46. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to renew funding to a cultural centre (details supplied); his views on the evidence that shows that persons that have deeper levels of integration within communities are significantly less likely to experience crime and anti-social behaviour; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15256/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Departmental Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration (OPMI), an Office of my Department, allocates public funding for migrant integration projects on the basis of competitive selection processes carried out in a fair, open and transparent way.  This gives a wide range of community and voluntary organisations the opportunity to bid for government funding for projects to support the integration of migrants in our co...

81. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on whether it is insufficient to rely on digital consent as a means to protect children’s data in view of the fact it places an excessive burden on parents to be active in the digital world; his further views on whether restrictions should be imposed on the data controllers forbidding them to use children’s data for marketing or commercial purposes; his plans to ensure that data controllers take responsibility in data breaches or undue commercial targeting of children’s data while using their platform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9023/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Data Protection)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The position is that while the data protection rights and protections that generally apply to adults under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) also apply to children, the GDPR acknowledges that the personal data of children merit specific protection and it includes a number of specific measures for the protection of children in addition to the “digital age of consent”. 
For example, Article 6.1(f), which generally permits pro...

48. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will use his discretionary powers in a humanitarian manner to allow relatives of Syrian residents here, who may be in equally dangerous situations as those of refugees, apply for family reunification under the family reunification humanitarian admission programme; his plans to redefine “family member” using the broader terms proposed in the International Protection (Family Reunification) (Amendment) Bill 2017; and if he will consider setting aside a budget to pay the administration and travel costs of bringing the family members of refugees that often have no means here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51496/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Refugee Resettlement Programme)

Acting Chairman (Deputy Frank O’Rourke): Deputy Kenny has 30 seconds to introduce his question.
 ...

223. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be ratified, in view of the fact that 3 December 2017 marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51956/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): Ireland signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 and since then, successive Governments have emphasised Ireland’s strong commitment to proceed to ratification as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure all necessary legislative and administrative requirements under the Convention are met. This Government remains committed to ratification of the Convention. 
It...

64. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to examine the restrictions on visa applications from Libyan citizens, especially those in the medical professions who have offers of employment here, in view of the problems in retaining and recruiting staff in hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32973/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Visa Applications)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 75 together.
Deputies will know that certain restrictions have been in place since August 2014 due to the political and security situation in Libya. My predecessor indicated recently that these would be reviewed by officials to consider if there may be some scope to extend the categories of applicants who may be considered for visa processing. 
That review has been completed and I am advised th...

77. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will meet the family of a person (details supplied) regarding an inquiry into their death and the subsequent events around the Garda investigation and court proceedings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32972/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Ministerial Meetings)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy is aware this tragic case was considered under the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) and the recommendation was that no further action should be taken. Counsel for the IRM pointed out that the appropriate forum for raising matters related to alleged Garda failings was the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) who were already investigating certain matters arising from the tragic death in this case, in part referred ...

212. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if, in recognition and acknowledgement of the long campaign for justice for the victims of the Stardust tragedy, he will sanction payment for the most recent report carried out on behalf of the families of the victims; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33225/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Stardust Fire)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that the Government agreed to appoint Judge McCartan to assess any new and updated evidence uncovered by the Stardust Relatives and Victims Committee in order to recommend whether a Commission of Investigation should be established into the Stardust Tragedy of 1981. Judge McCartan was appointed on 7 March 2017 and officially commenced his role on 27 March. 
The assessment process is being conducted completely i...

14. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if her attention has been drawn to the hardship the visa restrictions on Libyan citizens is causing a number of applicants; if these restrictions could be lifted in cases other than those working in the beef or oil industries in view of the recent EU deal with the Libyan authorities on migrants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15660/17 asked on 30 Mar 2017 - Immigration Policy)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I take it that the Deputy is referring to the Malta Declaration, agreed by members of the European Council on 3 February, 2017. The declaration seeks to reduce migratory flows and disrupt smuggling networks along the Central Mediterranean route by working with the main country of departure, Libya. The European Union (EU) will seek to, inter alia, build capacity for the Libyan coast guard and relevant agencies, disrupt ...

47. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will review the present restrictions on visa applications from Libya especially in the cases of medical personnel that could make a valuable contribution to the health service; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15661/17 asked on 30 Mar 2017 - Visa Applications)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The position in relation to current restrictions has been kept under review by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department. Ultimately, an appropriate balance must be struck between State security and individual applicants who wish to come here. I have asked my officials to look again at the restrictions in place to consider if there may be some scope to extend the categories of applicants who may...

49. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the top ten English language schools by numbers of students registered by GNIB, in tabular form; the nationalities and numbers of students registered in each school; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6478/17 asked on 09 Feb 2017 - Language Schools)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the specific information sought by the Deputy is not available. The role of INIS must be understood in the broader context of the English language (ELT) sector in Ireland more generally, and my Department’s responsibility in relation to the immigration status of non-EEA nationals.
The sector, which predominantly operates in the...

4. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if her attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied) who was killed in 2011 in a hit-and-run incident; if her attention has been further drawn to the family’s concern that if the guilty party had been properly dealt with before the fatal incident, the person would not have been killed, and that the family allege there is evidence of failure, cover up and corruption at the level of the Garda, the courts, her Department and the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP; if she will call for a public inquiry into the circumstances of the person’s death and its aftermath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40592/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - Garda Investigations)

Deputy Gino Kenny: I thank the Leas-Cheann Comhairle for facilitating me. I will abbreviate my question to the Minister. Has her attention been drawn to the case of a person who was killed in 2011 in a hit-and-run incident? Has her attention been drawn to the family’s concerns that if the guilty party had been properly dealt with before the fatal incident, the person would not have been killed? The family alleges there is evidence of failure of inquiry.
 ...

11. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her views as to whether there is a legal barrier in view of the lack of any barrier to ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from a legal perspective and only from a policy point of view; the policy of Government that has informed the failure to ratify the convention; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40440/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Deputy Gino Kenny: I ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her views as to whether there is a legal barrier in view of the lack of any barrier to ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
 ...

37. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the reason the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been delayed for over nine years in view of the fact that international agreements have the force of law to the extent determined by the Houses of the Oireachtas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40439/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): Ireland signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 and since then, successive Governments have emphasised Ireland’s strong commitment to proceed to ratification as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure all necessary legislative and administrative requirements under the Convention are met. This Government remains committed to ratification of the Convention. 
It...

41. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the significant blockages or barriers to ratification and enactment of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2007, in view of the fact there is no legal impediment to ratification from the United Nations perspective; the action that has been taken to address the putative barriers or blockages to date; when ratification is expected; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40302/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): Ireland signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 and since then, successive Governments have emphasised Ireland’s strong commitment to proceed to ratification as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure all necessary legislative and administrative requirements under the Convention are met. This Government remains committed to ratification of the Convention. 
It...

45. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her views on whether it is the cuts to disability services which has prevented the Government ratifying the convention in view of the lack of any barrier to ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from a legal perspective and only from a policy point of view; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40441/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Ireland signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 and since then, successive Governments have emphasised Ireland’s strong commitment to proceed to ratification as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure all necessary legislative and administrative requirements under the Convention are met. This Government remains committed to ratification of the Convention. 
It is essen...

118. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the nature of the significant blockages or barriers to ratification and enactment of the 2007 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in view of the fact that there is no legal impediment to ratification from the United Nations perspective; the measures taken to address the putative barriers or blockages to date; when ratification can be expected; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39886/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Ireland is a dualist State, Article 29.6 of the Constitution providing that international agreements have the force of law to the extent determined by the Oireachtas . It is essential therefore that the State is in a position to meet the obligations it assumes under the terms of an international agreement from the moment of its entry into force for Ireland. Before the State can ratify the Convention on the Rights of Per...

45. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if it is within her remit to direct an inquest to be held by a coroner; if she can direct an inquest into the death of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36630/16 asked on 24 Nov 2016 - Coroners Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The position is that the obligation on a coroner to hold an inquest lies in Section 17 of the Coroners Act 1962, as amended, where the body of a deceased person is lying in his or her district. There may be circumstances, such as in the case of a missing person, where a coroner has reason to believe that a death has occurred and that an inquest would be appropriate in the particular case, even though a body has not been...

168. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of study visas received, issued and refused by her Department for the years 2013, 2014, and 2015 by country in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30740/16 asked on 18 Oct 2016 - Visa Applications)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that details of the number of student visas granted and refused are set out in the following table. It should be noted that the “All other nationalities” data in the table refer to in the order of 100 different nationalities and, accordingly, the information has been aggregated. 
It should also be noted that nationals from many coun...

41. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to work with the Department of Health​ to establish a comprehensive review of prison health, with urgency, and to endorse the recommendation of the UN Committee for the Prevention of Torture that prison healthcare services be brought under the responsibility of the Department of Health and operated by the HSE. (Question 21722/16 asked on 14 Jul 2016 - Prison Medical Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 43 together.
I can advise the Deputy that my Department is currently in communication with the Department of Health in relation to a fundamental review of healthcare in prisons and the provision of healthcare services in prisons generally. 
The Irish Prison Service has also advised that discussions have taken place with the Health Information and Quality Authority regarding the po...

42. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will expedite​ ratification of the optional protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture and to establish effective national preventative mechanisms under the protocol, including reformed and strengthened prison visiting committees. (Question 21723/16 asked on 14 Jul 2016 - Prison Visiting Committees)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Ireland is a signatory to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment and will ratify it, once the necessary legislation is in place to provide for National Preventative Mechanisms (NPMs) to inspect places of detention for the purposes of the protocol.
As part of the process of identifying the appropriate NPMs, consultation with c...

43. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will​ work with the Minister for Health on establishing a review of prison health towards addressing the serious deficiencies which exist; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21724/16 asked on 14 Jul 2016 - Prison Medical Service)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 43 together.
I can advise the Deputy that my Department is currently in communication with the Department of Health in relation to a fundamental review of healthcare in prisons and the provision of healthcare services in prisons generally. 
The Irish Prison Service has also advised that discussions have taken place with the Health Information and Quality Authority regarding the po...

26. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her plans for the direct provision system; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17152/16 asked on 22 Jun 2016 - Direct Provision System)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Government has indicated its commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government to reforming the Direct Provision system, with particular focus on families and children. The Report of the Working Group on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers, has set out a series of recommendations for reform of the system. These have implications for a number of Go...

39. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she is considering recognising the ethnicity of Travellers during the lifetime of this Government. (Question 17153/16 asked on 22 Jun 2016 - Traveller Community)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The issue of Traveller ethnicity is being considered within the context of discussions on the new National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy. The final phase of a three phase consultative process in terms of the development of that Inclusion Strategy is currently underway at a cross-Departmental level under the coordination of my officials. There will be a further round of public consultations with intereste...

36. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to reform or abolish direct provision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10140/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Direct Provision System)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As per the Programme for Government long durations in direct provision are acknowledged to have a negative impact on family life. We are therefore committed to reforming the Direct Provision system, with particular focus on families and children. The report of the Working Group to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers, otherwise known as the McMa...

320. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of refugees who have arrived here under the European Union refugee programme; and the schedule for future arrivals. (Question 6666/16 asked on 14 Apr 2016 - Refugee Resettlement Programme)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Irish Refugee Protection Programme was approved by Government decision on 10 September 2015 in response to the migration crisis in Southern Europe. Under the programme, the Government has pledged to accept a total of 4,000 migrants into the State by the end of 2017, through a combination of the EU relocation mechanism established in 2015 to assist Italy and Greece (which Ireland voluntarily opted into) and the UNHCR-led refugee ...