140. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a report was prepared for the GSOC directorate regarding work practices and case management in the Longford office of GSOC following concerns expressed in 2016 regarding work practices. (Question 20733/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
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141. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of cases discontinued in the past year under section 93 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. (Question 20734/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

142. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of cases advanced under section 101 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 in the past year. (Question 20735/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
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143. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied that the GSOC office for its south team is adequately secure physically, technically and electronically for staff, exhibits, records and other materials. (Question 20736/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

144. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if it is permitted for GSOC staff to use GSOC vehicles and to claim expenses for personal use or for use outside of GSOC business. (Question 20737/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

145. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of members of An Garda Síochána that have been seconded from An Garda Síochána to GSOC; the responsibilities of each within GSOC; and the responsibilities they have for the investigation into certain issues at Templemore Garda Training College. (Question 20738/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

146. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if allegations have been made since 2014 of serious misconduct against staff based in or undertaking duties in the southern region of GSOC; if so, if those allegations have been investigated; the position regarding those allegations; and if members of staff have been disciplined since that point. (Question 20739/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

147. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there was a public interest investigation under section 103(4) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 into the discharge of a weapon at Cabra, Dublin 7 in November 2017; and if not, the reason therefor. (Question 20740/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

148. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if it is generally the policy that GSOC would investigate the discharge of a weapon by a member of An Garda Síochána under section 103(4) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. (Question 20741/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

149. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of investigations under section 103(4) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 into discharges of weapons by members of An Garda Síochána that have been undertaken by GSOC in the past three years. (Question 20742/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

150. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons that have been found not guilty of an offence by reason of insanity and have been discharged from the Central Mental Hospital in each of the past 12 months; and the offence or offences that person would have been charged with in each case. (Question 20743/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Departmental Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can advise the Deputy that during the last 12 months up to the end of April, three patients were conditionally discharged from the Central Mental Hospital and two patients were unconditionally discharged, having been found not guilty of an offence by reason of insanity. Of the conditionally-discharged patients, one was discharged in May 2017, one in February 2018 and one in April 2018.  Of the unconditionally-discharged patients, one...

209. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure persons that suffer Ehlers-Danlos syndrome have adequate treatments here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20420/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Health Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.
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254. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to allocate additional resources to Cork city and county, specifically LGBT youth supports. (Question 20419/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Youth Services Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I am pleased to confirm that an extra €1.5m has been allocated in current funding to support the provision of youth services in 2018. This will bring the total current youth funding available to my Department to €58.9m.  The additional funding is being used for programmes that target disadvantaged young people.  Funding to staff-led youth services has generally been targeted at areas of disadvantage and not in proportion to the...

295. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to further resource park rangers nationally. (Question 20421/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - National Parks and Wildlife Service Staff)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): My Department continues to work with the Public Appointments Service to appoint Conservation Rangers from a panel which was created in 2017. I am advised that in the last twelve months my Department has recruited twelve Conservation Rangers from this panel. 
The staffing resources required to meet my Department’s business needs are assessed through the Department’s workforce planning process, having regard to emerging ...

121. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount drawn down to date of the Youth Guarantee funding from the EU. (Question 18804/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Youth Guarantee)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) is one of the main EU financial resources to support the implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee. It is integrated into European Social Fund (ESF) programming as a dedicated priority axis within the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020 (PEIL). The specific YEI allocation for Ireland of €68m is matched by equal amounts from our ESF allocation an...

171. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills if it is possible to register with an ETB as a registered tutor for drama, music or otherwise; and the procedure for such registration. (Question 19029/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Education and Training Boards Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Each ETB is responsible for the recruitment and management of its staff and my Department has no direct role in such matters.
If an individual wishes to be employed in an ETB as a tutor for drama, music or otherwise, they should contact their local ETB which will be able to advise on available vacancies and the procedures for recruitment.
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205. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applications for employment permits from asylum seekers that have been made in the past month; and the number of successful applications. (Question 18839/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Work Permits Data)

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Heather Humphreys): From February 9th 2018, when section 16(3)(b) International Protection Act 2015 was struck down by the Supreme Court, until the date of entry into force of the EU (recast) Reception Conditions Directive, any eligible international protection applicants can access the employment permit system on the same basis as other non-EEA nationals. The opt-in process, involving formal discussions with the European Commission to en...

379. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the progression of the transitional justice for survivors of Mother and Baby Homes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18718/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I am committed to working with my colleagues in Government, and in collaboration with former residents, to take appropriate actions to address the issues which have already emerged from the work of the Commission. I believe that this is the best way forward in our response to what are hugely complex and sensitive matters. The principles of transitional justice inform my approach to these measures. 
In this regard the Deputy may...

418. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 939 of 20 March 2018, the purpose of the latest tender by her Department for facial recognition software; and her plans to expand the use of public service cards beyond SAFE level 2. (Question 18719/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Public Services Card Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The use of facial matching technology has been employed by the Department for a number of years. What is proposed, in the context of this competitive tender process, is a continuation and upgrade of this existing technology. This technology helps prevent and detect cases of suspected social welfare and identity fraud.
The Department uses facial image matching software to strengthen the SAFE registration process. The...

464. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to allow county council mortgage holders who are first-time buyers and in the early stages of their mortgage to avail of the same rates as the first time buyers on the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme. (Question 18986/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Housing Loans)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Following a review of the two existing local authority home loan schemes, the House Purchase Loan and the Home Choice Loan, a new loan offering known as the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan was introduced, with effect from 1 February 2018. The new loan enables credit-worthy first-time buyers to access sustainable mortgage lending to purchase new or second-hand properties in a suitable price range. The low rate of fixed int...

208. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to resource a school (details supplied) to enable it to obtain three extra teachers to alleviate issues with overcrowded classrooms. (Question 17569/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - School Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September. Budget 2018 announced a one point improvement to the primary staffing schedule, which reduced the average pupil teacher ratio to 26:1. The improved staffing schedule has been implemented for the 2018/19 school year and is set out in Ci...

210. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he has received a proposal from a school (details supplied) for an upgrade of the school buildings; and the position regarding the proposal. (Question 17587/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Schools Refurbishment)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department is in receipt of an application for refurbishment works from the school in question. My Department is aware of the specific needs of the school and is committed to working with the school to address these needs. In that regard, my Department expects to be in further contact with the school authority shortly.
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262. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the measures he has taken to avoid further underspending of EU integration funding; if he has acted on advice from the EU Commission to strengthen Ireland’s administration of the funds and make use of available technical assistance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17391/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Refugee Resettlement Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): My Department avails of funding under the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) to fund activities to support the integration of migrants who have come to Ireland.
In 2016 the EU Funds Unit was established, within the Asylum Services, Integration and Equality Division of my Department, to ensure, in cooperation with all the agencies and organisations involved, that all t...

539. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if there is a model here similar to the children’s panel that exists in Scotland (details supplied); and if not, her plans to put in place such a panel. (Question 17533/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Child Protection)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): As the Deputy will be aware, the Scottish Children’s Panels exist in a very different legislative environment and framework to that prevailing in this State. Accordingly, the introduction of an analogous body is not proposed at this time. 
However, as the Deputy knows, my Department is currently undertaking a wide-ranging review of the Child Care Act 1991, the principal legislation underpinning the child protection system. As pa...

213. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the policies that exist for the transferability of taxi plates including but not limited to wheelchair accessible taxis; and his plans to adjust same. (Question 16970/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) industry is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013. 
At present, the transfer of SPSV licences is prohibited under section 14(1) of the 2013 Act which was commenced with effect from 6 April 2014. However, in the case of the death of a licence holder, section 15 of the same Act applies special provisions.  In suc...