Fines Data

Ceisteanna (83)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

83. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount paid in fines and fees by vehicle owners who had their vehicles seized under section 41 of the Road Traffic Act 1994, from 2011 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27287/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I have requested a report from An Garda Síochána in relation to the statistics sought by the Deputy and I will be in contact with the Deputy directly on receipt of this report.

International Protection

Ceisteanna (84)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

84. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to introduce measures to reduce the waiting times for the result of a first interview for refugee and international protection applicants; and his views on the waiting times for all aspects of the process. [27296/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that measures are being taken to improve waiting times for the result of a first interview with the International Protection Office (IPO).

As part of legislative reform arising from the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015, the introduction of the single procedure process where all elements of a person's claim (refugee status, subsidiary protection status and permission to remain) are now considered together rather than sequentially, will significantly help reduce waiting times.

In addition, a number of other measures have and are being taken including increases in staffing levels at the International Protection Office with 149 civil servants and 70 panel members currently serving in the IPO. A new streamlined system for processing Safe Country of Origin (SCO) cases has been implemented and various process improvements have been made in the IPO and in the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT). In addition, further changes have been made by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) to reduce the time taken for the issue of final decision letters.

Reviews of processes in the IPO have been undertaken in consultation with the UNHCR to streamline processes as much as possible.

These measures being carried out by the IPO are reflected in the increases in productivity in processing cases. For example 3,091 recommendations were made by the IPO in 2018, an increase of 59% over the 2017 output of 1,938 recommendations. It is my Department’s aim to reduce waiting times for recommendations at the first instance stage with the IPO to 9 months by the end of 2019 subject to the levels of new applications, etc. The current waiting time for first instance recommendations to issue by the IPO since the International Protection Act 2015 was commenced is 15 months and for priority cases 10 months.

At the appeals stage, in 2018 1,714 appeals were scheduled for hearing, an increase of 181% when compared to the number of hearings scheduled in the previous year. The average processing time for appeals to the IPAT in 2019 is 23 weeks. The IPAT have a target median waiting time of 14 weeks for appeals by the end of 2019.

Notwithstanding these measures being taken by my Department it should be noted that there are factors outside of the control of the processing areas that can add significantly to processing time. These include the time taken by applicants to complete their application questionnaire and the need to strike a balance between fairness to the applicant and a recognition that it must be returned within a reasonable period. In addition, protection applicants have the right to seek redress in the courts. Finally, future demand cannot be predicted with often very large variations in numbers of applicants from one year to another. The need for specialised training of staff means a significant lead time before new staff can be fully operational which presents significant challenges to reducing waiting times.

Crime Prevention

Ceisteanna (85)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

85. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to legislate to enhance the safety of communities following serious crimes and anti-social behaviour at many locations to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27297/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

There is a wide range of legislation in place to enable the Garda Síochána to tackle public disorder and anti-social behaviour in all of its forms.

The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 contains a range of provisions aimed at dealing with breaches of public order. These include:

- Threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour in a public place (section 6), which carries penalties, on summary conviction, of up to €1,000 or imprisonment for a term of up to 3 months or both.

- Failure to comply with a direction of a member of the Garda Síochána (section 8) to desist from certain conduct in a public place and leave the area, which can result in a fine of up to €1,000 or imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months or both.

- Riot (section 14), involving 12 or more persons who use or threaten to use unlawful violence for a common purpose, which carries penalties, on conviction on indictment, of an unlimited fine or imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years or both.

- Violent disorder (section 15), involving 3 or more persons, which on conviction on indictment carries a penalty of an unlimited fine or imprisonment for up to 10 years, or both.

- Assault or obstruction of a peace officer (section 19) (“peace officers” include members of the Garda Síochána, prison officers, members of the fire brigade, ambulance personnel and members of the Defence Forces), which on summary conviction can attract a fine of up to €5,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months or both, or on conviction on indictment, an unlimited fine or imprisonment for up to 7 years or both.

The general law relating to non-fatal offences, which includes assaults on any person, is contained in the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act 1997, which deals comprehensively with a wide range of assault provisions, the more serious of which carry heavy penalties. These include causing serious harm (section 4), which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and threatening to kill or cause serious harm (section 6), which carries a maximum sentence of ten years.

The Criminal Justice Act 2006 includes specially targeted provisions to address anti-social behaviour by adults and children. Part 11 of that Act makes provision for civil proceedings with regard to anti-social behaviour by adults while Part 13 makes provisions in relation to dealing with anti-social behaviour by children. For children, the possible interventions range from a warning from a member of the Garda Síochána, to a good behaviour contract involving the child and his or her parents or guardian, to referral to the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme and finally to the making of a behaviour order by the Children Court. Where adults are concerned, the provisions include a warning and the making of a civil order by the court. Breach of a court order is a criminal offence.

Where anti-social behaviour is directed at property, the Gardaí have recourse to the provisions of the Criminal Damage Act 1991, which provides a range of offences and penalties, up to and including, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years for the damage, threat of damage or possession of anything with intent to damage a person’s property.

The Deputy will also be aware that work is progressing as a priority in my Department on the Policing and Community Safety Bill, which will redefine policing to include prevention of harm to those who are vulnerable and place an obligation on relevant state agencies to cooperate with An Garda Síochána in relation to the broader issue of community safety. It will also provide for a new coherent governance and oversight framework to empower the Garda Commissioner to act as CEO supported and held to account by a non-executive Board, ensure strong internal governance and robust, transparent external oversight and effective accountability which will ultimately lead to a better run organisation and more effective policing.

Youth Justice Strategy

Ceisteanna (86)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

86. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is considering trialling the Greentown project initiative; if so, if he will consider piloting the project in a town (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27312/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The so-called Greentown” project is an important strategic research initiative supported by my Department and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in tackling criminal networks. The research project is led by the REPPP Project (Research Evidence into Policy, Programmes and Practice) at the School of Law in the University of Limerick (UL). Its specific focus is on examining the recruitment by criminal networks of children in Ireland and to make recommendations for interventions to disrupt this.

In the absence of international models of intervention that could be readily deployed, the original Greentown report published in December 2016 recommended the design of a programme to include interventions with children and their families to help them withstand the influence of criminal networks. This new “Greentown Programme” has now been designed with the input of leading international expertise on crime and criminal networks, together with Irish scientific, policy and practice expertise in child protection and welfare, drugs and community development.

I understand that it is intended to commence a trial of the Greentown Programme approach, on a pilot basis, during 2019. No final decision has been taken as to the location of these sites, and I can assure the Deputy that all sites that present a real need for this type of intervention will be considered.

The Deputy will appreciate the need to keep these sites anonymous, to prevent the identification of young people and stigmatisation of the communities involved. Accordingly, the locations of any trial sites will not be publicly announced.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (87)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

87. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27357/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy continues to be processed and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. If further documentation is required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

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

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (88)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

88. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if and when stamp 4 or alternative can be updated to facilitate employment in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27359/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned was granted temporary permission to remain until 26 August 2018. I am further advised that INIS are awaiting a report from the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) in relation to the outcome of a technical examination of the person's passport. I understand the matter will be considered further by INIS on receipt of a GNIB report.

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

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (89)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

89. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the eligibility for naturalisation if and when updated stamp 4 will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27360/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I have been informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that in August 2012 the person concerned was granted a five-year residence card as a family member of an EU citizen under the provisions of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2015 and Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. This permission has since expired and no further applications have been received in the EU Treaty Rights Division in relation to the person concerned.

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. A determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria attendant to naturalisation can only be made after an application is received.

Section 15 of the Act provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation if satisfied that certain statutory conditions are fulfilled. The conditions are that the applicant must :

- be of full age, or a minor born in the State,

- be of good character,

- have had a period of one year's continuous residency in the State immediately before the date of application and, during the eight years immediately preceding that period, have had a further total residence in the State amounting to four years,

- intend in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation,

- have, before a judge of the District Court in open court, in a citizenship ceremony or in such manner as the Minister, for special reasons, allows:

(i) made a declaration, in the prescribed manner, of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State, and

(ii) undertaken to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values.

It is also 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.

It is open to any individual to lodge an application for citizenship if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory conditions as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended.

If the applicant believes he has an entitlement to Irish citizenship through descent an application for an Irish passport should be made directly to the Passport Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Detailed information on Irish citizenship and naturalisation, along with the relevant application forms and guidance notes, is available on the INIS website at ww.inis.gov.ie.

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

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (90)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

90. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of an application for the update of stamp 4 naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27362/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned has had his permission to remain in the State renewed for a further three year period to 6th February, 2022.

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

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (91)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

91. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27364/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy continues to be processed and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. If further documentation is required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

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

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (92)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

92. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if and when stamp 4 will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27366/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the named person was granted permission to remain in the State in August 2007, for an initial three year period, valid to 14th August 2010. This permission to remain was renewed for a further three year period valid to 14th August 2013. These renewal decision letters were dated 4th August 2010.

The renewal decision letters referred to advised the persons concerned of the requirement that they apply for further renewal of their permission to remain one month before their existing permission expired. Given that there is no record of any such renewal applications having been lodged to date, it is recommended that the persons concerned would proceed to do so without further delay.

The onus is on the person concerned to apply for the renewal of their respective permission to remain. Such renewal application must be made in the first instance in order for them to be considered by the immigration authorities.

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

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (93)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

93. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27367/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Nationalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned was initially granted permission to remain in the State, on a Stamp 4 basis, on 14 July, 2008. This permission was subsequently renewed with the latest permission granted up to 22 November, 2019. It is open to the person concerned to attend at their local immigration office prior to the expiry of their current permission in order to renew their permission to remain in the State.

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

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (94)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

94. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if residency status will be offered to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27368/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there is no record of correspondence from the person concerned in relation to a request for permission to remain in the State.

I also understand that it would appear the person's presence in the State may be unlawful as they do not appear to hold a current permission to remain in the State, and has not held a permission since 2008. The Deputy will appreciate that, under the relevant provisions of the Immigration Act, 2004, a non-national may not be in the State other than within the terms of a permission from the Minister for Justice and Equality.

I am, however, further informed that it is open to the person concerned to contact Unit 2, Domestic Residence and Permissions Division, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2, in writing, setting out their particular circumstances. Any such request will be given detailed consideration by INIS upon receipt of the relevant information from the individual concerned.

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

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (95)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

95. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if an updated stamp 4 can be offered to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27369/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Nationalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned was the holder of an immigration permission valid until the 15 January, 2016. There is no record of an application by the individual for a right of residency in the State, which if granted would also allow a right to work, based on parentage of an Irish citizen child. Their permission to remain in the State has now expired.

The Deputy will appreciate that, under the relevant provisions of the Immigration Act, 2004, a non-national may not be in the State other than within the terms of a permission from the Minister for Justice and Equality. I am however, also informed that it is open to the person to make an application. Information on the application process, including guidelines for completing the application form, can be found on the INIS website (http://www.inis.gov.ie).

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

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (96)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

96. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the breakdown of costs to his Department for the visit of the President of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump; the number of gardaí dispatched; the number of overtime hours worked; the transportation and other associated costs involved in sending gardaí to County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27378/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The only expenditure to be incurred directly by my Department relates to a Press Officer of the Department who was present in County Clare to assist with media operations who will receive travel and subsistence payments in line with standard civil service rates.

In relation to security costs of the visit and in particular the costs incurred by An Garda Síochána, I would remind the Deputy that the Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote. He is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including the allocation of Garda resources.

I have asked the Garda Commissioner for the specific information requested and when it is to hand I will write to the Deputy directly.

Private Security Authority

Ceisteanna (97, 98)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

97. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if information relating to investigations by an authority (details supplied) will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27380/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

98. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if information relating to an authority (details supplied) will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27381/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 97 and 98 together.

The Private Security Authority (PSA), established under the Private Security Services Act 2004, as amended, is the regulatory body with responsibility for regulating and licensing the private security industry in the State. The PSA is an independent body under the aegis of my Department. I have no involvement in the day-to-day operations of the Authority.

The details requested are set out in the Table 1 and Table 2 attached.

Table 1:

Number of investigations initiated by the Private Security Authority since 2008 on a year by year basis in relation to licensed door security the number of those investigations completed to date and the number of those investigations awaiting conclusion.

Year

Investigations

Completed

Awaiting Conclusion

2008

604

604

2009

506

506

2010

799

799

2011

628

628

2012

406

406

2013

317

317

2014

246

246

2015

229

229

2016

230

230

2017

308

308

2018

291

287

4

2019 (to 21/06/2019)

125

75

50

Total

4689

4635

54

Table 2:

Number of investigations initiated by the Private Security Authority since 2008 in relation to licensed door security broken down on a county by county basis the number of those investigations conclusion.

County

Investigations

Concluded

Carlow

87

86

Cavan

69

68

Clare

105

105

Cork

439

430

Donegal

193

189

Dublin

1486

1470

Galway

326

324

Kerry

127

120

Kildare

157

157

Kilkenny

107

106

Laois

80

80

Leitrim

34

33

Limerick

156

153

Longford

40

39

Louth

157

157

Mayo

134

134

Meath

195

194

Monaghan

55

54

Offaly

63

63

Roscommon

39

39

Sligo

79

76

Tipperary

95

95

Waterford

107

107

Westmeath

112

109

Wexford

127

127

Wicklow

120

120

Totals

4689

4635