Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Dáil Éireann Debate
1061. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if family members or members of the public are entitled to view deeds of transfer held by the Property Registration Authority of Ireland under rule 188(8) of the Land Registration Rules 1972 or any other rules; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37326/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Access to Land Registry instruments held by the Property Registration Authority is governed by Rule 159 of the Land Registration Rules 2012 (S.I. No. 483 of 2012), which replaced Rule 188 of the Land Registration Rules 1972. The Rule provides that the registered owner of property and any person authorised by such owner, or by an order of the court or by the provisions of the Land Registration Rules, but no other person, may inspect a document filed in the Registry on a dealing or transaction with the property of the owner. Accordingly, there is no automatic right of access to deeds of transfer by family members of the owner of the property or by members of the public.
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): As the Deputy will be aware, the management of the PULSE system is an operational matter which is undertaken by the Garda Commissioner.
In that context I have been informed by the Garda authorities that when a person wishes to query the accuracy of a PULSE record the procedure is that the individual submits the relevant details in writing to the Garda Criminal Records Office. In such instances, if it is established that the record is correct then the person is so advised. However, if it is established that the record is either partially or fully incorrect the Garda Criminal Records Office ensures that any necessary amendments are made to PULSE and the person is advised accordingly.
1063. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the implications of the Cape Town Convention, specifically the Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on matters specific to aircraft equipment and the effectiveness of leasing disputes within the High Court of Ireland; if he will outine who has jurisdiction in this regard; if railway rolling stock or space assets also come under the jurisdiction of the High Court as part of the Cape Town Treaty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37358/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The High Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine applications under the Cape Town Convention. The procedure for these cases is prescribed in Order 81A of the Rules of the Superior Courts SI 38/2008. As the Deputy will appreciate the courts are, subject only to the Constitution and the law, independent in the exercise of their judicial functions. The conduct of any court case is a matter entirely for the presiding judge. It is not open to me to comment in any way on the role or effectiveness of the Court in exercising these functions.
1064. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if particular Garda stations (details supplied) in County Wicklow are fully wheelchair accessible for members of the force, staff and the public; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37409/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The programme of refurbishment of Garda stations is based on accommodation priorities which are established by An Garda Síochána. The programme is advanced in close co-operation with the Office of Public Works, which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. Funding for such works is met from the Vote of the Office of Public Works.
I am advised by the Garda authorities that disability access improvement works have recently been carried out at both Avoca and Carnew Garda Stations. I am further advised that the Office of Public Works has a programme in place to provide disabled access to public buildings, including Garda stations, and this programme will be further pursued in the context of An Garda Síochána's identified accommodation requirements and in the light of available resources within the Vote for the Office of Public Works.
1065. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will outline the purpose of Statutory Instrument 302 of 2013, Circuit Court Rules (Taking of Evidence for EU Courts) 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37421/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The purpose of the rules concerned is set out in the Explanatory Memorandum to the rules, viz. to "amend the Circuit Court Rules by the insertion of a new Order 23A to regulate the procedure for the taking of evidence by County Registrars pursuant to the European Communities (Evidence in Civil or Commercial Matters) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 126 of 2013)". Those Regulations transferred from District Court judges to county registrars the power to take evidence at the request of courts of EU Member States under Regulation (EC) No. 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters.
1067. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of investigations initiated by the Irish Prison Service under their policy document on anti harassment, sexual harassment and bullying policy; the number cases an external investigator has been appointed to carry out investigations; if funding is available in the prison service to complete all of these investigations; the number that have been completed since this policy was announced; the number that are still under investigation; the number that have been suspended and what is the timescale for a completion of those investigations that have not yet been finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37440/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I can advise the Deputy that the information requested is not readily available. The information is being collated by the IPS and I will forward the reply to the Deputy as soon as it is to hand.
1068. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the average waiting time for the Property Registration Authority to register a right of way over lands from the date of a valid application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37451/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Rights of way can be created either through grant by deed between the owner of the subject land and the owner of the land intended to benefit from the right, or alternatively a right of way can be shown to have been acquired by prescription. Prescription is the acquisition of such rights by the user as of right over a substantial period of time.
1069. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if an application for a Garda special pension has been presented to him for his own determination, and if not, the reason it has not been presented to him; the reasons this application for a Garda special pension was initially refused in respect of a person ( details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37464/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The former Garda in this case retired on medical grounds on 9 July, 2001 and was awarded a Garda Ill-health pension which currently amounts to €29,829.51 annually. Under Article 10(2) of the Garda Síochána Pension Orders 1925, a Garda Special pension is payable to a member who was discharged on ill-health grounds due to an injury received while on duty. The former Garda’s application for a special pension was refused as the medical evidence did not establish a sufficient connection between an event in the workplace and the illness that resulted in his medical discharge from An Garda Síochána.
1070. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the total cost of all media advertising to his Department for each of the past five years; the efforts his Department is making to ensure that local media both print and radio are being supported as well as national media by his Department's budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37482/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I wish to inform the Deputy that my Department does not, as a matter of policy, incur advertising expenditure of this nature. However, expenditure does arise from time to time on public information notices such as, for example relevant campaigns related to raising awareness on human trafficking, the dangers of fireworks, illegal drug dealing or the bringing into force of new legislation and other statutory notices. By their nature such notices are placed with local and national media sources.
1071. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide a list of all bodies, boards or committees under the remit of his Department to which ministerial appointments are made; the statutory provision providing for the making of such appointments in each case; the annual allowances or other payments made to the chairperson; the annual allowance or other payment made to an ordinary member; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37497/13]
1072. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide a list of the boards, bodies or committees under the remit of his Department where there is currently a vacancy to be filled by ministerial appointment; if so, if the vacancy relates to the chairperson or an ordinary member or members, specifying the number of vacancies in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37512/13]
1073. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide a list of the bodies, boards or committees under the remit of his Department where there is anticipated to be a vacancy within the next six months to be filled by ministerial appointment; if so, if the anticipated vacancy relates to the chairperson or an ordinary member or members, specifying the number of anticipated vacancies in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37527/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1071 to 1073, inclusive, together.
** The merger of the Equality Authority with the Human Rights Commission is being progressed. On an interim basis and pending enactment of the necessary legislation, as Minister I appointed 12 of the persons nominated as members of the Human Rights Commission to also be members of the Equality Authority. A single fee - in the amount indicated in the table - only is payable in respect of these appointments.
Travel and Subsistence, in accordance with relevant Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (D/PER) circulars may be paid where applicable.
Number of Current Vacancies to be filled by Ministerial Appointment
1074. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will outline the role and current work of the National Crime Council; its total funding allocation for each year since 2007 to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37546/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The National Crime Council ceased to operate in October 2008 following on a Government decision to rationalise State Agencies in the context of Budget 2009.
1075. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a decision will be made on an application for subsidiary protection in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37580/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The person concerned is a failed asylum applicant. Arising from the refusal of her asylum application, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was notified, by letter dated 27th February, 2009, that the then Minister proposed to make a Deportation Order in respect of her. She was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making written representations to the then Minister setting out the reasons why a Deportation Order should not be made against her. In addition, she was notified of her entitlement to apply for subsidiary protection in accordance with the provisions of the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006.
The person concerned initiated judicial review proceedings in the High Court, challenging the decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal in her case. Her judicial review leave application was refused by the High Court on 11th April, 2013 meaning that the earlier decisions of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal and the then Minister stood.
The person concerned has submitted an application for subsidiary protection. However, this application could not be determined while the judicial review proceedings were in place. When consideration of the subsidiary protection application has been completed, the person concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome.
In the event that the application for subsidiary protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before a final decision is made. Once a decision has been made, this decision, and the consequences of the decision, will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Deputy will be aware that this case was examined by the Garda Síochána Serious Crime Review team, who forwarded a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions. No directions to prosecute were made. I have now received a detailed report from the Garda Commissioner on the investigation, which I will study carefully in the context of considering any further steps which might be appropriate in relation to this matter.
1077. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will review the decision to discontinue paying towards the security bill of a home of a former prison officer (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37597/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The payments referred to in the Deputy's question were discontinued in mid 2012 following a review of expenditure by the Director of Finance of the Irish Prison Service.
In circumstances where the officer (details supplied) was awarded a substantial compensation payment by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, in the current economic climate it is considered inappropriate to continue to contribute towards the cost of his security and electricity bills.
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I have requested the information from the Garda authorities and will communicate with the Deputy as soon as the information is to hand.
1079. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the rights and responsibilities an individual from the Ukraine, a non EU country, has here when they have been approved for a Stamp 4 for five years and where they are dependant on the member of family who is an EU citizen legal here for many years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37603/13]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person referred to by the Deputy was granted permission to remain in the State for a period of five years up to 31 December, 2017. This permission is based on being the dependant family member of an EU citizen who is resident in the State and in exercise of EU Treaty rights in accordance with the provisions of S.I. No. 656 of 2006 European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) (No. 2) Regulations 2006 as amended (the "Regulations") and Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States (the "Directive").
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I am informed by the Garda authorities that the area in question is within the Clontarf Garda Sub-District. I have communicated the concerns referred to the Garda authorities and any incidents of public disorder or anti-social behaviour which are reported to the Gardaí will be fully investigted.
I understand that a Community Garda assigned to the area attends local Neighbourhood Watch meetings and any issues raised are attended to. The area is regularly patrolled by uniform and plain clothes patrols including mobile and mountain bike units.
Local Garda management closely monitors patrols, and other operational strategies in place, in conjunction with crime trends and policing needs of the community in the area to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public. The situation will be kept under review and paramount consideration given to the needs of residents.
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