Leave to Remain

Ceisteanna (134)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

134. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure to be followed by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3654/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned has been granted leave to remain in the State for the period of one year effective from the 19 February 2018 until the 19 February 2019. 

The person concerned is required to apply in writing for the renewal of this permission four weeks in advance of the permission expiring. As my Department's records show no evidence of such a renewal request having been made to date, it is recommended that the person concerned should do so without further delay.

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.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (135)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

135. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 185 of 25 October 2018, if all information requested in correspondence issued to a person (details supplied) on 3 October 2018 has been furnished as requested; when consideration of same is likely to conclude; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3657/19]

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 is ongoing. On completion of the necessary processing the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible.

A letter issued to the person concerned on 3 October 2018 requesting certain documentation and a reply has been received. Should further documentation be required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

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. 

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.

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (136)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

136. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3658/19]

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 is ongoing. On completion of the necessary processing the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. Should further documentation be required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

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. 

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.

Asylum Applications

Ceisteanna (137)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

137. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 93 of 20 November 2018, the extent to which evaluation of an application in the case of a person (details supplied) has taken place or is likely to so do in view of the primacy of a Parliamentary Question and that they resided here since 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3660/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, it is an offence under Section 26 of the International Protection Act 2015 to identify an international protection applicant. Therefore, if an application for international protection has been made in the State, it is not the practice to comment on such applications and the applicant or their designated legal advisor should contact the International Protection Office (IPO) or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly, as appropriate.  This will enable a full and comprehensive reply to be provided.

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 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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (138)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

138. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); if their full stamp 4 status continues to enable them to travel outside Ireland if necessary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3662/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that this person should contact the Ministerial Decisions Unit of the INIS in order to clarify their residency status and their entitlement to travel. Queries should be submitted to the following address: The Ministerial Decisions Unit, Repatriation Division, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.

Queries in relation to the status of individual 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.

Deportation Orders Re-examination

Ceisteanna (139)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

139. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the deportation order regarding a person (details supplied) can be set aside on the basis of the information provided and not enforced in the interim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3663/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order signed on 11 March 2005. This order requires the person concerned to remove themselves from the State and remain outside the State. The enforcement of the Deportation Order is a matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Representations were received on behalf of the person concerned requesting that the deportation order be revoked, pursuant to the provisions of section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). All relevant aspects of the case will be considered before a decision is made.

The Deputy might wish to note that the decision to ensue from the consideration of this request will be to have the existing deportation order ‘affirmed’ or ‘revoked’. Once such a decision has been made, this decision will be notified in writing. In the meantime, the deportation order remains valid and in place.

The person concerned was required to 'present' at the Offices of the Garda National Immigration Bureau on 7 April 2005, to make arrangements for his deportation from the State. The person concerned failed to 'present' on that occasion and is therefore recorded as a person who is evading deportation.

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.

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (140)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

140. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of meetings she has attended since the beginning of September 2018 with her officials to discuss and prepare for Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3590/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

My Department and its offices and agencies continue to work intensively on a cross-government basis to help prepare businesses for all Brexit scenarios, including a No Deal Brexit.

Along with my Ministerial colleagues, Pat Breen and John Halligan, I am actively involved in the contingency work on Brexit preparedness that has been ongoing since the UK decision to leave the EU in 2016.

Work on Brexit involves working closely with the offices, enterprise and regulatory agencies of my Department that are centrally involved in supporting Irish businesses to prepare for all Brexit scenarios, including a No Deal Brexit.

On a regular basis, I chair meetings involving the offices and agencies of my Department to hear about their level of Brexit preparedness and issues arising. Separately, I chair an Enterprise Forum consisting of the main business representative bodies to hear directly from them the issues that their members are facing. The enterprise and regulatory supports that I have put in place are informed by what I hear at these meetings.

I have also, through the Retail consultation Forum which I chair, stepped up engagement with key players in the grocery retail and distribution sector to hear directly from them on their level of preparedness for Brexit and I intend to continue close engagement with this sector.

My agencies have been actively involved in the outreach workshops on Brexit in the context of the Government campaign "Getting Ireland Brexit Ready" and have separately organised events around the country to heighten awareness of the suite of supports that are available to companies to assist them in their Brexit preparations.

Since the UK’s decision to leave the EU in 2016, I have ensured that my Department’s response to the challenges presented by Brexit in the three budgets in 2017, 2018 and 2019 has been stepped up to ensure an adequate level of resourcing to assist the enterprise and regulatory agencies support firms in their preparations for Brexit.

The following table sets out Ministerial meetings with officials as well as external meetings and events attended by Ministers from September 2018 to date on Brexit-related matters.

In addition to this I would point out that Brexit is a standing agenda item on regular internal meetings including meetings of the Management Board and other meetings.

Minister

Date of Meeting

Area of Department

Context/Purpose of meeting

Minister Humphreys

13/09/18

Indigenous Enterprise Division

Briefing on Brexit research

Minister Humphreys

20/09/18

Indigenous Enterprise Division/ EU Affairs and Trade

‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ Launch event

Minister Humphreys

20/09/18

Indigenous Enterprise Division

*Retail Consultation Forum

Minister Halligan

27/09/18

Innovation and Investment Division

*Pre-briefing in advance of Formal COMPET Research Council Meeting

Minister Humphreys

03/10/18

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Enterprise Forum on Brexit and Global Challenges, including pre-briefing

Minister Humphreys

03/10/18

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Co-ordination group on Brexit, including pre-briefing

Minister Humphreys

04/10/18 – 05/10/18

EU Affairs and Trade Division

*Informal Trade Council, including pre-briefing

Minister Humphreys

09/10/18

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Brexit Press Conference

Minister Humphreys

17/10/18

Indigenous Enterprise Division

*Enterprise Ireland International Markets Week

Minister Humphreys

19/10/18

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Intertrade Ireland Breakfast Event

Minister Humphreys

19/10/18

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Getting Ireland Brexit Ready Event

Minister Humphreys

24/10/18

Commerce, Consumer and Competition Division

IAASA Brexit event (Dublin)

Minister Humphreys

25/10/18

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Getting Ireland Brexit Ready Event (Dublin)

Minister Humphreys

12/11/18

Indigenous Enterprise Division

Minister’s engagement on an EI Brexit related Business Event in Cavan

Minister Humphreys

22/11/18

Indigenous Enterprise Division

*Retail Consultation Forum

Minister Humphreys

22/11/18

Strategic Policy Division

*Future Jobs 2019 Summit

Minister Breen

23/11/18

DBEI agencies/DFAT

Brexit preparedness event in Limerick (Tánaiste was present)

Minister Humphreys

29/11/18

Strategic Policy Division

*Competitiveness Council, including pre-briefing

Minister Halligan

29/11/18

Innovation and Investment Division

*Pre -briefing in advance of Formal COMPET Research Council Meeting

Minister Humphreys

03/12/18

Indigenous Enterprise Division

*Regional Enterprise Development Fund Announcement

Minister Humphreys

12/12/18

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Brexit Coordination Group including pre-briefing

Minister Halligan

12/12/18

Strategic Policy Division

Meeting with Freight Transport Association re: Brexit-related skills needs

Minister Humphreys

13/12/18

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Enterprise Forum Meeting including pre-briefing

Minister Humphreys

13/12/18

Indigenous Enterprise Division/ EU Affairs and Trade

Getting Brexit Ready meeting with Retailers/Distributors

Minister Humphreys

19/12/18

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Briefing for Ministers on contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit

Minister Humphreys

03/01/19

Innovation and Investment Division

*Minister briefed on IDA End of Year Results in advance of release; pre-briefing on IDA Annual Conference

Minister Humphreys

09/01/19

Indigenous Enterprise Division

*Minister briefed in advance of release of Enterprise Ireland End of Year Results

Minister Humphreys

17/01/19

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Statements re: Government’s Brexit Preparedness

Minister Humphreys

17/01/19

Indigenous Enterprise Division / EU Affairs and Trade Division

Minister briefed on developing Enterprise Supports

Minister Breen

17/01/19

[briefing from Department of the Taoiseach]

Inter-Departmental Committee on Digital Issues (Brexit - data flow issues for Public Services)

Minister Humphreys and Minister Breen

23/01/19

EU Affairs and Trade Division

Brexit Coordination Group including pre-briefing

Minister Humphreys

24/01/19

Indigenous Enterprise Division

Getting Brexit Ready meeting with Retailers/Distributors

Minister Humphreys

24/01/19

Indigenous Enterprise Division

Meeting with Commissioner Vestager (Brexit-related)

* While these meetings were primarily focused on other issues, Brexit was also covered as an agenda item.

Brexit Supports

Ceisteanna (141)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

141. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of food businesses that have applied for working capital under the Brexit loan scheme which opened in March 2018; the number of such businesses that have been sanctioned financing to date; and the value of same. [3690/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

My Department and its agencies are working to provide extensive supports, schemes and advice to ensure that businesses are prepared for Brexit. These measures aim to assist businesses in identifying key risk areas and to facilitate the practical actions to be taken in response to the UK's exit from the EU.

The Brexit Loan Scheme provides affordable working capital to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees that are or will be impacted by Brexit and meet the scheme criteria. The €23 million exchequer funding (€14 million from my Department and €9 million from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) has been leveraged to provide a fund of up to €300 million.

It has been designed to assist eligible Irish businesses in the short-term to deal with the challenges of Brexit, which include the pressures of increased market instability and currency volatility. The scheme is open to both State Agency clients and businesses that do not have any relationship with State Agencies. Sole traders may also apply.

The scheme features a two-stage application process. First, businesses must apply to the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to confirm their eligibility for the scheme. This application process requires businesses to use guidelines provided on the SBCI website to determine if they are eligible, and if so, to complete the eligibility form. As part of the process, businesses must submit a business plan, demonstrating the means by which they intend to innovate, change or adapt to meet the challenges posed by Brexit. Guidance is available on the SBCI website on how to complete a business plan. The SBCI assess the applications and successful applicants receive an eligibility reference number.

Successful applicants can then apply for a loan under the scheme with one of the participating finance providers. Participating finance providers are the Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Allied Irish Bank. Approval of loans under the Brexit Loan Scheme is subject to the finance providers’ own credit policies and procedures.

The scheme was launched in March 2018 and, as at close of business on 18th January, there have been 376 eligibility applications received of which 337 eligibility applications have been approved and 65 loans progressed to sanction at Bank level to a value of €14.9m.

Of the 337 eligibility applications, 42 food businesses have been approved for eligibility from the following categories: 2 under ‘Non-Primary Agriculture’, 27 under ‘Manufacturing’, 8 under ‘Wholesale & Retail Trade and 5 under ‘Accommodation & Food Service Activities’. Of the 65 loans progressed to sanction at Bank level, 8 relate to food businesses to a value of €3.8m.

Protected Disclosures

Ceisteanna (142)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

142. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if she has received complaints in relation to the way in which an investigative report was undertaken on a protected disclosure made in 2015 regarding concerns (details supplied) relating to the National Employment Rights Authority; the way in which the complaints were dealt with; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3543/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

My Department did receive complaints from an individual who made a protected disclosure in 2015 concerning NERA. The individual complained to my Department about the outcome reached by an external professional investigator, commissioned by my Department to investigate the substance of the individual’s disclosure and report back to the Department. The individual's complaints were duly considered and responded to by my Department. I understand that complaints by the individual concerned are currently pending consideration by the Labour Court and so, the Deputy will appreciate, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on these matters.

National Children's Hospital Expenditure

Ceisteanna (143)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

143. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the measures he is taking to address the overspend on the national children’s hospital; if there will be a cost limit imposed in terms of the eventual contribution to the project from the Exchequer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3579/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

My Department is working with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Health Service Executive on capital planning for 2019 and subsequent years having regard to the increased capital costs of the new children's hospital, following Government’s approval to proceed with Phase B of the new children's hospital and outpatient and urgent care centres.