Ahern, Dermot

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 678 No. 2

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Leaders’ Questions.

Deputy Gilmore’s young team.More Button

Written Answers - Northern Ireland Issues.

Was asked: the number involved in the Real IRA or other such organisations in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Louth; his views on the efforts being made to counteract their activities; his further views on whether...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that regular reviews are carried out of the threat assessment arising from the activities of dissident republican groups. Priority is given by the Gardaí to inte...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: when he will introduce legislation to regulate management companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Legislation to address the Law Reform Commission’s recommendations on multi-unit developments is in the course of being drafted by the Parliamentary Counsel as a matter of priority. The principal focu...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the position regarding persons (details supplied) in County Tipperary who have applied for subsidiary protection. More Button

The immigration case histories and up to date positions of the first and second named persons concerned, a husband and wife, are almost identical. As a result, for the purposes of the Deputy’s Questio...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

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

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the visa application referred to has been approved following appeal.More Button

Written Answers - Registration of Title.

Was asked: if he will expedite a land registry dealing in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny. More Button

I can inform the Deputy that under the Registration of Deeds and Title Act 2006, the Property Registration Authority (PRA) was established as and from 4 November, 2006. The PRA replaces the Registrar ...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: his views regarding a matter in respect of a person (details supplied). More Button

Applications for certificates of naturalisation from the persons referred to in the Deputy’s Question were received in the Citizenship Division of my Department in May 2008. The average processing tim...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: his views regarding a matter in respect of an area (details supplied) in Dublin 5. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the location referred to is in the Raheny Garda Sub-District. Local Garda management is aware of difficulties being experienced by residents in the area as ...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: his views in respect of a matter (details supplied). More Button

I am informed by the Visa Section of my Department that it is not aware of any delays currently in the processing of student visas.More Button

Was asked: his views in respect of a matter (details supplied). More Button

I am informed by the Visa Section of my Department that it is not aware of any major issues or delays currently in the processing of student visas either generally or specifically in the case of the c...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the other means of compensation available to persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that, in matters of this nature, it is not open to me to provide legal advice. As regards this particular case, the Deputy will be aware that under the terms of the Scheme o...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Correspondence.

Was asked: his views on recent correspondence arising from complaints made on 29 June 2000 in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he or his Department received correspondence from a person (details supplied) in County Meath; if he will be requesting an investigation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 525 and 548 together. I have recently received a copy of correspondence relating to the person concerned, forwarded to me by my colleague Minister for Social and Famil...More Button

Written Answers - Public Transport.

Was asked: the number of public service vehicle drivers’ licences on issue in counties Galway, Cork, Limerick and Dublin for the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009; and the number of persons awaiting th...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is currently being researched. I will be in contact with him as soon as it is to hand.More Button

Written Answers - Sexual Offences.

Was asked: when a report will be ready on an inquiry (details supplied). More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that on 28 January, 2009, prior to the release of the convicted sex offender, a member of An Garda Síochána from Glenties Garda Station called to the family of the injured ...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: the bed capacity of each prison and the prisoner numbers in each prison as of 10 March 2009, or the latest date for which figures are available. More Button

On 19 March, 2009, there were 3,882 prisoners in custody as compared to a bed capacity of 3,611. This represents an occupancy level of 108%. The following table provides a breakdown of the population ...More Button

Written Answers - Drugs in Prisons.

Was asked: the steps he is taking to prevent drugs from being thrown into the exercise yard at Mountjoy Prison, Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There are 3 main exercise yards at Mountjoy Prison and one smaller exercise yard attached to the Medical Unit. From October 2006 netting has been placed around the exercise yards which have an externa...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Staff.

Was asked: the staffing levels during daytime hours and at night in the training unit at Mountjoy Prison, Dublin; and his views on the adequacy of these. More Button

For security reasons, it is not possible to provide the Deputy with a breakdown of the staffing levels in the Training Unit, or indeed of any individual prison, in the detailed format that she has req...More Button

Written Answers - Public Order Offences.

Was asked: the outcome of the issues referred to in a newspaper report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the persons referred to by the Deputy were arrested in Sligo and Tuam Garda Districts. On 5 February, 2008 one person was charged with a number of offences ...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Appointments.

Was asked: when he will appoint the Legal Services Ombudsman; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if and when he will make arrangements for the appointment of a legal services ombudsman; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 532 and 549 together. Following enactment of the Legal Services Ombudsman Bill on 10 March 2009 arrangements are being made to facilitate the appointment of the Legal ...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: the status of an application for long-term residency in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The position in relation to granting long term residency is as follows: persons who have been legally resident in the State for over five years on the basis of work permit/work authorisation/work visa...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: if he will review the case in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath who has applied for naturalisation, was informed in November 2007 that their case would be decided in the near...More Button

Officials in the Citizenship Section of my Department inform me that processing of this application is complete and a decision will be forwarded to the person in question in the near future.More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the position regarding a previous parliamentary question (details supplied). More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the total number of handguns stolen in the years 2004 to 2008 was 33. The following table shows a breakdown by year. I am also informed that the six handgu...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Staff.

Was asked: the number of drivers for each individual Minister of State in his Department and their remuneration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of drivers he has working for him and their remuneration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 536 and 537 together. There are no drivers employed directly by me. Under a long-standing arrangement, Government Ministers and certain other State officials are prov...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: if he is satisfied with conditions for gardaí employed at Wexford Garda station; when the new Wexford Garda station will be available for occupation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will be aware from my previous replies to questions 32363/08 of 30th September and 44880/08 of 9th December 2008 that the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation a...More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent statement to the effect that the decentralisation of the Equality Authority will not continue and that an independent review of its budget will be conduc...More Button

The Equality Authority launched, on 4 March 2009, its new Strategic Plan for 2009 to 2011, entitled “Equality for All in a Time of Change”. It has been widely acknowledged that the Plan represents a n...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues.

Was asked: if he will introduce new legislation amending the various Equality Acts to include socio-economic status as grounds against which discrimination would be expressly prohibited in view of the fact that...More Button

The Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2008 and the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2008 prohibit direct and indirect discrimination in the area of employment and in the provision of goods and services respec...More Button

Written Answers - Inter-Country Adoptions.

Was asked: the steps necessary to adopt a non-Irish child from a country (details supplied) under the Adoption Act 1990; if a visa is automatic for the child that will be adopted; the steps in acquiring a visa ...More Button

Once Irish nationals or persons resident in Ireland have been deemed suitable parents to adopt by the Adoption Board of Ireland and wish to adopt a non-national child from outside the State, an applic...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

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

Further to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 155 of 12 March 2009, the response received from the person concerned referred to in that reply has been assessed by the relevant officials. The appli...More Button

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

The person concerned applied for asylum on 25 November 2004. His application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Statistics.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 110 of 5 March 2009, the way this Deputy may obtain the information that the Central Statistics Office refused considering that similar information was transmitt...More Button

As stated in my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 110 of 5 March 2009, the Central Statistics Office, as the national statistical agency, is responsible for the compilation and publication of crime ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Operations.

Was asked: the Garda Síochána policing plan for East Wall, Dublin 3; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Detailed policing arrangements for East Wall, or any area, are a matter for the Garda authorities. I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the 2009 Policing Plan for the Dublin Metropolitan Regi...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Recruitment.

Was asked: when the next recruitment drives will take place for gardaí and prison officers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that there is currently a panel in place of candidates for recruitment, and there are no proposals at present to hold a further recruitment competition. I have ...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: if he has received the file in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin, as indicated in his reply of 11 February 2009, who has made an application for naturalisation; the reason for t...More Button

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy’s Question was received in the Citizenship Division of my Department in April 2007. Officials in that Secti...More Button

Written Answers - Court Staff.

Was asked: the costs associated with judges; the financial cost of salaries to judges; the specific value of the cost of staff assigned to work for judges; the specific cost of their pension arrangements and th...More Button

The current pay scales for the Judiciary are as follows: Judicial salaries payable from 1 Sep 2008 The provisions relating to judicial pensions are contained in the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Ac...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Allowances.

Was asked: the number of individuals who are in receipt of fixed car allowances within any semi-State body reporting into his Department; the cost of same for 2008 and the anticipated figures for 2009; and if h...More Button

I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to semi-State bodies who have a significant element of commercial or trade activities within their remit. The bodies and agencies attached to my Department ...More Button

Written Answers - Court Procedures.

Was asked: his views in respect of a person (details supplied). More Button

Extradition proceedings in relation to the case raised by the Deputy are currently before the courts. As the Deputy will be aware, subject to the Constitution and the law, the courts are independent i...More Button

Written Answers - Private Security Services.

Was asked: the reason the Private Security Authority has failed to respond to a matter in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 4 raised with it by him; and if he will make a statement on the matter....More Button

The Private Security Authority, established under the Private Security Services Act 2004, is the regulatory body with responsibility for regulating and licensing the private security industry. The Au...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: his views on bringing forward legislation similar to that which is in place in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales that gives automatic guardianship rights to unmarried fathers who are cert...More Button

I refer the Deputy to the details of my response to her Question No. 182 of 12 March 2009. While I have no immediate proposals for change in the law in this area, its operation continues to be reviewe...More Button

Written Answers - Road Traffic Offences.

Was asked: the number of learner drivers who have been found driving without L plates on their vehicle or unaccompanied by a qualified driver since 1 July 2008; the penalties that have been imposed on drivers f...More Button

The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office, as the national statistical agency, and the CSO has established a ...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: his views on the contents of a letter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have taken up the matter raised by the Deputy with the Minister for Foreign Affairs so that the issue can be discussed with the relevant authorities in Belfast. Any clarification received from the M...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: the position regarding an appeal of an application for a visitor visa by a person (details supplied). More Button

The visa application referred to by the Deputy was received in the Visa Office, Dublin on 6 January 2009. It was refused by the Visa Officer on 7 January 2009 for a number of reasons: 1.There was no ...More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the position regarding a decentralisation project (details supplied) in County Tipperary; when the project will proceed to the next stage; the number of staff members at the location; the number that...More Button

Fifteen staff have already decentralised to Roscrea with the Equality Authority. A further 8 staff will also decentralise to that location in the coming period. The decentralisation of a further sma...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: the position regarding an application for residency and citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; 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. 170 of Thursday 12 March 2009, in this matter. The position in the State of the person concerned is as set out in that...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the residency position and leave to remain status in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned applied for asylum in the State on 15 June 2007. She gave birth to a child in the State in early 2008 and this child was subsequently included on her asylum application. Her asy...More Button

Was asked: the current or expected residency or leave to remain here status in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 6; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned applied for asylum on 28 January 1997. He made a second application under another name which he subsequently withdrew. His asylum application was refused following consideration...More Button

Written Answers - Court Procedures.

Was asked: his views regarding a submission (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Proceedings under the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003 in relation to the case raised by the Deputy are currently before the courts. As the Deputy will be aware, subject to the Constitution and the la...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Support Services.

Was asked: the number of asylum accommodation centres in each year 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008; the annual expenditure on such accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of asylum seekers in asylum accommodation annually since 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 563 and 564 together. The policy of direct provision and dispersal is the means by which the State discharges its responsibilities under international agreements for t...More Button

Was asked: the average timeframe of contracts to asylum accommodation providers; if he will list the contract timeframe to all asylum accommodation providers; his plans to review the contractual agreements with...More Button

The Reception & Integration Agency (RIA) is charged with accommodating asylum seekers while their applications for asylum are processed. Currently, RIA has contracts in respect of 60 centres, includin...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the Garda strength and the number in training; the number of student and probationer gardaí as a percentage of the total Garda numbers; the number in each phase of training at Templemore College, Cou...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the attested personnel strength of An Garda Síochána on 31 January 2009, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 14,391, including 825...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Training.

Was asked: the approximate cost per person for training to become a member of An Garda Síochána until graduation in each year 2002, 2005 and 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the costs associated with the training of student Gardaí until graduation cut across many different areas, including catering costs, salaries, allowances, t...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the number of persons (details supplied) in tabular form, for year ended 2008 and the projections for 2009 in each of the forecastable sections in An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the number of Gardaí who left the Force in 2008 was as set out in the following table. There are six members of An Garda Síochána due to retire on compulso...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Remuneration.

Was asked: in respect of the overtime budget for An Garda Síochána in 2008, the number of gardaí in each rank and unit who received overtime payments of more than 20 hours per month; the total earnings of the t...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following tables. Table 1 — Gardaí in receipt of >20 hours overtime per roster period. 2008 — Roster Period Note on Table 1 — Garda authoritie...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Reserve.

Was asked: if he will give details of the Review of the Garda reserve carried out by the Garda Commissioner in 2008; its recommendations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An internal review of the Garda Reserve was carried out in 2008 and certain proposals, relating to duties, training, communications, and representation, were submitted for consideration to the Commiss...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: the number of members of An Garda Síochána who regularly carry out non-frontline duties which could be carried out by civilians; the rank of these members; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

Was asked: the number of civilians carrying out non-frontline duties in An Garda Síochána; the annual increase in civilianisation since 2002; the number of posts yet to be filled; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 571 and 572 together. I have requested the information sought by the Deputy from the Garda Commissioner. I will write to the Deputy directly when this information is ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: if he will give details on An Garda Síochána, Vote 20, of the Budget 2009 document relating specifically to station services, maintenance of garda premises, the types of equipment under heading commu...More Button

Was asked: the annual allocation to Garda station services since 2002; the specific services this offers to Garda stations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 573 and 582 together. The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following tables. Table 1 — 2009 budget allocation for Maintenance of Garda Premises an...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: if favourable consideration is being given to abolition or amendment of the rule under which overseas voluntary workers, and in particular those coming from the United States to work alongside many I...More Button

As I have already stated in reply to Question No. 125 on 4 March 2009 a general policy has been in place for a number of years to the effect that religious and volunteer workers in the State should re...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Building Programme.

Was asked: if he will give details of the negotiations process on the Thornton Hall project; the reason for the ongoing delay; when construction will commence and be completed; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

Was asked: the expenditure to date on the Thornton Hall project with a breakdown of costings; if the project has been indefinitely postponed or shelved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 575 and 588 together. The Thornton Hall Prison development is a complex Public Private Partnership project which involves the construction of more than 30 buildings, i...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Operations.

Was asked: if there has been a reduction of the activities of Operation Anvil in an area (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

One of the priorities I have set for An Garda Síochána in 2009 is to target serious crime, in particular organised, gun and drug related crime. This is being done through a range of measures, includi...More Button

Written Answers - Mutual Police Assistance.

Was asked: the number of the requests for assistance from foreign police forces in 2008 that resulted in arrests and convictions here; and the number of the subjects of those enquiries that were deported or ext...More Button

There were 317 outgoing requests for legal assistance transmitted to foreign Central Authorities for Mutual Assistance in 2008 by the Irish Central Authority which is based in my Department. The assi...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: when a decision will be made in respect of an application for Irish citizenship by a person (details supplied) in County Cork; 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 Division of my Department in August 2007. The average processing...More Button

Written Answers - Court Procedures.

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

Proceedings under the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003 in relation to the case raised by the Deputy are currently before the courts. As the Deputy will be aware, subject to the Constitution and the l...More Button

Written Answers - Residency Permits.

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Galway will qualify for a residency permit under stamp 4; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the applicant is married to an Irish national and h...More Button

Marriage to an Irish national by a non EU national does not grant any automatic right to reside in the State. However, if a non EU national spouse of an Irish national was already legally resident in...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the annual allocation to the maintenance of Garda premises since 2002; the number of garda stations that have received such maintenance; the number that have received significant structural and inter...More Button

I have requested the information sought by the Deputy. I will write to the Deputy directly when all the information is to hand. More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: the number, location and date of introduction of BOSS chairs in the prison system; the approximate cost of such chairs; his plans for the roll-out of these chairs across all prisons; and if he will m...More Button

The first “BOSS Chair” was introduced by the Irish Prison Service in early 2008 on a pilot basis as part of a wide range of security initiatives introduced to combat the smuggling of contraband into o...More Button

Written Answers - Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Was asked: when a closed circuit television system will be fully operational in Clonmel, County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the CCTV system is currently being installed in Clonmel. It is expected that the system will be commissioned before the end of April 2009.More Button

Written Answers - Deportation Orders.

Was asked: the status of an application for leave to remain here in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 6W; when a decision will be made in this case; and if he will make a statement on the matter....More Button

The person concerned applied for asylum on 24 February 2003. His application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Releases.

Was asked: his views in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 7; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Section 59 (2) of the Prison Rules, 2007 allows for the discretionary granting of additional remission, up to one third as opposed to the standard rate of one quarter, where a prisoner has shown furth...More Button

Written Answers - Court Procedures.

Was asked: if the Attorney General has the discretion to discontinue extradition proceedings in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Extradition proceedings in relation to the case raised by the Deputy are currently before the courts. As the Deputy will be aware, subject to the Constitution and the law, the courts are independent i...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Releases.

Was asked: the number of prisoners released on early release from Cork Prison since 1 January 2009 specifying in each case the term of imprisonment imposed and the time served in prison. More Button

The gathering of the information requested would require a disproportionate and inordinate amount of staff time and effort and could not be justified in current circumstances where there are other sig...More Button

Written Answers - Criminal Assets Bureau.

Was asked: the amount being held by the Criminal Assets Bureau under the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996; if he will provide an annual breakdown; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have been informed by the Garda Authorities that the following table sets out the value of property/monies secured by the Criminal Assets Bureau pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act on a year by ye...More Button

Written Answers - Juvenile Offenders.

Was asked: the breakdown of the annual funding allocated specifically to tackling anti-social behaviour including the juvenile diversion programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Garda actions and initiatives to prevent and detect anti-social behaviour are part of the policing functions carried out by An Garda Síochána in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the pri...More Button


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