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Flanagan, Charles

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh (Atógáil) - Questions on Promised Legislation (Resumed) (Continued)

These are bully boy tactics.More Button

Courts (Establishment and Constitution) (Amendment) Bill 2019: From the Seanad

I acknowledge the importance of the legislation as part of the overall reform package and am very grateful to the House for facilitating its passage on the last day of the current Dáil term. I int...More Button

  Seanad amendment agreed to.More Button

  Seanad amendments reported.More Button

Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages

SECTION 3  Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:More Button

Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages (Continued)

I thank Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan for tabling this amendment and initiating the discussion we are having now and had late last night. I am not in a position to accept her amendment. I understand ...More Button

First, the amendment suggests that the Garda Commissioner may refuse to provide assistance because of the possibility that a request concerning a Troubles-related crime in this jurisdiction will ...More Button

Second, the amendment, as worded, requires that the decision to refuse assistance be made by the Garda Commissioner. The three reasons for refusal, as outlined in section 3(4), are all based on ...More Button

Third, and perhaps most important, I want to reiterate what is the purpose of the Bill. The Government is seeking to help the families of the victims of the conflict in Northern Ireland to acces...More Button

I agree with Deputies when they say that the level of progress, particularly around the specific incident mentioned by Deputies Brendan Smith, Maureen O'Sullivan, Ó Laoghaire and O'Callaghan, namel...More Button

I thank the Deputy for tabling the amendment and for his comments thereon. I must disappoint him by saying I have three fundamental problems with it. First, from a drafting point of view, it is u...More Button

On the drafting, the amendment is not consistent with the mechanism outlined in section 3. The amendment, as stated by the Deputy, provides for a High Court judge, following a review of the deci...More Button

Even if the amendment was consistently reflected in the section, and this is the most important reason I have a problem with it, it is contrary to the overall objectives of the section. Section ...More Button

The amendment, as proposed, would be unprecedented in cross-Border assistance in criminal justice matters. I point out that participating states and agencies enter into co-operation arrangements...More Button

In this regard, I acknowledge the high degree of trust between the PSNI in Northern Ireland and An Garda Síochána here. That is a level of trust that is likely to be maintained in the context of...More Button

Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan referred back to her earlier amendment. In recent times the Tánaiste and I have made the importance of this quite clear to the British Government. On a number of occasio...More Button

I say to Deputy Ó Laoghaire that the precedent of the mechanism that was employed in respect of the Kingsmill killings is that to which we are referring in this legislation. No conflict between ...More Button

The amendments are problematic insofar as it is not clear how a report could outline the nature, purpose or value of the agreements. By nature and purpose, they are co-operation agreements on the ...More Button

For example, a case could involve an asset recovery agency in another jurisdiction. It could be problematic or even damaging to compel the Garda Commissioner to produce a report on the value of co...More Button

I move amendment No. 5:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 6:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 7:More Button

  Amendment agreed to.More Button

  Title, as amended, agreed to.More Button

Direct Provision System

Under European Union and international law, as the Deputy will be aware, Ireland is obliged to examine the claim of any person who comes here and claims international protection under strictly defi...More Button

As of 7 July, the RIA of my Department was accommodating 6,082 people in its 39 accommodation centres and a further 988 people were in emergency accommodation. The use of emergency accommodation...More Button

The RIA has arranged the provision of emergency accommodation for international protection applicants since September 2018 due to the increasing numbers of people arriving in the State seeking in...More Button

Residents in emergency accommodation are offered medical screening funded and managed by the HSE located at the Balseskin reception facility for the purpose of assessing recipients who have just ...More Button

Was asked: when the national standards for direct provision accommodation will be published in view of the fact that the consultation concluded in September 2018; his plans to ensure an independent inspection...More Button

Was asked: the status of the improvement works due to be carried out at the Towers direct provision centre in advance of the new contract being signed (details supplied).More Button

Direct Provision System (Continued)

In addition, arrangements are in place in various parts of the country to offer the service to those who do not avail of it in Dublin. The RIA is also seeking to contract a visiting support and cu...More Button

Additionally, the RIA has facilitated visits by the Office of the Ombudsman to a number of emergency accommodation locations to meet residents and discuss any issues that may be a source of conce...More Button

I acknowledge the fact that there is significant demand, and to meet that demand my Department has sought to identify additional accommodation by publishing expressions of interest in the national ...More Button

The need to resolve the issue of suitable, mainstream housing for more than 700 people who are currently residing in accommodation centres who have been granted status and have permission to rema...More Button

These people are being assisted by agencies, and I acknowledge the work of Depaul and the Peter McVerry Trust, to move into mainstream, longer term accommodation. The RIA's regional procurement ...More Button

I note what Deputy Brady has said about the health services, the HSE, GPs and education. I am happy to assist in seeking to achieve early resolutions to these issues involving agencies, the Depa...More Button

Direct Provision Data

Was asked: the number and proportion of adults in direct provision in employment.More Button

The European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 which I signed into effect from 30 June, 2018, includes access to the labour market for qualified international protection applicant...More Button

My Department provides confirmation in writing to qualified applicants of their entitlement to access the labour market, for use when they apply for a job or become self employed. It is a free, e...More Button

When an international protection applicant is issued with a labour market access permission under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 and takes up employment, the emp...More Button

I am advised by INIS that, based on the returned declaration forms received to date, a total of 1,267 applicants have indicated they have commenced employment or self-employment, of which 896 are...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons in direct provision accommodation centres between the end of December 2018 and the end of June 2019, by centre and month in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

Was asked: the reported capacity of each direct provision centre at the end of June 2019, in tabular form; the reported capacity of each direct provision centre in January 2018; if works to increase capacity ...More Button

Was asked: the number of young persons under 18 years of age in direct provision not attending school.More Button

Was asked: the number of persons who have been refused accommodation in direct provision centres to date in 2019; the alternatives offered to such persons; and the length of time between refusal and their bei...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons living in direct provision who have taken up paid employment since the introduction of the limited right of asylum seekers to work; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

When an international protection applicant is issued with a labour market access permission under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 and takes up employment, the emplo...More Button

I am advised by the INIS that, based on the returned declaration forms received to date, a total of 1,267 applicants have indicated they have commenced employment or self-employment, of which 896...More Button

Victims Commission

Was asked: if consideration will be given to reappointing a victims commissioner (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to an equivalent position to the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Victims and Survivors. More Button

The Deputy will recall that former Tánaiste, the late John Wilson was instrumental in chairing the Commission which produced the Report of the Victims' Commission, "A Place and a Name" in August ...More Button

The Stormont House Agreement, concluded by the two Governments and the Northern Ireland Parties in December 2014, provides for a framework of measures to address the legacy of the conflict in Nor...More Button

The objective of the ICIR will be to enable victims and survivors to seek and privately receive information about the Troubles-related deaths of their next of kin. Individuals from both the UK a...More Button

The Irish and UK Governments concluded an agreement on the establishment of the ICIR in October 2015. The ICIR will consist of five members; an Independent Chairperson of international standing,...More Button

Work on the implementation of the Stormont House Legacy framework has been unduly delayed by the political impasse in Northern Ireland, although I am hopeful of progress and indeed the Government...More Button

The Government has been progressing a programme of major reform in supporting victims of crime in recent years. This is being driven by a strong commitment to make our criminal justice system on...More Button

In particular, the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act, 2017, which transposed the European Union’s Directive (2012/29/EU) establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection...More Button

At an operational level significant work has been, and continues to be, taken across the relevant criminal justice agencies to ensure that the necessary structures and arrangements are in place s...More Button

Garda Data

Was asked: the number of FTE members of the Garda traffic corps or equivalent division in each of the past six years.More Button

Was asked: the number of full-time equivalent members of the Garda traffic corps or equivalent division in each of the past six years.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 321 and 349 together.

  As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing An Garda Síochána, including ...More Button

Was asked: the strength of the Garda fraud unit; the strength in each of the past five years; and the number of personal injury claims defended in each year in tabular form.More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing An Garda Síochána including personnel matters.

  Garda management keeps this distribu...More Button

Was asked: the divisional breakdown of gardaí allocated to drug units in each of the past five years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is statutorily responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters, and I, as Minister, do not have responsibility f...More Button

Crime Investigation

Was asked: if a historical investigations unit, similar to such a unit in Northern Ireland, will be created; if not, if a committee, body or independent person will be put in place to monitor the progress of ...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, the investigation of crime is a matter for An Garda Síochána and the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the deployment of all Garda resources, including personnel....More Button

I have been advised by the Garda authorities that, in general terms, responsibility for the investigation of criminal offences resides in the first instance with the Superintendent of the Distric...More Button

The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, under the command of the Assistant Commissioner for Special Crime Operations, holds a national investigative remit and it is specialised in th...More Button

The support provided includes using the expertise of the Serious Crime Review Team (SCRT), which was established in 2007 to provide independent review of historical investigations, including homi...More Button

The range of other bureaux within Special Crime Operations support major investigations at a national level depending on the category of crime under investigation.More Button

The investigation of terrorist-related offences falls under the remit of the Special Detective Unit under the command of Assistant Commissioner, Security and Intelligence. Other services within A...More Button

The Deputy can be assured that in circumstances where historic, troubles-related offences have not been resolved, the investigations remain open and the Garda Authorities will and do follow up fu...More Button

Garda Stations

Was asked: when a carpark will be constructed at a Garda station (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.  Very significant capital investment is also being made, i...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the Office of Public Works (OPW) has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation.  Works in relation to Garda accommodation are progres...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities and the OPW that An Garda Síochána has made enquiries with the OPW about developing parking facilities at the Garda station referred to by the Deputy. A quo...More Button

Personal Injury Claims

Was asked: the most recent statistics on complaints and investigations relating to fraud within the personal injuries area as specified in recommendation 11 of the cost of insurance working group; and if he w...More Button

As I noted in response to Parliamentary Question 269 of 18 June 2019, the most recent figures provided to me by An Garda Síochána show that, in the period 1 November 2018 (please note the corrected...More Button

Family Law Cases

Was asked: his plans to provide a designated support services area in the family courts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I intend to publish proposals in 2019 for a new approach to handling family law cases in Ireland at District, Circuit and High Court levels. A Family Court Bill will be introduced to create a new ...More Button

A working group was established in 2017, comprising officials from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Courts Service and the Legal Aid Board, to examine the operational aspects relating ...More Button

In 2018, a task force on the Family Court comprising senior officials from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Legal Aid Board and the Courts Service was formed to seek agreement on core ...More Button

Work is well advanced on the General Scheme of a Family Court Bill. When finalised, the General Scheme will be submitted for Government approval in the usual manner and will have to undergo pre-l...More Button

The Family Court Bill is only one component of a new Family Court system. The provision of appropriate court facilities and services, including the designation of areas for support services, and ...More Button

Garda Transport Data

Was asked: the number of the Garda fleet that are rented vehicles; the cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including the all...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 238 and 239 of 16 April 2019, the status of the cost and the number of vehicles hired by An Garda Síochána in 2019.More Button

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including the all...More Button

Cybersecurity Policy

Was asked: the cybersecurity protocols under the remit of his Department; if it has had a cybersecurity breach in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department's ICT Division employs a variety of policies and practices in its attempts to ensure the integrity, confidentiality and availability of the Department’s data and ICT infrastructure an...More Button

The Department is not aware of any cyber security breach in the last 12 months but it continues to be vigilant in its efforts to ensure attempted breaches are repelled. In these circumstances, I ...More Button

Prison Visiting Committees Data

Was asked: if he will provide information in respect of prison visiting committees (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A Visiting Committee is appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality to each prison under the Prisons (Visiting Committees) Act, 1925 and Prisons (Visiting Committees) Order, 1925.  There are...More Button

 The function of Visiting Committees is to visit the prison to which they are appointed at frequent intervals and to hear any complaints which may be made to them by any prisoner.  The Committees...More Button

Details of visits, announced and unannounced, along with the arrangements generally made by Committees are contained in the Prison Visiting Committee Annual Reports. These Annual Reports up to an...More Button

 This question asks for the number and the dates of visits by members of the visiting committee to each of the prisons for the period 1 January to 8 July 2019.  These statistics are not readily a...More Button

European Arrest Warrant

Was asked: the number of European arrest warrants issued for which arrests and-or extraditions remain outstanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A court in the State may only issue a European Arrest Warrant upon application by or on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions where it is satisfied that a domestic warrant was issued for th...More Button

Brexit Issues

Was asked: the way in which a no-deal Brexit scenario will impact on the level of criminal justice co-operation which exists between parties to the agreement and the UK specifically with respect to outstandin...More Button

I can assure the Deputy at the outset that it is the firm intention of the Government and the British Government that the current high level of criminal justice cooperation will continue in the eve...More Button

Notwithstanding this, considerable planning and preparation across the criminal justice area has been ongoing to take account of the potential impact of Brexit, including in relation to ensuring ...More Button

Following examination of the options available for extradition arrangements between Ireland and the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the fall-back solution is to apply the 1957 Council of Eur...More Button

Immigration Data

Was asked: the processing of applications under the special scheme for non-EEA nationals that held a student permission (details supplied); the number of applications made; the number of applications processe...More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the Special Scheme for Students was launched on 15 October, 2018 and closed to new applications on 20 J...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.  I am assured that INIS continues to...More Button

Refugee Resettlement Programme

Was asked: if there is a deadline by which he expects Ireland’s commitment to admit 4,000 persons under the relocation and resettlement programmes will be met; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Migrant Integration

Was asked: the local authorities that have a published migrant integration strategy; the local authorities without such a strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Citizenship Applications

Was asked: if a sworn affidavit may be of assistance in authenticating a relationship to their late parent in respect to making an application for Irish citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied);...More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, as indicated in my response to the Deputy's Parliamentary Question No. 117 of 20 June 2019, the granti...More Button

All persons making an application for a certificate of naturalisation are required to provide satisfactory documentary evidence of their identity and nationality. This is usually in the form of a...More Button

In rare circumstances where an applicant cannot produce their current passport, or a previous passport, birth certificate or other supporting documents the applicant will be required to provide a...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship is governed by specific legal provisions and an assessment as to whether an application is eligible or not can only be made after ...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

Brexit Preparations

Was asked: if his Department has conducted an assessment of the additional resources that An Garda Síochána may require in the event of a hard or no-deal Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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

However, I can assure the Deputy that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that optim...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 ...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 thi...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

Living Wage

Was asked: the estimated cost of implementing a living wage €12.30 for all employees directly employed and or in agencies under his remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Based on current salaries and staff numbers, the additional annual salary cost for implementing a  wage of €12.30 per hour is estimated to be €2,105,568.70 for 592 staff. More Button

These figures include bodies under the aegis of my Department with the exception of An Garda Síochána, the Legal Aid Board, and the Courts Service who were not able to supply data within the time...More Button

Departmental Data

Was asked: the different income streams directly paid by persons to his Department or agencies under his remit, such as motor tax; the number of persons making annual payments; the value of same; the number o...More Button

I wish to confirm to the Deputy that the information sought cannot be provided in the time allowed. As soon as the information has been collated I will write to the Deputy on the matter.More Button

Prison Service Strategies

Was asked: if he is considering piloting the concept of a therapeutic community in the prison system; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Irish Prison Service has advised me that the prison environment provides a unique opportunity to support individuals in managing their addiction to drugs and alcohol and to provide rehabilitati...More Button

The Irish Prison Service is currently developing a new Drugs Strategy which is reviewing measures to prevent drugs getting into prisons and changing patterns of illicit drug use. The Irish Priso...More Button

The development of a Therapeutic Community will remain a key element of the Irish Prison Service Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022. The Irish Prison Service considers this initiative as one of primary...More Button

However, the development of a Therapeutic Community on a pilot basis requires the availability of sufficient resources. The Irish Prison Service has sought the agreement of the Department of Hea...More Button

Project Ireland 2040 Implementation

Was asked: the capital projects which have been delayed under Project Ireland 2040 under the remit of his Department and agencies in tabular form; when these projects will commence; and if he will make a stat...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the following capital projects under the remit of my Department and Agencies have been delayed under Project Ireland 2040:

  Justice : Forensi...More Button

Was asked: the capital projects which have commenced under Project Ireland 2040 under the remit of his Department and agencies in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the following capital projects under the remit of my Department and Agencies have commenced under Project Ireland 2040:

  Justice: Forensic Scien...More Button

Project Ireland 2040 Expenditure

Was asked: if expenditure estimates for capital projects under Project Ireland 2040 under the remit of his Department and agencies match projected cost requirements in tabular from; and if he will make a stat...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the following capital projects under the remit of my Department and Agencies are included in Project Ireland 2040:

  Justice: Forensic Science La...More Button

Capital Expenditure Programme

Was asked: the number of capital projects being undertaken by his Department; the final agreed tender price; the estimated cost of each capital project in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that there are no capital projects being undertaken by my Department at present. I have requested that relevant Agencies under the remit of my Department and operating ...More Button

Was asked: the capital projects completed since 2010; the final agreed tender price for each project; the actual cost of each project; if the actual cost exceeded the tender price; the reason therefor in each...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that there were no capital projects more than €5m completed by my Department since 2010. I have requested that relevant Agencies under the remit of my Department and op...More Button

Courts Service Data

Was asked: the number of court cases in each year since 2014 in which it has been shown that the claimant has made a fraudulent claim; the number of times per year the judge has referred the person to the Dir...More Button

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

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that section 25 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 provides that it i...More Button

The Courts Service has advised that Courts Service statistics are not compiled in such a way as to provide the information requested by the Deputy. The Deputy will be aware that the Report on the...More Button

While the Courts Service was consulted in respect of recommendation 12 to commence producing statistics on prosecutions and convictions relating to fraud within the personal injuries area, it was...More Button

I am informed that while technical issues arose with the introduction of a new "insurance fraud" category on the PULSE system, these issues have now been resolved and the collection of statistics...More Button

The most recent figures provided to me by An Garda Síochána show that, in the period 1 November 2018 to end May 2019, 50 incidents of insurance fraud were recorded on PULSE. This equates to just ...More Button

It is important to note that the aforementioned figures refer to reports being made to An Garda Síochána in the respective timeframe. Many of the alleged incidents reported during that period are...More Button

It is also important to note that, while all incidents come under the umbrella of the "insurance fraud" category, not all of them relate to fraudulent insurance claims. For example, incidents of ...More Button

Finally, An Garda Síochána have stressed that the data is correct as at 6 June 2019.  However as it is operational data it is, therefore, subject to change. More Button

Question No. 349 answered with Question No. 321.More Button

Was asked: if the Courts Service will establish and maintain a register of personal injury actions; the reason this has not been done; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, recommendation 27 of the Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance prepared by the Cost of Insurance Working Group is to review section 30 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act ...More Button

Garda Investigations

Was asked: the further progress regarding the need for a full and comprehensive investigation here and in Northern Ireland into the bombing in Belturbet, County Cavan, in December 1972 which caused the death ...More Button

The murder of two innocent young people in Belturbet in December 1972  was an appalling act of brutality.  The perpetrators of this bombing demonstrated a callous disregard for human life which, as...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that this crime was methodically investigated by An Garda Síochána at the time, with technical assistance from the Defence Forces and the close cooperation of the authori...More Button

As I previously informed the Deputy in my response to his question of 6 February, the passage of 45 years and the absence of new evidence being produced has diminished the prospect of a successfu...More Button

Human Rights Cases

Was asked: when his Department first learned of the case of a person (details supplied); the actions his Department has taken on this matter and to facilitate this person's return here; the progress made to d...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, these are very sensitive matters and it is the long standing policy of my Department not to comment publicly on the details of any individual case or the arrangements...More Button

Coroners Service

Was asked: if the coroner service holds data for the number of young children and teenagers ruled to have died in the past five years as a result of eating disorders; and if so, if the information will be pro...More Button

My Department, as required by the Coroners Act 1962, publishes annual statistics in respect of the primary work of coroners in the various jurisdictions throughout the country. 

 &nbs...More Button

Garda Recruitment

Was asked: the estimated cost of 50,100 and 200 Garda recruits in each of the years 2019 to 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There has been an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years. The budgetary allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 amounts to €1.76 billion, which includes provision f...More Button

The Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the recruitment and training of personnel.  Fur...More Button

I am pleased to say that recruitment of Garda members and staff is ongoing. Since the beginning of 2017, just under 500 new Garda staff posts have been sanctioned by the Policing Authority with t...More Button

From information provided to me by the Garda authorities, I understand that the current estimated full year cost of employing 50 newly attested Gardaí is €2,206,580; the current cost of employing...More Button

Garda Civilian Staff Recruitment

Was asked: the estimated cost of recruiting an additional 100 civilian staff to An Garda Síochána.More Button

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion, as well as capital investment amounting to € 92 million th...More Button

The Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the recruitment and training of personnel.  Fur...More Button

I am pleased to say that recruitment of Garda members and staff is ongoing. Since the beginning of 2017, just under 500 new Garda staff posts have been sanctioned by the Policing Authority with t...More Button

The Government provided funding in Budget 2019 to sustain continued recruitment into An Garda Síochána and, as part of this recruitment, the Commissioner decided to recruit a net 600 Garda staff ...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that as of 31 May 2019, there were approximately 2,700 Garda staff undertaking administrative, professional, technical and industrial support duties. More Button

I am further informed that such staff positions range from clerical support and financial management functions to specialised roles in HR, IT and telecommunications, as well as finance and procur...More Button

Bearing in mind this broad range of duties, I am advised by the Garda authorities that the estimated cost of employing 100 Garda staff would be approximately €4,500,000, on the basis of an averag...More Button

Garda Reserve

Was asked: the estimated cost of increasing the Garda Reserve by 50, 100 and 1,000 members; 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 for 2019 of €1.76 billion, in addition to a capital allocation of € 92 million this y...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including arranging for the recruitment and t...More Button

The Garda Reserve is an invaluable operational resource for An Garda Síochána with Reserve members working alongside Garda members to protect and serve their local communities. In line with commi...More Button

I am advised that an allowance is payable to Reserve members who complete a minimum of 208 hours duty annually as a contribution towards expenses incurred in performing their duties. This allowan...More Button

As such, I am advised by the Garda authorities that the estimated cost of increasing the Garda Reserve by 50 members is €50,000, by 100 members is €100,000 and by 1,000 members is €1,000,000.More Button

Garda Resources

Was asked: the estimated cost of establishing a Garda fraud unit.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB, formerly known as the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation) has been established since 1995. The remit of the GNECB inc...More Button

In relation specifically to insurance fraud investigation, which has been discussed on a number of recent occasions in this House, I have previously outlined how the Garda Commissioner is of the ...More Button

The Deputy will no doubt be aware of Deputy Commissioner John Twomey's appearance in front of the Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach on 9th July. At the Committee,...More Button

"At meetings between Commissioner Harris and Minister D’Arcy, both parties were agreed that private funding of a specialist insurance fraud unit was not the preferred option...More Button

Commissioner Harris has also informed the Minister that in line with the overall Garda strategy, GNECB will focus on major organised frauds including insurance cases and individual insurance frau...More Button

Deputy Commissioner Twomey went on to state:More Button

"The Commissioner believes that it is important that there is sufficient expertise at divisional level to deal with individual frauds. Each division already has a number of Gardaí trained in frau...More Button

In the meantime, An Garda Síochána continues to develop in-house expertise in investigating insurance-related fraud. All Detective Gardaí and Detective Sergeants receive fraud training. In additi...More Button

I trust this information provides a clear picture of the An Garda Síochána's plans to tackle insurance fraud across the State.More Button

Garda Operations

Was asked: if he has received information from An Garda Síochána regarding the rising level of reported murder threats as detailed by the Central Statistics Office; the findings of the work of An Garda Síochá...More Button

I am aware of reports in the media in recent days, and of the details contained in the most recent CSO crime statistics, regarding an increase in the reported incidents of threats to murder. More Button

The increases are not confined to just one area of the country, but are across all Garda regions.  More Button

I am of course concerned at the increase. More Button

I note that there have been substantial increases in areas that are experiencing gang and family feud-related violence. There have been increases in threats to murder in Dublin North, Louth, Lime...More Button

While there has been a substantial increase in the number of threats to murder over the last 5 years, I note the yearly decrease of 14.3% in incidents of homicide - down from 84 incidents to the ...More Button

To be of assistance to the Deputy, and to address my own concerns, I have also sought the views of the Garda Commissioner on this matter and will contact the Deputy directly once a response has b...More Button

Legislative Programme

Was asked: the Bills in his Department undergoing drafting; the drafting status of each Bill; the Government Bills for which amendments are being drafted; the Private Members' Bills for which amendments are u...More Button

The Deputy will be very familiar with the various stages which legislation goes through prior to its enactment as law, its progress being dependent on various factors, including the cooperation of ...More Button

Departmental Communications

Was asked: the oversight of his Department of directives, circulars, advice or requirements issued since 2016; if surveys have been carried out of compliance with these communications to date; the surveys car...More Button

Different oversight arrangements apply in relation to circulars and other advices issued from time to time, typically by the Department of Finance or the Department of Personnel, Expenditure and Re...More Button

In appropriate cases, policy documents are drawn up and circulated to relevant staff, particularly concerning HR matters. In other cases, compliance is ensured in a range of different ways. For e...More Button

 Compliance by agencies under the aegis of my Department with the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies is ensured through regular, formal governance meetings, with arrangements bei...More Button

Climate Change Policy

Was asked: the recurring weekly meetings attended by either him or the Secretary General of his Department in 2019 at which climate change and-or preparations within his Department to enact a climate plan has...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, responsibility for Climate Action rests with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment who have published the Climate Action Plan 2019.  This...More Button

Action 149 of the plan, which relates to deployment of electric vehicles in the public sector, includes a task for An Garda Síochána to assess the suitability of electric/hybrid vehicles as Minis...More Button

In addition I can advise the Deputy that my Department is very active on climate action generally within the scope of its own administrative remit. An Energy Performance Forum has been establishe...More Button

My Department also recently launched a Green Team, which will be working to raise awareness among staff on environmental and sustainability issues generally, including the need to minimise waste ...More Button

Furthermore my Department has developed a Resource Efficiency Action Plan in consultation with staff of the Department of Communication, Climate Action and the Environment. This sets out the meas...More Button

Community Policing

Was asked: the community garda numbers by Garda district as of 1 June 2019; the corresponding number for 1 June in each of the years 2014 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy 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

Visa Applications

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 374 of 12 June 2019, if further issues have arisen in respect of the visa for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the visa application referred to is currently being examined and the visa office in Abuja have contacte...More Button

I am also advised that while the Policy Document on Family Reunification contains a stated business target that such visa applications should be dealt with within twelve months of receipt of appl...More Button

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

In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail queries directly to INIS (visamail@justice.ie).More Button

Refugee Status Applications

Was asked: when an application for a family to join will be considered in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a proposal under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, Humanitarian Admissions Programme (IHAP) schem...More Button

IHAP, which operates under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, provides an opportunity to Irish citizens and persons with Convention refugee status, subsidiary protection status, and programm...More Button

The IHAP programme was established to provide humanitarian admission to Ireland for 530 eligible family members of Irish citizens and those with protection status in Ireland. The first call for p...More Button

The person concerned submitted a proposal under window one. The proposer was notified in writing of the outcome by letter dated 19 December 2018. A further proposal was received under window two of...More Button

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

Naturalisation Applications

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

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by th...More Button

A letter issued to representatives of the person concerned on 12 March 2019 requesting certain documentation and a reply is awaited. Upon receipt of the requested documentation the case will be f...More Button

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

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. While most straightforward cases are now processed within six months, the na...More Button

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

Was asked: the progress to date in the examination of an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy continues...More Button

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

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of ...More Button

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

Naturalisation Eligibility

Was asked: if a person and their child (details supplied) qualify for naturalisation; 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 there is no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the persons referred to b...More Button

It is open to any individual to lodge an application for a certificate of naturalisation if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationali...More Button

Where sections 6A and 6B of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, are applicable, a child born in the island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005 has an entitlement to Iris...More Button

Where a child born in the State did not at birth have an entitlement to Irish citizenship, the parent or guardian or person who is in loco parentis to the child may lodge an application for natur...More Button

Full details of the eligibility criteria and extensive guidelines are available on the INIS website at www.inis.gov.ie More Button

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and ...More Button

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

Residency Permits

Was asked: if extended leave to remain of stamp 4 status will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, 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 on file, will be fully considered, under Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation, in...More Button

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

Was asked: if the residency position of persons (details supplied) will be regularised; 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 would appear the persons' presence in the State may be unlawful. The Deputy will appreciate that, u...More Button

In order to allow for a full examination of the person's circumstances, the persons concerned should write to Unit 2, Domestic Residence and Permissions Division, INIS, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2...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

Immigration Status

Was asked: if the application to upgrade an application for residency and naturalisation will be validated in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there is no record of a current application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referre...More Button

The records indicate that the person's permission to reside in the State expired on 22 November 2016. All non-EEA nationals are required to keep their permission to remain in the State up to date...More Button

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

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of ...More Button

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

Was asked: when an update of stamp 4 status will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the name of the person referred to by the Deputy does not match the reference number supplied. As it i...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

Deportation Orders

Was asked: if the deportation order will be revoked in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order issued on 12 June 2019. This Order require...More Button

It is open to the person concerned to submit representations requesting that the Deportation Order be revoked, pursuant to Section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). However, I wish...More Button

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

Was asked: if the deportation order will be revoked in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person referred to is the subject of a Deportation Order made on 11 March 2005.More Button

As previously advised, representations were received on behalf of the person concerned pursuant to Section 3 (11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), to revoke the Deportation Order. Follo...More Button

Further representations were received on behalf of the person concerned requesting that the Deportation Order be revoked, pursuant to Section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). I wi...More Button

The Deputy might wish to note that the effect of a Deportation Order is that the person named on the Order is legally obliged to leave the State and to remain outside of the State. The enforceme...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

Public Service Vehicles

Was asked: the steps being taken to protect and ensure the safety of taxi drivers in view of reports of alleged assaults following the refusal to pay fares; if he is satisfied that legal protections for all p...More Button

Firstly, I must clarify that the provision of quality services by small public service (SPSV) drivers, while having due regard to their protection, is an objective of the National Transport Authori...More Button

However, I am informed that An Garda Síochána has advised the Taxi Regulation Directorate (within the NTA) on what to do in the event of crime perpetrated against a SPSV operator and has provided...More Button

Separately, I am informed that all taxi drivers, as part of their initial training and preparation for examinations, are provided with the Official Manual for Operating within the SPSV Industry. ...More Button

Information regarding ways to reduce the risk of robbery is also provided. An Garda Síochána has recommended that taxi drivers:More Button

- avoid carrying large sums of cash where possible;More Button

- not show, or tell, customers how much cash they have and be discrete with their cash when giving a customer change;More Button

- not display valuables; and,More Button

- lock their vehicles while in isolated areas or waiting for a customer to arrive.More Button

An Garda Síochána also advises that taxi drivers who have been the victims of robbery or fare evasion should not chase the perpetrators because this might put their More Button

personal safety at further risk. In addition, it is advised that taxi drivers should not take any action that might be deemed to be illegal or, again, put themselves at risk, such as detaining a ...More Button

Finally, matters relating to legal protections for public transport workers would generally fall to my colleague, Minister Ross, at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.More Button

Crime Data

Was asked: the number of reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019.More Button

Was asked: the number of reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019 that were recorded as incidents.More Button

Was asked: the number of reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019 that were recorded as crimes.More Button

Was asked: the type of abuse experienced by the alleged victim, that is, physical, financial and so on in reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2...More Button

Was asked: the number of reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána in the context of coercive control and psychological abuse since the introduction of the Domestic Violence Act 2018; and if he will...More Button

Was asked: the number of alleged victims of the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána that were over 50 years of age in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019.More Button

Was asked: the number of alleged victims of the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána that were over 25 years of age in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019.More Button

Was asked: the number of alleged victims of the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána who were experiencing the abuse from their partner in a same-sex relationship in each of the years 2010 to 2...More Button

Was asked: the number of alleged victims of the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána identified as being from the LGBTQIA community and which were experiencing domestic abuse from a family memb...More Button

Was asked: the number of alleged victims of the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána which were women in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019.More Button

Was asked: the number of alleged victims of the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána which were men in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019.More Button

Was asked: the number of alleged perpetrators of the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána which were women in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019.More Button

Was asked: the number of alleged perpetrators of the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána which were men in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019.More Button

Was asked: the type of abuse reported, that is, physical, sexual, financial, honour-based violence, psychological, forced marriage and so on of the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána in each ...More Button

Was asked: the relationship between the victim and perpetrator under headings (details supplied) based on the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date ...More Button

Was asked: the number of victims considered disabled, physically or intellectually, of the reports of domestic abuse made to An Garda Síochána in each of the years 2010 to 2018 and to date in 2019.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 380 to 395, inclusive, together.

  As the Deputy will be aware, An Garda Síochána have put a number of organisational measures in place to addres...More Button

Insurance Fraud

Was asked: the consequences for lawyers and legal advisers for bringing fraudulent personal injury cases to court; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The rights and obligations of solicitors, who are deemed to be officers of the court, derive from section 78 of the Judicature (Ireland) Act 1877 along with section 61 of the Courts (Supplemental P...More Button

Similarly, barristers have a duty to the court. Under the Professional Code of the Honorable Society of the King's Inns it is the duty of barristers to act at all times with honesty and integrity...More Button

It should be noted, therefore, that the courts supervision of these matters is in addition to those broader measures that also apply to solicitors and barristers in the conduct of their business ...More Button

As I have set out , there are serious consequences for any legal practitioner who may be found to have acted in contravention of those duties owed to the court, including as the Deputy has raised...More Button

Was asked: when the integrated insurance fraud database will be up and running; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I would like to thank the Deputy for raising this matter again. On 6 February 2018, in response to parliamentary question 65, I advised the Deputy that my Department had established a Working Group...More Button

Naturalisation Certificates

Was asked: when consideration will be given to 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 there is no record of a current application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referre...More Button

A determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria attendant to naturalisation can only be made after an application is received, and every application is considered on its ...More Button

It is open to any individual to lodge an application for a certificate of naturalisation if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationali...More Button

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and ...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