the Deputies for their contributions to this debate. The substantial threat that remains from terrorist activity, particularly from dissident republican paramilitary groups, warrants the c...More Button

I have listened carefully to the points that have been made about human rights by Deputies Mac Lochlainn, Pringle, Clare Daly and Coppinger. Contrary to the Deputies' belief that the Offences ag...More Button

With regard to the need for the Special Criminal Court to try offences relating to organised crime, there was ample evidence of intimidation of witnesses and jurors when section 8 was introduced....More Button

  I move:More Button

Cooke Report: Statements

I welcome this opportunity for the House to debate the findings and recommendations of the report by Mr. Justice Cooke into claims of unlawful surveillance of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commissio...More Button

Cooke Report: Statements (Continued)

Mr. Justice Cooke challenged some of statements in relation to this matter. He found that "the 'ring-back' reaction to the alert test of the Polycom unit remains unexplained as a technical or...More Button

I thank Deputy Regina Doherty for ending the contributions to this debate on that very appropriate note. It is absolutely essential for our society, as a democracy, to have confidence in An Garda ...More Button

It is true he concluded that one of the threats - the ring-back reaction to the alert test of the Polycom unit - remains "a technical or scientific anomaly". An anomaly is not evidence, however, a...More Button

It is unhelpful that suggestions that cast wholly unwarranted doubt on the integrity of individuals and bodies have been made without any basis in evidence. Mention was made during this debate o...More Button

I have to make it clear that another argument we heard, that the report's examination of claims of unlawful surveillance did not deal with the possibility of lawful surveillance, is a complete re...More Button

The Government and I accept in full the findings and recommendations of Mr. Justice Cooke's report. I ask others to accept them too. As I have said, I am referring the report to the Joint Commi...More Button

Direct Provision System

I thank Deputy Ó Ríordáin for raising this Topical Issue matter in the Dáil this afternoon. As he has said, there are 4,353 residents in 34 direct provision accommodation centres throughout the St...More Button

Direct Provision System (Continued)

Anybody - researchers, Oireachtas Members, residents of centres, NGOs and so on - can examine these reports in detail.More Button

Asylum accommodation centres do not exist in isolation. In fact, they are subject not only to inspections by the Reception and Integration Agency, but other State inspections. They are, for exa...More Button

The RIA takes the issue of vulnerable persons in the system very seriously. All staff in direct provision centres are Garda vetted and there are robust policies in place relating to child protec...More Button

I appreciate the point the Deputy is making regarding the care and welfare of children in direct provision as it is currently operated. The operation of the system is kept under review. I have ...More Button

A key priority for the Government in this area must be to bring forward the legislative reform aimed at establishing a single application procedure for the investigation of all grounds for protec...More Button

In regard to the inspection regime, HIQA is being asked to do a great deal of things at this time. For instance, as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I asked it to examine child protection ...More Button

In regard to the timetable for progress, I will be reviewing the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill in the coming weeks and will make a decision quite soon as to whether we can move on th...More Button

National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan

Was asked: if she will provide an update on the implementation of the national disability strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Closed Circuit Television Systems

Was asked: the funding available to support the installation of CCTV cameras in two areas (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

CCTV systems installed for the purposes of crime prevention and as aids to policing in areas to which the general public routinely have access, such as town centres, fall into two distinct categori...More Button

Garda CCTV systems are planned and implemented on the basis of an Garda Síochána's identified operational needs and priorities. Accordingly, decisions in relation to the introduction or extensio...More Button

The community-based CCTV Scheme was launched in 2005 to provide financial assistance towards the capital costs of establishing a community CCTV system. To date, two major rounds of the Scheme ha...More Button

Prisoner Welfare

Was asked: if she will immediately address the conditions for women prisoners in County Limerick, particularly with regard to the excessive hours of lock-up and lack of education and training support.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the primary role of the Irish Prison Service is the provision of safe and secure custody for prisoners. The Deputy will also be aware that the Prison Service must acc...More Button

The Irish Prison Service provides to those in custody a wide range of rehabilitative programmes, which have the dual purpose of providing prisoners with purposeful activity while serving their se...More Button

On 6 March 2014 the IPS published a Women’s Strategy entitled "An Effective Response to Women Who Offend in March 2014. The Women’s Strategy sets out how the Irish Prison Service and the Probat...More Button

I am informed that the IPS has also been expanding the number of accredited vocational courses and opportunities available to prisoners in Work Training in recent years. Enhanced partnership arr...More Button

Educational services are available at all institutions and are provided in partnership with a range of educational agencies including the VECs, Public Library Services, colleges and the Arts Coun...More Button

Legislative Measures

Was asked: if she will address the issues raised in correspondence (details supplied) related to provisions on incitement to hatred in Irish and EU law; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

EU Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law requires the Member States to criminalise incitement to hatre...More Button

Law Reform Proposals

Was asked: her plans to review the conveyancing laws regarding the legal requirement to acquire the written permission from those persons who share a lane or road, before a person can sell a site with access ...More Button

I assume that the Deputy is referring to statutory provisions governing the registration of easements such as rights of way over land as set out in the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 and...More Button

The position is that Part 8 (Chapter 1) of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 updated the law concerning the acquisition of easements, including rights of way, based on earlier recomme...More Button

Parts 12 and 13 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 contain amendments to the 2009 Act and the Registration of Title Act 1964 which simplify the procedures for acquiring easement...More Button

The updated rules applicable to the new arrangements are set out in the Land Registration Rules 2012 (S.I. No. 483 of 2012) and 2013 (S.I. No. 389 of 2013) which are available on the Authority's ...More Button

I have no plans at present to make any further amendments to the law in relation to easements as set out in Part 8 (Chapter 1) of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 and the Registratio...More Button

Naturalisation Applications

Was asked: her plans to reduce significantly the fee for a certificate of naturalisation.More Button

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Regulations 2011 set out the prescribed fees to be paid by an applicant for a certificate of naturalisation. An application fee of €175 is payable on applicat...More Button

The standard fees payable by an applicant are designed to reflect the effort and cost involved in processing applications for a certificate of naturalisation. Every application must be assessed ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware formal citizenship ceremonies have been introduced at no extra cost to applicants. These have been universally well received by participants as the ceremonies provide...More Button

All of the fees payable under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 are kept under ongoing review by my Department.More Button

Departmental Correspondence

Was asked: if she has received correspondence from a person (details supplied); and if she has acted and responded to the points raised in the correspondence.More Button

My Department has had extensive correspondence with the individual in question, over the last number of years, on a wide range of issues. His further correspondence will be considered and responde...More Button

Temporary Travel Documentation

Was asked: if a travel document or other facility might be offered to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department to refer the Deputy to my answer to Parliamentary Question No. 596 of Tuesday of this week, 17 June 2014. Th...More Button

Immigration Status

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Laois qualifies for an upgrade of stamp 2 to stamp 4; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that this person entered the State on 01 April 2007 and is registered as a student in the State until 30 Se...More Button

All non-EEA students resident in the State are subject to the student immigration rules set out under the "new immigration regime for full time non-EEA students" which was published in September ...More Button

If this person wishes to work in the State he will be required to hold a work permit. The issuing of work permits is a matter for the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation. Queries in r...More Button

Was asked: the current or expected residency status or long-term residency or entitlement to apply for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Meath; and if she will make a stateme...More Button

The question of residency status or entitlement to naturalisation does not arise at this time in the case of the person whose details were supplied.

  As the Deputy is aware, if ...More Button

Deportation Orders Re-examination

Was asked: notwithstanding replies to previous questions, in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan in respect of whom previous deportation orders were revoked in respect of herself and he...More Button

The Deputy will be aware, from previous Dáil replies in this matter, that a Deportation Order was made in respect of the child of the person referred to. Judicial review proceedings were then init...More Button

Following a comprehensive and thorough examination of his application for subsidiary protection, and a detailed examination of the representations submitted on behalf of the child for considerati...More Button

I am satisfied that the applications made by the person concerned for asylum, for Subsidiary Protection and the representations submitted for consideration under Section 3 of the Immigration Act ...More Button

In respect of the mother of the child concerned, there is an ongoing judicial review and it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on her case.More Button

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by Email using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this pur...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the determination of residency status or further entitlement or eligibility for leave to remain or naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Meath; ...More Button

The person concerned, together with other family members referred to by the deputy, are the subject of Deportation Orders, following a comprehensive and thorough examination of their asylum claims,...More Button

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by email using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this pur...More Button

Deportation Orders

Was asked: the entitlement to stamp 4 residency status, long-term residency or eligibility for consideration for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3 who has been in continuou...More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is part of a family unit who have all consented to deportation. The precise arran...More Button

I am also advised that the person concerned has recently been before the Irish courts, having been charged with offences pursuant to the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001. The...More Button

Given that the person concerned has only held a right of residency in the State on student conditions for a 12 month period between November, 2007 and October, 2008, the question of meeting any r...More Button

Where a valid passport is retained by the State's immigration authorities, it is the practice that this is returned to the relevant party at the point of their departure from the State. It will ...More Button

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

Residency Permits

Was asked: the current and/or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is part of a family unit who have all consented to deportation. The precise arrang...More Button

I am also advised that an adult member of that family unit has recently been before the Irish courts, having been charged with offences pursuant to the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences)...More Button

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

Was asked: if stamp 4 will be restored in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the applicant was granted Long-Term Residency permission on 9 September 2010. I understand that the a...More Button

Was asked: notwithstanding replies to previous parliamentary questions in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11, who previously had permission to remain here on foot of marriage to an EU nation...More Button

The person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State for a period of five years on 12th January, 2010 on the basis of being the spouse of an EU citizen, who was residing in the State ...More Button

The grounds under which the person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State no longer apply, as the EU spouse is no longer residing in this State. As a result, the permission to re...More Button

In March, 2014, the person concerned sought a right of residency in the State, accompanied by a right to work, based on their parentage of an Irish born minor citizen child, and based also on the...More Button

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

Was asked: if stamp 4 will be renewed in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by officials in the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the application for a permanent residence card, submitted by the person referred to by the Deputy, will be...More Button

Ministerial Correspondence

Was asked: notwithstanding his reply to a previous parliamentary question in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare, if the information conveyed in a letter dated 27 May 2014 is authentic; ...More Button

The position remains as stated in the response to your Parliamentary Question No. 651 of 27 May 2014.

  Any person who doubts the authenticity of correspondence issued from my D...More Button

Departmental Staff Remuneration

Was asked: the cumulative total of unapproved salary top-ups currently being paid under the remit of her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

No unapproved salary top ups are being paid in my Department.More Button