Crime Data

Questions (474, 475, 476)

Catherine Martin

Question:

474. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of reported bike thefts from each DART station in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18854/19]

View answer

Catherine Martin

Question:

475. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of reported bike thefts from each Luas station in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18855/19]

View answer

Catherine Martin

Question:

476. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of reported bike thefts from each Irish Rail station, excluding those on the DART line, in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18856/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 474 to 476, inclusive, together.

Further to the information provided to the Deputy's Parliamentary Questions No. 218 and No. 219 on 16 April, I am informed by the Garda authorities that a more detailed breakdown by rail, dart or LUAS station is not available.

However, I am advised by the Garda authorities that the attached table contains a further breakdown regarding the number of bicycles stolen from Irish Rail stations in the Dublin Region, and outside the Dublin Region, by year.

I hope this information is of assistance.

Bicycle Thefts from Irish Rail Stations

Garda Region

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

*2019

Dublin Region

95

43

55

55

72

14

Outside Dublin Region

43

42

56

74

111

13

National Total

138

85

111

129

183

27

All information contained in this response is based upon operational data from the PULSE system on 10/04/2019 and is liable to change.

Liquor Licensing Laws

Questions (477, 478)

Clare Daly

Question:

477. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to reform the licensing laws to provide for later opening and staggered closing for clubs and theatres in order to foster night life in Dublin and elsewhere around Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18875/19]

View answer

Clare Daly

Question:

478. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to abolish special exemption orders for late bars and nightclubs in view of the fact that the expense involved in gaining a SEO is perceived to strangle smaller businesses and promoters; and his plans to introduce instead an annual licence. [18876/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 477 and 478 together.

The position is that the Licensing Acts 1833 to 2018 already provide for extended opening hours for certain licensed premises. Section 5 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1927 (as amended), provides that a holder of an on-licence or theatre licence may apply to the District Court for a special exemption order which permits extended opening hours for a special occasion. This facility is extensively used by hotels, late bars and nightclubs.

A special exemption order expires at 2.30 a.m. (1.00 a.m. where it extends to a Monday that is not a public holiday) unless the District Court, for stated reasons, grants the order for a shorter period. A further thirty minutes drinking-up time is also allowed. This means that the closing time for many premises using this facility is 3.00 a.m.

I am, of course, aware of the current debate concerning the promotion and fostering of night time culture. While I am in principle in favour of a vibrant night life, I am also conscious that it needs to be organised and managed in a manner that will not cause undue inconvenience or nuisance to local residents or create an undue risk to public order.

While I do not have immediate plans to amend the law in this area, I have an open mind on these matters. Any proposed changes to the law would, of course, require extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders, including groups representing local residents, the local authorities and An Garda Síochána.

Gambling Legislation

Questions (479)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

479. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to put forward legislation to address gambling addiction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18911/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Deputy will appreciate that the Government's approach is to bring about comprehensive reform of the licensing and regulation of gambling activities in Ireland. If we can achieve this objective, we will then be in a better position to address issues relating to problem gambling.

How best to address the issue of problem gambling has been one of the main concerns in the discussion about the future licensing and regulation of gambling. However, gambling addiction, as with other addictions, is primarily a health matter. Any potential approaches to tackling this issue must be considered in that context. We should be careful about giving rise to excessive hopes that the proposed regulatory authority in itself, perhaps through restrictive measures, will eliminate problem gambling in its entirety, because it will not do so.

The Deputy should note that even where there is robust and long-standing regulation and dedicated regulatory authorities for gambling are in existence, such as in the UK, Malta and New Zealand, these States still experience problem gambling. Expectations that the planned reform of our gambling laws will lead to a major reduction in problem gambling behaviour should be balanced by the experience in such jurisdictions.

The Inter-Departmental Working Group on the Future Licensing and Regulation of Gambling was conscious of the issue of problem gambling in Irish society, which can involve severely negative impacts for the person as well as his or her family. It was considered by the Working Group that the approach taken in the 2013 General Scheme of the Gambling Control Bill towards the protection of vulnerable persons remained broadly valid.

The Report of the Working Group, published by Government on 20 March, 2019, contains a number of recommendations in respect of vulnerable persons. These recommendations, if implemented in full, offer the best vehicle for addressing some aspects of problem gambling and addiction from the perspective of licensing and regulation.

The recommendations include age restrictions (over 18s only), staff training, potential self-exclusion measures and certain controls on advertising, promotions and sponsorship. A critical recommendation is the establishment and operation of a Social Fund, to fund treatment programmes by relevant professional experts and to help fund research and information campaigns.

Naturalisation Applications

Questions (480)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

480. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the delay of 29 months regarding an application for a certificate of naturalisation by a person (details supplied); if the application will be dealt with as a matter of urgency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18927/19]

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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 processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is ongoing. On completion of the necessary processing the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. Should further documentation be required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

As the Deputy will appreciate, 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.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

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.

Protected Disclosures

Questions (481)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

481. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the particulars of a case concerning a prison officer on unpaid leave from the Irish Prison Service since May 2011 (details supplied); if he will engage with the person on the matters concerned; if he has received a protected disclosure in respect of the person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18964/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that correspondence has recently been received in my Department regarding an allegation relating to the Irish Prison Service, citing the Protected Disclosures Act. This matter is the subject of a preliminary assessment at present, and as the matter is being treated as a protected disclosure it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the individual case.

Protected Disclosures

Questions (482)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

482. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the particulars of a case concerning a former prison officer; if he or his predecessors have received a protected disclosure in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18966/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that in 2016 issues raised by the person in question were the subject of an assessment in accordance with my Department’s Protected Disclosures Policy.

Aspects of these matters had been the subject of correspondence and other contact over a number of years, and had previously been considered and responded to. Concerns raised by the person in question were also considered under the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) established to review certain allegations of Garda misconduct, or inadequacies in the investigation of certain allegations, and the outcome of the IRM process was communicated to them.

The 2016 assessment concluded there was insufficient detail in the correspondence as set out to enable further investigation to take place, and for the concerns raised to be evaluated. The person in question was invited to provide the necessary information but this was not forthcoming and it was concluded that it was not possible to take the examination further.

Garda Data

Questions (483)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

483. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to rectify a situation on the PULSE system (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18972/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, An Garda Síochána use the PULSE system for the recording of reported crime as well as a range of other incidents.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the Garda PULSE system currently provides for 34 incident categories and 288 incident types. These are both crime and non-crime incidents.

An Garda Síochána have advised that "lurching" is not provided for in legislation and therefore does not appear as an incident type or category of PULSE. The categories of crimes recorded are based on the information provided or the nature of the complaint. 

In this instance, the actions outlined by the Deputy in the details supplied would come within the "public order offences" category and the incident type "trespassing", or, if damage was caused to the owners' property, "criminal damage".

Prison Service

Questions (484)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

484. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to publish a report into allegations of covert surveillance in prisons completed by the Inspector of Prisons and Places of Detention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19016/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, the Inspector of Prisons has furnished me with a copy of the report of her investigation, carried out under section 31 of the Prisons Act 2007, into allegations of improper surveillance and other wrongdoing in prisons.

I am considering the report in the light of advice from the Attorney General with a view to publishing it in accordance with section 31 of the Prisons Act 2007.

Paramilitary Groups

Questions (485)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

485. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps being taken by An Garda Síochána to work closely with the Police Service of Northern Ireland to address the escalating threat of paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland; if additional resources will be provided;and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19025/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The callous murder of a talented young journalist in Derry on 18 April was a most heinous act and a stark reminder of the persistent threat from so called "dissident" paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland.

Tackling this threat is a shared priority for both the Irish and British Governments. Those who seek to attack peace on this island should be very clear that the Gardaí will continue their work, hand-in-hand with the PSNI, to combat the paramilitary gangs and their close criminal associates. That will not change.

The Joint Agency Task Force is just one positive example of the extensive North-South co-operation that is undertaken between the police and other law enforcement agencies aimed at tackling crime and enhancing the safety of all communities on this island.

This Task Force is led by senior officers from An Garda Síochána, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Revenue Commissioners and HM Revenue and Customs. A number of other relevant bodies, including the National Crime Agency and the Criminal Assets Bureau are also involved in operational activity. The objective of the Task Force is to build on existing law enforcement frameworks and to increase the collective effectiveness of operational law enforcement actions.

The shared assessment of the threat in Northern Ireland is that it remains 'Severe' (that is to say, a terrorist attack is highly likely). The dissident paramilitary groups continue to focus their efforts primarily on targeting members of the security forces in Northern Ireland, as evidenced tragically by the attack in Derry in which Lyra McKee was murdered and also in recent years by the murders of NI Prison Officers David Black and Adrian Ismay.

While the allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Garda Commissioner, I can assure the Deputy that the Garda authorities maintain a high level of on-going, close co-operation with their counterparts in Northern Ireland and in Britain in responding to this threat. This operational relationship is absolutely central to bearing down on and disrupting the activities of these groups and, therefore, to maintaining security on the island.

Student Visas Data

Questions (486)

Clare Daly

Question:

486. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 93 of 4 April 2019, the progress in processing the 3,100 applications under the new non-EEA student scheme which stood at 800; and when the remainder will be completed in view of the vulnerable position of the students concerned. [19051/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that significant progress has been made in relation to processing applications under the Special Scheme for Students since my response to the Deputy last month. To date, INIS has made a decision in approximately 1,170 cases.

The Deputy will appreciate that the Special Student Scheme caseload is complex and must be processed in accordance with the scheme criteria and relevant legal requirements. I am assured that INIS continues to optimise available resources, including the provision of overtime, with the overarching objective of delivering sound decisions to all applicants under the scheme as soon as possible.

Naturalisation Applications

Questions (487)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

487. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of an application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19092/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, in response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), written representations have been submitted on behalf of the person concerned.

These representations, together with all other information and documentation on file, will be fully considered, under Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation, in advance of a final decision being made.

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.

Naturalisation Applications

Questions (488)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

488. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19098/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is ongoing. On completion of the necessary processing the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. Should further documentation be required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

As the Deputy will appreciate, 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.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

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.

Proposed Legislation

Questions (489, 490, 491, 492)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

489. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to introduce a new licence to facilitate venues primarily devoted to music to operate outside of the current licensing Acts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19132/19]

View answer

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

490. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if consideration will be given to delegating two local authorities the entitlement to grant a new form of music licence to facilitate venues primarily devoted to music to operate outside of the current licensing Acts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19133/19]

View answer

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

491. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a review will be initiated of the licensing Acts to enable venues that are predominantly committed to the enjoyment of music to operate outside the current licensing Acts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19134/19]

View answer

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

492. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if consideration will be given to granting venues devoted predominantly to the enjoyment of music their own specific licences in order that they are not exposed to the large costs of current licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19135/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 489 to 492, inclusive, together.

The current position is that, under the provisions of the Licensing Acts 1833 to 2018 a licence under those Acts, issued by the Revenue Commissioners following submission of an appropriate court certificate by the applicant, is required in order to permit the sale, supply or exposure for sale of intoxicating liquor in specified premises. Such licences are renewed annually.

With regard to the question of delegating functions to local authorities, the Deputy may wish to be aware that the performance of music and public entertainment in premises, irrespective of whether the premises are licensed for the sale, supply and consumption of intoxicating liquor, is regulated by Part IV of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1890. Part IV of this Act applies to premises located in urban areas where an urban authority has adopted the appropriate provisions. I understand that local authorities that have adopted Part IV include Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford. Where Part IV applies, premises that are ordinarily used for public music or other entertainment of like kind must be licensed under the 1890 Act. Such licences are issued by the District Court.

In its Second Interim Report issued in July 2002, the Commission on Liquor Licensing concluded that the best and fairest way of dealing with licensing applications is through a court-based system. It noted that such a system is transparent, fair and accessible. It also noted that a court-based system is the best way of dealing with potentially contentious issues that require the balancing of rights of relevant stakeholders.

I am, of course, aware of the current debate concerning the promotion and fostering of a more diverse and vibrant night time culture. While I am in principle in favour of enhancements to current arrangements, I do not have immediate plans to amend the law in this area and any such changes to the law would, of course, require proper consultation with relevant stakeholders, including representative bodies, groups representing local residents, the local authorities and An Garda Síochána.

I am also conscious that any change would need to be organised and managed in a manner that will not cause undue inconvenience or nuisance to local residents nor create an undue risk to public order. Any proposed changes would also need to have regard to the preservation of a fair competitive environment for competing businesses.

Garda Expenditure

Questions (493)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

493. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount spent on purchasing spit hoods for the years ending 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19157/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

There has been an unprecedented level of investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years, in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country, to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. An allocation of €1.76 billion has been provided to An Garda Síochána for 2019.

In accordance with Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. Further, the allocation of Garda resources, including equipment and specialist equipment, is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that no expenditure was incurred by An Garda Síochána on spit hoods in the years 2017, 2018 and in 2019 to date.

Proposed Legislation

Questions (494)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

494. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to update the Domicile and Recognition of Foreign Divorces Act 1986; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19158/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Thirty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution (Dissolution of Marriage) Bill 2016 will be put to the people in a referendum on 24 May 2019. The Bill contains a proposal to replace the text of Article 41.3.3 of the Constitution, which deals with the recognition of foreign divorces, with a new provision. I have no plans to propose amendments to the Domicile and Recognition of Foreign Divorces Act 1986 in advance of the referendum.

As I have previously stated, I will propose amendments following the planned expert analysis of the law in this area by the Law Reform Commission. My intention is to ensure a transparent, streamlined system for applicants irrespective of whether or not their application falls under EU Regulations in this area.

Deportation Orders

Questions (495)

Robert Troy

Question:

495. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if persons who are accepted to be Somali nationals since January 2017 have been issued with deportation orders and have been deported. [19169/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a total of 16 persons who originally presented as Somali nationals have been issued with Deportation Orders since 2017.

As the Deputy will be aware, there are clear grounds in national and international law governing the granting of international protection. Before a Deportation Order is handed down, full consideration of all aspects of an applicant’s case are examined.

The Deputy might wish to note that when a Deportation Order is made and is served, the person concerned is legally obliged to remove themselves from the State and to remain out of the State. Many persons comply with the Order served on them but may not notify the immigration authorities that they have done so. The enforcement of Orders is an operational matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Citizenship Applications

Questions (496)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

496. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of applications for citizenship in the case of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19222/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the processing of the applications for a certificate of naturalisation from the persons referred to by the Deputy is ongoing. On completion of the necessary processing the applications will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. Should further documentation be required it will be requested from the applicants in due course.

As the Deputy will appreciate, 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.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

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.

Refugee Status Applications Data

Questions (497)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

497. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the percentage of the recommendations for refugee or subsidiary protection received from the International Protection Office, IPO, that are outstanding and awaiting a decision and that have been rejected in 2018, respectively. [19226/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that a total of 1,226 recommendations made by the International Protection Office (IPO) under the provisions of the International Protection Act 2015 were received by the Ministerial Decisions Unit (MDU) of my Department during 2018.

Of these, 1,226 recommendations for the grant or refusal of international protection status received from the IPO, a total of 1,075 recommendations have had a decision issued by the MDU as of 30 April 2019. Therefore, 151 recommendations issued by the IPO or 12% of the total recommendations received by the MDU have a decision outstanding.

I can also inform the Deputy that of these recommendations received from the IPO, a total of 399 have had a refusal decision issued by the MDU as of 30 April 2019. Therefore, 33% of the recommendations received from the IPO have resulted in a refusal decision from the MDU to date.

Asylum Applications Data

Questions (498)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

498. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of vulnerability assessments that have been identified as being necessary for applicants seeking asylum; the number carried out in 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19242/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The statistics the Deputy requires have been collated by the HSE who have a lead responsibility in the health assessment area. Applicants are invited for voluntary assessments but do not have to take up the offer of such assessments.

There is a specific health screening team funded and managed by the HSE located on the site of the Balseskin Reception facility for the purpose of assessing recipients who have just arrived in the State. The team comprises of two GPs on a rotational basis; an Area Medical Officer (also a GP); one nurse manager and two nurses; one whole time primary care social worker and two part-time primary care psychologists. This team offers a range of individual services and screening for medical and psychosocial needs with onward referral as necessary. The individual professionals communicate with RIA (within the bounds of patient confidentiality) if a particular need is identified that will affect the applicant’s accommodation requirements. Appropriate health care is provided as necessary.

In addition, arrangements are in place in various parts of the country to offer this service to those who do not avail of it in Dublin. Representations are made to RIA by health screening staff if the person is deemed vulnerable on medical or related grounds, which may include a request that particular steps be taken as regards that person’s accommodation in order to meet particular needs. Further there is on-going liaison between RIA and the HSE in relation to how best to meet the health and related needs of protection applicants.

The numbers of applicants who attended initial assessments in Balseskin Reception Centre in 2018 was 1371. A further 838 applicants availed of initial assessments in other locations. The number of applicants who attended initial assessments in Balseskin up to the end of March 2019 was 537 and 356 in other locations, up to April 2019.

Additionally, an initial interview is conducted with all applicants when they attend the International Protection Office, Mount Street. If at that interview an applicant indicates that they require accommodation, they will then be assessed for any specific needs, which are then taken into account when assigning accommodation.