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Flanagan, Charles

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (Continued)

Yes.More Button

I acknowledge the support of all parties here in facilitating the ratification of the Istanbul Convention that involved four pieces of distinct legislation. Having regard to the fact that this Dái...More Button

I acknowledge what Deputy Howlin said about refuges. This is a challenge. I have been speaking to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government on the issue. He faces challenges in t...More Button

It is absolutely not the case that there has been any delay in the forensic science laboratory due to overruns at the national children's hospital, as the Deputy alleged. I assure him and the Hous...More Button

It is proceeding in accordance with the funds available.More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: his plans to amend the Succession Act 1965 to ensure that perpetrators or their families cannot benefit in cases of familicide; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I thank the Deputy for his question on this sensitive and important issue. Regrettably, we have become all too aware of issues connected with familicide as a result of appalling and tragic events ...More Button

I wish to assure Deputy Collins, the House and the public that I share his concern but this is a most complex area of law. I am very anxious to ensure that there are no unintended or unforeseen co...More Button

Was asked: the status of legislation to tackle the ongoing issue of scrambler and quad bikes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I would like to thank the Deputy for his continued interest in this important public order issue.  Legal advices were sought from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in November 2018 in order ...More Button

My Department has also consulted with An Garda Síochána in relation to the enforcement challenges associated with the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes. I am aware that Gardaí have experienced ...More Button

I have asked my officials, as a matter of priority, to convene a cross-agency meeting comprising DTTAS, An Garda Síochána and Advisory Counsel in order to agree specific measures to deal with the...More Button

In terms of current legislation available to Gardaí in the context of the matter referred to by the Deputy, DTTAS has highlighted the following key legislative provisions: More Button

- Scramblers and quad bikes are mechanically propelled vehicles (MPVs), as defined by section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (as amended). Under road traffic legislation, users of MPVs in a publi...More Button

- Section 20 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 provides that Gardaí can perform an examination of roadworthiness of any vehicle being used in a public place. Failure to comply with specific standards ...More Button

- Section 30 of the Road Traffic Act 2004 makes it an offence to supply a mechanically propelled vehicle to a person under 16 years of age. The supply of such vehicles includes a gift or a loan. ...More Button

- An Garda Síochána also has recourse to a range of public order provisions, including section 13 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997 (i.e. offence of endangerment).  More Button

I am further informed that the use of quad bikes and scramblers in certain public parks and open spaces is strictly prohibited by the local authorities under the Parks and Open Spaces Bye-Laws 20...More Button

Insofar as national parks are concerned, my colleague, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has legislative powers to prohibit the unauthorised use of off-road vehicles.More Button

Proposed Legislation (Continued)

Notwithstanding that, I assure Deputy Collins that a number of options are under consideration. One possible course of action might be to amend the 1965 Succession Act to provide that, in cases su...More Button

I assure the Deputy, bearing in mind those 27 cases he refers to, that this is an issue which will be the subject matter of research and I hope to appoint a chair and committee of experts shortly. ...More Button

I am not sure if the specific requests of the family require extensive legal change other than the Bill under discussion. Changes may be required in case management, practice, procedure and prot...More Button

Domestic Homicide

Was asked: if legislation will be introduced to provide for domestic homicide reviews as have been introduced in the UK (details supplied).More Button

I thank the Deputy for his question and I assure him that I am giving careful consideration to the issue. I have been advised by the Garda Commissioner that the Garda National Protective Services ...More Button

The reviews will be a separate exercise to the investigation of the domestic homicide and their purpose is to serve as a lessons learned review to facilitate better practice in the approach to do...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, a range of other agencies may be involved in such cases in addition to An Garda Síochána.  As I announced following my recent meeting with the Coll family, my Department i...More Button

As I said in reply to Deputy Collins, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to engage face to face with members of the Coll family and listen to them outline their experience and their suggest...More Button

It could well be that legislative change will be required here. That is why my Department and I are closely monitoring developments in other jurisdictions, particularly in England and Wales. In...More Button

I agree that there are lessons we can learn from other jurisdictions and we are doing that.More Button

Domestic Homicide (Continued)

I ask the Deputy to accept that this is obviously complex and, therefore, time-consuming. What An Garda Síochána is doing in terms of its review of homicides involves experts on the force and in t...More Button

With regard to outside agencies, it is important that we look at international best practice in this regard. The Northern Ireland Department of Justice recently concluded a public consultation o...More Button

Brexit Issues

Was asked: the position regarding the need to update the regulations that govern the jurisdiction of courts in civil and commercial matters following the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Unio...More Button

The question is based on consideration on the part of Deputy Niall Collins of a no-deal Brexit. The Government remains firmly of the view that the best and only way to ensure an orderly UK withdra...More Button

By way of background, there are a number of EU regulations that set down the jurisdiction rules which apply in the civil and commercial area. The Deputy will appreciate these matters are quite l...More Button

On the rules that will apply to the UK in the event that EU regulations no longer apply, the Deputy is aware that since the late 1980s international jurisdiction in cases concerning Ireland and t...More Button

I assure the Deputy that, at official and ministerial level, these issues have been the subject matter of discussion. I met the Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke, on a number of occasion...More Button

It is absolutely essential that we continue the work being done by a number of agencies and business organisations under the banner of ensuring that people are Brexit ready. In the area of rules o...More Button

Was asked: his plans to ensure that the threats posed by Brexit to the rights and equality of persons resident in Northern Ireland with Irish citizenship, particularly such as they relate to nationality, are ...More Button

Under any scenario for the UK's exit from the European Union, the obligations and commitments of the Irish and UK Governments under the Good Friday Agreement remain. The Government will continue t...More Button

Eligibility for Irish citizenship is based on the nationality of either of a person's parents.  Alternatively, a request for naturalisation is based on fulfilling certain residence requirements a...More Button

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK will leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. Under EU law, Irish citizens resident in Northern Ireland will remain EU citizens.  As Union citizens, th...More Button

The provisions within the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, take account of the Good Friday Agreement and, therefore, recognise the birth right of "all of the people of Nort...More Button

Taxi Licences

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to reports of a so-called scam to obtain taxi licences by persons who are alleged to have no legal status here.More Button

Taxi Licences (Continued)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, INIS, of my Department that on 5 March 2019 the Garda National Immigration Bureau conducted searches of ten residential properties ...More Button

This was the latest phase of an investigation entitled Operation Vantage in which GNIB has, to date, uncovered a total of 134 cases where a PSV licenceholder or PSV applicant is the subject of on...More Button

I am advised that as a result of the searches conducted on 5 March a further 15 people have been identified for investigation where marriages of convenience and fraud are suspected. Seven people...More Button

Transport for Ireland operates a mobile phone app devised by the National Transport Authority which enables the public to check that a vehicle or person is registered and to report irregularities...More Button

The investigation is ongoing. As I stated, 134 cases have been identified to date and, of these, 64 investigations have been finalised and forwarded to INIS for consideration. In some cases, lice...More Button

It is reasonable to assume that the investigation will continue. If there is a requirement for the Garda to further extend or develop it, that undoubtedly will be done. Of the 64 cases, 55 have b...More Button

Crime Prevention

Was asked: the specific measures he is taking to tackle crimes against persons with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising this question. I was very pleased to see her actively engaged on justice issues in her constituency at a recent meeting in County Cork. I was pleased with the progr...More Button

On the issue of crimes against persons with a disability, I assure the Deputy that the Government, including my colleague, the Minister of State with special responsibility for disability issues,...More Button

In the context of people with disabilities, there are tailored responses to how such crimes are addressed. For example, the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017 includes specific provisi...More Button

In general, criminal offences such as assault committed against any person, including a person with a disability, are prosecuted as generic offences under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Perso...More Button

Was asked: if he has considered the installation of CCTV cameras at motorway junctions to help act against rural crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation of €1.76 billion for 2019.  These resources are being provided in support of the Gove...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which sufficient provision continues to be made to intercept and prevent suspected mail bombing attempts; if he is satisfied with security procedure in this regard; and if he will mak...More Button

Protecting the State and the people from terrorism is the highest priority for the Government. 

  The expert assessment of the terrorist threat to Ireland is that, while an atta...More Button

Crime Prevention (Continued)

I assure the Deputy that the Minister of State, Deputy Finian McGrath, and I consult on an ongoing basis to ensure that every effort is made to assist people with disabilities. I mentioned earlier...More Button

I am mindful that there has been much discussion recently on whether legislation specifically addressing crimes of this nature should be introduced. I would be happy to give careful consideratio...More Button

I assure the Deputy that my Department and I are currently reviewing the law on this issue. We are relying on the 1989 prohibition on incitement to hatred legislation. It is appropriate and timel...More Button

Brexit Issues (Continued)

Irrespective of the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union on 29 March or at some time thereafter, this is an issue that needs to be addressed. We all acknowledge the importance of the Good ...More Button

It is important that we acknowledge the continued existence of the common travel area. In its current format it has served Ireland well now for almost 100 years, and that will continue. As co-g...More Button

A number of points have been raised by Deputy Ó Laoghaire. In response to his point about children, in the first instance it is important to draw a distinction between the rights of the child and ...More Button

Direct Provision System

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the level of security provided at current and future direct provision centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The accommodation and ancillary needs of persons seeking international protection, who request such services, are currently provided through 39 accommodation centres located throughout the State. ...More Button

Contractors must work to achieve balance between addressing any possible security concerns, while also recognising that these accommodation centres provide a home to protection applicants. All c...More Button

In general, the Reception and Integration Agency advises that where there is CCTV in operation, it should cover the following areas of an accommodation centre: the entrance gate and car park, if ...More Button

Was asked: the steps being taken to ensure that residents in direct provision centres are being advised of their right to vote in local elections in May 2019; and the way in which contact with candidates will...More Button

The Department of Justice and Equality, through the Reception & Integration Agency (RIA), has always facilitated and encouraged the registration of and voting by protection applicants in local elec...More Button

The office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration within my Department has supported a number of events focused on encouraging political participation of migrants in local politics.  Two of the...More Button

Multi-lingual material has been developed for Voter registration information and for local and European election. This information is accessible and available on the Department of Housing, Planni...More Button

RIA is currently revising the general policy in relation to local elections. This is in line with actions in the Migrant Integration Strategy 2017-2020 which focus on efforts to ensure that the p...More Button

Given the particular nature of the accommodation provided in centres, there are a number of factors that limit unrestricted access by candidates to the private living quarters of residents. These...More Button

The general policy ensures that there are no restrictions placed on residents’ voting rights, or on their rights to access whatever information that candidates wish to convey to them, or on any r...More Button

There is an opportunity for the Friends of the Centre group at each centre to provide information to residents on how to register to vote and on the importance of local government within the poli...More Button

Was asked: his views on the recent alleged arson attacks on possible sites for direct provision and asylum seekers; if he has discussed the matter with the Garda Commissioner; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

Was asked: if a letter was issued to confirm that a hotel (details supplied) met all the health and safety requirements to be used as a direct provision centre prior to the signing of an agreement; if the ter...More Button

Was asked: if security at a hotel (details supplied) is being paid for by his Department.More Button

Was asked: if the tendering process for direct provision services within 40 km of Newbridge, County Kildare, has concluded; if so, the details of the successful bidders; if not, when it will conclude; when th...More Button

Direct Provision System (Continued)

Such attacks on potential centres for direct provision are abhorrent and condemned by all right-thinking members of society. I do not have the specific information requested by the Deputy. Howeve...More Button

The provision of security in these areas is, in the main, the responsibility of the owners or the contractors. It is important in this regard that the contractors work to achieve a balance betwe...More Button

As well as the private security arrangements, the obligations in terms of the protection of communities and people on the part of the Garda Síochána in Moville and Rooskey should be noted. There...More Button

Every effort is made to ensure proper and adequate standards are in place in the centres. In this regard, I acknowledge the work in particular of retired judge, Bryan McMahon, and a small group of...More Button

I understand in the particular case in question due contact was made. In all circumstances, every effort must be made to ensure standards do not lapse in these centres.More Button

I acknowledge the challenge of direct provision and the combination for those seeking international protection and asylum seekers. The Department is again seeking expressions of interest to ensu...More Button

Garda Deployment

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 261 and 262 of 22 January 2019, if consideration will be given to the provision of additional staffing and financial resources to the Border region in 2019 i...More Button

In common with all Departments and State agencies, An Garda Síochána has been preparing for Brexit. There is ongoing engagement between senior Garda management and my Department in this regard. P...More Button

The Government's policy is that there will be no hard border on the island and there are no plans for such. However, policing in the Border region has always presented particular challenges. Th...More Button

The 2018 cross-Border threat assessment, prepared jointly by An Garda Síochána and the PSNI, estimated 43% of organised crime gangs in Northern Ireland have a cross-Border dimension. Likewise, m...More Button

The success of cross-Border policing actions is grounded in the recognition that the best means of combating the threat to our communities is to maintain and enhance the excellent levels of co-op...More Button

While I acknowledge the close level of co-operation between the Garda in the South and the PSNI in the North, the establishment of the joint agency investigation teams is important. However, it do...More Button

Was asked: the number of new recruits allocated and transfers of existing gardaí in the past four years to each of the Cork Garda divisions; the number of transfers out and retirements out of each Cork Garda ...More Button

Firstly I would like to reiterate for the House that with regard to the deployment of Garda resources, including personnel, to specific areas, the Deputy will appreciate that this is solely the res...More Button

Was asked: the number of gardaí in County Donegal in each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Firstly I would like to reiterate for the house that with regard to the deployment of Garda resources, including personnel, to specific areas, the Deputy will appreciate that this is solely the res...More Button

Was asked: the number of community gardaí who were and are assigned to Swords Garda station in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; 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 gardaí in each Garda station in the Dublin northern and western divisions as of 1 January 2019; and the number of new recruits assigned to each division since recruitment resumed in 2...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

Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.More Button

I am advised by the Commissioner that the Garda strength of the D.M.R. North Division and the D.M.R. West Division on 31 January 2019 the latest date for which figures are readily available was 7...More Button

Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 Garda recruits have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, including 200 trainees who passed out from the college ...More Button

The Government has increased the budget for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billion for 2019, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí this year. The Commissioner has now infor...More Button

I believe that the injection of this large number of experienced officers into the field, along with the new recruits, will be really beneficial in terms of protecting communities. This and on-go...More Button

The Garda strength of the D.M.R. North Division and the D.M.R. West Division from 2009 to 31 January 2019 as provided by the Garda Commissioner is available on my Department’s website through the...More Button

www.justice.ie/en/JELR/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_31_January_2019.xlsx/Files/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_31_January_2019.xlsx.More Button

The information regarding new recruits as provided by the Garda Commissioner, is also available on my Department’s website via the following link.More Button

www.justice.ie/en/JELR/008_Allocation_of_Probationer_Gardaí_by_Division_and_Station_2014_to_January_2019.xlsx/Files/008_Allocation_of_Probationer_Gardaí_by_Division_and_Station_2014_to_January_2019...More Button

For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the following link: www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures.More Button

Was asked: when Strokestown Garda station, County Roscommon, can expect to return to its five permanent gardaí status.More Button

Was asked: if there is a serving sergeant stationed at Strokestown Garda station, County Roscommon.More Button

Was asked: the number of gardaí stationed full-time at Strokestown Garda station, County Roscommon.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 220 to 222, inclusive, together.

  As the Deputy is aware, the manner in which the resources of the Garda Síochána are deployed is solely a matte...More Button

Garda Deployment (Continued)

Garda armed support units provide a rapid armed response capacity and capability on a regional basis. Members of the armed support units in Border areas are highly trained and equipped with a vari...More Button

I acknowledge the importance of ensuring that this jurisdiction fully monitors international best practice and developments. We should note exchanges and the open recruitment policy of An Garda Sí...More Button

An Garda Síochána continues to work closely with the Revenue Commissioners and the joint agencies, North and South, on excise fraud, including illicit trade in fuel, tobacco and alcohol, which is...More Button

On the operational duty issues, to which Deputy Tóibín referred, these are largely a matter for the Commissioner. I assure the House that the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, is engaged at the h...More Button

Garda Divisional Headquarters

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

The Garda building and refurbishment programme 2016-2021 is an ambitious five-year programme based on agreed Garda priorities, which continues to benefit over 30 locations around the country, under...More Button

I emphasise that the clear goal of this investment is to address deficiencies in the Garda estate and provide fit-for-purpose facilities for Garda members and staff, as well as the public interac...More Button

The public private partnership arrangement included in the building and refurbishment programme is intended to deliver new stations in Sligo, Macroom and Clonmel, as well as a new custody suite a...More Button

Site acquisition for this public private partnership bundle has been complex and has taken longer than originally envisaged.  I have been informed by the Office of Public Works and the Garda auth...More Button

The development of public private partnership projects is progressed under the auspices of the National Development Finance Agency. My Department and the Garda authorities are working to progres...More Button

I acknowledge the interest of Deputy McLoughlin in the acquisition of the site for the Garda station in Sligo and in ensuring that the legal, technical and design issues can be dealt with as expedi...More Button

I am sure Deputy McLoughlin will acknowledge that public private partnership projects are complex. The details are technical. It is vital to get the details of the projects right at planning an...More Button

Garda Training

Was asked: his views on the recent comments by a union (details supplied) in addition to other bodies in relation to the new domestic violence legislation and the lack of training provided to members of An Ga...More Button

The Domestic Violence Act 2018 is landmark legislation which significantly enhanced the legal protections available to victims of this appalling form of violence. I was pleased to commence all the...More Button

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

It is clearly very important that gardaí understand the legislation in order to intervene effectively and training is crucial in this regard. I am advised by Garda management that a number of tr...More Button

I am informed that the measures taken to date include the following. Training has been provided at Templemore Garda College to members of the divisional protective services unit and inspectors n...More Button

As I outlined in my reply, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for ensuring that members of An Garda Síochána are trained. As Minister, I do not have a direct role in that regard.More Button

As I already outlined, I have been advised by the Garda authorities that a number of training measures continue to be taken to ensure that gardaí have a solid understanding of this new legislatio...More Button

It is important that we proceed at the earliest opportunity to ensure there are sufficient resources, training, expertise and experience available to An Garda Síochána in our new legislation. I ...More Button

I assure the Deputy, having regard to the importance of Ireland's ratification of the Istanbul Convention from 8 March last, that every effort will be made to ensure that there is full compliance. ...More Button

Inquiry into the Death of Mr. Shane O'Farrell

Was asked: if there will be an independent inquiry into the death of a person (details supplied).More Button

Inquiry into the Death of Mr. Shane O'Farrell (Continued)

As Deputy Smith will be aware, this matter has been addressed on a number of occasions in the recent weeks and months by me in the Dáil and Seanad and in public statements, as well as in other fora...More Button

Following the Dáil motion last summer, I considered how best to give effect to that motion while at the same time respecting the fact that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, GSOC, was still...More Button

Following this notification and having informed the Government of the approach I had decided to take, I appointed recently retired District Court Judge Gerard Haughton to conduct a scoping exerci...More Button

As it stands, Judge Haughton is free to make any recommendation he deems fit, including the freedom to recommend the establishment of any of the various forms of statutory and non-statutory inqui...More Button

The Deputy should not misrepresent the role of Judge Haughton in this important and sensitive issue, and he is engaging directly with the O'Farrell family. Of course, it is open to Judge Haughton ...More Button

I am intent on ensuring that everything possible is done to ensure the failings identified in any investigation are not repeated. The motion passed by the Dáil last year referred to the need to ex...More Button

I assure the Deputies that the scoping exercise under the auspices and guidance of Judge Haughton will be an important part of ensuring that outstanding questions are answered. It is open to the...More Button

  Written Answers are published on the Oireachtas website.More Button

Civil Law (Presumption of Death) Bill 2016 [Seanad]: Second Stage

I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."More Button

The Bill before the House is the Civil Law (Presumption of Death) Bill 2018 which started life as a Private Member’s Bill in Seanad Éireann and which passed all Stages in that House in June of la...More Button

Prior to outlining the content of the Bill, I would like to put on record my acknowledgement of the work of Senators Colm Burke, Marie Louise O’Donnell and Lynn Ruane in championing the need for ...More Button

I am of course aware that Deputies Jonathan O’Brien and Pearse Doherty have also tabled a Bill dealing with these matters and I also commend them for their work.More Button

The situation which the Bill seeks to address is, fortunately, not one which the vast majority of people will ever have to encounter. As a society, we can do little to lessen the sense of loss w...More Button

The provisions of the Coroner’s Act 1962 which allow the Minister for Justice and Equality to direct a coroner to hold an inquest where a death has occurred and the body has been destroyed or is ...More Button

Notwithstanding current limitations, the Government is also conscious that, in reforming this area of the law, there is a need for careful balancing between the need, on the one hand, to address ...More Button

The Bill, as originally presented, had a dual focus. It proposed to deal with the civil law status of missing persons by putting in place a statutory framework to provide for the making of a pre...More Button

In considering the Bill as presented the Government found that there were difficulties attendant on this dual focus in that it gave rise to a certain blurring of the boundaries between those who ...More Button

The most significant amendments related to the scope of the Bill. As I already said, the Bill as presented had a dual focus relating to status matters on the one hand and to the interim manageme...More Button

A further substantive amendment in the scope area concerned the definition of “missing person” which is set out in section 2. As presented, the very broad definition encompassed all missing pers...More Button

Civil Law (Presumption of Death) Bill 2016 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Continued)

There is no minimum waiting period where the missing person's death can be taken as certain but the body cannot be recovered. For those whose death is likely, a minimum waiting period of a year is...More Button

Another significant issue, which was addressed during the debate in the Seanad, concerned the effect of a presumption of death order on a marriage or civil partnership involving a missing, presum...More Button

Section 4 of the Bill lists those persons who may apply for an order under its provisions. The same list of persons may also apply for a variation order under section 8 along with the missing pe...More Button

Explicit reference to a "creditor" as an applicant has been deleted. By way of background, in none of the legislation in comparable jurisdictions, including England and Wales, Northern Ireland a...More Button

A number of amendments were also made to ensure coherence with the existing arrangements which apply in respect of the registration of life cycle events in accordance with the Civil Registration ...More Button

As part of these amendments, an obligation is placed on the court in section 5 to include, in the presumption of death order, the particulars available to it which are necessary for the registrat...More Button

Deputies will have noted that the Bill, as presented, gave a role to both coroners and courts in relation to matters covered by it. The Bill in its current form reflects the view that presumptio...More Button

The final substantive series of amendments which were accepted in Seanad Éireann concern jurisdiction and are set out in section 10. As I said, I am of the view that presumption of death orders ...More Button

The jurisdiction provisions now also take account of the fact that, where land is concerned, the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court is determined by market value rather than rateable valuation. T...More Button

I stated at the outset that I hoped to see the Bill enacted by the end of the year. This is a sensitive topic which, fortunately, only affects a very small number of people. However, the size o...More Button

At the core of the Bill is the ability to apply for a presumption of death order when a person goes missing. The protection offered to a missing person who subsequently reappears is the ability ...More Button

I acknowledge what I perceive to be all-party support as well as support from the Independent benches for this important and sensitive legislation. I thank all the Deputies for their comments and ...More Button

Civil Law (Presumption of Death) Bill 2016 [Seanad]: Referral to Select Committee

I move:More Button

Probation and Welfare Service Data

Was asked: the number of persons in probation services linked in with a probation officer; if sufficient community services are available; and if there are enough places for voluntary supervision.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Probation Service is an agency of my Department working to reduce offending, create safer communities and fewer victims through offender rehabilitation informed by evide...More Button

The primary function of the Service is to supervise offenders by order of the courts.  Offenders placed under supervision by the courts are assigned a Probation Officer who conducts a detailed as...More Button

The Probation Service also has responsibility for the supervision and management of community service orders, whereby convicted offenders are sentenced to between 40 and 240 hours unpaid work as ...More Button

Following a recommendation of the Strategic Review of Penal Policy, the Probation Service developed an integrated model of community service which combines the unpaid work element of community se...More Button

Voluntary supervision arises in a small number of cases where an offender consents to be supervised by the Probation Service.  Examples of voluntary supervision may include providing support in e...More Button

Road Traffic Accidents Data

Was asked: the number of road traffic collisions involving heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles in each of the years from 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the number which resulted in a fatality,...More Button

As I have previously advised the Deputy, I understand that An Garda Síochána does not record road traffic statistics in a way that easily allows for the disaggregation of data in the manner you hav...More Button

However, the Deputy may be aware of the Road Safety Authority's annual Road Collision Factbooks, which provide detailed statistics in relation to collisions on our roads. The most recent factbook...More Button

This factbook shows that, in 2015, 106 public service vehicles and 915 goods vehicles were involved in fatal and/or injury collisions. The report also provides similar figures on drivers of such ...More Button

I have been informed by the Road Safety Authority that their intent is to publish the 2016 Road Collision Factbook in the first half of this year.More Button

I do want to take the opportunity to address road safety more generally. In 2018, we witnessed the lowest number of road traffic fatalities on record (148), and while every single fatality on our...More Button

Last week, An Garda Síochána publicly reiterated its continuing enforcement focus on the lifesaver offences of speeding, seatbelts, mobile phones and driving under the influence of alcohol and ot...More Button

This stark statistic underscores the need for drivers, and passengers, to ensure that all safety precautions have been taken, especially when it comes to seat belts. Finally, I would like to echo...More Button

Protected Disclosures Data

Was asked: the status of the work of the panel of barristers examining protected disclosures within An Garda Síochána; the number and names of counsel employed to date on the panel in tabular form; the fees p...More Button

To begin, I believe it is important to clarify that the review panel to which the Deputy is referring was established in order to assess disclosures made to me, in my capacity as Minister for Justi...More Button

The Protected Disclosures Act allows members of An Garda Síochána to make a protected disclosure to one or more of a number of persons, including to the Minister of the day.  Since 2014, my Depar...More Button

Following consultation with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Attorney General, a panel of counsel was established in order to provide independent advice to my Department on...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that, by their very nature, this correspondence may involve varying degrees of complexity and careful consideration of each is of the utmost importance.  However, I am ...More Button

With regard to the fee structure put in place for this review process, as part of the sanction provided by DPER, it was agreed that the maximum amount to be paid per case reviewed was €1,000 excl...More Button

Garda Stations

Was asked: if he will report on the efforts of the Office of Public Works regarding the proposed new Garda station at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation of €1.76 billion for 2019.  These resources are being provided in support of the Gove...More Button

Was asked: the plans of the Office of Public Works for the tendering of new Garda stations in County Cork in 2019; the locations of those stations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

Prisoner Welfare

Was asked: the number of prisoners who have died in prisons since 2011 to date; if he is satisfied that the Irish Prison Service is adequately funded to deal with prisoner welfare; if he is satisfied that the...More Button

I am informed that 67 prisoners have died in prisons in the period from 2011 to 7 March 2019.  All such deaths are the subject of a Garda investigation, an investigation by the Inspector of Prisons...More Button

I understand that the circumstances of each death in custody and incident of self-harm are also examined by a multidisciplinary suicide and harm prevention group in each prison, chaired by the Go...More Button

In addition, the National Suicide and Harm Prevention Steering Group, chaired by the Director General, reviews the reports by the Inspector of Prisons and makes recommendations that are reviewed ...More Button

A general review of healthcare in the prisons is being progressed and is overseen by a Working Group involving officials from my Department, the Department of Health and the Health Service Execut...More Button

The Irish Prison Service works collaboratively with the HSE to provide effective care for the prison population.  However, the provision of appropriate mental health services to those in custody ...More Button

Mental health services are provided to the Dublin and Portlaoise prisons by the Health Service Executive through the National Forensic Mental Health Service (NFMHS). The HSE also provides psychia...More Button

The Irish Prison Service has access to a limited number of places in the Central Mental Hospital for prisoners who require urgent residential treatment. I am informed that on average 25 prisoners...More Button

I am informed that two dedicated areas have been established within the prisons for the provision of high support to vulnerable prisoners with mental illness; D2 wing in Cloverhill Prison (for re...More Button

A psychiatric in-reach and Court Liaison Service is available at Cloverhill Prison. This diversion service ensures, as far as possible, that those people presenting before the courts, or indeed a...More Button

The IPS Psychology Service, as part of the multidisciplinary team, plays a key role in the provision of mental health services for people in custody and is being expanded in order to better meet ...More Button

The Service has also developed a bespoke mental health training programme, which is currently being delivered to all staff.  Since September 2016, over 1,500 staff have been trained and the progr...More Button

As can be seen, the Prison Service takes this issue seriously and has a range of measures in place designed to prevent, in so far as possible, deaths in custody.  However, given the number of vul...More Button

I am further advised by the Director General that the matter of monitoring of prisoners on special observation, which is a concern that the Inspector of Prisons has raised in successive reports, ...More Button

Crime Data

Was asked: if he has received reports and statistical analysis of the number of crimes in which a knife was the primary weapon used.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistics agency, is responsible for the publication of recorded crime statistics.More Button

While the statistical information being sought by the Deputy is not currently being published by the CSO, I can advise the Deputy that my Department received a report from An Garda Síochána in re...More Button

My Department wrote to the Garda authorities in February 2019 to seek an update on the recent work of An Garda Síochána in tackling knife-related crime, and the progress being made by Gardaí to i...More Button

I will contact the Deputy again when an update has been received from the Garda authorities. More Button

Was asked: the number of persons who have reoffended while on bail in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have requested the information from the Garda authorities and I will contact the Deputy directly when the report is to hand.More Button

Garda Civilian Staff Data

Was asked: the number of civilian staff employed by An Garda Síochána; and the percentage of the overall An Garda Síochána staff attributable to overall numbers.More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that as of 31 January 2019, there were approximately 2,530 civilian staff employed by An Garda Síochána, undertaking a range of administrative and technical ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government's vision is for a Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 to include 15,000 Garda members and 4,000 Garda Staff.  The projected 4,000 Garda Staff r...More Button

Progress is being made in relation to civilianisation. Since the beginning of 2017 approximately 350 new civilian posts have been sanctioned by the Policing Authority with the consent of my Depar...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that as of 31 December 2018, approximately 260 Gardaí have been redeployed to operational policing duties. I further welcome the Garda Commissioner’s deci...More Button

This approach to continued and increased recruitment of civilian personnel is very much in line with the Report of the Commission for the Future of Policing in Ireland.  This Report was approved ...More Button

Brexit Preparations

Was asked: the progress being made in respect of providing additional gardaí to the Border area; and if it is confirmed that 600 gardaí will be deployed to the Border region.More Button

In common with all Government Departments and State Agencies, An Garda Síochána has been preparing for Brexit and there is ongoing engagement between senior Garda management and my Department in th...More Button

The Government's policy is that there will be no hard border on the island and there are no plans for such.  However, policing in the border region has always presented particular challenges and ...More Button

The 2018 Cross-Border Threat Assessment prepared jointly by An Garda Síochána and the PSNI estimated that some 43 per cent of organised crime gangs in Northern Ireland have a cross-border dimensi...More Button

The success of cross border policing actions is grounded in the recognition that the best means of combatting the threat to our communities is to maintain and enhance the excellent levels of coop...More Button

The Fresh Start Agreement recognised this and led to the establishment of Joint Agency Investigation Teams which have had considerable success in combatting this type of crime.  I understand this...More Button

Garda ASUs provide a rapid armed response capacity and capability on a Regional basis. Members of the ASUs are highly trained and equipped with a variety of non-lethal and lethal weapons and perf...More Button

Garda deployments in all areas of the country including those along the Border have benefitted from increased recruitment in recent years.  I am advised by the Commissioner that the strength of t...More Button

The increased resources coming on stream have also provided the capacity to expand the specialist bureaus including the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Economic Crim...More Button

The ongoing recruitment will provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible, effective and responsive policing service.  These requ...More Button

I want to assure the Deputy that An Garda Síochána has the full support of the Government in dealing with the implications of Brexit and will provide the necessary resources to keep our people an...More Button

Was asked: his views on the need to provide additional staffing resources to the Border region in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In common with all Government Departments and State Agencies, An Garda Síochána has been preparing for Brexit and there is ongoing engagement between senior Garda management and my Department in th...More Button

As the Deputy is well aware, the Government's policy is that there will be no hard border on the island and there are no plans for such.  However, as he is also aware, policing in the border regi...More Button

The 2018 Cross-Border Threat Assessment prepared jointly by An Garda Síochána and the PSNI estimated that some 43 per cent of organised crime gangs in Northern Ireland have a cross-border dimensi...More Button

The success of cross border policing actions is grounded in the recognition that the best means of combatting the threat to our communities is to maintain and enhance the excellent levels of coop...More Button

The Fresh Start Agreement recognised this and led to the establishment of Joint Agency Investigation Teams which have had considerable success in combatting this type of crime.  I understand this...More Button

Garda ASUs provide a rapid armed response capacity and capability on a Regional basis. Members of the ASUs are highly trained and equipped with a variety of non-lethal and lethal weapons and perf...More Button

Garda deployments in all areas of the country including those along the Border have benefitted from increased recruitment in recent years.  I am advised by the Commissioner that the strength of t...More Button

The increased resources coming on stream have also provided the capacity to expand the specialist bureaus including the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Economic Crim...More Button

The ongoing recruitment will provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible, effective and responsive policing service.  These requ...More Button

I want to assure the Deputy that An Garda Síochána has the full support of the Government in dealing with the implications of Brexit and will provide the necessary resources to keep our people an...More Button

Gambling Legislation

Was asked: when the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 was last reviewed in view of the increase in gaming arcades; the locations where Part III of the Act is in force; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can inform the Deputy that over the past three years, my colleague Minister of State Stanton who has special responsibility in this area, has led an intensive review of the 1956 Gaming and Lotter...More Button

The amendments proposed under the  Bill address certain deficiencies with regard to the conduct of activities regulated under the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956, and provide for the modernisation ...More Button

Neither I nor Minister of State Stanton have any functions under Part III  the 1956 Act for the licensing of gaming machines. The Deputy may wish to direct his question on location of gaming arca...More Button

With regard to proposals for the comprehensive reform of our gambling licensing and regulatory legislation, the Deputy will be aware that Minister of State Stanton has chaired an Inter-Department...More Button

The Group comprised all relevant stakeholder Departments and the Office of the Attorney General and met on six occasions between February 2018 and January 2019.   More Button

The Group's Report is currently being finalised will be submitted to Government for consideration shortly. More Button

The primary objective of the modernisation of gambling legislation must be to ensure the proper licensing and regulation of the many varied forms of gambling now available in the State. More Button

A modern and effectively regulated gambling environment will ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that gambling will be an entertaining activity for the majority of those who take part in it....More Button

Was asked: the areas in which Part III of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 is in force; the measures in place to ensure that District Courts are kept informed as to the areas in which Part III of the Act is ...More Button

Protected Disclosures

Was asked: the status of the deliberations of the panel of barristers he has convened in respect of protected disclosures from current and former gardaí; and if he is satisfied with the manner in which protec...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Protected Disclosures Act allows members of An Garda Síochána to make a protected disclosure to one or more of a number of persons, including to the Minister of the day.More Button

Since 2014, my Department has received 24 letters from current or former members or employees of An Garda Síochána in relation to matters which might be regarded as a protected disclosure.   More Button

Following consultation with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Attorney General, a panel of counsel was established in order to provide independent legal advice to my Departm...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that, by their very nature, this correspondence may involve varying degrees of complexity and careful consideration of each is of the utmost importance.  However, I am ...More Button

With regard to the manner in which the Gardaí handle protected disclosures, An Garda Síochána have published a Protected Disclosures Policy and all Garda members and civilians have been informed ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, in 2016 the then Minister requested the Policing Authority to examine and report on the policies and procedures in place in An Garda Síochána to deal with whistle-blowers ...More Button

As I advised the Deputy previously on this matter, An Garda Síochána has provided assurances to my Department that it has consistently, and without exception, encouraged its staff, sworn and unsw...More Button

The Protected Disclosure Policy of An Garda Síochána aims to:More Button

- Encourage workers to feel confident and safe about raising concerns of relevant wrongdoings;More Button

- Provide avenues for workers to make disclosures about relevant wrongdoings; and More Button

- Reassure workers that they will be protected from penalisation, or any threat of penalisation, for making a disclosure in accordance with An Garda Síochána’s Protected Disclosure Policy, which...More Button

Garda Authorities have previously committed to ensuring that anyone who brings forward issues or concerns will be listened to and supported whilst also ensuring that the identity of any worker ma...More Button

Based on the foregoing, I am satisfied that the comprehensive actions taken by this Government to support and protect those, including staff of An Garda Síochána, who make protected disclosures a...More Button

Victim Support Services

Was asked: the position with regard to the release of information pertinent to cases of familicide by organisations with relevant knowledge; if a review will be conducted of barriers to provide information fo...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, I have instructed my officials to draft terms of reference for a study about how best to support families in the most caring and effective way in the aftermath of murder-sui...More Button

In such tragic circumstances, I fully acknowledge that one of the supports that can be provided to remaining family members is the provision of timely information on the facts and development of ...More Button

I intend to consult relevant parties, including my Government colleagues and relevant experts, before finalising the terms of reference.  I will examine any recommendations made, including any le...More Button

Was asked: the degree to which he has examined the situation experienced by families suffering in the aftermath of familicide with particular reference to the need to ensure that an early warning system can b...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, I have instructed my officials to draft terms of reference for a study about how best to support families in the most caring and effective way in the aftermath of murder-sui...More Button

In such tragic circumstances, I fully acknowledge that one of the supports that can be provided to remaining family members is the provision of timely information on the facts and development of ...More Button

I intend to consult relevant parties, including my Government colleagues and relevant experts, before finalising the terms of reference.  I will examine any recommendations made, including any le...More Button

The Deputy asks about the possibility of an early warning system to alert families of risk of murder-suicide. I would not wish to raise any false expectations in this regard.  Many of those who c...More Button

I want to acknowledge the work of Deputy O'Callaghan who published a Private Members’ Bill – the Civil Liability (Amendment) (Prevention of Benefits from Homicide) Bill. The Government did not op...More Button

Court Poor Box

Was asked: if the operation of the court poor box is to continue for the foreseeable future.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, in February 2014 the Government approved the drafting of a Criminal Justice (Community Sanctions) Bill to replace the Probation of Offenders Act 1907 with modern provisions ...More Button

The replacement of the court poor box by a statutory Reparation Fund was recommended by the Law Reform Commission in its 2005 report The Court Poor Box: Probation of Offenders. More Button

The court poor box will continue to operate while the Criminal Justice (Community Sanctions) Bill is being prepared. Once the Bill has passed through the Houses it is envisioned that the court po...More Button

Crime Levels

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent incidents of burglaries and thefts in Cork city over the Christmas 2018 period; his plans to address same; and if additional resources, both personnel ...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that I previously responded to a question which he submitted in January, which raised the issue of burglaries and thefts in Cork city over the Christmas period.  More Button

I can assure the Deputy that local Garda management in the Cork region keep all new and emerging crime trends under constant review to ensure best use is made of Garda resources. Gardaí in Cork a...More Button

Togher and Anglesea Street Districts form part of the Cork City Division and as of 31 January 2019 there were 703 Garda members assigned to Cork City Division. There are also 38 Garda Reserves an...More Button

I understand that the crime statistics for Q4 of 2018, which will include the Christmas period, will be published by the CSO in the coming weeks.  These will be scrutinised by my Department, and ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, last year the number of Gardaí reached over 14000 for the first time since 2011.  The Government has further increased the budget for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billi...More Button

This on-going recruitment is providing the resources needed to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions, including Cork City.More Button

Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal Data

Was asked: the number of cases and applications on hand at the end of each of the years from 2015 to 2018 with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal; the average time to have a claim settled; the action...More Button

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal administers the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted (General Scheme).  Under the terms of the Scheme, the Tribunal is entir...More Button

Was asked: the number of cases in line to proceed to a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal for consideration, namely, cases in which the documents necessary are available to allow a member o...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal administers the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted (the General Scheme) and the Scheme of Compensa...More Button

Tribunal Members, who are practising barristers and practising solicitors in the Courts system, provide their services on a part-time basis to the Tribunal.  In making their decisions, Tribunal M...More Button

I have been informed by the Tribunal that three general scheme decisions have been arrived at by the Tribunal to date in 2019. These relate to applications received in date ranges from January 20...More Button

Community Alert Programme

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to concerns from community text alert groups about a new centralised system for telephone calls to Garda stations in the eastern region; the actions that will be tak...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Text Alert Scheme, which was developed with the support of Muintir na Tíre, Neighbourhood Watch and the Irish Farmers Association, was introduced in September...More Button

In addition to the Text Alert scheme, I should also mention that, for many years, my Department has supported community crime prevention by providing funding for the Community Alert Programme, wh...More Button

With respect to the specific issue raised by the Deputy concerning a new centralised system for phone calls to Garda stations in the eastern region, I have brought his concerns to the attention o...More Button

Organised Crime

Was asked: the extent to which he remains satisfied with the adequacy of resources available to An Garda Síochána to assist in the fight against organised crime; the extent to which adequate intelligence rema...More Button

Tackling organised crime activity and those involved in it is an ongoing priority for the Government and An Garda Síochána and the necessary resources will continue to be made available to address ...More Button

An Garda Síochána is tackling organised criminal activity through a range of targeted measures designed to disrupt and dismantle the operations of criminal organisations. These measures include u...More Button

The tackling of organised criminality is achieved through the use of focused intelligence-led operations by Garda specialist units, including the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the National Ec...More Button

Multi-disciplinary approaches are used by An Garda Síochána to ensure the activities of individuals and groups involved in criminal enterprise are effectively targeted. Such approaches also inclu...More Button

Garda operational responses to gang-related crime in Dublin are coordinated under Operation Hybrid. As of 13 January 2019, there have been 86 arrests in relation to gang-related killings and 3 pe...More Button

A number of arrests were made in the UK recently on foot of investigations, supported by An Garda Síochána, into the supply of drugs and firearms in Ireland and the UK. There were also a number o...More Button

I am assured by the Garda authorities that the international frameworks for cooperation in criminal matters are being utilised.  An Garda Síochána also maintains close liaison with a range of oth...More Button

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

Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, just under 2,400 Garda recruits have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, including 800 new Garda during 2018. More Button

A total budget of €1.76 billion has been provided to An Garda Síochána in 2019, an increase of over €100 million on the 2018 allocation. This includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 G...More Button

The Garda Commissioner has confirmed that the Government's commitment to increase the overall strength of An Garda Síochána to 15,000 Garda members will be achieved by the target date of 2021. More Button

Prison Staff

Was asked: the destinations of prison officers to be recruited in 2019; the number required to replace retired officers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that they expect to recruit in excess of 200 Recruit Prison Officers in 2019.  The assignments of these Recruit Prison Officers are based on the requirement...More Button

The recruitment of Recruit Prison Officers by the Irish Prison Service has been ongoing since 2017 and has regard to such factors as service needs and retirement levels.  The known retirements fo...More Button

Prisoner Data

Was asked: if a report will be commissioned on the extent to which persons with a care history are represented within the prison population.More Button

I am informed that the Irish Prison Service (IPS) does not currently record information in relation to specific instances of time spent in the care of the State for persons in prison custody. Howev...More Button

For example, I am advised that the IPS Psychology Service provides a number of interventions, both in a group and on an individual basis, which support individuals who have had adverse childhood ...More Button

I am also advised by the Irish Prison Service that during the course of clinical and therapeutic interventions with individual prisoners, their personal background, including any experiences in t...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, my Department’s Data and Research Strategy 2018-2020 was launched in July 2018. This Strategy aims to facilitate better collaboration and information sharing between t...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons serving long-term prison sentences for murder; the number scheduled for review or release; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that 348 persons are currently serving mandatory sentences of life imprisonment for murder in Irish prisons. The 348 persons are at varying stages of their ...More Button

Was asked: the number of prisoners in various prisons nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the information requested by the Deputy in relation to number of prisoners in various prisons nationally are published daily on the Irish Prison Servic...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons deemed to have absconded and who still remain free over the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that Irish Prison records indicate that over the past 10 years 298 persons are deemed to have absconded, and that 15 remain unlawfully at la...More Button

Asylum Seeker Accommodation

Was asked: his plans for upgrading refugee centres nationally.More Button

Garda Information and Communications Technology

Was asked: if he has discussed the provision of additional information technology resources for An Garda Síochána with the Garda Commissioner and Policing Authority in view of recent reports on deficiencies i...More Button

The Programme for a Partnership Government recognises that Gardaí must have the modern technology and resources necessary to detect and investigate crimes, and to prevent loss and harm to citizens ...More Button

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation of €1.76 billion for 2019.  These resources are being provided in support of the Go...More Button

Specifically in relation to ICT, €342 million is being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 to enable An Garda Síochána to utilise appropriate technologies in delivering pro...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and b...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that Garda ICT is currently engaging with the Garda Youth Diversion Office in relation to the revised operating procedures and accompanying software solutio...More Button

The Deputy may also wish to be aware that the Garda authorities indicate that among the significant ICT projects underway, a new Investigations Management System is currently being developed.  On...More Button

Additional resources for ICT, over and above the total allocation of €342 million between 2016-2021, including the allocation of over €61 million for Garda ICT in 2019, have not been requested by...More Button

Visa Data

Was asked: the number of spouses and-or family members of international nurses working here awaiting visas; the range of waiting times; 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 it is not possible to extract the particular profession of the applicants' sponsor from the on-line vis...More Button

However, I understand such applications from family members of 'critical skills permit' holders, including nurses, are generally made under the 'join family' visa category.  Decisions regarding t...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

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

In addition, the Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation and I announced last week that spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders (including certain nursing and mi...More Button

Northern Ireland

Was asked: the engagement he has had with his counterpart in the UK in respect of the threat of violence from so-called dissident groups.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the primary security threat to the State is from republican paramilitary groups; the so-called ‘dissident’ groups.  While they have become somewhat factionalised over ...More Button

The shared assessment of the threat in Northern Ireland is that it remains 'Severe' (that is to say, a terrorist attack is highly likely).  The dissident paramilitary groups continue to focus the...More Button

The Gardaí maintain a high level of on-going, close co-operation with their counterparts in Northern Ireland and in Britain in responding to this threat.  This operational relationship is absolut...More Button

The shared security threat and the response of the two Governments has been a key part of my engagement with my colleagues in the Government of the United Kingdom and was a major issue of discuss...More Button

Just yesterday,  I spoke to the Home Secretary  with regard to matters relating to the investigation into the incendiary devices which were posted to addresses in the United Kingdom last week. I ...More Button

Was asked: his views on the recent letter bomb sent to London from an address in Dublin; and if he has spoken to his UK counterpart about same.More Button

The discovery in the UK last week of a number of suspicious postal packages containing small incendiary devices is a matter of serious concern. This appalling act has been widely condemned and is a...More Button

The Garda authorities are in close and continuous contact with their UK counterparts in relation to the ongoing investigations and security matters generally.  I can assure the Deputy that robust...More Button

Likewise, maintaining excellent cooperation at both political and official level is a priority for Ireland.  I have spoken to the UK Home Secretary about the current investigation and reaffirmed ...More Button

Was asked: if he or his Department has met a group (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department met with SEFF and participated in an event organised by them on 3 July 2018.  The event was held at Farmleigh and was an opportunity for my Department and the Department of Foreign Af...More Button

Magdalen Laundries Report

Was asked: the number of applications in respect of an award under the terms of the addendum to the Magdalen restorative justice ex gratia scheme; the number of persons granted an award; the number of persons...More Button

The Government is committed to complying with all of the recommendations of the Ombudsman in relation to the operation of Magdalen Restorative Justice Ex Gratia Scheme.  My officials ha...More Button

International Conventions

Was asked: when the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, known as the Lanzarote Convention, is to be ratified in view of the fact that Irela...More Button

The Deputy may recall that I recently outlined the position in relation to ratification of two important Council of Europe Conventions, including the Lanzarote Convention, when the matter was raise...More Button

The work to ratify the Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, also known as the Lanzarote Convention, is at an advanced stage. I want to assure the...More Button

In relation to other elements of the Convention, my Department has carried out a detailed review of compliance, in consultation with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and other relevan...More Button

Refugee Resettlement Programme

Was asked: his plans for a hotel (details supplied) to remain serving as a refugee centre.More Button

Was asked: the number of persons, including unaccompanied minors, Ireland committed to accepting under the resettlement and relocation programmes; the date that this was to be achieved by; the number of perso...More Button

Was asked: the capacity of a centre (details supplied); if it is at full capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to increase the capacity of a centre (details supplied) to accommodate additional asylum seekers and their families; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Judicial Appointments

Was asked: his role in the appointment of the Master of the High Court.More Button

The office of Master of the High Court was established under section 3 of the Court Officers Act 1926 which provided that the Master of the High Court shall be appointed by the Executive Council an...More Button

The appointment of the Master of the High Court is done by Government. In relation to the current serving Master, his appointment followed an open competition and Mr. Edmund Honohan was appointed...More Button

Parental Leave

Was asked: the status of the additional two weeks' paid parental leave for children under one year as outlined in budget 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Court Accommodation Provision

Was asked: his plans to ensure that the OPW secures another venue in Carndonagh, County Donegal, while the local courthouse will be undergoing essential repair in the time ahead.More Button

Was asked: his plans to ensure that court sittings will continue to be held at a venue in Carndonagh, County Donegal, while the local courthouse will be undergoing essential repair in the time ahead.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 177 and 196 together.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts, including the provision of accommodation for court sittings, is the responsibility of t...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 following professional inspections by the OPW and on their recommendatio...More Button

The Courts Service has advised that a review is currently being carried out and that, in the short term, the Court will sit in Buncrana Courthouse. I understand that the next District Court for C...More Button

Residency Permits

Was asked: the residency status of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned applied on 02/12/2016 for a residence card as a family member of an EU cit...More Button

This application was refused on 07/11/2017 as the Minister was satisfied that they had submitted false and misleading documentation in support of their application.  As such, their application wa...More Button

The person concerned requested a review of that decision on 21/11/2017. This review application is currently at an advanced stage of consideration.  I note that INIS has corresponded recently wit...More Button

Applications are dealt with in strict chronological order. Although it is not possible at the present time to provide a definitive date by which a determination will be made in this case, there w...More Button

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

Immigration Status

Was asked: the current or potential residency status 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, in response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as ...More Button

These representations, together with all other information and documentation on file, will be fully considered, under section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicab...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

Irish Prison Service

Was asked: the reason the smoking ban is not being enforced in prisons including Wheatfield Prison, Clondalkin, Dublin 22; and the steps he plans to take to address the matter in order to protect the health o...More Button

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the custodial estate is exempted from certain provisions of the Public Health (Tobacco) (Amendment) Act 2004 which prohibits smoking in the workplace.  More Button

I am informed it is the policy of the Irish Prison Service that, as a place of work, each prison is smoke free, while recognising that a prison cell is a domestic setting for prisoners.More Button

I am further informed that the Irish Prison Service strives to achieve full compliance with the legislation, and has updated the Irish Prison Service Smoking Policy to incorporate smoking in any ...More Button

The implementation of the Smoking Policy in all Irish Prisons requires that all smoking and vaping is permitted only by prisoners within their cells (defined as their home) and in outdoor designa...More Button

My officials in the Irish Prison Service have informed me that they are committed to securing full compliance with the smoking policy and have established a National Smoking Cessation Group to su...More Button

All Governors are regularly reminded of their obligations to ensure rigorous implementation of the policy. More Button

Wards of Court

Was asked: the reason the legislative proposals to establish a central funds office to provide for the audit of wards of court funds by the Comptroller and Auditor General have not been progressed in view of ...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that section 5(1)(a) of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 expressly excludes the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) from auditing a fund under th...More Button

Article 33.1 provides “There shall be a Comptroller and Auditor General to control on behalf of the State all disbursements and to audit all accounts of moneys administered by or under the author...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 177 of 24 October 2017, if he is satisfied that the court is responding to requests for summaries, specifically that it is the position that the committee of t...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the High Court has jurisdiction in wards of court matters and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its fu...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 when a person is taken into wardship, the President of the High Court ap...More Button

The Courts Service has advised that statements as to the valuation of funds held in court are sent to the Committee of the Estate who has responsibility for property and affairs of the Ward. In a...More Button

The Courts Service has further advised that if such a request has not been responded to, details should be provided to the Registrar of Wards of Court and he will ensure that the matter is dealt ...More Button

Was asked: the steps he will take to remedy the situation that the wards of court system is in conflict with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the EU Convention on Human Rights and...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and more broadly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, address the right to equal treatment before the...More Button

As the Deputy will also be aware, the legal framework for persons who are deemed to lack capacity is currently undergoing significant reform with the current system of wardship being phased out a...More Button

The 2015 Act provides a modern statutory framework to support decision-making by adults with capacity difficulties. It will repeal the Marriage of Lunatics Act 1811 and the Lunacy Regulation (Ire...More Button

Part 6 of the 2015 Act provides for the phased transition from adult wardship to the new support framework. It provides for the review by the wardship court of the capacity of all current adult w...More Button

- Declare that the ward does not lack capacity and immediately discharge the ward from wardship and order that the property of the former ward be returned to him/her.More Button

- Declare that the ward lacks capacity unless a suitable person is made available as co-decision maker to make one or more decisions. Once a co-decision making agreement is registered the court s...More Button

- Declare that the ward lacks capacity even if a suitable person is made available as co-decision maker to make one or more decisions.  The court shall make orders as appropriate under Part 5 to...More Button

The 2015 Act provides for the setting up of the Decision Support Service within the Mental Health Commission. New administrative processes and support measures, including the setting up of the De...More Button

The key preparations are being put in place under the oversight of the Steering Group to allow for commencement orders for the substantive provisions of the 2015 Act to be made when the Decision ...More Button

The Decision Support Service is not yet operational but every effort is under way 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

Assisted Decision Making

Was asked: the status of the full commissioning of the decision support service; and the achievements to date.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

The Decision Support Service is working towards being operational and ready for the commencement of the main provisions of the Act in 2020.  This lead-in timeframe ensures that the necessary staf...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

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.  On 17 October 2016 the Minister for Heal...More Button

In anticipation of the completion of that process, the Minister for Health commenced the remainder of section 91 on 17 December 2018 (S.I. No. 527 of 2018). This will enable the Director of the D...More Button

In April 2018, the Mental Health Commission engaged the consultancy firm BearingPoint to support the development of a detailed, costed plan to establish a fully operational Decision Support Servi...More Button

The Mental Health Commission has also received sanction for the recruitment of a number of staff for the Decision Support Service and also a number of staff to provide shared services for the Men...More Button

The National Disability Authority is currently finalising its work on the suite of draft codes of practice in relation to non-healthcare matters which are required to be prepared under section 10...More Button

In June 2018, my Department recruited an external legal expert to assist in the preparation of draft regulations in relation to decision-making assistance agreements, co-decision-making agreement...More Button

Legislative Programme

Was asked: when it is planned to bring forward a gambling control Bill in view of the ongoing problems identified with the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 in a recent District Court judgment (details supplied);...More Button

Was asked: his plans to update the Registration of Clubs Acts 1904 to 2008.More Button

The  Registration of Clubs Acts 1904 to 2008 provide for the grant and renewal of a certification of registration by the courts for bona fide members' clubs. Those Acts permit the supply of intoxic...More Button

A register of clubs is kept by the Registrar of Clubs, i.e. the District Court clerk of the court district in which the club premises are situated. While I have no immediate plans to amend the Re...More Button

Was asked: his plans to update the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.More Button

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 (as amended) provides the legal basis for persons seeking to be naturalised and become Irish citizens.  There are no immediate plans to amend the Act,...More Button

Naturalisation Applications

Was asked: the number of adult applications for naturalisation based on Irish association granted in 2018.More Button

Was asked: the way in which a person can apply for naturalisation based on Irish descent or Irish association without residing here.More Button

Was asked: when a person is applying for naturalisation based on Irish association, if there are circumstances in which time spent here on a stamp 2 would be considered for the three year residency requirement.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 187 to 189, inclusive, together.

  The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationalit...More Button

Garda Transport Provision

Was asked: if An Garda Síochána has recently put out to tender a contract to supply new marked Garda cars and vans to the fleet; if so, when the new vehicles will come into the fleet; and if he will make a st...More Button

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

In relation to Garda vehicles, €46 million has been provided by the Government for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021, to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective an...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. This includes responsibility for the allo...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, a total of €10 million has been allocated to the Garda fleet for 2019. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána purchase new vehicles under contracts tendered by the Office of Government Procurement and that contracts are currently in place for ...More Button

In relation to the budget of €10m available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles this year, I am informed by the Garda authorities that initial orders have been placed and that, followi...More Button

I understand from the Garda authorities that the allocation of these vehicles will be made on the basis of identified operational demands. More Button

Forensic Science Ireland

Was asked: the estimated full-year cost of recruiting two additional forensic anthropologists for Forensic Science Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) that they currently do not employ any forensic anthropologists nor am I aware of any being employed elsewhere in the Irish civil service.More Button

There is not therefore, to the best of my knowledge, a grade of forensic anthropologist in the civil service.  Having said that, it may be of interest to the Deputy to know that the salary scale ...More Button

Garda Resources

Was asked: the number of new marked and unmarked Garda cars and vans that were attached to the Garda water unit in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; the number withdrawn during the same period; and if he will m...More Button

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

€46 million has been provided by the Government for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021, in addition to the investment of almost €30 million in the period 2013 to 2015, to ensure ...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and b...More Button

A capital allocation of €10 million has been made available to An Garda Síochána for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019.  I am informed that initial orders have been placed and th...More Button

I understand from the Garda authorities that the Garda Water Unit is a national resource under the direction and control of the Assistant Commissioner, Roads Policing and Major Event Management a...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that no new vehicles were allocated to the Garda Water Unit in 2017 and that one marked vehicle was taken out of service as the vehicle had reached end of l...More Button

I am further informed that 2 new vehicles were allocated to the Unit in 2018, one marked and one unmarked. Two unmarked vehicles were taken out of service due to the fact that the vehicles had re...More Button

I am informed that no new vehicles have been allocated to the Garda Water Unit to date in 2019 and that in total, 7 vehicles are currently assigned to the Garda Water Unit - one van, two trucks a...More Button

Prison Service Data

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 482 of 15 January 2019, the number of Irish Sign Language interpreting hours provided to the Irish Prison Service in each of the years 2015 to 2018.More Button

In my response to Parliamentary Question No. 482 I indicated that it was not possible to collate the information sought within the relevant timeframe.  I have since been advised by my officials in ...More Button

Garda Equipment

Was asked: if he has received a report from the Garda authorities regarding the issuing of body-worn cameras to An Garda Síochána; and if so, the amount of funding that will be provided for the issuing of bod...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, i...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland included a recommendation that An Garda Síochána develop a plan to deploy body worn cameras.  The Im...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that a Working Group in An Garda Síochána, chaired by an Assistant Commissioner, is preparing a report on the issue of body worn cameras.  On complet...More Button

Was asked: the degree to which the most modern technology is available to An Garda Síochána in the fight against crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government recognises that Gardaí must have the modern technology and resources necessary to detect and investigate crimes, and to prev...More Button

The Deputy will also be aware that the key importance of ICT and digital innovation was also emphasised in the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland and a number of relate...More Button

A total of €342 million is being invested by the Government in Garda ICT infrastructure over the period 2016 to 2021.  The Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and effici...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that ICT is recognised as an essential tool for supporting the day-to-day operations of Garda members, staff and reserves. On an annual basis, approximately...More Button

A range of ICT equipment is of course generally available, as required, to operational members on a day to day basis in support of these actions.  For example official laptops and mobile phones m...More Button

In terms of ICT systems, I am informed by the Garda authorities that a broad range of ICT projects and initiatives are being progressed to support existing systems and develop them further, with ...More Button

For example, I am informed that a number of key ICT initiatives are moving to implementation phase this year, including projects such as:More Button

- roll out of the Rosters and Duty Management System, which will give supervisors better and faster information on the resources available to them; More Button

- phased implementation of the Mobility project, which aims to provide operational Garda members with secure mobile access to Garda systems;More Button

- roll out on a pilot basis of the Investigations Management System, which will standardise, digitise and support the management of all investigations arising from a  PULSE incident; andMore Button

- establishment of the remaining Regional Control Rooms, to capture emergency calls and dispatch of resources to the incident and staged deployment of a new national Computer Aided Dispatch System.More Button

A project to enhance network access to rural Garda stations is also currently being progressed. Work on this project is well advanced and options are being explored to provide members attached to...More Button

An Garda Síochána is also, in collaboration with my Department, actively progressing a number of EU ICT projects with a view to improving police co-operation, including implementation of the PRÜM...More Button

The ongoing investment in Garda ICT underpinning these and other projects is in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country to m...More Button

Direct Provision Payments

Was asked: when an agreement with a company (details supplied) was signed to provide a direct provision centre at a hotel for an initial 12 months; if the agreement commenced on that date; if the company has ...More Button

Garda Transport Data

Was asked: the number of Garda vehicles allocated to each Garda station in the Garda R and J districts in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

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

Garda Recruitment

Was asked: when the Garda crime prevention officer post within the Garda Dublin north division will be filled on a full-time basis in view of the fact that the post has been vacant for more than 12 months; an...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 crime prevention is a core function of An Garda Síochána and that all Gardaí play an active role in crime prevention and reduction. In addition there are de...More Button

I am further informed by the Commissioner that the Divisional CPO for Dublin North retired and pending the holding of a competition to fill this position, the Divisional CPO for the DMR West Divi...More Button

I am advised by the Commissioner that competitions recently concluded for promotion to the rank of sergeant and inspector with the aim of bringing the number in these ranks up to the full strengt...More Button

I am advised that the timing of a competition to fill the position of Divisional CPO for Dublin North, will be considered by the Divisional Officer as resources become available, following on fro...More Button

Fines Data

Was asked: the number of persons who have failed to pay fines imposed by the courts since the commencement of the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014; the number of persons who have had an attachment order,...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

Irish Prisoners Abroad

Was asked: if there is a policy in place as to the way in which the State would respond in the eventuality that an Irish citizen becomes radicalised by foreign terror groups and seeks to return to reside here...More Button

It would not be appropriate for me to discuss the detail of any individual case.More Button

The return to the EU of persons suspected of having been active in conflict in Iraq or Syria, or residing in conflict areas, presents complex challenges, including questions of public protection,...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the complexity of these cases is such that issues will arise where there is no ready solution.  Such cases can only be dealt with on a case by case basis. The Gove...More Button

The question of how accountability can best be achieved for the people of Iraq and Syria who have suffered so greatly at the hands of ISIS is a complex one, facing not just Ireland, but also our ...More Button

If any fighters do return here and there is evidence available that they have committed terrorist offences, then they will be investigated fully by the Garda Authorities with a view to prosecutio...More Button

The authorities here will continue to work closely with their international partners in this regard.More Button

I can assure the Deputy that all measures necessary and consistent with the law will be taken to protect the State and the people from harm and to vindicate the rights of individuals.More Button

Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 95 to 97, inclusive, of 28 February 2019, the meaning of applications received but not actively pursued by the applicant, and the criteria that must be met in...More Button

As outlined in my reply to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 95, 96 and 97 I have requested an assessment of the caseload of the Tribunal to determine the current status of applications to the General S...More Button

Garda Youth Diversion Projects

Was asked: the extent to which he can intervene to ensure that children at risk are protected from being forced into crime or prostitution; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

 The Deputy will appreciate that crime prevention and investigation, including in relation to the involvement of children in crime or prostitution, are matters for An Garda Síochána in the first in...More Button

However, an important initiative funded by my Department, known as the "Greentown” project, is examining the influence of criminal networks on children in Ireland. The initiative is being led by ...More Button

In the absence of international models of intervention that could be readily deployed, the original Greentown report (December 2016) recommended the design of a programme to include interventions...More Button

I understand that it is intended to commence a trial of the Greentown Programme approach, on a pilot basis, during 2019. More Button

More generally, my Department provides funding through the Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS) to support the operation of 106 Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs). These projects are community ...More Button

For 2019, IYJS has a renewed emphasis on preventative work by GYDPs, looking at the child in the context of the specific family and the specific community.  This includes family support work and ...More Button

IYJS also supports established and planned pilot projects, to help develop better approaches in areas such as engagement with hard-to-reach or more challenging children, as well as family support...More Button

A range of relevant legislative provisions are already in place, including the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998, which provides offences for the organisation of child prostitution and r...More Button

Finally, there are also offences in relation to adults who use or force a child to commit a crime, in particular Section 7 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1997, as well as offences where a child is u...More Button

Courts Service Data

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 228 of 5 March 2019, if the value of the fines imposed by the court as requested will be provided; if no fines were imposed, the sanctions given to the eight d...More Button

As the Deputy was informed in the previous Parliamentary Question No. 228 of 5 March 2019, the Courts Service has indicated that eight people were summoned to Court for failing to surrender their d...More Button

Departmental Consultations

Was asked: the result of the public consultation carried out by his Department on the impending decision regarding daylight saving time; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department  ran a public consultation process on the future of the twice-yearly clock change in October and November of 2018.  The consultation comprised a public su...More Button

A report on the consultation exercise is being prepared and will be considered by an interdepartmental steering group for submission to Government.  Once the group has reported to Government, mor...More Button

Probate Data

Was asked: the waiting times for the granting of probate in the Probate Office; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Probate Office is an office of the High Court and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service...More Button

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had inquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that waiting times for Grant applications in the Dublin Probate Office are cu...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate all applications for Grants in deceased persons' estates are made on foot of a number of mandatory legal documents which must be furnished by the applicants. These r...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Report of the Probate Services Review Group was approved by the Courts Service Board on 23 April 2018 and made a number of recommendations in relation to improvem...More Button

Garda Data

Was asked: the number of gardaí assigned to the Roscommon and Longford division and the Galway division in each of the years 2010 to 2018, in tabular form; the number of Garda stations in these divisions that...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

Student Visas Data

Was asked: the progress to date in considering applications under the special scheme for non-EEA nationals who held a student permission during the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2010; and when the rema...More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the Special Scheme for Students closed to new applications on 20 January, 2019.  INIS received approxim...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that it is necessary to process such applications in compliance with legal requirements and in accordance with the Scheme criteria.  While every effort is made to proce...More Button

INIS has already taken a number of measures to address this cohort of complex cases including the introduction of an on-line application facility for the Scheme to make it as streamlined as possi...More Button

Immigrant Investor Programme Data

Was asked: the qualification criteria for the immigrant investment programme; the turnaround time and number of applications for participation in the programme, which were determined and given approval or ref...More Button

The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was introduced by the Government in April 2012 to encourage inward investment for the creation of business and employment opportunities in the State.
More Button

Criminal Assets Bureau

Was asked: the extent to which the Criminal Assets Bureau continues to pursue organised crime activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is a multi-agency statutory body established under the Criminal Assets Bureau Act, 1996. The Bureau’s remit is to target a person's assets, wherever situated, which...More Button

Since its inception, the Bureau has been at the forefront of fighting organised crime in this jurisdiction and disrupting the activities of criminal gangs through the removal of their ill-gotten ...More Button

The Bureau is widely regarded, both nationally and internationally, as a best practice model in the context of combating organised crime. The structure and powers of the Bureau have also been mod...More Button

The Bureau works closely with Gardaí and all law enforcement agencies at national and international levels and continues to focus its efforts on targeting assets deriving from all types of crimin...More Button

The Criminal Assets Bureau continues to relentlessly pursue the illicit proceeds of organised crime activity, and to disrupt criminal enterprises and deprive criminals of the benefits of their il...More Button

Reflecting the Government's commitment to ensure that the Bureau is adequately resourced, the CAB’s staffing and budgetary allocation has increased significantly in recent years. Since 2016, the ...More Button

I am informed that the increased resources of the CAB have given rise to substantially increased levels of Bureau activity in recent years, and its successful operations have become a regular fea...More Button

I am pleased to say that the number of asset profiles submitted to the Bureau, by the nationwide network of asset profilers, increased from 66 in 2016 to 184 in 2018, a 178 per cent increase. Thi...More Button

Garda Strength

Was asked: the extent to which Garda numbers have increased; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that as of 31 January 2019, the total Garda strength was approximately 14,000. As of the same date, there were approximately 2,530 Garda Staff employed by An...More Button

The Deputy will be aware An Garda Síochána is currently undertaking a programme of accelerated recruitment, as part of the Government’s commitment to achieve an overall workforce of 21,000 person...More Button

Since the re-opening of Templemore College in September 2014,  approximately 2,600 new Garda members have attested and been assigned to duties in communities throughout the country.More Button

This approach to continue and increase recruitment of both Gardaí and Garda Staff is very much in line with the recommendations of the Commission for the Future of Policing in Ireland which Gover...More Button

These proposals will ensure a strong and visible police presence throughout the country which will maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.More Button

Garda Station Refurbishment

Was asked: the extent to which the upgrading of Garda stations nationally is scheduled for 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

Significant 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

For example, I am informed by the Garda authorities that works continuing under this programme in 2019 includes the new station and immigration centre at Transaer House, Dublin Airport as well as...More Button

I understand that as part of the programme, the Custody Management Facilities in Carlow Garda station will be refurbished this year.  Works at a further 17 stations nationwide will also be carrie...More Button

I understand that a contract has recently been awarded in relation to the provision of upgraded facilities for the Garda Water Unit in Athlone, Co. Westmeath.  The refurbishment of Ashtown Gate o...More Button

In addition to the Building and Refurbishment Programme, a number of other major projects are advancing in relation to the Garda estate and will continue in 2019. More Button

For example I understand that enabling works to refurbish Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station commenced in 2018. I am informed that the OPW is at an advanced stage in the design of the Garda facility...More Button

These are some of the many works to the Garda estate now ongoing, on the basis of agreed Garda priorities. I am informed that An Garda Síochána and OPW continue to work on the remaining projects ...More Button

Gangland Crime

Was asked: the extent to which he remains satisfied that adequate resources are made available to An Garda Síochána to enable it to combat gangland wars; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the allocation of the very substantial resources that An Garda Síochána receives. Garda management keeps this distrib...More Button

A core focus of the work carried out by An Garda Síochána is aimed at tackling drugs and organised crime. An Garda Síochána continues to develop and implement operations and strategies to target,...More Button

The Criminal Assets Bureau was established as a national multi-disciplinary agency specialising in targeting of the proceeds of crime. The Bureau draws together the necessary expertise from a num...More Button

Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide. This and on...More Button

The Garda capital allocation has increased from €61 million to €92 million in 2019, a 50% increase. This will facilitate investment of around €65 million in ICT which is now an important element ...More Button

I can assure the Deputy that I remain in close contact with the Commissioner to ensure that the necessary resources are available to An Garda Síochána to robustly confront and tackle those involv...More Button

Garda Promotions

Was asked: the number of promotional positions vacant and remaining to be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware 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 dir...More Button