McDowell, Michael

Thursday, 20 October 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 608 No. 66

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Priority Questions - Paramilitary Activities.

Was asked: his views on the extent of criminal activity being engaged in by paramilitaries or former paramilitaries; his further views of the numbers involved; the activity involved and the measures proposed by ...More Button

The Irish and British Governments yesterday jointly published the seventh report of the Independent Monitoring Commission on the continuing activities of paramilitary groups, pursuant to Articles 4 an...More Button

The Government has, since January of this year, consistently stated that the Northern Bank robbery was the work of the Provisional IRA. Subsequently, gardaí uncovered a Provisional IRA money-launderin...More Button

My best estimate of the number of members of the IRA was between 1,100 and 1,500 persons. I have no doubt that some of them were capable of sadistic, thuggish and brutal activities in the past and may...More Button

I understand that Sinn Féin claims to have spent less than the Alliance Party on recent elections in Northern Ireland. Only a child would believe that, taking into account the evidence on the ground.More Button

Priority Questions - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if he will establish under the Commission of Investigations Act 2004, an inquiry into the deaths of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I would like to express my sympathies again to the families of Terence Wheelock and Brian Rossiter on the untimely deaths of their sons. I will speak firstly about the death of Terence Wheelock, who h...More Button

I am satisfied that the Garda Síochána is fully and properly investigating the unfortunate death of Terence Wheelock. Deputy Costello made a number of points. I have been informed that Mr. Wheelock wa...More Button

I am simply informing the Deputy of my understanding of the circumstances in question. He will appreciate that the cell continues to be in daily use. When the Garda discovered that a ligature had been...More Button

——the responsible thing to do was to photograph the panel as it was found and to replace it so that it could not be used in such a manner again. If an event of this nature was to happen again, I am su...More Button

Tribunals of inquiry operate in public, but commissions of inquiry do not. Deputy Costello should consult the relevant legislation for further details. It was always likely to be a private inquiry, un...More Button

Priority Questions - International Agreements.

Was asked: if representatives from his Department or associated agencies have travelled to Nigeria to monitor the implementation of the re-admission agreement entered into with the Nigerian Government in August ...More Button

A bilateral agreement on immigration matters, including re-admission, was concluded in 2001 between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The agreement has n...More Button

Every country of the European Union returns people to Nigeria. If I was to take on board the ill-considered views of the Deputy on this matter, nobody would be returned to Nigeria.More Button

He is not. A couple of others have equally ill-considered views, perhaps including Deputy Finian McGrath.More Button

If I were to state in the House, as Deputy Cuffe invites me to do, that nobody who comes to this country from Nigeria will be sent back there, the result would be plain for all to see.More Button

The Deputy is saying that. He is suggesting that nobody should be sent back there.More Button

The Deputies cannot have it every way. There has been a significant flow of people from Nigeria to Ireland, where they claim asylum, with a very high rejection rate. The predominant motivation of the ...More Button

Priority Questions - Garda Equipment.

Was asked: the reason the Garda Síochána must continue to operate a radio communications system which is insecure and totally out of date; his views on whether this continues to place the Garda Síochána at a con...More Button

I have always recognised the need to provide the Garda Síochána with secure radio communication systems. As the Deputy is aware, a pilot digital radio system covering the Dublin north central division...More Button

The contract is now the subject matter of a tender procedure which I hope will be concluded in the next few weeks. I hope after that we will be in a position to sign a contract with the successful ten...More Button

I thank the Deputy for reminding us that this system is so antiquated. I remind him that it was not dealt with in the lifetime of previous Governments.More Button

I am the Minister who is dealing with this issue. I have avoided the pitfall which was put to me of purchasing an entire system with a huge capital outlay. I have decided instead do it on an outsource...More Button

As usual, the job, which was left undone by others, is being done by me.More Button

I notice there were no supplementary questions.More Button

Priority Questions - Drug Seizures.

Was asked: the steps he has taken to address the cocaine and crack cocaine crisis.More Button

The national drugs strategy addresses many of the problems of drug misuse across a number of pillars — supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research — and implementation of that...More Button

To set the record straight, we are talking about kilograms rather than grams. Some 3 g would not be a great seizure rate in any year and we are talking about a very considerable trade in cocaine. I ho...More Button

I agree with the Deputy that we have a considerable problem with cocaine and crack cocaine as an emerging aspect of the cocaine problem. I agree with him that it would be great if we could devote more...More Button

Other Questions - Communications Masts.

Was asked: the agreement made in 1997 between the Garda Síochána and Esat Digifone on the erection of masts on Garda stations and the role played by him in making the agreement; the value of the contract since 1...More Button

The agreement was made in June 1997 between Esat Digifone, now O2, and the Commissioners of Public Works, the Minister for Finance, the Garda authorities and the Minister for Justice. I was not party ...More Button

I wanted the Deputy to know in case he is wondering about the wisdom of the agreement.More Button

The Deputy might like to know who was there at the time. It was a Government consisting of the Fine Gael Party, the Labour Party and Democratic Left which pushed through this agreement on its last day...More Button

The Deputy may appreciate that Deputy O’Donoghue was appointed as Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on 26 June 1997 but the agreement was authorised to be signed by Cabinet on 25 June 1997...More Button

This deal and all its provisions were done by the rainbow Government. What is interesting is not merely did that Government sign it on the last day in office, but it provided that Esat could extend it...More Button

It is not possible to provide a definitive figure of its value as some of the services provided under the terms of the agreement, such as calls within the 086 network and replacement masts, are provid...More Button

I suggest the Deputy stops digging. The terms of this agreement were agreed by the Fine Gael-Labour-Democratic Left Government. It was in such a rush to agree it, a provision was included that the ren...More Button

The terms provided for an extension up to ten years. I agree the terms are open to a degree of criticism. However, any infelicity in concluding the terms falls into the hands of those who negotiated i...More Button

Other Questions - Child Care Services.

Was asked: the committees and working groups in his Department, or on which his Department is represented, which deal with the issue of child care; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform has lead responsibility for the equal opportunities childcare programme, EOCP, 2000 to 2006. The programme was established to deliver the Government’...More Button

I agree with the Deputy that it is strange that child care policy is located in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The reasons were explained to the Deputy by my officials who attende...More Button

As long as it is our responsibility to discharge it, we will continue to do so as well as we have done to date. The Deputy asked whether there was a queue of Departments which thought it would fit nea...More Button

Other Questions - Garda Operations.

Was asked: the period of time in which Operation Anvil has been in existence; the cost to date; the number of overtime hours worked by gardaí; if he proposes to extend the programme and if so, for what period an...More Button

Operation Anvil commenced in the Dublin metropolitan region on 17 May 2005. The primary focus of this intelligence-driven operation is the targeting of active criminals and their associates involved i...More Button

I have already promised that the additional gardaí will not be put on administrative duties but will be put directly into frontline, operational, high-visibility policing such as Operation Anvil. The ...More Button

I disagree with the Deputy on his fundamental premise that the use of overtime in policing is suspect and that it should all be done on basic pay. That is not the experience of any police force anywhe...More Button

It is €1.1 billion.More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that every year provision is made for Garda overtime. The exact amount needed for overtime depends on circumstances. I do not set aside money specifically for overtime. When...More Button

——with a budget of €1.1 billion, it is necessary to pay for individual operations from time to time and there is nothing unusual about that. Police forces all over the world do it and it would be very...More Button

The Deputy referred again to the phantom 2,000 gardaí. I will invite Deputy Costello down to Templemore to see the phantoms marching in front of him. Who will look like a ghost then? The Deputy will b...More Button

The only phantom is Deputy Costello himself. The gardaí are very real, and they are flesh and blood.More Button

Other Questions - Crime Levels.

Was asked: his views on whether violent crime connected with gangland activities has got out of hand (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

While all forms of gangland crime are unacceptable, I reject the assertion that violent crime connected with gangland activities is “out of hand”. Unprecedented levels of resources are being made avai...More Button

I agree with most points Deputy Finian McGrath makes. People in many communities are experiencing the intimidation the Deputy mentioned. I am glad the Deputy stated that gardaí attended the meeting to...More Button

I cannot remember Deputy Jim O’Keeffe’s question.More Button

Yesterday I finalised some of those matters with the Attorney General. Some points caused difficulty and I hope to bring a raft of amendments to Government in the near future and to give them to the m...More Button

Other Questions - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the progress he has made towards decentralisation; the sections of his Department which have been decentralised; the sections which remain to be decentralised; the cost of decentralisation to date; th...More Button

Under the Government’s decentralisation programme close to 1,000 posts from nine agencies under the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform will transfer to seven different locations around the...More Button

The Department will stay in Dublin but a number of other Departments are scheduled to leave Dublin. The main sections of the Department of Education and Science are going to Navan, while the Office of...More Button

It made sense to get rid of it. A very large capital sum was obtained for it. We are also vacating an office block on Shelbourne Road, the site value of which would be €50-100 million. We are relocati...More Button

Other Questions - International Agreements.

Was asked: the Government’s plans with regard to the United Nations Convention against Corruption as to its ratification; the proposals for its implementation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The ad hoc committee for the negotiation of a UN Convention against Corruption met at regular intervals at the UN in Vienna from January 2002 to October 2003. The convention opened for signature in Me...More Button

I share the Deputy’s concern that we should ratify the convention as soon as possible, but there is a technical difference between Ireland and many of the civil law states. Such states are able to rat...More Button

I will not have the legislation out by then. If the analysis stage is complete, I may well be in a position to draft a memorandum for Government. To be honest, it will be sometime in 2006 before the t...More Button

Many aspects of the convention do not require law as they can be carried out on a voluntary basis. There is very little that we cannot do in the spirit of the convention, in advance of its implementat...More Button

Adjournment Debate - Extradition Application.

The trade unionists should take a look at the background facts.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: his views on the setting up of an independent traffic police force to release the Garda Síochána from time consuming duties in policing road traffic and related matters; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

I am convinced that the Garda Síochána is by far the most appropriate structure within which to locate the enforcement of road traffic law and road safety. Road traffic offences are serious offences, ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Disciplinary Proceedings.

Was asked: if he will be taking action, as provided for in the Garda Síochána Act 2005, calling the Garda Commissioner, Noel Conroy, to account for his failure to carry through his commitment to transfer five ga...More Button

The current position in respect of the five members of the Garda Síochána in question is as follows. One member was transferred on 24 June 2005 but is now absent without leave and has been taken off t...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements.

Was asked: if representatives from his Department or associated agencies have travelled to Nigeria to monitor the implementation of the readmission agreement entered into with the Nigerian Government in August 2...More Button

I refer the Deputy to the reply I gave to his Priority Question No. 3 of today’s date, which sets out my position in the matters raised.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: when the 2,000 extra gardaí promised in the programme for Government will be on the streets; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the exact number of gardaí recruited and trained out of the total of the 2,000 extra gardaí promised in the programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 15 and 159 together. The Deputy will be aware that in October 2004 the Government approved my proposal to increase the strength of the Garda Síochána to 14,000 members...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: about the delay in establishing an inquiry into the circumstances in which Dean Lyons confessed to a murder while in Garda custody in 1996; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On 27 June, I appointed Mr. Shane Murphy SC to conduct an independent review and undertake a thorough examination of the Garda Síochána papers relating to the making by Mr. Dean Lyons of false inculpa...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies.

Was asked: the number of operational sections in his Department in each year since 1997; the number of employees in each section since 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, I am responsible for the administration of the Department and a number of associated bodies and agencies which come within my Department’s remit. Ther...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if the Minister for Health and Children abandons the proposed Alcohol Advertising Bill which is due to be published before the end of 2005, will he take ownership of the Bill, publish it when it is re...More Button

The position is that while I have general responsibility for the liquor licensing laws in my capacity as Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, certain other Ministers, and their respective De...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Building Programme.

Was asked: if he will proceed with his proposal to build a new prison at Thornton Hall; the way in which he proposes to respond to the decision of Fingal County Council to initiate an area conservation order for...More Button

The proposal to develop a prison complex at Thornton Hall is proceeding subject to the relevant planning procedures. The decision of Fingal County Council to initiate an architectural conservation ord...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Communications.

Was asked: when he will have the proposed Tetra digital communications system installed and available to the Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Priority Question No. 4 today.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Operations.

Was asked: when he proposes to introduce a scheme of community policing as provided for under the Garda Síochána Act 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Work is underway, involving my Department, the Garda Síochána, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, on draftin...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: if he is carrying out an assessment of child care needs; his estimate of the number of children already taking up child care options; the extent to which they are in the informal and the formal econom...More Button

The Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme, EOCP, 2000-2006, which is implemented by my Department, has been an important landmark development in Irish child care policy. As this very successful inve...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Appointments.

Was asked: when he proposes to seek approval for his recently selected three person Ombudsman Commission for the Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the criteria he employed for the appointment of the three members of the Ombudsman Commission under the Garda Síochána Act 2005; the reason he did not resort to a public tendering process; and if he w...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 23 and 25 together. The method of selection of the members of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is set out in the Garda Síochána Act 2005, which provides that th...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: the nature of his investigation into the case of a person (details supplied); if he has satisfied himself with the Garda investigation carried out at the time; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

I am currently considering my response to a number of communications received by and on behalf of the person in question dealing with, inter alia, the matters raised by the Deputy. My response will is...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of gardaí who are on sick leave; the length of time each has been absent from work; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the number of gardaí unavailable for service due to illness, ill ...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: if he will report on progress over the past 12 months in expansion of the equal opportunities child care programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The current seven year Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme, EOCP, 2000-2006 has an equal opportunities and social inclusion perspective and facilitates the further development and expansion of chi...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Disciplinary Proceedings.

Was asked: the number of gardaí who are suspended from the force; the length of suspension in each case; if they will receive their full salary for the duration of the suspension; and if he will make a statement...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that the number of gardaí currently suspended is 27, all ranks, which represents about 0.2% of the force. Of these 27 members, the vast majority, 23 membe...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of gangland type murders that have been committed here in each of the past ten years; the detection rate in each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

All killings, regardless of the circumstances involved, are the subject of rigorous investigation by the Garda Síochána. While the term “gangland killings” tends to be widely used in the media in refe...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent report of the inspector of prisons which describes the system of slopping out in Cork Prison as unacceptable and that the prison was the most overcrowded ...More Button

I have been made aware of the contents of the inspector’s report on Cork Prison. Cork Prison had an original design capacity of 150 persons and has a current bed capacity figure of 263. On 18 October ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the reason the sum of €500,000 was spent on an information technology system for human resource management in the Prison Service, the use of which has been discontinued; his views on whether this repr...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the system in question was a generic IT system selected for the Civil Service as a whole. However, specific human resource management requirements apply in the Irish Pris...More Button

Written Answers - Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Was asked: if the new community based closed circuit television system funded through ADM will replace the Garda closed circuit television system; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

CCTV systems installed for the purposes of crime prevention and as aids to policing, which cover areas to which the general public routinely have access, such as town centres, fall into two distinct c...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Disciplinary Proceedings.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the circumstances (details supplied) in which a member of the Garda Síochána has felt obliged to lodge a complaint against the Garda Commissioner and his predecessor...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda member concerned was the subject of an investigation pursuant to the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 1989 in respect of correspondence for...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Education Service.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent report by the inspector of prisons that the training unit at Mountjoy should not be moved to the new Thornton Hall site in north Dublin; and if he will ma...More Button

I have noted the comments contained in the report of the Inspector of Prisons regarding the training unit at Mountjoy. The future delivery of services provided at the training unit is the subject of a...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the number of applications for asylum received in each year since 2000; the number of applications approved by the refugee applications tribunal; the number of appeals submitted to the Refugee Appeals...More Button

The information requested is contained in the following tables. Table 1: Number of applications for asylum received and the number of recommendations by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissi...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of gardaí attached to the traffic corps; if he will increase the number of gardaí; the reason so many road traffic prosecutions fail through faulty legislation; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether there are inadequate resources available to the Garda Síochána in terms of personnel and equipment from the point of view of enforcement of road traffic laws and speeding; his fur...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 36 and 47 together. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the total number of gardaí, of all ranks, allocated to traffic duties as at 19 October 2005 was 574. A ...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the progress he has made towards drafting new defamation legislation; if such legislation is conditional on the introduction of prior privacy legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

As indicated in the Government legislative programme, announced by the Chief Whip on 27 September 2005, the Defamation Bill is in the course of being drafted with a view to being published in early 20...More Button

Written Answers - Legal Aid Service.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the FLAC publication (details supplied); his views on whether its tenet that while equal access to justice is a fundamental human right there is no meaningful method...More Button

I am aware of the publication in question. The position is that my Department provides for wide access to civil legal advice and assistance via the Legal Aid Board and its nationwide network of law ce...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a witness in a murder case (details supplied) has retracted their statement alleging that their statement was made under duress and at the instigation ...More Button

I have received correspondence on the matter, a copy of which was made available to the Garda Commissioner. I have been informed that the Garda Commissioner has directed an assistant commissioner to e...More Button

Was asked: the date on which he was first informed about the serious allegations against gardaí in Ashbourne station; the steps he took following the receipt of this information; when the Commissioner appointed ...More Button

Was asked: when he was first informed about the serious allegations against gardaí in Ashbourne station; the steps he took following the receipt of this information; when the Commissioner appointed the chief sup...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 128 together. I have met some of the principals in my capacity as a Dáil Deputy and arranged for some of them to be met by officials in my Department at a senio...More Button

Was asked: the way in which a member of the Garda Síochána was able to obtain and sell Garda uniforms to film and theatre companies for years, and when the Garda became aware of the theft; if any of the uniforms...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that following a written complaint to the Garda Síochána, an investigation was initiated to establish the circumstances surrounding the alleged sale of it...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Reform.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent statements made by the president of the Human Rights Commission, Mr. Maurice Manning, when speaking at a conference on policing in a multi-ethnic society ...More Button

The Garda Síochána Act 2005 provides for the comprehensive reform of the Garda Síochána. The Act is the first major revision of the operation of the Garda Síochána since the foundation of the State. T...More Button

Written Answers - Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the allegations made to a programme (details supplied) by victims of State institutions regarding abuse that some solicitors charged the Residential Institutions Red...More Button

I refer the Deputy to the detailed reply I gave to Questions Nos. 655 and 663 on Tuesday, 18 October 2005.More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: if he has received the report, An Accessible Childcare Model, by the National Women’s Council of Ireland; if this report has been examined with a view to action in so far as it concerns his Department...More Button

Was asked: if he has received the report of the National Economic and Social Forum on early childhood care and education; if this report has been examined with a view to action in so far as it concerns his Depar...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 44 and 68 together. The Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme, EOCP, 2000-2006, which is implemented by my Department, has been a landmark development in Irish child...More Button

Written Answers - State Exonerations.

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) will be officially exonerated by the Irish State; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The events in which the person in question came to public attention are a matter of public record. No finding of guilt was ever made in the courts regarding the person in question in respect of the sa...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: his views on the ESRI view that child care is to become more expensive and more difficult to obtain; the initiatives, in addition to the EOCP, he will introduce to increase the supply of child care pl...More Button

Was asked: his views on the effectiveness of the EOCP in improving equality of opportunity for women in the workforce and improving equality of opportunity for children at a social and educational level through ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 46 and 63 together. The Deputy has referred to the effectiveness of the EOCP and to recent comments by the ESRI regarding future child care costs and availability. I u...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the arrest of a person (details supplied) in the Bahamas by the US authorities; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that this person may escape prose...More Button

The person concerned became an Irish citizen when he was granted a certificate of naturalisation on 24 April 1995. As an Irish citizen, he is entitled to hold an Irish passport. I am aware from a news...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: if he will explore the option of providing funding to community playgroups; his views on whether the non-availability of and the high costs of child care facing young parents today is leading to finan...More Button

Child care was identified as an investment priority under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. This was in direct response to the recommendations of the expert working group on child care establis...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if he has fully identified all of the money laundering, racketeering and drug running activities throughout the country; if the full extent of these activities has been monitored sufficiently to take ...More Button

Was asked: if he has identified all money laundering sources throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 158 together. The Deputy will appreciate that policing operations are a matter for the Garda Síochána. I am informed by the Garda authorities that criminal netw...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Funding.

Was asked: if he will provide details of all funding made available by him to groups providing support services to victims of violence against women from when he became Minister to date; his plans to increase th...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the primary responsibility for funding agencies providing support services to the victims of violence against women rests with the Department of Health and Children. My D...More Button

Written Answers - Homeless Persons.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a report (details supplied), commissioned by his Department, finds that a large number of persons surveyed as part of this study had been imprisoned fo...More Button

Was asked: if he has read the report (details supplied) recently produced by the CSER and DIT; if he will implement any of the recommendations arising from the report; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 52 and 64 together. The issues faced by offenders that are homeless or at risk of homelessness, both in the community and in custody, have long been recognised. These ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: his plans to open an inquiry into the Garda investigation and subsequent criminal proceedings surrounding the murder of a person (details supplied) in Tallaght in 1992; and if he will make a statement...More Button

I have had inquiries made in this matter and I am informed that the Garda authorities are satisfied that this case was the subject of a full and proper investigation which resulted in a person being c...More Button

Written Answers - Drug Seizures.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the widespread availability of cocaine here and the increasing quantities of crack cocaine that are seized; his proposals to tackle the problem; and if he will make ...More Button

The National Drugs Strategy 2001-2008 addresses the problem of drug misuse across a number of pillars — supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research — and implementation of the...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to correspondence (details supplied); if he met with some of the principals in the case in any capacity; if a file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions on th...More Button

I have met some of the principals in my capacity as a Dáil Deputy and arranged for some of the principals to be met by officials in my Department at a senior level. I regard the underlying allegations...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Data.

Was asked: the service providers the Garda Commissioner has written to pursuant to section 63 of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 instructing them to retain data as defined; if any service prov...More Button

Part 7 — sections 61 to 67 — of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 provides for the retention of telecommunications data by communications service providers for the purposes of the pre...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Medical Service.

Was asked: if there have been any confirmed or reported cases of MRSA in prisons; the protocols which are in place in the prison medical service to deal with such an event; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

A small number of cases of MRSA have been diagnosed in prisoners. These have all occurred in prisoners who have been patients in external hospitals for specialist treatment. All cases have been treate...More Button

Written Answers - Drug Seizures.

Was asked: the number of cocaine seizures by the Garda Síochána in the towns of Tralee and Listowel, County Kerry, for each year from 2000 to 2004, respectively, and to date in 2005; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Data provided by the Garda authorities in respect of seizures of cocaine in the towns of Tralee and Listowel over the period 2000 to 2004, inclusive, and in 2005 to date are summarised in the followin...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the number of civil servants in his Department dealing directly with the issue of child care; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, my Department’s responsibility relating to child care is confined to the implementation of the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme, EOCP, 2000-2006. This is a substantial i...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements.

Was asked: if the co-ordinating committee provided for in the readmission agreement between the Irish and Nigerian Governments has been established; if so, the details of its membership and activities to date; a...More Button

I refer the Deputy to the reply I gave to Question No. 3 of today’s date which sets out my position in the matters raised. No meeting of the co-ordinating committee as provided for in Article XIX of t...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: the number of non-nationals who entered here as unaccompanied minors who have now reached the age of 18 years and whose applications for residency have not been successful; his views on whether he wil...More Button

I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to leave to remain applications from persons who are now over 18 years of age but who originally entered the State as unaccompanied minors and made asylum ap...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the statement by a group (details supplied) that hundreds of homosexuals here are in long-term cohabiting relationships with partners who have immigration and reside...More Button

The organisation referred to by the Deputy has made a submission to my Department in response to the discussion document, Immigration and Residence in Ireland, which I published in April of this year....More Button

Written Answers - Drugs in Prisons.

Was asked: if the Prison Service will provide access to other confirmatory testing for prisoners whose initial mandatory drug test is found positive for illegal drugs, in view of the fact that false positive tes...More Button

I am aware of the potential for positive test results in the context of mandatory drug testing arising from consumption of prescribed medication. I assure the Deputy that the new scheme the Irish Pris...More Button

Written Answers - Consultancy Contracts.

Was asked: the number of consultants employed by his Department in each year since 1997; the cost of each contracted; the work that was carried out by each consultant; the number of contracts that were successfu...More Button

In the time available for response it has not been possible to compile the detailed information requested by the Deputy. The information requested is being collated at present and I will forward it to...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Drug Treatment Services.

Was asked: if the Prison Service has a policy that sets a maximum dosage of methadone allowable for prisoners; if so, the details of the maximum dosage; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Methadone is prescribed for prisoners as part of either a detoxification regime or, where clinically indicated, as part of a maintenance programme for prisoners who have either been on such a programm...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: if he will reopen the Curragh Prison, Fort Mitchel or Spike Island in view of the fact that the industrial relations dispute has ended; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Government approved a series of measures on 11 November 2003 in the event of failure to reach agreement with the Prison Officers’ Association on the change agenda aim...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: his proposals in regard to the privatisation of speed cameras; the way in which he will ensure that the proposal will not end up as simply a money making venture; and when he will bring forward legisl...More Button

A working group chaired by my Department and representing the Department of Transport, the Garda Síochána and other relevant agencies, carried out an in-depth examination into the engagement of privat...More Button

Written Answers - Road Traffic Offences.

Was asked: the reason dozens of speeding fines were struck out recently as reported in a newspaper (details supplied) on 16 October 2005; if he will report on the outcome of any investigation; the action he will...More Button

I sought a report from the Garda authorities on this matter and I am informed as follows. The fixed charge processing system, FCPS, is operational in Dublin, Cork City and parts of Louth and Meath as ...More Button

Written Answers - Deportation Orders.

Was asked: if the deportation orders in respect of two persons (details supplied) in County Laois under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 will be lifted or postponed until the case will be considered on huma...More Button

The persons concerned, both Croatians, arrived in the State on 4 February 2002 and applied for asylum. Their applications were refused following consideration of their cases by the Office of the Refug...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: if he will grant a holiday visa to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The application in question was received by my Department on 10 October 2005. Applications are dealt with strictly in the order of date received. As we have an obligation to provide the best possible ...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: if the application of a non-national for residency based upon marriage to an Irish national takes 16 months to process compared with the application of a non-national for residency based upon marriage...More Button

Applications based on marriage to an Irish national referred to by the Deputy are dealt with in chronological order, in fairness to all such applicants, and currently take approximately 16 to 18 month...More Button

Was asked: if it is his policy that a non-national who marries an Irish national and applies to remain here on that basis will be given permission to remain here during the 16 months it takes to process their ap...More Button

Applications of the type referred to by the Deputy are dealt with in chronological order, in fairness to all such applicants, and currently take approximately 16 to 18 months to process. Marriage to a...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: the status of visitors visa application for a person (details supplied); when a decision will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A search of the visa records held by my Department did not locate any reference to a visa application under the details supplied by the Deputy. Officials of my Department contacted the Irish Consulate...More Button

Written Answers - Refugee Support.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the first guide which has been produced in Cork advising child care providers all over Munster on the way in which to support the children of asylum seekers and refu...More Button

I am aware of the “Guide to help childcare staff support refugee children and educational services”, which has been developed by Cork City child care committee. I welcome any development which support...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: if he has received an appeal against the refusal of a visa for a person (details supplied) in view of the fact that this person’s spouse is working here for over four years; if he will take steps to e...More Button

The appeal against the decision of the visa application referred to by the Deputy was received by my Department on 19 September 2005. In the case of all non-EEA workers seeking to be joined by their f...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: when a decision will be made on an application for a person (details supplied) in County Limerick to be granted naturalisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The application from the person concerned for permission to remain in the State under the revised arrangements announced by me on 15 January 2005 for the non-national parents of Irish born children bo...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) has been refused asylum here; the further reason his Department when refusing asylum informed this person that they would not be deported as Burundi is not safe;...More Button

Was asked: the reason asylum and a work permit were refused for a person (details supplied); the further reason this person is now allowed to work when they have a full-time job available to them; and if he will...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 137 and 138 together. The person concerned arrived in the State on 11 October 2004 and applied for asylum. His application was refused following consideration of his c...More Button

Written Answers -

Was asked: if he will supply a list of the countries he deems to be unsafe for refugees to return to; the position regarding refugees and where they can go if they have been refused asylum by this country but ha...More Button

I understand the Deputy to be referring to persons who are refused refugee status but who may claim to be in need of protection on grounds other than those set out in the 1951 Geneva Convention relati...More Button

Written Answers - Irish Prison Service.

Was asked: his views on whether the prisons inspector has no mandate to comment on the issue of prison privatisation (details supplied).More Button

The inspector of prisons and places of detention, Mr. Justice Dermot Kinlen, was appointed in April 2002. His terms of reference are as follows: “To inspect and report, as the inspector considers appr...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: the status of a person (details supplied) in County Offaly who applied to remain here on the basis of parentage of an Irish born child; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to the reply I gave to Parliamentary Question No. 675 of Tuesday, 18 October 2005.More Button

Written Answers - Refugee Status.

Was asked: when he will be in a position to respond to correspondence relating to a person (details supplied) from 22 December 2004; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to her Dáil Question No. 674 on 18 October 2005.More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the reason no decision has been made regarding a person (details supplied) who has been seeking humanitarian leave to remain here but has not received news on this request for over three years.More Button

The person concerned arrived in the State on 26 September 2000 and applied for asylum. His application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commiss...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: if and when a holiday visa will be offered to persons (details supplied) in County Meath to visit here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can advise the Deputy that the visa applications in question have been approved.More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: if he will further extend residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The persons concerned entered the State on 16 April 2003 and applied for asylum. Their application was refused following consideration of their case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissio...More Button

Was asked: if he will review the case of persons (details supplied) in Dublin 6; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The persons concerned applied for permission to remain in the State under the revised arrangements announced by me on 15 January 2005 for the processing of applications for leave to remain from the no...More Button

Was asked: the reason the green card was not issued in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person in question made an application for permission to remain in the State on the basis of family dependency in December 2004. An initial request for documentation issued in March 2005 and altho...More Button

Written Answers - Refugee Status.

Was asked: if he will review the decision in respect of application for refugee or other residency status in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

The person concerned arrived in the State on 4 February 2005 and claimed asylum on 7 February 2005. The claim was investigated by the Refugee Applications Commissioner who concluded that the person co...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: if sufficient Garda personnel is dedicated to combating drugs, gun crime, money laundering, extortion or racketeering; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the focus on combating illegal drugs, gun crime and money launder...More Button

Written Answers - International Co-operation in Law Enforcement.

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the degree of co-operation between the Garda and police forces worldwide in the battle against drugs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that international co-operation between law enforcement agencies is achieved in a number of ways, including the exchange of strategic and operational intelligenc...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the level of co-operation between the Garda and other police forces, directly or through Interpol; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed that the Garda Síochána has an excellent level of co-operation with all EU member states on a one-to-one basis as a result of the Garda Síochána’s active participation in EU funded progr...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of gardaí and patrol cars available to or operating out of the Garda stations at Leixlip, Celbridge, Maynooth, Naas, Kilcock, Clane, Kill, Carbury, Robertstown and all other major towns and...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the number of gardaí and patrol cars available to, or operating o...More Button

Was asked: if adequate patrol cars and gardaí are available on a nightly basis throughout the Dublin metropolitan areas and the greater Dublin area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of gardaí available for patrol on foot or in vehicles on a nightly basis in the Dublin metropolitan area and in the surrounding counties within a 30 mile radius; and if he will make a state...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 153 and 154 together. I have been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the person...More Button

Written Answers - Computerisation Programme.

Was asked: the number and cost of all information technology or other high tech facilities provided to his Department in the past five years; the extent to which each facility is operating efficiently and in acc...More Button

In the time available for response it has not been feasible to assemble the full range of data requested. I can, however, inform the Deputy that expenditure under the main IT capital and current subhe...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the number and location of Garda stations throughout County Kildare that are open on a part-time basis; if so, the extent of same; the number closed altogether; his plans to improve the service in vie...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 the Carlow-Kildare division as at 19 Oc...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of gardaí detailed or deployed to the pursuit of serious crime such as drug dealing, money laundering, extortion or racketeering in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statem...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength of the Garda national units investigating serious...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: the amount of grant support that has been allocated in the past five years in the RAPID designated areas under the equal opportunities child care programme.More Button

The RAPID or revitalising areas by planning, investment and development programme targets the most concentrated areas of disadvantage in the State by ensuring that priority attention is given to these...More Button

Written Answers - Traffic Calming Measures.

Was asked: the extra resources he has made available to the Garda Síochána in counties Sligo and north Leitrim for the provision of speed control and Garda check points: the number of check points and speed cont...More Button

I regret that it has not been possible in the time available to obtain the information requested by the Deputy. I will be in contact with the Deputy regarding this matter when it becomes available.More Button

Written Answers - Road Safety.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that up to 100 persons are affected following the death of one person on roads; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can assure the Deputy that the toll of deaths and injuries on our roads is a matter of great concern to me. The human cost of road collisions is high. Road fatalities and serious injuries affect man...More Button


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