Citizenship Applications

Questions (186)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

186. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding long term residency-eligibility for naturalisation and entitlement to an Irish passport in respect of a child (details supplied) in Dublin 5; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21055/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The mother of the child concerned has been granted leave to remain in the State for the period to 5 May 2015. This decision was conveyed in writing to the person concerned by letter dated 5 May 2012. The position in the State of the child of the person concerned will shortly 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 mother of the child concerned. It will be open to the person concerned to apply to the Citizenship Section of my Department for a Certificate of Naturalisation when she is in a position to meet the lawful residency criteria applicable to the lodgement of such applications. Details on the criteria to be met by persons lodging such applications are available from my Department's Website (www.justice.ie).

The Deputy should note that responsibility for the issuing of passports is vested in the Irish Passport Office, a business unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. As a result, the persons concerned, or indeed the Deputy on their behalf, may wish to pursue that matter with the Irish Passport Office or indeed with the Offices of the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs. 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.

Citizenship Applications

Questions (187)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

187. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding determination of residency status eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21056/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The person concerned claims to have arrived in the State in May 2005 with his EU national wife. He applied for residency in the State on the basis of his marriage to an EU national in or around June 2005. By letter dated 22 August 2005, the person was notified that he was granted residency in the State for an initial one year period on the basis of his marriage to an EU citizen who was exercising her EU Treaty rights in the State. The person applied for permanent residency in the State in or around December 2010. By letter dated 15 June 2011, he was refused permanent residency. He applied for a review of the decision by letter dated 22 August 2011. By letter dated 6 December 2011, the reapplication for permanent residency was refused and the decision of 15 June 2011 was confirmed. Judicial Review proceedings were instituted on 20 March 2012. As the matter is now sub judice, I do not propose to comment further.

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.

Residency Permits

Questions (188)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

188. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to and validity of qualified residency under stamp 4 in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21057/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 201 of 18 April 2013. I have nothing further to add to the information contained therein:

The person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State for an initial 2 year period on Stamp 4 conditions from 11 November, 2005, under the revised arrangements for the non-EEA national parents of children born in Ireland prior to January, 2005, commonly known as the IBC/05 Scheme. This permission to remain was renewed regularly and is currently valid until 15 February, 2014. There is no record of an application for a Certificate of Naturalisation having been received from the person concerned. However, it is open to any individual to lodge such an application to the Citizenship Section of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended. Details on the criteria to be met by persons lodging such applications are available on the website of the INIS (www.inis.gov.ie).

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 this 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.

Residency Permits

Questions (189)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

189. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding long-term residency and or eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21058/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person concerned has had no permission to be in the State since 22 March, 2011 and that he has also failed to renew his registration with An Garda Síochána as required by section 9 of the Immigration Act, 2004. No application has been received from the person to renew his permission to remain.

No non-national may be in the State other than in accordance with the terms of any permission given to him or her by or on behalf of the Minister. Therefore, in the event that the person has remained in the State, he may be unlawfully present and in breach of his registration requirements. Such contraventions of the Immigration Act, 2004 are offences punishable by a fine on summary conviction not exceeding €3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both. A non-national in these circumstances also faces the prospect of being subject to removal proceedings. The INIS have also informed me that the person has previously remained in the State without permission and failed to register. However, on that occasion the person was subsequently granted permission to remain in the State as an exceptional measure on Stamp 4 conditions from 26 May 2010 to 22 March, 2011 (the date of expiry of his passport). The person concerned, if they are still in the State, should now make contact with their local registration officer, An Garda Síochána or with INIS, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 as a matter of urgency.

Garda Resources

Questions (190)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

190. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which Garda strength here and access to adequate modern levels of technology, transport and forensics is available to gardaí; the extent to which this compares with international best practice notwithstanding the budgetary difficulties inherited from his predecessors; the action he plans to address these issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21069/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Garda authorities are continually looking at opportunities to employ new technologies to achieve their goals and to contribute to the services they provide. This is a policy that is designed to ensure that the Garda Síochána will be in a position to take advantage of proven up to date technological developments to meet the needs of an effective police force. As the Deputy will be aware, considerable progress has been made within the Garda force in the field of modern technological support. In addition to a world class computer system, PULSE, these include the full roll-out of the state of the art National Digital Radio System, the Automated Fingerprint Information System and Automated Number Plate Recognition.

In so far as Garda transport is concerned, an additional €3 million was made available towards the end of last year to the Force for the procurement of a further 171 vehicles. This brought total investment in the Garda fleet in 2012 to €4 million and resulted in a total of 213 new vehicles being procured during the year. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the roll out of the most recently purchased patrol vehicles has been completed. In addition to the investment provided in 2012, a specific allocation of €5 million has been provided for the purchase and fit-out of Garda transport in the current year. This represents a very considerable financial investment in Garda transport, particularly at a time when the level of funding available across the public sector is severely limited. It is a clear indication of my commitment to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, the Garda Síochána are provided with sufficient resources to enable them to deliver an effective and efficient policing service. Regarding forensic services for the Garda Síochána, the scene of crime examiners, the Garda Technical Bureau and the Forensic Science Laboratory provide services in scenes of crime examinations and forensic science particularly in the area of drug analyses and DNA examinations.

I am determined, as Minister for Justice and Equality, that the resources of the Garda Síochána will be used in the best, most effective and efficient way possible. I believe that the primary Garda objective of combating crime will be continue to be achieved, and that, despite the pressure on the public finances, it will be possible for the Force to operate to the optimum benefit of our communities in a manner that will facilitate the prevention and detection of offences.

Crime Statistics

Questions (191)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

191. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which the statistics show fluctuation in the levels of various crimes reported in County Kildare in each of the past five years to date; if any particular action is planned to address any issues arising; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21070/13]

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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 relevant statistics directly to the Deputy. In relation to actions to address the incidence of crime locally, and any issues arising, I am advised by the Garda authorities that local Garda Management closely monitors patrols, and other operational strategies in place, in conjunction with crime trends and the policing needs of local communities to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.

Garda Resources

Questions (192)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

192. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the necessity for the maintenance of an adequate network of Garda stations throughout the country in both urban and rural areas with a view to ensuring adequate resources and visibility to meet any challenges of criminal activity and crime levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21071/13]

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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.

Over the course of the last two years the Garda Commissioner has carried out a comprehensive review of the entire Garda station and District network. The objective of the review was to ensure that the best possible service continues to be provided to the public across the country. The Commissioner concluded that, in his professional opinion, a number of Garda stations could be closed and a number of Garda Districts could be amalgamated. I fully agree with the Commissioner's conclusions. 139 Garda stations were identified for closure and 30 Garda Districts were amalgamated into 15 new Garda Districts.

The Garda Commissioner has stated that the revised structures will continue to support the Garda community philosophy through the clustering of services at policing hubs. This centralisation of services will facilitate the introduction of enhanced patrolling arrangements which, in turn, will provide increased Garda visibility as well as maintaining existing Garda links with communities throughout the country. The objective will be to ensure that the best possible policing service will continue to be provided to our communities. The Garda Commissioner has also advised that closure of stations will result in some additional 61,000 patrolling hours being available for operational policing. I am confident that the Garda Síochána will continue to provide a professional policing service right across the country in a manner that is effective and is consistent with the highest standards for which the Force is renowned.

Courts Service Issues

Questions (193)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

193. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress made to date in achieving the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission in the context of traditional reform or setting up of a court of criminal appeal and-or other administrative changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21072/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I understand that the Deputy is referring to the Report of the Working Group on the Court of Appeal which was published in 2009 and recommended the establishment of a single Court of Appeal. As he may be aware, the Government decided in principle last summer to proceed with preparations for the necessary Referendum and I recently announced that the intention would be to establish a Court of Appeal with both criminal and civil jurisdiction. The Government is committed to the holding of a Constitutional referendum on Article 34 which is necessary to achieve this and work has commenced in my Department in this regard. It is intended that the referendum will take place, together with at least one other referendum, in the autumn.

Crime Statistics

Questions (194)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

194. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the total number of persons known to have absoconded while on bail in each of the past four years to date; those recaptured; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21073/13]

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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 relevant information with reference to the statistics which are available directly to the Deputy. Insofar as the enforcement of bench warrants is concerned, including those which issue where a person on bail fails to attend in court, An Garda Síochána take all possible action to ensure that such persons are located as quickly as possible, having regard to all of the relevant circumstances.