Direct Provision Data

Questions (668, 669)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

668. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons in direct provision that are not in a direct provision or reception centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36442/19]

View answer

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

669. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons in emergency accommodation that are also in direct provision. [36443/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 668 and 669 together.

As of 2 September 2019, 7241 people were residing in accommodation provided by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA).  Of this total, there were 1,200 applicants residing in 31 Emergency Accommodation locations.

The contractual obligation on the providers of emergency accommodation is for the provision of bed spaces and full board accommodation (breakfast, lunch and dinner).  RIA often does not have exclusive use of the premises and many of the hotels and guesthouses continue to operate on a commercial basis.

In the first half of this year, there has been a 36% annual increase in the number of international protection applications received. To meet the associated increased demand for accommodation, RIA has initiated two processes to source additional accommodation. RIA has sought expressions of interest from parties who would be interested in providing accommodation and related services to people in the international protection process and has also launched a nationwide, regional tendering process to source new accommodation centres.

These new centres, which are expected to begin opening in the coming months, will provide for independent living for residents by way of cooking facilities and an onsite food hall.  I expect that they will significantly enhance the daily lives of applicants and in particular families and children.

Garda Procedures

Questions (670)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

670. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the protocols, regulations and supports in situations in which gardaí must use personal vehicles on official business (details supplied). [36445/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

First, I note that in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing the administration and business of An Garda Síochána.  The allocation of Garda resources is also 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 to ensure their optimum use.

The station referred to by the Deputy is in the Letterkenny Garda District. I am informed by the Garda authorities, as of 31 July 2019, there were a total of 25 Garda vehicles assigned to the Letterkenny Garda District, including 17 cars.

Responsibility for the efficient deployment of Garda vehicles in each Division is assigned to the Divisional Officer, who may allocate vehicles between districts and stations as required by operational requirements.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that in certain circumstances, a Garda member may be authorised to use a personal vehicle in the course of official duties.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that a Form of Undertaking must be signed by any Garda member authorised to use their private motor vehicle on official business. This confirms that the vehicle complies with any relevant regulations or conditions in force, in particular that the vehicle is insured, and acknowledges that the State will accept no liability for any loss or damage resulting from the use of any motor vehicle on official business.

Garda members who use their personal vehicles in the course of official duties are entitled to travel and subsistence payments in line with civil service guidelines.

In relation to the general process for authorisation, I am advised that Divisional Officer may authorise use of a personal vehicle on special tours of duty, or on duty of a regularly recurring nature.  A District Officer may authorise a member to use such a vehicle on duty of an urgent and important nature.  And in cases of extreme urgency and importance and only if official transport is not available, the Member-in-Charge of a station may authorise the use of a privately owned vehicle or alternatively if the Member-in-Charge is not readily available, members whose duty it is to go to the scene may do so, provided that in all cases the vehicle may be lawfully used.

Finally, it should be noted that 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 includes a capital allocation of €10 million 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.

General Data Protection Regulation

Questions (671)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

671. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has been informed of breaches of GDPR related to the processing of information for technology companies operating here by third parties by those companies (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36451/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, the Data Protection Commission (DPC) is the national independent authority responsible for upholding the fundamental right of individuals in the EU to have their personal data protected.

I can confirm that the Data Protection Commission is currently engaging with the company/s in question in relation to the issues raised in the recent media coverage.

Gambling Sector

Questions (672)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

672. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of investigations and successful prosecutions that have occurred regarding instances of underage gambling in on street bookmaker shops and track side bookmakers in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36455/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy may know, section 23 of the Betting Act 1931, which is the responsibility of the Minister for Finance,  currently governs this area. The Act provides that "no licensed bookmaker – land based or remote - shall make a bet or engage in a betting transaction with a person under the age of eighteen years whether such person is acting on his own behalf or as agent for another person."

The Courts Service and An Garda Síochána have advised that they do not have the records requested for the years in question.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019 is currently passing through the houses of the Oireachtas. The Bill addresses certain deficiencies with regard to the conduct of activities regulated under the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 and provide for the modernisation of that Act by way of, among other matters, arrangements for the better promotion of lotteries, updating certain stake and prize limits and crucially standardising the minimum gambling age at 18. More generally, efforts are ongoing in the Department to prepare comprehensive legislation to update the law on gambling, including betting. The protection of young and vulnerable persons will be a major consideration in the new legislation.

Immigration Status

Questions (673)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

673. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of an application by a person (details supplied) for a permission as a person of independent means; if the application will be finalised by 14 September 2019 when the current stamp expires; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36472/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Immigration Service of my Department that the person concerned has an on-going application for temporary and limited permission to remain, which was received on 12 August 2019. The Deputy will appreciate that, in the interests of fairness, applications are dealt with in chronological order. I understand that the application is currently under consideration and the person concerned will be contacted in due course.

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

Firearms and Ammunition Security

Questions (674)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

674. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to introduce regulations for the storage of ammunition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36492/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am pleased to confirm for the Deputy that a number of regulations are already in place in relation to storage of firearms and ammunition in Ireland.

The Firearms (Secure Accommodation) Regulations 2009 (SI No. 307 of 2009) introduced regulations governing the secure storage of firearms in the home.  These regulations set out the minimum security standards in relation to the provision of secure accommodation for relevant firearms.

The Firearms (Storage of Firearms and Ammunition by Firearms Dealers) Regulations 2017 (SI No. 646 of 2017) set out minimum standards for the safe and secure storage of firearms and ammunition in the premises of firearms dealers. The different categories of firearms dealers are recognised and the regulations scale the requirements depending on the quantities of ammunition and firearms being stored.

Most recently, the European Communities (Acquisition and Possession of Weapons and Ammunition) Regulations 2019 (SI No. 420 of 2019) came into effect on 1 September 2019. These regulations give effect in national law to EU Directive 2017/953.  Among other provisions, requirements are set out in relation to the storage of ammunition for relevant firearms. The regulations provide that when the relevant firearm is not in use, the ammunition for it must be stored in a locked receptacle that is separate from any firearm in which that ammunition is capable of being used.  The regulation also provides that when a relevant firearm or ammunition is being transported, the firearm must be concealed from view and stored separately from the ammunition, and that the ammunition must be stored in a locked receptacle.

EU Regulations

Questions (675)

Brendan Smith

Question:

675. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of an organisation (details supplied) in relation to a proposed EU wide ban on lead shot; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36522/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can advise the Deputy that while I am aware of the organisation’s concerns in relation to this particular issue, the matter is outside of my remit as Minister for Justice and Equality.

As my Department has no function in the matter, I would encourage the organisation in question to raise this matter directly with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht who will be better placed to address any concerns they might have.

Drugs Dealing

Questions (676)

Brendan Smith

Question:

676. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the additional measures he plans to introduce along with a multi-agency approach to address the availability of cocaine nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36525/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Garda authorities that there have been increased seizures of cocaine and evidence of increased circulation of the drug in Ireland. The same trend can be observed in other European countries, which is an unfortunate and worrying development.

As the Deputy may be aware, from a health perspective, cocaine remains the third most common drug reported among people presenting to treatment in Ireland.  Since 2014 there has been a steady increase in the proportion of new cases for treatment reporting cocaine as a main problem drug in Ireland, rising from a low of 297 cases in 2013 to 568 cases in 2016. And in 2016, 12.3% of cases reported problem cocaine use, the highest proportion since 2010.

I can assure the Deputy that An Garda Síochána continues to prioritise tackling drugs and organised crime as a core focus of its work, including the continued disruption of the supply of all illicit drugs as a key priority.

Multi-disciplinary approaches are used to ensure that those involved in illicit drugs activity are effectively targeted, including through the use of drugs legislation, the Proceeds of Crime legislation, money laundering legislation and the powers of the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Gardaí are pursuing a number of strategies to tackle drug trafficking by organised criminal gangs including:

• gathering intelligence on those involved in the distribution of drugs;

• conducting targeted operations on criminal networks based on intelligence;

• working with the Criminal Assets Bureau to seize the assets of criminals and disrupt their activities; and

• working in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies, both within and outside the jurisdiction.

An Garda Síochána also continues to work closely with communities to address any drug-related issues, including through high visibility patrolling by uniformed personnel and through intelligence led operations targeting known criminals. Investing in capacity building measures to support the role of law enforcement authorities is important in dealing with emerging trends in relation to drugs.

Given the global nature of the drugs trade, international law enforcement co-operation remains a key element in the overall response. In this regard, An Garda Síochána has strong and strategic partnerships in place at an international level targeting drug trafficking including working closely with relevant law enforcement agencies such as Interpol and Europol and participating in the Maritime Analysis Operations centre for Narcotics based in Lisbon (MAOC-N). The seizure of 2.2 tonnes of cocaine found aboard a vessel off the coast of Cape Verde last month following exchange of operational information with MAOC-N is an example of the excellent work done by these agencies.

In addition to the work of An Garda Síochána in co-operation with international agencies, it is important to remember that other state agencies are tasked with important responsibilities in this regard. Government policy in relation to drug and alcohol misuse is set out in Ireland’s National Drug Strategy, ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery’, a health led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025.

The Strategy represents a whole-of-Government response to the problem of drug and alcohol use in Ireland. It draws upon a range of government policy frameworks in order to reduce the risk factors for substance misuse. It also commits to address the harms of drugs markets and reduce access to drugs for harmful use. Responsibility for overseeing the implementation of the strategy rests with my colleague, Minister of State Catherine Byrne TD in the Department of Health. My own Department has responsibility as the lead agency or partner in a number of actions, including keeping drugs legislation under review as the joint lead agency with the Department of Health.

Through the National Drugs Strategy, the Deputy may also be aware that the HSE is working to strengthen early harm reduction responses to current and emerging trends and patterns of drug use, create greater awareness and expand the geographical spread and range of treatment services. The Deputy will also be aware that in July last year my colleague, the Minister of State with responsibility for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD, launched a harm reduction campaign in relation to cocaine and crack cocaine which was developed by the Ana Liffey Drug Project and the HSE.

Garda Deployment

Questions (677, 678, 679)

Brendan Smith

Question:

677. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the need to provide additional staffing resources to the Border region for the remainder of 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36539/19]

View answer

Brendan Smith

Question:

678. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the need to provide additional staffing resources to the Border region in 2020 in view of the adverse impacts of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36540/19]

View answer

Brendan Smith

Question:

679. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the need to provide additional staffing resources to the Border region in 2020 in view of the adverse impacts of Brexit and the unique policing demands on Garda Border divisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36541/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 677 to 679, inclusive, together.

The Garda Commissioner has responsibility for managing An Garda Síochána and for the allocation of Garda resources, in light of identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for the manner in which Gardaí are deployed. As Minister I have no direct role in that matters. I understand however that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.

In common with all Government Departments and State Agencies, An Garda Síochána has been preparing for Brexit and there is ongoing engagement between senior Garda management and my Department in this regard. Preparation has had a wide-ranging focus on operational requirements, including personnel, infrastructure and technology. I know the Commissioner is committed to ensuring the organisation can deal with any policing challenges arising from Brexit though clearly the circumstances which may arise are dependant on the political settlement.

As the Deputy will appreciate, policing in the border region has always presented particular challenges and this can be expected to increase in the context of Brexit. It is also the case that violent dissident republican groups continue to seek to frustrate counter-terrorism efforts and organised criminals seek to exploit the two jurisdictions in order to try to evade detection.

The 2018 Cross-Border Threat Assessment prepared jointly by An Garda Síochána and the PSNI estimated that some 43 per cent of organised crime gangs in Northern Ireland have a cross-border dimension. Likewise, mobile organised crime groups, responsible for multiple instances of domestic burglary, operate on an all-island basis. There are increasing instances of borderless crimes such as cyber fraud and international terrorism.

The success of cross border policing actions is grounded in the recognition that the best means of combatting the threat to our communities is to maintain and enhance the excellent levels of cooperation between law enforcement agencies north and south of the border. The Gardaí and PSNI, along with other agencies, have worked together closely for many years and enjoy an excellent working relationship and co-operation at all levels.

The Fresh Start Agreement recognised this and led to the establishment of Joint Agency Investigation Teams which have had considerable success in combatting this type of crime. I understand this is also the context for the Commissioner’s operational decision to establish an additional Armed Support Unit in Cavan.

As the Deputy may be aware, Garda Armed Support Units provide a rapid armed response capacity and capability on a regional basis. Members of the ASUs are highly trained and equipped with a variety of non-lethal and lethal weapons and perform high visibility armed checkpoints and patrols throughout their respective Regions. ASU's are already based in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal and Dundalk, Co. Louth in the Northern Region.

I would also point out that An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation. We currently have over 14,200 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,600 Garda staff. And as part of the Government’s plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021, there is ongoing and increased recruitment both of new Gardaí as well as Garda staff, allowing for redeployment of Gardaí to operational duties at the front-line. Since the reopening of the Garda Training College in 2014, approximately 2,800 new Garda members have attested and been assigned to frontline policing duties in communities throughout the country. Another 200 probationer Gardaí are due to attest by the end of this year. Further, the Garda Commissioner’s decision to recruit a net 600 Garda staff in 2019 will allow for the redeployment of approximately 500 experienced Gardaí to frontline and visible policing duties by the end of this year.

As part of this overall increase, additional Garda resources have been deployed to border areas in recent months and this process is continuing. I am advised by the Commissioner that the strength of the Northern Region as on 31 July, the latest date for which figures are currently available, was 1,494 Gardaí. There are 56 Garda Reserves and 150 Garda civilian staff attached to the Northern Region. An additional 50 Gardaí were assigned to the region from the last attestation on 7 June 2019. In total, there are now more than 150 additional Gardaí deployed in the Northern Region compared to the position at the end of 2017.

The increased resources coming on stream have also provided the capacity to expand the specialist bureaus including the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, all of which are particularly active in the Northern Region in addition to the Armed Support Units.

The ongoing recruitment will provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible, effective and responsive policing service. These requirements will be kept under ongoing review by Garda management with a view to addressing any policing requirements for the Border region which may arise. In the event that a “no deal” Brexit gives rise to additional requirements in border areas, further resources can and will be provided through redeployment.

Garda Resources

Questions (680)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

680. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated cost to provide security to Vice President Pence during his visit to Ireland; if the costs will be met from existing Garda resources; if not, if costs will be provided for via a supplementary budget; the reform projects which will be affected if the costs of the visit are met from existing Garda resources; the nature of the changes to reform projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36549/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

There has been very significant investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years.  €1.76 billion has been allocated to the Garda Vote for 2019, in addition to capital investment amounting to €92 million this year. 

I would remind the Deputy that the Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote.  He is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including the allocation of Garda resources. 

In relation to the matter raised by the Deputy, I am informed by the Garda authorities that the overall cost to An Garda Síochána of the visit to Ireland of Vice President Pence has not yet been finalised.

I fully support the Commissioner in his performance of this role and in his efforts to ensure that the Garda Vote comes in on budget.  Garda management and my Department keep the financial position of An Garda Síochána under ongoing review.

Garda Transport Data

Questions (681)

John Curran

Question:

681. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda marked and unmarked cars and vehicles assigned to each Dublin Garda division; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36571/19]

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 capital allocation 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 to ensure their optimum use.

The information below, as provided to me by the Garda Commissioner, sets out the number of vehicles allocated to the Dublin Metropolitan Region as at 31 July 2019. For security and operational reasons, these tables do not include a breakdown between marked and unmarked vehicle allocations.  It should be noted that the following table includes detail on the Divisions in the DMR, as well as the Traffic unit based in Dublin Castle (which is not itself a Garda Division). This table does not include detail in relation to National Units including those located in the region.

Vehicle

Cars

Vans

Motorcyles

4x4

Other

Total

DMR incl. Traffic (Total as of 31/07/2019)

358

77

47

11

19

512

Eastern Division

44

9

0

1

2

56

Northern Division

78

13

0

1

4

96

North Central Division

45

11

0

3

1

60

Southern Division

58

17

0

2

0

77

South Central Division

48

13

0

0

2

63

Western Division

68

13

0

0

7

88

Traffic - Dublin Castle

17

1

47

4

3

72

Drugs Seizures

Questions Nos. 683 and 684 answered with Question No. 618.

Questions (682)

John Curran

Question:

682. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the types of drug and the quantities and values of each seized by An Garda Síochána in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36575/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

A core focus of the work carried out by An Garda Síochána is aimed at tackling drug distribution and organised crime. The continued disruption of the supply of all illicit drugs remains a priority for An Garda Síochána and the other state agencies tasked with responsibilities in this regard.

Since its establishment in 2015, the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, which manages national and international drug trafficking and organised crime investigations, has continued to make significant seizures of controlled drugs and to make related arrests.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that recent intelligence-led operations have resulted in significant drugs seizures by An Garda Síochána, including a seizure of heroin with an estimated value of €1 million euro (subject to analysis) in Dublin and Meath on Sunday, 1 September. This seizure was part of a joint operation involving members of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and the United Kingdom National Crime Agency.

Such seizures represent a major blow to criminal gangs, who planned to profit from selling these drugs. The success of this and other operations demonstrates the effectiveness of the various enforcement bodies within this State working together with their international counterparts.

The information requested by the Deputy is provided in the following table from data available in the 2015 to 2017 Annual Reports of An Garda Síochána. The 2018 annual report has not yet been published, and data to date in 2019 is not yet available.

Drug Seizures by An Garda Síochána, 2015-2017

Year

2015

2016

2017

TOTAL

Anabolic Steroids

(Grams/mls/Plant)

24

63

185

272

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

1,763

371

833

2,967

Value

€1,058

€223

€548

€1,829

Benzodiazepines

(Grams/mls/Plant)

749

1,364

16,341

18454

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

495,557

74,122

115,567

685246

Value

€991,113

€135,686

€1,374,908

€2,501,707

Cannabis Herb

(Grams/mls/Plant)

558,678

479,695

2,597,258

3635631

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

3

3

Value

€11,173,554

€9,593,907

€53,290,457

€74,057,918

Cannabis Plants

(Grams/mls/Plant)

12,539

7,273

9,046

28858

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

0

Value

€10,031,084

€5,818,247

€7,237,175

€23,086,506

Cannabis Resin

(Grams/mls/Plant)

263,363

59,089

79,007

401459

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

0

Value

€1,580,178

€354,533

€593,945

€2,528,656

Cathinones

(Grams/mls/Plant)

6,744

3,619

728

11091

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

69

107

176

Value

€236,041

€180,940

€50,197

€467,178

Cocaine

(Grams/mls/Plant)

108,817

91,016

51,811

251644

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

374

374

Value

€7,617,223

€6,371,150

€3,963,371

€17,951,744

Diamorphine

(Grams/mls/Plant)

61,741

38,386

18,226

118353

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

3

2

5

Value

€9,261,194

€5,374,033

€2,880,502

€17,515,729

Hallucinogens

(Grams/mls/Plant)

22,136

3,990

23,775

49901

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

4,956

1,128

367

6451

Value

€1,576,943

€238,335

€111,509

€1,926,787

Mixing Agents

(Grams/mls/Plant)

49,656

83,218

58,483

191357

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

315

340

209

864

Value

€24,828

€41,609

€32,333

€98,770

Opioids Other

(Grams/mls/Plant)

12,448

3,087

2,739

18274

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

76

192

515

783

Value

€4,108

€617

€64,790

€69,515

Other

(Grams/mls/Plant)

117

117

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

458

3,521

3979

Value

€0

€347

€347

Phenethylamines (including ecstasy (MDMA) and other similar related drugs)

(Grams/mls/Plant)

27,436

24,051

25,527

77014

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

187,681

30,257

15,468

233406

Value

€3,522,972

€1,556,257

€2,203,895

€7,283,124

Piperazine

(Grams/mls/Plant)

172

97

33

302

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

2,304

30

354

2688

Value

€20,103

€4,993

€3,425

€28,521

Sleeping Tablet

(Grams/mls/Plant)

15

5,711

5726

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

331,896

16,070

23,652

371618

Value

€663,792

€32,140

€47,804

€743,736

Solvents

(Grams/mls/Plant)

2,961

3,646

6607

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

0

Value

€2,961

€3,646

€6,607

Synthetic Cannabinoids

(Grams/mls/Plant)

3

15

59

77

(Tbls/Sqr/Caps)

0

Value

€57

€303

€1,189

€1,549

TOTAL VALUE

€46,704,248

€29,706,281

€71,859,695

€148,270,224

Cannabis plants are calculated on figures recorded on PULSE as not all plants are routinely sent to FSI. All figures are provisional, operational and subject to change. The above figures refer to drug seizures conducted by An Garda Síochána alone and do not include the amount and value of drugs seized in multi-agency operations in which An Garda Síochána was centrally involved.

Questions Nos. 683 and 684 answered with Question No. 618.

Naturalisation Eligibility

Questions (685)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

685. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a person (details supplied) is eligible to apply for naturalisation notwithstanding a number of summonses that have been paid; if the case will be favourably considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36585/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The eligibility criteria for becoming an Irish citizen by naturalisation is set out in the website of the Immigration Service of my Department (www.inis.gov.ie).  One of the criteria is that a person must be of good character. Any interaction that a person has had with An Garda Síochána or other law enforcement authorities or with the courts will be considered. 

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is not possible to indicate in advance of a full assessment of an application whether a decision on an application will be positive or not.

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

Naturalisation Eligibility

Questions (686)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

686. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when eligibility to apply for naturalisation will be clarified in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36586/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Immigration Service of my Department that there is no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy. As the Deputy will appreciate, a determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria attendant to naturalisation can only be made after an application is received.

It is open to any individual to lodge an application for a certificate of naturalisation if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, which governs the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation. Detailed information on Irish citizenship and naturalisation, as well as the relevant application forms, is available on the Immigration Service website at www.inis.gov.ie.

In relation to applications for citizenship, I am aware that the recent judgment of the High Court relating to continuous residency under Section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended) has given cause for concern. The matter remains before the courts with the lodgement of an appeal before the Court of Appeal and is therefore sub-judice. I can, however, assure the Deputy that my Department is continuing to work on finding solutions to the situation as quickly as possible. The best interests of both current and future applicants are foremost in these considerations and on 25 July 2019 I obtained Cabinet approval for the drafting of a Bill, which seeks to resolve the issue.  

My officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General’s Office to have a bill drafted on an urgent basis and be brought before the Houses of the Oireachtas as quickly as possible on resumption of business in mid-September. Further updates, as they become available, will be posted on the Immigration Service website.

The Immigration Service are advising those who are planning to apply for citizenship to continue to collect all of the necessary proofs that support their application and to submit a comprehensive application form. Once a solution is in place, if any additional information is required, applicants will be contacted as part of the processing of the application.

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

Naturalisation Applications

Questions (687)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

687. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which progress continues on the update of stamp 4 and-or naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36588/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The application from the person referred to by the Deputy for a certificate of naturalisation will be assessed and submitted to me for decision by the Immigration Service of my Department as expeditiously as possible. Should further documentation be required it will be requested from the applicant by my Department in due course.

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

I am also aware that the recent judgment of the High Court relating to continuous residency under Section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended) has given cause for concern. The matter remains before the courts with the lodgement of an appeal before the Court of Appeal and is therefore sub-judice. I can, however, assure the Deputy that my Department is continuing to work on finding solutions to the situation as quickly as possible. The best interests of both current and future applicants are foremost in these considerations and on 25 July 2019 I obtained Cabinet approval for the drafting of a Bill, which seeks to resolve the issue.  

My officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General’s Office to have a bill drafted on an urgent basis and be brought before the Houses of the Oireachtas as quickly as possible on resumption of business in mid-September. Further updates, as they become available, will be posted on the Immigration Service website.

The Immigration Service are advising those who are planning to apply for citizenship to continue to collect all the necessary proofs that support their application and to submit a comprehensive application form. Once a solution is in place, if any additional information is required, applicants will be contacted as part of the processing of the application. I am further advised that this ruling is not considered to have consequences for anyone who has already obtained citizenship under the Act.

Individual queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Citizenship Status

Questions (688)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

688. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the means by which a person (details supplied) can regularise or update their status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36589/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Immigration Service of my Department issued a notification to the person concerned, pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). The person concerned has not as yet submitted written representations in response.

The person may contact my Department in writing to confirm or correct their address for the issue of correspondence to them.  My Department will then re-issue the correspondence, which will allow an additional 15 days for a response.  The address to write to is: Acknowledgements Unit, Repatriation Division, Department of Justice and Equality, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2. 

 The status in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation.  If any representations are submitted, they will be considered before a final decision is made.   

The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Questions (689)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

689. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the correct procedure to be followed to regularise residency in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36590/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Immigration Service of my Department that from the information provided by the Deputy it has not been possible to identify any application made to them on behalf of the person concerned.

It is open to the person concerned to contact the Immigration Service, in writing, and to set out their particular circumstances, for consideration.  All relevant information and any supporting documentary evidence should be included in the request. The website (www.inis.gov.ie) contains the relevant contact addresses for correspondence depending on the particular circumstances of the individual. 

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

Immigration Status

Questions (690)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

690. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the correct procedure to be followed by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36591/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I must inform the Deputy that the person referred to cannot be identified with any immigration related application or process from the information provided. I will be happy to follow up further on the matter if the Deputy can provide additional information on the nature of the immigration issue.

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

Naturalisation Applications

Questions (691)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

691. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding an application for naturalisation in case a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36596/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is currently being considered by the Immigration Service of my Department.  On completion of the necessary processing, the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. Should further documentation be required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

I am aware that the recent judgment of the High Court relating to continuous residency under Section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended) has given cause for concern. The matter remains before the courts with the lodgement of an appeal before the Court of Appeal and is therefore sub-judice. I can, however, assure the Deputy that my Department is continuing to work on finding solutions to the situation as quickly as possible. The best interests of both current and future applicants are foremost in these considerations and on 25 July 2019 I obtained Cabinet approval for the drafting of a Bill, which seeks to resolve the issue.  

My officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General’s Office to have a bill drafted on an urgent basis and be brought before the Houses of the Oireachtas as quickly as possible on resumption of business in mid-September. Further updates, as they become available, will be posted on the INIS website.

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

Naturalisation Eligibility

Questions (692)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

692. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the termination of eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36597/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am advised by the Immigration Service of my Department that an application for a certificate of Naturalisation was received on 10 October 2018 from the person referred to by the Deputy. Processing of this application is on-going to establish whether the conditions for naturalisation are satisfied.

I am aware that the recent judgment of the High Court relating to continuous residency under Section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended) has given cause for concern. The matter remains before the courts with the lodgement of an appeal before the Court of Appeal and is therefore sub-judice. I can, however, assure the Deputy that my Department is continuing to work on finding solutions to the situation as quickly as possible. The best interests of both current and future applicants are foremost in these considerations and on 25 July 2019 I obtained Cabinet approval for the drafting of a Bill, which seeks to resolve the issue.  

My officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General’s Office to have a bill drafted on an urgent basis and be brought before the Houses of the Oireachtas as quickly as possible on resumption of business in mid-September. Further updates, as they become available, will be posted on the Immigration Service website.

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