O'Donoghue, John

Thursday, 12 April 2001

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 534 No. 5

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Ceisteanna–Questions Priority Questions - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if he has received a report into the alleged policing activities of Sinn Féin in County Kerry; the contents of the report received by him; and the action taken to date to prevent members of Sinn Féin ...More Button

Was asked: the findings of the report he sought from the Garda Síochána into allegations that members of Sinn Féin had been interfering with the work of the Garda Síochána in County Kerry; the steps he intends t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 2 together.More Button

If the Deputy had been listening, he would have heard me say that I had received a Garda report on the matter.More Button

In his anxiety, however, to launch a tirade of allegations, which are not fully correct, he decided to ignore the first part of my reply. Regarding zero tolerance, I have explained on numerous occasio...More Button

Let us leave that matter aside for the moment. It is completely inaccurate to say that there are gangs marauding around County Kerry intimidating people. There have been complaints in specific areas ...More Button

Garda investigations into the matters in question are under way and there is every possibility that there will be prosecutions with convictions ensuing. Vigilantism is, most certainly, bad for democra...More Button

I do not have a sufficiency of detail to enable me to reply to Deputy Howlin on the incident in Wexford, but agree with the general point made.More Button

I know that a certain person, who states that he is a member of Sinn Féin, has stated publicly that he was involved in recovering what he described as stolen property and returning it to its original ...More Button

Much as I might be tempted to reply directly to Deputy Howlin's questions, I would be rightly censured in this House and elsewhere were I to engage upon specifics which might ultimately prejudice a pr...More Button

Nor will I become involved in seeking to finger any individual or individuals.More Button

All I have said is that one individual in the Kerry case came forward and said that he was involved in this form of activity. Therefore, I could not obviously be prejudicing anything in relation to a...More Button

—in a public forum such as this—More Button

—to provide a possible defence for any individual in a court. It is the Parliament of Ireland, Deputy Howlin, but it is not a court.More Button

Ceisteanna–Questions Priority Questions - Prison Medical Service.

Was asked: if he has received correspondence from a person (details supplied) regarding an integrated complementary medical service for prisoners at Mountjoy women's prison; if so, if he will state the nature of...More Button

I can confirm that I have recently received correspondence in relation to this issue from the person referred to. The position is that a cranial osteopathy practitioner who has done work in the past w...More Button

—although it does occur to me that a number of people here would do well to engage in the exercise. It claims to give healing energy to patients involved in this type of treatment. Prisoners' health c...More Button

Last year, following a previous bid for funding for this form of treatment, which was supported by various claims regarding the involvement of this organisation in various English prisons, the directo...More Button

I have not tried the hooch either so I do not know whether it is better or worse.More Button

Ceisteanna–Questions Priority Questions - CCTV Systems.

Was asked: when the closed circuit television system will be operational in Bray, County Wicklow; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a large number of cars had their tyres slashed in the town on 6 ...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, I announced last November that a total of £12 million was to be allocated towards the installation of CCTV systems nationwide over the next three years as part of the Garda...More Button

To answer the last question first, there is a Garda committee dealing with the question of prioritising towns for CCTV and that advice is taken on board in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law ...More Button

—representing a cumulative fall on the all time high 1995 levels of more than 24%.More Button

Those reductions are unprecedented. There are people who will not want to accept these facts, in other words, when the case is proven they say that the book is wrong.More Button

I understand from the Garda authorities that the crime level in Bray has decreased for the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year and that the incident where tyres wer...More Button

Ceisteanna–Questions Priority Questions - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: the reason a car involved in a fatal road accident was scrapped by gardaí before the driver (details supplied) who was charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a person (details supplied) a...More Button

At the outset I must state that I am somewhat limited in what I can say in this case as the matter is due before Cork Circuit Court on 1 May 2001. I have been informed by the Garda authorities that a ...More Button

The position is that it is a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal. Obviously I have no control, for very desirable reasons, over what the Director of Public Prosecutions may do in ...More Button

Other Questions. - Attacks on Bus Drivers.

Was asked: the initiatives he proposes to take to protect from attack bus drivers who provide a bus service to the Tallaght area and to secure the safety of bus drivers and law abiding residents of Tallaght.More Button

Was asked: if he will meet with Dublin Bus drivers in connection with the ongoing curtailment of the bus service to west Tallaght, Dublin 24, to discuss the need for additional security for such drivers; and if ...More Button

Was asked: the initiatives he proposes to take to protect bus drivers from attack who provide a bus service to the Tallaght area and to secure the safety of bus drivers and law abiding residents of Tallaght.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 6, 24 and 181 together.More Button

I am very concerned that lawlessness from a small number of youths can curtail much needed bus services to the Tallaght area. As the House will be aware, I have placed a high priority on promoting mea...More Button

I must first state that a considerable number of gardaí have been diverted from their regular duties to deal with the foot and mouth crisis. In all, in excess of 1,300 gardaí have been sent to the Bor...More Button

However, I trust that the measures which have been put in place will be successful. With regard to the issue of zero tolerance, I do not want to rehearse the arguments again but, in the context of wh...More Button

The number of gardaí stationed at Tallaght Garda station increased from 138 in April 1998 to 159 on 31 December 2000.More Button

The Tallaght area is also patrolled by the divisional traffic unit based at Terenure, which had a strength, as of 1 March, of 14 members of all ranks, two of whom are drawn from Tallaght Garda station...More Button

It is obviously the primary responsibility of any carrier to ensure that the people it is carrying on a given vehicle are safe. It is the objective and duty of the Garda Síochána to enforce the law of...More Button

We now have sufficient prison places to cater for those found guilty of offences.More Button

I have indicated to Deputy Conor Lenihan, who discussed this matter with me on a number of occasions in private and in a sincere manner—More Button

—that I would be happy to meet bus drivers' representatives.More Button

It speaks for itself.More Button

Operation Saferoute, which, without question, appears to be working, includes provision for greater patrolling. There was a quick response from the authorities in relation to this matter and no amount...More Button

I have already indicated to the House that there has been a considerable increase in the number of gardaí allocated to Tallaght Garda station. I also indicated that certain measures were put in place ...More Button

I accept that we have experienced manpower difficulties in certain areas as a result of the foot and mouth crisis. Since the Government came to office, the number of gardaí has increased by 1,000. How...More Button

I answered that.More Button

The authorities involved in the criminal justice system have certainly re-engaged with the people of Tallaght since the demise of the Rainbow Coalition.More Button

I explained to Deputy Lenihan on a number of occasions that I would be happy to meet representatives of the bus drivers. I hope crime rates will continue to fall at the fast rate at which they are fal...More Button

Other Questions. - Prisons Building Programme.

Was asked: the original contract price for the construction of the new prison at Portlaoise, County Laois; the final cost of construction and fitting out; the extent to which these costs exceeded the original co...More Button

Was asked: the original contract price for the construction of the new prison at Portlaoise, County Laois; the final cost of construction and fitting out; the extent to which these costs exceeded the original co...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 7 and 176 together. The initial contract price for the construction of the Midlands Prison was £36.9 million, including a retention of £600,000. This contract, which w...More Button

For security reasons locking systems are installed by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to ensure outside agencies or bodies will not be aware of them.More Button

It is a question of security.More Button

In Deputy Howlin's time there were neither locks nor keys because there were not any prison places.More Button

The works included in the original building contracts are separate and distinct from those items required to be provided for subsequently. There is no question of the original contract price having be...More Button

If we could have silence from the stalls, I will finish the answer.More Button

I outlined the cost of the Midlands Prison in my initial reply. The initial contract price was £36.9 million. There were an additional 115 places which cost £6.9 million. I also explained that there w...More Button

There were difficulties in relation to Clover Hill and lesser difficulties in relation to the women's prison.More Button

There were not any problems when the rainbow coalition was in office because there were not any prisons.More Button

Other Questions. - Sheep Smuggling.

Was asked: the investigations which have been held by the Garda into allegations of widespread smuggling of sheep, especially having regard to the serious problems being created by foot and mouth disease; the sp...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Garda failed to fully investigate allegations of sheep smuggling into the State until the week ending 25 March 2001; if this failure facilitated the outbreak of foot and mouth disease h...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 206 together. I am informed by the Garda authorities that investigations being carried out by the Garda Síochána into allegations of sheep smuggling are an ongoi...More Button

It appears that there was widespread legal movement of sheep between North and South for many years.More Button

No, legal movement. As regards whether there is a subversive element involved in sheep smuggling, the Garda investigation is ongoing. I understand it is envisaged that a number of cases will be forwar...More Button

There was legal movement of sheep from the North into the South prior to the restrictions being put in place on 21 February. The movement of sheep after that, in breach of the restrictions, constitute...More Button

Other Questions. - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the plans for the redevelopment of Mountjoy Prison.More Button

Mountjoy Prison, like almost all of our older prison stock, is long overdue major refurbishment. Many parts of the prison are largely unchanged since the 1850s. The absence of in-cell sanitation throu...More Button

As the most modern female prison in the western world, the Dóchas Centre attracts hundreds of visitors annually. Prison experts and criminologists regard it as a model of its kind and it is the focus ...More Button

While it is recognised that there is still a drug problem there, as the Deputy mentioned, every effort has been made to tackle the issue of drug abuse among the prison population. The majority of fema...More Button

It is intended to try to find additional accommodation for prisoners who at present are in the Dóchas Centre and are the cause of overcrowding. Of late, there has been an increase in the numbers of wo...More Button

Other Questions. - Constitutional Amendment.

Was asked: if it is intended to bring forward an amendment to the Constitution to outlaw discrimination in the next tranche of constitutional amendments to be put to the people in summer 2001; and if he will mak...More Button

Other Questions. - Child Care Services.

Was asked: the reason for the cut from £61 million to £25 million in the capital allocation for child care; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Other Questions. - Asylum Seekers.

Was asked: the steps being taken to address the needs of under-age asylum seekers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Section 8(5) of the Refugee Act, 1996, as amended, provides that where it appears to an immigration officer or an authorised officer in the office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner that a child...More Button

There has been, as the Deputy indicated, a huge increase in the numbers of minors being dealt with by the health boards. In 1999 the numbers were 94, in 2000 the number was 517 and this year to date t...More Button

Written Answers - Investigation Procedures.

Was asked: the procedures in place to return items to individuals from whom they have been taken as part of an investigation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the procedures in place to inform an individual who has been the subject of an investigation, that a file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and to keep that person informed of the p...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 and 66 together. I am informed by Garda authorities that the Garda Síochána is not legally obliged to inform a suspect of the progress of an investigation. In some ...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Releases.

Was asked: if the proposed arrangements for dealing with persons on the run who committed crimes in Northern Ireland prior to the ceasefire will also apply to those who committed crimes in this jurisdiction prio...More Button

Was asked: whether the arrangements for dealing with persons who are on the run for crimes committed in Northern Ireland prior to the ceasefire will also apply to those who committed crimes in this jurisdiction ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 166 together. On 29 September 2000 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announced that the British Government would no longer pursue the extradition of 2...More Button

Written Answers - Missing Persons.

Was asked: the number of reported cases of missing persons in each of the past 12 months; the degree to which such persons have subsequently been located; the number still outstanding; and if he will make a stat...More Button

Was asked: the progress made to date in the Garda investigation into the disappearance and suspected murder of a number of women in the Leinster area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which a dedicated division or section exists within the Garda to monitor and investigate persons reported as missing; if he has proposals to upgrade activities in this area; and if he wi...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 15, 46 and 195 together. As I informed the Deputy in my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 160 on 7 February 2001, statistics for the year 2000 are unavailable but wi...More Button

Written Answers - Rights of People with Disabilities.

Was asked: if he intends reviewing the 3% target for employment of people with disabilities in the public service.More Button

The Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF) commits every Department to taking appropriate action to ensure agencies under its aegis achieve the 3% target for the employment of people with disabil...More Button

Written Answers - Immigration Policy.

Was asked: the reason, in his reply to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 106 to 108, inclusive, of 1 March 2001, he stated that the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture did not issue an annual report in 1...More Button

As I previously stated in my answer of 1 March 2001, the European Committee against Torture did not issue an annual report for the year 1996. The report referred to by the Deputy is titled “7th Genera...More Button

Written Answers - Land Registry.

Was asked: his views on whether it is acceptable that the State should effectively be running the Land Registry at a substantial annual profit of more than £12 million during the year 2000 while not providing th...More Button

I am informed by the Registrar of Titles and Deeds that the income of the Land Registry and the Registry of Deeds for 2000 amounted to £34 million for services provided and applications lodged. I am f...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Review.

Was asked: the position with regard to the efficiency review of the Garda being carried out by a company (details supplied) under the SMI; if he will give an undertaking that no further Garda stations will be cl...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that, under the strategic management initiative, a fundamental review of all aspects of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Garda Síochána was completed in 1997. The Gover...More Button

Written Answers - Gender Balance.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the figures for gender balance in regard to State boards or bodies, reflected in the quarterly returns made by other Departments to his Department; and if he will make...More Button

Guidelines in the form of a Government decision taken in March 1993 were issued to all Departments. The Government decided that Ministers should endeavour to have a minimum of 40% of both men and wome...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: if, in regard to recent figures showing that so-called joyriding offences had reached their highest level for 15 years, his Department or the Garda is considering any new initiatives to deal with this...More Button

Joyriding is a complex issue which, while requiring significant inputs from the criminal justice system, can only be tackled to meaningful and lasting effect through a multi-faceted and multi-agency ...More Button

Written Answers - Illegal Activity.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a reported illegal activity (details supplied); if he has carried out an investigation into this mater; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware of the newspaper report to which the Deputy refers but I have been informed by the Garda authorities that no complaints have been received by the Garda regarding the issue.More Button

Written Answers - Re-admission Agreements.

Was asked: the nature of the agreement reached with the Nigerian Government regarding the return to that country of those who are refused asylum here; the steps he is taking to ensure the safety of such people h...More Button

The purpose of the re-admission agreement with Nigeria is, inter alia, to provide an agreed and structured mechanism within which the repatriation of Nigerian nationals can be effected. It obviates th...More Button

Written Answers - Anti-Racism Measures.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on forthcoming initiatives by the Government to combat racism.More Button

Was asked: if he will elaborate on the Government's policy on racism; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 25 and 62 together.More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Abuses.

Was asked: the investigation which has been held into claims by an adviser to the UN working group on slavery (details supplied) that women from the Baltic countries have been brought here to work as prostitutes...More Button

I understand from the Garda that there is no evidence of trafficking in women from the Baltic countries to this jurisdiction for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There is, of course, no room for co...More Button

Written Answers - Drugs In Prisons.

Was asked: the measures that have been introduced to prevent the use of illegal drugs in Mountjoy Prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

It is the firm policy of both my Department and the Prison Service to take all possible measures, short of the kind of searches that would be considered abusive, to prevent drugs getting into prisons....More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if he anticipates that arrests will take place following the return of a file by the Director of Public Prosecutions to the Garda Síochána in the wake of the Carty investigation and allegations of Gar...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding allegations of corruption and malpractice involving members of the Garda in County Donegal; when he expects that these investigations will be finalised; and if he will make a st...More Button

Was asked: the number of arrests made in the case of the investigation into Garda malpractice in the Donegal division; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 28, 35 and 45 together. I am informed by the Garda that the investigation conducted by an Assistant Commissioner has been concluded and a file has been submitted to th...More Button

Was asked: the result of the inquiries conducted into the trips undertaken at the expense of a company (details supplied) by members of the Garda Síochána transport division; and the action taken as a consequenc...More Button

Was asked: the result of the inquiries conducted into the trips undertaken at the expense of a company (details supplied) by members of the Garda Síochána transport division; and the action taken as a consequenc...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 179 together. A newspaper article, published on Sunday, 11 February 2001, alleged that members of the Garda Síochána and a civilian employee at Garda Headquarte...More Button

Written Answers - Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Was asked: if he will give priority to Carlow for the installation of closed circuit television in view of the financial commitment of Carlow Urban District Council to the project.More Button

All applications for Garda CCTV systems must be prepared in co-operation with the local Garda District and Divisional Officers and receive their full support. Funding for Garda CCTV systems is normall...More Button

Written Answers - Age Discrimination.

Was asked: if the equality section of his Department plans any role in regard to ensuring that customers of insurance companies are not discriminated against on grounds of age; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of age, in relation to the supply of goods and the provision of services generally available to the public, is prohibited by the Equal Status Act, 2000...More Button

Written Answers - Anti-Racism Measure.

Was asked: when it is expected that the review of the effectiveness of the law on incitement to racial hatred will be completed; when he expects to be in a position to bring proposals regarding amendments to Gov...More Button

As I indicated in reply to a parliamentary question from Deputy Emmet Stagg, No. 51 on 1 March 2001, and in other recent replies, the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989, has been the subjec...More Button

Written Answers - Courts Service.

Was asked: if he is considering the views of the Chief Justice on the courts structure, as outlined in his lecture to the UCC Law Society on 23 March 2001; if he agrees with the Chief Justice on the need for a t...More Button

I have noted with interest the views expressed by the Chief Justice in the lecture in question. I have not, however, had any formal approach in regard to courts reorganisation from the Chief Justice o...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: the progress made to date in the Garda investigation into the Omagh bombing; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my answers to Parliamentary Questions No. 31 of 1 March 2001, and 393 of 3 April 2001. Question No. 35 answered with Question No. 28.More Button

Written Answers - Drug Courts.

Was asked: if he will report on the operation to date of the Drug Court; if it his intention to extend the pilot programme to other parts of the country where the problem of drug addiction and drug abuse is prev...More Button

The 1997 Programme for Government included, in the context of measures to combat the drugs problem, the creation of a Drug Courts system which would involve court supervised treatment programmes for l...More Button

Written Answers - Legal Aid Service.

Was asked: the average waiting time for consultation with a solicitor at each of the Legal Aid Centres; if it is intended to increase the income limits for legal aid; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that the Legal Aid Board does not routinely record information relating to an average waiting time for people seeking a consultation with a solicitor. However, it does record t...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of incidents of street violence in the past 12 months; the number that were fatal; the number of cases in which charges have been preferred; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of cases in respect of which charges have been preferred against persons allegedly involved in street violence; the number in respect of which further action has been dropped; and if he wil...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 38 and 198 together. I am informed by the Garda that the final crime figures for 2000 are not currently available, but that they are being finalised at present and wil...More Button

Written Answers - Registration of Title.

Was asked: his views on whether the Registry Office would provide a more efficient and prompt service and eliminate backlogs if the total fee income of the Office was available to the Office to run its operation...More Button

I am informed by the Registrar of Titles and Deeds that the income of the Land Registry and the Registry of Deeds for 2000 amounted to £34 million for services provided and applications lodged. I am ...More Button

Written Answers - Victims Commission.

Was asked: the work which has been done in his Department to facilitate the implementation of the Report of the Victims Commission published in July 1999; if he has had discussions on this matter; and if he will...More Button

Was asked: the progress made to date regarding recommendations by the Victims Commission in those areas for which his Department has responsibility; if, in particular, a senior civil servant has been designated ...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in implementing the recommendations of the July 1999 Victims Commission report by Mr. John Wilson; and if a senior civil servant in the Department of the Taoiseach has been de...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 40, 43 and 49 together. Work has already commenced on implementing a number of the report's recommendations. The remaining recommendations cover a wide range of areas ...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the steps being taken to ensure that all information required by asylum seekers is available in a range of languages; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On making an application for a declaration as a refugee at the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner the following documents are issued to applicants: Information leaflet for Applicants for ...More Button

Written Answers - Courts Service.

Was asked: if he will consider amending Statutory Instrument 191 of 1999 to enable small claims courts to be utilised not only by consumers, but also by others such as retailers and auctioneers who have genuine ...More Button

Was asked: if he will consider amending Statutory Instrument No. 191 of 1999 to enable small claims courts to be utilised not only by consumers but also by others such as retailers and auctioneers who have genui...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 177 together. The small claims procedure is a special mechanism for dealing with consumer claims, within the District Court structure, which is designed to hand...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of a new Garda station at Castleisland, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As indicated to the Dáil, on the Adjournment on 21 March last, in the long term a new station is required in Castleisland and my Department and the Garda are in consultation in that regard. While I ca...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Medical Service.

Was asked: the reason the Prisons Service cannot recruit a pharmacist.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that, as result of open competition held by the Office of The Civil Service and Local Appointments Commissioners, a person has been selected and has accepted appointm...More Button

Written Answers - Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Was asked: the names of the towns that have closed circuit television installed; and the plans he has for involving other towns.More Button

Garda CCTV systems have been installed in Dublin's city centre, north central and south central, and in Tralee. The combined cost of these CCTV systems exceeded £1.8 million. The installation of a CCT...More Button

Written Answers - Refugee Legal Service.

Was asked: the steps being taken to ensure that the Refugee Legal Service will be provided with sufficient staff and resources to provide all required legal services without interruption to asylum seekers; and i...More Button

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that asylum seekers have access to free legal aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 65 together.More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Procedures.

Was asked: when he expects to bring legislative proposals to Government to establish on a statutory basis the new agency to deal with the reception of asylum seekers and the integration of refugees; the terms of...More Button

On 28 March 2000 the Government agreed with my recommendations for the establishment of a statutory agency, under the aegis of my Department, called the Reception and Integration Agency. It replaces t...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Accommodation.

Was asked: the steps being taken to bring all Garda stations up to a proper standard of accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

All Garda accommodation is continually under review to ensure that it meets the operational requirements of the Garda Síochána. Where it does not, then the required refurbishment, or construction, wor...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: when the promised immigration and residence Bill will be published; if he will discuss the heads of the Bill with the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights; and if he w...More Button

Was asked: when the promised immigration and residence Bill will be published; if he will discuss the heads of the Bill with the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Women's Rights; and if he will make ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 53 and 68 together. I refer the Deputies to my reply on 1 March last to similar Questions Nos. 39 and 99 (column 1345). As the situation has not changed since, I have ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of gardaí withdrawn from other divisions for duty along the Border in connection with the foot and mouth crisis; the implications for policing in other areas; the length of time he expects ...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of personnel and resources to individual areas, that 703 members of the Garda Síochána have been transfer...More Button

Written Answers - Report on Prisoner Release.

Was asked: if he has received the report from the former Secretary of Roinn na Gaeltachta (details supplied) into the review of the circumstances of the release of a prisoner from County Roscommon who was subseq...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that I received the report to which he refers on 2 April 2001. I am at present considering the report and, as I have stated previously, I will make the report available to the ...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the plans he has to introduce legislation to amend section 19 of the Refugee Act, 1996.More Button

Was asked: the plans he has to introduce legislation to amend section 19 of the Refugee Act, 1996.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 56 and 173 together. Section 19 of the Refugee Act, 1996, provides the legislative basis for ensuring that the identity of an applicant is kept confidential by all inv...More Button

Written Answers - Allegations Concerning Garda Síochána.

Was asked: the position in the investigation into allegations of bribery involving members of the Gardaí in Dublin, especially regarding drink driving offences; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I would refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 22 of 1 March 2001. I have since been informed by the Garda authorities that an investigation file into the allegations referred to by the Deputy i...More Button

Written Answers - Mediation Services.

Was asked: when the proposed mediation services, launched by the Director of Equality Investigations, will be operational; the way in which the service will operate; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

At the outset, I should point out that the Office of the Director of Equality Investigations is an independent statutory office set up under the Employment Equality Act, 1998, and that the director an...More Button

Written Answers - Immigration Services.

Was asked: the extent to which the new immigration reception and integration agency is effective; the number of people who have been dispersed since it started; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to the Reception and Integration Agency, which has been established following a decision of the Government in March last year. Pending the enactment of legislation, th...More Button

Written Answers - Motoring Offences.

Was asked: the steps being taken to deal with deficiencies in the collection of fines and the failure to pursue summonses issued for motoring offences; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I presume the Deputy is referring to the recent value-for-money study carried out by the Comptroller and Auditor General. At the outset, I should state that my Department welcomes the study which will...More Button

Written Answers - Escape of Prisoner.

Was asked: if he has received the final report into the circumstances of the recent escape from custody during an outside visit by a prisoner serving a nine year sentence for rape; the reason no announcement or ...More Button

I can confirm that I have recently received final reports from the Director General of the Prisons Service and the Governor of Arbour Hill Prison. The findings of both reports are currently under cons...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: the main findings of the investigation into allegations that a small number of gardaí operating in the Border areas may have been involved in acts of collusion with paramilitary organisations in the l...More Button

In 1999, a book entitled Bandit Country – The IRA and South Armagh was published which contained an allegation that the murder of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan of th...More Button

Written Answers - Road Traffic Accidents.

Was asked: the number and percentage of accidents in which engineering issues were contributory factors, as established by the review of all fatal and serious injury traffic accidents in the Dublin metropolitan ...More Button

In general details of road traffic accidents throughout the State reported to the Garda are forwarded by the Garda to the National Roads Authority which compiles and publishes a report entitled, Road ...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: if he will allow all asylum seekers who have been here for more than six months and who are awaiting a final determination of their application for refugee status the right to seek work; the number of...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my replies to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 61 and 152 of 7 February 2001 and No. 88 of 15 November 2000 which dealt with the issue of the entitlement of asylum seekers to enter i...More Button

Written Answers - Drug Seizures.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the number of seizures of crack cocaine in Dublin in 2001; and his views on whether crack cocaine is a growing problem in the capital.More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that no seizures of cocaine base, crack, have been made this year, to date. Four seizures containing cocaine base, crack, with a combined weight of 72.6 g...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Transport.

Was asked: the steps he proposes to take to ensure that all Garda cars are suitable for the purposes for which they are used; his views on whether the ten year old car in which gardaí (details supplied) lost the...More Button

Was asked: the steps he proposes to take to ensure that all Garda Síochána cars are suitable for the purposes for which they are used; his views on whether the ten year old car in which gardaí (details supplied)...More Button

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 164 and 178 together. I would like to begin by again expressing my sympathies and condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the two members of the Garda...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Transfers.

Was asked: the consideration which has been given to granting the Defence Forces a greater and increasing role in relation to prisoner escorts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The level of security on escorts is tailored to the profile of each individual prisoner. Armed escorts may be provided for prisoners who are considered a high security risk and who may attempt to esca...More Button

Written Answers - Conference on Racism.

Was asked: if he will attend the forthcoming World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in South Africa; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I will be attending the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance later this year. The conference is being organised by the United Nations and will tak...More Button

Written Answers - UN Conventions.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on Ireland's ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that Ireland formally ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination at the end of December 2000. The Deputy will recall that, on...More Button

Written Answers - Legal Aid Service.

Was asked: if he will sanction the appointment of a third solicitor to the Law Centre in Wexford in order to reduce the waiting time for appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that under the terms of the Civil Legal Aid Act, 1995, the Legal Aid Board has sole responsibility for the provision of legal services, including the allocation of staff to la...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Seeker Accommodation.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the level and quality of accommodation which is being provided for asylum seekers; the inspection procedures which are carried out on such accommodation; and if he wil...More Button

The Directorate for Asylum Support Services, now the Reception and Integration Agency was established under the aegis of my Department to provide, inter alia, accommodation for asylum seekers at locat...More Button

Written Answers - Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Was asked: the offices and administrative supports in place for the continued effective functioning of the Garda National Immigration Bureau; the progress with regard to a dedicated office block in a suitable lo...More Button

My Department is currently in consultation with the Garda authorities and the Office of Public Works regarding the provision of suitable permanent office accommodation for the Garda National Immigrati...More Button

Written Answers - Fireworks Displays.

Was asked: the reason fireworks are classified as explosives under the Explosives Act, 1875; if he will indicate his understanding of the level of appreciation that the general public enjoy from fireworks displa...More Button

Fireworks are deemed to be explosives under the Explosives Act, 1875, in the interest of public safety because of their dangerous character. In addition, they may not be imported unless authorised by ...More Button

Written Answers - Disposal of Car.

Was asked: the reason a car involved in a fatal road accident was scrapped by the Garda Síochána before the driver (details supplied) who was charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a person at Lehen...More Button

At the outset, I must state that I am somewhat limited in what I can say in this case as the matter is due before Cork Circuit Court on 1 May 2001. I have been informed by the Garda authorities that a...More Button

Written Answers - Alleged Vigilantism.

Was asked: if he has received a report into the alleged policing activities of Sinn Féin in County Kerry; if so, the contents of the report received by him; and the action taken to date to prevent members of Sin...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my replies to Parliamentary Questions No. 1 and 2 today. In so far as allegations of Sinn Féin activities in north Kerry are concerned, as I mentioned in this House on Tuesday ni...More Button

Written Answers - Small Claims Courts.

Was asked: if he will consider amending Statutory Instrument No. 191 of 1999 to enable small claims courts to be utilised not only by consumers but also by others such as retailers and auctioneers who have genui...More Button

The small claims procedure is a special mechanism for dealing with consumer claims within the District Court structure which is designed to handle such claims speedily, inexpensively and informally wi...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: if he will allow all asylum seekers who have been here for more than six months and who are awaiting a final determination of their application for refugee status the right to seek work; the number of...More Button

I refer the Deputies to my replies to Parliamentary Questions No. 61 and 152 of 7 February 2001 and No. 88 of 15 November 2000 which dealt with the issue of the entitlement of asylum seekers to enter ...More Button

Written Answers - Refugee Accommodation.

The Reception and Integration Agency, into which the Directorate for Asylum Support Services was subsumed with effect from 2 April 2001, is responsible, inter alia, for meeting the accommodation needs...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: if he will accept an application for Irish citizenship from a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person referred to in the Deputy's question has been in the State since 1995. He was granted leave to remain in the State in 1997 and this has been renewed annually since. Section 15 of the Irish ...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it takes approximately five years to process applications for naturalisation within his Department for families (details supplied) living in this count...More Button

Applications for naturalisation from the parents and children referred to in the Deputy's question were received in my Department in December 1997. The departmental files indicate that application for...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: if he has notified the Office of Public Works of his intention in relation to the property purchased recently at Myshall, County Carlow; and if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this decis...More Button

Following the purchase of Myshall Retreat Centre, County Carlow, by the Office of Public Works for use as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers, representations were made by the South Eastern Hea...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: the funding which was allocated under the equal opportunities child care programme for the year 2000, giving details for each grant category whether staffing or capital for community-based or not-for-...More Button

The funding allocated under the equal opportunities child care programme during 2000 in the grant categories to which the Deputy refers was £21,454,498. In addition, funding totalling more than £8.37 ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Recruitment.

Was asked: if, in relation to eligibility for qualification to train as a prospective member of the Garda Síochána, he will outline the rules concerning the weight of the applicant; if he has satisfied himself t...More Button

Applicants for recruitment to the Garda Síochána undergo a medical examination in order to decide on their suitability to undergo the demanding physical training required of Garda trainees. As part of...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: if and when an application by a person (details supplied) in County Kildare for Irish citizenship will be considered; if dual citizenship is attainable at present; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

I have been informed that there is no record in the immigration and citizenship division of my Department of an application for Irish citizenship having been received from the person referred to by th...More Button

Written Answers - Extradition Requests.

Was asked: if, having regard to his replies to previous parliamentary questions and notwithstanding his reply to Parliamentary Question No. 130 of 5 April 2001, he will state the precise position regarding the p...More Button

My Department has received from the governor of Clover Hill Prison a copy of a letter dated 6 April 2001 from the person in question addressed to the chief registrar of the High Court stating that he ...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of offences committed by persons while on bail in each of the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Statistics on detected indictable offences committed by persons on bail can be found in the annual reports of the Garda Síochána, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library. The most rece...More Button

Was asked: the number of offences recorded as being committed by persons on the day of release from prison in the course of the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been advised by the director general of the Prison Service that statistics are not maintained in such a way as to enable the precise information sought by the Deputy to be readily available. Th...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Releases.

Was asked: the procedures followed in regard to requests for unsupervised day or other release from prison; if these procedures are adhered to in all cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

All prisoners have the opportunity to make requests for temporary release through their prison governor. Decisions on temporary release applications and the general management of prison sentences are ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the extent to which extra patrol cars have been made available on a 24 hour basis throughout north Kildare and throughout County Kildare; the extent to which this has occurred in the rest of the count...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities who are responsible for the detailed allocation of personnel and resources to individual areas that the districts of Naas and Kildare together with the stations ...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: the further progress which has taken place in regard to the provision of extra accommodation and support services for juvenile offenders; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

This Government's prisons building programme includes special provision for purpose built accommodation exclusively for holding juveniles aged 16 to 17 years. This accommodation will be required under...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Staff.

Was asked: the degree to which the number of prison officers is sufficient to meet requirements; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are 3,229 staff attached to the Prisons Service, of whom some 846 have been recruited since 1997. They have approximately 3,200 prisoners in their care on a daily basis.More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: the number of cases in respect of which two or more prisoners share a cell in the various prisons throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following table.More Button

Was asked: the number of prisoners currently located in each of the prisons throughout the country; the degree to which overcrowding has been alleviated or is ongoing; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

The following table gives a breakdown of where prisoners were located on 9 April 2001. More Button

Written Answers - Garda Recruitment.

Was asked: the current strength of the Garda Síochána; his plans for further recruitment in line with requirements; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the current strength of An Garda Síochána, all ranks, as at 10 April 2001 is 11,689, the highest it has ever been. The programme for Government contains a ...More Button

Written Answers - Road Traffic Offences.

Was asked: the procedure - where a person is found to have drugs in their system while driving a motor vehicle - adopted by the Garda Síochána at the Garda station, at the medical bureau and at Abbotstown Labora...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a study by doctors at the Medical Bureau of Road Safety at University College Dublin of people driving under the influence of drugs which on an analysis of samples b...More Button

Was asked: the number of people who have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs contrary to section 49 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, in each of the years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.More Button

Was asked: the type of equipment which is provided for the Garda Síochána for the testing of people driving under the influence of drugs.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 201 to 204, inclusive, together. I refer the Deputy to my reply to Questions Nos. 165 and 166 of 22 February 2001 concerning the procedures adopted by the Garda Síochá...More Button

Written Answers - Law on Trespass.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that the existing law on trespass adequately protects owners and neighbours from the invasion of vacant property by persons without authorisation and the conduct thereon of...More Button

The legal position in relation to trespass is that it is a civil wrong and, for the most part, falls to be addressed by means of civil remedy. In that context, the usual remedy which an aggrieved prop...More Button


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