Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar
Gnáthamharc

Tuesday, 1 Jun 2021

Written Answers Nos. 513-537

An Garda Síochána

Ceisteanna (513)

Patricia Ryan

Ceist:

513. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Justice the number of Garda stations and the number of gardaí in each station in County Kildare on 1 June 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29438/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the general management and administration of Garda business under the Garda Síochána Act 2005. This includes the deployment of members of An Garda Síochána throughout the State and, as Minister, I have no role in these independent functions.

I can inform the Deputy that my Department publishes the figures requested for each month on the Department of Justice's website at the below link:

www.justice.ie/en/jelr/pages/an_garda_siochana_facts_and_figures.

For the Deputy's information the below table displays the Garda members assigned to the Kildare Division as of 30 April 2021, the latest date for which figures are available.

Division

District

Station

GD

SG

IN

SU

CS

AC

Total

KILDARE            

KILDARE     

ATHY                    

29

5

 

 

 

 

34

 

 

CASTLEDERMOT            

1

1

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

KILDARE                  

37

6

1

1

 

 

45

 

 

MONASTEREVIN            

4

1

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

NEWBRIDGE               

45

10

1

 

 

 

56

 

 

RATHANGAN               

2

1

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

TOTAL

118

24

2

1

 

 

145

 

LEIXLIP      

CARBURY                 

4

1

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

CELBRIDGE               

11

2

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

KILCOCK                 

6

1

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

LEIXLIP                 

67

9

3

1

 

 

80

 

 

MAYNOOTH                

12

1

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

TOTAL

100

14

3

1

 

 

118

 

NAAS         

CLANE                   

10

1

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

KILCULLEN               

6

1

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

NAAS                    

111

15

5

1

 

 

132

 

 

ROBERTSTOWN             

3

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

TOTAL

130

17

5

1

 

 

153

KILDARE  Total

 

 

348

55

10

3

 

 

416

Restorative Justice

Ceisteanna (514)

Patricia Ryan

Ceist:

514. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Justice the extent to which restorative justice is used in Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29444/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, restorative justice is a criminal justice process which has been shown to help victims recover from crime, reduce reoffending and save public resources and it is now widely accepted that restorative justice is compatible with the traditional criminal justice systems of both common law and civil law jurisdictions.

The Programme for Government includes a commitment to work with all criminal justice agencies to build capacity to deliver restorative justice safely and effectively. In this context, the Probation Service has formally recognised restorative justice since the 1990s as one method within a suite of measures to provide an effective response to crime. In 2000, two dedicated community based projects were established; the Restorative Justice Service, and Restorative Justice in the Community, both of which have since extended their catchment areas and now offer services across the Greater Dublin area, as well as Tipperary, Laois and Offaly, respectively. These were established and funded through the Probation Service and both projects provide a restorative justice service to the courts through the use of reparation panels and /or victim offender mediation.

Significant developments since then include a report of the National Commission on Restorative Justice which was published in 2009 and the Report of the Penal Policy Review Group published in 2014. Both reports supported the wider application of Restorative Justice in probation practice. The Commission's report recommended that the Probation Service continue to be the lead agency in implementing the wider application of restorative justice.

In addition, Section 78 of the Children Act (2001) made provision for the introduction of the Probation Family Conference. Following the commencement of the Act in 2005, this was rolled out through Young Persons Probation, a dedicated part of the Probation Service established to deliver the community sanctions provided for in the Act. While conferencing has now been integrated in to the supervision of some young people, the number of referrals from the courts has declined in recent years.

More recent developments in this area include the establishment in 2018 of the dedicated Restorative Justice and Victims Services Unit in the Probation Service in response to the enactment of the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017. Furthermore, the Joint Action Plan for the  Management of Offenders 2019-2021 also contains a commitment to develop joint arrangements, including victim/offender mediation, for providing victims of crime with opportunities for positive, restorative responses to the harm they have experienced.

The Probation Service and my Department are stakeholders in a four year cross-European project (2019-2023), Restorative Justice: Strategies for Change (RJS4C), with partners from ten countries collaborating to implement the Council of Europe Recommendation that restorative justice should be available at any stage of the Criminal Justice process to any victim and any offender. To this end, the RJS4C has produced an Restorative Justice Collective Strategy for Ireland 2019-2023 to promote and increase awareness and accessibility to Restorative Justice.

The delivery of Restorative Justice safely and effectively is one of the strategic objectives for the Department over the next three years. Five high level actions have been identified and outlined in the Justice Plan 2021, two of which have been completed to date, including the mapping of the current state of play of Restorative Justice and the activation of a Restorative Justice case study website. In January this year Minister of State Browne launched restorativejustice.ie. which is funded by the Department. This website maps the use of Restorative Justice in criminal justice in Ireland and contains over 35 case studies of both restorative justice and restorative practice and other resources.

Further actions planned for quarter three and four include; the development of options for an appropriate mechanism and process to create awareness and availability of Restorative Justice at all stages of the criminal justice system, with consistency of service ensuring quality in training and practice; consultations with stakeholders; and the finalisation of a policy paper. It is intended to publish the policy proposals by year end.

To further progress and deliver on the above, it is proposed that an Action Plan will be developed by my Department and the Probation Service this year. Key components will include establishing a mechanism and process to create greater awareness and availability of Restorative Justice interventions at all stages of the criminal justice system and further training and development for those delivering Restorative Justice interventions - ensuring consistency and quality of service provision. In accepting this as a policy driver, the main challenge to applying it in practice is national accessibility and consultation with key stakeholders which will be central to development of the Action Plan.

I believe that it is also important to note that the Department’s plan to help victims and vulnerable witnesses in sexual violence cases, Supporting A Victim's Journey, also contains commitments to scope requirements for a more integrated consistent, visible and high quality Restorative Justice service for vulnerable victims who wish to pursue that pathway.

An Garda Síochána

Ceisteanna (515)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

515. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice the amount that has been seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau since it was established in 1996, in tabular form. [29471/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is a multi-agency statutory body established under the Criminal Assets Bureau Act, 1996. The Bureau’s remit is to target the assets, wherever situated, of persons which derive or are suspected to derive, directly or indirectly, from criminal conduct. Officers from the Social Welfare, Revenue and Revenue Customs also seize assets that were unlawfully gained by persons under investigation by the CAB.

I am advised by CAB that the table appended to this answer represents the various assets that were seized by the CAB from its inception until 2020. Please be advised that the figures for 2020 are provisional pending the publication of the CAB Annual Report 2020.

Section 2

Interim Orders

EURO

Section 2

Interim Orders

STERLING

Section 2

Interim Orders

US DOLLARS

Year

Section 2 – Interim Orders IRISH PUNTS

Total sent to Exchequer from Section 4(1) & 4A

1996

2,101,000.00

0.00

1997

2,334,680.00

0.00

1998

1,682,554.65

0.00

1999

1,500.00

0.00

2000

838,536.00

52,230.00

0.00

2001

1,872,654.72

491,114.09

0.00

2002

3,709,086.00

17,802,004.00

5,558,377.00

0.00

2003

3,045,842.00

12,150.00

0.00

2004

1,027,152.18

6,115.00

275,875.43

First Section 4 Disposal Order of the Bureau

2005

5,860,335.00

314,619.54

2,002,738.41

S4A power was given by the CAB Amendment Act in 2005

2006

2,974,856.03

294,289.39

2,970,589.51

2007

9,804,193.14

30,690.00

254,651.94

2008

5,022,050.89

4,860.00

2,802,460.37

2009

11,012,543.00

20,630.00

760,051.86

1,421,332.11

2010

7,019,475.88

63,535.00

3,114,312.59

2011

5,384,559.73

6,725.00

2,734,715.22

2012

2,110,334.78

4,850,540.17

2013

2,821,302.00

1,038,680.52

2014

6,760,182.00

467,152.37

2015

941,078.59

1,642,962.29

2016

643,063.07

1,412,920.41

2017

7,020,539.20

1,698,721.08

2018

8,263,582.30

2,271,799.92

2019

64,985,550.30

1,559,726.31

2020*

5,814,206.00

1,838,507.25

* 2020 stats are provisional pending the publication of the CAB Annual Report 2020

Taxes and Interest

Year Ending

Taxes Collected

31/12/1996

£0.00

31/12/1997

£198,230.00

31/12/1998

£621,749.00

31/12/1999

£2,361,280.00

31/12/2000

£6,769,218.00

31/12/2001

£18,556,321.00

Total IR £

£28,506,798.00

Converted Euro

€36,196,166.91

31/12/2002

€10,003,816.00

31/12/2003

€9,991,022.00

31/1220/04

€16,408,649.00

31/12/2005

€16,376,598.71

31/12/2006

€19,192,906.56

31/12/2007

€10,009,459.27

31/12/2008

€5,891,624.85

31/12/2009

€5,100,494.72

31/12/2010

€4,084,498.00

31/12/2011

€3,804,867.00

31/12/2012

€1,967,925.00

31/12/2013

€5,418,000.00

31/12/2014

€3,017,000.00

31/12/2015

€2,038,000.00

31/12/2016

€2,106,000.00

31/12/2017

€2,374,000.00

31/12/2018

€3,097,000.00

31/12/2019

€2,206,000.00

31/12/2020

€2,138,000.00

Social Welfare Statistics

Year Ending

Sums Recovered

31/12/1996

£0.00

31/12/1997

£0.00

31/12/1998

£0.00

31/12/1999

£0.00

31/12/2000

£0.00

31/12/2001

£154,583.00

Total IR £

£154,583.00

Converted Euro

€196,280.00

31/12/2002

€51,909.36

31/12/2003

€199,702.77

31/12/2004

€273,073.61

31/12/2005

€293,948.00

31/12/2006

€139,524.42

31/12/2007

€136,623.59

31/12/2008

€182,198.30

31/12/2009

€160,335.00

31/12/2010

€181,272.00

31/12/2011

€454,037.49

31/12/2012

€393,797.00

31/12/2013

€287,380.00

31/12/2014

€335,911.00

31/12/2015

€185,354.32

31/12/2016

€297,430.12

31/12/2017

€319,720.31

31/12/2018

€302,673.36

31/12/2019

€324,055.73

31/12/2020

€317,236.57

Crime Prevention

Question No. 517 answered with Question No. 516.

Ceisteanna (516, 517)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

516. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice if her attention has been drawn to the serious level of drug-related intimidation in Dublin; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29472/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

517. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice the number of incidents of drug-related intimation that were reported to An Garda Síochána in the Dublin metropolitan area in each year since 2019, in tabular form. [29473/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 516 and 517 together.

As the Deputy will be aware, proactively tackling all forms of drug crime is a priority for An Garda Síochána. The Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) is having significant success in disrupting the supply of illicit drugs by organised crime groups. Its work is supported by Divisional Drugs Units nationwide and by all Gardaí working in local communities, while working closely with international law enforcement partners.

The National Drugs Strategy, "Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery - a health led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025 ", is unique among national drugs strategies across EU Member States in recognising the need to address drug-related debt intimidation at a community level.

The Strategy includes an action (4.1.42) which specifically relates to strengthening the effectiveness of the Drug-Related Intimidation Reporting Programme. The programme, which was developed by An Garda Síochána in partnership with the National Family Support Network (NFSN) to respond to the needs of drug users and family members who may be subject to the threat of drug related intimidation, has been implemented on a national level since 2013. In addition, the Programme for Government, Our Shared Future, includes a commitment to support the Drug-Related Intimidation Reporting Programme.

An Garda Síochána regard drug-related intimidation as a hugely serious issue which impacts significantly on communities throughout Ireland. An Garda Síochána advise people to seek help and support from their local Gardaí, even where a person has felt compelled to pay money to those who engage in drug related intimidation.

In dealing with any complaint of drug related intimidation, or advice sought in relation to this issue, An Garda Síochána have the utmost regard to the safety and most effective means to afford the person or family subject to the threat the best level of security, advice and support. Confidentiality and security of the persons concerned are paramount for An Garda Síochána when dealing with reports under the programme.

In Dublin's North East Inner City specifically, there has been work done by the NEIC Programme Implementation Board on the issue of drug-related intimidation through the Ana Liffey Drug Project. This work is being taken forward by a sub group of the Implementation Board.

I consulted with An Garda Síochána in relation to the Deputy's query on the number of times support has been sought from and provided under the drug related intimidation reporting programme since it was established. As the Deputy will appreciate, I am informed by the Garda authorities that this information is highly sensitive and not suitable for release into the public domain.

Question No. 517 answered with Question No. 516.

An Garda Síochána

Ceisteanna (518)

Denise Mitchell

Ceist:

518. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice the amount of revenue generated through the issuing of Garda age identity cards in each of the years 2018 to 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form. [29487/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy may be aware, the Age Card is issued under the Intoxicating Liquor Act of 1988 and it is not an age identity card but is only issued as proof of age (i.e. being over 18). The fee to purchase an Age Card is €10.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the information requested is commercially sensitive as the Age Card is due to go to tender this year and as such the requested information cannot be provided.

To be of assistance, I am informed by the Garda authorities that the below table sets out the number of cards issued from 2018 to 2020, and up to end of April 2021:

Year 

 Number of cards issued

 2018

 44,364

 2019

 36,516

 2020

 24,492

 2021 (to end April)

 4,010

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (519)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

519. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the progress to date in the determination of an application for residency status and eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); when the application will be brought to a conclusion; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29505/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The person concerned has current permission to remain in the State, on immigration stamp 4 conditions up to 20 September 2021, as a result of the automatic extension of immigration permissions to that date. The extension is on the same basis as their existing permission and the same conditions attach.

I can also advise the Deputy that the person concerned has lodged a formal application for renewal of their permission to remain, which will be processed to completion in due course.

Additionally, an application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person concerned on 4 December 2017. 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.

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. However, 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 at: INISOireachtasMail@justice.ie, 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.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (520)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

520. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the progress to date in the determination of eligibility for long-term residency and naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29509/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Immigration Service of my Department that the person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order signed on 17 February  2017. This Order requires the person concerned to remove themselves from the State and remain outside the State. The enforcement of Deportation Orders is a matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

Representations have been received on behalf of the person concerned requesting that the Deportation Order be revoked, pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 (11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended). A decision will then be made to either affirm or revoke the existing Deportation Order. This decision will be communicated in writing. In the meantime, the Deportation Order remains valid and in place and the person concerned is still required to present to the GNIB on any dates specified by them.

My Department has adopted a pragmatic and compassionate approach to immigration arrangements in the context of COVID-19. In line with this approach, Deportation Orders are being enforced only in circumstances where an individual may be a threat to national security or whose presence in Ireland would be contrary to the public interest.

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 (inisoireachtasmail@justice.ie), 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.

Question Heading for question(s) 521

Ceisteanna (521)

Pa Daly

Ceist:

521. Deputy Pa Daly asked the Minister for Justice her views on a matter (details supplied); and her plans with an organisation regarding same. [29528/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that while responsibility for this matter rests with my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, my Department has engaged with all relevant stakeholders, including the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with a view to having it resolved.

It is my understanding that the matter is under consideration by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and will be examined further in the context of wider public pay policy and the implications for public expenditure.

Departmental Reports

Ceisteanna (522)

Pa Daly

Ceist:

522. Deputy Pa Daly asked the Minister for Justice the party that will bear the costs for the barrister training recommended by the O'Malley report. [29527/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I would like to thank the Deputy for raising this matter as the full implementation of the recommendations of the O'Malley Review has been a priority for Minister McEntee and that will continue during my time as Minister of State in the Department of Justice.

Following publication of 'Supporting a Victim’s Journey' - our plan to implement the recommendations of the O'Malley Review - the Department established three specific sub-groups to work on implementing some of these recommendations. One of these sub groups is focused on meeting the training needs of a wide range of front-line staff and professionals, including legal professionals.

Work in this subgroup in ongoing and the funding required to develop and deliver the training under the O'Malley Review recommendations will be discussed once it has been established what training is currently provided and what additional training is needed.

A representative from the Bar Council of Ireland sits on this group. As the Deputy is aware, the Council of The Bar of Ireland is the representative body for barristers who are members of the Law Library. The Bar of Ireland's existing Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme is robust and equipped to incorporate relevant multidisciplinary training, as envisaged by the O'Malley Review. The CPD programme already incorporates training for barristers dealing with vulnerable witnesses, and several seminars and workshops have taken place over recent months and years.

The Bar of Ireland has indicated that they will develop a course of Continuing Professional Development suitable for barristers in line with the recommendations of the O'Malley Review. The seminars and lectures for this course will be delivered by people possessing relevant expertise, several of which will require expertise in specific non-legal fields.

Citizenship Applications

Ceisteanna (523)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

523. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice if a person who has applied for citizenship (details supplied) will be allowed to travel to another part of Europe to take up a job opportunity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29552/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

An application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to by the Deputy on 29 May 2020. 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.

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. However, 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.

All non-EEA nationals are required to keep their permission to remain in the State up to date at all times, and to have such permission registered. Failure to do so, may adversely affect an application for a certificate of naturalisation.

A person who has made an application for citizenship is permitted to take reasonable breaks from the State for the purposes of holidays or family reasons. However, to take up an offer of employment in another country would not be in keeping with this concession. It is open to the applicant to withdraw their current application and to reapply if or when they return to 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 at: INISOireachtasMail@justice.ie, 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.

Protected Disclosures

Ceisteanna (524)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

524. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice the status of the investigation into a protected disclosure made by a person (details supplied); the details of the investigation; if a decision has been made on the investigation; and if the details of the investigation and the decision made will be made available to the person in question, and publicly. [29627/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, the Protected Disclosures Act was enacted in 2014 to allow employees to bring alleged wrongdoing to the attention of the appropriate authorities.

The Act also affords very important protections to persons making protected disclosures. I am sure that the Deputy will appreciate therefore that it would not be appropriate for me to comment on, nor confirm the existence of any specific protected disclosure. The protection of those wishing to make a protected disclosure rightly prioritises the confidentiality of the process, which is central to the efficacy of that process.

Protected Disclosures

Ceisteanna (525)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

525. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice the number of protected disclosures made to her Department in each of the past five years and to date in 2021. [29638/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I wish to advise the Deputy my Department publishes an Annual Report, on an anonymised basis, in relation to the disclosures received and dealt with under its policy in accordance with the requirements of section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014.

The Annual Reports for Protected Disclosures received by my Department for the years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 are available on the Department's website, www.justice.ie.

The Annual Report for Protected Disclosures received by my Department for 2020 will be published no later than 30 June 2021, in accordance with the Protected Disclosures Act 2014.

Details of the protected disclosures in each of the past five years and to date in 2021 are outlined in the table below.

Year

Department of Justice

Irish Prison Service

2016

1

2

2017

0

2

2018

0

7

2019

3

2

2020

0

6

2021 (to 31 May)

2

1

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (526)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

526. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the progress to date in considering applications to regularise status in the case of persons (details supplied); if all documentation requested has now been received; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29656/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

In response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), written representations have been submitted on behalf of the persons concerned.

These representations, together with all other information and documentation on file, will be fully considered, under Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation, in advance of final decisions being made.

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 (inisoireachtasmail@justice.ie), 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.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Ceisteanna (527)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

527. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Justice if Irish citizens who reside here but work in Northern Ireland and have been vaccinated as part of the system in Northern Ireland will be in a position to apply for an EU Covid-19 digital green certificate when it is introduced here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29757/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I wish to advise the Deputy that matters relating to the EU Covid-19 Digital Green Certificate are under the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Health. 

Due to the recent cyber attack, I understand that the Department of Health is not in a position to provide responses to parliamentary questions at present. Therefore, I am unable to transfer your question to the responsible Department for answer. However, I have referred your question to the Department of Health for their direct written reply as soon as possible. 

Agriculture Schemes

Ceisteanna (528)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

528. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an extension of time will be granted to those participants in the GLAS scheme who are due to have wild bird cover sown before 31 May as a result of recent weather conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29128/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

It is open to individual GLAS participants to contact the Department directly, in writing, to request an extension in relation to the planting requirements for the GLAS Wild Bird Cover action for this year. Requests will be examined on a case-by-case basis.

GLAS Division can be contacted by email at glas@agriculture.gov.ie.

Forestry Sector

Question No. 530 answered with Question No. 529.

Ceisteanna (529, 530)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

529. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 707 of 18 May, the obstacles that cause the large discrepancy between 1,937 ha approved and 675 ha planted; if there is a solution that could improve these statistics; the obstacles that result in a carryover of 4,500 approved hectares; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29235/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

530. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 707 of 18 May, if he will provide clarification (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29238/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 529 and 530 together.

Regarding the figures provided in Dáil question number 707 of 18th May, the 1,937 ha are afforestation licences issued this year.  This figure is now 2,336 with the addition of more recent approvals. These licences have a validity period of three years.

Therefore, they remain valid and financial approval may be sought any time up to 2024, and the site planted thereafter. The 675ha mentioned refers to tree planting  which has been paid for this year, up to the end of April. A site may be planted and an application for grant-aid may be submitted but it is only counted in our figures as planted when the payment claim is submitted, approved and paid.

As regards the carry over of 4,500 approved hectares, it is entirely up to applicants whether they wish to realise the licence granted. I encourage all applicants to do so and to avail of the generous premiums available for afforestation. The Department has written to sectoral representatives to consider whether anything else can be done to improve the conversion from approval to planting.

As regards the commitment to issue 4,500 licences this year, an increase of 75% on last year,  the proportional estimated breakdown presented was based on those issued in 2020 i.e. 65% of forestry licences issued were tree felling; 20% afforestation and 15% forest roads and is an estimate. This output remains our commitment.

As regards the breakdown of tree felling licences issued between Coillte and the private sector, last year 49.62% were private and 50.38% were Coillte. I remind the Deputy that the Department regularly publishes an extensive range of forestry statistics on the Department’s pages of the Government of Ireland website.

Question No. 530 answered with Question No. 529.

Data Protection

Ceisteanna (531)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

531. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the nature of the data breaches experienced by his Department since 2018. [29302/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The nature of the breaches experienced in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine since 2018 can be categorised as follows:  Disclosure (unauthorised); Paper lost/stolen; Phishing and,  Unintended online publication.

Where appropriate, breaches are reported to the Data Protection Commissioner.

Coillte Teoranta

Question No. 533 answered with Question No. 532.

Ceisteanna (532, 533)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

532. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of Coillte felling applications received in March 2021. [29350/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

533. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when Coillte's felling applications went into the Forest Service in March 2021; the number of applications that had site specific information, that is a harvesting plan and a replanting plan included relevant to those sites as of 14 May 2021; and the number of applications that had site specific information, that is a harvesting plan and a replanting plan included at this stage. [29351/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 532 and 533 together.

The Department received 1,864 tree felling licence applications from Coillte in March 2021. Each of these applications was accompanied by information on harvesting and replanting.

Coillte submit approximately 900 clearfell applications on average each year with details of the location of the site, the area, the objective of the harvesting site, the regeneration method, the species to be felled and the species to be replanted and other information about the environment. The map accompanying the application highlights the application area, the location of any nearby European sites, rivers, lakes, SACs, SPAs, NHAs, forest roads etc. In managing an operation of this size each year it is important that Coillte have environmental and operational standards that they apply and that they have a consistency across the country as to how they approach each site.

For sites that are screened in for appropriate assessment, which is the majority of sites, Coillte submitted a detailed Natura Impact Statement that provides more detail around the felling and replanting operations. The harvesting information provided, including a harvesting map, included a description of how the timber is to be removed from the forest, techniques for protecting soil while doing so, environmental setbacks and plans for reforestation. In relation to reforestation, the information provided includes species to be planted, stocking density, the reforestation objective and information on ground preparation.

Question No. 533 answered with Question No. 532.

Agriculture Schemes

Ceisteanna (534)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

534. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 987 of 24 November 2020, if he has evidence of such endorsement (details supplied). [29433/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The audit carried out by the European Court of Auditors ensured that the process implemented by the Department was entirely in accordance with EU Regulations (with Article 42(5) of Regulation (EC) 1782/2003 and Article 7 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 795/2004).   

There were no findings in the final report concerning Ireland's implementation of the consolidation process.

Agriculture Schemes

Ceisteanna (535)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

535. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 996 of 11 May, if the single farm payment is attached to the land in cases in which force majeure does not apply (details supplied). [29434/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Payment entitlements under the Single Payments Scheme were not attached to specific land.  The regulations in relation to the consolidation of payment entitlements on owned and leased land were originally set out in Commission Regulation (EC) No 795/2004 which was repealed by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1120/2009.

Article 46(2) of Regulation 1782/2003 sets out the circumstances for the transfer of payment entitlements under the Single Farm Payment Scheme. The article states that payment entitlements can be transferred by sale or other definitive transfer methods with or without land.

Leased payment entitlements must be accompanied by a transfer of the equivalent number of eligible hectares unless force majeure, or exceptional circumstances apply, in which case the leasing of the entitlements without land may be facilitated.

Agriculture Schemes

Ceisteanna (536)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

536. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 997 of 11 May, the reason payment entitlements under the single payments scheme were not attached to specific land in cases in which the land in question is specific (details supplied). [29435/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Single Payment Scheme (SPS) was implemented in Ireland in 2005 under European Commission Regulation (EC)1782/2003. Ireland implemented the historical model of the SPS, which meant that the number of payment entitlements each farmer received was based on the average number of hectares farmed in the three reference years – 2000 to 2002.

The total SPS amount belongs to the farmer and did not attach to lands. The Single Payment was based on the amount of payments made to farmers during the 2000 to 2002 reference period. The lands used during the reference period was simply used to break the SPS total payment down to entitlement value and number.

The regulations in relation to the consolidation of payment entitlements on owned and leased land were originally set out in Commission Regulation (EC) No 795/2004 which was repealed by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1120/2009.

Agriculture Schemes

Ceisteanna (537)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

537. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 997 of 11 May, the reason payment entitlements under the single payments scheme were not attached to specific land in cases in which the land in question is specific (details supplied). [29436/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Single Payment Scheme was implemented in Ireland in 2005 under European Commission Regulation (EC) 1782/2003. Ireland implemented the historical model of the SPS, which meant that the number of payment entitlements each farmer received was based on the average number of hectares farmed in the three reference years – 2000 to 2002

The total Single Payment Scheme amount belongs to the farmer and did not attach to lands. The Single

Payment was based on the amount of payments made to farmers during the 2000 to 2002 reference period. The lands used during the reference period was used to break the SPS total payment down to entitlement value and number.

The regulations in relation to the consolidation of payment entitlements on owned and leased land were originally set out in Commission Regulation (EC) No 795/2004 which was repealed by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1120/2009.

Barr
Roinn