Ahern, Dermot

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 694 No. 1

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Priority Questions - Legislative Programme.

Was asked: his plans to amend the Sex Offenders Act 2001; and his views on the effectiveness of the legislation. More Button

The Sex Offenders Act 2001 introduced a wide range of measures aimed at reducing the risk to the public from convicted sex offenders. These measures include the notification system, also known as the...More Button

The Bill we are preparing will probably be introduced next year. As I noted earlier, among the matters under consideration is bringing our notification system into line with that of the Northern auth...More Button

We passed the legislation and it is up the Garda to implement it. I intend to bring forward proposals on the electronic tagging of sex offenders in the not too distant future. An interim report publ...More Button

Priority Questions - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of recorded cases of so-called tiger robberies, in which staff or relatives of staff of financial institutions were taken hostage to date in 2009; the amount of money taken in such robberi...More Button

In the nature of democratic politics we disagree on many issues in this House. However, I believe we are at one in condemning what have come to be known as tiger kidnappings and in offering our full ...More Button

I agree with Deputy Rabbitte that the Government is very concerned about what has happened in recent times. There were nine events in 2006, although not all were successful, four in 2007 and 2008, re...More Button

I agree with the Deputy. The Government and all Deputies are concerned about the safety of ordinary individuals and civilians caught up in these robberies. That is our number one priority and in cas...More Button

Nothing written by the individual in question is fair or balanced, particularly if it relates to the Fianna Fáil Party. More Button

Priority Questions - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: the number of investigations into alleged human trafficking since the introduction of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008; the number of potential victims of trafficking identified; the num...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Síochána that in 2008, some 96 investigations were commenced where human trafficking was alleged or suspected. Of these, 60 investigations relate to suspected breaches of t...More Button

Yes, I am satisfied RIA is the appropriate agency. During discussions on this issue with the Garda and other agencies, no major issues were raised regarding the use of RIA accommodation. On the Depu...More Button

If a respected international agency makes criticisms, we will examine them. I noted that 11 persons have been granted temporary permission to reside here for six months. Of these, two were granted a...More Button

These investigations are very complex and time consuming. The Garda has to go through procedures in regard to identification and assessment but it is not true to say that there has not been action. ...More Button

Priority Questions - Social Welfare Fraud.

Was asked: the measures he has in place to track the movements and behaviour of known serious criminals living in housing estates; the checks and protections in place to protect residents and public safety in e...More Button

Operations against persons involved in serious crime in this jurisdiction are undertaken on an ongoing basis. Such criminals, their operating methods, criminal interests and financial assets are proa...More Button

Some €4 million was saved by the CAB €476 million generally in fraudulent payments was saved.More Button

From the point of view of the CAB, there are 103 criminal asset profilers in total, which are based in every Garda division in the country and operate at a local level, dealing with social welfare que...More Button

That is a question not for me but for the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Deputy Mary Hanafin.More Button

I do not have those figures. The Deputy will have to table a question. It depends on what one defines as a criminal because many people come before the courts on a daily basis who are in receipt of ...More Button

To get the Deputy’s point——More Button

The Deputy indicates that there are individuals who have great wealth, yet are potentially claiming social welfare. To the best of my information, anyone who portrays a lifestyle far above his or her...More Button

Priority Questions - Anti-Social Behaviour.

Was asked: the additional supports he will put in place for the Garda to deal with anti-social behaviour in public and private housing estates due to the failure of the ASBO legislation. More Button

I attach a high level of importance to the achievement of the maximum levels of safety for local communities, in particular through the tackling of problems resulting from the misuse of alcohol. This...More Button

Up to 31 October 2009, 1,404 behaviour warnings were issued to adults and 1,060 to children. In addition, 13 formal good behaviour contracts were agreed in respect of children. There were three civi...More Button

There are 13 contracts, three civil orders and three behaviour orders.More Button

It is an incremental approach. When the behavioural warnings are issued by the Garda, they tend to be successful and ultimately tend not to criminalise people and children in particular, who must com...More Button

I would have thought the fact there are so few orders granted from the 2,500 issued warnings is an indication that the legislation is working well.More Button

The people who got warnings have not now come to the notice of the Garda.More Button

I would have thought the process is working well. Despite that, I have accepted that there is a perception among people, not least the Deputy, that the process is not working and I have asked my Depa...More Button

Other Questions - Services for People with Disabilities.

Was asked: if he will review and revise the national disability strategy in view of the postponing of the implementation of legislative elements of the strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Other Questions - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the number of senior Garda officers who have sought early retirement from An Garda Síochána in the past six months, in 2009; if those retiring will be replaced; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

Was asked: the number of applications received to date in 2009 in respect of early retirement from members of the Garda, broken down by rank; the way this compares with the same period in each year from 2002; h...More Button

Was asked: his plans to ensure that positions made vacant through members of the Garda Síochána retiring are filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 79, 109 and 282 together. I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the numbers of applications from members of the Garda Síochána to retire, voluntarily or ...More Button

Can the Deputy remind me what his first question was?More Button

Every organisation has to renew itself. There is no doubt that new people bring new energy, new ideas and new knowledge.More Button

I refer to the use of technology, for example. I have given the House figures to demonstrate that more people are joining the Garda Síochána this year than are leaving the force. The number of garda...More Button

It was suggested by the Commission on Taxation — it may have been in the McCarthy report — that in the case of a public sector lump sum of over €200,000, the balance of the gratuity over that amount s...More Button

I do not need Deputy Rabbitte to help me in any shape or form.More Button

Perhaps the Deputy did not read the report of the Commission on Taxation. That report stated that any gratuity in excess of €200,000 should be taxed and that anything less than €200,000 should not be...More Button

Perhaps the Deputy should read the report of the Commission on Taxation and not use it as a doorstop.More Button

I did not say that.More Button

I did not say that.More Button

If the Deputy tables a parliamentary question he will discover that in every division there has been an exponential increase in gardaí, including in the Deputy’s constituency. I would put on a bet wi...More Button

The numbers of gardaí this year will reach a record high of 14,800.More Button

If the Deputy remembers Enda’s famous contract——More Button

I am not being allowed to answer, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle.More Button

Enda’s famous contract suggested that if Fine Gael got into government it would increase the garda numbers to 15,000 by 2012. We will reach it in 2009.More Button

Deputy Rabbitte should go and read that report.More Button

Leaders’ Questions.

Deputy Kenny should specify his proposals.More Button

Deputy Kenny is flying an empty kite.More Button

Deputy Kenny is saying nothing. He is talking waffle.More Button

Order of Business.

Quivering in their boots.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Ombudsman Commission.

Was asked: the budget of the office of the Garda Síochana Ombudsman for 2008 and to date in 2009; the projected budget for 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The budget for the Garda Ombudsman Commission is provided from the Vote for the Office of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The budget for the Garda Ombudsman Commission for 2008 was...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Committals.

Was asked: the number of non-Irish citizens in prison here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is important when examining prison statistics to bear in mind that at any time approximately 90% of the sentenced prison population is of Irish nationality. In relation to the question raised, I wi...More Button

Written Answers - Joint Policing Committees.

Was asked: the number of joint policing committees that have met to date in 2009; the number of same that have yet to meet; 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

Written Answers - Appointments to State Boards.

Was asked: the procedures used for the selection of persons for appointment to the board of the Equality Authority; the organisations or sectors that are consulted in the selection process; the contact he has h...More Button

The procedure for making appointments to the Board of the Equality Authority is set out in Part V of the Employment Equality Act 1998 as amended. Section 44 of the Act provides that two persons (one m...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the garda manpower in each division following the reorganisation of the Garda divisions in 2009 in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that as of 30 September 2009, the latest date for which figures are readily available, the personnel strength of each Garda Division is set out in the table whi...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Transport.

Was asked: the amount that An Garda Síochana have spent on vehicles in each of the years 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The total expenditure on Garda vehicles amounts to €27.6m for each of the years 2007 and 2008 and €16.6m for this year to the end of October. These figures include the purchase of new vehicles in add...More Button

Written Answers - Juvenile Offenders.

Was asked: if he will report on the manner whereby Garda youth diversion projects tailor their activities to ensure they address the patterns of offending behaviour in their specific area. More Button

Written Answers - Public Order Offences.

Was asked: the reason existing by-laws that prohibit the public consumption of alcohol in public places are not rigidly enforced in view of the fact that groups of young people and older men regularly congregat...More Button

The Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 introduced tougher public order provisions, allowing the Gardaí to seize alcohol from persons who are under 18 and to seize alcohol where they have a reasonable appreh...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: the commencement and completion date of the value for money audit of the Equality Authority carried out by Deloitte and Touche; the cost of the audit; when he will publish the results of the audit; a...More Button

Work commenced on the value for money review (VFM) of the Equality Authority in August 2008. The final draft of the VFM report is currently being reviewed by the Steering Group which was established t...More Button

Written Answers - Anti-Social Behaviour.

Was asked: the additional supports he will put in place for the gardaí to deal with anti-social behaviour in public and private housing estates due to the failure of the anti-social behaviour order legislation....More Button

I attach a high importance to the achievement of the maximum levels of safety for local communities, in particular through the tackling of problems resulting from the misuse of alcohol. This is reite...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent submission made by the Irish Human Rights Commission to the UN Human Rights Committee that overcrowding in prisons here amounted to inhumane treatment of...More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that I am aware of the recent submission. Overcrowding in prisons is an international problem and is not unique to Ireland. The Irish Prison Service must accept all priso...More Button

Written Answers - Civilianisation Programme.

Was asked: the reason the creation of 900 civilian posts within the gardaí has resulted in the release of only 144 garda personnel for frontline policing duties as highlighted in the report of the Comptroller a...More Button

An effective police civilianisation programme does not always involve pure “one for one” replacement of individual Gardaí with civilians — it can take a number of forms. Firstly, of course there is th...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Releases.

Was asked: the number of prisoners on temporary release at the latest date in 2009 for which figures are available; the highest number of temporary release on any date during 2009; the average number of prisone...More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that on 6 November 2009 there were 644 prisoners on temporary release. This represented 14% of the overall prisoner population for that day. In contrast, the equivalent per...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Remuneration.

Was asked: the Garda allowances that are available for gardaí to claim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the allowances available to members of An Garda Síochána, are as follows:— Air Support Unit Allowance, Analyst Allowance, Aran Island, Availability Allowan...More Button

Written Answers - Organised Crime.

Was asked: the action he proposes to take to combat the activities of criminal gangs; the degree to which the special powers included in Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 have been evoked to ...More Button

I wish to assure the Deputy that the Government attaches the highest priority to tackling serious crime and bringing those involved in such activities to justice. An Garda Síochána undertakes a numbe...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Transfers.

Was asked: his plans to repatriate non-Irish citizens to serve out their sentences in their home country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Transfer of Sentenced Persons Acts, 1995 and 1997 provide a mechanism whereby non-nationals serving sentences in Ireland may apply to serve the remainder of their sentences in their own countries,...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Equipment.

Was asked: the amount of money expended to date in 2009 for the purchase and usage of decibel counters by An Garda Síochána to monitor the level of noise emitted from motor vehicles; if a pilot project is in op...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that following a review of suitable equipment available in the market, testing of a range of sound level meters was carried out in the Laois/Offaly Division earl...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: the status of the review of the Equality Authority’s budget and on the pause on its decentralisation programme announced on 22 April 2009; his views on the recommendation in the special group on publ...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my replies to Questions Nos. 728, 730, 742 and 743 of 3rd November, 2009. The position is as stated in the replies.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Divisions.

Was asked: when he last held a formal meeting with the Garda Commissioner; if he is satisfied with the implementation by the Garda of the new divisional boundaries; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

I am in continuous communication with the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, and I meet with him personally on a regular basis. The changes to Divisional boundaries were contained in the Commissioner’...More Button

Written Answers - Vagrancy Prosecutions.

Was asked: the reason gardaí do not take action regarding young people seen begging on city streets here during school hours in view of the fact that national legislation requires school attendance until the ag...More Button

The provisions of section 247 of the Children Act 2001, which provides that an offence is committed by a person causing, procuring or allowing a child to beg, are regularly utilised by members of An G...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Building Programme.

Was asked: the position regarding the proposed prison at Thornton Hall, County Dublin; the amount spent on the project to date, including the cost of the purchase of the site, preparatory work, professional fee...More Button

The new prison campus at Thornton Hall, County Dublin will have a design capacity of 1,400 with operational flexibility to accommodate up to 2,200 offenders in a range of security settings. The revise...More Button

Written Answers - Programmes for Government.

Was asked: the progress made to date in 2009 regarding the implementation of those sections of the programme for Government under the headings of community payback, parental responsibility and anti-social behav...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my response to PQ No. 33 of 22 September 2009. The position remains as stated. However, the value for money and policy review of the Community Service Scheme was published on m...More Button

Written Answers - Proceeds of Crime.

Was asked: his views on amending the law to allow the Criminal Assets Bureau to apply to forfeit seized property after two years rather than the seven year wait; the estimate of the additional revenue that woul...More Button

As the Deputy is aware the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is a statutory body which operates under the Proceeds of Crime Acts 1996 and 2005 (as amended). Under the provisions of this legislation CAB may...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent comments made by the chairman of the Mountjoy visiting committee that prisons have become overcrowded and that the rate of drug taking is high; the steps...More Button

I am aware of the comments made by the Chairman of Mountjoy Visiting Committee. As the Deputy will appreciate the Irish Prison Service must accept all prisoners committed by the Courts into its custod...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if he will review the Equal Status Act 2004 following the Supreme Court decision in a case (details supplied). More Button

I can confirm that the effect of the recent judgement of the Supreme Court on the Equal Status Act 2000 is being examined by my Department.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the strength of the 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 and those in training; ...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that as of the latest date for which figures are readily available, the personnel strength of An Garda Síochána was 14,716. This figure includes 1,098 probation...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: his proposals regarding bail laws in view of an interview that he gave to a newspaper (details supplied). More Button

I will be asking the Government to approve my proposal to commence work on a new Bail Bill. The purpose of the Bill is to consolidate and update bail law with a view to presenting a clear, accessible ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

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

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that there are 56 members of An Garda Síochána permanently assigned duties as Garda Protection Officers to 27 designated persons including current Office...More Button

Written Answers - Drug Seizures.

Was asked: the quantity and values of seizures of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and other drugs here during 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009; the proportion of the overall flow of drugs being imported that are believ...More Button

I am setting out below a tabular statement giving the latest available information in relation to drug seizures for 2007, 2008 and this year to date (up to and including 11 September 2009). As I hav...More Button

Written Answers - Legal Aid Service.

Was asked: the implications for the legal aid system of the decision of the Supreme Court on 23 October 2009 expanding the constitutional right to legal aid for persons facing trial in the District Court for se...More Button

The Deputy is referring to a recent judgment in which the Supreme Court found that a person charged before the District Court had a constitutional right to apply for legal aid for representation by co...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of cases of murder in which firearms were used each year from 1998 to date in 2009; the number of such cases in which prosecutions for murder were initiated; the number of such cases in wh...More Button

Was asked: the number of gun murders that have taken place since the beginning of 2009; his views on the number of such gun murders in the Dublin area; the extent to which this reflects the continued operation ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 and 117 together. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table contains the number of cases of murder in which a firearm was used, proceedings c...More Button

Was asked: the number of occasions in 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009 in which grenades, bombs or improvised explosive devices have been used; the number of occasions in each year when the Garda called on the as...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that in 2009 (to 5 November) there have been 167 incidents involving suspected grenades, pipe-bombs or other improvised devices nationwide at which a Defence For...More Button

Written Answers - Community Policing.

Was asked: the progress made to date in 2009 with regard to the implementation of the new Garda Siochána national model of community policing; the number of gardaí currently committed to community policing; and...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number of Gardaí assigned as dedicated Community Gardaí has increased from 698 at the end of September 2008 to 987 at the end of September 2009. It is ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: when arrangements will be made to instruct members of the Garda Siochána that it is not necessary to take a longhand note of interviews with persons in custody when such interviews are being electron...More Button

My Department and the Garda Síochána, in consultation with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Office of the Attorney General, are considering proposals for a new system which wo...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: if he has made a decision on the recommendation contained in the special group on public service numbers and expenditure programme report that the Garda station network should be reduced by about hal...More Button

I am aware of the role Garda stations play particularly in rural communities. As the Deputy is well aware the report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, and the ...More Button

Written Answers - EU Directives.

Was asked: the number of EU directives for which he has responsibility that remain to be implemented; the directives that are overdue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department has responsibility for seven EU Directives which have to be implemented. There are four Directives which are currently overdue as follows: Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 200...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: his views on crime statistics from the Central Statistics Office for the third quarter of 2009 and particularly the growth in burglaries and related offences; the steps that are being taken to combat...More Button

The recorded crime statistics for the third quarter of 2009 released by the Central Statistics Office show a decrease in 10 of the 14 crime groups for which statistics are given. I particularly welcom...More Button

Written Answers - Commissions of Investigation.

Was asked: when he expects to be in a position to publish the report of the Commission of Investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Following receipt of the report dealing with the Dublin Archdiocese from the Commission of Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse and following consultation with the Attorney General’s Office and the O...More Button

Written Answers - Claims against Garda Síochána.

Was asked: his views on the fact that almost €32 million has been paid out over the past five years in respect of claims made against members of the Garda for wrongful arrest, assault and other reasons; the ste...More Button

Members of the Garda Síochána are called upon to interact with members of the public on a twenty four hour basis in a wide variety of situations — many of which are unavoidably contentious. In the v...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the extra steps being taken to address the recent rise in household break-ins. More Button

An Garda Síochána continually develops and implements crime prevention and detection strategies to target in particular those who are committing burglaries with intelligence-led and focused operations...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Support Services.

Was asked: the discussions he has had with the Health Service Executive on the provision of accommodation for separated migrant children seeking asylum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Responsibility for the provision of accommodation for separated children seeking asylum (SCSAs) falls to the Health Services Executive (HSE). Section 8(5)(a) of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) prov...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: the reason the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority are not directly answerable to the Houses of the Oireachtas as outlined in the UN Paris Principles; and if he will make a state...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my replies to Questions Nos. 733 and 747 of the 3rd November, 2009. The position is as stated in these replies.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: the progress made in the Garda investigation regarding activities in a financial institution (details supplied); when he expects a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecution in view of h...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that following receipt of a complaint from the Financial Regulator an investigation was commenced by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation in relation to the m...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Investigations.

Was asked: the investigations that are under way into allegations that a small number of gardaí may have been providing information to criminal gangs thus potentially jeopardising investigations and putting mem...More Button

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

Written Answers - Garda Reserve.

Was asked: the number of members of the Garda Reserve recruited to date in 2009; the stations to which they have been allocated; the number of applicants for the reserve currently in training; if he is satisfie...More Button

At 30 September 2009, there were 404 attested Reserve Gardaí and there are currently 201 Reserve trainees. Details of the stations to which the Reserve members were assigned are set out in the table ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns expressed by the Garda representative bodies at the implications of proposed cutbacks on Garda services; the discussions he has had or plans to have on...More Button

My Department is currently engaged in detailed discussions with the Garda associations on the need for savings in public expenditure and the continued delivery of an efficient and effective policing s...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the action he proposes to take to prevent so called tiger kidnappings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to the answer given to Priority Question No. 2 of today’s date.More Button

Written Answers - Prison Population.

Was asked: the number of prisoners in jails at the latest date in 2009 for which figures are available; if he will confirm that the prison population recently exceeded 4,000; the steps that are being taken to d...More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that on 6 November 2009 there were 3,998 prisoners in custody. I can confirm that on two occasions recently the prison population exceeded 4,000. These were on 9 October ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Tenders for the sale of Carbury former Garda Station are due in OPW at 12 noon on 3 December 2009.More Button

Written Answers - Equal Opportunities Employment.

Was asked: if the 3% disability employment quota still pertains in the public service; the extent to which it has been taken up in the various local authorities; the steps he proposes to take to ensure its enfo...More Button

Policy, set at 3% for the employment of people with disabilities in the public sector, remains as prescribed in Part 5 of the Disability Act 2005. Part 5 also provides the framework for monitoring t...More Button

Written Answers - Detention Centres.

Was asked: the person who is responsible for the plan and orderly transfer of a centre (details supplied) in Dublin 11 to the Oberstown campus, County Dublin; the management structure proposed and the director ...More Button

Written Answers - Peace Commissioners.

Was asked: the number of Peace Commissioners appointed in 2007 and 2008 and to date in 2009; the procedure for appointing Peace Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There were 93 appointments to the Office of Peace Commissioner in 2007, 160 in 2008 and 82 to date in 2009. Peace Commissioners are appointed under section 88 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924. The ...More Button

Written Answers - Liquor Licensing Laws.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 613 of 16 September 2009, if the meeting with the Minister for Social Development in Northern Ireland on the possibility of a joint North-South initiative to tac...More Button

I met the Northern Ireland Minister for Social Development, Ms Margaret Ritchie, MLA, on 27 October. We agreed on the desirability of developing a joint North-South initiative to tackle alcohol promot...More Button

Was asked: if he has received the first report on the implementation and compliance with the new voluntary Code of Practice On The Display And Sale Of Alcohol Products In Mixed Trading Premises from a group (de...More Button

Was asked: if, in view of the fact that one large retailer (details supplied) has not signed up to the new voluntary Code of Practice On The Display And Sale Of Alcohol Products In Mixed Trading Premises, and a...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 265 and 266 together. Mr. Padraig White, Chairperson of Responsible Retailing of Alcohol in Ireland (RRAI), submitted the first compliance report on implementation of ...More Button

Written Answers - Public Order Offences.

Was asked: if there has been an increase or decrease in the number of public order offences as a result of the enactment of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 which came into force on 30 July 2008; and if he will...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 - Liquor Licensing Laws.

Was asked: the legislative measures being introduced and or amended in the promised Sale of Alcohol Bill; if he will commit to engaging in consultation with relevant groups and stakeholders such as public healt...More Button

The Government Legislation Programme provides for publication of the Sale of Alcohol Bill in 2010. The Bill, which is currently being drafted, will modernise and streamline the law relating to the sa...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 266 of 24 February 2009, the reason for the delay in the commencement of test purchasing as provided for in section 14 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008; and i...More Button

Draft guidelines in respect of the procedures to be followed during test purchasing operations, which had been prepared by a Working Group chaired by my Department, are now to be finalised on the basi...More Button

Written Answers - Data Protection.

Was asked: the existing powers available under the Data Protections Acts to penalise those found in breach of the existing legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The powers of the Data Protection Commissioner regarding enforcement of data protection law, the penalties applicable in cases of non-compliance with the Commissioner’s enforcement mechanisms and the ...More Button

Was asked: when he expects to receive the final report of the data protection review group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The data protection review group invited and received submissions from interested parties. In response to the submissions and research by group members, a consultation document was issued with a dead...More Button

Written Answers - Youth Services.

Was asked: the location of and the funding provided to each Garda Youth Diversion Project here in the years 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There are 100 Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) in operation around the country. The location of and funding provided to each project for 2007, 2008 and 2009 is set out in the following table. I...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: the reason a temporary visa application by a person (details supplied) in County Cork was rejected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The visa applications referred to by the Deputy were received in the Visa Office, Dublin on 16 September 2009. They were refused by the Visa Officer on 22 September 2009 for the following reasons: 1...More Button

Written Answers - Missing Persons.

Was asked: if establishing a missing persons unit is part of the Programme for Government; if so, the progress made to date in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Programme for Government 2007 contained a commitment to task the Garda Inspectorate with assessing the need to establish a dedicated Missing Persons Unit, including a response network similar to A...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of household burglaries in the Dublin 24 area in each quarter over the past two years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of burglaries recorded to each Dublin Garda station over the past 12 months. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 275 and 280 together. The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office, as the nati...More Button

Written Answers - Community Service Orders.

Was asked: the number of persons the courts have directed to carry out community service since 2002 to date in 2009; the number of persons directed to carry out community service who have been injured or who ha...More Button

Information as to the number of persons the courts have directed to carry out community service is a matter for the Courts Service, which under the Courts Service Act 1998 is independent in the perfor...More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: when a decision will be made on an application by a person (details supplied) in County Meath to remain here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that it has been in contact with the persons referred to by the Deputy. An application for leave to remain in the State which ...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

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

Firstly, it is open to any individual to seek a visa on the basis of being the partner of an Irish citizen. One of the key factors a Visa Officer takes into consideration is that the persons concerne...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the number of officials at principal officer level or higher working in his Department on 1 May 2009. More Button

There were 128 staff at principal officer level or higher working in my Department and agencies staffed by it on 1 May 2009.More Button

Written Answers - Asylum Applications.

Was asked: the position regarding an application in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will ensure same will get priority in his Department. More Button

The person concerned applied for asylum on 19 December 2006. In accordance with section 9 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended), the person concerned was entitled to remain in the State until his appl...More Button

Written Answers - Refugee Status.

Was asked: the number of persons who have been granted refugee status as a result of being members of a community (details supplied). More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, applications for refugee status in the State are determined by an independent process comprising the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the Refugee Appeal...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Records.

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Mayo has a conviction record against them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The matter to which the Deputy refers relates to a court case. It is not open to me to comment or intervene on the conduct of any individual case. If a person has a query about personal data held in...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that citizens of the Republic of Mauritius may visit 27 EU countries, including the UK and Ireland, without applying for and being granted a visa; if he wi...More Button

Section 17 of the Immigration Act 2004 sets out the purposes for which the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform can make a Visa Order declaring that members of specified classes of non-nation...More Button

Written Answers - Liquor Licensing Laws.

Was asked: if charging only €2 for alcoholic drinks is illegal under current legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Below-cost selling of alcohol products was one of the areas examined last year by the Government Alcohol Advisory Group. However, due to the complex pricing systems which it encountered during its ex...More Button

Was asked: if there is a distinction between pubs and clubs under legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Provisions relating to the licensing of premises for the sale of alcohol, and the conditions under which alcohol may be sold and consumed on such premises, are set out in the Licensing Acts 1833 to 20...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if an investigation is under way into an incident (details supplied); if he can provide any details on the condition of the victim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the incident referred to by the Deputy occurred on 1 November. A pedestrian was removed to hospital for treatment for minor injuries and was released a sho...More Button

Written Answers - Liquor Licensing Laws.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the public concern about the increasing availability of alcohol to minors through home deliveries; his views on the severe difficulties in enforcing the law in this...More Button

It is already an offence under section 31(2) of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1988 (as amended) for a licence holder to sell or deliver, or permit any other person to sell or deliver, intoxicating liquo...More Button

Written Answers - National Drugs Strategy.

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to public concern about the proliferation of Head Shops which sell mind-altering substances and paraphernalia for propagating illegal drugs; and his plans to regulate ...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 143 of 5 November, 2009.More Button

Written Answers - Criminal Prosecutions.

Was asked: if he will establish with the Courts Service or other source the number of cases which have been prosecuted under section 185 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 in relation to assaults or threats to me...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table shows the number of proceedings commenced and convictions recorded for offences contrary to section 19 of the Criminal Justice (Public O...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications.

Was asked: the position regarding an application for naturalisation by persons (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Valid 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 December 2007. All valid appli...More Button

Written Answers - Sentencing Policy.

Was asked: if plea bargaining in serious criminal cases as applicable in other jurisdictions has been studied with a view to limited introduction here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I can confirm that the question of plea bargaining and the factors that might be relevant to its operation in this jurisdiction have been reviewed, most notably by the Law Reform Commission in its 199...More Button

Written Answers - Legal Aid Service.

Was asked: the cost on a monthly basis of free legal aid in criminal cases over the past 60 months; the number of such cases involving members of organised crime gangs; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

The Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Act 1962 provides that free legal aid may be granted for the defence of persons of insufficient means in criminal proceedings. Jurisprudence since then has establishe...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the extent to which upgrading or refurbishment requirements have been met at each Garda station throughout County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation around the country is based on agreed priorities established by An Garda Síochána. Significant works have already been undertaken...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength.

Was asked: the number of gardaí available for patrol duties in each of the Garda stations in County Kildare; the extent to which such numbers have increased or decreased in the past 12 months; if any of the sta...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the personnel strength of each Garda Station in the Kildare Garda Division on 30 September 2008 and 2009 was as set out in the table hereunder: Gard...More Button

Written Answers - Alarm Systems.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the flaw in a number of security systems, the existence of which has not been made known to householders or businesses which can result in easy breach of intruder s...More Button

Issues relating to deficiencies with alarm systems are matters for the service providers concerned and, accordingly, not within the remit of my Department.More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels.

Was asked: the number of burglaries including house burglaries reported to each of the Garda stations throughout County Kildare in the past five years and to date in 2009; the number of prosecutions arising the...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 - Prisoner Releases.

Was asked: the number of prisoners released in the past 24 months; the number who have served their sentences in full; the number who were on special release; the number who committed crimes after release; and ...More Button

There is no provision for special release in the Irish prison system. Statistics pertaining to the level of temporary release from prison are contained in my reply to the Deputy’s Question No. 300 of...More Button

Was asked: the average number of prisoners on day, early or special release in each week in the past 24 months; the degree to which the numbers have fluctuated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is not possible to provide figures to the Deputy as requested as this would require the manual examination of records going back over a considerable time period. Such an examination would require ...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Committals.

Was asked: the number of prisoners currently located at the various prisons here; the number in each of the past five years and to date in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following table for each of the years 2005 to 2009 for the 6 November or a similar date. As the Deputy will appreciate the Irish Prison Servi...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment.

Was asked: if, in view of budgetary considerations, he will ensure that the policing needs in both urban and rural areas are adequately provided for with particular regard to the security requirements of the co...More Button

There has been an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána over the past number of years to provide the necessary resources in terms of manpower and equipment, to protect communities bot...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: if all Garda stations here are fully fitted with PULSE and all other modern technology; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Question No. 350 (Ref. 37125/09) of Tuesday, 20 October 2009 which sets out the position in relation to the availability of PULSE. With regard to other modern techn...More Button

Written Answers - Criminal Prosecutions.

Was asked: the number of criminal gang leaders or members apprehended, prosecuted or convicted under the 2009 Criminal Justice legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy will acknowledge the Government has introduced an extensive package of criminal justice legislation this year targeted at those engaged in serious crime, including: the Criminal Justice ...More Button

Written Answers - Recidivism Rate.

Was asked: the number of offences committed by members of criminal gangs while on bail for previous offences in each of the past three years and to date in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of crimes committed by persons on bail in each of the past five years and to date in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the action he proposes to take to prevent the committing of a crime by those on bail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 305 to 307, inclusive, together. The law takes a serious view of offences committed by persons on bail. The Criminal Justice Act 1984 provides for mandatory consecuti...More Button


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