50. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the Israeli ill-treatment of Palestinian children in military detention, highlighted by UNICEF as being widespread, systematic and institutionalised; if he will raise the case of a person (details supplied) with his Israeli counterpart; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14133/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Deputy Gino Kenny: What is the Tánaiste view on the detention of Palestinian children in apartheid Israeli jails?
 ...

85. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has received the humanitarian letter signed by over 100 organisations pleading with all parliamentary institutions throughout the world to stop the genocide, siege and forced displacement happening in eastern Ghouta in Syria; his plans to work urgently with his European counterparts to stop the genocide against civilians and condemn the Syrian regime and its allies’ refusal to abide by the Security Council Resolution 2401; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14134/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Syrian Conflict)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63, 68, 85 and 97 together.
I am aware of the letter to which Deputy Kenny refers. The situation in Syria is indeed unconscionable, and I take this opportunity to reiterate my unreserved condemnation of the barbarous violence against civilians that has been the hallmark of this conflict to date. The brutal repression of dissent by the Assad regime, which has included use of chemical weapo...

112. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the hostile approach adopted by the Argentine state towards the indigenous Mapuche people in Argentina; his plans to address matters in this regard (details supplied) with his Argentine counterpart; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7368/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the situation of the Mapuche community in Argentina and the concerns that have been expressed as to their welfare. I am also aware of the historic and continued challenges faced by indigenous populations in many parts of Latin America.
I condemn unreservedly any intimidation, violence, or discrimination perpetrated against indigenous peoples and those seeking to defend their rights, whether in Argentina or...

12. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will request the release of a person (details supplied); his views on the position of UNICEF that the ill-treatment of Palestinian children in military detention is widespread, systematic and institutionalised; his further views on the fact that Israel is the only nation that systematically detains and prosecutes children in a military court system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3504/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - Middle East Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 28 together.
The overall human rights situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the treatment of children in detention, remains a matter of concern. Ireland has repeatedly drawn attention to concerns regarding the treatment of Palestinian prisoners. We have paid particular attention over recent years to issues related to the detention of minors. Ireland...

31. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade whether he will make known his views on President Donald Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and acknowledge the potentially destructive consequences for the region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53037/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Middle East Peace Process)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I call Deputy Gino Kenny.
 ...

45. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the petition signed by more than 22,000 persons highlighting the arms trade with the state of Israel presented to An Taoiseach by members of an organisation (details supplied) on 4 October 2017. (Question 51490/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Arms Trade)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the petition referenced by the Deputy, which was presented to the Taoiseach in October and has since been brought to my attention.
I am pleased to inform the House that Ireland does not have an arms industry and is not therefore an exporter of weapons to any country, other than a small amount of sporting guns. National legislation imposes a licensing requirement in respect of items on the EU Common Militar...

61. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to an open letter to the UN Security Council from more than a dozen Nobel laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, criticising Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader, for a bloody military crackdown on minority Rohingya people, warning of a tragedy amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3030/17 asked on 25 Jan 2017 - Human Rights)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am aware of the open letter to which the Deputy refers. The Government remains deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in Rakhine State in the wake of attacks on police posts near Myanmar/Burma’s border with Bangladesh in October 2016. Ireland has called for an immediate end to violence in the region, and for an impartial, independent investigation into serious allegations of human rights violations committed by security fo...

71. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the President of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump’s, plan to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; and that this planned move is a reversal of existing US policy (details supplied); if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that the move is a violation of Resolution 181 of the UN General Assembly and that senior Palestinian officials warn that the move could provoke regional violence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3029/17 asked on 25 Jan 2017 - Middle East Issues)

Deputy Bríd Smith: This will be one of the most urgent discussions we could have. Following the amazing demonstrations across the planet after the inauguration of President Trump, one of the most feared factors connected to his presidency is the question of his promised move of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade will notice that all the international diplomats clued into this in any way are warning of a major provocation in the region an...

356. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on whether Ireland’s neutrality is in question due to the shift towards an alliance with Britain, Europe and the United States; if Ireland has entered into agreements with foreign powers on air defences without consulting Dáil Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39827/16 asked on 24 Jan 2017 - Military Neutrality)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): On 24 November last year, the Dáil debated the Thirty-Fifth Amendment of the Constitution (Neutrality) Bill 2016. The debate provided a valuable opportunity to re-state the Government’s commitment to Ireland’s longstanding policy of military neutrality.
As I said at the time, I am satisfied that Ireland’s longstanding policy of military neutrality is safeguarded through existing Constitutional provisions, through the Protocol to t...

357. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will telephone President Duterte on behalf of a person (details supplied); if he will meet with the person’s spouse to hear their perspective; and if he will verify the location of the person’s passport. (Question 1743/17 asked on 24 Jan 2017 - Safety of Irish Citizens Abroad)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am very aware of the extremely difficult circumstances in which this individual and his family find themselves. I have personally raised my concerns about the case, and about the health and wellbeing of the individual concerned, with my Philippines counterpart, most recently at the UN in New York last September.
This is an ongoing legal case. At this time, the priority focus of our Embassy is on follow up to the request to seek...

684. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to an armed raid conducted by Pakistani police on the administrative offices at the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Rabwah, Pakistan on 5 December 2016 (details supplied); if he will protest to the Pakistan Government regarding this state-sanctioned sectarian violence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41129/16 asked on 17 Jan 2017 - Religious Persecution)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Charles Flanagan: I propose to take Questions Nos. 683, 684 and 707 together.
I am aware of a raid at the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Rabwah, Pakistan. Ireland’s Embassy in Ankara, which is accredited to Pakistan, is monitoring this situation. 
Ireland strongly condemns all forms of persecution on the basis of religion or belief, irrespective of where they occur or who the victims are. We attach great importance to combatting al...

378. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to a case (details supplied); if he will intervene by contacting the Algerian authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37486/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Child Abduction)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The case referred to is a particularly devastating one for the parent left behind. Regarding any case of parental child abduction, my Department’s general policy is to discuss and explore with the left behind parent possible mediation options; possible legal avenues to be pursued in the country where the child or children have been taken; and to seek to facilitate a welfare check on the child or children concerned. 
Any case of...

379. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the action he has taken in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37487/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Consular Services Provision)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am very much aware of the consular case in the Philippines and the very difficult circumstances in which this individual and his family find themselves. 
I have personally raised my concerns with senior Philippines Government contacts, including most recently in New York in September. 
For any Irish citizen subject to criminal proceedings abroad, my Department officials will offer non-judgemental advice and any appropriate pra...

200. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the National Digital Research Centre, NDRC, whose budget is paid entirely from State funds, refused to support an initiative to assist the fledgling start-up ecosystem in Palestine, citing NDRC’s purported politically neutral status and yet has provided support and sponsorship to a programme of engagement with the start-up ecosystem of Israel, namely, the recent start-up Tel Aviv event held on the NDRC premises on 29 June 2016; his plans to influence the NDRC to co-operate in extending support to the Palestine start-up ecosystem or to cease support for the Israeli start-up ecosystem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34158/16 asked on 10 Nov 2016 - National Digital Research Centre)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): My Department has no responsibility for the operation or decisions of the NDRC. I am not aware of the substance or basis of the two decisions referred to by the Deputy, neither what was proposed nor what was the outcome. I therefore have no basis on which to comment.
The role of NDRC is to support digital start-ups in Ireland. It may well be that this can be helped by co-operation with other known centres for such work, of whic...

31. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the presidential decree of law 140 was submitted again for a person (details supplied) in August 2016 and that there is limited time this decree can remain effective; if he will put adequate pressure on the Egyptian Government to ensure the person can be released as many inmates have recently received a presidential pardon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30281/16 asked on 25 Oct 2016 - Consular Services Representations)

Deputy Eamon Ryan: The Ceann Comhairle will be aware of the motions that were brought before the Dáil and Seanad calling for the release of Ibrahim Halawa. I am particularly interested in hearing an update from the Minister on what the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is doing to help secure his release, given Mr. Halawa is approaching his 21st birthday, having been imprisoned without trial for more than three and a half years since his arrest at age 17 and that under Egyptian law, as a ...

32. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the reports of statesanctioned death squads and vigilantism in the Philippines under President Duterte; the assistance being offered to a person (details supplied) and his or her family in an appeal in the Philippines against a 12-year prison sentence for a trivial offence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30277/16 asked on 25 Oct 2016 - Diplomatic Representation)

Deputy Gino Kenny: I ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the reports of state-sanctioned death squads and vigilantism in the Philippines under President Duterte; the assistance being offered to a person - details supplied, which I will name now in a second - and his or her family in an appeal in the Philippines against a 12-year prison sentence for a trivial offence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
 ...

37. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the destruction of the refugee camp at Calais; if he has made inquiries regarding the health and safety of the more than 10,000 adults and children living there; if he will advocate for the safety of the residents by strongly protesting any attempts by the French authorities to forcibly move residents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30269/16 asked on 25 Oct 2016 - Immigration Policy)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 37, 41 and 43 together.
I am of course aware of recent developments surrounding the refugee camp at Calais, and in particular the plight of unaccompanied minors living there. 
The camp at Calais does not fall under the EU relocation or resettlement decisions that Ireland has opted into and therefore the people in Calais are not eligible for the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, because they are...

55. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will identify to Dáil Éireann the countries which are taking part in, or supplying weapons or military ordnance to support, military aggression in Syria and Yemen; if he will call in the ambassadors of those countries to account for such action; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31808/16 asked on 25 Oct 2016 - Foreign Conflicts)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Ireland does not have a presence on the ground in Syria or Yemen and we do not directly monitor the supply of military equipment by other states to the Middle East or elsewhere. I am therefore not in a position to make a statement on these matters.
However, I am extremely concerned by the reports of widespread civilian casualties in both Syria and Yemen and the reports of possible war crimes. Regardless of the source of the weap...

346. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the reason a person (details supplied) is being denied an Irish passport, given that her siblings were granted Irish passports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30434/16 asked on 18 Oct 2016 - Passport Application Refusals)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): All passport applications are subject to the provisions of the Passports Act, 2008, as amended (the Act). The Act requires that a person must be an Irish citizen before a passport can issue to him or her.
The person in question has applied for a passport. However, her entitlement to Irish citizenship under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended), is the subject of a request for clarification to the Departmen...

36. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he is aware of the comments of a person (details supplied) that torture and abuse takes place in the prison and that a person not receiving the same level of support that they did; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19352/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Human Rights Issues)

Deputy Bríd Smith: I know the Minister, Deputy Flanagan, has been asked this many times, but I ask him again to lay out in detail what his plans are to bring Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen, home from his detention. This young man has been detained now for well over 1,000 days. Many people, including former prisoners from other countries, are openly asking whether the Irish Government is doing enough to get Ibrahim, who is an Irish citizen, home. It looks to us it is not nearly enough, compa...

55. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he is aware of the increase in the number of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli security forces in the past year; the number of these children who were arrested without their parents being informed (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19412/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Middle East Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The treatment of Palestinian children in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is of deep concern, and an issue on which Ireland has been active for some time.
The significant rise in the number of children arrested, which has been highlighted in reports by UNICEF and others, is largely connected to the wave of violent incidents over the last ten months in which, tragically, many children and young people have been involved.
A...

328. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he is aware of the increase in the number of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli security forces in the past year; the number of these children that were arrested without their parents being informed; and his views on the use of unnecessary force in arresting and detaining these children in some cases beating them and holding them in unsafe and abusive conditions. (Question 19426/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Middle East Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I refer the Deputy to my reply to his Question no 55 (19412/16) today, which was as follows:
“The treatment of Palestinian children in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is of deep concern, and an issue on which Ireland has been active for some time.
The significant rise in the number of children arrested, which has been highlighted in reports by UNICEF and others, is largely connected to the wave of violent incidents over ...

8. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the measures he is taking to secure the release of a person (details supplied) from detention in Egypt; the reason for the delay in the person’s release; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11902/16 asked on 26 May 2016 - Irish Prisoners Abroad)

Deputy Charles Flanagan: I propose to take Questions Nos. 8, 13 and 24 together.
This case remains a high priority for the Government and my Department. We are continuing to pursue every constructive avenue to secure the release of this citizen and we will continue to bring all of our influence to bear on his behalf through all appropriate channels.
All of the sustained and focused actions that have been taken by the Taoiseach, myself and other Ministers, as well as by my Department and our emb...

11. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade for detailed information on the trade in goods and services between Ireland and Israel including restrictions on such trade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11901/16 asked on 26 May 2016 - Trade Data)

(Deputy Charles Flanagan): Trade in goods with Israel in 2015 amounted to €987 million, which consisted of exports of €871 million to Israel and imports of €117 million from Israel. I am rounding off these figures for the purpose of the reply. Trade in services, for which the most recent figures I have are for 2014, amounted to €649 million, of which Irish exports were €559 million and imports were €90 million. More detailed figures are available from the Central Statistics Office.
Restrictio...