School Accommodation

Questions (134)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

134. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for the two prefabs, one of which is occupied by a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25731/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that arrangements are in place to undertake refurbishment works during the summer months to a prefabricated unit that is not currently in use. The unit, comprising two rooms, will be ready for occupation for the commencement of the new school year and both schools will then have access to an additional classroom to meet their needs.

Education Funding

Questions (135)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

135. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount of financial support provided to an organisation (details supplied) in each of the past five years; the non-financial supports provided to it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25739/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The Galway Autism Partnership has been awarded funding by Galway Roscommon Education Training Board for the provision of the Community Education Programme. The funding is provided by SOLAS, the further education authority.

Community Education refers to education and learning, generally outside the formal education sector, with the aims of enhancing learning, empowerment and contributing to civic society. It is firmly community-based, with local groups taking responsibility for, and playing a key role in, organising courses and deciding on programme-content. It enables disadvantaged adults to avail of community education at minimal or no cost. This is usually allocated through the provision of teaching hours, or small grants, to a range of community and voluntary groups for educational activities.

The Galway Autism Partnership received €1,300 funding in 2018 and have not received funding before that date.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (136)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

136. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the proposed redevelopment of a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25740/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that, in April this year, approval was given to the school to which she refers to carry out refurbishment and other internal works under the Department’s Additional Accommodation Scheme 2019. The project has been devolved for delivery to the school authority in that respect. It is now a matter for the Board of Management of the school to progress it.

Special Educational Needs Staff Data

Questions (137)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

137. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of special needs assistants employed in County Galway; the estimated net increase for the next academic year; the number of SNAs employed in the county in each of the years 2012 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form, for both primary and secondary school sectors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25741/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I announced on 27 May that 792 additional SNA posts will be allocated to schools for the beginning of the 2019/20 school year, with up to 130 additional posts expected to be allocated by December 2019.

By the end of this year, there will be up to 15,950 SNAs working in our schools, an increase of over 51% since 2011.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 were not complied with. Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.

The closing date for receipt of appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday 27 September 2019.

The NCSE publish the allocations for individual schools for each school year and this information is available on their website, www.ncse.ie.

School Curriculum

Questions (138)

Mary Butler

Question:

138. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which the determination of a child is kept back to repeat a year in primary school is made; the definition of exceptional circumstances as per a circular (details supplied); if the all round education of the child including emotional and social learning and not just academia is taken into account in making such a determination; if a parent requesting that their child is kept back for a year has the ultimate say in making that decision with the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25771/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The primary school curriculum is designed as an eight year course, including a two year infant cycle followed by six years in standards from first to sixth, with children progressing to the next grade at the end of each school year.

The Department is providing considerable support for pupils with learning difficulties in schools. Learning support teachers, resource teachers, special needs assistants, computer equipment and a wide range of resources under the various schemes for schools in areas designated as disadvantaged are among the forms of provision allocated to schools for these pupils.

Under the Department's policy, pupils should only repeat a year for educational reasons and under no circumstances should an additional grade level (middle infants or repeat sixth class) operate through the retention of all or a substantial number of pupils for a second year at a grade level. The level of provision now available should enable pupils to make progress in keeping with their needs and abilities and to move consecutively through the different class levels in the school in keeping with their peers.

In accordance with the terms of the circular, a principal teacher should consult with the learning support teacher, class teacher and parents of a pupil and if all parties conclude that the pupil would benefit educationally by repeating a class, the pupil may be retained. However, a record outlining the educational basis for the decision to retain a pupil in a class for a second year should be kept for any pupil retained. In addition, there should be a clear programme outlined for such a pupil that records precisely what new approach will be used for her/him and what its expected benefit will be. These records should be retained within the school and should be brought to the attention of the Inspector. A pupil should not be retained for longer than one year in a primary school.

Circular 32/03 recognises that a student may be allowed to repeat a year provided there is an educational basis for it, and there is a clear programme for the pupil to follow. The primary school in consultation with the parents and student is best placed to make the decision in respect of whether the reason cited for the student is an ‘exceptional circumstance’.

Teacher Recruitment

Questions (139)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

139. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will address a matter regarding young teachers (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25854/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Teacher allocations to all schools are approved annually by my Department in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment.

After the redeployment processes have transacted, each school is permitted to fill any remaining vacancies through open recruitment. It is open to any suitably qualified teacher to apply for these advertised teaching positions as they arise.

The recruitment and appointment of teachers to fill teaching posts is a matter for the individual school authority, subject to procedures agreed under Section 24(3) of the Education Act 1998 (as amended by the Education (Amendment) Act 2012).

The 2018/19 school year has seen an increase of over 6,000 teaching posts in our schools compared to the 2015/16 school year.

Budget 2019 will see numbers employed in our schools reach the highest ever level. Over 1,300 additional posts in schools will be funded in the 2019/20 school year, including more than 370 teaching posts to cater for growth in student population and additional special classes.

Earlier this year I announced a new scheme to allow post-primary schools to share teachers in priority subjects. The scheme will start from the beginning of the 2019/20 school year and will be reviewed after the first year of operation. Its aim is to alleviate some of the challenges schools have faced in recruiting teachers, but it is also a solution for graduates who are looking for full-time employment and more options for work.

My Department’s Circular 0015/2019 sets out the details of the scheme.

Departmental Offices

Questions (140)

Joan Burton

Question:

140. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills the cost of renting, leasing and hiring office space for his Department including public bodies in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [25917/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The information requested by the Deputy for my Department is presented in tabular form below. The Department has three leases in the period under review and details are provided in respect of two of these contracts. The Department is obliged under the terms of the other contract to keep the terms confidential. Details, where available, are presented for the years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 to date.

The information requested concerning the cost of rental/leasing and hiring of office space in regard to my Department’s aegis bodies is being collated and I will arrange to have the material forwarded to the Deputy as soon as it becomes available.

Lessee

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Department of Education and Skills

€47,452

€33,000

€47,400

€47,400

€47,400

Residency Permits

Questions (141)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

141. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current and-or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25650/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that it received an application for permission to reside in this State from the person concerned under the Special Scheme for Students 2005 to 2010 on 23 October 2018. The Deputy will appreciate that applications are dealt with in chronological order. I understand that the application is under active consideration and INIS will be in contact with the person concerned, in writing, as soon as possible.

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 Data

Questions (142)

Micheál Martin

Question:

142. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of whistleblower complaints in his Department since the legislation was introduced in 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25663/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have been advised that since the introduction of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 to 31 December 2018, the number of Protected Disclosures received in my Department classified as such, following assessment, is 52. Under the Act, a Protected Disclosure is defined as being a disclosure of relevant information relating to wrongdoing made by a worker in the manner specified in the Act.

This figure also includes Protected Disclosures directed to the Minister from workers in An Garda Síochána and the Irish Prison Service.

I can also advise the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service, Legal Aid Board, National Disability Authority, the Courts Service, An Garda Síochána and the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission have their own Protected Disclosures Policies in place and report separately on disclosures received.

The Department produces Annual Reports on Protected Disclosures, the most recent of which, for 2017, is available at the following link:

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Report_on_Protected_Disclosures_received_in_the_Department_of_Justice_and_Equality_(Vote_24)_in_2017

State Pathology Service

Questions (143)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

143. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason a building which is owned by the Office of the State Pathologist at 239 Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9, is vacant; and if there are plans to bring this building back into use. [25699/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

My Department does not own or lease this property and is not aware of any plans for its use. The majority of properties occupied by my Department are owned or leased on its behalf by the Office of Public Works (OPW), including the premises occupied by the Office of the State Pathologist, adjacent to the address referred to by the Deputy.

Departmental Correspondence

Questions (144)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

144. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a response will issue to correspondence regarding a person (details supplied); if he is satisfied that he has received sufficient and correct information from the Garda report which would allow him answer the specific question posed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25727/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have sought further information in relation to the Deputy's query and I will contact him directly when the information is to hand.

Rape Crisis Network Funding

Questions (145)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

145. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount of financial support provided to a centre (details supplied) in each of the past five years; the non-financial supports provided to it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25743/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate Tusla, the Child and Family Agency is the primary statutory funder for sexual violence services, including rape crisis centres in the state.

In 2019, the Tusla national provision for frontline Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence services is €25.3 million.

This allocation includes direct funding provision to the rape crisis centres and I am advised that Tusla is providing an allocation of €444,250 this year to the centre in question.

My Department has not provided direct funding to the centre in question for the last five years. Financial and other supports are, however, provided to the centre through funding provided by my Department to the Rape Crisis Network Ireland which is an umbrella organisation for such centres.

In this regard my Department through Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and the Victims of Crime Office is providing combined approved funding of €95,000 in 2019 to the Network for its work in this area.

These funds are utilised by the Network in providing a legal co-ordinator service which provides legal advice and training supports to rape crisis centre staff including to staff from the centre in question. The network also administers financial supports to rape crisis centres in their provision of court and Garda accompaniment services for victims of sexual crime. The Network co-ordinates the overall administration of both the accompaniment service itself and the essential associated training needs of staff and volunteers to carry out such services.

Given the nature of how these services are provided it is not feasible to provide a further breakdown of this funding allocation against each rape crisis centre being supported by the Network.

Garda Transport Data

Questions (146)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

146. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda cars attached to each district in the Galway Garda division 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. [25744/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion. Very significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. This continuing investment is intended to ensure that An Garda Síochána can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.

The Deputy may also wish to be aware that a total of €10 million has been made available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019. I understand from the Garda authorities that this allocation will be used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles for operational use this year.

As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with 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 is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles among the various Garda divisions. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure their optimum use.

The Garda authorities advise that the following table outlines the Galway Divisional Fleet by District from 2014 to 14 June 2019.

1 Jan - 14 June 2019

Cars

Vans

Mbikes

4x4

*Others

Total

BALLINASLOE DISTRICT

6

1

0

0

0

7

CLIFDEN DISTRICT

5

2

0

0

0

7

GALWAY DISTRICT

27

13

4

3

4

51

LOUGHREA DISTRICT

9

3

0

0

0

12

SALTHILL DISTRICT

8

2

0

0

0

10

TUAM DISTRICT

10

2

2

0

1

15

GALWAY DIVISION

65

23

6

3

5

102

31 December 2018

Cars

Vans

Mbikes

4 x 4

*Others

Total

BALLINASLOE DISTRICT

6

1

0

0

0

7

CLIFDEN DISTRICT

6

2

0

0

0

8

GALWAY DISTRICT

27

12

4

3

4

50

LOUGHREA DISTRICT

8

3

0

0

0

11

SALTHILL DISTRICT

9

2

0

1

0

12

TUAM DISTRICT

10

2

2

0

0

14

GALWAY DIVISION

66

22

6

4

4

102

31 December 2017

Cars

Vans

Mbikes

4 x 4

*Others

Total

BALLINASLOE DISTRICT

7

1

0

0

0

8

CLIFDEN DISTRICT

6

1

0

0

0

7

GALWAY DISTRICT

26

8

3

0

2

39

LOUGHREA DISTRICT

8

2

0

0

0

10

SALTHILL DISTRICT

10

3

0

2

1

16

TUAM DISTRICT

10

1

2

0

0

13

GALWAY DIVISION

67

16

5

2

3

93

31 December 2016

Cars

Vans

Mbikes

4 x 4

*Others

Total

BALLINASLOE DISTRICT

5

2

0

0

0

7

CLIFDEN DISTRICT

7

1

0

0

0

8

GALWAY DISTRICT

27

11

6

1

1

46

LOUGHREA DISTRICT

8

2

0

0

0

10

SALTHILL DISTRICT

8

2

0

3

0

13

TUAM DISTRICT

9

2

2

0

0

13

GALWAY DIVISION

64

20

8

4

1

97

31 December 2015

Cars

Vans

Mbikes

4 x 4

*Others

Total

BALLINASLOE DISTRICT

4

1

0

0

0

5

CLIFDEN DISTRICT

3

1

0

0

0

4

GALWAY DISTRICT

29

7

4

1

1

42

LOUGHREA DISTRICT

6

2

0

0

1

9

SALTHILL DISTRICT

9

1

0

1

0

11

TUAM DISTRICT

8

1

1

0

0

10

GALWAY DIVISION

59

13

5

2

2

81

31 December 2014

Cars

Vans

Mbikes

4 x 4

*Others

Total

BALLINASLOE DISTRICT

4

1

0

0

1

6

CLIFDEN DISTRICT

4

1

0

0

0

5

GALWAY DISTRICT

27

7

5

2

0

41

LOUGHREA DISTRICT

4

2

0

0

1

7

SALTHILL DISTRICT

10

1

0

0

0

11

TUAM DISTRICT

7

1

2

0

0

10

GALWAY DIVISION

56

13

7

2

2

80

*The category 'others' refers to MPV, SUV, Minibus or Prisoner Conveyance Vehicles

Garda Transport Data

Questions (147)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

147. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda cars older than five years in each Garda division in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25745/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána including the allocation of Garda resources. As such, decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of Garda vehicles across the various Garda divisions are a matter for the Commissioner in the light of identified operational demands. As Minister, I have no direct role in that matter.

I have requested the relevant information from the Commissioner and I will write to the Deputy directly when I receive it.

Garda Data

Questions (148)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

148. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí on maternity leave and sick leave for longer than six weeks in each Garda division in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25746/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for carrying on and managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána including personnel matters.

I am informed by the Commissioner that the number of members of An Garda Síochána who were absent from duty due to illness for a period greater than six weeks was 282 as of 14 June 2019. I am further informed that the number of members of An Garda Síochána who were absent from duty due to maternity leave and unpaid maternity leave was 93 and 47 respectively as of 14 June 2019.

As the figures at Divisional level are of a magnitude which could potentially lead to the identification of individual Gardaí, I have not provided these figures.

Garda Deployment

Questions (149)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

149. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda juvenile liaison officers in each Garda district in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25748/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of personnel and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution under review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities to ensure optimum use is made of the resources.

I am advised by the Commissioner that Garda Juvenile Liaison Officers (JLOs) are specially trained to fulfil a key role in implementing the Garda Diversion Programme. Their role includes the administration of formal and informal cautions as well as appropriate supervision of children who have been admitted to the Diversion Programme, as provided in Part 4 of the Children Act 2001.

I am informed by the Commissioner that the information requested by the Deputy is not readily available in the format requested, as JLOs are assigned on a Garda Divisional basis. Accordingly, for the Deputy's information I have set out in the attached table, as supplied by the Commissioner, the figures by Division in each of the years 2008 to 30 April 2019, the latest date for which figures are currently available.

Juvenile Liaison Officers

Garda Youth Diversion Projects

Questions (150)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

150. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the Garda youth diversion programmes in place in each county 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. [25749/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The attached table details the Garda Youth Diversion projects in each county for the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019.

At present, there are 106 GYDPs operating around the State, catering for approximately 4,000 young people every year. In general, the location of projects is linked to local needs and the levels of youth crime. The existing network of GYDPs has developed organically over three decades, and I am committed to ensuring that it continues to develop as resources become available so that every young person has access to these very valuable services, and that they are delivered to the highest standard possible.

The continued support and development of these services is of high importance to my Department. Recently the Action Research Project (ARP) was launched by my Department in partnership with the University of Limerick.

The ARP, supported by the Research Evidence into Policy Programmes and Practice project (REPPP) in the University of Limerick, involves 15 selected Garda Youth Diversion Projects. The intention is to move beyond the testimonial and anecdotal evidence we have that projects work well and provide a good service, to capture precisely what specific interventions work best, document this evidence, and roll out learning across all the projects over a period of years. The actions will include:

- examination of what makes for a successful relationship between a young participant and a Youth Justice Worker (success being understood as facilitation of real change in the young person’s attitudes and life that would not otherwise happen);

- articulating the contribution that a GYDP makes in tackling crime in a community; and

- assessment of the contribution that ‘up-stream’ agencies and interventions can make to crime reduction and making appropriate recommendations.

Furthermore, I am chairing an expert Steering Group to guide the development of a new Youth Justice Strategy. One of the areas the group is examining is diversion from the Justice System. This will include looking at how we can enhance the Garda Youth Diversion Programme and the GYDPs which act to support it.

All of this work will help to further develop and enhance, over time and as resources allow, the approach to the location of new projects, with the objective of ensuring that the GYDP service is available in all areas of the State.

GARDA DIVISION

PROJECT

GARDA DISTRICT

CBO

Year opened if after 2014

Year Closed

Compass

Kilkenny

Ossory Youth (YWI)

CARLOW/KILKENNY

Hub

Carlow

Carlow Regional Youth Service (YWI)

Cavan 365

Cavan

Foróige

CAVAN/MONAGHAN

MNYP

Monaghan

Foróige

Ennis Youth

Ennis

Clare Youth Service (YWI)

CLARE

Kilrush

Kilrush

Clare Youth Service (YWI)

BAP

Gurranabraher

Foróige

Doughlas West

Togher

Foróige

FAYRE

Mayfield/Gurranabraher

Foróige

GAP

Mayfield

Foróige

HERON

Togher

Foróige

Knocknaheeney/Hollyhill

Gurranabraher

Foróige

MAY

Anglesea St

Foróige

CORK CITY

TACT

Togher

Foróige

Feabhas

Cobh

Cloyne Diocesan Youth Service (YWI)

Mallow

Mallow

Cloyne Diocesan Youth Service (YWI)

CORK NORTH

Youghal

Midleton

Foróige

CORK WEST

Bandon

Bandon

Foróige

Castle

Dún Laoghaire

Crosscare

LAB

Dún Laoghaire

Crosscare

DMR EAST

SAY

Blackrock

Crosscare

North Fingal (Balbriggan)

Balbrigan

Foróige

2016

BYB

Ballymun

Crosscare

Donnycarney

Santry

Donnycarney Youth

2016

Jets

Coolock

Crosscare

Keep

Coolock

Kilmore West Ltd.

North Bay

Balbrigan

Extern Ireland

2016

DMR NORTH

Woodale

Coolock

Sphere 17

Dime

Fitzgibbon St

Foróige

2016

HAY

Fitzgibbon St

Foróige

Most

Fitzgibbon St

Bradóg Youth Service

Nickol

Bridewell

Belvedere Youth Service

DMR NORTH CENTRAL

Swan

Store Street

Swan Youth Service

APT

Tallaght

Foróige

Boost

Tallaght

Foróige

Bru

Crumlin

BRU Ltd

Clay

Crumlin

CLAY Ltd

Jay

Tallaght

Foróige

Key 1 & 2

Tallaght

Foróige

DMR SOUTH

Yew

Tallaght

Foróige

Dán

Kevin St

Foróige

KRIB

Kevin St

Foróige

2016

DMR SOUTH CENTRAL

Liberties Club

Kevin St

SICCDA

ABLE

Clondalkin

Foróige

Cabra Step up

Blanchardstown/Fitzgibbon St

Cabra for Youth

Cody

Clondalkin

Cherry Orchard Equine Centre

Effort

Blanchardstown

Crosscare

Fan

Blanchardstown

Crosscare

Graft

Lucan

Crosscare

ORB

Blanchardstown

Foróige

Swift

Clondalkin

Crosscare

Ucan

Lucan

Crosscare

Valley

Lucan

Crosscare

WEB

Blanchardstown

Foróige

DMR WEST

BEAT

Blanchardstown

Foróige

2019

An Fál Carrach

Milford

Foróige

DONEGAL

Leaf

Letterkenny

Foróige

Bán

Mill St

Foróige

Junction

Ballinasloe

Youth Work Ireland Galway (YWI)

Meas

Mill St

Foróige

GALWAY

Treo Nua

Tuam

Youth Work Ireland Galway (YWI)

KERRY

KDYS

Killarney

Kerry Diocesan YS (YWI)

Athy

Kildare

Extern Ireland

Bridge

Leixlip

Kildare Youth Service (YWI)

Curragh Newbridge

Kildare

Kildare Youth Service (YWI)

KILDARE

Naas

Naas

Extern Ireland

Acorn

Tullamore

Midlands Regional Youth Service (YWI)

Block

Port Laoise

Foróige

Fusion

Tullamore

Midlands Regional Youth Service (YWI)

Port

Port Laoise

Foróige

LAOIS/OFFALY

SUB

Birr

Foróige

Ballynanty

Henry St

Limerick Youth Service (YWI)

CCYDG

Henry St

Moyross Youth Development Company

Irishtown

Henry St

Limerick Youth Service (YWI)

King's Island

Henry St

Limerick Youth Service (YWI)

Rathkeale

Newcastlewest

Foróige

Southside Youth Initiative

Henry St

Extern Ireland

LIMERICK

West Limerick

Newcastlewest

Foróige

Boyne

Drogheda

Youth Work Ireland Louth (YWI)

CABLE

Drogheda

Foróige

High Voltage

Dundalk

Cox's Demesne

LOUTH

TEAM

Dundalk

Muirhevnamor Community YS

CYAP

Castlebar

North Connaught Community YS (YWI)

MAYO

YAB

Ballinasloe

North Connaught Community YS (YWI)

NYPD (+ NYPD Extension)

Navan (Ext Ashbourne)

Foróige

MEATH

SMART

Trim

Crann Support Group Ltd

LEAP

Longford

Foróige

ROSCOMMON/LONGFORD

RAD

Roscommon

Foróige

SLIGO/LEITRIM

YAPS

Sligo

North Connaught Community YS (YWI)

CYD

Clonmel

Waterford & South Tipperary CYS (YWI)

Edge

Clonmel

Waterford & South Tipperary CYS (YWI)

Nenagh

Nenagh

Foróige

Ray

Templemore

NTLP

TIPPERARY

Tar

Tipperary

Tipperary Regional Youth Service (YWI)

Ball

Waterford

Waterford & South Tipperary CYS (YWI)

Day

Dungarvan

Waterford & South Tipperary CYS (YWI)

Pact

Waterford

Waterford & South Tipperary CYS (YWI)

Sway

Waterford

Waterford & South Tipperary CYS (YWI)

WATERFORD

Tyre

Tramore

Waterford & South Tipperary CYS (YWI)

ALF

Athlone

Midlands Regional Youth Service (YWI)

WESTMEATH

EYE

Mullingar

Midlands Regional Youth Service (YWI)

SAFE

Wexford

FAB CDP

Slaney

Enniscorty

Ferns Diocesan Youth Service (YWI)

WEXFORD

Treóin

New Ross

Youth New Ross

New Directions

Bray

Crosscare

WICKLOW

Way

Wicklow

Foróige

Crime Data

Questions (151)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

151. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of youth crimes committed in each Garda district in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the steps being taken to address the number of youth crimes being committed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25750/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The statistics sought by the Deputy are contained in the annual reports of the Committee set up under section 44 of the Children Act 2001 to monitor the effectiveness of the Garda Diversion Programme. These reports are laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas and available to members in the Library. They are also published online at http://iyjs.ie/en/iyjs/pages/publications. All youth crime cases are required to be sent to the Garda Diversion Office for consideration and the statistics for each year, broken down by Garda District, are set out in the annual report for that year. Figures for 2018 are not available yet, but will be available when the 2018 report is published later this year. The 2019 statistics and report will be available in the course of 2020.

The Deputy will appreciate that crime prevention and investigation, including in relation to the involvement of children in crime, are operational matters for An Garda Síochána in the first instance. My Department is committed to supporting them in this regard. That being said, I am committed to tackling youth crime and my department is taking a number of different steps to address the number of youth offences being committed.

An important initiative in that regard is the " Greentown" project, a research project led by the REPPP Project (Research Evidence into Policy, Programmes and Practice) at the School of Law in the University of Limerick (UL). The REPPP project is a strategic research partnership with UL which is supported by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and also by my own Department. Its specific focus is on examining the recruitment by criminal networks of children in Ireland and to make recommendations for interventions to disrupt this.

In the absence of international models of intervention that could be readily deployed, the original Greentown report (December 2016) recommended the design of a programme to include interventions with children and their families to help them withstand the influence of criminal networks. This new "Greentown Programme" has been designed with the input of leading international expertise on crime and criminal networks, together with Irish scientific, policy and practice expertise in child protection and welfare, drugs and community development.

I understand that it is intended to commence a trial of the Greentown Programme approach, on a pilot basis, during 2019.

More generally, I am currently developing a new Youth Justice Strategy with the assistance of an interdepartmental and interagency steering group. The new Strategy will address the full range of issues relevant to youth justice, including how best to tackle the serious issues raised in the Deputy's Question.

A key issue here is how to ensure an integrated approach across all agencies, but in particular the relevant child welfare programmes, Garda Youth Diversion Projects and schools, to ensure a sustained and holistic response and that integrated services are provided to respond to the situation of children at risk, tailored to the individual child in the context of the specific family and the specific community and the issues they face. The new Youth Justice Strategy will be published in draft form for a further round of public consultation before the end of this year and will be finalised early in 2020.

My Department also provides funding through the Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS) to support the operation of 106 Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs). These projects are community based multi-agency crime prevention initiatives which primarily seek to divert young people who have become involved in crime/anti-social behaviour.

For 2019, IYJS has a renewed emphasis on preventative work by GYDPs, looking at the child in the context of the specific family and the specific community. This includes family support work and working with children aged 8 to 11. The Department also supports pilot projects, to help develop better approaches in areas such as engagement with hard-to-reach or more challenging children, as well as mentoring initiatives.

Garda Youth Diversion Projects

Questions (152)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

152. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps which have been taken following the issues outlined in January 2019 in the Garda interim report of the Commissioner on youth crime cases from 2010 to 2017; the steps taken to address the shortcomings highlighted in the Garda youth diversion programme in the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25751/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner has given detailed information in relation to this matter when it was examined publicly by the Policing Authority and by the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality.

As I have previously confirmed, the publication of information in relation to the more detailed aspects of the Garda Review will be a matter for the Commissioner and the Policing Authority. My Department will continue to keep in close touch with the Commissioner and the Policing Authority as matters develop.

The Deputy will appreciate due to the sensitivity of some aspects of the report it may take time to implement the steps set out in the report.

The Garda Authorities have also advised that any decision relating to the commencement of disciplinary proceedings is a matter for the relevant Local Divisional Officer. I am informed that all relevant matters have been referred to the respective Divisional Officers to consider, in accordance with the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007.

In addition, the Policing Authority continues to follow up with an ongoing examination of these specific youth justice-related matters to monitor the effectiveness of the remedial actions which the Commissioner has set in train.

Legislative Reviews

Questions (153)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

153. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the review of the Defamation Act 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25752/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As outlined in my responses to Parliamentary Questions number 234 of the 24th May and number 167 of the 29th of May, my Department is currently finalising the statutory review of the Defamation Act 2009. I expect a draft report with options for reform to be submitted to me in the coming weeks, with a view to my bringing proposals for legislative change to Government in the autumn.

The Review is already addressing all the issues raised in submissions made to it, including those that featured in a recent campaign by the print media. These include:

- whether changes should be made to the respective roles of the judge and the jury in High Court defamation cases, in particular in relation to the question of damages; and- whether any change should be made to the level or type of damages which may be awarded in defamation cases, or to the factors to be taken into account in making that determination.

It is important that the Defamation Act operates in practice to ensure that where damages are awarded for defamation, they are fair and proportionate. The objective set for the defamation review was to ensure that our defamation law strikes the right balance between protecting an individual’s good name and privacy, and protecting the right to freedom of expression, taking account of the vital role in our democracy played by a free and independent press.

Legislative Process

Questions (154)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

154. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the progress of the Parole Bill 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25783/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, the Government agreed in April 2017 to progress the objective of establishing an independent Parole Board on a statutory footing by focusing on the Deputy's Private Member's Bill, and to bring forward appropriate amendments to the Bill at Report Stage.

As well as providing for the establishment of the new Parole Board, the Bill sets out the criteria to be considered in deciding on the release of prisoners and how the decision to release should be made.

Officials in my Department have been preparing detailed amendments in conjunction with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to the Government, and in consultation with the Deputy. It is my intention to seek Government approval for these amendments very shortly, with a view to the Bill being brought to this House again for debate before the summer recess.

Inspector of Prisons Reports

Questions (155)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

155. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the publication of a report on covert surveillance in prisons. [25784/19]

View answer

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.

Firearms Certificates

Questions (156)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

156. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the measures in place to monitor the modification of licensed firearms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25785/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I wish to advise the Deputy that there are stringent controls under Irish legislation on the issue of firearm certificates by An Garda Síochána and the conditions under which firearms can be held.

An Garda Síochána advise that each application for a firearms certificate is considered on its merits by the issuing officer in An Garda Síochána in accordance with the relevant legislation. I am also advised by An Garda Síochána that in order to record the modification of a firearm, such as a spare barrel, change of calibre, addition of a silencer etc. the firearm holder must make a formal application to the relevant issuing officer in An Garda Síochána. The Superintendent (or Chief Superintendent as the case may be) may then grant the modification. An Garda Síochána further advise that the PULSE system (i.e. An Garda Síochána's IT system) will be updated to reflect any modification and a new firearm certificate will issue to the firearm holder.

All individuals authorised to possess, use or carry any firearm under certificate under the Firearms Acts 1925 to 2009 must at all times act in a responsible manner and fully comply with any conditions attached to the grant of such firearm certificate. It is incumbent on the holder of a firearm certificate to inform his or her local Superintendent (or Chief Superintendent, as the case may be) of any changes in the circumstances surrounding the grant of a firearm certificate or authorisation during the lifetime of the certificate or authorisation. Such changes include any modification of the firearm.

Crime Data

Questions (157)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

157. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position with regard to the publication of crime statistics previously provided through the CSO but which are no longer published due to concerns regarding the quality of the data; the actions he has taken to mitigate the information gap which exists in the absence of this information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25786/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As previously outlined to the Deputy, the CSO's official crime figures remain “Under Reservation”, however, it is clear that progress is being made by An Garda Síochána and the CSO in improving the quality of the crime statistics.

In December 2018, the CSO published a third review of the quality of recorded crime statistics, based on data recorded on the PULSE database system for crimes reported to Gardaí in 2017. The review concluded, inter-alia , that clear improvements had been made in the manner in which criminal incidents were being recorded on the PULSE system.

While this is encouraging, it is also clear that there is more work to be done in this area and my Department, in conjunction with the Policing Authority, will continue to monitor the progress of An Garda Síochána in ensuring that the national crime statistics are returned to the higher standard required by the CSO.

I am advised that the latest CSO crime statistics, covering the first quarter of 2019, will be released early next week and I look forward to reviewing these statistics when they are available.