McDowell, Michael

Tuesday, 8 February 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 597 No. 2

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Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if he intends introducing privacy rules or legislation in relation to the electronic or print media; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am preparing proposals to bring to the Government which will provide for extensive reform of the law concerning defamation, taking into account the work of the Law Reform Commission, the Commission ...More Button

Written Answers - Ground Rents.

Was asked: the proposals he has to simplify the buy-out by tenants of ground rent, in particular as applies to places of business; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy is aware that the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) (No. 2) Act 1978 provides for a statutory scheme for the acquisition of the fee simple by the owners of dwelling houses. Part III of the...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: when an ADM grant will be awarded to a playschool (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy may be aware that the equal opportunities child care programme provides grant assistance towards the staffing costs of community and not-for-profit child care services which have a clear fo...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Strategy Statements.

Was asked: asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the details of the extent of the involvement of staff of his Department in compiling, publishing, disseminating or in preparing for the compilat...More Button

The implementation and progress report of November 2004 was prepared by the programme manager in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. No other member of staff in the Department was dire...More Button

Written Answers - Family Law.

Was asked: his views on the best cost effective method to ensure that fathers pay agreed maintenance payments to the children in divorce cases and on the way to ensure that these payments are made on a regular b...More Button

The Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 provides a range of measures to ensure that proper provision is made for the maintenance of spouses and any dependent children of the family. The Act encourages coupl...More Button

Written Answers - Registration of Title.

Was asked: if the Land Registry office will expedite the applications on a folio for persons (details supplied) in County Mayo.More Button

I have been informed by the registrar of titles that an application for subdivision in this case was lodged on 13 December 2004, dealing number D2004SM011130M refers. I have been further informed that...More Button

Was asked: if the Land Registry office will expedite a dealing for a person (details supplied) in County Mayo.More Button

I have been informed by the registrar of titles that there is no record of an application pending on the folio in question at present. If the Deputy can provide me with the date of lodgment of the app...More Button

Written Answers - Prisons Building Programme.

Was asked: if he will give an update on the plans to build a prison in the north Dublin area.More Button

Was asked: the nature and extent of the advice given to him and to the committee engaged in the selection of the new site for the relocation of Mountjoy Prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the level of consultation which the expert committee or his Department had with the community in the Thorntown area of County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if contracts have been signed on the proposed acquisition of lands at Thorntown, County Dublin; the amount paid to date in respect of a deposit or other outlay; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 414 and 446 to 448, inclusive, together. At the start of 2004, I announced my intention to replace the facilities in the Mountjoy Prison complex with a new prison faci...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: the reason for the denials of work visas to persons (details supplied); the conditions of the visa which these persons may fail to observe; and the reason they may do so.More Button

The visa applications referred to by the Deputy were refused on 23 November 2004. The applicants have been notified in writing by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform of the reasons for ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if gardaí are actively investigating slashing of tyres of cars belonging to two persons (details supplied) in Dublin 12.More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda Síochána at Kilmainham Garda station is aware of the incident and that an investigation has commenced. I understand that no person has been...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the number of gardaí stationed at each Garda station in County Meath; the level of increase in Garda numbers that has taken place at all of these stations since 1995; if he has further plans to increa...More Button

Was asked: the number of gardaí in County Meath; the number of Garda stations in County Meath; if the construction of new stations or the expansion of existing stations is planned; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the number of gardaí in County Meath in view of the high level of crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 417, 453 and 454 together. I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the p...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the breakdown of crime figures in respect of robberies, motor offences, serious and violent crimes for County Meath in 2004; the way in which these figures compare with similar figures for 2003; and i...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda districts covering County Meath do not have the same administrative boundaries as the county, but that the number of headline offences recorded in...More Button

Written Answers - Censorship Laws.

Was asked: if he will report on the laws that govern the sale and distribution of games (details supplied); his views on whether some of these games are extremely violent and unsuitable for children; his plans t...More Button

The legislation dealing with the sale and/or distribution of video games is the Video Recordings Act 1989. In accordance with this legislation, video games are exempted works for classification purpos...More Button

Was asked: the basis on which the film censor allows certain films to be distributed as videos while others can only be viewed in the cinema; if he intends to review this legislation; and if he will make a state...More Button

The legislation governing the censorship of films and videos includes the Censorship of Films Act 1923, the Video Recordings Act 1989 and subsequent legislation. This legislation provides for the cert...More Button

Written Answers - Public Order Offences.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 277 of 6 October 2004, the steps that have been taken since his last reply; the progress that has been made to address the issues involved in view of the concerns...More Button

The Garda authorities have informed me that they continue to liaise closely with Dublin City Council regarding the area in question. Two families have been brought before the courts under the Housing ...More Button

Written Answers - Prisons Building Programme.

Was asked: if he will report on the option to purchase lands at Newlands Cross, County Dublin; the size and nature of the site; the amount of money lost by the State on the expiry of that option; the amount of m...More Button

Was asked: the reason the option to purchase a site at Newlands Cross, County Dublin was not taken up or was abandoned; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the nature and extent of submissions or objections which he received regarding plans to locate a detention centre at Newlands Cross; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 422, 449 and 450 together. An option to purchase the site referred to by the Deputy at Newlands Cross was purchased in October 2002. The site was selected as a possibl...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if he has plans to update the law that governs the running and procedures of co-operatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has no responsibilities regarding the subject matter of this question.More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: when a decision will be made on the application for permission to remain here on the basis of marriage to an Irish national by a person (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

The application made by the person in question for permission to reside in the State is currently under active consideration. It is expected that a decision on the matter will be made in the near futu...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if there is any proposal to reform the existing ward of court procedure.More Button

I am advised that the Courts Service, mindful of the need for a comprehensive reform of the law relating to the protection of intellectually incapacitated individuals, and in the context of a relevant...More Button

Written Answers - Criminal Prosecutions.

Was asked: the number of prosecutions for offences under section 31 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1988, as amended, in each of the years 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The number of proceedings commenced and convictions under section 31 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1988 are set out in the following table. Comparable statistics for 2001 are unavailable as they were...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the Garda strength, including all personnel at each Garda station in the Mayo division as of 20 January 2005; his views in respect of the 3,000 overtime hours allocated to County Mayo in the recent hi...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength, of all ranks, of each Garda station in th...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: if he will allow all the former Kosovar programme refugee parents who gave birth to children during their stay here between 1999 and 2000 to return to reside here with their Irish-born children; and i...More Button

The scheme I have introduced for making applications for permission to remain on the basis of parentage of an Irish-born child applies only in cases where the parents are resident in the State. It doe...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: when a holiday visa will be processed for a person (details supplied).More Button

My Department has no record of a visa application from a person with the same name or a similar name to the person referred to by the Deputy. The reference number does not relate to a visa application...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the status of the application by a person (details supplied) to stay here; and if a decision in the case will be expedited.More Button

The person concerned arrived in the State on 24 November 2002 and applied for a declaration as a refugee on 25 November 2002. His application was refused following consideration of his case by the Off...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: the current status of the visa application for a person (details supplied); the further time it will take before a decision is made; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The application in question was refused on 3 February 2005 and this decision will be communicated to the applicant as soon as possible via the Irish mission in the person’s country of origin. The appl...More Button

Written Answers - Hospitals Building Programme.

Was asked: the details of communications and nature of communications received from the Department of Health and Children requesting that the Central Mental Hospital be located on the same site as the proposed n...More Button

Was asked: if, in assessing the suitability of sites, his departmental expert committee was requested to give consideration to the relocation of the Central Mental Hospital on the same site as the new proposed p...More Button

Was asked: the reason he favours the location of the Central Mental Hospital on the same site as the proposed new prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 432 to 434, inclusive, together. While the location of the Central Mental Hospital is a matter, in the first instance, for the Department of Health and Children, I am ...More Button

Written Answers - Communications Masts.

Was asked: the location of each of the mobile phone masts in use by a company (details supplied) at Garda stations in Dublin; the number of masts that have planning permission; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

By agreement with the company specified by the Deputy, the following Garda communications masts are utilised by the company in Dublin. I am informed by the Garda authorities that as all of these masts...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: if there is an appeal system whereby unsuccessful applicants for capital funding for a community child care facility can have their case reviewed (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on...More Button

In December 2004, I announced a further allocation of almost €35 million in capital funding to community-based not-for-profit groups for the development of child care services. At the same time, my De...More Button

Written Answers - Film Censorship.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that the film censor is fulfilling his role as censor of films rather than classifier of films; and if he has had discussions with the film censor on this matter.More Button

The Irish Film Censor’s Office was created by the Censorship of Films Act 1923. The film censor is appointed to undertake the functions provided for in this, and subsequent, legislation, including the...More Button

Was asked: if the censorship of films legislation obliges the film censor to refuse a certificate to any film which is indecent, obscene or blasphemous or which tends to incorporate principles contrary to public...More Button

The Office of Film Censor was created by the Censorship of Films Act 1923. The film censor is appointed to undertake the functions provided for in this, and subsequent legislation, including the Video...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: if an application (details supplied) for funding for child care facilities will be considered as part of the ongoing programme of funding in the area.More Button

I understand that an application for capital grant assistance under the Equal Opportunities Child Care Programme 2000-2006, was submitted by the group to my Department some time ago. This is a seven y...More Button

Written Answers - Paternity Leave.

Was asked: the paternity leave which is provided for in law, from employers to fathers, prior to, during and after maternity confinement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

While there is no statutory entitlement to paternity leave, many employers in both the public and private sectors have arrangements in place providing short periods of paid paternity leave. Section 16...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: when he expects to utilise the unit adjoining St. Patrick’s Institution at Mountjoy Prison; the number of persons who were employed to work in that building and the number who are still in the employ ...More Button

The unit to which the Deputy refers is located at St. Patrick’s Institution. It comprises the refurbished cellular accommodation in ‘B’ wing of the institution and a new adjoining building which house...More Button

Was asked: the details of the tender process, applicants and applications considered, including details of the successful applicant, when commissioning the building of the vacant unit at Mountjoy Prison.More Button

There is no vacant unit at Mountjoy Prison. There is a unit which is not yet fully utilised in St. Patrick’s Institution which is the subject of a separate question by the Deputy.More Button

Written Answers - Legal Aid Service.

Was asked: the measures which have been put in place to ensure the ongoing and adequate funding of the private practitioners scheme, and that the service provided by this scheme is offered to any and all qualify...More Button

The allocation for the Legal Aid Board has been increased from €18.388 million in 2004 to €21.362 million in 2005, an increase of 16%. The operation of the civil legal aid scheme is a matter for the L...More Button

Was asked: the number of applications monthly for the private practitioners scheme throughout the State in 2002, 2003 and 2004 by area, together with the number of applications granted by area and monthly; and i...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that 27,241 legal aid certificates were granted in 2002 and 30,060 legal aid certificates were granted in 2003 under the criminal legal aid scheme. The figure for 2004 is not a...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of shootings and attacks on the person during 2003 and 2004 in the Dublin 15 area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Garda authorities inform me that the crime statistics compiled by the Garda Síochána do not relate to postal areas. Blanchardstown district covers the Dublin 15 area. The number of offences record...More Button

Written Answers - Detention Centres.

Was asked: the position regarding the planned location of the detention centre for young offenders; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

No final decision has been made with regard to the location of the detention centre for young offenders.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the number of Garda stations which have been identified as being in a state of poor repair or dilapidation or have otherwise been deemed unsuitable or inadequate accommodation for the number of gardaí...More Button

Most Garda properties are vested in the Office of Public Works. A survey of the Garda property portfolio was carried out on behalf of the Office of Public Works to determine which Garda properties wer...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the number of gardaí in County Kildare; the number of Garda stations in County Kildare; if the construction of new stations or the expansion of existing stations is planned; and if he will make a stat...More Button

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the level of Garda numbers in County Kildare in view of the high level of crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 455 and 456. The Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, inform me that the personnel strength of each of...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the large numbers of offences of sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and rape reported annually as opposed to the low level of convictions recorded; the reason...More Button

The recently published provisional headline crime statistics for 2004 show sexual offences generally decreased by 17% or 329 cases when compared to 2003; there was a decrease of 28% or 403 cases in se...More Button

Written Answers - Sentencing Policy.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the apparent inconsistency in court sentencing and in regard to cases of sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and rape; and if he has proposals in this regard.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my detailed reply to Questions Nos. 190, 192 and 193 of 16 December 2004. I have nothing further to add to that reply other than to say that, in general, the penalties for sexual...More Button

Written Answers - Victim Support.

Was asked: if the level of support available to the victims of crime, in particular the victims of sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and rape, are inadequate; and if he has proposals in this regard.More Button

The rights and entitlements of victims of crime in Ireland are set out in the victims charter which was published by my Department in 1999 following extensive consultation with all relevant agencies i...More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the number of personnel who, on applying for promotion in his Department since January 2004, have been required to sign an agreement that they are willing to decentralise; how many of them refused to ...More Button

Five officers have been required to sign an agreement, which along with other relevant clauses, includes one indicating a willingness to decentralise on being offered appointment to posts within my De...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: if he will consider proposals (details supplied) on funding child care services.More Button

Proposals Nos. 1, 2 and 5 come within my Department’s remit. I propose to deal with proposals Nos. 1 and 2 together. A review of the maternity protection legislation was carried out in 2000 by a worki...More Button


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