Ahern, Dermot

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 667 No. 2

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Order of Business.

It is a hard word.More Button

Ask Deputy Higgins — he might know.More Button

The Deputy should let the Tánaiste answer.More Button

Brutal Killing in Limerick: Statements.

I propose to share time with the Minister for Defence, Deputy O’Dea.More Button

This House has spent a considerable amount of time this week discussing the brutal killing of Shane Geoghegan. It is right that we should mark our horror and revulsion at the outrage that has taken p...More Button

It is the Special Criminal Court.More Button

I thank all the Members opposite for their comments. As I said earlier, I am open to all reasonable suggestions in regard to changes, particularly on legislation. While I do not believe it is an occ...More Button

Deputy Flanagan asked a question in regard to our response. We brought forward the normal security meeting which I would have on a constant basis with the Garda Commissioner and included the Taoiseac...More Button

——such as Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Munchin’s and Moyross. More Button

CCTV cameras are already working as we speak. There are 29 mounted gardaí on bicycles. Huge resources have been put into Limerick, where there is significant difficulty. Deputy Ó Snodaigh’s suggest...More Button

However, we examined the suggestion in the 2007 legislation and it was found to be unconstitutional.More Button

The strong advice is that, particularly in the context of a jury trial, a superintendent under cross-examination may not give adverse evidence against an accused who is still innocent until proven gui...More Button

The registration of mobile telephones is a difficult issue which I know from my time as Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. An important trial in combating mobile telephones in...More Button

The problem with blocking mobile telephone reception in prisons such as Mountjoy and Portlaoise is they have two hospitals adjacent to them. The latest technology used in the midlands has been succes...More Button

I accept that and it is a very difficult issue. What is to be done with existing mobile telephones?More Button

The covert surveillance legislation will be brought to the Government next week. Deputy Rabbitte did introduce a Bill in this area but it had major flaws in it, particularly regarding its oversight p...More Button

Yes, its function is oversee complaints about the Garda. The Government’s Bill will follow the same principle of judicial oversight as set out in the Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunicat...More Button

It is true.More Button

While I accept putting covert surveillance on a statutory footing, the reality is that it has existed for some time. It may also be the case that the Garda does not want to bring covert surveillance ...More Button

I have agreed the heads of the Bill and it will go to the Government next week. It will be introduced as soon as possible thereafter.More Button

With regard to the drugs task forces, ultimately the division of resources in the Garda Síochána is a matter for the Garda Commissioner, but I will raise with him the issues mentioned by the Deputy. ...More Button

The budget of the Director of Public Prosecutions has been dramatically increased over the last number of years. I am not aware of any delays or difficulties other than the normal legal delays. With...More Button

——to send a strong message, particularly to the wider community.More Button

While my Department and the Garda Síochána are homing in on supply, the reality is that there is also a demand. It is incumbent on us, if we are to do any justice to Shane Geoghegan, to remind the pe...More Button

That provision is already there.More Button

It is already there.More Button

I will give the Deputy those figures too.More Button

I will give that figure too.More Button

Deputy O’Donnell raised a number of issues earlier this week, some of which I had an opportunity to answer in the Seanad yesterday. The Criminal Justice Act 2006 specified new offences of membership ...More Button

There is some difficulty in finding exact figures under the system.More Button

However, we estimate that 23 proceedings were taken in 2006, 54 in 2007 and 10 in 2008.More Button

The number of convictions for these offences was six in 2006 and 15 in 2007.More Button

I asked the Garda Commissioner about this. Ultimately it is a matter for him to decide and he is adamant that he has a proper management set-up in Limerick. The Deputy asked me about a branch of the...More Button

Representatives of the CAB are always in Limerick, I can assure the Deputy.More Button

They are concentrating on Limerick. When we were discussing the annual report of the CAB in the Seanad, I gave some figures in that respect. It is intended as soon as possible to roll out the success...More Button

I cannot answer that question offhand. I agree wholeheartedly with the remarks of Deputy McGrath. In fairness to this House, it did bring in extremely tough legislation, particularly in 2007, and the...More Button

I am answering questions in a couple of minutes.More Button

We brought in new mandatory sentencing for repeat offenders and we restated the rules on the right to silence which, as was mentioned earlier on the other side of the House, was upheld in court just t...More Button

I assure Deputy Neville of that. In the past number of years, Limerick has been blanketed with gardaí. As I said earlier, there are more gardaí in Limerick per head of population than anywhere else ...More Button

It is extremely complex legislation and we want to get it right.More Button

Priority Questions - Sentencing Policy.

Was asked: his views on the implementation of the law in respect of mandatory sentences for drug dealers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I know the Deputy appreciates that the courts are, subject only to the Constitution and the law, independent in the exercise of their judicial functions and the sentencing of offenders is clearly a ma...More Button

I have met the Chief Justice and many members of the Judiciary, particularly since I became Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. However it is not my job, nor am I entitled or allowed under...More Button

Section 33 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 amended the 1977 Act to put in an interpretation clause. The clause emphasised that the decision to depart from the presumptive minimum sentence of ten yea...More Button

A new IT project is being trialled, led by Mrs. Justice Susan Denham on the implementation of the Irish sentencing information system, ISIS, to allow judges to have consistency of sentencing. They wi...More Button

Priority Questions - State Agencies.

Was asked: the anticipated savings that will be made in terms of salaries and other costs arising from the budget 2009 announcement of the rationalisation of State agencies for which his Department is responsi...More Button

Was asked: the way the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority will continue to function effectively in view of the fact that their budgets have been cut by 43% and 24% respectively; and if he...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2 and 3 together. The context in which financial provision has been made by the Government for the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority for 2009 wa...More Button

The Equality Authority was established in 1997 with an annual budget of €378,000. It now has an annual budget of €5.9 million, although it has been reduced this year. Over its 11 years of existence,...More Button

When I examined the annual accounts of the Equality Authority last week, I was astounded to see that it is paying an annual rent of €402,000 for its premises on Harcourt Street. If I remember correct...More Button

The campaign cost €230,000. I have made it clear to the Equality Authority and all other bodies under the aegis of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform that I do not want them to produc...More Button

I have said what the saving will be.More Button

There is no embarrassment. We introduced the legislation that set up the authority.More Button

There is no embarrassment. We are not endeavouring to gut any organisation, not least the Equality Authority. I have justified my decision to do what I have to do. I accept that significant cuts wi...More Button

The Deputy does not get many from me.More Button

I reject the assertion that I have given anything other than frank responses. I have also outlined suggestions as to where the Equality Authority can make savings. There will not be a parallel organ...More Button

The staff are being decentralised to Roscrea. It was not that they alone were identified.More Button

The decision was made at budget time by the Government that decentralisation could continue where Departments had rented property in locations and had staff resident in them. That is what happened in...More Button

We are listening to exhortations of people like the Deputies who criticised us for having all these quangos.More Button

When we make an effort to rationalise and make savings, the Deputies criticise us.More Button

The Labour Party kept quiet about what it would cut. Deputy Rabbitte sat on the fence. At least Fine Gael came out with its proposed cuts.More Button

One member of Fine Gael came up with the cuts while the other members decided they would ask for everything. They want it both ways.More Button

Fine Gael does not give recognition to the fact that the Equality Tribunal is the one body that affects real people.More Button

I have not. More Button

I only sanctioned this in the full knowledge that I was concentrating on crime.More Button

Priority Questions - Crime Levels.

Was asked: his views on whether particular sanctions should apply to those who attack members of the emergency services; the action he will take to tackle the increasing volume of attacks on members of the eme...More Button

The law rightly makes specific provision to reflect society’s repugnance for attacks on members of the emergency services. The Criminal Justice Act 2006 strengthened the Criminal Justice (Public Orde...More Button

I do not accept Operation Tombola has not been a success. Anecdotal evidence points to a dramatic decrease in the number of fireworks let off. My own area was as bad as anywhere else over the years ...More Button

It does. The Criminal Justice Act 2006 included accident and emergency, fire officers and ambulance personnel. We did that already, two years ago.More Button

Priority Questions - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: the action he proposes to take regarding overcrowding in the prisons here in view of the fact that Thornton Hall is two years behind schedule; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The record clearly shows steadily increased levels of resources being provided to each branch of the criminal justice system since 1997. We have increased Garda resources to an all time high, provide...More Button

I do not accept that. When Deputy Flanagan’s party was in Government, there was a 20% revolving door system. The latest figures available to me on this situation is well below that. It is in single...More Button

As I stated, we are bringing on 400 extra places within the next six to eight months, and that must be acknowledged. If my memory serves me correctly, during the time Deputy Flanagan’s party was in G...More Button

It should. I hope it will.More Button

My understanding is that the negotiations are still ongoing with the preferred bidder. They are at an advanced stage and, hopefully, they will come to conclusion sooner rather than later. It must be ...More Button

I assure this House that not a single cent or euro will be paid by the taxpayer on this project until it is handed to the preferred bidder, whoever it is, and until the project is finished.More Button

It is an excellent project for the State. Any money expended to date has been spent on the purchasing of the land, the design and the deployment of archaeologists to ensure that the site is correct, ...More Button

Other Questions - Cyber Bullying.

Was asked: his strategy to combat cyber bullying; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the measures he will put in place to safeguard children against Internet bullying; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 and 39 together. Tackling Internet downside issues is a complex business and continues to set new challenges for all those charged with protecting against the downsi...More Button

It is not that bad.More Button

I ask the Deputy to familiarise himself with what the industry and Internet service providers are doing on www.hotline.ie. I launched an element of their website a number of months ago and all of the...More Button

It is a bit complex for Deputy Rabbitte.More Button

Deputy Rabbitte is technologically disadvantaged.More Button

Other Questions - Joint Policing Committees.

Was asked: the progress made to date in respect of the roll-out of the joint policing committees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Joint policing committees are provided for in the Garda Síochána Act 2005. Their purpose is to provide a forum where An Garda Síochána and the local authority — the two organisations which make the m...More Button

A small level of funding will be available to support the work of committees generally but it will be a matter for each local authority to find the resources, although not much should be required for ...More Button

Including Deputy Rabbitte.More Button

The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Garda Commissioner and I launched the guidelines in September. Some tweaking of the guidelines was done with regard to the joint p...More Button

That may well be and it is a matter for local authorities in particular to familiarise themselves with them. In my constituency, every Member of the Oireachtas has indicated a desire to be on the com...More Button

One hundred and fourteen was chosen to reflect the number of local authorities in the country. Provision is made for a number of them to come together. With regard to the issue of practical successe...More Button

Other Questions - Detention Centres.

Was asked: the reason the proposed new national child detention facility for young offenders at Lusk, County Dublin, will not be fully completed until 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Deputy Flanagan is being very negative. Perhaps he does not want it to be built at all.More Button

Other Questions - Preservation of Evidence.

Was asked: if he has had discussions with the Garda Commissioner following the Supreme Court ruling (details supplied) on the matter of the loss of or failure to preserve evidence by members of the Garda; and i...More Button

The case referred to by the Deputy concerns the preservation of evidence by An Garda Síochána. The judgment delivered on 31 July last sets out in detail the specific circumstances of the case and the...More Button

Obviously, I cannot guard against human error. There will always be circumstances where human error will occur. However, gardaí have a duty to preserve, to the best of their ability, exhibits for co...More Button

It has not been brought to my attention that there is a difficulty with storage of vehicles. When gardaí impound vehicles and take in vehicles that have been involved in road traffic accidents, they ...More Button

I am conscious of the difficulties in this regard.More Button

Other Questions - Aircraft Search and Inspection.

Was asked: if he will introduce legislative provisions to give the Garda powers to search aircraft using Irish airports to determine whether the planes may be used for the practice known as extraordinary rendit...More Button

The programme for Government contains a number of commitments relating to extraordinary rendition and states unequivocally that the Government is opposed to the practice of extraordinary rendition. I...More Button

I cannot answer for Deputy Cuffe.More Button

The Deputy should ask Deputy Cuffe about what he had to say on this issue. There is a commitment in the programme for Government with regard to training the Garda Síochána, and I have raised it with ...More Button

The Deputy referred to random checks. The Garda cannot check any property, and if it did, it could leave itself open to a claim for damages from the property owner. The Garda can only search a prope...More Button

What was the first question?More Button

Ultimately, it is a matter for the Garda and the DPP to decide what constitutes a reasonable doubt and whether a crime was committed. Any claim must then stand up in court. To be fair to Deputy Cuff...More Button

It is a fact.More Button

I will answer by stating exactly the decision of the subcommittee. The matter is ongoing. The subcommittee granted the Minister for Foreign Affairs the authority to contact the new administration, a...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Visiting Committees.

Was asked: the changes he proposes to make to arrangements in respect of prison visiting committees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A Visiting Committee is appointed to each prison under the Prisons (Visiting Committees) Act, 1925 and Prisons (Visiting Committees) Order, 1925. Members of Committees are appointed by the Minister fo...More Button

Written Answers - Drug Seizures.

Was asked: the quantity and values of seizures of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and other drugs within the State during 2007 and to date in 2008; the proportion of the overall flow of drugs into the country that is...More Button

Was asked: the number of drug related convictions made in this State for the years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007; the percentages of drug related convictions as an overall figure for all convictions in the same yea...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 16 together. I set out below tables provided by the Garda Authorities which show the quantities and estimates the street value of the most significant drugs ana...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Violence.

Was asked: the steps he will take to deal with the increasing problem of violence in prisons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

While the prison regime is designed to limit the scope for acts of violence, it is simply impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of such acts in prisons holding a high proportion of violen...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: the action he will take regarding overcrowding in the State’s prisons in view of the fact that Thornton Hall is two years behind schedule; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Over the last 12 months the numbers of persons in custody has increased by 10% and the total number of persons serving sentences has increased by 14%. This indicates the effectiveness of this Governme...More Button

Written Answers - Civil Unions.

Was asked: when the promised legislation on civil unions will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will be aware that my proposals, in the form of heads of a Civil Partnership Bill, were published on 24 June 2008 following the approval of the Government. Formal drafting of the Bill by Pa...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the number of asylum applications which have been deemed withdrawn in each year from 2000 inclusive to date in 2008 due to their failure to inform the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of ...More Button

The Immigration Act 2003, contained a number of key changes to the Refugee Act, 1996 which enabled the processing of asylum applications to be speeded up and enhanced the state’s ability to deal with ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of gardaí operating as juvenile liaison officers; the proportion of personnel this represents; if he has plans to increase the numbers having regard to the success of schemes operated by J...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the number of Gardaí operating as Juvenile Liaison Officers (JLO’s) on 30 September 2008, the latest date for which figures are readily available, w...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: the average time taken to process applications for residency within his Department; if he will confirm that applications received in January 2007 are only now being processed; the reasons for such a ...More Button

While the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) deals with numerous types of applications for residence in this State, I assume the Deputy is referring to applications for long term res...More Button

Written Answers - Services for People with Disabilities.

Was asked: if he will reopen the independent living support programme funded through the Disability Equality Unit; the other initiatives or support available through his Department which promote independent liv...More Button

While my Department has a key role in the development of disability equality policy and legislation, it is not directly involved in the provision of services for people with disabilities. These servic...More Button

Written Answers - Recidivism Rate.

Was asked: the recidivism levels within Irish prisons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service facilitated a major study of prisoner re-offending by the UCD Institute of Criminology. The study found that 27.4% of released prisoners were...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Service.

Was asked: the action he proposes to take arising from the recent report by the Inspector of Prisons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I can advise the Deputy that I am determined to continue to progress initiatives in all of the areas mentioned by the Inspector. I am setting out some of the more important developments hereunder: Ove...More Button

Written Answers - Community Policing.

Was asked: if he has received from the Garda Commissioner the report of the working group developing proposals for a comprehensive model of rural and urban community policing. More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the report of the Working Group on the National Model of Community Policing is at present being considered by Senior Garda Management and I look forward to...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the progress made to date with regard to implementation of the civilianisation programme within An Garda Síochána; the number of posts within the Gardaí which in 2002 were occupied by full members of...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that 1,775 civilian personnel were employed in An Garda Síochána as of 31 December 2002. This figure represents the actual number of employees, including part-t...More Button

Written Answers - Joint Policing Committees.

Was asked: the progress made with regard to the establishment of joint policing committees throughout the State identifying at locations at which they are in operation and when is it expected that all committee...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my answer to Question No. 7 of today’s date. The JPC’s already established in the pilot phase are located in the following areas: Fingal, Kerry, Offaly, South Dublin and Wicklow ...More Button

Written Answers - Courts Service.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 292 of 29 October 2008, if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Money Advice and Budgetary Service made a submission to the Law Reform Commission re...More Button

I have nothing further to add to my response to Question No. 292 of 29 October 2008 other than to confirm that my Department has received a copy of the MABS submission to the Law Reform Commission.More Button

Written Answers - Probation and Welfare Service.

Was asked: the way he proposes to address the lacuna created by his decision to withdraw funding to projects (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I can advise the Deputy that my Department, through the Probation Service, provides funding to over 50 voluntary bodies to assist with the management of offenders in the community. These funded projec...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Medical Service.

Was asked: if he deems it appropriate for young people who require treatment such as psychiatric treatment to be located on the same site as other categories of prisoners; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

I can advise the Deputy that figures relating to 31 October, 2008 indicated that there were 56 male persons under the age of 18 in custody in St. Patrick’s Institution which is the designated detentio...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Education Service.

Was asked: if he will report on the prison education service at St. Patrick’s Institution outlining the level of participation of young offenders on the scheme, the range of courses on offer and additional impr...More Button

In St Patrick’s Institution educational classes and courses are provided by a team of 20 whole-time equivalent teachers. The number of teachers increased from 12 to the current 20 in February 2007 fo...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Reserve.

Was asked: the number of members of the Garda Reserve recruited to date; the stations to which they have been allocated; the number of applicants for the Reserve currently in training; if he is satisfied with t...More Button

I believe that the establishment of the Garda Reserve is one of the most progressive innovations in policing in Ireland in recent years. It has strengthened the links between the Garda Síochána and l...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of Garda personnel engaged in providing driver and security services to Members of the Government, members of the Judiciary, former Taoisigh or former Government Ministers; the annual payr...More Button

I am informed by the Commissioner that there are 56 members of An Garda Síochána permanently assigned to duties as Garda Protection Officers to 28 designated persons including the President, Taoiseach...More Button

Written Answers - Drug Seizures.

Was asked: his views on recent figures showing that there are more than 10,000 registered heroin addicts here, which reflects the continued widespread availability of heroin; the additional measures he is takin...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table provides details of heroin seizures for the years 2004 to 2008 inclusive: Heroin seizures 2004-2008 (to date) *To date in 2008 as at 11 ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the strength of An Garda Síochána at the latest date for which figures are available broken down by full members, those who have attested but not yet concluded their training, those in training and t...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the personnel strength of the Garda Síochána on 30 September 2008, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 14,284. The number of stude...More Button

Written Answers - Road Safety.

Was asked: the number of stationary speed cameras in use; the areas in which they are used; when he expects this system to be extended nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the status of the national speed camera programme; the estimated commencement date for rolling out the national speed camera programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 78 together. I am informed by the Garda authorities that there are currently three fixed cameras rotated between posts at various locations in Louth Division, M...More Button

Written Answers - Public Order Offences.

Was asked: the number of persons, broken down between children and adults, given anti-social behaviour warnings since the new system came into operation on 1 January 2008; the number of anti-social behaviour or...More Button

Part 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006, which provides for civil proceedings in relation to anti-social behaviour by adults, was commenced on 1 January, 2007. Part 13 of the Act, relating to anti-so...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the funding provided since the establishment of the Office for Integration to groups involved in migrant integration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Young Offenders.

Was asked: if it his intention to relocate a centre (details supplied) in Dublin 11 to the proposed new national child detention facility for young offenders at Lusk, County Dublin; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns expressed by the Irish Human Rights Commission regarding the implications for it of the decision to cut by 24% the commission’s budget for 2009; if he ...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the cut of 43% in the allocation for the Equality Authority for 2009; if he will give an undertaking that adequate financial provision will be made to allow the authority to discharge ...More Button

Was asked: if he will make a statement detailing the rationale underpinning the decision to fully integrate the facilities, back office, administrative services and access to citizens of the Human Rights Commis...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 38, 59 and 64 together. The context in which financial provision has been made by the Government for the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority for 2009 i...More Button

Written Answers - National Disability Strategy.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 992 of 24 September 2008, if the strategic document to outline the vision, mission and objectives of the National Disability Strategy has been completed; if not,...More Button

I have already indicated in response to Question No. 992 of 24 September 2008, that a strategic document on the National Disability Strategy which will outline the vision, mission and strategic object...More Button

Written Answers - Tribunals of Inquiry.

Was asked: the progress made to date with regard to the implementation of the first five reports of the Morris Tribunal; the recommendations that have not been accepted or that have still to be implemented; and...More Button

As I indicated in my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 87 of 2 October, the disturbing events uncovered by the first five Morris Reports have been the subject matter of strong action on the part of ...More Button

Written Answers - Bail Law.

Was asked: the details of the assessment of the bail procedures introduced in the Criminal Justice Act 2007; his views on whether further amendments to the operation of the bail system are required; and if he w...More Button

Was asked: the steps he proposes to take, legislatively or otherwise, to ensue that no person charged with such serious crimes as murder, rape, grievous bodily harm or any form of gun crime are granted bail by ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 57 together. The law already takes a serious view of offences committed by persons on bail. The Criminal Justice Act, 1984 provides for mandatory consecutive s...More Button

Written Answers - Court Awards.

Was asked: the amount paid out in compensation or legal costs arising from claims against members of the gardaí in respect of assault, illegal arrest and other reasons in respect of each year from 2002; and if ...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy concerning the amounts paid out in Court awards and out of court settlements in relation to actions taken against members of the Garda Síochána relating to assa...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Complaints Procedures.

Was asked: if he has received communication from the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission regarding a possible public interest inquiry into the circumstances in which serious drug charges were dropped against a ...More Button

I have previously informed the House that I have received an interim report from the Garda Commissioner on a particular case involving a convicted drug dealer. I am awaiting a full report from the Co...More Button

Written Answers - Young Offenders.

Was asked: the number of tenders received and the difference in price there was for the development of the proposed new national child detention facility for young offenders at Lusk, County Dublin; when it is e...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Reports.

Was asked: the action he has taken or plans to take arising from the report of the Hartnett Inquiry into the death of a person (details supplied) in Clonmel in 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

As indicated in my reply to Parliamentary Question Number 99 of 2 October, the findings of the Hartnett Report have been accepted. I am constrained in what I can say due to the fact that civil procee...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Vetting Services.

Was asked: if he is satisfied that structures in place to allow garda vetting are functioning efficiently and effectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the capacity of and delays experienced within the Garda vetting unit in relation to checks on prospective employees working with children; if his attention has been dra...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 62 together. The Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) provides employment vetting for a number of organisations in Ireland, registered with the Unit, which employ ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: if he will reverse the decision contained in Budget 2009 to cut funding to the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism, the result of which will be the closure of their office ...More Button

Was asked: the basis for the decision to abolish the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Inter-Culturalism; the anticipated financial savings arising from this move; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Written Answers - Road Traffic Offences.

Was asked: his views on recent figures showing that in the past five years just 54.5% of persons charged with drink driving offences have actually been convicted in the courts; if his attention has been drawn t...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table shows the number of drink-driving related incidents recorded on PULSE from 2003 to 2007, the number of proceedings commenced, conviction...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table shows the number of drink-driving related incidents recorded on PULSE from 2003 to 2007, the number of proceedings commenced, conviction...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: the number of occasions in 2007 and to date in 2008 in which grenades, bombs and improvised explosive devices have been used; the number of occasions in each year when the Garda called on the assista...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that to date in 2008 there have been 91 incidents involving grenade, pipe bomb or other improvised devices in the Dublin Metropolitan Region. A Defence Forces E...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Equipment.

Was asked: the position in relation to the system of electronic tagging with full details of the operation of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The enabling provisions to allow for the use of Electronic Monitoring are provided for in the Criminal Justice Acts of 2006 and 2007. As the Deputy will appreciate any decision to introduce Electroni...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Reports.

Was asked: his intentions in respect of the Denham report regarding a court of appeal; if he plans to legislate in this connection; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government appointed Mrs. Justice Susan Denham to chair a high-level Working Group to consider the complex issue of the establishment of an intermediate appellate court. Its work commenced in Mar...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if the undertaking given to bring forward legislation to regulate management companies and their performance in respect of apartment dwellers has been abandoned; if not, when the legislation will be ...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that this is a complex issue which involves a number of Government Departments. The Government is determined that its Strategy for Multi-Unit Developments will be effective a...More Button

Written Answers - Human Trafficking.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to figures (details supplied) suggesting that at least 50 foreign nationals have been trafficked here in the past six years for forced labour; if he is satisfied that ...More Button

I am aware of the data referred to by the Deputy. I understand that the estimate figures arising from the research in question, while presented at a number of recent public fora, has not yet been pub...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the progress he has made in respect of his promise to introduce new legislation to augment victims’ rights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In my Department work on progressing the preparation of the heads of a Bill to give effect to the legislative elements of the ‘Justice for Victims Initiative’ which I announced in June of this year is...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Operations.

Was asked: when it is intended to increase the Garda search powers, promised in the Programme for Government, in relation to drug crime along the lines of the new random breath-testing model for drink driving t...More Button

This commitment in An Agreed Programme for Government 2007 — 2012 is under consideration in my Department. Having regard to the sensitivity and complexity of the issues involved in any significant ex...More Button

Written Answers - Criminal Prosecutions.

Was asked: the number of cases of murder in which firearms were used in respect of each year from 1998 to date in 2008; the number of such cases in which prosecutions for murder were initiated; the number of su...More Button

The following table contains the number of cases of murder recorded in which firearms were used, the number of prosecutions initiated and the number of convictions secured in each year from 1998 to 20...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Equipment.

Was asked: if he is satisfied that An Garda Síochána have ready access to all modern technology with particular reference to their needs in the fight against crime; if all communication technology promised has ...More Button

Was asked: if he will take initiatives to ensure that top of the range technology is readily available to An Garda Síochána in their fight against crime with particular reference to organised crime; and if he w...More Button

Was asked: the action he will take to ensure that the gardaí have adequate resources to combat organised crime gangs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 60, 160 and 169 together. I can assure the Deputy that the areas of organised crime, gun crime and drugs continue to be a top policing priority for the Government and ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Transport.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the criticism made in the Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General regarding the fact that more than 200 Garda vehicles, purchased in 2006 at a cost of ...More Button

In my answer of 2 October to Parliamentary Questions No. 16, 35, 67 and 92 I provided a comprehensive response on this issue. The position remains unchanged.More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the way he will achieve the reduction of 3% in payroll costs for his Department, as announced by the Minister for Finance in July 2008; if it is intended to effect a reduction in staffing levels in t...More Button

I would refer the Deputy to my reply to his question in this regard on 2 October 2008. The position has not changed in the meantime.More Button

Written Answers - Prison Building Programme.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the status of developments at Thornton Hall including final cost projections and expected date of completion; and his views on whether the upgrading of Mountjoy Prison ...More Button

Negotiations are currently under way with a commercial consortium, which was selected following an EU tender procedure as the preferred bidder for the design, construction, finance and maintenance of ...More Button

Written Answers - Tribunals of Inquiry.

Was asked: the action the Government will take arising from the two final reports from the Morris Tribunal, published on 7 October 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Both the seventh and eighth reports of the Morris Tribunal were the subject of debate in Dáil Éireann on 22 October and in Seanad Éireann on the 30th. The seventh report of the Morris Tribunal related...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Building Programme.

Was asked: if he will make a statement detailing the rationale behind and the evidence underpinning the decision to expand prison capacity for females through the building of a super prison at Thornton Hall in ...More Button

Since the opening of the Dóchas Centre in 1999, there has been a serious overcrowding problem there, even with the benefit of an additional 20 spaces provided in the final phase of its construction. ...More Button

Written Answers - Immigrant Registration.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the impact the new registration fee introduced by the Garda National Immigration Bureau is expected to have on educational tourism; if he has had discussions with t...More Button

The revised fee of €150 is effective in respect of all registrations by non-EEA migrants with the Garda National Immigration Bureau applied for on or after 23 August 2008. Since 19 August last, this ...More Button

Written Answers - Commissions of Investigation.

Was asked: the progress made to date with regard to the implementation of the recommendations of the report of the Commission of Investigation into the Dean Lyons case; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my response to Parliamentary Question No. 116 of 28 May 2008. The position remains unchanged.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Remuneration.

Was asked: the amount allocated in respect of Garda pay, including overtime, in 2009; the way this compares with the figures for 2008; the number of personnel on the Garda payroll; the expected numbers at the e...More Button

The amount allocated under the estimates process for Garda pay, including overtime, in 2009 is €1,090,332,000. The amount allocated in 2008 was €1,100,934,000. These figures include pay for both mem...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Transport.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that garda patrol cars were restricted at Hallowe’en in parts of Dublin because of inadequate resourcing of the radio control system; the reason this happe...More Button

I am advised that Garda management within the Dublin Metropolitan Region are unaware of any Garda patrol vehicles being restricted at Halloween due to resourcing of radio control systems. A particular...More Button

Written Answers - National Drugs Strategy.

Was asked: his views on recent figures produced by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs showing that one in twenty Irish people and almost one in ten young people had taken cocaine; if these figures reflect...More Button

Over the last number of years the Government has been aware of and concerned by the increasing prevalence of cocaine use in Ireland. We are not alone in this as this development reflects increasing u...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if he will enter discussions with the Garda Commissioner aimed at launching an effective Garda operation targeting groups and businesses that fraudulently collect second-hand clothes from householder...More Button

I am informed the Garda authorities that Garda management is aware of the activities referred to by the Deputy and that a number of incidents of this type are currently the subject of investigation. I...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Building Programme.

Was asked: if he is satisfied regarding the capacity of the preferred bidder to deliver the Thornton Hall prison project; the progress that has been made on the project since the enactment of the Prison Develop...More Button

It is the responsibility of the commercial consortium, under the PPP process, to arrange the funding and other resources to deliver the project and to have them in place when the contract is signed. I...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: the action he will take arising from the first interim report of the Inspector of Prisons in which he expressed concern at excessive overcrowding in prisons and particularly in regard to serious shor...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that there has been a consistent increase in the total prisoner population over recent years. This situation is particularly apparent over the past 12 months during which ...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Travel.

Was asked: the number of kilometres travelled by him since 2007 to date in 2008 on official business in his Ministerial car; the cost of same per kilometre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have requested this information from the Garda authorities and I will contact the Deputy when it is to hand.More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Staff.

Was asked: the number of people he and his Ministers of State have appointed to work with them; the number located in their constituency offices and in their Department; the responsibility of each; the rank, sa...More Button

The staff appointed to my office are set out in the following table: *My Personal Secretary is located at the Department’s offices, while my Personal Assistant is located at my constituency office in ...More Button

Written Answers - Judicial Appointment.

Was asked: when he will appoint a permanent District Court judge to Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A judge is assigned on a temporary basis to Waterford District at present. Plans are in place to make a permanent assignment in the very near future.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigation.

Was asked: if he will support a matter (details supplied). More Button

I have sought a report from the Garda authorities on this matter and will communicate with the Deputy upon receipt of this.More Button

Written Answers - Tribunals of Inquiry.

Was asked: if, in the aftermath of the Morris tribunal, other alleged miscarriages of justices are being investigated by the authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Morris Tribunal of Inquiry was established by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform in March 2002 to inquire into allegations arising from a unique set of circumstances surrounding the...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: the current or expected position regarding an application for residency or family reunification in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my Replies to his previous Parliamentary Questions concerning the person concerned. I am informed by the Immigration Division of my Department that the person referred to by the ...More Button

Was asked: the current or expected position regarding an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 6; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that the person in question was invited, by letter dated 2 April, 2008, to make written representations, under Section 3 of the Immigration Act, 1999, as to why he should b...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

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

I refer the Deputy to my detailed Reply to his recent Parliamentary Question, No. 845 of Wednesday, 24 September 2008, in this matter. The position in the State of the person concerned is as set out i...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: the position in regard to a family reunification application by a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to my answers to his previous Parliamentary Questions. I am informed by the Immigration Division of my Department that the person referred to by the Deputy made an application for F...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the position regarding an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned applied for asylum on 13 March 2006. Her application was refused following consideration of her case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the Re...More Button

Was asked: the position in regard to an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 24; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned applied for asylum in the State on 16 April 2003. Her application was refused following consideration of her case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on ap...More Button

Was asked: if he has studied the details submitted by a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned applied for asylum on 2 June 2005. Her application was refused following consideration of her case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the Refug...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: the position regarding an application for leave to remain in the State in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Immigration Division of my Department that the application by the person concerned for residence in the State based on EU Treaty Rights was reviewed under the provisions of Direct...More Button

Was asked: his views on granting temporary residency in the case of a person (details suppled) in County Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to the detailed Reply I gave to his Parliamentary Question, No. 382 of Tuesday, 30 September 2008, in this matter. The position in the State of the person concerned is as set out in...More Button

Was asked: the current or expected residency status 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 concerned, and his wife, have both been granted permission to remain in the State under the revised arrangements for the non-EEA parents of children born in Ireland prior to 1 January, 2005...More Button

Written Answers - Organised Crime.

Was asked: if he is satisfied regarding the degree of exchange of information between the authorities here and those in other jurisdictions to maximise the efficiency of the fight against international drug tra...More Button

Was asked: the discussions he has had with his EU colleagues with a view to greater co-operation and co-ordination in the fight against organised crime including drug trafficking; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that adequate co-operation and exchange of information exists through Europol or other agencies to combat organised crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if adequate co-operation exists between Europol and An Garda Síochána to facilitate the efficient tackling of international drug crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 151, 156, 164 and 168 together. It is clear that organised crime is a form of criminal activity that no country can tackle on its own. To meet the challenges involved,...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the position on an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 24; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to my detailed Reply to his recent Parliamentary Question, No. 901 of Wednesday, 24 September 2008, in this matter. The position in the State of the person concerned is as set out ...More Button

Was asked: the position on an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned applied for asylum on 20 December 2006. His application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the...More Button

Was asked: the position on an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned applied for asylum on 8 September 2005. His application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the...More Button

Was asked: when Stamp 4 will issue to facilitate employment in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 24; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is not the practice to comment in detail on individual asylum applications. As the Deputy will be aware, applications for refugee status in the State are determined by an independent process compri...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: the position on an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the deputy to the reply to his Parliamentary Question No. 177 in respect of the person concerned also for answer today.More Button

Written Answers - Bail Law.

Was asked: the way he will tackle the problems of the availability of bail to those who commit serious crimes including murder and armed robbery from obtaining bail in the courts allowing them to re-offend; and...More Button

Was asked: the steps he will take to prevent re-offending by those on bail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 158 and 162 together. I refer the Deputy to my answer to Questions Nos. 42 and 57 of today’s date.More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: the position in the matter of an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy’s Question was received in the Citizenship Section of my Department in August 2005. I understand that the f...More Button

Written Answers - Recidivism Rate.

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

I wish to advise the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service recently facilitated a major study of prisoner re-offending by the UCD Institute of Criminology. The study found that 27.4% of released priso...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the current or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to my detailed Reply to his Parliamentary Question, No. 844 of Wednesday, 24 September 2008, in this matter. The position in the State of the person concerned is as set out in that ...More Button

Was asked: if extended temporary residency will be offered to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 24; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The applicant arrived in the State on 24 April, 2005 with her three children and claimed asylum. Her application was refused and she was informed of this decision by registered post on 21 March, 2006...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: the position in relation to an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application for a Certificate of Naturalisation from the person concerned was received in the Citizenship Section of my Department on 18 March 2005 and my predecessor decided to refuse the applicat...More Button

Written Answers - Judicial Co-operation.

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the availability of assistance in the fight against crime through Eurojust; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Eurojust is responsible for improving the co-ordination of cross-border investigations and prosecutions. Eurojust is composed of 27 National Members, one seconded from each member state in accordance...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the current or expected position in relation to an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned arrived in the State on 12 July 2003 and applied for asylum. His application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissione...More Button

Was asked: the position in relation to an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is not the practice to comment in detail on individual asylum applications. As the Deputy will be aware, applications for refugee status in the State are determined by an independent process compri...More Button

Written Answers - Travel Documentation.

Was asked: the status of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; if travel documentation will issue for their daughter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Immigration Division of my Department that the person in question was granted temporary permission to remain in the State on 26 March 2008. This permission is valid until 26 Marc...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: the position in relation to an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy’s Question was received in the Citizenship Section of my Department in July 2006 and I decided to refuse th...More Button

Was asked: the current or expected position in relation to an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy’s Question was received in the Citizenship Section of my Department in February 2006. Processing of the fil...More Button

Was asked: the current or expected position in relation to an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy’s Question was received in the Citizenship Section of my Department in July 2008. Officials in that Section...More Button

Written Answers - Deportation Orders.

Was asked: the position in relation to an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A Deportation Order was made in respect of the person concerned on 15/9/2004. The person applied for permission to remain under the revised arrangements for the non-EEA parents of children born in Ir...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: if a matter has been investigated in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation provided certain statut...More Button

Was asked: if he will review the processing time for citizenship and naturalisation applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the granting of Irish Citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and a honour and not an entitlement. Applications must be processed in a way which preserves th...More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the number of posts that have been decentralised to date, and of those, the number that have been decentralised from Dublin, and their grades; the number that have opte...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that my Department’s decentralisation programme has made excellent progress. To date, five hundred and fifty posts have moved and there is a presence in all of my Department’s...More Button


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