International Agreements

Questions (146)

Clare Daly

Question:

146. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when Ireland will sign up to the Istanbul Convention in relation to preventing and combating violence against women. [23722/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, is a detailed document with a broad scope across a number of policy areas with administrative, policy and legislative implications. The provisions of the Convention and the legislative and administrative arrangements that would be necessary to allow signature and ratification of the Convention by Ireland are being examined in consultation with a number of government departments and agencies.

In general Ireland only signs and ratifies a convention when all of the necessary preparations have been made to implement the provisions of the convention in question.

Naturalisation Applications

Questions (147, 150)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

147. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will review the application fee for naturalisation and the subsequent fee for the issue of the certificate of naturalisation, which can add up to a cost of more than €1,000 per person; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23724/14]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

150. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding fees for naturalisation (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23763/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 150 together.

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Regulations 2011 set out the prescribed fees to be paid by an applicant for a certificate of naturalisation. An application fee of €175 is payable on application for a certificate of naturalisation and a fee is payable by applicants on the issue of a certificate of naturalisation. The standard certification fee is €950, while a reduced fee of €200 applies in the case of an application made on behalf of a minor or in certain cases where the application is made by a widow, widower or surviving civil partner of an Irish citizen. In the case of refugees and stateless persons the certification fee is nil. The certification fees were last changed in 2008.

The standard fees payable by an applicant are designed to reflect the effort and cost involved in processing applications for a certificate of naturalisation. Every application must be assessed to establish if the statutory requirements are met. The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process. I might also add that following the grant of citizenship it is no longer necessary for the person concerned to register their presence in the State with the Garda National Immigration Bureau which requires the payment of a fee of €300 per registration.

As the Deputy will be aware formal citizenship ceremonies have been introduced at no extra cost to applicants. These have been universally well received by participants as the ceremonies provide a sense of dignity and occasion that serves to underscore the importance to both the State and the applicant of the granting of Irish citizenship. All of the fees payable under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 are kept under ongoing review by my Department.

Courts Service

Questions (148)

Dara Calleary

Question:

148. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if her attention has been drawn to the fact that due to staff shortages and cutbacks, District Court lodgments are being made just once a week; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that this is affecting the lodgment of maintenance payments to recipients' bank accounts; if her attention has been further drawn to the fact that this is having a detrimental affect on such maintenance payment recipients, who are waiting five days for the payment to clear; her plans to rectify the issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23746/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is 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. In order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has stated that if the deputy in his reference to “District Court lodgements”, is referring to the fact that cash collections in Court Offices are made just once a week, the position is that the frequency of cash collections in Court Offices has no impact on the timing of family law maintenance payments. I am informed that the only factors that impact the timing of the issuing of maintenance payments relate to the method of payment by the maintenance debtor and the method of payment to the maintenance creditor.

When a payment from a maintenance debtor is received in a court office or electronically via the banking system, it is available for immediate disbursement. A high percentage of payments are made by way of Bank Standing Order and go directly to the Courts Service Bank Account. Similarly there is no waiting period in relation to payments received as cash, bank draft or money order. Where payment from the maintenance debtor is made by way of cheque the position is that there is a holding period of ten working days before the payment can issue. The holding period commences when the cheque is received and entered in the Courts Accounting System.

Where the maintenance creditor has elected for payment by electronic funds transfer (EFT), the payment should be in the creditor's bank account within 2 working days of the payment being receipted by the Courts Service. In the case where the maintenance creditor has elected for payment by cheque, cheques are issued once a week every Tuesday. The Courts Service is actively encouraging maintenance creditors to elect for payment by EFT as this is the most efficient method of payment. At present 94% of family law payments are being made by EFT, with 6% being paid by cheque.

Charities Regulation

Question No. 150 answered with Question No. 147.

Questions (149)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

149. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the length of time the general public will have to wait for proper regulation of the charity sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23762/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the first meeting of the Charities Regulatory Authority Board took place on the 29th May 2014. The new Authority will operate as an independent regulator for the charity sector and will be formally established on 16 October 2014 under the terms of the Charities Act of 2009. An early priority for the new Authority will be the preparation and publication of a statutory register of charities. All registered charities will be required to provide reports to the Authority each year on their activities and these reports will be made available to the public. This will provide a much needed increase in transparency and accountability in the charitable sector, and will support the good practice in charity governance and management that is critical to a vibrant charity sector that commands the trust and confidence of donors and beneficiaries alike.

The Authority will also take on the functions of the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland. The temporary website of the Authority is at www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie.

Question No. 150 answered with Question No. 147.

Peace Commissioners Appointments

Questions (151)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

151. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will provide a list of all persons appointed as peace commissioners from 1 April 2011 to date in 2014, in tabular form, including the name, date appointed, sub-district and county in each case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23825/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can confirm that three hundred Peace Commissioners were appointed from 1 April, 2011 to date in 2014. The information requested will be forwarded to the Deputy shortly.

Prison Visiting Committees Appointments

Questions (152)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

152. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will provide a list of all persons appointed to prison visiting committees from 1 April 2011 to date in 2014, in tabular form, including the name, date appointed and visiting committee in each case; a list of expenses incurred by each appointee over the course of his or her appointment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23826/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Visiting Committee members are appointed for a period of three years by the Minister for Justice and Equality under the Prisons (Visiting Committees) Act 1925 and Prisons (Visiting Committees) Order 1925. There are fourteen Visiting Committees in existence – one for each institution. The following table sets out the 65 appointments made to Prison Visiting Committees from 1 April 2011 to date.

-

Name

Name of Visiting Committee

Appointment Date

1

Rita Hayes

Arbour Hill

23.01.2012

2

Dr. Abdulla Bulbulia

Arbour Hill

23.01.2012

3

Wilhelmina Daly

Arbour Hill

23.01.2012

4

Dermot O'Donnell

Cork

23.01.2012

5

Mary Loughnane

Cork

23.01.2012

6

Dr. Margaret O'Keeffe

Cork

23.01.2012

7

Noel Cloak

Dóchas

23.01.2012

8

Bernie Donnelly

Dóchas

23.01.2012

9

Mary Elliott

Dóchas

23.01.2012

10

Val Rooney

Limerick

23.01.2012

11

Kathleen Richey

Loughan House

23.01.2012

12

Andrew Cullen

Loughan House

23.01.2012

13

Patrick Boyle

Loughan House

23.01.2012

14

Joe Aherne

Mountjoy

23.01.2012

15

Gerry Delaney

Shelton Abbey

23.01.2012

16

Denis Murphy

St. Patrick's Institution

23.01.2012

17

John (Seán) Lyons

St. Patrick's Institution

23.01.2012

18

Emma Muldowney

St. Patrick's Institution

23.01.2012

19

Sadie Jordan

Training Unit

23.01.2012

20

Fintan Kelly

Training Unit

23.01.2012

21

Deirdre Kenneally

Training Unit

23.01.2012

22

Noel Turley

Training Unit

23.01.2012

23

Stewart Stephens

Wheatfield

23.01.2012

24

Mary Prendergast

Limerick

15.02.2012

25

Thomas Gregan

Shelton Abbey

15.02.2012

26

Margaret Short

Shelton Abbey

15.02.2012

27

Niall Counihan

St. Patrick's Institution

15.02.2012

28

John Higgins

Limerick

20.02.2012

29

Richard Codd

Shelton Abbey

21.02.2012

30

Betty Gleeson

Wheatfield

22.02.2012

31

Paddy Murray

Arbour Hill

28.03.2012

32

Michael Nevin

Castlerea

28.03.2012

33

Dave Strahan

Cork

28.03.2012

34

Patricia McCarthy

Limerick

28.03.2012

35

Kathleen Gill

Wheatfield

28.03.2012

36

Colette Fennelly

Midlands

08.10.2012

37

Ruth Gallagher

Dóchas

22.10.12

38

Eddie Brady

Castlerea

22.10.12

39

Martin Daly

Castlerea

22.10.12

40

Tomas Ryan

Cork

22.1012

41

Angela O'Connor

Arbour Hill

26.10.12

42

Anne Delaney

Dóchas

26.10.12

43

James Houlihan

Limerick

26.10.12

44

Brian O'Neill

Portlaoise

26.10.12

45

Brenda Coyne

Wheatfield

26.10.12

46

Peter Cutliffe

Loughan House

03.12.12

47

Tom Crean

Mountjoy

03.12.12

48

Margaret Guijt-Lawlor

Portlaoise

03.12.12

49

Anne Carter

Wheatfield

03.12.12

50

Patrick Holton

Training Unit

14.01.2013

51

Margaret Downey

Cloverhill Prison

12.03.2013

52

Fintan Hudson

Cloverhill Prison

12.03.2013

53

David Ruddy

Cloverhill Prison

01.07.2013

54

Laura Jenkins

Cloverhill

01.07.2013

55

Tommie Healy

Arbour Hill

01.07.2013

56

John Keavney

Castlerea

01.07.2013

57

Robin Murray

Cork

01.07.2013

58

Pat Conway

Limerick

01.07.2013

59

Pat McGee

Mountjoy

01.07.2013

60

Michael Hough

Portlaoise

01.07.2013

61

Anne Confrey

Training Unit

01.07.2013

62

Ted Laffey

Midlands

10.10.2013

63

Margaret O'Dwyer

Midlands

10.10.2013

64

Anthony Donnelly

Cork

14.10.2013

65

Marie O'Rourke

Shelton Abbey

25.11.2013

Detailed figures for the remuneration of each committee member from 2011 to date are not readily available and would require a disproportionate amount of staff time and effort to prepare which would be difficult to justify in current circumstances where there are other significant demands on resources. However, I can inform the Deputy that a per diem payment at a current rate of €142.50 per visit or meeting, which is subject to tax, is paid to Visiting Committee members. Members are also entitled to claim vouched travel expenses of €30 per visit. The following table sets out the total expenditure paid to the Visiting Committees over each of the past three years.

Year

Total Annual Payments

2011

€214,249

2012

€143,457

2013

€170,430

Financial Services Regulation

Questions (153)

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

153. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 10 and 41 of 27 May 2014, of the 689 reports which Central Bank of Ireland staff reported to An Garda Síochána between 2009 and 2013, as required under section 33AK of the Central Bank Act 1942, involving information that led them to suspect a criminal offence may have been committed by an entity supervised by the Central Bank of Ireland, the total number of these reports which led to prosecutions and successful prosecutions against persons in those regulated entities during that period; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23828/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have requested a report from the Garda authorities in relation to the matter referred to by the Deputy. I will contact the Deputy directly as soon as the report is to hand.