DEIS Eligibility

Questions (292)

Mary Butler

Question:

292. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Education and Skills the criteria that determines whether a school can receive DEIS band status; if location is one of the main criteria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28187/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The location of a schools does not determine whether a school receives DEIS status. However, given educational disadvantage can manifest differently in urban and rural settings, urban DEIS schools receive more supports than rural DEIS schools. The list of supports is available at www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/DEIS-Plan-2017.pdf.

In relation to the criteria for determining whether a school should be included in the DEIS programme, when DEIS was first introduced in 2006, the identification of schools for inclusion was based on two different processes at primary and post primary. At primary level, there was a survey of school principals using the following socio-economic variables: %unemployment; %local authority accommodation; %lone parenthood; %travellers; %large families (more than 5 children); %pupils eligible for free books. At post primary level a combination of data from the Departments pupil database including school level retention rates together with exam achievement data and exam fee waiver data, which indicated that students had medical cards, was used.

Following a review of DEIS in 2016 and an extensive consultation process, a new identification process was developed for assessing schools levels of concentrated disadvantage. The key data sources used in the new DEIS identification process are the DES Primary Online Database (POD) and Post-Primary Online (PPOD) Databases, and CSO data from the National Census of Population as represented in the Haase Pratschke Deprivation Index (HP Index). The HP Index combines three underlying dimensions of affluence/disadvantage, identified as Demographic Profile, Social Class Composition and Labour Market Situation, to achieve a balanced measure of relative affluence and deprivation, which evenly applies across the urban-rural continuum. Variables used in the compilation of the HP Index include those related to demographic growth, dependency ratios, single parent rates, education levels, overcrowding, social class, occupation and unemployment rates. This data is combined with pupil data, anonymised and aggregated to small area, to provide information on the relative level of concentrated disadvantage present in the pupil cohort of individual schools. The calculation of the level of disadvantage in each school using the HP index is therefore based on the socio-economic background of their pupil cohort using centrally held data and is not based on the location of the school but on the geographical CSO Small Areas where the pupil cohort resides.

A detailed document explaining the methodology used in the Identification process under DEIS plan 2017 is available on my Department’s website at www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/DEIS-Delivering-Equality-of-Opportunity-in-Schools-/DEIS-Identification-Process.pdf.

Following an initial application of this new methodology, 79 new schools were brought into the DEIS programme in 2017 with a further 30 being upgraded from Band 2 to Band 1 status. These schools were assessed as having the highest levels of concentrated disadvantage.

My Department is currently undertaking data analysis in the context of resource allocation to match identified need, including the examination of variables known to be strong predictors of educational disadvantage. All schools at both Primary and Post Primary are being assessed using the new identification model.

This analysis is being carried out by members of the DEIS Technical Group which contains representatives of the Department’s Statistics and Social Inclusion Units, the Inspectorate and the Educational Research Centre. Work is ongoing by this group, including consultation with relevant experts. I am confident that the culmination of this analysis will facilitate the ultimate aim of matching resources to identified need and will allow us to target extra resources at those schools most in need.

Until this analysis is complete, it is not intended to extend the DEIS programme to any further schools.

DEIS Eligibility

Questions (293)

Mary Butler

Question:

293. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the next round of DEIS bands will be allocated to national schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28188/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department is currently undertaking data analysis in the context of resource allocation to match identified need, including the examination of variables known to be strong predictors of educational disadvantage. All schools at both Primary and Post Primary are being assessed using the new identification model.

This analysis is being carried out by members of the DEIS Technical Group which contains representatives of the Department’s Statistics and Social Inclusion Units, the Inspectorate and the Educational Research Centre. Work is ongoing by this group, including consultation with relevant experts. I am confident that the culmination of this analysis will facilitate the ultimate aim of matching resources to identified need and will allow us to target extra resources at those schools most in need.

Until this analysis is complete, it is not intended to extend the DEIS programme to any further schools.

The DEIS advisory group (which includes school management bodies and unions) was briefed on progress on 28th May by officials from my Department and it is intended to schedule a further meeting of the DEIS advisory group for October this year.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Questions (294)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

294. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if special needs assistants and other workers in the primary and second-level education system will be provided with the same entitlement to paid annual leave that is provided to teachers to allow them to serve on public bodies such as local authorities; the reason this right is denied to special needs assistants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28189/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Special Needs Assistants(SNAs) are recruited specifically to assist in the care of pupils with disabilities who have additional and significant care needs in an educational context. They may be appointed to a special school or a mainstream school to assist school authorities in making suitable provision for a pupil or pupils with special care needs. The first priority is that the care needs of the pupils are met on an ongoing basis during the school year.

In accordance with the Education Act, the terms and conditions of employment of SNAs employed in approved posts funded by moneys provided by the Oireachtas are determined by the Minister for Education and Skills, with the concurrence of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

The position regarding annual leave entitlements for SNAs is set out in various circulars which have issued from my Department including Circular Letters 0017/2013; 0019/2013; 0027/2013; 0054/2015 and 0058/2016.

Circular Letter 0032/2010 sets out the brief absences provisions which may be availed of by SNAs to cater for such items as service on public bodies.

Home Tuition Scheme Funding

Questions (295)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

295. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount spent on home tuition grants in 2016, 2017 and 2018 in respect of children with special needs. [28192/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available. My Department will reply directly to the Deputy as soon as the information has been compiled.

School Accommodation Provision

Questions (296)

Robert Troy

Question:

296. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the assistance he is providing to a school (details supplied) in obtaining a new premises that can accommodate enrolment numbers for September 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28256/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department does not have any remit for the provision of accommodation for the school referred to by the Deputy. However, it is open to the school in question to explore with local schools in the area the possibility of using their buildings outside of school hours.

As the Deputy may be aware my Department has a general policy of encouraging the use of school facilities by community and other groups where this is possible and following consultation with the relevant school authorities, in October 2017 published Guidelines on the use of School Buildings outside of School Hours These guidelines can be viewed on my Department's website at this link: https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/guidelines-on-the-use-of-school-buildings-outside-of-school-hours.pdf

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance for schools in relation to the use of school buildings outside of school hours and for those schools who are considering putting such arrangements in place.

The management of school premises at local level is a matter for the relevant school authorities. Any decision to make school premises available ultimately lies with the relevant Trustees/Property owners following a recommendation from the school authorities. However, as schools are often the centre of sustainable communities there can be mutual benefits in building links with the local community. It is recognised that schools play an important role in their wider communities and many schools make their facilities available outside of school hours for a variety of different uses and users.

Residency Permits

Questions (297)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

297. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if updated stamp 4 or the extension of residency status will be facilitated in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27458/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person referred to by the Deputy held permission to remain in the State on the basis of marriage to an Irish national and that permission expired on 28 June, 2019.

I understand the person must contact INIS to request further permission to reside. I also understand that it remains open to the person concerned to write to the Spouse of Irish National Unit, Residence Division, Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service, PO Box 12695, Dublin 2 or by email at INISsinu@justice.ie and provide information and documentary evidence of any change in personal circumstances.

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.

Immigration Status

Questions (298)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

298. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if consideration has been given to offering long-term residency with conditions in the case of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27460/19]

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), the persons concerned have submitted written representations.

These representations, together with all other information 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.

Immigration Status

Questions (299)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

299. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of an application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27490/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned has never been the subject of a Deportation Order in this State. However, in light of the fact that he had no valid basis to remain in the State, the person concerned was served with a proposal to deport notification by letter dated 28th March, 2018, pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). The person concerned has submitted written representations in response to that notification.

These written 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. I am advised that such a decision will be made 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.

Garda Vetting Applications

Questions (300)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

300. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of an application for Garda vetting by a person (details supplied). [27497/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, I have contacted his office to request additional information in respect of the person who is the subject of his question in order to be in a position to make enquiries with the Garda Authorities. When the information has been provided, I will make the necessary enquiries regarding this vetting application and revert directly to the Deputy when they have been completed.

Prisoner Releases

Questions (301)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

301. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied); and if safeguards will be put in place. [27507/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Deputy's question concerns the parole process as it might apply to a particular prisoner serving a life sentence for murder.

The Deputy will appreciate that while I cannot comment on individual cases, I can say that public safety is of paramount concern when I make decisions on the sentence management of a prisoner following recommendations made by the Parole Board. My priority is that other families would not have to suffer the consequences of another serious crime.

I am aware of how harmful the consequences of crime can be for victims. I can assure the Deputy that each case is considered on its individual merits and that I and the Parole Board take into account the full range of circumstances including the nature and gravity of the offence, the potential threat to public safety, the risk of re-offending and the conduct of the prisoner.

Additionally, while it is essential that the sensitivities and concerns of victims of crime should be carefully considered, other factors, such as the rehabilitation of offenders and their safe reintegration into the community, must also be considered.

I am engaged in supporting the passage through the Houses of a private members Bill, currently before the Dáil, which will create a new statutory Parole Board. This Bill provides a valuable opportunity to discuss and address many important issues relating to the parole process.

Asylum Applications

Questions (302)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

302. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 124 of 20 June 2019, if the response reports an up-to-date appraisal of the case of the person (details supplied) in view of previous developments in the case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27508/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, if an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications and the applicant or his legal representative should contact either the International Protection Office (IPO) or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly, as appropriate.

The IPO may be contacted either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. The International Protection Appeals Tribunal may be contacted either by email to info@protectionappeals.ie, by telephone at 01-4748400 (or Lo-Call 1890 201 458), or in writing to Corporate Services Division, The International Protection Appeals Tribunal, 6-7 Hanover Street East, Dublin D02 W320.

Following the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 on 31 December 2016, new arrangements for the investigation and determination of applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and cases involving permission to remain in the State have been introduced. Such applications are now processed, as part of a single application procedure, by the International Protection Office (IPO) which has replaced the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) from that date. The staff of that Office (the Chief International Protection Officer and International Protection Officers) are independent in the performance of their protection functions.

For your information, on 27 February 2017, the Chief International Protection Officer, following consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), published a statement on the Prioritisation of Applications under the International Protection Act 2015 which is available on the website of the International Protection Office (www.ipo.gov.ie).

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.

Deportation Orders Re-examination

Questions (303)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

303. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a deportation order will be revoked in the case of a person (details supplied) on the basis of the substantial contribution they have made to the State over the past sixteen years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27510/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order issued on 12 June 2019. This Order requires the person concerned to remove themselves from the State and remain outside the State. The enforcement of Deportation Orders are a matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

As previously advised it is open to the person concerned to submit representations requesting that the Deportation Order be revoked, pursuant to Section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). However, I wish to make clear that such a request would require substantial grounds to be successful. To date no such representations have been received.

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.

Road Traffic Offences Data

Questions (304, 306)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

304. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Limerick city in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27513/19]

View answer

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

306. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons arrested for driving under the influence of drugs in Limerick city in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27515/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 304 and 306 together.

I have requested a report from An Garda Síochána in relation to the statistics sought by the Deputy. I will contact the Deputy directly on receipt of this information.

Road Traffic Offences Data

Question No. 306 answered with Question No. 304.

Questions (305)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

305. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in Limerick city in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27514/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, which include the provision of information on the courts system.

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has provided the following information and Report.

This report relates to the District Court Area of Limerick which includes the venues in Limerick city and Kilmallock. As always, this report does not include any prosecutions which the gardaí may have initiated using free text rather than the prescribed code Report on number of persons convicted of drink driving offences for 2014 – 2018 in Limerick Court Area

Year

No. of Persons convicted of drink driving in Limerick Court Area

Jan - Dec 2014

115

Jan - Dec 2015

90

Jan - Dec 2016

116

Jan - Dec 2017

164

Jan - Dec 2018

144

Question No. 306 answered with Question No. 304.

Road Traffic Offences Data

Questions (307)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

307. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons convicted of driving under the influence of drugs in Limerick city in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27516/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, which include the provision of information on the courts system.

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has stated that it has received a code for the offence from An Garda Síochána which will enable it to compile the relevant information with effect from 26 June 2019. Information in respect of the periods referred to by the Deputy is not to hand.

Crime Data

Questions (308)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

308. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons arrested for burglary in Limerick city in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27517/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the following table shows the number of persons arrested for burglary (or related offences) within Roxboro Road and Henry Street Districts between 2014 and 2018.

I understand that while Limerick City has no specific Garda boundary, it is locally considered to consist of both Roxboro Road and Henry Street District.

I hope this information is of assistance.

Nr. of persons arrested for Burglary (or related offences) within the Limerick City area (Roxboro Road District and Henry Street District) between 2014 and 2018.

ICCS Crime Type

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Grand Total

Aggravated Burglary

9

7

8

11

10

45

Burglary

145

157

136

135

119

692

Possession of an article (Burglary or Theft)

36

27

10

16

7

96

Grand Total

190

191

154

162

136

833

Crime Data

Questions (309)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

309. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons convicted of burglary in Limerick city in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27518/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, which include the provision of information on the courts system.

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has provided a report on number of persons convicted of burglary offences for 2014 – 2018 in Limerick Court Area. The Courts Service has advised that this report relates to the District Court Area of Limerick, which includes the venues in Limerick city and Kilmallock.

The Courts Service has further advised that data can only be provided where standard offence codes are used by prosecutors on the Criminal Case Tracking System (CCTS).

Report on number of persons convicted of burglary offences for 2014 - 2018 in Limerick Court Area

Year

Persons convicted of burglary offences in Limerick Court Area

2014

88

2015

70

2016

57

2017

46

2018

59

Garda Transport Data

Questions (310)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

310. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of squad cars and motorcycles in County Tipperary as of 2 July 2019 in comparison to 2017 and 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27554/19]

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 cars and motorcycles assigned to the Tipperary Division in 2017 and 2018 (end of year figures in both cases) and up to 27 June 2019.

Tipperary Division

Cars

Motorcycles

2019 (as of 27 June)

45

2

2018

50

2

2017

51

2

Garda Strength

Questions (311)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

311. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of new recruits stationed at Roscrea Garda station in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27555/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware the manner in which the resources of An Garda Síochána are deployed, including the allocation of newly attested Gardaí, is solely a matter for the Garda Commissioner and his management team and I, as Minister, have no direct role in this regard. I am assured by the Commissioner that the needs of all Garda Divisions are fully considered when determining the allocation of resources.

Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,800 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, of whom 57 were assigned to the Tipperary  Division. This and on-going recruitment will clearly provide significant additional policing hours throughout the country, both in terms of the increase in new Gardaí and the redeployment of Gardaí to frontline policing duties due to civilianisation of their current roles. I believe that the injection of this large number of experienced officers into the field, along with the new recruits, will be really beneficial in terms of protecting communities. This and on-going recruitment will clearly provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions including the Tipperary Division.

In relation to the allocation of newly attested Gardaí it is important to keep in mind that newly attested Gardaí have a further 16 months of practical and class-room based training to complete in order to receive their BA in Applied Policing. To ensure that they are properly supported and supervised and have opportunities to gain the breadth of policing experience required, the Commissioner's policy is to allocate them to specially designated training stations which have the required training and development structures and resources in place, including trained Garda tutors and access to a permanently appointed supervisory Sergeant who is thoroughly familiar with their responsibilities under the training programme.

The number of newly attested Gardaí allocated to the Tipperary Division since the recommencement of recruitment to date is outlined below. Roscrea Garda Station is not a training station, therefore no new recruits are sent there.

Tipperary

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Total

CLONMEL

0

4

11

4

0

19

NENAGH

0

5

5

8

0

18

THURLES

5

5

5

1

4

20

Garda Station Refurbishment

Questions (312)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

312. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to provide a motorcycle shed, locker room and changing facilities for female staff at Nenagh Garda station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27556/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources made available to An Garda Síochána. This includes responsibility for the identification of requirements in relation to the Garda accommodation and close cooperation with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of the Garda estate.

I have asked the Garda Commissioner for the information requested and I will write directly to the Deputy when I receive it.

International Protection

Questions (313)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

313. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons since 1 July 2018 found to have special reception needs according to section 8 of SI No. 230 of 2018 - European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27559/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The EU Directive 2013/333/EU was transposed in to Irish Law in June 2018 as the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018, which provides for an assessment in relation to special reception needs within 30 days of presentation or application. Once assessed as having special reception needs, there are a number of ways in which those needs are responded to. For example, Tusla provides the required supports to meet the needs of unaccompanied minors once identified as such.

Vulnerable persons include minors, unaccompanied minors, disabled people, elderly people, pregnant women, single parents, victims of human trafficking, persons with serious illnesses, persons with mental disorders and persons who have been subjected to torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence, such as victims of female genital mutilation.

The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) is not privy to all information held by other agencies or Departments in relation to applicants of international protection. The individual professionals communicate with RIA (within the bounds of patient confidentiality) if a particular need is identified that will affect the person’s accommodation requirements. As a result, it is not possible to provide data on the number of persons found to have special reception needs.

An initial interview is conducted with all applicants when they first attend the International Protection Office in Dublin. If the applicant indicates at that point that he or she requires accommodation, he or she will then be assessed for any specific accommodation needs. The information provided is taken into account when assigning accommodation to the particular individual.

As detailed in the Regulations, the Minister for Health and the HSE has a lead responsibility in relation to health including mental health assessments. Applicants are invited for an initial health assessment on a voluntary basis. Every effort is made to ensure that residents' specific needs are met. Where more intensive care needs are required, such cases are referred to the HSE.

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 those who have just arrived in the State. The team comprises of GPs, a Medical Officer, a Clinical Nurse Specialist and two nurses, a primary care social worker, two primary care psychologists and clerical/administration support. This team offers a range of individual services and screening for medical and psychosocial needs with onward referral as necessary.

In addition, arrangements are in place with Safetynet, who carry out health screening in various parts of the country on behalf of the HSE, to offer this screening service to those who do not, for whatever reason, avail of it in Dublin. Safetynet staff liaise with RIA if the person is deemed vulnerable on medical or related grounds. This can include a request that particular steps be taken as regards that person’s accommodation.

There is on-going engagement between RIA and the HSE in relation to how best to meet the health and related needs of protection applicants. The HSE National Office for Social Inclusion has commissioned research to explore the concept of vulnerability with a view to further improving on the processes which are already in place.

It is important to emphasise that all sectors within the Direct Protection system share a role in identifying and supporting applicants who present as vulnerable. This is particularly the case where vulnerabilities may become evident beyond the initial stage of the protection process.

The Department continues to work hard to improve services to persons claiming international protection and seek our assistance, and to meet the requirements of the 2018 regulations, despite significant pressures with regard to the provision of accommodation.

International Protection

Questions (314)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

314. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of appeals received by the International Protection Appeals Tribunal since 1 July 2018 further to section 21 of SI No. 230 of 2018 - European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018; the number that have affirmed the decision of the review officer; the number that have set aside the decision of the review officer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27560/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

On 30th June, 2018 I signed the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 to transpose the Directive into our national law. Under Regulation 21(1) a recipient who is dissatisfied with a decision of a review officer under Regulation 20, may subject to Regulation 22, within 10 working days of the date of the notice of the decision, appeal, in fact and law, against that decision to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal.

I can inform the Deputy that since 1st July 2018, 35 appeals were received by the International Protection Appeals Tribunal pursuant to Regulation 21 of the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 of which 3 appeal requests were rejected. A total of 22 have affirmed the decision of the review officer and 4 have set aside the decision of the review officer. The remaining small number of cases are ongoing with the majority of these on hold due to a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union.