112. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of applications for citizenship being processed by his Department; the number of active applications being processed for more than one, two, three and five years, respectively; the average waiting time per application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18221/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Citizenship Applications)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the number of applications for naturalisation currently on hands, by year of application for each of the years 2015 - 2018 inclusive and 2014 and earlier is as follows:
 Year of Application   2014 and earlier  2015  2016  2017 2018 to date  Total Applications currently on hand  340  330  1,700  7,330  2,770  12,470 

It ...

261. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status and timeline of the legislation to increase parental leave to 26 weeks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17571/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Parental Leave)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for Partnership Government includes a commitment to increase paid leave for parents during the first year of a child’s life, as research shows that parental care is of particular importance during this time.  The Government has established an interdepartmental working group to develop proposals to give effect to this commitment and I expect it to make its report at towar...

99. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to concerns held by the Garda youth diversion programme independent network, IGYD, regarding the future funding of the programmes following a call for proposal by the Irish Youth Justice Service; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that IGYD is of the view that the upcoming call for proposals will have detrimental impacts on young persons, communities and youth services; the reason these changes to funding of Garda youth diversion programmes are occurring; if he will engage with the IGYD to address these concerns and ensure the future of these programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13449/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Garda Youth Diversion Projects)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 93, 99, 101, 102, 104 and 105 together. 
As Deputies may be aware, my Department is obliged to carry out a Call for proposals process during 2018 in relation to the provision of Garda Youth Diversion Project (GYDP) services, to fully comply with requirements related to the co-funding of projects by the European Social Fund Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-...

92. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if grants or funding are available to community groups to assist in the area of tackling isolation and loneliness; if there are any grants or funding available to assist promoting integration among different groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10693/18 asked on 06 Mar 2018 - Migrant Integration)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): As the Deputy is aware, I launched the Communities Integration Fund in 2017 which provides small grants for community groups to assist in promoting the integration of migrants. 131 projects were grant-aided across the country last year under this initiative.
I plan to announce this year’s call for applications for funding under this grant scheme later this month. I hope that the initiative will act as a catalys...

97. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to ensure property management fees are not allowed to spiral out of control; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that management fees have significantly increased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9042/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Housing Management Companies)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The position is that the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 was enacted with the primary purposes of reforming the law relating to the ownership and management of common areas of multi-unit developments and facilitating the fair, efficient and effective management of owners’ management companies (OMCs). These are companies registered under the Companies Acts, the members of which are the owners of residential units within the developmen...

109. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the average waiting times for probate cases to be processed and concluded; if his attention has been drawn to the distress caused due to the lengthy delays for families involved in such cases; the efforts underway to address these delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8834/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Probate Applications)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Probate Office is an office of the High Court and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service Act 1998. 
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that waiting times in the Probate Office for a Grant of Probate are currently 16 weeks for applications made by ...

278. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí currently assigned to each divisional drug unit. (Question 7200/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Garda Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
I am informed tha...

525. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding pensions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54683/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As I have previously advised the Deputy in my replies to his parliamentary questions of the 3 October 2017 and 19 October 2017, the position is that prior to 1 October 1976, where a member of An Garda Síochána resigned or was dismissed before reaching the age and service at which he could retire on pension, that member forfeited all superannuation benefits under the then Garda Síochána Superannuation Scheme. 
This situation was changed...

228. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the timeframe for the implementation of therapeutic communities in the prison system; if his statement in this regard will be clarified further to his response to Parliamentary Question No. 253 of 5 December 2017 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53045/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Prisoners Treatment)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Irish Prison Service has advised that the introduction of a Therapeutic Community treatment model within the Irish Prison Service is a new and innovative model of addiction support within the IPS. In order to achieve the best results and optimum outcomes, it is imperative to review the international evidence, and develop an acceptable plan which is true to the values and principles of the Therapeutic Community Approach, balanced w...

80. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason his Department has not published the review of the immigrant investor programme; if he will publish this review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51494/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Immigrant Investor Programme Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a limited internal review of the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was concluded in Q3 2017. The review only examined the period to December 2016. As the IIP Programme had only gained momentum in the second half of 2016, to evaluate its effectiveness as of December 2016 might not provide for any meaningful and measurable outcomes. Consequentl...

111. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number and position of gardaí and community gardaí stationed in the Dublin metropolitan region west in each of the years 2009 to 2016, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51493/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Garda Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
I am informed by t...

253. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of efforts to introduce therapeutic communities and drug free service facilities to prisons here; if he will engage with the Irish Prisons Service (IPS) to ensure a therapeutic community (TC) is introduced in prisons following a commitment by the IPS to introduce a TC; the timeframe for same; if his attention has been drawn to the large volume of academic research in support of the positive outcomes for such initiatives, in particular the positive findings of a 2016 longitudinal study by bodies (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51878/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Prison Drug Treatment Services)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Irish Prison Service has advised that it is fully committed to supporting individuals who are seeking to address addiction issues through the availability of a comprehensive range of treatment options across the prison estate. As part of achieving this strategic action, the Irish Prison Service has committed in its Strategic Plan 2016 – 2018, to developing a Therapeutic Community within the Mountjoy Campus.
The concept of a Drug F...

127. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number and position of gardaí and community gardaí stationed in Dublin metropolitan region west in each of the years 2009 to 2016, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48511/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Garda Deployment)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
Community policin...

125. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the review of the immigration investor programmes as outlined in the justice sector Estimates 2017; if it has concluded; if so, the findings it has made; his plans to publish the review; if not, the timeframe for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45547/17 asked on 26 Oct 2017 - Immigrant Investor Programme Administration)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a limited internal review of the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP)  was concluded in Q3 2017. It was highlighted that as applications to the IIP had only gained momentum in the second half of 2016,  it would be difficult to carry out an in depth evaluation and draw useful conclusions at this stage. It was also noted that as the majority of II...

52. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason his Department will not award pensions to 19 of 20 gardaí who left the force before 1 October 1976 having served the required five years service or more; the way in which there appears to be an exception for one garda; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44135/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Garda Retirements)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): This matter has been considered on a number of occasions in both Houses. The background to it is that prior to 1 October 1976, where a member of An Garda Síochána resigned or was dismissed before reaching the age and service at which he could retire on pension, that member forfeited all superannuation benefits under the then Garda Síochána Superannuation Scheme. This situation was changed following discussions at the Garda Conciliation...

199. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a project (details supplied) was referred to the immigrant investor programme committee; if so, the reason it was not successful; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42503/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Immigrant Investor Programme Administration)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have been advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department that enquiries were made to officials in the Immigrant Investor Programme Unit in relation to the project referred to by the Deputy. However, the project was not submitted to the Evaluation Committee based on the advices given. 
 ...

200. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the due diligence that is carried out on companies submitting projects to the immigrant investor programme; if an assessment was made of a company (details supplied) that has submitted projects; if tax clearance and other checks are carried out on companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42504/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Immigrant Investor Programme Administration)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department that the purpose of the Immigrant Investor programme is to incentivise investment in Ireland by high net worth non-EEA nationals. As part of the investment, the non-national receives a specific immigration permission. There is no contractual relationship between my Department and individual developers or agents, such as the company referred to by the De...

201. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the representations made by Members of the Government for projects submitted under the immigrant investor programme in each of the past three years; if he will release the representations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42505/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Immigrant Investor Programme Administration)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have been advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department that no representations by members of the Government in support of projects submitted under the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) have been received in each of the past 3 years.  
 ...

223. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of open applications for stamp 4 being processed; the average waiting time for a decision to be made on the granting of stamp 4; if he will allocate more resources to ensure applications are dealt with in a more timely fashion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41313/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Visa Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a Stamp 4 signifies that the bearer has a particular immigration permission, which allows them to live and work in the State without the need for a work permit. 
I am further informed that, because cases which may lead to a Stamp 4 permission being granted will have come through a wide range of immigration pathways and processes it is not po...

225. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will examine the case of persons (details supplied) who have applied for naturalisation and due to circumstances outside their control have been unable to advance their application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41458/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Naturalisation Applications)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the applications for a certificate of naturalisation from the persons referred to by the Deputy are being processed with a view to establishing whether the applicants meet the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation, such as good character and lawful residence.  
As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship ...

248. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the cost of awarding pensions to 20 living gardaí who left the force for any reason before 1 October 1976 having served the required five years service or more; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41730/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Prior to 1 October 1976, where a member of An Garda Síochána resigned or was dismissed before reaching the age and service at which he could retire on pension, that member forfeited all superannuation benefits under the then Garda Síochána Superannuation Scheme. This situation was changed following discussions at the Garda Conciliation Council, the industrial relations machinery for members of An Garda Síochána. It was agreed at that t...

263. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the names and titles of the members of the Immigrant Investor Programme Committee; the criteria used by the committee for the sanctioning of investments; if enhancement of tourism is an official criterion for the committee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41875/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Immigrant Investor Programme Administration)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 263 to 266, inclusive, together.
The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was introduced by Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department in April 2012 to encourage inward investment so as to create business and employment opportunities in the State. 
Applications under the Immigrant Investor Programme are evaluated by an expert Independent Evaluation Committee, with representatives from t...

264. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the countries of origin of investors under the immigrant investor programme that were issued visas in each of the past three years and to date in 2017; if the countries of origin of those applying have changed since the UK’s Brexit vote; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41876/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Immigrant Investor Programme Administration)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 263 to 266, inclusive, together.
The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was introduced by Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department in April 2012 to encourage inward investment so as to create business and employment opportunities in the State. 
Applications under the Immigrant Investor Programme are evaluated by an expert Independent Evaluation Committee, with representatives from t...

265. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the companies and the purpose of each of the businesses which were granted investors under the immigrant investor programme; the number invested in each one; and the number of issued visas per investment in the businesses in each of the past three years and to date in 2017. (Question 41877/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Immigrant Investor Programme Administration)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 263 to 266, inclusive, together.
The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was introduced by Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department in April 2012 to encourage inward investment so as to create business and employment opportunities in the State. 
Applications under the Immigrant Investor Programme are evaluated by an expert Independent Evaluation Committee, with representatives from t...

266. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if investments made under the immigrant investor programme have been withdrawn following the expiry of the three year requirement for the capital injection to be valid for the visa; and if he has satisfied himself that the programme delivers value in view of the reputational risks that could be involved. (Question 41878/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Immigrant Investor Programme Administration)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 263 to 266, inclusive, together.
The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was introduced by Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department in April 2012 to encourage inward investment so as to create business and employment opportunities in the State. 
Applications under the Immigrant Investor Programme are evaluated by an expert Independent Evaluation Committee, with representatives from t...