92. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to strengthen the Garda Reserve to deliver on the commitment to visible and responsive policing in communities throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16484/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Reserve)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the recruitment and training of the Garda Reserve and the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions. As Minister, I have no direct role in the matter.
I am advised by the Commissioner that the strength of the Reserve on the 28 February 2018 was 569. It is regrettable that there has been a substantial reduction in the strengt...

323. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there is a cap on the legal aid a barrister or solicitor and their firms can make in divorce cases; if there is a disincentive for them to prolong such cases (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12191/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Legal Aid Service Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Civil legal aid in the State is delivered through the Legal Aid Board pursuant to the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 and the Civil Legal Aid Regulations 1996 - 2017.
Legal aid in judicial separation and divorce cases is generally provided by solicitors who are employees of the Legal Aid Board. As such, their terms and conditions of employment are those applicable in the Civil Service generally and there is no distinction as to the type of ca...

56. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason for the delay in the family law Bill coming before Dáil Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5653/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Family Law Cases)

Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick: Last week during questions on promised legislation I asked the Minister to update the House on the family law Bill. I stated that fathers and mothers fight over the possibility of having their children removed from their custody. Courts deal with personal and sensitive matters including divorce, custody issues, children in State care, child maintenance and domestic violence. These courts are operating up and down the country, in every small town and city in Ireland. ...

74. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to increase the number of civilians in An Garda Síochána to more than 500 to address the capacity and critical skills gap across the organisation; and his further plans over the next number of years to address this skills gap. (Question 5684/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Garda Civilian Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware in accordance with section 26(1)(b) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner has statutory responsibility for the recruitment of civilian staff and I, as Minister, have no role in the matter. Section 19 of the Act governs the sanctioning of additional civilian staff for An Garda Síochána and requires the approval of the Policing Authority subject to my consent and that of the Minist...

257. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the Garda resources he plans to use to tackle rural crime; the position regarding Operation Thor; the way in which it is lowering rural crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5662/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Rural Crime)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I want to assure the Deputy that I am very much aware of the impact of crime on rural communities, including the serious damage done by organised gangs who target rural areas to engage in burglary and other property-related crime. Such incidents cannot be tolerated in our society and this Government will continue to support An Garda Síochána in tackling the gangs, including mobile criminal gangs, who target rural areas. 
The Deputy wi...

260. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to increase the number of new Garda recruits in An Garda Síochána to more than 800 per year over the next number of years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5715/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Garda Recruitment)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner 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. 
As the Deputy will be awar...

458. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a person (details supplied) will receive a decision on their residency application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35207/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Immigration Status)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned applied for a right of residency accompanied by a right to work based on their parentage of an Irish citizen child. The application was received in the relevant section of the INIS on 15 November 2016. A letter issued to the person concerned to advise them of the outcome of their application on 18 July 2017.
Queries in ...

190. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will increase the age limit from 35 to 40 years of age for Garda Reserves to be eligible to apply for a Garda position; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1548/17 asked on 17 Jan 2017 - Garda Reserve)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Deputy Frances Fitzgerald: The Garda Reserve was established in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 to enhance the links between An Garda Síochána and local communities and consists of voluntary unpaid members, drawn from the community, to support the work of An Garda Síochána. The Reserve perform policing duties as determined by the Garda Commissioner, while accompanied by full time Gardaí. Their role is to provide local patrols and parti...

90. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of successful prosecutions for selling alcohol to under age persons in the past five years, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36924/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Crime Data)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): 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.
 ...

63. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the status of an asylum application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32542/16 asked on 02 Nov 2016 - Deportation Orders)

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 person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order made on 20 October 2010. The Deportation Order requires the person to remove themselves from the State and remain outside the State.
Representations were received from the person’s legal representative, to request the Minister to use her discretion, pursuant to Section 3...

143. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the immigrant investor programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22761/16 asked on 19 Jul 2016 - Immigrant Investor Programme Administration)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Immigrant Investor Programme, which was introduced in 2012, is open to non-EEA nationals and their families who commit to an approved investment in Ireland. 
Each application is examined on its merits in a qualitative examination by an independent interdepartmental committee. The proposed investment must be beneficial for Ireland, including the creation or preservation of jobs, and be in the public interest. The fu...

58. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality why a person (details supplied) who has a religious volunteer visa was refused permission to stay here having completed the three years, despite such a visa allowing for an extension of 12 months; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18153/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Visa Applications)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I have been informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person mentioned by the Deputy was granted permission on 9 July 2011 to allow them to work as a Volunteer in the State. Under the Immigration Arrangements for Lay Volunteers, where permission was granted on or after 1 January 2011, such permission is granted for 12 months at a time for a maximum period of 3 years. ...

114. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the status of an application by a person (details supplied) under the de facto visa scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15566/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - Visa Applications)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I have been informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned has been issued with a letter on 2 June 2016 requesting further documentation in support of her application.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by email using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purp...

81. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the status of an application by a person (details supplied) for a visa; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13997/16 asked on 01 Jun 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 the visa application referred to by the Deputy was received by the Irish Visa Office in Dublin on 20/05/2016. The application was approved on 30/05/2016 and the applicants were notified directly of this decision by the Visa Office on that date.
The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual imm...

186. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the current status of an application for a volunteer visa by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12803/16 asked on 31 May 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 an application requesting an exemption to the three year ruling for Volunteers in the State be considered in this case. This application was initially received on 10 February 2016 and was immediately acknowledged with a request for further documentation and information. This documentation was received on 10 March 2016. Applic...

210. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will increase the number of gardaí in the Mid-Louth Ardee district (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7331/16 asked on 20 Apr 2016 - Garda Deployment)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and Districts 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.
Ardee Distr...

455. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a decision has been made on a claim for compensation by a person (details supplied), as a result of a head-on collision in a patrol car. (Question 28639/15 asked on 14 Jul 2015 - Garda Compensation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Garda Compensation Acts 1941 and 1945 provide for compensation for malicious injury or death inflicted upon members of An Garda Síochána while they are on duty or related to their service as such members. An application for the Garda mentioned was recently authorised so that an application can be made to the High Court for such compensation in accordance with the said Acts. The legal advisors of the Garda have been furnished wi...

199. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to shorten the completion of the vetting process (details supplied). (Question 19295/13 asked on 24 Apr 2013 - Garda Vetting of Personnel)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) provides employment vetting for approximately 20,000 organisations in Ireland, registered with the Unit for this purpose, which employ personnel to work in a full-time, part time, voluntary or student capacity with children and / or vulnerable adults. The Unit processed approximately 328,000 vetting applications on behalf of these organisations in 2012.
The current average processing time for applicati...