Shatter, Alan

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 741 No. 1

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Priority Questions - Defence Forces Strength

Was asked: the current strength of each of the Defence Forces; if any reports have been prepared on potential retirement in each force between now and February 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

I am advised by the military authorities that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force as of 31 August 2011, the latest date for which figures are available, was 9,513 comprising 7,722 Army, 786 Ai...More Button

I thank Deputy Calleary for his comments on the comprehensive report, published by the Department and prepared by Mr. Frank Callinan SC, into the tragic deaths in 1989 of the three soldiers mentioned....More Button

Priority Questions - Defence Forces Personnel

Was asked: the numbers of personnel who have been medically discharged from the Defence Forces each year for the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The military authorities have reported that the numbers of personnel discharged from the Permanent Defence Force on medical grounds in each year since and including 2008 are as follows: in 2008 some 1...More Button

I am sure the Deputy will appreciate that I cannot comment on individual cases. I am not familiar with the case to which the Deputy is referring. When a decision is made with regard to someone’s cap...More Button

If the Deputy passes on the details to me I will have an inquiry made into the matter. Having said that I cannot make any promises and I do not wish to give unrealistic expectations. There may be go...More Button

Priority Questions - Naval Service Operations

Was asked: the number of fisheries related arrests and seizures carried out by the Irish Navy during 2009, 2010 and to date in 2011; if he will provide the figures by home country; and if he will make a statem...More Button

The Naval Service has powers to unilaterally intervene at sea. Under the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006, the Naval Service is empowered to board and inspect vessels and their cargos...More Button

Naturally the Naval Service has a particular role to assist the civil powers and the role that the Naval Service plays is important. As far as I am aware there is no costing whereby the Naval Service...More Button

I should say fishing vessels not naval vessels. We have not yet detained a submarine or a cruiser coming from any particular location. There are eight Spanish fishing vessels on the list, nine were ...More Button

Priority Questions - Official Engagements

Was asked: his plans to visit Irish troops serving in Lebanon; and if he will use the opportunity to visit Gaza and extend Irish solidarity to the oppressed Palestinian people. More Button

I am pleased to inform the House that I will make my first visit to Irish troops serving overseas when I will accompany President McAleese on her official visit to Lebanon next month. The programme f...More Button

I thank the Deputy for her suggestion I am Head of State, but I have not yet been elevated to that particular post and do not anticipate ever seeking it or being elevated to it. The visit has been spe...More Button

The Deputy is obviously unaware that I visited Gaza some three months after the last conflict which took place between Hamas and Israel, that I saw the nature of the difficulties in Gaza and that I am...More Button

Other Questions - Overseas Missions

Was asked: the progress made on the current mission in the Lebanon since the arrival of troops there; the number of Irish troops currently on location there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Ireland has participated in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, since its establishment in 1978. UNIFIL’s mandate has been extended by the UN Security Council on an annual basis. On...More Button

I agree with the Deputy. We should be proud of what our forces do in Lebanon, as well as of the small contingents of members of the Defence Forces located in other parts of the world that are engaged...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding requests for deployment of the Defence Forces, including expert personnel, overseas; his plans in relation to future Defence Forces overseas missions; and if he will make a st...More Button

Ireland has offered, through the United Nations standby arrangements system, UNSAS, to provide up to 850 military personnel for overseas service at any one time. This figure equates to approximately ...More Button

The Deputy asks me that question whenever Question Time is on defence matters.More Button

The position has not changed from the first time I answered the question on the first occasion on which I took defence questions.More Button

Other Questions - National Emergency Plan

Was asked: the date on which the last meeting of the task force on emergency planning was held; the agenda for that meeting; when same is planned to hold a further meeting; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

The Government task force on emergency planning, which I chair, meets regularly, most recently on 30 June 2011. The next meeting is scheduled for 29 September 2011, which is next week. The task forc...More Button

A number of recommendations were made to the task force arising from the weather events that took place last year and early this year and these are being taken on board. They are cross-departmental r...More Button

I can only say to the Deputy that I believe it is important that we plan properly and that we have in place the systems necessary to respond when emergencies arise, but we also have to remember that o...More Button

Other Questions - Defence Forces Recruitment

Was asked: his plans for general service recruitment to the Defence Forces for the remainder of 2011 and in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will be aware of the restrictions on recruitment to the public service generally arising from the necessity to restore balance to the public finances. In the context of this challenge, the...More Button

I reiterate it is not clear yet how many may retire during the course of this year. I can assure the Deputy that, in so far as retirements do take place, we will ensure that the necessary officers ma...More Button

In that context, we are of course trying to ensure that, within the defence establishment, we keep within our financial envelope this year and within the restrictions that we have to operate within. ...More Button

In the context of recruitment, it is likely to cover the area of the Naval Service and the Army at this stage. The exact numbers have to be clarified and agreed. I am happy to keep the Deputy inform...More Button

Other Questions - Defence Forces Deployment

Was asked: if he will provide an update in the EUTM Somalia, the EU mission to contribute to the training of Somali security forces and the involvement of Defence Forces or any other personnel from this State;...More Button

The EU training mission, or EUTM as it is known, in Somalia — there is an abbreviated version of every mission that people are engaged in — to train the security forces of the Somali Transitional Fede...More Button

The Government has been following and responding to the increasingly difficult situation in Somalia and the Horn of Africa region for many months and has allocated more than €9 million in emergency as...More Button

We are essentially training troops who, we hope, based on the ethos and principles we bring to the mission, will have a degree of insight in carrying out their duties when they return to Mogadishu. I...More Button

Other Questions - Defence Forces Reserve

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 322 of 5 April 2011, when he expects the value for money review of the Reserve Defence Forces to be completed; if the steering committee has agreed on a timefra...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, a value for money review of the Reserve Defence Force commenced in February 2010. Significant progress has been made on the review and in the normal course of events I would h...More Button

I am keenly aware of the concerns expressed by some of the members of the Reserve Defence Force. I attended the annual meeting and used my time to engage with members of the force and discuss their c...More Button

I have a figure in my head for the current strength of the Reserve Defence Force, but I do not have the exact figure in the file. I do not want to give a figure to the Deputy without ensuring it is c...More Button

Other Questions - Defence Forces Review

Was asked: if he accepts the need to maintain the strength, standard of equipment and readiness of the Defence Forces at all times notwithstanding financial curtailments arising from the EU-IMF bailout and hav...More Button

I am advised that at this time the Defence Forces retain the capacity to undertake the tasks laid down by the Government both at home and overseas, as clearly evidenced by the numbers currently overse...More Button

I hope the Deputy will not take anything more from my responding “Yes” to what he said. I agree with what he said. It is important we maintain the capabilities of the Defence Forces, the numbers for...More Button

As I said on 31 August, there are 1,005 personnel within the Naval Service. I would have mentioned in a reply to Deputy Calleary that, in the context of possible additional recruitment this year, I e...More Button

Other Questions - Overseas Missions

Was asked: the discussions he has had with EU-UN colleagues in the matter of ongoing or further deployment of the Defence Forces overseas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As stated earlier, Ireland is contributing 524 Defence Forces personnel to 11 missions throughout the world. The main overseas missions, in which Defence Forces personnel are deployed, are the United...More Button

I assure the Deputy that is the case. I mentioned earlier that we have up to 850 members of the Defence Forces who could be deployed abroad. I was merely making the case that as we have in excess of...More Button

I am anxious to ensure, in the difficult financial circumstances in which we find ourselves, that the Defence Forces retain their operational capabilities to contribute to international peacekeeping m...More Button

And Deputy Naughten, whom I did not intend to leave off the list.More Button

I referred previously to the fact that more than 200 Defence Forces personnel were recruited during the course of this year. It is vital to ensure a degree of age balance. There is intake into the D...More Button

Written Answers - Severe Weather Events

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the level of support available to the Defence Forces to deal with severe weather emergencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Whilst the Defence Forces are not a Principal Response Agency, as defined in the Framework for Major Emergency Management, they provide assistance in an Aid to the Civil Authority (ATCA) role under th...More Button

Written Answers - Public Order Offences

Was asked: the amount of alcohol seized by the Garda from persons drinking alcohol in a public place for the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and to date in 2011; the monetary value of the alcohol seized by the Garda; an...More Button

Sections 8A and 8B of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994, inserted by section 19 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008, provide members of An Garda Síochána with certain powers in relation to ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Operations

Was asked: the powers and equipment available to the Garda when dealing with a vehicle which has tinted windows. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that provisions of the Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicle) Regulations 1963, made by the Minister for Transport, allow members of An Garda ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Transport

Was asked: the number of additional Garda vans and Garda motorbikes purchased in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and to date in 2011. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table outlines the number of vans and Garda motorbikes purchased in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and to date in 2011.More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications

Was asked: if he is in receipt of correspondence from a person (details supplied) in relation to Irish citizenship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that a valid application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred t...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations

Was asked: if, in view of new medical evidence being uncovered, he will ensure that the Garda investigation will be reopened into the death of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the incident to which the Deputies refer was the subject of investigation by An Garda Síochána, which resulted in the submission of an investigation file to...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Retirement

Was asked: if he will increase the retirement age for Garda sergeants, inspectors and superintendents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Retirement of members of An Garda Síochána is governed by statutory provisions which set the mandatory retirement age for all members at 60 years of age. I have no plans to extend that age at this tim...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Vetting of Personnel

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the difference in the processing time for Garda clearances for voluntary youth workers here compared to that of the PSNI which processes such applications within a ...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that at present the average processing time for vetting applications received at the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) is approximately 10 weeks. I appreciate th...More Button

Written Answers - Legal Profession

Was asked: the number of solicitors that have switched careers to become barristers and vice versa in the past ten years; if he will provide a breakdown by year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under the law as it stands I have no function in the matter of solicitors and barristers switching careers. However, the Law Society has provided me with the following information regarding the number...More Button

Written Answers - Court Staff

Was asked: the locations at which vacancies exist for judges at District Court level; if and when it is intended to appoint persons to these vacancies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There are three vacancies in the District Court: in District Number 14 (Limerick), District Number 20 (Cork) and District Number 22 (Carlow/Kilkenny). Due to upcoming retirements two additional Distr...More Button

Written Answers - Courts Service

Was asked: the average waiting times for hearing family law cases, by district court location; in locations at which the wait is very long, the action he intends to take to reduce the delays; and if he will mak...More Button

The management and administration of the courts including responsibility for maintaining and publishing court statistics is a matter for the Courts Service. However, in order to be of assistance to t...More Button

Written Answers - Coroners Service

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

The Coroner for County Offaly has confirmed to me that the file in relation to this matter has not been destroyed or burned and is fully intact. He is at a loss to know why this question has arisen.More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength

Was asked: the number of persons currently in the Air Corps and Naval Service by rank. More Button

The following table shows the number of persons in the Air Corps and Naval Service by rank, as at 31 August 2011, the latest date for which figures are available. More Button

Written Answers - National Sail Training Scheme

Was asked: the position regarding the Malcolm Miller ship (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The position is that the previous Government decided in the context of settling the Estimates for the Department of Defence for 2010 that the national sail training scheme operated by Coiste an Asgard...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property

Was asked: the extent to which military installations decommissioned in previous years have been disposed of and benefits realised for the Exchequer; the extent to which any such buildings are retained and for ...More Button

On 15 July 1998 the then Government approved a programme of the closure and sale of six barracks considered surplus to military requirements. The barracks in question were located at Ballincollig, Fe...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Personnel

Was asked: the age profile of the Defence Forces at all ranks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Military Authorities that the average age of all personnel in the Permanent Defence Force is 36.8 years with 60.3% of all personnel aged under 40 years. The 2000 White Paper on Def...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Training

Was asked: the extent to which ongoing upskilling and training in line with requirements or anticipated requirements continues in respect of the Army, Navy and Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

The Defence Forces conducts training and education under three broad categories — skills training; career training and education; and collective training. Skills training is the medium through which t...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength

Was asked: the current strength of the Army, Navy and Air Corps; the extent to which these numbers have altered in each of the past five years and to date in 2011 and for whatever purpose; and if he will make a...More Button

I am advised by the Military Authorities that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force as at 31 August 2011, the latest date for which figures are available, was 9,513 comprising 7,722 Army, 786 Ai...More Button

Was asked: the total number of promotions pending or position waiting to be filled at all levels in the Defence Forces; when it is expected that all such positions will be filled and appointments concluded; and...More Button

Official confirmation and details relating to the Employment Control Framework (ECF) were received on 18 October 2010 from the Department of Finance. The ECF is based on a figure of 10,000 all ranks ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment

Was asked: the degree to which upgrading of equipment has been identified or is required in the Army, Navy and Air Corps; the extent to which it is expected to meet such requirements in the short, medium and lo...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the Defence Forces continue to be equipped with the most modern technology in terms of communications, body armour or other equipment with particular reference to the needs of tho...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 114 and 116 together. Investment in new equipment for the Defence Forces is provided for under various Subheads of the Defence Vote relating to defensive equipment, me...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength

Was asked: the number of promotions by rank throughout the Defence Forces in each of the past five years and to date in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In relation to the number of promotions by rank throughout the Defence Forces in each of the past five years and to date in 2011, it has not been possible at this time to source all the necessary info...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions

Was asked: the extent to which the UN has fully reimbursed the State in respect of overseas troop deployment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The only mission in which the Defence Forces is currently participating and for which Ireland is due reimbursement by the UN is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). An Irish Battalio...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment

Was asked: the extent to which all equipment including sea going vessels available to the naval service is fully modernised and up to date in line with requirements to meet any emergencies; and if he will make ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the Air Corps is fully modernised in terms of aircraft, equipment and skilled personnel with particular reference to requirements arising from overseas deployment or emergencies s...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 118 and 119 together. As the Deputy will be aware the Irish Coast Guard has overall responsibility for the provision of Search and Rescue, (SAR) services within the I...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that sufficient provision is being made in terms of skills, equipment and aircraft and sea going vessels to provide the highest level of coastal surveillance and air-sea rescue ser...More Button

The primary day-to-day tasking of the Naval Service is to provide a fishery protection service in accordance with the State’s obligations as a member of the European Union. However, as the need arises...More Button


Last Updated: 08/03/2013 18:56:33 First Page Previous Page Page of 143 Next Page Last Page