Road Safety

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (281)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

281. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of roadside drug tests taken since the introduction of this facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5338/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Deputy will appreciate that I have no direct role in the operation of Mandatory Intoxicant Testing (MIT) checkpoints, or the enforcement of road traffic legislation, which are operational matters for the Garda Commissioner. However, I have sought a report from An Garda Síochána in relation to the requested statistics.

I will contact the Deputy directly on receipt of said report.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A
I refer to Parliamentary Question 281 of 5 February 2019, in which the Deputy asked for information pertaining to the number of roadside drug tests taken since the introduction of MIT testing.
The Deputy may recall I requested a Garda report into the matter, which is now to hand. An Garda Síochána have informed me that road traffic legislation is enforced as part of their day-to-day duties. Both day-to-day enforcement and targeted campaigns have a valuable role to play in An Garda Síochána’s enforcement programme, which targets locations with a view to preventing the commission of offences, detecting errant motorists, changing their behaviour and ultimately reducing death and injury on our roads. Garda operations specifically target road use behaviour known to contribute significantly to collisions, including speeding, driving while intoxicated, and use of a mobile phone.
The number of Mandatory Intoxicant Testing (MIT) checkpoints conducted nationally, from its introduction on 13 April 2017 to 5 February 2019 was 124,355. An Garda Síochána has actively prioritised the performance of more focussed MIT checkpoints that have the capacity to yield the greatest impact, and allow for more effective enforcement.
The table shows the number of MIT checkpoints conducted by division; the number of breath tests and oral fluid tests conducted; the number of persons who have tested positive for alcohol or drugs at these checkpoints; and the number who failed or refused to provide a specimen after detection.

Garda Division

Number of MIT Checkpoints conducted 2017- year to date 2019

Roadside Breath Tested Conducted

No of positive Roadside Breath Tests

Roadside Oral Fluid Tested Conducted

No of positive Oral Fluid Tests

Failure / Refusal breath Test

Failure / Refusal Oral Fluid Test

Garda Division

Number of MIT Checkpoints conducted 2017- year to date 2019

Roadside Breath Tested Conducted

No of positive Roadside Breath Tests

Roadside Oral Fluid Tested Conducted

No of positive Oral Fluid Tests

Failure / Refusal breath Test

Failure / Refusal Oral Fluid Test

Cavan/Monaghan

4,113

14,750

128

93

23

3

1

Clare

6,727

28,452

94

215

32

3

-

Cork City

10,421

28,061

137

76

11

-

-

Cork North

11,862

25,942

103

91

9

1

2

Cork West

10,272

24,445

142

185

24

-

-

D.M.R. Eastern

1,090

15,276

93

201

14

4

-

D.M.R. North Central

920

10,622

49

98

18

2

-

D.M.R. Northern

827

12,847

75

119

11

1

-

D.M.R. South Central

796

19,960

63

130

10

-

-

D.M.R. Southern

982

19,777

78

184

23

-

-

D.M.R. Western

1,737

15,695

114

207

20

-

-

Donegal

3,967

20,981

99

60

3

1

-

Galway

8,515

33,508

210

22

5

1

-

Kerry

5,470

17,271

93

63

13

-

1

Kildare

4,711

53,945

323

337

48

3

-

Kilkenny/Carlow

2,429

13,870

126

64

7

-

-

Laois/Offaly

4,354

38,901

150

149

20

-

-

Limerick

8,998

26,150

160

73

13

2

-

Louth

3,010

12,236

60

22

6

-

-

Mayo

4,074

18,126

106

25

8

2

-

Meath

2,473

12,794

105

22

7

2

-

Roscommon/Longford

3,425

18,347

94

50

11

-

-

Sligo/Leitrim

2,919

10,663

40

67

9

-

-

Tipperary

8,481

22,759

123

24

7

2

-

Waterford

2,891

18,304

96

112

6

1

-

Westmeath

2,492

11,977

89

14

5

1

-

Wexford

3,748

24,165

177

155

25

1

-

Wicklow

2,651

16,076

62

20

2

1

-

Grand Total

124,355

585,900

3,189

2,878

390

31

4

I hope this information has been of some assistance to the Deputy .

Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (282)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

282. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when consideration of a visa application by a person (details supplied) will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5418/19]

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 referred to has not submitted a visa application.

The application process requires the person to complete an application online, and to submit the application summary form and supporting documents to the appropriate Visa Office. Details are included on the application summary form. I understand the person concerned may have begun but not yet completed that 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.

Garda Youth Diversion Projects

Ceisteanna (283)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

283. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has made further inquiries regarding the recent disturbing lacunae discovered in the recent Garda internal review into the diversion programme referrals whereby almost 8,000 offences were not further investigated in the period 2010 to 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5429/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I share the Deputy’s concerns about the very serious issues outlined in the Garda Commissioner’s Interim Report on youth crime cases from 2010 – 2017. In that period almost 160,000 youth crime incidents were referred for consideration under the Garda Diversion Programme. Roughly one third of these incidents were deemed unsuitable for inclusion in the juvenile diversion system, and it has emerged that almost 8,000 of these crimes were not properly pursued. This is a completely unacceptable situation that must be thoroughly addressed in the interest of victims and the proper administration of Justice, and for the future welfare of the children who committed the crimes.

In addition to the apology which was issued by the Garda Commissioner, the Gardaí have commenced a process to contact victims and have also provided a Helpline for anyone who might be affected by the failure to process these cases. Details of the Helpline are available on the Garda website. I am anxious that all relevant information must be made available to the victims, including the steps being taken to deal with the failures that have occurred.

A number of fundamental issues have been identified by the Garda examination, including inadequate ICT and supervision, a lack of training, and alleged failings by individual Gardaí.

Concerns about similar gaps have surfaced previously on different issues and, as the Deputy is aware, last month the Government published the Implementation Plan which will give effect to the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. This plan is aimed at addressing - in a systematic way - all of the failings identified.

The Government is committed to the implementation of the Commission’s report and a programme office has been established in the Department of An Taoiseach to oversee and report on progress.

In addition, the Policing Authority will continue to follow up with an on-going examination of these specific youth justice-related matters to ensure the effectiveness of the remedial actions which the Commissioner has set in train.

As I have mentioned, the issue related to Garda oversight of cases deemed too serious for diversion, and not to the Garda Diversion Programme or to the community-based Garda Youth Diversion Projects which support the Diversion Programme. I am assured that no negative implications have been identified for these projects arising from this issue.

I can assure the Deputy that the Department will keep in very close touch with the Commissioner, and the Policing Authority, to monitor progress.

In relation to the individual cases, the majority took place in the period from 2010-2015. Therefore, unfortunately, most of them will be statute-barred. However, senior Garda managers are looking at the more recent individual cases to determine whether any further action can be taken.

The Commissioner has been very clear that alleged failings by individual Gardaí will be fully investigated at Divisional level. The Deputy will appreciate that this is a matter for the Commissioner and his management team and any process of that kind has to be allowed to take its course and should not be pre-judged.

Garda Youth Diversion Projects

Ceisteanna (284)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

284. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has requested from An Garda Síochána a further report on the findings of the recent Garda internal review into diversion programme referrals as to whether similar gaps exist for the investigation and prosecution of crimes by adult offenders since 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5430/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As I have stated previously, there are very serious issues to be addressed arising from the Garda Commissioner’s Interim Report on the handling of youth crime cases.

They will be addressed through implementation of the recommendations contained in the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. I want to emphasise the Government’s commitment to implementing that report, which provides a strategic framework to address the full range of systemic, organisational and cultural deficits within An Garda Síochána.

A High Level Implementation Plan was published in December, which was endorsed by every Minister and Government Department. This is an ambitious but realistic plan and the timescale is in line with the Commission’s own recommendations. It is being overseen by an independently chaired Programme Office located in the Department of the Taoiseach, in recognition of the multiplicity of agencies and Departments charged with implementing it.

One point I want to emphasise again is that this issue should not cast any shadow on the value of the Garda Youth Diversion Programme itself. These issues relate to cases that were deemed unsuitable for the Garda Youth Diversion Programme. Therefore, no negative implications have been identified for the Diversion programme itself, which is very beneficial and has helped generations of young people take a path away from criminal activity. Neither is it regarded as having implications for the community projects funded by my Department to support the diversion programme. We need to distinguish between the failings in relation to youth crime case management and the very valuable work of the Diversion programme.

I am of course aware that members of the Policing Authority asked if similar issues could arise in relation to prosecutions and case management for adult crime cases. The Commissioner has acknowledged that it would be necessary to examine that question further. Needless to say, I am concerned that we have assurance about the quality of Garda prosecution procedures and systems in relation to all crimes, not just youth crime.

The Policing Authority has indicated that it will assess whether there are any wider implications for Garda crime management and prosecution procedures which need to be addressed. The Authority is responsible for independent oversight of policing and is clearly the appropriate body to examine these matters in the first instance.

My Department has already been in touch with the Authority and will maintain close contact to monitor developments to make sure we get a clearer overall picture of crime case management and prosecution.

Garda Resources

Ceisteanna (285)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

285. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the budget allocation to the Garda air support unit in each of the years 2016 to 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5434/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

There has been unprecedented investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years, in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement and provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.

An allocation of €1.76 billion has been provided by Government to An Garda Síochána for 2019. This represents an increase of over 6% over the initial allocation for 2018.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána as well as for decisions in relation to the allocation and management of Garda resources, in light of his identified operational demand. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that expenditure for the Garda Air Support Unit from 2016 to 2018 is outlined in the following table.

Year

Expenditure

2016

€ 3,054,524

2017

€ 3,085,000

2018

€ 3,714,276

Finally, I understand that expenditure for the Garda Air Support Unit amounted to €203,693 in January 2019. I am informed by the Garda authorities that it is envisaged the budget allocated to the Garda Air Support Unit for 2019 will be in line with previous years.

Garda Resources

Ceisteanna (286)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

286. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the budget allocation to the Garda mounted unit in each of the years 2016 to 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5435/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána as well as for decisions in relation to the allocation and management of Garda equipment and resources, including the resources allocated from the Garda Vote to the Garda Mounted Unit. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda Mounted Unit is based at Áras an Uachtarain, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8. The unit has a national remit under the direction and control of the Assistant Commissioner, Roads Policing and Major Event Management and the operational control of the Superintendent, Operational Support Services.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the total expenditure for the Garda Mounted Unit from 2016 to 2018 is outlined in the following table.

Year

Expenditure

2016

€ 1,066,858

2017

€ 1,244,399

2018

€ 1,209,902

Finally, I understand that expenditure for the Garda Mounted Unit amounted to €111,362 in January 2019. I am informed by the Garda authorities that it is envisaged that the budget allocated to the Garda Mounted Unit for 2019 will be in line with previous years.

Garda Resources

Ceisteanna (287, 288)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

287. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the six additional protective services units scheduled for delivery by the end of quarter 4 2018 have been established in DMR south central, Waterford, Kerry, Kilkenny, Carlow, Limerick and Galway Garda divisions; the status of the appointment or assignment of the full personnel complement for each unit, and the status of the completion of the necessary accommodation allocations and refurbishments and the full complement of office equipment in each unit. [5521/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

288. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the delivery schedule for the remaining divisional protective services units by division name and the date by which each unit is due to be delivered, in tabular form. [5522/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 287 and 288 together.

The information requested by the Deputy cannot be provided in the time available. I have requested the information sought from the Garda Commissioner and I will write to the Deputy on receipt of same.

Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (289)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

289. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of visa offices here and abroad, respectively; the number of staff employed in each; the cost and benefits of each office; the number of applications processed by each office in 2018; the training given to visa officers before and during their assignments; if all relevant documentation, legislation, guidelines and support is provided to each visa officer to ensure consistency and fairness both to the officers and the applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5572/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there are currently seven overseas Visa Offices in addition to the Visa Office in Dublin. They are located in Abuja, Beijing, London, Moscow, Ankara, Abu Dhabi and New Delhi. In addition, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade process certain visa applications in Irish Embassies abroad under delegated sanction from my Department.

The visa process has a crucial role to play in supporting economic activity in the State through facilitation of tourism from emerging markets, promotion of Ireland as a destination for international education, facilitating those coming here for business and work, etc. As with all visa services worldwide, the central concern in deciding on visa applications is to strike an appropriate balance between protecting the country's vital national interests by maintaining an effective immigration regime while at the same time not placing unnecessary or unreasonable obstacles in the way of intending visitors.

There has been a significant increase in the number of visa applications with over 140,000 entry visa applications received worldwide last year, up 12% on the previous year. This reflects the trend in recent years which shows that applications have risen some 40% since 2014 when just over 100,000 were received. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years. Notwithstanding this increase, processing times have been maintained and in some cases improved on over the period.

The Table outlines the number of personnel engaged and the number of visa applications processed or decided in 2018 (at distinct from applications received) at each location, including applications processed under delegated sanction by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The volume of visas processed represents just one output metric, and is not reflective of complexity involved with particular applications with the most complex visa applications processed or transferred from abroad to Dublin for processing.

I am advised that the total expenditure associated with the operation of the INIS Offices abroad in 2017 was some €3.67m, the latest year for which total expenditure is available. The overall aim of the system is that it is self-financing.

All Visa Officers are provided with training in the Dublin Office prior to posting abroad. Many of them are already experienced in visa matters and some will have served abroad previously. While abroad, they continue to receive training with access to all support and advice necessary from the Dublin office, in order to carry out their duties.

More generally, staffing is kept under review and supplemented by the temporary re-assignment of staff from within INIS when the arises, as well as overtime at peak periods.

Processing Offices

Visa applications processed in 2018

Number of staff as at 31/01/2019 (including locally recruited staff in INIS Visa Offices)

Dublin (including applications transferred from Offices abroad)

14,529

29

Abu Dhabi

12,990

8

Abuja

5,754

7

Ankara

5,581

6

Beijing

15,560

13

London

8,878

5

Moscow

18,499

9

New Delhi

22,476

15

Other Embassies/Missions

33,799

n/a

Total

138,066

92

Garda Deployment

Ceisteanna (290)

John Curran

Ceist:

290. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí assigned to each divisional drugs unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5587/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, the manner in which the resources of the Garda Síochána are deployed is solely a matter for the Garda Commissioner and his management team and I, as Minister, have no direct role in this regard. I am, however, informed by the Commissioner that the additional resources coming on stream has enabled him to assign resources to the Specialist Bureaus that come within the ambit of Special Crime Operations which includes the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau. This Bureau leads on the strategy for tackling drugs and works with Garda Divisional Drug Units nationwide in demand reduction and supply reduction at local level.

An Garda Síochána remains resolute in its determination to act against those within society who pose a significant threat to the welfare and well-being of our citizens and the communities they serve. 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. A core focus of the work carried out by An Garda Síochána is aimed at tackling drugs and organised crime

Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, just under 2,400 Garda recruits have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, including 800 in 2018.

The Government increased An Garda Síochána's budget to €1.76 billion in 2019, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí. The Commissioner has informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and, in addition, he intends to recruit a net 600 Garda Civilian Staff. The Garda Staff recruitment will allow the Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 fully trained Gardaí from administrative duties to front-line policing in 2019.

The Government fully supports the Commissioner’s management decision which will ensure that increasing numbers of gardaí are available for front-line duties in the prevention and detection of criminal activity whether it be in the area of drug offences crime or otherwise in 2019 and beyond.

Information in relation to Drugs Unit Personnel at the Divisional level, as provided by the Garda Commissioner, is set out in the following table.

Drugs Unit Personnel 31/12/2018

Division

Total

D.M.R.S.C.

12

D.M.R.N.C

15

D.M.R.N.

19

D.M.R.E.

9

D.M.R.S.

16

D.M.R.W.

11

Waterford

6

Wexford

5

Kilkenny/Carlow

5

Tipperary

8

Cork City

18

Cork North

5

Cork West

4

Kerry

10

Limerick

12

Donegal

2

Cavan/Monaghan

4

Sligo/Leitrim

6

Louth

2

Clare

4

Mayo

5

Galway

9

Roscommon/Longford

3

Westmeath

6

Meath

6

Kildare

11

Laois/Offaly

5

Wicklow

4

Total

222

For more general information on Garda Facts and Figures please see the link below

www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/An_Garda_Siochana_facts_and_figures .

Garda Transport Provision

Ceisteanna (291)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

291. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason a Garda station (details supplied) has one Garda car; and if same will be reviewed in view of the fact that it is having a negative impact on tackling crime. [5646/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

There has been very significant investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years. In relation to Garda vehicles, the Deputy will wish to be aware that €46 million has been provided by the Government for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021, to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet allowing Gardaí to be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime. This is in addition to the investment of almost €30 million in the Garda fleet in the period 2013 to 2015. I am pleased to confirm that a capital investment of €10 million is available to An Garda Síochána for the purchase of Garda vehicles in 2019.

The Deputy will appreciate that it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. This includes responsibility for the distribution of Garda funding and resources, including allocation of Garda vehicles among the various Garda divisions. As Minister, I have no direct role in that matter.

The Deputy referred to the strength of the Garda Fleet in the Ballymun Garda District. I am informed by the Garda authorities that there are 3 marked patrol cars, 1 marked patrol van and 8 unmarked patrol cars allocated to Ballymun Garda District.

I understand that those vehicles which are available for patrol duties in the Ballymun Garda District are further supplemented by other Divisional Units operating and deployed within the DMR North Division, including vehicles allocated to the DMR North Roads Policing Unit and the Divisional Burglary Response Unit, as well as patrols and duties performed within the DMR North Division by personnel from National Units such as the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, the DMR Armed Support Unit and other Special Tactics and Operations Command Units (STOC).

Finally, 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 that their optimum use.

Garda Data

Ceisteanna (292)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

292. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 248 of 4 December 2018, the reason for the delay in providing the information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5747/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing An Garda Síochána, and I, as Minister have no direct role in the matter.

I understand that the information requested by the Deputy is not readily available and requires the gathering and collation of information from each of the 28 Garda Divisions, which I am sure the Deputy will appreciate is an onerous task.

I am advised that the information requested is currently being compiled by the Commissioner and I will revert directly to the Deputy when it is to hand.

Employment Rights

Ceisteanna (293)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

293. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if consideration will be given to introducing an employment regulation order to introduce a minimum standard of pay and working conditions for seasonal workers in the agricultural sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5009/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

A Joint Labour Committee (JLC) is composed of equal numbers of representatives of employers and workers in an employment sector. The Committee meets under an independent chairman and an Industrial Relations Officer of the Workplace Relations Commission to discuss and agree proposals for terms and conditions to apply to specified grades or categories of workers in the sector concerned. If agreement is reached on terms and conditions, the JLC publishes the details and invites submissions from interested parties.

An Employment Regulation Order is then drawn up by the JLC and adopted by the Labour Court. The ERO fixes minimum rates of pay and conditions of employment for workers in specified business sectors: employers in those sectors are then obliged to pay wage rates and provide conditions of employment not less favourable than those prescribed.

The constitution and proceedings of JLCs is set out in the Fifth Schedule to the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. My role as Minister is to give statutory effect to the Labour Court’s recommendation by means of a statutory instrument.

Brexit Preparations

Ceisteanna (294)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

294. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if particular contingency plans have been put in place in the event of food shortages as a consequence of a no-deal Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5554/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

As part of the whole of Government response to Brexit, I and my Department officials are working to support the grocery retail and distribution sector in its efforts to prepare for Brexit.

My Department has had ongoing engagement with the retail sector in relation to Brexit since 2016, principally through the Retail Consultation Forum (RCF) which I chair, and also bilaterally.

Membership of the RCF includes retail associations such as Retail Ireland, Retail Excellence, CSNA, RGDATA, other bodies such as ISME, SFA and Chambers Ireland, a number of retailers, the City and County Managers Association (CCMA), and a number of relevant Government Departments.

In addition, the retail sector engages regularly with my Department through the DBEI Enterprise Forum on Brexit and Global Challenges. This forum, which I chair as Minister, provides an opportunity for discussion of enterprise policy implications arising from Brexit and other Global Challenges, with a particular focus on capturing the views, concerns and suggestions of the enterprise sector. Three of the largest retail representative bodies - Retail Ireland, Retail Excellence and RGDATA are members of this Forum.

Separately, I have met with the major players in the grocery retail and distribution sector to better understand the contingency planning that is ongoing within that sector to provide for continued food supplies.

My dialogue with major players through the Retail Consultation Forum and related industry roundtables indicates that major retailers/distributors are not anticipating any significant food supply shortage issues, in the context of ongoing contingency measures on the part of Government and the preparations being made by the sector itself.

My Department has put in place an extensive suite of supports for the enterprise sector, which can be availed of by the retail sector to address firm level issues and preparedness, in areas such as cashflow; working capital; advice on currency management/hedging; customs training etc.

My continued dialogue with the retail and distribution sector reflects the importance that Government attaches to the sector and its recognition of the challenges that it faces, including in a no-deal Brexit scenario. I will continue to engage with the sector on preparatory actions.

Brexit Preparations

Ceisteanna (295)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

295. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if an assessment has been carried out of the food products which will be most affected in the event of a no-deal Brexit; if so, the food products that may no longer be available or will see a significant increase in price in a no-deal scenario; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5556/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

As part of the whole of Government response to Brexit, I and my Department officials are working to support the grocery retail and distribution sector in its efforts to prepare for Brexit.

My Department has had ongoing engagement with the retail sector in relation to Brexit since 2016, principally through the Retail Consultation Forum (RCF) which I chair, and also bilaterally.

Membership of the RCF includes retail associations such as Retail Ireland, Retail Excellence, CSNA, RGDATA, other bodies such as ISME, SFA and Chambers Ireland, a number of retailers, the City and County Managers Association (CCMA), and a number of relevant Government Departments.

In addition, the retail sector engages regularly with DBEI through the DBEI Enterprise Forum on Brexit and Global Challenges. This forum, also chaired by the Minister, provides an opportunity for discussion of enterprise policy implications arising from Brexit and other Global Challenges, with a particular focus on capturing the views, concerns and suggestions of the enterprise sector. Three of the largest retail representative bodies - Retail Ireland, Retail Excellence and RGDATA are members of this Forum.

Separately, I have met with the major players in the grocery retail and distribution sector to better understand the contingency planning that is ongoing within that sector to provide for continued food supplies.

My dialogue with major players through the Retail Consultation Forum and related industry roundtables indicates that major retailers/distributors are not anticipating any significant food supply shortage issues, in the context of ongoing contingency measures on the part of Government and the preparations being made by the sector itself.

My Department has put in place an extensive suite of supports for the enterprise sector, which can be availed of by the retail sector to address firm level issues and preparedness, in areas such as cashflow; working capital; advice on currency management/hedging; customs training etc.

My continued dialogue with the retail and distribution sector reflects the importance that Government attaches to the sector and its recognition of the challenges that it faces, including in a no-deal Brexit scenario. I will continue to engage with the sector on preparatory actions and to provide information and appropriate assurances to consumers.

Health and Safety

Ceisteanna (296)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

296. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if a company (details supplied) has alerted the Health and Safety Authority to seven deficiencies in the safety procedures of the ESB; if the authority has directed the ESB to rectify the identified deficiencies; and the timescale for rectification outlined by the HSA to the ESB. [5588/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I have been informed by the Health and Safety Authority that the Authority has acknowledged the concerns raised by a company in relation to practices at the ESB. The Authority has advised me that it has engaged extensively with both Parties on the matter and is satisfied with progress to-date. It will continue to engage with the Parties involved to ensure that all matters are adequately addressed.

I would point out, however, that Authority has an independent Statutory role in relation to the investigation of complaints. I have no role in relation to such investigations nor in the rectification of matters arising from complaints to the Health and Safety Authority.