Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

O'Donoghue, John

Wednesday, 28 February 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 462 Nbr. 3


Refugee Bill, 1995: Report Stage.

I concur with Deputy O'Donnell's remarks. There is very little point trying to communicate with a person if they do not understand what is being said. The words “where possible” are superfluous. ...More Button

I noted the Minister's statement on Committee Stage that every effort would be made to provide the necessary translation or interpretation facilities. That is welcome, but it does not obviate the n...More Button

I welcome the Minister's amendment. I tabled amendments to provide that an individual would be entitled to free legal aid and I am extremely disappointed that provision is not included in the Bill...More Button

I agree with Deputy O'Donnell's sentiment, that there should not be a reason not to allow the creativity, talents and, in many instances, expertise of asylum seekers to benefit our economy. I unde...More Button

I move amendment No. 16:More Button

In page 9, to delete lines 11 and 12.More Button

Section 9 (8) (c) permits an immigration officer or a member of the Garda Síochána to detain an applicant for asylum if he or she has reasonable cause to suspect that the applicant in...More Button

I have no doubt that the Minister is correct that the primary intention of the provision is to ensure that people do not enter the United Kingdom by the back door. It is of paramount importance th...More Button

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.More Button

This point was well debated on Committee Stage but it is worth repeating. There is no need to add to what Deputy O'Donnell has had to say other than that there is well documented evidence in cases...More Button

I move amendment No. 22:More Button

In page 9, line 28, to delete “10” and substitute “8”.More Button

The purpose of the amendments is to substitute the period of detention of ten days with a period of eight days. As I said on Committee Stage, the period provided for in the Bill is longer than tha...More Button

In a related provision, a person should not be detained without reasonable cause for longer than two periods. Subsection (14) appears to allow for repeated detention of an asylum seeker for further...More Button

A genuine asylum seeker could be detained without reasonable cause for the entire period until the application is determined. This is of particular concern for obvious reasons. In a country which...More Button

I welcome the Minister's amendment No. 30. I should have done so when I moved my amendment as it is a major improvement. However, the tone of part of the Minister's reply was, if unintentionally, ...More Button

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.More Button

I move amendment No. 43:More Button

In page 12, line 49, to delete “may” and substitute “shall”.More Button

The reason for this amendment is that subsection (4) enables the commissioner to request the Minister for Foreign Affairs or other persons to make certain inquiries and to furnish him or her with i...More Button

In making inquiries the commissioner will only seek information reasonably required within the period specified in the notice. If the information was not reasonably required, the notice would not ...More Button

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.More Button

Amendments Nos. 44 to 47, inclusive, not moved.More Button

I move amendment No. 48:More Button

In page 14, to delete lines 24 to 49 and in page 15, to delete lines 1 to 17.More Button

It is clear to everybody at this stage that the inclusion of the concept of manifestly unfounded applications is aimed at eliminating fraudulent claims. Everybody will agree that such claims shoul...More Button

To the best of my recollection, the Minister defended this procedure on Committee Stage by stating there will be a right of appeal. He should be the last person to justify what is a bad procedure ...More Button

It seems to me and others who are experts in this field that a huge number of genuine applications could be deemed manifestly unfounded under the definition proposed and this is likely to result i...More Button

The Minister suggested that a reason for including subsection (4) (c) which provides that “a manifestly unfounded application” means an application in relation to which the commissioner is satisfie...More Button

Paragraph (d) contains a further definition of “a manifestly unfounded application”. It states that it means an application in relation to which the applicant did not reveal, following the making ...More Button

In short, I cannot see the reason a definition of “a manifestly unfounded application” has to be included. A manifestly unfounded application means, as stated in paragraph (a), an application whic...More Button

Montesquieu once said that one should never give reasons for laws in laws. This subsection appears to go dangerously close to breaching his dictum. As a great admirer of Montesquieu, I urge that t...More Button

I move amendment No. 56:More Button

In page 19, to delete lines 24 and 43.More Button

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.More Button

I never believed that the consent of the Minister should be required for publication but as the Minister of State has reached a happy compromise I will withdraw the amendment.More Button

I move amendment No. 67:More Button

In page 24, line 8, after “Convention” to insert “provided, however, that none of the provisions of this Act or the Dublin Convention will authorise the transfer of an applicant for asylum to a Dub...More Button

There is no doubt that there is need for an express provision to the effect that nothing in the Bill or the Dublin Convention would authorise the transfer of an applicant for asylum to a Dublin Con...More Button

On Committee Stage the Minister suggested that these amendments could be interpreted as suggesting that Ireland could not trust its fellow EU member states to fulfil their obligations under the UN ...More Button

As a result of agreements entered into by other countries some applicants for refugee status have been sent from country to country, with each country disclaiming responsibility for dealing with th...More Button

The enactment of the Dublin Convention into domestic legislation without the provision of separate safeguards will undoubtedly mean an applicant for asylum will be returned to another European Unio...More Button

I do not think the Minister or any other Member seriously believes that this loophole should not be closed off now. I was given no reason on Committee Stage to believe other than what I am saying....More Button

In the final analysis there is no substitute for certainty. I am not arguing the merits or demerits of any country's humanitarian concerns. I accept that there have been instances of tremendous h...More Button

I have tabled amendments to provide that none of the provisions of this Bill or the Dublin Convention will authorise the transfer of an applicant for asylum to a Dublin Convention country from wher...More Button

The Minister said there would be inquiries anyway, but there is nothing in the Bill which says so. Therefore, I have put forward an amendment stating that prior to the making of any order under se...More Button

In saying it is necessary I am not criticising the integrity of any other country in this respect. Nor am I making any argument as to how certain countries may feel about refugees. What I am say...More Button

The convention provides that the second country shall not transfer an individual to a place where it is likely that he will be persecuted. However, country X, to whom we transfer an individual und...More Button

I do not believe that we would be in any way insulting or sending out the wrong signal by passing these amendments which would close off the loophole.More Button

The Minister said there would be a motion before the House on the passing of the Dublin Convention, but she knows as well as I that any such motion is no substitute for legislation and that there ...More Button

In those circumstances we not only have a right but a duty to insert these amendments into the legislation. If we do not do so we will lose a golden opportunity to close a loophole in the Bill.More Button

Amendment declared lost.More Button

I move amendment No. 68:More Button

In page 24, between lines 8 and 9, to insert the following:More Button

“(2) Prior to the making of any order under subsection (1) of this section the Minister shall make sufficient enquiries and obtain sufficient assurances from any Dublin Convention country to whic...More Button

Amendment declared lost.More Button

Amendment No. 69 not moved.More Button

Debate adjourned.More Button

Refugee Bill, 1995: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage.

This is an enlightened Bill and its provisions will be of considerable assistance to unfortunate asylum seekers and refugees. I am very happy that we now statutorily recognise the plight of these ...More Button

It is a humanitarian Bill and, while I did not succeed in having as many amendments accepted as I would have liked, the Minister of State dealt with them and our various proposals with great courte...More Button

It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the contribution of the former Minister for Justice, Deputy Geoghegan-Quinn, to this Bill on which I compliment her. I should also compliment the Minist...More Button

I might also warmly thank the various interest groups, such as Amnesty International, the Irish Refugee Council and others for their invaluable help in ensuring that the provisions of this Bill ar...More Button