McDowell, Michael

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 635 No. 2

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Leaders’ Questions.

I am deeply grateful to the Deputy for not asking all the other questions for which I was prepared. I will answer the question for which I am totally unprepared, which is about what I have done to pr...More Button

Just like on the last occasion, I am absolutely confident that they will take a long, hard look at those benches and say “No thanks”.More Button

Deputy Kenny will not be in a position to put questions to either the Taoiseach or myself after the election not because he will be on this side of the House, but because of other events.More Button

People sometimes forget the situation that existed when the Deputy and a number of others around him were sitting at the Cabinet, while Deputy Rabbitte was sitting at the high chair of the Cabinet tab...More Button

Unemployment was 10.6%——More Button

——and it drove thousands of people to the unemployment exchanges every week. That rate of unemployment toppled governments across western Europe.More Button

That is the rate of unemployment and underperformance——More Button

If the people of Ireland want a demonstration of how poor a Government consisting of the parties opposite would be, they only have to look at that performance. Arrogance, deceit and incompetence all ...More Button

The Deputy raised the question of the achievements of the partners in Government. I remind the Deputy of something before I go on to our achievements. This is a special year.More Button

It is the year in which Deputies Kenny and Rabbitte collectively will be 50 years sitting in this House. I have attended meetings throughout the country and asked audiences to name one achievement by...More Button

Not merely are they an underachieving combination but they have no achievements to their name.More Button

When asked on RTE radio last Sunday what he could point to in his career in politics that was an achievement for the Irish people, Deputy Kenny said he had improved the St. Patrick’s Day parade.More Button

If we had to wait 20 years for that, God knows how long we would have to wait for any other achievement.More Button

I am loath to interrupt that babble. It is because I am follically challenged that I can say the Deputy is having a bad hair day.More Button

In regard to the specific ethics provision, which I understood the Deputy would raise on the Order of Business, that has been approved by Cabinet and will be brought before the Houses of the Oireachta...More Button

It will be brought forward as soon as may be and the House will have an opportunity to debate it. The Deputies should relax, it is coming.More Button

The Cabinet approved the text of the Bill and Deputy Kenny knows it is coming. He has merely rattled out a series of assertions. There are questions he does not want asked — his only direct question...More Button

As the Deputy knows, one of the functions of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform is to take charge of the promotion in these Houses of the legislation which was necessary to deal with th...More Button

If one looks to the amounts of money spent, €1 million extra was provided for disability in 1996 when the Opposition was sitting in that high chair. That was the extent of the munificence of that hig...More Button

The Opposition left the disabled children of Ireland high and dry.More Button

One would be ashamed——More Button

The Opposition would be ashamed collectively if it was reminded of how many special needs teachers there were when its party members sat at the Cabinet table.More Button

This year we have announced a five-year disability plan with an extra €900 million going into that area. Under the disability legislation, each child is entitled to have an individual education plan ...More Button

Each child is entitled to an independent appeal if that child’s parents regard the plans put in place as inadequate.More Button

The simple fact is that when Deputy Burton held office in my Department nothing was done by the Labour Party or Fine Gael for people with disabilities in this country.More Button

For stunts the Deputy has no equal. He comes in here——More Button

The Deputy should turn off the moral outrage, it does not suit him. He comes in here and asks me from memory whether I read individual letters a number of years after the event. I cannot give him a ...More Button

I did not say that. More Button

I did not say that. I am careful with what I say unlike Deputy Stagg.More Button

It is not rhetoric and bombast to point out that when the Deputies opposite were in office they did have a Department called the Department of Equality and Law Reform.More Button

Unfortunately it is true that its record regarding the disabled children of Ireland was pitiful and shameful and no significant resources were put into that area at all.More Button

Between 1999 and 2002, I had the privilege of seeing the Minister, Deputy Cowen, and others at the Cabinet table saying the time had come to remedy the disgraceful legacy the Opposition had left in pl...More Button

——and that money must and would be found for children with disabilities.More Button

This Government has ploughed record resources into dealing with disability. More Button

If they are going to shout me down, that is fine, a Cheann Comhairle. More Button

No Government has engaged in a more dramatic transformation of the resources available for people with disabilities than this Government. More Button

When we came into office——More Button

If Deputies are going to shout at me, that is too bad.More Button

I am not sulking.More Button

Leaders’ Questions (Resumed).

I am grateful to the Deputy for asking me a question which was envisaged by the procedure under the rules of this House, unlike the last two questions.More Button

Like the Deputy, I read the Sunday Tribune story’s suggestion that serving and former members of the Garda Síochána had abused their positions to favour one insurance company by giving it access to in...More Button

If it is not a forgery, then it is a matter of the utmost gravity. If it is a forgery, then that is another matter of the utmost gravity, but different inquiries will follow on foot of it. I share t...More Button

I share the Deputy’s concern regarding the article that suggested that members of the legal profession were being inveigled into short-changing their clients, whether the item referred to in the artic...More Button

There has been a dramatic transformation in this country’s compensation culture and, as a result, insurance premiums have fallen by up to 60% in a few years. If Deputy Kenny wants to hear of an achie...More Button

Regarding the compensation culture, it is important that claims be investigated quickly and settled early. It is also important that we avoid a system of dealing with personal injuries and road traff...More Button

I will address Deputy Joe Higgins’s point if he lets me speak.More Button

The Deputy made allegations inside the House about persons outside the House.More Button

I was about to say to Deputy Ó Caoláin, before Deputy Higgins interrupted, that I share his view that people should be clear when dealing with a person investigating an insurance company claim that th...More Button

Order of Business.

It is proposed to take No. 15, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the terms of the access to the Convention on the International Hydrographic Organisation, back from committee; No. 25, Cri...More Button

In case there is any misapprehension, I was willing to sit all day last Friday but people apparently objected to Friday sittings. I do not mind that.More Button

I was willing. More Button

I do not know. More Button

I am only telling the truth. I was willing to sit all day on Friday. More Button

I had no objection to sitting all day last Friday. More Button

I am just making the point that I was willing.More Button

We will take the recommitted amendments today and Report Stage tomorrow. There is plenty of time to debate the substance of the Bill in that context.More Button

Will the Deputies allow me to finish? Does everybody on the other side of the House think that they can shout whenever they want? More Button

Fair enough. More Button

At least I got an honest answer for the second time today from Sinn Féin, whose Deputies believe that they can shout whenever they want to. That is good. More Button

I appeal to the Deputies opposite to concentrate on what is in the Bill and not to bring in new extraneous matter because there was an interesting debate——More Button

The Deputies should allow me to finish.More Button

It is not.More Button

I am asking people to concentrate on what is in the Bill. We had an interesting discussion, and I am not criticising it, on a new proposition that we should treat unconstitutionally obtained evidence...More Button

I am not suggesting that.More Button

Yes but not all of the Hogan report is in the Bill. More Button

Would the Ceann Comhairle put the question?More Button

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 25 be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

The ethics Bill will be initiated in the Seanad. The Government has approved its text and it will be put before the Seanad at the earliest available opportunity, although I do not know the exact timi...More Button

There has been no broken promise. I understand from the Chief Whip that the House will reconvene on 24 April. The Government has considered the issue relating to the census, raised by Deputy Kenny. ...More Button

The Government has no proposals to introduce legislation relating to the term “accountant” as the term is rather generic. For example, there are turf accountants, as well as chartered and certified a...More Button

I believe I have answered that question three or four times in the past month. Serious consideration needs to be given to the issue of legislation to give effect to the protection of children by prev...More Button

There is very close co-operation between the PSNI and the Garda Síochána regarding dangers to children from sexual offenders.More Button

I will need to communicate with the Deputy on those matters. I do not know when the uncommenced sections of those Acts will commence. The Deputy will need to ask the Minister in question.More Button

I did not say another day. However, if the Deputy raises it in a week’s time, I will be in a position to deal with it.More Button

I do not know the answer to the Deputy’s question and it would be disrespectful for me to wing it.More Button

I do not know the section to which the Deputy is referring.More Button

If the Deputy does not know, how do I know——More Button

——and how can I answer?More Button

Corporate Manslaughter Bill 2007: First Stage.

No. We welcome the Deputy’s interest.More Button

Criminal Justice Bill 2007: Report Stage.

To avoid confusion, we are technically on Report Stage and are recommitting a number of matters.More Button

Yes. We are on Report Stage and are reverting to Committee Stage for these amendments.More Button

The Deputy’s amendment refers to the person in respect of whom bail is being varied or an application for bail is being made being given adequate time before the proceedings in the court are dealt wit...More Button

Yes.More Button

With regard to amendment No. 43, the court will always give a person brought before it adequate time to meet the case against him or her. It is not necessary to provide for that in a statute. If we ...More Button

On Committee Stage we discussed the question of cost effectiveness. Deputy Howlin was particularly interested in this. The Department has been examining this issue and has looked at evidence from, a...More Button

Curfew monitoring.More Button

I have no information on that point.More Button

It is almost impossible to be absolutely scientific about how long these processes take. From dealing with a number of projects which required procurement, my view is that it would be optimistic, fro...More Button

A year has not passed since we passed the last Act so I do not, therefore, agree with that proposition. Since the Deputies are spending some of their time here looking at electoral tea leaves, Deputy...More Button

This is an interesting proposal which would effectively codify as a canon of interpretation the law which is common law to some extent and judge-based law in respect of when exceptions must be proved ...More Button

I did not suggest that. Since we have limited time, I appealed to them not to bring in material that we have not had an opportunity to consider and which the public has never considered.More Button

I did not say it was inappropriate, I said it was perfectly permissible under the rules of the House, but we have limited time——More Button

——and the Deputy said that there are many important things in the Bill which he wanted to discuss. I could go on for two hours on this if he wants. The problem is that the public has never had an op...More Button

This section more or less describes what actually happens at the moment.More Button

Therefore, it is not particularly necessary. When someone is convicted in the District Court, it is usual for the judge, when telling the solicitor that his client is being convicted, to ask if he is...More Button

I agree with Deputy Jim O’Keeffe. The Deputies can have five more years to consider the issue.More Button

I move amendment No. 48: In page 14, line 28, to delete “(4)” and substitute “(5)”. These are technical drafting amendments to renumber the sections. As printed, section 15 contains two subsections (...More Button

I move amendment No. 49: In page 14, line 34, to delete “(5)” and substitute “(6)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 50: In page 14, line 35, to delete “(4)” and substitute “(5)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 51: In page 14, line 38, to delete “(6)” and substitute “(7)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 52: In page 14, line 38, to delete “(5)” and substitute “(6)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 53: In page 14, line 40, to delete “(7)” and substitute “(8)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 54: In page 14, line 42, to delete “(8)” and substitute “(9)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 55: In page 14, line 42, to delete “(4)” and substitute “(5)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 56: In page 14, line 47, to delete “(9)” and substitute “(10)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 57: In page 15, line 1, to delete “(10)” and substitute “(11)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 58: In page 15, line 4, to delete “(11)” and substitute “(12)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 59: In page 15, line 5, to delete “(10)” and substitute “(11)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 60: In page 15, line 6, to delete “(12)” and substitute “(13)”.More Button

I move amendment No. 61: In page 15, line 7, to delete “(10)” and substitute “(11)”.More Button

The Chair will announce any groupings.More Button

It is not a good idea to say that every regulation made out of the Bail Act 1997 should not have effect unless and until this and the other House have considered it. It is better to operate on the ba...More Button

The Schedule to the 1997 Act is being expanded to cover several weapons related offences. Paragraph (a) amends paragraph 14 of the Schedule to provide for a list of further offences. The effect of t...More Button

I will consider this issue further. My officials are urging me not to accept the amendment.More Button

Sureties are dealt with separately.More Button

First, I would like to address Deputy Jim O’Keeffe’s specific proposals. A working group on sentencing in the courts is currently operating in the Dublin Circuit Court.More Button

It is chaired by Mrs. Justice Denham and includes Mr. Justice Kevin O’Higgins, Mr. Justice Esmonde Smith, Her Honour Judge Miriam Malone and Professor Tom O’Malley. They are reviewing sentencing syst...More Button

Priority Questions - Criminal Law Review.

Was asked: if he will implement the recommendations of the Criminal Law Review Group on not allowing suspects in respect of serious crimes to escape justice on technical evidentiary grounds; and if he will make...More Button

The exclusionary rule is the rule that defines the circumstances under which a court will exclude evidence on the grounds that it has been obtained in violation of the accused’s rights. This issue wa...More Button

I agree with the Deputy and the minority view in the Kenny case. I am bound, as is every citizen, by the majority view of the Supreme Court but, had Deputy Jim O’Keeffe or I held the swing vote thing...More Button

I do not mean to put that thought in anyone’s head. The Deputies should take a look at the rule on unforeseen consequences. I once defended a person and the garda applied for a warrant for St. Audoen...More Button

Priority Questions - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: his views on the decision of the Supreme Court to increase to €4.7 million compensation paid to a person (details supplied) arising from what the court described as the outrageous conduct by gardaí t...More Button

There is no doubt that the circumstances giving rise to the judgment in question constitute further evidence of an extremely disturbing picture of misbehaviour by some gardaí in County Donegal in the ...More Button

It is of some note that the judgment of the Chief Justice states: “Who was involved in making this offer of a ”deal“ to the plaintiff and how the fulfilment of a promise to drop outstanding charges an...More Button

——and there was a general feeling of revulsion among those present, who were almost sick to the stomach about the effect on the Garda Síochána of behaviour of this kind. It defies belief that people ...More Button

Exactly. The Garda Síochána Act put in place a radically different approach to accountability from that found by Mr. Justice Morris when he conducted his inquiries into events in County Donegal. Apa...More Button

I do not want to add to the suffering of the individual who was so wronged by the State by dragging him into this matter. Clearly, the individual in question must know how the offer was communicated ...More Button

Priority Questions - Criminal Assets Bureau.

Was asked: if consideration has been given to expanding the Criminal Assets Bureau to include a local bureau in each of the 25 divisions of the Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply of 22 February 2007 to Priority Question No. 3 in which I dealt with this subject. I set out the following summary points in responding again today to the issue of a mo...More Button

I would not like Deputy Cuffe to create the impression that CAB’s activities are confined to the city of Dublin, which is not the case. It is active and pursues the proceeds of crime throughout the c...More Button

It is not a choice between one and the other. I welcome the support for the Criminal Justice Bill of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors and most of the political parties, with the exce...More Button

She is there because I pushed through the Act to create that position. Let us remember that.More Button

Priority Questions - Policing Authority.

Was asked: his views on the establishment of an independent Garda authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am not in favour of establishing a separate Garda authority as I believe we have a fully independent and democratically accountable Garda authority already, in the form of the Oireachtas.More Button

The perceived advantage of a separate authority is that it interposes an additional layer of independent accountability between the political process and the management of the Garda Síochána. The ide...More Button

The Garda Síochána is our intelligence service. It would be unspeakable and an error of monumental proportions to put that away from Government. I appeal to the two parties opposite to consider my f...More Button

That is a very good point. The executive powers of the State are required by our Constitution to be the subject of accountability in the House. That is the reason Ministers for Justice have statutor...More Button

There is a profound constitutional question with regard to a proposal that the executive function of policing the State should be hived off from Government and given to something like the RTE authorit...More Button

I said nothing of the sort about an ombudsman commission. I have the authority of the Government to establish an all-party policing and security committee. That is the appropriate way for the House ...More Button

No, I emphatically do not — that is the short answer. I am amazed to hear Deputy Jim O’Keeffe say, having espoused the notion of an independent Garda authority, that he does not yet know whether elec...More Button

No, it has not been dragged from the Government. I am implementing and doing it.More Button

For somebody who was in a party that 20 years ago was going to establish an independent authority, I do not think the Deputy can say that what I have done in five years is wrong. The other point is th...More Button

That is not the case. More Button

I am running away from nothing. More Button

If the Deputy sits down I will answer him. For the past four years I have been pushing the Garda radio project with vigour and determination. I have had to negotiate several public procurement hurdl...More Button

The record shows that I have been pushing that project forward as the Deputies can find out for themselves if they make a freedom of information inquiry.More Button

It has not. More Button

Some things take time.More Button

It was not a question of ordering a radio. More Button

Ordering was not the issue. More Button

It was a procurement issue in respect of a contract for all the blue light services for Ireland which will be fully interoperable with the UK and Northern Ireland systems. More Button

I have delivered; the sad fact is that the Deputies did nothing on this matter when they were in office. More Button

The Deputies did absolutely nothing. More Button

Priority Questions - Judicial Misconduct.

Was asked: when the Judicial Council Bill is expected to be published; the consultation he has had with members of the Judiciary regarding the contents of the Bill; his views, in view of a recent case, that the...More Button

Work on the Scheme of the Judicial Council Bill is at an advanced stage of development in my Department.More Button

No, that is still the case and remains so. The Bill as proposed builds on the report of the committee on judicial conduct and ethics chaired by the former Chief Justice, Ronan Keane. That report rec...More Button

Yes. I have had several meetings with the Chief Justice on the matter and have put several models before him and asked for his views on them. I await those views and will act on them as soon as I re...More Button

I cannot agree with that. I have produced a working model of a scheme and have asked the Judiciary to examine it and return to me. I have waited a long time for the response. This has been debated ...More Button

No that is not the case but, contrary to the impression that might sometimes be created, I like to consult with the Judiciary and on a matter of such importance I would be loathe to act unilaterally. ...More Button

The Deputy is entitled to make a judgment on that matter. More Button

I am giving the House the facts. Since January 2005 I have been seeking the views of the Judiciary at large. I do not know the extent to which consultation has taken place within the Judiciary but I...More Button

The length of time in question speaks for itself.More Button

Yes.More Button

Often.More Button

I have often raised the matter. More Button

Other Questions - Garda Equipment.

Was asked: his plans to install two-way mirrors in every Garda station in order that victims of crime can identify a suspect without having to come face to face with that person; and if he will make a statement...More Button

I take the Deputy’s reference to two way mirrors in his question to be to one-way mirrors. I did not think up that line — that came from one of my officials. Deputy Cuffe has a fan somewhere. The p...More Button

I agree with the Deputy but clearly if I was an accused person who allegedly was picked out in an identity parade and I did not see the person picking me out or did not see who was with the person at ...More Button

No.More Button

I agree with the Deputy that this is an urgent matter which should be addressed. A decision must be made on this. I do not organise the interior of Garda stations and I urge others to do so.More Button

I do not.More Button

Other Questions - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: his views on the current 20% shortfall in positions occupied in the Garda national drugs unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that a total of 331 gardaí are dedicated to national and regional drugs units. These units are also supported in their work by officers from other national unit...More Button

It was before that.More Button

I am consulted. Additional Garda resources are coming on stream all the time, with an accelerated intake of approximately 1,100 new recruits per annum into the Garda College. These additional human ...More Button

I remind the Deputy that, when his party was in office with the Labour Party, the number of gardaí was allowed to decline at a time when the population was rising.More Button

I will put this discussion in context. We discussed the Criminal Assets Bureau earlier and the strength of the Garda Síochána in terms of numbers involved in the battle against drugs has grown substa...More Button

The 331 officers to whom I referred are the ones on whom we should concentrate, as opposed to those in the centralised unit. The same arguments made by Deputy Cuffe for localising resources apply to ...More Button

That is correct. It has not changed by more than a handful over that period. However, the strength of drug units nationally has expanded substantially in the same period. I agree with Deputy Howlin ...More Button

Nanograms are very small.More Button

Competitive interviews were carried out recently so appointments will follow very rapidly. I cannot give a date as I do not micromanage the Garda Síochána.More Button

Other Questions - Anti-Social Behaviour.

Was asked: if, during the planning, drafting and enactment of the Criminal Justice Act 2006, an investigation was conducted into the likelihood and extent of additional administration costs with respect to ASBO...More Button

While obviously it is difficult to predict in advance the extent to which ASBOs will be resorted to, there is absolutely no question of a lack of resources inhibiting the effective operation of ASBOs....More Button

The Deputy has a somewhat mathematical approach to the matter. I cannot say in advance, nor can anybody make an intelligent guess as to the level of resources that would be applied unless we came to ...More Button

That is the point. Therefore she is asking whether a mathematical exercise was carried out to determine the amount of resources necessary to make them effective. The answer is that it was not. We d...More Button

Criminal Justice Bill 2007: Report Stage (Resumed).

When the debate adjourned earlier, we were discussing a register of sentences. A number of options are open to us on the broader question of sentencing guidelines. In continental Europe under the ci...More Button

——it is a fact that judges deal with a huge volume of cases. We generally do not allow juries to determine penalties. If one is faced with a murderer on one day and on succeeding days with a rapist,...More Button

The point can also be made that judges get tired and worn out with the volume of crime with which they must deal and that they lose the freshness of anger and dissatisfaction that people facing the is...More Button

Pleading guilty to being perfect — I thought I did that.More Button

I am a child of the 1960s.More Button

Was he in the FCA?More Button

I do not want to delay this, but I would like to respond to Deputy O’Keeffe. The Courts Service is a unique body. It is mainly run by the Judiciary and it is independent of the Department of Justice...More Button

I think the service has its own Accounting Officer, but the Department provides it with a block Vote every year.More Button

There is an Estimates process. They come to me and they get a block Vote. The chief executive of the Courts Service is the Accounting Officer. In case people think that the Executive still runs eve...More Button

I accept that. I was just making the point that the Judiciary is not acting as a group of amateurs when running a data project of its own. That is its function. One of the key functions of the Cour...More Button

Yes. Nothing is holding them back. One of the functions of the Courts Service would be to assist the Judiciary in this matter.More Button

The Denham committee is not some notion that occurred among judges in St. Stephen’s Green one afternoon. They run all of these things and are quasi autonomous in this area. They collectively decide ...More Button

Like the Deputy, I do not believe that a prosecutor should demand 18 years or something like that. If the Courts Service developed a corpus of data, it should be open to a prosecutor to draw to the a...More Button

I tend to agree with the Hogan report that it is unsatisfactory for a prosecutor to say that we have heard all the weeping stuff, but we should remember A, B, C and D.More Button

It is not a Bar Council issue.More Button

I will be brief. I do not think that speech is an aggravation or necessary. When imposing sentence, a judge should have obtained from the Garda the effects on the victim, the antecedents on the accu...More Button

I thank Deputies Jim O’Keeffe and Ó Snodaigh for what they said. The purpose of this section is as set out in the original scheme of the Bill which, as Deputy Jim O’Keeffe stated, sounds right. We m...More Button

I regard the Constitution as something that we all have to uphold wholeheartedly, as we understand it.More Button

It strikes me that it is a reasonable approach to serious gangland crime that certain offences should attract substantial sentences if they, or offences of a similar category, are repeated. In that c...More Button

I indicated it last week.More Button

The Deputies will appreciate the Bill will proceed through this House, go before the Seanad and return to the House. More Button

Yes. I do not want to do something which is unconstitutional or unworkable. I do not want to have window dressing which does not have much practical effect. I suggest to Deputies that while the pur...More Button

I accept that. If I recalibrate the provision, I will return to the House with the recalibrated version. I do not want to discard it on the hoof on the grounds of difficulty without consulting my co...More Button

I do not know if I am allowed to table an amendment for tomorrow to abandon the section. More Button

I move amendment No. 71: In page 18, line 27, to delete “12 months” and substitute “5 years”.More Button

I move amendment No. 72: In page 18, line 28, to delete “who commits” and substitute “who is convicted on indictment of”.More Button

I will reconsider it.More Button

I move amendment No. 76: In page 18, between lines 41 and 42, to insert the following: “(a) section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1990;”. The general rule is that where a person is convicted of an off...More Button

I move amendment No. 81: In page 19, lines 36 and 37, to delete all words from and including “committed” in line 36 down to and including “years)” in line 37 and substitute the following: “of which a ...More Button

I move amendment No. 82: In page 19, line 43, after “respect” to insert “of a conviction on indictment”.More Button

I move amendment No. 83: In page 20, line 7, after “of” to insert “a conviction on indictment of”.More Button

On the basis already discussed, it may stand part of the Bill for the present.More Button

I saw it, but do not agree with it.More Button

That is what they are called in Britain.More Button

In the course of the Criminal Justice Bill we provided for partly suspended sentences. The court in those circumstances can sentence a rapist, for example, to ten years’ imprisonment, five of which w...More Button

Yes.More Button

I take the Deputy’s point that maybe we should do both. I agree. It could be improved by having some form of appeal against it. More Button

Deputy Howlin, working on the analogy with the ASBOs, referred to this as a civil order. It is an order consequent on a conviction which distinguishes it from an ASBO. It is like a criminal bankrupt...More Button

It would be better to see it that way. That is why I am not attracted to the Deputy’s amendment calling it a civil order. In those circumstances it would be better to make it appealable as the condi...More Button

Yes. This is not constitutionally infirm for vagueness.More Button

If we were not to proceed with section 24 I might be attracted to widening the Second Schedule to cover rape offences, which have nothing to do with gangland offences, so that it would comprehend them...More Button

Yes, but I do not wish to include rape among gangland offences because I would be up to my ears in it.More Button

I must be on one side of the fence or the other in this Schedule.More Button

I will take that on board in taking a strategic view on the section.More Button

If any member of the Garda is enabled to accept notification by an offender, the offender will say, for example, that he or she told Sergeant Clohessy at the fair in Castletownbere last week where he ...More Button

Yes. The Deputy has spent half his life speculating on the outcome of the forthcoming general election. However, if the House was to be graced again by Paddy Jer Sheehan, perhaps the Beara Peninsula...More Button

Deputy Jim O’Keeffe is considering this issue from the perspective of Beara and south-west Cork. Sergeants do not necessarily have a geographical function whereas an inspector, in most cases, is respo...More Button

I will examine that suggestion.More Button

I move amendment No. 86: In page 21, lines 20 and 21, to delete all words from and including “the” in line 20 down to and including “imprisonment,” in line 21 and substitute the following: “the court ...More Button

The reason is that the only person who may ask the question is the arresting garda under the 1984 Act, which is bizarre.More Button

They are addressed.More Button

Subject to some comments which I will make later, it has been the case since 1994 in England and Wales — I am not sure about Scotland — and since 1988 in Northern Ireland that inferences can be drawn ...More Button

The arresting garda had to put the questions.More Button

Yes, and huge protection had to be provided. We have, in principle and in respect of drug trafficking and the Offences Against the State Act——More Button

I am not sure, I will check it. The 1984 Act provided for the arresting garda. We now have a different situation. First, videotapes are made of these interviews and, second, there is a different un...More Button

Yes. This is not a general proposition that a jury can look at an accused person being interrogated and staring at the wall and decide that if the person was innocent, he or she would say something. ...More Button

I do not want to go on at too much length. More Button

I believe very strongly in this proposal and that it is reasonable. I will not go into the matter any further. I have listened with an open mind to much of the criticism that has been directed at it...More Button

I am covering that point in amendment No. 102. More Button

A new form of caution. More Button

The Deputy has one as well. More Button

That is the point. More Button

In respect of the views that have been expressed by people outside the House, they are entitled to those views. However, I find it very surprising that in all their letters to the newspapers and spee...More Button

The funny thing is that one would not have gathered any of that from the comments to which I have been subjected over the past week.More Button

Let us get on with it then.More Button

I do not support it either.More Button

I move amendment No. 102: In page 30, after line 47, to insert the following: “31.—(1) The Minister may make regulations providing for the administration of cautions by members of the Garda Síochána t...More Button

Deputy Howlin also deals with the liability of a garda and I will await his comments before making my comment on it.More Button

I have no problem with that.More Button

I do not want to get into a protracted debate on mandatory sentences for drug offences. I am strongly of the view that there should be a general tariff of ten years for serious drug trafficking offen...More Button

Yes.More Button

On the figure of €500,000, the Attorney General has advised me that is a permissible proportionate barrier over which we could say the discretion cannot apply. I have approached it on that basis.More Button

I have approached it on that basis but I am mindful of the point Deputy Howlin has made, that is, that it may create a two-tier approach in sentencing and it may send out a signal that if drugs are no...More Button

I take that point. That is a matter I want to consider again with my Government colleagues. I am interested in the points raised on that issue because if it had that effect it would be counterproduc...More Button

Exactly. I want to look at that issue very carefully. I have been contemplating for a few weeks whether the point Deputy Howlin raised on Second Stage is correct and I want to look at it. In regar...More Button

Written Answers - Judicial Process.

Was asked: his views on whether the continuing delays in court hearings for criminal trials is unacceptable; the further proposals he has for dealing with the situation; when it is expected that an adequate num...More Button

I am firmly committed to ensuring that judicial resources are adequate to the demands placed on them. Since 2002, the number of judges sitting in the High, Circuit and District Courts has increased f...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements.

Was asked: the Government’s decision to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 30 March 2007, the Government will ratify the Convention in order that it can enter into force; and i...More Button

I am delighted that Ireland was in the first group of countries to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities when it opened for signature in New York on last Friday, 30th March...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the number of people who sought asylum or leave to remain in Ireland since 1992; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The total number of applications received for Asylum from 1992 to 28 February 2007 is 73,245. In regard to Leave to Remain, I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to applications for Leave to Rema...More Button

Written Answers - Criminal Prosecutions.

Was asked: the number of Gardaí charged with the offence of disclosure of information under Section 62 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 since its commencement; and the number of files sent to the Director of Publ...More Button

Was asked: the procedures or protocols in place for ensuring that retired members of An Garda Síochána do not, in their employment, misuse privileged information accessible to them while serving in the force, o...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 16 and 25. Section 62 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 was enacted for the purpose of specifically prohibiting a person who is or was a member of the Garda Síochána or ...More Button

Written Answers - Drugs in Prisons.

Was asked: the tangible results that have been achieved in tackling the significant problem of drugs in prison; when prisons will be free of drugs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In May of last year I launched the new Irish Prison Service Drugs Policy & Strategy — Keeping Drugs Out of Prisons. This new policy clearly set out the steps required to tackle the supply of drugs in...More Button

Written Answers - Legal Representation.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concern expressed by the author of new research into the operation of Family Law Courts (details supplied) that the high number of lay litigants in contested fa...More Button

I understand that the Deputy is referring to an article in the inaugural edition of the Courts Service Report ‘Family Law Matters’ published in February 2007. The article, based on an interview with ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Recruitment.

Was asked: when the promised additional Gardaí will be recruited in regard to his announcement of 19 December 2006; when the extra Garda Reserve members will be in place; when the proposed civilianisation of Ga...More Button

On 19 December, 2006, as part of a package of anti-crime measures, the Government approved the continuation of the existing Garda recruitment programme to achieve a total Garda strength of 15,000. Th...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Information System.

Was asked: if he will make a statement detailing the availability of internet facilities to members of An Garda Síochána across the State and the level of e-literacy amongst the force; and if he will make provi...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that the Garda Information System (GIS) which includes, inter alia, access to PULSE, the Garda National Immigration Bureau Systems and Email is also used to deli...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if a Garda investigation has been held into the circumstances in which a newspaper was apparently told that a person (details supplied) was known to the Gardaí, a term often used to describe a person...More Button

Was asked: if he made arrangements for an investigation, independent of An Garda Síochána, to be conducted into the source of comments reported in the media that a person (details supplied) was known to Gardaí;...More Button

Was asked: if the Gardaí investigation into the death of a person (details supplied) has been completed; the findings of such investigation; if he will request the Garda Ombudsman Commission to hold an investig...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 21, 54 and 83 together. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the incident referred to by the Deputies is under investigation under the direction of a Superinten...More Button

Written Answers - National Disability Strategy.

Was asked: the role and responsibilities of his Department with regard to the National Disability Strategy and the implementation of the Disability Act 2005; the targets and costing set in relation to same; and...More Button

The National Disability Strategy was launched by the Government in September 2004 and underpins the participation of people with disabilities in Irish society by building on existing policy and legisl...More Button

Written Answers - Criminal Assets.

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the assets of criminal gangs have been fully examined, assessed or targeted; if sufficient resources have been made available to adequately investigate such activity with part...More Button

I have been advised by An Garda Síochána that the Criminal Assets Bureau has sufficient financial and other resources available to it to operate effectively pursuant to its statutory remit. The Burea...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of gun murders recorded in 2006; the way this compares with the figures for 2005; the number of gun murders recorded to date in 2007; the steps being taken to deal with these crimes; and i...More Button

Was asked: the number of cases of murder in which firearms were used in respect of each year from 1998 to date in 2007; the number of such cases in which prosecutions for murder were initiated; the number of su...More Button

Was asked: the number of gun crimes committed in each of the past five years to date in 2007; the number of prosecutions and convictions arising therefrom; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number and nature of gun crime reported in the past two years; the number of prosecutions and convictions arising therefrom; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 24, 52, 129 and 134 together. I refer the Deputies to my answer to Question No. 60 of today’s date. Following the submission to me in 2004 of a report and recommendati...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: when he expects to publish the Property Services Regulatory Authority Bill; if he will include powers to control charges imposed by estate agents having regard to recent reports that this sector was ...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 31 on 22 February 2007. I have nothing further to add to that reply.More Button

Written Answers - Port Status.

Was asked: the position in relation to private airports here; the private airports that have port of entry status; his proposals to grant port of entry status to private airports without such status; and if he ...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my previous answer to Questions Nos. 193 and 194 of 6th March, 2007. The position as set out in that answer has not changed. Section 6 of the Immigration Act 2004 provides, in...More Button

Written Answers - Drugs Trade.

Was asked: the steps he has taken, other than producing more legislation amending his earlier legislation, in anticipation of the expected impact in summer 2007 from the 49% increase in poppy production in Afgh...More Button

As is reflected in the Deputy’s question, recent international data from the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) suggests that the level of heroin production, particularly in Afghanistan...More Button

Written Answers - Services for People with Disabilities.

Was asked: the facility for access by persons with disabilities to his Department Headquarters on St Stephen’s Green; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

At present, due to the nature of the steps to the front of the building at 94 Stephen’s Green, which are consistent with the building’s age and character, access by persons with a physical disability ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Ombudsman Commission.

Was asked: the progress made with regard to the establishment of the Garda Ombudsman Commission; the number of staff recruited to date; when he expects that the Commission will begin dealing with complaints fro...More Button

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission has undertaken an extensive programme of work in order to commence operations and significant progress has been made in this regard. A new building has been so...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Building Programme.

Was asked: if a review of the spending approval procedures has been implemented in relation to the approval given by his Department for the purchase of the Thornton Prison site; if his attention has been drawn ...More Button

A 120 acre site at Corrstown was one of a number of sites selected for a detailed examination and rejected by the Mountjoy Complex Replacement Site Committee which consisted of officials of the IPS, t...More Button

Written Answers - Community Policing.

Was asked: the steps he is taking to improve community policing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Community policing is a central feature of the policing policy of An Garda Síochána. Community Policing Units are established throughout the country, and members are encouraged to engage with the loc...More Button

Written Answers - Anti-Racism Measures.

Was asked: the role his Department has in working to reduce racism in society here; the way his Department interacts with the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism and the Equality Auth...More Button

One of the key objectives of my Department is to promote a fair, tolerant and caring society. This includes the development of a broad framework of policies and measures to create and promote an incl...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Investigations.

Was asked: if he has received a report (details supplied); the main findings of the report; if he has not received the report, when he expects to do so; the reason for the delay in completing the report; and if...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that I have recently received the report of Mr Mellett into the death of Mr Douch and am in the process of studying its findings. In that context, I have been in consultation ...More Button

Written Answers - Gender Pay Differentials.

Was asked: his plans to ensure full gender pay equality; the reason his work on this matter to date has failed; the action he is taking within his Department and its agencies to ensure that full gender pay equa...More Button

It is generally acknowledged that the reasons behind the gender pay gap are varied and complex. Consequently the Government has adopted a multifaceted approach across a number of areas in order to a...More Button

Written Answers - Anti-Social Behaviour.

Was asked: the number of persons given anti-social behaviour warnings since the new system came into operation on 1 January 2007; the number of anti-social behaviour orders sought in the same period; and if he ...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my answer to Question No. 12 of today’s date. More Button

Written Answers - Criminal Assets Bureau.

Was asked: the action he will take following the recommendation from the Joint Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs that the Criminal Assets Bureau should be able to take po...More Button

The recommendation, which was made in a Report of the Committee published last month, along with the other recommendations made by the Committee which affect my Department, are being examined in my De...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Interception.

Was asked: if any member of Dáil or Seanad Éireann has or has had their telephones intercepted under the legislation in the past five years; if so, the number of same; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Was asked: the number of communication interceptions made since the introduction of the legislation; if he will he provide the information listed on a yearly basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 38 and 126 together. The interception of telecommunications is governed by the provisions of the Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regula...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Medical Service.

Was asked: the delay in finding a replacement to fill the part-time psychologist position at the Midlands Prison which has been vacant since summer 2006, leaving one full time psychologist to cater for in exces...More Button

The Irish Prison Service Psychology Service is currently at its highest ever level of staffing, with 16 posts filled. This represents nearly a 100% increase in the number of psychologists working in t...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Building Programme.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to a recent newspaper report (details supplied) which says that a site adjacent to Thornton Hall was sold for around €100,000 per acre, approximately half the price pa...More Button

A 120 acre site at Corrstown was one of a number of sites selected for a detailed examination and rejected by the Mountjoy Complex Replacement Site Committee which consisted of officials of the IPS, t...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the number of members of An Garda Síochána, the number of juvenile liaison officers and the percentage of the Force this represents in respect of 2007 and each year since 2002; the reason there has b...More Button

As the Deputy is aware the allocation and deployment of members of An Garda Síochána is a matter for the Garda Commissioner. In that context, I am informed by the Garda authorities that the personnel...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Investigations.

Was asked: if he has received the report he sought from the Garda authorities into the handling of a case (details supplied); the terms of reference of the inquiry he has asked to be carried out; when he expect...More Button

The substantial dossier handed over by legal representatives of the person central to the case referred to by the Deputy contains details of allegations of a substantial number of serious offences per...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the number of recruits who have graduated from the Garda Training College as full Garda members since 6 June 2002; the number of gardaí who have retired, resigned or otherwise left the force since 6 ...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 (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: if it is intended to act on the recommendation made in the recent report of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs that Garda management should provide the optimum number of personnel needed in dru...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that senior management from both An Garda Síochána and my Department report directly on an ongoing basis to my colleague Minister of State, Mr. Noel Ahern T.D. at the Departmen...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: the reason for the Government’s continued resistance to signing and ratifying the Convention on Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Enterprise, Trade and Employment have previously set out the Government’s position in this matter in reply to previous Parliamentary Questions. The Government be...More Button

Written Answers - Domestic Violence.

Was asked: if he will make a progress report on a promise made (details supplied) during a Sinn Féin Private Members’ business debate on domestic violence that the Government will establish a Domestic Violence ...More Button

Taking into account the considerations of the National Steering Committee on Violence Against Women and the Inter-Departmental Committee on the National Women’s Strategy, arrangements are being made i...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: his views on whether the €3.85 million cost of security at Shannon Airport in 2006 was a justified burden for the Government to impose through its foreign policy choices on the Irish taxpayer. More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that Garda policing arrangements at Shannon Airport in 2006 cost approximately €3.85 million, a figure which includes normal salaries. The Garda Síochána is sta...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Inspectorate.

Was asked: his views on the report of the Garda Inspectorate on the study it carried out into the findings of the Barr Report on the shooting of Mr. John Carty; if the recommendations made in the report will be...More Button

I welcome the Garda Síochána Inspectorate Review of Garda Síochána Practices and Procedures for Barricade Incidents. The review makes a significant contribution towards the enhancement of the capacit...More Button

Written Answers - Violence Against Women.

Was asked: when he will publish the National Steering Committee on Violence Against Women’s strategic plan; the groups involved in drafting this plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department commissioned consultants to draw up a new strategic action plan to guide the work of the National Steering Committee on Violence Against Women (NSC). The consultants commissioned to dra...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: the efforts being made to alleviate the ongoing problems of overcrowding in Cork Prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The total number of prisoners in custody on 2 April, 2007 was 3,283 compared with a bed capacity of 3,416. This represents an occupancy level of 96%. The prison system is, of course, subject to peaks...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Equipment.

Was asked: the reason it has taken a total of six years to reach the point whereby the Tetra consortium have been awarded the tender to pilot the national digital radio system for An Garda Síochána; and if he w...More Button

The new Digital Radio Service for An Garda Síochána is currently being implemented. This is a nationwide system that will be used by An Garda Síochána and by the other emergency services. It will ena...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Complaints Procedures.

Was asked: the amount paid out either in respect of court awards or out of court settlements for claims taken against members of the Garda in respect of assault, unlawful arrest, or other breach of a citizens r...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to Court awards and out of court settlements in actions taken against members of An Garda Síochána in respect of assault, unlawful arrest or other b...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Disciplinary Proceedings.

Was asked: the position, in regard to the new draft Garda Discipline Regulations, which he originally said would be introduced prior to the Dáil Éireann summer recess in 2006 of their consideration by the Garda...More Button

The new draft regulations have been put into the Garda Conciliation Council for discussion with the Garda Representative Associations and, in recognition of the fundamental changes now proposed, I hav...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Communications.

Was asked: the number of Garda stations that are equipped with broadband; the number of Garda stations that are equipped with e-mail facilities; if e-mail facilities are restricted to use by a certain rank of G...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that the Garda Wide Area Network (WAN) is used to deliver access to the Garda Information System (GIS) which includes, inter alia, access to PULSE, the Garda Nat...More Button

Written Answers - Drugs in Prisons.

Was asked: his views on whether prisoners who are on methadone maintenance programmes before they start their prison sentence are adequately catered for in prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter....More Button

The Irish Prison Service Drugs Policy & Strategy — Keeping Drugs Out of Prisons — will see existing drug treatment programmes, including the provision of methadone maintenance programmes where this is...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: the progress made in the Garda investigation into recent allegations that a 14 year old boy in the Dublin area had been sexually abused by a number of men; if the Garda investigation has been conclud...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the incidents referred to are under investigation and on completion of this investigation a file will be submitted to the Law Officers. As the Garda invest...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of gardaí currently assigned to community policing; if he will confirm that this represents less than 4% of the overall strength of the force; his plans to increase the number of community...More Button

Community Policing is a central feature of current policing policy and members of Community policing units are encouraged to engage with the local communities where they are assigned. Current policing...More Button

Written Answers - Criminal Prosecutions.

Was asked: if he is satisfied at the extent to which persons involved in gun crime including homicides have been detected, charged and sentenced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that all incidents of crime involving firearms are subject to a rigorous investigation. The identification of all evidence available is a key element of the inv...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Inspectorate.

Was asked: the progress made in implementing the recommendation of the recent report of the Garda Inspectorate, published on 7 November 2006; if a timetable has been set for the implementation of these recommen...More Button

Very significant progress has been made since November 2006 with regard to the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report referred to by the Deputy. I can confirm that an additiona...More Button

Written Answers - Data Protection.

Was asked: if he will confirm that more than 10,000 requests were made by the Garda during 2006 under the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 for access to personal telephone records; his views on th...More Button

The retention of and access to telecommunications traffic and location data are governed by the provisions of Part 7 of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005. It is not the practice and ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the number of members of the Garda Reserve at the latest date for which figures are available; the number he expects will be in place by 1 June 2007; when he expects that the promised full complement...More Button

Was asked: the number of personnel in the Garda Reserve force; the progress to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 119 together. The Garda Commissioner is proceeding with the recruitment and training of 1,500 members of the Garda Reserve. The first group of 36 Garda Reserve...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to fraudulent Internet schemes such as PIPS; the mechanisms in place to address such abuse of the Internet; the need for cross-Department co-operation; and if he will ...More Button

I have been advised by the Garda Authorities that to date, a total of 15 complaints have been received at Kells Garda Station in relation to the operation of a People in Profit System (PIPS). The Gar...More Button

Written Answers - National Drugs Strategy.

Was asked: his views on the continued rise in the use of cocaine reported by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs; if the Garda is taking new steps to halt the spread of cocaine; and if he will make a state...More Button

The Government is fully aware of and views with concern the increased prevalence of cocaine usage in recent times in Ireland as is identified in the recent joint report by the National Advisory Commit...More Button

Written Answers - Sentencing Policy.

Was asked: if he will facilitate the introduction of sentencing guidelines for the Judiciary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if in view of the serious public concern regarding the imposition of a three-year suspended jail sentence in a rape case, he has plans for the introduction of sentencing guidelines for persons convic...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 66 and 70 together. I cannot comment on individual cases. However, the following are my general remarks on sentencing. The question of consistency in sentencing and th...More Button

Written Answers - Violence Against Women.

Was asked: if his Department has communicated with the NDVIA on his Department’s ongoing review of the work of the NDVIA; when this review will be completed; when he will make a decision on the long-term fundin...More Button

My Department is in the process of completing its examination of the final report of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency (NDVIA) on its pilot project. Following delivery of the report, ...More Button

Written Answers - Legislative Programme.

Was asked: if his proposals for an Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill will include a marriage bar for certain foreign nationals who wish to marry each other or Irish and EU or EEA citizens; and if he wi...More Button

The Scheme for the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill which I published in September 2006 contains provisions regulating marriage of foreign nationals in the State. It is incorrect to represen...More Button

Written Answers - Immigration Controls.

Was asked: the situation with arrivals from Bulgaria and Romania, including the number of people who have arrived from each country; if data is being collected on the purpose and dispersal of these new arrivals...More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to arrivals since 1 January 2007 when Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union. In terms of immigration procedures and controls, all European Union citizens com...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if the Garda has concluded its investigations, initiated as a result of a complaint made by the Secretary General of his Department, into the alleged leaking of a draft copy of the Report of the Comm...More Button

I have been advised by the Garda Commissioner that the Garda investigation into this matter is currently ongoing on conclusion of which, an investigation file will be submitted to the Director of Publ...More Button

Written Answers - Anti-Racism Measures.

Was asked: the status of the integration policy being prepared by the Reception and Integration Agency; when it will be made public; and the form it will take. More Button

As in all countries, integration policy is constantly being developed and updated in line with changing demographics and the emerging challenges of multicultural societies. Building on the integratio...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: if a decision has been made on the request of Circuit Court Judge, Brian Curtin, for early retirement on health grounds under Section 6 of the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Act 1961; and if...More Button

The former Judge Brian Curtin resigned as a Judge of the Circuit Court on 13 November 2006. Subsequent to his resignation, an application was made on his behalf for payment of pension on grounds of pe...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Transport.

Was asked: the number of cars in the Garda fleet; the person who has the contract for maintenance of the fleet; if that contract has been evaluated against value for money; and if it is intended to purchase mor...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number of cars in the Garda fleet at present is 1,631. It is the responsibility of the Garda Fleet Management Section to develop policies which will ens...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the steps he is taking to improve rural policing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the position in regard to the review of the Domestic Violence Act 1996; if he will publish amending legislation on domestic violence in this session; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

While the operation of the law on the protection of persons in relationships, whether through the operation of the Domestic Violence Acts or otherwise, continues to be kept under review in my Departme...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if the Garda Superintendent appointed to carry out an investigation into the circumstances in which the Gardaí failed to act on information supplied through Interpol from the Austrian authorities reg...More Button

As I informed the house in response to Priority Question No 2 of 22 February last a Garda Chief Superintendent has been appointed to carry out a fact finding investigation into the full circumstances ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Transport.

Was asked: if he will ensure that the Ministerial and Government fleet are converted to environmentally friendly and more fuel efficient alternatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

State cars are placed at the disposal of Government Ministers, and others, pursuant to a long standing arrangement and are supplied to the following: The President, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, 13 Gov...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Management.

Was asked: the progress made in implementing the recent report of An Garda Síochána Advisory Groups, published on 7 November 2006; if a timetable has been set for their implementation; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Very significant progress has been made since November 2006 with regard to the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report referred to by the Deputy. I can confirm that an additiona...More Button

Written Answers - Liquor Licensing Laws.

Was asked: when he will use the powers available to him under Section 22 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 2003 to provide for the traceability of alcohol sold for consumption off premises; and if he will make a ...More Button

The position is that section 22 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003 provides for the making of regulations specifying particulars which are adequate to enable the licensee and the licensed premises co...More Button

Written Answers - Commissions of Investigation.

Was asked: if he has received a response from the Garda Commissioner to the copy sent to him of the Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Dean Lyons case; if disciplinary proceedings have been init...More Button

Was asked: the action taken on foot of the report of the Commission of Investigation in the Dean Lyons case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 81 and 82 together. I published the Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Dean Lyons case on 1 September 2006. I sent a copy of the Report to the Garda C...More Button

Written Answers - Appointments to State Boards.

Was asked: the number of nominations from each gender to State boards for which his Department has responsibility in each of the years 2002 to date in 2007. More Button

I assume that the Deputy is seeking the number of appointments to State Boards from each gender rather than the number of nominations and I set out that information in the table below. The informatio...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: the position regarding the case of a person (details supplied) who died in Garda custody; and the reason the case has taken so long. More Button

A Detective Superintendent from outside the relevant Garda Division was appointed immediately after the incident to carry out a detailed investigation into all the circumstances surrounding the person...More Button

Written Answers - Children in Care.

Was asked: the amount of Garda time employed in searching for and returning children who have been reported missing from the custody of the Health Services Executive; the steps that have taken to deal with the ...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda Missing Persons Bureau attached to Garda Headquarters is responsible for data relating to missing persons. The District Officer (Superintendent) ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Equipment.

Was asked: the non-lethal weapons available for use by members of An Garda Síochána; the number of each category of weapon and its function; if a weapon is routinely carried by a member; and if he will make a s...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that three types of less lethal weapons are currently available for use by the Garda Síochána Emergency Response Unit. These are bean bag shot, OC pepper...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Appointments.

Was asked: when it is expected that an Inspector of Prisons will be appointed. More Button

The current Inspector of Prisons’ term of office is not due to expire until the 24th April, 2007. As the Deputy will be aware Part 5 of the Prisons Act, 2007, which, amongst other things, provides for...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of community Gardaí who live in the community that they serve; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased to a r...More Button

Was asked: the number of horses kept and maintained by An Garda Síochána; the cost of the Garda Mounted Unit; the number of members assigned to the unit and their respective ranks; and the number of civilian pe...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that there are a total of ten horses attached to the Garda Mounted Unit at present. The cost of running the Garda Mounted Unit in 2006 was approximately ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Equipment.

Was asked: the number of Garda stations equipped with e-mail facilities; the number of uniformed members of An Garda Síochána who have individual access to e-mail; the cost of providing e-mail to members; and t...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that the Garda Wide Area Network (WAN) is used to deliver access to the Garda Information System (GIS) which includes, inter alia, access to PULSE, the Garda Nat...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of dogs in the Garda Dog Unit; the cost of running the unit; the number of members assigned to the unit and their respective ranks; and the number of civilian personnel in the unit. More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that there are 26 dogs attached to the Garda Dog Unit, 13 of which are general purpose search dogs. The remaining dogs perform specialised search functio...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Remuneration.

Was asked: the average annual salary of a member of An Garda Síochána; the salary scales in respect of each rank, including the starting salary for a new member; the cost of putting a new recruit through the tr...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the average salary of a Garda member, on the mid point of the Garda pay scale and including rent, boot, uniform and unsocial hours allowances, is €55,636. ...More Button

Written Answers - Domestic Violence.

Was asked: the amount of funding for awareness programmes to tackle domestic violence that has been set aside for each of the years 2002 to date in 2007 in line with An Agreed Programme for Government between F...More Button

The following funding has been made available by my Department since 2002 for awareness programmes to tackle domestic violence. The amount of the awareness funding programme for 2007 will, when fully ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of members assigned to the Garda Water Unit and their respective ranks; the number of civilian personnel in the unit; and the annual cost of running the unit. 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 (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased...More Button

Written Answers - Courts Service.

Was asked: when it is expected that there will be a general reform of the courts system in line with An Agreed Programme for Government Between Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats 2002. More Button

The reform of the courts system referred to in the Agreed Programme for Government is well underway. In this regard, I am happy to acknowledge the remarkable development of the courts system since th...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of members assigned to the Garda Air Support Unit and their respective ranks; the number of civilian personnel in the unit; the number of aircraft available for use by the unit; and the an...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the current strength of the Garda Air Support Unit is one (1) Inspector, five (5) Sergeants and nineteen (19) Gardaí. At present there are no civilian pers...More Button

Written Answers - Deportation Orders.

Was asked: the number of non-Irish citizens released from prison and subsequently deported in each month of 2006 and 2007. More Button

I can inform the Deputy that the information sought is at present being compiled by the Irish Prison Service and the Garda National Immigration Bureau. The provision of the relevant data is complicat...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Education Service.

Was asked: the skills programmes that have been put in place in prisons to enhance employment prospects for prisoners on release in line with An Agreed Programme for Government between Fianna Fáil and the Progr...More Button

The Irish Prison Service places strong emphasis on the provision of vocational training for prisoners. Training activities are chosen to give as much employment as possible for those in prison and to...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the number of Garda stations that still operate green men; the location of these stations and their respective distances from the nearest full-time station. More Button

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of dedicated community Gardaí. More Button

Community Policing is a central feature of current policing policy and members of Community policing units are encouraged to engage with the local communities where they are assigned. Current policing...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the number of Garda stations that are not open and staffed 24-hours a day; the location of these stations and their respective distances from the nearest full-time station. More Button

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.More Button

Written Answers - Prison Education Service.

Was asked: the number of prisoners with limited educational accomplishment in each of the years 2002 to date in 2007. More Button

Information relating to those prisoners with the lowest levels of educational accomplishment on committal in each of the years 2002 to date in 2007 are set out in the table below. These figures are b...More Button

Written Answers - Appointments to State Boards.

Was asked: the appointments to State boards, other bodies under the aegis of his Department, or other public appointments of any kind, which will be due to be made by him between 29 March 2007 and 4 July 2007. More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, vacancies arise and fall to be filled on State Boards and other bodies under my Department’s aegis on an ongoing basis. Having reviewed the vacancies which exist or are...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Students.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that non EU citizens studying at Irish universities have been asked to withdraw their children from State schools; the legislation that governs this decisi...More Button

One of the main principles of Ireland’s immigration system is that persons coming to Ireland should not be an undue burden on the resources of the State. In line with this general principle, the estab...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Releases.

Was asked: the percentage of prisoners that are offered temporary release; comparative figures for the period 1994 to 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The number of persons on temporary release on 30 March, 2007 was 165 persons. This equates to 4.7% of the total prisoner population, and stands in stark contrast to the position which obtained under t...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the progress to address the problem of re-offenders committing an offence while on bail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am proposing a number of amendments to the law on bail in the Criminal Justice Bill 2007 which is currently before this House. As the Deputy will be aware, the bail system operates under a general ...More Button

Written Answers - Stardust Disaster.

Was asked: if he has met with the families bereaved by the Stardust disaster; if he will meet with their committee; if he has been fully briefed by his Department on all matters relating; if he will make the br...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that there has been extensive contact with the Stardust Victims Committee in recent years, leading to their lodging a comprehensive submission last July in which they set out t...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Operations.

Was asked: if he will report on the success of Operation Anvil; the outcome to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Operation Anvil commenced in the Garda Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) on 17 May, 2005. It is an intelligence led policing initiative, the focus of which is the targeting of active criminals and the...More Button

Written Answers - Drugs in Prisons.

Was asked: if prisons here are drug free; if the authorities are aware of high abuse of illegal drugs in the prison system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

On 2 May 2006, I launched the Irish Prison Service Drugs Policy & Strategy, entitled Keeping Drugs out of Prison. This policy fulfils the commitment in the Programme for Government to publish the plan...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the progress of the working group to consider options for legislative proposals for Government of couples in caring relationships and civil partnerships; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

The Options Paper prepared by the Working Group on Domestic Partnership was published on 28 November 2006. I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 14 and 30 of 7 December 2006. ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the Garda personnel levels, supports, Garda motorcycles and Garda cars or vans available in the HJ and R districts of the DMA; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Support Services.

Was asked: the number of asylum seekers in accommodation offered by the RIA; the locations of such centres; the budget of the RIA to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Reception and Integration Agency is currently providing accommodation and ancillary services for 5785 asylum seekers. The accommodation portfolio of the Reception and Integration Agency comprises ...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: the number of people that have applied for naturalisation during the period 2000 to 2005; the comparison figure for 1980 to 1985 and 1990 to 1995; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The statistics required by the Deputy are set out in tabular form below. These figures illustrate a significant increase in the volume of applications for naturalisation received in recent years. I sh...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the number of people who were refused asylum or leave to remain here since 1992; the costs involved in the processing of such decisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The information sought by the Deputy in regard to the number of applications for asylum which were refused since 1992 is set out in tabular format below. Asylum Application and Appeal Statistics — 199...More Button

Written Answers - Youth Diversion Projects.

Was asked: if he will support an application for a Garda Youth Diversion Project for Lucan, County Dublin in order to provide an effective response to the needs of marginalised youth in the area. More Button

Garda Youth Diversion Projects are community-based, multi-agency crime prevention initiatives which seek to divert young people from becoming involved (or further involved) in anti-social and/or crimi...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of members of organised criminal gangs or their families currently operating in the country and who are known to the Gardaí; the number of such persons that have been prosecuted in the pas...More Button

An Garda Síochána, as part of its contribution to the Europol Organised Crime Report which was recently refined to become the Organised Crime Threat Assessment (OCTA), undertakes an annual assessment ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Equipment.

Was asked: if the full extent of the technology currently available to the Gardaí is adequate to meet the scale of requirements in the fight against crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

With the huge increase in Garda resources facilitated by this Government, I am satisfied that it has enabled a major investment by the Force in technology to meet the challenges of modern society. Th...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the number and location of Garda stations throughout the country, excluding divisional headquarters that are open to the public on a 24 hour basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the extent to which the deployment of Gardaí in terms of ratio to the population has been improved in line with demographic trends; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased to a r...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the strength of the permanent and full time Garda Síochána as of 30 March 2007; 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 personnel strength (all ranks) of An Garda Síochána increased...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: the extent to which custodial procedures in respect of high risk criminals are breached throughout the prison service with particular reference to overcrowding and the concentration of an unacceptabl...More Button

High risk criminals are dispersed throughout the prison system. However, a substantial number of them are held in Portlaoise prison, which is currently operating at 63% of its capacity. I have been a...More Button

Was asked: the full extent of cell occupation throughout the prison service; the number of cells not designed to cater for more than one person, which have in excess of that number; the number of prisoners acco...More Button

The total number of prisoners in custody on 2 April, 2007 was 3,283 compared with a bed capacity of 3,416. This represents an occupancy level of 96%. In relation to the number of cells not designed t...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of crimes committed by members of organised criminal gangs since he linked the incidence of such activity to the sting of a dying wasp; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that as part of their contribution to the Europol Organised Crime Report, which was recently refined to become the Organised Crime Threat Assessment (OCTA...More Button

Was asked: the number of crimes including anti-social behaviour incidents reported to or through each Garda station in County Kildare in each of the past three years; the number of prosecutions and convictions ...More Button

Following the submission to me in 2004 of a report and recommendations by an expert group on crime statistics, I decided that the compilation and publication of crime statistics should be taken over b...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: if he will carry out a revision of Garda strength and deployment in respect of division, district and station throughout County Kildare with particular reference to increasing Garda strength in reaso...More Button

Was asked: if he will increase Garda strength at the various stations throughout County Kildare in line with the population increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 140 together. I am informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personnel str...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Equipment.

Was asked: the extent to which it is intended to increase or improve the facilities available to the Gardaí in County Kildare including patrol cars, motorcycles and information technology; and if he will make a...More Button

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda authorities. I will be in contact with the Deputy when this information is to hand.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the number of Garda stations throughout County Kildare open and operational on a 24 hour basis; his plans to increase this number in line with demographic trends; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

Was asked: if he will make extra provision for the opening of Garda stations throughout County Kildare on a 24 hour basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 142 and 143 together. I am been informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that the personne...More Button

Written Answers - Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Was asked: if he will confirm plans for funding for closed circuit television systems in Tallaght including estates in Tallaght west (details supplied); the schedule being followed in this issue; and if he will...More Button

I launched the Community-based CCTV Scheme in June 2005, in response to a demonstrated demand from local communities across Ireland for the provision of CCTV systems. The Scheme is designed to provid...More Button


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