Magdalen Laundries

Questions (366)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

366. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on whether the decision to establish an ex gratia scheme with regards to the Magdalen laundry fund, which is in effect a payment without an admission of liability, conflicts with the Taoiseach's apology to the surviving women on behalf of the State for their incarceration. [11047/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I do not see any conflict between the statement made by the Taoiseach on 19 February 2013 and the Government's proposal to establish a fund to assist the women in the light of whatever recommendations Judge Quirke makes.

Court Accommodation Provision

Questions (367)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

367. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the planning applications that have been made to Offaly County Council by the Office of Public Works in relation to the Court House building in Birr, County Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11185/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy may be aware, 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, including the provision of accommodation for court sittings. However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and have been informed that planning for courthouses is dealt with under Part 9 of the Planning and Development Regulations which do not require a planning application to be made to the local authority. In 2009 the Office of Public Works, on behalf of the Courts Service, commenced a Part 9 planning process with a view to the refurbishment and development of Birr Courthouse and Offaly County Council was consulted in the matter. The Courts Service has informed me that the project was not advanced beyond planning stage due to the downturn in the economy which resulted in budgetary constraints.

Criminal Assets Bureau

Questions (368)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

368. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied that adequate resources are being provided to the Crimina Assets Bureau to allow it to fully carry out their duties; if he will detail the budget for 2013 and the way this compares with the past ten years; if his attention has been drawn to any difficulties that may have arisen since March 2011 in relation to the performance its duties as a result of funding constraints; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11523/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the revised estimates for the year 2013 have yet to be published. A final budget allocation in respect of the Criminal Assets Bureau for 2013 will be included in those estimates. With regard to Deputy's question concerning the possible impact of funding constraints since 2011, I can inform the Deputy that the budget allocation for the Bureau in respect of previous years has been sufficient for the Bureau to carry out its duties. Set out in the table below are the budget outturns and staffing levels in respect of the Bureau for each of the years 2003 to 2012. Further more detailed information concerning the resources allocated to the Bureau are published in the Annual Reports of the Bureau.

Criminal Assets Bureau Resources 2012 - 2003

Year

Budget Outurn

Staffing Level

2012

6.410m

69

2011

6.673m

70

2010

6.531m

68

2009

6.877m

69

2008

7.509m

68

2007

5.108m

59

2006

5.205m

55

2005

5.246m

52

2004

5.675m

50

2003

5.711m

52

Tribunals of Inquiry Reports

Questions (369)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

369. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason the transcripts of the Morris Tribunal are copyrighted to private companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11527/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

My Department has been informed that the Morris Tribunal tendered for the supply of a stenography service for the Tribunal. The contract between the Tribunal and the successful company included a clause to the effect that the Tribunal would own the copyright of the proceedings. In effect, the stenography company in question relinquished its own copyright in this instance. At a later stage in the Tribunal's proceedings and following consultation with the Chairman, it was agreed to provide public access to the transcripts of the various modules, in a read only format, on the Tribunal website, www.morristribunal.ie.

Human Trafficking

Questions (370)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

370. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure to be followed in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10945/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by An Garda Síochána that they are aware of the matter raised by the Deputy in his question and have met with the individual concerned. The matter referred to is the subject of a thorough investigation and enquiries are ongoing. I would urge all victims of crime, including persons who believe that they may be victims of human trafficking, to report the matter to An Garda Síochána. There are a range of State services available to persons who may be victims of human trafficking including accommodation, medical care, immigration arrangements, legal advice, etc. A detailed Guide to the Procedures for supporting and protecting victims of human trafficking is accessible on the dedicated anti-trafficking website www.blueblindfold.gov.ie under the heading 'Victim Supports - State Services for Adult Victims'. This document outlines in a user-friendly manner what steps an individual should take if they believe that they are a victim of human trafficking.

Citizenship Applications

Questions (371)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

371. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when an application for citizenship will be decided in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22. [11007/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that a valid application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to by the Deputy in September, 2011. The application is being processed with a view to establishing whether the applicant meets the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation, such as good character and lawful residence, and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. As well as being a significant event in the life of its recipient, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation as provided for in law is also a major step for the State 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.

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 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.

Drug Treatment Court

Questions (372)

John Lyons

Question:

372. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of referrals that have been made from the District Court to the drugs court programme for persons from the Dublin North West constituency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11036/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the catchment area served by the Drug Treatment Court was significantly expanded with effect from July 2011 and the Court is now in a position to deal with offenders from a much wider area including offenders who are resident in all areas of Dublin north of the river Liffey and to offenders receiving treatment in the Castle Street Drug Treatment Centre which provides services to people residing in Dublin 2,4,6 and 8. Not all of the Dublin North West constituency was within the catchment area of the Court prior to 2011. Details are provided in the table below of the numbers of people referred to the Drug Treatment Court Programme with an address in the Dublin North West Constituency.

Year

Number of Referrals

2009

1

2010

3

2011

2

2012

9

The Support and Advisory Committee for the Drug Treatment Court has finalised a detailed evaluation of the court's operation and a report which was recently submitted is now under consideration in my Department.

Garda Transport Provision

Questions (373)

Joe McHugh

Question:

373. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has asked Garda management to consider adopting a leasing policy for transport in certain areas; if his attention has been drawn to similar arrangements that obtain in other EU Member States; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11042/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Decisions in relation to the provision of Garda transport are matters for the Garda Commissioner. The Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote and, in that context, I have been informed that the option of leasing vehicles has been examined. However, the Garda authorities have concluded that the current arrangement whereby Garda vehicles are purchased through an open tender procedure represents the most efficient use of available resources as, in particular, it secures bulk discounts for Force.

Gambling Legislation

Questions (374, 375)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

374. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans, if any, to legislate for the issue of underage persons engaging in online/remote gambling; legislative proposals he has in relation to regulating the gambling industry such as introducing water-shed times for television advertising and advertising restrictions that are currently used in the tobacco and alcohol sector to protect those underage from engaging in unhealthy gambling activity; if his attention has been drawn to certain populations being specifically targeted by advertising campaigns used by the gambling industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11075/13]

View answer

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

375. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to bring forward legislative measures to deal with the level of exposure children and young adults have to horse racing promotion; his plans to address this to bring horse racing promotion regulation in line with that of alcohol and tobacco regulation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11076/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 374 and 375 together.

The Deputy raises a number of concerns about current gambling practices, mentioning in particular the conduct of advertising and promotions especially where those activities are directed at young persons. I hope to bring the Heads of a new Bill, provisionally entitled the Gambling Control Bill, to the Government soon, for its approval and for authorisation to have a Bill drafted. I am proposing that the new Bill should replace current systems. It will be a comprehensive measure, establishing a single regulatory regime to cover betting and gaming, whether by terrestrial or remote means and will include gambling on virtual and actual events.

My plans to reform the law on gambling arose from the realisation that the current laws are seriously outdated and need replacement by new statutory provisions that address current practices and lifestyles. The new legislation will have consumer protection as its core objective, with particular emphasis on the protection of vulnerable persons, which, of course, includes young persons. I will be including measures that will require licence holders to act in a socially responsible way. The measures will include controls on advertising, promotions and sponsorship. I envisage the creation under the new legislation of, in effect, a new inspectorate to promote compliance and it will have a full range of enforcement powers. I plan to make the Heads available on my Department's website following their approval by the Government, while formal drafting is under way.