Fitzgerald, Frances

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Order of Business (Continued)

That would be dangerous for Deputy Martin.More Button

What Deputy Adams said is wrong.More Button

Northern Ireland and the Stormont House Agreement: Statements (Continued)

On the issue of flags, I hope that progress can be made through the new commission that has been established. This has proven an extremely difficult issue to resolve and I believe the commission...More Button

While there is some uncertainty regarding the process for determining parades, I do welcome the fact that the Northern Ireland Parades Commission is to remain in place. The commission has done e...More Button

On the question of North-South co-operation, I welcome the commitments made to expediting the review of relevant North-South issues that was agreed some time ago. However, I am concerned that we...More Button

On the subject of Sinn Féin, I am aware that Sinn Féin has constantly railed against the difficult decisions the Government here in the South has had to take to correct our public finances, get t...More Button

Foreign Conflicts

Was asked: the actions her Department is taking to monitor jihadis from Britain and mainland Europe who may be using Ireland as a transit point on the way to Syria and Iraq; and if she will make a statement o...More Button

There is considerable concern across Europe and elsewhere at the phenomenon of individuals travelling to conflict areas in the Middle East and the possible threat to national security by those who ...More Button

I am aware of recent media comments to the effect that Ireland is being used as a transit hub for persons travelling to Syria or Iraq. I have already made it clear that there is no evidence that ...More Button

There are a small number of people based here who support extremism and would try to facilitate others to travel to conflict zones. The activities of these people are closely monitored by An Gard...More Button

Ireland, like any other democratic country with similar values, is not immune to a threat from international terrorism. While an attack on Ireland is possible it is not assessed as likely. There...More Button

The Government is committed to ensuring that the necessary legislation is in place to address terrorist threats. The Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2014 has already passed...More Button

Road Traffic Offences

Was asked: the instances where licence numbers are not recorded in court under drink driver prosecutions.More Button

I wish to advise the Deputy that I am making enquiries with the Courts Service and the Garda Síochána in relation to the information sought by the Deputy and I will write to the Deputy directly as ...More Button

Was asked: the number of prosecutions so far brought under the Road Traffic Act 2006 (Restriction on Use of Mobile Phones) Regulations 2014; and if the Garda is enforcing this law. More Button

I have requested a report from the Garda authorities in relation to the matter referred to by the Deputy. I will contact the Deputy directly as soon as the report is to hand.More Button

Referendum Campaigns

Was asked: the position regarding setting a date to hold a referendum on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Government agreed last September to hold a referendum on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution, in response to the 6th Report of the Convention o...More Button

Was asked: her views on holding the marriage equality referendum on 24 April 2015, as proposed by the Union of Students in Ireland, so as to facilitate students who will be undertaking examinations the follow...More Button

On 16 December 2014, Government decided to hold the marriage equality referendum in May 2015. The necessary preparations are under way in my Department to meet this positive commitment. While I am...More Button

Miami Showband Massacre

Was asked: if she will support the Miami showband massacre survivors in their efforts for justice and truth; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At the outset I express my deepest sympathy to the survivors and the families of the victims of the attack on the Miami Showband. The attack in July 1975 not far from Newry took the lives of three...More Button

The attack was claimed at the time by the Ulster Volunteer Force. It is very clear, however, from the various investigations that have been carried out down the years that members of the Ulster ...More Button

It is impossible to forget the many horrific acts of troubles-related violence that were carried out or, indeed, the pain that is still being felt as a result. The impact of this and many other ...More Button

In 2007 a monument dedicated to the memory of the three band members who lost their lives in this brutal attack was erected in Dublin. The memorial is situated at the site of the old National Ba...More Button

On the general question of dealing with the past, the Deputy will be aware that the Stormont House Agreement contains a series of valuable measures in this regard.More Button

Legislative Measures

Was asked: her views that persons are subject to sufficient rigour within the jurisdiction in relation to bankruptcy arrangements; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Official Assignee in Bankruptcy has responsibility for ensuring that the provisions of bankruptcy legislation are fully enforced in the administration of bankruptcy estates. This involves ascer...More Button

I am informed that the High Court frequently deals with applications from the Official Assignee seeking compliance against individual bankrupt persons who do not cooperate in the bankruptcy proce...More Button

A fair balance is achieved by the Official Assignee's Office in ensuring that there is a maximum contribution by way of income payment for debtors for discharge of their debts, whilst ensuring de...More Button

Garda Misconduct Allegations

Was asked: the mechanism she has put in place to address the issue of irregularities in the case of a person (details supplied); if she will initiate a full independent public inquiry into the tragic killing ...More Button

The particular case to which the correspondence refers is amongst those being considered under the mechanism established for the independent review of certain allegations of Garda misconduct, or in...More Button

A panel consisting of two Senior and five Junior Counsel was established for the purpose. The counsel appointed to the panel were all selected on the basis of their experience of the criminal ju...More Button

The counsel are all fully aware of and share my concerns that nothing arises which might in any way detract from the integrity of the review mechanism, including issues of conflict of interest. ...More Button

Each recommendation that is made by the Panel will be very carefully considered, but as a matter of general principle let me say quite clearly that, in coming to a decision in each case, I will b...More Button

Family Reunification Data

Was asked: the number of persons who are married to, or in civil partnerships with, Irish citizens who were not granted family reunification visas in the years 2011 to 2014, inclusive.More Button

Was asked: the number of persons who are married to, or in civil partnerships with, Irish citizens who were granted family reunification visas in the years 2011 to 2014, inclusive.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 319 and 320 together.

  I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department that the number of Irish entry visas gr...More Button

Naturalisation Applications

Was asked: if she will review and facilitate an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Officials in the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service inform me that there is no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person ref...More Button

It is open to any individual to lodge an application for citizenship if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship A...More Button

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 specifically established for this purpos...More Button

Deportation Orders

Was asked: the progress in determination of an application pursuant to the provisions of section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999, as amended, in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1; and if s...More Button

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order made on 12th November 2008. The person conc...More Button

Representations were received from the person's legal representative, pursuant to Section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), to revoke the Deportation Order. The Deputy might wish to...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

Courts Service Data

Was asked: the number of court exemption orders that were issued to permit a marriage where one or both of the spouses were below the age of 18 years in 2010 to 2014, inclusive; her plans for legislative chan...More Button

Under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions, which include the provisi...More Button

Garda Deployment

Was asked: if she will sanction additional resources, extra personnel and new vehicles for An Garda Síochána for the Ballycullen, Dublin 24, area to allow for effective action to be taken in respect of the re...More Button

One of the primary functions of the Garda Commissioner under the Garda Síochána Acts, is to direct and control An Garda Síochána. The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of perso...More Button

Was asked: if she will provide an update on proposals to increase the numbers of gardaí in Longford town in view of its increasing population and a number of recent serious incidents; and if she will make a s...More Button

One of the primary functions of the Garda Commissioner under the Garda Síochána Acts, is to direct and control An Garda Síochána. The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of perso...More Button

Was asked: the number of gardaí attached to each Garda station in the Cavan-Monaghan division at the end of December 2010, at the end of December 2011, at the end of December 2012, at the end of December 2013...More Button

One of the primary functions of the Garda Commissioner under the Garda Síochána Acts, is to direct and control An Garda Síochána. The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of perso...More Button

Departmental Meetings

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 363 and 364 of 16 December 2014, the number of meetings between the Ministers and MAC for the years 2011 to 2014, inclusive, which were attended by special a...More Button

I wish to refer the Deputy to my reply to the previous Parliamentary Questions Nos. 363 and 364 of 16 December 2014.

  By way of update, I would like to provide the following inf...More Button

Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

Was asked: the amount spent by her Department on special advisers for each of the past four years; the way this compares with the four years from 2007 to 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In accordance with ministerial staffing limits, Ministers of the Government may appoint 2 Special Advisors. In the time period referenced by the Deputy there have been six Ministers for Justice and...More Button

Ministerial Transport

Was asked: the amount spent by her Department on ministerial drivers and associated travel expenses for each of the past four years; the way this compares with similar expenditure for the four years from 2007...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government introduced a number of changes for the provision of Office Holder transport during 2011. One of the consequences of that decision was that the transport...More Button

Immigration Policy

Was asked: the measures in place to refuse the right of citizens of other EU member states and beyond with serious criminal records from travelling into and remaining here; and if she will make a statement on...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that under the provisions of various EU legal instruments nationals of the EU Member States and the European Economic Area enjoy freedom of movement rights within the gener...More Button

Persons not entitled to EU freedom of movement rights are subject to separate legislation provisions regarding entry to and residence in the State. In particular, section 4 of the Immigration Act...More Button

As well as the legal requirement that non-nationals seek permission to enter the State on arrival at approved ports of entry, as part of the visa application process for visa required nationals a...More Button

Furthermore, where any person who is not a citizen of Ireland or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who is resident in the State, is known or suspected to have engaged in c...More Button

It is also the case that any person residing in or visiting the State who is alleged to have committed a criminal offence in the jurisdiction will be made amenable to and subject to the laws of ...More Button

Prisoner Complaints Procedures

Was asked: the number of complaints received by the Irish Prison Service during each of the years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; if she will provide a breakdown of the numbers with reference to the detentio...More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that it is not possible to collect the information required within the timeframe allotted. This information is currently being collated and will be forwarded to the Depu...More Button

Human Trafficking

Was asked: the number of persons who have been convicted of sex trafficking since 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act, 2008 came into effect on 1 June 2008 making human trafficking an offence with penalties of up to life imprisonment and (at the discretion of the Court) a f...More Button

Was asked: the steps being taken to target the practice of sex trafficking here; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Strong legislative, administrative and operational measures have been put in place to combat and prevent trafficking in human beings including for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Since 2009, t...More Button

The Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008 provides for penalties of up to life imprisonment and, at the discretion of the court, a fine for persons who traffic or attempt to traffic other per...More Button

There is a dedicated Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) in my Department to ensure that the State's response to human trafficking is coordinated and comprehensive. In addition to this dedicated ...More Button

- the Human Trafficking Investigation and Co-ordination Unit in An Garda Síochána; More Button

- the Anti-Human Trafficking Team in the Health Service Executive; More Button

- and a specialised Human Trafficking legal team in the Legal Aid Board.More Button

The State provides a wide range of support services to victims of human trafficking including those persons who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. These services includ...More Button

Specific detailed training is provided to members of An Garda Síochána. Almost 4000 members of An Garda Síochána have received awareness training in human trafficking and over 900 have participat...More Button

AHTU, in partnership with Ruhama, has been successful in obtaining EU funding for a project aimed at delivering activities that promote zero tolerance of human trafficking as a form of violence a...More Button

I am committed to ensuring that the measures taken to combat human trafficking for sexual exploitation, including legislation, are adequate. To this end, on 27 November 2014, I published the Gene...More Button

Unlike the existing offences relating to prostitution such as soliciting, loitering or brothel keeping, the new offences will specifically target the demand for prostitution. The purpose of this ...More Button

Legislative Programme

Was asked: if she will publish legislation regarding ending sex trafficking and prostitution here before the term of the current Government ends; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On 27 November, I published the General Scheme of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2014 which includes two new offences of purchasing, in the context of prostitution, sexual services.More Button

The first is a general offence of purchasing sexual services which carries a penalty of a fine of up to €500 for a first offence and fines of up to €1000 for a second or subsequent offence. The ...More Button

These proposals have been developed following extensive consultation, initiated by my Department, dating back to 2012 and which includes a recommendation from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Ju...More Button

I am satisfied that it is necessary to take steps to tackle the trafficking and wider exploitation of persons through prostitution. Unlike the existing offences relating to prostitution such as ...More Button

The Bill is priority legislation and is currently being drafted. It is my intention to publish the Bill later this year.More Button

Garda Career Breaks Data

Was asked: if she will provide in tabular form the current number of gardaí on sick leave, stress leave and career break; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

One of the primary functions of the Garda Commissioner under the Garda Síochána Acts is to direct and control An Garda Síochána. The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of person...More Button

Garda Retirements

Was asked: if she will provide in tabular form the number of gardaí who have left the force per year, from 2008 to 2011; the reason for their leaving the force; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the number of members, broken down by rank, who have retired from the force on voluntary, compulsory or other grounds, in the years ending 31 Dec...More Button

Charities Regulation

Was asked: the role the Charities Regulatory Authority plays in regulating local not-for-profit savings clubs; if such groups are permitted to take deposits where the intention is for them to repay within a s...More Button

The Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA) has statutory responsibility for the registration and regulation of all charitable organisations operating in the State. There are currently no savings club...More Button

Legislative Process

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 334 of 2 December 2014, in view of the UK Court of Appeal decision in a case (details supplied), her plans to address the ongoing delay in completing the draft...More Button

The 2013 UK Court of Appeal judgment necessitated a review of the disclosure provisions in both the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 and the Spent Convictions Bill...More Button

Stardust Fire

Was asked: her views on the new evidence presented in relation to the Stardust fire tragedy; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I met with the Stardust Relatives' and Victims Committee in July last year and this meeting provided an opportunity for me to hear their concerns at first hand. At that meeting the Committee and th...More Button

Following that meeting, I appointed an official in my Department to liaise with the Committee and he has engaged with the Committee and their representatives in relation to these matters. With re...More Button

I wish also to inform the Deputy that allegations raised by the Stardust Relatives' and Victims Committee and their representatives in relation to certain matters are the subject of an ongoing in...More Button

Was asked: her views on a new inquiry into the Stardust tragedy (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I met with the Stardust Relatives' and Victims Committee in July of last year and this meeting provided an opportunity for me to hear their concerns at first hand. At that meeting the Committee and...More Button

Following that meeting, I appointed an official in my Department to liaise with the Committee and he has engaged with the Committee and their representatives in relation to these matters. With re...More Button

I wish also to inform the Deputy that allegations raised by the Stardust Relatives' and Victims Committee and their representatives in relation to certain matters are the subject of an ongoing in...More Button

Language Schools Accreditation

Was asked: the requirements for language schools in view of the recent court ruling on language school accreditation; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am fully committed to delivering on the government's regulatory reform programme in this area as announced in September 2014 in conjunction with my colleague the Minister for Education and Skil...More Button

A range of options is being examined to progress the reforms in a manner consistent with the High Court decision, and without prejudice to a possible appeal.More Button

Visa Applications

Was asked: if she will intervene to overturn the decision to refuse a family unification visa in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15.More Button

The visa application referred to by the Deputy was received in the Visa Office, Abu Dhabi on 30 October, 2014. Following full consideration, the Visa Officer decided to refuse the grant of the vis...More Button

As the appeal process has been completed, the application in question is now closed. However, it is always open to the person concerned to make a new application at any time should they so wish,...More Button

Guidelines regarding the visa application procedures are available on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service - www.inis.gov.ie. Queries in relation to general matters may...More Button

Parliamentary Questions

Was asked: her views on response times to parliamentary questions submitted to her and forwarded to the Garda Commissioner; and if she will ensure that all parliamentary questions requiring a further detailed...More Button

I appreciate that delays in receiving detailed replies can be frustrating for Deputies. In some instances, however, it is necessary to collate responses from numerous sources and operational press...More Button

State Pardons

Was asked: her views on a matter regarding a posthumous pardon to a person (details supplied); her plans to progress this matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can inform the Deputy that it is my intention to bring a recommendation to Government in the near future concerning the question of a pardon in this case. The specific issue raised by him will f...More Button