Gilmore, Eamon

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 756 No. 2

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Priority Questions - Diplomatic Representation

Was asked: the estimated yearly savings of the closure of the embassy to the Holy See; if he will reconsider the closure of the Vatican embassy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The decision to close Ireland’s resident embassy to the Holy See was taken by the Government in response to budgetary pressures and on the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade...More Button

The issue of which embassies might be closed in these difficult economic times had been under consideration in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for some time. The Deputy’s party leader, my...More Button

The recommendation, the memorandum to Government and consideration of the issue by Government was done in the normal way. Deputy Ó Feargháil will be quite well aware of the doctrine of Cabinet confid...More Button

Priority Questions - Middle East Peace Process

Was asked: if he still believes, as he stated to Dáil Éireann on 13 July 2011, that the continuing Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories is at the heart of the unresolved Arab-Israeli conf...More Button

It still remains very much my conviction that the continuing Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories and the growth of illegal settlements on occupied lands represent the major obst...More Button

The international community is very much engaged on this issue. As the Deputy knows, at the UN General Assembly in September a statement was agreed by the Quartet, comprising the United Nations, the ...More Button

Ireland has taken a very strong interest in the Middle East peace process, particularly the situation on the West Bank and in Gaza. I have conveyed our concerns in clear terms at meetings of the Fore...More Button

Priority Questions - International Debt Relief

Was asked: the status of the joint review of Ireland’s international debt policy by his Department and the Department of Finance; and if he will provide a statement of current policy on international debt, inc...More Button

Priority Questions - Foreign Conflicts

Was asked: the actions he has taken in conjunction with the European external action services to bring an end to the nascent civil war and brutal repression in Syria; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Ireland has been working intensively with the European Union, the United Nations, the Arab League and other partners in the international community to compel the Syrian regime to cease its appalling a...More Button

I thank the Deputy for commending me on the actions the Government has taken on the situation in Syria and the successful visit of the Vice President of China over the weekend. The Foreign Minister o...More Button

Deputy Ó Fearghaíl has attempted to broaden this debate by inquiring about my discussions with the Chinese delegation. I engaged in a discussion on broader human rights issues with the delegation at ...More Button

Priority Questions - Human Rights Issues

Was asked: if he accepts the evidence presented by Amnesty International and others that Shannon Airport has been used as a stopover point for renditions; if he will initiate an enquiry into the State’s partic...More Button

The programme for Government states that “we will enforce the prohibition on the use of Irish airspace, airports and related facilities for purposes not in line with international law”. I have placed...More Button

We have a procedure in place. It is not just a question of accepting assurances. There is a procedure in place whereby if prisoners are to be transported through any of our airports, the permission ...More Button

Rendition flights are not possible. They are illegal. The use of our airports for rendition purposes would be illegal. If any country wants to transport prisoners through our airports, they must se...More Button

Other Questions - European Union Values

Was asked: if he undertakes any activities in conjunction with the EU representation in Ireland to promote EU values here; the work he carries out abroad to promote the EU through Ireland’s diplomatic represen...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he continues to use his influence at EU level to reaffirm focus on a cohesive vision of a modern Europe with particular reference to the ideals as set out by Europe’s founding fa...More Button

Other Questions - OSCE Chairmanship

Was asked: if he will outline the preparations for Ireland’s chairmanship of the OSCE; when the chairmanship was confirmed; when initial interest in holding the chairmanship was expressed; the length of time t...More Button

On 1 January this year Ireland assumed its year-long chairmanship-in-office of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Comprising 56 participating states in Europe, Central Asia and...More Button

I am very happy to have the Deputy and his party colleagues share in the achievements of the Government in the area of foreign affairs. I have no difficulty in acknowledging that the agreement that I...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the OSCE has field offices in respective countries of the Balkans. The good news is that this year the field office in Croatia has been wound down because Croatia is acce...More Button

Other Questions - Armenian Elections

Was asked: the actions he has taken or actions in conjunction with the EU to ensure that the upcoming elections in Armenia will be conducted properly in accordance with international and European standards; an...More Button

Was asked: if he will advocate providing the EU delegation in Armenia with additional resources to effectively monitor the upcoming elections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 67 and 75 together. Observation of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Armenia will be carried out by the OSCE, not by the European Union. The Union does not enga...More Button

In fact, the European Union does not monitor elections in the OSCE region; that work is left to the OSCE itself, and there is an agreement between the EU and the OSCE to that effect. The EU carries o...More Button

Other Questions - Human Rights Issues

Was asked: the progress he made during his recent trip to Israel in relation to the blockade of the Gaza strip; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I visited Gaza during my recent visit to the region as I wanted to see personally the effects of the blockade on the civilian population. I had useful discussions with Filippo Grandi, the Commissione...More Button

Embarrassment is not the word that comes to mind to describe the response of Mr. Netanyahu to the issues I raised. However, I made it clear to him and to the other Israeli leaders I met that Ireland ...More Button

The settlements in the West Bank are another aspect of the very oppressive regime in which Palestinians have to live. I drew attention in particular, when I was meeting with the Prime Minister and Fo...More Button

Deputy Boyd Barrett has a separate question on Khader Adnan. When we reach that question I will expand more fully on the subject but I understand from our officials that an understanding might have b...More Button

Other Questions - Diplomatic Representation

Was asked: the amount of money he estimates it will cost to have a Dublin based diplomatic representation to the Holy See; the regularity with which it is anticipated that he will be physically present in the ...More Button

While the details have not been finalised it is estimated the annual cost of a Dublin based diplomatic representation to the Holy See will be under €25,000. This includes the cost of maintaining a sm...More Button

As the Villa Spada is State-owned, there were no rental costs associated with the operational costs of the mission. This meant the running costs of that mission were low compared with those of other ...More Button

Written Answers - Nuclear Proliferation

Was asked: the estimated cost of the oil embargo on Iran to the Irish economy; the actions he proposes to take in conjunction with the EU to prevent the uranium enrichment programme being pursued by Iran; and i...More Button

Was asked: the justification for Ireland’s support of further European sanctions on Iran in view of our policy of neutrality; his views on reports that current sanctions on Iran mean the country is struggling t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 70 and 71 together. The latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran, issued on 8 November, concluded that there are both strong grounds for serious...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues

Was asked: the efforts he has made to intervene and save the life of Khadar Adnan, held in administrative detention in Israel for over 60 days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am aware of the case referred to by the Deputy. Khadar Adnan is generally acknowledged to be a leader of Islamic Jihad. I have been very concerned that Mr. Adnan’s hunger strike has now reached th...More Button

Written Answers - Arms Trade

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Britain recently supplied military equipment, including components for military combat vehicles, weapons night sights, communications and range findin...More Button

The recent elections in Egypt were free, fair and transparent. I regard the success of the elections as a clear sign that Egypt has embarked on the first steps of its democratic transition. However, I...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts

Was asked: if he will ensure that Ireland will adopt independent foreign policy positions in relation to the events in Syria and Iran. More Button

Irish foreign policy is formulated in keeping with the national interest in keeping with this country’s traditional values and role in the world. We seek also to act in concert with other states in or...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues

Was asked: if there are any concrete steps he is willing to take in order to share Ireland’s valuable experiences on peace building and peace negotiations with the Colombian civil society and Government; and if...More Button

I met with Colombian Vice-President Angelino Garzón during his visit to Dublin last month, on 24 January. As the Deputy will be aware, Mr Garzón has responsibility in the Colombian Government for taki...More Button

Was asked: if he will be raising the issue of China’s policies in Tibet during Xi Jinping’s imminent visit to Dublin; and if he will be calling for the safeguarding of Tibetans’ rights and interests with him. More Button

As I have said recently, the Government has closely followed the reported violent events in areas of Tibetan population in Chinese provinces neighbouring Tibet and is concerned about the situation. H...More Button

Was asked: if he agrees on the need for a robust arms trade treaty that protects human rights; and if he intends to become vocal about the resistance of Governments such as China, Egypt, Russia and the USA to s...More Button

Ireland strongly supports the process of developing strict controls on arms and works actively to promote the objective of strengthening arms controls globally. My officials will participate in a UN ...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to Britain’s continued sale of firearms to Bahrain, with the British Government’s approval for the sale of military equipment valued at more than 1 million pounds desp...More Button

I remain concerned about the threat to human rights and the overall political situation in Bahrain. More needs to be done to address the legitimate demands of those peacefully seeking reform and great...More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements

Was asked: his views on the current status of the Euro-Med investigation; and if he will clarify if there has been a breach of Article 2 of the EU-Israel Euro Mediterranean Association Agreement concerning the ...More Button

I understand the Deputy’s question refers to the consideration by the former Joint Committee on European Affairs (JCEA) of the situation in Gaza and whether it constituted a breach of the EU-Israel As...More Button

Written Answers - Humanitarian Aid

Was asked: the actions he proposes to take to tackle the nascent famine in the Sahel region of the Sahara desert in order to avert a humanitarian disaster; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Nuclear Proliferation

Was asked: his views on Taiwan’s plans to finish nuclear power plant four despite serious concerns over storage of radioactive waste being stored at existing power plants, an extensive list of defects on the un...More Button

Ireland adheres to the One-China policy, recognising the government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of China. I have consulted my colleague, the Minister for the E...More Button

Written Answers - Trade Promotion

Was asked: the extent of the trade promotional network provided through and by him throughout Europe and globally, by way of embassies, trade missions or otherwise, with the objective of maximisation of trade o...More Button

The promotion of Ireland’s economic and trading interests is a key priority for my Department and the Embassy network. Currently the diplomatic network includes 56 Embassies, 7 multilateral missions ...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues

Was asked: if he acknowledges that arms sales from China and Russia are fuelling serious human rights violations in Darfur whose exports include significant quantities of ammunition, helicopter gunships, attack...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent raid by the Ugandan Government on a workshop run by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists in Entebbe, Uganda; his views that this is a blatant...More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Representation

Was asked: his plans to allocate further diplomatic resources to the BRICS countries over the next year; if he will provide details of his plan; if specific targets have been set to enhance trade and strengthen...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the number of diplomatic staff currently allocated to the BRICS countries; if he has conducted any assessment of the current allocation and its effectiveness in growing trade;...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 and 88 together. Trading and Investing in a Smart Economy, the Government’s Trade Strategy and Action Plan for the integrated promotion of overseas trade, tourism ...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues

Was asked: if he will restate his position on extreme human rights violations being committed by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, which according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Pillay has r...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the situation in Syria and the decision by China and Russia to block the UN resolution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 89 and 120 together. I have on a number of occasions stated clearly my grave concerns at the deteriorating situation in Syria and condemned the unacceptable violence a...More Button

Written Answers - Nuclear Proliferation

Was asked: his views that the decision by EU foreign ministers to impose further sanctions on Iran will have a serious impact on the Iranian people; his further views on recent reports that ordinary citizens ar...More Button

Given the failure of the Iranian government to respond to the serious concerns of the international community raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency report of 8 November, the EU has recently...More Button

Was asked: the imposition of sanctions on Iran because of their nuclear programme if he will consider calling for sanctions on Israel because of their nuclear activities; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

The latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran, issued on 8 November, concluded that there are strong grounds for serious concern regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s ...More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Representation

Was asked: if the recent media reports about him confirming that a review of the closure of the embassy in the Vatican would take place are true; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he intends to review the decision to close the Irish embassy in the Vatican; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the disclosure that the closing down of the embassy to the Holy See saved just €600,000 out of a total bill of €76 million for overseas embassies, if he will now reverse his decision and reopen our t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 92, 121 and 125 together. As was outlined in my statement of 3 November last year, the decision of the Government to close our embassy to the Holy See and to appoint ...More Button

Written Answers - EU Treaties

Was asked: if he has considered comments made in France by Minister François Fillon who considers that a referendum will be necessary to adopt a fiscal rule to balance its budget; his views that the same princi...More Button

Was asked: if he raised the question of the legitimacy of such a far-reaching agreement as the Eurocompact treaty being implemented without reference to the citizens of Europe through referenda at the EU leader...More Button

Was asked: if he raised the issue and his views on the matter of growing calls for a referendum on the Eurocompact treaty in Ireland at the EU leaders’ summit on 30 January 2012; and if he will make a statement...More Button

Was asked: if he raised the issue of demands for a referendum on the fiscal compact treaty in Ireland at the EU leaders’ summit on 30 January 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the likelihood of a referendum being held here on the fiscal compact agreed by him and other EU leaders at the EU leaders’ summit on 9 December 2011; and if he will ma...More Button

Was asked: if he intends to insist that the rights of all EU members be respected and that a new effort should be made to get Britain to agree to the treaty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views that it is not a welcome development that in the first time in the history of the European Union that a treaty is not being signed by all its members; if he, or other EU members, will be ma...More Button

Was asked: if he will investigate comments from a high level European official who said that the EU treaty was drafted to avoid a referendum; if he agrees with this position; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

Was asked: if he raised the issue of the possibility of a referendum on the new EU treaty at the EU Council summit on 30 January 2012. More Button

Was asked: the extent to which it is anticipated that the fiscal stability compact will be observed in the spirit and the letter; if he will outline anticipated action likely to be taken by countries who defaul...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which a commitment has been made within the eurozone and within the European union as a whole to adhere to political, fiscal and economic commitments already entered into or likely to a...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 93, 111 to 114, inclusive, 116, 118, 119, 122, 126 and 127 together. When agreement was reached at the European Council in December to put in place new arrangements t...More Button

Written Answers - Passport Applications

Was asked: the reason a passport application was refused in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Passports Act, 2008 provides, inter alia, that only Irish citizens are entitled to be issued with Irish passports. Each application received by the Passport Service must, therefore, demonstrate t...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Development Aid

Was asked: if the review of Ireland’s international debt policy and the ongoing review of the White Paper on Irish aid will take into account the following matter (details supplied). More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Representation

Was asked: if he has explored the possibility of merging the ambassadorial functions and responsibilities of the Holy See and the Italian embassy; if he has asked the Holy See to reconsider its position regardi...More Button

For what I understand are historical reasons, the Holy See does not accept accreditation from a resident Embassy that is also accredited to Italy. It is not acceptable for one Ambassador to be accredi...More Button

Written Answers - EU Treaties

Was asked: if there is any basis in EU treaty law for the proposed automatic correction mechanism outlined in the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union; and if he w...More Button

Was asked: if he will outline the EU treaty basis for the proposal to make the balanced budget rule as outlined in the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic andMonetary Union subject ...More Button

Was asked: if the proposed penalty of no more than 0.1% of GDP for non-compliance with a European Court of Justice judgment on compliance with Article 3(2) of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governanc...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 106, 108 and 109 together. When agreement was reached in December to put in place new arrangements to enhance the stability of the euro area, Ireland made clear its p...More Button

Was asked: if he will detail in general terms the different legal obligations placed on him arising from political agreements at European Council level as represented in Council summit conclusions; regulations ...More Button

EU Treaties are agreements between all EU Member States that create binding obligations in international law and constitute the primary source of Union law. A Regulation is a legislative act of the U...More Button

Written Answers - Diplomatic Assistance

Was asked: the assistance that has been offered to a person (details supplied) in County Longford who was held in legal limbo abroad for years and only gained freedom earlier this year; and if he will make a st...More Button

The Irish citizen referred to by the Deputy was arrested in Guatemala in May 2006. Consular assistance was provided by the Department through the Embassy of Ireland in Mexico and with the assistance a...More Button

Written Answers - Northern Ireland Issues

Was asked: his views regarding the recent poverty statistics particularly those in west Belfast and Derry published recently; if he intends to discuss them at a future North-South Ministerial Council meeting; a...More Button

The statistics published last month were deeply worrying, especially insofar as they concerned child poverty, and I am glad the Deputy has raised the matter. Discussions at North South Ministerial Co...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the implementation of the Weston Park Accord, including outstanding issues and his plans on the way in which these issues will be dealt with; and if he will make a sta...More Button

The various measures included in the package agreed at Weston Park in August 2001 addressed four issues to assist in the successful implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: policing, normalisation...More Button

Written Answers - EU Treaties

Was asked: when he expects the legal advice from the Attorney General on the EU treaty and its ratification; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, following agreement on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union at the informal meeting of the European Council on 30 Januar...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the total photography costs for his Department since coming to office; the list of occasions for which photographers were booked over the past year; the breakdown of costs associated with each occasi...More Button

The total spend by my Department on photography since March 2011 is €57,561.65. The table outlines the costs associated with each occasion: *It was not possible in the time available to provide a det...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues

Was asked: the extent to which he and his EU colleagues have been made aware of large-scale human rights abuses in the wake of various conflict points globally; the action taken or likely to be taken to address...More Button

Human rights concerns remain central to our foreign policy. Together with our EU partners, Ireland closely monitors the human rights situations in many countries, including post-conflict countries, th...More Button

Was asked: the number of countries in which the death penalty has not been yet abolished; the executions recorded on an annual basis through the enforcement of the death penalty; and if he will make a statement...More Button

Ireland is adamantly opposed to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and accordingly seeks its universal abolition. We continue to work in close cooperation with our EU partners in accord...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he and his EU colleagues have focused on the ongoing issues of war, famine and starvation, genocide and ethnic cleansing at the various known flash points throughout the globe; th...More Button

Unfortunately, many countries world-wide continue to face significant developmental and humanitarian challenges. Ongoing and protracted conflicts cause untold suffering for millions of people while gl...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the events in Syria have been the subject of discussion at EU and UN level; the degree to which opportunity for positive intervention has been identified in such circumstances; an...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the situation in Syria remains on the agenda at EU Council meetings; the action taken or proposed of a positive and restraining nature arising therefrom; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Was asked: when it is expected that the combined influence of the international community will be brought to bear to bring to an end the ongoing conflict in Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter....More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 131 to 133, inclusive, together. I have on a number of occasions stated clearly my grave concerns at the deteriorating situation in Syria and condemned the unacceptabl...More Button

Was asked: the degree to which conflict in Africa remains an issue for discussion with his colleagues at EU and UN level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he and his EU colleagues, directly or through the UN can make a positive intervention to address human rights, ethnic cleansing and genocide in the Horn of Africa and the Middle E...More Button

The current political and humanitarian situations in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East, and their human toll in terms of suffering and displacement, particularly in Somalia and Syria, are of grea...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Development Aid

Was asked: the extent to which commitments entered into by the international community in the aftermath of such natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti have been honoured in full or in part; the degre...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts

Was asked: the extent to which he can influence and encourage positive stability measures in Libya; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

One year after the Libyan uprising began, it is clear that the Libyan people supported by the international community are making progress towards establishing a democratic Libya, but that major challe...More Button

Written Answers - Human Rights Issues

Was asked: the extent, if any, to which he and his EU or UN colleagues have managed to highlight human rights abuses as identified by the OSCE special representatives on human rights defenders and to implement ...More Button

Human Rights are, and have always been, a priority of successive Irish Governments and a central part of our foreign policy. Ireland attaches considerable importance to the vital work of human rights ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Was asked: if he will provide the number of retired persons serving on State boards and commissions; and the amount it is costing the State. More Button

There are no state boards under the aegis of my Department. The only commission that is under my Department’s auspices is the Ireland — United States Commission for Educational Exchange whichwas estab...More Button


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