Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (186)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

186. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when it is planned to bring forward a gambling control Bill in view of the ongoing problems identified with the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 in a recent District Court judgment (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11674/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Through my previous responses to the Deputy on this matter, he will be aware of the work of the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Future Licensing and Regulation of Gambling, established as a result of the Government Decision to review the 2013 General Scheme of the Gambling Control Bill and all relevant developments since. 

The Group's Report is currently being finalised and I hope to bring it to Government for consideration shortly.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (187, 188, 189)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

187. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of adult applications for naturalisation based on Irish association granted in 2018. [11687/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

188. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the way in which a person can apply for naturalisation based on Irish descent or Irish association without residing here. [11688/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

189. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a person is applying for naturalisation based on Irish association, if there are circumstances in which time spent here on a stamp 2 would be considered for the three year residency requirement. [11689/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 187 to 189, inclusive, together.

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. All applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

While statistics are not compiled in such a manner as to identify applicants for a certificate of naturalisation by Irish association as required by the Deputy, I am informed by my officials that there are currently 292 Irish association cases under active consideration by INIS.

It is open to an applicant generally to apply under Section 16(a) of the 1956 Act where the applicant is of Irish descent or has Irish association. In such cases the Minister may in his absolute discretion waive the conditions for naturalisation set out under Section 15 of the Act, including residency. The onus is on the applicant to provide evidence of Irish descent or Irish association to the Minister for consideration.

A Stamp 2, which is granted for study purposes, is not reckonable for the purposes of naturalisation.

Garda Transport Provision

Ceisteanna (190)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

190. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if An Garda Síochána has recently put out to tender a contract to supply new marked Garda cars and vans to the fleet; if so, when the new vehicles will come into the fleet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11724/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Deputy will be aware that there has been unprecedented investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years. 

In relation to Garda vehicles, €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 of 2013 to 2015. 

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

As the Deputy may be aware, a total of €10million has been allocated to the Garda fleet for 2019.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána purchase new vehicles under contracts tendered by the Office of Government Procurement and that contracts are currently in place for Garda cars and vans. 

In relation to the budget of €10m available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles this year, I am informed by the Garda authorities that initial orders have been placed and that, following delivery and fit-out, allocation of these vehicles will commence in April 2019.

I understand from the Garda authorities that the allocation of these vehicles will be made on the basis of identified operational demands.

Forensic Science Ireland

Ceisteanna (191)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

191. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated full year cost of recruiting two additional forensic anthropologists for Forensic Science Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11725/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) that they currently do not employ any forensic anthropologists nor am I aware of any being employed elsewhere in the Irish civil service.

There is not therefore, to the best of my knowledge, a grade of forensic anthropologist in the civil service.  Having said that, it may be of interest to the Deputy to know that the salary scale for Forensic Scientist Grade III in FSI ranges from €30,987 to €64,981 per annum, as of 1st October 2018.

Garda Resources

Ceisteanna (192)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

192. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of new marked and unmarked Garda cars and vans that were attached to the Garda water unit in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; the number withdrawn during the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11726/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Deputy will be aware that there has been an unprecedented level of investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years. 

€46 million has been provided by the Government for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021, in addition to the investment of almost €30 million in the period 2013 to 2015, to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet and that Gardaí can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime. 

As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. Further, the allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational need. This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles among the various Garda divisions.  As Minister, I have no direct role in that matter.  I understand however 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.

A capital allocation of €10 million has been made available to An Garda Síochána for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019.  I am informed that initial orders have been placed and that, following delivery and fit-out, the allocation of vehicles will commence in April 2019 on the basis of identified operational demand.

I understand from the Garda authorities that the Garda Water Unit is a national resource 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 no new vehicles were allocated to the Garda Water Unit in 2017 and that one marked vehicle was taken out of service as the vehicle had reached end of life.

I am further informed that 2 new vehicles were allocated to the Unit in 2018, one marked and one unmarked. Two unmarked vehicles were taken out of service due to the fact that the vehicles had reached end of life.

I am informed that no new vehicles have been allocated to the Garda Water Unit to date in 2019 and that in total, 7 vehicles are currently assigned to the Garda Water Unit - one van, two trucks and four 4x4 vehicles.

Prison Service Data

Ceisteanna (193)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

193. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 482 of 15 January 2019, the number of Irish Sign Language interpreting hours provided to the Irish Prison Service in each of the years 2015 to 2018. [11732/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

In my response to Parliamentary Question 482 I indicated that it was not possible to collate the information sought within the relevant timeframe.  I have since been advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that as the data requested by the Deputy is not recorded centrally, a manual review of records was carried out. The information requested is detailed in the following table.

Year

No. of hours

2015

9 hours

2016

25 hours

2017

13 hours

2018

32 hours

The Deputy may also wish to be aware that the Irish Prison Service facilitated a 10 week Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) level 3 Irish Sign Language training course in Mountjoy Prison during 2018.  The course was presented by respesentatives from the Irish Deaf Society and was completed by 12 Irish Prison Service staff.

In June 2018, the Irish Prison Service commenced the recording of data from committal interviews undertaken by prison governors on the Prisoner Information Management System. Amongst the data recorded is whether the assistance of an interpreter in a particular language including Irish Sign Language, is requested by the prisoner.  I can confirm that since the introduction of this electronic system in June 2018, there are no recorded instances where a prisoner has sought the assistance of an Irish Sign Language interpreter on committal to prison.

Legislative Programme

Ceisteanna (194)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

194. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to update the Registration of Clubs Acts 1904 to 2008. [11739/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The  Registration of Clubs Acts 1904 to 2008 provide for the grant and renewal of a certification of registration by the courts for bona fide members' clubs. Those Acts permit the supply of intoxicating liquor to members of such a registered club on the club's premises and also to members of the public in limited, specified circumstances.  In order to be eligible for the grant or renewal of a certificate of registration, a club's rules must comply with requirements set out in the Registration of Clubs Acts.

A register of clubs is kept by the Registrar of Clubs, i.e. the District Court clerk of the court district in which the club premises are situated. While I have no immediate plans to amend the Registration of Clubs Acts, my Department keeps the operation of the law in this area under ongoing review.

Refugee Resettlement Programme

Question No. 196 answered with Question No. 177.

Ceisteanna (195)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

195. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons, including unaccompanied minors, Ireland committed to accepting under the resettlement and relocation programmes; the date that this was to be achieved by; the number of persons to date including unaccompanied minors accepted under the resettlement programme and the relocation programme in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11781/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

On 10 September 2015, as part of Ireland's response to the migration crisis in central and southern Europe, the Government established the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). Under this programme, the Government committed to accepting up to 4,000 people into the State, primarily through a combination of the EU Relocation Programme and the UNHCR-led refugee Resettlement Programme, which is currently focussed on resettling refugees from Lebanon. The Government Decision to accept 4,000 people into the State did not in itself contain a time limit, but the Relocation Programme, which concluded on 31 March 2018, had a time limit of approximately two years. 

In a gesture of humanitarian assistance towards the most vulnerable caught up in the migration crisis, the Government also committed to take unaccompanied minors from France who were previously resident in the migrant camp at Calais. 41 unaccompanied minors have arrived in the State from the Calais Special Project, which has now concluded.

Ireland agreed to accept a further 36 unaccompanied minors from Greece, whose arrivals will take place on a phased basis during 2019. In a show of solidarity with those EU Member States most affected by migration in the Mediterranean, Ireland accepted 58 persons from search and rescue missions in 2018, including 4 unaccompanied minors. The Minister has also agreed to accept 5 further unaccompanied minors from Malta in 2019.

To date, a total of 2,269 people have arrived in Ireland under the various strands Irish Refugee Protection Programme, 51 of whom are unaccompanied minors.

A further 90 programme refugees will arrive from Lebanon under the resettlement strand of the programme on 13 and 14 March 2019. The remaining 850 programme refugees are due to arrive in Ireland by 31 October 2019. 

IRPP commitments and arrivals to-date:

 -

Commitment

Arrived to-date 

EU Relocation Strand (concluded on 31 March 2018)

1,022

1,022 

Of which are unaccompanied minors

 6

 6

 

 

 

UNHCR-led Resettlement Strand

1,985

1,135 

 

 

 

Calais Special Project

41

41 

Unaccompanied minors Greece

60

-  

Total unaccompanied minors

101

41 

 

 

 

IRPP Humanitarian Admission Programme 2018/19

530

13 

 

 

 

Mediterranean search and rescue missions

 

 

Adults

54

54 

Unaccompanied minors

4

Total from search and Rescue missions

58

58 

 

 

 

Mechanism as yet undecided

304

 

 

 

Total IRPP Commitment/Arrivals

4,000

2,269 

Question No. 196 answered with Question No. 177.

Garda Equipment

Ceisteanna (197)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

197. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has received a report from the Garda authorities regarding the issuing of body-worn cameras to An Garda Síochána; and if so, the amount of funding that will be provided for the issuing of body-worn cameras. [11814/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion.  Very significant capital investment is also being made, including investment of €342 million in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021.  The Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of these resources and decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of equipment and resources, including ICT resources, are for the Commissioner in light of identified operational demands. 

As the Deputy will be aware, the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland included a recommendation that An Garda Síochána develop a plan to deploy body worn cameras.  The Implementation Plan for that report - A Policing Service for the Future - includes a related action in relation to legislative preparation for deployment of body worn cameras.

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that a Working Group in An Garda Síochána, chaired by an Assistant Commissioner, is preparing a report on the issue of body worn cameras.  On completion of that report and subject to the Commissioner's views on the way forward, questions including any funding implications will be addressed.

Legislative Programme

Ceisteanna (198)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

198. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to update the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956. [11815/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 (as amended) provides the legal basis for persons seeking to be naturalised and become Irish citizens.  There are no immediate plans to amend the Act, however, I am keeping immigration law under review and working with my officials to improve the overall immigration system.

Direct Provision Payments

Ceisteanna (199)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

199. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when an agreement with a company (details supplied) was signed to provide a direct provision centre at a hotel for an initial 12 months; if the agreement commenced on that date; if the company has received payment from that date for supplying a direct provision centre at the hotel; and the value of payments made to date. [11832/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

In January and again in September of last year, the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) of my Department published a call for expressions of interest in the national press for premises to meet the increasing demand for accommodation for persons in the protection process.  This accommodation is for those seeking international protection, namely asylum seekers.

This call sought expressions of interest from parties who would be interested in providing accommodation and related services on an urgent and emergency basis. This was issued in response to the urgent and unforeseen demand for accommodation and related services from those persons arriving in the state seeking international protection.

Following on-site assessments carried out by staff in the Department, the offer of the Caislean Mara hotel in Moville, Co. Donegal was deemed to be suitable premises for the needs of the Department.

I can confirm that the terms of the agreement have been reached but not commenced as, due to the damage done to the premises following a fire in late November 2018, the premises is not ready to open.  The terms will commence once the centre has been repaired and recertified.

No payments have been made to date to the contractor for the provision of accommodation services at the Caislean Mara Hotel.

Direct Provision System

Ceisteanna (200)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

200. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a letter was issued to confirm that a hotel (details supplied) met all the health and safety requirements to be used as a direct provision centre prior to the signing of an agreement; if the terms of the agreement relating to the proposed direct provision centre at the hotel commenced on the date the agreement was signed; and if not, if it commences when the asylum seekers arrive. [11833/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

In January and again in September of last year, the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) of my Department published a call for expressions of interest in the national press for premises to meet the increasing demand for accommodation for persons in the protection process.  This accommodation is for those seeking international protection, namely asylum seekers.

This call sought expressions of interest from parties who would be interested in providing accommodation and related services on an urgent and emergency basis. This was issued in response to the urgent and unforeseen demand for accommodation and related services from those persons arriving in the state seeking international protection.

The criteria against which the Department assessed the offers of accommodation were availability, standard of property, ability to provide communal social spaces for residents, ability to cater at mealtimes and proximity to required various services.

It should be noted that these premises were offered to the Department by individual contractors across the country. The Department did not randomly choose any one location over another location.

Following on-site assessments carried out by staff in the Department, the offer of the Caislean Mara hotel in Moville, Co. Donegal was deemed to be suitable premises for the needs of the Department. At that  time, the premises was available, capable of providing meals to residents and has scope to provide the required communal social areas required by residents.

Before any accommodation centre is opened, the contractor must provide certification from a registered architect/engineer that the premises meets all building regulations and that all safety equipment and alarms have been tested and verified. The Department also liaises with the relevant local authority to ensure there are no outstanding issues in relation to planning and fire safety issues. 

I can confirm that the terms of the agreement have not commenced as, due to the damage done to the premises following a fire in late November 2018, the premises is not ready to open.  The terms will commence once the centre has been repaired and recertified.

Direct Provision System

Ceisteanna (201)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

201. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if security at a hotel (details supplied) is being paid for by his Department. [11834/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

In January and again in September of last year, the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) of my Department published a call for expressions of interest in the national press for premises to meet the increasing demand for accommodation for persons in the protection process.  This accommodation is for those seeking international protection, namely asylum seekers.

As the Deputy is aware, the Caislean Mara Hotel in Moville was selected to provide accommodation and ancillary services to protection applicants but, following an arson attack on the Hotel in late November 2018, it has not been possible to open the centre.

In these circumstances, it has been decided that the Department will cover security costs on a temporary basis, subject to on-going review.

Garda Transport Data

Ceisteanna (202)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

202. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda vehicles allocated to each Garda station in the Garda R and J districts in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11943/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Deputy will be aware that there has been significant investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years.

In relation to Garda vehicles, €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 of 2013 to 2015.  A further €10 million is being made available in the Transport Capital Budget for the purchase and fit-out of vehicles. I am informed that initial orders have been placed and that, following delivery and fit-out, the allocation of vehicles will commence in April 2019.

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

The responsibility for the efficient deployment of all official Garda vehicles within each Division lies with the Divisional Officer, who may allocate vehicles between stations as required by operational circumstances.

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that Coolock (R District) & Raheny  (J District) Garda Districts are part of the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) North Division. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table sets out the vehicles newly allocated to Garda fleet within DMR North for the years 2015-2018.

DMR NORTH

Vehicles allocated 2015-2018 

Cars

Vans

Motorcycles

4 x 4

Other

 Total

2015

14

5

0

0

1

20

2016

10

9

2

0

4

25

2017

7

3

0

0

0

10

2018

4

2

0

0

1

7

I am further informed that the total number of vehicles in the Garda fleet in DMR North Division at end of year in each of the years 2015-2018 and to date in 2019 are as set out in the following table.

 

Fleet DMR North Division

Cars

Vans

Motorcycles

4 x 4

Others

 Total

2019 (* as at March 2019)

69

18

0

1

3

91

2018

79

25

1

1

4

110

2017

83

27

1

1

3

115

2016

86

33

2

1

5

127

2015

88

29

0

2

3

122

 As set out above, J and R Districts are both among the Garda Districts which make up the DMR North Division.  I am informed that the following table details the Garda Fleet in J and R Districts for the years 2015 – 2018 and to date in 2019.  Information on the fleet assigned to individual stations is not included, for operational reasons.

 

Cars

Vans

Motorcycles

4 x 4

Others

 Total

2019 (*as at March 2019)

COOLOCK-R

18

3

0

0

0

21

RAHENY-J

16

4

0

0

0

20

2018

COOLOCK-R

21

3

0

0

0

24

RAHENY-J

16

4

0

0

0

20

2017

COOLOCK-R

22

2

0

0

0

24

RAHENY-J

19

4

0

0

0

23

2016

COOLOCK-R

23

3

0

0

0

26

RAHENY-J

19

4

0

0

0

23

2015

COOLOCK-R

26

2

0

0

0

28

RAHENY-J

16

3

0

0

1

20 

Garda Recruitment

Ceisteanna (203)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

203. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the Garda crime prevention officer post within the Garda Dublin north division will be filled on a full-time basis in view of the fact the post has been vacant for more than 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11944/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.

I am informed by the Commissioner that crime prevention is a core function of An Garda Síochána and that all Gardaí play an active role in crime prevention and reduction. In addition there are dedicated Crime Prevention Officers (CPOs) within each Garda Division. These CPOs are trained to encourage, promote and advise on crime prevention to both the private and business community. These specially trained officers are skilled at identifying risk factors and advise on what mitigating action can be taken to reduce opportunities to commit crime. 

I am further informed by the Commissioner that the Divisional CPO for Dublin North retired and pending the holding of a competition to fill this position, the Divisional CPO for the DMR West Division is also covering the DMR North, delivering any crime prevention advice necessary for residents and businesses in the Division.

I am advised by the Commissioner that competitions recently concluded for promotion to the rank of sergeant and inspector with the aim of bringing the number in these ranks up to the full strength as agreed under the Employment Control Framework (ECF). The allocation of successful candidates is currently underway, with 300 newly promoted Sergeants and 113 new promoted Inspectors having been appointed to date.

I am advised that the timing of a competition to fill the position of Divisional CPO for Dublin North, will be considered by the Divisional Officer as resources become available, following on from the ongoing appointment of sergeants from the promotion panel now in place.

Fines Data

Ceisteanna (204)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

204. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons who have failed to pay fines imposed by the courts since the commencement of the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014; the number of persons who have had an attachment order, a recovery order or community service order made against them as a result; the number of persons imprisoned for failure to pay such fines; the equivalent figures for the three year period before the introduction of the Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11958/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, which include the provision of information on the courts system.

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has provided the following information.

The Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014 was enacted on 16 April 2014 and commenced on 11 January 2016.

The available information as requested by the Deputy is set out as follows.

Report on the number of persons where fines were imposed by the Courts since the commencement of the Fines (Payment and Recovery Act 2014) from 11 January 2016 to date.

No of Persons where fines were imposed

154,324

Report on the number of persons that failed to pay fines imposed by the Courts since the commencement of the Fines (Payment and Recovery Act 2014) for the period from from 11 January 2016 to date.

No of Persons that failed to pay fines imposed by the Courts

84,925

Report on number of persons that have had an attachment order, a recovery order, community service or imprisonment order imposed from 11 January 2016 to 8 March 2019

Order

No. of Persons

Imprisonment

170

Attachment of Earnings Order

18

Recovery Orders

10

Community Service Orders

436

Fines imposed between 01 Jan 2013 – 10 Jan 2016

- There is no comparative report on the fines due for the period 01 Jan 2013 to 10 January 2016, due to the fact that prior to the introduction of the 2014 Fines Act, Court orders imposing  the payment of a fine included a default period of imprisonment if the fine was not paid.  

No. of persons fined

No. of Persons who failed to pay fines from 1st Jan 2013 to 10th Jan 2016

158,583

20,104

The Irish Prison Service has provided the following information:

Fine defaulters committed to prison

Year - Fine defaulters

2013 - 7,365 persons 

2014 - 8,154 persons  

2015 - 8,874 persons

2016 - 7,561 persons

(from 11th January 2016)

2017 - 2,179 persons 

2018 - 449 persons

It can be noted that an individual can be committed more than once in a calendar year.  It is likely that the majority of persons committed in 2016 and 2017 will have been sentenced prior to the commencement of the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014.

Irish Prisoners Abroad

Ceisteanna (205)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

205. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there is a policy in place as to the way in which the State would respond in the eventuality that an Irish citizen becomes radicalised by foreign terror groups and seeks to return to reside here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9734/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

It would not be appropriate for me to discuss the detail of any individual case.

The return to the EU of persons suspected of having been active in conflict in Iraq or Syria, or residing in conflict areas, presents complex challenges, including questions of public protection, the prosecution of offences, the protection of citizens’ rights - particularly the rights of non-combatants - and de-radicalisation, none of which matters lend themselves to easy resolution. The shared challenges arising have been a consistent focus of discussion with my EU colleagues at meetings of Justice and Interior Ministers.

The Deputy will appreciate that the complexity of these cases is such that issues will arise where there is no ready solution.  Such cases can only be dealt with on a case by case basis. The Government has made clear that appropriate consular assistance, to which Irish citizens are entitled, will be provided to them where it is possible to do so.

The question of how accountability can best be achieved for the people of Iraq and Syria who have suffered so greatly at the hands of ISIS is a complex one, facing not just Ireland, but also our EU counterparts and other international partners.  Whether it is possible to secure prosecutions in Iraq and Syria, by local means or by an international mechanism, is open to question.  Whether it is feasible to secure prosecutions in the home states of foreign fighters is also open to question given the difficulty of securing evidence.

If any fighters do return here and there is evidence available that they have committed terrorist offences, then they will be investigated fully by the Garda Authorities with a view to prosecution.  Any decision on prosecution would, of course, be a matter solely for the DPP.

The authorities here will continue to work closely with their international partners in this regard.

I can assure the Deputy that all measures necessary and consistent with the law will be taken to protect the State and the people from harm and to vindicate the rights of individuals.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal Data

Ceisteanna (206)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

206. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of cases in line to proceed to a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal for consideration, namely, cases in which the documents necessary are available to allow a member of the tribunal to consider an application; the date on which and position in line of the next available case to be taken up by a member of the tribunal for consideration; and the date on which the specific application was first submitted by the applicant. [11974/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal administers the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted (the General Scheme) and the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted on Prison Officers (the Prison Officer Scheme).  Under the terms of the Schemes, the Tribunal is entirely independent in the matter of individual decisions on applications for compensation and I have no role in the matter.

Tribunal Members, who are practising barristers and practising solicitors in the Courts system, provide their services on a part-time basis to the Tribunal.  In making their decisions, Tribunal Members must be satisfied that all supporting documentation has been provided to enable them reach a decision on the application and it may be the case that they will seek further documentation to inform their decision.  Therefore the time taken to process an application can vary widely from case to case. In addition, there may be circumstances where owing to the nature of the serious injury to the victim it can take a considerable amount of time (in some cases a number of years) before their treating consultant is in a position to give a final prognosis.

I have been informed by the Tribunal that three general scheme decisions have been arrived at by the Tribunal to date in 2019. These relate to applications received in date ranges from January 2009 to October 2015. In addition there are currently two further general scheme cases assigned to Tribunal members for direction on how to proceed.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal

Ceisteanna (207)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

207. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 95, 96 and 97 of 28 February 2019, the meaning of applications received but not actively pursued by the applicant; and the criteria that must be met in order for an applicant to be considered to be actively pursuing a case. [11975/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As outlined in my reply to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 95, 96 and 97 I have requested an assessment of the caseload of the Tribunal to determine the current status of applications to the General Scheme.  Applicants may be asked by the Tribunal to submit supporting documentation to enable the Tribunal come to a decision on their case.  I am informed by the Tribunal that the reference cited by the Deputy relates to cases where a person has made an application but subsequently has not responded to such correspondence from the Tribunal.  I understand that these cases are not deemed closed but the Tribunal is not in a position to determine whether an award should be made under the scheme.  These and other aspects of the caseload are being considered as part of the assessment I have referred to and I will contact the Deputy again when this process has been completed.

Garda Stations

Ceisteanna (208)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

208. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the plans of the Office of Public Works for the tendering of new Garda stations in County Cork in 2019; the locations of those stations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10618/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, there has been an unprecedented level of 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, to provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime.

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána are significant, with an allocation of €1.76 billion for 2019.  Very significant capital investment is also being made, including investment of €342 million in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021; and investment of €46 million in the Garda Fleet over the same period.

The Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021 is an ambitious 5-year programme based on agreed Garda priorities, which continues to benefit over 30 locations around the country, underpinned by significant Exchequer funding across the Garda and OPW Votes.  In addition to that programme, other major works to the Garda estate which are ongoing include the pilot Garda station reopening project, the development of a new facility at Military Road and the major refurbishment of Fitzgibbon Street station.

I would emphasise that the clear goal of this investment is to address deficiencies in the Garda estate and provide fit-for-purpose facilities for Garda members and staff, as well as the public interacting with them.   And there has been some good progress in relation to the Garda estate in recent times, including in particular the completion and entry into operational use in 2018 of 3 new Divisional and Regional Headquarters in Wexford, Galway and Kevin Street (Dublin), which collectively required funding of over €100 million. 

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.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that a number of Garda stations in Cork are included in these planned or ongoing works:  

First, the development of a new station in Glanmire, which will be located in Glanmire Industrial Estate, is included in the Building and Refurbishment Programme. The construction of this station is on-going and the Garda authorities and the OPW advise that completion is expected in early Q3.

I am further informed by the Garda authorities that in order to facilitate the Divisional Policing Model in Cork City, the Cork City Divisional Roads Policing Unit is relocating from Anglesea Street to Ballincollig Garda Station and that works to accommodate the Divisional Roads Policing Unit in Ballincollig Garda Station are scheduled for this year.

A new station in Macroom is also included in the programme, with delivery of that station along with new stations in Clonmel and Sligo as well as a new custody suite at the station on Anglesea Street Cork to be achieved as part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP)  arrangement. It is not possible at this point to provide a timeframe for completion of the projects.  However I can assure the Deputy that delivery of the new Garda stations at Clonmel, Macroom and Sligo through this PPP arrangement is being pursued as a priority.

A station in Cork is also included in the pilot station reopening project.  As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to a pilot scheme to reopen 6 Garda stations, both urban and rural, to determine possible positive impacts that such openings will have on criminal activity, with special emphasis on burglaries, theft and public order. 

The Garda Commissioner's final report, which is available on my Department's website, recommends that Ballinspittle Garda Station be reopened, along with stations in Bawnboy, Co. Cavan, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow, Donard, Co. Wicklow, and Rush and Stepaside, Co. Dublin.

The OPW and Garda authorities are cooperating closely on delivery of these stations. In relation to Ballinspittle, I understand that the OPW proposals for the refurbishment of Ballinspittle Station were agreed by An Garda Síochána at a sign-off meeting in October 2018 and that the next phase of the project is the procurement/tendering of works, which is expected to commence shortly.

Finally and more generally, I am informed that An Garda Síochána seeks to address minor maintenance issues and refurbishment works across all Divisions as they arise, liaising closely with the OPW and having regard to overall Garda accommodation priorities.