Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (177)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

177. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the details of the €92,340,000 capital allocation in An Garda Síochána within his Department for 2019, that is, Vote 20 of the budget 2019 expenditure report by specific project in tabular form; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44525/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote and as such is responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources at his disposal. Those resources have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2018 of more than €1.6 billion.  And I can confirm that €1.76 billion has been allocated to the Garda Vote for 2019, which represents an increase of over 6% over the initial allocation for 2018.

The 2019 allocation includes a capital provision of some €92 million, which represents an increase of over €30 million as compared to 2018.  The provision will facilitate investment of €65 million in Garda ICT, a further €10 million investment in the Garda fleet and an investment of €17 million in the Garda estate. This capital investment is a key enabler in the reform programme and will be one of the main pillars on which the future of policing will be built.

It is a matter for the Garda Commissioner to determine how the resources at his disposal can best be deployed.  I understand 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. 

In terms of ICT investment, the provision of €65 million will enable An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies in delivering professional policing and security services for the community and deliver on reform.  I understand from the Garda authorities that the specific list of projects to be undertaken in 2019 has yet to be finalised and as such it is not possible to provide a list of specific projects at this time.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the budget of €10 million available for the purchase and fit out of Garda vehicles in 2019 will enable the replacement of vehicles reaching end of life or beyond economic repair.  While the funds made available are expected to enable increase in the size of the fleet, I am informed that the number of additional vehicles and the mix of types and the fit-out required will be determined by the Commissioner in accordance with operational priorities. Responsibility for the efficient deployment of all official Garda vehicles in each Division is assigned to the Divisional Officer, who may allocate vehicles between districts and stations as required by operational requirements.

In relation to the Garda estate, the Deputy will appreciate that the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation.  As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters. 

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the €17 million allocated to the Garda estate will support a number of projects including commencement of works on the new Garda facility at Military Road to replace Harcourt Square, the refurbishment of the Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station (on which works have commenced in 2018), as well as supporting the continued progress in delivery of the Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021, which is benefiting over 30 locations nationwide based on Garda priorities.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (178)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

178. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the details of the €100,000 capital allocation in the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission within his Department for 2019, that is, Vote 25 of the budget 2019 expenditure report by specific project in tabular form; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44526/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, the Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission (the Commission) is an independent statutory body, established on 1 November 2014 under the Irish Human Rights and Commission Act 2014.

The statutory mandate of the Commission is to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland and to build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding.  The Commission is Ireland’s National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) and National Equality Body (NEB).

I am informed that the allocation of €100,000 is estimated on the basis of spending for similar needs in previous years. The capital amount of €100,000 will be split two thirds for office equipment and external IT services, and one third for office premises. A total of €65,000 is expected to be spent primarily on the implementation of a new IT system (€50,000) and IT equipment for new staff (€15,000). A total of €35,000 is expected to be spent primarily on minor office adjustments, primarily to accommodate new staff, (€25,000) and associated office equipment for new staff (€10,000).

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (179)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

179. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the details of the €32,330 capital allocation in the Prisons Division within his Department for 2019, that is, Vote 21 of the budget 2019 expenditure report by specific project in tabular form; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44527/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The capital allocation for the Prisons Vote in 2019 comprises €32.3 million of which the redevelopment of the Limerick Prison will account for the majority of the expenditure. The allocation also includes other building/refurbishment works to be carried out across various locations within the Prison Estate. In addition this expenditure will include investment in Cell Windows, CCTV, Security and Fire Safety Systems. The balance of the allocation relates to investment in ICT and replacement vehicles for the Prisons Transport Fleet. Details of the proposed expenditure are included in the table below.

Proposed Capital Expenditure for 2019 – Irish Prison Service;

2019

Limerick Prison Complex

19,500,000

Estate Wide Projects

10,830,000

ICT & Fleet Investment

2,000,000

Total Proposed Expenditure

32,330,000

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (180)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

180. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current or expected residency status including update of stamp 4 in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44564/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I refer the Deputy to the reply given to his recent Parliamentary Questions No. 277 of Tuesday 18 September 2018 and No. 107 of Thursday 27 September 2018. The status of the person concerned is as set out in the issued replies:

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned presented a new passport on 5 April 2018 at the Burgh Quay Registration Office. The passport was referred to An Garda Síochána technical bureau for examination and the matter is now being dealt with by An Garda Síochána.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Policy

Ceisteanna (181)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

181. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the previous coming to the attention of An Garda Síochána in the case a person (details supplied) prevents them from a successful application for naturalisation in view of the nature of their offences and notwithstanding their good behaviour in the interim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44565/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there is no record of a current application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy. A determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria attendant to naturalisation can only be made after an application is received and every application is considered on its individual merits, regardless of whether the applicant had applied previously.

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. The fact that a person may have had an application refused does not preclude or disqualify them from submitting a fresh application in the future. Indeed, the letter advising an applicant of a negative decision also informs them that they may re-apply for the grant of a certificate of naturalisation at any time. The letter advises that, when considering making such a re-application, they should give due regard to the reasons for the refusal which were contained in the submission attached to the refusal letter and that any further application will be considered taking into account all statutory and administrative conditions applicable at the time of application.

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 I know the Deputy will appreciate that it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited. 

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (182)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

182. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current and-or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44566/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, in response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), written representations have been submitted on behalf of the person concerned.

These representations, together with all other information and documentation on file, will be fully considered, under Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation, in advance of a final decision being made.  

 Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited. 

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (183)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

183. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when spousal join permission will be facilitated in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44567/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a request from the person concerned for permission to reside in the State on Stamp 3 conditions was received on 5 January 2018.  The Deputy will appreciate that applications are dealt with in chronological order.

I am also advised that INIS wrote to the person's legal representative on 23 October seeking further information. The matter will be given detailed consideration upon receipt of a response.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Leave to Remain

Ceisteanna (184)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

184. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current and expected position in regard to permission to remain or an alternative in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44568/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, if an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications and the applicant or his legal representative should contact either the International Protection Office (IPO) or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly, as appropriate.

The IPO may be contacted either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. The International Protection Appeals Tribunal may be contacted either by email to info@protectionappeals.ie, by telephone at 01-4748400 (or Lo-Call 1890 201 458), or in writing to Corporate Services Division, The International Protection Appeals Tribunal, 6-7 Hanover Street East, Dublin D02 W320.

Following the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 on 31 December 2016, new arrangements for the investigation and determination of applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and cases involving permission to remain in the State have been introduced. Such applications are now processed, as part of a single application procedure, by the International Protection Office (IPO) which has replaced the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) from that date. The staff of that Office (the Chief International Protection Officer and International Protection Officers) are independent in the performance of their protection functions.

For your information, on 27 February 2017, the Chief International Protection Officer, following consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), published a statement on the Prioritisation of Applications under the International Protection Act 2015 which is available on the website of the International Protection Office (www.ipo.gov.ie).

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (185)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

185. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current and-or expected position in regard to eligibility for permission to remain and-or naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44569/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy, who currently has permission to reside in the State until 20 February 2019, is on-going. 

A letter issued to the person concerned on 3 October 2018 requesting certain documentation and a reply is awaited. Upon receipt of the requested documentation the case will be further processed. 

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. While most straightforward cases are now processed within six months, 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. 

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (186)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

186. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when permission to remain or naturalisation is likely in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44570/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the application for permission to remain in the State in respect of the person concerned is under consideration and a decision will issue by the end of November.

The Deputy may be aware that I launched a new scheme last week, which will allow certain non-EEA nationals, who came to Ireland to study between January 2005 and December 2010, to apply for permission to remain in the State. The person concerned may also wish to consult the INIS website at www.inis.gov.ie for further information.

Under the scheme, eligible applicants may apply for a permission to remain in the State including the right to reside and work in the State and will be subject to renewal after two years. Modest fees will be charged under the scheme which will be open for on-line applications until 20 January 2019. 

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (187)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

187. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when stamp 4 will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44574/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, if an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications and the applicant or his legal representative should contact either the International Protection Office (IPO) or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly, as appropriate.

The IPO may be contacted either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. The International Protection Appeals Tribunal may be contacted either by email to info@protectionappeals.ie, by telephone at 01-4748400 (or Lo-Call 1890 201 458), or in writing to Corporate Services Division, The International Protection Appeals Tribunal, 6-7 Hanover Street East, Dublin D02 W320.

Following the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 on 31 December 2016, new arrangements for the investigation and determination of applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and cases involving permission to remain in the State have been introduced. Such applications are now processed, as part of a single application procedure, by the International Protection Office (IPO) which has replaced the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) from that date. The staff of that Office (the Chief International Protection Officer and International Protection Officers) are independent in the performance of their protection functions.

For your information, on 27 February 2017, the Chief International Protection Officer, following consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), published a statement on the Prioritisation of Applications under the International Protection Act 2015 which is available on the website of the International Protection Office (www.ipo.gov.ie).

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (188)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

188. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding long-term residency and-or naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44575/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there is no record of an application for Long Term Residency or Naturalisation from the person concerned.

In order to make an application for Long Term Residency in the State the person concerned must have been legally resident in the State for a minimum of 5 years (i.e. 60 months) on work permit/work authorisation/working visa conditions. Details of the application process are available on the INIS website at www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Long_Term_Residency.

In addition, 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 INIS website at www.inis.gov.ie.  

 Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited. 

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (189)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

189. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a person (details supplied) will have their residency status upgraded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44577/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, in response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned has submitted written representations.

The position in the State of the person concerned will now be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation.  All representations submitted will be fully considered in advance of a final decision being made.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.