Garda Transport Data

Ceisteanna (268)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

268. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda cars operational in each Garda district area within the Cork city division; the corresponding data in 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37048/19]

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 in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. This continuing investment is intended to ensure that An Garda Síochána can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.

In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. In addition, the allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.

This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles among the various Garda divisions. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities to ensure their optimum use.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table outline the number of vehicles allocated to the Cork Garda Divisions, by District, as at 31 August, 2019.

To end August 2019

Cars

Vans

Motorcycles

4x4

*Other

Total

CORK CITY

86

20

8

1

6

121

Angelsea Street

57

14

7

1

0

79

Gurranabraher

9

1

0

0

1

11

Mayfield

7

4

1

0

4

16

Togher

13

1

0

0

1

15

CORK NORTH

36

12

2

0

0

50

Fermoy

11

3

0

0

0

14

Mallow

13

4

1

0

0

18

Midleton

12

5

1

0

0

18

CORK WEST

42

11

1

2

2

58

Bandon

16

6

1

0

1

24

Bantry

6

3

0

0

0

9

Clonakilty

6

1

0

0

0

7

Macroom

14

1

0

2

1

18

I am further informed that the following table sets out the Garda fleet in the Cork Divisions as at 31 December 2019.

To end December 2018

Cars

Van

Motorcycles

4x4

*Other

Total

CORK CITY

91

19

8

3

9

130

CORK NORTH

40

12

3

1

1

57

CORK WEST

44

12

3

2

0

61

* The category 'other' refers to MPV, SUV, Minibus or Prisoner Conveyance Vehicles.

I should point out, however, that a total of €10 million has been made available to An Garda Síochána for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019. I understand from Garda management that this allocation is being used for the purchase and fit-out of over 300 for operational use in An Garda Síochána. The allocation of these new vehicles across the Garda Divisions is for Garda management and not for me as Minister.

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (269)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

269. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the arrangements in place for family members of UK citizens residing here with a valid EU residence card stamp 4 EUFAM in the event of a no-deal Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37054/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Immigration Service of my Department that they have recently issued letters to people currently resident in Ireland as the holder of a valid Stamp 4 EUFam permission (residence card/permanent residence card). This permission is based on the person being a non-EEA family member of a British citizen who is also residing in Ireland and is exercising their EU Treaty rights. The Deputy will be aware that on 31 October 2019, the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU, unless the draft Withdrawal Agreement is ratified before then. If the Agreement is not ratified, this is referred to as the "no deal" scenario. A “no deal” scenario will mean that a non-EEA person who is legally resident in Ireland, on the basis of their familial relationship to a British citizen, will no longer be covered by the provisions of the EU Free Movement Directive and the exercise of EU Treaty rights and entitlements.

The Immigration Service is putting in place transitional arrangements for people in this group who have been registered in Ireland before 31 October 2019. Under these arrangements, a person may change to a new permission based on domestic immigration arrangements. This will provide for their continued residence and access to the labour market in the State.The issued letters request those potentially affected by a “no deal” scenario to confirm their current address, and to advise the Immigration Service of any change in their personal circumstances, by Monday 30 September 2019. As an individual’s circumstances may have changed since they were initially granted their residence card, up to date information is being sought from them to enable the Immigration Service to triage these permission holders to identify the most suitable and beneficial immigration arrangements that could apply to them in a no-deal Brexit scenario.I am further advised that non-EU/non-EEA family members of British citizens who currently have a residence card/permanent residence card application under consideration do not need to take any specific action at this time.

Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (270)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

270. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which the case of a person (details supplied) is progressing and or approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37142/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As previously advised by the Immigration Service of my Department, the application referred to by the Deputy was received by the Visa Office in Moscow on 17 June 2019. Visa applications are dealt with in chronological order by date of receipt within the particular category. The application is currently being processed by staff in the Moscow Visa Office.  

A visa application to join with a family member, where the sponsor is an Irish national, can normally be expected to be dealt with within 6 months of receipt of the required documentation, as set out in the Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification.  This is a business target which reflects the detailed assessment that is required to be carried out in relation to applications for family reunification.  It does not constitute a legal obligation and such applications may take longer due to the individual circumstances or complexity of the application.  

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.  

In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail queries directly to the Immigration Service (visamail@justice.ie).

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (271)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

271. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has considered conferring Irish citizenship on a person (details supplied). [37157/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Immigration Service of my Department that there is no record of an active application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy. As the Deputy will appreciate, a determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria attendant to naturalisation can only be made after an application is received.

It is open to any individual to lodge an application for a certificate of naturalisation if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, which governs the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation. Detailed information on Irish citizenship and naturalisation, as well as the relevant application forms, is available on the Immigration Service website at www.inis.gov.ie.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited. 

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (272, 273)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

272. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the implications for Irish citizens currently the subject of a European arrest warrant to Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit (details supplied); the steps he has taken to address these matters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37209/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

273. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the interaction he has had with his European counterparts and the criminal justice agencies here regarding the way in which the human rights of Irish citizens under European arrest warrants to Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be protected in view of concerns expressed by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission regarding the implications of a no-deal Brexit with particular reference to the legal basis of an EAW in that scenario; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37210/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 and 273 together.

I can assure the Deputy at the outset that it is the firm intention of the Government and the British Government that the current high level of criminal justice cooperation will continue in the event of a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Cooperation in the area of law enforcement, particularly in relation to Northern Ireland, is at an all-time high and the Government is determined to maintain this. The Deputy will be aware that national security is outside the competence of the EU, so ongoing day-to-day cooperation in this area with the UK will continue following Brexit, whatever form it ultimately takes.

Notwithstanding this, considerable planning and preparation across the criminal justice area has been ongoing to take account of the potential impact of Brexit, including in relation to ensuring the continuance of effective extradition arrangements between Ireland and the UK. This is necessary because of Britain’s proposed departure from the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system. While the EAW will cease to apply when Brexit occurs, the High Court in the meantime is continuing to deal with outstanding UK EAW cases.

Following examination of the options available for extradition arrangements between Ireland and the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the fall-back solution is to apply the 1957 Council of Europe Convention on Extradition, to which both Ireland and the UK are party, to extradition arrangements between Ireland and the UK.

The provisions of the Convention are given effect to by Part II of the Extradition Act 1965. The 1965 Act has been amended by Part 13 of the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2019, which can be commenced when Brexit occurs, in order to ensure that this is a workable solution.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (274)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

274. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if arrangements will be made in the case of a person (details supplied) to make a late application to update their stamp 4; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37250/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Immigration Service of my Department that the persons concerned had their permission to remain in the State renewed at the Burgh Quay Registration Office on 30 April 2018 for a further three year period, to 05 May 2021.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Immigration Service is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (275)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

275. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 370 of 11 July 2019, if the relevant section of his Department has received a reply from the legal representatives of the person (details supplied) in respect of the letter of his Department dated 12 March 2019; if all the documentation has been received in order to progress the application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37251/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Immigration Service of my Department that the processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is on-going. The position remains as outlined in my response to Parliamentary Question No. 370 of 11 July 2019. A letter issued to the representatives of the person concerned on 12 March 2019 requesting certain documentation and a reply is awaited. Upon receipt of the requested documentation the case will be further processed. 

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Immigration Service is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (276)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

276. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent of progress to date in regard to the regularisation of residency in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37252/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Deputy will appreciate that if an application for international protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications and the applicant or his legal representative should contact either the International Protection Office (IPO) or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly, as appropriate.

The IPO may be contacted: by email to info@ipo.gov.ie; by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. The International Protection Appeals Tribunal may be contacted either: by email to info@protectionappeals.ie; by telephone at 01-4748400 (or Lo-Call 1890 201 458), or in writing to Corporate Services Division, The International Protection Appeals Tribunal, 6-7 Hanover Street East, Dublin D02 W320.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Immigration Service is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (277)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

277. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the relevant section of his Department will extend temporary residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37253/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Immigration Service of my Department that an application for the Extension of Student Conditions made by the person referred to by the Deputy has been examined. The person concerned can expect to receive correspondence from the Immigration Service regarding the outcome of their application in the coming days.

Queries in relation to the status of any immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service of my Department by email 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 Question process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in the case where the response is , in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (278)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

278. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure to be followed by a person (details supplied) whose student visa expires shortly; if they will be informed of the appropriate steps to be taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37254/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Immigration Service of my Department that an application for an extension of permission to reside in this State was received on behalf of the person concerned on 29 August 2019. The Deputy will appreciate that, in the interests of fairness, such applications are dealt with in chronological order and I am advised that a decision will issue in due course.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Immigration Service is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (279)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

279. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will address a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37255/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by Immigration Service of my Department that a new application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to by the Deputy on 20 November 2018. Processing of this application is on-going, with a view to establishing whether the conditions for naturalisation, such as good character and lawful residence, are satisfied. On completion of the necessary processing the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible.

 The fact that a person may have previously had an application refused does not preclude or disqualify them from submitting a fresh application in the future. Indeed, the letter advising an applicant of a negative decision informs them that they may re-apply at any time. The letter also advises that, when considering making such a re-application, they should give due regard to the reasons for the refusal, which were contained in the submission attached to the refusal letter, and that any further application will be considered taking into account all statutory and administrative conditions applicable at the time of the application. 

 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 (280)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

280. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if further documentation is required in the application for naturalisation in the case a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37256/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Immigration Service of my Department that the person referred to by the Deputy submitted an application for naturalisation on 1 November 2018. Processing of this application is ongoing at this time. The Immigration Service will be in direct contact with the person concerned should there be any further documentation required.  

I am aware that the recent judgment of the High Court relating to continuous residency under Section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended) has given cause for concern. The matter remains before the courts with the lodgement of an appeal before the Court of Appeal and is therefore sub-judice.

I can, however, assure the Deputy that my Department officials and I are doing everything possible to put in place a solution on an urgent basis.  I have taken expert legal advice and I intend to introduce legislation to address the issue. At the end of July, I obtained Cabinet approval for a proposed Bill and intensive work is underway in my Department where officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General's Office to finalise the draft Bill.

I intend to introduce the Bill in the Oireachtas as soon as the Houses return to session. I know that colleagues of all parties are concerned with the difficulty that has arisen and I am hopeful that the Oireachtas will give the Bill early and positive consideration.

As soon as the Bill becomes law, my officials will make all necessary arrangements for the next citizenship ceremony. Invitations will issue at least four weeks in advance of the ceremony to ensure everyone has adequate notice.   

Queries in relation to the status of any immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service of my Department by email 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 Question process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in the cases where the response is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (281)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

281. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); if their case can be examined under humanitarian grounds having regard to the welfare of them and their children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37257/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, if an application for international protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications.  The applicant or their legal representative should contact either the International Protection Office (IPO) or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly, as appropriate.

The IPO may be contacted either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. The International Protection Appeals Tribunal may be contacted either by email to info@protectionappeals.ie, by telephone at 01-4748400 (or Lo-Call 1890 201 458), or in writing to Corporate Services Division, The International Protection Appeals Tribunal, 6-7 Hanover Street East, Dublin D02 W320.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Immigration Service is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (282)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

282. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a specific obstacle exists based on information to date which might impede an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37258/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Immigration Service of my Department that there is no record of a current application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy. A decision on a previous application was issued by letter to the individual concerned on 15 November 2018. 

As the Deputy will appreciate, a determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria attendant to naturalisation can only be made after an application is received. Every application is considered on its own merits, regardless of whether the applicant had applied previously.

It is open to any individual to lodge an application for a certificate of naturalisation if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. The fact that a person may have had an application refused does not preclude or disqualify them from submitting a fresh application in the future. Indeed, the letter advising an applicant of a negative decision also informs them that they may re-apply for the grant of a certificate of naturalisation at any time. The letter advises that, when considering making such a re-application, they should give due regard to the reasons for the refusal which were contained in the submission attached to the refusal letter and that any further application will be considered taking into account all statutory and administrative conditions applicable at the time of application.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 Immigration Service is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (283)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

283. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current or expected position regarding the application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37260/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is currently being considered by the Immigration Service of my Department. On completion of the necessary processing, the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. Should further documentation be required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

I am aware that the recent judgment of the High Court relating to continuous residency under Section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended) has given cause for concern. The matter remains before the courts with the lodgement of an appeal before the Court of Appeal and is therefore sub-judice.

I can, however, assure the Deputy that my Department officials and I are doing everything possible to put in place a solution on an urgent basis. I have taken expert legal advice and I intend to introduce legislation to address the issue. At the end of July, I obtained Cabinet approval for a proposed Bill and intensive work is taking place in my Department where officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General's Office to finalise a draft Bill.

I intend to introduce the Bill in the Oireachtas as soon as the Houses return to session. I know that colleagues of all parties are concerned by the difficulty that has arisen and I am hopeful that the Oireachtas will give the Bill early and positive consideration.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Proposed Legislation

Ceisteanna (284)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

284. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the cybercrime Bill will be published to give effect to those provisions of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime 2001 of the Council of Europe not already provided for in national law in order to enable ratification of the convention. [37279/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I outlined the position in relation to ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime in January last. At that time, I updated the House on the significant progress made in the ratification process within the term of this Government, particularly through the introduction of legislation to give effect to the key criminal law provisions of the Convention.

In relation to the Cybercrime Convention, otherwise known as the Budapest Convention, the majority of the provisions of the Convention are already provided for in Irish law. The Cybercrime Convention is very broad in scope and provisions of the Convention are provided for in criminal justice, interception, sexual offences, extradition, mutual legal assistance and copyright legislation.

The most significant step towards ratification of the Budapest Convention was the enactment in 2017 of the first Bill in this jurisdiction specifically targeted at cybercrime. The Criminal Justice (Offences Relating to Information Systems) Act 2017 gave effect to an EU Directive on attacks against information systems, the main provisions of which reflect the key provisions of the Convention.

This recent legislation therefore also gives effect to provisions in the Convention relating to offences against information systems and their data and search and seizure powers in respect of such data. An Garda Síochána, the organisation with primary responsibility for dealing with cybercrime, has strongly welcomed this landmark legislation as a comprehensive weapon to tackle criminality including computer systems and interference with such systems or their data.

Officials from my Department attended a meeting of the Cybercrime Convention Committee in Strasbourg earlier this year and discussed with the Council of Europe Ireland's positive progress on ratification.

The current Government Legislation Programme makes provision for the drafting of a new Cybercrime Bill to give effect to those remaining elements of the Convention not already covered in national law. This is to ensure that Ireland can ratify the Budapest Convention and is evidence of the Government's clear commitment in that regard. My intention is that this legislation will be in place to facilitate formal ratification of the Convention as soon as it is possible.

Proposed Legislation

Ceisteanna (285)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

285. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the parental leave and benefit Bill; the date on which persons may avail of an additional two weeks paid parental leave; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37311/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, on 23 April 2019, the Government announced that it had approved the priority drafting of the Parent's Leave and Benefit Bill 2019. My officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General's Office to draft the Bill.

It is envisaged that legislation will provide for two weeks of parental leave and benefit for all new parents in employment or self-employment in respect of babies born on or after 1 November 2019.  This will facilitate parents in spending more time with their babies in their critical first year of life.

Moreover, the Government is committed to increasing both leave and benefit to seven weeks for each parent by 2021.

Legislative Process

Question No. 287 answered with Question No. 266.

Ceisteanna (286)

Peter Fitzpatrick

Ceist:

286. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the stage the Coroners (Amendment) Act 2019 is now at; and if changes can still be made. [37328/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Coroners (Amendment) Act 2019 was passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas on 10 July 2019 and subsequently signed into law by the President on 23 July 2019.  

I have signed the Commencement Order for all sections of the Act with the exception of sections 8, 21, 23, 24, 25, 36 and 39(d).  This Order was laid before both Houses on 11 September 2019.  It is my intention that the remaining sections will be commenced without delay.

Question No. 287 answered with Question No. 266.

Parole Boards

Ceisteanna (288)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

288. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his Department has issued guidance to the Irish Prison Service on the implementation of the Parole Act 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37359/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Parole Act 2019 provides for the establishment of an independent, statutory Parole Board, which will make decisions in relation to parole for all eligible prisoners.

There are a number of practical steps required for commencement of the Act and establishment of the Parole Board, for example selection of Board members, the appointment of a Chief Executive and staff, putting in place the funding for the new Board and various other matters including determining where the Board’s premises will be.

The question of guidance on the operation of the Act does not yet arise.

As soon as the statutory Parole Board is in place and the Parole Act is commenced, all parole applications will be considered by that Board. There will be no parallel process for granting of parole. Prisoners who have applied under the old system but have not yet been granted parole will be eligible to be considered, once they meet the criteria set out in the Parole Act, by the new Board, in accordance with the provisions of that Act.

Garda Transport Data

Ceisteanna (289)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

289. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the age of each horse box vehicle in the Garda mounted unit. [37380/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, decisions in relation to the provision and allocation of Garda equipment and vehicles across the various Garda divisions are for the Garda Commissioner, in the light of identified operational demands. As Minister, I have no role in that matter.

I have requested information from the Garda authorities in relation to issue raised by the Deputy and I will write to her directly when I receive it.

Garda Transport Data

Ceisteanna (290)

Jim O'Callaghan

Ceist:

290. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the new allocation of Garda vehicles to date in 2019 that have been deployed to each Garda district within Dublin in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37432/19]

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 in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. This continuing investment is intended to ensure that An Garda Síochána can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.

A total of €10 million has been made available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019. I understand from the Garda authorities that this allocation will be used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles for operational use this year.

As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with 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 demands. This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles among the various Garda divisions. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities to ensure their optimum use.

Detail of new vehicle allocations to date this year as provided to me by the Garda authorities, is as set out in the following table. For security and operational reasons, these tables do not include a breakdown between marked and unmarked vehicle allocations. It should be noted that the following table includes detail on the Divisions in the DMR, as well as the Traffic unit based in Dublin Castle (which is not itself a Garda Division). This table does not include detail in relation to National Units including those located which may be located in the region.

2019 Allocations to date to DMR by District as on 13 September 2019

Cars

Vans

*Others

Total

D.M.R.

94

10

1

105

DMR EAST

10

0

0

10

BLACKROCK-W

3

0

0

3

DUNLAOGHAIRE-F

7

0

0

7

DMR NORTH

23

0

0

23

BALBRIGGAN-Y

4

0

0

4

BALLYMUN

8

0

0

8

COOLOCK-R

8

0

0

8

RAHENY-J

3

0

0

3

DMR NORTH CENTRAL

12

1

0

13

BRIDEWELL

2

0

0

2

FITZGIBBON STREET

4

0

0

4

STORE STREET

6

1

0

7

DMR SOUTH

11

0

0

11

CRUMLIN-G

9

0

0

9

TALLAGHT-M

1

0

0

1

TERENURE-P

1

0

0

1

DMR SOUTH CENTRAL

14

0

0

14

DONNYBROOK-E

4

0

0

4

KEVIN STREET-A

6

0

0

6

PEARSE STREET-B

4

0

0

4

DMR TRAFFIC

2

0

0

2

DMR TRAFFIC-DUBLIN CASTLE

2

0

0

2

DMR WEST

22

0

1

23

BLANCHARDSTOWN-K

11

0

0

11

CLONDALKIN-L

6

0

0

6

LUCAN-Q

5

0

1

6

* The category 'other' refers to MPV, SUV, Minibus or Prisoner Conveyance vehicles. 

Capital Expenditure Programme

Ceisteanna (291)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

291. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the projected increase in the gross capital expenditure ceiling applying to his Department in 2020 over 2019; and the projects this increase has been earmarked for. [37457/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Mid Year Expenditure Report published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in July, sets out the gross capital expenditure ceilings for the various Vote Groups. The Justice Vote Group which comprises six individual votes has a total capital expenditure ceiling of €265 million compared with €195 million in 2019 . The breakdown of the budgetary allocation across the votes will not be fully determined until the conclusion of the Estimates 2020 budgetary process later in the year.

Road Traffic Offences Data

Ceisteanna (292)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

292. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 646 of 6 September 2019, the number of drivers convicted following court proceedings taken in relation to the offence of driving without a driver licence in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to 12 July 2019; the penalty imposed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37517/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

In my response to his previous Parliamentary Question, No. 646 of 6 September 2019, I was in a position to provide the Deputy with information on the number of courts proceedings taken in relation to the offence of driving without a driving licence for the years 2011 to 2019 (as of 12 July 2019) as well as information on the relevant legislation and penalties which are provided for, in connection with a number of offences.

In relation to the related detail now being sought, namely the number of drivers convicted following court proceedings and the penalty imposed across the same period, I have sought further information from the Courts Service. I will contact the Deputy directly when I have received the information.