16. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which adequate resources continue to be made available to An Garda Síochána to combat organised crime; if sufficient intelligence, technology or other resources are adequate to make serious inroads on the structures operated by the criminal gangs; if sufficient powers exist to deal adequately with the situation; if further legislation is required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44218/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Organised Crime)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that only last week I announced the additional resource allocations for the Justice sector in Budget 2018. 
A total budget of €1.65 billion has been provided to An Garda Síochána in 2018, an increase of 2% on 2017. It should be noted that the Garda allocation substantially continues to benefit from the significant additional funding that was provided in 2016, and maintained in 2017, to fund the sustained respon...

49. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which extra Garda personnel are likely to be deployed throughout the country in accordance with demographic requirements and crime levels; the extent to which deployment is likely to take place in the next 12 months to address the most serious identifiable shortages throughout the regions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44219/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Garda Deployment)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources among the various Garda Divisions and Districts, and I as Minister, I have no direct role in the matter. 
I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that personnel assigned throughout the country, together with the overall policing arrangements and operational strategies are continually monitored and reviewed. Such monitoring ensures th...

108. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a working visa will be renewed in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44416/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Visa Applications)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned submitted an application for De Facto Partner Immigration Permission on 18 July 2017.  
An acknowledgement letter was issued on 19 July 2017.  Applications are dealt with in strict chronological order.  INIS will be in contact with the applicant shortly.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases ma...

110. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which An Garda Síochána has succeeded in disarming criminal gangs, with particular reference to the ongoing feuds between such gangs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44471/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Gangland Crime)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the response to gang-related violence and crime is ongoing and we must remain adaptable to changing circumstances in pursuing a comprehensive and robust response to gang-related violence and crime. I remain in close contact with the Commissioner and I will continue to provide every support possible to enable An Garda Síochána face down the threat posed by violent criminal gangs.  
Garda operational respo...

111. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which adequate numbers of trainee gardaí are available in Templemore now and over the next two years to meet the requirement of the increase in Garda strength; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44472/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Garda Strength)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources among the various Garda Divisions and Districts, and I as Minister, I have no direct role in the matter.  
I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that personnel assigned throughout the country, together with the overall policing arrangements and operational strategies a...

112. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the anticipated increased Garda strength likely to be deployed to stations already in need of an increase in view of crime levels and demographics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44473/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Garda Strength)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources among the various Garda Divisions and Districts, and I as Minister, I have no direct role in the matter.  
I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that personnel assigned throughout the country, together with the overall policing arrangements and operational strategies a...

113. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí at all ranks due to retire in each of the next four years; the extent to which adequate replacement is being provided in anticipation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44474/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Garda Strength)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources among the various Garda Divisions and Districts, and I as Minister, I have no direct role in the matter.  
I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that personnel assigned throughout the country, together with the overall policing arrangements and operational strategies a...

114. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the degree to which delays in gaining access to the courts have been alleviated in the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44475/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Court Procedures)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions. Furthermore, the scheduling of court cases and the allocation of court business is a matter for the Presidents of the Courts and the presiding judges who are, under the Constitution, independent in the exercise of their judicial function...

115. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which recidivism has been dealt with in the past five years; the degree to which the number of repeat offenders have appeared before the courts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44476/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Recidivism Rate)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): It is a priority of the Department of Justice and Equality to reduce crime, and specifically reoffending by those previously convicted. The latest and most accurate set of data in relation recidivism (re-offending) rates for offenders who were given a custodial sentence or community sanction is contained in the fourth set of recidivism studies published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in December 2016.  This and the previous thr...

116. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of offences committed by prisoners while on bail in each of the past three years; if this has fluctuated on an annual basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44477/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Crime Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, is responsible for the compilation and publication of the official recorded crime statistics, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose.  I have asked the CSO to forward the available statistics in relation to the information requested directly to the Deputy. 
As the Deputy will be aware, a decision to grant bail in a particular case is a matte...

117. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which he expects reorganisation of An Garda Síochána to take place, with particular reference to the need to ensure respect for the force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44478/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Garda Reorganisation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware there is an extensive programme of reform underway affecting all aspects of the administration and operation of An Garda Síochána. This follows the Government’s approval in July 2016 of a Five Year Reform and High Level Workforce Plan for An Garda Síochána which combines the Government’s response to the Garda Inspectorate report ‘Changing Policing in Ireland’ and the commitments in the Programme for a Partne...

118. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the degree to which Garda training and upgrading of facilities such as information technology and other forms of technology continue to be made available to An Garda Síochána with particular reference to the need to be on par with the best forces throughout the globe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44479/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Garda Resources)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for carrying on and managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the training of its members and civilian staff and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
The Deputy will be aware of the significant resources that have been made available to An Garda Síochána under the Governm...

119. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to upgrade facilities at various Garda stations throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44480/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Garda Stations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. This includes identifying and progressing any necessary remedial or refurbishment works required at individual stations. As Minister, I have no dir...

120. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which progress continues in respect of the various cold cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44481/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Garda Investigations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am informed that the Serious Crime Review Team (SCRT) continues to review serious cases that remain unsolved and continues to identify evidence and witnesses to assist in the development of these cases.
At the conclusion of each review by the SCRT, a substantive report is provided to the Senior Investigating Officer who considers the opportunities for further investigation. Any recommendation of organisational effect is disseminated ...

121. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons reported as missing over the past four years; the number located; the number whose whereabouts are still not known; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44482/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Missing Persons Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Garda authorities that the table shows the number of missing person incidents recorded on the Garda PULSE system each year and the number of those persons recorded as missing at the end of each year, for the years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and to 4 October 2017.  These figures are provisional, operational and liable to change and are correct as of 4 October 2017. 
I am further advised that all incidents remain under in...

122. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on whether the legislation to date is sufficient to adequately combat the activities of criminal gangs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44483/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Gangland Crime)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can assure the Deputy that the legislative framework underpinning the State’s response to organised crime is kept under review to ensure its on-going effectiveness and robustness. 
This is evidenced by the recent strengthening of the proceeds of crime legislative framework to further support the work of the Criminal Assets Bureau. In this regard, the Deputy might recall the new powers introduced under the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment...

123. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners known to have absconded from prison or evaded capture or imprisonment in each of the past three years to date; his views on whether such issues have been resolved satisfactorily; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44484/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Prisoner Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Director General of the Irish Prison Service that Irish Prison Service records indicate that for the period 1 January 2014 to 17 October 2017, 39 persons absconded from custody, of these 6 remain unlawfully at large.
The table sets out the number of prisoners deemed to have absconded in this period and who remain at large, as of 17 October 2017:
 Year Number of absconders Number Still at large 2014 11 1 ...

124. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which educational and rehabilitation facilities are offered in every instance to first time offenders while in prison with the objective of diverting them from a life in crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44485/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Prisoner Rehabilitation Programmes)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that it provides a wide range of rehabilitative programmes to those in custody that include education, vocational training, healthcare, psychiatric, psychological, counselling, welfare and spiritual services. These programmes can offer purposeful activity to those in custody while serving their sentences and encouraging them to lead law abiding lives on release. These programmes are available i...

125. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prison spaces available throughout the service; the extent to which cells are occupied by two or more prisoners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44486/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Prison Accommodation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy is aware the Irish Prison Service collates and publishes the prisoner population breakdown, including the number of prison spaces available in all prisons, on a daily basis and this information is available on the Irish Prison Service website www.irishprisons.ie  
The Irish Prison Service collates a quarterly census on cell occupancy and the position as at July 2017 is set out as follows: 
 Prison No of pri...

126. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which the assets of major criminal gangs are confiscated on an annual basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44487/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Criminal Assets Bureau)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy may know, Ireland operates both conviction and non-conviction based models for the confiscation of proceeds of crime.  In so far as the conviction based model is concerned, the confiscation and forfeiture of criminal assets is the responsibility of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) which is a statutorily independent body operating under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach.  The Deputy will ...

127. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when stamp 4 will be updated in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44489/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Residency Permits)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned had their permission to remain in the State renewed for a further three year period, to 07 July 2017. This decision was conveyed in writing to the person concerned by letter dated 09 July 2014. 
The renewal decision letter referred to, advised the person concerned of the requirement that they apply for further renewal of ...

128. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a duplicate certificate of naturalisation is required or can be issued in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44490/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Naturalisation Certificates)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that it is not the practice to issue duplicate certificates of naturalisation.  I note that the person concerned holds an Irish passport, which is evidence of the person’s Irish citizenship.
 ...

129. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in respect of the processing of a stamp 4 application, leave to remain eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44491/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Residency Permits)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned has applied for a right of residency in the State, accompanied by a right to work, based on their parentage of an Irish citizen child.  This application is currently under consideration.  INIS will be in contact with the person concerned shortly.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made...

130. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the determination of permission to remain, stamp 4 eligibility or otherwise in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44492/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Immigration Status)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the case of the person concerned is currently before the High Court in the context of judicial review proceedings taken against the International Protection Appeals Tribunal. As these proceedings are on going, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on that aspect of the case of the person concerned at this time.
Queries in relat...

132. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of known members of criminal gangs who have been released from prison in the past five years on completion of their sentence or otherwise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44528/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Prisoner Releases)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that a report compiled by them identified 12 criminal gangs within the prison population. This does not include subversive groupings in Portlaoise. 
Membership or allegiance of these criminal gangs fluctuates on a continuous basis with some persons breaking links and others becoming affiliated on a daily basis. As such it is not possible to provide numbers in relation to the numb...