Education and Training Boards Funding

Questions (271)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

271. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Education and Skills when he will extend the Irish and bilingual grant as per the grants payable to non-fee-paying voluntary secondary schools, in the amount of €103 per student, to the ETB sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30043/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The purpose of the Irish and Bilingual Grant is to provide funding to schools for instruction through the Irish Language. 

The funding arrangements made by the Department for voluntary secondary, comprehensive & community and ETB schools and colleges reflect the different management and ownership arrangements that apply to schools at second level.

Voluntary secondary schools, in the Free Education scheme, which are privately owned and managed, are funded by way of per capita grants. These schools receive a grant in lieu of fees that had been levied prior to 1967. An additional per capita grant is paid to secondary schools in the voluntary sector in which instruction is through the medium of Irish in full or in part. The grant is not paid in either the Community & Comprehensive or the ETB sectors.

Financial allocations to the ETB sector are made on a budget basis in respect of head office and other costs, including those relating to schools. ETBs are given a high level of autonomy in the management and appropriation of their budgets and each ETB is allowed to distribute its allocations in line with its priorities and perceptions of need. Any funding issues for an individual school have to be managed from within the relevant ETB's budget.  The Department does not earmark funding allocations for individual schools in the ETB sector.

The Department's Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022 aims to ensure the availability of a high quality and relevant Irish-medium educational experience for all young people living in Gaeltacht areas and in this way to support the use of Irish as the main language of families and of Gaeltacht communities. Under the terms of the Policy, additional teaching and/or other resources, including dedicated continuing professional development (CPD), will be made available to schools whose applications to participate in the Gaeltacht Schools' recognition process are approved.  It is envisaged that the allocation of resources will be on a staged incremental basis over a five-year period and will take account of the resources already allocated to each newly recognised Gaeltacht school in accordance with the language criteria set out in the Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022.

Education and Training Boards Administration

Questions (272)

Brendan Smith

Question:

272. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills the process of nominating members apart from local authority nominees to education and training boards; if membership of such boards varies; if so, the composition of the Cavan and Monaghan ETB, the Louth and Meath ETB, and the Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30046/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Section 30 of the Education and Training Board Act 2013 sets out the arrangements for the composition of each board of Education and Training Board, the composition of which is as follows:

- 12 members selected by the relevant local authority;

- 2 members elected by ETB staff;

- 2 members appointed by the ETB from nominees of National Parents Council(s);

- 5 members appointed by the ETB from bodies specified by the Minister which have a special interest in, or knowledge of education.

On 2nd July last, I specified a range of bodies as having the right to nominate persons for appointment to Education and Training Boards.

All boards must be constituted in accordance with Section 30 of the Education and Training Board Act 2013.

Section 31 of the Education and Training Boards Act 2013 deals with the appointment and term of office of members of education and training boards.

The Timetable around when meetings of the new ETB boards should be held post-election is as follows:

- Within 6 weeks of the Local Authority elections, each Local Authority must elect its nomination to each ETB.  Following the 2019 local elections, this deadline fell on 4th July 2019; 

- The date of each ETBs first meeting after the local elections shall be at least 2 months and not more than 3 months after the date of the local elections concerned (i.e. between the 24th July 2019 & 24th August 2019). This meeting is known as the “post-election meeting”;

- At the “post-election meeting”, the only members present should be the Local Authority (LA) members and the Staff members;

- The only business that should be conducted at the post-election meeting is to appoint the Parent Nominees and to set the date of the next meeting (i.e. second meeting);

- At the second meeting, the only members present should be the LA members, Staff members and Parent members;

- The only business that should be conducted at the second meeting is to appoint the 5 members from Bodies specified by the Minister which have a special interest in, or knowledge of education and to set the date of the next meeting (i.e. third meeting). At this stage the full composition of the new ETB will have been decided;

- The third Meeting will be business as usual 

In relation to selecting the 5 members from Bodies specified by the Minister;

- at least one of whom shall be from a body representative of business, industry and employers,

- at least one of whom shall be a body representative of learners, and

- at least one of whom shall be a body established for the purpose of representing the interests of persons engaged in the management of, or leadership in, recognised schools,

- the remaining two representatives can be from any of the bodies on the specified list.

- In addition, the members appointed shall reside within the functional area of the education and training board and shall include at least 2 men and at least 2 women.

My Department would not be aware when the dates of when the Board Meetings of ETBs take place as it is a matter for each ETB to determine the dates of such meetings in accordance with the timeline outlined above.

The full composition of the Education and Training Boards referred to by the Deputy will not be known until after the second meeting of the new ETB boards has taken place.

As at 2 July 2019, the bodies specified by the Minister as eligible to make nominations to education and training boards are as follows.

Bodies representative of business, industry and employers:

- Accounting Technicians Ireland

- Chambers Ireland

- Freight Transport Association Ireland

- Horse Racing Ireland

- Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV)

- Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation (IBEC)

- Irish Hospitality Institute in co-operation with the Restaurants Association of Ireland

- Irish Hotel Federation

- Irish Road Haulage Association

- Nursing Homes Ireland

- The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI)

- Údarás na Gaeltachta

Bodies representative of Learners:

- AONTAS (National Adult Learning Organisation)

- Conradh na Gaeilge

- Disability Federation of Ireland in co-operation with AHEAD

- Down Syndrome Ireland

- Immigrant Council of Ireland

- National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA)

- National Youth Council of Ireland

- REHAB

- Technological Higher Education Association (THEA)

- Union of Students in Ireland [USI]

- Youth Work Ireland

Bodies representative of persons engaged in the management of, or leadership in, recognised schools:

- Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools

- Joint Managerial Body

- National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals

Bodies which are not in the three designated categories:

- Foras na Gaeilge

- Gaeloideachas

- Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)

- The Wheel

School Inspection Reports

Questions (273)

Alan Kelly

Question:

273. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there is a provisional date for the publication of a report (details supplied). [30050/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

A Formal Review of the inspection referred to by the Deputy (a Whole-School Evaluation-Management, Leadership and Learning conducted in Sancta Maria College, Ballyroan, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16) was requested under the Procedure for Review of Inspections on Schools and Teachers under Section 13(9) of the Education Act 1998, September 2015. The Formal Review has not yet concluded and in line with Section 3.6 of the Guidelines on the Publication of School Inspection Reports, September 2015, the report arising from the inspection may not be published at present. It is not possible at this stage to give a date by which the review process will be concluded.

Ministerial Transport

Questions (274)

John Lahart

Question:

274. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the model of the car or cars used by An Taoiseach in the performance of his official duties; and if it has a diesel, petrol or electric engine. [29121/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised that the make and model is a diesel BMW 740s. The Deputy may also be interested to know that the feasibility of the use of hybrid or electric vehicles is under consideration within An Garda Síochána. I am informed by the Garda authorities that 2 electric vehicles were purchased by An Garda Síochána in 2018, in order to evaluate the potential and limitations of electric vehicles in Garda operational environments on a pilot basis.

Departmental Funding

Questions (275)

Frank O'Rourke

Question:

275. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the NGO to which allegations (details supplied) pertained; the action being taken to recover the funds; the process or procedure put in place to ensure such alleged misuse of public funds does not recur at this body and other public bodies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29150/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The background to this issue is that an anonymous letter was originally received by my Department in September 2017 alleging that in the past there had been financial mismanagement of grant funding amounting to approximately €88,000 to a non-governmental organisation.  Subsequent related allegations were made in 2018.

On foot of these allegations, the Department's Internal Audit Unit conducted an audit during 2018 into the allegations. The audit found that grant funding provided from Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, based in my Department had been used to supplement funding provided to this organisation from other sources to fund other work not coming under Cosc's remit. This irregularity was found to have arisen due to lax financial controls in the organisation in question. The audit did not find any evidence of any fraudulent activity.

On foot of the audit's findings, the Department is currently engaged in a process to resolve the issues raised by the internal audit report. The process includes the engagement of suitably qualified external resources by the Department to advise on future action. Once this independent analysis has been received, which is expected during the third quarter of this year, a prompt decision will be taken by the Department on how to proceed regarding these matters. The outcome will be notified to the Public Accounts Committee.

The Public Accounts Committee was advised in April that the name of the organisation in question is not being put in the public domain. The Committee was advised that the reason for this is firstly to protect the integrity of the process currently underway, but also to protect the organisation's clients from being potentially exposed otherwise to media attention and speculation not of their making, which would detract from the ongoing sensitive work being undertaken with them and on their behalf.

I can advise the Deputy that, in its management and accountability for grants of this nature provided from exchequer funds, my Department adheres to the relevant Directive in place from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, which is applicable to all Government Departments in governing such funding.  This includes service level agreements with such organisations, periodic reporting on expenditure and periodic auditing of organisations.

Furthermore, the Secretary General of my Department, in his capacity as Accounting Officer for my Department's Vote, reports formally to the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee under the standard processes which are in place for the reporting on all Government expenditure.

Direct Provision Data

Questions (276)

Denise Mitchell

Question:

276. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of children resident in direct provision centres; the length of time such persons have been in direct provision, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29786/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

In the time available it has not been possible to compile up-to-date information in the format requested by the Deputy. I will write to the Deputy as soon as it becomes available.

Closed-Circuit Television Systems Provision

Questions (277)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

277. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the CCTV applications that were submitted in respect of towns and villages in counties Cavan and Monaghan will be approved and awarded funding. [30045/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

CCTV systems installed for the purposes of crime prevention and as aids to policing in areas to which the general public routinely have access fall into two distinct but complementary categories, namely Garda CCTV systems and community-based CCTV systems.

Community CCTV is governed by section 38(3)(c) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006 (SI No 289 of 2006). This legal framework requires that any proposed community CCTV scheme must:

- be approved by the local Joint Policing Committee,

- have the prior support of the relevant local authority, which must also undertake to act as data controller and

- have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner.

This is the legal basis for all community CCTV schemes and these key legal requirements have not changed since 2006.

A grant aid scheme is administered by my Department to support proposed CCTV schemes which meet these legal requirements.  I can confirm that I have received one application from Monaghan County Council and one application from Ballyjamesduff Community, County Cavan. Both applications are currently being assessed against the criteria of the scheme and my officials will revert to the individuals concerned shortly.

The grant aid scheme remains open for applications in 2019.  I am keen to ensure that all interested groups, in both rural and urban areas, have the opportunity to take advantage of the availability of the grant aid scheme.  Further details are available to download from my Department's website - www.justice.ie - and support and guidance is available to help interested groups through a dedicated email address, communitycctv@justice.ie.

Judicial Council Legislation

Questions (278, 296, 297, 303)

Seán Barrett

Question:

278. Deputy Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to set up a judicial council to review levels of awards for personal injuries with a view to reforming these amounts to bring Ireland into line with international norms; if consideration will be given to setting up a dedicated central Garda resource specifically tasked with investigating fraudulent cases for potential prosecution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29101/19]

View answer

Carol Nolan

Question:

296. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will urgently establish the judicial council to review levels of awards for personal injuries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29470/19]

View answer

Carol Nolan

Question:

297. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to establish a dedicated central Garda resource specifically tasked with investigating fraudulent cases for potential prosecution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29471/19]

View answer

Bobby Aylward

Question:

303. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the Judicial Council Bill 2017 will be enacted prior to the 2019 summer recess; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29774/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 278, 296, 297 and 303 together.

The matters raised by the Deputies are among those which have been considered by the Cost of Insurance Working Group which was established by the Government in July 2016 and is chaired by Minister of State Michael D'Arcy.  The role of the Working Group is to analyse the high costs imposed by insurance companies to determine what actions the Government might take to address any issues that might be contributing to these costs.  The Working Group, which involves Government Departments, agencies and relevant stakeholders, has published a series of recommendations in 2017 and 2018, the majority of which have been implemented.  The Working Group's Reports and regular updates on its actions are published on the web-site of the Department of Finance with the ninth such Progress Update being due for publication shortly.

A key recommendation of the Working Group was the establishment of the Personal Injuries Commission.  The Commission undertook a major analysis of the claims process in Ireland and recommended, as reflected in today's Questions, that the future Judicial Council be assigned the function under its statute of compiling guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injury. In response, the Government has successfully brought forward a number of amendments to the Judicial Council Bill 2017 that will provide for the establishment of a Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee.  The Committee will be tasked with the preparation of personal injuries guidelines and will have all the powers necessary for it to carry out its functions in an efficient and effective manner.  The Bill passed all stages in Dáil Éireann on 4 July 2019 and is scheduled for completion before the Seanad today, Tuesday 9 July 2019, with a view to its enactment before the summer recess and the establishment of the Judicial Council before the end of the year.

As also raised, the Cost of Insurance Working Group had called for An Garda Síochána to explore the potential for further cooperation between it and the insurance sector in relation to insurance fraud investigation. An industry-funded Garda insurance fraud unit was one option considered in this regard.  As I have outlined in my responses to a number of parliamentary questions during the current Dáil session, the Garda Commissioner is of the view that a divisional focus on insurance fraud is preferable to the establishment of a centralised investigation unit.  This approach is aligned with the divisional-focussed Garda model. It is the intention of the Commissioner that the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau will guide divisions and provide training in the investigation of insurance fraud. As Deputies will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is solely responsible for such organisational matters, including the establishment of individual Garda units, their remits and resourcing. At the same time, there is now a broader positive engagement between An Garda Síochána and Insurance Ireland's Anti-Fraud Forum who have committed to meet on a regular basis to discuss and act upon current and ongoing issues arising in the area of insurance fraud.

Asylum Applications Data

Questions (279)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

279. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to set out in tabular form the number of persons from non-EU countries who arrived here seeking refugee status and-or asylum in each of the years 2013 to 2018, by country of origin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29186/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Figures on applications from the five countries with the most applications for the relevant years are publicly available on the website of the International Protection Office at www.ipo.gov.ie and are reproduced in the following table for ease of reference. 

Year

Nationality

Applications

2013

Nigeria 

129

 

Pakistan 

91

 

DR Congo 

72

 

Zimbabwe

70

 

Malawi 

55

 

Others 

529

 

Total 

946

 

 

 

2014

Pakistan

292

 

Nigeria

142

 

Albania

99

 

Bangladesh

99

 

Zimbabwe

85

 

Others

731

 

Total

1448

 

 

 

2015

Pakistan

1352

 

Bangladesh

286

 

Albania

214

 

Nigeria

186

 

India 

144

 

Others

1094

 

Total

3276

 

 

 

2016

Syria

244

 

Pakistan

233

 

Albania

222

 

Zimbabwe

192

 

Nigeria

176

 

Others

1177

 

Total

2244

 

 

 

2017

Syria

545

 

Georgia

302

 

Albania

282

 

Zimbabwe

262

 

Pakistan

200

 

Others

1335

 

Total

2926

 

 

 

2018

Albania

459

 

Georgia

450

 

Syria

333

 

Zimbabwe

282

 

Nigeria

251

 

Others

1898

 

Total

3673

 In compiling the data, the International Protection Office takes cognisance of Section 26 of the International Protection Act, 2015 which makes it an offence to identify an international protection applicant.  To comply with its legal obligations, the data is not disaggregated beyond what is published to ensure it does not run the risk of identifying individual applicants.

Deportation Orders Data

Questions (280)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

280. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of deportation orders which have been issued to non-EEA nationals who are here without lawful permission in each of the years 2014 to 2018; the number of non-EEA nationals who have left voluntarily after receiving such an order in the same period; the number of deportations conducted by State agencies in the same period, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29221/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have been advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the numbers of Deportation Orders made during the years 2014 to 2018 are as set out in the following table.

Year

Deportation Orders made

2014

742 

2015

764

2016

1,196

2017

932

2018 

1,187

Total

4,821

With regard to the number of non-EEA nationals who have left voluntarily after receiving a Deportation Order, a person the subject of a Deportation Order is legally obliged to remove themselves from the state and thereafter remain outside the State. It is the case that in this jurisdiction as in others, significant numbers of people who are the subject of deportation orders leave voluntarily following receipt of the order. As exit checks from the State are not in use, it is not possible to indicate with any degree of precision the numbers who may be in this category but all the available evidence suggests that the number is likely to be considerable.

Enforced removals are only carried out as a last resort and are carried out in conjunction with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).  The following table sets out numbers for the years requested by the Deputy.    

Year

Number of persons deported 

2014

114

2015

251

2016 

428

2017

140

2018

163

Total

1,096

Immigration Status

Questions (281)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

281. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when stamp 4 will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); the grounds upon which a copy of private medical insurance is being requested, with particular reference to the fact that the person does not have private medical insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29245/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a request for permission to reside in the State on Stamp 4 conditions was received on 13 August, 2018 from the person concerned.  The Deputy will appreciate that applications are dealt with in chronological order.  I understand that INIS wrote to the person on 2 July, 2019 seeking further information and the matter will be given detailed consideration upon receipt of a response.  

I also understand that the person concerned currently has permission to reside in the State as a student.  The Deputy may wish to note that all non-EEA students are required to hold private medical insurance when coming to and residing in the State for the purpose of study.  Further information this requirement is available on the INIS website at http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Private%20Medical%20Insurance%20for%20full%20time%20Non-EEA%20Students.pdf/Files/Private%20Medical%20Insurance%20for%20full%20time%20Non-EEA%20Students.pdf  

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 (282)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

282. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a decision will issue in respect of an application pending under the special scheme for non-EU students in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29275/19]

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 18 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.

Garda Deployment

Questions (283)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

283. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí stationed at both Lucan and Ronanstown Garda stations, in view of growing concerns in the Lucan area. [29299/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing An Garda Síochána, including personnel, and I, as Minister, have no role in the matter.

Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.  

I am informed by the Commissioner that the Cohort Model of resource allocation is currently used for the allocation of personnel within An Garda Síochána, including newly attested probationer Gardaí from the Garda College. The allocation and transfer of Garda Personnel using the Cohort Model is determined by a number of factors, including crime and non-crime workload, minimum establishment, population, area, policing arrangements, and operational strategies. When considering the allocation of resources to a Division, comprehensive consultation is carried out with local Garda management during which all factors are taken into consideration.  

The Garda strength of the DMR West Division which includes both Lucan and Ronanstown Garda stations, from 2009 to 31 May 2019 , as provided by the Commissioner, is available on my Department's website through the following link:

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_31_May_2019_c.xlsx/Files/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_31_May_2019_c.xlsx

More general information on Garda Facts and Figures is available at the following link: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures

Working Holiday Programmes

Questions (284)

Michael McGrath

Question:

284. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will address a matter raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29301/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Working Holiday Authorisation Programme (WHA) allows non-EEA nationals from certain countries to come to Ireland to experience living and working (without the requirement of a formal work permit) for a certain period of time, normally one year. Ireland's Working Holiday bilateral agreement with Canada, which is under the remit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has been in place since 2003.

The formal agreement with Canada allows for Canadian nationals to live and work in Ireland for up to 2 years. Applications for the Programme are processed and approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  My Department is solely responsible for the granting of an immigration permission consistent with the terms and conditions set out in the WHA for that country (in this case Canada), and has no basis to extend the immigration permission .

Where an individual (such as referred by the Deputy) seeks to continue their employment with an employer after the expiry of their WHA, they cannot extend their immigration permission under the WHA in order to continue that employment.  Based on the terms and conditions of the WHA application that was signed by that person, participants in the programme must leave Ireland on the expiration of their immigration permission, which cannot be extended or renewed. Should an individual who has left the State upon the expiry of their WHA and seek to re-enter the State under a working permission (Stamp 1 basis) they are required to apply for the relevant work permit through the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and have a valid permit before registering their permission with the INIS. The criteria applying under the Employment Permits Acts and Regulations are solely a matter for that Department.

Garda Transport Data

Questions (285)

Joan Collins

Question:

285. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda vehicles attached to Crumlin, Ballyfermot and Sundrive Road Garda stations as of 31 December 2018 and 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [29313/19]

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 Crumlin and Sundrive Garda Stations are in Crumlin Garda District. Ballyfermot Garda Station is in Clondalkin Garda District. The responsibility for the efficient deployment of all official Garda vehicles in each Division lies with the Divisional Officer, who may allocate vehicles between stations as required by operational circumstances.

The Garda authorities have informed me that the following tables outline the Garda fleet in the Crumlin and Clondalkin Districts for the dates requested by the Deputy.

CRUMLIN-G DISTRICT

Cars

Vans

Bikes

4x4

Others

Total

 31/12/2018

15

9

0

0

0

24

 30/06/2019

19

10

0

0

0

29

CLONDALKIN-L DISTRICT

Cars

Vans

Bikes

4x4

Others

Total

 31/12/2018

15

5

0

0

0

20

 30/06/2019

14

5

0

0

0

19

Garda Resources

Questions (286, 287)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

286. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the Garda divisions in which a protective services unit has been established to date; the Garda divisions in which a protective services unit is due to be established by the end of quarter 4 of 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29333/19]

View answer

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

287. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the buildings, office equipment, cars, technology and trained Garda personnel are in place for each of the divisional protection services units established to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29334/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 286 and 287 together.

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

The information requested is currently being compiled and I will revert directly to the Deputy when it is to hand.

Garda Youth Diversion Projects

Questions (288)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

288. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated full-year cost of increasing the number of juvenile liaison officers by 25%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29353/19]

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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 Garda ICT, the Garda fleet and the Garda estate.  In total, the Garda capital allocation has increased from €61 million to €92 million in 2019, which represents a 50% increase.

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 training of its members and Garda staff. The Commissioner is also responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the estimated cost of increasing the number of Garda Juvenile Liaison Officers by 25% is approximately €1,529,800 and that the estimated cost of increasing the number of Sergeant Juvenile Liaison Officers by 25% is approximately €138,450. 

I am informed by the Garda authorities that this estimate has been calculated based on 104 existing Garda JLOs and 8 existing Sergeant  JLOs, correct as at 31 May 2019; and that basic salary costs have been calculated using the midpoint of the Garda salary scale and including fixed allowances which the member is entitled to.  An estimate of Employer's PRSI is also included. Allowances for unsocial hours and any potential overtime payments in excess of standard briefing time are not included.  The impact of pay rises is not included in this estimate.

Garda Youth Diversion Projects

Questions (289)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

289. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated full-year cost if the budget for Garda youth ddiversion projects increased by 10%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29354/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The allocated budget for Garda Youth Diversion Projects in 2019 is approximately €15.3m and increase of 10% would bring the allocation to approximately €16.83m. This provision includes funding to support the operation of 106 Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) currently. 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, there is 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.

In additional to local projects, 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. The operation of GYDPs is being further developed through an Action Research Project, (ARP) supported by the University of Limerick, which is currently engaging with 15 local projects. It is envisaged that the ARP will run over a number of years with a view to rolling out the learning to all GYDPs and developing the project network so that every child in the State who might require GYDP services will have access to them.

Courts Service Properties

Questions (290)

James Lawless

Question:

290. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans for the vacant courthouse building in Kilcock, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29362/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998 management of the courts, including the provision of accommodation for court sittings, is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions.

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that the review of the future delivery of court services in the District Court area of Kilcock has been completed and the Courts Service Board has recently decided to permanently close Kilcock Courthouse.  As the Deputy may be aware Kilcock Courthouse was closed in July 2016 on health and safety grounds and District Court sittings transferred just over 20 km away, to Naas.

The Courts Service has advised that the former courthouse building will be made available to other public sector organisations for alternative public or community use.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Questions (291)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

291. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount spent on digital marketing in each of the past eight years; the items on which funds were spent; the criteria by which target audiences were selected; the amount of the digital spend targeted here; the amount targeted abroad; the amount that related to private companies; the amount that related to policy initiatives; and the purpose of the digital advertisements. [29396/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

My Department engages in digital marketing, where appropriate, in order to draw attention to important issues in the Justice and Equality sector. The use of digital marketing allows the Department to reach audiences that might not be as likely to see or hear traditional forms of marketing such as newspapers, television, radio etc.

The work contracted has allowed valuable public attention to be drawn to important issues such as domestic violence and human trafficking. All digital spends have been primarily aimed at those living in Ireland.

The criteria by which target audiences are selected is based on identifying the group for whom the message is most relevant. For example, the annual Fireworks Awareness Campaign takes place each Halloween. The Department was concerned that the traditional method of newspaper advertisements may not be reaching those who may potentially be accessing illegal fireworks at this time of year and therefore has also begun engaging in online advertising targeted at persons under the age of 21 as they are the group for whom this information may be most relevant.

An itemised breakdown of digital marketing expenditure covering the last 8 years is set in the following table. There was no expenditure for digital marketing before 2016.  

Year

Cost (€)

Description

Private company (if applicable)

2018

€1,637.02

Fireworks Halloween Campaign - Trafficking fees/Facebook self-service

PHD Media Ireland

2018

€123.00

Fireworks Halloween Campaign - Online campaign MGMT 

Mediavest Ltd. T/A Spark Foundry

2018

€21,051.74 

Department of Justice & Equality contribution to Government's online safety campaign "BeSafeOnline"

N/A

2018

€139,266.00 

Online promotion of "What Would You Do?", the national awareness campaign on domestic violence

PHD Media Ireland

2017

€1,291.50 

Article on background to and building awareness of human trafficking (Appeared in both print and online editions of Metro Éireann)

Metro Éireann

2017 

€144,310.00 

Online promotion of "What Would You Do?", the national awareness campaign on domestic violence

PHD Media Ireland

2016

€110,786.00

Online promotion of "What Would You Do?", the national awareness campaign on domestic violence

PHD Media Ireland

Spend in my department for marketing, media and social media may be allocated on a case-by-case basis.  As such, a full projected 2019 spend is not available. It is expected that there will be significant costs in relation to the "No Excuses" campaign against sexual harassment and sexual violence which was launched by my Department in May of this year, however no costs relating to digital marketing have been incurred this year as of yet.

Visa Applications

Questions (292)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

292. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a visa will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29401/19]

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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 visa application referred to will be examined in the coming weeks.  The decision will issue directly to both the applicant and the sponsor.

I am also advised that while the Policy Document on Family Reunification contains a stated business target that such visa applications should be dealt with within twelve months of receipt of application, that this is a business target and does not constitute a legal obligation. 

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to 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 INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail queries directly to INIS (visamail@justice.ie).

Immigration Status

Questions (293)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

293. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of an application for residency status pursuant to section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999, as amended, in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29406/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, 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.

Asylum Applications

Questions (294)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

294. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a long-term extension of residency will be granted in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29412/19]

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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.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions Nos. 296 and 297 answered with Question No. 278.

Questions (295)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

295. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the costs paid to companies (details supplied) for projects on which each was engaged by his Department in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the reason each was engaged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29447/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The following table outlines the costs paid to Mazars for projects for which they were engaged by my Department in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019.  The Department did not engage the other companies listed for projects in the period covered by the question.

Year

Cost €

Reason Company was engaged

2016

€27,373.65

Review of Case Management system in Insolvency Service Ireland

2018

€69,372

ICT Risk Assessment in Statutory Bodies under the aegis of the Justice Vote

2019

€18,450

ICT Risk Assessment in the Department of Justice and Equality

2019

€7,995

External review of Protected Disclosure

2019

€3,444

ICT Risk Assessment in the Irish Prison Service

Questions Nos. 296 and 297 answered with Question No. 278.