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Thursday, 4 Nov 2021

Written Answers Nos. 316-330

Cross-Border Co-operation

Questions (316)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

316. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the details of the cross-Border Project Ireland 2040 infrastructure projects and the funding allocated for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53839/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Deputy might note that my Department have no cross-Border Project Ireland 2040 infrastructure projects at this time.

Cross-Border Co-operation

Questions (317)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

317. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the details of his Department’s current cross-Border initiatives, goods and or services committed to and the funding allocated to each for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53857/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Details of the current cross-Border initiatives, goods and or services committed to by my Department and the funding allocated to each for 2021, 2022 and 2023, are set out below in tabular form.

Funding Committed to 2021

Funding Committed to 2022

Funding Committed to 2023

PEACE IV - Programme for Peace and Reconciliation

€1.624m

Not Finalised

Not Finalised

Peace Plus Programme

Nil

Not Finalised

Not Finalised

Co-Operation Ireland

€31,380

Not Finalised

Not Finalised

Youth Voice Structures Northern Ireland

Not Finalised

Not Finalised

Not Finalised

Child protection agenda of the North South Ministerial Council

€19,000

Not Finalised

Not Finalised

PEACE IV - Programme for Peace and Reconciliation

DCEDIY is an accountable Department in relation to the Children and Young People Objective of the Peace IV Programme, which in Ireland comes under the remit of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. PEACE IV is a cross-border initiative, financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). PEACE IV supports peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland. In 2021, DCEDIY contributed €1.624m in match-funding to the SEUPB to support the delivery of the ‘PEACE4Youth’ Programme, which is targeted at those young people aged between 14-24 years in Northern Ireland and the six border counties who are most disadvantaged, excluded or marginalised.

PEACE PLUS Programme

Development of the PEACE PLUS programme is being led by the Special EU Programmes Body in close cooperation with DPER and the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland and with input from accountable departments North and South. My Department would not be in a position to provide details on elements of the Programme’s budget ahead of the approval of the draft programme by the European Commission.

Co-Operation Ireland

Co-Operation Ireland is a peace building charity and has received a funding allocation of €31,380 in 2021 to support the delivery of a cross border Youth Leadership Programme between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The aim of the programme is to build the capacity of young people to take on an active leadership role in their communities and to engage positively with others from different backgrounds, including cross-border. Funding has been provided to date subject to an annual application and allocation process.

Youth Voice Structures Northern Ireland

The National Participation Office is currently engaging with Youth Voice Structures Northern Ireland on connecting Comhairle na nÓg with their Northern Ireland counterparts. Participation Officers from the National Participation Office and Youth Officers from the Education Authority in Northern Ireland have met to plan engagements. This work is in the early stages and there is no budget directly associated with it as of yet.

Child protection agenda of the North South Ministerial Council

The child protection agenda is attached to the Health Sectoral meetings and the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth participates in these meetings with the Minister for Health and NI counterparts. A revised child protection work programme, with priorities covering a three year period to 31 December 2024, was approved by Ministers at the NSMC Health and Food Sectoral Meeting, in March 2021. The focus of the work programme is on areas of child protection that will benefit from an all island approach where mutual cooperation will add value and link with priorities in both jurisdictions.

Rights of People with Disabilities

Questions (318)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

318. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the reason there is no mention of disabled persons' organisation which need to be prioritised in this regard according to Article 4(3) of the UNCRPD with reference to the recently announced annual disability participation and awareness fund, the explicitly reference to the involvement of disabled persons and the implementation of the UNCRPD. [53944/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Supporting the participation of Disabled Persons Organisations is a critical part of Ireland's obligations under the UNCRPD. To further realise Ireland's commitment's under CRPD, my Department launched, on 18 October this year, a new annual Disability Participation and Awareness Fund (DPAF).

A total of €2.5m will be made available in 2021 to Local Authorities to fund projects in their local area. Grants under the Fund will be to a maximum of €80,000. It is open for local authorities to partner with other organisations in the delivery of projects under the Fund.

Clear assessment criteria have been set for the allocation of funding under the 2021 Fund and these have been communicated to local authorities in guidance documentation for the making of applications.

Assuming that projects align with the aims and goals of the Fund, and are of a sufficiently high standard having regard to the other applications received, the guidance material makes clear that projects which provide funding to Disability Organisations and in particular to Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) will be given priority this year.

The purpose of DPAF 2021 is to provide funding for Local Authorities across Ireland to support the participation of people with disabilities in local activities, to help remove barriers to community involvement, and to support the promotion and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in communities.

Disability Services

Questions (319)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

319. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if he will consider implementing a mechanism that would allow for disabled person’s organisations to be prioritised in securing some of the disability participation and awareness fund through the local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53945/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability, Ms. Anne Rabbitte TD, recently launched, in October 2021, a new annual Disability Participation and Awareness Fund (DPAF).

The purpose of DPAF 2021 is to provide funding for Local Authorities across Ireland to support the participation of people with disabilities in local activities, to help remove barriers to community involvement, and to support the promotion and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in communities.

A total of €2.5m will be made available in 2021 to Local Authorities to fund projects in their local area. Grants under the Fund will be to a maximum of €80,000.

Clear assessment criteria have been set for the allocation of funding under the 2021 Fund and these have been communicated to local authorities in guidance documentation for the making of applications.

Assuming that projects align with the aims and goals of the Fund, and are of a sufficiently high standard having regard to the other applications received, the guidance material makes clear that projects which provide funding to Disability Organisations and in particular to Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) will be given priority this year.

Disability Services

Questions (320)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Question:

320. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if consideration has been given for some core funding stream to be made available to disabled person’s organisations directly as opposed to local authorities as per Article 4(3) of the UNCRPD; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53946/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2018 and continues to progressively realise its obligations under the Convention.

In progressively realising the obligations arising from Article 4(3) of the UNCRPD, my Department funded the development of the Disability Participation and Consultation Network (DPCN). It was formed in late 2020 to build capacity within the disability community so that people with disabilities and their representative organisations can participate fully in the development of policies and programmes.

One of the Disability Participation and Consultation Network’s first tasks has been to bring the voices of people with disabilities into consultations on Ireland’s first State Report to the UN on our progress in implementing the Convention. The Disability Participation and Consultation Network facilitated a consultation process amongst its membership to complete that task and I expect that they will continue to feed into policy-making across Departments.

In addition to capacity building via the DPCN, the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability, Ms. Anne Rabbitte TD, launched a new annual Disability Participation and Awareness Fund (DPAF) on 18 October this year.

In this first year of the Fund, resourcing is being provided through the local authority system in order to focus efforts and build capacity at local and community level. It is intended that the 2021 Fund will inform a further funding call in 2022, and in that regard I note the Deputy's suggestions regarding core funding.

Under DPAF 2021, it is open for community and local organisations, including DPOs, to partner with local authorities and bring forward proposals that will support the participation of people with disabilities in local activities, to help remove barriers to community involvement, and to support the promotion and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in communities.

A total of €2.5m will be made available in 2021 to Local Authorities to fund projects in their local area. Grants under the Fund will be to a maximum of €80,000.

This funding can be used for both once-off initiatives and short to medium term projects. Projects and initiatives should promote the rights of people with disabilities by removing barriers to the participation of people with disabilities in their local communities, raising awareness of the UNCRPD, and increasing accessibility.

Student Accommodation

Questions (321)

Denise Mitchell

Question:

321. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science the status of an application for the rent a room scheme by a person (details supplied); and if clarity will be provided on the person's inability to supply supporting documentation from the Residential Tenancies Board as requested by SUSI. [53725/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

SUSI does not require Rent-a-Room applicants to be registered with the RTB. However, it does seek one of the documents listed below when an applicant is seeking to be classified as an independent applicant.

The documentation accepted as evidence of living independently is any of the following;

- A letter confirming that the address is registered with Residential Tenancies Board (RTB);

- A Local Authority lease agreement or a letter confirming the applicant's rental under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) or any Government housing scheme/arrangement. Private housing lease agreements will not be accepted;

- A letter on headed paper from a Rental Agency confirming the applicant's tenancy;

- A letter confirming the receipt and period of Rent Allowance, Mortgage Interest Supplement or Housing Assistance Payment (HAP);

- A utility bill in the applicant's own name, for example; landline telephone, fixed broadband, gas, electricity, cable/satellite television bill, home heating bills, waste bills, mortgage statements and/or property tax letters.

SUSI does not accept mobile telephone bills. If the utility bills in the household are in the applicant's spouse’s name, a marriage certificate should be provided with the utility bill. If an applicant is co-habiting, SUSI will accept utility bills in the applicant's partner’s name covering the relevant period together with correspondence e.g. bank statement/Statement of Liability issued to the applicant at the same address and covering the relevant period; and/or

- Official documentation posted to the applicant at the address and relating to the applicant's residence there. For example, a letter from the Department of Social Protection confirming Rent Allowance at the address. It should be noted that SUSI do not accept bank statements alone for this purpose.

The student referred to by the Deputy has submitted an appeal to the SUSI appeals officer. The student submitted documents on the 28th October that are currently being reviewed by the SUSI Appeals Officer.

Cross-Border Co-operation

Questions (322)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

322. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science the details of the cross-Border Project Ireland 2040 infrastructure projects and the funding allocated for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53846/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

While there are a number of cross-border projects in Project Ireland 2040 falling within my remit, a number of these including the investment in the Magee Campus and the all-island research hubs are currently being developed in partnership with relevant stakeholders in Northern Ireland, and as yet, costs have not yet being finalised.

The Deputy will recall that along with the Taoiseach, I launched the North-South research programme with a commitment of €40 million over the next 5 years. The HEA are currently evaluating responses to their Call for Proposals from higher education institutions, North and South.

Cross-Border Co-operation

Questions (323)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

323. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science the details of his Department’s current cross-Border initiatives, goods and or services committed to and the funding allocated to each for 2021, 2022 and 2023, in tabular form. [53864/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

Funding for the following projects were made in 2021.

Centre for Cross Border Studies (CCBS) - €180,000

Standing Conference on Teacher Education North/ South (SCoTENS) €30,000

Universities Ireland - €30,000

Washington Ireland Programme - $106,000

George Mitchell Scholarship Programme - $407,167

While the Revised Estimates Volume will be published later this month, it is likely that the same volume of expenditure will be made for 2022.

In addition, commitments were made in respect of the following projects, but as yet no funding has taken place in respect of the North South Research (with a commitment of €40m) and All-island Research hubs (yet to be finalised).

Finally, following the approval by the Irish Government and the NSMC of the draft PEACE PLUS programme, DFHERIS will also be liable for expenditure in respect of the cross-border skills initiative. However, the draft plan, including the allocation of funding across the various actions, is subject to final approval from the EU Commission.

It is not possible at this stage to finalise the funding positions for 2023.

Departmental Priorities

Questions (324)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

324. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice her plans to provide for a dedicated transport police service. [53952/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that Garda management engages extensively with transport operators, including the National Transport Authority, Irish Rail (DART and InterCity rail) and Transdev Ireland (Luas) to provide a high visibility presence through a co-ordinated approach.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that a range of regional and local operations have been put in place to prevent and detect criminal activity and anti-social behaviour on public transport. For example, Operation Twin Track was a Community Engagement and Rail Safety Policing Initiative conducted by Gardaí in partnership with other public transportation stakeholders with the purpose of providing high visibility policing of rail and light rail transport within the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) and nationwide, and to deliver crime prevention advice.

A multi-agency review was conducted to examine the effectiveness of this operation and it was agreed that An Garda Síochána will continue to proactively engage with public transportation stakeholders and providers to conduct further similar operations.

I have been advised by the Garda authorities that each Chief Superintendent in Dublin has put in place a dedicated policing plan to tackle anti-social behaviour on public transport. Gardaí are conducting both overt and covert patrols of various public transport networks to address incidents of non-compliance under the Health Act 1947 (as amended), incidences of anti-social behaviour or any other criminal offences.

There is currently an operation in place as part of the J District Policing Plan aimed at the prevention of anti-social behaviour and graffiti damage on the DART. The operation aims to ensure the security and safety of Irish Rail staff and passengers, prevent criminal damage to trains by graffiti, and identify and prosecute offenders engaged in defacing trains with graffiti.

There were also a number of similar operations taking place across the DMR during the Halloween period, involving high visibility patrols of public transport on Dublin Bus, LUAS and Dart services to prevent and detect incidents of anti-social behaviour.

As the Deputy will be aware, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including the deployment of Garda members and their allocation to Garda units. As Minister for Justice, I have no direct role in these matters.

I am advised that An Garda Síochána do not propose to establish a dedicated transport policing unit at this time. The resources provided by government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation of €1.88 billion in 2020 and €1.952 billion in 2021. Budget 2022 will see a further €2.062 billion allocated to An Garda Síochána next year. I am assured that Garda management keeps the distribution of Garda members throughout the State under continual review in the context of policing priorities and crime trends, to ensure An Garda Síochána is optimally positioned to keep our communities safe.

Fines Administration

Questions (325)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

325. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the number of fixed charge notices issued to drivers for the offence of driving while holding a mobile phone per Garda division in each of the years 2018 to 2020 and to date in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53715/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the administration and management of An Garda Síochána. I have no direct role in these matters.

The below table, comprising information provided to me by the Garda authorities, provides a yearly breakdown per Garda division of the number of instances in which a party was issued with a Fixed Charge Notice for the offence of driving while holding a mobile phone.

2018

2019

2020

2021*

Cavan/Monaghan

1136

992

642

248

Clare

910

584

662

380

Cork City

1625

1333

1258

1313

Cork North

1142

1170

928

605

Cork West

696

621

529

360

D.M.R. Eastern

1078

980

685

351

D.M.R. North Central

684

584

570

498

D.M.R. Northern

932

1235

962

837

D.M.R. South Central

973

1083

593

308

D.M.R. Southern

1113

1029

669

406

D.M.R. Western

1678

1599

1571

1031

Donegal

460

613

578

438

Galway Div

2732

2253

1534

683

Kerry

1078

1119

806

812

Kildare Div

1591

1244

1601

2071

Kilkenny/Carlow

1429

1122

1338

1206

Laois/Offaly

1344

1041

814

1083

Limerick

2524

2264

942

720

Louth Div

630

439

846

531

Mayo

717

1320

907

871

Meath Div

641

698

1250

1327

Roscommon/Longford Div

714

614

421

311

Sligo/Leitrim

682

745

237

262

Tipperary

716

745

796

811

Waterford Div

1024

805

1090

1098

Westmeath Div

443

351

355

510

Wexford Div

1620

1584

1237

794

Wicklow Div

862

939

657

549

National

31174

29106

24478

20414

* Figures for 2021 up to 31 October 2021

The above figures are based on incidents which occurred from 1 January 2018 to 31 October 2021, inclusive. All information contained in this report is based upon operational data from the fixed charge processing system as was available on 2 November 2021 and is liable to change.

Fines Administration

Questions (326)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

326. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the number of drivers that paid a fixed charge notice for the offence of driving while holding a mobile phone per Garda division within the statutory payment timeframe in each of the years 2018 to 2020 and to date in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53716/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the administration and management of An Garda Síochána. I have no direct role in these matters.

The below table, comprising information provided to me by the Garda authorities, provides a yearly breakdown per Garda division of the number of instances in which a party paid a Fixed Charge Notice (FCN) issued for the offences of driving while holding a mobile phone.

The figures also include instances where a FCN has issued which is still within the active interval for payment or payment is being processed.

2018

2019

2020

2021*

Cavan/Monaghan

987

846

545

213

Clare

781

507

563

333

Cork City

1372

1143

1074

1153

Cork North

1007

1007

808

517

Cork West

624

552

498

339

D.M.R. Eastern

941

839

590

291

D.M.R. North Central

545

463

448

413

D.M.R. Northern

754

995

768

670

D.M.R. South Central

820

851

481

262

D.M.R. Southern

906

834

497

312

D.M.R. Western

1332

1228

1216

799

Donegal

395

536

511

388

Galway Div

2416

1947

1344

599

Kerry

930

970

680

717

Kildare Div

1370

1062

1367

1747

Kilkenny/Carlow

1277

972

1163

1032

Laois/Offaly

1183

900

702

935

Limerick

2138

1944

779

608

Louth Div

546

362

713

418

Mayo

654

1181

811

762

Meath Div

547

600

1086

1109

Roscommon/Longford Div

633

542

363

265

Sligo/Leitrim

609

670

210

230

Tipperary

622

649

664

682

Waterford Div

909

689

928

938

Westmeath Div

395

313

308

454

Wexford Div

1407

1404

1089

695

Wicklow Div

749

818

558

476

National

26849

24824

20764

17357

* Figures for 2021 up to 31/10/2021

The above figures are based on incidents which occurred from 1 January 2018 to 31 October 2021, inclusive. All information contained in this report is based upon operational data from the fixed charge processing system as was available on 2 November 2021 and is liable to change.

Fines Administration

Questions (327)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

327. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the number of drivers that failed to pay a fixed charge notice for the offence of driving while holding a mobile phone per Garda division within the statutory payment timeframe in each of the years 2018 to 2020 and to date in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53717/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware the Garda Commissioner is responsible under the law for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, which includes operational decisions relating to road traffic matters.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the table below sets out the number of instances, by Garda Division, in which a Fixed Charge Notice (FCN) was issued for the offence of driving while holding a mobile phone and the FCN was not paid.

2018

2019

2020

2021*

Cavan/Monaghan

149

146

97

35

Clare

129

77

99

47

Cork City

253

190

184

160

Cork North

135

163

120

88

Cork West

72

69

31

21

D.M.R. Eastern

137

141

95

60

D.M.R. North Central

139

121

122

85

D.M.R. Northern

178

240

194

167

D.M.R. South Central

153

232

112

46

D.M.R. Southern

207

195

172

94

D.M.R. Western

346

371

355

232

Donegal

65

77

67

50

Galway Div

316

306

190

84

Kerry

148

149

126

95

Kildare Div

221

182

234

324

Kilkenny/Carlow

152

150

175

174

Laois/Offaly

161

141

112

148

Limerick

386

320

163

112

Louth Div

84

77

133

113

Mayo

63

139

96

109

Meath Div

94

98

164

218

Roscommon/Longford Div

81

72

58

46

Sligo/Leitrim

73

75

27

32

Tipperary

94

96

132

129

Waterford Div

115

116

162

160

Westmeath Div

48

38

47

56

Wexford Div

213

180

148

99

Wicklow Div

113

121

99

73

Total

4325

4282

3714

3057

The above figures are based on incidents which occurred from 01 January 2018 to 31 October 2021, inclusive. All information contained in this report is based upon operational data from the fixed charge processing system as was available on 2 November 2021 and is liable to change.

Fines Administration

Questions (328)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

328. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the number of drivers that availed of the third payment option and paid a fixed charge notice for the offence of driving while holding a mobile phone per Garda division in each of the years 2018 to 2020 and to date in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53718/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware the Garda Commissioner is responsible under the law for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, which includes operational decisions relating to road traffic matters.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the table below sets out the number of instances, by Garda division, in which a Fixed Charge Notice (FCN) was issued for the offence of driving while holding a mobile phone and the FCN was not paid.

2018

2019

2020

2021

Cavan/Monaghan

62

59

41

-

Clare

60

37

45

-

Cork City

107

83

61

18

Cork North

58

70

53

-

Cork West

38

42

35

-

D.M.R. Eastern

69

54

37

-

D.M.R. North Central

34

31

33

-

D.M.R. Northern

52

73

47

-

D.M.R. South Central

68

73

46

-

D.M.R. Southern

75

50

40

-

D.M.R. Western

100

89

84

-

Donegal

31

47

40

-

Galway Div

202

133

112

11

Kerry

71

71

52

16

Kildare Div

87

67

95

12

Kilkenny/Carlow

100

66

81

21

Laois/Offaly

83

65

58

15

Limerick

178

144

55

-

Louth Div

35

26

56

-

Mayo

52

82

57

-

Meath Div

41

34

68

-

Roscommon/Longford Div

39

31

23

-

Sligo/Leitrim

48

46

-

-

Tipperary

43

49

58

-

Waterford Div

79

50

61

31

Westmeath Div

24

24

29

11

Wexford Div

98

92

97

17

Wicklow Div

59

56

42

10

Total

1993

1744

1515

206

The above figures are based on incidents which occurred from 01 January 2018 to 31 October 2021, inclusive. All information contained in this report is based upon operational data from the fixed charge processing system as was available on 3 November 2021 and is liable to change.

Court proceedings are initiated where a fine is not paid within the required timeframe. A third payment option is available where the fine can be paid up to a number of days before the court date. The fine will be double the original fine.

The figures provided include all cases where a fine of €120 was paid (double the original fine amount of €60).

Figures for groups with less than 10 records have not been included.

Fines Administration

Questions (329)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

329. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice further to Parliamentary Question No. 200 of 12 May 2021, if she will provide the most to date figures; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53719/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible under the law for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána. This includes the operation of the Fixed Charge Penalty System, which is under the remit of the Garda Fixed Charge Processing Office.

I have been advised by An Garda Síochána that no person issued with a Fixed Charge Penalty Notice (FCPN) is deemed to have 'failed' to pay the Notice once the statutory payment window has passed. Rather, a person has a right to refuse to pay the notice and take the option of Court proceedings. The reasons why a person may not pay the Notice are varied and not recorded by An Garda Síochána.

I have contacted An Garda Síochána and have been provided with the following table which shows a yearly breakdown per Garda division of the number of instances in which a Fixed Charge Notice was issued for the offences of driving while holding a mobile phone and the eventual outcome was the issuance of a summons and/or court proceedings.

Figures are based on incidents which occurred from 01/01/2018 to 31/10/2021, inclusive. All information contained in this table is based upon operational data from the FCPS system as was available on 02/11/2021 and is liable to change.

2018

2019

2020

2021*

Cavan/Monaghan

138

129

91

34

Clare

116

69

96

45

Cork City

225

168

168

152

Cork North

124

144

106

84

Cork West

64

61

26

20

D.M.R. Eastern

128

120

83

59

D.M.R. North Central

127

111

112

81

D.M.R. Northern

163

220

181

158

D.M.R. South Central

139

195

94

45

D.M.R. Southern

193

166

154

88

D.M.R. Western

307

323

326

219

Donegal

55

60

62

47

Galway Div

277

270

171

77

Kerry

137

133

115

89

Kildare Div

197

157

205

301

Kilkenny/Carlow

135

141

159

164

Laois/Offaly

145

129

100

142

Limerick

363

294

153

107

Louth Div

73

71

121

102

Mayo

56

126

85

93

Meath Div

85

88

151

197

Roscommon/Longford Div

71

63

55

40

Sligo/Leitrim

64

62

23

31

Tipperary

90

92

113

125

Waterford Div

103

103

135

149

Westmeath Div

43

34

37

52

Wexford Div

198

166

130

91

Wicklow Div

106

108

92

65

Yearly Total

3922

3803

3344

2857

*Figures for 2021 up to 31/10/2021

Court Judgments

Questions (330)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

330. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the number of drivers listed in court for the offence of driving while holding a mobile phone by District Court; the number of drivers convicted of this offence; the number of drivers who had their cases dismissed and struck out each year; the number of driver licence numbers recorded on conviction; the penalties imposed on conviction each year by District Court in each of the years 2018 to 2020 and to date in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53720/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have made enquiries with the Courts Service regarding the information sought by the Deputy. The Courts Service have provided a significant volume of information in response to the Deputy's question which I will arrange to be sent to the Deputy directly.

Deputy Murphy Letter re Court Services

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