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Flanagan, Charles

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (Continued)

I accept the importance of Deputy Micheál Martin's point and I agree with him. The Government is on record as accepting the principle of both Bills. Now that the Brexit legislation has been settl...More Button

As to the issue of the reform of the defamation laws, Members will be aware that the current law, the 2009 Act, is the subject matter of a review. There is a wide-ranging consultation process unde...More Button

I was pleased to visit Drogheda recently in the company of my colleague, Deputy O'Dowd, where we had a number of important meetings. I understand that the Garda Commissioner was also in Drogheda r...More Button

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

I move:More Button

Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019: Financial Resolutions

I move:More Button

Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence: Motion

I move:More Button

Convention on Social Security: Motion

I move:More Button

International Conventions

Was asked: when he expects Ireland to ratify the Istanbul convention on domestic abuse; the legislative measures this will require; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his plans to ratify the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, immediately following the enactment of the Criminal La...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 213 and 230 together.More Button

This Government is fully committed to combatting the scourge of violence against women. The Istanbul Convention is a significant legal instrument and its ratification is a Government priority. ...More Button

On 26 February 2019, the Government approved the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, subject to the enactment of the Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Bill. This legislation was ...More Button

On 28 February, the Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Bill 2019 completed its passage through the Oireachtas and has since been signed by the President.More Button

Implementing the provisions of the Istanbul Convention involves a charge on public funds, so the approval of the Dáil to its ratification must be obtained under Article 29.5.2 of the Constitution...More Button

Garda Accommodation

Was asked: the status of the provision of the new Garda regional headquarters in County Sligo; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, there has been unprecedented investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years, in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence...More Button

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion.  Very significant capital investment is also being made,...More Button

In terms of investment in the Garda estate, the Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021 is an ambitious 5-year programme based on agreed Garda priorities, which continues to benefit ...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the Office of Public...More Button

The Public Private Partnership arrangement included in the Building and Refurbishment Programme is intended to deliver new stations at Macroom, Clonmel and Sligo as well as a new custody suite at...More Button

Site acquisition for this PPP bundle has been complex and time-consuming.  I am informed by the OPW and the Garda authorities that the OPW acquired sites for the development of the new stations i...More Button

The development of PPP projects is progressed under the auspices of the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA).  My Department is working to progress the matter further, with the input and as...More Button

It is not possible at this point to provide a timeframe for the completion of these projects, including the new Garda station at Caltragh, Sligo.  However I can assure the Deputy that delivery of...More Button

Garda Deployment

Was asked: the active number of gardaí at the Roscrea Garda station, County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the manner in which the resources of the Garda Síochána are deployed is solely a matter for the Garda Commissioner and his management team and I, as Minister, have no direct...More Button

Was asked: the number of gardaí transferred out of County Tipperary in each of the years 2014 to 2018 under headings (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no ...More Button

I am informed by the Commissioner that the deployment of Garda personnel is continually monitored and reviewed in the context of crime trends and policing priorities to ensure the optimum use of ...More Button

I am advised by the Commissioner that it is not possible to provide the information requested for the number of Gardaí that have transferred out of the Tipperary Division on promotion, to a speci...More Button

Was asked: the locations in which the 2,400 newly qualified gardaí since September 2014 have been assigned; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no ...More Button

Was asked: the number of members of the drug squad allocated to Tallaght and Rathfarnham Garda stations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The information is in the following tables:

National D...More Button

Was asked: the number of gardaí stationed in Malahide, Balbriggan, Swords and Skerries Garda stations in each year since 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the manner in which the resources of the Garda Síochána are deployed is solely a matter for the Garda Commissioner and his management team and I, as Minister, have no direct...More Button

Question No. 243 answered with Question No. 225.More Button

Bench Warrants

Was asked: the number of bench warrants issued for fines not paid under the Fines Act 2010 by county in each of the years 2014 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, ...More Button

Fines Administration

Was asked: if legislation will be introduced to allow for unpaid court fines to be recouped from the income of the person fined regardless of the source of the income; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

The Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014, which was commenced in January 2016, represented major reform of the fine payment and recovery system in the State and implemented a Government commitment...More Button

Visa Applications

Was asked: the progress to date in the determination of an appeal for a visa in the case of a person (details supplied); when the appeal is likely to be concluded; and if he 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 application referred to was refused on appeal by the Visa Office in Dublin.  The decision was commu...More Button

It is open to the applicant to submit a fresh visa application at any time.  However, they should bear in mind the reasons for refusal and address them in any new application.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

Citizenship Applications

Was asked: the progress to date in the determination of an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he 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 processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by th...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements, not only within the State but a...More Button

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of...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); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department the  person concerned has been granted permission to reside on Stamp 1 conditions for one year.  Corresponde...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

Garda Resources

Was asked: the number and percentage of the Garda fleet in the Cork city Garda division that are over ten years of age as of 18 February 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that there has been unprecedented investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years. 

  In relation to Garda vehicles, €46 million has been...More Button

Prisoner Releases

Was asked: if sex offenders are entitled to one third remission if they engage in an incentivised regime and otherwise fulfil the criteria for entitlement.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that all prisoners with a sentence to which remission applies including sex offenders qualify for one quarter remission on the basis of good behaviour.  In ...More Button

Citizenship Status

Was asked: if he will address concerns that Irish passport holders who travelled to engage in combat or support for the so-called Islamic State, or Daesh, will be permitted to return to the State; if he has r...More Button

Was asked: if he will revoke the citizenship of Irish passport holders or citizens who engaged in combat or other support for so-called Islamic State or Daesh; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his position in relation to the citizenship of Irish citizens who are members of ISIS and subsequently wish to return; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 225, 226 and 243 together.More Button

Protecting the State and the people from terrorism and supporting international peace and security are among the highest priorities for the Government.  Ireland, like many other open and democrat...More Button

The expert assessment of the terrorist threat to Ireland is that, while an attack is possible, it is not considered likely. The authorities here remain nonetheless very vigilant and the level of...More Button

Deputies will appreciate that among the issues facing states is the question of suspected foreign terrorist fighters.  The shared challenges arising have been a consistent focus of discussion wit...More Button

While it would not be appropriate to comment on the detail of the security arrangements in place or, indeed, individual cases, I can assure the House that all measures necessary and consistent wi...More Button

With regard to the specific question of citizenship, it is clear that the State and all citizens are both bound by the rights and obligations that accompany citizenship.  These matters are consid...More Button

Public Service Vehicles

Was asked: the number of PSV licences revoked in 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

You will appreciate that I, as Minister for Justice and Equality, have no role in the administration of small public service vehicle (SPSV) licences, which is a matter for An Garda Síochána.
More Button

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

 I refer to Parliamentary Question No. 227 of 5 March 2019 in which the Deputy asked for the number of public...More Button

Road Traffic Offences Data

Was asked: the number of disqualified drivers who failed to surrender their licence in 2018 and were summoned to court for the offence; the number of drivers who were convicted of this offence; the value of t...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, ...More Button

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that Court outcomes indicate that eight people were summoned to Court for fai...More Button

Was asked: the number of drivers who were summoned to court in 2018 for the offence of driving while disqualified; the number who were convicted of this offence; the penalty imposed by the court in each case;...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, ...More Button

I have requested information from the Courts Service and An Garda Síochána in relation to this matter and I will contact the Deputy directly as soon as I have the information to hand.More Button

Question No. 230 answered with Question No. 213.More Button

Garda Station Refurbishment

Was asked: if funding will be made available in 2019 for the refurbishment of a Garda station (details supplied); if so, when this work will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, there has been unprecedented investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years in support of the Government’s commitment to ensure a strong and visible police presence th...More Button

The allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 is €1.76 billion and very significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána, including investment of €342 million in Garda ICT in...More Button

Considerable capital investment is also being made in the Garda estate.  The Deputy will appreciate that the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the...More Button

The Garda Station Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021 is an ambitious 5-year programme based on agreed Garda priorities, which continues to benefit over 30 locations around the country...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the programme, which is based on agreed Garda priorities,  does not include plans for refurbishment of Ronanstown Garda Station.  More Button

I am further informed by the Garda authorities that a determination on the need to refurbish Ronanstown or any other Garda station will be considered by An Garda Síochána in the context of the ov...More Button

Irish Prison Service

Was asked: the position regarding mental health awareness training within the Irish Prison Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been advised by the Irish Prison Service that mental health training for staff was introduced by the Irish Prison Service in September, 2016.

  A bespoke Mental Health Awa...More Button

Prisoner Health

Was asked: if a full-time doctor will be appointed to a location following a report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been advised by the Irish Prison Service that all persons in custody are provided with a range of healthcare services based on an equivalence of care to that which is provided under the Gene...More Button

The Irish Prison Service is currently giving consideration to the model of delivery of General Practitioner services at a prison level, including at Castlerea Prison.  Currently, an effective Gen...More Button

Electronic Tagging

Was asked: if electronic tagging for repeat offenders is being introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that provisions in respect of electronic monitoring of persons on bail are currently contained in section 6B of the Bail Act 1997, but were not commenced. Section 7 of the ...More Button

Extensive preparations are underway to ensure these provisions can be implemented and more importantly, to ensure they can be effective.  My Department is chairing a Working Group on Electronic M...More Button

Following on from this, my Department has been engaging with the Office of the Government Procurement (OGP) to try and identify a suitable expert to advise the Department on Electronic Monitoring...More Button

Passport Applications

Was asked: his plans to amend the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 to allow non-birth Irish mothers who are registered as parents in their country of residence to apply for an Irish passport on beha...More Button

I have been advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department that there are no immediate plans to amend the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.

 &...More Button

Visa Data

Was asked: the number of non-EU student visas issued in 2017 and 2018; the average length of time it has taken to process these visas; his plans to improve the system; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that decisions regarding the grant or refusal of study visas are made in a number of INIS Visa Offices overs...More Button

11,407 study visas were approved in 2017, and 11,443 in 2018.  This represents an overall approval rate (the number of successful applications out of the total number of applications) of 86.1% an...More Button

The processing time at each office and location worldwide is determined by a number of factors such as the volume and complexity of applications, the completeness and sufficiency of information o...More Button

The current time for processing study visa applications in the Dublin Visa Office for example is around 4 weeks. Processing times for other Visa Offices vary but are generally within this time-fr...More Button

More generally, a number of measures have been put in place to deal with the increased demand for visas to come to Ireland.  This has included the assignment of additional staff to help process a...More Button

The central concern in deciding on visa applications, as with all visa services worldwide, is to strike an appropriate balance between protecting the country's vital national interests by maintai...More Button

Commencement of Legislation

Was asked: when the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 will be commenced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 provides a modern statutory framework to support decision-making by adults with capacity difficulties. The Act was signed into law on 30 December 20...More Button

A number of provisions of the 2015 Act were commenced in October 2016 in order to progress the setting up of the Decision Support Service. The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (Commen...More Button

The commencement of Part 8 of the Act, which provides a legislative framework for advance healthcare directives, is a matter for the Minister for Health.  The Minister for Health, under the Assis...More Button

The Minister for Health commenced the remainder of section 91 on 17 December 2018 (S.I. No. 527 of 2018) to enable the Director of the Decision Support Service to progress the preparation of the ...More Button

A high-level Steering Group comprised of senior officials from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Health, the Mental Health Commission and the Courts Service, together with...More Button

The Decision Support Service is not yet operational but every effort is underway to ensure that the Decision Support Service has all necessary capacity to open for business as soon as possible.  ...More Button

The 2019 Revised Estimates Volume provides for an allocation of €3.5 million in the Justice and Equality Vote for the establishment of the Decision Support Service.More Button

Northern Ireland

Was asked: the position regarding the implementation of legislation arising from commitments in the Stormont House Agreement and the Fresh Start agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that work is at an advanced stage on legislative measures to contribute to delivery on the Government's commitments, in relation to the framework of initiatives to...More Button

In November 2017, the Government approved the drafting of the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Bill.  This Bill will further facilitate co-operation with the Historical Investigation...More Button

In addition, the Bill will provide for measures to further enhance ongoing cooperation with the Northern Ireland Coroner in Troubles-related inquests.  The general scheme of the Bill is available...More Button

My Department, with close co-operation from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is also working on a General Scheme for a Bill to establish the Independent Commission on Information Retr...More Button

Dealing with the legacy of the troubles on this island is a difficult and complex task. The Government remains fully committed to giving effect to the measures agreed in the Stormont House Agreem...More Button

Crime Levels

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the upsurge in the street gang activity by young persons in areas (details supplied); if his attention has been further drawn to attempts by community projects an...More Button

I am very conscious of the impact that anti-social behaviour has on the quality of life for residents in our communities. Gardaí are working to tackle this, and all forms of criminality, in our com...More Button

Garda Training

Was asked: the training members of An Garda Síochána receive in relation to identifying cases of coercive control; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for carrying on and managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including...More Button

The recently commenced Domestic Violence Act significantly strengthens   the civil and legal protections available to victims. The offence of coercive control recognises that domestic violence is...More Button

I am advised by the Commissioner that on the 19 February 2018 and the 26 February 2019 training was provided at Templemore Garda College to members of the Divisional Protective Services Units and...More Button

 I am further advised that in terms of training and awareness, members of an Garda Síochána   are currently undergoing train-the-trainer training in the area of coercive  control which will aid i...More Button

Garda Transport Data

Was asked: the number of Garda vehicles based in Malahide, Balbriggan, Swords and Skerries in each year since 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that there has been unprecedented investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years. 

  A total of €46 million has been provided by the Gov...More Button

Immigration Policy

Was asked: if an immigration levy is payable for non-EEA national students with children attending State schools; if so, the amount; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that INIS does not administer an immigration levy for non-EEA students with children attending State schools...More Button

Direct Provision Data

Was asked: the number of asylum seekers who have died in each of the years 2003 to 2018 and to date in 2019, while being provided with accommodation by the RIA in direct provision centres by location. More Button