Firearms Certificates

Questions (154)

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

154. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will provide in tabular form the number of handguns, to include pistols and revolvers, in respect of which firearm certificates were granted by An Garda Síochána for periods (details supplied). [23859/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have asked the Garda Commissioner for a report in relation to this matter and will write to the Deputy when I have further information.

Firearms Licences

Questions (155)

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

155. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will provide in tabular form the number of handguns, to include pistols and revolvers, in respect of which importation licences were granted to persons other than registered firearms dealers in the years (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23860/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Section 17 of the Firearms Act 1925 provides for restrictions on the importation of firearms into the State. The main restriction is the requirement for an importation licence for such importation.

However, Section 21 of the Firearms Act 1964 provides that the restriction imposed by section 17 of the Firearms Act 1925 shall not apply in relation to the importation of a firearm by the holder of a firearm certificate in respect of the firearm which is in force.

This means that a person other than a firearms dealer, with a firearm certificate for the firearm in question, does not require an importation licence. Accordingly, there is no legal requirement for importation licences for handguns for licensed individuals.

Residency Permits

Questions (156)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

156. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in determination of residency status in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23872/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, arising from the fact that the person concerned had no valid basis to remain in the State, they were, by letter dated 9th October, 2013, notified of the proposal to make a Deportation Order in respect of them, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). This communication advised the person concerned of the options open to them as a result which were to leave the State voluntarily, to consent to the making of a Deportation Order or to make written representations to the then Minister setting out the reasons why they should not have a Deportation Order made against them. Written representations have been submitted 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 final 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 of my Department 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.

Family Reunification Applications

Questions (157)

Arthur Spring

Question:

157. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there is an automatic right for non-EEA nationals, who are immediate family members, that is children under age 18 and spouses, of Irish citizens, to qualify for a joint spouse or point parent visa in order that they can migrate to Ireland if the member of the family who is an Irish citizen can prove an ability to financially provide for the family. [23874/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

There is no automatic right for any non-EEA national to enter the State for the purpose family reunification with an Irish citizen. Guidelines regarding family reunification were set out in a policy document published last December and the intention of these guidelines is to provide greater transparency and more comprehensive and consistent standards in respect of applications where non-EEA nationals seek to come to live in Ireland on the basis of their relationship with an Irish citizen or with another non-EEA national entitled to reside here. The guidelines are available on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website at www.inis.gov.ie.

Family reunification policy should strike a fair balance between the sometimes competing interests of the individuals concerned and society in general.

One of the key principles underpinning this balance of interests is that family reunification should not cause an undue burden on the public finances. Therefore, in general, the Irish citizen sponsor must be in a position to support such family members by not having been totally or predominantly reliant on State benefits from the Irish State for a continuous period in excess of two years immediately prior to the application and must, over the three year period prior to the application, have earned a cumulative gross income over and above any State benefits of not less than €40,000.

All family reunification applications are dealt with on a case by case basis and it should of course be borne in mind that financial capacity is just one of the conditions that is considered.

Finally, policy on family reunification here is broadly in line with that in other EU Member States.

Deportation Orders

Questions (158)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

158. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a deportation order has been revoked in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23881/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is not, and has never been, the subject of a Deportation Order. This being the case, the issue of having a Deportation Order revoked does not arise. However, I can advise the Deputy that the person concerned, having no valid basis to remain in the State, was, by letter dated 4th April, 2014, issued with a notification under Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). This communication advised the person concerned of the proposal to make a Deportation Order in respect of them and advised them of the options open to them as a result which were to leave the State voluntarily, to consent to the making of a Deportation Order or to submit written representations setting out the reasons why they should not have a Deportation Order made against them.

In the event that the person concerned has left the State, they must submit documentary evidence to confirm this position. Such documentary evidence would take the form of a clearly legible re-entry stamp on their passport and copies of airline tickets to reflect the dates of departure from Ireland and arrival in their country of origin. Such documentary evidence can be addressed to INIS' Repatriation Division, Dept. of Justice & Equality, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2. Upon receipt of documentary evidence of the nature described above, the immigration case of the person concerned can be further considered.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department 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.

Direct Provision System

Questions (159)

Michael McNamara

Question:

159. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason election canvassers are prohibited from canvassing at direct provision centres around the country; if she will outline any domestic legal provisions and any international legal obligations in that regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23886/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Reception & Integration Agency (RIA) of my Department is responsible for the accommodation of asylum seekers while their applications for international protection are being processed. Currently, RIA is providing accommodation for approximately 4,300 persons in 34 centres located in 16 counties throughout the State. All centres are managed by private entities under contract to RIA. Seven of these centres are State owned - that is to say, the land and buildings are owned by the State - while the remaining centres are privately owned.

It has been the policy of RIA not to allow political canvassing in centres since its inception and this policy was formalised in 2008 by a RIA circular to centre managers. In 2014, this policy was modified to allow candidates in the then forthcoming local Government elections to drop off election leaflets which could be placed in a common area in the centre where they could be picked up by residents. Candidates could provide on the leaflets contact details or times of political meetings outside the centre which residents could attend. The RIA circular stresses the importance of RIA centres operating in a politically neutral environment given the particular nature of the accommodation provided in those centres.

This policy reflects a number of factors - the communal nature of the direct provision system, the desirability that they operate in a politically neutral environment, the many practical and logistical difficulties that would arise for centre managers in providing unsupervised access in circumstances where families and children live together.

The RIA policy does not breach any national or international legal obligations. No restrictions are being placed on residents’ voting rights, or on their rights to access whatever information candidates wish to convey to them, or on any rights to meet with candidates, albeit outside centres. The policy derives solely from the practical issues involved in the particular circumstances of the direct provision system. The policy is kept under continuous review and, to that end, RIA has invited a number of interested NGO's to submit their views as to how its concerns on the practical issues involved, as outlined in this response, could be reasonably addressed in future local Government elections.

Garda Resources

Questions (160)

Seán Kenny

Question:

160. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of boats currently in the Garda water unit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23902/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The provision and allocation of Garda resources, including boats, is a matter for the Garda Commissioner in the light of her identified policing priorities. In that context, I am informed by the Garda authorities that there are currently twelve boats attached to the Unit.

Public Order Offences

Questions (161)

Seán Kenny

Question:

161. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will instruct the acting Garda Commissioner to ensure greater attention is directed to an area (details supplied) in Dublin 13 to deal with the rise in public order incidents at the weekends; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23903/14]

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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.