126. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 156 of 8 February 2018, the way in which the Circular OPS 12/2011, Consolidated Guidelines for Prisoners Released on Temporary Release, contain a reference to recommendations from a report (details supplied); and if he will make the report available to persons that had cooperated with previous enquiries into the matter. (Question 20602/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Prison Service)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that the Director General commissioned an external operational report into the circumstances surrounding the removal of a person from the Dochas Centre. A review of the draft report highlighted legal and procedural flaws in the way the enquiry was conducted and a second external investigator was appointed in an attempt to bring the enquiry to a satisfactory conclusion. Unfortunately, as was outl...

127. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will clarify his reply to Parliamentary Question Nos. 509 and 573 of 16 January 2018 (details supplied), in view of press reports stating that the Legal Services Regulatory Authority has not yet got a permanent premises and will not be taking complaints until the summer of 2019. (Question 20603/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Legal Services Regulatory Authority has been established on a firm statutory basis under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 its establishment day for that purpose having been 1 October 2016. The Authority, which is independent in the performance of its functions under the 2015 Act, has convened regularly since its inaugural meeting on 26 October 2016 and completed a whole series of statutory public consultations and reports tha...

139. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there has been a recent audit of Garda property seized in the course of arrests or investigation; his views on the security of such seizures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20275/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the manner in which property is seized by Members of An Garda Síochána during the course of their official duties is an operational issue for the Commissioner, and his management team, and I have no role in such matters. 
This notwithstanding I have requested a report from the Garda authorities on this issue and I will contact the Deputy again when the report is to hand.
 ...

140. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the protocol regarding the way in which money and drugs seized in investigations are handled, stored and returned to the person from whom they were seized in the event of an unsuccessful prosecution. (Question 20276/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have raised the matter referred to by the Deputy with the Garda Authorities and requested a report on the issue. I will reply to the Deputy when the report is to hand. 
 ...

198. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if it is envisaged that transfers from the Irish Prison Service to other areas of his Department will cease upon the new reorganisation of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19903/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Prison Service Staff)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Plans to establish the Irish Prison Service (IPS) as a scheduled office that will also incorporate administrative staff currently employed in my Department are well advanced. Under these arrangements departmental staff in Longford will transfer to the IPS under a transfer of function while staff undertaking IPS duties in Dublin will have the option of being reassigned to other divisions of my Department based in Dublin.
Thereafter, any...

103. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 105 of 25 April 2018, if the complication with the roll of barristers is beyond that which was anticipated; the details of the delay; and his views on whether a principal objective of this reform in respect of restoring public trust is at risk. (Question 19145/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Roll of Practising Barristers is a new framework being set up and maintained for the first time by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority under Part 9 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. As I have previously conveyed, the Regulatory Authority, which is independent in the performance of its functions, has stated that it is making the necessary detailed preparations and developing the necessary staffing and other resources r...

109. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason it is taking 19 months for asylum seekers to receive an interview with the International Protection Office as highlighted by the UNHCR; the steps he will take to address the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19308/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Asylum Applications)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): On 31 December 2016, the International Protection Act 2015 was commenced, providing for the introduction of a single application procedure for people seeking international protection in the State. The 2015 Act replaces the previous sequential application system with a single application process, for asylum, subsidiary protection and permission to remain in the State, bringing Ireland into line with the processing arrangements applicabl...

110. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the implementation of McMahon report recommendations 4.75 and 4.87 in view of the capacity concerns in the direct provision system and pressure on asylum seeker accommodation; the number and percentage of families residing in centres with access to their own private living space; and the number and percentage of single residents with their own room and or sharing with one, two or three or more persons, respectively. (Question 19310/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Direct Provision System)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The Third and Final Progress Report on the Implementation of the Report of the Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports for Asylum Seekers, which was chaired by Dr. Bryan McMahon was published in June 2017. The Report showed that 133 of the recommendations contained in the McMahon Report were fully implemented with a further 36 recomm...

187. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if section 44.(1) of the Prison Rules 2007 SI 252 of 2007 will be amended to include the phrase “(k) Members of the Oireachtas” in order to ensure that correspondence from Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas to and from prisoners is dealt with securely and promptly. (Question 18713/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Prison Regulations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I wish to thank the Deputy for her proposal to amend Rule 44 (1) of the Prison Rules 2007, to include members of the Oireachtas. This proposal merits further consideration and I have asked my officials to liaise with officials in the Irish Prison Service to explore it in more detail. I will respond directly to the Deputy when this review is finalised.
 ...

105. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 557 of 17 April 2018, his views on whether the minutes of the LSRA meeting of 16 November 2017 recorded serious concerns (details supplied); his plans to activate the practitioners levy to facilitate the independence of the authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18115/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy’s question refers to issues raised, of which I am fully aware, in the minutes of the Authority’s meeting on 16 November last concerning the timeline for activation of legal partnerships (i.e. partnerships between barristers, or between barristers and solicitors) under the Legal Services Regulation Act.  In the elements of the minutes referred to by the Deputy, it is recorded that the Authority expressed a view as to the exte...

64. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has requested the Garda Commissioner to explain when and the way in which the information contained in the intelligence report that led to the expulsion of a Russian diplomat came to light regarding the activities of the person concerned; the number of meetings that took place between An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces and other organisations in relation to completing the intelligence report; and if he is satisfied that An Garda Síochána has been appropriately monitoring this reported security threat. (Question 16538/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Diplomatic Representation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can assure the Deputy that the Government affords the highest priority to the State’s security.
An Garda Síochána carries out a range of functions in safeguarding our national security, including actions to counter terrorist threats, to support international security and to protect the State and its vital interests, where necessary, from espionage and unlawful acts of foreign interference.
In this regard, the Garda Authorities work v...

77. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress of the statutory inquiries initiated as a result of the Independent Review Mechanism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16539/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Independent Review Mechanism)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy is referring to five Statutory Inquiries which were established, under Section 42 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, on 15 May 2017.  These inquiries, each of which is presided over by a retired judge, arose out of the recommendations of Counsel of the Independent Review Mechanism in respect of five complaints considered by it. 
As the Deputy will be aware, the Orders establishing these Inquiries prescribe that a report will b...

517. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress that has been made with regard to releasing the Crowley report into the death of a person (details supplied); if the process of proactively engaging with those that participated to waive the confidentiality agreement which allegedly exists as the basis upon which they took part in the report; the advice he has received regarding the publication of the report with the names redacted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15216/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Departmental Reports)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The fatal shooting of Aidan McAnespie in February 1988 was a devastating tragedy for Aidan McAnespie’s family and for the people of Aughnacloy. Given the public disquiet following the shooting, the then Government commissioned a report into the circumstances that was carried out by then Garda Deputy Commissioner Crowley.
Given the circumstances in which the Crowley report was carried out and the commitments given to many local people ...

518. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to establish a model investigative team here equivalent to the historical enquiries team established in Northern Ireland in 2008 to examine previous crimes which were not investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15218/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Investigations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that it is the Garda Commissioner and his management team who are responsible for the deployment of all Garda resources, including personnel, and I have no role is such matters. Similarly, investigations into all forms of criminality in our State, and the manner in which those investigations are carried out, is solely a matter for the Commissioner.
However, I have been advised by the Garda authorities that r...

526. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if additional bed space on medical grounds will be provided to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15287/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Asylum Seeker Accommodation)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): It is standard practice in all accommodation centres under contract to the Department that an adequate number of beds are provided for those residing in each centre. Local management work closely with all residents to ensure that particular needs are addressed in line with this overall policy.
In this particular case, individual beds were provided for both parties. I understand that the resident decided to remove...

529. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons residing in each of the country’s direct provision centres by category (details supplied). (Question 15383/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Direct Provision Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The information sought by the Deputy cannot be provided in a single table or in a form that is readable in the response to the question. The information is provided in a series of tables in the attached file.  
The tables are structured, as follows:
Table 1: Number of persons by centre, age and gender.
Table 2: Duration of Stay in months since entering accommodation
Table 3: Number of Persons by Centre and Nationality
Table 4: Number o...

530. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons residing in each direct provision centre who have been granted leave to remain here but remain resident in the centre by category (details supplied). (Question 15384/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Direct Provision Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The phrase “leave to remain” in the question is being interpreted as covering persons granted any one of Refugee Status, Subsidiary Protection or Humanitarian Leave to Remain. The information sought by the Deputy cannot be provided in a single table and instead is provided in a series of 4 tables in the attached file. 
The tables are structured, as follows:
Table 1: Number of persons by with leave to remain by c...

535. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason his Department is not adhering to the protected disclosure policy within the Irish Prison Service; and the reason he has allowed the independent audit unit of his Department to refuse to investigate reports of continued penalisation and has instead appointed a private law firm to investigate same. (Question 15429/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Protected Disclosures)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The case to which the Deputy refers is being dealt with in accordance with the Prison Service Protected Disclosure policy in place. The policy provides for the Head of Internal Audit to assign an inquiry to a member of the Internal Audit Unit or to an appropriately qualified professional to carry out an investigation. The policy further provides that such an individual may be internal or external to the Department. In the specific c...

557. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason for the delay in the commencement of provisions in the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 whereby efficient oversight and public interest provisions of the Act can be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16010/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Commencement of Legislation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The setting-up of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority is very much work in progress and has been underway on a number of fronts since July 2016. At that time Parts 1 and 2 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 were commenced as necessary to get the new Authority appointed and underway. The Authority, which is independent in the performance of its functions under the 2015 Act, has convened regularly since its inaugural meeting o...

190. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the average processing times for applications (details supplied). (Question 14594/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service Administration)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the numbers of applications for naturalisation for the period from 2014 to date, broken down under the main categories referred to by the Deputy, are as provided in the following table:
  -    2014      2015      2016      2017         2018*  EU/EEA (of which UK in brackets) 2,600 (50) 3,500 (70) 5,200 (570)  5,000 (860)...

292. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the implications of the review of Garda Youth Division projects which are recommending a new model which will result in the closure of smaller independent youth organisations and the loss of jobs and important services. (Question 12724/18 asked on 20 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. 290, 292, 324 to 326, inclusive, 356, 369, 370 and 373 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, Inclu...

336. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of trained gardaí dealing with child sex offence cases. (Question 12322/18 asked on 20 Mar 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 carrying on and managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the training of its members and civilian staff and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
I have sought the information requested by the Deputy from the Commissioner and I will write directly to her when a respon...

339. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a person that has been granted leave to remain here can apply for a travel document. (Question 12354/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Travel Documents)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a person who has been granted leave to remain in the State may apply for a travel document. Unlike a refugee, however, a person with leave to remain does not have an entitlement to be issued with one, and a travel document would be issued solely on a discretionary basis. Each application received for a discretionary travel document is examin...

346. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 179 of 8 March 2018 and in view of the fact that it has taken the Office of Wards of Court seven months to issue 350 statements, the timeframe for the issuing of all 2,500 statements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12475/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Wards of Court)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy is aware, the High Court has jurisdiction in wards of court matters 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 while the Office of Wards of Court commenced issuing statements to Committee...

347. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of case officers attached to the Office of Wards of Court that have received specialist training in family liaison, communications, mediation or other specialist training with a view to enabling effective, prompt and sensitive communication with the families of wards of court under the committeeship of the General Solicitor. (Question 12476/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Wards of Court)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy is aware, the High Court has jurisdiction in wards of court matters 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 there are 10 case officers in the Office of Wards of Court and 8 case office...