Road Traffic Offences Data

Ceisteanna (293)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

293. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of drivers arrested for driving while disqualified under section 6(b) and (c) of the Road Traffic Act 2014, by year since 22 June 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37532/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The data requested by the Deputy refers is not maintained by the Department of Justice and Equality. I have asked the Garda Commissioner for the information requested and I will write directly to the Deputy when I receive it.

Citizenship Status

Ceisteanna (294)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

294. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the circumstances in which he would invoke section 15A(2) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956; if he will consider waiving some of the conditions in the case of a Palestinian from Gaza married to an Irish citizen who is recognised as a refugee with the United Nations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37540/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

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.

Section 15 of the Act sets out the conditions under which I, as Minister, may grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation. Section 15A provides that where the application is based on being the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen the requirements are, inter alia, that the couple are married or civil partners to each other for a period of at least 3 years and are living together and, immediately before the date of application, have a period of one year's continuous residence in the island of Ireland and, during the preceding four years, have a further period amounting to 2 years (i.e. 3 years in total). Under Section 15A(2) of the Act some of these conditions may be waived on a discretionary basis if satisfied that the applicant would suffer serious consequences in respect of his or her bodily integrity or liberty if not granted Irish citizenship.

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is not possible to say if someone will satisfy the criteria until such time as an application is received and examined.

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

Crime Data

Ceisteanna (295)

Alan Farrell

Ceist:

295. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of cautions issued under the adult scheme in each of the years 2007 to 2018, by Garda district rather than sub-district and by category of public order, criminal damage and assault in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37562/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

In my response to his previous Parliamentary Question No. 545 of 6 September 2019, I was in a position to provide the Deputy with the most readily available figures from An Garda Síochána regarding the number of adult cautions issued by sub-district for the years requested.

In relation to the further breakdown now being sought, I am advised by the Garda authorities that the information is not currently available and would require a disproportionate amount of Garda time and resources to assemble.

However, if the Deputy is seeking information in relation to a particular Garda District, I would be happy to make further enquiries with the Garda authorities on his behalf.

Garda Transport Data

Ceisteanna (296)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

296. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the divisions within the DMR that received new Garda public order vans; the number of Garda public order vans in each division within the DMR; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37581/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

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, including the allocation and efficient use of Garda resources.

I have requested the relevant information from the Commissioner and I will write to the Deputy directly when I receive it.

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (297)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

297. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps he is taking to resolve the uncertainty that has arisen regarding the naturalisation process; when the matter will be resolved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37584/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

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 is 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 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.

Crime Data

Ceisteanna (298)

Jim O'Callaghan

Ceist:

298. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of work to return crime statistics to the official statistics standard required by the Central Statistics Office rather than being published under reservation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37618/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As previously outlined to the Deputy, the crime figures of the Central Statistics Office currently remain “Under Reservation”. However, it is clear that progress is being made by An Garda Síochána and the CSO in improving the quality of the crime statistics.

The CSO in December 2018 published a third review of the quality of recorded crime statistics, based on data recorded on the PULSE database system for crimes reported to Gardaí in 2017. Among other points, the review concluded that clear improvements had been made in the manner in which criminal incidents were being recorded on the PULSE system.

While this is encouraging, it is also clear that there is more work to be done in this area, My Department, in conjunction with the Policing Authority, will continue to monitor the progress of An Garda Síochána in ensuring that the national crime statistics are returned to the higher standard required by the CSO.

Finally, the Deputy may be interested to be know that the latest CSO crime statistics, covering the second quarter of 2019, will be released on 27 September 2019. I look forward to reviewing these statistics when they are available.

Garda Deployment

Ceisteanna (299)

Jim O'Callaghan

Ceist:

299. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the roll-out of protective services units around the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37621/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, the management and efficient use of Garda resources is the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner. This includes responsibility for deployment of personnel. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters. I understand, 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 have been informed by the Commissioner that to date, Divisional Protective Services Units have been established in DMR South Central, Waterford, Kerry, Kilkenny, Carlow, Limerick and Galway Garda Divisions. These are in addition to the units previously established in DMR West, Cork City and Louth Divisions in the initial phase of this initiative.

I am informed by Garda management that it is expected that Divisional Protective Services Units should be rolled-out to the remaining Garda Divisions on a phased basis by the end of 2019. This expected timetable is in accordance with the target set out in 'A Policing Service for the Future', the implementation plan giving effect to the recommendations of the Commission for the Future of Policing in Ireland.

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (300)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

300. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of work within his Department to implement the measures contained in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37631/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Government’s approach to meeting the terms of the United 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 National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) 2017 – 2021 contains a wide range of practical commitments to improve the position of people with disabilities in Ireland. It provides a mechanism for joined-up working to deliver on Ireland’s commitments to implementing the UNCRPD. The NDIS Steering Group, which oversees and monitors the implementation of the Strategy, has an important role in guiding progress in this area. The Group is committed to carrying out a mid-term review of the Strategy by the end of this year. It is expected that the review will examine how the Strategy is aligned with the articles of the Convention and how the Strategy could be revised and built upon in order to continue progressive realisation of the aims of the Convention. The National Disability Authority (NDA) also plays a critical role in the implementation of the Convention, and will be carrying out a review of progress with respect to the Strategy’s key indicators in this regard.

Of particular relevance to Article 12 of the Convention is the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015, which provides a modern statutory framework to support decision-making by adults with capacity difficulties. The Act was signed into law on 30 December 2015 but has not yet been fully commenced.  The 2015 Act will abolish the current Wards of Court system by repealing the Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act 1871. Part 6 of the 2015 Act provides that adults currently in wardship will transition to the new decision-making support arrangements provided for in the Act on a phased basis over 3 years from the commencement of Part 6 of the Act.

New administrative processes and support measures, including the setting up of the Decision Support Service within the Mental Health Commission (a body under the Department of Health), must be put in place before the substantive provisions of the 2015 Act can be commenced. The Decision Support Service is working towards being operational and ready for the commencement of the main provisions of the Act in 2020.  This lead-in timeframe ensures that the necessary staff resources, processes, IT system, expert panels, codes of practice and regulations will be in place so that the Decision Support Service will have the capacity to be up and running effectively. The 2019 Revised Estimates Volume provides for an allocation of €3.5 million in the Justice and Equality Vote for the establishment of the Decision Support Service.

The Government continues to take practical measures to improve the lives of people with disabilities.  The Report of the Make Work Pay Group was published in April 2017 and many of its recommendations have been implemented. In addition, the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities 2015-2024 includes positive action measures to support the recruitment of people with disabilities in the public service and in the wider economy.

In addition to the practical measures outlined, the Deputy will be aware of a number of legislative developments to support the implementation of the Convention.

In the first instance, my colleague the Minister for Health is progressing Heads of a Bill to provide legislative clarity on the issue of deprivation of liberty. A report of a recent public consultation on these draft legislative provisions is nearing completion, and every effort is being made to progress this legislation as quickly as possible.

The Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016, which contains key legislative amendments needed for compliance with the Convention, was published in December 2016. 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. In January of this year, the IHREC established a Disability Advisory Committee, composed of a diverse group of persons with lived experience of disability. This will ensure the direct participation of persons with disabilities and the organisations representing them in monitoring how the Convention is implemented in Ireland. 

The IHREC is best placed to make periodic independent reports to the UN, supported by progress assessments and statistical information supplied by the NDA.  The NDA has expertise and information resources in relation to reporting on disability issues and is carrying out work in a range of areas to support implementation; including the preparation of non-healthcare Codes of Practice under the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015, and review of progress with respect to the key indicators of the NDIS.

Significant year-on-year budgetary increases in the disability sector have positively impacted the lived experience of people with disabilities in Ireland. However, I recognise that daily challenges remain for many people with disabilities and for their families.   Addressing the needs and rights of people living with a disability and their families is a priority for this Government and my primary focus as Minister of State for Disability Issues. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities supports that priority in providing a comprehensive and robust framework for the realisation of those rights.

Proposed Legislation

Ceisteanna (301)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

301. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when he plans to publish the sex offenders (amendment) Bill; the reason for the delay in presenting a stamped copy of the Bill to Cabinet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37662/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I appreciate and understand the concern which communities can have in relation to the issue of rehabilitation of sex offenders and in relation to measures to protect public safety.

The General Scheme of the Sex Offenders (Amendment) Bill was developed by my Department following a comprehensive review of current law and administrative practice. The General Scheme was approved by Government in June 2018 and it is available on my Department’s website.

The Bill is currently with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for drafting. My officials and that Office are working together to bring the Bill to a final draft for publication as soon as possible.

As the Deputy may be aware, the purpose of the Bill is to enhance current systems for assessment and management of convicted sex offenders and to put those systems on a statutory footing. While the drafting process is not yet complete, the main provisions are expected to include:

- Stricter notification requirements including requiring offenders to notify Gardaí of their address upon release from custody, or any subsequent change of address, within 3 days as opposed to the existing 7 days.

- Provisions to allow for fingerprinting and photographing the offender, where necessary to confirm their identity.

- Enhanced supervision of high-risk offenders, including, in limited circumstances, the electronic monitoring of offenders subject to post-release supervision orders.

- The placing on a legislative footing of assessment teams to assess and manage the risk posed by sex offenders.

- Provisions whereby a court can prohibit a sex offender from working with children.

- Provision for a statutory basis for the necessary disclosure of information relating to a high-risk offender on the ‘sex offenders register’. The information in relation to an offender which may be disclosed include the name, address and threat posed by the offender. It is intended that the disclosure would only be made to the minimum number of people necessary to avert a serious risk to safety.

I would also point out that there are already important provisions in existing law which can be used in the management of sex offenders after they have been released.

The Sex Offenders Act 2001 already provides that a Court can impose conditions on a convicted sex offender as part of their post-release supervision. Further, where An Garda Síochána believe that a convicted offender poses a serious risk to the public, it can also apply to the courts for a Sex Offender Order under s.16 of the 2001 Act. A Sex Offender Order can prohibit the offender from doing anything that the Court considers necessary in order to ensure that the public is protected from serious harm.

Work Permits Applications

Ceisteanna (302)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

302. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the progress to date in respect of a service employment permit in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37002/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Employment Permits Section of my Department inform me that, on 1st August 2019, it received a standard application for a Contract for Services Employment Permit in respect of the named individual.

The Employment Permits Section is currently processing standard applications received on 21st June 2019.  As such, this application should be considered within the next 5-6 weeks.

Regional Development Initiatives

Ceisteanna (303)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

303. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 1013 of 23 July 2019, when construction will commence on the MERITS enterprise hub development in Naas, County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37089/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) is an initiative of my Department, administered on the Department’s behalf by Enterprise Ireland. The competitive Fund is aimed at driving enterprise development and job creation in all regions in the country through supporting collaborative and innovative projects that develop enterprises and create jobs in each of the regions. The Fund complements the Regional Enterprise Plans which I launched earlier this year.

Call 1 of the REDF was launched in 2017 and funded 21 projects with a total of just over €30 million. A second call launched in April 2018 and allocated just over €29 million across a further 21 projects. I launched Call 3 in June of this year, with an additional €45 million, which will close for applications on September 25th.

The MERITS hub is one of the projects funded under Call 1 of the REDF. The Mid East Regional Innovation Think Space (MERITS) located in Naas County Kildare is a new build project to cluster Irish and international new-technology companies and provide them with mentorship and support. The project is supported by strong collaboration with Kildare County Council, Maynooth University/ MaynoothWorks, Kildare Chamber and the three Mid East LEOs (Kildare, Meath & Wicklow).

I am informed through Kildare Co. Council that site clearance works have been completed and that Kildare Co. Council expects to make an announcement in relation to the outcome of the construction tender process in the coming days, with the build works commencing immediately on confirmation. The project is on target for completion and occupation in Q3 2020 in line with the anticipated timeline.

Work Permits Eligibility

Ceisteanna (304)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

304. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the way in which a person that meets the criteria of the critical skills list may gain a permission to become self-employed here in the context of work permits and self-employment (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37219/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

All applications for employment permits are processed in line with the Employment Permits Acts and associated Regulations.  The employment permit system is underpinned by the existence of an employer/employee relationship and the existence of a contract of employment between the parties.

The prospective employee or the employer can apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit. The permit allows the prospective employee to be employed in the State by the named employer and in the occupation and location/s specified on the permit.  The Critical Skills Employment Permit is only issued in respect of a job offer of 2 years' duration.  After two years, CEASP holders can seek stamp 4 permission to reside and work in Ireland without an employment permit.

The employment permit system does not provide employment permission for applications from non-EEA nationals who wish to engage in self-employment, that is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality.

Work Permits Applications

Ceisteanna (305)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

305. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if a review will be undertaken of the refusal of a work permit in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37259/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

My officials inform me that an application for a Critical Skills Employment Permit in respect of the named individual was submitted to my Department on 8th May 2019.

On 18th June 2019, this application was refused because the annual remuneration on offer, €35,000, was less than the minimum annual remuneration required, €60,000, when the occupation in question, in this instance a Technical Services Engineer, is not on the Critical Skills Occupations List.  

In addition to being informed of this decision in writing, parties were also notified that they had 28-days to request a review of the decision to refuse this application.  As no such review was requested within this timeframe, and the applicant has applied for and received their refund, this matter is now closed. 

On 18th June, one of my officials also contacted the representative of the applicant to inform them that the occupation would be eligible for a General Employment Permit.  My official provided information to assist with any new application, which included a checklist document for this permit type which, if followed, should result in the issuing of the permit. 

A refusal to grant an employment permit does not preclude an applicant from submitting another application for an employment permit.  Such an application should comply with all of the legislative requirements for the particular employment permit type.

Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement Staff

Ceisteanna (306)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

306. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation when the post of corporate compliance manager and two forensic accountant posts at the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement will be filled; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37365/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Director of Corporate Enforcement has undertaken over the last two years a significant restructuring of the Office to better reflect the organisation’s needs in the context of both its strategic shift towards deploying resources towards more serious indications of wrongdoing and the increasingly complex environment within which the ODCE operates.

This restructuring has included the recruitment of a number of additional professional staff, including eight accounting professionals (one of whom was promoted to Enforcement Portfolio Manager), two Enforcement Portfolio Managers, two Enforcement Lawyers and a Digital Forensics Specialist, together with significant investment in a digital forensics laboratory, training and development. The recruitment and assimilation of a large number of new professional staff into a multi-disciplinary organisation that undertakes complex work in a fast-moving environment is a project that requires careful management. As such, the Director is of the view that it is preferable to allow that process to fully bed down before filling the Corporate Compliance manager vacancy. My Department continues to be in close engagement with the Public Appointments Service with regard to the filling of the two Forensic Accountant posts recently vacated.  The Director is further conscious of the fact that the transition of the ODCE to an independent Agency will give rise to additional expertise requirements and, as such, is of the view that it is prudent that those considerations should be factored into developing the roles required for the new Agency , and the associated skill set, required of the appointees.

Capital Expenditure Programme

Ceisteanna (307)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

307. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the projected increase in the gross capital expenditure ceiling applying to her Department in 2020 over 2019; and the projects this increase has been earmarked for. [37452/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The expenditure ceiling for my Department’s Vote in 2020 will be determined as part of the budgetary process. Whilst the National Development Plan has allocated a total of €630 million in capital monies for my Department in 2020, which represents an increase of €10million on our 2019 allocation, the definitive capital and current expenditure allocations for my Department’s Vote next year will only be finalised in Budget 2020.

Trade Agreements

Ceisteanna (308)

Michael Moynihan

Ceist:

308. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if she will expand on comments made on the future vote on the Mercosur agreement, its impact on the Amazon and climate commitments in Brazil made on 23 August 2019 (details supplied). [37415/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

On 28th June, the EU concluded negotiations for an Association Agreement with Mercosur countries after nearly 20 years and 40 rounds of talks. This marks the EU’s largest trade deal to date and is four times the size of the trade agreement with Japan.

Irish exporters have been subject to trade tariffs, barriers and restrictions when exporting to Mercosur. This Agreement will see a significant reduction, or elimination, of tariffs and barriers to trade which will allow an increased flow of trade and investment between Ireland, the EU and the Mercosur region. The EU-Mercosur Agreement should make exports from Ireland more attractive, and potentially increase the demand for Irish products and the employment that supports.

The Agreement with Mercosur presents sectorial opportunities for Ireland in areas such as software and services in telecoms, financial services, digital content and travel, engineering products and services, life sciences, food and beverages, and education services.

The EU-Mercosur Association Agreement includes a detailed chapter on Sustainable Development goals and recognises the need to address the urgent threat of climate change and the role trade has in support our climate and environmental goals, as well as underscoring the importance of both Parties implementing provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Agreement reinforces commitments made by Mercosur countries in relation to the Paris Climate Agreement and provides the EU with clear monitoring and oversight of those commitments, providing leverage to ensure that the environmental protections that Mercosur countries are committed to are fully realized through this trade agreement.

Following widespread fires in the Amazon rainforest in August, An Taoiseach made clear the Government's concern over the levels of destruction of the Amazonian rainforest. In that regard, I agree that we must closely monitor Brazil’s environmental actions in the coming years, in the context of their commitments in the EU-Mercosur Agreement, and before that Agreement comes before the European Council for a vote.

For our part, following the conclusion of negotiations for the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, the Government committed to undertake full economic and environmental sustainability assessments of the political agreement. My Department, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is actively pursuing the commissioning of these studies.

These assessments will consider the impact the Agreement will have on the Irish economy and on jobs, as well as the environmental implications of the deal. These assessments will help to inform our future position in relation to the EU-Mercosur Agreement.

IDA Ireland Portfolio

Ceisteanna (309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

309. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if the IDA is in talks with Teagasc with a view to Teagasc occupying part of the IDA lands at a location (details supplied). [37549/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

310. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of visits made by potential investors to IDA lands at a location (details supplied) in 2018 and to date in 2019. [37551/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

311. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of visits made by potential investors to IDA lands at a location (details supplied) in 2018 and to date in 2019. [37552/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

312. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of visits made by potential investors to IDA lands at a location (details supplied) in 2018 and to date in 2019. [37553/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

313. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if IDA lands (details supplied) form part of the foreign direct investment push to potential investors in Ireland. [37554/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

314. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if IDA lands (details supplied) form part of the foreign direct investment push to potential investors in Ireland. [37555/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

315. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if IDA lands (details supplied) form part of the foreign direct investment push to potential investors in Ireland. [37556/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

316. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status of IDA lands at a location (details supplied). [37557/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

317. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status of IDA lands at a location (details supplied). [37558/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

318. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status of IDA lands at a location (details supplied). [37559/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 309 to 318, inclusive, together.

I note the Deputy has asked four questions about IDA properties in Fermoy, as well as three separate questions each in respect of IDA property in Mallow and Carrigtwohill.

With regard to Fermoy, the Agency owns two sites consisting of 0.94 hectares in Rathealy and 6.05 hectares in the Business and Technology (B&T) Park on the Dublin Road. I have been informed by the IDA that they are not currently in talks with any third parties about the sites. While these properties in Fermoy are suitable for investment, information on any visits to them by IDA clients is not available as the Agency only collates site visit data on a county-by-county basis.

As for Carrigtwohill, the IDA owns approximately 65.5 hectares of marketable land in that area, comprised of 12.5 hectares on the Carrigtwohill B&T Park and 53 hectares in the Ballyadam area. In Mallow, there are 0.68 hectares of marketable land at the Agency’s B&T Park there. While information on site visits to these specific locations is not available, the Agency is actively marketing the properties in Carrigtwohill and Mallow to potential investors.

As I have indicated previously, the availability of marketable lands, such as these, in advance of demand continues to be a crucial ingredient in the IDA’s capacity to compete for mobile foreign direct investment (FDI). Not only does such a supply of properties help the Agency to secure high quality jobs but it also allows projects to begin at an earlier date by diminishing difficulties associated with land acquisition, planning and construction. It therefore remains an important means by which the IDA can encourage and attract new investors to Ireland, particularly to regional locations.

County Cork continues to be a strong performer in terms of FDI. This trend is continuing, with a steady and positive increase in employment numbers in IDA Ireland client companies in the County over the past number of years. There are currently 169 IDA client companies in Cork, employing approximately 39,000 people. There have also been a number of recent significant recent job announcements by IDA clients including 400 jobs at VoxPro, 200 positions at Deutsche Borse Group and 100 new jobs at Forcepoint.

It is clear, not least from the County's recent performance over the last number of years, that Cork has a robust enterprise base and remains a highly attractive destination for overseas companies. Work will nevertheless continue, by both the enterprise agencies and the Government, to boost further investment and job creation in County Cork and the broader South-West region.