1. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach when Cabinet committee A - economy last met. (Question 13572/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 5, inclusive, together.
Cabinet committee A covers issues relating to the economy, jobs, the labour market, competitiveness, productivity, trade, the Action Plan for Rural Development, the digital economy and pensions. There has been significant progress on these issues since the start of the year, including the publication of the roadmap for pensions reform, the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs 2018 and the publication of the review of Ent...

2. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach when Cabinet committee A - economy last met; and when it is scheduled to meet again. (Question 15858/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 5, inclusive, together.
Cabinet committee A covers issues relating to the economy, jobs, the labour market, competitiveness, productivity, trade, the Action Plan for Rural Development, the digital economy and pensions. There has been significant progress on these issues since the start of the year, including the publication of the roadmap for pensions reform, the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs 2018 and the publication of the review of Ent...

3. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach when Cabinet committee A - economy will next meet. (Question 16370/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 5, inclusive, together.
Cabinet committee A covers issues relating to the economy, jobs, the labour market, competitiveness, productivity, trade, the Action Plan for Rural Development, the digital economy and pensions. There has been significant progress on these issues since the start of the year, including the publication of the roadmap for pensions reform, the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs 2018 and the publication of the review of Ent...

4. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach when Cabinet committee A - economy last met; and when it will next meet. (Question 16461/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 5, inclusive, together.
Cabinet committee A covers issues relating to the economy, jobs, the labour market, competitiveness, productivity, trade, the Action Plan for Rural Development, the digital economy and pensions. There has been significant progress on these issues since the start of the year, including the publication of the roadmap for pensions reform, the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs 2018 and the publication of the review of Ent...

5. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Taoiseach the Cabinet committee in which agriculture is discussed; and when it last met. (Question 16522/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 5, inclusive, together.
Cabinet committee A covers issues relating to the economy, jobs, the labour market, competitiveness, productivity, trade, the Action Plan for Rural Development, the digital economy and pensions. There has been significant progress on these issues since the start of the year, including the publication of the roadmap for pensions reform, the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs 2018 and the publication of the review of Ent...

6. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach when Cabinet committee B - social policy and public services - will next meet. (Question 13573/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 to 9 together.
Cabinet committee B last met on 26 March and while the date of its next meeting has not yet been scheduled, it is likely to meet next month. The committee covers the areas of social policy and public service reform, including education, children, social inclusion, Irish, arts and culture, and continued improvements to and reform of public services. 
Through the work of Cabinet committee B, the Government is keen to ensure policies...

7. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach when Cabinet committee B - social policy and public services - last met; and when it is scheduled to meet again. (Question 15859/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 to 9 together.
Cabinet committee B last met on 26 March and while the date of its next meeting has not yet been scheduled, it is likely to meet next month. The committee covers the areas of social policy and public service reform, including education, children, social inclusion, Irish, arts and culture, and continued improvements to and reform of public services. 
Through the work of Cabinet committee B, the Government is keen to ensure policies...

8. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach when Cabinet committee B - social policy and public services - will next meet. (Question 16371/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 to 9 together.
Cabinet committee B last met on 26 March and while the date of its next meeting has not yet been scheduled, it is likely to meet next month. The committee covers the areas of social policy and public service reform, including education, children, social inclusion, Irish, arts and culture, and continued improvements to and reform of public services. 
Through the work of Cabinet committee B, the Government is keen to ensure policies...

9. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach when Cabinet committee B - social policy and public services - last met; and when it will next meet. (Question 16462/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 to 9 together.
Cabinet committee B last met on 26 March and while the date of its next meeting has not yet been scheduled, it is likely to meet next month. The committee covers the areas of social policy and public service reform, including education, children, social inclusion, Irish, arts and culture, and continued improvements to and reform of public services. 
Through the work of Cabinet committee B, the Government is keen to ensure policies...

10. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel on 20 March 2018 in Berlin; and if he discussed corporate tax rates and the European Commission proposal for a digital tax with the chancellor. (Question 13797/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 to 17, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Berlin on 20 March for a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of my strategic engagement with our European partners. We discussed preparations for the March European Council, including Brexit, trade, Economic and Monetary Union, EMU, and the tax challenges of digitalisation. I also took the opportunity to congratulate the Chancellor on her recent re-election for the fourth time. 
O...

11. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with Chancellor Merkel; and the issues that were discussed. (Question 13927/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 to 17, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Berlin on 20 March for a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of my strategic engagement with our European partners. We discussed preparations for the March European Council, including Brexit, trade, Economic and Monetary Union, EMU, and the tax challenges of digitalisation. I also took the opportunity to congratulate the Chancellor on her recent re-election for the fourth time. 
O...

12. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with Chancellor Merkel on 20 March 2018. (Question 13943/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 to 17, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Berlin on 20 March for a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of my strategic engagement with our European partners. We discussed preparations for the March European Council, including Brexit, trade, Economic and Monetary Union, EMU, and the tax challenges of digitalisation. I also took the opportunity to congratulate the Chancellor on her recent re-election for the fourth time. 
O...

13. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his recent meeting with Chancellor Merkel. (Question 13952/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 to 17, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Berlin on 20 March for a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of my strategic engagement with our European partners. We discussed preparations for the March European Council, including Brexit, trade, Economic and Monetary Union, EMU, and the tax challenges of digitalisation. I also took the opportunity to congratulate the Chancellor on her recent re-election for the fourth time. 
O...

14. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with Chancellor Merkel on 20 March 2018. (Question 13982/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 to 17, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Berlin on 20 March for a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of my strategic engagement with our European partners. We discussed preparations for the March European Council, including Brexit, trade, Economic and Monetary Union, EMU, and the tax challenges of digitalisation. I also took the opportunity to congratulate the Chancellor on her recent re-election for the fourth time. 
O...

15. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his recent engagement with Chancellor Angela Merkel on 20 March 2018. (Question 14007/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 to 17, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Berlin on 20 March for a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of my strategic engagement with our European partners. We discussed preparations for the March European Council, including Brexit, trade, Economic and Monetary Union, EMU, and the tax challenges of digitalisation. I also took the opportunity to congratulate the Chancellor on her recent re-election for the fourth time. 
O...

16. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach the foreign visits he plans to undertake to the end of June 2018. (Question 16168/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 to 17, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Berlin on 20 March for a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of my strategic engagement with our European partners. We discussed preparations for the March European Council, including Brexit, trade, Economic and Monetary Union, EMU, and the tax challenges of digitalisation. I also took the opportunity to congratulate the Chancellor on her recent re-election for the fourth time. 
O...

17. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with the mayor of Chicago, Mr. Rahm Emanuel. (Question 16665/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 to 17, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Berlin on 20 March for a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of my strategic engagement with our European partners. We discussed preparations for the March European Council, including Brexit, trade, Economic and Monetary Union, EMU, and the tax challenges of digitalisation. I also took the opportunity to congratulate the Chancellor on her recent re-election for the fourth time. 
O...

32. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the measures being taken on foot of the recommendations of the State Ombudsman’s report on the Magdalen restorative justice scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16782/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Magdalen Laundries Report)

Deputy Jim O’Callaghan: The Minister is aware that it is five months since the Ombudsman published his report on the Magdalen restorative scheme introduced by the previous Government to deal with the great disservice done to Irish women who served in Magdalen laundries. Several recommendations contained in the Ombudsman’s report have not yet been complied with by the Minister and his Department. What is being done in respect of those recommendations and when will those outstanding be implement...

33. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will report on the proposed review of rape and sexual offences trials; the terms of reference and scope of the review; and his plans to consider matters such as consent in co-operation with other Departments and legal representation for defendants. (Question 16606/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Rape and Sexual Offences)

Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire: The trying of sexual offences and rape cases has been much discussed in recent times. While some of it relates to a case taken outside this jurisdiction, it is still a fact that the number of cases brought in this jurisdiction from complaint to criminal conviction is very low, at in or around 8%, and that there are deficiencies and problems in how cases are tried. I wrote to the Minister and the justice committee on 29 March to propose that a review be carried out...

34. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the action he has taken to address the concerns raised by the Road Safety Authority regarding the strength of the Garda traffic corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16490/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Road Safety)

Deputy Jim O’Callaghan: The Minister will be aware that we have volumes of road traffic legislation on the Statute Book. We also have proposed amendments to legislation in this area going through the House at present. At the same time we have a situation whereby Garda statistics in respect of breath testing cannot be relied on by policymakers or the public. In the context of recent criticism by the Road Safety Authority, RSA, of the number of personnel allocated to the Garda traffic corps, wh...

35. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied that his Department provided full information to and co-operated fully with the O’Higgins commission and the O’Neill report into Garda whistleblower claims; and if he has asked his officials for assurances regarding same. (Question 16448/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Commissions of Investigation)

Deputy Alan Kelly: Given all of the information that is now in the public domain, is the Minister satisfied that his Department provided full information and co-operated fully with both the O’Higgins commission and the O’Neill report into Garda whistleblower claims and has he asked his officials for absolute assurances on same?
 ...

36. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to set out the level of investment by his Department in CCTV since a commitment was given in the confidence and supply agreement to invest in CCTV; and to make a statement on the matter. (Question 16784/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Closed-Circuit Television Systems)

Deputy Jim O’Callaghan: The Minister will recall that when our respective parties engaged in confidence and supply talks in Trinity College in 2016, we agreed that there would be greater investment by the Government in CCTV throughout the country. It is extremely important for the Government to be fully committed to this. Just as criminals use technology to advance their criminality, law-abiding people and the State’s law enforcement agencies should use technology to ensure criminals are caugh...

37. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the prisoner transfer system; the number of prisoners seeking a transfer; his plans to bring forth legislation to deal with the Supreme Court ruling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16533/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Prisoner Transfers)

Deputy Mick Wallace: I understand the reason for the suspension of the transfer of sentenced persons, which is due to the High Court and Supreme Court judgments of the past few years, but I do not understand the reason for such a prolonged delay in resolving the matter. I appreciate that this is complex and legislative or administrative changes may be necessary. The problem is now several years old and both the prisoners and their families do not see an end in sight right now. Will the Minist...

38. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of new Garda recruits assigned to each Garda station in County Mayo in each of the years 2014 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16563/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Strength)

(Deputy Charles Flanagan): I should state at the outset that the distribution of Garda personnel, including the allocation of newly attested Gardaí, is exclusively the statutory responsibility of the Garda Commissioner. Notwithstanding the Commissioner’s responsibility, I have provided for the record, in tabular form, the detailed information requested by the Deputy.
I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that, as of the 28 February 2018, the latest date for which figures are available, the st...

39. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to outline the status of his review into the legal protections offered to complainants in sexual assault cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16488/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Criminal Law Review)

Deputy Jim O’Callaghan: I wish to ask the Minister for Justice and Equality about victims of sexual assault and rape. What steps does the Minister believe can be taken to encourage victims of sexual assault and rape to make complaints if they have been the victims of those criminal acts?
I imagine we can agree that one of the significant policy issues or problems that needs to be addressed is that significant numbers of victims are deterred from making official complaints when they have been th...