Prisoner Transfers

Questions (376)

Finian McGrath

Question:

376. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding a transfer in respect of a person (details supplied). [11150/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform that Deputy that the prisoner referred to has made three applications for transfer to the Training Unit which have all been refused by officials of my Department. The Deputy should also be advised that the prisoner's sentence management plan is under review by management of the Irish Prison Service and a decision will be made on the prisoner's future accommodation having considered a number of issues, including the nature of the prisoner's offence, his conduct while in custody, and the safe and secure custody of the prisoner.

Garda Vetting Applications

Questions (377)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

377. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a Garda vetting application will be processed in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11183/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that two vetting applications on behalf of the person concerned were received by the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) on 12 December 2012 and 30 January 2013. The applications are currently being processed. It is anticipated that a response to the first application received by the GCVU will issue to the registered organisation involved next week and a response to the second application in the coming weeks.

Court Accommodation Provision

Questions (378)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

378. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality having regard to the catchment area currently serviced by Birr District Court in County Offaly and the court lists that are heard there at each District Court sittings that every consideration will be given to its continued operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11186/13]

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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 the Courts Service has been reviewing all aspects of its organisational and operational structures throughout the country with the specific objective of ensuring that the Service can continue to maintain the delivery of front line court services and an appropriate level of service to court users. I understand that no court venue has been singled out for or indeed exempted from the review and that Birr courthouse has been identified as a venue to be considered for closure subject to a detailed assessment and the preparation of a business case.

In this context the Courts Service has established a general framework within which such venues are being assessed taking into account a range of criteria such as caseload, proximity to an alternative venue, physical condition of the building, availability of cells etc. The likely impact on other Justice agencies, such as An Garda Síochána and the Irish Prison Service, is also taken into account. The review identified a range of venues nationwide which, based on the criteria applied, could be considered for closure subject to a detailed assessment and the preparation of a business case in respect of each identified venue which has now commenced. However, the Courts Service has assured me that no decision in relation to the future of Birr Courthouse will be taken without prior consultation with local interested parties and court users. This consultation has commenced and the views received will be taken into account in the decision making process which will be a matter for the Courts Service Board.

Gambling Legislation

Questions (379)

Peter Mathews

Question:

379. Deputy Peter Mathews asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when he intends to bring forward legislation on the regualtion of the casino sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11191/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I announced in September 2011 that the Government had agreed to my proposal to replace the current legislation on gambling with new statutory arrangements for licensing, compliance and enforcement. My Department has, meanwhile, being preparing Heads of a new Bill, provisionally entitled the Gambling Control Bill, and I am pleased to tell the Deputy that I hope to bring those Heads to the Government soon for approval and for authorisation to have a Bill formally drafted. It is my intention, subject to the agreement of the Government, to publish the Heads on my Department's website following their approval by the Government and while formal drafting is underway.

On the specific question about the regulation of casinos, the Government agreed that the new legislation should provide for the licensing of modest sized casinos: it decided against permitting the larger 'resort' style casinos. The new Gambling Control Bill will therefore include arrangements for the licensing and operation of casinos. It is my intention that the new Bill should establish a comprehensive inspection and compliance regime. The Bill will indicate the maximum number to be permitted as well as determining the maximum permitted size.

The Deputy is, no doubt, aware that, currently, casino gaming is prohibited by section 4(1) of the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956, as amended. As a result, casinos cannot be licensed. Nevertheless, there are numerous 'private members clubs' offering, in effect, casino gaming. Prosecutions for breaches of section 4(1) have been brought but have been unsuccessful. The 'clubs' therefore continue to exploit ambiguities in the present law but the new Bill will address these and other matters that have come to light. Following its enactment, only casinos holding a licence under the new law will be permitted. Although not licensed, the private members clubs are required by the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 to register with my Department's anti-money laundering compliance unit. That unit conducts inspections of these premises to assess compliance with the 2010 Act.

Garda Transport Data

Questions (380)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

380. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide in tabular form by division and district, the number and type of Garda vehicles that were decommissioned by An Garda Síochána in the years 2008, 2009 and 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11251/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Decisions in relation to the provision and deployment of Garda transport are matters for the Garda Commissioner.

In that context, I have been informed by the Garda authorities that a breakdown of vehicles decommissioned by Garda District is not readily available and would require a disproportionate use of Garda resources to compile. However, I am informed by the Garda authorities that the number of Garda vehicles decommissioned in the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 broken down by Division is as detailed in the following tables:

2008

Division

Cars

Vans

Motor Cycles

4x4's

Other

CAVAN/MONAGHAN

16

1

5

0

0

CLARE 

7

1

1

0

0

CORK CITY

11

1

2

2

1

CORK NORTH

7

0

1

0

0

CORK WEST

8

0

0

1

0

DMR EAST

10

2

2

1

0

DMR NORTH

23

2

2

0

1

DMR NORTH CENTRAL

11

4

0

0

1

DMR SOUTH 

24

3

0

1

2

DMR SOUTH CENTRAL

5

1

2

0

0

DMR TRAFFIC

1

0

3

1

0

DMR WEST 

18

2

1

1

0

DONEGAL

14

1

1

2

1

GALWAY

10

0

2

1

0

KILKENNY/CARLOW

1

0

0

0

0

KERRY

5

0

0

0

0

KILDARE

11

0

1

0

0

LAOIS/OFFALY

10

0

0

0

0

LIMERICK

16

2

2

0

0

LOUTH

9

1

0

0

1

MAYO 

7

1

0

0

0

MEATH

10

2

0

0

0

ROSCOMMON/LONGFORD

6

1

1

0

0

SLIGO/LEITRIM

6

2

0

0

0

TIPPERARY

12

0

0

0

0

WATERFORD

7

0

0

0

0

WESTMEATH

8

1

2

0

0

WEXFORD

13

2

0

0

0

WICKLOW

14

0

1

0

0

2009

Division

Cars

Vans

Motorcycles

4x4's

Other

CAVAN/MONAGHAN

2

0

0

0

0

CORK CITY

0

0

1

0

0

CORK NORTH

1

0

0

0

0

CORK WEST

2

0

0

0

0

DMR EAST

5

0

0

0

0

DMR NORTH

1

0

0

0

1

DMR SOUTH CENTRAL

3

0

0

0

0

DMR WEST

4

0

0

0

0

GALWAY

3

0

0

0

0

KILDARE

1

2

0

0

0

LAOIS/OFFALY

2

0

0

1

0

LIMERICK

1

1

1

0

0

MAYO 

2

0

0

0

0

MEATH  

2

0

1

0

0

ROSCOMMON/LONGFORD

1

0

0

0

0

TIPPERARY

2

0

0

0

0

WATERFORD

1

0

0

0

0

WESTMEATH

1

0

0

0

0

WEXFORD

1

0

0

0

0

WICKLOW

0

0

0

1

0

2010

Division

Cars

Vans

Motor Cycles

4x4's

Other

CAVAN/MONAGHAN

6

0

0

0

0

CLARE 

4

0

0

0

0

CORK CITY

3

2

1

1

0

CORK NORTH

6

0

0

0

0

CORK WEST

5

0

0

0

0

DMR EAST

2

0

0

0

0

DMR NORTH

5

0

1

0

1

DMR NORTH CENTRAL

2

0

1

0

1

DMR SOUTH

0

0

1

0

0

DMR SOUTH CENTRAL

3

1

0

0

0

DMR TRAFFIC

0

0

1

0

1

DMR WEST

2

0

0

0

0

DONEGAL

2

0

0

0

0

GALWAY

2

2

0

0

0

KERRY

2

0

1

0

0

KILDARE

3

1

0

0

0

KILKENNY/CARLOW

3

0

0

0

0

LAOIS/OFFALY

3

0

0

0

0

LIMERICK

6

0

0

0

1

LOUTH  

3

1

0

0

0

MAYO 

0

0

1

0

0

MEATH 

4

0

0

0

0

ROSCOMMON/LONGFORD

1

0

0

0

0

SLIGO/LEITRIM

5

1

0

0

0

TIPPERARY

4

1

0

0

0

WATERFORD 

0

0

0

0

1

WESTMEATH

0

1

0

0

0

WICKLOW

3

0

0

0

1

Residency Permits

Questions (381)

Regina Doherty

Question:

381. Deputy Regina Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide clarity on the length of time a residency application is taking in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11277/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The person concerned has sought a right of residency in the State, accompanied by a right to work, based on the principles set out in the Zambrano Judgment. Some information and documentation was requested from the person concerned before a decision could be made in his case. This documentation has now been received and a decision should be made in this case in the near future. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Garda Deployment

Questions (382)

Joe McHugh

Question:

382. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Gardaí by Garda station and by Garda rank who were in service in each county in the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11286/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no direct function in the matter. This allocation of resources is constantly monitored in the context of demographics, crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place on a District, Divisional and Regional level to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public. However, I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the total strength, by rank, in each Garda Station throughout the State, on the 31 January 2013, the latest date for which figures are available, was as set out in the table.

The table is available as Q382.xls, which can be accessed at the top of this web page.

Alcohol Sales Legislation

Questions (383, 390)

Billy Timmins

Question:

383. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when section 9 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11332/13]

View answer

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

390. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update on his proposals to physically separate the area in shops where alcohol is sold, including his preferred approach and any agreed timescales for implementation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11449/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 383 and 390 together.

The position is that the Report of the Steering Group on a National Substance Misuse Strategy, which was published last year, contains a broad range of recommendations which seek to address the negative consequences of alcohol misuse and alcohol-related harm in this country. The Department of Health is currently developing an Action Plan for submission to the Government in response to the Report's recommendations. Future arrangements relating to the display and sale of alcohol in mixed trading outlets such as supermarkets and convenience stores, including those referred to in section 9 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008, will be considered by the Government in the context of that Action Plan.

Liquor Licensing Laws

Questions (384)

Seán Kenny

Question:

384. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of licensed premises that were forced to close down for serving alcohol to persons aged under 18 years in each Garda district in the Dublin region in 2011 and 2012; the average length of time for which the closure order was granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11366/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose. I have requested the CSO to provide statistics directly to the Deputy.

Garda Transport Data

Questions (385)

Tom Barry

Question:

385. Deputy Tom Barry asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number and type of Garda vehicles actively available to Garda divisions (details supplied) at this time; and the number and type of Garda vehicles actively available to these divisions in each year over the past five years. [11411/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have sought the relevant information from the Garda authorities and I will communicate further with the Deputy in relation to the matters he has raised.

Garda Transport Provision

Questions (386)

Tom Barry

Question:

386. Deputy Tom Barry asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the criteria used to determine the distribution of garda fleet vehicles. [11412/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Decisions in relation to the provision and deployment of Garda transport are matters for the Garda Commissioner in the context of his identified policing requirements. Responsibility for the efficient deployment of Garda transport in each Division is assigned to the Divisional Officer, who may allocate vehicles between stations, as required by operational circumstances. The Deputy will appreciate that a degree of flexibility in allocating and re-allocating vehicles among stations, so as to best match the allocation of resources with policing priorities, is essential to the efficient management of the Garda fleet. The detailed allocation of vehicles is determined through a process of ongoing analysis of An Garda Síochána's operational requirements and of current policing strategies in place at both Divisional and Regional levels. This process enables Garda management to deploy available resources in the most effective manner to ensure that the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.

Legislative Programme

Questions (387, 388)

Gerry Adams

Question:

387. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to bring forward legislation or regulations that deal with the position of the victim in the criminal justice process. [11438/13]

View answer

Gerry Adams

Question:

388. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has given consideration to changes to the law which would allow the victim in a criminal case information in relation to the investigation and information in relation to the trial process. [11439/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 387 and 388 together.

Preliminary work is underway in my Department on the preparation of a Criminal Justice (Victims Rights) Bill. The Bill will strengthen the rights of victims of crime and their families and it will transpose the recently adopted EU Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime. It is not possible at this stage to indicate when the Bill will be published.

Court Accommodation Provision

Question No. 390 answered with Question No. 383.

Questions (389)

Gerry Adams

Question:

389. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the new Criminal Courts of Justice provide facilities which allows the victim in a criminal case to have separate entrances and-or waiting rooms for the accused in a criminal trial. [11440/13]

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. The Act provides that the Service is independent in the performance of its functions, including the provision of courthouse facilities.

The Criminal Courts of Justice has separate waiting rooms for victims and their families in cases before the courts. Victims can wait in these dedicated areas away from other parties to cases including the accused or members of the public until their case is called . Where an accused person is in custody then they are brought to the court through a separate custody area under escort by the Irish Prison Service. Victims enter the Criminal Courts of Justice through the main public entrance of the building along with all others attending the courts for criminal trials including accused persons on bail. I should add that where a child witness is providing evidence to the court via video link, these witnesses are brought to the dedicated suite through a separate non-public entrance to the Criminal Courts of Justice.

Question No. 390 answered with Question No. 383.

Appointments to State Boards

Questions (391)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

391. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of appointments he has made from March 2011 to January 2013 to State boards; in the case of each appointment, the number of appointments that were made to members of the general public who submitted a curriculum vitae for the appointment; and the number of direct appointments he made. [11479/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I will write to the Deputy when the information is at hand.

Garda Stations Refurbishment

Questions (392)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

392. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the relocation of a Garda station (details supplied) in County Cork; the date for the move; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11502/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda stations is based on accommodation priorities which are established by An Garda Síochána. The programme is advanced in close co-operation with the Office of Public Works, which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. I have been advised by the Garda authorities that the purchase of a premises for a new Garda station for Glanmire is currently the subject of legal proceedings. Accordingly, I am not in a position to provide any further information in relation to this matter.