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McDowell, Michael

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 Nbr. 4


Written Answers. - Needs of the Disabled.

Was asked: the measures which exist to ensure that the needs of disabled people are taken into account when legislation is being formulated by the Government; the way in which such needs are incorporated into...More Button

The national anti-poverty strategy, NAPS, was revised in February 2002 and includes specific new targets in respect of a range of groups vulnerable to poverty, including people with disabilities. I...More Button

A key objective emanating from the NAPS, which is overseen by the Department of Social and Family Affairs, is to develop appropriate baseline data to assist in the establishment of targets and the ...More Button

Preparatory work within my Department to transpose a number of EU directives relating to employment equality into national legislation, is at present being undertaken in consultation with the socia...More Button

The National Disability Authority, NDA, was established, in conjunction with the introduction of mainstreaming, to assist public and other bodies to take appropriate account of the needs of people ...More Button

The Deputy will also wish to note that the Equality Employment Act, 1998, and Equal Status Act, 2000, prohibit direct and indirect discrimination in the workplace and in the area of service provisi...More Button

Question No. 356 withdrawn.More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Correspondence.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the continued inaccessibility by phone of the visa and immigration section of his Department; if he will correct this wholly unsatisfactory arrangement; and if he...More Button

The immigration and citizenship division in my Department has to deal with a massive and continuing increase in its customer base in recent years. For example, the number of non-EEA nationals regis...More Button

The division, which includes the visa office, recently relocated to new premises in Burgh Quay. As part of this relocation a new telephone system was installed with a view to improving access to th...More Button

If a person makes a call to the division on either (01) 6167700 or locall 1890 551 500, the caller will get through to an automated message service giving them several options depending on the natu...More Button

Written Answers. - Passport Applications.

Was asked: the reason it is necessary for a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9 to bring their Irish spouse when they attend at Harcourt Street Garda station to have their passport stamped, in view of the f...More Button

At the outset, I should say that the person in question, being a person who has been married to an Irish citizen for more than three years, is entitled to Irish citizenship on the basis of marriage...More Button

Subject to certain exceptions, every non-EEA national is required by law to register with the Garda Síochána. Upon registration he or she is issued with a Garda registration certifica...More Button

It is not a requirement of Irish immigration law that every non-EEA national be accompanied by his or her Irish spouse for the purposes of registration on the basis of marriage to an Irish national...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: if he will identify by location, acreage and other details, the State properties in his Department which are being considered for sale or are available for sale at present.More Button

I would like to inform the Deputy that the Office of Public Works is responsible for procuring and disposing of State property. However, as I recently explained to the House, it is my intention tha...More Button

Written Answers. - Garda Operations.

Was asked: if he will inform Dáil Éireann of the cost of Operation Hyphen which took place on 16 July 2002 in Dublin and elsewhere on 23 July 2002; his views on whether this was an appropriate u...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the total amount of money spent on Operation Hyphen for the two days in July was €101,518. This is broken down between the Dublin metropolitan regio...More Button

The enforcement of immigration law is an operational matter for the Garda authorities. Accordingly, it is a matter for the Garda authorities to determine whether and when similar operations should ...More Button

Was asked: if it is standard practice in An Garda Síochána for an arresting officer to hold a suspect's personal property, including identity documents and passport, in his or her own personal l...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that in cases where a suspect's property is taken into the possession of the Garda Síochána, the member is required to keep this property in saf...More Button

Written Answers. - Garda Recruitment.

Was asked: if, in view of the decision of the British Government to allow former political prisoners to serve on local policing boards in the North, he will consider allowing those former political prisoners ...More Button

The report of the Patten commission recommended the creation of district policing partnership boards in every district council area across Northern Ireland. It also recommended that each DPPB shoul...More Button

These bodies are intended to be the key institutions for promoting community policing, and for delivering decentralised democratic accountability to policing at the local level. Given its dispropor...More Button

The Police Act included a disqualification clause which stated that “a person is disqualified for being a member of a DPP if he has at any time been convicted in Northern Ireland or elsewhere of an...More Button

Following on from agreement at Weston Park and the publication of the revised implementation plan in the summer of 2001, the British Government published draft clauses on 25 November last in advanc...More Button

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr Paul Murphy, has indicated that this clause will be introduced only in the context of acts of completion by paramilitaries. He spoke of the logic of ...More Button

In welcoming the Patten report, the Government agreed with its recommendation that paramilitary ex-prisoners could play a helpful role in building confidence and connections between their communiti...More Button

The criteria for that context are set out in the Good Friday Agreement. The arrangements regarding policing, including in regard to the structures of accountability, should ensure, inter alia,More Button

Written Answers. - Prisoner Releases.

Was asked: if he has plans to release a person (details supplied) under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.More Button

The person referred to is currently serving a total sentence of forty years for false imprisonment, wounding with intent and possession of firearms. Allowing for normal remission, he will be due fo...More Button

Was asked: the basis on which two persons (details supplied) serving life sentences on conviction of murder were released; if his Department has a policy of informing the family of the victim in such cases; i...More Button

The persons referred to by the Deputy are both serving a life sentence for murder since March 1994. As the Deputy may be aware, persons serving life sentences for murder may have their case reviewe...More Button

The board was established in April 2001 to advise the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform in relation to the administration of long-term prison sentences and replaces the work previously ...More Button

With regard to the prisoners in question, the director general of the Irish Prisons' Service has informed me that the case of the first mentioned prisoner was considered by the Sentence Review Grou...More Button

The case of the second named prisoner was reviewed by the Interim Parole Board on 18 November 2002 and I am presently awaiting the recommendations of the board in this particular case. The prisoner...More Button

This programme of releases was agreed by my predecessor as Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on the advice of the Sentence Review Group. Both of the persons referred to by the Deputy ha...More Button

I acknowledge that for every offender there is a victim and although there is no formal mechanism in place to obtain the views of a victim, or their family, the fact is that such views, when made k...More Button

The provisions of the victim's charter relating to notification of temporary release have been implemented by the Irish Prisons' Service. Notification only occurs, however, when requested by the vi...More Button

Written Answers. - Traffic Regulations.

Was asked: the measures which are available to a person (details supplied) to have a car removed from blocking the entrance to their home; if he has legislative proposals to remedy the situation; and if he wi...More Button

Current legislative provisions relating to the prohibition on unlawfully parked vehicles and associated matters are contained in the Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations, 1977, Road Traff...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the vehicle in question, which was partially blocking the driveway of the person concerned, has been removed by the owner. I understand that the difficul...More Button

Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the content of a recent statement by a spokesman from his Department to the effect that legislation to amend the Domestic Violence Act, 1996, to take account of the recent Supreme Court judgment in...More Button

As I informed the House in reply to Question No. 86 on 27 November, I hope that the draft legislation to which the Deputy refers can be published by Christmas.More Button

Written Answers. - National Identity Card Scheme.

Was asked: when a national identification card will be introduced, similar to the cards issued in other EU countries; the other EU countries which have identity cards; and the reason there is no such scheme h...More Button

I am sure the Deputy will appreciate that the introduction of a national identification card is a complex issue which would require in-depth debate. Indeed, depending on the outcome of that debate,...More Button

Written Answers. - Northern Ireland Issues.

Was asked: the progress to date in relation to the establishment of a trust fund to assist the victims of the conflict in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On 17 April, 2002, the Government agreed in principle to the establishment of a trust fund to address the needs of those bereaved and injured in this jurisdiction as a result of the conflict in the...More Button

Written Answers. - Official Language Equality.

Was asked: the additional costs which have arisen from the obligations on his Department in relation to the adoption by the Government in July 2002 of official language equality as one of the three new princi...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that even before the adoption of official language equality as one of three new principles for quality customer service, my Department recognised the rights of people to hav...More Button

Written Answers. - Anti-Racism Measures.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism finding that there has been an increase in racist street crime in the past 12 months; the statu...More Button

According to the annual report of the Garda Síochána for 2001, the number of headline offences reported or known to the Garda during that year under section 2 of the Prohibition of In...More Button

In 2001, the Council of Europe established a committee on criminalising acts of a racist or xenophobic nature committed through computer networks. Ireland participated in this committee, which drew...More Button

The review being carried out by my Department is a comprehensive one, involving many issues. I consider it appropriate to await the outcome of these negotiations, before finalising the review of ou...More Button

Written Answers. - Garda Disciplinary Proceedings.

Was asked: the number of members of An Garda Síochána who have been charged with and convicted of perjury in the past ten years.More Button

I have asked the Garda authorities for the information requested by the Deputy. I will communicate with him when this is available.More Button

Was asked: if internal disciplinary measures have been brought against any members of An Garda Síochána whom trial judges have stated were not telling the whole truth, or any of the truth during...More Button

The information being sought by the Deputy is being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as it becomes available.More Button

Written Answers. - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the percentages of failed asylum claims by country or origin for each year for the past ten years.More Button

The information sought by the Deputy, in so far as it is readily available, in respect of the period 1995 to date, is contained in the following tabular statements. No detailed statistics are avail...More Button

Table 2More Button

Note: The manifestly unfounded process commenced in 1998.More Button

Table 5More Button

Note: All negative decisions at appeals stage would have arisen from negative decisions at first instance.More Button

Was asked: the number of cases over the past five years in which a private plane has been chartered in order to deport individuals from this State; the reasons a private charter is ordered for deportations; t...More Button

My Department hired three chartered flights in 2002 for the purpose of deporting persons from the State to their countries of origin. The first took place to Algeria in January and the other two to...More Button

Was asked: if the Government has a mechanism to track the post-deportation outcomes for those individuals who have claimed asylum here and who have subsequently been deported to their home state; if so, the m...More Button

The Government has no mechanism to track the post-deportation outcomes for those individuals refused refugee status in the State and who have subsequently been deported to their country of origin. ...More Button

Was asked: the issues he has raised with the Nigerian authorities in relation to the number of asylum seekers from that country coming here; if there is evidence of criminal activity in this regard; and if he...More Button

There are ongoing contacts between my Department and the Nigerian authorities on immigration matters generally, particularly in the context of the agreement on immigration matters which was signed ...More Button

As regards the second part of the Deputy's question, it is internationally recognised that organised criminal gangs are heavily involved in people smuggling and this applies whether the intended pu...More Button

Written Answers. - Traffic Offences.

Was asked: the number of prosecutions there have been or are in progress following the introduction of the three tonne ban at Kennelsfort Road, Palmerstown, Dublin 18.More Button

Was asked: the reported incidences of heavy goods vehicles being stopped by members of the Garda Síochána for breaching the three tonne limit at Kennelsfort Road, Palmerstown, Dublin 18.More Button

Was asked: if the Garda Síochána has a policy of active enforcement and prosecution for breaches of three ton limits; and if this policy has been implemented in relation to the three tonne ban a...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 376 to 378, inclusive, together.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the local members of the Garda Síochána fully enforce the three tonne limit on Kennelsfort Road by carrying out regular checkpoints. I am f...More Button

I understand that heavy goods vehicles exceeding the three tonne limit may lawfully enter the Kennelsfort Road for the purpose of gaining access to or egress from premises accessible only from that...More Button

Written Answers. - Visa Applications.

Was asked: if the issuing of a holiday visa will be expedited to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I inform the Deputy that the visa application in question was approved on 19 November 2002.More Button

Written Answers. - Legislative Amendment.

Was asked: if he will consider amending the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts to ensure that no person, with the exception of a person granted honorary citizenship, can be relieved of the duty of swearin...More Button

Fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State are fundamental political duties of all Irish citizens under Article 9.2 of the Constitution. This duty applies whether the citizen has acquired Iris...More Button

Exceptionally, section 15 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended in 1986, provides that I may, at my absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalis...More Button

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 2001, which was enacted on 5 June 2001, included changes to Irish citizenship law as it applies to naturalisation and it is not intended to revisit those ...More Button

Written Answers. - Prison Visiting Committees.

Was asked: his views on whether visiting committees, as currently constituted, make useful contributions to the welfare of prisoners; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A visiting committee is appointed to each prison under the Prisons (Visiting Committees) Act, 1925, and Prisons (Visiting Committees) Order, 1925. The function of visiting committees is to visit at...More Button

Members are appointed for a period of three years. The maximum number that can be appointed for each institution is 12. Each committee elects its own chairperson. Persons wishing to serve on a visi...More Button

I am satisfied with the composition and proceedings of the visiting committees. They perform a valuable service and I take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts and hard work. In the con...More Button

Written Answers. - Registration of Title.

Was asked: if he will take steps to expedite the issue of a Land Registry file plan (details supplied) in view of the fact that this is urgently required; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Registrar of Titles that this is an application for a copy folio and copy map which was lodged on 14 February 2000. Application No. LD130/00 refers. I am further informed that ...More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Lectures.

Was asked: the reason the number of drug lectures given by the gardaí was lowest in the eastern region in the Carlow-Kildare division in view of the fact that this division would have the greatest popu...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that 35 drug lectures were given to various groups in the Carlow-Kildare division during the year ended 31 December 2001 and that this number reflects the req...More Button

The Garda authorities have assured me that drug lectures and addressing the public on drug related issues has always been an important part of crime prevention in this division and will remain so ...More Button