Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (111)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

111. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount spent by his Department and each agency under the aegis of his Department on the National Ploughing Championships in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by online advertising, offline advertising, promotional material, wages, photography, stand rental and other costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49544/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

In 2019, the public sector presence at the National Ploughing Championships (NPC) was co-ordinated by the Department of the Taoiseach as part of the Government's unified approach to the Championships. This approach focused on delivering supports and services that citizens need, in a format that was accessible and relevant for visitors. This aligns with the new ways of working central to Our Public Service 2020, the framework for development and innovation in Ireland's public service, and to the Civil Service Renewal Plan. These new ways of working seek to embed public service reform into operational and delivery systems through citizen-focused design.

This approach to the cross-Government presence brought an increased level of coordination, cohesion and alignment between Government Departments, agencies and State-supported bodies at the NPC. It also focused on maximising the value and quality of supports and services provided to NPC visitors. For the first time, over 150 exhibitors were located in the one area, “The Government of Ireland Village”, and Government stands across Departments, agencies and bodies were grouped in marquees and tents on the basis of the supports, services and policy areas they are responsible for.

While there was no dedicated Departmental stand during the period in question, a number of agencies under the remit of my Department had their own stands or were present at other stands, reflecting the broad range of work carried out in the Justice sector. I have referred your request to the relevant agencies for their direct response to provide further detail.

All of the Department’s online and offline advertising was developed internally and, as such, no additional external costs were incurred.

The NPC provides an important opportunity to provide advice and guidance to citizens about many issues under the remit of my Department including safety. This year, for example, at the NPC I formally launched the National Rural Safety Forum - a collaborative partnership between An Garda Síochána, my own Department and a wide range of partners including the IFA and Muintir an Tíre. Its objectives include information sharing and community engagement on crime prevention.

I attend the National Ploughing Championships every year including since I became Minister for Justice and Equality. The then Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. attended in 2016. Generally, the Minister is accompanied by their Private Secretary at the event. A member of staff from the Department's Press and Communications Office would also be present as part of their normal duties in connection with publicising the work of the Department and the agencies under its remit.

All staff in question are entitled to travel and subsistence payments in connection with their attendance in line with civil service guidelines.

Garda Deployment

Ceisteanna (112)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

112. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 99 of 25 September 2019, the number of members in the roads policing unit by division as of 22 November 2019; the target number for each division by the end of December 2019; if there were divisions in which no competition was completed for members to join the unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49562/19]

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. 

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (113)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

113. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will take steps to expedite an application for residency by persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49593/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The persons referred to by the Deputy applied for a right of residency, accompanied by a right to work, based on their parentage of an Irish citizen child on 27 September 2019. The Deputy will appreciate that, in the interest of fairness to all applicants, applications are dealt with in chronological order.  I understand that the applications are under consideration at present and my Department will be in contact with the persons concerned in due course. 

Permission to remain in the State for parents of Irish Citizen Children may be granted where the applicant can show that they are playing an active role in the life of the Irish Citizen Child.  The child must also be residing continuously in Ireland. If the persons concerned are granted permission as the parents of an Irish Citizen Child, the child will need to attend the Immigration Service when their parent is registering their permission to reside in the State. 

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to 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.

Domestic Violence Policy

Ceisteanna (114)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

114. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps he will take to further support women and their children experiencing domestic violence; if he will respond to a report (details supplied) by introducing, resourcing and legislating for a multi-agency process of domestic homicide reviews; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49616/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Important work is carried out by Women’s Aid in the field of domestic violence.  I am aware of the recently published report "Femicide Watch 2019" and my Department will of course study it carefully in that context. 

As Deputies will be aware, the Government has already considerably strengthened the law and structures targeting domestic violence, as part of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021.

Central to this is the landmark Domestic Violence Act 2018, which came into force on 1 January of this year.  Other developments in this area include the enactment of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, which introduced a statutory definition of consent, and the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017, which provides a wide range of measures and services to protect and inform victims during the progress of their case through the Criminal Justice system.

Implementation of the Second National Strategy is monitored on an ongoing basis and actions may be added to it by agreement of the monitoring committee which is made up of representatives from state agencies and the community and voluntary sector.  A mid term review of the implementation of the strategy is underway and will be completed in full consultation with all stakeholders, including Women’s Aid.

An Garda Síochána is also continuously improving its specialist services. Responding to the needs of victims has seen the rollout of Divisional Protective Services Units (DPSUs) with specially trained officers responsible for investigations, including engagement with victims. These Units will support the delivery of a consistent and professional approach to the investigation of sexual and domestic crime. 13 DPSUs have now been rolled out and I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that they will be in place nationwide by the end of Quarter 1, 2020.

The introduction of these measures supported Ireland’s ratification this year of the Istanbul Convention (the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence), which I announced on International Women's Day last March.  

In May the Government supported my proposal to commission a study into familicide and domestic homicide reviews. This independent, specialist research will look at two particular issues:

- the provision of supports to families who are victims of familicide; and

- international best practice in the conduct of Domestic Homicide Reviews.

Norah Gibbons is leading the study with Grainne McMorrow SC and Forensic Criminologist Dr Jane Monckton Smith. This team brings vast experience and a wide specialist expertise and included a period for consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including State agencies, family members of victims and NGOs.

While familicide is relatively rare in Ireland, these events have a devastating impact on those left behind, both family members and the wider community. The study will examine how such supports can be provided in a more systemic and integrated way. The study will attempt to ensure that victims of familicide are supported in as compassionate and timely a way as possible; as well as how local communities who experience the horror of familicide cases in their local areas can be best supported.

In parallel to that study, in the context of the categorisation and recording of homicides An Garda Síochána is currently conducting a review of the investigation of certain homicides which includes a number of domestic homicides. 

Separately to this, An Garda Siochána is developing policies and procedures to inform the overall policing approach to domestic homicides.  This includes a Domestic Homicide Review Team in the Garda National Protective Services Bureau examining a small number of domestic homicides of relevance for review. The purpose of such reviews is to examine what lessons, if any, should be learned and what potential changes to relevant policing policy and procedures should be introduced. It is intended that such a course of action will result in an improved response by An Garda Síochána in the handling of domestic violence and/or abuse into the future and ultimately reduce the number of domestic related homicides in our society.

Family Reunification Applications

Ceisteanna (115)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

115. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if in the event of proof of available accommodation in the case of a person (details supplied) he will be prepared to review the refusal of IHAP family reunification; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49631/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

My Department does not accept further documentation in support of IHAP proposals once a decision has issued. This is in order to provide certainty to the process, and to be fair to all proposers. The required documentation was fully set out in the IHAP proposal form.

 In the event that further calls for proposals are made under the IHAP, or any other future admissions schemes, the proposer in this case may have the opportunity to apply.

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

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (116, 117)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

116. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure to be followed to obtain a passport for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49632/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

117. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reckonable residency in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49633/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 116 and 117 together.

I can inform the Deputy that it is open to the person concerned to lodge an application for a certificate of Naturalisation if they have 5 years (60 Months) reckonable residency on the date of the application.

For the purpose of naturalisation, reckonable residency (i.e. stamp 1, stamp 3 or stamp 4), is calculated by counting months of permission to remain in the state. Reckonable residency is reflected in the corresponding stamp 1, stamp 3 or stamp 4 endorsements in a person's passport. To meet the statutory residency criteria as laid out in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 (as amended), an individual needs to have 60 months (5 years) reckonable residency with the year immediately before the date of application being of continuous residency.

The minor the Deputy has referred to would not be entitled to a passport as he or she was born in the state after 1 January 2005 and were not entitled to Irish Citizenship at the time of birth. However, if at the time of the birth one of his or her parents had been a resident in the state for a period of 4 years immediately preceding the birth, the child would have been entitled to Irish citizenship.

An application may be submitted for a minor if the minor's parents have already been naturalised or if the minor is of Irish descent or has Irish associations or, at the time of their birth, was not entitled to Irish Citizenship but has since accumulate 5 years' reckonable residency in the state.

Minors cannot apply for naturalisation by themselves. The application must be made by their parent, legal guardian or person acting on the child's behalf "in loco parentis".

Further information on applying for naturalisation can be found on my Departments website www.inis.gov.ie.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to 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.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (118)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

118. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when stamp 4 will be updated to facilitate an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49634/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that the person referred to submitted an application for a Residence Card under the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2015 (“The Regulations”) which was accepted for consideration by my Department on 03/10/2018. Processing of this application is ongoing at present.

Applications are dealt with in strict chronological order, and a decision will issue to the person concerned in due course.  Although it is not possible at the present time to provide a definitive date by which a determination will be made in this case, there will be no avoidable delay in completing same. 

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

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (119)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

119. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of residency and eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49635/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

An 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 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.

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (120)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

120. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress and determination to date in regard to an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49636/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that the person concerned submitted an application for naturalisation on 30 November 2018. This application is currently being processed with a view to establishing whether the applicant meets the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation 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 any immigration cases may be made directly to 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.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (121)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

121. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a means can be found to update stamp 4 in the case of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49637/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed that the persons referred to were given a one year temporary permission to remain in the State until the 14th of December 2019.  These persons were informed of the documents required to renew their permission, this being a  national passport, in order to attest their identity and Nationality.

I am  further informed that the persons concerned have not yet made an application for renewal of their current permission. Only when the persons referred to have made their application through the normal channels can a decision be made on their case. 

Persons making an application for renewal of a permission to remain in the State are required to provide satisfactory evidence of their identity and nationality. This is usually in the form of a currently valid passport and may include other original supporting documents, such as a previously held or out of date passport, birth certificate and marriage certificate.  In rare circumstances where an applicant cannot produce their current passport, or a previous passport, birth certificate or other supporting documents the applicant will be required to provide a full explanation.  Such explanation should, where possible, be supported by satisfactory evidence that they have attempted to obtain such documentation and correspondence from the relevant authorities or embassy responsible for the issuing of passports and birth certificates in their country, clearly stating the reasons the documentation cannot be provided.  My Department will consider the explanation given and, if satisfied it is for reasons genuinely beyond the applicant's control, may suggest alternative means to the person to assist in establishing their identity and nationality. 

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

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (122)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

122. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49638/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

An 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 any immigration cases may be made directly to 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.

Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (123)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

123. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when visas to join will be issued in the case of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49639/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed that Join Family visa applications were received on 3 May, 2018 in respect of the persons referred to by the Deputy. These applications were subsequently refused by my Department and the reasons were outlined to the persons concerned in  letters which issued on 9 October, 2019.  The applicants were also advised that the decision could be appealed within two months. There is no record of any appeals being received to date.

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.

Refugee Status Applications

Ceisteanna (124)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

124. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if asylum and refugee status has been determined in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49640/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, if an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons, it is not the practice to comment on such applications. 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.

Following the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 on 31 December 2016, new arrangements for the investigation and determination of applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and cases involving permission to remain in the State have been introduced. Such applications are now processed, as part of a single application procedure, by the International Protection Office (IPO) which has replaced the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) from that date. The staff of that Office (the Chief International Protection Officer and International Protection Officers) are independent in the performance of their protection functions.

For your information, on 27 February 2017, the Chief International Protection Officer, following consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), published a statement on the Prioritisation of Applications under the International Protection Act 2015, which is available to view on the website of the International Protection Office (www.ipo.gov.ie).

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to 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.

Leave to Remain

Ceisteanna (125)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

125. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if further consideration will be given to leave to remain in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49641/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that the person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order signed on 29 September 2017.  This Order requires the person to remove themselves from the State and remain outside the State.  The enforcement of the Deportation Order is a matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau. 

As previously advised, representations were received from the person concerned, pursuant to the provisions of Section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), requesting that the Deportation Order be revoked including information regarding the person's marriage.  Following detailed consideration of the information submitted in support of the request, the Deportation Order was affirmed and notified to the person concerned by letter dated 27 November 2018.  There are no outstanding correspondence or applications on file for this applicant.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to 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.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (126)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

126. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the case for naturalisation will be concluded in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49642/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that the person referred to does not have an application for naturalisation with my Department at this time.

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.

Full details of the eligibility criteria and extensive guidelines are available on the Immigration Service website at www.inis.gov.ie  

The person concerned currently has permission to remain in the State on stamp 4 conditions until 16th June 2020.

As a holder of stamp 4 permission, the person concerned can take up employment without the need of an employment permit. They can work in a profession, subject to conditions of the relevant professional or other bodies, can establish and operate a business and may access state funds and services as determined by Government departments or agencies.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to 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.

Prison Service Staff

Ceisteanna (127)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

127. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons recruited to the Prison Service, male and female, in the past two years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49654/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the number of persons recruited to the Prison Service in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019 is set out in the following table. A breakdown by gender is also included as requested by the Deputy.

Year

Male

Female

2017

61

24

2018

186

75

2019 (to 27 November)

176

82

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (128)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

128. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding eligibility for residency status, stamp 4 and eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49657/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that the person referred to is the subject of a Deportation Order made on 25 August 2017. 

Representations were received on behalf of the person concerned pursuant to Section 3 (11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), to revoke the Deportation Order.  Following the consideration of those representations, a decision was taken in July 2018 that the Deportation Order should be affirmed and this decision was communicated to the person concerned by registered post-dated 8 May 2019. 

The Deputy might wish to note that the effect of a Deportation Order is that the person named on the Order is legally obliged to leave the State and to remain outside of the State.  The enforcement of the Deportation Order in this case is now an operational matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to 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.

Assisted Decision Making

Ceisteanna (129, 130)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

129. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the funding arrangements he will put in place to address the concerns of the Supreme Court as expressed in a case (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49666/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

130. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when he will fully commence all parts of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 following the comments by the Supreme Court in a case on 17 October 2019 regarding the wardship process and the lack of clarity relating to the legal test under the Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act 1871 for deciding if a person lacks decision making capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49667/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 129 and 130 together.

My Department is looking at the Supreme Court decision and will keep the matter under review.

As the Deputy will be aware, wardship proceedings fall within the scope of the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995. Legal aid is available to persons who satisfy the financial eligibility criteria laid down in that Act and in the Civil Legal Aid Regulations 1996 to 2017. Principally, the person must have disposable income of less than €18,000 per annum and disposable capital assets of less than €100,000 (excluding the home in which they live). The person’s case must also satisfy the merits criteria laid down under that Act. These criteria include if the applicant is reasonably likely to be successful in the proceedings and if having regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the cost to the Board as against the benefit to the applicant, it is reasonable to grant legal aid.

The Legal Aid Board is bound to apply the financial eligibility and merits criteria to all cases. While I as Minister for Justice, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, can disapply the financial eligibility criteria by means of an amendment to the Civil Legal Aid Regulations 1996, I cannot disapply the merits criteria in such a manner under the Act.

The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 provides particular provisions in relation to legal aid for what are termed “relevant persons” (RPs) under the Act. The provisions would effectively remove the means criteria for RPs and apply what is known as the “reduced merits” criteria (the same criteria applicable in cases involving the welfare of a child, i.e. that the prospects of success and reasonableness tests are removed). It also provides for a mechanism for recovering costs in cases where legal aid is granted to an RP who would have been financially ineligible for legal services. These provisions are contingent on the commencement of Part 5 of the 2015 Act and are not worded in such a way that they could be applied to the provisions of the Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act1871.

When the court considers it appropriate it can appoint a Guardian ad Litem to represent the voice of the Ward in Court. If funds are not available to cover the Ward's costs associated with this appointment, they are borne by the Courts Service, Health Service Executive or the Child and Family Agency. If the Health Service Executive or the Child and Family Agency seeks the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem, they bear the costs of the appointment.

In relation to fully commencing the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015, as the Deputy will be aware, the Act was signed into law on 30 December 2015. The Act provides for the establishment of new administrative processes and support measures, including the setting up of the Decision Support Service (DSS) within the Mental Health Commission (a body under the Department of Health).

A high-level Steering Group comprising senior officials from my Department, the Department of Health, the Mental Health Commission and the Courts Service, together with the Director of the DSS, is overseeing the establishment and commissioning of the Decision Support Service and this work is ongoing.

A number of provisions of the 2015 Act were commenced in October 2016 in order to progress the setting up of the DSS. The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) Order 2016 (S.I. No. 515 of 2016) commenced provisions of the Act to enable the recruitment of the Director of the DSS. Ms Áine Flynn was appointed Director of the DSS on 2 October 2017.

The commencement of Part 8 of the Act, which provides a legislative framework for advance healthcare directives, is a matter for the Minister for Health. The Minister for Health, under the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) (No. 2) Order 2016 (S.I. No. 517 of 2016), brought some provisions of Part 8 of the Act into operation on 17 October 2016. The commenced provisions provide for the establishment by the Minister for Health of a multi-disciplinary group to make recommendations to the Director of the DSS in relation to codes of practice on advance healthcare directives. In anticipation of the completion of that process, the Minister for Health commenced the remainder of section 91 on 17 December 2018 (S.I. No. 527 of 2018).

The key preparations are being put in place under the oversight of the Steering Group to allow for further commencement orders for the provisions of the 2015 Act to be made when the DSS is ready to roll out the new decision-making support options.

Work has been ongoing in my Department on the drafting of necessary amendments to the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015, taking account of issues raised by the Mental Health Commission, the codes of practice working groups and submissions received from other bodies. The intention was to bring forward these amendments by way of the Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016. However, when Dáil Committee Stage took place on the Bill on 30 January 2019, a number of amendments were agreed which had previously been ruled out of order by the Ceann Comhairle, thus giving rise to a procedural matter. Work is ongoing to resolve this issue.

Trade Missions

Ceisteanna (131)

Seán Crowe

Ceist:

131. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if a report will be provided on the recent Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain; her plans to deepen trade relations with these countries; and if the Minister of State with responsibility for trade, employment, business, EU digital Single Market and data protection raised human rights issues during meetings with government representatives. [49467/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. led a five-day Trade Mission to Kuwait, Dubai and Bahrain.  This was one of the largest trade missions to the Middle East and is part of Enterprise Ireland’s market diversification strategy to expand the Irish export footprint and increase Irish company exports to €26 billion by 2020.  Enterprise Ireland has specifically set a target to grow exports to the United Arab Emirates to €2 billion in 2020, from €1.4 billion in 2016.

The 33 Enterprise Ireland supported companies that took part in the Trade Mission span a wide range of sectors including Aviation, Digital Technologies, Fintech, Education, Engineering, Telecommunications and Life Sciences. Across each of these sectors they see the Middle East as a key element of their current and future export diversification strategy and recognize the substantial opportunity that the region represents.

Over 200 meetings were attended by the 33 Enterprise Ireland backed companies on the mission, covering the Aviation, Digital Technologies, Fintech, Education and Engineering sectors.

Minister of State Breen did not meet with government Ministers on this occasion.

Legislative Programme

Ceisteanna (132)

Pat Deering

Ceist:

132. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status of the companies (corporate enforcement authority) Bill; if the Bill is ready for publication; if so, when it will be published; and if she will consider publishing it in draft form. [49472/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Government approved the priority drafting of a Bill on the basis of the General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018 on 4 December 2018. The Bill is one of the main actions in the Government’s package of “Measures to enhance Ireland’s corporate, economic and regulatory framework”, published in November 2017. It will establish the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (the ODCE) as an agency, rather than as an Office of the Department, with a commission structure.

My Department worked with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and received a stamped copy of the Bill on 24 July 2019.

Following Government approval, the General Scheme of the Bill was submitted to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation for pre-legislative scrutiny. The Committee considered the General Scheme with Officials from my Department on 5 February 2019 and the Director of Corporate Enforcement on 19 February 2019. The Chair of the Company Law Review Group and the Law Reform Commission appeared before the Committee on 2 April 2019.

In April 2019, I understand the Joint Committee decided to seek a submission from the Director of Corporate Enforcement in relation to the case of the Director of Public Prosecutions V Seán FitzPatrick. This is being sought under the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013, in light of certain protections for the Director and his Office that the Act affords. I understand the Committee has proceeded to seek the necessary approvals and that these will necessitate motions in Dáil and Seanad Éireann.

I intend to publish the Bill once the Joint Committee’s pre-legislative scrutiny process is complete.

Foreign Direct Investment

Ceisteanna (133)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

133. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the rate of foreign direct investment in percentage terms in each of the years 2008, 2017 and 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49512/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Ireland continues to perform strongly in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).  There are now over 229,000 people employed in IDA Ireland client companies. Last year alone IDA Ireland won 265 projects, compared with 237 in 2017.  Within this figure, a record number of 134 were from new companies investing in Ireland for the first time, which represented an increase of 20% over 2017. In 2008, IDA won 130 new projects, up 14% on the 2007 figure.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (134)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

134. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount spent by her Department and each agency under the aegis of her Department on the National Ploughing Championships in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by online advertising, offline advertising, promotional material, wages, photography, stand rental and other costs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49533/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

My Department and its offices have attended the National Ploughing Championships, over the years 2016 to 2019, to engage with the public and promote various aspects of our work. These included the Finance for Growth Unit, SME Policy Unit, Enterprise Agencies Unit, Employment Permits Unit, the Workplace Relations Commission and the Patents Office.

The presence of these staff, on a rotational basis, at the National Ploughing Championships was to: 

- Promote awareness of supports available to enterprise and particularly supports in relation to Brexit;

- Provide advice on Ireland's employment permits system;

- Provide advice to the public on their rights and responsibilities under employment legislation;

- Advise businesses on the protection of their intellectual property.

The costs incurred by my Department in attending the National Ploughing Championships for the years 2016 to 2019 are set out in the table.

The Deputy has also requested details of the wages paid to staff.  Staff were paid their normal salaries, however given the timeframe for responding to this question, it is not possible to provide information on any overtime payments that may have occurred. I have asked my officials to compile this information for the Deputy and this will be forwarded as soon as possible.

Where travel and subsistence costs were incurred by staff attending the event, expenses are paid at the normal civil service rates. These costs are included are in the table below. Please note that travel and subsistence costs are not available at this time for 2016 as the Department’s Travel and Subsistence Claim system migrated to the Government’s Payroll Shared Services circa June 2017 and records prior to that would appear to be held off site and retrieving specific claims for 2016 relating to the NPC would require more time.

Additionally, a number of the agencies of my Department, for whom the National Ploughing Championships are a significant opportunity to engage with the public, had a presence at the event. These included Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices, and the Health and Safety Authority. The costs incurred by agencies of my Department will be forwarded to the Deputy within the timeframe allowed.

Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Expenditure at The National Ploughing Championships 2016 – 2019

Category of Expenditure

2016

2017

2018

2019

Online Expenditure

0

0

2,160

0

Offline Expenditure, e.g print and radio

558

7,627

8,640

454

Promotional Materials

0

0

4,643

2,929

Photography

0

0

0

0

Stand Rental

4,892

9,592

14,412

23,481

Other Costs, incl T&S

0

5,908

8,406

6,896

Total

5,450

23,127

38,261

33,760

Research Funding

Ceisteanna (135)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

135. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of payments issued to date for successful applications made under the disruptive technologies innovation fund by county; the value of payments that have issued to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49629/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) is a €500 million fund established under Project Ireland 2040 and forms a key part in the delivery of the Pillar 1 goal of Future Jobs Ireland to embrace innovation and technological change. The DTIF has been established under the responsibility of my Department with Enterprise Ireland providing administrative support. The first call was run in 2018 with successful projects announced in December 2018.

Applications for funding under DTIF Call 2 are currently being assessed by independent international experts. I expect to be able to announce the successful projects in the coming weeks. 

Given the unique nature of the Fund, which in Call 1 alone is supporting 27 consortia comprised of 100 organisations, including SMEs, Research Performing Organisations and multinationals, intensive contract negotiations have been ongoing since the successful projects were announced in December 2018.

To facilitate payments to the constituent organisations, Enterprise Ireland have developed new consortia agreements and a new pre-finance framework was put in place. Letters of offer and consortia agreements have now issued to all of the successful project partners. Payments to those organisations, including those that are eligible for pre-financing, continue to be processed once the formal legal documentation is signed off and returned to Enterprise Ireland. 

For the most part, enterprise partners in DTIF collaborations will receive grant payments retrospectively following submission of validated claims for vouched expenditure. As most projects did not commence until mid-2019 at earliest, the payments to enterprise partners will not begin in significant numbers until early in 2020. The payments that have been made to enterprise partners relate mainly to pre-finance payments to a number of small enterprises.

Research Performing Organisations (i.e. higher education institutions and other public research bodies) can receive a share of their funding upon project commencement. Most of the €20m available for DTIF Call 1 projects will be allocated to these RPOs with 34 such payments having been made to date.  

The current position is that €12.2m of payments have been processed with another €5m of drawdown requests in train.  The €12.2m includes €9.6m to RPOs and €2.6m to enterprise partners. A breakdown of the €9.6m payments to RPOs by county is set out in the attached DTIF Payments table.  

€2.6m of pre-finance payments have been issued to some small companies. It is not proposed to publish details of the pre-finance for small companies by county at this point as there are relatively small numbers involved and this could reveal information that is commercially sensitive to the companies concerned

Detail on payments to all DTIF partner organisations (RPOS and enterprises) will be provided from 2020 once enterprise partners start making their claims for vouched expenditure. Appended also for information is a list of the successful projects in Call 1, which provides the locations for each enterprise partner.

Payments to Research Performing Organisations under DTIF Call 1 as at November 2019

County

Payments

Dublin

€4.2m

Cork

€2.7m

Limerick

€1.3m

Galway

€0.9m

Waterford

€0.3m

Louth

€0.2m

Total Payments to RPOs

€9.6m

Awards