Foreign Conflict Issues

Questions (155)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

155. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will support a letter of appeal to the UN, Navi Pillay, to ask the Syrian Government to release Mazen Darwish of the Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, noted for its humanitarian work and commitment to non-violence, who has been in prison for some 18 months at this stage. [31490/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Mazen Darwish is a journalist and Director of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression. With two of his colleagues he was detained by individuals believed to be from Syrian Air Force Intelligence in February 2012. He has been charged with ‘promoting terrorism acts’ under Syrian counter-terrorism law. There have been allegations that the detainees have been kept mostly in solitary detention, denied access to their relatives and lawyers and subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. Mr. Darwish has been designated as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.Following the arrests, the EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, released a statement calling on the Syrian authorities to release immediately Mr. Darwish and all other human rights defenders who have been arrested and to release all political prisoners in Syria. She stressed the need for the Syrian Government to respect freedom of expression and the freedom of human rights defenders to carry out their work, in line with Syria’s international obligations. I fully support the High Representative’s statement and join her in calling for Mr. Darwish’s immediate release. Ireland supports also a resolution on Syria which was passed by the United Nations General Assembly in May and which demanded that the Syrian authorities immediately release the imprisoned staff, publish a list of all detention facilities and immediately allow access by independent monitors to all detention facilities. On 17 May, nineteen human rights organisations released a joint public statement which also called for Mr. Darwish’s urgent release. Mr. Darwish’s case was originally due to go to trial on 19 May but, according to reports, it has now been postponed until 21 August.

I have not to date been approached regarding signing a letter of appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in relation to this case. I have made clear my own concern in relation to this case and I would support any efforts which Ms. Pillay is able to make in this regard.

Arms Trade

Questions (156)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

156. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views that the current arms embargo is facilitating the Government side in the Syrian conflict and is depriving Government opponents their right to self-defence; the measures being taken to confront those supplying arms to the Syrian Government; and the way he feels this is facilitating a peaceful negotiated settlement to the conflict. [31491/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The brutal repression unleashed by the Assad regime in March 2011 in response to peaceful demands for change and reform in Syria has led to a full-scale civil war, with a mounting death toll (now in excess of 93,000) and one of the gravest humanitarian situations ever faced by the international community. The action of Russia, Iran and other parties in arming and assisting the Assad regime is wrong and should cease immediately.In the face of relentless violence, the EU adopted wide-ranging sanctions against Syria. These included, until last month, a ban on the export of weapons to Syria as part of an effort to stop the fighting and to promote a process of dialogue between the authorities and the opposition. I remain firmly of the view that the provision of weapons to Syrian opposition groups, however well-intentioned, runs the risk of exacerbating an already heavily militarized conflict and fuelling further instability and violence in the wider region.

Instead of adding to the stock of weaponry in Syria, I would like to see a global arms embargo imposed through a UN Security Council resolution which would cut off all weapon flows to Syria. Believing that this would be the best means of getting the regime and the opposition to focus on political dialogue rather than on military action, Ireland and many of its international partners have called for a global arms embargo. Regrettably, it has not been possible to achieve this because of lack of agreement within the Security Council.

The bloody and destructive conflict rages on, accordingly. The continuing supply of heavy weapons to the Syrian Government, which has used them to inflict massive damage on built-up areas, has been especially damaging. At the same time, there has been no decisive alteration in the balance of forces on the ground. The prolonged stalemate we are witnessing in Syria only reinforces my view that there can be no military solution to this crisis.

I believe that the supply of weapons to the warring parties can only lead to further destruction and casualties and runs the risk of launching an arms race, with potentially devastating consequences for the stability of the wider region. I fear also that the supply of arms to Syria severely undermines the diplomatic efforts which are underway to promote a political settlement to the conflict, such as the US-Russia proposal to convene an international peace conference on Syria (Geneva II).

At the EU Foreign Affairs Council meetings on 27 May and 24 June, both of which I attended, it was clear that there is broad agreement among the 27 member States to lend full and active support to the Geneva II initiative. This initiative was also strongly endorsed by the G8 leaders meeting in Enniskillen on 17/18 June.

Promoting a power-sharing agreement between Syrian authorities and the opposition is clearly the only way to end the violence and to respond to the legitimate aspirations of so many Syrians for peace and democracy. Ireland and its EU partners will continue to work hard to achieve these vital objectives.

Humanitarian Aid

Question No. 158 answered with Question No. 154.

Questions (157)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

157. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent of Irish Aid to the humanitarian situation in Syria and the camps where there are Syrian refugees; where specifically it is being directed; the points of entrance to Syria for this aid; and how confident he is that aid is getting to where it is most needed. [31492/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The tragic crisis unfolding in Syria and in neighbouring countries has resulted in enormous humanitarian needs requiring an urgent response from the international community. As the number of fatalities moves towards 100,000, there are now close to 7 million people who are in need of immediate life saving support. In addition to more than 4 million people who are displaced within Syria, there are currently 1.7 million Syrians who have fled the violence to take refuge in neighbouring countries. Estimates suggest that the total number of refugees could be as high as 3.5 million by the end of the year. To date Ireland has provided almost €10m to support the delivery of life saving supplies to those most affected by the crisis. This includes Ireland’s pledge of €4.7 million made at the Kuwait Pledging Conference for Syria in January, which was met in full. This significant support marks us out as one of the most generous contributors in the world to the humanitarian response on a per capita basis. This funding has supported the provision of water, food, shelter and vital medicines to IDPs and host families within Syria and also to refugees in neighbouring countries, particularly Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.

Humanitarian access has been a huge challenge for those delivering assistance inside Syria. Restrictions imposed by the Assad regime, combined with logistical constraints and increasing insecurity have made it very difficult to access vulnerable populations. Until recently this meant that donors such as Ireland focused their funding to key UN partners and the Red Cross/Red Crescent – agencies based in Damascus which had negotiated certain levels of access with the Syrian regime and were capable of delivering assistance to large numbers of beneficiaries. These agencies also play the key role in supporting the host governments in neighbouring countries to provide assistance to the refugee populations.

By early 2013 UN agencies were reaching 2 million people in Syria every month, however the needs were escalating rapidly and serious gaps remained. The UN recognised that innovative and alternative forms of aid delivery, including cross-border operations were necessary to get aid into the hard-to-reach areas. NGOs have more flexible operational systems and they now key to reaching vulnerable populations in specific areas of the country. The increasing refugee caseload has also meant that NGOs now have a more defined role in refugee camps and host communities in neighbouring countries. Ireland’s funding to our NGO partners will enable the delivery of assistance in the hard to reach areas of north and north-west Syria from an operational base in Turkey. The support for our NGO partner in Lebanon and Jordan will ensure that refugees awaiting registration in the refugee camps and informal settlements receive desperately needed assistance.

We have worked closely with all the agencies that receive Irish Aid support to ensure that the necessary systems are place to monitor and evaluate the use and impact of Ireland’s assistance. Ireland also insists that our partners adhere to best practice in humanitarianism including promoting accountability, efficiency and effectiveness in implementing humanitarian action. Equally, we are committed to the full implementation of the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, which clearly articulates the EU and its Member States’ commitment to uphold and promote the fundamental humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.

Question No. 158 answered with Question No. 154.

Overseas Development Aid Provision

Questions (159)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

159. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way in which Ireland's overseas aid programme will support agricultural research in developing countries, with a view to assisting farmers to grow more nutritious and sustainable food; the way in which access to markets can be improved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31512/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland is a long-standing supporter of pro-poor agricultural research in developing countries through our overseas development programme, Irish Aid. I am gratified that the international donor community has now become more aware of the importance of agriculture and agricultural research in enhancing rural livelihoods and reducing poverty. Given the huge contribution that agricultural research makes in reducing poverty and hunger, we have committed to continuing this strong support in our new Policy for International Development, ‘One World, One Future’, which I launched in May.

Irish Aid supports agricultural research in developing countries in a number of ways. We provide funding for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research – CGIAR, including support to research programmes on Agriculture and Nutrition, and on Agriculture and Climate Change. I have seen the difference this kind of operational research is making. In Malawi, Mozambique and Ethiopia, the introduction of the nutritious orange fleshed sweet potato is improving the diversity and nutritional value of crops produced by small holder farmers in a sustainable manner. Through our Programme of Strategic Co-operation, Irish Aid will continue to work with a variety of Irish research institutions such as Teagasc and our Universities, and with our civil society partners, to support innovative research which can support pro-poor development.

We will also continue to support the sharing of agricultural research with farmers, through national agricultural research and extension services, and through organisations that work directly with smallholder farmers to support their uptake of new agricultural inputs and technologies. Some examples include organisations that share research on plant diseases through village-level plant ‘clinics’, and on new farming practices through local radio programmes.

Supporting smallholder farmers to access markets is an important priority for Irish Aid. We support a number of important market-access programmes in our key partner countries, such as smallholder farmer-led enterprises in pigeon-pea and potatoes in Malawi, enhancing market opportunities for smallholder farmers in the cashew and pineapple sector in Mozambique, and supporting smallholder farmers to improve cocoa quality and market access in Tanzania. We also support smallholder farmer associations and groups in Malawi, Tanzania and Ethiopia, recognising that this is an important element of building farmers’ capacity to improve their productivity and access to markets.

Overseas Development Aid Provision

Questions (160)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

160. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way in which Ireland's overseas aid programme is assisting developing countries to deal with and increase resilience to environmental hazards and climate change challenges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31516/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Environment and climate change challenges are at the heart of Ireland’s contribution, through our aid programme, to the fight to end extreme poverty and hunger in the world. Through Ireland’s development assistance programme, managed by Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we place a strong emphasis on building community resilience, reducing disaster risk and addressing climate change challenges in programmes in our key partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. At international level, we provide funding and support to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction as part of our commitment to the Hyogo Framework for Action, which provides the global blueprint for disaster risk reduction efforts. We also provide strategic support for the work of a number of leading global environment and development agencies, such as the World Resources Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development.

In 2009, the international leaders made a global commitment to provide US$30 billion for climate actions in developing countries between 2010 and 2012. I am pleased to confirm that Ireland has fully met its commitment to provide €100 million in assistance under this global three-year commitment.

Addressing the links between hunger, malnutrition and climate change was a central development priority for Ireland’s EU Presidency in the first half of 2013. Working in cooperation with Mary Robinson, the Government hosted a high level international conference in Dublin in April to focus on these interlinked challenges. This seminal event allowed us to hear the experience of local people from developing countries where climate change is having a direct impact on the poorest communities. One of the key messages from this conference is that we must take a truly integrated approach if we are to achieve sustainable development in a changing climate.

During Ireland’s EU Presidency, we also helped to strengthen EU action on building the resilience of vulnerable communities in developing countries.

Looking ahead, it is important that the issues of climate change and development have been set as a key priority area for action in the Government’s new Policy for International Development, ‘One World, One Future’ which I launched in May. This policy commitment will assist us in our efforts to ensure that the world’s poorest communities can develop in a way that is resource-efficient, climate resilient and therefore sustainable.

Departmental Staff Rehiring

Questions (161)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

161. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of temporary clerical officers who have been employed by his Department over each of the past three years; the number of those who have been retired public-civil servants; his views on whether his Department should employ retired staff in these positions in view of the level of youth unemployment here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31574/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

My Department engages Temporary Clerical Officers (TCOs) primarily to assist the Passport Service during the annual peak passport demand period. A small number of additional TCOs were also recruited in 2012 to assist the Department in the lead up to and for the duration of Ireland’s EU Presidency in the first half of this year. Details of the numbers of TCOs engaged over the past three years are set out in the table below. TCOs are recruited through selection processes conducted by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) and FÁS / Department of Social Protection on behalf of my Department. With the exception of officers who retired under the Incentivised Scheme for Early Retirement (ISER) or the HSE voluntary retirement scheme, there is nothing to prevent retired civil or public servants from participating in competitions held by these bodies or from being appointed if qualified, eligible and successful. In cases where retired public or civil servants are occasionally re-employed by the Department, this is generally on a pension abatement basis which means in effect that they continue to receive their pensions and are paid correspondingly reduced salaries by the Department.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Recruitment of Temporary Clerical Officers (TCOs)

Year

Number of TCOs

recruited

Duration of contracts

Number who were

retired public/civil

servants

2011

85

Between 3 and 6 months

3

2012

125

12 (EU Presidency)

Between 3 and 6 months

September 2012 – July 2013

3

2013

136

Between 6 and 7 months

4

Foreign Conflicts

Questions (162)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

162. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade further to Parliamentary Question No. 123 of 11 June 2013, his views on the further level of civil and political unrest in Turkey; if any Irish citizens have been caught up in the demonstrations taking place; his views on the case involving one Irish citizen receiving consular assistance from the Embassy of Ireland in Ankara; the plan Ireland has in place for assisting other Irish citizens in the region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31675/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

As outlined in my reply to the Deputy’s Question of 11 June, the recent unrest in Turkey is a cause of deep concern. The excessive use of force by police is deeply regrettable and should be investigated immediately. I would call on the government to fully engage with the protestors on their legitimate concerns, and I would urge calm and restraint on all sides. As also outlined previously, my Department is aware of one Irish citizen who was directly affected by the demonstrations. He was unhurt and given consular assistance by the Irish Embassy in Ankara. I do not intend to comment further on this case. We will provide similar assistance in any other cases which may arise. As outlined in my reply of 11 June, my Department acted as soon as the demonstrations started, heightening the warning in its travel advisory, urging Irish citizens to avoid demonstrations and alerting them to the cities and areas affected. Given the potential for further demonstrations and the possibility of violence, we are advising Irish citizens to exercise caution and to stay well away from the vicinity of all demonstrations, including apparently peaceful demonstrations.

The Department and the Embassy in Ankara continue to follow the situation closely and have been providing advice to concerned Irish citizens. The phones of the Department and the Embassy are monitored out-of-hours for calls from citizens seeking advice or assistance.

Foreign Conflicts

Questions (163)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

163. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the current civil and political unrest in Brazil; if any Irish citizens have been caught up in the current demonstrations taking place; the plan Ireland has in place for assisting Irish citizens in the region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31676/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I am following closely developments in Brazil in light of the wave of demonstrations that have been taking place there. These demonstrations began earlier this month as a protest at a rise in bus fares. Demonstrations have since spread to cities across the country and have become an expression of broader discontent on a range of issues. Grievances are reported to include the quality of public services, corruption and the cost of public spending on preparations for the 2014 World Cup. While most of the public gatherings have been peaceful in nature, there have been regrettable incidents of violence. There are also reports of vandalism and of looting carried out by fringe elements taking advantage of the situation.

The grievances raised by demonstrators highlight complex issues that require work over time. Brazil is a country that has been enjoying strong economic growth and positive social development since its return to democracy a little over 25 years ago. Notably, Brazil has developed and delivered policies that have lifted an estimated 40 million people from poverty. The demonstrations of recent weeks have highlighted issues which many citizens now wish to see addressed by their authorities.

The Government of Brazil has expressed willingness for dialogue on these issues while, at the same time, making clear the need for violence and vandalism to cease. Brazil’s President Rousseff met last week with representatives of those protesting on public transport issues. She also met with Governors and Mayors from across Brazil to discuss the range of issues raised by the protestors. The President has since announced an increase in funding for key public services, and has also proposed consultations on political reforms.

The Ambassador in Brazil and his colleagues continue to monitor the situation carefully. I am informed that no Irish citizens have sought consular assistance as a result of the current unrest in Brazil. From the outset of these demonstrations, the Embassy has been seized of the need to keep Irish citizens informed of developments and, to this end, it has liaised with EU and other Embassies in Brasília, many of which have consulates and networks of citizens across the country, to ensure the widest possible flow of information. The Embassy has also been in touch with many of the Irish citizens resident in Brazil and has also continued to update the travel advisory on my Department’s website. We continue to strongly suggest that all Irish citizens monitor the local and national news for up to date information and that they avoid demonstration locations so far as is possible. Our Embassy in Brasilia and the Consular Assistance section in Dublin stand ready to provide consular assistance to any Irish citizens who may require it.

Consular Services Provision

Questions (164)

Finian McGrath

Question:

164. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will request the ambassador to attend at the court of apeal in the case of a person (details supplied). [31677/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I can inform the Deputy that the Embassy of Ireland in Lithuania and the Consular Assistance Section in Dublin has, at my request, provided consular assistance to the person in question since that person’s initial detention. We are in regular contact with the appropriate Lithuanian authorities in response to questions or matters which have arisen during the period of imprisonment. The person and his next of kin are kept informed of the Embassy’s representations to the Lithuanian authorities on various matters, and the outcomes of these representations. I wish to inform the Deputy that at the request of the person’s family the Consul of our Embassy in Vilnius attended the Appeal Hearing of 27 June.

Human Rights Issues

Questions (165)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

165. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has made any representations to federal authorities in Bosnia in relation to the ongoing political stalemate regarding the issue of identity cards which has meant every child born since February is not legally recognised as existing under law; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that such political stalemate has meant the death of a three month old child due to delay in treatment sought in Serbia but who could not travel without the relevant documents as the child was not recognisable under law; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that currently another child seeks treatment which is delayed due to the inability to retrieve a passport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31736/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

As I stated in this House on 26 June, I am aware of failure of the national Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina to adopt a law on the Unique Master Citizen Number (JMBG), which is required for Bosnian citizens to exercise certain rights such as having access to health insurance and identity documents. This has had the consequence that as of 12 February newborn Bosnian citizens cannot get a JMBG. I am also aware of the tragic death of baby Berina Hamidovic, and send my heartfelt condolences to her family. This failure to legislate for the express good of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina is deplorable, and I call on the Parliament to act to rapidly adopt this important legislation. The Bosnian Parliament is fully responsible for handling this matter and it is an issue that must be solved at State level.

Emigrant Support Services

Questions (166)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

166. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade further to Parliamentary Question No. 49 of 30 May 2013, if he has received the full report that the consul general in Boston requested from the executive director of the Irish International Immigration Centre, Boston, following on from an incident relating to an Irish J1 visa holder; the measures being taken to ensure incidents like this do not occur in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31937/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Since 2009, the Irish International Immigrant Centre in Boston (IIIC) has been accredited by the US State Department as a visa sponsor for the J1 Irish work and Travel 12 month programme. The terms and conditions under which the IIIC participates in this programme are determined by its contractual relationship with the State Department. The IIIC provides legal and welfare services to immigrants from Ireland and other countries, and advocates for the rights of immigrants and changes to US legislation to enable immigrants to become permanent residents and US citizens. Following the incident referred to by the Deputy, our Consul General in Boston met with the Executive Director of the IIIC expressed his concern to the organisation and requested a full report on the incident. Subsequent to that meeting the IIIC has issued a public apology for the manner in which the incident was handled.

However, it is important to recognise that thousands of Irish citizens have received considerable direct assistance over the past two and a half decades from the IIIC and through our Consulate in Boston we will continue to work with the IIIC to ensure that the needs of Irish citizens, particularly the most vulnerable, are recognised and addressed be met.

I have recently received an independent report prepared at the request of the Consul General in Boston. The Report concluded that the IIIC provides an important service to the Irish community in Boston and operates the J1-IWT Programme in an effective and professional manner. It also recommended that the organisation review the manner in which it communicates with clients participating in the programme.

Northern Ireland Issues

Questions (167)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

167. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied) in County Down being held in Maghaberry Prison for over six months, whose disproportionately restrictive bail conditions if acceeded to would affectively ban them from living with their family in their home town and prevent them from even visiting their family doctor; if he has discussed the case in his meetings with the British Secretary for State Ms Teresa Villiers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31977/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The detention of the person referred to does not arise by virtue of powers vested in the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland but under devolved powers vested in the Northern Ireland Courts which are independent in the exercise of their functions. This is in keeping with the devolved settlement arising from the Good Friday Agreement and the Hillsborough Agreement. As such it would be inappropriate for me to seek to influence the matters to which the Deputy refers.

Passport Application Numbers

Question No. 169 answered with Question No. 98.

Questions (168)

Brendan Smith

Question:

168. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide a country by country per annum breakdown of Irish passports given out by embassies over the past ten years; the fees collected per annum; the number of passports issued domestically over the past ten years and fees collected; the number of emergency passports issued domestically over that period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32032/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Prior to the full introduction of our current technology system in Oct 2005 the Passport Service only recorded figures for passports issued on the island of Ireland. These pre-2006 records below do not differentiate between emergency and non-emergency passports.

Year

Issued in Ireland

2003

467,653

2004

506,889

2005

568,228

The following table outlines the country by country per annum breakdown down commencing in 2006.

-

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Abu Dhabi

418

830

898

Abuja

125

178

179

200

208

208

256

Addis Ababa

7

14

22

5

5

11

17

Ankara

86

48

79

75

84

91

77

Athens

137

147

112

149

150

119

145

Auckland

2325

2379

2336

1817

1868

2062

1832

Beijing

453

464

459

484

524

544

618

Berlin

1257

1431

1369

1438

1597

1494

1474

Berne

715

612

676

712

809

800

756

Boston

2105

2135

2006

1771

1831

1788

1794

Brasilia

30

85

102

80

86

115

100

Bratislava

14

19

10

14

29

23

18

Brussels

638

620

650

693

648

749

588

Bucharest

15

22

42

38

46

50

60

Budapest

44

74

49

53

64

71

64

Buenos Aires

246

265

262

211

178

205

162

Cairo

149

174

179

213

207

234

271

Canberra

3712

3866

3848

4323

4745

4940

5646

Cardiff

5

6

197

Chicago

1643

2086

2216

2018

1994

1671

1632

Copenhagen

176

186

233

177

246

173

166

Dar-Es-Salaam

38

22

26

34

48

45

46

Edinburgh

71

73

74

76

49

33

Hanoi

16

85

76

76

81

100

Helsinki

72

59

81

78

82

75

85

Kampala

58

35

39

32

31

41

41

Kuala Lumpur

395

361

412

447

426

407

468

Lilongwe

6

15

10

11

Lisbon

160

154

144

122

182

154

143

Ljubljana

19

18

31

21

39

36

29

London

Lusaka

139

123

97

73

86

90

73

Luxembourg

277

258

205

243

240

231

233

Madrid

1427

1389

1317

1464

1439

1442

1502

Maputo

33

64

54

69

49

57

31

Maseru

6

3

9

3

6

3

4

Mexico

176

198

161

165

175

182

138

Moscow

88

105

82

89

85

84

90

New Delhi

107

108

121

109

113

123

138

New York

5523

6006

6036

5558

5486

4960

5281

Nicosia

115

87

96

121

112

125

109

Oslo

93

90

86

104

115

101

101

Ottawa

2285

2353

2374

2113

2159

2173

2128

Paris

1640

1595

1520

1627

1787

1629

1554

Prague

106

107

81

119

76

95

104

Pretoria

2852

3291

3300

2873

2756

2703

2586

Riga

1

7

10

7

4

11

Riyadh

701

785

786

908

671

338

355

Rome

465

443

431

437

459

478

388

San Francisco

3222

3548

3647

3274

3220

3197

3094

Sydney

2939

3092

2777

2803

3005

2959

3282

Seoul

63

78

65

76

69

77

85

Shanghai

75

107

101

86

94

114

113

Singapore

352

327

339

401

435

452

417

Sofia

25

17

20

34

32

37

36

Stockholm

217

239

235

257

276

264

249

Tallinn

19

3

13

6

8

10

7

Tehran

12

11

12

15

8

10

3

Tel Aviv

131

173

128

145

125

179

167

The Hague

851

773

738

705

827

811

730

Tokyo

205

189

177

161

173

158

162

Valetta

1

60

37

47

64

55

75

Vienna

157

182

143

169

173

134

191

Vilnius

1

14

13

8

20

22

Warsaw

64

77

67

59

83

116

85

Washington

986

936

830

846

769

769

739

The following table outlines passports issued in Ireland from 2006 to 2012.

-

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Passports

536,265

526,916

496,551

491,527

522,691

534,127

561,710

Emergency Passports

1157

1116

902

848

482

534

323

An annual revenue/cost statement for Passport Service for the last ten years (period 2003-2012) is set out below. Passport revenues and costs are recorded collectively covering Embassies abroad and offices at home.

-

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Revenue

€23,426,000

€30,135,000

€32,651,000

€30,856,000

€30,544,000

Current

€19,965,000

€21,267,000

€29,741,000

€33,736,000

€42,606,000

Capital

€4,163,000

€6,303,000

€6,752,000

€7,569,000

€153,000

Total Costs*

€24,128,000

€27,810,000

€37,959,000

€42,332,000

€42,759,000

-

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Revenue

€29,720,000

€31,687,000

€32,995,000

€35,880,000

€39,834,000

Current

€37,723,000

€36,245,000

€34,135,000

€31,363,000

€33,281,000

Capital

€435,000

€467,000

€1,625,000

€295,000

€0

Total Costs*

€38,158,000

€36,712,000

€35,760,000

€31,658,000

€33,281,000

*The cost figures do not include the cost of a range of shared services provided to the Passport Service e.g. financial management, human resource management and legal services provided by the Department.

Question No. 169 answered with Question No. 98.

IBRC Investigations

Questions (170)

Patrick Nulty

Question:

170. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Finance if his attention had been drawn to so called Anglo Irish Bank tapes prior to their publication in a daily newspaper. [31662/13]

View answer

279. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Finance if he, or officials in his Department who worked on the restructuring of the promissory notes, were aware of the Anglo Irish Bank tapes before the finalisation of the restructuring of the promissory notes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32201/13]

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 and 279 together.

I can confirm that neither I nor any official in the Department of Finance was aware of the contents of the tapes referred to until now.

I am advised that these tapes formed part of the material that was supplied to An Garda Síochána over four years ago as part of their investigation into matters at Anglo Irish Bank. These investigations have led to a number of criminal charges being brought against former employees of Anglo Irish Bank.

Property Taxation Collection

Questions (171)

Dan Neville

Question:

171. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Finance if a person (details supplied) in County Limerick is correctly registered for the property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31714/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the property owner in question is registered for Local Property Tax (LPT) and that he submitted a Local Property Tax Return on 2 May 2013 in which ‘Band 1’ was indicated which, based on the information supplied by the Deputy, is the correct band. It is important to note that LPT is a self-assessment tax, which means the taxpayer makes his or her own assessment of the market value of the property. Revenue has confirmed to me that the ‘Band 3 demand’ to which the person refers is the Notice of Estimate that Revenue issued to each liable person in addition to the LPT 1 Return form. The estimate is automatically displaced by the taxpayer’s own assessment once the LPT Return is filed, and Revenue has confirmed this has happened in this case.

Proposed Legislation

Questions (172)

Anthony Lawlor

Question:

172. Deputy Anthony Lawlor asked the Minister for Finance if a review of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 is currently under way to allow patients who self refer to claim reimbursement for physiotherapy expenses; if so, the progress that has been made with regard to reviewing the legislation; if it will be completed in advance of the Finance Bill in October; if not, the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31789/13]

View answer
181. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider an amendment to the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 allowing for a return to the situation whereby patients are allowed to claim reimbursement for physiotherapy expenses when they self refer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31565/13]

241. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Finance his views on proposing an amendment to the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 that would return the situation whereby patients are allowed to claim reimbursement for physiotherapy expenses if they refer themselves. [31824/13]

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 172, 181 and 241 together.

The position is, as I have stated on many occasions in the House, that this issue was raised during the debates in the Seanad on Finance Bill 2013, during which I agreed to re-examine the matter during the course of this year.

My Department is currently in the process of examining the issue and when the analysis is completed and the findings are presented to me, I will make any necessary decisions in the context of Finance (No 2) Bill 2013.

Fuel Laundering

Question No. 174 answered with Question No. 98.

Questions (173)

Jim Daly

Question:

173. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Finance the number of detections of the illegal use of agricultural green diesel that have been discoverd by customs officers for each of the past seven years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31812/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the numbers of detections of the illegal use of marked diesel in the period in question were as set out in the following table.

Detections of Illegal Use of Marked Diesel

Year

Number of Detections

2007

1,067

2008

1,095

2009

859

2010

1,239

2011

1,160

2012

1,169

2013 (to June 27th)

714

Question No. 174 answered with Question No. 98.