Shatter, Alan

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Penalty Points System

I will respond to both Deputies but, on the last issue raised by the Deputy who just spoke, I am not privy to the background circumstances of the termination of anyone's employment with Independent...More Button

Penalty Points System (Continued)

I welcome the opportunity to comment on the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General in his report on the Garda fixed-charge processing system. I welcome these findings because they confi...More Button

The O'Mahoney report broadly identified the same key issues of concern relating to the operation of the fixed-charge processing system as were identified by the Comptroller and Auditor General, n...More Button

Such action has been taken. Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against several members of the Garda Síochána and a number of others were advised of the absolute necessity to follow correct ...More Button

I welcome the action taken by the Garda Commissioner in this area and his commitment to implement the further recommendations of the Comptroller and Auditor General. The result will be a fixed-c...More Button

It is only fair to acknowledge that these reports, and their findings and recommendations, are in response to allegations of improper cancellation of fixed-charge notices. However, any fair asse...More Button

In conclusion, I welcome the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General, which are in line with the findings of the report by Assistant Commissioner O'Mahoney published earlier this year. I...More Button

Deputy Higgins should be assured that nobody has been victimised.More Button

There is no basis for alleging that anybody has been victimised. The allegations that were made were taken very seriously. They included claims that a number of road accidents in which people los...More Button

The allegations alleged widespread corruption and conspiracy in An Garda Síochána. There is absolutely no doubt that there have been administrative and bureaucratic failings. It is also clear t...More Button

They will be treated less than equally because there is an additional level and a particular layer in the new guidelines to ensure applications by them for cancellation are dealt with at a higher l...More Button

In so far as individuals who raised issues are alleging that the Garda reports published are untrue, let them bring forward chapter and verse and proof of this. I am open to being convinced, but...More Button

It is important to keep cancellations in perspective. I say this in particular to Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn. The Garda Síochána and Comptroller and Auditor General's reports are consistent i...More Button

Mortgage Restructuring Arrangement Bill 2013: Second Stage [Private Members] (Continued)

I hope to conclude after 20 minutes and I will then share my time with Deputies Seán Kyne and Joe Costello.More Button

Deputy Collins and the Technical Group have provided us with a further opportunity to discuss the plight of persons in mortgage arrears. This is evidenced by the Private Members' Bill being disc...More Button

The central element in the Bill is for the forced restructuring of secured credit or mortgage debt, by writing off part of that particular debt. The process involved is for a personal insolvency...More Button

The content and details of a mortgage restructuring arrangement would effectively be determined by the PIP alone and would be binding on the secured creditor. In addition, the creditor would not...More Button

Deputy Collins and her colleagues may believe that the financial institutions are the source of all evil, but it is important, however, that we have a functioning banking system in this country. ...More Button

The proposed approach in the Bill - the imposition of a settlement on the creditor without proper regard to all the circumstances - is significantly out of kilter with the negotiated approach taken...More Button

First, Deputy Collins's approach to dealing with mortgage arrears is predicated on having the debtor's representative decide what should be repaid to the creditor without any particular regard to...More Button

As I mentioned, one of the main priorities of this Government has been to put in place the best solutions possible for people living under the burden of unsustainable debt. When I took office as...More Button

The guidelines on reasonable expenses provide an essential defensive shield to ensure that neither financial institutions nor other creditors can deprive debtors of funds they need for reasonable...More Button

To protect the constitutional rights of all concerned and to prevent potential actions for judicial review, the Act provides for enhanced oversight by the courts of the three new debt resolution ...More Button

It is important that all households can contribute to our economic recovery and that all those affected by unsustainable debt have real hope for the future. The central objective in regard to th...More Button

The new approach led by this Government avoids contentious court hearings, long delays and substantial legal costs inherent in earlier approaches. This is a significant objective designed into t...More Button

This Government is determined to ensure that assistance is targeted at those who cannot pay, as opposed to those who will not pay. People cannot expect to maintain a lifestyle which is beyond th...More Button

The debt resolution initiatives already in place include those under the Personal Insolvency Act 2012, those under the code of conduct for mortgage arrears, the targets set by the Central Bank fo...More Button

I assure the House that the matter is being very closely monitored by the Government on an ongoing basis. If necessary, as I have previously indicated, further adjustments or appropriate measure...More Button

It was necessary, given the nature of the crisis which hit this State and specifically its economy and the banking sector, that the initial focus of the Government initiatives to be complied with...More Button

The Central Bank requires the financial institutions to achieve certain targets in regard to proposing and agreeing sustainable long-term solutions. Unfortunately, a disproportionate amount of t...More Button

During his appearance before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on 26 September, the Governor of the Central Bank, Professor Patrick Honohan, was rightly cri...More Button

He noted that 74,000 of the 98,000 mortgage holders in arrears of more than 90 days at the end of June were not yet in an arrangement with their lender. He was of the view that the banks are enga...More Button

The Central Bank set targets earlier this year for lenders to provide sustainable solutions to customers with mortgage arrears of 90 days or more. The bank is auditing a sample of the cases to s...More Button

It is not acceptable, based on the existing information, that only one regulated Irish financial institution has made more mortgage modification offers that are classified as "sustainable solutio...More Button

I fully recognise that in appropriate cases, the reconstruction of debt in mortgage arrangements will lead where appropriate to the writing off of a portion of outstanding capital. This is an ap...More Button

Irish banks have been recapitalised and stress tested on the understanding that there will be losses resulting from excessive financial lending during the property bubble and there is little excu...More Button

Taxpayers have been financing the banks. No matter how one might deplore the previous behaviour of financial institutions, everyone in the State has an interest in ensuring the banks' capitalisa...More Button

The economic and financial effects of the proposals in the Deputy's Bill would be damaging should it be accepted. The costs to the financial institutions could run into billions of euro and have ...More Button

These commitments will not have any particular impact on the engagement between banks and co-operating borrowers in seeking to conclude a sustainable solution to a mortgage problem. The protecti...More Button

The Government's objective in everything we have done in the development and introduction of various debt resolution processes has been to help people in genuine financial distress to facilitate ...More Button

Legal Services Regulation

Was asked: when he expects to have the Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011 enacted and its key reforms implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased to report to the Deputy that steady progress is being made towards the enactment of the Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011 which remains a priority under both the Programme for Govern...More Button

These changes are being augmented by a more modern, consumer friendly and transparent legal costs regime under the Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicator that will take over the duties of the exis...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, Committee Stage of the Bill commenced on 17 July when I successfully introduced a series of key amendments to Part 2 of the Bill which have further enhanced the indep...More Button

Was asked: if it is intended that the Law Society will continue to have a dual role both representative and regulatory in the provisions of the Legal Services Bill 2011; if it is intended that there will be a...More Button

Was asked: if he has decided to leave the financial investigation of solicitors' practices to be handled by the Law Society; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he has decided to remove the complaints jurisdiction currently exercised by the Law Society to a new Legal Services Regulator; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 513 to 515, inclusive, together.More Button

As I have publicly stated on a number of occasions, there has been a change in approach to the regulation of solicitors’ accounts since the publication of the Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011....More Button

The annual report of the Independent Adjudicator of the Law Society of Ireland for the year ending 30 September 2012 notes that the net assets of the Solicitors' Compensation Fund were valued at ...More Button

While the Law Society will continue to exercise responsibility for the financial regulation of solicitors it will no longer deal with complaints from members of the public or misconduct proceedin...More Button

Some elements of regulation are set to remain with the Law Society and the Bar Council under the new Bill. For example, they will be able to continue to set rules, regulations, practice notes and...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, Committee Stage of the Bill commenced on 17 July and I can confirm that detailed work on the Bill, including in relation to some of the issues raised, continues in my...More Button

Garda Recruitment

Was asked: if there will be any openings for new recruits within the Gardaí in the coming months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy is aware, I have secured the approval of my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, for a recruitment competition for the Garda Síochána. There are a number of pro...More Button

Garda Deployment

Was asked: in view of the amalgamation of the Newcastle West and Askeaton Garda Districts, the provision that has been made to increase accommodation for Gardaí in the Newcastle West station; his views on whe...More Button

The decision to amalgamate the two Garda Districts referred to by the Deputy was one of the results of a comprehensive assessment carried out by the Garda Commissioner over a 12 month period and co...More Button

Was asked: if he will ensure that additional Garda resources are assigned to a town (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is already aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no direct function in the...More Button

Specifically in relation to drugs, all Gardaí have responsibilities in the prevention and detection of criminal activity whether it be in the area of burglary, drug offences or otherwise. I can a...More Button

Official Languages Act 2003 Compliance

Was asked: the arrangements put in place by his Department to ensure compliance with the Official Languages Act, specifically requirements for signage in departmental offices, schools, third level institution...More Button

At the request of the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in June 2005 a draft Irish language scheme under Section 11 of the Official Languages Act 2003 was prepared by this Departm...More Button

In addition to internal monitoring of that Scheme, the Office of the Language Commissioner has also formally monitored the Department's implementation of the Scheme. A second draft Scheme has si...More Button

Specifically in relation to signage, since the enactment of the Official Languages Act 2003, and subsequently on the publication of Regulations on bilingual signage, my Department has monitored i...More Button

Was asked: the arrangements put in place by his Department to ensure compliance with the Official Languages Act, specifically requirements for signage in departmental offices, schools, third level institution...More Button

All Branches of the Department of Defence have been made aware of the Official Languages Act and the responsibility for the implementation of its legislative requirements rest with each Branch in a...More Button

Garda Stations Closures

Was asked: the position regarding replacing Garda stations with mobile police offices; the number that have been provided to date; the number that will be provided; the costs involved; and if he will make a s...More Button

Decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of policing resources, including Garda transport, are an operational matter for the Garda Commissioner. As the Deputy will be aware, earlier t...More Button

Was asked: the reason a Garda station (details supplied) in County Donegal is closed despite the fact that the station has not been listed for closure; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to re-open a Garda station (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 505 and 506 together.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Commissioner's Policing Plan for 2013, which I laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas on 5th December 2012, sets out details of the closure of 100 Garda stati...More Button

Ramelton Garda station was not identified for closure in those plans and currently there are no proposals being prepared to close Ramelton Garda station. I have however been informed by the Gard...More Button

Legislative Process

Was asked: if he will provide a list of the Acts or specific provisions of Acts under his Department that have not yet been commenced; if it is intended to commence the provision in each case; if so, when; an...More Button

Following clarification from the Deputy I have interpreted the question to refer to Bills which have been enacted since the current Government took office on 9 March 2011. Details of the informati...More Button

Acts/Provisions of Acts Not Yet Commenced More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a list of the Acts or specific provisions of Acts under his Department that have not yet been commenced; if it is intended to commence the provision in each case; if so, when; an...More Button

There are no Acts or specific provisions of Acts awaiting commencement under my Ministerial area of responsibility.More Button

EU Directives

Was asked: the level of compliance with European Union directives within his ministerial areas of responsibility; the current fines resulting from non-compliance and potential fines resulting from present non...More Button

Insofar as my areas of responsibility are concerned, Ireland is not subject to any fines arising from non-compliance with European Union Directives and does not have any overdue Directives yet to b...More Button

- Directive 2004/38/EC (the 'Freedom of Movement Directive'): In 2011, the Commission issued a letter of formal notice alleging certain shortcomings in Ireland's transposition of this Directive. ...More Button

- Directive 2011/36/EU (the 'Human Trafficking Directive): On 28 May 2013 the Commission issued a letter of formal notice to Ireland regarding overdue transposition of this Directive, full transp...More Button

Was asked: the level of compliance with European Union directives within his ministerial areas of responsibility; the current fines resulting from non-compliance and potential fines resulting from present non...More Button

I am advised that there are no non-compliance issues arising in the Department of Defence and there are no current fines resulting from non-compliance or potential fines resulting from present non-...More Button

Garda Transport Provision

Was asked: the number of additional marked and unmarked Garda cars and marked vans that each Garda district has received to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of Garda vehicles are a matter for the Garda Commissioner in the light of his identified operational demands and the availability of resources....More Button

NEW VEHICLES COMMISSIONED 2013- More Button

Asylum Applications

Was asked: if he will provide an update in relation to correspondence furnished to his office; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

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), t...More Button

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 refus...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the principal reason for the delay in having the case of the person concerned processed to completion was owing to the existence of judicial review proceedings bef...More Button

Prisoner Transfers

Was asked: the road safety regulations Gardaí must adhere to whilst transporting prisoners to prison; if he will confirm that these regulations are adhered to, considering the practice of transporting recentl...More Button

I have requested a report from the Garda authorities on the specific circumstances referred to by the Deputy and I will reply directly when the report is available.More Button

Court Procedures

Was asked: the reason over 38% of Garda summonses issued between January 2009 and December 2012 were not served (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have requested a detailed report from the Garda authorities on the issue raised. The Deputy will be aware that certain aspects of this issue are addressed in the recent report of the Comptroller...More Button

Naturalisation Applications

Was asked: the position regarding the eligibility of a person (details supplied) in County Galway to apply for naturalisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department inform me that there is no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisa...More Button

Human Trafficking

Was asked: his plans to introduce legislation to address human trafficking for the purposes of prostitution.More Button

The Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008 made it an offence to traffick a person for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The definition of sexual exploitation includes prostitution. A person f...More Button

Road Traffic Offences

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 1086 of 18 September 2013, if he will provide a breakdown of the number of defendants convicted under the Road Traffic Acts and the number of driving licences ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Courts Service has put in place arrangements to ensure that summonses issued since May 2012 include wording to advise persons charged with an offence under the Road Traf...More Button

Garda Vetting of Personnel

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

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the current average processing time for applications is approximately 9 weeks from date of receipt. However, seasonal fluctuations and the necessity to s...More Button

A vetting disclosure is made in response to a written request and with the permission of the person who is the subject of that request. Garda vetting disclosures are issued to specified organisat...More Button

Each time a new vetting application is received, a full vetting check is conducted to ensure that the most recent data available is taken into account. The non-transferability and contemporaneous...More Button

It is essential that the GCVU has the resources required to perform this most critical of roles effectively and I have given this matter particular priority. In that regard I have been actively e...More Button

Development of an e-Vetting solution is underway. This will facilitate the processing of all applications in an e-format, thus removing the time-consuming current process of manually managing all...More Button

Garda Vetting Applications

Was asked: the current waiting time for Garda vetting applications to be processed; and if this will reduce over the next six months.More Button

By way of background to the Deputy's question, I wish to advise that the number of vetting applications received by the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) each year has risen from 187,864 in 2007 to...More Button

It is essential that the GCVU has the resources required to perform this most critical of roles effectively and I have given this matter particular priority. In that regard I have been actively e...More Button

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the current average processing time for applications is now approximately 9 weeks from date of receipt. However, seasonal fluctuations and the necessit...More Button

Development of an e-Vetting solution is also underway. This will facilitate the processing of all applications in an e-format, thus removing the time-consuming current process of manually managin...More Button

Judicial Appointments

Was asked: the way the judges for the new Court of Appeal will be appointed if the referendum on the matter is passed (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The referendum on the proposed Thirty-third Amendment of the Constitution (Court of Appeal) Bill will be held on October 4th. The establishment of the Court of Appeal will require the enactment of ...More Button

The costs of the proposed Court of Appeal continue to be analysed but the current estimate is that the Court of Appeal would have an annual cost of €2.5 to €3m. This includes judicial salaries p...More Button

Of course, there would be a significant personal and business cost of not providing a solution to this structural problem. The current level of delay in the Supreme Court of over four years is un...More Button

Bench Warrants

Was asked: the number of bench warrants currently outstanding in Dublin; if he will provide a breakdown of these bench warrants on a division and district basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In the time available it has not been possible for the Garda authorities to supply the information requested by the Deputy. I will be in contact with the Deputy when the information is to hand.More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding legislation on prostitution; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The correspondence sent to the Deputy concerns the recent report of the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality on hearings and submissions on the current review of prostitution legislatio...More Button

Was asked: in relation to the Coroners Bill 2007, if he will enact the legislation in its present format; when the bill will be progressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Coroners Bill 2007 is before the Seanad having been restored to the Order Paper on my initiative. The Bill, as published, provides for the comprehensive reform of the existing legislation and ...More Button

Residency Permits

Was asked: if he will examine a petition by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; if he will communicate with his Department, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service and Irish-born child to re...More Button

The person concerned, a failed asylum applicant, has sought a right of residency in the State, accompanied by a right to work, based on the principles of the Zambrano Judgment. I am advised that th...More Button

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 establ...More Button

Magdalen Laundries Issues

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the Magdalen laundries restorative justice scheme to include the number of women who have applied to the fund; the number of the applicants that have received a paym...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, on 25 June 2013 the Government approved the immediate implementation of a cash lump sum payments scheme based on duration of stay in laundries recommended by Judge Quirke an...More Button

Payments cannot commence until decisions have been made on the other recommendations. I expect to receive the report of the Interdepartmental Group within the next week and I will then bring the...More Button

Road Safety Issues

Was asked: the position regarding cyclists speeding on a path near a school (details supplied).More Button

The Deputy will be aware that members of An Garda Síochána enforce the law on pedal cycling as part of their normal duties. In addition to day to day enforcement of the relevant provisions of the R...More Button

Regulatory Impact Assessment Data

Was asked: if he will provide an update on all regulatory impact statements carried out on Bills in his Department since this Government took office to date; if he will list these Bills in tabular form; and i...More Button

The tabular statement below sets out details of all 17 Regulatory Impact Assessments which were carried out on Bills in my Department since the current Government took office on 9 March 2011.More Button

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Was asked: if he will provide an update on all regulatory impact statements carried out on Bills in his Department since this Government took office to date; if he will list these Bills in tabular form; and i...More Button

There have been no Regulatory Impact Assessments carried out by my Department since this Government took office to date. The Department of Defence is not a regulatory authority as commonly understo...More Button

Overseas Missions

Was asked: the number of Defence Forces personnel currently stationed overseas; the number stationed in each of the various countries and the nature of the work or missions in which personnel are involved; an...More Button

As of 30 September 2013, Ireland is contributing approximately 564 Defence Forces personnel to 14 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas a...More Button

Other missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the EU Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia with eight (8) personnel, including the Mission Commander; the EU Training Mission...More Button

The most recent deployment overseas was in response to a United Nations request and resulted in the deployment of the 43rd Infantry Group, comprising 115 personnel, to United Nations Disengagement ...More Button

Also, at the request of the United Nations and following Government approval, four (4) members of the Permanent Defence Force deployed for service with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS...More Button

Members of the Permanent Defence Force Serving Overseas as of 30th September 2013More Button

Year Bill
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Commemorative Events

Was asked: if following the commemorations which took place in July and August of this year, there are plans to extend the commemoration using the ceremonial military guard at the national memorial to Óglaigh...More Button

As part of the Defence Forces contribution to “The Gathering Ireland 2013” initiative, a Ceremonial Military Guard parade was held at the site of the National Memorial to members of the Defence For...More Button


 

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