Written Answers. - Working Groups and Committees.

John O'Donoghue


19 Mr. O'Donoghue asked the Minister for Justice the working groups, committees and task forces established by her since January 1994; the purpose, personnel and resources attached to these; the status of each on 27 March 1997; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9091/97]

I wish to refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 212 of 5 March, 1997, Official Report, vol. 475, cols. 1875 to 1880. A tabular statement updating the details in my previous reply as well as setting out information for the period not encompassed by that reply is being circulated in the Official Report. The Deputy should note that a number of groups are no longer in existence, having completed their work, and that I did not become Minister for Justice until 16 December, 1994.

Title of Working Group/Committee/Task Force


Status on 27 March 1997

Inter-Departmental Group on Air Support for the Garda Síochána

Representatives from the Departments of Justice, Defence and Finance, the Garda Síochána and Aer Lingus.

Work completed. The Government agreed on 23rd April, 1996 to the setting up of a dedicated Garda Air Support operated by the Air Corps as recommended in the Inter- Departmental Group's Report.

Working Group on the establishment of an Independent Prisons Agency

As in reply of 5 March 1997

Report submitted to Minister and published on 26 March, 1997.

Interdepartmental Committee on Guidelines on the procedures for the reception of asylum applicants

Representatives from Departments of Defence, Education, Environment, Enterprise and Employment, Foreign Affairs, Health, Justice, Social Welfare and the Garda Síochána.

The Committee was established in 1994 following a recommendation by the 1993 Inter-Departmental Committee on non-Irish nationals. Its task was to prepare clear guidelines on the procedures for arranging for the accommodation of applicants for asylum. The Committee's report was submitted to the Minister for Justice in July, 1996.

Inter-Departmental Committee for the Castlerea Prison Project

Representatives from the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Finance, Health, Enterprise and Employment, Education, Taoiseach and Office of Public Works.

The Committee was set up to examine all aspects of the Prison Project for Castlerea and their Report was submitted to the Minister for Justice in September, 1995.

Working Group set up to consider the problem of assaults on bus drivers and other related matters.

Representatives from the Department of Justice, Garda Síochána, Dublin Bus, SIPTU and NBRU.

Report submitted to the Minister for Justice in May 1996.

Advisory Committees set up by the Minister for Justice to advise her on applications for release of persons found guilty but insane.

A Senior Counsel as Chairperson.A Consultant Psychiatrist.A General Practitioner.

An Advisory Committee is appointed from time to time to consider applications as they are received.

Working Group on a Courts Commission.

Mr. Justice Robert Barr, Judge of the High Court, was appointed on 14 October, 1996 on the retirement of Mr. Justice Ronan Keane.

Ongoing — the Working Group have submitted four reports to date.

Advisory Group on Charities/Fundraising Legislation.

Ms Ita Managan, Special Adviser to Ms Joan Burton, Minister of State at Dept. of Justice.

The Advisory Group was established to provide a practical input for the charitable/voluntary sector into the drafting of the legislation to implement the Costello report. The Advisory Group's report was submitted to the Select Committee on Legislation and Security on 21 January, 1997.

Mr. Stephen Farrelly, Director of Communications and Fundraising.

Ms Sarah Gormley

Mr. Bill Cleary, Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Mr. Roger Acton, Disability Federation of Ireland.

Ms Síobhan McGee, Dochas.

Ms Kate O'Sullivan, Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups.

Rev. Fr. John Byrne, Conference of Religious of Ireland.

Mr. John McCormack, National Charities in Ireland.

Working Group on Illegal and Harmful Use of the Internet.

As in reply of 5 March 1997.

Ongoing — the Group has held two plenary meetings and sub-groups are now being formed to focus on specific issues.

Arbour Hill Prison Visiting Committee

Tony Donnelly in place of Elaine Cluskey.

Work ongoing.

Portlaoise Prison Visiting Committee.

James Cooney — no longer on the Committee.

Work ongoing.

In relation to resources for working groups and committees, secretariat and administrative support are being provided from within the existing resources of my Department.