Family Reunification Applications

Questions (205)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

205. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding a family unification in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18147/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person referred to by the Deputy is the subject of a Family Reunification application made on 26th November 2012.

The application was forwarded to the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) as required under Section 18 of the Refugee Act 1996. On completion of the investigation by ORAC a report of the findings will be provided by the Commissioner to INIS and the application will be considered.

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.

Crime Prevention

Questions (206)

Finian McGrath

Question:

206. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality what exactly is Ireland’s position on criminals from abroad operating here and are there restrictions on them. [18203/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am not clear from the Deputy's question whether he has a specific incident in mind but I can assure him 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 the State.

I can also inform the Deputy that under section 4 of the Immigration Act 2004 an immigration officer may refuse to give permission to enter the State under certain circumstances, including where the non-national has been convicted of an offence that may be punished under the law of the place of conviction by imprisonment for a period of one year or by a more severe penalty. A non-national may also be refused permission to land or be in the State, if an immigration officer has reason to believe that the non-national’s entry into, or presence in the State, could pose a threat to national security or be contrary to public policy and also where there is reason to believe that a non-national intends to enter the State for purposes other than that expressed by him/her.

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 criminal activity, An Garda Síochána may provide relevant information to the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS) for the purpose of consideration being given to initiating a process for the purpose of arranging for their removal from the State pursuant to section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 or, if the person is an EU national, pursuant to Regulation 20 of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006.

Magdalen Laundries

Questions (207, 208)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

207. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality in relation to Magdalen laundry survivors, if he will publicise at home and abroad to diaspora communities survivors' entitlements to register with the Magdalen fund/commission in order to maximise the number of potential applicants' awareness of the scheme; the consequences there are for a survivor who does not register with the Magdalen fund/commission during the three months of Mr. Justice Quirke's review; if that person will be excluded from further engagement in the justice process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18207/13]

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Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

208. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will make available to survivors and their families free independent advice and advocacy assistance in relation to the Magdalen fund/commission scheme; if Mr. Justice Quirke will be commissioned to implement the process that he recommends after the three month review period; and if he will establish a dedicated helpline for Magdalen survivors. [18208/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 207 and 208 together.

Mr. Justice Quirke has been asked to advise on the establishment of a Scheme for the benefit of those women who were admitted to and worked in a Magdalen Laundry and to examine how best to operate, as part of that Scheme, necessary supports for women who have been in a Magdalen Laundry. It is a matter for Judge Quirke to decide independently how he will carry out his examination. His terms of reference are as follows:

Taking into account the findings of the "Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries"

(i) to advise on the establishment of an ex gratia Scheme (to operate on a non-adversarial basis) including identifying the criteria and factors to be taken into account to facilitate the early establishment and effective conduct of an ex gratia Scheme for the benefit of those women who were admitted to and worked in a Magdalen Laundry and in the Laundry operated in the Training Centre at Stanhope Street, Dublin, taking into account criteria determined to be relevant, including work undertaken and other matters as considered appropriate, to contribute to a healing and reconciliation process;

(ii) to examine how best to operate (as part of that Scheme) an ex gratia Fund, of a sum sufficient to meet the recommendations of Mr Justice Quirke, the nature and amount of ex gratia payments to be made out of the Fund and on the determination of applications for payment in an effective and timely manner that ensures the monies in the Fund are directed only to the benefit of eligible applicants and not on legal fees and expenses;

(iii) to examine how the Government might best provide supports (including health services such as medical cards, mental health services and counselling services and other welfare needs) as part of the Scheme for women who require such supports as a result of their experiences in the Laundries;

(iv) to consider the approach to be taken in circumstances in which a payment has already been made by the Redress Board by way of redress to a former resident of an industrial school, where such payment included a sum specifically due to the direct transfer of that person from an industrial school to a relevant Laundry and their time or part of their time spent in a Laundry or Laundries;

(v) to examine the effect, if any, of the making of an ex gratia payment to a person who is resident in the UK and how best the making of any such payment should be structured so as not to adversely affect their existing entitlements to benefits and supports;

(vi) to advise as to what steps or measures are appropriate to ensure that ex gratia payments or supports or assistance provided are dis-regarded for the purposes of determining entitlement of Social Welfare payments and/or income tax liability;

(vii) to report back to Government within three months with recommendations.

No decision on advertising will be made until after the Government has received the recommendations of Judge Quirke and made a decision on how best to implement a scheme. There are no consequences for women not registering their interest during the three months Mr. Justice Quirke has been asked to conduct his examination. However registration will facilitate any consultation process undertaken to take women's views into account and will also facilitate such women being kept informed of any developments.

Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

Questions (209, 210)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

209. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide details of all pay increases awarded to special advisers in his Department over the last two years. [18316/13]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

210. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide in a tabular format a list of all his special advisers' pay and that of his Minister of State, to include each salary, name of employee above principal officer standard scale salary rate; and if he will supply the total pay bill for all his special advisers for 2012 [18330/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 209 and 210 together.

The matter does not arise in respect of Ministers of State as none are remunerated by my Department. I have made no appointments of Special Advisors above Principal Officer level. In my capacity as Minister for Justice and Equality I have appointed Ms Jane Lehane and Mr Thomas Cooney as my Special Advisors. They are both paid at the Principal Officer standard scale (€80,051 - €98,424). I have made no requests for salary increases for either individual and the only changes to their salaries have been by way of normal incremental progression. The pay bill for 2012 was €181,716 which includes Employers PRSI.

Overseas Missions

Questions (211)

Finian McGrath

Question:

211. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 3 of 14 March 2013, if he will explain further rbust Chapter V11 missions/operations in relation to Irish troops serving abroad. [18204/13]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

UN peacekeeping operations are deployed on the basis of mandates from the United Nations Security Council. Over the years, the range of tasks assigned to UN peacekeeping operations has expanded significantly in response to shifting patterns of conflict and to best address threats to international peace and security.

Members of the Permanent Defence Force serve on missions under Chapter VI and Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

Peacekeeping operations mounted under Chapter VI are of the traditional type where the UN acts as a monitoring, patrolling and observing force after peace has been established.

Chapter VII of the UN Charter is entitled “Action with respect to threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression”. Under this Chapter the UN Security Council is mandated to take whatever action “as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security”. Peacekeeping operations mounted under this Chapter are commonly known as peace enforcement operations where the consent of the parties is not required.

In recent years in response to the requirement for a more robust mandate, there has been a significant increase in the deployment of peacekeeping troops under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. EU-led and UN led missions in Chad, UN led mission in Liberia, International Security Presence in Kosovo, EU-led Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan are recent examples.

It should be noted that any decision by Ireland to participate in an overseas operation, which may be led by the EU, UN or NATO would be subject to our national sovereign decision-making procedures - “Triple Lock”, i.e. UN mandate, Government and Dáil approval, where appropriate.

Defence Forces Representation

Questions (212)

Seán Fleming

Question:

212. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Defence the bodies representing ex-service men and women who served in the Defence Forces that are recognised by him; his plans to recognise any other organisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18071/13]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Department of Defence provides annual subventions to support and encourage the two officially recognised veteran groups, the Organisation of National ex-Servicemen (O.N.E.) and the Irish United Nations Veterans Association (IUNVA). O.N.E. receives a subvention of €40,000 per annum and IUNVA receives a subvention of €10,000 per annum from my Department. Representatives of both organisations hold formal meetings with Departmental officials. While there is a range of other associations involving serving, retired and ex-Defence Forces personnel representing various interests at local, regional and national level, the Department has no plans to formally recognise any further veteran or other similar associations.

Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

Questions (213, 214)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

213. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide details of all pay increases awarded to special advisers in his Department over the last two years. [18309/13]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

214. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide in a tabular format a list of all his special advisers' pay and that of his Minister of State, to include each salary, name of employee above principal officer standard scale salary rate; and if he will supply the total pay bill for all his special advisers for 2012. [18323/13]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 213 and 214 together.

I have not appointed any special advisers in my role as Minister for Defence. I have however engaged the services of a personal assistant who assists me in constituency matters. The annual salary attached to this post is €56,060 which is in accordance with Department of Public Expenditure & Reform guidelines concerning Ministerial appointments.

Similarly, no special advisers have been appointed by Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D. in his role as Minister of State at the Department of Defence.