Housing Adaptation Grants Funding

Question No. 171 answered with Question No. 155.

Questions (170)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

170. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has finalised the allocations to local authorities for private housing grants for 2013; the grants schemes to be covered by these allocations; and if he will provide a breakdown of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 allocations by grants scheme and by local authority. [12257/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department’s involvement with the Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability relates primarily to the recoupment of a proportion of local authority expenditure on the payment of individual grants. These schemes are funded by 80% recoupments available from my Department together with a 20% contribution from the resources of the local authority. The suite of grants include three separate grant measures: the Mobility Aids Grant scheme with grants of up to €6,000, the Housing Aid for Older People scheme with grants of up to €10,500 and the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability with grants of up to €30,000, depending on household income.

The schemes are administered by the local authorities and it is a matter for each local authority to apportion the funding between the various grant measures. Allocations for 2013 in respect of these grant schemes were announced on Friday 1 March 2013 and details of these, together with the additional information sought in relation to allocations in 2011 and 2012, are set out in the following table.

Local Authority

2011 Allocation

2012 Allocation

2013 Allocation

Carlow

€1,349,014

€1,349,014

€747,078.97

Cavan 

€1,879,903

€1,625,000

€1,038,155.24

Clare

€3,000,000

€1,445,000

€1,445,000.00

Cork

€6,250,364

€6,250,364

€4,561,159.71

Donegal

€3,100,769

€2,448,146

€827,280.49

D’Laoghaire/Rathdown

€1,165,228

€1,110,602

€731,197.36

Fingal

€2,072,365

€2,072,365

€1,588,467.61

Galway

€2,387,900

€2,375,000

€1,644,386.59

Kerry

€3,459,023

€3,257,865

€1,445,971.16

Kildare

€3,563,545

€2,025,000

€2,025,000.00

Kilkenny

€1,867,500

€1,867,500

€1,406,161.86

Laois

€1,146,093

€1,084,827

€260,923.46

Leitrim

€990,189

€576,305

€65,953.25

Limerick

€1,719,225

€1,473,454

€1,473,455.00

Longford

€1,260,000

€1,243,575

€687,674.34

Louth

€1,345,716

€1,186,266

€1,103,144.70

Mayo

€2,724,401

€2,575,216

€2,575,216.25

Meath

€1,464,096

€997,208

€487,123.12

Monaghan

€1,319,083

€1,152,172

€837,210.57

North Tipperary

€1,607,181

€1,200,000

€425,757.37

Offaly

€2,059,313

€1,125,000

€625,000.00

Roscommon

€2,562,790

€1,009,251

€709,956.68

Sligo

€997,800

€997,684

€276,983.80

South Dublin

€3,084,098

€2,728,308

€1,213,986.05

South Tipperary

€3,125,000

€3,111,713

€1,087,988.81

Waterford

€1,238,324

€994,766

€414,024.05

Westmeath

€1,143,266

€988,155

€435,722.48

Wexford

€2,603,404

€2,566,772

€1,210,764.56

Wicklow

€1,151,969

€954,794

€567,117.69

Cork City

€2,707,916

€1,749,741

€1,749,741.25

Dublin  City

€11,361,211

€10,629,459

€4,932,319.56

Galway City

€1,024,632

€928,352

€301,280.08

Limerick City

€1,525,000

€1,525,000

€1,010,884.61

Waterford  City

€790,310

€740,282

€348,841.83

Sligo Borough Council

€418,084

€385,844

(with Sligo Co Co figure for 2013)

Question No. 171 answered with Question No. 155.

Building Regulations Application

Questions (172)

Seán Kyne

Question:

172. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will report on the progress, if any, of his request that his Department work with the registration body as envisaged under the Building Control Act and the proposed Building Control Amendment Regulations to ensure that those working as architects, with many years of experience, are not excluded from the professions owing to the new qualification requirements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12276/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

Part 3 of the Building Control Act 2007 set out statutory arrangements for the registration of Architects. There are no new qualifications requirements. A variety of routes to registration are provided for in the Act, including specific provision for the registration of practically trained persons who have no formal academic qualifications or education.

I share the concerns of those who feel that the number of applications to date from practically-trained architects is less than might reasonably be expected notwithstanding the provision in that regard in the Act. I have recently asked Mr Garret Fennell, Solicitor, who is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Admissions Board relevant to the register of Architects, to carry out an independent review of the experience to date in relation to the operation of the register with a view to identifying any further improvements that can be made at this point. I have particularly asked for his recommendations or views on how the registration of practically trained architects can be further encouraged.

An Bord Pleanála Appeals

Questions (173)

Dominic Hannigan

Question:

173. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a list of all An Bord Pleanála decisions where the board has overturned the decision of the local inspectors report on a project in the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012; the number of times local groups who were opposed to the projects have paid for their submissions to the process including the amount each of them paid in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12279/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The information sought is not available in my Department. Information in relation to the decisions of the Board not to accept inspectors’ recommendations and fees income from submissions made is available in the Board’s Annual Reports for the years in question. These can be accessed at www.pleanala.ie.

Garda Vetting Applications

Questions (174)

Joan Collins

Question:

174. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if an application for Garda clearance was received in 2012 from the Irish Wheelchair Association, seeking clearance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim; when the application is expected to be processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12034/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that a vetting application on behalf of the person concerned was received by the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) on 18 December 2012. The application is currently being processed and it is anticipated that a response will issue to the registered organisation involved shortly.

Road Traffic Offences

Questions (175)

Clare Daly

Question:

175. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of incidents in which the intoxilyzer 6000 has been deemed to be faulty in relation to prosecutions for drink driving. [12036/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS), which is under the aegis of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, has statutory responsibility for the testing, approval and supply and maintenance of evidential testing machines and roadside breath testing screening devices to An Garda Síochána. I am further informed that the Garda authorities are unaware of any reported incidents where the Intoxilyzer/Evidenzer machine has been deemed faulty in relation to prosecutions for drink driving offences.

Proposed Legislation

Questions (176)

Peter Mathews

Question:

176. Deputy Peter Mathews asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress being made in the consultation process relating to the laws on prostitution which he hopes to introduce; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12037/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Our legislation on prostitution is currently being reviewed. As part of that review, in June 2012, I published a discussion document on the future direction of legislation on prostitution. The purpose of the discussion document is to facilitate a public consultation process. On its publication, I referred the discussion document to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality. The joint committee is conducting the consultation process independently and will report back to me when it has completed its work. In addition, my Department hosted a conference in October to discuss the consultation paper.

The report of the joint committee and the views expressed at the October conference will be fully considered in the framing of any necessary legislative proposals to be submitted to Government in due course. For further background for the Deputy, I am appending the text of my statement of 22 June last when publishing the discussion document:

Shatter Announces Publication of Discussion Document on the Future Direction of Legislation on Prostitution

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence today published a discussion document on the future direction of legislation on prostitution. Publication of the discussion document follows the Minister’s announcement that he would be arranging a public consultation process as part of the current review of prostitution legislation. Announcing publication of the discussion document, Minister Shatter said:

"The criminal law in this area is being reviewed primarily because of the changed nature of prostitution in Ireland. Prostitution was once mainly a street-based phenomenon. That is no longer the case. The organisation of prostitution is now much more sophisticated, highly mobile and is easily facilitated by the use of mobile phones and the internet.

There is, of course, already a clear consensus on the great evils of child prostitution and trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. However, I am aware that there are differing and genuinely held views on the approach the criminal law should take to other aspects of prostitution. While there is a significant amount of criminal legislation in this area already, there is always scope for change and improvement. It is important to review the law periodically to ensure it is up to date and comprehensively responds to altered circumstances."

The Minister added that: "Prostitution is an issue which affects individuals, communities and society as a whole. It is important that I facilitate the expression of all views on this subject and that those views are examined in due course. Public debate should therefore, be open to the widest possible audience and I want to ensure that everyone who wishes to make a contribution to this important debate is given the opportunity to do so. It is for that reason I have decided on a consultation process before charting the way forward.

My Department will hold a conference in the autumn to discuss the document. The widest possible participation will be encouraged in order that we have an open and transparent discussion on all aspects of this very important issue.

This discussion document will now be referred to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence. Interested groups and members of the public, I expect, will be invited to make submissions to the Committee which will hold such hearings as it deems appropriate. I am asking Mr. David Stanton T.D., Chairman of the Joint Committee, that it publish its report and recommendations by the 30th November 2012 and that the report be furnished to me together with any submissions received. I expect it is likely that the Committee’s report will also be lodged in the Oireachtas Library and that a debate on it will subsequently take place in both the Dáil and the Seanad. The report received by me from the Joint Oireachtas Committee will be fully considered in the framing of any necessary new legislative proposals to be submitted to Government in due course.

I look forward to the results of the consultation process."

The discussion document will be made available on the Department’s website, www.justice.ie. This discussion document does not favour any particular approach but simply tries to assist reflection. The arguments contained in the document are not exhaustive and the questions posed are not intended to limit in any way the range of questions readers might want to consider.

22 June, 2012.

Magdalen Laundries Issues

Questions (177, 180)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

177. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason, having included the laundries of the Sisters of Mercy, the laundry in Athy, County Kildare was not included in the redress scheme under the chairmanship of Mr. Justice Quirke; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12064/13]

View answer

Jack Wall

Question:

180. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding a facility in relation to recent statements of responsibility within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12107/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 177 and 180 together.

The Government decision of 19 February relates to Magdalen Laundries which were examined by the Inter-Departmental Committee set up to establish the facts of State involvement. There were a wide variety of institutions which had laundries run by different religious congregations and no decision has been made to include them all within the scope of the Magdalen Scheme. As regards the specific institution referred to by the Deputies, I have seen no evidence to suggest that the institution in question shares the characteristics associated with the 10 Magdalen Laundries. In particular key factors include State involvement, an enclosed residential institution, loss of identity, women who did not choose to be there and women having to work without pay in a commercial laundry.

Court Procedures

Questions (178)

Finian McGrath

Question:

178. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there is a legal requirement to have a legal person involved in a representation in a child custody case; and if so, if it is free for a long-term unemployed parent. [12091/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I understand that the Deputy's question relates to whether a parent involved in a custody dispute must be represented by a solicitor. I can confirm that there is no obligation on either parent to be represented by a solicitor. While there is no such obligation, a person may still wish to be represented in court. In this context I should point out that the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 makes provision for the grant by the State of legal aid and advice to persons of modest means in civil cases who meet the requirements of the Act and Regulations. The scope of the Act is very broad and covers most areas of civil law, including matters related to the welfare of (including the custody of or access to) a child.

As the Deputy will know, the civil legal aid scheme is administer by the Legal Aid Board which is independent in the performance of its functions. The applicant must satisfy a means test and be found to be financially eligible under the provisions of the Act and Regulations. In the vast majority of cases, the applicant is liable for a contribution which is also determined under the provisions of the Act and Regulations.

Deportation Orders Data

Questions (179)

Paschal Donohoe

Question:

179. Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding an application for repatriation in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12103/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The person concerned has been in the State without permission since February, 2003. Consequently, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was notified, by letter dated 13th January, 2010, that the then Minister proposed to make a Deportation Order in respect of him. He was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making written representations to the then Minister setting out the reasons why he should not have a Deportation Order made against him. Written representations have been submitted by and on behalf of the person concerned.

The position in the State of the person concerned will now be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before a final decision is made. 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.