Header Item Written Answers Nos. 116 - 137
 Header Item Immigration Status
 Header Item Residency Permits
 Header Item Residency Permits
 Header Item Immigration Status
 Header Item Garda Reserve
 Header Item Electronic Tagging
 Header Item Garda Investigations
 Header Item Immigration Controls
 Header Item Road Traffic Offences Data
 Header Item Courts Service Data
 Header Item Road Traffic Offences Data
 Header Item Garda Operations
 Header Item Prison Committals
 Header Item Prison Service Staff
 Header Item Prison Service Staff
 Header Item Garda Reports
 Header Item Garda Procedures
 Header Item Garda Data
 Header Item Garda Reports
 Header Item Legal Services Regulation
 Header Item Garda Information and Communications Technology

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 949 No. 3
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 88 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 116 - 137

Immigration Status

 116. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the current and expected residency status of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21700/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the processing of an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy, who currently has permission to reside in the State until 30 April 2020, is under consideration and has not yet reached a conclusion. However I understand a decision is expected to issue in the near future.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. While most cases are now generally processed within six months, the nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been established specifically 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 INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Residency Permits

 117. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if a temporary residency card will issue in the case of persons (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21701/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, in response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the persons concerned have submitted written representations.

These representations, together with all other information and documentation on file, will be fully considered, under Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation, in advance of final decisions being made.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department 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.

Residency Permits

 118. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if an application for stamp 4 has been received in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21702/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am advised by Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that they have no record of receipt an application for Stamp 4 in relation to the person named by the Deputy.

It appears that, in June 2015, the person mentioned by the Deputy made an application to INIS for an extension of visitor permission which was refused with the person concerned receiving instructions to make arrangements to leave the State as their visitor permission had expired.

From the limited information provided by the Deputy, it appears that the person concerned has failed to abide by the instructions to leave the State and has remained in the State to date without the permission of the Minister for Justice and Equality. They should be aware that under Section 5 of the Immigration Act, 2004 it is unlawful for a non-national to be in the State other than in accordance with the terms of any permission given by the Minister for Justice and Equality. A person who contravenes such a requirement may have committed an offence and if found guilty is liable, under section 13 of the Immigration Act of 2004, to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both. As the person in question does not appear to have immigration permission to remain in the State, they are not entitled to work. INIS inform me that they will be writing to the person concerned very shortly.

Might I remind the Deputy that queries in relation to individual cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been 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 Parliamentary Question process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

 119. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the current and expected residency status of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21703/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that an application for residency for the person concerned was received and is currently under consideration. INIS will be writing to the person concerned shortly.

Might I remind the Deputy that 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 questions where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Garda Reserve

 120. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan Information on Jim O'Callaghan Zoom on Jim O'Callaghan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if the function of the Garda Reserve can be expanded in order that there is a greater visible presence of An Garda Síochána and the Garda Reserve on the streets; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21713/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.

The Garda Reserve was established in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 to enhance the links between An Garda Síochána and local communities and consists of voluntary unpaid members, drawn from the community, to support the work of An Garda Síochána. The Reserve perform policing duties as determined by the Garda Commissioner, while accompanied by full time Gardaí. Their role is to provide local patrols and participate in crime prevention initiatives targeted at specific local problem areas. Reserve members are also involved in policing major incidents and events, and in providing other operational support to full time Gardaí. In recent years the Garda Commissioner has conferred further powers on reserve members under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 and the Road Traffic Act 1961 and has also decided that they should carry out more duties including the serving of summonses, and the issuing of Fixed Charge Penalty Notices where offences are detected.

This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. To make this a reality for all, the Government has in place a plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. This year, funding has been provided for the recruitment of 800 Garda recruits and up to 500 civilians to support the wide ranging reform plan in train in An Garda Síochána. Funding has also been provided for the recruitment of 300 Garda Reserves this year. I am pleased to say that a new recruitment campaign for Garda Reserves which closed on 13 April attracted considerable interest.

Reserve members have undergone training in many of the skills required to be an effective full-time member of An Garda Síochána and it is important that as we expand the Reserve we build on their contribution to the policing of communities right across the country and ensure that they are used to optimum effect. In this regard I am informed that An Garda Síochána is undertaking an audit of the experience and skills of Reserves which, when completed, will assist Garda management in considering the future role to be played by the Reserve including whether additional powers should be conferred on Reserve members.

Electronic Tagging

 121. Deputy Tom Neville Information on Tom Neville Zoom on Tom Neville asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when legislation to introduce electronic tagging will be finalised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21716/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Under the Criminal Justice Act 2006, electronic monitoring is permitted in relation to the monitoring of persons on temporary release from prison where such release is subject to certain restrictions on movement.

With respect to persons on bail, section 6B of the Bail Act 1997 (inserted by section 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007) permits a court granting bail to make it a condition of bail that the person’s movements are monitored electronically so that his or her compliance with conditions of bail can be monitored. This provision, however, was never brought into force. The Criminal Justice Bill 2016 (changed from the Bail (Amendment) Bill 2016) amends section 6B so that a court will be enabled to make electronic monitoring a condition of bail only on the application of the prosecution, enabling the use of electronic monitoring to be managed and controlled. The Bill is currently before the Houses of the Oireachtas and completed Committee Stage in Dáil Éireann on 5 April 2017.

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 amends the Schedule to the Bail Act by adding a number of the new offences created under that Act, including those relating to child sexual exploitation, to the scope of the Bail Act.

I would also like to inform the Deputy that officials in my Department are preparing provisions to introduce electronic tagging for the purpose of monitoring compliance with sex offender orders. These provisions will be included in the General Scheme of a Sex Offenders (Amendment) Bill which I intend to publish later this year.

Garda Investigations

 122. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the status of investigations by An Garda Síochána into alleged death threats made over the telephone against the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources on 18 October 2006; the number of statements that were taken by An Garda Síochána relating to this case; the number of persons who provided these statements; the number of persons who were questioned regarding their potential or constructive knowledge of the incident; if a file was sent to the DPP on this case; the prosecutions that arose in this case; the convictions that came as a result of this case; the current status of the investigation into this incident; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21537/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department has sought information from the Garda authorities in relation to the matters raised and I will communicate further with the Deputy when a Garda report is to hand.

Immigration Controls

 123. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the status of the review of the decision making process in respect of applications for extension or change of status for those seeking leave to remain in the State; the expected timescale for the completion of this review, in view of the judgment in a case (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21543/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In light of the Court of Appeal judgment in the case referred to by the Deputy, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department, in reviewing the judgment and in conjunction with the Offices of the Attorney General, has made an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

In the meantime, it can be taken that all current requests for permission in respect of extension of student conditions or requests to renew or vary a permission will be determined within the immigration legislation and published student guidelines.

Road Traffic Offences Data

 124. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of persons detected driving while holding a mobile telephone in each of the years 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of persons who paid a fixed charge notice for driving while holding a mobile telephone within the 56 day limit in each of the years 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21607/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I have requested a Garda report on the matter referred to in the Deputy's question and will contact the Deputy directly on receipt of a Garda report.

Courts Service Data

 125. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of persons summonsed to court listed cases for not paying a fixed charge notice relating to driving while holding a mobile telephone and convicted of this offence, per district court in each of the years 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of licences recorded upon conviction of this offence, summons struck out and not served for this offence, per district court in each of the years 2015 and 2016 and to date in 2017; the reasons for non-conviction of this offence, per district court in each of the years 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21608/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The information sought by the Deputy is contained in the following tables from the Courts Service. The Courts Service does not record the reasons for non-conviction.

  1) January – December 2015

  Report on Number of Persons before the court for driving while holding a mobile phone.

  Note 1: Report is for Persons before the court between 1 January 2015 – 31 December 2015

  Note 2: A person could be convicted and not convicted and will appear twice on the report

  Note 3: Report is on persons where offences has been finally determined

Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6Column 7Column 8
 Persons ListedNo of Driver Numbers recorded on ConvictionNo of Persons ConvictedNo of Persons non convictionsNo of Persons Strike OutNo of Persons Strike out not ServedTotal
AN CLOCHAN LIATH4011 24
AN DAINGEAN1  1  1
ARDEE20511 6320
ARKLOW1734 8517
ATHLONE682231 132569
ATHY143632314
BALLAGHADERREEN524 1 5
BALLINA161251816
BALLINASLOE133414413
BALLYSHANNON401 124
BANDON6823331641568
BANTRY143541414
BEAL AN MHUIRTHEAD101224210
BRAY471718 141648
BUNCRANA15373 515
CARLOW541321881754
CARNDONAGH422  24
CARRICK ON SHANNON1813 9618
CARRICK ON SUIR131225413
CARRICKMACROSS32564111233
CASHEL2223210722
CASTLEBAR471720214247
CASTLEREA111   1
CAVAN5061415101251
CLIFDEN412 2 4
CLONAKILTY186764118
CLONMEL36410471536
CORK CITY36411820878567367
DOIRE AN FHEICH4   224
DONEGAL121313512
DROGHEDA40716161740
DUBLIN METROPOLITAN DISTRICT1,8083825471645205951,826


Table contd.
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6Column 7Column 8
 Persons ListedNo of Driver Numbers recorded on ConvictionNo of Persons ConvictedNo of Persons non convictionsNo of Persons Strike OutNo of Persons Strike out not ServedTotal
DUNGARVAN255847625
ENNIS1402955124828143
FERMOY5410246111556
GALWAY349721531975104351
GOREY3281267732
GORT395131151039
KILCOCK23482 1323
KILKENNY90234413112290
KILLALOE84413 8
KILLARNEY34175111134
KILLORGLIN4   134
KILRUSH1025 4110
LETTERKENNY3168491031
LIMERICK1852058286338187
LISMORE6122 26
LISTOWEL174425617
LONGFORD692127 172771
LOUGHREA5314201151753
MACROOM5820311211761
MALLOW7512269202378
MANORHAMILTON1    11
MIDLETON119124413343121
MONAGHAN3028241630
MULLINGAR7238442141373
NA GLEANNTA1  1  1
NAAS1584782141547158
NAVAN126264872451130
NENAGH142433414
NEWCASTLE WEST454112181546
PORTLAOISE661228492566
ROSCOMMON25812 10325
SKIBBEREEN1   1 1
SLIGO457102191546
STROKESTOWN422  24
THURLES411013591441
TIPPERARY163615416
TRALEE857151884788
TRIM2178 31021
TUAM4613203131147
TUBBERCURRY111422311
TULLAMORE732445671876
VIRGINIA2981317930
WATERFORD CITY107173154924109
WESTPORT111   1
WEXFORD1044753241417108
WICKLOW3845 231240
YOUGHAL145713314
Total5,4601,2242,0245051,3661,6325,527


2) January - December 2016

  Report on No of Persons before the court for driving while holding a mobile phone.

 Note 1: Report is for Persons before the court between 1 January 2016 – 31 December 2016

  Note 2: A person could be convicted and not convicted and will appear twice on the report

  Note 3: Report is on persons where offences has been finally determined
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6Column 7Column 8
 Persons ListedNo of Driver Numbers recorded on ConvictionNo of Persons ConvictedNo of Persons non convictionsNo of Persons Strike OutNo of Persons Strike out not ServedTotal
ACAILL1    11
AN CLOCHAN LIATH3  1 23
AN DAINGEAN2  1 12
ARDEE2046131020
ARKLOW1011 5511
ATHLONE632431 201263
ATHY11262 311
BALLAGHADERREEN101   1
BALLINA156751215
BALLINASLOE226846523
BALLYSHANNON3   213
BANDON5518201541655
BANTRY168832417
BEAL AN MHUIRTHEAD6  3216
BRAY521921 181453
BUNCRANA13132 813
CAHIRCIVEEN1    11
CARLOW421016761342
CARNDONAGH3   123
CARRICK ON SHANNON4   134
CARRICK ON SUIR1235 2512
CARRICKMACROSS771628193977
CASHEL2645831026
CASTLEBAR511019242752
CASTLEREA3   3 3
CAVAN2451114824
CLIFDEN624  26
CLONAKILTY10571 210
CLONMEL565113172556
CORK CITY33791187176570339
DOIRE AN FHEICH1    11
DONEGAL1224 5312
DROGHEDA642239316664
DUBLIN METROPOLITAN DISTRICT1,586386545724255581,600

Table continued

Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6Column 7Column 8
 Persons ListedNo of Driver Numbers recorded on ConvictionNo of Persons ConvictedNo of Persons non convictionsNo of Persons Strike OutNo of Persons Strike out not ServedTotal
DUNDALK498218101049
DUNGARVAN153424616
ENNIS1432645453122143
FERMOY5812221201659
GALWAY346471282610887349
GOREY38172182738
GORT575162221959
KENMARE101   1
KILCOCK33916331133
KILKENNY96213217192896
KILLALOE121323412
KILLARNEY3626991236
KILLORGLIN6  2226
KILRUSH222   2
LETTERKENNY2571252625
LIMERICK3213888839359323
LISMORE9231419
LISTOWEL3115910630
LONGFORD37912 131237
LOUGHREA40515514741
MACROOM37914114938
MALLOW7926392281281
MEATH5917223161859
MIDLETON941628 323494
MONAGHAN35112431635
MULLINGAR34916310534
NAAS9228541332393
NAVAN226814922
NENAGH1013 3410
NEWCASTLE WEST44053191744
PORTLAOISE761124564176
ROSCOMMON2381123723
SLIGO38311 151238
STROKESTOWN6231116
THURLES121214512
TIPPERARY152613515
TRALEE8651125242787
TRIM912 529
TUAM2771038627
TUBBERCURRY1413 6514
TULLAMORE451625 91145
VIRGINIA1156  511
WATERFORD CITY807196421986
WESTPORT5111 35
WEXFORD1385461431817139
WICKLOW2399 5923
YOUGHAL5  1315
Total5,0821,1111,8505311,2651,4785,124

3) Report on No. of Persons before the court for driving while holding a mobile phone:

January – March 2017

Note 1: Report is for Persons before the court between 1 January 2017 – 31 March 2017

Note 2: A person could be convicted and not convicted and will appear twice on the report

Note 3: Report is on persons where offences has been finally determined



Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6Column 7Column 8
 Persons ListedNo of Driver Numbers recorded on ConvictionNo of Persons ConvictedNo of Persons non convictionsNo of Persons Strike OutNo of Persons Strike out not ServedTotal
AN CLOCHAN LIATH101   1
AN DAINGEAN1    11
ARDEE745 117
ARKLOW3    33
ATHLONE713 137
ATHY3  1 23
BALLAGHADERREEN3   213
BALLINA7114117
BALLINASLOE3111 13
BALLYSHANNON101   1
BANDON25811 10425
BANTRY312  13
BRAY236719623
BUNCRANA4  1 34
CARLOW164721616
CARNDONAGH101   1
CARRICK ON SHANNON111   1
CARRICKMACROSS116712111
CASHEL112211711
CASTLEBAR8223128
CAVAN9341139
CLIFDEN1    11
CLONAKILTY723 4 7
CLONMEL111233311
CORK CITY1123051161926112
DONEGAL622 316
DROGHEDA1861014318
DUBLIN METROPOLITAN DISTRICT4369814124114157436
DUNDALK813 238
DUNGARVAN311 2 3
ENNIS223665522
FERMOY1846 6618
GALWAY8513384271786
GOREY7221 47
GORT1847 5618
KENMARE1  1  1
KILCOCK19575 719
KILKENNY3049651030
KILLALOE311 2 3
KILLARNEY3024162830
KILLORGLIN2  1 12
KILRUSH3112  3


Table contd.





Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6Column 7Column 8
 Persons ListedNo of Driver Numbers recorded on ConvictionNo of Persons ConvictedNo of Persons non convictionsNo of Persons Strike OutNo of Persons Strike out not ServedTotal
LETTERKENNY7112 47
LIMERICK1762759463833176
LISMORE111   1
LISTOWEL101117110
LONGFORD744 127
LOUGHREA3   123
MACROOM3061517730
MALLOW177915217
MEATH3499191534
MIDLETON2555 51525
MONAGHAN504  15
MULLINGAR611 5 6
NAAS4492565844
NENAGH1   1 1
NEWCASTLE WEST50214 29750
PORTLAOISE164721616
ROSCOMMON7141117
SKIBBEREEN2   2 2
SLIGO1101 5511
STROKESTOWN5   235
THURLES7   257
TIPPERARY1012 5310
TRALEE414514121142
TUAM824 138
TUBBERCURRY212   2
TULLAMORE1337 2413
VIRGINIA211 1 2
WATERFORD CITY222539522
WESTPORT2  1 12
WEXFORD391115712539
WICKLOW813 418
YOUGHAL2    22
Total1,6013245541884054561,603

Road Traffic Offences Data

 126. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of persons detected driving while not wearing a seat belt or having their passenger wearing a seat belt in each of the years 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of persons who paid a fixed charge notice for this offence within the 56 day limit in each of the years 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21609/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I have requested a Garda report on the matter referred to in the Deputy's question and will contact the Deputy directly on receipt of a Garda report.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

  I refer to Parliamentary Question No. 126 for answer on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 in which you asked "the number of persons detected of driving while not wearing a seat belt or having their passenger wearing a seat belt in each of the years 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of persons that paid a fixed charge notice for this offence within the 56 day limit in each of the years 2015 to 2016 and to date in 2017".

  As you will recall, the information you requested could not be obtained in the time available, and I undertook to contact you directly on receipt of a report from An Garda Síochána.

  I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table details the number of Fixed Charge Notices (FCNs) issued in respect of persons detected for driving while not wearing a seat belt or having their passenger wearing a seat belt, for 2015, 2016 and from 1 January to 12 May 2017.

  I am further informed that FCNs with a status of "Paid Penalty Point" relate to the driver of the vehicle and were issued where either the driver, or a juvenile passenger in the car, was not wearing a seat belt and those with a status of "Paid - Non Penalty Points" relate to adult passengers in the car who were not wearing a seat belt. Please note that these statistics are provisional, operational and liable to change and are valid as of 12 May 2017.

  I hope this information is of assistance.

The Number of Fixed Charge Notices (FCNs) issued in respect of persons detected for driving while not wearing a seat belt or having their passenger wear a seat belt for 2015, 2016 and from 1 January to 12 May 2017.*   
 201520161 January to 12 May 2017
FCNs Issued10,1829,8163,175
Paid Penalty Point**5,8515,8211,326
Paid - Non Penalty Points***913780175
Active Payment Periods  1,129
Payment Clearing  28
*These statistics are provisional, operational and liable to change and are valid as of 12 May 2017.

**Paid Penalty Point relates to the driver of the vehicle and were issued where either the driver, or a juvenile passenger in the car, was not wearing a seat belt.

***Paid - Non Penalty Points relates to adult passengers in the car who were not wearing a seat belt.

Garda Operations

 127. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if An Garda Síochána carried out checks on or searches of an airplane (details supplied) while it was at Shannon Airport, in view of the fact that the call sign of the airplane indicated that it was on US military business and the gardaí were in close proximity to the airplane while it was at Shannon. [21738/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I have sought the information requested by the Deputy from the Garda Authorities on the matter raised by the Deputy and I will correspond with her when the information is to hand.

The general position in respect of the powers of search available to An Garda Síochána in respect of aircraft has been set out to the House on many occasions previously. An Garda Síochána has statutory powers of search and entry available to it under various legislative provisions and these apply to civil aircraft as much as to any other type of private property. However, these powers may only be exercised in circumstances where a member of An Garda Síochána reasonably suspects that an offence has been or is being committed. Of course these powers must be exercised in accordance with law. The mere suggestion or assertion of wrongdoing would plainly not be sufficient in this regard. An Garda Síochána has no role in relation to the inspection of foreign State or military aircraft which, in accordance with international law, enjoy sovereign immunity. An Garda Síochána has previously investigated allegations made to it of unlawful activity at Irish airports and the Garda Authorities remain fully committed to investigate all alleged breaches of the criminal law, including alleged offences involving the use of aircraft at Shannon Airport or other Irish airports.

Prison Committals

 128. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if authorisation will be given for an independent audit of the prison system relative to the methodology used to calculate fines and warrants for persons who had served time in prison and were being released on payment of the fine imposed; the number of persons who were overcharged in the past due to the wrong calculation being made; the amount of overpayment; if the overpayments in question will be refunded; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21750/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I have asked the Irish Prison Service for a report on the issues raised by the Deputy. I am informed by the Irish Prison Service that the information being sought to facilitate a full report on this matter is not readily available. The information is currently being collated and I will respond to the Deputy directly as soon as the report is to hand.

Prison Service Staff

 129. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the action she will take to ensure the safety of prison officers who are now being videoed by some members of the public using mobile telephones while on prisoner escort duties; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21751/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that escorts of prisoners, primarily to court and hospital appointments, undertaken by prison officers are by their nature conducted in the view of the general public.

It is not considered that the recording of staff conducting such escort duties poses any new or undue threat to any prison officer.

Staff safety is a priority for the Irish Prison Service and in this regard they have recently acted upon a State Claims Agency recommendation to standardise escort practices across the prison estate. This standard provides all staff with the requisite safety equipment and requires specific risk assessments for any escorts deemed to be in the category High Risk.

Prison Service Staff

 130. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if her attention has been drawn to the fact that prison officers are being disciplined for not wearing full uniform while escorting prisoners to hospitals and so on in spite of the fact that there is not a sufficient number of stab proof vests, batons and radios to cover all prison officers on escorts each day; if she will authorise an audit of all of the prisons to ensure that this issue is addressed without delay; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21752/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am advised by my officials of the Irish Prison Service (IPS) that the wearing of uniform on Escort Duties is required by the IPS Escort Standard. All prisons are supplied with the appropriate amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that they request or indicate is needed i.e. stab proof vests, batons, radios etc. Such PPE is only authorised for use on High Risk escorts, and this only after a risk assessment (HIRARC) is completed. I am also advised that no disciplinary code is ongoing for the non wearing of full uniform while conducting escorts to hospitals.

Garda Reports

 131. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number and titles of all reports completed by the Garda internal audit unit during each year since 2008. [21760/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I have asked the Garda Commissioner for the specific information requested and I will write directly to the Deputy when it is to hand.

Garda Procedures

 132. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will make available the programme of work currently in use by the Garda internal audit unit. [21761/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I have asked the Garda Commissioner for the specific information requested and I will write directly to the Deputy when it is to hand.

Garda Data

 133. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the persons who are members of the Garda audit committee. [21762/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Garda audit committee comprises a chairperson and 4 members all of whom are to be appointed by the Policing Authority.

  A new audit committee has been appointed by the Authority with effect, from 1 May, 2017 and the members are: Dr. Cyril Sullivan – Chairman, Ms. Anne Tynan, Ms. Áine Cornally, Professor Niamh Brennan and Deputy Commissioner Dónal Ó Cualáinn.

Garda Reports

 134. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number and titles of all reports completed by the Garda professional standards unit during each year since 2008. [21763/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Section 24(1) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 provided for the establishment of the Garda Professional Standards Unit (GPSU). The function of the GPSU is to examine and review, as directed by the Commissioner, the operational, administrative and management performance of the Garda Síochána at all levels, and to propose measures to improve that performance and promote the highest standard of practice.

The Garda Commissioner is required, under section 24(2) of the Act to submit a report by 31 March each year on the activities of the Professional Standards Unit in the preceding year. Prior to the establishment of the Policing Authority that report was made to me, as Minister. Since 2016 the report is made by the Garda Commissioner to the Policing Authority.

While there is no statutory requirement to publish the GPSU annual report, I published the annual reports for 2013 and 2014 on my Department's website. I have also published reports from the GPSU in 2013 and 2015 on their examination of processes in relation to the cancellation of Fixed Charge Notices.

I have asked the Garda Commissioner to provide me with details on other reports completed by the GPSU. When that information is to hand I will write directly to the Deputy.

Legal Services Regulation

 135. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the status of the work of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority. [21764/17]

 136. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the status of the implementation of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 and outstanding provisions yet to be implemented. [21765/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 135 and 136 together.

The setting-up of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, whose establishment day I had set by Order for 1 October 2016, has been underway since July 2016. At that time, I commenced Parts 1 and 2 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 as necessary to get the new Authority underway, particularly in terms of its nomination and appointment with the necessary motions of approval of the Houses of the Oireachtas. As part of the commencement of Part 2 of the 2015 Act, the Law Society, the Bar Council and the Honorable Society of the King's Inns furnished the Legal Services Regulatory Authority with copies of their professional codes as required within one month of the Authority's establishment under section 23(6)(a). In December 2016 sections 118 to 120 of the 2015 Act were commenced to enable the conduct of public consultations and reports by the new Regulatory Authority within the statutory periods concerned. These relate to Legal Partnerships (between solicitors and barristers or barristers and barristers - solicitors can already operate partnerships), Multi-Disciplinary Practices (where legal practitioners can provide their services together with other non-legal services providers) and certain restrictions on the work of barristers. The Authority, for which initial office accommodation has been provided by my Department along with the secondment of an officer at Assistant Principal level, also appointed an Interim Chief Executive on 1 January 2016. It is is currently conducting a public recruitment campaign for a long-term Chief Executive. The Authority has met five times since its inaugural meeting on 26 October 2016 with its next such meeting set for 25 May 2017. Funding support of €1 million was provided to the new Authority by my Department in December 2016. This is being done on a strictly recoupable basis as the Authority will be self-funding by levy with a similar allocation available to the Authority under my Department's Vote for this year.

On 31 March 2016, the Regulatory Authority presented respective reports under sections 118 and 119 to me as Minister for Justice and Equality and these have been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas. These reports, which were completed under very tight statutory deadlines, are historical as the first formal outputs of the Authority in the discharge of its legislative functions. They are also available along with minutes of meetings and other information on the web page of the new Regulatory Authority which is under development at www.LSRA.ie. On 6 April 2016 the Authority commenced its public consultations process under section 120 of the Act about certain restrictions on the work of barristers - these arise with regard to the holding of clients monies and to the direct provision of services to a client in relation to contentious matters. More recently, the Authority has submitted its first Annual Report which, under the relevant terms of the Act, covers its activities for the quarter since establishment on 1 October to the end of 2016 and this will soon be laid, as required, before each House of the Oireachtas.

Alongside these developments, the working focus right now is on the managed roll-out of the Authority's remaining functions with the matching development of its organisational capacities and office and staffing resources. This includes, under Part 10 of the 2015 Act, the introduction of a more transparent legal costs regime and the parallel transition, within the courts system, of the Office of the Taxing-Master to that of the Legal Costs Adjudicators; the establishment of a Roll of Practising Barristers under Part 9; the introduction of new regulations for the advertising of legal services under section 218 and the separate introduction, by my Department, of Pre-Action Protocols in medical negligence cases under Part 15. Following these steps the key structural reforms of Part 6 of the Act relating to public complaints, professional conduct and the appointment of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, will be commenced.

The Chairperson and members of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, its Interim Chief Executive and my Department are working closely to ensure that we can successfully coordinate the identification of the necessary steps and commencements by the Department, and the delivery, by the Authority as the new independent statutory regulator, of the various remaining provisions concerned. While it remains the intention that the Legal Services Regulatory Authority will come into substantive regulatory mode in these areas during the latter part of this year and early in 2018, the phased start-up of its various functions will need careful project management and the identification over coming weeks, and in conjunction with the Authority, of more specific delivery dates for the respective functions involved.

Garda Information and Communications Technology

 137. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the status of the State's implementation of the Schengen information system under Council Decision 2002/192/EC; the technical and legal preparations needed to connect to SIS; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21766/17]

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Ireland was authorised to participate in certain non-border aspects of the Schengen Acquis by Council Decision 2002/192/EC, principally in relation to police and judicial cooperation. Those provisions have yet to be implemented in full, and Ireland has yet to join the second generation Schengen Information System "SIS". I am prioritising Ireland's full implementation of our Schengen decision and our joining SIS. SIS is a valuable policing tool and will help in the fight against cross-border crime and terrorism.

The national legislative measures required for participation were largely completed by 2009, although some of those legislative provisions will not be commenced until Ireland is ready to join SIS. Joining SIS involves major ICT investment, which in recent years the State was simply not in a position to make. With the easing of economic conditions, I have been able to secure funding for this valuable project, and An Garda Síochána have now entered a contract with an ICT contractor to carry out the work required for Ireland to join SIS. The contract is for full operationalisation of SIS in Ireland, that is to say creating the link to the central Schengen Information System (CS-SIS), the creation of the national copy (N-SIS), its integration with PULSE, and comprehensive training from the SIRENE Bureau to the end-user. That contract was signed in December 2016, and €4m has been provided to commence the project.

An implementation group comprising my officials, An Garda Síochána and other stakeholders is overseeing the wider Schengen implementation plan to ensure that all State bodies involved are prepared for and able to implement their responsibilities under the Schengen decision.

I have kept the EU Commission informed of our progress to implementing the Schengen decision and joining SIS, and I have been very clear that Ireland is committed joining SIS and is dedicating the necessary resources to do so.


Last Updated: 04/10/2017 18:59:15 First Page Previous Page Page of 88 Next Page Last Page