Shatter, Alan

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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Priority Questions - Garda Strength

Was asked: the final number of eligible garda who have indicated they will be retiring by end February 2012; the options reviewed by the Garda Commissioners in relation to potentially closing garda stations; ...More Button

The strength of the Garda Síochána at the end of 2011 was just under 13,900, along with over 2,000 civilian support staff and over 800 Garda Reserve members. I am informed by the Garda authorities th...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, under the EU-IMF agreement, substantial efficiencies must be effected. His party, when in government, entered into arrangements with a view to reducing the numbers in the Gard...More Button

Priority Questions - Northern Ireland Issues

Was asked: his proposals to work with his northern counterpart to increase all-Ireland justice and crime initiatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that I regularly meet my Northern Ireland counterpart, the Minister of Justice, Mr. David Ford, and we have developed a close working relationship. We have a shared ...More Button

There is a series of meetings at ministerial level with the Minister, Mr. Ford. As I detailed, at official level there is ongoing contact and strategies are being developed on a continuous basis, not...More Button

The alcohol legislation is a classic example of the cross-Border co-operation in which we are engaged. One of the proposals we are considering is for both Governments to enact legislation to prevent ...More Button

Priority Questions - Human Rights Issues

Was asked: if he will assure Dáil Éireann that the new body resulting from the merger of the Equality Authority and the Irish Human Rights Alliance will continue to provide independent assistance to victims o...More Button

On 6 October 2011 I announced the terms of reference of the working group to advise me on the merger of the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority. At the time I made a clear statement th...More Button

The review group I have appointed comprises four members each from the Equality Authority and the Human Rights Commission, as well as representatives of my Department and an independent chairman. Its...More Button

The review group was given a broad remit to present from its perspective the best possible option. My duty as Minister is to ensure there are reasonable resources in place for what is established. I...More Button

Priority Questions - Asylum Support Services

Was asked: his plans to create an independent complaint mechanism for asylum seekers reception centres at the Reception and Integration Agency; if he intends to extend the powers of the Ombudsman to cover the...More Button

The Reception and Integration Agency, RIA, of my Department currently accommodates more than 5,300 persons across 39 centres. Complaints by centre residents are dealt with in accordance with the proc...More Button

There are, of course, fewer people in such accommodation than in previous years. The numbers are falling. I note that during the Deputy’s party’s 14 year term of office it did not deem it appropriat...More Button

Priority Questions - Courts Service

Was asked: his views on the principle of community courts being used to harness the power of the justice system to address more located crime; and if he considers that a pilot scheme could be initiated within...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the biggest volume of crime in Ireland is tried in the local District Courts which are established pursuant to the Constitution as courts of local and limited jurisdiction...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, crime levels in particular areas are influenced by a range of issues and a community court would not provide a panacea in the context of dealing with the various difficulties w...More Button

The best way for an offender to make amends to a community is through community service. The Probation Service is involved in extensive engagement in this area. The effect of the community service o...More Button

Other Questions - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: his views on the resignation of the chief executive of the National Women’s Council, the 35% reduction in its budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will guarantee that there will be no further cuts to the current 35% funding cut from his Department to the National Women’s Council of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter....More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 66 and 91 together. I wish to clarify for the House that the National Women’s Council of Ireland is wholly independent of my Department. However, my Department will m...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, the Government has a substantial programme in the area of women’s rights. Unlike the Deputy’s party, we will put in place legislation to ensure greater participation by wo...More Button

The Deputy cannot have it both ways. He is a member of a party which destroyed the economy of the country. He knows there are substantially fewer resources available to my Department. In circumstan...More Button

——the Deputy constantly pretends there can be no reduction, regardless of the areas in which it is made.More Button

I do not want to comment on the resignation of the chief executive officer.More Button

She had her own reasons for resigning. All I can say is that a very successful conference was held in Dublin Castle to address serious issues to give women an opportunity to engage in electoral polit...More Button

We have to examine whether we can fund some of these organisations on a multi-annual basis. As we go through the three difficult years of 2012, 2013 and 2014 choices will have to be made as between o...More Button

Other Questions - Garda Promotions

Was asked: his plan for Garda promotions in 2012; the number of anticipated promotions; when this matter will be brought to Cabinet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, today I secured Cabinet approval for the appointment of two assistant Garda commissioners, eight chief superintendents and 23 superintendents, giving a total of 33 appointm...More Button

On the question of when the other appointments will be made, I have had discussions with the Garda Commissioner — I talked to him today after these appointments were announced — and I understand he wi...More Button

I will eventually get to that.More Button

Today was a good news story for the Garda.More Button

It is important that at a time of financial difficulty, we approach——More Button

——the issue of the use of resources effectively.More Button

The Garda Commissioner would have known a little time ago that these matters would come before the Cabinet this week.More Button

There is no difference of any description between myself and the Garda Commissioner——More Button

——who is doing a tremendous job.More Button

In the ongoing issue of ensuring maximum efficiencies, there will be a look at the current structure of the Garda force to determine whether further efficiencies can be effected and resources targeted...More Button

That is more nonsense.More Button

There is a transition team in place at Government level which covers a broad range of Departments and deals with any issues that may arise as a result of the retirements. As I keep on telling the Dep...More Button

The memo on the matter, without breaching the concept of Cabinet confidentiality, would have been prepared — if it is of assistance to the Deputy to know this — before last week. Appropriately the ma...More Button

It is important that we confirm for Deputy Dara Calleary who constantly thinks the world is about to end — every weekend he seems to issue a statement suggesting the end of the world is nigh——More Button

——that the world will continue beyond 29 February right into March, April and May. The Government will continue to make positive decisions to the benefit of the country, not just in the areas of just...More Button

Other Questions - Legislative Programme

Was asked: the date on which he will publish a new consolidated prevention of corruption Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The heads of a Bill to reform and consolidate the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to 2010 are being developed within my Department and I hope to bring them to the Government before Easter for appro...More Button

I thank the Deputy for his positive comments. As should be obvious at this stage, there is substantial work ongoing in my Department in modernising various areas of the law and consolidating legislat...More Button

The formula used in the House is that a Bill goes to the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, but, as Members know, it is open to any Member to participate in a committee’s deliberations ...More Button

Other Questions - Organised Crime

Was asked: the extent to which the necessary personnel, general resources, communications, mobile equipment, intelligence and forensic facilities continue to be available to gardaí to tackle the ongoing activ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which adequate provision is being made to tackle organised crime with particular reference to surveillance and monitoring the activities of criminal gangs; and if he will make a state...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which it is expected to concentrate the resources available to the Garda Síochána on the activities of organised crime; the efforts being made to identify the level and scale of such ...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that adequate resources can be made available to the Garda Síochána to meet the ongoing and increasing threat arising from the activity of criminal gangs; and if he will make a s...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 69 and 398 to 400, inclusive, together. The Deputy will be aware from the replies I have provided for him in response to a number of recent parliamentary questions of ...More Button

Obviously the Garda deploys a range of different strategies in targeting organised crime, those engaged in drug crime and those who use firearms, and the Deputy would not expect me to reveal those str...More Button

I will take the questions in reverse order. There is substantial information available to the Garda on a broad range of individuals who might be engaged in criminality. I do not wish to say more tha...More Button

Other Questions - Prisoner Releases

Was asked: the results of the Irish Prison Service comprehensive review of the pilot project which involved electronically tagging and monitoring 31 prisoners on release; and the date on which this review wil...More Button

Part 10 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 provides for the introduction of electronic monitoring, or tagging as it is also known, in this jurisdiction. My predecessor made the relevant order in 2010 c...More Button

We are not looking at it in isolation. We have some pre-release programmes and there are a number of organisations, funded through the Department, that also look after prisoners following their relea...More Button

Other Questions - Garda Stations

Was asked: if he will outline on a county basis the number and name of each additional Garda station that will close or will have its opening hours restricted during 2012, 2013 or 2014; and if he will make a ...More Button

The names of the Garda stations which are scheduled to close in 2012 have been provided to the House in the policing plan for An Garda Síochána which I lodged with the House last December. For ease o...More Button

This is a management issue for the Garda Commissioner. It is something that can be the subject of a conversation between us, but the Garda Commissioner has a statutory function in this regard. It wo...More Button

Other Questions - Coroners Service

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the current practice by coroners in relation to the reporting of suicide; if there is a need for a review of our coroners service; his plans to review the legislation govern...More Button

Under the Coroners Act 1962, a coroner is an independent officeholder with responsibility under law for the medico-legal investigations of the circumstances of sudden, unexplained, violent and unnatur...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that, because of the independence of coroners, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the approach taken by an individual coroner. The duty of a coroner is to acc...More Button

Leaders’ Questions

That is the gold-plated version.More Button

Deputy McGrath has been deep in it——More Button

Deputy McGrath is the expert on desludging. He is a postgraduate and has a doctorate in desludging.More Button

International Agreements: Motion

I move: That Dáil Éireann approves the terms of the agreement between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United States of America on enhancing co-operation in preventing and combating...More Button

Question put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

International Co-operation: Motion

I move: That Dáil Éireann approves Ireland’s accession to the memorandum of understanding concerning the principles for the establishment and operation of a battle group to be made available to the Eu...More Button

The Deputy lives in an Alice in Wonderland world. It is extraordinary.More Button

The Deputy is amazingly silent on the slaughter in Syria.More Button

He has had nothing to say about that for months.More Button

He is merely paranoid about Europe and America.More Button

They are not mentioned on the Irish Anti-War Movement’s website.More Button

I am sure they are delighted the Deputy is on their side.More Button

From where did the Deputy get that figure?More Button

Does the Deputy think we should not participate in peacekeeping measures?More Button

He is opposed to peacekeeping measures.More Button

That is all they are for.More Button

Does the Deputy believe that members of the Defence Forces involved in peacekeeping missions in Lebanon and elsewhere should use water pistols?More Button

Question put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations

Was asked: the total number of Garda personnel involved in the investigation into Anglo Irish Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the investigations into Anglo Irish Bank by An Garda Síochána and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) are ongoing with a full Investi...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: his views on the recent Law Reform Commission report on mandatory sentencing; his plans to amend the policy of mandatory sentencing for certain offences; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

I should say at the outset that the recent Law Reform Commission document referred to by the Deputy is a consultation paper on mandatory sentences which invites submissions from interested parties and...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Welfare

Was asked: the position regarding the proposal for the Irish Prison Service to examine options for the development of prisoner welfare and resettlement functions generally; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

I can advise the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service is in the process of drafting a new Strategic Plan for 2012-2014 which will be presented to me, by the Director General, in the first week of Apri...More Button

Written Answers - Legal Aid Service

Was asked: if he will indicate the number of applications for legal aid, in both a civil and criminal context, in each of the past three years to date in 2012; the number of applications pending; his future pla...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the provision of legal aid within this State is split into two separate categories, namely civil legal aid and criminal legal aid. Under the Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Act 19...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Operations

Was asked: if he will give details of the plan of action of An Garda Síochána to deal with the problem of cross-Border fuel smuggling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The House will appreciate that it is the Revenue Commissioners who take the lead role in investigating fuel laundering and smuggling in this jurisdiction and are supported in that role by An Garda Sío...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the cost to him of the Garda presence at Bellanaboy Shell refinery, County Mayo, each year since 2006; the cost to date with a breakdown of the Garda ranks, the salaries paid including basic salary, ...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the additional costs arising for the Gardaí from the policing operation of the Shell Refinery project at Bellanaboy from 2006 to December 2011 is €14,566,26...More Button

Was asked: the amount of the 2012 capital allocation to the Irish Prison Service that will be spent specifically on improving conditions at Cork prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I can advise the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service is in the process of drafting a new Strategic Plan 2012-2014 which will be presented to me, by the Director General, in the first week of April. T...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Disciplinary Proceedings

Was asked: if he has completed a review of the discipline regulations within An Garda Síochána; the date on which he will introduce new regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A review of the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007, involving all parties to the process, is under way. It is anticipated that the review will be completed in 2012 and new regulations intro...More Button

Written Answers - Courts Service

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the limited number of registrars due to the public sector recruitment embargo is having a negative impact on the number of cases that can be heard in ...More Button

Under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, the management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions. To be of assistance to...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Inspectorate

Was asked: if he has brought a report, Responding to Child Sexual Abuse, by the Garda inspectorate to the Cabinet; the date on which he will lay the report and addendum before the Houses of the Oireachtas; the ...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that the Government has taken note of the Garda Inspectorate report, Responding to Child Sexual Abuse, and that the report and a document responding to the report’s recommendat...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Deaths

Was asked: if he will establish an office of prisoner ombudsman to investigate all deaths in the custody of the Irish Prison Service to ensure equivalency of human rights guarantees as part of the State’s oblig...More Button

All deaths of prisoners are subject to independent investigation. Every case of a death in prison custody is the subject of a Garda investigation and an inquest held in a Coroner’s Court. The cause...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Accommodation

Was asked: if a meeting of governors and doctors has been held advising of new procedures that govern the use of safety observation cells and close supervision cells as set out in the action plan on Limerick pr...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that meetings have taken place with the Governors and prison doctors regarding the new procedures for the operation of safety observation cells and close supervision cells....More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: the position regarding the work of the expert group looking at the Criminal Assets Bureau who are reviewing the proceeds of crime legislation and the date in early 2012 that their paper will be publi...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, an expert group, established under the auspices of my Department, is engaged in a comprehensive review of the Proceeds of Crime legislation with a view to identifying possible ...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Vetting of Personnel

Was asked: the reason Garda clearance documents are only given to companies or organisations which have registered with the Garda clearance centre and documents are not issued to persons living here or organisa...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that Garda vetting certificates for employment purposes are only provided for those seeking employment in Ireland with registered organisations where the employm...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment

Was asked: the manner in which, under section 30(4) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner decides the fees to charge for police services on a non-public duty basis for commercial events such as...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the cost to the event holder is determined by the number of gardaí deployed at a particular event. The operational policing plan for a particular event is ...More Button

Written Answers - White Papers

Was asked: the increases in supports, both in staffing and resources, he will give to the Probation Service to enable it to work with more offenders in the context of his initiatives which attempt to reduce pri...More Button

I understand the Deputy is referring to the introduction of a pilot project, the Community Return scheme, in October, 2011 under which offenders who pose no threat to the community are offered earned ...More Button

Was asked: the civil society organisations or other organisations he has engaged with in the context of the White Paper on Crime process; and the date on which this paper will be published. More Button

I can inform the Deputy that consultation has been central to the development of the White Paper on Crime and was principally structured around four discussion documents. As part of this process my ...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: if he will bring forward the date of publication of the inspection of places of detention Bill. More Button

The General Scheme of a Bill relating to inspections of places of detention is being prepared in my Department. This is intended, inter alia, to enable ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Uni...More Button

Written Answers - Organised Crime

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that no person to date has been convicted under gangland legislation, specifically of the provisions contained in the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009...More Button

I have previously indicated to the House my intention to keep under review the legislative framework underpinning the State’s response to organised crime to see whether any further improvements could ...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: his views on the establishment of an independent debt resolution agency as proposed by the free legal advice centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will be aware that, having obtained Government approval for urgent drafting by the Office of the Attorney General and Parliamentary Counsel, I published the text of the General Scheme of th...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Conditions

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the current procedures regarding deaths in prison custody comply with the terms of the European Convention on Human Rights. More Button

I am satisfied that the current procedures regarding deaths in prison custody fully comply with the European Convention on Human Rights. The jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights requi...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength

Was asked: if he has directed the Garda Commissioner on the issue of the reduction of personnel in the Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The strength of the Garda Síochána at the end of 2011 was just under 13,900, along with over 2,000 civilian support staff and over 800 Garda Reserve members. I am informed by the Garda Authorities t...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: if he will outline the specific process he intends to propose for the appointment of approved intermediaries as mentioned in head 27 of the proposed draft scheme of the personal insolvency Bill 2012;...More Button

The Personal Insolvency Bill, the Heads of which I published on 25 January 2012, introduces a number of new non-judicial debt settlement systems. One of those systems — the Debt Relief Certificate (DR...More Button

Written Answers - Road Traffic Offences

Was asked: the revenue received in fixed charges paid by speeding drivers as a result of detections by cameras operated by an outsourced safety camera network since its contract concluded in November 2009. More Button

Speed cameras save lives through the reduction of fatal and serious-injury speed-related collisions. The outsourced safety camera network commenced operations in November 2010 and is currently providi...More Button

Written Answers - Prison Visiting Committees

Was asked: the position regarding his plans to reform the prison visiting committees; and the way in which new members will be appointed to same. More Button

I have previously stated my intention to strengthen the independent oversight of our prisons. Under new legislation to be prepared, I intend to make Visiting Committees more effective while they cont...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations

Was asked: if he will explain the rationale behind the cutting of hours in which Malahide Garda station, County Dublin, will be open; and if he will reconsider this decision. More Button

In reaching a decision on the closure and the reduction of public opening hours of Garda stations, the Commissioner reviewed all aspects of the Garda Síochána’s policing model, including the deploymen...More Button

Written Answers - National Women’s Strategy

Was asked: the details of his review of the national women’s strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The National Women’s Strategy was launched by the previous Government in 2007 as a policy document in relation to the advancement of women in all areas of Irish society for the period 2007-2016. Its t...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Complaints Procedures

Was asked: if he will introduce an independent complaints mechanism for prisoners here. More Button

The Prisons (Visiting Committees) Act 1925 provides for a Visiting Committee to be constituted for every prison in the State and one of the statutory duties of such committees is to hear any complaint...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations

Was asked: if he will review the implementation of the plan to close rural Garda stations announced in December 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In reaching a decision on the closure of Garda stations, the Commissioner reviewed all aspects of the Garda Síochána’s policing model, including the deployment of personnel, the utilisation of modern ...More Button

Written Answers - Legislative Programme

Was asked: the insolvency Bill, his plans to ensure that the lenders will have an obligation or incentives to accept them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The reform of personal insolvency law, the Heads of Bill which I have published, will involve the introduction of three new non-judicial debt settlement systems, subject to relevant conditions in each...More Button

Was asked: his plans to reform the law on mental capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to my response to Question No. 193 of 12 January 2012 in which I said that: “The Government Legislation Programme, published on 11 January 2012, indicates that the Mental Capacity B...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations

Was asked: the total number of Garda stations here as at 31 December 2011; the number of these stations that have an e-mail address; his views that every Garda station should have a unique email connection; an...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the total number of Garda Stations in the country at the end of 2011 was 703. I have been further informed by the Garda Commissioner that there are...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding Garda numbers. More Button

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that the personnel strength of the Kerry Division on the 31 December 2011, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 314 which compares with 3...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations

Was asked: the position regarding the proposals to redevelop Clane Garda station, County Kildare, in view of the inadequate facilities for both staff and members of the public; if the station has been identifi...More Button

The programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is based on agreed priorities established by An Garda Síochána. This programme is progressed in co-operation with the Office of P...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: the position regarding legislation (details supplied). More Button

The Deputy will recall that the Government announced in December last that it had decided not to proceed with legislation in the area referred to in his question. There was a substantial concern that...More Button

Written Answers - Visa Applications

Was asked: the procedures to be followed to facilitate a visit in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In common with all citizens of Iraq the persons referred to are required to be in possession of a visa prior to seeking entry to the State. All persons who are visa required and who are not in posses...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown of the numbers of gardaí who retired from the force in Ballymun, Finglas, Santry and Whitehall, Dublin 11; the expected retirements for 2012; and if these positions ha...More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that it has not been possible to provide the information required in the limited time available. However, the information is currently being collated and will be sent to t...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown of the number of gardaí serving in Dublin Airport in the years 2010, 2011 and projected numbers for 2012. More Button

I have been informed by the Commissioner that the personnel strength of Dublin Airport on 31 December 2010 and on the 31 December 2011 was 22 and 33 respectively. These numbers are augmented by offic...More Button

Written Answers - Courts Service

Was asked: the steps which are being taken to hold all remand hearings for prisoners in Castlerea Prison at Harristown Court, Roscommon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The position is that the Courts are, subject only to the constitution and the law, independent in the exercise of their judicial functions and the conduct of any court case is a matter for the presidi...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations

Was asked: the date of the last Neighbourhood Watch meeting in each community which is about to have its Garda station closed; the planned date for closure of each station; if he will confirm that a garda is b...More Button

The names of the Garda Stations which are scheduled to close in 2012 have been provided to the House in the Policing Plan for An Garda Síochána which I lodged with the House last December. I have als...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications

Was asked: if he will clarify if, in the event that an American citizen marries an Irish citizen in the USA, he or she is entitled to Irish citizenship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There is no entitlement to Irish citizenship by virtue of marriage to an Irish citizen under the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, whether the marriage takes pl...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment

Was asked: the statutory basis which allows Garda escorts for transporting commercial explosives on a non-public duty basis; the body that bears the cost of Garda involvement in such activities; and if he will...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that under section 30 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner may charge for certain policing services. The question of charges for the type of services referred...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength

Was asked: the current status of Garda management in relation to promotions, resignations and retirements; if he is satisfied that there are enough inspectors, superintendents, chief inspectors and assistant c...More Button

The strength of the Garda Síochána at the end of 2011 was just under 13,900, along with over 2,000 civilian support staff and over 800 Garda Reserve members. I am informed by the Garda Authorities th...More Button

Written Answers - Illicit Trade in Tobacco

Was asked: his response and that of An Garda Síochána to the report that as much as 18% of cigarettes smoked here last year were illegally imported; his views that the smuggling of tobacco products is on par w...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that law enforcement in relation to the smuggling of tobacco products and the sale of illicit or counterfeit tobacco products within the State is primarily a matter for the Re...More Button

Written Answers - Housing Management Companies

Was asked: the work he is undertaking to deal with the issues arising when families have paid deposits on homes in estates in which the management company is no longer in business and no local authority has ta...More Button

One of the principal objectives of the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 is to ensure transfer of the common areas of multi-unit developments from developers to the owners’ management companies concern...More Button

Written Answers - Sexual Offences

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the level of compliance by persons who are subject to the requirements of Part 2 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001; the number of notifications received from other jurisdictions o...More Button

The Sex Offenders Act 2001 contains a comprehensive series of provisions aimed at protecting children and other persons. Part 2 of the Act makes persons convicted of a range of sexual offences subjec...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: his plans to reform the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply below to Parliamentary Question No. 61 of 25 October 2011. The position is unchanged since then. I have no plans at present to reform the legislation on citizenship and...More Button

Written Answers - Northern Ireland Issues

Was asked: his response to the view of the Garda Commissioner and the Chief Constable of the PSNI, that the threat of dissident republican activity was severe; the steps he is taking to tackle this issue; and i...More Button

I am sure the House will join me in condemning all subversive groups and their activities. We should be clear that the so-called ‘dissident republicans’ are no more than criminal terrorists using vio...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: when the legal advice about not being able to change the upward only rents became available to Government; if the commitment in the programme for Government is defunct; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The Deputy will recall that in response to his request for clarification on the matter I wrote to him on 8 December last confirming that the Government had decided not to proceed with legislation to a...More Button

Written Answers - Independent International Commission on Decommissioning

Was asked: if it was his decision to donate documents from the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning to Boston College, USA; his views on this decision; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Questions Nos. 169 to 174, inclusive, of 26 January 2012. The position is as set out in that reply.More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: his plans to introduce legislation to repeal the current bankruptcy legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will be aware that, having obtained Government approval for urgent drafting by the Office of the Attorney General and Parliamentary Counsel, I published the text of the General Scheme of th...More Button

Was asked: if there is any legislation in place to regulate cash for gold shops to ensure that all purchased gold has been sourced legally; if there are plans to introduce such legislation; and if he will make ...More Button

The informal purchase of jewellery is not specifically regulated in criminal legislation; however the circumstances under which jewellery is being bought and/or sold may indicate the commission of cer...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Vetting of Personnel

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their Garda clearance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their Garda clearance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 376 and 377 together. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda Central Vetting Unit has no record of vetting applications on behalf of the individuals con...More Button

Written Answers - Public Sector Staff

Was asked: if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the number of public sector workers, including gardaí, who have availed of the Croke Park early retirement scheme including their grade and place of employm...More Button

I am taking the Deputy’s question to refer to public servants who not having reached their minimum retirement age avail of Cost Neutral Early Retirement (CNER) and who also benefit from the provisions...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications

Was asked: when a citizenship application will be completed in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Louth. More Button

I am advised by the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that valid applications for certificates of naturalisation were received from the persons referred t...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength

Was asked: the number of gardaí that have availed of the early retirement scheme in County Donegal and their rank. More Button

Members of An Garda Síochána who joined the force prior to 1 April 2004 may retire once they have served at least 30 years and they have reached 50 years of age. Members of An Garda Síochána who join...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will receive their payment under the criminal injury compensation scheme; the reason for the delay in payment; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal is entirely independent in the matter of individual applications under the Scheme. However, in order to be of assistance in th...More Button

Written Answers - Passport Applications

Was asked: if a passport will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Irish Passports are issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs. However, I can inform the Deputy that I am advised by the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (IN...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment

Was asked: the position regarding Toomevara Garda station, County Tipperary; if he will address the concerns of the local community who fear that the retiring garda will not be replaced; the steps being taken t...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Commissioner, in consultation with his senior management team, is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisati...More Button

Written Answers - Citizenship Applications

Was asked: when a decision will issue on an application for naturalisation in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; 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 an application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to by ...More Button

Written Answers - Firearms Licences

Was asked: the number of firearms licences held throughout the State; if he will provide a geographic breakdown of the locations at which these licences are held; the quantity of firearms held by each individua...More Button

As it has not been possible to compile the information requested by the Deputy in the time available, I have asked the Garda Commissioner for a report on the matter and will write to the Deputy when i...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Statistics

Was asked: the number of legally held firearms that have been reported stolen during each of the past five years; the number of these stolen forearms that were recovered; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

I have asked the Garda Commissioner for a report on the matter and I will write to the Deputy when it becomes available.More Button

Written Answers - Firearms Licences

Was asked: his plans to address recent Garda behaviour in the issuing of gun licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I take it the Deputy is referring to a recent High Court case involving Judicial Reviews of decisions by Chief Superintendents in firearms cases. What was at issue were decisions by Chief Superintend...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Vetting of Personnel

Was asked: the number of Garda vettings carried out in each of the years 2008 to 2011; the number of clearances that were granted; the number that were declined in each of these years; the number of instances i...More Button

Was asked: his views on the Garda vetting process required of those applying to work with children and vulnerable adults with regard to the administrative inefficiencies that result from a person having to be v...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 388 and 389 together. There has been a substantial increase in the volume of vetting applications received by the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) over recent years. ...More Button

Written Answers - Civil Partnership

Was asked: his plans to legislate for the rights of children whose parents are in a civil partnership; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if and when the legislative shortcomings of the Civil Partnership Act, which although a vitally important step in introducing equality and recognising the diverse composition of family units here, wi...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the lack of legal protection for the children of same-sex couples; and if he intends to legislate on this matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 390, 397 and 411 together. The Programme for Government includes a commitment to amend the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Transport

Was asked: the criteria by which marked patrol cars are assigned to individual stations; if it is by number of gardaí per station, geographical area covered by the station or if there is another or discretionar...More Button

Was asked: the number of marked patrol cars assigned to Skerries Garda station, County Dublin; if these cars are currently in working order; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of marked patrol cars assigned to Lusk Garda station, County Dublin; if these cars are currently in working order; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of marked patrol cars assigned to Balbriggan Garda station, County Dublin; if these cars are currently in working order; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 391 to 394, inclusive, together. Decisions in relation to the deployment of Garda resources, including transport, are a matter for the Garda Commissioner. In that cont...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the overtime budgets allocated to An Garda Síochána for the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the overtime budgets allocated to An Garda Síochána for the years 2008 to 2012 are detailed below:More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength

Was asked: the number of gardaí by rank currently in the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Garda Technical Bureau; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the personnel strength of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation (G.B.F.I), Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (N.B.C.I.) and the Gard...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Deployment

Was asked: the extent if any to which redeployment of personnel within the Garda Síochána will take place to ensure adequate policing in areas hardest hit by retirements from the force in the context of reducti...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that the total number of Garda retirements from the Force in the first two months of this year is expected to be around 300. To put that figure into context, in...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Strength

Was asked: the total number of vacancies at all ranks awaiting to be filled at the present time; the extent to which such posts are to be filled in the current year; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that the personnel strength of An Garda Síochána on 31 December 2011, the latest date for which figures are readily available, was 13,894 broken down by rank as ...More Button

Written Answers - Organised Crime

Was asked: the number of prosecutions taken against criminal gangs or members thereof in each of the past four years to date; the number of court appearances; the number of convictions; the number of cases dism...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that membership of organised crime gangs tends to be fluid and offences committed by members of criminal gangs may or may not be connected with an individual’s membership of...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Prevention

Was asked: the extent to which recidivism has been studied with particular reference to crime prevention and or rehabilitation; the extent to which issues arising from such studies have been implemented in each...More Button

The Irish Prison Service facilitated a major study of prisoner re-offending by the UCD Institute of Criminology, the findings of which were published in May, 2008. The study found that 27.4% of relea...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Education Service

Was asked: if he will indicate out of the total number of prisoners serving sentences of three years or more, the number who apply for educational or training scheme places in each of the prisons; the number of...More Button

I can advise the Deputy that out of the 3,578 prisoners serving sentences during the week ended Friday 16 December 2011, 1,683 or 47% participated in education placements. It is not possible to sep...More Button

Written Answers - Prisoner Releases

Was asked: the total number of prisoners serving sentences of three years or more; the number of such prisoners who have been released on day, compassionate or supervised or other release in the same period; th...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that on 31 January 2012 there were 3,590 sentenced persons in custody; of these 2,326 persons were serving sentences of 3 years or more. On the same date, there were 839 perso...More Button

Written Answers - Temporary Release of Prisoners

Was asked: if he will indicate the number of prisoners that have absconded while on release or otherwise in each of the past four years to date in 2012; the number still at large if any; and if he will make a s...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that the information requested relating to the years 2008 to 2010 is outlined in the following table: As of 6 February 2012, forty out of the 356 prisoners referred to above re...More Button

Written Answers - Missing Persons

Was asked: the total number of persons listed as missing and reported as such in each of the past five years to date in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the total number of women and children reported and listed as missing in this country at present; the extent to which investigations are ongoing in such cases; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 408 and 410 together. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table sets out the number of persons reported missing in each of the years from 2007 to...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations

Was asked: the total number of cold cases currently under examination; the extent to which progress is being made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Serious Crime Review Team is currently reviewing twenty-seven cases. In fifteen of these cases review reports have been drafted and forwarded to the se...More Button

Written Answers - Crime Levels

Was asked: the crime statistics in respect of a location (details supplied) for 2010 and 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

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

Written Answers - Garda Retirements

Was asked: the number of gardaí who have availed of the Croke Park early retirement scheme from stations in Santry, Whitehall, Finglas, Cabra and Ballymun, Dublin. More Button

Members of An Garda Síochána who joined the force prior to 1 April 2004 may retire once they have served at least 30 years and they have reached 50 years of age. Members of An Garda Síochána who join...More Button

Written Answers - Army Barracks

Was asked: if he will clarify the future of Custume Barracks in Athlone, County Westmeath, as the headquarters for the 4th Western Brigade; and if he will publish the recommendations made by the Chief of Staff ...More Button

Was asked: if the headquarters of the Western Brigade will remain in Custume Barracks, Athlone, County Westmeath, indefinitely. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 414 and 416 together. Arising from the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure, the Government decided to maintain the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 pe...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Recruitment

Was asked: if he will confirm if the Defence Forces will be accepting new recruits in 2012; and the options available to those seeking to join the Defence Forces in the near future. More Button

The Government has decided to accept my recommendations that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force will be maintained at 9,500. I believe that this is the optimum level required to fulfil all r...More Button

Written Answers - Army Barracks

Was asked: when the decision to close Clancy Barracks, Dublin, was approved by him; when the offer for sale by public tender was issued; the number of bids received; when the preferred tender was accepted; when...More Button

On 15 July 1998 the then Government approved a programme of closure and sale of six barracks, including Clancy Barracks, which were considered surplus to military requirements. Clancy Barracks was adv...More Button

Written Answers - Medicinal Products

Was asked: if he will acquire all written documentation provided to Defence Forces personnel relating to Lariam, either prior to or at the time of drug prescription, prior to deployment, while overseas, or when...More Button

I am advised by the Military Authorities that the first major mission on which Lariam was prescribed was the mission to Eritrea in 2001. Written documentation relating to the drug was provided to Def...More Button

Written Answers - Army Barracks

Was asked: the steps he has taken to provide a training location for the 54th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment, who are discommoded as a result of his decision to close Columb Barracks, Mullingar, County Westme...More Button

I have initiated a major reorganisation of the Defence Forces, which will include a reduction from three Army Brigades to two. I have requested the Chief of Staff and the Secretary General to bring fo...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that capacity is available in Custume Barracks, Athlone, County Westmeath, to cater for additional personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There is sufficient accommodation in Custume Barracks, Athlone to provide for personnel relocating from Cavan and Mullingar who choose to live in barracks (Single Living In). These personnel will be a...More Button


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