Schools Amalgamation

Ceisteanna (85)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

85. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the progress made on the amalgamation of schools (details supplied) since it was included on the school capital building plan in 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16835/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As the Deputy is aware, a project for the schools to which he refers is included in my Department's building programme to be delivered as part of the National Development Plan (NDP) 6-Year Construction Programme.

In the context of progressing the building project, my Department intends undertaking a technical site visit to the schools in question. My Department has been engaging with the school authorities relating to the preparatory work associated with the site visit and will be in further in this regard shortly.

School Transport Data

Ceisteanna (86)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

86. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of privately-owned large public service vehicles operating school contracts for Bus Éireann, on behalf of his Department, that failed the third party inspection process on first and second inspection, respectively, by county of operation for each year since 2017. [16849/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.

There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.

The level of detailed information requested is not readily available; I have asked Bus Éireann to respond directly to the Deputy when the figures are compiled.  

School Placement

Ceisteanna (87)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

87. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will address a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied). [16850/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The selection and enrolment of pupils in schools is the responsibility of the authorities of the individual school. My Department's main responsibility is to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all pupils seeking school places in an area. However, this may result in some pupils' not obtaining a place in the school of their first choice. As schools may not have a place for every applicant, a selection process may be necessary. This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory, and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants.

Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 provides for an appeal by a parent or guardian to the Secretary General of my Department or - in the case of an Education and Training Board (ETB) school - to the ETB in the first instance, where a Board of Management of a school, or a person acting on behalf of the Board, refuses to enrol a student in a school, expels a student, or suspends a student for 20 or more days in any school year. My Department has no authority to compel a school to admit a pupil, except in the case of an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 being upheld.

Application forms for taking a section 29 appeal are available on this Departments website at the following link :

http://www.education.ie/en/Parents/Services/Appeal-against-Permanent-Exclusion-Suspension-or-Refusal-to-Enrol/Section-29-Appeals-Application-Form.doc,

or by contacting Section 29 Administration Unit, Friars Mill Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, phone 0761 108588.

The Educational Welfare Service (EWS) of the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) is the statutory agency which can assist parents who are experiencing difficulty in securing a school place for their child. The EWS can be contacted at Educational Welfare Service, Child and Family Agency, Floors 2-5, Brunel Building, Heuston South Quarter, Dublin 8, phone 01-7718633.

National Educational Psychological Service Staff

Ceisteanna (88)

Frank O'Rourke

Ceist:

88. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a psychologist will be assigned to a school (details supplied) under the National Educational Psychological Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16852/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I can inform the Deputy that my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides educational psychological support to all primary and post-primary schools nationally. This involves direct support in the event of a critical incident, access to national and regional support and development work to build school capacity to support students, access to a NEPS psychologist for responses to queries arising, and access to individual pupil casework via a NEPS psychologist or through the Scheme for the Commissioning of Psychological Assessments. (SCPA).

NEPS is organised in eight Regions with and including some 23 offices nationally providing service to the schools in their respective catchment areas. All mainstream schools in Co. Kildare receive a service from NEPS psychologists based in the Naas Office.

NEPS recruits its psychologists from Regional panels of suitably qualified personnel put in place by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) following a national recruitment competition. These panels were replenished following such a competition in early September 2018.

There were four vacant psychologist posts in the Naas Office were offered to the panelists available through this recruitment process but unfortunately only two candidates were forthcoming for that location.

The panels created in September are now depleted and, following discussions with PAS, a new national competition will be announced very shortly from which new panels will be formed. It is envisaged that existing vacancies, including those remaining in the Naas Office, will be filled and personnel in place in this regard by the beginning of the coming academic year. 

In the interim schools affected in relation to these vacancies will continue to have service provided as heretofore this year as described above, with pupil assessment needs being provided by private practitioners through the SCPA scheme, including the school mentioned in the Deputy’s question.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Ceisteanna (89)

Frank O'Rourke

Ceist:

89. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Education and Skills when additional SNA resources will be assigned to a school (details supplied) as requested by the school principal from the NCSE on behalf of a person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16853/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.  

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.  

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

As this question relates to a particular school, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply. I do not have a role in making determinations in individual cases.

School Transport

Ceisteanna (90)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

90. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the audited accounts for the school transport system have been published for each year from 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16861/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.

There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.

On an annual basis, Bus Éireann provides my Department with  an independent auditor's report on the Bus Éireann School Transport Scheme Statement of Account.

The 2015 report is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie.   The 2016 and 2017 reports will be published on my Department's website shortly. 

School Patronage

Ceisteanna (91)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

91. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider the options for a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16902/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department has reviewed the correspondence received from the Deputy in this regard.  I welcome that parents are coming together to explore how greater choice can be provided for parents of primary school children in this area. 

Separately to the main Schools Reconfiguration process, the ‘early movers’ provision of the process can fast-track patronage reassignment where school communities choose to directly engage their patron and seek a transfer of patronage to a multi-denominational patron. The first 'early mover' reconfiguration has successfully taken place, with Two-Mile Community National School in Kerry opening in September 2017. 

Any school which is seeking a transfer of patronage under the “early movers” provision should contact their school patron directly.

As the Deputy will be aware,  Kenmare-Sneem is one of the 16 initial areas nationwide which is part of the phase 1 pilot of the Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process.

The Schools Reconfiguration process is a new process aimed at increasing the number of multi- and non-denominational schools, by transferring existing schools from denominational to multi-/non-denominational patronage in line with the wishes of the school community. The initial rollout of this process is nearing completion of the Identification Phase in 16 areas. In the case of Kerry ETB, the area selected is Kenmare-Sneem.

The Identification Phase seeks to identify the level of oncoming demand for more diversity of patronage within the local educational provision, and surveys of parents of pre-school children have been carried out in these areas by the relevant City/County Childcare Committee on behalf of the ETBs. ETBs, having analysed the survey results, then draw up comprehensive reports detailing the outcomes of the surveys in relation to each of the 16 pilot areas. The response of the local Bishop to any identified oncoming demand for greater diversity of school patronage in the area is included in the report prepared by the ETB.  

As it currently stands, most of the Identification Phase reports from these 16 initial areas have been finalised and it is envisaged that the reports will be published by the Department in the first half of this year on its website, www.education.ie.

Following the publication of the first round of reports, it is intended that the Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process will move into the Implementation Phase, which will be led by the existing patron (the Catholic Archbishop/Bishop). In the Implementation Phase, the existing patron would identify a school to transfer to a multi-denominational or non-denominational patron (where the Identification Phase report has shown a viable level of demand for greater diversity of patronage). 

The process envisages that the identification of a new multi-denominational or non-denominational patron should reflect the wishes of parents and the school community.   

School Curriculum

Ceisteanna (92)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

92. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the elements of the secondary school curriculum which specifically pertain to personal financial literacy; if this is compulsory or voluntary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16908/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Financial literacy is explored through a number of curricular subjects across post primary education.

Junior Cycle

More generally, statement of Learning 14 in the Framework for Junior Cycle (https://www.ncca.ie/en/junior-cycle/framework-for-junior-cycle) states that the student:

Makes informed financial decisions and develops good consumer skills

Junior Cycle Mathematics

The revised Junior Cycle syllabus exposes the students to a range of topics relating to financial literacy:

In Junior Certificate, students learn about:

- Solving problems involving mobile phone tariffs, currency transactions, shopping (bills), Value Added Tax and meter readings

- Making value judgements for money calculations (expenditure and savings)

- Using ratio and proportion to conduct currency calculations.

More specifically students should be able to:

- At Ordinary Level and Higher Level, solve problems involving profit and loss; %profit (on the cost price), Discount (%discount), selling price, compound interest (for no more than three compounding periods), income tax (standard rate only) and net pay

- At Higher Level only, solve problems that involve cost price selling price, discount , mark up, (profit as a % of the selling price) compound interest, income tax and net pay (including other deductions) 

Junior Cycle Business Studies

In Junior Cycle Business Studies, there are three strands of study: Personal Finance, Enterprise and Our Economy.

Personal finance focuses on students developing a set of skills, knowledge and values that allows them to make informed decisions to effectively and responsibly manage their financial resources.

Enterprise encourages students to identify opportunities and turn them into practical and targeted activities within business and wider society through the development and application of their understanding, skills and values. It develops students’ basic understanding of the financial, marketing and operational functions of an organisation.

Our economy enables students to understand the dynamic relationship between the local, national and international economic situation. It develops students’ ability to identify and understand basic economic concepts as they relate to personal finance, enterprise and the Irish economy.

Financial literacy skills are developed throughout Strand 1 but also are integrated into Strand 2 and 3, where students apply financial literacy skills developed in Strand 1 to enterprises (businesses) and to the economy.

Junior Cycle Home Economics

Financial literacy is also covered in the subject of Home Economics at Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle. In Junior Cycle Home Economics, students are enabled to:

- apply consumer decision-making skills in the management of personal, family and household resources for everyday living

- debate consumers’ rights and responsibilities

- examine how consumers are protected in Ireland by legislation, statutory and non-statutory agencies apply financial literacy skills in the preparation and evaluation of a budget for independent living

Senior Cycle Mathematics

In the Leaving Certificate, students should be able to:

- At Ordinary Level and Higher Level, solve problems that involve calculating cost price, selling price, loss, discount, mark up (profit as a % of cost price), margin (profit as a % of selling price) compound interest, depreciation(reducing balance method), income tax and net pay (including other deductions)

- At Higher Level only, apply the mathematics of geometric progressions to calculating repayments for amortised loans and problems relating to savings (future and present values)

- It is also worth noting that in the context and applications approach to the new syllabuses other sections of the course (strands 4 and 5 in particular)are brought to bear in solving problems involving finance and as a result students are given  a rich repository of approaches to solving the  everyday and very important problems.

- The learning outcomes at Foundation Level are virtually identical to those at Ordinary Level in the Junior Cycle

Senior Cycle Accounting

Accounting is concerned with the preparation, recording, extraction, presentation and analysis of financial information for the purpose of making economic decisions. The subject has a dual role in education in that it has both a practical and theoretical aspect. Accounting equips students with a specific language and techniques relevant to many areas of everyday financial, business and social life.

Senior Cycle Economics

A new Economics specification has been developed for implementation in September 2019.  It includes learning outcomes relating to the demand and supply of money, creation of credit, interest rates and regulation in the financial markets.

Senior Cycle Business

Household and business manager-learning outcomes - Aspects of finance include: basic cash flow, main sources of finance, cost of finance, current account, and applying for a loan.

Business development-learning outcomes- main sources of finance available for business start-up. Using skills for business-learning outcomes-explanation of the relevance of economic indicators such as inflation, employment rates, and interest rates. Economic growth, national income and national debt for individuals and the economy.

Leaving Certificate Applied

A number of units in LCA Mathematical Applications focus on the development of financial literacy.

School Accommodation Provision

Ceisteanna (93)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

93. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if officials from his Department will carry out a site visit to a school (details supplied) in County Kerry to view the conditions and need for a new school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16914/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the school in question submitted an application for major capital funding to my Department to construct a new school building. Given the need to meet demographic growth, projects identified in my Department’s capital programme to be delivered as part of the National Development Plan (NDP) will remain the focus of my Department’s budget for the coming years.

However, should enrolment numbers justify the appointment of an additional mainstream teacher in the school referred to by the Deputy, it is open to the school authority to submit an application under my Department's Additional School accommodation Scheme.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (94)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

94. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 208 of 26 February 2019, if there has been further progress in progressing this capital project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16919/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Officials from my Department have recently been in contact with the school authorities in relation to the proposed building project.

 In this regard, my Department is currently finalising the project brief with the aim of progressing the project into the architectural planning process. My Department will be in direct contact with the school when this process has been finalised.

School Staff

Ceisteanna (95)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Ceist:

95. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills when approval will be granted for the appointment of an extra teacher at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16961/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts is published annually on the Department website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September.

The staffing schedule operates in a clear and transparent manner and treats all similar types of schools equally irrespective of location.

The staffing schedule also includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit a staffing appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board.

The Small Schools appeal criterion allows schools with 4 teachers or less to appeal on the basis of projected enrolment for the coming September.  In the case of the school referred to by the Deputy, a projected enrolment of 84 for September 2019 is required to fulfil the appeal criteria. Details of the appeal process and application form are available in Circular 0019/2019, "Staffing Arrangements in Primary Schools for the 2019/20 School Year", which is published on the Department website.  The next meeting of the Primary Staffing Appeals Board will be held in June and the closing date for the submission of applications will be published on the Department website shortly.

The Primary Staffing Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.

Residential Institutions Redress Scheme

Ceisteanna (96)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

96. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of funding regarding Caranua; the funding received by Caranua; the funding yet to be received; the number of survivors awaiting payment for services; when the Caranua fund is due to cease operations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16965/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

In accordance with the provisions of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012, cash contributions offered voluntarily by religious congregations in the aftermath of the publication of the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (the "Ryan Report") are available to meet costs incurred by Caranua (the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund) in supporting former residents and in meeting that organisation’s operational costs and costs associated with the independent appeals process.

To date a total of €103 million, comprising contributions of some €101.6 million plus added interest of €1.382 million, has been received by my Department and placed in an investment account established by the National Treasury Management Agency. This funding is available to Caranua.

A further €8.4 million in cash contributions is required to achieve the maximum amount of contributions of €110 million set down in statute. On receipt of an outstanding contribution of €8.8 million from the Congregation of Christian Brothers over the coming months that statutory cap will have been reached.

Caranua publishes regular updates on its website regarding expenditure, applications, etc. The most recent update shows that to end February 2019, Caranua had expended some €82.5 million on supports and services for former residents and that it had 2,127 open applications on hands. Caranua ceased to accept applications from 1 August 2018 and it is working to process those remaining applications. Caranua’s operations will be wound down during the course of 2019 and the organisation will be dissolved when it has completed the performance of its functions.

School Transport

Ceisteanna (97)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

97. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the LocalLink transport service is available to transport primary and secondary school students to and from their destination; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16979/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.

There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.

The purpose of my Departments’ School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school (3.2km at primary and 4.8km at post-primary).  All children who are eligible for school transport and who complete the application process on time will be accommodated under the terms of the scheme in the 2019/2020 school year.   

The LocalLink transport service does not operate under the remit of my Department.  

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (98)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

98. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when he plans to complete the legislation necessary for ratification to be fully activated further to the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16915/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Government’s approach to meeting the terms of the Unites Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“the Convention”) is one of sustained and on-going improvement. Work is continuing on the reforms needed for an optimum level of compliance with the convention's requirements.

The Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016, which contains key legislative amendments needed for compliance with the Convention, was published on December 2016. Second Stage (Dáil) took place on 31 January and 1 February 2017, and Committee Stage on 30 January 2019.

The Bill includes provisions to establish the monitoring framework required by Article 33 of the Convention to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the Convention. It requires the involvement and participation of civil society, in particular, persons with disabilities, in the monitoring process.

The monitoring framework will include both the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) and the National Disability Authority (NDA) and will be governed by a formal Memorandum of Understanding. The IHREC Act 2014 was designed to ensure that IHREC, as Ireland’s National Human Rights Institution, fully meets the standard of independence in accordance with the Paris Principles.

Heads of Bill to provide legislative clarity on the issue of deprivation of liberty are being progressed by my colleague the Minister for Health. A report of a recent public consultation on draft legislative provisions is nearing completion. Every effort is being made to progress this legislation as quickly as possible.

Road Traffic Legislation

Ceisteanna (99)

Noel Rock

Ceist:

99. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of legislation to tackle the ongoing issue of scrambler and quad bikes; the status of the cross-agency meeting which took place on 15 March 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16787/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I would like to acknowledge the Deputy's continuing concern in relation to this serious public order issue.

As I have previously outlined, my Department's main focus over the past number of months has been on the consideration of legal advice received from the Office of the Attorney General, which indicated that, in the main, current road traffic and public order legislation appear to provide sufficient means to police this issue. This view is also shared by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. 

My Department reconvened the cross-agency group on 15 March to discuss this legal advice with members of An Garda Síochána; meeting with the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau (GNRPB), the Dublin Metropolitan Region (Tallaght District) and the Youth Diversion, Community Engagement & Public Safety Bureau.

In the absence of a need for new legislation, it is envisaged that an effective response to this anti-social behaviour will be informed by a combination of targeted enforcement measures, awareness raising, and youth engagement programmes. These measures will be progressed in conjunction with the relevant Departments and agencies. 

I have already emphasised in this House that this is a complex issue. I remain committed to facilitating the cross-agency process and will provide a further update to this House when the conclusions arising from this process become available.  

Deportation Orders Re-examination

Ceisteanna (100)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

100. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason persons (details supplied) are being deported; if the case will be examined with a view to them remaining here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16799/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the persons concerned are the subject of  Deportation Orders signed on the 7 September 2018. These Orders require the persons concerned to remove themselves from the State and remain outside the State. The enforcement of the Deportation Orders is a matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Representations were received on behalf of the persons concerned requesting that the deportation orders be revoked, pursuant to the provisions of section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). Following the detailed consideration of the information submitted in support of the request, the Deportation Orders were affirmed and notified to the persons concerned by letter dated 6 March 2019.   The circumstances presented by the family in this case were fully considered both in the original decision to make Deportation Orders and in the more recent decision to affirm the Orders on foot of the 3(11) request to revoke the Deportation Orders.   The reasoning behind these decisions has been set out in the correspondence that issued to the family in this case.  

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 wish to 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 Data

Ceisteanna (101)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

101. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the Garda numbers at 31 March 2019 by station and rank. [16939/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

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

I am informed by the Commissioner that as of the 28 February 2019, the latest date for which information is available, the overall strength of An Garda Síochána was 13,977 with 521 Reserves and 2,590 Civilians.

I can assure the Deputy that this Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime. 

Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide. Garda numbers reached the target of 14,000 by the end of 2018 are on track to reach 15,000 by 2021. 

The Commissioner has this year been provided with an additional €100 million bringing his budget to almost €1.8 billion, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí this year. The Commissioner has now informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and 600 Garda Civilian Staff.  This Garda Staff recruitment will allow the Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 fully trained Gardaí from administrative duties to frontline policing in 2019.

I believe that the injection of this large number of experienced officers into the field, along with the new recruits, will be really beneficial in terms of protecting communities. This and on-going recruitment will clearly provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions.

The  information requested by the Deputy in relation to the Garda strength of each Division by station and rank, from 2009 to 28 February 2019 as provided by the Garda Commissioner is available on my Department’s website through the following link,

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_February_2019.xlsx

/Files/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_February_2019.xlsx

The figures for 31 March 2019 will be available on the website by the end of April.

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

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

Garda Data

Ceisteanna (102)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

102. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of outstanding bench warrants by Garda division; and his plans to address this matter. [16940/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, difficulties in relation to the execution of warrants, including bench warrants, are a long-standing issue for many police forces around the world; notably relating to persons actively seeking to evade detection and where limited identification information might be available to support enforcement.  These difficulties are compounded where the warrant has been outstanding for some years.  However, I am assured that An Garda Síochána execute warrants as expeditiously as possible, giving priority to the execution of warrants relating to serious crimes.

The Deputy will also appreciate that the figure for outstanding bench warrants recorded by PULSE at any given time reflects an accumulation of old bench warrants which has arisen over the years and that therefore the total figure for outstanding bench warrants as shown on PULSE may not be a reliable indicator of the number of 'live' warrants which are actually enforceable.

While it is important to note that an individual can be the subject of multiple bench warrants, I am advised by the Garda authorities that, as of 10 April 2019, there are 37,797 bench warrants outstanding nationally.  The attached table provides a breakdown of bench warrants outstanding by Garda Division. 

Region

Garda Division

Number

Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR)

DMR East

959

DMR North Central

6,267

DMR North

4,487

DMR South Central

2,275

DMR South

3,516

DMR West

5,677

DMR TRFC

33

Eastern Region

Kildare

960

Laois/Offaly

317

Meath

630

Westmeath

655

Wicklow

718

Northern Region

Cavan/Monaghan

863

Donegal

672

Louth

693

Sligo/Leitrim

317

South Eastern Region

Kilkenny/Carlow

948

Tipperary

858

Waterford

515

Wexford

618

Southern Region

Cork City

1,209

Cork North

420

Cork West

170

Kerry

608

Limerick

1,466

Western Region

Clare

313

Galway

1,071

Mayo

279

Roscommon/Longford

283

Total Nationally

37,797

*Operation figures from Pulse and are accurate as of 10 April 2019 and liable to change.

Juvenile Offenders

Ceisteanna (103)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

103. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 119 of 23 January 2019, if he has received the breakdown of these cases by Garda division, as requested in that question; when he will make them available; the disciplinary action that the Garda Commissioner is taking on foot of the audit; and if he will publish the report of this audit without further delay. [16941/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Garda authorities that the report in relation to the Youth Referral Examination was forwarded to the Garda Commissioner on 5th March 2019. In addition, external consultants Crowe Ireland have submitted their final validation and verification report and a copy of this was appended to the Youth Referral Examination Report.

As the Deputy is aware, the Commissioner has given detailed information in relation to this matter when it was examined publicly by the Policing Authority and by the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality.

I would refer the Deputy to my reply to her Question No. 91 on 27 February 2019, in which I confirmed that the publication of information in relation to the more detailed aspects of the Garda Review will be a matter for the Commissioner and the Policing Authority and not for my Department. The Deputy will also appreciate that there may be confidentiality concerns in relation to aspects of the report.

The Garda Authorities have also advised that any decision relating to the commencement of disciplinary proceedings is a matter for the relevant Local Divisional Officer. I am informed that all relevant matters have been referred to the respective Divisional Officers to consider, in accordance with the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations 2007.

In addition, the Policing Authority will continue to follow up with an on-going examination of these specific youth justice-related matters to monitor the effectiveness of the remedial actions which the Commissioner has set in train. I can assure the Deputy that my Department will keep in very close touch with the Commissioner, and the Policing Authority, to monitor progress.

Garda Procedures

Ceisteanna (104)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

104. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure for former gardaí to apply to return to An Garda Síochána under extra qualification and skills; the timescale involved in this decision process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16957/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

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

Regulation 10 of the Garda Admissions and Appointment Regulations 2013 provides that the Commissioner may, with the consent of the Minister, appoint and enrol any person as a member without regards to the requirements of the regulations if that person has at any previous time served as a member of An Garda Síochána.

I am advised by the Commissioner that the application for re-admission should be made in writing and is processed through the Appointments Office under the remit of the Executive Director Human Resources & People Development.

I understand that when considering an application for reappointment to An Garda Síochána, the Commissioner takes into account a number of factors including:

- Any relevant experience, training or qualifications received since the applicant left the organisation;

- Recommendations of previous line management from the time the applicant served as a member of An Garda Síochána;

- The applicant's previous personnel records;

- Applicant’s resignation file; and

- Length of time since the member has left the organisation.

I am advised by the Commissioner that the re-admission process can take some time to complete, and that applicants for re-admission should contact the Garda appointments office directly if they have any queries in relation to their application.