Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (109)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

109. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the capital allocation of his Department in each of the years 2020 to 2025; and the areas to which funds will be allocated in each year. [52215/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The capital allocations for the Justice Sector are set out in the recent Budget Day publication and are as follows;

2020 - €265 million

2021 - €208 million

2022 - €216 million

The 2020 allocation of €265 million is spread across the votes in the Justice Vote Group with the Department's vote being allocated almost €40 million – mainly for the Forensic Science Laboratory project; Garda Síochána Vote €116.5m; Prisons Vote €46.7 million and Courts Vote €61.5 million.

The capital allocations for later years have yet to be determined.

Increased levels of public investment in Justice are a critical foundation of the National Development Plan 2018-2027. The plan sets out capital allocations in the Justice sector from 2018 to 2022. The main areas of capital investment for the sector in the period to 2027 are as follows:

- Forensic Science Laboratory

- Garda Divisional Headquarters in Kevin Street and Galway

- Replacement of the Harcourt Square Complex

- Garda Station Building and Refurbishment Programme

- Garda ICT Programme

- New or refurbished courthouses in a number of provincial cities and county towns

- Redevelopment of Limerick Prison

- Development of Mountjoy Prison Campus

- Family Law and Children's Court Complex on Hammond Lane

The plan also recognises that increased population growth in the next ten years as envisaged under the National Planning Framework will also create new demands in terms of the current accommodation stock across the sector including in relation to policing, prisons and courts. Hence, the requirement for additional public capital infrastructure for the criminal justice system.

My Department is also developing its analytical capability to be better placed to predict future trends including demographic changes and thus better inform both policy developments and budgetary requirements in the years ahead.

Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (110)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

110. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 will be amended to increase the Circuit Court jurisdiction in actions in contract and tort beyond the threshold of €75,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52282/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The position is that, with effect from 3 February 2014, the monetary jurisdiction of the Circuit Court increased to €75,000 (€60,000 for personal injury cases) under Part 3 of the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013.

While I have no immediate plans to increase the monetary limits of the Circuit Court, the matter will be kept under review by my Department.

Traveller Projects Funding

Ceisteanna (111)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

111. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the allocation for the special initiative in respect of Traveller employment for the past five years; the allocation for 2020; the amount spent on each project; the number supported by county and year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52290/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, in June 2017, the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2021 (NTRIS) was published. The Strategy represents a whole of Government approach to bring about meaningful change and progress for the Traveller and Roma communities in Ireland. It brings together Government Departments and Agencies along with representatives from both the Traveller and Roma communities to bring a focus, in a structured way, to the issues which affect them most. I chair the quarterly meetings of the NTRIS Steering Group, which held its most recent meeting on 16 October 2019.

One of the key strategic themes of the NTRIS is Employment and the Traveller Economy. This theme aims to increase employment, training and apprenticeship opportunities in the Traveller and Roma Communities. In this regard, the Special Initiative for Travellers (SIT) focuses on job-ready Travellers and supports their access into employment and enterprise development.

SIT is a free service, which is funded by the Department of Justice and Equality. The initiative focuses on meeting the training and employment needs of members of the Travelling community. The attached table outlines the funding allocation and the expenditure for the SIT from 2015 to 2020.

Funding Allocation

Road Traffic Offences Data

Ceisteanna (112)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

112. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of e-scooters that have been confiscated by gardaí in the past 18 months in tabular form, by month and by Garda division. [52308/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As has previously been noted by my colleague, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross, TD, including in response to parliamentary question 246 of 15 May 2019, the Road Traffic Act 1961 defines a mechanically propelled vehicle as a vehicle intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical means, including a bicycle or tricycle with an attachment for propelling it by mechanical power, whether or not the attachment is being used. It also includes a vehicle, the means of propulsion of which is electrical, or partly electrical and partly mechanical.

E-scooters and powered skateboards fall into this category, and are therefore considered to be mechanically propelled vehicles. Any users of such vehicles in a public place (as defined in the Road Traffic Act 1961) must have insurance, road tax and a driving licence, with penalties under road traffic laws (including fixed charge notices, penalty points, fines and possible seizure of the vehicle) for not being in compliance with these requirements.

As it is currently not possible to tax or insure e-scooters or electric skateboards, they are not considered suitable for use in a public place.

Insofar as the specific statistics sought by the Deputy are concerned, I am advised by An Garda Síochána that, unfortunately, this data cannot be easily collated as PULSE does not allow for the disaggregation of such statistics based on vehicle type. I am informed that a manual search of all road traffic licence/insurance/tax offence records would be required to collate this information. I am advised that this would require a disproportionate amount of Garda time and resources, and, therefore, cannot be justified.

Finally and in relation to such vehicles more generally, I understand that Minister Ross has undertaken a public consultation between 1 September 2019 and 1 November on personal powered transport and this consultation is in review.

Freedom of Information Data

Ceisteanna (113)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

113. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of freedom of information requests received in each of the years 2017, 2018 and to date 2019; the number in each year that were delivered on time, the number in each year that were delivered with an extended deadline; and the number in each year that were not delivered within deadline. [52309/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The information requested by the Deputy is being collated and I will be in touch with him when it has been finalised.

Closed-Circuit Television Systems

Ceisteanna (114)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

114. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding CCTV cameras in Duleek and Donore, County Meath, and the implications of a recent decision by the Data Protection Commissioner. [52366/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I will look into the matter referred to by the Deputy and will write to him directly very shortly.

Garda Data

Ceisteanna (115)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

115. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of personnel in An Garda Síochána by rank and vehicles by type and division in the force in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52367/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

It is important to be clear that under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner has responsibility for management of An Garda Síochána and for the allocation and efficient use of Garda resources. This includes responsibility for personnel matters and the distribution of personnel and resources including Garda vehicles across the various Garda Divisions. 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.

A record €1.76 billion was allocated to the Garda Vote for 2019 and this is increasing further to an unprecedented €1.882 billion for 2020. Significant capital investment is also being made, amounting to a total of €92 million this year and rising further to over €116 million in 2020.

This level of funding is enabling sustained, ongoing recruitment of Garda members and staff and as a result, An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation. We now have approximately 14,300 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,900 Garda staff. And these numbers are growing, as part of the Government’s plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021.

I understand from the details supplied that the Deputy is interested in the fleet and personnel in Wexford for the years 2016-2019.

Details in relation to the number of Gardaí deployed to all Garda Divisions is available on my Department’s website. This information is updated every month with the latest data provided by An Garda Síochána. This information is available at the following link:

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_October_2019.xlsx/Files/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_October_2019.xlsx

I am informed by the Garda authorities that as of 30 November 2019 there were 321 Gardaí assigned to the Wexford Division. This represents a significant increase of 66 Gardaí in the Division since the end of 2015, a 25% increase over the past four years. I am informed that these Gardaí are supported by 39 Garda staff, which again represents a significant increase of 11 Garda staff since the end of 2015. This increase in Garda staff numbers supports the redeployment of Gardaí from administrative to operational policing duties, where their training and expertise can be used to best effect. Taken together, this increase in Garda and civilian staff numbers means a significant increase in operational policing hours in Wexford in recent years.

Information on Garda staff is also available at the following link:

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

For more information on the Garda Workforce as well as general information on Garda facts and figures, the Deputy may also wish to see the information on the links below:

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

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

In relation to the Garda fleet, I would first point out that the very significant capital investment is being made in An Garda Síochána includes a total of €46 million for the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021. I understand from the Garda authorities that this year's capital allocation of €10 million for the Garda fleet is being used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles for operational use this year. I have recently announced that a further €1 million for the fleet will be included in the additional funding which will be provided to An Garda Síochána before the end of the year. €9 million capital funding has been allocated for the Garda fleet in Budget 2020.

This continuing investment is intended to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet and that Gardaí can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that number and type of Garda vehicles assigned to the Wexford Division requested by the Deputy for the years 2016-2019 is set out in the following table.

Year

Cars

Vans

Motorcycles

4X4

Other

Total

2019 (as at 21 November)

48

11

1

2

0

62

2018

49

12

2

3

0

66

2017

50

10

1

1

0

62

2016

48

10

2

1

0

61

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

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (116)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

116. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of credit cards issued to Ministers and officials working in his Department; the amount spent on credit cards in each year since 2016; the bank interest paid on credit cards in each year since 2016; the controls in place to monitor the issuing of and the expenditure on the cards; the controls in place in each agency to monitor expenditure on personally held credit card bills that are subsequently used to recoup work-related expenses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52406/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Credit cards within my Department are utilised as a tightly controlled business tool to facilitate the efficient and cost effective discharge of Departmental business and cover expenditure arising in the performance of official duties. In some instances it is not possible to procure goods and services without a credit card, where for example, suppliers insist upon advance payment or for online purchases.

A Statement of Policy on the use of credit cards issued in January 2016 provides a framework for the appropriate use of official credit cards within my Department. The control process is kept under review but my Department is satisfied that the controls in place restrict the number of such cards to a minimum and that the priority is ensuring best value for money.

A total of three officials working in my Department have been issued with official credit cards, as set out below.

Credit Card Holders 2016 - 2019

Private Secretary to Minister for Justice and Equality

Head of I.T.

Head of Corporate Services

Details of the total annual expenditure over the past four years is set out below.

Year

Private Secretary’s Card

IT & Corporate Services Cards

Total

2016

€7,829.96

€12,792.58

€20,622.54

2017

€3,865.14

€14,265.65

€18,130.79

2018

€3,326.35

€16,679.02

€20,005.37

2019

€4,742.26

€24,714.53

€29,456.79

The Department's Financial Management Unit has robust controls in place to monitor expenditure on the cards in use. All statements are processed for payment on a monthly basis and all credit card expenditure must be accompanied by receipts when submitted in support of an expense claim. Expense claims must be approved by a line manager who is senior to the claimant. Individual transactions are scrutinised to ensure they are appropriately charged to the Department's Vote.

The Financial Shared Services Centre make the necessary payments by the due date of payment and forward the credit card statements to the credit cardholders for reconciliation. No bank account interest has been paid on any Department credit cards in the period under query.

Regarding the controls in place in each agency to monitor expenditure on personally held credit card bills that are subsequently used to recoup work-related expenses, I have referred this request to the relevant agencies to provide information to the Deputy directly.

Prisoner Data

Ceisteanna (117, 118)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

117. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to collect and disseminate national statistics on the socio-economic backgrounds of the prison population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52414/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

118. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the data already collected and collated on the prison population including socio-economic backgrounds, levels of educational attainment, history of contact with other State services and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52415/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 and 118 together.

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that it has no plans to disseminate, as a matter of routine, information beyond that already included in the Irish Prison Service Annual Report or available on its website such as age, sentence length, gender, offence group, address given by county and nationality groupings.

However I can inform the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service has confirmed that a comprehensive interview takes place at committal stage for all prisoners entering prison. Included in the information gathered at this interview are personal details such as name, date of birth, address, gender, ethnic identifier, marital status, nationality, ethnic origin, next of kin and family details. The information does not include socio-economic backgrounds or history of contact with other state services.

I can further advise the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service has confirmed that data relating to literacy and language competence is collected on committal to prison. People in custody who wish to attend classes provided by the Education and Training Boards in the Prison Education Centres are interviewed to ascertain their educational attainment, qualifications, training, employment history and education needs. This information is stored on a purpose built Prison Education Management System (PEMS). This system is also used to record their subjects, timetable, class attendances and any qualifications or certificates awarded while in custody. I am informed that the Irish Prison Service has not collated or published any data collected on PEMS and that there is no socio-economic data collected on PEMS.

Regulatory Impact Assessments

Ceisteanna (119)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

119. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a regulatory impact assessment was conducted for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014; and if so, the detail of same. [52446/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can confirm that a regulatory impact assessment was conducted in respect of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.

The assessment is attached for your information and is also available on the Department's website at the following link:

http://justice.ie/en/JELR/Irish%20Human%20Rights%20and%20Equality%20Commission%20Bill%202014_Regulatory%20Impact%20Assessment.pdf/Files/Irish%20Human%20Rights%20and%20Equality%20Commission%20Bill%202014_Regulatory%20Impact%20Assessment.pdf.

Impact Assessment

Crime Data

Ceisteanna (120)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

120. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will report on detected rates for crimes; the number of crimes that relate to gang activity, murders and assaults; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52470/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I would first point out that the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, is responsible for the compilation and publication of all crime statistics. The CSO produces these statistics using data including data recorded on An Garda Síochána’s PULSE system.

In light of quality issues in relation to PULSE data, the CSO took the decision in early 2017 to postpone further publication of recorded crime statistics. While the CSO resumed publication of recorded crime statistics, it has done so in a new category entitled ‘Under Reservation’.

The CSO has confirmed that this classification has been applied to reflect the fact that there are data quality issues in the underlying sources used to compile the statistics. The CSO has further indicated that this approach of differentiating statistics based on quality concerns associated with the underlying data, is consistent with other jurisdictions.

The CSO is engaging with An Garda Síochána to set out the criteria for the lifting of the reservation. These criteria will address quality concerns across a broader range of issues. They will address issues such as data governance, training, crime data recording procedures and the auditing and monitoring of data quality.

Last week I noted the publication of a new statistical release by the CSO on Recorded Crime Detection 2018, the data of which is categorised as ‘under reservation’. I welcome the fact that improvements in An Garda Síochána, in particular in terms of data governance including upgrade of the Pulse system had facilitated preparation and publication of this report by the CSO. The report provides a snapshot of the extent to which crimes reported to An Garda Síochána in 2018 have been detected. Detection is understood in this context as identification and sanction of at least one suspected offender; or, in a very limited set of circumstances, a verified exception whereby an offender is not directly sanctioned because, for example, the DPP decides that prosecution is not in the public interest or the suspected offender dies prior to any prosecution.

In publishing this report, the CSO explicitly confirmed that the report constituted a 'significant break' in the previous series for measuring crime detection rates in Ireland. This means that detection rates set out in the CSO report issued for 2018 are not comparable with figures published in earlier years.

The report is available at the following link:

https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-rcd/recordedcrimedetection2018/

It is important to note that the most recent CSO report was made possible by progress in An Garda Síochána, which has improved the quality and consistency of recording of crime data. This establishes a reliable baseline against which operational decisions can be considered by An Garda Síochána and further progress can be ensured and measured. As the Deputy may be aware, the Policing Authority is responsible for overseeing the performance of An Garda Síochána of its functions relating to policing services, and accordingly has the primary oversight role in relation to these matters, including any issues arising from the historical inaccuracies in the recording of detections on PULSE. The welcome clarity which the CSO has brought to this issue through this new and more reliable assessment of detections will be of assistance to the Authority in that independent oversight task and will also be of assistance to An Garda Síochána as it continues to improve the policing services it provides nationwide.

Garda Expenditure

Ceisteanna (121, 122, 123, 124)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

121. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated cost in 2021 of increasing the number of sworn gardaí to 15,000 by the end of 2021; and the estimated extra cost in each of the years 2022 to 2025 to maintain that level of strength. [52501/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

122. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated extra cost in 2021 of increasing the number of civilians working within An Garda Síochána to 4,000 by the end of 2021; and the estimated extra cost in each of the years 2022 to 2025 of maintaining that number. [52502/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

123. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated extra cost in 2021 of increasing the number of the Garda Reserve to 2,000 by the end of 2021; and the estimated extra cost in each of the years 2022 to 2025 of maintaining that number. [52503/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

124. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated extra cost in 2021 of increasing the number of sworn gardaí to 15,000 by the end of 2021; the estimated extra cost in 2022 to increase it to 15,200; the estimated extra cost in 2023 to increase it to 15,400; the estimated extra cost to increase it to 15,600 in 2024; and the estimated extra cost to increase it to 16,000 in 2025. [52504/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 121 to 124, inclusive, together.

Under section 43(1) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, the Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda vote. In addition, the Garda Commissioner is responsible under section 26 for management and control of the administration and business of the Garda Síochána. This includes responsibility for personnel matters.

I have requested a report from the Garda authorities in relation to the matters raised by the Deputy and I will write to the Deputy directly once I receive it.

Garda Strength

Ceisteanna (125)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

125. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the year in which there was the most ever sworn members of An Garda Síochána; and the strength of the force in that year. [52505/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

This Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime.

I have been advised by the Garda authorities that the most ever sworn members of An Garda Síochána was 14,716 in September 2009. Garda numbers declined year on year after that point until they reached the level of 12,799 in December 2014.

Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, approximately 3,000 probationers have attested and been assigned to frontline policing duties nationwide, including the 197 new probationers that attested on 29 November. We now have over 14,300 Garda members nationwide and we are on track to reach the Government's target of a total of 15,000 Garda members, as part of an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 by 2021.

In the same period, Garda staff numbers have increased significantly through the ongoing process of civilianisation. Garda staff numbers have increased from 2,055 at the end of 2014 to over 2,900 today. The accelerated recruitment of Garda staff is facilitating the redeployment of Gardaí from administrative to mainstream policing duties where their training and expertise can be used to best effect.

Taken together, this increase in Garda and civilian staff numbers means a significant increase in operational policing hours nationwide in recent years.

A record €1.76 billion was allocated to the Garda Vote for 2019 and this is increasing further to an unprecedented €1.882 billion for 2020. Significant capital investment is also being made, amounting to a total of €92 million this year and rising further to over €116 million in 2020. This ongoing funding is allowing for sustained recruitment of Garda members and staff. The budget allocated for 2020 will allow for the recruitment of up to 700 new Gardaí and additional Garda staff, the balance of which will be for the Commissioner to decide based on operational needs.

The Deputy may find it helpful to be aware that information in relation to Garda numbers by rank and Division is available on my Department’s website. This information is updated every month with the latest data provided by An Garda Síochána. This information is available at the following link:

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_October_2019.xlsx/Files/002_Garda_Numbers_by_Division_District_and_Station_2009_to_October_2019.xlsx

Information on Garda staff is available at the following link:

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

For more information on the Garda Workforce as well as general information on Garda facts and figures, the Deputy may also wish to see the information on the links below:

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

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

Closed-Circuit Television Systems

Ceisteanna (126)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

126. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the three-year CCTV community scheme; the number of communities that availed of the scheme in each year of its operation; his plans for a follow on scheme when the current scheme comes to a close; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52506/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Community-based CCTV is governed by section 38(3)(c) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006. This legal framework requires that any proposed community CCTV scheme must:

- be approved by the local Joint Policing Committee,

- have the prior support of the relevant local authority, which must also act as data controller, and

- have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner.

This is the legal basis for all community CCTV schemes, regardless of how they are funded and these key legal requirements have not changed since 2006. The option to establish a Community CCTV scheme is available to groups that meet these legal requirements, anywhere in the country.

Since 2017, my Department has administered a grant aid scheme supporting groups wishing to establish a community-based CCTV system in their area. To date, 22 applications have been approved under the scheme, involving approved grants totalling more than €560,000. The location of the CCTV schemes which have been approved for funding since commencement of the grant aid scheme are as follows:

- Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim

- Cranmore, Co. Sligo

- Arklow, Co. Wicklow

- Courttown/Riverchapel, Gorey and Wexford Town, Co. Wexford

- Abbeyfeale, Adare, Askeaton, Caherconlish, Cappamore, Castleconnell, Croom, Foynes, Kilmallock, Newcastlewest, Pallasgreen, Patrickswell, Murroe and Rathkeale, Co Limerick

- Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan

- St Mullins, Co. Carlow

I am pleased to announce that I have recently approved extension of the CCTV grant aid scheme for a further year in 2020.

Eligible groups, including community groups and local authorities nationwide, can apply for grant-aid of up to 60% of the total capital cost of a proposed CCTV system, up to a maximum total of €40,000. Earlier this year I expanded the grant aid scheme to cover not only new CCTV systems but also to allow funding applications for extension or upgrade of existing Community CCTV systems which are incomplete or obsolete. Applicants can now also seek a once-off grant of up to €5,000 for minor maintenance costs.

I must emphasise that grant funding can be considered only for CCTV systems which meet the legal requirements for CCTV, in other words CCTV systems which have been approved by the relevant Joint Policing Committee, the relevant Local Authority (also acting as Data Controller) and which have received the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner.

If the Deputy is aware of groups wishing to avail of the scheme, further details are available to download from my Department's website - www.justice.ie and support and guidance is available to help interested groups through a dedicated email address fundsadmin-comm-based-cctv@justice.ie.

Deportation Orders Re-examination

Ceisteanna (127)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

127. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a review of the decision to deport will be undertaken in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52528/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I must inform the Deputy that, under section 47(5) of the International Protection Act 2015 (the 2015 Act), I refused to give the person concerned a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration. Where a person is refused at all stages of the process, and they have no other basis to remain in the State, the making of a Deportation Order is an inevitable consequence.

That decision was based on a recommendation I received from the International Protection Office, a recommendation which was not appealed to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal within the statutory time-frame.

Following my refusal decision, the person concerned had a short window of opportunity within which to exercise the option to return voluntarily to their country of origin and once that option was not exercised, and the relevant person had no other basis to remain in the State, section 51 of the 2015 Act provides that, subject to a refoulement consideration, the Minister shall make a Deportation Order in respect of such a person.

I am satisfied that the case of the person concerned has been appropriately considered at all stages of the process and, as such, I see no justification for a review of that case.

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 (128)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

128. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); if they qualify for residency under a case; if they can register at the local Garda station or elsewhere; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52529/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that the person concerned applied for a right of residency, accompanied by a right to work, based on their parentage of an Irish citizen child on 15 October 2018. The Deputy will appreciate that, in the interest of fairness to all applicants, applications are dealt with in chronological order. I understand that the application is under consideration at present and my Department will be in contact with the person 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 person concerned is granted permission as the parent 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.

The Deputy may wish to note that 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.