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O'Donoghue, John

Wednesday, 6 February 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 547 Nbr. 4


Written Answers. - Prisoner Transfers.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) will be returned here to serve the remainder of a sentence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can inform the Deputy that an application is expected to be made to the High Court in the near future for a warrant authorising the transfer of the person referred to by the Deputy and his contin...More Button

Was asked: if he has received a request from a person (details supplied) for transfer to Shelton Abbey; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this person is his mother's only living relative and th...More Button

The prisoner concerned was sentenced to five years imprisonment with the last 18 months suspended for possession of drugs with intent to supply. He is currently accommodated in Portlaoise Prison an...More Button

I am aware of the prisoner's personal circumstances and, accordingly, I have granted him several escorted visits to be with his mother since he was committed. Due to the seriousness of the offence,...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 958 of 30 January 2002, the amount paid in legal fees by his Department in 1999, 2000 and 2001.More Button

The Deputy will recall that information in relation to the legal fees paid in respect of the criminal legal aid and the civil legal aid schemes have been forwarded to the Deputy under separate cove...More Button

I would mention to the Deputy that the figures shown in the table include €913,846, £719,712.36, in legal fees paid by my Department in respect of the National Irish Bank and Ansbacher i...More Button

Written Answers. - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) has been re-admitted into the asylum process.More Button

I am informed that this applicant was readmitted to the asylum process on 1 February 2002 and that his case is being referred to the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner for consideration.More Button

Was asked: if a submission, made by the Tramore refugee and asylum seekers support group, will be considered as part of the appeal of a person (details supplied); the status of this application; and the timef...More Button

Under the Refugee Act, 1996, two independent statutory offices were established to consider applications-appeals for refugee status and make recommendations to the Minister on whether such status s...More Button

These two offices are the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, which considers applications for a declaration as a refugee at first instance and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal which consi...More Button

I understand that the person concerned has lodged judicial review proceedings against the decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal. In the circumstances, it would be inappropriate for me to comment...More Button

Was asked: the circumstances under which observers are permitted to attend interviews with applicants for refugee status; his views on a submission made by the Tramore refugee and asylum seekers support group...More Button

The primary role of the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner is to investigate each application made for a declaration of refugee status in accordance with the provisions of the Refugee ...More Button

The Act provides for applicants to be interviewed and these are conducted by staff who have received formal training in interviewing for the purposes of the Act. The objective of the inter view is ...More Button

At all stages of the process applicants are informed of the entitlement to consult a solicitor-legal representative and of the availability of the refugee legal service, an independent body which p...More Button

In conducting each interview, the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner seeks to protect the interests and keep confidential the claim of the applicant, and protect the integrity of the a...More Button

It would not be appropriate for me to comment on individual applications for refugee status having regard to the fact that applications by their nature are made in confidence with the expectation b...More Button

Was asked: the status of an application for asylum by a person (details supplied).More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 136 of 31 January last in relation to the asylum application of this person. I am informed that a translation of a document relevant to this case is c...More Button

Was asked: if he will consider the case of a person (details supplied) who is seeking asylum here; and if the case will be examined without delay.More Button

Under the Refugee Act 1996, as amended, the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner is responsible for considering applications for a declaration as a refugee at first instance and the Refu...More Button

A decision on the application in question will be made upon receipt of the recommendation of the commissioner or the tribunal as appropriate.More Button

Was asked: the number of asylum applicants awaiting a decision from the office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner; the number of asylum applicants awaiting an appeal from the Refugee Appeals Tribunal; a...More Button

I am informed by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner that there are some 7,700 asylum applications awaiting final decision in that office. This figure refers to all applications rec...More Button

The Refugee Appeals Tribunal has informed me that the estimated number of appeals on hands at end January is 2,460. This figure refers to all appeals received up to 31 January 2002.More Button

It is evident that the increase in processing capacity which has been put in place in both the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, ORAC, and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal as part of the...More Button

I have made 3,359 deportation orders since the commencement of the Immigration Act, 1999, to 1 February 2002. The majority of these orders have been made in respect of persons refused refugee stat...More Button

Was asked: the number of asylum applicants given permission to remain here in 2001 on humanitarian grounds after their application for political asylum was refused; and the number of persons awaiting decision...More Button

A total of 70 persons were granted temporary permission to remain in the State in 2001 after their application for political asylum was refused. This number includes some persons whose leave to rem...More Button

Question No. 184 answered with Question No. 179.More Button

Question No. 185 answered with Question No. 180.More Button

Written Answers. - Registration of Title.

Was asked: when an application by a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow to the Land Registry will be processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Registrar of Titles that this dealing refers to an application under section 49, that is acquisition of title by virtue of long possession, of the Registration of Title Act, 19...More Button

Was asked: if he will instruct the Land Registry Office to expedite a first registration for a person (details supplied) in County Mayo.More Button

I am informed by the Registrar of Titles that this dealing refers to an appli cation for first registration which was lodged on 20 September 2001. Dealing Number D2001SM007210A refers.More Button

I understand that due to the complicated nature of this type of case it is not possible to estimate a date of completion at this time. However, I can inform the Deputy that the application has been...More Button

Written Answers. - Garda Recruitment.

Was asked: the situation regarding an application by a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow to join An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the situation regarding an application to join An Garda Síochána by a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 179 and 184 together.More Button

As Minister, I have no direct function in relation to the selection process of Garda Síochána trainees. Recruitment into the Garda Síochána is by way of open competition...More Button

Was asked: the instructions which were issued to applicants who successfully undertook the last Garda entrance exam; when the persons on this list will be called to join the force; and if he will make a state...More Button

Was asked: the instructions which were issued to applicants who successfully undertook the last Garda entrance examination; when the persons on this list will be called to join the Force; and if he will make ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 180 and 185 together.More Button

As Minister, I have no direct function in relation to the selection process of Garda Síochána trainees. Recruitment into the Garda Síochána is by way of open competition...More Button

Written Answers. - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: the use of Shanganagh Castle; his plans to ensure the optimum use of the castle and changes proposed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Shanganagh Castle was opened as a detention centre in 1968 for young male offenders in the 16-21 year age category. The complex consists of the castle, which is mainly the administrative centre, ac...More Button

The majority of offenders who are transferred to Shanganagh Castle are initially committed to St. Patrick's Institution as this is the main committal institution for young offenders in the 16-21 ye...More Button

In the light of the very considerable decline in numbers in Shanganagh Castle, the director general of the Irish Prisons Service established a group to examine its future role in the prison system...More Button

Accordingly, it would be inappropriate for me to comment regarding the future role of Shanganagh Castle in advance of the recommendations of the review group being presented to and considered by th...More Button

Written Answers. - Residency Permits.

Was asked: when documentation will be in order in relation to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

The person in question applied for business permission in order to reside in the State as the owner and operator of a business here. The application was refused on 17 January 2002 as the applicant ...More Button

Written Answers. - Refugee Accommodation.

Was asked: the full addresses of the new locations planned for the accommodation of refugees and asylum seekers.More Button

In accordance with well established Government policy and in order to meet the ongoing requirements to provide accommodation for newly arriving asylum seekers, the reception and integration agency ...More Button

In recent months, the number of new applications for asylum has, on average, been of the order of 850 per month and the task of providing direct provision accommodation for them is both onerous and...More Button

Written Answers. - Road Traffic Legislation.

Was asked: the action the Garda is taking in relation to micro-lites which are not covered by road traffic legislation.More Button

I understand that the term “micro-lite” in this instance refers to a type of motorised scooter. I am informed by the Garda authorities that these vehicles appear to come within the definition of a ...More Button

I should also state that questions in relation to the road traffic legislation are a matter for my colleague, the Minister for the Environment and Local Government.More Button

Written Answers. - Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Was asked: his plans to introduce CCTV cameras in Castleisland, County Kerry.More Button

I am advised by the Garda authorities that no formal application has been received by the advisory committee, established by the Garda Commissioner to evaluate CCTV applications, in respect of Cast...More Button

Applications for Garda CCTV systems must be prepared in co-operation with the local Garda district and divisional officers and receive their full support. Applications may then be considered by the...More Button

Applications are assessed by the committee on the basis of Garda operational needs and include the following criteria; crime and public order statistics in the area; population and level of activit...More Button

The Deputy may wish to note that I announced late in 2000 that the number of Garda CCTV systems was to be extended. As part of the first tranche of this expansion, CCTV systems are to be installed ...More Button

Tenders have been sought and received in respect of the town centre CCTV systems for Bray, Dundalk, Dún Laoghaire, Finglas, Galway and Limerick. The evaluation process is in its final stages...More Button

The planning in respect of the town centre CCTV systems for Waterford, Athlone, Tallaght and Clondalkin is well advanced and it is expected that tenders will be invited via the EU Journal and the n...More Button

I am also conscious that some applications for CCTV systems that have been received by the advisory committee relate to relatively small schemes which, while of importance to the local community, c...More Button

To qualify for grant aid, certain minimum standards will have to be met and the gardaí will have to be allowed access to the system when and as they require it. Local authorities will have a...More Button

Written Answers. - Garda Divisions.

Was asked: if he will consider the reorganisation of the Garda Siochana Divisions in County Kerry to have Castleisland included in the Tralee area.More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, the day-to-day management and control of the force, including proposals for revising district boundaries, are matters, in the first instance, for the Garda authoritie...More Button

Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: his plans to update the Coroners Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The report of the working group on the review of the coroner service was published in December 2000, following a Government decision to approve the preparation of new legislation by my Department. ...More Button

Was asked: his plans to establish the position of a legal ombudsman; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Solicitors Acts 1954 to 1994 provide for a disciplinary tribunal to deal with complaints of misconduct against solicitors. The tribunal consists of ten solicitor members and five lay members. T...More Button

A member of the public who is dissatisfied with how the Law Society handles a complaint made to it may refer the matter to the adjudicator appointed under the Solicitors (Adjudicator) Regulations 1...More Button

While I am aware that individual members of the public do feel aggrieved from time to time, the existing system for dealing with complaints against members of the legal profession appears to operat...More Button

Written Answers. - Suicide Report.

Was asked: his plans to implement the recommendations of the special review group which published a report on suicide in 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The progress in implementing the recommendations of the special review group which published a report on suicide in 1998, in so far as they relate to my Department, provides for the following recom...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that I published a report of the group to review the structure and organisation of prison health care services in September 2001. This report made 43 recommendations, inclu...More Button

Improved access to the Central Mental Hospital is also being discussed with the Department of Health and Children and a review has recently concluded on the future service role of the Central Menta...More Button

I approved an action plan on drug misuse and drug treatment in the prison system in 1999 which advocated a broad general approach to raise the level of treatment for drug addicted offenders. This i...More Button

The director general of the Prison Service then established, at my instigation, a national steering group for prison based drug treatment services with a view to implementing the action plan. The g...More Button

The implementation of the recommendations contained in the report were approved, in principle, by Government on 18 October 2000 on the basis that the precise staffing and other expenditure related ...More Button

An appointment was made to the assistant governor post on 20 October 2001. While the recruitment of the co-ordinator is a matter for the Eastern Regional Health Authority, I understand that every e...More Button

The provision of methadone maintenance for new committal prisoners already on an approved treatment course in the community has been a key development in the past 18 months. On 25 November 2001 the...More Button

The provision of prison health care personnel and remuneration issues will be reviewed in the context of the report of the group to review the structure and organisation of prison health care servi...More Button

Support from a range of other services is available to prisoners. These include the probation and welfare service, the chaplaincy service and the Samaritans – portable phones with a direct li...More Button

Prison officers receive appropriate training in the recognition of and response to suicidal behaviour. This is covered in the induction programme for prison officers. Eight hundred staff have recei...More Button

A number of measures have been introduced in recent years to curtail the smuggling into and use of illegal drugs in the prison system. These include video surveillance, improved visiting and search...More Button

The following recommendations are being made in relation to aftermath and aftercare. Relevant professionals are to be trained in confronting and responding to traumatic situations, in particular ho...More Button

Counselling is to be made available for professionals who may themselves have been traumatised. The prison psychology service is available to all relevant prison staff in the aftermath of a death i...More Button

I can further inform the Deputy that in May 1999, my Department published the report of the national steering group on deaths in prisons. The group which was established under the chairmanship of ...More Button

The national steering group found that of the 57 recommendations contained in the original 1991 report, 34 were fully implemented and a further 15 were partially implemented. The group also made a ...More Button

Both the director general of the Prison Service and I are fully committed to ensuring that all possible measures are in place to prevent deaths in prisons. The provision of in-cell televisions, as ...More Button

I am informed that all recommendations, in so far as they relate to the Garda Síochána, have been implemented. I will communicate shortly with the Deputy with regard to the recommenda...More Button

In relation to the recommendations on coroners and coroner inquests, the report of the working group on the review of the coroner service, published in December 2000, examined all aspects of the st...More Button

Legislative preparation to give effect to these new support structures is already in progress in my Department and the question of how best to give effect to specific measures in advance of the new...More Button

Written Answers. - Coroner Service.

Was asked: his plans to bring in measures to ensure that family members and relatives of a suicide victim will have privacy at the coroner's inquest; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can inform the Deputy that in accordance with the provisions of the Coroners Act, 1962, a coroner is a statutory officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions, in relation to which he o...More Button

While I appreciate the issues which arise for the families and relatives of a suicide victim, I am informed by coroners that an inquest is, by definition, a public inquiry into a death and must the...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: if his Department operates term time; the number of persons who applied for this in 2000, 2001 and 2002; the number of persons who were accepted and availed themselves of the scheme; if persons wer...More Button

My Department continues to be proactive in the implementation of family friendly policies. The term time scheme has been in operation in my Department since June, 2001. Under the terms of the schem...More Button

The following table sets out the details requested.More Button

Of those who were refused, one was due to there being no suitable replacement and the other due to the person concerned being on a temporary contract. The Deputy may also wish to note that some ap...More Button

Written Answers. - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of robberies carried out in the Bray area, County Wicklow since 1 January 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that one incident of robbery has been recorded in the Bray area since 1 January 2002. I understand that this occurred at the post office on Quinnsboro Road an...More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Seizures.

Was asked: the number of drug seizures in the Bray area, County Wicklow, since 1 January 2002; the quantity and type of drug seized; the estimated street value; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of drug related offences in Bray, County Wicklow for the years 1999, 2000 and 2001; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 199 and 200 together.More Button

The number of drug seizures and the estimated street value of such seizures in the Bray Garda Station area broken down by type of drug for the period 1 January 2002 to 26 January 2002 are as follows:More Button

The Garda authorities have informed me that detailed information (i.e. by weight) on the quantity of drugs seized is not available, pending the results of analysis by the forensic science laborato...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that an analysis has not been carried out to establish which crimes committed in the Bray Garda district for the years 1999 to 2001 were specifically drug rel...More Button