Garda Expenditure

Questions (329)

John Curran

Question:

329. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the cost incurred by An Garda Síochána to pay for storage of seized vehicles in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44868/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Deputy will appreciate that as the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote, the Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of the organisation.

I am informed by the Commissioner that the costs incurred by An Garda Síochána for the storage of seized vehicles are set out in the following table.

Year

Spend

2016

€4,481,934

2017

€5,757,420

2018

€6,171,075

2019*

€4,643,497

*figures as of 25/10/2019

Road Traffic Offences Data

Questions (330)

John Curran

Question:

330. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of drivers that have been caught driving while holding a mobile phone in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44869/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have requested a report from the Garda authorities in relation to the matters raised by the Deputy. I will write directly to the Deputy once I receive it.

Fines Data

Questions (331)

John Curran

Question:

331. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the value of fines collected for driving while holding a mobile phone in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44870/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

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

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

Report on the value of fines recovered for driving while holding a mobile phone in each of the years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and to 30th September 2019.

Year

Value of Fines Recovered in full

Value of Fines Part Recovered

Total Fines Recovered

Jan - Dec 2015

€288,876

€288,876

Jan – Dec 2016

€230,475

€2,500

€232,975

Jan – Dec 2017

€151,350

€1,106

€152,456

Jan - Dec 2018

€122,831

€1,197

€124,028

Jan – 30 Sep 2019

€67,634

€1,979

€69,613

Direct Provision System

Questions (332)

Pat Casey

Question:

332. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a social support worker has been assigned to the temporary direct provision centre (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44907/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, my Department, has a legal duty to protect the identities of persons in the international protection process and must be mindful of the right to privacy of applicants when responding to any specific queries.

As of 27 October 2019, there were 139 people residing in emergency accommodation in Co. Wicklow. This includes family units and single people seeking international protection.

As our existing 38 accommodation centres are currently operating at full capacity, my Department sought expressions of interest seeking bed and board in hotels and guesthouses on a 12-26 week basis for emergency temporary accommodation for international protection applications. Premises in County Wicklow were sourced on that basis. Our aim is to ensure that residents in emergency accommodation are re-accommodated in a dedicated accommodation centre as quickly as possible.

The International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS - formerly known as RIA) of my Department liaises with the relevant partner agencies such as the HSE, Tusla, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection regarding the local roll-out of required services to residents in all emergency accommodation locations. The HSE and Tusla, where applicable, continue to engage with any issues raised relating to health care provision such as access to GPs and access to social workers.

Asylum Seekers

Questions (333)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

333. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of asylum seekers returned to Zimbabwe in each of the years 2012 to 2015. [44917/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Firstly, I wish to advise the Deputy that the State cannot and does not deport people who are in the process of seeking asylum or international protection applicants, who have applied under the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) or under the International Protection Act 2015. Such persons may remain in the State while their application is examined. If, after these procedures, an applicant has been found not to be in need of international protection, that person is no longer considered to be an asylum seeker or to be in need of international protection.

Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) gives the Minister for Justice and Equality powers to make a Deportation Order. Section 3(2) of that Act sets out the nature of persons in respect of whom such an Order can be made. This includes, among other categories of person, a person who has served or is serving a term of imprisonment imposed on him or her by a court in the State, a person whose deportation has been recommended by a court in the State before which such person was indicted for or charged with any crime or offence, a person whose application for asylum, based on the provisions of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended), has been refused by the Minister and a person whose deportation would, in the opinion of the Minister, be conducive to the common good.

Section 3(3) of the Act provides the procedure to be followed before any such Order can be made while section 3(4) sets out the three options open to any person put on notice of a proposal to make a Deportation Order in respect of them. These options are to leave the State voluntarily, to consent to deportation or to submit written representations against the making of such an Order.

A refoulement consideration must also be carried out prior to any deportation consideration. This involves consideration of whether returning the person would result in the life or freedom of that person being threatened on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, or whether the person would be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. No person is returned to their country of origin, or their place of former habitual residence, where there is a credible risk to their life or freedom.

The data available to the Immigration Service of my Department suggests that the State did not return any individual to Zimbabwe in the years mentioned in the Deputy's query.

Garda Data

Questions (334)

Gerry Adams

Question:

334. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Gardaassigned to the drugs and organised crime unit in County Louth in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [44951/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the managing An Garda Síochána and for the allocation of Garda resources, in light of identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for personnel matters and the distribution of personnel. As Minister I have no direct role in these 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.

As the Deputy will be aware, all Gardaí have a responsibility in the prevention and detection of criminal activity whether it be in the area of drug offences, crime or otherwise. I can assure the Deputy that An Garda Síochána continues to pro-actively and resolutely tackle all forms of drug crime in this jurisdiction.

In 2015 the Commissioner, established a new national Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GDOCB), which brought together the Organised Crime Unit and the Garda National Drug Unit so as to create a robust entity to effectively tackle drugs and organised crime, as it currently exists in this country.

The GDOCB leads out the policing strategy for tackling drugs by demand reduction and supply reduction strategies. In this regard the Bureau continues its policy of working with Garda Divisional Drug Units nationwide in tackling supply reduction at local level. This work is further supported by other national units, including the Criminal Assets Bureau, in targeting persons involved in the illicit sale and supply of drugs. I am informed that this approach allows for the co-ordinated use of Garda resources in tackling all forms of organised crime, including illicit drug activity nationwide.

We have also seen unprecedented international cooperation between An Garda Síochána and policing services in other jurisdictions leading to important arrests and drug seizures.

Underpinning all these measures is this Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. To achieve this the Government has put in place a plan for an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021. We are making real, tangible progress on achieving this goal.

I am informed by the Commissioner that 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.

This focus on investment in personnel is critical and I am pleased that funding is in place for the recruitment of up to 700 Gardaí and additional Garda staff in 2020, depending on the Commissioner’s operational decision on the balance required.

I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that as of 30 September 2019, the total Garda strength of the GDOCB is 105. There are also 13 Garda staff assigned to the Bureau as of the same date.

I further understand from the Garda authorities that, in addition to the GDOCB, the Garda strength of the Louth Divisional Drugs Unit in the years 2016 to 2019 was as follows:

2016: following table (provided to me by the Garda authorities) sets out the Garda strength of the Louth Garda Division Drugs unit from the years 2016 to 30 September 2019, as requested by the Deputy.

Year

Garda members

2016

6

2017

5

2018

2

2019 (as at 30 September)

3

National Drugs Strategy Implementation

Questions (335, 336)

Gerry Adams

Question:

335. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the manner in which the national drugs strategy will be implemented across the State and in County Louth; and the agencies involved in same. [44952/19]

View answer

Gerry Adams

Question:

336. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount of funding allocated to implementing the national drugs strategy in County Louth. [44953/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 335 and 336 together.

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. This represents a whole-of-Government response to the problem of drug and alcohol use in Ireland.

My Department and associated agencies continue to work closely with statutory, community and voluntary partners in tackling the problem of drug misuse under the drug policy framework established under the Strategy. However my Department does not allocate funding for specific actions in the strategy on a county basis.

As the Deputy will appreciate, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne TD have primary responsibility in relation to the strategy and that Department provides most of the funding to local and regional drugs task forces nationwide.

I am consulting with that Department on this matter further and I will write to the Deputy directly when the relevant information is available.

Domestic Violence

Questions (337)

Gerry Adams

Question:

337. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the funding allocated to agencies in County Louth which work with survivors of domestic abuse in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019. [44954/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, Tusla has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual or gender based violence. As such, the relevant Minister in terms of the core funding of domestic violence services is the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, by virtue of her responsibility for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, which funds those services.

I understand that Tusla has provided €25.3 million for services for victims of domestic, sexual or gender based violence in 2019.

In addition, my Department has provided funding to promote and assist the development of support services to victims of crime.

Such services continue to provide important information and support to victims of crime, including emotional support, court accompaniment, accompaniment to Garda interviews, accompaniment to sexual assault treatment units, counselling and referral to other services.

The funding allocated under this scheme to relevant agencies in County Louth working with victims of domestic abuse for each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, is provided in the following table.

Organisation

2016

2017

2018

2019

Women's Aid Dundalk

€18,000

€17,500

€17,500

€17,500

Drogheda Women's Refuge and Children’s Refuge Centre

€10,000

€11,500

€11,500

€11,500

Garda Training

Questions (338)

Gerry Adams

Question:

338. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the training given to probationary and fully qualified members of An Garda Síochána to deal with incidences of domestic abuse. [44955/19]

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 the training of its members and civilian staff. As Minister, I have no direct role in the matter.

I am informed by An Garda Síochána that there are a range of training programmes in place to enable Gardaí to learn how to deal with incidences of domestic abuse.

For trainee Gardaí, I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following training is provided:

- While in Phase I training, trainee Gardaí cover Domestic Violence as part of the B.A. in Applied Policing Programme, under the “Policing with Communities” module. In this module, trainees are introduced to the relevant legislation and policy, and also receive related PULSE training. In addition, the Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) deliver a seminar to trainee Gardaí on Domestic Abuse.

- While in Phase 3 training, trainee Gardaí receive further training in Domestic Abuse, with training delivered in Case Studies, Domestic Dispute Pulse Creation, Procedures for Obtaining Orders, Step by Step for First Responders and Domestic Abuse Guidance in Garda College. Adapt / Women’s Aid also deliver a workshop on Domestic Abuse Awareness in Phase 3 training for An Garda Síochána

I am further informed that the Continuous Professional Development section of Garda College has also developed a core programme for 2019, addressing issues including domestic violence and coercive control.

Finally, and as the Deputy is aware, An Garda Síochána is rolling out Protective Services Units nationwide, with specially trained members to specifically deal with victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence.

Garda Training

Questions (339)

Gerry Adams

Question:

339. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the training budget allocated to members of An Garda Síochána in relation to domestic abuse. [44956/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have been advised by An Garda Síochána that it is not possible to provide a breakdown of the annual funding for specialist training in the area of domestic violence in the past five years.

The training plan costs the delivery of overall programmes and the provision of funding for niche training. Unit costs of courses which are delivered as part of longer running courses such as the B.A. in Applied Policing, or delivered as part of the Phase III probationary period and the associated costs in the development of these training programmes is not available, as individual unit module costs of long recurring course, are not quantified.

The Deputy may wish to be aware that, I am informed by the Garda authorities, that the budget for training and development expenditure is now included under the Garda College subhead. I am further informed by the Garda authorities that the budget for training and development in 2019 is €37.6 million, which is an increase of €5.8 million on 2018.

Domestic Violence Policy

Questions (340)

Gerry Adams

Question:

340. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the locations of perpetrator programmes for persons convicted of domestic abuse crimes; and the funding allocated to these programmes in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019. [44957/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

My Department is currently supporting and overseeing the implementation of a uniform national domestic violence intervention programme under the Second National Strategy for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender- based Violence, 2016-2021. The roll out of this programme, entitled the Choices Programme, began in 2017.

The Choices Programme is now being delivered across the State by the following three organisations working with men who engage in domestic abuse and in providing support to their partners/ex-partners: MOVE Ireland, Men's Development Network and the North East Domestic Violence Intervention Programme (NEDVIP).

Prior to establishment of the Choices programme, these organisations were running separate types of domestic abuse intervention programmes locally with funding support provided by my Department.

I understand that NEDVIP, the programme managed by the Probation Service in Louth takes referrals from the criminal courts or from Tulsa, the Child and Family Agency. MOVE and MEND - a programme run by the Men's Development Network - are also open to taking referrals from the Probation Service and Tusla but also accept men who self-refer or are referred by other agencies.

I understand that the current programme locations are as follows.

Choices Programme Location

Service Provider

Contact details

Galway

MOVE

085-8748108 www.moveireland.ie/

Sligo

MOVE

085-8748108www.moveireland.ie/

Midlands (Athlone)

MOVE

085-8748108www.moveireland.ie/

Cork

MOVE

086-6044047www.moveireland.ie/

Dublin city centre

MOVE

O86-4149591www.moveireland.ie/

Dublin Tallaght

MOVE

086-4149591www.moveireland.ie/

Dublin Swords

MOVE

086-4149591www.moveireland.ie/

Meath

MOVE

086-4149591www.moveireland.ie/

Limerick/Clare

MOVE

086-4149613www.moveireland.ie/

North Tipperary

MOVE

086-4149613www.moveireland.ie/

Kerry

MOVE

086-4149613www.moveireland.ie/

Carlow/ Kilkenny

MEND

086-8751131http://mend.ie/

South Tipperary

MEND

087-9156632http://mend.ie/

Waterford

MEND

086-8167798http://mend.ie/

Wexford

MEND

086-1075449http://mend.ie/

Laois/Offaly

MEND

087- 4597626http://mend.ie/

Kildare

MEND

051-878866http://mend.ie/

Louth

NEDVIP

042 9359755

Details of the funding provided by my Department to the relevant service providers in delivering intervention programmes over the period requested by the Deputy is in the following table.

Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme Organisation Funding

2016

2017

2018

2019 to date –as at September 30 2019

MOVE Ireland

€402,000

€395,000

€500,000

€387,500

Mens Development Network

€278,000

€272,215

€297,537

€289,620

North East Domestic Violence Intervention Programme

€24,000

€23,494

€36,134

€18,633.50

Total Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes

€704,000

€690,709

€833.671

€695,753.50 to date

Commencement of Legislation

Questions (341)

Michael McGrath

Question:

341. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the sections of the Judicial Council Act 2019 in relation to the establishment of a judicial council and a personal injuries committee will be commenced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44976/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Judicial Council Bill was enacted on 23 July 2019. This is a major landmark piece of reforming legislation which provides for the establishment, for the first time, of a Judicial Council comprising all members of the judiciary. The primary function of the Council will be to promote and maintain excellence in the exercise by judges of their judicial functions and high standards of conduct among judges. The Board of the Council will be responsible for carrying out the functions of the Council on a day-to-day basis.

I envisage that the Judicial Council will be established by the end of this year and a great deal of work is underway to facilitate establishment within that time frame. As I am sure the Deputy will appreciate, it is important to establish the Council and its committees in a legally robust manner. These timelines are challenging but are on track to be met.

Committees of the Judicial Council will be established by the Council having regard to the timelines set out in the Judicial Council Act 2019. The Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee is to be established no later than 3 months after the first meeting of the Judicial Council itself, and that Committee is to meet no later than one month after its establishment. The Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee will be responsible for drawing up personal injuries guidelines for adoption by the Council.

Immigration Status

Questions (342)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

342. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the residency status of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44984/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy continues to be processed by my officials and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

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

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 Court of Appeal reserving judgement on the appeal on 8 October, and the matter, therefore, remains sub-judice. The outcome of the appeal will have a bearing on whether or not legislation is required. Should it be necessary, I intend to introduce a Bill in the Oireachtas as soon as possible this term.

My Department is doing everything possible to put a solution in place on an urgent basis. At the end of July, I obtained Cabinet approval for a proposed Bill to address the matter and intensive work is taking place in my Department where officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General’s Office to finalise the draft Bill.

The advice to those who are planning to apply for citizenship is 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 their 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 from the Immigration Service is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Garda Data

Questions (343)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

343. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda,by rank, attached to each divisional roads policing unit as of 29 October 2019, in tabular form. [44997/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and control of An Garda Síochána, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended. The Commissioner is also responsible for the allocation and efficient use of Garda resources including the deployment of personnel. As Minister, I have no direct role in those 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.

It is also important to note that road traffic legislation is enforced as part of the day-to-day duties of all members of An Garda Síochána, as well as through specific enforcement operations.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the strength of Roads Policing Units on the 30 September 2019, the latest date for which figures are available, stood at 680. There is one Chief Superintendent and two Superintendents attached to the DMR Roads Policing Units and a Superintendent attached to each of the other five Regions. In addition, there is one Chief Superintendent, two Superintendents, one Inspector, one Sergeant and one Garda attached to Garda National Roads Policing Bureau (GNRPB) in Garda HQ.

I understand that the Commissioner established the GNRPB to ensure a consistent approach to road safety and enforcement of road traffic legislation across the country. This is achieved through coordination of enforcement and development of policy based on research and analysis of statistics and by engaging in campaigns in partnership with other State Agencies.

I understand that in addition to the Roads Policing Units focusing on the lifesaver offences of speeding, seatbelts, mobile phones and driving under the influence, they also focus on crime prevention and crime detection. Divisional Roads Policing units work closely with other Divisional units to target known criminals and to disrupt their activities through strict enforcement of road traffic legislation.

I understand from the Garda authorities that the following table sets out the number of Gardaí assigned to the Roads Policing Units as at 30 September 2019, the latest date for which figures are available.

Inspector

Sergeant

Garda

Total

Cavan/Monaghan

3

20

23

Clare

2

16

18

Cork City

1

4

27

32

Cork North

6

20

26

Cork West

4

19

23

D.M.R. Traffic

3

9

94

106

D.M.R.E.

1

2

6

9

D.M.R.N.

3

12

15

D.M.R.N.C

1

2

13

16

D.M.R.S.

1

2

9

12

D.M.R.S.C.

1

2

10

13

D.M.R.W.

2

12

14

Donegal

1

2

20

23

Galway

4

32

36

Kerry

2

17

19

Kildare

2

21

23

Kilkenny/Carlow

2

21

23

Laois/Offaly

3

22

25

Limerick

1

27

28

Louth

2

18

20

Mayo

3

21

24

Meath

1

14

15

Roscommon/Longford

1

17

18

Sligo/Leitrim

4

19

23

Tipperary

2

24

26

Waterford

1

10

11

Westmeath

2

16

18

Wexford

3

17

20

Wicklow

1

3

17

21

Total

10

79

591

680

Garda Transport Data

Questions (344)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

344. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda vehicles attached to each Garda collision forensic investigation unit as of 29 October 2019. [44998/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached record levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion. I am also pleased to have secured a further €122 million to increase An Garda Síochána's budget to an unprecedented €1.882 billion for next year.

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 has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet and that Gardaí can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.

€10 million capital funding was made available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019. I understand from the Garda authorities that this allocation is being used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles for operational use this year. A further €9 million has been allocated for the Garda fleet in Budget 2020.

As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. Further, the allocation of Garda resources is also a matter for the Commissioner, in light of his identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles. As Minister, I have no direct role in that matter. I understand 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.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that as at 30 October 2019, there are 10 vans assigned to the Forensic Collision Investigation Duty.

Garda Data

Questions (345, 346)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

345. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the members of An Garda Síochána currently on sick leave; if a breakdown will be provided of the details of sworn members and civilians by county and-or divisions by rank of officer and grade of civilian; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45048/19]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

346. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the members of An Garda Síochána currently on sick leave due to injury and-or illness that is directly attributed to the day-to-day work of An Garda Síochána; the rank of each garda; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45049/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 345 and 346 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 personnel matters. As Minister I have no direct role in these matters.

I have requested a report from the Garda authorities in relation to the matters raised by the Deputy. I will write directly to the Deputy once I receive it.

Garda Compensation

Questions (347)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

347. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of outstanding cases of workplace compensation claims with An Garda Síochána by year in the past five years to date in 2019; the sum paid by way of compensation for cases settled over the same period; if the budget of his Department or An Garda Síochána incurs the settlement amount; and the contingent liability of An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45050/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Garda Síochána (Compensation) Acts, 1941 and 1945 provide for a scheme of compensation for members of An Garda Síochána who are maliciously injured in the course of their duty or in relation to the performance of their duties as members of An Garda Síochána and for the dependants of members who have died from injuries maliciously inflicted on them.

Under the Acts, as Minister I have the responsibility to approve or refuse applications for compensation to be put forward to the High Court, having regard to the circumstances of the case and the legislation. This assessment is discharged by officials of my Department. Before deciding if an applicant should be authorised to apply to the High Court for compensation in respect of the injury, all medical reports submitted by the applicant, together with a report on the incident by An Garda Síochána and a report on the injury by the Garda Chief Medical Officer must be considered. The process of progressing an application for compensation from the date of its receipt to the date it is authorised, may take a considerable period of time. Once an application is approved, it is for the individual concerned to apply to the High Court for compensation.

The Deputy will appreciate that for these reasons, cases relating to which awards are made in a given year do not correspond to applications for compensation received in the same year.

I can inform the Deputy however that the number of applications received under the Garda Síochána Compensation Acts 1941 and 1945 in the last five years are as follows:

Year

No of Applications received under the Garda Síochána Compensation Acts 1941 and 1945

2015

191

2016

204

2017

181

2018

161

2019 (to 30 October)

124

I can confirm to the Deputy that compensation awards are paid from the Garda Vote.

I am informed that the amounts paid under the Scheme and legal costs arising in the period 2015- September 2019 are set out in the table below:

Year

Number of cases Completed

Awards paid (€m)

Costs Paid (€m)*

Year

Number of cases Completed

Awards paid (€m)

Costs Paid (€m)*

2015

93

€3.60

€1.30

2016

66

€4.70

€1.60

2017

111

€5.80

€2.00

2018

126

€4.60

€1.80

to September 2019

68

€5.60

€0.81

*Legal costs paid in any particular year do not necessarily correspond to the awards made in that year.

Separately from Garda Compensation cases under the 1941 and 1945 Acts, as set out in the above, certain claims are managed by the State Claims Agency. I am informed by the State Claims Agency that active claims identified on the State Claims Agency National Incident Management System (NIMS) for Garda personnel for the years 2015 to 2019 are as follows.

Year End/Period End

Number of Active Claims

2015

123

2016

133

2017

138

2018

151

2019 (at 30 September 2019

159

I am further informed by the State Claims Agency that the following table sets out the total amount paid in damages in relation to claims by Garda personnel for the years 2015 to 2019.

Year of Transaction

Total Paid

2015

€864,034

2016

€834,376

2017

€726,982

2018

€1,013,957

2019 (at 30 September 2019)

€237,431

Total

€3,676,781

Garda Station Refurbishment

Questions (348)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

348. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of Emyvale Garda station further to a fire which caused extensive damage at the station ; if funding will be ring-fenced for the refurbishment of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45051/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

First, I must note that the Office of Public Works (OPW) has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. As a result, all works to the Garda estate involve close cooperation between the OPW and the Garda authorities. This includes identifying and progressing any necessary remedial or refurbishment works required at individual stations. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the Emyvale Station was largely destroyed following a fire which occurred in the early hours of 28 October 2019.

I am informed by An Garda Síochána that it is engaging with the OPW in relation to works at a separate property at Emyvale to facilitate the continuation of a Garda presence there. This is being taken forward by the OPW and An Garda Síochána.

Pending completion of that process, I am informed that An Garda Síochána continues to provide community policing services in the town of Emyvale working from a local building on a temporary basis.

I am happy to confirm to the Deputy that An Garda Síochána has said that the community of Emyvale can be assured that there will be no depletion in Garda resources in the area during this period.